Created by the Author of FODOR'S

tLinda Coffman's
Linda Coffman
Author & Cruise Authority

Cruise Lines & Ships Articles & Advice

Cruise Reviews

Before You Go 
On Board In Port Get a Fare Quote   Home Page

Cruise Essentials:

Site Search
Cruise News
Planning Tips
Packing & Lists
HOT Tips
Cruise Links
About Us

Insure My Trip
Use the automated quote form to compare plans
Click here -- Cruise Insurance Comparison Guide

CLICK HERE for savings--CruiseCompete
Don't pay more than your tablemates...
CruiseCompete makes it easy to let independent agents compete to offer you the best deal.

Hilo Hattie
The original source for Island fashions

Cruisers' favorites:

Cruise Travel Magazine
Cruise Travel

Porthole Cruise Magazine

Click Here for Magellans Travel Gear
Shop Magellan's Catalog for a wide selection of travel gear

Have a question or a review to submit? Write

Copyright © 1995-2006 Linda Coffman,™

ll content is protected by United States Copyright Laws. Violators of our copyright, as well as bandwidth theft by "direct linking" of images, will be pursued by all means necessary. Find out more in
  Terms of Service

Back to the top of this page

Cruise News
February 1-28, 2007

Click the following links to the cruise news stories...

Return to's Cruise News Weekly Index & Archive

CDC Inspection Scores for all ships inspected--updated monthly.

Carnival Cruise Lines Takes Delivery of New 110,000-Ton Carnival Freedom

MIAMI, Feb. 28 -- In a traditional maritime handover ceremony today at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, Carnival Cruise Lines took delivery of the new 110,000-ton Carnival Freedom, the 22nd vessel in the "Fun Ship" fleet. Following its official naming ceremony in Venice March 4, presided over by godmother Kathy Ireland, Carnival Freedom will sail on its inaugural voyage, a nine-day Mediterranean cruise from Venice departing March 5. Carnival Freedom will then launch a program of 12-day Grand Mediterranean and Mediterranean & Greek Isles cruises March 14, operating round-trip from Rome (Civitavecchia).

"Europe is one of the fastest-growing regions for cruising, offering consumers the opportunity to experience the stunning landscapes, centuries-old architecture and rich cultural history and then return to the comfort and convenience of a 'floating resort,'" said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. "And Carnival Freedom, with its array of dining and entertainment options, high-tech amenities and all-ages appeal, along with diverse itineraries featuring magnificent seaside ports in the Mediterranean, Greek Isles and Turkey, offers the ultimate European vacation," he added.

One of the most technically advanced cruise ships at sea, Carnival Freedom features Carnival's Seaside Theater, a poolside 270-square-foot LED screen displaying movies, concerts and other programming, along with "100 percent bow-to-stern" Internet wireless access and cellular phone service. Also featured are 22 lounges and bars with dramatic interiors inspired by prominent design themes of the past decades and centuries, as well as a 13,300-square-foot health club, one eighth-mile jogging track, and extensive facilities for children and teens, part of Carnival's popular "Camp Carnival" and "Club O2" programs, respectively. Sixty percent of its 1,487 staterooms offer either an ocean view or balcony, perfect for scenic European cruising. All staterooms feature the Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high quality linens and pillows.

Following its European program, Carnival Freedom will sail on a 14-day transatlantic voyage from Rome (Civitavecchia) to Miami, positioning the vessel for a winter schedule of seven-day Caribbean cruises beginning Nov. 17, 2007. Reservations are being accepted on all of Carnival Freedom's European and Caribbean itineraries. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

Back to the top of the news list

41 New Crystal Adventures Highlight 350+ Mediterranean Tours Available for Online Booking 

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 27 -- From biking in Funchal to an exclusive dinner at a private Venetian palace, the details of more than 350 Crystal Adventures are now available for online viewing and booking at Guests traveling aboard any one of Crystal Cruises' 22 Mediterranean cruises from April through November will discover a rich collection of shore excursions that will bring them closer to the active, cultural and culinary opportunities for which the region is famous.

Regarded for its intriguing shoreside experiences, Crystal is debuting 41 new Mediterranean adventures designed to showcase each destination with intimate authenticity, scaling the wall of Dubrovnik, an evening of ballet at the Odessa Ukrainian Drama Theatre, or a dinner and wine tasting at a Tuscan wine cellar. And with the line's signature focus on choice, guests may choose from as many as 70 different Crystal Adventures on a single voyage.

"Our guests are savvy world travelers who want to personalize their experiences in each destination," says Bill Smith, Crystal's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "Guests can explore and book our vast array of boutique excursions and more elaborate Signature Collection tours, or use this as an online tool to plan their own Crystal Private Adventure."

Hosted in smaller groups, all 357 Crystal Adventures emphasize experiences that are unique, exclusive and personally enriching. Among the new tours:

Active Enrichment

  • Exploring Rome and Barcelona by helicopter

  • Biking around Funchal

  • Diving Gibraltar's unique underwater world.

Authentic Discovery

  • Navigating the channels of the Danube Delta (from Constanta, Romania), transiting the Corinth Canal aboard a "caique" (from Athens), or relishing a private gondola ride in Venice

  • Discovering the tapas bars, flamenco clubs and Picasso Museum in Barcelona.

Cultural Pursuits

  • Visiting Venice's famed La Fenice Opera House

  • Touring Rome's exclusive Palazzo Colonna and its exceptional art collection

  • Journeying to historic Aphrodisias (from Kusadasi)

Culinary Enrichment

  • Attending an exclusive dinner at Ca' Vendramin Calergi palace (from Venice)

  • Learning to prepare gnocchi "a mano" in the kitchen of a private Tuscan home

  • Tasting famed vintages at San Michelle vineyard (from Taormina)

From April through November, the ultra-luxurious Crystal Serenity explores the romance and history of the Mediterranean on voyages from 7 to 12 days. Cruises depart from Athens, Greece; Istanbul, Turkey; London, England; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Rome, Italy; Toulon, France; and Venice, Italy, with pre- and/or post-cruise hotel stays available in all cities except Toulon.

Back to the top of the news list

Digital and Audio Tour of Holland America's Shipboard Art Collections Is Cruise Industry First 

SEATTLE, Feb. 27 -- Holland America Line's iPod-based shipboard art tours are now available as free downloads from iTunes. Each 30- to 40-minute tour showcases the art, antiques and collectables for one of the line's 13 premier five-star ships. In 2006, Holland America Line pioneered its self-guided tours of each of the shipboard art collections, together valued at tens of millions of dollars, the first time a cruise line offered museum-quality self-guided tours to its guests. Recognizing the interest the tours might have to art aficionados as well as onboard cruise guests, Holland America now offers the art tours on iTunes as free podcasts--another industry first. Narrated by well-known radio hosts Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman, the presentations highlight a selection of the on-board collection, and includes interviews with artists, background music, and photo images displayed on the iPod screen.

"The podcasts of our self-guided art tours offers guests, and potential guests, a deeper appreciation of the extensive collections we present on board our five-star ships," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, Holland America Line. "We're very proud of our art and archive. These tours showcase of our collection of livable art that gives the viewer a taste of the onboard collections."

To download the podcasts, from the iTunes home page, search Holland America Line. Appearing to the right side will be a small gray arrow. Click the arrow, then click the "Get Episode" button by the selected ship tour. Each tour begins with a welcome message from Holland America Line President and CEO Stein Kruse and includes comments from ship architect/designer Frans Dingemans, as well as others associated with the line's art program. Susanna Holt, whose lifelike bronze animal sculptures grace the pool areas on every ship, and Stephen Card, whose classic maritime paintings of Holland America ships can be found in the main stairwells on every ship, are among the artists who provide insight into their artistic inspiration.

The sheer scope of the shipboard art and antiques distinguishes these tours from most landside museum visits. On the ms Westerdam alone, the pieces range from a huge Indian silver-overlaid wood palace doorway at the entrance to the dining room that measures 92 inches by 69 inches to two jewel-encrusted ostrich eggs. The most valuable piece is a painting of the Port of Rotterdam, and the oldest is a collection of 5,000-year-old pre-Columbian carved limestone figures from Ecuador.

Back to the top of the news list

Ambassadors International Cruise Group Awards Vessel Management of Windstar Cruises to V.Ships Leisure 

NEWPORT BEACH, CA, Feb. 26 -- Ambassadors International, Inc. announced that its subsidiary Ambassadors International Cruise Group has selected V.Ships Leisure to manage the vessel operations of Windstar Cruises following its acquisition which is anticipated to be completed in April 2007. David Giersdorf, President of Ambassadors International Cruise Group, stated, "We are looking forward to utilizing the services and resources of V.Ships to support our effort to deliver the iconic Windstar experience to our guests and enhancing the ability of our officers and crew to achieve that goal. With the support of V.Ships, we will continue to operate Windstar as the award winning, luxury cruise line that everyone knows it to be."

Under the agreement, V.Ships Leisure will provide services which include insurance, deck, engine and hotel crew management, port operations, procurement and technical and hotel operations. Windstar Cruises ( sailing under the banner of its appropriate tag line "180 Degrees From Ordinary," was created with the vision to offer an alternative to the typical cruise or resort vacation. The 312-passenger Wind Surf is joined by the 148-passenger sister ships Wind Spirit and Wind Star. A new era in luxury cruising was pioneered by Windstar Cruises, and Ambassadors International and V.Ships are committed to refining and enhancing the vision of the Windstar Cruises line.

About Ambassadors International, Inc.
Ambassadors International, Inc. is a cruise, marine, and travel and event company. The Company operates Majestic America Line, a North American river and coastal cruising company. The Company is also a global provider of construction and consulting services to marina owners. The Company is headquartered in Newport Beach, California.

Back to the top of the news list

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Military Appreciation Program

MIAMI, Feb. 26, 2007 - Showing its support for U.S. service men and women and their families, NCL Corporation today announced a new military appreciation program that provides special reduced rates to members of the U.S. military on all NCL and NCL America sailings.

"We are pleased to offer a special rate to those who serve in our armed forces," said Andy Stuart, executive vice president of marketing, sales and passenger services for NCL. "From rock climbing walls and bowling alleys, to connecting staterooms and youth and teen facilities and programs, NCL's signature Freestyle Cruising ships provide the ideal getaway for military families to relax and spend quality time together." 

NCL's military appreciation program offers qualifying active military personnel, retired personnel and veterans a reduced rate, based on sailing date and itinerary, on one stateroom per sailing. Spouses of active military members serving duty overseas are also eligible. The military appreciation program rates apply to new reservations only. To make a reservation, members of the military can call a travel professional or NCL at 866-234-0292 and request promotion code: PGMR. Proper military identification must be shown at the pier on embarkation day.

Back to the top of the news list

Royal Caribbean's New Generation of Megaships to Set Sail in Europe in 2008

MIAMI, Feb. 26 -- Royal Caribbean Intl announced plans to deploy Independence of the Seas, the third in its new Freedom class of ships, in the United Kingdom, when she debuts in May 2008. Sharing the title of the largest, most innovative cruise ship in the world with sister ships, Freedom of the Seas and the soon-to-be-launched Liberty of the Seas, Independence of the Seas will be the largest ship ever to be home-ported in Europe.

"This significant step is part of the company's strategy of international business development and expansion into emerging and high-growth cruise markets," said Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., at a press conference in London today. "We have already seen tremendous growth of the cruise industry in Europe. This year, 21 percent of the capacity of our three brands combined - Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Pullmantur - will be in this market. Bringing this new generation of megaships to the United Kingdom will further develop our global operations and reinforce cruising as an enticing vacation option for travelers to the region."

Currently under construction in Aker Yards in Turku, Finland, Independence of the Seas will be delivered to Royal Caribbean in May 2008 and will feature the line's signature innovations including the FlowRider(R) surf simulator, the H2O Zone water park, an ice-skating rink, a rock-climbing wall and a boxing ring. The 3,634-guest cruise ship will sail the 2008 summer season from Southampton, United Kingdom.

"Our decision to base the newest and most exciting ship in Southampton will offer our guests an easy, convenient and affordable way to see several legendary European landmarks and exotic destinations without having to repeatedly unpack their suitcases," said Adam Goldstein, president, Royal Caribbean International. "The amenities available onboard Independence of the Seas will give a fresh face to cruising in the market providing guests with a variety of options to create their own unique adventure."

Following a series of preview sailings in Oslo, Norway; Hamburg, Germany; and Southampton, U.K., Independence will embark on her maiden voyage in mid- May 2008, alternating 14-night 'Mediterranean Treasures' and 'Italian Mediterranean' itineraries. Ports of call for the 'Mediterranean Treasures' itinerary include Gibraltar, UK; Barcelona, Spain; Nice, France; Florence/Pisa, Italy; Sardinia, Italy; Lisbon, Portugal; and Malaga and Vigo, Spain. Guests on the 'Italian Mediterranean' cruises will experience the destinations of Gibraltar; Cannes/Monte Carlo, France; Florence/Pisa, Rome and Sardinia in Italy; Seville and Vigo, Spain; and Lisbon, Portugal.

Guests can also enjoy two four-night getaways from Southhampton to Cork, Ireland and St. Peter Port in the Channel Islands. Three 11-night Canary Islands itineraries, also roundtrip from Southampton, will round out the fall season, calling in Madeira, Portugal; Tenerife, Canary Islands; Las Palmas, Gran Canaria; Lanzarote, Canary Islands; and Vigo, Spain. Independence then heads to the Americas for a series of warm weather Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings, roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Bookings for the European itineraries will be open for sale on March 14.

Independence of the Seas will join a long list of Royal Caribbean ships in Europe. In the summer of 2007, six ships - the highest number ever for the cruise line - will sail European itineraries stopping in 63 ports of call in Europe alone. Navigator of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas will sail from Southampton and Harwich, England, respectively. In Spain, Voyager of the Seas and Brilliance of the Seas will be Barcelona-based. Legend of the Seas will homeport in Rome and Splendour of the Seas will sail from Venice, Italy.

