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Cruise News
February 1-28, 2009

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

Cruise Diva

Windstar Cruises Introduces Its Concierge Collection of Shore Excursions

SEATTLE, Feb. 26: Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, launches its exclusive Concierge Collection of Shore Excursions designed to appeal to guests who are looking for extraordinary experiences in Europe.

"We designed Windstar's Concierge Collection to appeal to our discerning guests who are looking for exclusive, unique excursions that celebrate the destinations we visit in a special way," said Diane Moore, president, Windstar Cruises.

Windstar offers 28 Concierge Collection excursions in Corsica, Croatia, Greece, France, Italy, Monaco, Slovenia and Spain and are limited to small groups of 6 to 25 guests. The excursions are priced from $109 to $2,299 per person and can be booked in advance at The new excursions feature air and sea adventures, private tours and food and wine experiences and include:

-- Helicopter Tour of Prunelli Gorges in Ajaccio, Corsica: Incredible opportunity to fly over one of the Mediterranean's most beautiful islands and Prunelli Gorges;
-- Gulf of Ajaccio Helicopter Flightseeing: Dramatic views from a helicopter of the Gulf of Ajaccio and Sanguinaries--the Blood Islands;
-- Panoramic Helicopter Flightseeing in Cannes, France: Soar in a helicopter above the shimmering Cote d' Azur and stunning Cannes;
-- Roman Holiday Tour in Rome, Italy: Visit famous landmarks immortalized by Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in the movie "Roman Holiday;"
-- Private Vatican Tour in Rome, Italy: View the Pope's private chapel, beautiful Vatican Museums, art masterpieces, Etruscan jewels and St. Peter's treasure;
-- Cofu, Greece by Sea Plane: Breathtaking seaplane flight around the island of Corfu and coastline followed by refreshments;
-- Underground Cave Trekking in Koper, Slovenia: Explore the region's subterranean cave system in Koper;
-- Malaga, Spain by Segway: A guided tour of Malaga by Segway;
-- Scuba Diving at the Rock of Scilla in Italy: Scuba dive at the Bay of Scilla and see two parallel spines of rocks, soft coral, barracudas and sting rays;
-- Cooking Class at Moulin de Mougins in Monte Carlo, Monaco: Learn a dish and menu from the world renowned cooking school at Moulin de Mougins;
-- Panoramic Helicopter Flight over Monte Carlo, Monaco: Take an exceptional airborne adventure over stunning Monaco, the Prince's Palace, route of the Grand Prix and surrounding coastline;
-- Camogli and San Fruttuoso by Private Speedboat in Portofino, Italy: Intimately explore history and culture of the Italian Coast by private speedboat stopping at San Fruttuoso and Camogli;
-- Portovenere, Italy at Sunset by Private Boat: View the beautiful islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto at sunset by private boat;
-- Cinque Terre by Private Boat: Cruise past Via dell'Amore, Manarola and Corniglia in a private boat before disembarking for a walking tour of Riomaggiore;
-- Historic Rhodes, Greece and Private Wine Tasting: Enjoy a scenic tour of Rhodes before visiting a local wine factory for wine tasting;
-- Cruise the Split Riviera in Croatia by Private Speedboat: A private guide will take guests on a scenic cruise to nearby islands;
-- Mt. Etna Helicopter Adventure in Taormina, Italy: Soar over Sicily and dramatic Mt. Etna in a helicopter and after landing tour Taormina and lunch at the Five-Star De Luxe Hotel Grand Timeo;
-- Spa and Wine Tasting Tour in Tarragona, Spain: Relax and enjoy a multitude of thermal-water environments including Turkish Baths and Greco-Roman Hydro-Massage Baths before touring Buil & Gine Cellars and wine tasting.

Windstar Cruises operates three sailing yachts known for their pampering without pretense and their ability to visit the hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations. Carrying just 148 to 312 guests, the luxurious ships of Windstar cruise to nearly 50 nations, calling at 100 ports throughout Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. For more information including rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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NCL Introduces Booksafe Travel Protection Plan

MIAMI, Feb 25: Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) today announced its BookSafe Travel Protection Plan, designed to provide a full cash reimbursement to guests should they need to cancel because of job loss prior to their cruise. NCL’s BookSafe Travel Protection takes the worry out of vacation planning, helping guests book a stress-free future cruise despite uncertain economic times.

“In this challenging economic environment, we are offering a safety net for guests who want to book a cruise, but are uncertain about what the future holds in terms of their employment,” said Andy Stuart, NCL’s executive vice president of global sales and passenger services. “Our BookSafe plan enables guests to book with confidence knowing that they will receive a full refund if they need to cancel their cruise because of job loss.”

In addition to the new job loss protection feature, NCL’s overall travel protection plan, administered by BerkelyCare and underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Penn., includes a variety of benefits and services so guests can plan and enjoy their vacations with peace of mind. Benefits of the program include: trip cancellation/trip interruption protection; medical protection including emergency evacuation coverage; baggage protection for lost or delayed luggage; and worldwide emergency assistance, such as emergency cash transfers, medical consultation and assistance with lost travel documents.

Effective Feb 26, 2009, guests who purchase NCL’s BookSafe Travel Protection Plan for any NCL cruise departing on or after May 1, 2009, are eligible for reimbursement of any cancellation fees if an insured guest loses their job as long as the person has been an active employee at the same company for at least one year. NCL’s enhanced travel protection plan is available starting at $29 per person, depending on the cruise fare paid. More information about how the plan works can be found at or by contacting a travel professional who specializes in NCL’s Freestyle Cruising.

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Princess Cruises Collaborates with Crafts Publisher Klutz to Offer Fun New Arts Program for Kids

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Feb 25: Princess Cruises has teamed with Klutz®, an innovative publisher of award-winning activity books for children, to provide high-quality arts and crafts projects for young passengers and their families while onboard. Klutz and Princess Cruises collaborated to develop custom-built kits designed to engage young cruisers in fun and creative activities. Unique in the cruise industry, the new activities are available fleetwide.

Children sailing aboard Princess ships will have the opportunity to participate in up to seven Klutz activities during their cruise. Kids will be able to build their own storybooks; create lanyard bracelets; make “picture tags” for charm bracelets, luggage tags, or pet I.D.s; create fuzzy masterpieces with Velvet Art; craft paper flowers, weave friendship bracelets; or make Thumb Doodle thumbprint art. The new Klutz activities are offered for young passengers of all ages, and are scheduled during the youth center’s regular activities or during the ship’s family fun fair in the atrium, where all family members can join in the creative fun.

“Our onboard passenger experience is designed to offer many inventive programs to engage passengers of all ages,” said Jan Swartz, Princess executive vice president. “And these fun craft projects from Klutz are a wonderful addition to our diverse activities available for kids and teens.”

Princess Youth and Teen Programs provide state-of-the-art youth center facilities and an array of activities to keep kids and teens entertained. Young passengers enjoy a wide range of fun events for ages 3 to 17, supervised by a dedicated staff of youth activity professionals. The program offers three distinct, age-specific programs – Princess Pelicans (ages 3-7), Shockwaves (ages 8-12) and Remix (ages 13-17). Each group features an age-appropriate schedule, often with separate facilities. The program includes a number of special features, including Science on the Seas activities from the award-winning California Science Center, Yoga for Kids, and a Jr. CHEF@Sea program.

