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News from the world of cruise travel ~
January 16-31, 2004

For schedule changes & departure information on a specific cruise line or port of call, please select Latest Updates by Cruise Line

Important Travel Safety Information letter from Jack Williams, President and Chief Operating Officer, Royal Caribbean International

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Whittier to Be Used as Embarkation Point for Carnival's 2004 Southbound Alaska Cruises
Newly Added Homeport Offers Convenience for Alaska-Bound Guests

MIAMI (01/30/04) - Beginning with the 2004 season, Carnival Cruise Lines' 2,124-passenger Carnival Spirit will depart from Whittier, Alaska, on its seven-day southbound Alaska cruises, providing a more convenient embarkation point and saving guests 90 minutes travel time on this popular "FunShip" cruise program. Previously, Carnival's southbound Alaska cruises departed from Seward, Alaska, approximately three hours from the Anchorage airport via motorcoach.

Using Whittier as an embarkation point for southbound cruises also allows for a longer eight-hour stay in Sitka, the first stop on that itinerary. Seven-day northbound Alaska cruises will continue to depart from Vancouver, British Columbia. "Replacing Seward with Whittier cuts guests' transfer from the airport in half and provides a more efficient embarkation and debarkation point for 'Fun Ship' Alaska cruises," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president & CEO.

Carnival Spirit's 2004 Alaska season consists of 16 seven-day Glacier Route and three Glacier Bay voyages. Glacier Route cruises depart May 19 to Sept. 1, either southbound  from Whittier or northbound from Vancouver. Cruises in both directions feature Prince William Sound, College Fjord, Lynn Canal, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Sitka and the Inside Passage. Glacier Bay cruises depart round-trip from Vancouver May 12, Sept. 8 and 15 and feature full days cruising Glacier Bay National Park and the Inside Passage, as well as visits to Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan.

In addition to providing a unique opportunity to view spectacular scenery of the Last Frontier, Carnival's Alaska cruises also feature a professional naturalist who provides details on local plant, sea and animal life, as well as a special "just for Alaska" menu items featuring fresh-caught seafood, venison, and local herbs and produce. More than 100 different shore excursions, ranging from "flightseeing," whale-watching and kayaking expeditions to alpine lake snorkeling, gold panning and salmon bakes, are also available. 

The cruises can be combined with three- to four-night land packages operated by Holland America, a leader in Alaska tour vacations, enabling guests to create customized Alaska 10- and 11-night CruiseTour packages. Visits to Denali National Park (site of Mt. McKinley) and Fairbanks, as well luxury rail travel aboard the McKinley Explorer, are among the many features of Carnival's CruiseTours. Additional information on Carnival's Alaska cruises can be obtained by contacting any travel agent, calling 1-800-CARNIVAL or visiting

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Holland America Line Has Introduced the Popular Pinnacle Grill and Neptune Lounge on the MS Maasdam
Alternative Premium Dining Experience and Exclusive Lounge Deliver on Holland America Line's Tradition of Excellence

Pinnacle Grill is now available on 10 of 12 ships in the Holland America Line fleet. (PRNewsFoto)

SEATTLE, Jan. 29 -- As part of the Signature of Excellence initiative, Holland America Line has announced that the ms Maasdam now features the popular Pinnacle Grill restaurant, as well as the exclusive Neptune Lounge, which is available to all Deluxe Verandah Suite and Penthouse Suite guests. These significant additions to the ship are part of Holland America Line's unparalleled investment in enhancing products and services across its five-star fleet. With these enhancements, Holland America Line continues to innovate with new standards that will further solidify its leadership position in the premium cruise category.

"We're providing guests traveling on the Maasdam with even more ways to experience elegance and luxury during their time at sea," said Stein Kruse, president and chief operating officer. "Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback from guests on our other ships regarding the Pinnacle Grill and the Neptune Lounge, we are confident that these enhancements will help us deliver on the promise of providing the best premium cruise experience available. This is another example of how we're continuing our commitment to surpass the expectations of our sophisticated travelers."

The Pinnacle Grill - An Elegant Dining Alternative
Guests traveling aboard the Maasdam are now able to enjoy the Pinnacle Grill, an elegant dining alternative Holland America Line is introducing across its five-star fleet. The Pinnacle Grill is one of the most notable additions to the at-sea dining experience and has been enthusiastically embraced by passengers aboard nine of Holland America Line's other ships. This reservations-only restaurant celebrates Northwest cuisines and select fine wines in a romantic, upscale atmosphere.

Menus include "Sterling Silver" premium hand-selected cuts of beef, including bone-in Delmonico rib-eye steak, center-cut Porterhouse steak and two sizes of filet mignon. Also featured are savory seafood dishes such as Northwest clam chowder, Alaskan king salmon, and Dungeness crab cakes with spiral shaved cucumber and sweet chili sauce. These delicious entrees are complemented by a wide assortment of side dishes, including Washington spuds au gratin, grilled asparagus avec Bearnaise, sautéed button mushrooms or a honey maple three-bean ragout. Guests can top off their meal by choosing from a collection of delectable desserts such as warm Grand Marnier chocolate volcano cake, lemon berry angel shortcake and not-so-classic baked Alaska.

The new restaurant reflects Holland America Line's philosophy that the total dining experience must be as impeccable as the service and quality of the food. Distinctive Bulgari china, elegant Riedel stemware and Frette linens take the Pinnacle Grill to a level of elegant sophistication unmatched anywhere in the premium cruise category. Guests who wish to dine in the Pinnacle Grill may do so with an advance reservation; there is a modest charge of $20 per person. "Because it has been so popular on our other ships, we are recommending that guests plan to experience the Pinnacle Grill early in their trip," said Kruse. "As we've seen time and again, guests who go once are eager to return."

The Neptune Lounge Enhances the Suite Life
Holland America Line provides guests with the most distinctive ships at sea and the most spacious accommodations in the premium category. The Maasdam is no exception and was designed to embody that idea of spacious comfort.

As part of the ongoing accommodation upgrades to the Maasdam, Holland America Line has enhanced the "suite life" with the addition of the industry-leading Neptune Lounge. The exclusive Neptune Lounge is a private retreat for Deluxe Verandah Suite and Penthouse Suite guests, where they can relax, read and socialize, as well as take advantage of the personalized services from the Neptune Lounge's concierge. The lounge's concierge will gladly make reservations for spa appointments, shore excursions, car rentals, the Pinnacle Grill dining experience and more. In addition, Deluxe Verandah Suite and Penthouse Suite guests who choose to participate in Holland America Line's early embarkation program can take advantage of the amenities and services in the Neptune Lounge before being escorted to their accommodations.

About Signature of Excellence
As the premium cruise leader, Holland America Line is investing $225 million in the Signature of Excellence initiative to provide unparalleled product and service enhancements to its fleet of five-star ships. Signature of Excellence will build on Holland America Line's renowned tradition of excellence by significantly raising the standard in premium cruising. The comprehensive enhancements will focus on five areas central to the Holland America Line guest experience: spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; sophisticated five-star dining; gracious, unobtrusive service; extensive enrichment programs and activities; and compelling worldwide itineraries. Enhancements, and in some cases construction build-outs, have been started and are expected to be completed by the end of 2005.

For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Cape Liberty Cruise Port to Begin Operations in May 2004

MIAMI, Jan. 28, 2004 - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced it is naming its new port facility in Bayonne, New Jersey, Cape Liberty Cruise Port. Starting this May, Cape Liberty will serve as a seasonal homeport to two of the company's ships, including the 3,114-passenger Voyager of the Seas, which makes her first appearance in the New York City metro area this spring.

"We are extremely pleased to be able to offer our guests a new and convenient cruise port as we expand our presence in the Tri-State area," said Adam Goldstein, executive vice president, Brand Operations, for Royal Caribbean. "Cape Liberty Cruise Port is a fitting name as our guests will begin and end their vacations with a marvelous view of the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan."

In December, Royal Caribbean signed a letter agreement with the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority (BLRA) to construct and operate a new cruise port facility on the former Bayonne Military Ocean Terminal peninsula, now called The Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor. Just 15 minutes from the Newark airport and right off the New Jersey Turnpike, Cape Liberty Cruise Port is a convenient departure point for both drive-market guests and those arriving by air.