Back to the top of the news list

Not just another cruise terminal! Norfolk’s Half Moone will be the only cruise facility in the country to showcase ocean liner collection

Norfolk, VA, Feb 26, 1007 – Touting state-of-the-art features designed to accommodate passenger needs, Norfolk’s new Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center will already stand apart from the crowd when the 80,000 square foot facility officially opens its doors on April 28, 2007. It’s now been announced that the new cruise terminal will be home to one of the largest privately-owned ocean liner collections in the country. The Herbert Beazley Ocean Liner Collection has been loaned by Norma Beazley, widow of deceased Houston attorney, Herbert Beazley. The enormous collection includes cruise ship models, documents, classic drawings and deck plans, original boarding passes, passenger manifests, and classic advertising art. Also of note are two original deck chairs from the R.M.S. Queen Mary.

“This collection will truly allow us to interpret the glorious age of the ocean liner and the romance of cruising,” said Stephen E. Kirkland, Norfolk’s manager of cruise operations and marketing. “Our goal is for this facility to become part of the overall experience for our cruise passengers.” The Half Moone Cruise & Celebration Center will be the only cruise terminal in the country to house ocean liner interpretation and exhibitry. Norma Beazley will be on hand to help launch the exhibit that her husband spent a lifetime accumulating. Kirkland says that plans for the April 28 inaugural festivities are now being finalized. He notes that this date was chosen to coincide with the first sailing from Norfolk by Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas, which will call Norfolk a home port. It is expected that officials from the cruise line will participate in the ceremonies. Ewart Brown, premier of Bermuda is also scheduled to be on hand and will take part in ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the Half Moone’s Bermuda Room, aptly named to commemorate historic ties between Bermuda and Virginia.

Back to the top of the news list

Apollo Management L.P. Makes Strategic Investment in Oceania Cruises

MIAMI, FL, Feb 26, 2007 – Oceania Cruises, Inc. and Apollo Management L.P. (“Apollo”) announced today that Apollo has forged a strategic partnership with Oceania Cruises. The transaction, valued at approximately $850 million dollars including the assumption of debt, is expected to be completed in the second quarter and is subject to normal conditions for a transaction of this type, including regulatory approval. Oceania Cruises will remain a wholly independent brand, operating with the support of Apollo’s $12 billion private equity fund. Oceania Cruises’ founding management team, including Chairman and CEO Frank Del Rio, along with a syndicate of the line’s founding investors, remain stake holders in the new venture and are committed to the line’s continued growth and success. 

“Apollo is one of the most dynamic, innovative and successful private equity firms in the world and everyone at Oceania Cruises is delighted to join the Apollo family. With the tremendous financial resources of Apollo available to us, Oceania Cruises will continue to prosper, further strengthen our upper-premium brand positioning, enhance our award-winning onboard product, and be better positioned for additional growth,” stated Frank Del Rio, Chairman and CEO of Oceania Cruises. 

“Frank Del Rio has built a world-class cruise company in just a few short years, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to forge this strategic partnership with him and the highly talented management team at Oceania Cruises. We look forward to supporting the company’s growth and success,” stated Steve Martinez, a partner with Apollo Management.

Back to the top of the news list

Seabourn Riviera Package Combines Luxury Cruise With Two Nights at Grand-Hotel Du Cap-Ferrat

MIAMI, Feb 26, 2007 -- Seabourn Cruise Line has announced a new cruise/hotel itinerary - May 10-18, 2007 - that includes an eight-day cruise to Italy and the French Riviera aboard the ultra luxury Seabourn Legend and two nights at the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, one of the Cote D'Azur's most prestigious addresses. Dominating the peninsula of St.-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, the storied Grand-Hotel is graced with palms and pines, and blessed with views of the Cap-Ferrat lighthouse and the blue Mediterranean Sea. Guests can languish on the sloping lawns, or take the funicular to Club Dauphin, where the heated saltwater horizon pool awaits. A Seabourn representative will be on hand to assist guests in making the most of their stay, which includes a complimentary half-day sightseeing tour. 

After this splendid interlude, guests board the yacht-like Seabourn Legend for an eight-day voyage that includes Cassis, Le Lavandou, St. Tropez and Cannes in France, the island of Corsica and Livorno, gateway to Florence, Pisa and Lucca, Italy. The picturesque Italian resort Portofino provides a grand finale before disembarking in Monte Carlo. 

For more information, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

Back to the top of the news list

Award-Winning NPR Series 'Selected Shorts' Takes to Sea 
Aboard Crystal Cruises

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 23 -- The award-winning National Public Radio series "Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story" will take its acclaimed program of performance narratives to sea aboard Crystal Cruises this March. Series Director and radio personality Isaiah Sheffer will host a roster of celebrated actors including stage and screen personalities Keir Dullea (2001: A Space Odyssey and The Good Shepherd), Mia Dillion (Gods and Generals), and Stephen Lang (Gods and Generals), as they perform works of classic and contemporary fiction and participate in interview sessions. The sophisticated entertainment program debuts on Crystal Serenity's March 20 cruise from Dubai to Istanbul, the fifth segment of Crystal Cruises' epic 2007 World Cruise.

Recorded live at Manhattan's Symphony Space and heard each week in 155 cities nationwide, Selected Shorts is one of the most popular series on the airwaves and features top stars of theatre, film and television bringing short stories to life. Guests aboard Crystal Serenity will be treated to theatrical readings of stories about wine and cuisine, love with a twist, and the short stories radio listeners found the funniest, including selections from Anton Chekhov, Kate Chopin, John Cheever, M.F.K. Fisher, Garrison Keillor, Thomas Meehan and more.

"High caliber entertainment and enrichment programs are a hallmark of Crystal Cruises," says Bret Bullock, Crystal Cruises' vice president, entertainment. "We design our entertainment programs to meet and exceed the expectations of our guests who are accustomed to seeing the finest performances in theatre and music."

The March 20 cruise aboard the award-winning Crystal Serenity begins in Dubai, United Arab Emirates with an overnight stay aboard ship. From there, the itinerary features the chance to explore the treasures and antiquities of Salalah, Oman; Luxor & Karnak/Safaga, Egypt; Aqaba, Jordan; Ashdod, Israel; Alexandria/Cairo, Egypt; and Athens, Greece; concluding in Istanbul, Turkey on April 7. 

In addition to signature programs like the Creative Learning Institute and Computer University@Sea, the March 20 voyage also features a host of celebrity and special interest speakers, including Sports Illustrated writer and NPR sports commentator Frank Deford; former FBI profiler Clint van Zandt; dramatist and book reviewer Barbara Rinella; sleep researcher and author of the best-seller Power Sleep Jim Maas; and veteran journalist Joe Kita. Tony Award-nominated actress Mia Dillon has appeared on Broadway in Our Town with Paul Newman, Crimes of the Heart, and Agnes of God among others. Her film and television work includes Gods and Generals, The Money Pit, The Cosby Show, and all three Law & Order series. Golden Globe Award-winner Keir Dullea's fifty-year acting career includes 2001: A Space Odyssey, David and Lisa, The Fox, Madame X and many more, and Broadway roles including the Tony Award-winning Butterflies are Free. He can be seen playing Angelina Jolie's father in The Good Shepherd and recently finished shooting The Accidental Husband with Uma Thurman. A leading man of Selected Shorts and Bloomsday on Broadway since their inception, Stephen Lang recently appeared at the La Jolla Playhouse in Aaron Sorkin's play The Farnsworth Invention. Other notable premieres have included Sorkin's A Few Good Men on Broadway and Arthur Miller's Finishing the Picture, as well as television and film work that includes Gods and Generals and Law & Order. Isaiah Sheffer is a founder and the artistic director of Symphony Space, as well as host and director of Selected Shorts live at Symphony Space, on tour, and on public radio nationwide.

Back to the top of the news list

Disney Announces Expansion: Two new ships will more than double passenger capacity

BURBANK, CA, Feb 2007 - The Walt Disney Company plans to expand its successful cruise business by adding two new ocean liners, President and CEO Bob Iger announced today. Scheduled to launch in 2011 and 2012, the ships will more than double the passenger capacity for Disney Cruise Line to meet the sustained demand for Disney's family cruise vacations. The company signed a letter of intent with Meyer Werft shipyard, based in Papenburg, Germany, to negotiate a contract to build the 122,000-ton new cruise liners, which will be two decks taller than the existing 83,000-ton ships, the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder. Each ship will have 1,250 staterooms. Specific design plans and itineraries for the yet-unnamed ships are still in development and will be unveiled at a later date. 

"Since our maiden voyage in 1998, Disney Cruise Line has been a huge success for our guests and for our shareholders alike," Iger said. "It has brought our unparalleled family vacation experience to the high seas, and has also generated high margins and double digit returns on invested capital. We're excited to announce the expansion of our fleet, which is a logical next step in what is a real growth business for us." 

Disney Cruise Line established the family market within the cruise industry when the business launched in 1998. The first two ships were purpose built for families to reconnect and recharge while creating vacation memories that will last a lifetime. From a theater featuring live musical spectaculars to a luxurious spa for adults and nearly an entire deck dedicated to children's activities, the ships offer something for every member of the family. Disney Cruise Line continues to grow by attracting passengers who say they would not have cruised if it hadn't been for the Disney brand.

"Focusing on families has been smart business for us," said Jay Rasulo, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "More than 95 percent of Disney Cruise Line guests rate their cruise experience as excellent or very good. Families know they can trust us to provide a quality, immersive Disney experience. As a result, Disney Cruise Line continually sets sail with the highest load factors in the industry of nearly 150 percent."

Similar to the original Disney Cruise Line ships, the new ships will be a modern interpretation of classic ocean liners of the 1930s. Disney Imagineers drew their inspiration from the original trans-Atlantic ships that featured a dramatic black hull with two funnels and porthole windows. The profile of the ships, with its gentle curves at the stern combined with sleek angles at the bow, are reminiscent of the art deco designs of the era. To add whimsy to the classic design, the Disney ships have the same exterior color palette as Mickey Mouse with black, white, red and yellow. The new ships will feature elegant, detailed Disney scrollwork at the bow and will evoke images of the glamour of the golden age of cruising.

Tom McAlpin, the President of Disney Cruise Line, said, "This is an exciting time for Disney Cruise Line, and we are looking forward to working with Meyer Werft to blend our innovation and creativity with their fine craftsmanship. Meyer Werft has a long tradition of building magnificent ships. We are confident that the result will be ships that take the immersive Disney family-focused cruise experience to an entirely new level."

New itineraries
Disney Cruise Line, which traditionally offers 3-, 4- and 7- night Caribbean cruises, has also enjoyed strong demand for new itineraries. Trips to the Mediterranean and to the West Coast have recently set booking records within the company and booked 30-50 percent faster than the existing itineraries at higher prices. "With a larger fleet, we'll have greater flexibility to offer a variety of itineraries," Rasulo said. "This is a business that our guests love, and we´re pleased to give them more options to explore the world with Disney with two new ships."

Back to the top of the news list

Holland America Line Debuts New Full-Transit Cruises & Itineraries for 2008 Panama Canal Sailings 

SEATTLE, Feb. 22 -- Holland America Line offers 30 canal sailings in 2008 including new full-transit cruises though the Panama Canal, exotic new 13- to 26-day Inca Discovery sailings, and new spring and fall departures from Tampa to highlight its 2008 canal itineraries. The premium cruise line features 13 trans-canal voyages on seven ships in 2008, plus 17 "Sunfarer" sailings -- including four for the first time on the Vista-class ms Zuiderdam -- that combine Panama Canal cruising with Caribbean exploration. These 30 cruises offer extraordinary variety with itineraries ranging from 10 to 36 days and ports of call encompassing four exciting regions: the Mexican Riviera, Central America, South America and Caribbean. Itineraries are designed to provide opportunity to experience a broad mix of history, culture, wildlife, adventure and relaxing beaches.

"The 40-mile Panama Canal is one of the most remarkable engineering feats in the world, and Holland America Line has designed these cruises to maximize the full-transit experience," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "As part of our Explorations Speaker Series, a Panama Canal historian provides guests with fascinating insights on the canal's history, development and operation as their ship rises, then lowers, 85 feet through six giant locks. This is truly an experience of a lifetime."

New 13- and 26-day Inca Discovery Cruises
The Statendam offers new Inca Discovery cruises sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale and featuring a three-day extended stay in Callao (Lima), Peru, to visit the famed archaeological site of Machu Picchu. Guests can also opt for a 13-day Ft. Lauderdale to Callao or Callao to Ft. Lauderdale itinerary with the option of pre- or post-cruise tours to Machu Picchu.

The 26-day itinerary offers two full transits of the Panama Canal -- one in each direction -- and a variety of ports as well as the excursion to Machu Picchu. These include such ports as Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; Santa Marta and San Andres, Colombia; San Blas Islands and Amador, Panama; Manta and Guayaquil, Ecuador; Salaverry and Callao (Lima), Peru; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Key West, Florida.

Seven Ships Offer Full-Transit Panama Canal Cruises
Seven ships -- ms Maasdam, ms Statendam, ms Veendam, ms Volendam, ms Westerdam, ms Prinsendam and ms Amsterdam -- sail full-transit cruises though the Panama Canal in 2008. Departures are from Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, Vancouver, Canada, and Callao (Lima), Peru.

The Maasdam offers two full-transit sailings in the winter -- Jan. 25 and Feb. 9 -- while the Statendam features a new fall sailing Oct. 25. The Maasdam sails a 15-day itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale to San Diego departing Jan. 25 and a return 15-day voyage on Feb. 9. Both itineraries feature intriguing Cartagena, Colombia and a full transit of the Panama Canal. Depending on sailing direction, guests may visit Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Puerto Chiapas, Santa Cruz Huatulco, Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; and Nassau, Bahamas.