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

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Cruise West Announces a Chilling New Destination for 2010 - Antarctica

SEATTLE, Feb. 24: Continuing to add exciting new destinations to its global offerings, exploration cruise line Cruise West is pleased to announce that it is adding an exclusive, 19-night Antarctica expedition to its product line-up for 2010. On board the 114-guest, all-suite Corinthian II, a very select group of guests will have the opportunity to explore the very best that the most remote continent on earth has to offer. Ports of call and sites include the Falkland, South Georgia and Orkney Islands as well as the Antarctic Peninsula and the myriad of islands that dot its shore.

"Cruise West is making a conscientious effort to keep itinerary offerings fresh and intriguing," said President and CEO Dietmar R. Wertanzl. "We are seeking out destinations that complement our core products, create excitement for repeat guests and appeal to new guests - so introducing Antarctica was a natural progression. The Corinthian II is a sister ship to our Spirit of Oceanus, so we know our repeat guests will feel right at home."

Diversity - in cultures, landscape and temperatures - will be one of the hallmarks of this maiden voyage as guests begin their adventure in luxury at the Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt Hotel in Buenos Aires before departing for the quaint, southernmost city in South America, Ushuaia. After boarding the Corinthian II, guests will gain fascinating insight on the flora, fauna, history and geology via presentations by an expert staff of eight naturalists. In the tradition of Cruise West's up-close, casual and personal style, guests will have extraordinary opportunities to view Rockhopper penguins in the remote British outpost of the Falkland Islands; thousands of King penguins and nesting grounds of wandering albatross in South Georgia, while simultaneously admiring the water-loving, larger species of whales, fur seals, elephant seals and the icebergs and glaciers that surround them.

Antarctica, owned by no country but managed under a 46-country scientific treaty, is the fifth largest continent on the planet while remaining the least populated. Its exotic remoteness combined with legendary stories of exploration and adventure spur on the fantasies of armchair travelers and documentary watchers all over the globe; for 114 Cruise West guests, the fantasy has now become an attainable reality.

Cruise West's 19-night maiden voyage to Antarctica will depart February 7, 2010. You can save $1,000/person, based on double occupancy, by booking and paying in full by May 1, 2009. To learn more about this itinerary or other Cruise West voyages, consumers are encouraged to attend one of the company's online live presentations - Visit to view the schedule. More information about advance reservations for this itinerary - as well as Cruise West's other itineraries to destinations as diverse as Alaska, Panama and Costa Rica, Mexico's Sea of Cortes, Japan, Vietnam, the Galapagos, the Pacific Northwest or the romantic rivers of Europe - can be found online at, by calling 1-800-296-8307 or contact a Travel Professional.

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Celebrity Cruises & Bon Appétit Pair Up to Present Palate-Pleasing Mediterranean Experience

MIAMI, Feb 24: The cruise line known for recognizing, indulging and celebrating its guests is teaming up with the magazine known for celebrating the world of great food and sharing it with others. This year, Celebrity Cruises and Bon Appétit will present “Celebrity’s Mediterranean Experience with Bon Appétit,” an at-sea experience focusing on the joys of cooking and dining. This tantalizing cruise experience will take place on the 2,038-guest Celebrity Summit, departing San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 18, 2009, sailing to Barcelona, Spain. The ship will call at several ports exemplifying Mediterranean flavors, including Tenerife, Canary Islands; Agadir, Morocco; Malaga, Spain; and Valencia, Spain. The featured guest chef on the sailing will be Joey Campanaro, chef/owner of New York restaurants “The Little Owl” and “Market Table.” Known for his creative style, which combines the freshest seasonal ingredients with the bold, rich flavors of the Mediterranean, Campanaro will bring his lifelong affinity for Mediterranean cuisine to Celebrity’s guests.

During the sailing, Campanaro will lead several culinary demonstrations. He also will present an enrichment lecture, during which he will share various aspects of his culinary background. Campanaro also will add his flair to the ship’s main dining room’s menu, offering a specially-themed four-course set of selections showcasing the flavors of the Mediterranean. Selections from this custom menu will be available during some dinners in the main dining room, in addition to the regular menu items.

Activities onboard will reflect the focus on the region’s epicurean and cultural highlights. The ship’s casual restaurant will offer numerous Mediterranean-themed buffets throughout the voyage. Guests will have the opportunity to participate in Mediterranean-themed food/wine trivia competitions, a Mediterranean cooking class hosted by the cruise director and the ship’s executive chef, Spanish-language classes, regional dance classes, and a recipe contest. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Norwegian Cruise Line Debuts Customized Guest Cruise Guide

MIAMI, Feb 23: Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has launched a new, innovative and personalized approach to pre-cruise information with the debut of its “Welcome Aboard” booklet, a customized cruise guide featuring everything a guest needs to know in preparation for cruising with NCL. The 21-page booklet is one of the more than 75 new programs and services launched as part of Partnership 2.0, NCL’s company-wide commitment to its travel partners.

The personalized “Welcome Aboard” booklet front cover features the guest name, ship and sailing date, stateroom number and the name of the travel agency. Inside is shore excursion information pertaining to the specific itinerary; personalized luggage tags with the guest name and stateroom number pre-printed; and deck plans for the specific ship, including the location of the guest’s stateroom. In addition, the booklet offers cruising advice; important information on what a guest needs to know before they cruise; what to pack; the amenities on board, and bon voyage gifts and packages.

Travel partners can opt to have NCL mail the booklet within 60 days of sailing to their client; thereby reducing the agency’s mailing costs; or if the travel partner prefers, the cruise line can mail the booklet to them to give to their clients.

“NCL’s new ‘Welcome Aboard’ booklet is another facet of Partnership 2.0 that provides our travel partners with the information their clients need in order to set sail on a vacation of a lifetime,” said Vivian Ewart, NCL’s vice president of passenger services. “It was imperative that the travel partner’s name was positioned on the front cover of the booklet in order to highlight the importance of our relationship with them.”

Since Partnership 2.0’s inception in late 2007, NCL has instituted the programs and services for travel partners including earlier processing of group commissions, a seven-day a week resolution desk, simplified and consistent pricing quotes, improved credit card policies, electronic payment processing, enhanced confirmations; the availability of a premium air desk and a flight assistance hotline, NCL University, the first-of-its-kind online travel partner networking and education community, as well as Groups 2.0, an enhanced group booking program. For further information on NCL, visit or contact NCL in the U.S. and Canada at (866) 234-0292.

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MSC Orchestra to Host Finals of ‘Miss Italia USA 2009’

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Feb 23: MSC Cruises’ beautiful MSC Orchestra will welcome a bevy of beautiful women as it hosts the “Miss Italia USA 2009” finals of the Miss Italia del Mondo contest on its March 21 sailing. Pageant finalists sailing on the cruise were selected during competitions held in Washington, Missouri, Pennsylvania, New York, Long Island, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois and California. The winner, who will be crowned onboard MSC Orchestra, will travel to Italy in June to compete against the 49 other winners from around the world for the title of Miss Italia nel Mondo 2009.

The ship’s March 21 roundtrip sailing from Fort Lauderdale will visit the Western Caribbean ports of Key West, Florida; Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic. For more information, visit or a local travel professional.

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Silversea Offers the World at 50% Off

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Feb 23: Discerning luxury travelers with their sights set on the ultimate travel deal (not to mention the world's hottest destinations and most exotic locales) will find incomparable value and exceptional savings opportunities now offered on over 75 Silversea voyages in 2009. For a limited time, savvy travelers can take advantage of unprecedented booking incentives on diverse itineraries exploring virtually every nook and corner of the globe … from the Arctic to the Antarctic … from Australia to Zanzibar.