Two Royal Caribbean International ships will sail from Cape Liberty from May through October 2004. Voyager of the Seas offers an alternating schedule of five-night Canada and nine-night Caribbean cruises. Nordic Empress offers alternating six-night and eight-night Bermuda itineraries. Royal Caribbean will operate out of existing structures for the immediate future. Long-term plans call for construction of a new cruise terminal and supporting facilities. The Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor is a 430-acre, man-made peninsula that extends into New York Harbor. Future plans by the BLRA for the remaining land on the peninsula call for a vibrant mixed-use waterfront development, including commercial, residential and park areas.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, with a combined total of 27 ships in service and two under construction or on firm order. The company also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe. Additional information can be found on or

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Celebrity Cruises Sweeps Latest 'Conde Nast Traveler' Survey
Premium Cruise Line Sails Away with Seven of Top 10 Spots, Including Number One

MIAMI, Jan. 27 -- While some of the world's finest actors celebrate their Golden Globe awards and Oscar nods, another type of celebrity--Celebrity Cruises--is being honored for having the world's greatest ships. Seven Celebrity ships, every ship in the fleet that falls into the large-ship category, ranked in the top 10 in "Conde Nast Traveler's" annual "Best Cruise Ships in the World" survey, results of which are published in the February 2004 edition. The aptly named Constellation is the star of the show, honored with the number-one spot and the highest overall score yet (89.1) for a large ship. Summit ranked second overall, but first in the category of service; Century ranked fourth, and was the top pick in the food category; and Infinity, Mercury and Galaxy ranked fifth through seventh, respectively (the balance of Celebrity's fleet, the 1,354-guest Horizon and Zenith, were among those honored in the medium-ship category).

Celebrity Cruises is no stranger to sweeping the "Conde Nast Traveler" poll: Five of the top 10 ships in the large-ship category last year were Celebrity vessels. In this year's poll, more than 32,000 discerning "Conde Nast Traveler" subscribers evaluated ships on five criteria: itineraries, crew/service, cabins/design, food/dining, and activities/excursions.

"We've made a great investment in transforming the Celebrity brand, so it's extremely gratifying to see that our enhancements are being recognized and increasingly acknowledged by noteworthy consumer polls like 'Conde Nast Traveler's,'" said Celebrity Cruises President and COO Jack Williams. "We are grateful for this honor. It is validation of what we are trying to do, and motivation to keep us on course."

A new entry on that course is Celebrity Xpeditions, a series of exceptional excursions and exotic travel experiences in new and unique destinations. Subject to closing of a pending acquisition, the first in the program will be journeys in the Galapagos Islands, with additional experiences expected in Antarctica, the Arctic and Alaska. Bookings opened last week for cruises in the Galapagos. For information about Celebrity Xpeditions, visit

Celebrity Cruises is the industry's highest-rated premium cruise brand with a taste of luxury. The cruise line has nine ships in its fleet, which is the youngest of any major line. Celebrity sails in Alaska, Bermuda, California, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal and South America. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111, or visit the Celebrity web site at

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Governor Jeb Bush formally welcomes ship to Fort Lauderdale

FORT LAUDERDALE, January 26, 2004 - The world's grandest luxury liner, Queen Mary 2, arrived today at Port Everglades, her U.S. winter home port and the last stop on her Maiden Voyage from Southampton, England, which began on January 12. The flagship of Cunard Line and the British merchant fleet was welcomed to the U.S. in grand fashion. The procession included an offshore water salute by fireboats, followed by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Gannet, Queen Mary 2 and the impressive USS Carney, a Navy guided-missile destroyer.

Queen Mary 2 is the largest (151,400 tons), longest (1,132 feet/345 metres), tallest (236 feet/ 72 metres), widest (135 feet/41 metres) and most expensive ($800 million) liner ever built. It is also the first true transatlantic liner to have been built since Cunard's famous Queen Elizabeth 2 entered service in May 1969. Governor Jeb Bush formally welcomed Queen Mary 2 to America at a quayside ceremony. Also in attendance were Cunard's President Pamela Conover; Micky Arison, chairman of Cunard's parent Carnival Corporation; Commodore Ronald Warwick, master of Queen Mary 2; Broward County Mayor Ilene Lieberman; Nicki Grossman, president, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, and other local dignitaries.

As the ship approached the channel, passengers were greeted by banners hung from luxury high-rises, proclaiming "America Welcomes Queen Mary 2." Residents lined balconies waving flags, flashlights and noisemakers. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau commissioned "Fort Lauderdale Welcomes QM2" to be written in huge red and blue letters in the sand near the jetty. A plane flew a welcome banner along the beachfront and the well-known local Dillard High School Marching Band was on hand to assure a rousing welcome. Lamppost banners along the area's main thoroughfares have heralded the ship's arrival since January 19. In her remarks, Conover declared: "Today is an historic day for Cunard Line, for it is the first time in 35 years that we have welcomed a new ship to America... we couldn't be more proud for the winter home port of Queen Mary 2 to be here in Greater Fort Lauderdale."

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II named Queen Mary 2 at a gala ceremony in Southampton on January 8, 2004. The ship entered service on January 12 with her Maiden Voyage to America calling at Madeira, Tenerife and Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, Barbados and St. Thomas, before making landfall at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.

In her inaugural year Queen Mary 2 will sail 13 transatlantic crossings between England and New York as she takes over the role currently operated by QE2. On April 16, she will make her maiden westbound transatlantic crossing from Southampton to New York. The vessel will also introduce a series of Caribbean cruises from New York and Fort Lauderdale; a voyage to Rio de Janeiro and back, timed for Carnival; five European itineraries and two fall foliage cruises to ports in Canada and New England. Her maiden eastbound crossing on April 25 will be historic for Cunard as both QM2 and QE2 will depart New York together. The day in New York will be the first time two Cunard Queens have been berthed in the port together since March 1940.

Queen Mary 2 features 10 dining venues with acclaimed Chef Daniel Boulud serving as Cunard's culinary advisor and Chef Todd English operating a Mediterranean speciality restaurant of the same name. The liner also has the only Canyon Ranch SpaClub® at sea, the world's first planetarium at sea, the largest ballroom at sea, the largest library at sea, and the largest wine collection at sea, as well as a Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar, a two-story theatre, a casino, five indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs, boutiques and children's facilities complete with British nannies. For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or visit the website at

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MIAMI. Jan 26, 2004 -- Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has awarded $600,000 from its Ocean Fund to 11 marine conservation organizations, including a $200,000 gift to the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation for the new Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center in Key West, Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain announced.In 7½ years since the launch of the Ocean Fund, the global vacation company has donated $6.6 million on behalf of Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises to 40 different organizations working to protect the marine environment.The other 10 new grants, ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 annually, will support a variety of projects, such as protecting wild salmon in Alaska and the red spiny lobster in the Galapagos Islands, certifying sustainable fisheries, feeding stranded seals, conducting a biodiversity analysis of the Caribbean Basin, and aiding doctoral students in their research.

"The Ocean Fund is fortunate to be able to share in the important work of marine conservation by our grant winners," Fain said. 'We appreciate all their efforts in the protection of endangered fish populations and the education of the public about the importance of preserving ocean habitats."

Visitors to Key West can learn about the Florida Keys ecosystem at a 6,000-square foot environmental center planned at Harbor Walk, near the cruise-ship pier. The free-admission facility will feature interactive exhibits, including a mockup of the Aquarius undersea research lab and a bicentennial coral head depicting the slow growth of coral against a backdrop of the passage of history.In the 75-seat theater, a video presentation will explore tropical hammocks, mangroves, coral reefs, shipwrecks and open ocean, and there will be live-feed broadcasts from the marine sanctuary. Collaborating on the project are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, launched in 2000, is one of three first-time grant winners. The Marine Animal Lifeline, which rescues stranded seals along Maine's coast, received $25,000 to feed nursing pups and other seals undergoing rehabilitation. The Charles Darwin Foundation, based in Quito, Ecuador, also received $25,000 for a study of the early-life history of the red spiny lobster at its research station in the Galapagos Islands.

The complete list of Ocean Fund grant recipients is as follows:
· Alaska SeaLife Center: $50,000 to develop a behind-the-scenes, interactive video program, teaching visitors and satellite-linked groups about ongoing research and marine wildlife rehabilitation.
· The Conservation Fund: $50,000 for the Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Initiative, helping purchase strategic tracts from Natives to protect fisheries of wild salmon.
· Conservation International: $60,000 over two years for the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, which will develop and analyze data on threats to marine species in the Caribbean Basin and create a network of marine-protected areas.
· Charles Darwin Foundation: $25,000 to the Charles Darwin Research Station in the Galapagos Islands to study the post-larval and juvenile phases of the red spiny lobster’s life cycle in an effort to sustain an important fishery.
· The Florida Aquarium: $25,000 to upgrade the Beaches and Bays exhibit, focusing on the role of Tampa Bay coastal waters in supporting industry, recreation, and wildlife.
· Island Dolphin Care: $25,000 to create marine-science exhibits for aquarium learning stations at the new Island Dolphin Care Center in Key Largo, Florida.
· Marine Animal Lifeline: $25,000 to supply the nutritional needs of stranded seals being treated at the rescue and rehabilitation facility in Westbrook, Maine.
· Marine Stewardship Council: $50,000 over two years for the fisheries certification program in North America, encouraging food-service operators to obtain seafood from sustainable sources.
· National Marine Sanctuary Foundation: $200,000 for construction of a multi-purpose theater at the new Dr. Nancy Foster Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center in Key West, educating visitors about the entire Florida Keys and South Florida ecosystem.
· Tampa BayWatch: $50,000 over two years for construction of the Discovery Docks at the new Tampa Bay Marine and Education Center near Fort DeSoto Park.
· University of Miami: $40,000 for a graduate fellowship, supporting a doctoral student in research at UM's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, with a combined total of 27 ships in service and two under construction or on firm order. The company also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe. Additional information can be found on or

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Royal Caribbean Offers Outstanding Europe Options In 2004
Cruise Line Gives Guests Chance to See, Do and Experience More with Three Ships, Four Cruisetours and 400-plus Shore Excursions

MIAMI, Jan. 26 -- Royal Caribbean International is giving guests a chance to explore up to seven European countries in a single vacation, without the hassles of endless airports, train stations and hotel check-in lines. This summer, the company is offering five itineraries that take guests to a host of historic cities throughout the Mediterranean, the British Isles and Northern Europe -- all from the comfort of three state-of- the-art cruise ships.