Holland America Line will offer a new, spring, trans-canal departure from Tampa on Apr. 13 aboard the Veendam. The 19-day cruise takes guests to Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Cartagena, Colombia; the Panama Canal; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Puerto Chiapas, Santa Cruz Huatulco, Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; San Diego; and Victoria and Vancouver, Canada.

In the fall, the Statendam offers a 16-day cruise departing Oct. 25 from San Diego to Ft. Lauderdale, which calls at most of the same ports.

32- to 36-Day Panama Canal & Amazon Explorer
The Veendam will be featuring a 32- to 36-day Panama Canal & Amazon Explorer in the fall, with the choice of departing from Vancouver Sept. 26 or from San Diego Sept. 30. This Panama Canal & Amazon Explorer itinerary explores four amazing regions - the Mexican Riviera, Central America, Caribbean and Amazon. The latter is highlighted with seven full days on the mighty Amazon River and an overnight stay in Manaus, Brazil -- the furthest navigable point for ocean-going vessels in the heart of the Amazon.

Grand World Voyages Include Full Transits of the Panama Canal
The 114-day Grand World Voyage aboard the Amsterdam and the 68-day Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage aboard the Prinsendam also include a full transit of the Panama Canal. Departing from Fort Lauderdale on January 4, the Amsterdam sails through the canal and then east to traverse the globe by way of the South Pacific, Australia, Southeast Asia, India, the Suez Canal, Mediterranean and across the Atlantic. The Prinsendam departs on Jan. 3 to circumnavigate South America with a full transit of the Panama Canal on Jan. 8.

10- & 14-day "Sunfarer" Cruises of Panama Canal & Caribbean
Holland America continues to offer its extremely popular, 10-day "Sunfarer" voyages, which combine Panama Canal cruising with exotic Caribbean destinations. The Volendam sails a total of 10 "Sunfarer" cruises roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale in early 2008, offering departures Jan. 2 to Apr. 1. In the fall, with the introduction of a Vista-class ship, the 1,848-guest Zuiderdam picks up the itinerary with departures Nov 9, 19 and 29, and Dec. 9, 19 and 29, the latter two a holiday and New Year's sailing.

Guests cruise to Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; Dutch-influenced Willemstad, Curacao and Oranjestad, Aruba; the Panama Canal to Gatun Lake; Limon Bay and Manzanillo Bay, Panama; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, world-renowned for its abundant wildlife and colorful flora.

The Amsterdam also sails a 14-day Caribbean and Sunfarer cruise on Dec. 23 to the above ports and adds Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Roatan, Honduras; and Costa Maya, Mexico.

Panama Canal Historians & Medallion Shore Excursions
A Panama Canal historian travels on every sailing, providing insight and answering questions about one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century. Ashore, guests can opt to learn more on one of Holland America Line's intriguing shore excursions. Its Medallion Collection offers exclusive opportunities such as touring the UNESCO World Heritage Site, La Antigua, in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; exploring the rain forest in Roseau, Dominica, including a hike to newly discovered Twin Waterfalls and a cultural performance by the Carib Indians; and sailing aboard a catamaran to swim, snorkel and sip champagne at beautiful St. John, Virgin Islands. For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

Back to the top of the news list

Carnival Corp Enters Into Agreement to Sell Windstar Cruises

MIAMI, Feb. 22 -- Carnival Corporation & plc announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Windstar Cruises brand to Ambassadors International Inc. Windstar Cruises, which operates three sailing vessels, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Holland America Line, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc. Under the terms of the agreement, Windstar will be sold for $100 million, $40 million of which is payable in cash and assumption of liabilities, and Carnival will provide mortgage financing for $60 million. The loan will be payable over 10 years at seven percent interest, collateralized by the three Windstar ships.

"Windstar is an outstanding and unique cruise product and has garnered an extremely loyal following, however, Carnival Corporation & plc's growth strategy is focused on expanding our core growth brands and opening new markets," said Micky Arison, Carnival Corp chairman and CEO. "We made the decision to exit from the niche cruise business some time ago and the sale of Windstar is in line with that strategy. Last year we made a decision to cease operation of UK's Swan Hellenic and transfer its one ship to the Princess Cruises brand. Both of these are excellent products but simply do not fit into our future growth plans," he explained.

Added Stein Kruse, president and chief executive officer, Holland America Line, "We are pleased to have a committed buyer like Ambassadors International to take over Windstar. The transaction has been structured to ensure a smooth transition for all parties. Holland America Line will continue to operate the company through a transitional services agreement in the short term which includes vessel, reservations and other operational functions."

Windstar Cruises' three ships include the 312-passenger Wind Surf and the 148-passenger Wind Star and Wind Spirit. Carnival expects the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2007, subject to any applicable regulatory requirements, and to be neutral to earnings on an annualized basis for the 12-month period following closing.

About Ambassadors International, Inc.
Ambassadors International, Inc. is a cruise, marine, and travel and event company. Through Ambassadors Cruise Group, the company operates Majestic America Line, North America's premier river and coastal cruising company. The company is also a global leader in providing construction and consulting services to marina owners through its Ambassadors Marine Group subsidiary.

Back to the top of the news list

Carnival.Com Most Visited Cruise Line Web Site, According To Leading Internet Tracking Organization

MIAMI, Feb. 22 -- Carnival Cruise Lines' comprehensive Web site,, is the most visited cruise line site on the Internet, according to leading research organization Hitwise, which tracks Web traffic in more than 160 different industry categories. Carnival Cruise Lines was ranked eighth overall in Hitwise's Travel--Destinations & Accommodations category for fourth quarter 2006. Carnival was the highest ranked cruise line on the list, which encompasses a wide variety of travel options, including hotels, resorts, casinos and theme parks.

"The Internet is an indispensable research and education tool and Carnival is constantly incorporating new features and updating our site to provide users with a comprehensive overview of the 'Fun Ship' vacation experience. Carnival's high unique visitor numbers serve to validate our intensive efforts in this area," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. underwent a significant upgrade last year that added several new tools and features including a new interactive destination map, guest video testimonials, a new "close-to-home" page providing information on Carnival's 19 embarkation ports, and an enhanced meeting and incentive cruise section. Additionally, Carnival Cruise Lines launched the first ever cruise supplier social networking community and group planning Web site,, featuring real-time guest-written message boards and ship reviews, as well as an innovative electronic invitation tool. Also within Carnival's Internet toolset is a travel agent Internet portal,, designed to serve as a "one-stop shop" for agents' sales and marketing needs. New to the portal is Carnival University Online, a comprehensive CLIA-accredited Web-based training program offering proven sales and marketing techniques and information on the "Fun Ship" vacation experience.

Carnival is the most popular cruise line in the world with 21 "Fun Ships" operating three- to 16-day voyages to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Europe and the Greek Isles. The line currently has four new ships on order -- the 110,000-ton Carnival Freedom, slated to debut in Europe March 5; the 112,000-ton Carnival Splendor, scheduled to enter service in July 2008; and the 130,000-ton Carnival Dream and Carnival Magic -- to be the largest "Fun Ships" ever constructed -- scheduled for delivery in October 2009 and June 2011, respectively. For additional information on Carnival's "Fun Ship" vacations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

Back to the top of the news list

Silversea Announces Details of America's Cup Voyage

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Feb 22, 2007 -- Silversea, the worlds leading ultra-luxury cruise line, has announced details of the itinerary and special activities planned for the six-star rated Silver Whisper's presence at the 32nd America's Cup regatta. The prestigious yachting tournament is scheduled to be held this summer in Valencia, Spain, marking the first time Europe will host the race for the oldest trophy in sport. Switzerland's Team Alinghi, the defenders of the title, swept the last competition in five straight wins, and Silversea guests will have the best seats in the house from June 23 to 29 for what is shaping up to be another amazing contest.

"The prime positioning of Silver Whisper for this spectacular event will give our guests a terrific opportunity to view the races from a grandstand position in absolute comfort without all the problems associated with getting to and from vantage points around the course," said David Morris, Silversea's executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. "The combination of one of the world's most revered sporting events with the award-winning luxury of Silversea will provide a truly exciting and memorable occasion."

Silver Whisper's guests will board the ship in beautiful Barcelona on June 22 and sail south to Valencia. On June 23 and 24, the intimate, all-suite ship will be positioned in Valencia Bay directly alongside the race course, giving guests a front-row seat to experience all the drama and excitement of this most celebrated global event. Witnessing the graceful yachts as they slice through the whitecaps and into view will be a rare privilege for those on board, as the race cannot be fully viewed from the port or shoreline. 

June 25, a rest day for cup competitors, provides the chance for Silver Whisper's 382 privileged and pampered guests to take in new sights and go exploring as the ship journeys to Algiers, North Africa. Optional escorted shore excursions will reveal the culture and history of this fascinating destination before guests return to Valencia to enjoy the next exciting race days of the America's Cup competition (June 26 and 27). On June 28, the second scheduled rest day for race competitors, guests will have ample time to explore Valencia, one of the most historic cities in Spain. This charming city, with its centuries-old Moorish flair, famous cuisine and exciting nightlife, offers the perfect opportunity for an enriching cultural experience, and Silversea's destination experts have planned a selection of optional shore excursions to showcase the city's finest attractions.

Silver Whisper guests will celebrate the fifth scheduled race day in grand style on June 29 with an elaborate poolside barbecue to commemorate Team Alinghi's stunning five-race sweep in 2003 and offer a toast to this year's winner, who could well repeat the feat and be crowned the holder of the America's Cup, in full view of Silver Whisper's guests, on the same day of the fifth race in this best-of-nine series of match racing. Silver Whisper then sets sail for Barcelona and guests will disembark in the Catalan capital on June 30. Throughout this extraordinary 8-day voyage there will be top sailing officials and experts on board Silver Whisper providing guests with background knowledge on the America's Cup history and rules, professional insights on the teams taking part, and full commentary on every race as it happens live in front of the ship. Noted guest speakers Gary Jobson, the Emmy-winning ESPN sailing commentator who won the 1977 America's Cup as tactician for Ted Turner, and John Rousmaniere, a lifelong sailor, writer and America's Cup historian, will be happy to share personal anecdotes and give guests an insight into the mindset and activities of the crew of the racing yachts as the races unfold. There will also be "surprise" competitors and officials from the 2007 race coming on board to meet with guests and join them for dinner in the evenings. 

Other advantages exclusive to Silversea guests for this America's Cup voyage will be Silver Whisper's close proximity, when docked in port, to the America's Cup Village. Guests will be entitled to free entry and complimentary shuttle bus transfers from the ship to the America's Cup Village, which will take just 10 minutes. This comprehensive package offers guests the ultimate America's Cup experience, featuring all the excitement and thrill of competition, combined with the unmatched all-inclusive luxury of Silversea, to make an unforgettable adventure for all on board.

Back to the top of the news list

Microsoft's Vista Opens New Windows at Crystal Cruises' 
Computer University@Sea

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 21 -- Regarded for its contemporary enrichment programming, Crystal Cruises is debuting courses on the new Windows Vista operating system and Office 2007 software in its Computer University@Sea curriculum. The luxury cruise specialist is the first cruise line to offer guests instruction on Microsoft's new operating system released January 30, showcasing as many as six different courses from novice to expert. Offered complimentary, the new classes begin in early March on Crystal Symphony and early May on Crystal Serenity. The dedicated Computer University@Sea facilities on both ships feature the latest, state-of-the-art Dell equipment running the Vista operating system, as only the newest computers are able to take advantage of all of Vista's many new features, including Instant Search, the Windows Aero user experience, and Windows Flip 3D.

"Working on brand new computers with 17 inch flat panel displays, our guests will fully appreciate the rich content of the new Vista and Office 2007 courses," says Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president, hotel operations. "For any guests who have recently purchased a PC or plan to in the coming year, they will especially appreciate these courses, as all new PCs feature the dynamic Vista operating system."

Offered as a progressive series with as many as 20 classes on a single voyage, new topics of instruction include:

  • Introductory Computing using Microsoft Windows Vista;

  • Beginners to advanced word processing using Microsoft Office Word 2007;

  • Beginners to advanced spreadsheets using Microsoft Office Excel 2007;

  • Beginners to advanced presentations using Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007;

  • Internet using Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0; and,

  • Email using Microsoft Office Outlook 2007.

A pioneer in onboard education and still the most extensive computer-learning program at sea, Crystal's innovative Computer University@Sea continues to expand enrichment opportunities for guests while traveling the world. First introduced in 1996, the complimentary curriculum today features more than 30 courses tailored for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Numerous state-of-the-art Dell laptops and PCs, high-tech learning, and 24-hour Internet access from every lab and stateroom are just some of the features of this ground-breaking program.

Back to the top of the news list

Explore the Jewels of the Pacific with Regent Seven Seas Cruises' 2007 'Grand Asia Pacific Voyage' 

Ft. Lauderdale, Feb 20, 2007 - Regent Seven Seas Cruises® will operate its longest ever Grand Asia Pacific Voyage, a 107-night journey featuring calls to 53 ports in 19 countries. Sailing from Vancouver on September 5, 2007, guests aboard the 700-guest all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Mariner® will enjoy the utmost luxury onboard as she follows the 'Ring of Fire' from Alaska, calling on some of the most memorable sights on earth: Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, the ancient treasures of the Far East, New Zealand and the wonders Down Under, and the intoxicating islands of French Polynesia. In addition to several complimentary shore events, onboard enrichment programs and Concierge Choice shore excursions, each segment offers either two-for-one savings or free economy air from 86 North American gateways. Select segments feature optional Le Cordon Bleu® Circles of InterestSM, hands-on cooking workshops and chef-guided local market tours. A total of eight segments allows guests to select specific regions or combine them for up to 15 weeks of extended adventure:

  • Vancouver to Seward, Anchorage (Sept. 5 - 12) - Seven-night voyage from Vancouver to Seward through Alaska's breathtaking Inside Passage, calling at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka and cruising by Hubbard Glacier. 