The ultra-luxury cruise company has expanded its popular Silver Sailing program to itineraries that encompass all seven continents--and also boosted the savings available on many of these voyages to 50%, with 39 worldwide voyages offering 50% savings in all suite categories. Plus, an array of Silver Sailing voyages offer additional perks such as free or reduced air programs and $1,000 Onboard Spending Credits.

For example, the $1,000 Onboard Spending Credit is available on Silver Shadow's July 20, 12-day Alaska cruise (#3917) sailing roundtrip from San Francisco to explore Sawyer Glacier and port cities of Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Wrangell and Victoria (British Columbia). Silver Sailing cruise fares start at $4,747 per person--a savings of 50% in all categories--plus free roundtrip economy air transportation is also available from over 70 U.S. and Canadian gateway cities.

"Luxury consumers always want to get the most for their dollar," said David Morris, Silversea's executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. "With Silversea, virtually every shipboard amenity is included in the fare -- from cocktails, fine wines and bottled water to room service and all gratuities -- so guests already enjoy exceptional value. But when you combine half-off savings with free or discounted air, plus an Onboard Spending Credit that can be used for spa treatments, shore excursions and even dinner in our Relais & Châteaux Wine Restaurant -- then the value proposition is one the luxury traveler cannot afford to pass up."

Following below is a small sampling of the 2009 voyages featuring Silver Sailing savings of 50% available in all suite categories. The fares listed are per person based on double occupancy for a Vista Suite (Adventurer Class on Prince Albert II) and do not include port charges and handling fees that range from $100 to $500 per person, depending on itinerary.

Africa & Seychelles
-- Silver Wind departs December 4 on a 9-day voyage (#2937) from Mombasa to Mahe with calls in Lamu, Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar, Madagascar and Assumption Island.
-- Silver Wind departs December 13 on a 7-day "Seychelles Islands" voyage (#2938) sailing roundtrip from Mahe with calls in La Digue, Curieuse Island, Silhouette Island and Praslin.

-- Prince Albert II departs Longyearbyen June 24 on a 10-day expedition cruise (#7916) exploring the Svalbard archipelago before concluding in Tromso.

-- Silver Shadow departs November 13 on a 9-day voyage (#3929) from Barbados to Fort Lauderdale with calls in Bequia, Martinique, Dominica, St. Bart's, St. Kitts and Tortola.

Far East & South Pacific
-- Silver Whisper departs December 3 on a 16-day voyage (#4937) from Singapore to Sydney with calls in Semarang, Darwin, Cairns, Townsville, Whitsunday Islands and Brisbane.

-- Silver Wind departs May 14 on a 7-day voyage (#2915) from Barcelona to Nice with calls in Valencia, Corsica, Livorno and Antibes. $1,000 Onboard Spending Credit available with free or reduced air from select cities.
-- Silver Whisper departs September 12 on a 7-day voyage (#4928) from Istanbul to Athens with calls in Marmaris, Symi, Volos and Nafplion. Free or reduced air available from select cities.

Northern Europe & Baltic
-- Silver Cloud departs June 10 on a 10-day voyage (#1912) from London to Stockholm with calls in Rostock, Tallinn and Helsinki, plus a three-day, two night stopover in St. Petersburg. $1,000 Onboard Spending Credit available with free or reduced air from select cities.

South America & Antarctica
-- Silver Cloud departs November 26 on an 8-day voyage (#1929) from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires with calls in Parati, Sao Paulo, Itaji and Montevideo.
-- Prince Albert II departs Ushuaia November 29 on an 11-day expedition cruise (#7928) exploring the Antarctic peninsula before returning to Ushuaia.

The $500 per person (maximum $1,000 per suite) Onboard Spending Credit is being offered for a limited time on new bookings made on or before April 30, 2009. It is available on select voyages to Alaska (Voyages 3912 - 3923), Northern Europe (Voyages 1911 - 1923) and the Mediterranean (Voyages 2911 - 2920, 4912 and 4916). To take advantage of the Onboard Spending Credit offer, the guest or travel agent must request promotional code WWSBC500 at the time of booking. A complete list of 2009 Silver Sailings is available at

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Holland America Expands 2009 Panama Canal Program With More Full Transits

Seattle, Feb 20: Holland America Line offers an unprecedented number of Panama Canal sailings in 2009, offering 45 total cruises on nine different ships departing from five separate ports. Guests can experience daylight transits of the historic and fascinating Panama Canal and itineraries that feature diverse and intriguing ports of call on voyages. Ranging in length from 10 to 28 days, Holland America Line’s Panama Canal itineraries feature more port-of-call options than any other major cruise line, with many port visits exclusive to Holland America Line.

“We’ve increased our Panama Canal capacity significantly this year to make 2009 a very exciting season, especially with full transit cruises through the winter season,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “While the roundtrip Florida canal experiences have been very popular, our guests have been asking for more Panama Canal cruises between the east and west coasts throughout the winter season. So now, there are canal cruises to suit everyone’s tastes for season, length and ports of call.”

New Winter/Spring Full Transit Canal Cruises Feature ms Statendam
Among the offerings in 2009 are ten 14-day Panama Canal cruises on ms Statendam between Fort Lauderdale and San Diego that feature different ports of call in each direction, with only one port in common. The sailings, from February into April and again in October and November, can be combined as back-to-back cruises for a 28-day round-trip Collectors’ voyage. Sample ports of call include an overnight stay in Fuerte Amador (Panama City), Panama; Puerto Chiapas (gateway to the Pacific side of the Mayan world), Mexico; Cartagena, Colombia; Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; and Aruba.

Spring & Fall Departures Add Full-Transit Panama Canal Options
In addition to Statendam full canal sailings, the premium line will include another eight departures through May and September through November – from five convenient homeports: Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle and Vancouver.

Among the port highlights on full Panama Canal transits are Santa Cruz Hualtulo, Mexico; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala (a UNESCO World Heritage tour site); and a maiden call to Dos Bocas, Mexico.

Cruises range from 13 to 23 days and sail aboard ms Oosterdam, ms Zuiderdam, ms Westerdam, ms Veendam and ms Ryndam.

Roundtrip Florida Southern Caribbean & Panama Canal
Holland America Line also will offer a series of 10-day round-trip Fort Lauderdale Sunfarer cruises aboard the ms Zuiderdam. These cruises sail through the Gatun Locks and offer scenic cruising in Gatun Lake. They also feature less common Caribbean ports of call and the only itineraries with a private island: Holland America Line’s exclusive Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

A new 14-day Sunfarer itinerary will depart Nov. 6 and Dec. 4 aboard the ms Maasdam roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. In addition to cruising to Gatun Lake, ports will include Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; St. Croix; Dominica; St. Lucia; Aruba; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; and Key West, United States.

Panama Canal Plus Exotic Ports of Call
For a more in-depth Panama Canal cruise experience, Amsterdam will depart roundtrip from Los Angeles on a 21-day Pan-American voyage departing December 2 that explores Mexico and Central America and spends two days in the Panama Canal. Sample ports: Cabo San Lucas and Acapulco, Mexico; Gatun Lake, Panama; Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica; and Corinto, Nicaragua.