"A Royal Caribbean cruise is a great way to see and experience more of Europe," said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales, for Royal Caribbean International. "You have an elegant 'home base' that not only delivers you to an exciting new port each day, but also provides outstanding activities, entertainment and dining for you to enjoy along the way."

Royal Caribbean cruises carry guests to the legendary sites they've long dreamed of visiting. On a 12-night Mediterranean/Greek Isles itinerary, for example, Royal Caribbean cruisers have a chance to visit Monte Carlo's Grand Casino, the leaning tower of Pisa, Michaelangelo's "David" in Florence, The Roman Colosseum and the Sistine Chapel, the ruins of Pompeii, the cliffs of Santorini, the windmills of Mykonos, and Athens' famed Acropolis.

Three State-of-the-Art Ships
Royal Caribbean will have two of its highly acclaimed Radiance-class ships in Europe for the summer season: Brilliance of the Seas and the line's newest ship, Jewel of the Seas, which makes her debut in late April. Starting in May, Brilliance of the Seas offers 12-night Mediterranean/Venice and 12-night Mediterranean/Greek Isles cruises from Barcelona. Jewel of the Seas offers 12- night Scandinavia/Russia and 12-night British Isles/Norwegian Fjords cruises from Harwich, England.

The third ship, Splendour of the Seas, sails seven-night Mediterranean itineraries from Barcelona. With luxurious day spas and adults-only Solariums, as well as extensive workout centers and rock-climbing walls, all three ships balance relaxation and active entertainment.

Younger guests will enjoy Royal Caribbean's industry-leading Adventure Ocean Youth Program. Highly trained youth staff oversee daily "edu-tainment" activities by age group, including science experiments, art projects, games, contests and theme parties.

"Our cruises offer an ideal way for parents to introduce their children to the rich history and culture of Europe in an extremely kid-friendly way," said Hanrahan. "The ships provide a safe and exciting environment, and our youth program is designed to keep kids entertained and help them make new friends onboard, in-between their adventures on shore."

Prices for Royal Caribbean's Europe itineraries start at $799 per person, double occupancy for seven-night cruises, and $1,999 for 12-night cruises.

Explorations! Ashore
In 2004, Royal Caribbean is giving guests on its Europe cruises more than 400 ways to experience their exciting ports of call with the Explorations! shore excursion program. Each excursion offers unique experiences and lasting memories, from touring the Gold Rooms at The Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg, to toasting the trip with glasses made from ice in Stockholm's Ice Bar, to walking the beaches where the D-Day invasion took place.

Excursions visit top museums, monuments and cultural attractions. Guests can choose to pack their days with multi-stop tours, or immerse themselves in a single area. Travelers seeking active adventures will find plenty of choices, including hiking Mt. Vesuvius near Naples, taking an off-road safari in Dubrovnik, biking through Barcelona, kayaking the fjords of Norway, and canoeing the lochs of Scotland.

Cruisetours Extend Adventure On Land
For guests looking to extend their time on land, Royal Caribbean also offers exclusive cruisetours, which pair Europe cruises with one of four land vacation packages -- two in Spain, one to London and Paris, and one to the English countryside, which traces the steps of the famed Harry Potter* from "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone®." All land packages are escorted by knowledgeable Tour Directors, and include at least two full meals each day, visits to top cultural attractions and five-star accommodations.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand currently with 18 ships in service and two more under construction or on firm order. The company also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site at or call 800-327-6700.

*Neither the tour nor the associated cruise services described herein are sponsored by, endorsed by or affiliated with Warner Bros. or Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P. Harry Potter®, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone®, and Hogsmead Station™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P. in the United States and certain other countries.

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Seattle, WA, January 23, 2004 - On Windstar sailings in Tahiti and French Polynesia, guests may enjoy the tropical paradise ashore with over 29 shore excursions especially designed for Windstar Cruises. Guests are invited to go "180 Degrees From Ordinary" by combining their romantic cruise on a sleek sailing yacht with adventures ranging from snorkeling among schools of tropical fish to discovering the very source of Polynesian history on tours guided by local historians and anthropologists.

With Windstar's "Romance Under Sail" program, guests can extend their romantic tour from the ship to the shore. A brochure that details all of the Tahiti shore excursions is available to guests, and includes a cupid logo for excursions that are especially romantic. Several excursions are geared to couples, from an overnight stay at a luxurious resort and spa to private boat tours on a turquoise lagoon where the couple operates their own boat. Information on all shore excursions can be found at the Windstar website,

"The natural beauty of the Society Islands is matched by a fascinating culture and extremely warm and friendly people," says Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and sales for Windstar Cruises. "Our shore excursions program combines with on-board activities such as complimentary water sports to allow guests endless options for enjoying their Windstar cruise in Tahiti to the fullest."

The 148-passenger Wind Star is based year-round in Tahiti for its trademark voyages through the lovely Society Islands, making 46 voyages of 7-days that begin and end in Papeete and call on the breathtakingly beautiful islands of Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine and Raiatea. Overnight stays in Bora Bora, Moorea and Papeete allow passengers to experience lingering sunsets, nightlife and around-the-clock atmosphere.

Seven-day sailings in February and March 2004 start at $2,795 per person and include free air from 78 gateway cities. Guests who want to extend their vacation in Tahiti may take advantage of a special offer for a second week aboard the Wind Star at $295 per person. Prices for Windstar's Tahitian shore excursions range from US$28 to US$98. Prices for helicopter and deep-sea fishing tours, as well as overnight stays at resort hotels, are higher.

Shore excursions on Raiatea, which is anthropologically the most significant island in the South Pacific, include a Raiatea Insight tour (US$68) that visits sacred sites of ancient Polynesia. Other tours on the island include an Exclusive Lagoon Tour with Snorkeling; Taha'a Discovery & Pearl Farm to discover lovely black pearls; a relaxing and romantic afternoon at the Taha'a Pearl Beach Resort & Spa; an exciting 4-Wheel-Drive Safari; a tour of the lushly vegetated Faaroa River; and Drift the Coral Garden, an advanced snorkeling tour among colorful coral fans off a tiny motu islet.

On lovely Huahine, which is scented with flowers and native vanilla plantations, Windstar guests can relax and unwind on a thrilling and romantic Beach Horse Ride (US$68) atop distinctive Marquesan horses. The island opens itself to exploration by way of a Nature Safari by Land Rover®, a backcountry tour with endless views; and Huahine Highlights, a guided bus tour that visits local gathering places and a vanilla plantation. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy a Lagoon Snorkeling Adventure or Catch & Release Deep Sea Fishing off the shores of Huahine, or guests can relax together with a Day at Te Tiare Beach Resort for swimming, snorkeling or lounging beside the pool.

The pristine, turquoise-colored lagoon of Bora Bora, with Mt. Otemanu towering in the background, is the setting for several island-based adventures. Guests can embark on a Bora Bora Snorkeling Safari (US$59) that visits two prime reef locations, or stay dry on a Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Pofai Bay. The Shark's Breakfast Snorkeling Adventure is always a hit, as guests watch black tip reef sharks being handfed by a guide. Guests who would like to experience a romantic night on the island can overnight at the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort. An Aquascope Adventure on the lagoon is an underwater tour on a semi-submersible watercraft. For land tours, guests can choose from Bora Bora Island Discovery on a colorful island truck; Bora Bora Helicopter Flight Seeing for incredible aerial views of the island; and the Tupuna Mountain Safari & Island Drive on open Land Rover® vehicles.