  • Seward to Osaka (Sept. 12 - 26) - 14-night sailing across the Bering Sea and International Date Line, including a call in Eastern Russia's remote Kamchatka Peninsula before sailing onward through the Kuril Islands archipelago and Sea of Okhotsk for a maiden call to Yokohama, Japan and an overnight in Osaka. Features an exclusive Ocean Futures Society lecture program with famed ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau himself. An optional Le Cordon Bleu Circle of Interest is available ($395 per person).

  • Osaka to Hong Kong (Sept. 26 - Oct. 10) - 14-night discovery of Japan, South Korea and Eastern China sails the Yellow Sea, East China Sea and Formosa Strait and includes overnights in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong as well as a visit to Nagasaki and maiden call to Pusan, South Korea. Features a Spotlight on Antiques enrichment program.

  • Hong Kong to Laem Chabang (for Bangkok) (Oct. 10 - 22) - 12-night voyage begins with an overnight in Hong Kong before cruising the Gulf of Tonkin for a week-long exploration of Eastern Vietnam including calls in Hanoi (overnight) and Ho Chi Minh City. In Thailand, she will make a maiden call to Ko Samui before sailing into Laem Chabang (for Bangkok). Also features Spotlight on Food & Wine onboard enrichment program.

  • Laem Chabang to Singapore (Oct. 22 - Nov. 4) - 13-night sailing features a rare two-night call to Yangon, Myanmar, the dazzling capital of ancient Burma, closed to foreigners from 1961 until recent years. Highlights include shore excursions to Bagan and its ancient Angkor temples and the 2,500 year-old Shwedagon Pagoda. Also includes overnights in Laem Chabang, Thailand and Singapore and a call to Phuket, Thailand.

  • Singapore to Sydney (Nov. 4 - 19) - 15-night voyage includes the awe-inspiring islands of Indonesia's Java Sea: Bali and Komodo. Cruise the coast of Australia to Darwin, Cairns and Hamilton Cove, as well as the Great Barrier Reef before arriving in beautiful Sydney Harbor. Le Cordon Bleu Circle of Interest is available ($395 per person).

  • Sydney to Auckland (Nov. 19 - Dec. 3) - 14-night voyage calls at fashion capital Melbourne and Hobart before cruising the Tasman Sea to the stunning landscapes of New Zealand's North and South Islands, made famous by Lord of the Rings. Features Spotlight on Food & Wine enrichment program.

  • Auckland to Los Angeles (Dec. 3 - 21) - 19-night voyage to the bewitching islands of French Polynesia: the Cook and Marquesas islands and beautiful Tahiti, followed by five days of peaceful Pacific sailing before returning home to Los Angeles on December 21, 2007. Le Cordon Bleu Circle of Interest is available ($395 per person).

The Regent Travel Concierge
Available only to a limited number of participants, Concierge Choice shore excursions are intimate and experiential. Among those featured on the Grand Asia Pacific Voyage are an up-close experience of Bangkok's historic homes; lessons in coral preservation and opportunities for world-class snorkeling in Bora Bora; a private motor cruiser and picnic lunch in Sydney Harbor; and from Christchurch, an exploration of the volcanic landscapes of Banks Peninsula. Guests may also choose from a number of multi-night, overland Concierge Collection adventures ashore or two- to four-night pre- and post-cruise land packages available through The Regent Travel Concierge. 

Fares and Special Savings
Cruise fares include all shipboard gratuities; complimentary beverages, including select wines and spirits served throughout the ship; complimentary 24-hour room service; refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, beer and bottled water replenished daily; and an in-suite bar setup in butler suites. As with all Regent Grand Voyages, guests partaking in the entire 107-night voyage receive special savings and gifts, including complimentary first-class roundtrip airfare from 86 North American gateways, between $1,000-$2,000 per suite in shipboard credits. Guests sailing individual segments receive shipboard credits depending upon suite class. Segments three through eight also feature a complimentary, exclusive shore event. (Visit or contact a travel agent for details.)

Back to the top of the news list

Cunard Queens Make Majestic Royal Rendezvous in Sydney Harbor

SYDNEY, Australia, Feb. 20 -- Escorted by a flotilla of small boats and pleasure craft along with thousands of Sydney-siders lining the shores to welcome the grandest ocean liners in the world, grande dame QE2 whistle saluted her sistership Queen Mary 2 during an historic afternoon arrival into Sydney Harbour. Not since World War II have two Cunard Queens called on Sydney together. The celebration included fireworks from the harbour before Queen Mary 2 set sail later that evening for Hong Kong continuing on her Maiden World Cruise. QE2 is sailing her 25th Silver Jubilee World Cruise and calls on Sydney until Thursday. The arrival of the Queen's was a spectacle that caused grid-lock both on the streets and shores of Sydney.

Back to the top of the news list

Princess Alaska Wilderness Sale Offers Affordable Cruisetour Options

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Feb 20, 2007 - It may be winter, but it's the perfect time for cruise passengers to be thinking about that summer vacation - especially if they're headed to Alaska. To help passengers secure their travel plans during the year's most popular booking period, Princess has launched a new "Alaska Wilderness Sale," offering savings on a cruisetour that combines the best of the state by land and sea. These special rates on select cruisetours feature discounts of up to $500 per couple off of Princess' early booking discounts.  The sale pricing is available through March 31, 2007 and covers select cruisetour departures throughout the May to September season.

"We want to encourage passengers to take advantage of Princess' expanded Alaska capacity during this busy booking period," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "This is a great time to finalize vacation plans as we're offering a wide range of sailing dates and stateroom categories on sale."

Princess will feature its largest ever Alaska fleet in 2007, with eight ships sailing through the scenic waters of the "Great Land." Passengers can choose from a diverse lineup of vessels that range from 670 passengers to 2,670 passengers, including five ships dedicated to Princess' signature Gulf of Alaska route. And for the first time, Princess will feature mid-week Gulf departures aboard the intimate Pacific Princess. Gulf of Alaska cruises can be combined with one of 22 different land tour options for a complete land/sea cruisetour that includes both of Alaska's most sought-after destinations on virtually every departure - Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park - plus the company's exclusive Direct to the Wilderness rail service to/from Whittier, that gives travelers more time to explore the state's dramatic interior. Princess' 2007 Gulf of Alaska season features a record 78 calls in Glacier Bay, and Princess ships will carry more passengers to this spectacle of ice than any other cruise line.

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

Back to the top of the news list

Cunard Line Hosting Gala Fundraiser Aboard Queen Mary 2 to Benefit New York City Opera and Brooklyn Academy of Music

New York, NY - Feb 20, 2007 - On Thursday, May 24, 2007, Cunard Line will welcome guests from the New York City Opera (City Opera) and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) aboard the company's flagship Queen Mary 2 for The Britannia Ball, a gala evening benefiting both cultural institutions. The ball will include: cocktails, dinner, dancing to Peter Duchin and his orchestra and a special performance by Tony AwardTM winner Patti LuPone who will perform a special rendition of The Lady with The Torch in the ship's Royal Court Theater.

The Britannia Ball will be sponsored by CIT Group Inc., a leading global provider of commercial and consumer finance solutions. CIT Chairman and CEO Jeffrey M. Peek and his wife Elizabeth will serve as co-Chairs of the event. Brian T. Leary of Massey Knakal will serve as Vice Chair. 

Docked for this special night at its New York home, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, Queen Mary 2 - the world's most luxurious ocean liner - will serve as the elegant setting for the evening's festivities, and The Britannia Ball guests will have full access to all the public areas of the ocean liner including: the Queens Room, the largest ballroom at sea, the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar, the Royal Court Theater and Illuminations, the only planetarium at sea. Queen Mary 2 will set sail the next day for her Memorial Day cruise to the Bahamas.

City Opera and BAM are institutions that share similar missions which reflect a commitment to artistic excellence, innovation and accessibility. Their audiences are sophisticated and adventurous and include many social and corporate leaders of New York. Together the companies reach more than 650,000 individuals annually and have helped to transform the cultural landscape of New York City. All proceeds from The Britannia Ball will be divided equally to support programs at City Opera and BAM. 

Cunard Line's President Carol Marlow commented, "As the most iconic British ocean liner company, Cunard Line has long been the travel choice for artists, politicians and celebrities. Since Queen Mary 2's launch, she has hosted such notables as Her Majesty The Queen, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Lenny Kravitz, Uma Thurman, Angela Bassett, Rod Stewart and Carly Simon. The Britannia Ball reflects our company's enormous regard for artists and the performing arts institutions that create vibrant destinations throughout the world. We are honored to partner with City Opera and BAM, two organizations that embody the excitement and innovation of the arts in New York."

Tickets for The Britannia Ball are $1,000; and $2,500 for a VIP ticket that includes access to an exclusive cocktail reception, as well as preferred seating for the performance and dinner. Approximately 1,000 guests are expected to attend. Those interested may call BAM Patron Services at 718-636-4182 for tickets to The Britannia Ball and information about booking a premiere Suite on Queen Mary 2's Memorial Day Weekend cruise to the Bahamas.

Back to the top of the news list

Carnival to Extend Exotic Caribbean Cruise Program from Miami

MIAMI, Feb 15, 2007 – Carnival Cruise Lines is expanding its previously announced program of seven-day, four-port "Exotic Eastern Caribbean" voyages from Miami, featuring visits to stunning Half Moon Cay, a private Bahamian island, and Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands, on the 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph. The itinerary also features the widely popular ports of St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The cruises were originally scheduled to be offered every other week from April through August 2007 followed by Carnival Triumph’s shift to New Orleans to operate weekly Caribbean cruises from that port beginning late August 2007. Instead, Carnival Triumph will remain in Miami at least through April 2008 and the "Exotic Eastern Caribbean" itinerary will switch from every other week to weekly beginning August 25, 2007.

"We’ve received a tremendous amount of enthusiasm from consumers and travel agents in response to the Carnival Triumph’s new Exotic Eastern Caribbean itinerary," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. "By the same token, there are lingering misconceptions by the vacationing public as to the recovery of New Orleans’ tourism infrastructure, which has necessitated a re-evaluation of our timeline for adding a second ship to that port." Carnival re-introduced its cruise program from New Orleans in October 2006 with the launch of four and five-day cruises on the SuperLiner Fantasy. According to Dickinson, "We are committed to New Orleans and, not only will the Fantasy remain there, but we will continue our efforts to build consumer interest in cruising from New Orleans and to counter some of the erroneous perceptions of the city that are currently posing a challenge. In the meantime, we do not feel the timing is right to place a second ship there just yet," said Dickinson.

Highlights of the Carnival Triumph’s ‘Exotic Eastern Caribbean’ itinerary from Miami include Half Moon Cay, a stunning Bahamian private island; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., whose postcard-perfect beaches, gorgeous mountain terrain and endless shopping make it an ever-popular favorite; a daytime call in San Juan, Puerto Rico, known for its rich cultural heritage and fascinating historical sites; and Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands, the Caribbean’s newest port of call, offering world-renowned snorkeling, diving and spectacular beaches, along with an expansive shopping complex and spacious pool/entertainment facility, including a Caribbean-themed bar and restaurant, Margaritaville. On certain sailing dates, the ports of call on the Carnival Triumph’s ‘Exotic Eastern Caribbean’ program may vary. 

The Carnival Triumph features a wide variety of amenities, including a 15,000-square-foot spa, a jogging track, full casino gambling, and 18 stylish lounges and bars. Dining options include twin two-level restaurants offering extensive menus and wine lists and a casual poolside eatery offering a wide array of tempting cuisine, as well as 24-hour pizza and ice cream/frozen yogurt. The ship also features cellular phone service, an Internet café, and wireless Internet access in virtually all public rooms and areas. Carnival Triumph offers a wide variety of spacious accommodations, including spectacular suites and an expansive array of staterooms featuring ocean views from private balconies – ideal for scenic Caribbean cruising. All accommodations feature the new Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system including plush mattresses, luxurious duvets, and high quality pillows and linens. All Carnival ships feature the line’s top-rated "Camp Carnival" children’s program, as well as "Club O2," created in partnership with Coca-Cola, which offers specialized activities and facilities for teens. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

Back to the top of the news list

St. Andrews and the Championship Courses of the Emerald Isles Highlight Crystal's 2007 Golf Cruise

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 15 -- A true once-in-a-lifetime experience for the golf connoisseur, Crystal Cruises' 2007 golf-themed cruise aboard the luxury line's Crystal Symphony offers guests the chance to play at Scotland's fabled St. Andrews Golf Club and some of the most challenging and scenic courses throughout Ireland. Exclusive golf adventures will be enhanced by onboard lectures, golf clinics and parties featuring Emmy Award-winning CNN/Sports Illustrated journalist Jim Huber, two-time U.S. Open champion Billy Casper, and veteran PGA golf pro John Clark. The only British Isles cruise on Crystal's 2007 schedule, the 11-day voyage departs August 20, 2007, round-trip from London and offers guests optional play at St. Andrews' Jubilee Course (Edinburgh) -- considered by many the toughest course at St. Andrews, as well as a number of the oldest and finest courses in Ireland including The K Club (Dublin), The Harbour Point Golf Club (Cork) and Royal Belfast Golf Club (Belfast). Each excursion features the chance to play 18-holes of championship golf.

"A Crystal golf cruise offers the ease of play at many premier courses on a single trip and the luxury of unpacking just once," says John Stoll, Crystal Cruises' director, land programs. "In addition, with our wide array of onboard activities and shoreside adventures, golfers and non-golfers can travel together while pursuing different interests."

Golfers taking part in the optional golf excursions will enjoy 45-minute warm-up sessions where available, a Hole-in-One competition, exclusive golfers-only parties on board, and the option of pre-reserving all of their golf excursions online at prior to departing. Complementing the shoreside golf adventures is the chance to attend lectures by Emmy Award-winning sports broadcaster Jim Huber and golf clinics with legendary golf champion Billy Casper. A veteran journalist of 34 years and the lead golf reporter for CNN/Sports Illustrated, Jim Huber is the host of CNN's Pro Golf Weekly and has covered and announced many PGA pro tournaments. Having gone on to win fifty-one PGA Tour victories, including two U.S. Opens and the Masters, Billy Casper ranks sixth on the PGA Tour's all-time victory list.