Festive Holiday Canal Cruises
For the holidays, travelers may sail aboard a new full-transit 16-day holiday cruise on the ms Statendam from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego departing on Dec. 21. Other holiday sailings feature a 19-day Fort Lauderdale to San Diego cruise departing Dec. 16 aboard the Rotterdam and a 14-day Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale voyage on Dec. 23 aboard the Amsterdam. And a 10-day holiday cruise sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale aboard ms Zuiderdam on Dec. 23, 2009.

Starting fares for Panama Canal cruises range from $999 to $2,599 per person, double occupancy. Taxes and fuel supplement charges are additional. For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-800-522-3399 or visit

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Save Up to 60% on MSC Cruises' Eastbound Transatlantic Sailings

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Feb 20: MSC Cruises is offering special savings of up to 60 percent off retail prices on eastbound transatlantic sailings of MSC Lirica and MSC Orchestra this spring.

MSC Orchestra departs Fort Lauderdale on May 2 on an 18-night sailing to Copenhagen. Its first stop, after two days at sea, will be the cruise line's first call in New York City, overnighting from May 5 to 6. The ship will then resume its itinerary, calling at Ponta Delgada, Portugal; Lisbon, Portugal; Vigo, Spain; La Coruna, Spain; and Dover, England, with seven more days in the Atlantic and a day cruising the North Sea before arriving in Denmark. Cruise-only per person, per night rates begin at $56 for an interior stateroom, $73 for an oceanview, $84 for a balcony and $144 for a balcony suite. Rates are based on double occupancy; government fees and taxes are additional.

MSC Lirica departs Fort Lauderdale on April 23 on a 16-night voyage to Dover. The ship will call at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Fort de France, Martinique; Funchal, Portugal; Lisbon, Portugal; Vigo, Spain; and Le Havre, France. Guests will be able to enjoy MSC Cruises' European-style experience, during nine days at sea. Cruise-only per person, per night rates for MSC Lirica's transatlantic crossing begin at $44 for an inside stateroom, $60 for an oceanview, and $125 for a balcony suite. Rates are based on double occupancy; government fees and taxes are additional.

During each sailing, guests can enjoy MSC Cruises' elegant European ambiance, acclaimed international entertainment, nightly regional Italian specialties on the menus, superb spa facilities and much more. As always, children 17 and younger sail free when traveling in same stateroom with two full-fare-paying guests.

These special rates expire on March 15. For more information about MSC Cruises and its special eastbound transatlantic rates, visit or a local travel professional.

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Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas Arrives in Los Angeles

MIAMI, Feb 19: The largest ship ever to offer cruise vacations from the West Coast arrived into Los Angeles today. At 1,020 feet long and 142,000 gross registered tons, Royal Caribbean International’s Mariner of the Seas will sail year-round from the Port of Los Angeles offering a seven-night Mexican Riviera itinerary with ports of call at Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan, Mexico. Mariner of the Seas is one of the cruise line’s Voyager class of ships, which revolutionized the cruise industry by introducing innovative amenities such the iconic rock-wall, an ice-skating rink, a full size basketball and sports court, an inline skating track and Royal Caribbean’s signature Royal Promenade, a boulevard of shops, restaurants, bars and lounges that runs nearly the length of the ship.

“We are excited to be introducing one of the industry’s most innovative ships to the West Coast giving more vacationers the opportunity to conveniently experience the Royal Caribbean difference,” said Adam Goldstein, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “From the very beginning, we have been guided by the principles of ‘Why Not’ - why not ice-skate across the equator or why not rock climb 200 miles out at sea? With Mariner's arrival in Los Angeles, we invite West Coast travelers to the Nation of Why Not and ask them ‘why not go out and see, do and be more than they had ever thought possible on a vacation’.”

Mariner of the Seas offers guests the chance to relax in the adults-only Solarium, swim in the two swimming pools or six whirlpools, or sunbathe in the main pool area, which served as the canvas for pop art sensation Romero Britto. Britto transformed the 25,000 square-foot pool deck into an outdoor art exhibit replete with whimsical figures and playful patterns. This one-of-a-kind pool deck also features a side gallery chronicling this project from initial inspiration to final construction. Offering an experience that caters to active travelers or multigenerational family vacations, Mariner of the Seas also features a nine-hole miniature golf course, interactive golf simulator, the full-service Mariner Day Spa and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

In the evening, guests can enjoy one of the 16 bars and themed lounges and seven restaurants, including a 1950s-style Johnny Rockets Diner and Royal Caribbean’s signature specialty restaurants; Chops Grille steakhouse and Portofino Italian restaurant. Guests also can enjoy a myriad of entertainment options from top-rated Broadway-style productions in the Savoy Theatre to world class gaming in the Casino Royale. Throughout, all guests will experience the line’s hallmark Gold Anchor Service, which helps make each guest vacation a unique and unforgettable experience with friendly and engaging service from the staff and crew.

 For younger guests, Royal Caribbean’s award-winning Adventure Ocean youth program offers scheduled activities throughout the day that enriches and entertains kids. Teens have their own dedicated onboard areas such as Fuel, the teen disco; The Living Room, a place where they can relax and hang out with their friends; and The Back Deck, an outdoor lounge.

Mariner of the Seas will sail a 7-night Mexican Riviera itinerary, round-trip from Los Angeles with ports of call at Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Seabourn Adds ‘Personal Valet’ Luggage Service to Online Menu

MIAMI, Feb 19: The Yachts of Seabourn has added its highly popular Personal Valet luggage shipping service to the menu of options that can be arranged by booked guests in advance on the company’s website at The Personal Valet service, which is operated in collaboration with DHL Worldwide, allows guests to ship personal luggage between their homes and their suites aboard the Seabourn yachts in various ports around the world. It has been operating for three years and has won a loyal following of Seabourn cruise aficionados who use the service regularly and swear by it. Now booked guests can order the service, along with optional shore excursions, spa appointments, pre- and post-cruise hotel extensions and full-escorted Seabourn Journeys land programs, conveniently on the website at any time, day or night.

“Seabourn’s Personal Valet service was created for the convenience of our guests,” noted Pamela Conover, Seabourn’s president and CEO. “They tell us they love not having to worry about extra bags as they fly to and from their cruises,” she continued, “Now we’ve added an extra layer of convenience by making it available on line.”

To order the luggage service, guests simply log on to the “Already Booked” section of the Seabourn website and select Personal Valet from the menu of options. Once they fill in the pick-up and delivery cities, and the weight-range of the luggage, a handy estimator will produce an estimate of the cost. If they choose, they can submit an order to receive a kit containing everything they need to complete the process, including luggage tags and a waybill. Then they can call DHL to arrange a pickup at their convenience. The bags are shipped to Seabourn’s local agent in the city where guests will embark, and the luggage is delivered to the ship’s personnel on the day the guests will arrive. In most cases, the bags are already in their suites when the guests come on board. Homeward shipments are arranged on board.

Seabourn operates three 208-guest, all-suite cruising vessels: Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend, on worldwide itineraries. In June, 2009 a 450-guest yacht, Seabourn Odyssey, will join the fleet. Two additional 450-guest yachts, Seabourn Sojourn, and a third yet to be named, will be added in June, 2010 and June, 2011 respectively. For more information or to make a reservation, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Royal Caribbean Announces Enhanced Program For Suite Guests

MIAMI, Feb 18: Royal Caribbean International has announced a comprehensive enhancement to the cruise line’s program for guests booked in suite category staterooms. The new suite program is designed to focus on distinctive and personalized servicing and touch every aspect of the guests’ experience from arrival through departure. Suite guests will enjoy a myriad of special privileges and upgraded amenities for their cruise, along with Royal Caribbean’s world-renowned friendly, engaging and attentive Gold Anchor Service from every member of its staff and crew. The new suite program will be implemented fleetwide in March 2009.