Seven shore excursion options await guests to the island of Moorea. Parasailing over Moorea (US$66) provides a unique perspective on the island as you soar past the shoreline in a safe, comfortable harness. You can drive your own two-person boat in the Cata-Jet Tour, which stops for snorkeling in the lagoon and swimming among friendly stingrays, or spend a day together at the Mahanai-Moorea Pearl Beach Resort. Rays are also the featured guests at the Motu Beach Picnic & Ray Feeding at Opunohu Bay, and guests can look for big aquatic game on the Dolphin & Whale Watching Expedition. The beautiful, lush landscapes of the island can be explored via the Agricultural 4-Wheel Drive Adventure, which goes deep into Moorea's striking mountain valleys, or via helicopter in the Moorea Island by Helicopter tour. A Discover Moorea bus tour rounds out the varied land-based options.

About Windstar Cruises
Seattle-based Windstar Cruises operates three sailing yachts known for their casually elegant atmosphere. A high-percentage of return guests attests to the appeal of Windstar's casual ambiance of resort-style attire, innovative cuisine and wine selections, open restaurant-style seating, attentive service, exotic destinations and complimentary water sports. Windstar offers optional trip cancellation protection that provides cash back when you cancel for any reason prior to 24-hours before departure. For more information including brochures, rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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From Art & Music to Wellness & Wine, Crystal's 2004 Theme Cruise Line-Up Spotlights World-Class Partnerships and World Discovery
43 Enrichment Cruises Tap Luxury Line's Prestigious Alliances

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 22 -- Experts from Sotheby's and the Smithsonian. Wellness instruction from the Tai Chi Cultural Center and the Cleveland Clinic. Language lessons by Berlitz. Art appreciation by Parsons. In 2004, Crystal Cruises raises the bar on its own award-winning theme cruise programming with 43 cruises that showcase the luxury line's quality alliances. Focusing on the five pillars of its innovative Creative Learning Institute -- arts & entertainment, business & technology, lifestyle, wellness, and wine & food -- Crystal offers a variety of vacations dedicated to personal enrichment and world discovery.

New in 2004 is a Wellness at Sea Series, five art appreciation cruises offered in conjunction with the renowned Sotheby's, a Book Club cruise, and two Flavors of South America voyages delving into the history, culture, cuisine and art of this exciting continent. With theme cruises devoted to the best of Jazz, Big Band, Finance & Fitness, Arts & Entertainment, as well as a Film Festival, Smithsonian voyages, and Crystal's highly regarded Wine & Food Festival, the 2004 roster of theme cruises represents the luxury line's most extensive and enriching program to date.

"The progressive nature of our Creative Learning Institute has essentially redefined the theme cruise, providing a level of 'edutainment' unprecedented in cruise and resort travel," says Bret Bullock, Crystal's vice president, entertainment. "By tapping into the expert resources of some of our world- class partners -- Yamaha, Parsons, Berlitz, Sotheby's and more -- we have created vacations that engage the mind while traveling aboard ships that pamper the soul."

Nearly half of Crystal's 89 cruises offered aboard its fleet of luxury ships -- Crystal Harmony, Crystal Symphony and the new Crystal Serenity -- are dedicated theme cruises, providing guests with a wide variety of options to destinations in the Caribbean, South Pacific, Hawaii, New Zealand, Asia and Trans-Pacific, Alaska and Canada, Trans-Atlantic and Europe, New England and Canada, and South America. The depth of Crystal's theme cruise programming is exemplified by its Wellness at Sea Series. Offered on three cruises in 2004, the Wellness at Sea Series features a compilation of Tai Chi instruction by Dr. Martin Lee, Stanford professor and founder of the Tai Chi Cultural Center of Los Altos, CA; Wellness Seminars provided by The Cleveland Clinic; the Walk on Water exercise program led by fitness expert Debbie Rocker; golf clinics, fitness classes, dance instruction and yoga. Further tapping into the wellness theme, additional enrichment opportunities include seminars in Feng Shui, writing classes, Berlitz foreign language instruction, and Yamaha keyboard lessons.

From the glory of Imperial Russia to the mysteries of Oriental Art, the history and culture of destinations are illuminated aboard five Sotheby's art appreciation cruises with experts sharing the secrets of antiquity as well as lecturing on jewelry, wine, fine art and design. Debuting in 2004 are two Flavors of South America themed voyages spotlighting the many aspects of life in this diverse continent through insightful lectures, Latin American dance (performances and instruction), music, languages (Berlitz Instruction -- Spanish and Portuguese) and culture, including art instruction on the region's handicrafts and cooking classes of indigenous specialties.

From West End to Broadway, the history of Musical Theatre on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean is explored in a series of fascinating lectures during a Trans-Atlantic Book Club cruise, with round-table discussions, workshops, movies and live performances. A South Pacific voyage will feature an acclaimed novelist of a book relating to this exotic part of the world.

While a "Financial Fitness" class is offered during each of the seven Finance & Fitness cruises, the overall programming from Crystal's Creative Learning Institute focuses on these two separate topics. Finance Classes may include Mutual Funds Analysis, Personal Income Tax Seminars, and Successful Retirement Planning. Fitness instruction features Tai Chi, Yoga, Heart Health, Healthy Aging, Alternative Medicine, and CPR.

The Ted Herman Orchestra will perform nightly dance sets and a series of concerts during the Big Band cruise, while two Jazz cruises feature special guest stars, such as the up-and-coming newest jazz sensation Liza Lee, performing sets in Club 2100, with lecturers offering insight into the world of jazz and its legendary artists.

With harbor-side accommodations at the Cannes Film Festival, Crystal's Film Festival cruise invites film industry lecturers to share insight into the world of movie making. Among those scheduled are actress Barbara Rush and Emmy-award winning San Francisco Bay area film critic, Jan Wahl.

The intricacies of transiting the Panama Canal are revealed aboard two Canal cruises with an expert for the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute sharing knowledge and expertise in various fields relating to the Panama Canal.

Four voyages dedicated to Arts & Entertainment will feature comprehensive and progressive enrichment in Yamaha piano lessons and Berlitz language instruction, while classes offered in conjunction with the Parsons School of Design provide a sense of style.

A cornerstone of Crystal's theme cruise program is its highly regarded Crystal Wine & Food Festival, now in its tenth year. On 16 different sailings, the world's most prominent and well recognized culinary masters, wine experts -- such as Dan Berger -- and celebrity chefs -- such as Nancy Silverton and Anton Mosimann -- come aboard to share their passion for all things culinary. Guests participate in wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and gala dinners.

Offered year-round on every cruise, the Creative Learning Institute (CLI) is the latest development in Crystal's highly-regarded Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program of renowned speakers and celebrity guest lecturers. The program was introduced in The Studio, a dedicated, state-of-the-art educational facility aboard Crystal Serenity, and soon expanded to other areas throughout the ship. For example, Tai Chi classes are held in the early morning hours on deck, and wine tastings take place in the larger Stardust Lounge or more intimate Vintage Room. When CLI debuts aboard Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony in 2004, the line will make use of the variety of public rooms afforded on a large luxury ship.

For the eighth consecutive year, luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises has been named the "World's Best Large-Ship Cruise Line" in Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler magazines' annual readers' surveys. The line's entertainment and enrichment programming continues to earn the highest accolades among these authoritative consumer polls as well as industry travel guides.

The 940-guest, 50,000-ton Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony were joined by the 1,080-guest, 68,000-ton Crystal Serenity in early July 2003. All three spacious floating resorts have been designed with exquisitely appointed suites and staterooms, more than half of which feature private verandahs. Cruising the world on itineraries of seven to 106 days, the three elegant ships also feature a wide variety of venues for entertainment, dining, cultural and educational pursuits and fitness and relaxation.

Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents. For a complimentary brochure on any of Crystal's worldwide sailings, call 800.820.6663. Visit the luxury line's website at

Below is Crystal Cruises' 2004 Theme Cruise schedule. Sailings, guest chefs and wine experts are subject to change.