Billy Casper will be joined by PGA pro John Clark, a 35-year member of the PGA, who has taught thousands of golfers at all skill levels to improve their technique, focus on key areas of their swing, and more fully enjoy the game. The golf-themed British Isles cruise sails round-trip from London and features an overnight call in Edinburgh, Scotland and calls in Invergordon, Scotland; Dublin, Belfast, Waterford, and Cork, Ireland; and Guernsey/St. Peter Port, England.

Attention to detail and quality are hallmarks of the Crystal Cruises experience and golf is no exception. The luxury line maintains an alliance with TaylorMade, the No. 1 driver on the PGA tour. Crystal also features right and left-handed TaylorMade clubs available for men and women, a putting green, and golf driving ranges aboard each ship. For added convenience, guests can ship their golf clubs with their luggage from the U.S. through Virtual Bellhop. For more information and arrangements on golf club and luggage shipping, contact Virtual Bellhop at or call 877-Bellhop. Crystal recommends that golfers bring their own clubs, as their rental at the courses is based on availability.

For additional information, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

Back to the top of the news list

Queen Mary 2's 2007-2008 Caribbean Season Sets Sail From the Big Apple

VALENCIA, Calif., Feb. 15 -- As Queen Mary 2 continues to significantly expand her presence in New York, Cunard Line announces an extended series of 12 ten-day voyages to the Caribbean from the Big Apple, as well as two 13-day sailings to Panama and the Caribbean and a 14-day Caribbean Celebration voyage featuring Christmas Day at sea and New Year's Eve in the port of St. Thomas. Like Queen Mary 2's legendary Transatlantic crossings, these voyages resonate with the singular elegance and sophistication of a Cunard ocean liner experience. In addition, the ship's faster speed allows her to sail farther south than other ships out of New York, affording more Southern Caribbean port stops, such as Barbados, on ten-day voyages. Offering easier access than ever from her homeport of New York, the 2007 - 2008 itineraries showcase an array of less-traveled ports while delivering a more glamorous experience. Cunard voyages are renowned for their luxurious surroundings, exceptional dining and signature White Star Service®. These signature services, together with the opportunity to explore and discover alongside like-minded travelers, result in a thrilling experience for first- time and longtime cruisers.

"With our 2007-2008 New York-based Caribbean itineraries, we're offering seamless access for those residing in the Northeast to experience the already iconic Queen Mary 2 adventure plus coveted, leisurely sea days that are a hallmark of Cunard voyages," said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line.

In 2007 and 2008, Cunard will offer more than a dozen Caribbean voyages sailing roundtrip from New York. Ranging in length from ten to 14 days, these journeys include:

  • Connoisseur's Caribbean -- A total of 12 departures (from Oct. 31, 2007 - April 6, 2008) featuring ten days with stops in the picturesque ports of Tortola, St. Kitts, Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Thomas.

  • Caribbean Celebration -- A 14-day voyage departing Dec. 20, coinciding with the Christmas and New Year's holidays, with stops in Tortola, St. Maarten, Curacao, Grenada, Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts and St. Thomas.

  • Panama and the Caribbean -- Two 13-day voyages departing Feb. 2 and March 24, 2008, with stops in Costa Rica, Panama, Curacao, Bonaire, St. Lucia and St. Thomas.

Whether their interests lie in marine life, history, architecture or cuisine, guests plying the crystal waters of the Caribbean will find numerous diversions ashore. For nature enthusiasts, Bridgetown, Barbados is of tremendous appeal. Popular attractions that showcase the island's abundant tropical flora include Flower Forest, Orchid World and Andromeda Gardens. Historians enjoy a tour of Gun Hill, a former British lookout post, and Sunbury Plantation House, a 300-year-old sugar estate. In the picturesque colonial city of Basseterre, St. Kitts, the 17th century Brimstone Hill Fortress affords magnificent views of the coast and neighboring Caribbean islands. Other popular stops include Romney Gardens, and its well-known batik studio, and Mt. Liamuiga, the island's highest peak. In Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, guests can explore this popular U.S. Virgin Islands port both above and below the sea. Its close proximity to St. John (home to the Virgin Islands National Park) makes it ideal for hiking eco-tourists while sun-bathers enjoy unwinding on Magens Bay, considered one of the world's ten most beautiful beaches. Blackbeard's Castle, shopping in Charlotte Amalie and Coral World are other popular shore excursions.

Onboard Queen Mary 2, guests dance the night away in the Queens Room, the largest ballroom at sea, and enjoy Caribbean-themed balls during voyages to the region. Guest also revel in extravagant musical productions in spacious theatres, enjoy the vast selection of 8,000 books in the largest library at sea, take a ride through the Cosmos in the only planetarium at sea, engage in stimulating activities and fascinating lectures, and savor superb gourmet dining prepared by world-class chefs. For more information about Queen Mary 2's 2007 Caribbean itineraries, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

Back to the top of the news list

Costa Unveils 2008 Itineraries

MIAMI, FL, Feb 15, 2007 – From exciting new routes in the Indian Ocean, to new and expanded spa getaways at sea, Costa continues to make its mark in the cruise industry as an innovation leader in 2008. New itineraries from Mauritius with stops in the Seychelles, Kenya and Madagascar as well as details of new spa accommodations on the Costa Atlantica and Costa Mediterranea are all available for travelers in Costa’s new 2008 brochure, released worldwide today. 

Costa Continues Trend of Innovation in Cruise Industry
Europe’s Number One Cruise Line continues its trend of innovation with the introduction of new 17-night itineraries from Mauritius with stops in the Seychelles, Kenya and Madagascar aboard the Costa Marina. Costa is the first company to market regularly-scheduled Indian Ocean cruises to these destinations, which they will begin to offer in the 2007/2008 winter season. As the company that introduced the “spa getaway at sea” trend with exclusive spa accommodations aboard the Costa Concordia and Costa Serena, Costa will further expand on this element with special “Wellness Packages” aboard the Costa Atlantica and Costa Mediterranea in 2008. Guests who book these packages may select from 44 exclusive spa accommodations on either ship in ocean view, veranda and suite categories. The packages come complete with exclusive amenities as well as a personalized wellness consultation, three complimentary treatments, two fitness or mediation classes and complimentary access to the Wellness Restaurant, offering a wide array of spa-friendly cuisine. 

“Our guests tell us that they continue to choose Costa because of the rich itineraries we offer, the great selection of destinations we visit and the unique onboard experience we provide,” said Lynn Torrent, President & CEO of Costa Cruise Lines—North America. “In 2008, we’ve raised the bar even higher by offering incredible new itineraries, which we’re releasing in the market earlier than ever before. This not only allows our guests to plan their vacations well in advance, but more time to take advantage of fantastic savings of up to 45% with our Early Booking Fares.” 

Other exciting news includes Costa’s 30% capacity increase in South America, where the company will deploy three ships (Costa Magica, Costa Victoria, Costa Classica) on sailings to Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Following the tremendous success of its inaugural year in Dubai, Costa will deploy two ships (Costa Romantica, Costa Europa) rather than one in the region for the 2007/2008 winter season. Additionally, the Italian company will once again feature cruises aboard the Costa Allegra from China, another industry first introduced by Costa in 2006. 

The Biggest and Best of Europe 
It’s no wonder why Costa is Europe’s Number One Cruise Line—the company has sailed the region for 60 years, offers more seven-night cruises than any other line and bases nearly its entire fleet in the region during summer months. In 2008, Costa will offer 53 itineraries to 112 ports that add up to 335 year-round departures in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe alone. Costa’s international ambience offers a sophisticated and cosmopolitan cruising experience with all the best of Europe, complete with English-speaking hosts and hostesses. In addition, Costa features Europe’s youngest and largest fleet, including two of the newest and largest ships in Italian history, the Costa Concordia and Costa Serena. Both ships feature one of the largest spas at sea, complete with exclusive spa accommodations that offer direct access to the spa. Moreover, the ships feature the largest enclosable pool deck on a cruise ship, making the ships perfect for cruising the Mediterranean year-round as they will in 2008. 

Costa offers an experience that is delightfully different in service and cuisine, in an atmosphere filled with love, laughter and la dolce vita. It’s called “Cruising Italian Style” and true to its heritage, no detail has been overlooked in bringing the beauty and hospitality of Italy to the sea. Cruising Italian Style…that’s Amore! The ships of Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, range in size from 30,000-tons to 112,000-tons, and provide an ambience that is distinctly Italian – from the progressive architecture and stylish design to the unforgettable cuisine and gracious hospitality. With eleven ships in service and four on order, Costa offers cruises that span the globe on itineraries of three nights and longer throughout the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America, Transatlantic, China, Far East and Dubai. For reservations or more information, contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit

Back to the top of the news list

Holland America Line Rolls Out Alaska shore Excursions for 2007

SEATTLE, Feb. 5 -- There are thrills aplenty available to Holland America Line guests booking optional shore excursions in Alaska. Glacier View Bike & Brew in Juneau combines scenic bicycling through spectacular rainforests followed by a tour and tasting at Alaska Brewery or in Sitka snap perfect photos on the Photography Tour. In Seward, meet an Iditarod champion on the new "Ididaride" Wilderness Sled Dog Ride & Tour. On all Alaska Cruises (Porthole magazine bestowed its 2006 Readers' Choice Awards to Holland America Line for Best Alaska Itineraries) and CruiseTours, guests have the opportunity to fully experience each destination through a wide variety of optional in-depth and exciting excursions. For 2007, Holland America Line has added more than 10 new excursions to complement its already extensive list and three new post-cruise excursions in Seattle.

"Our diverse selection of shore excursions allows guests to create their own personal Alaska experience," said Richard D. Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "Alaska is a destination that offers excursions unlike any other region -- wildlife, wilderness, cultural and historical. We make sure our guests not only have an enjoyable cruise, but a memorable one."

With more than 230 excursions, many to National Parks, Holland America Line's excursions get up close and personal with glaciers, mountains, sea life and unique personalities. New excursions are being introduced in Haines, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Sitka, Skagway and Seattle. Offbeat Haines tour takes guests to three of Haines' most unusual and out-of-the-way attractions - the Hammer Museum, Extreme Dreams Art Studio and Dalton City. Or lace up the hiking boots and head out on the Haines Adventure Hike, which immerses guests in the incredible beauty of SE Alaska. In Seward, gaze at the expansive views and beauty of the Resurrection Valley on the Resurrection River Float trip, and in charming Skagway relax and see the Highlights & unique Jewell Gardens.

Favorite excursions continue to be Helicopter Flightseeing & Glacier Trek; Musher's Camp and Dog Sled Adventure; Alaska Bear Adventure by Floatplane; Tatoosh Islands Sea Kayaking; and the Eagle Preserve Float Adventure -- a float trip through the world famous Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. In the Yukon, guests have the opportunity to explore majestic Kluane National Park by foot, cultural cruise, fishing tour or river rafting, and rugged Tombstone Territorial Park, by motor vehicle or hiking one of three trails with a guide. For CruiseTour guests seeking an authentic Alaska experience, the Anaktuvuk Pass Adventure, takes guests to the remote Nunamiut Eskimo village of Anaktuvuk to discover their way of life. This excursion is available as a post-tour from Fairbanks. Most excursions are suitable for families and many are available for guests with disabilities.

To learn more about Holland America Line's entire shore excursions program, visit and click the "book shore excursions" button. Booked guests who already have a seven-digit booking number may go online to to view and pre-book excursions specific to their cruise or CruiseTour itinerary prior to leaving home. Since many excursions are offered to a limited number of guests, booking online ensures first choice.

Back to the top of the news list

Carnival Freedom's European Cruises: The Ultimate Family Vacation

MIAMI, Feb 2007 – Families today are seeking interesting vacation options that offer exciting and rewarding experiences. And European cruising, which combines the opportunity to explore centuries-old cities with the amenities and conveniences of a “floating resort,” offers the ideal all-ages vacation. To cater to this growing market, Carnival Cruise Lines’ new 110,000-ton Carnival Freedom will offer fun-filled activities and expansive facilities for children of all ages, along with two distinctly different European itineraries featuring the region’s most magnificent destinations. The new 2,974-passenger SuperLiner is set to debut March 5, 2007, with a nine-day Mediterranean voyage, then launch a schedule of 12-day Mediterranean and Mediterranean & Greek Isles cruises beginning March 14, 2007. 

“Families have moved beyond the summer road trip and are gravitating toward enriching cultural experiences they can share together,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. “A ‘Fun Ship’ cruise to Europe is the perfect choice for families, who can enjoy all the region has to offer - famous art, architecture and culinary experiences – then return to familiar surroundings where they can enjoy Carnival’s unique shipboard environment, including complimentary programs for children and teens,” he added.

Expansive 4,200-Square-Foot Play Area 
A spacious 4,200-square-foot play area is the focal point of the Carnival Freedom’s “Camp Carnival” program. The facility is divided into five distinct areas: a “movie room” featuring a 16-monitor video wall displaying kids’ favorite films and cartoons; an arts-and-crafts center with spin and sand art and candy-making machines; a “soft play area” with padded play equipment for the under-2 set; a gaming room with PlayStation 2 consoles; and a children’s library with youth-oriented books. The play area is also the site for “Camp Carnival” activities, including programming focusing on music, reading, art, geography, science and physical fitness. 

New Club O2 Teen Club, Special Amenities for Teens
Aboard Carnival Freedom, teens have a place to call their own with “Club O2,” the ship’s 1,800-square-foot teen club. Designed for kids ages 15 to 17, the facility includes a dance floor, a DJ, and a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system, a lounge serving non-alcoholic specialty drinks, and a video game room with 60 of the latest video and arcade games. There will also be a library with popular teen-oriented books and magazines.