“The new suite program allows Royal Caribbean to provide our guests with a premium vacation that is personalized and seamless,” said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “With more than 2,000 suites across the fleet, Royal Caribbean is one of the largest suite operators in the hospitality industry. Our extensive range of suites combined with the new suite amenities and offerings and Royal Caribbean’s Gold Anchor Service creates a compelling cruise experience for our guests that desire a more exclusive vacation.”

On arrival at the pier, guests booked in the Presidential Family Suite, Royal Suite, Royal Family Suite, Owner’s Suite, and Grand Suite have access to dedicated security (where available) and check-in lines to help ease them swiftly through the embarkation process and directly to their suite accommodations. Additionally, guests booked in the Royal Suite and Presidential Family Suite are personally welcomed by a senior officer at the cruise terminal and escorted to their suite.

Upon check-in, all guests booked in Grand Suites or higher category accommodations receive distinctive gold SeaPass cards, which enable ship crew and staff to provide them with the personalized service and offerings available to suite guests throughout their cruise. On arrival in their suites, guests are welcomed with complimentary water and a fruit plate. Complimentary slippers, luxury spa bathrobes, and Royal Caribbean’s exclusive range of Vitality bathroom amenities – specially created for the cruise line – set the tone for a relaxing and rejuvenating cruise vacation. In the evenings, guests can satisfy their sweet tooth with Ghirardelli chocolates at turndown, and ensure a perfect night’s rest with Royal Caribbean’s plush duvet and bedding, including a special menu to select their pillow of individual preference.

On the first formal evening of the cruise, these guests are treated to a pre-dinner cheese presentation, and on the second formal or final evening of the cruise, a ‘petits fours’ plate during turndown service. Guests also enjoy complimentary 24-hour room service and coffee and tea service throughout their cruise, and the exclusive privilege of ordering from the main dining room’s full breakfast, lunch or dinner menus to dine in the privacy of their suite. For guests wanting to stay in, a popular board game from toy brand, Mattel’s game menu could be ordered for delivery to the suite for hours of fun game time. A dedicated suite attendant will deliver Royal Caribbean’s Gold Anchor Service throughout the cruise and help to fulfill any special requests, such as pressing service – complimentary on formal evenings.

Guests booked in the Grand Suite and higher category staterooms have special privileges and access on their Royal Caribbean cruise, including an invitation to an exclusive private cocktail reception hosted by the Captain of the ship. Reserved VIP seating in the main theater for entertainment shows, and priority bookings for appointments in the salon and spa, and for tendering and shore excursion tickets, are some of the benefits provided to suite guests. On Voyager- and Freedom-class ships, suite guests have reserved VIP seating poolside as well as at the spectacular ice shows in the Studio B venue. Guests dining in the Windjammer during breakfast and lunch also enjoy reserved private seating in the adjacent specialty restaurants. Aboard Radiance-, Voyager- and Freedom-class ships, these suite guests will receive a personal key to the Concierge Club. Hosted by the ship’s concierge, the Concierge Club offers suite guests a relaxed atmosphere, business services such as faxes and photocopies, an extensive library of DVDs and CDs, and complimentary continental breakfast and pre-dinner cocktail receptions daily. The concierge is on-hand to see to the needs of the suite guests and assist with any special requests, such as securing reservations in specialty restaurants; pre-ordering wine for dinner; booking Explorations! shore excursions; scheduling spa and salon appointments; and arranging a private event.

At the conclusion of their cruise, these suite guests enjoy priority departure from the ship and complimentary valet luggage service, where their bags are automatically transferred to the airport, freeing them to enjoy an excursion or other pursuits at the port city.

Not to be forgotten, guests occupying Junior Suite category staterooms and distinguished by their silver SeaPass cards enjoy many onboard benefits to make their cruise memorable. Junior suites offer complimentary Vitality bathroom amenities, coffee and tea service ensuite, terrycloth bathrobes for use onboard, and Royal Caribbean’s plush duvet and bedding. Throughout, a dedicated suite attendant will cater to guests’ special requests and deliver Royal Caribbean’s renowned Gold Anchor Service.

As part of the new suites program, Royal Caribbean also is upgrading furnishings in all suite category staterooms. The installation of new plush sofa-beds, casually elegant deckchairs and tables, and state-of-the-art entertainment systems with flat-panel televisions and CD/DVD will be completed by 2010.

All Royal Caribbean suites include a balcony for a total living area up to 2,025 square feet. The Royal Suite features a digital baby grand player piano, a bar, and panoramic sea views through a glass panel wall that spans the length of the suite. On Asia, Alaska, South America and Europe itineraries, suite guests can enjoy a closer look at the unfolding shoreline with complimentary binoculars to use onboard. Introduced aboard the cruise line’s celebrated Freedom-class ships, the Presidential Family Suite is a four bedroom, four bathroom suite accommodating up to 14 guests. Other suite category staterooms include the Royal Family Suite, Owner’s Suite, Grand Suite, and Junior Suite.

For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Costa Cruises Introduces “Buon Appetito Culinary Contest

MIAMI, Feb 18: From a delicious pasta dish with flavors reminiscent of a visit to a Roman trattoria, to fresh seafood that brings to mind a leisurely lunch in Portofino, dining onboard a Costa cruise transports the taste of Italy to sea wherever guests travel. To celebrate Costa’s grand tradition of Italian cuisine, along with the high praise bestowed on it from numerous past guests, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line is unrolling a new “Buon Appetito” culinary contest for past guests to submit their favorite Costa dining experience.

Between Feb 17 and April 17, 2009, guests who have sailed with Costa may enter the “Buon Appetito” culinary contest by visiting and submitting an entry detailing their favorite Costa dining experience or dish in 300 words or less. One winner will be selected by a Costa panel based on creativity and style. The winning entry will win a cruise aboard the new Costa Pacifica, complete with a complimentary dinner for two in the ship’s specialty restaurant, the Club Blue Moon. The restaurant features menus prepared by award-winning Italian chef Ettore Bocchia, heralded for his Michelin-starred cuisine at the Grand Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio, Italy.

“With so many of our guests telling us how much they enjoy the Italian cuisine aboard our ships, we decided to celebrate their enthusiasm with this special “Buon Appetito” culinary contest,” said Maurice Zarmati, president and ceo of Costa Cruise Lines—North America. “While we offer other types of dishes onboard as well, it’s the special brand of magic in our Italian dishes that really moves guests to rave about our cuisine.”

With more than 50 different recipes created each day using 3,500 ingredients, it’s no wonder guests love “dining Italian style” aboard Costa’s fleet of 12 ships – soon to be 14 when the Costa Luminosa and Costa Pacifica come into service in May and June respectively. From homemade pastas and sauces to freshly made pizzas and other specialty dishes, Costa brings its Italian heritage for “mangia bene” to its guests around the world.