2004 Theme Cruises (Date Theme Destination)

Jan 5 Jazz Panama/Hawaii
Jan 24 Finance & Fitness; Wine & Food Festival: Great Chefs of Hawaii Hawaii
Feb 3 Finance & Fitness; Wine & Food Festival: Great Chefs of Hawaii Hawaii
Feb 13 Finance & Fitness; Wine & Food Festival: Great Chefs of Hawaii Hawaii
Feb 23 BOOK Club South Pacific
Apr 23 Sotheby's: Asian Art China/Japan
May 16 Wellness At Sea® Trans-Pacific
Jun 11 Wine & Food Festival: Great Chefs of California Alaska & Canada
Jun 23 Wine & Food Festival: Great Chefs of California Alaska & Canada
Sep 3 Wine & Food Festival: Great Chefs of California Alaska & Canada
Oct 8 Finance & Fitness Panama Canal
Nov 7 Finance & Fitness Panama Canal
Nov 18 Finance & Fitness Panama Canal

Jan 5 Arts & Entertainment: Language/Piano Immersion Panama Canal
Jan 17 Arts & Entertainment: Language/Piano Immersion Panama Canal
Jan 28 Arts & Entertainment: Language/Piano Immersion Panama Canal
Feb 8 Arts & Entertainment: Language/Piano Immersion Panama Canal
Mar 4 The Smithsonian Associates: Panama Panama Canal
Mar 15 The Smithsonian Associates: Panama Panama Canal
Mar 26 Jazz Caribbean
Apr 12 Wellness At Sea® Trans-Atlantic
May 11 Film Festival Mediterranean
May 23 Wine & Food Festival Baltic
Jun 26 Sotheby's: Russian Art Baltic
Jul 8 Wine & Food Festival: Leading Hotels of the World British Isles
Jul 19 Sotheby's: Faberge Jewelry Baltic
Sep 4 BOOK Club; From West End to Broadway Trans-Atlantic
Sep 20 Wine & Food Festival New England/Canada
Oct 30 Sotheby's New England/Canada
Nov 10 Flavors of South America: featuring culture, languages, dance,
cuisine, economics and geopolitics South America
Nov 28 Flavors of South America: see above South America

Jan 19 Wine & Food Festival: Leading Hotels of the World Trans-Pacific
Feb 15 Wine & Food Festival China/Japan
Mar 8 Wine & Food Festival Indian Ocean
Apr 6 Wine & Food Festival Africa/Americas
May 5 Art; Big Band Trans-Atlantic
May 13 Wine & Food Festival: Leading Hotels of the World Mediterranean
Jun 5 Sotheby's Mediterranean
Jul 25 Wine & Food Festival Mediterranean
Aug 18 Wine & Food Festival: Leading Hotels of the World Mediterranean
Aug 30 Sotheby's: Old Master Paintings Mediterranean
Nov 9 Wellness At Sea ® Trans-Atlantic
Dec 7 Finance & Fitness Panama Canal

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Katie Couric & the Entertainment Industry Foundation To Host 2nd Hollywood Hits Broadway Gala, Benefiting Colon Cancer Research and ServicesEvent Aboard the New Queen Mary 2 in April 2004

NEW YORK, Jan. 22 -- Katie Couric and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) will host the second HOLLYWOOD HITS BROADWAY gala aboard the world's largest ocean liner, the new Queen Mary 2 (QM2), to benefit EIF's National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA) and the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at NewYork Weill Cornell Medical Center, named in honor of Couric's late husband.

The star-studded benefit will take place on Saturday, April 24, 2004, in New York City, where Cunard Line's QM2 will dock after making its first transatlantic crossing, launching its inaugural year in service. Cunard Line has generously donated the use of the ship for the evening. Hollywood Hits Broadway will feature film, television, recording industry and Broadway superstars performing in "Some Enchanted Evening - the Music of Richard Rodgers."

In addition to Katie Couric, co-chairs currently include: Cunard Line President & COO Pamela Conover; Bloomingdale's Chairman & CEO Michael Gould; American International Group Chairman & CEO Maurice R. Greenberg; Olympus America, Inc. President & COO F. Mark Gumz; Creative Artists Agency Managing Partner Kevin Huvane; GE Chairman & CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt; Salamander Middleburg LLC President & CEO Sheila C. Johnson; Goldman, Sachs Vice Chairman Robert Kaplan; members of the Monahan Family; Miramax Films Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein; Carsey Werner Mandabach Partner Tom Werner; GE Vice Chairman and NBC Chairman & CEO Robert C. Wright; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Chairman and CEO Alex Yemenidjian and his wife, Arda Yemenidjian.

The first Hollywood Hits Broadway gala, held in November 2002, was an enormous success. 2002 Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich and Musical Director Larry Blank have the same roles again this year. The first show was hosted by Susan Sarandon, Kevin Spacey and Meryl Streep, and included performances from stars Robert De Niro, Whoopi Goldberg, Kevin Kline, Beyonce Knowles, Bette Midler, Robin Williams, and many others -- all whom donated their time and talent for the event. Funds raised benefited colon cancer research and services.

"Last year's Hollywood Hits Broadway was considered the hottest ticket in town. We weren't quite sure how to top it," says Lisa Paulsen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. "A mega-star performance combined with a party on the most exclusive passenger ship ever built is a great way to start. We are delighted that Cunard has joined our efforts."

"Cunard is thrilled to host this dazzling event on the world's greatest new luxury liner," said Deborah L. Natansohn, Cunard's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "We are honored to be able to contribute to the fight against gastrointestinal cancers and happy to donate QM2 for a night of dinner and entertainment during the ship's first visit to New York City."

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Advanced Digital Cameras, Cruise Industry's Fastest Photo Labs Part of Digital Conversion Aboard 'Fun Ships'
New Photo-Retrieval Kiosk With Innovative 'Facial RecognitionTechnology' To Be Tested on Carnival Miracle

MIAMI (January 22, 2004) - Carnival has rolled out a new all-digital photo platform featuring the latest professional digital cameras from Olympus, the E-1, the first such cameras to be used on a cruise ship, along with the cruise industry's fastest digital photo labs developed specifically for Carnival by Konica Minolta Photo Imaging USA Inc., a leading photo imaging services provider.The line has also scheduled a beta-test of a new photo-retrieval kiosk featuring innovative "facial recognition technology" that matches aguest's likeness with stored "Fun Ship" vacation photos and displays images ona computer screen for review. These various new technologies arecreating a faster, more user-efficient and environmentally friendly photooperation aboard Carnival's fleet of 20 "Fun Ships."

The multi-million-dollar digital photography conversion is already in place on six of the line's vessels with fleetwide implementation expected before the end of the year. Beta-testing of the photo-retrieval kiosk, the first of its kind in the cruise industry, will begin this spring aboard the new 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle.

According to Carnival's Vice President - Photo/Video Bob Woodry, the new all-digital platform is far superior to the previous print system,providing higher quality photos in a more convenient and timely manner. With the new digital system, Carnival guests can also customize their photos with colorful borders, backgrounds and other features. "With our new 'cutting edge' cameras and custom-designed photo processing labs, guests sailing aboard the 'Fun Ships' enjoy the fastest, most efficient photo services at sea," Woodry said. He added that the conversion to the digital platform also has environmental benefits, as the use of photo-finishing chemicals will be greatly reduced and film will no longer be required.

Taking advantage of advancements in "facial recognition software,"Carnival is the first cruise line to explore a shipboard application for this innovative technology, which is being developed by San Diego-basedImageWare Systems, Inc. (IW), a leading provider of digital imaging, biometric and secure credential solutions. With the new system, guests sailing aboard Carnival Miracle will visita stand-alone kiosk, which captures an image of his or her face. Theimage is compared to faces of all photos taken by the ship's photographers during that voyage.Once the search is complete, all photos featuring that guest, including individual and group shots, will appear on a touch-screen computermonitor for review. Selected images are then printed on photo paper using high quality KonicaMinolta digital printers. "While 'facial recognition technology' has been employed in other industries, this is the first time it is being beta-tested on a cruise ship and we are very excited about its groundbreaking potential in our photo operations," Woodry said.

Carnival is the world's most popular cruise line, with 20 "Fun Ships" operating three- to 16-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Canada, New England, and Bermuda from homeports throughout North America. The new 88,500-ton Carnival Miracle is set to debut from Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 27, 2004. For additional information and reservations for any Carnival "Fun Ship," call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups) or visit the line's travel agent Internet portal,

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Oceania Cruises Unveils 2004-2005 South America Season

Miami, FL, January 22, 2004 -- Oceania Cruises is proud to present line’s inaugural season of voyages to South America aboard the intimate and luxurious 684-guest Insignia. From the rugged coastlines of Chile, Ecuador and Peru to the mighty Amazon and Orinoco rivers, these exotic voyages sail to the most enticing locations this breathtaking continent of contrasts has to offer. Meticulously planned voyages offer guests an unrivaled blend of exploration and luxury and will take them to chic metropolises, little-known seaports and present a world of unusual, hauntingly beautiful adventures.

Guests may join a once-in-a-lifetime optional excursion to Ecuador’s incomparable Galapagos Islands and observe the teeming wildlife while following in the footsteps of naturalist Charles Darwin. Or head for Peru’s fabled Machu Picchu, high in the Andes, an Inca stronghold whose origin and true purpose are still shrouded in mystery. Insignia’s explorations will take her up the east coast of South America to cosmopolitan cities and vast rain forests brimming with brilliant tropical birds. Insignia also ventures forth into the pristine environs of the Chilean Fjords, South Shetland Islands and the white continent of Antarctica, all havens for wildlife and arguably, the ultimate travel experience.