As part of Carnival’s youth spa program, children ages 12-14 and their parents can enjoy soothing body and beauty treatments together on port days. Through Carnival’s popular teen shore excursion program, teen counselors will accompany kids ages 12-17 who can partake in a variety of “just-for-teens” shoreside experiences during Carnival Freedom’s European voyages.

Other Family-Friendly Amenities
Sure to be popular with kids and adults alike are Carnival Freedom’s four swimming pools, including a pool on Panorama Deck featuring Carnival’s signature 214-foot-long “Twister Waterslide.” Also featured will be “Carnival’s Seaside Theatre,” a 270-square-foot LED screen located poolside on Lido Deck and displaying movies, concerts and other programming. 

For parents, grandparents and children who want to spend some quality time together as a family, multi-generational activities such as arts and crafts sessions, “family water play” and make-your-own-sundae sessions, will also be available. 

Carnival Freedom will also offer dozens of interconnecting accommodations – ideal for large families or family gatherings – along with special discounts for third and fourth guests staying in the same stateroom. 

In addition to the line’s popular fleetwide stroller rental program, babysitting will be available at a nominal per-hour fee and will take place in the children’s playroom. Bouncy seats, travel swings and GameBoy Advance portable gaming units will be available for rent, as well. 

Special kid-friendly dining options include children’s menus in the main dining rooms, 24-hour pizza and ice cream at the poolside restaurant, a children’s turn-down service providing freshly baked cookies at bedtime, and Carnival’s “Fountain Fun Card,” which, for a one-time fee, provides unlimited soft drinks throughout the voyage. Children can also have dinner with the youth counselors in the Lido restaurant. 

Exciting Cruises to Mediterranean, Greek Isles and Turkey
Carnival Freedom is slated to debut March 5, 2007, with a nine-day Mediterranean voyage then launch a schedule of 12-day “Grand Mediterranean” and “Mediterranean & Greek Isles” cruises March 14, 2007. All voyages operate round-trip from Rome (Civitavecchia). The nine-day Med voyage begins with an overnight call in Venice March 5 and includes stops at Dubrovnik, Croatia; Katakolon and Athens, Greece; Izmir, Turkey; Rhodes, Greece; and Naples, Italy. 

The 12-day “Grand Mediterranean” cruises visit Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy (two-day call); Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy. The 12-day “Mediterranean & Greek Isles” cruises include Naples, Italy; Rhodes, Greece; Izmir (Ephesus) and Istanbul, Turkey; Athens (Piraeus) and Katakolon, Greece; and Livorno, Italy, as well as an overnight call in Rome (Civitavecchia). 

More than 80 different shore excursion choices, along with a variety of pre- and post-cruise land stays in Rome, are also available. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

Back to the top of the news list

Royal Caribbean Intl Reveals Semi-Finalists for Liberty of the Seas' Godmother Search

MIAMI, Feb. 13 -- Continuing the cruise line's ultimate show of appreciation for travel agents, Royal Caribbean International revealed the ten travel agent semi-finalists for the godmother search of Liberty of the Seas this weekend. The deserving semi-finalists were recognized on a pre-inaugural cruise aboard the line's newly revitalized Majesty of the Seas. Three finalists are to be determined within the next two weeks, after which the general public will be invited to cast their vote online ( for the godmother of Royal Caribbean's newest ship. The godmother will be announced on March 30 at Cruise Lines International Association's Cruise3Sixty conference.

The semi-finalists for godmother of Liberty of the Seas are:

Marie Brouard, Ann Torcivia, Laura Elmore, Barbara Tyree, Carolyn Hadley, Julia Wadsworth,  Michelle Jordan, Carole Weishaar, Donnalea Madeley, Susan Weissberg.

"This first-ever search for a ship's godmother among travel agents helps bring to light all of the achievements of women whose service goes beyond travel planning," said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Sales. "It will be an extremely hard decision for our panelists to select three finalists from these deserving ten, who are committed to serving their communities and embody Royal Caribbean's dedication to the travel industry and our guests around the world."

An esteemed panel of 19 members of the media, cruise industry executives and Royal Caribbean travel partners reviewed more than 2,500 nominations of exceptional women travel agents. The ten semi-finalists were selected based on their dedication to community service, inspiration, courage and determination. Within the next two weeks, the panelists will be interviewing each semi- finalist to further narrow the search to three outstanding women. The public will then be able to cast their vote for godmother of Liberty of the Seas from March 1 through 15 at More information about the godmother search for Liberty of the Seas and each semi-finalist are available on the cruise line's website.

In the spirit of maritime tradition, the godmother will participate in Liberty's naming ceremony on May 18, 2007. At 160,000 GRT and holding 3,634 guests double-occupancy, Liberty of the Seas will share the title of largest cruise ship with Freedom of the Seas when she debuts. Among new programs and onboard embellishments yet to be announced, Liberty will include the same popular innovations already found on Freedom, including the FlowRider® surf simulator; the H20 Zone aqua park; cantilevered whirlpools; suspended 112 feet above the ocean; an ice-skating rink; a boxing ring and the 1,215-square-foot Presidential Family Suite, which sleeps up to 14.

Liberty of the Seas will sail alternating seven-night Western and Eastern Caribbean itineraries from Miami. Both itineraries will call on Royal Caribbean's private destination, Labadee, Haiti. The Western Caribbean itinerary also will include the ports of Montego Bay, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico; while the Eastern Caribbean itinerary will call on San Juan, Puerto Rico and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 20 ships currently in service and three under construction. The line also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand through its cruisetour division. For additional information or to make reservations, go to call (800) 327-6700.

Back to the top of the news list

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Announces 2008 'Circle Around South America' Grand Voyage

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL, Feb 12, 2007 - Regent Seven Seas Cruises' luxurious 700-guest all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Mariner® sets sail in 2008 for a 60-night circumnavigation of South America. The "Circle Around South America" cruise will depart from Ft. Lauderdale on January 4, 2008 and features calls to 30 ports in 15 countries including Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, the Falkland Islands, Uruguay, Brazil and French Guyana, as well as several Caribbean islands. 

From the sensuous rhythm of Rio to the unspoiled wilderness of Patagonia to the ancient streets of Cartagena, South America reflects enough beauty and soul-searing diversity to quicken the pulse of even the most experienced traveler. In addition to an exceptional itinerary, the 2008 Circle Around South America cruise includes six onboard overnights and four complimentary shore events to offer guests an inside look at this vast continent. The Circle Around South America voyage will circumnavigate the continent counter-clockwise, through a journey comprised of four combinable segments:

  • Ft. Lauderdale to Lima, Peru (Jan. 4-16) - This 12-night segment departs from Ft. Lauderdale with visits to Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cartagena, Colombia, before a daytime passage through the famed Panama Canal. The journey continues south along the Western coast with stops in Fuerte Amador (Panama), Manta (Ecuador) and Salaverry (Peru), ending in the Spanish colonial city of Lima, the capital of Peru. 

  • Lima to Buenos Aires, Argentina (Jan. 16-Feb. 4) - This 19-night segment, the journey's longest, departs from Lima and stops in Pisco (Peru), calling on several ports along the Chilean coast including Valparaiso and Punta Arenas, and then the stunning fjords and glaciers of Chile and the point where the Atlantic and Pacific oceans converge. Visit Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego, known as "the end of the world," and the Falkland Islands. Then on to two nights in chic Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

  • Buenos Aires to Manaus, Brazil (Feb. 4-21) - This 17-night journey offers two onboard overnight stays in Buenos Aires, then continues to Montevideo, Uruguay before two nights in spectacular Rio de Janeiro, where guests will enjoy samba and sun-drenched beaches. Other stops in Brazil include Salvador de Bahia and Alter Do Chao, before ending in Manaus, at the edge of the breathtaking Amazon rainforest. 

  • Manaus to Ft. Lauderdale (Feb. 21-March 4) - The final 12-night leg of the cruise follows the coast of Brazil with calls in Parintins and Santarem, and Devil's Island, French Guyana, before continuing on to the tropical paradise of Barbados, Dominica, Puerto Rico and Grand Turk, ending in Ft. Lauderdale. 

Cruise fares include all shipboard gratuities; complimentary beverages, including select wines and spirits served throughout the ship; complimentary 24-hour room service; refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, beer and bottled water replenished daily; and an in-suite bar setup in butler suites. As with all Regent Grand Voyages, guests partaking in the entire 60-night voyage receive special savings and gifts, including complimentary first-class roundtrip airfare from 86 North American gateways, between $500-$1,000 per suite in shipboard credits and an exclusive bon voyage event the evening before disembarkation. Guests sailing individual segments receive $100-$200 shipboard credits and a special commemorative gift. Segments one and four also feature special air fare offers. (Visit or contact a travel agent for details.)

Seven Seas Mariner is the world's first all-suite, all-balcony ship. Catering to only 700 guests, she is one of the most spacious cruise ships afloat, and her staff to guest ratio of 1 to 1.6 provides the highest level of personal service in the six-star tradition of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. For further information, contact Regent Seven Seas Cruises, 1000 Corporate Drive, Suite 500, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 33334. For brochures, call toll-free (866) 284-4079; for reservation information call toll-free (800) 285-1835; or visit:

Back to the top of the news list

Royal Caribbean's Revitalization of Majesty of the Seas Brings New Concepts and Brand Favorites Onboard

Her "Majesty" Re-enters Service After Complete Facelift 

MIAMI, Feb. 12 -- Royal Caribbean International's Majesty of the Seas returns home to South Florida after undergoing an extensive bow-to-stern renovation that includes several new dining and entertainment options. The newly transformed ship resumes year-round three- and four-night cruises from Miami offering a fresh onboard vibe for Bahamas- bound guests looking for a weekend getaway, a first cruise experience or multi-destination incentive group trip.

Coming out of an extreme 28-day makeover which required extensive around- the-clock man-hours - and accomplishing in days what can take months, Majesty's onboard enhancements include a complete overhaul of the guest suites and staterooms, casual dining areas, the main dining rooms, the Majesty Day Spa and ShipShape Fitness Center, the Adventure Ocean youth area - adding the teen-focused Fuel Nightclub and Living Room lounge, conference rooms, the pool deck, the theater and Casino Royale. In addition, the Viking Crown Lounge, Centrum shops' facades and other primary public areas have all been modernized. Finally, Majesty's guests will enjoy an exciting all-new onboard entertainment lineup.

"We consistently see an attraction towards shorter trips as the perfect weekend getaway or for corporate incentive travel, so it's natural to ensure that our ships consistently offer guests what they have come to expect from us - high standards for innovation and a quality product," said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, sales for Royal Caribbean International. "The revitalized Majesty provides convenient and enjoyable three- and four-night escapes in the most contemporary setting, albeit for business or pleasure."

Since her inaugural voyage in 1992, Majesty has sailed under the guidance of godmother, Queen Sonja of Norway, and is the third ship in the Sovereign class to be refurbished - following the facelifts of Monarch of the Seas in 2003 and Sovereign of the Seas in 2004.

Exciting New Culinary Configurations
Majesty offers a myriad of new dining options, including a new casual dining concept, the Windjammer Marketplace, which builds on the line's Windjammer Cafe concept. The Windjammer Marketplace features a bountiful selection of Asian, Latin, Mediterranean and American fare in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. New to the Royal Caribbean brand is the Compass Deli, which features a lavish sandwich bar, daily soups, made-to-order salads, paninis, crepes and energy drinks. Guests also can choose from Sorrento's Italian pizzeria or Johnny Rockets offering guests all-American favorites including hamburgers and milk shakes. Also new to Majesty is Cafe Latte-tudes, featuring Seattle's Best Coffee®, and the Freeze ice cream parlor. Rounding out the culinary offerings, the renamed Starlight and Moonlight dining rooms boast new decor from the walls, column and seating upholstery to plush new carpets and drapery.

More Room for Wellness
The expanded Majesty Day Spa and ShipShape Fitness Center has been relocated, one deck lower, to the space previously occupied by the 'On Your Toes' Nightclub and Adventure Ocean venues. The new spa features 10 new treatment rooms, a relaxation area, and the Beauty Salon - fully equipped with a barber station, two experienced hair stylists, manicure and pedicure stations and a teeth whitening room. Exclusive to Majesty of the Seas is the introduction of the virtual Elemis® SpaBar. Via interactive technology, guests have access to the 'dos and don'ts' for all skin types, as well as tips and recommended beauty products available for purchase onboard. Fitness buffs can now take wellness to the next level in the ShipShape Fitness Center, where stationary bikes and a new aerobic floor have been added to accommodate upbeat spinning and fitness classes.

Entertainment Enhancements
The ship's new entertainment scene warrants a shout-out as well. "Signed, Sealed and Delivered," Royal Caribbean's newest theater production, brings to life the soul, rhythm and blues of Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and Tina Turner, among others. And the dancing continues with the addition of the line's signature Latin bar Boleros, located at the forward end of the ship, serving up mojitos and caipirhinas in a design-savvy space. The popular Schooner piano bar has been brought up to par with upgraded decor such as new carpeting, chair upholstery and window coverings. Finally, guests can try their luck and enjoy Majesty's re-energized Casino Royale, featuring new carpets, window coverings and upholstery, as well as a completely refurbished bar.

Superior Staterooms
To enhance both the recreation and business travel stateroom experience, Majesty debuts fully rebuilt suites, with new wall linings, cabinetry, fixtures, and fittings, as well as standard staterooms complete with new mirrors, wood cappings and decorative rails. Amidst the new settings, all guests will have Wi-Fi access and additional room at the vanity desk, thanks to new flat-screen televisions mounted on the wall. Similarly, bathrooms have been outfitted with new hardware.

The fleet-wide roll out of the enhanced bedding program which debuted on Freedom of the Seas continues as planned with Majesty's new mattress frames designed to prevent sagging; nine-inch-thick spring mattresses with separate two-inch-thick micro-fiber pillow tops that unfold to lay on top of one another to create a queen-size, gap-free mattress; 220-thread-count long- staple cotton-blend sheets; two micro-fiber pillows, plus one decorative pillow; duvet with cotton-blend covers; bed skirts; and colored bed scarves at the end of the beds to protect the duvet.