Entries for the “Buon Appetito” culinary contest must be submitted via by April 17, 2009. A winner will be selected on or around May 17, 2009 and be notified via mail. The prize is cruise only and the winner is responsible for air, non-commissionable fees and government taxes. Certain restrictions apply. For complete information regarding reservations or more information, guests may contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit

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Celebrity Cruises' Eagerly Anticipated Celebrity Equinox to Soft-Launch in Norwegian Fjords

MIAMI, Feb. 18: Amidst ongoing rave reviews of its new Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Cruises today announced that the pace of construction of sister ship Celebrity Equinox is proceeding so well, the cruise line will offer a soft launch prior to the ship's maiden voyage of August 8. The eagerly anticipated Celebrity Equinox will now present a cruise departing July 31 through the majestic Norwegian Fjords, roundtrip from Southampton, England.

Celebrity paired the news with a special offer to guests booked on Celebrity Equinox's inaugural sailing of August 8, inviting them to combine their 10-night "Best of Europe" cruise with the 8-night soft launch, for a spectacular 18-night voyage on the new ship. Guests capitalizing on the opportunity will receive an onboard credit of $200 per stateroom or $300 per suite.

The 8-night cruise through the Norwegian Fjords features visits to Stavanger, Flam, Geiranger, and Oslo, Norway. The 10-night maiden voyage, which will include an inaugural gift and commemorative activities, will visit Paris/Normandy (via Le Havre) and Cherbourg, France; Vigo, Cartagena and Barcelona, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal, and Gibraltar, UK, ending in Rome (via Civitavecchia), Italy.

Guests on every sailing of Celebrity Equinox will experience the series of brand-defining, industry-first attributes that guests, travel agents and press have praised about Celebrity Solstice, including a half-acre Lawn Club with real grass, a glassblowing show and studio developed with The Corning Museum of Glass, unrivaled dining venues offering trendsetting cuisine and design, and widely varied entertainment, including spectacular new shows in partnership with Poet Theatricals. The 2,850-guest vessel also will have spacious staterooms and bathrooms, and several categories of accommodations, including Celebrity's new, spa-inspired AquaClass staterooms.

Bookings are now open for the new 8-night cruise on Celebrity Equinox. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Holland America Line's Culinary Arts Center Program to Host More Than 60 Experts in 2009

SEATTLE, Feb 17: Imagine sailing with a well-known executive chef from a famous restaurant or an inspiring culinary television personality. Holland America Line's Culinary Arts Center program makes these dreams a reality by inviting chefs from kitchens and restaurants all around the country and making them part of the guest enrichment program. While on board, the guest chefs and experts offer culinary demonstrations, tastings and hands-on cooking classes to guests, in addition to participating in question and answer sessions. In partnership with "Food and Wine" magazine, Holland America Line has scheduled approximately 60 celebrated chefs and wine experts to sail in 2009. On cruises that do not have a guest chef on board, classes and demonstrations in the show kitchen are scheduled with Holland America's own expert chefs.

"The Culinary Arts Center is a guest favorite, and the variety of talent we get on board is always impressive," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "Our guests look forward to seeing how we're going to 'wow' them with our enhanced enrichment program, and this culinary program is one of the many highlights of our premium cruise experience."

The line partners with "Food & Wine" magazine to provide guests on select cruises the opportunity to experience demonstrations and seminars conducted by a wide range of culinary experts. This season Holland America Line will welcome well-known personalities such as Captain Keith Colburn from Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" sailing on ms Westerdam June 7-14 in Alaska; George Duran of "Ham on the Street" on the Food Network sailing aboard ms Amsterdam Aug 29-Sept 5 in Alaska; "Top Chef" contestant Richard Blaise sailing on ms Maasdam Oct 23-Nov 6 in the Caribbean; and Christina Pirello of "Christina Cooks" on PBS sailing aboard ms Zuiderdam Aug 8-15 in Alaska. In addition to world-famous chefs, the Culinary Arts Program includes cookbook authors as well as chocolatiers and tablescape experts.

A selection of participating chefs and experts in the continuing 2009 season include:

-- Oliver Reschreiter, executive chef at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort in Palm Desert, CA, sailing on ms Ryndam June 19-26, Alaska.
-- Lee Hilson, executive chef at the Royal Palms Resort in Phoenix, AZ, sailing on ms Oosterdam June 24-July 6, Mediterranean.
-- Randy Lewis, executive chef of La Provence in Lacombe, LA, sailing on ms Noordam June 28-July 8, Mediterranean.
-- Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, authors of the "Ultimate" cookbook series sailing on ms Prinsendam July 3-17, British Isles.
-- Stewart Woodman, executive chef at Heidi's in Minneapolis, MN, sailing on ms Maasdam July 18-25, Canada/New England.
-- Scott Tycer, executive chef at Gravitas in Houston, TX, sailing on ms Rotterdam Aug 11-23, Baltic.
-- Olga Krasnoff, designer of tabletop landscapes, sailing on ms Eurodam Aug 27-Sept 6, Canada/New England.
-- David McMillan, corporate executive chef of Consilient Restaurants sailing on ms Prinsendam Sept 6-20, Western Europe.
-- Ryan Hardy, executive chef of Little Nell in Aspen, CO, sailing on ms Rotterdam Oct 3-17, Mediterranean.
-- Jacques Torres, master pastry chef and chocolatier, sailing on ms Oosterdam Oct 17-Nov 2, Transatlantic.
-- Maria Hines, executive chef of Tilth in Seattle, Wash., sailing on ms Zuiderdam Oct 24-Nov 3, Panama Canal.

The program began in 2005 when the line installed state-of-the-art Culinary Arts Centers aboard each of its premium ships. A first-class "show kitchen at sea," the Culinary Arts Centers resemble the elaborate show kitchens used by celebrity chefs on television cooking programs. Each facility features a theater-style venue, with two large plasma video screens and a large cooking display counter where guests can learn from the masters.

Holland America Line also offers a youth Culinary Arts Center activity program to teach kids and teens how to cook. The program incorporates dishes from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in complimentary 45-minute-long classes. Kids under eight years old learn to make theme cookies, fruit roll-ups, ice cream sandwiches, salad people art and scones. Kids eight and over make soft pretzels, granola bars, pita chips and hummus, and saltwater taffy. Teens also can attend adult culinary demonstrations.

In addition to partnering with "Food & Wine" to secure top experts, Holland America Line showcases its own culinary stars on more than 500 annual cruises with demonstrations, tastings and hands-on cooking classes given by the ships' executive chefs and culinary staff. The line's cookbook, "A Taste of Excellence" written by Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, offers guests preparation techniques for some of Holland America's most delectable dishes and lavish libations as part of the Culinary Arts Center experience. Sodamin's second Holland America Line cookbook, "A Taste of Elegance," is due out in March, 2009.

Holland America Line ships are the perfect setting to showcase award-winning guest experts. In addition to the enrichment experience provided by the culinary stars on board, passengers can dine in a variety of venues, including everything from a quick bite poolside to a formal five-course affair. Every ship features an elegant main dining room, a sophisticated Pinnacle Grill where guests can sample Sterling Silver beef and fresh seafood, the casual indoor-outdoor Lido Restaurant, and the Terrace Grill on deck for lunchtime fare. For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Dalmatian Coast Emerges as the 'New Riviera' on 2009 Crystal Cruises

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 17: In 2009, Crystal Cruises is offering guests more time to discover one of Europe's most rapidly-growing hot destinations - the Dalmatian Coast. Emerging as the "new Riviera," the region offers luxury and adventure travelers a vacation playground featuring stunning 13th-century walled cities, medieval villages, outdoor cafes and sun-bleached beaches reminiscent of the Italian and French Rivera's. Eight of the luxury line's Mediterranean itineraries aboard Crystal Serenity boast visits to Dubrovnik, and maiden calls to Trogir, Croatia and Kotor, Montenegro from June through October.