Frank Del Rio, President and CEO commented, “South America's stunning scenery and cultural experiences, combined with Oceania Cruises’ impeccable service, the finest cuisine at sea and sophisticated amenities, create a virtual feast for the senses.” From the neo-classical buildings of Buenos Aires to the ancient temples of Machu Picchu, South America is a land rich in contrasts. It contains vast rain forests brimming with brilliant tropical birds and glacier filled passages lined with colonies of sea lions and penguins. “Luxury and adventure are not mutually exclusive. We have gone to extraordinary lengths to create both a shipboard and destination experience that is startling in diversity and grand in scope,” added Joe Watters, Chairman of Oceania Cruises.

Exceptional Value With 2-For-1 Cruise Fares and FREE Airfare
Insignia’s inaugural season in South America features itineraries ranging from 12 to 18 days and for a limited time, feature 2-for-1 cruise fares and free airfare* from select North American gateways. Fares start at $2,499 per guest including port charges. Fares for deluxe staterooms with private teak verandas start at $3,299 per guest and for the ultimate indulgence, expansive suites with private teak verandas and private butler service represent the greatest value in luxury cruising with prices starting at just $4,199 per guest.

Oceania Cruises features three intimate and luxurious 684-guest ships, REGATTA, INSIGNIA and NAUTICA. Oceania Cruises is setting a new, worldwide standard for luxury cruising with the finest cuisine at sea, exceptional personalized service, grand style, and luxurious accommodations coupled with extraordinary value. For detailed itineraries or additional information on Oceania Cruises or to make a reservation, please contact your Travel Agent. To request a brochure, call 800-531-5658 or visit

*Free airfare offer excludes Holiday Sailings, is capacity controlled and may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice.

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Star Cruises’ SuperStar Leo to Sail in Alaska as Part of NCL Fleet
Ship to replace Norwegian Sky for the 2004 Alaska season

MIAMI, FL, Jan 21, 2004 - Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced that the Star Cruises’ ship SuperStar Leo will enter the NCL fleet for the 2004 Alaska season and spend this summer in Alaska as part of NCL’s popular Alaska Inside Passage program. The 77,000-ton ship will take over Norwegian Sky’s previously published seven-day itinerary from Seattle. The move comes in response to Norwegian Sky’s early transfer to Hawaii as Pride of Aloha. After a multi-million dollar remodeling in May, Pride of Aloha will be reflagged into the U.S. registry to assume Pride of America’s seven-day inter-island itinerary.

"We have acted quickly to support NCL at a difficult time when they have had the delivery of their newest ship seriously delayed and their plans to develop the important new Hawaii market disrupted,” Star Cruises’ Chairman and CEO, Tan Sri K T Lim said. “From a Star Cruises Group perspective, we have decided that it is an immediate our top priority is to support NCL's leading position in Alaska and to facilitate the early transfer of Norwegian Sky to our exciting new trade, Hawaii.” SuperStar Leo, first introduced in Singapore in 1999, was the very first purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ship and is one of Star’s two most modern best ships outside North America.

According to NCL’s President and CEO Colin Veitch: “SuperStar Leo is an exciting, high-quality modern ship with vibrant colors, exceptional public areas and well-appointed cabins. She is the ideal way to ensure that we have the Alaska program that our guests have planned and are expecting. She is the first sister in the family of ships that culminated just a year ago in the spectacular Norwegian Dawn, and passengers who sail on Leo will immediately see the close resemblance between these two big new ships.“

The 2,000-passenger SuperStar Leo was built by Meyer Werft, Germany and was Star Cruises’ first newbuild and largest vessel. SuperStar Leo features Freestyle Dining with seven restaurants including two main restaurants, three alternative restaurants -- Maxim’s (a French restaurant); Shogun (a Japanese restaurant) and Tai Pan (a Chinese restaurant), -- the Raffles Lido Cafe and the popular 24-hour Blue Lagoon.

Like her big sister Norwegian Star, which begins her first Alaska season in May, SuperStar Leo is a family-friendly ship with a wide choice of interconnecting cabins perfect for multi-generational families of all sizes. All staterooms are richly appointed with each containing a much larger bathroom unit than other ships, with separate WC, shower, and washstand compartments separated by sliding doors. The ship also boasts an expansive children and teen facility, and together with Norwegian Star, they have the largest dedicated children’s areas in Alaska cruising.

SuperStar Leo has an impressive array of entertainment venues including a 1,000-seat theater, a disco, a cinema, several bars and lounges and a world-class casino. The ship also features meeting rooms, a sports deck and a Roman Spa & Fitness Center. SuperStar Leo is a triple winner of the 1999 ShipPax Awards for her outstanding sun decks, bars and lounges, and cabins.

SuperStar Leo will be operated by NCL be operated in Alaska with a fully specified NCL product and offer the full Freestyle Cruising program found on all other NCL ships. She will begin sailing from Seattle on May 15th, the scheduled start of Norwegian Sky’s Alaska season, with seven-day cruises to the Inside Passage with calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, cruising Sawyer Glacier, Skagway and Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

SuperStar Leo features a multitude of outside cabins with 65 percent of those having private balconies, a larger percentage than Norwegian Sky, ensuring that all passengers booked on Norwegian Sky will move to an equivalent or superior cabin on their chosen sailing date. In addition, all passengers currently booked on Norwegian Sky will receive a $25 per person onboard credit when they sail on SuperStar Leo.

On Thursday, January 22nd, NCL began contacting travel agents who have passengers booked on Norwegian Sky to advise them that their passengers have been rebooked aboard SuperStar Leo. NCL will continue to take bookings on Norwegian Sky’s Alaska sailings while advising travel agents of the ship change. SuperStar Leo’s voyages will be open for sale for new bookings on Monday with prices beginning at $649.

For further information on NCL, contact a travel agent or NCL in the U.S. and Canada at (800) 327-7030; or visit NCL’s web site at For further information on NCL America, contact a travel agent or NCL in the U.S. and Canada at (800) 327-7030; in Miami-Dade County, Fla., (305) 436-0866; visit NCL’s web site at

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Seattle, WA, January 21, 2004 - Guests sailing on Caribbean cruises have even more opportunities to extend their trip "180 Degrees From Ordinary" from the ship to the shore with a new, expanded shore excursion program. New shore excursions emphasize romance, adventure and exploration of some of the Caribbean's loveliest beaches, parks and scenic attractions, creating a seamless transition between shipboard activities and island life.
Windstar Cruises will offer 34 cruises in the Caribbean in 2004, with two of its luxurious sailing yachts conducting six different itineraries that call at 17 exotic ports. All cruises for 2004 will be roundtrip from St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Special Sail and Save cruise fares for 7-day Caribbean cruises in February and March 2004 begin at $1,495 per person. During the January-March sailing season, the 148-passenger Wind Spirit and 308-passenger Wind Surf will conduct 26 seven-day voyages, with the Wind Spirit departing on Saturdays and the Wind Surf departing on Sundays.
To enhance each voyage, Windstar has arranged a variety of the best activities available in each port, from easy to strenuous activity levels, for guests to choose. Windstar's "Romance Under Sail" program is heavily supported with romantic opportunities on shore that include visits to private, secluded beaches, snorkeling and kayaking tours, or days spent at posh resorts for swimming, dining or lounging by the pool.
"We work with the top tour operators on every Caribbean island that Windstar visits to provide exotic and romantic shore opportunities for our guests," said Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and sales for Windstar Cruises. "Guests have the option of relaxing on a pristine beach or exploring the natural and cultural attractions of each island."

Prices for Windstar's Caribbean shore excursions range from US$22 to US$98, with many options for under US$50. Prices for helicopter and ATV Safari tours are higher. Information on all shore excursion programs can be found at

Each island shows off its own attractions with unique excursion opportunities. On the island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, there are four unique tours for guests to choose. These include a four-hour St. John Island & Beach Tour, which lingers at beautiful Trunk Bay for swimming and snorkeling; Sea Kayak the Virgin Islands National Park from Cruz Bay, with a break for snorkeling and swimming at a secluded beach; Bike the Virgin Islands and visit cultural attractions and Maho Bay; or a St. John Eco Hike through gorgeous, densely foliated National Park land.
Other program highlights include the following:
On Nevis, guests can experience Romance in Paradise, an exclusive tour for couples or small groups to Lovers' Beach, a secluded cove, for a picnic on the beach accompanied by a local musician.
Guests on St. Lucia can enjoy Horseback Riding through secluded island countryside to Cas En Bas Beach. The island's tours also include a Helicopter Tour and thrilling ATV Adventure in the shadows of the picturesque (and extinct) La Sorcierre volcano.
At St. Martin, guests can experience the heady thrills of crewing on an America's Cup Regatta yacht. The multi-million-dollar, 12-meter boat was raced in the classic event in 1987. Guests can winch and trim sails, take the helm, or just sit back and enjoy the experience of the fastest sailboats in the water. In the Deluxe Hideaway Beach Tour, guests tour the capital town of Marigot before driving into the countryside and enjoying a relaxing visit to a luxurious resort hotel for snorkeling, swimming or lounging by the pool.
In Virgin Gorda of the British Virgin Isles, guests can take a guided hike to the spectacular Baths of Virgin Gorda, a seaside display of huge rocks, caverns and sand for swimming, exploring, snorkeling or sunbathing.
About Windstar Cruises
Seattle-based Windstar Cruises operates three sailing yachts known for their casually elegant atmosphere. A high-percentage of return guests attests to the appeal of Windstar's casual ambiance of resort-style attire, innovative cuisine and wine selections, open restaurant-style seating, attentive service, exotic destinations and complimentary water sports. Rates are quoted per person, double occupancy including non-discountable amounts and taxes. Windstar offers optional trip cancellation protection that provides cash back when you cancel for any reason prior to 24-hours before departure. For more information including brochures, rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Holland America Line's Maasdam Docks at the Port of Norfolk's Nauticus Pier