Hard at Work and Hard at Play
In addition to overhauling recreational spaces, Majesty offers an expanded and new state-of-the-art conference center, ideal for groups looking to conduct business on the ship's convenient short sailings. The new multi-media system covers all audio/visual needs and attendees will be able to meet in the comfort of new, softer furnishings.

And not to be forgotten, while their parents are at work or play, younger guests will find something new of their own in the recharged, more colorful and more dynamic Adventure Ocean youth center which offers children of every age, immersive and engaging experiences in partnership with Crayola®, Fisher Price and Lowe's. Teens will now have their own exclusive areas, at the ultra- hip Fuel Nightclub and cool hangout lounge called the Living Room.

For additional information or to make reservations, go to or call (800) 327-6700. 

Back to the top of the news list

Carnival Cruise Lines Names New 130,000-Ton Superliners 'Carnival Dream' and 'Carnival Magic'

MIAMI, Feb. 9 -- "Carnival Dream" and "Carnival Magic" are the names Carnival Cruise Lines has chosen for its two 130,000-ton SuperLiners scheduled to enter service in October 2009 and June 2011, respectively. Representing a new class of vessel for the line, the 3,652-passenger "Fun Ships" will be the largest in Carnival Cruise Lines' fleet and offer a host of innovative on-board amenities and facilities.

"Carnival has earned a reputation as a cruise industry innovator by continually upgrading its product and introducing new and exciting features. Carnival Dream and Carnival Magic will epitomize 'Today's Carnival,' offering the widest variety of dining, activity and entertainment options in our fleet," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

Including Carnival Dream and Carnival Magic, Carnival Cruise Lines has four new ships on order, all of which are being built by Italy's Fincantieri shipyard. The first of these, the 110,000-ton Carnival Freedom, is slated to debut in Europe March 5, 2007; the 112,000-ton Carnival Splendor is scheduled to enter service in July 2008. These four vessels will join Carnival's current 21-ship fleet which operates voyages ranging from three to 16 days in length to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Europe and the Greek Isles.

For additional information and reservations regarding Carnival's "Fun Ship" vacations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

Back to the top of the news list

'Fun Ship' Imagination to Operate Exciting New Five-Day Itinerary Featuring Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, and Nassau

MIAMI, Feb 9, 2007 – The tropical destinations of Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk and Nassau will be featured on an exciting new three-port, five-day itinerary operated by Carnival Cruise Lines’ 2,052-passenger Imagination. The new itinerary, which begins Monday, August 13, 2007, is the latest enhancement to the ship’s popular year-round four- and five-day Caribbean cruise program from Miami. In addition to the new three-port five-day itinerary departing Mondays, the Imagination’s four-day cruises departing Thursdays call at Key West, Fla., and Calica, Mexico; while five-day cruises departing Saturdays visit George Town, Grand Cayman; and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. 

“Carnival is always seeking exciting new itinerary options for our guests and the Imagination’s new five-day schedule combines three magnificent ports with the convenience and flexibility of a short cruise which fits in perfectly with today’s lifestyles,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. 

Half Moon Cay is a stunning crescent-shaped private Bahamian island renowned for its gorgeous white-sand beaches and diverse shore excursion opportunities, including horseback riding, kayaking, and parasailing. Beachside cabanas, including a new 1,600-foot Grand Cabana, and a children’s water park are located along the island’s exquisite waterfront. 

Grand Turk, of the Turks & Caicos Islands, is the Caribbean’s newest cruise destination, and recently named “Best New Port of Call” in Porthole Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Awards. This pristine island offers magnificent beaches, interesting historical attractions and landmarks, and myriad shore excursions, with a particular emphasis on watersports. Imagination will dock at the new $42 million Grand Turk Cruise Center featuring an expansive recreation area that includes a swimming pool, an array of retail shops and an 800-foot-long beach and a Margaritaville-themed restaurant. 

The third destination on the itinerary, Nassau, offers spectacular white-sand beaches and aqua-blue waters popular with snorkelers and scuba divers, as well as a wide range of shopping, sightseeing and dining choices. A rich cultural heritage, gracious hospitality and stunning architecture highlight this historic Bahamian capital. 

The Imagination, part of Carnival’s 70,000-ton “Fantasy-class,” features 10 lounges and bars – including a 1,300-seat theatre showcasing lavish revues – as well as a 12,000-square-foot spa, jogging track, full casino gambling, and a comprehensive golf program featuring some of the Caribbean’s top courses. Catering to the growing family market, the Imagination also features “Camp Carnival” and “Club O2,” supervised programs for children and teens, respectively, as well as a nine-hole miniature golf course, and the “Water Wars” water balloon attraction. 

Dining venues include two main dining rooms with extensive menus and wine lists, a 700-seat poolside restaurant featuring a 24-hour pizzeria, a patisserie, and complimentary 24-hour stateroom service. All Imagination staterooms feature the Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high quality linens and pillows. 

Carnival will begin accepting reservations for the Imagination’s new five-day itinerary beginning Monday, Feb. 12. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

Back to the top of the news list

Unforgettable Ocean Voyages with MSC Cruises from the Caribbean & South America to Europe

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Feb 9, 2007 – What better way to start a vacation than by cruising from one side of the ocean to the Mediterranean! Combine history, the adventures of the sea and the exclusive comforts on board the stylish ships of MSC Cruises’ fleet. Crossing the Atlantic is a special journey. This spring, enjoy an unforgettable experience with one of four MSC Cruises’ ships leaving the tropical warmth of Brazil and the Caribbean to return to the Mediterranean.

If you are looking to get into shape after the winter, there is no better option than MSC Armonia’s Well-being Cruise. Take advantage of the most advanced equipment and facilities as well as spa treatments that straddle both continents. If you are looking to stimulate your tastebuds, then choose MSC Lirica’s Gastronomic Cruise. Indulge in many regional delicacies in the middle of the ocean while learning the secrets of the kitchen from the onboard chefs. For those wanting to further indulge in their hobbies, there is a Hobby Cruise from the Caribbean with MSC Opera and an Artmar Cruise from Rio de Janeiro on MSC Sinfonia.

From the Caribbean….
MSC LIRICA’s Gastronomic Cruise
Departing Fort Lauderdale April 29, the ship embarks on a 17-night cruise that calls at San Juan, Puerto Rico followed by Charlotte Amalie, on the island of St. Thomas, before crossing the Atlantic and arriving in Funchal on May 9. The ship continues to Vigo in Spain, Le Havre, Dover and Amsterdam before arriving in Hamburg on May 16.

MSC OPERA’s Hobby Cruise
Departing from Fort Lauderdale April 12 on an 16-night sailing, MSC Opera cruises to San Juan and then onto Cayo Levantado on the idyllic island of the Dominican Republic, before crossing the Atlantic Ocean and arriving in Funchal April 23. From here the cruise calls at Lisbon and Vigo, arriving in Dover on April 28.

… or from South America…
MSC SINFONIA’s Artmar Cruise
The ship departs Rio de Janeiro on March 13 on a 17-night journey that calls at Salvador, Maceio and Fortaleza. After five fascinating days crossing the Atlantic, you arrive in Tenerife, Canary Islands, on March 24 and proceed to Cadiz and Valencia, before arriving in Genoa on March 30.

MSC ARMONIA’s Wellbeing Cruise
MSC Armonia’s 18-night cruise departs Rio de Janeiro March 10 to discover other ports on the Brazilian coastline, such as Salvador and Recife, before crossing the Atlantic Ocean and arriving in Arrecife, the Canary Isles. From here the ship cruises to Casablanca, Malaga, Valletta and Dubrovnik, before arriving in Venice on March 28.

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Celebrity Cruises Connects Travelers With True Alaska

MIAMI, Feb. 8 -- Whether guests long to glide along the Alaskan coastline in a 20-foot open-air fishing boat, travel by float plane to Anan Creek for a once-in-a-lifetime bear-viewing, or explore the wines and cheeses of British Columbia's Fraser Valley, Celebrity Cruises' new Alaska shore excursions are an ideal way to complement the line's stunning cruise and cruisetour itineraries through the Land of the Midnight Sun. Highlights of Celebrity's new Alaska excursions include:

Ketchikan, Alaska

  • Neets Bay Bear Cruise -- Guests can enjoy a narrated drive to Clover Passage before traveling by high-speed boat to Neets Bay to watch black bears search for salmon in their native streams. From the boat, guests may photograph and videotape the bears, eagles and seals in the area. 

  • Anan Creek Bear Watch -- Nature lovers can travel by float plane to one of the only places in the world to watch -- and photograph -- both brown and black bears feeding on salmon. Guests also may spy bald eagles perching in the surrounding trees waiting for scraps left by the bears, seals feeding on the harvest in the lagoon, and mink, marten and wolf wending their way through the wilderness.

  • Exclusive Skiff Touring -- Guests can get closer to the beauty of Alaska aboard a private 20-foot, open-air skiff and customize the Alaskan adventure of their dreams, whether that includes fishing for salmon, halibut, or crab; scouting for wildlife; or hiking the ancient forest. A personal guide navigates and narrates, taking travelers to special, out-of-the-way places favored by the locals.

  • Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour -- Guests set sail on the same vessel seen on the Discovery Channel's(TM) popular Deadliest Catch(TM) program, modified for safety and comfort, on the calm, protected seas of southeast Alaska. Seasoned fishermen share their stories of the Bering Sea and its plentiful catches. As lines are pulled up, species brought to the surface are placed in a live tank for observation or gently released back into the wild.

  • Historical Steam Paddle Wheel Waterfront Cruise -- Guests who board an authentic steam-powered stern-wheeler are transported back in time to the days of gold fever. Steam engines from 1884 power the paddle wheel, musicians dressed in period-wear entertain, and a naturalist reviews the area's history, including Creek Street, the town's former red light district, and Whiskey Cove, where rumrunners hid their whiskey during prohibition.

  • Totem Bight State Park and Lumberjack Show -- This tour combines Southeast Alaska's rich native heritage and the rough-and-tumble pursuits of hardy pioneers. At The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show, lumberjacks put their skills to the test in an action-packed competition. Guests also visit Totem Bight State Park and walk through a hemlock forest to an old Indian campsite filled with ancient totem poles.

  • Totems, Native Heritage and City Highlights -- This tour combines the best of Ketchikan's culturally rich heritage, natural beauty and bawdy past. It includes visits to Potlatch Totem Park, where indigenous natives first settled; Deer Mountain Eagle Center, which features storytelling, totems, a bonded pair of American Bald Eagles and other birds of prey; and visits to the Creek Street haunts of bootleggers and gamblers.

Skagway, Alaska

  • White Pass Railway and City Highlights -- Guests board an 1890's-style parlor car and retrace early gold seekers' original route -- built over 100 years ago -- up to the Yukon's White Pass Summit in Fraser, British Columbia. Other highlights include the historical areas of Brackett Wagon Road, Pitch Fork Falls, Dead Horse Gulch, the Tormented Valley, downtown Skagway and the Gold Rush Cemetery. 

  • Yukon Exploration -- Guests travel into the Yukon by deluxe motorcoach along the historic Trail of 98 Degrees to the White Pass Summit and into the Yukon. This excursion features visits to Moore Bridge, Bove Island, Tormented Valley, and Carcross, and a photo-op at the "Welcome to the Yukon" sign. A stop at Caribou Crossing Trading Post includes lunch and a visit with Yukon Quest mushers and their playful pups.

  • Yukon Exploration and Suspension Bridge -- This excursion includes the same features as the Yukon Exploration excursion, but also features a stop at the Yukon Suspension Bridge, located above the rapids of the Tutshi River. Guests experience jaw-dropping views when traversing the bridge at nearly 57 feet above the rapids. 

Icy Strait Point, Alaska

  • Hoonah Sightseeing and Tribal Dance -- Hoonah is Alaska's largest Tlingit village, and this excursion offers guests the opportunity to glimpse authentic Alaska life. A local guide details the experiences of Huna Tlingits who were forced from their ancestral lands of Glacier Bay by the advancing glaciers, those who lived through the epic fire of 1944 that burned the entire village to the ground, and more. At the Native Heritage Center Theater, the Huna Tlingit perform and dance in their colorful regalia, proudly sharing their history through interpretive song, dance and storytelling. 

Vancouver, British Columbia

  • Chef and Chauffeur with Airport Drop-off -- After debarking the ship and claiming their luggage, guests embark on a culinary adventure through some of the best food and wine experiences that the Fraser Valley has to offer. This first-class culinary adventure includes secrets gleaned from trail-blazing local chefs, farmers, fishermen, winemakers and cheese artisans, all of whom produce common things uncommonly well. Farms and vineyards include Swift Aqua Culture, Farmhouse Natural Cheeses, Limbert Mountain Farm, Fort Wine Company, and either Vista D' Oro or Domaine de Chaberton. An al fresco gourmet lunch is included.

Guests sailing Celebrity's Alaska itineraries can enhance their vacation by choosing from over 158 Alaska shore excursions. Beginning in May, Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Summit, and Celebrity Mercury will sail a variety of seven-, 10- and 14-night Alaska cruises from Seattle and Vancouver. Ports of call include Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka and Ketchikan, Alaska, and Nanaimo and Victoria, British Columbia. The vessels also cruise through the Inside Passage and beside ice-blue Hubbard Glacier.

Celebrity presents exceptional pre- and post-cruise land-based adventures in the Pacific Northwest with Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Infinity. Celebrity Summit's pre- or post-cruise itineraries range in length and destination, and include highlights such as the historic gold rush town of Fairbanks, the coastal town of Seward, and Denali National Park, home of the famed Mt. McKinley. Seventeen of the cruisetour packages include segments on Celebrity's luxurious, glass-domed railcars, Wilderness Express®, the most spacious in the industry.