Crystal Adventures include the rare opportunity to climb Malacka, one of Croatia's most challenging free-climb courses; raft down the Cetina River, weaving through tiny medieval villages; kayak along the Adriatic Coast, and explore the Island of Brac by speedboat.

"Crystal's savvy guests relish emerging destinations that, to a large degree, have yet to be discovered by the traveling public," says Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales and marketing. "The Dalmatian Coast has long been a somewhat hidden gem - rich in scenery, history and culture."

Crystal's Dalmatian Coast itineraries begin in Venice, Barcelona, Istanbul, Athens and Lisbon throughout summer and fall, 2009. Travelers can save up to $1,500 per person on most Mediterranean voyages with the line's European Celebration Savings program. All 2009 Mediterranean cruises qualify for Crystal's Save Now, Save Later program, allowing guests who book their 2009 vacation by March 31 to save 20 percent on most 2010 cruises. Additionally, the line's All Inclusive - As You Wish program allows guests to customize their vacations with a $1,000 per person spending credit. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the line's website,

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Holland America Line Offers Sommelier Wine Package & Sommelier Dinner

Seattle, WA, Feb 17: Two sommelier wine options enhance Signature Services onboard Holland America Line. Hosted fleetwide in the Pinnacle Grill on sailings of 10 days or longer, the Sommelier Dinner event combines at least four glasses of wine with a six-course menu for expertly paired wine and cuisine. For extensive wine sampling throughout all cruises, the Sommelier Wine Package features multiple wine tastings, events and selections.

Sommelier Dinner
Offered once per sailing, a culinary team of six, including the executive chef and cellar master, collaborate to produce the Sommelier Dinner. The cellar master, or “sommelier,” introduces combinations at course intervals, revealing the background and basis for each blend.

Prior to the premium dinner event, guests meet for champagne or Kir Royal in the Explorer’s Lounge or Pinnacle Grill Wine Bar. Menu items feature an amuse-bouche or hors d’oeuvre, cold appetizer, soup, warm appetizer or sorbet, main course, dessert and coffee with “petit fours” or cakes. Sample menu pairings include smoked salmon with a glass of Napa Valley Caymus Conundrum or assorted cheeses paired with Inniskillen Icewine from the Niagara Peninsula. The Sommelier Dinner is $75 per person.

Sommelier Wine Package
A wine tasting experience is available throughout the length of a cruise with the Sommelier Package. Two wine tasting events, a Pinnacle Grill dinner, five vintage bottles, a Holland America Line commemorative bottle and wine gift are included for onboard enjoyment.

Revealing a variety of international samples, a wine tasting is conducted by the cellar master or sommelier. Among the most knowledgeable in the cruise industry, Holland America Line sommeliers undergo extensive training for certification. Guided by sommelier expertise, a second premium wine sampling event is also hosted along with an evening of fine dining in the Pinnacle Grill.

From a varied special selection of wine, five bottles are presented based on the wine navigators’ preference. A Holland America Line Commemorative Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay is delivered to each guest stateroom along with a wine-related gift. The Sommelier Package is available from $251 per person or $308 per couple.

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Jam Cruise 7 Leaving A Positive Legacy In Belize City & Costa Maya

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Feb 17: Jam Cruise – the floating festival where everyone on board has a “back stage pass” – made yet another epic voyage this January, sailing for five days from Florida to Belize City, Belize and Costa Maya, Mexico on the elegant and environmentally friendly MSC Orchestra. While Jam Cruise is a celebration of music, it’s also a celebration of community and an opportunity to do something positive for the areas visited during the cruise. The Leaving a Positive Legacy program offers passengers a hands-on opportunity to help communities outside their own.

Jam Cruise worked with seven different schools and an orphanage in Belize and Costa Maya to create a communal wish list of necessities and invited passengers to donate items. Individual passenger donations filled an entire room on the ship with school supplies, clothing, shoes, sports equipment and musical instruments – the equivalent of four pallets of donations was collected in all. Nine laptop computers were also donated by Jam Cruise passengers and were refurbished, updated with wireless network cards, and provided to the schools. In addition to the passenger donations, Cloud 9 Adventures donated 10 solar ovens and Conscious Alliance donated a pallet of organic fruit leather.

Jam Cruise 7 also worked with Padres de Familia kinder in Km 55, a school in Costa Maya devastated by Hurricane Dean, to make much-needed repairs on the facility. Following the hurricane, all that remained was a simple cinderblock structure with incomplete plywood walls and a tar paper roof, offering students little to no protection from wind and rain. Cloud 9 Adventures sent $1420 to the kinder one month before visiting Costa Maya, allowing them to purchase construction materials for the needed repairs. While on the ship, passengers who became aware of the repair project matched that donation with an additional $1440 to help the kinder continue renovations.

It is fitting that the Leaving a Positive Legacy program was associated with a cruise on MSC Orchestra, a member of the MSC Cruises fleet. After all, MSC Cruises is at the forefront of safeguarding the environment and has received many national and international awards and certificates acknowledging the measures it has taken to protect the environment. The line’s newbuilds utilize the most modern technology to safeguard the environment, including a grey and black water treatment plant, energy saving across all cabins and public spaces, and non-toxic paints specially formulated for ship hulls.

To reduce Jam Cruise’s impact on the environment, its greening program has consistently achieved “carbon neutral” status for the past four years. This year, through a partnership with the Ashden Award-winning non-profit organization Trees, Water & People, Cloud 9 Adventures offset 100 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions from the five-day voyage. In addition, approximately 15 percent of passengers opted in to purchase offsets for their personal travel.

According to Allison Shaw, Assistant International Director of Trees, Water & People, Jam Cruise is their single biggest carbon offset donor. “The support we’ve received from Jam Cruise and passengers will allow us to plant almost 8,700 trees and build 38 fuel-efficient woodstoves in Central America, offsetting a total of 1,155 metric tons of carbon dioxide! This amazing feat shows that being environmentally responsible and having fun are not at all mutually exclusive. I hope that other festivals will follow Jam Cruise’s environmental leadership.”

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit For information regarding Jam Cruise, contact or .

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Dynamic Deals, Intrepid Adventures At Denali

Seattle, Feb 17: Cruise West, a leading global provider of small-ship exploration cruises to some of the world’s most fascinating destinations, honors Alaska’s 50th year of statehood with exclusive land tours of exceptional value. Of the 1.5 million projected visitors to the nation’s largest state in 2009, only Cruise West guests will experience personalized, locally inspired adventures at Denali National Park and throughout Alaska, providing an attractive intimate alternative to the larger passenger vessels.

The 89 Alaska-bound departures, ranging from 3-night getaways along ice-carved fjords in Prince William Sound to 3,600-mile, 25-day sojourns beyond rugged coastlines into the Bering Sea, include one-of-a-kind “intangibles” that only a 63-year-old family-run company can offer. Cruise West is the only company that combines two of the most notable destinations in Alaska (Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park) in an 8-night cruise tour package.

“The Denali Corridor (Anchorage to Fairbanks with a stop in Denali), is extremely popular,” remarked John Kreilkamp, vice president of Alaska land operations. “To excel as a tour operator you have to offer unique service and value. Cruise West has built a reputation of being a niche operator and we deliver on just that.”