Holland America Line's Maasdam docked at the Port of Norfolk's Nauticus Pier Tuesday, Jan. 20. The 1,258-passenger Maasdam called for the first time at Norfolk, and is to homeport there for a total of 15 round-trip eastern and southern Caribbean cruises scheduled between January and April, and October and December 2004. (Photo--Courtesy Port of Norfolk)

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Bam! Chef Emeril Lagasse Joins 'Shine Miami' Weekend Lineup
Black-tie Gala, Golf and Fishing Tournaments Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation January 30-31

MIAMI, Jan. 20 -- Famed chef, restaurateur, TV personality and author Emeril Lagasse will participate in "Shine Miami," a weekend of activities developed by Celebrity Cruises to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation, January 30-31, 2004. Chef Emeril, whose "Emeril's Miami Beach" restaurant recently opened on Collins Avenue, will make a special appearance at a black-tie gala and auction on Saturday night, at the Intercontinental Miami Hotel on Saturday, January 31, and will contribute a recipe for the evening's menu, to be prepared by the Intercontinental staff.

"Shine Miami" was developed to celebrate the style and heart of the city and citizens while raising money for a worthy cause. In addition to the Coca- Cola Company Gala and Auction Celebration on Saturday night, weekend events include:

* Alex Fernandez Celebrity Golf Classic: The two-day tournament will pair golfers with celebrities including current and former MLB, NFL and NBA players and Champion Tour pros in an intimate foursome. Eighteen holes per day will be played at the beautiful Crandon Park Golf Course on Key Biscayne, Friday, January 30 and Saturday, January 31.

* Shine Miami Fishing Tournament: Participants will go out to sea to test their skills at catching saltwater species such as tuna, wahoo, kingfish and sailfish. Prizes will be awarded for the largest fish caught in each category during a celebration on shore with an official dockside weigh-in and cocktails at the Coral Reef Yacht Club in Coconut Grove, Saturday, January 31.

* Coca-Cola Company Gala & Auction Celebration: The "shine" in Shine Miami undoubtedly will be most lustrous on Saturday night, January 31, during the black-tie Coca-Cola Company Gala & Auction Celebration. In addition to the appearance of Chef Emeril, famed pop artist and Miami resident Romero Britto, known for his vibrant, whimsical and exotic works, will create a special work of art exclusively for the auction and will present it personally at the event.

The night also will include a performance by acapella group "Ball In The House," who have been a supporting act for Cher, Jewel, 'N Sync and Lenny Kravitz; comedian Tom Cotter, who has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn; 10-piece band "Hot Brass Monkey," fresh from playing at Atlantis Casino on New Year's Eve; gifted magician Bobby D.; Al Rodriguez, one of the fastest caricaturists in the world, and Michael Ostaski, who will create three large paintings on site.

Celebrity Cruises President and COO Jack Williams, a long-time supporter and member of the CF Foundation Founders' Council, conceptualized and orchestrated the "Shine Miami" weekend. He has helped raise millions of dollars for the CF Foundation, most recently raising $300,000 by crossing the finish line of the New York City Marathon. Williams anticipates that proceeds from "Shine Miami" will surpass that amount significantly.

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Insystcom, Inc. and E! Entertainment Television to Present E! Branded VOD Channel on SeaLynx

ALPHARETTA, Ga., Jan. 20 -- Insystcom, Inc. and E! Entertainment Television announced a deal to create an E! branded VOD channel for the SeaLynx ITV System, now in use on cruise ships. The new channel will showcase premier titles from E! Entertainment Television's robust catalog of entertainment and celebrity-themed programming. Insystcom's cruise line customers include Oceania and Silver Seas.

"This programming will provide the "At Home" viewing experience that will attract and delight today's cruise passengers. E! Entertainment programs, such as "Behind The Scenes," "The E! True Hollywood Story" and "Celebrity Profile," will complement the systems current offerings," said Wil Riner, CEO of Insystcom, Inc.

"E!'s business within the cruise line industry continues to expand and represents an exciting ancillary market," added Duccio Donati, vice president, international sales, E! Networks. "We believe the cruise industry has amazing potential to become a thriving business for us and we're pleased to offer this exciting VOD offering to Insystcom's cruise line customers. We look forward to further expanding our brand name within this industry."

SeaLynx is the advanced cruise ship system conceived and offered by Insystcom, Inc., a leader in Interactive Information and Entertainment systems for the cruise market. It offers passengers VOD/PPV Movies, Email in every cabin, Games, Shore Excursion Previews & Bookings, and more. "This system, with its ability to be installed underway, overcomes one of the basic problems of any other approach, namely wait for dry dock or new build before implementing a requested guest service," said Wil Riner, CEO of Insystcom, Inc. "The business case for such a system is now complete since 2 to 4 ships a month can be equipped. Combined with the advanced services SeaLynx offers there is no better answer for this important market," he continued.

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NCL Announces Pride of Aloha’s Program of 7-day Hawaii Cruises

Miami, January 19, 2004 -- Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced Pride of Aloha’s new program of seven-day Hawaii cruises is now on sale. The new Pride of Aloha will take over Pride of America’s previously published program of inter-island cruises commencing on July 4th.

The company is contacting travel agents who had clients booked on Pride of America to facilitate the rebooking process to Pride of Aloha. Agents are being called in order of booking date. If at all possible, NCL is moving passengers to equivalent cabins and sailing dates. If a passenger is moved to an equivalent or superior cabin, their rate will be protected or reduced if the new applicable Pride of Aloha rate is lower. If an equivalent cabin type is not available, NCL will offer passengers: a new applicable price; a future cruise credit certificate; and an air discount for Air/Sea guest. If guests cannot be accommodated on the same date in any category, they may change their sail date and the company will pay for the air change fee. If passengers choose not to transfer to Pride of Aloha, they will receive a full refund.

Pride of Aloha, currently sailing as Norwegian Sky, will undergo a multi-million dollar remodeling in May and be reflagged into the U.S. registry to assume Pride of America’s itinerary. The 2,000-passenger state-of-the-art ship begins sailing as Pride of Aloha in early June in California and culminates with an inaugural celebration and ship christening on July 4th in Hawaii when she will then begin seven-day inter-island Hawaii cruises. Pride of Aloha’s new schedule is below:

  • May 17th, 2004 -- The ship enters 21-day drydock;

  • June 7-11, 2004 – A new California Coastal itinerary beginning in San Francisco with calls in Monterey, Santa Barbara, San Diego and ending in Los Angeles; cruises go on sale on Wednesday;

  • June 13-18, 2004 – Pride of America’s previously published Pacific Coastal from Los Angeles to San Francisco with calls in San Diego, Catalina Island, Santa Barbara and Monterey; cruises go on sale on Wednesday;

  • June 20-July 3rd, 2004 – Pride of America’s previously published12-day Escape to Hawaii sailing from San Francisco to Honolulu with calls in Monterey, Calif.; Hilo, Kona, overnights in Maui and Kaua`i and Honolulu; cruises go on sale Wednesday;

  • July 4th, 2004 and beyond – Pride of Aloha will sail seven-day inter-island cruises from Honolulu with an overnight in Kauai`i, a call in Hilo and Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, and an overnight in Maui. Prices begin at $849 and are on sale now.

The previously published itinerary of Pride of Aloha will be cancelled and booked passengers will receive an attractive offer to move to the Pride of Aloha’s new schedule.

When the new delivery date of Pride of America is known, NCL will announce the combined deployment of the two NCL America ships.

Full details for Norwegian Sky passengers booked in Alaska will be available in the next couple of days but please be assured that NCL passengers will have the Alaska vacation they have planned.