Guests sailing on Celebrity Infinity's Hubbard Glacier cruises can choose from four fully escorted cruisetour options in the majestic mountains of western Canada. The five-night Canadian Rockies packages visit cities including Vancouver, Calgary, Kamloops and Banff, with each including two days of rail travel and meals in Rocky Mountaineer's RedLeaf Service railcars. The three-night Whistler, B.C., cruisetours offer the best of both urban and rural Canada, with stays in both Whistler and Vancouver.

For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

Back to the top of the news list

Carnival Corp & Plc and Iberojet Sign Letter of Intent to Form Joint Venture for Large-Scale Spanish Cruise Operation

MIAMI, Feb 8, 2007 – Carnival Corp & plc, the largest cruise vacation company in the world, and Orizonia Corporación, Spain’s largest travel company which operates its own cruise fleet under its Iberojet division, today announced the signing of a letter of intent to form a joint venture to operate and expand the existing Iberojet Cruceros brand in Spain. 

Iberojet Cruceros operates two modern cruise ships, the 834-passenger Grand Voyager, built in 2000, and the 1,196-passenger Grand Mistral, constructed in 1999, which represent the newest ships in the contemporary Spanish cruise market. The new joint venture would eventually be comprised of a multi-ship fleet serving the rapidly expanding Spanish vacation sector.

Under the proposed agreement, the two existing vessels would be transferred to the joint venture company. The intention is to grow that fleet over the next several years through the acquisition of existing tonnage from Carnival Corporation & plc’s current fleet. 

“Iberojet operates a very successful cruise brand, along with a wide range of quality and affordable vacation products, which have garnered extremely strong brand awareness with Spanish consumers. With their extensive experience marketing in Spain, combined with a keen understanding of Spanish vacation trends, Iberojet provides a solid partnership for expanding in one of the fastest-growing segments of the European vacation industry,” said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc’s chairman and CEO. 

Iberojet Cruceros would utilize the current Iberojet cruise management team with its president Alfredo Serrano reporting to the joint venture’s board of directors. It is expected that Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and CEO of Carnival’s Costa Cruises unit, will serve as chairman of the board of the joint venture. Costa already has a strong presence in the Spanish sector. “With the combined strengths of the Costa and Iberojet organizations, the new joint venture should generate even greater brand recognition in our efforts to grow the interest in cruising in a market that we believe is primed and ready for expansion,” Foschi said. 

Carnival expects the transaction to be neutral to earnings on an annualized basis for the 12-month period following the transaction closing. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2007, pending approval of both companies’ boards of directors, all necessary regulatory approvals, customary due diligence and execution of definitive agreements. 

Back to the top of the news list

Carnival Leads the Cruise Industry in Trans-Fat-Free Cuisine 

MIAMI, Feb. 6 -- Carnival Cruise Lines, which led the cruise industry by initiating measures two years ago to remove trans fats from its menus, is taking that program to the next level in 2007. The world's most popular cruise line stopped using cooking oils containing trans fats in 2005 and also currently offers trans-fat-free salad dressings, Spa Carnival Fare, vegetarian entrees and dinner breads. Designated by a special menu symbol, the Spa Carnival dishes are available on all lunch and dinner menus in the ships' main dining rooms and are lower in fat, sodium, cholesterol and calories. Poultry and meats are broiled or roasted, salads are prepared with low-fat or fat-free dressings and desserts with sugar substitutes. Carnival also offers delectable vegetarian selections and a diverse array of warm, delicious breads at each meal, all free of trans fats. 

Additionally, while most items among Carnival's tantalizing cuisine choices are already trans fat free, the cruise line is conducting a detailed analysis of remaining items that can be replaced with trans-fat-free variations and is working with vendors to find suitable alternatives. Pastries, buns, certain cheeses and dessert icings (cake mixes are already trans fat free) are all among the items currently being examined.

"We quietly began moving away from ingredients containing trans fats two years ago, motivated simply by a desire to take the healthiest possible approach to food preparation and menu offerings in the interest of our guests' well-being," said Natko Nincevic, senior vice president of hotel operations, who oversees Carnival's food and beverage operations. "With the recent surge in consumer awareness on the risks associated with trans fats, we want to assure our guests that we're not only ahead of the curve on this important issue, but we're now taking it to the next level," Nincevic added.

Carnival's latest initiative to eliminate trans fats is slated to advance over the course of the next six months as the company continues to identify and replace additional items.

Back to the top of the news list

Royal Celebrity Tours Earns Green Star Award for Environmental Stewardship in Alaska 

MIAMI, Feb. 6 -- Royal Celebrity Tours, the land-based vacation arm of Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International, known for wowing travelers with once-in-a-lifetime pre- and post-cruise experiences, has also impressed Green Star, an Anchorage, Alaska-based nonprofit organization that promotes pollution prevention in the workplace. Green Star presented Royal Celebrity Tours with its esteemed Green Star Award during an Anchorage Chamber of Commerce event on February 5. "Royal Celebrity Tours deeply values the environment and we are committed to protecting and preserving natural resources," said Royal Celebrity Tours President Craig Milan. "We sought out Green Star as a way to engage our Alaska employees in a concerted effort to make small changes that would result in a big win for the environment."

To achieve Green Star Award status, Royal Celebrity Tours was required to meet a series of pre-determined "Green Star Standards." These include outreach and education; efforts to purchase recyclable, recycled-content and energy- efficient products; waste prevention; paper-, energy- and water-use reduction; and a comprehensive recycling program. In most instances, Royal Celebrity Tours exceeded the number of activities required for each Green Star Standard.

"Royal Celebrity Tours provided one of the most complete and detailed achievement reports we have seen, demonstrating the company's commitment to the Green Star process and goals," said Green Star Program Director Jeanne Carlson. "By implementing a wide range of innovative initiatives, Royal Celebrity Tours impressed us."

Royal Celebrity Tours placed particular emphasis on reducing the amount of time its motorcoaches' engines idle. Determined to reduce the amount of emissions released into the atmosphere and to cut fuel costs, Royal Celebrity Tours instructed all of its motorcoach drivers to turn engines off every time they were waiting for guests. To measure the outcome, Royal Celebrity Tours compared the data tracked by the motorcoaches' internal computers in 2001 to 2003 to that from 2004 to 2006, when the idle-reduction initiative was being implemented. A sample of 13 motorcoaches showed a result of a nearly 17% reduction in engine-idling time. Royal Celebrity Tours also extended its internal practices to its guests, asking them to join in recycling beverage containers. After being educated by Royal Celebrity tour guides, guests would place glass, plastic and aluminum containers in separate bags during their time on a motorcoach or a railcar.

"Green Star is thrilled that Royal Celebrity Tours has achieved a Green Star Award," said Green Star Executive Director Sean Skaling. "Their commitment to the environment and the specific steps they have taken to achieve the Green Star Award will serve them, their customers, and our environment well, as more and more people choose to support environmentally high-performing businesses and products."

Guests who book Royal Celebrity Tours in Alaska are immersed in the natural beauty of the vast land and its native inhabitants -- grizzlies, caribou, bald eagles, and thousands of other species. "It is our hope that our employees' continued efforts to work and live by the Green Star Standards will not only have a positive effect on the Alaskan wilderness, but also, through our outreach to guests, help to raise environmental awareness," Milan said.

Back to the top of the news list

MSC Cruises Offers Mix of Itineraries, Cruise Lengths for 
Caribbean 2007-08 Season

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Feb. 1, 2007 – MSC Cruises is presenting an expanded mix of cruise lengths and itineraries in the Caribbean for the 2007-08 winter season. The season begins when MSC Lirica departs Genoa, Italy, on Nov. 17 on a 17-night transatlantic cruise that includes port calls at Barcelona, Casablanca, Tenerife, Bridgetown, St. George, Fort de France and San Juan and nine sea days before arriving in Fort Lauderdale Dec. 4.

The 2007-08 Caribbean program of roundtrip sailings from Fort Lauderdale includes:

Two 7-night Western Caribbean cruises: one departing Dec. 14 and calling at Key West, Fla.; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. The second is a New Year’s sailing that departs Dec. 28 and calls at Key West, Georgetown, Cozumel and Nassau, Bahamas.

One 7-night Eastern Caribbean holiday cruise: departs Dec. 21 and calling at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic (MSC Cruises’ private island experience); and Nassau, Bahamas.

Five 10-night Mexico/Panama cruises: departing Jan. 19, Feb. 8, Feb. 28 and March 19 and calling at Cozumel, Mexico; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Cristobal, Panama; Cartagena, Columbia; and Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic.

Four 10-night Deep Caribbean cruises: departing Dec. 4, Jan. 9, Jan. 29, Feb. 18 and March 9, calling at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Port Castries, St. Lucia; St. John, Antigua; Roadtown, Tortola; and Cayo Levantado, Domincan Republic.

On each sailing, youngsters 17 and under stateroom with two full-fare-paying adults sail free; some restrictions apply. 

In addition to the exciting destinations, beautiful beaches and cultural experiences, each sailing will feature MSC Cruises’ distinctive style that is Beautiful. Passionate. Italian. From the white-gloved service, elegant and pristine décor, delicious cuisine (including regional Italian specialties), and highly acclaimed international entertainment, the Italian-owned cruise line presents a Caribbean experience with an Italian/European flavor. MSC Cruises’ Caribbean season will end with a 17-night transatlantic cruise to Dover. MSC Lirica will depart Fort Lauderdale on March 29, 2008 and call at San Juan, St. John, Fort de France, Funchal, Vigo, and Le Havre (with 10 sea days) before arriving in Dover. For more information about MSC Cruises, visit or a local travel professional. 

Back to the top of the news list

$100,000 in Prize Money Available in ‘Wild Winners’ Slot & Blackjack Tournaments Aboard Carnival ‘Fun Ships’

MIAMI – Carnival Cruise Lines, the world’s most popular cruise operator, and the Ocean Players Club, a casino rewards program for guests sailing aboard the World’s Leading Cruise Lines, have teamed up to host 20 slot and blackjack tournaments throughout 2007 offering more than $100,000 in cash prizes. The tournaments will be held on 19 different three- to eight-day “Fun Ship” cruises operating January - October 2007, culminating in a “Grand Final Event” aboard the new Carnival Freedom in November. 

“With such a wide range of ships, itineraries and departure points, these ‘Wild Winners’ tournaments provide guests with a variety of opportunities to compete in thrilling slot and blackjack tournaments for $100,000 in cash prizes,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. 

Each of the 19 preliminary tournaments offers $5,000 in cash prizes, with a first prize $2,500 and a complimentary cruise for two on the Carnival Freedom’s Nov. 12 departure to participate in the finals. The “Grand Final Event” held on the Carnival Freedom offers $20,000 in cash prizes for the slot tournament, $10,000 in cash prizes for the blackjack tournament.

Participants are encouraged to pre-register for the tournament via the Ocean Players Club Web site at Tournament entry fee is $50 per person for the preliminary rounds, $100 per person for the “Grand Final Event.”

Tournament dates are as follows:

Jan. 29 – Fascination – four-day Caribbean cruise from Miami (slot tournament)
Feb. 10 – Ecstasy – five-day Caribbean cruise from Galveston, Texas (slot tournament)
Feb. 25 – Carnival Pride – seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise from Long Beach, Calif. (slot/blackjack tournaments)
March 9 – Fascination – three-day Bahamas cruise from Miami (slot tournament)
March 22 – Imagination – four-day Caribbean cruise from Miami (slot tournament) 
April 9 – Carnival Legend – four-day Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (slot tournament) 
April 23 – Paradise – four-day Baja cruise from Long Beach (slot tournament) 
May 3 – Carnival Miracle – eight-day Caribbean cruise from New York (slot/blackjack tournaments)
May 27 – Elation – six-day Baja cruise from San Diego (slot/blackjack tournaments)
June 12 – Carnival Victory – four-day Canada cruise from New York (slot tournament)
June 17 – Carnival Liberty – six-day Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale (slot/blackjack tournaments)
July 9 – Elation – five-day Baja cruise from San Diego (slot tournament) 
July 28 – Carnival Glory – seven-day Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral, Fla. (slot/blackjack tournaments)
Aug. 6 – Ecstasy – five-day Caribbean cruise from Galveston (slot tournament)
Aug. 28 – Carnival Triumph – five-day Caribbean cruise from New Orleans (slot tournament) 
Sept. 7 – Fascination – three-day Bahamas cruise from Miami (slot tournament)
Sept. 23 – Carnival Liberty – six-day Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale (slot/blackjack tournaments)
Oct. 1 – Fantasy – five-day Caribbean cruise from New Orleans (slot tournament)
Oct. 13 – Inspiration – five-day Caribbean cruise from Tampa (slot tournament)
Nov. 12 – Carnival Freedom – four-day Caribbean cruise from Miami (Grand Final Event)

In addition to experiencing the wide variety of on-board dining, activity and entertainment options aboard the “Fun Ships,” “Wild Winners” slot and blackjack tournament participants who pre-register will receive a special Bon Voyage gift. A drawing will also be held each cruise awarding a complimentary cruise for two aboard the Carnival Freedom’s Nov. 12 departure. 

The Ocean Players Club offers something for every level of player, from awards for playing slots to establishing credit lines and betting limits for high rollers. Players can earn points at the slots toward instant cash rewards, complimentary beverages, free gifts, and future cruise benefits. Membership in the Ocean Players Club is free and enrollment is coordinated with the casino host on board. For more information, visit

For additional information and reservations regarding the upcoming “Wild Winners” slot and blackjack tournaments, contact any travel agent, call 1-888-OPC-CLUB or visit

Back to the top of the news list

Cruise News Archive - Past cruise news items listed by month

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

CLICK HERE TO ORDER - Fodor's The Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises
Order My
Latest Book

Priceline Hotels - Save up to 50%!


From The Intl. Council of Cruise Lines: 
Cruise Industry Crime Statistics
. Here's what they mean to you.


Click Here for Lands' End

            Use keywords to search...

Search Search the Internet