For more information, travel agents and passengers can call 1-800-456-3054

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"Destination: Europe" Resource Added to
New Web Feature Provides Comprehensive Planning Information for all European Itineraries

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Jan 19, 2004 - Princess recently introduced the latest chapter in its comprehensive online destination series - Destination: Europe. Debuting just in time for passengers planning their summer travel to Europe, this useful resource offers information about Princess' cruise and cruisetour itineraries, plus a look at the European experience and what to do in each of more than 80 ports of call. With more than 100 pages of informative text and inspiring photos, Destination: Europe serves as the most complete vacation planning tool on any cruise line website.

"All of our Destination features have been a great success with our passengers - and potential passengers," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of customer service and sales. "Destination:Europe is an example of our dedication to providing our customers with useful and creative ways to make their vacations and vacation planning easier than ever."

The new web feature provides users with a wealth of information, divided into three main sections - the European Experience, Europe Cruises and Europe Cruisetours. In the European Experience section, visitors will discover background on Museums, Ruins and Relics, Architectural Highlights, the Great Outdoors,

Food and Shopping, and Ports of Call. The ports section incorporates highlights of what to see and do in more than 80 different ports. This comprehensive resource is a great tool to help passengers plan their port days.

The Europe Cruises section profiles the many different Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Transatlantic cruises Princess offers. Users will find complete itinerary and sailing information, plus links to learn more about cruise highlights, itineraries and shore excursion options.

For the ultimate land/sea vacation, Europe Cruisetours offers a look at the variety of land packages available to enhance Princess' cruise itineraries. The site profiles Mediterranean, Scandinavia/Russia and Western Europe cruise and tour combinations.

Destination: Europe is part of an exclusive series of destination guides featured on Other sections offer in-depth coverage of the visitor experience in Alaska, the Caribbean and Panama Canal region. Users can access the new section directly at One of the best-known names in North American cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise and tour company. Part of Carnival Corporation and plc, its current fleet of 11 ships sail on approximately 150 different itineraries around the globe, calling at more than 260 ports on all seven continents. By 2006 a further four ships will be introduced. Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting

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Carnival Corporation Orders 112,000-Ton Cruise Ship for
Costa Cruises Unit

Represents New Class of Vessel for Italian Cruise Operator

MIAMI, Jan. 19 -- Genoa-based Costa Cruises, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc, announced that it has signed a letter of intent with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri Cantieri Navali S.p.A. to construct a 112,000-gross-ton cruise ship to be delivered in summer 2006. To be built at Fincantieri's Sestri Ponente shipyard, the new vessel will have an all-in cost of approximately 450 million euros. The as-yet-unnamed ship, which will encompass 1,502 staterooms with a total guest capacity of 3,800, will be the largest passenger ship in the history of Italian seafaring. It is expected to be deployed in the Mediterranean year-round.

As an all-new class of vessel for the line, it will offer innovative amenities and facilities including a wide range of formal and casual dining venues, one of the largest health and wellness centers at sea, four swimming pools -- two of which will feature retractable domes -- and state-of-the-art telecommunications capabilities that will enable guests to use their cellular telephones while at sea. Sixty-one percent of the ship's staterooms will feature an ocean view with 62 percent of those offering private balconies.

"Costa is the largest cruise operator in Europe, an area which is very important to the strategic growth of our company. This new class will enable Carnival Corporation & plc to further its leadership position in this fast- growing market," said Carnival Corporation & plc Chairman and CEO Micky Arison. "At approximately 150,000 euros per lower berth, this new vessel was very attractively priced for Costa."

Arison noted the new vessel will be the fifth Costa cruise ship to be constructed at Fincantieri and will enhance the shipbuilder's reputation for constructing some of the most stunning and technically advanced ships in the cruise industry. "We're very pleased to continue our 14-year relationship with Fincantieri, a valuable business partner which has the largest order book for Carnival's multi-billion-dollar newbuilding program. In fact, nine of our 12 new ships are being constructed at Fincantieri's yards in Monfalcone, Sestri and Marghera," he said.

Commented Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and CEO of Costa Cruises, "The decision to further expand our fleet capacity has been prompted both by the terrific customer response to the Costa Fortuna and by the forecasts of continued growth in demand in the European cruise industry. In addition, we are renewing our commitment to the development of our national passenger shipbuilding industry, in which Italy is one of the world's key players."

Costa Cruises has an international fleet of 10 ships that span the globe offering cruises of seven nights and longer throughout the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America and Caribbean. The new 105,000-ton Costa Magica, currently under construction at Fincantieri, is expected to enter service in November 2004.

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NCL Pride of America/Pride of Aloha Update

Miami, Jan 16, 2004 -- Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced the early introduction of the new Pride of Aloha. The ship will take over the Pride of America's published program of seven-day inter-island Hawaii cruises, commencing July 4th of this year. It is still too early to know the new delivery date of Pride of America following the January 14th incident at Lloyd Werft in Germany; however, after two days of investigation it is now clear that there will be a substantial delay - months rather than weeks.

"This unfortunate event has certainly challenged us and there is a great deal to be done to ensure our passengers receive the vacation they have planned in spite of what has happened," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL. "While this is certainly a hurdle in the process, we will not be deterred from launching our U.S. Flag operation this year and ensuring the continued employment of the 1,000 plus U.S. seafarers who have already been hired. Reversing the order of the two ships allows us to do this.

"We have been working closely with Senator Inouye since the incident and have been greatly encouraged by his strong support for this realignment of our plans. We are also grateful to Congressman Abercrombie for his active engagement, as well as to the other members of the Hawaii delegation, Senator Akaka and Congressman Case. And the statement of support from Governor Lingle's office reinforces for us the importance to Hawaii of introducing our U.S. Flag operations on schedule - albeit with a different ship than we had first announced," Veitch added

Pride of Aloha, currently sailing as Norwegian Sky, will undergo a multi-million dollar remodeling in May and be reflagged into the U.S. registry to assume Pride of America's itinerary. The 2,000-passenger state-of-the-art ship begins in early June in California and culminates with an inaugural celebration and ship christening on July 4th in Hawaii when she will then begin seven-day inter-island Hawaii cruises.

Guests booked on Pride of America will be rebooked on Pride of Aloha. Full details will be announced next week. The previously published itinerary of Pride of Aloha will be cancelled and booked passengers will receive an attractive offer to move to the Pride of Aloha's new schedule. When the new delivery date of Pride of America is known, NCL will announce the combined deployment of the two NCL America ships.

Norwegian Sky passengers booked in Alaska will be similarly accommodated with full details available next week. Although there is no further information at this time, we have established a special phone number for inquiries at 1-800-456-3054.

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Holland America Line's Fourth Vista-Class Ship
to be Named ms Noordam

SEATTLE -- Holland America Line announced that the line's fourth Vista-class ship, scheduled for delivery in January 2006, will be named ms Noordam. The 1,848-passenger ship will be the fourth Holland America Line vessel to sail with the prestigious name. The first ms Noordam joined the Holland America Line fleet in 1902, sailing the Rotterdam-New York run until being damaged by a mine during World War I. In 1938 the Noordam name was then given to one of two new passenger-cargo ships, which offered exclusively first-class accommodations for 148 passengers. The current ms Noordam, delivered in 1984, has sailed on nearly 800 voyages and is widely considered to be one of the most beautifully decorated ships afloat.

Holland America Line's 1,848-passenger Vista-class series of vessels, all built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, are named for points of the compass. ms Zuiderdam ("south"-dam), debuted in December 2002; ms Oosterdam (east) launched in July 2003; ms Westerdam (west) is scheduled for delivery in April 2004.

Holland America Line will continue to operate the current Noordam through November 12, 2004 on her currently published itineraries, and thereafter will be chartered to U.K.-based Thomson Holidays, who will market the vessel from the U. K. as the Thomson Celebration.

"It is fitting that our fourth Vista-class ship assume the historic Noordam name and legacy," said A. Kirk Lanterman, chairman and CEO of Holland America Line Inc. "These Vista-class vessels define the next generation of Holland America Line cruising, and the ms Noordam will feature all of the Signature of Excellence™ enhancements that will be added to our fleet over the next 24 months."

Signature of Excellence™ centers around five the main components of Holland America Line's cruise experience -- dining, accommodations, service, activities and destinations. Holland America Line created the Signature of Excellence initiative to continue building on the line's long tradition of excellence and further strengthen the company's leadership position in the premium cruise category.

About Signature of Excellence™
As the premium cruise leader, Holland America Line is investing $225 million in the Signature of Excellence initiative to provide unparalleled product and service enhancements to its fleet of five-star ships. Signature of Excellence will build on Holland America Line's renowned tradition of excellence by significantly raising the standard in premium cruising. The comprehensive enhancements will focus on five areas central to the Holland America Line guest experience: spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; sophisticated five-star dining; gracious, unobtrusive service; extensive enrichment programs and activities; and compelling worldwide itineraries. Enhancements, and in some cases construction build-outs, have been started and are expected to be completed by the end of 2005. For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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

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