Cruise West is the only American owned Cruise Tour company in Alaska, Further, it is the only cruise line that provides a land tour extension featuring a 3-night stay at the park entrance, giving intrepid types ample time to explore the home of North America’s highest peak. And only Cruise West offers guests the choice of three Park tours at the time of booking: choices include a 90-mile, 12-hour Wilderness Tour; a 50 mile, 7 hour Tundra Wilderness Tour; or a 20 mile 5 hour Denali Natural History Tour. In addition, the company includes an exclusive presentation “An overview of the sub-arctic” from a certified naturalist from the Denali Education Center.

Setting itself apart with strong ties to local businesses and time-honored traditions, guests receive a hospitable Alaska welcome from a uniformed Meet & Greet agent when arriving in Anchorage, Ketchikan, Juneau or Fairbanks. The distinctive “Dine Around” program encourages all guests to savor a la carte meals at Anchorage and Denali’s finest restaurants, exposing diners to authentic flavors of the nation’s largest state.

For guests seeking an even more in-depth and active Denali experience before their cruise, the company offers a more exclusive and intimate experience at three interior Park lodges: Kantishna, North Face Lodge or Camp Denali. “Camp Denali and North Face Lodge are the only properties inside the park boundaries that feature direct views of Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America, from your room and dining room,” says Kreilkamp.

Upgrades to land tour transportation round out Cruise West’s exceptional value: well-appointed Dome cars convey guests along dazzlingly scenic routes between Talkeetna and Denali, reducing travel time to allow for leisurely dining upon arrival in Anchorage. New cushy MCI coaches smoothly shuttle guests from Anchorage to Talkeetna and Whittier, and between Fairbanks and Denali National Park. Cruise West’s average group departure is 25 guests.

To learn more about Alaska itineraries, or other Cruise West voyages, call 1-800-296-8307, or attend one of the company’s online live presentations. Visit to view the schedule.

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New Reasons to Sail Europe This Summer with Windstar Cruises

SEATTLE, Feb. 17: Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, offers guests special offers, new destinations and Venice roundtrip sailings on European voyages this summer to some of the most remarkable places in the world at incredible values. Popular favorites also return in 2009 including an extensive season of Greek Isles cruises on Wind Star and Wind Spirit from May through October. The 2009 European voyages include new destinations of Rovinj, Croatia; L'lle-Rousse, France; and Ischia, Italy.

Situated on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula, Rovinj is rich in culture, natural beauty and medieval charm. Rovinj can be discovered on the following sailings: Venice to Athens departing May 9 on Wind Sprit and July 18 on Wind Star; Athens to Venice departing July 11 on Wind Spirit; Venice to Rome departing June 14, August 9 and September 13 on Wind Surf; Venice to Venice departing June 7, August 2, August 30, September 6 on Wind Surf, July 11 on Wind Star and July 18 on Wind Spirit.

L'lle-Rousse is located on the French island of Corsica lined with palm trees, stylish shops and a vibrant square. L'lle-Rousse can be explored on the following itineraries: Nice to Rome departing May 9 on Wind Star; Barcelona to Nice departing July 12 and Nice to Barcelona departing October 25 on Wind Surf.

Ischia is located at the northern end of the Bay of Naples and is know for volcanic hot springs, medieval villages and lush tropical plants and trees. Ischia can be experienced on the following itineraries: Rome to Nice departing May 10, September 20 and October 18 on Wind Surf; Rome to Athens departing May 16 on Wind Star; Rome to Rome departing August 16 on Wind Surf, Rome to Barcelona departing October 24 on Wind Star and October 31 on Wind Spirit.

Due to frequent requests by guests, a new Venice roundtrip itinerary was added on all three ships featuring the Croatian destinations of Rovinj, Split and Dubrovnik and Koper, Slovenia. Guests can sail these itineraries on the following sailings: June 7, August 2, August 30 and September 6 on Wind Surf; July 11 on Wind Star and July 18 on Wind Spirit.

Windstar guests can also enjoy savings of up to 50 percent on select 7-day 2009 European cruises with rates starting at $1,799 per person, double occupancy. Taxes are additional and the offer is not combinable with any other promotions or programs, is capacity controlled and may be withdrawn or modified at the discretion of Windstar.

Special family rates on summer European sailings aboard Wind Surf are also available when booking by March 31, 2009. Families who book one full-fare stateroom on Wind Surf sailings departing June 7 through Aug 30, 2009, will receive a second stateroom for family members on the same sailing at 50 percent off per person. Rates for the first stateroom start at $2,249 per person, double occupancy. Space is limited, so guests are encouraged to book early in order to take advantage of the offer. Families are considered two adults and two children between 2 and 18 years of age. Taxes are additional and rates are capacity controlled and can be removed at any time.

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Think MSC Cruises For a Last-Minute Romantic Gift You
Will Both Always Remember

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Feb 13: When you're looking for a special last-minute romantic gift or a memorable way to mark any special occasion, there could be nowhere more romantic than on the magnificent ships in the MSC Cruises family - the most modern cruise fleet in the world, with breathtaking designs, truly sumptuous facilities and an incredible range of quality entertainment.

Surprise your loved one with a cruise on one of the line's beautiful ships in the romantic Mediterranean during the spring or summer months. For the ultimate in elegance, enjoy a private suite and luxurious facilities in the exclusive MSC Yacht Club area onboard MSC Fantasia or MSC Splendida. MSC Yacht Club includes butler service, a private pool and lounge and so much more.

If you're looking for a warm-weather escape over the next few months, there is still space available on MSC Orchestra and MSC Lirica sailings to the beautiful Caribbean.

Whether it is an idyllic first voyage together, a luxurious honeymoon or celebrating the renewal of vows, guests will find exceptional service and personal attention on board an MSC Cruises sailing.

On MSC Cruises, guest can enjoy exquisite bouquets of flowers, romantic Balinese massages for two, exotic lover's cocktails, exquisite dishes and chilled champagne served in the intimacy of one's own stateroom, accompanied by a tray of chocolate-dipped strawberries and presented with two elegant MSC flutes to take home as a personal souvenir. Sailings will be enhanced by a myriad of thoughtful touches to ensure truly special moments, set like jewels in a ring of unforgettable days, exploring some of the most beautiful places in the world on the most beautiful ships in the world.

Which is why, if music be the food of love, as Shakespeare wrote, MSC Cruises' ships are perfect to make your heart sing. To review more information about MSC Cruises, visit or a local travel professional.

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Viking River Cruises Introduces New Yangtze Explorer Itinerary

Los Angeles, CA, Feb 12: Due to popular demand, Viking River Cruises has added a relaxing yet comprehensive Yangtze River experience to its roster of journeys through China: the 13-day Yangtze Explorer. Participants fly into Shanghai, stay one night, then embark on an 11-day Yangtze cruise the following day; after disembarking, they enjoy one final night in Shanghai before flying home.

The Yangtze Explorer itinerary is being introduced at 2-for-1 prices. This means that Viking is charging half as much for both cruise and hotel days as it normally would. “We want everyone to enjoy a Yangtze River cruise with Viking, and this is a very affordable way for people to do that,” explained Viking River Cruises Chairman Torstein Hagen. “Guests may enjoy an 11-day Yangtze River cruise with two nights in Shanghai for as little as $1,695 per person.”

Yangtze Explorer passengers embark on the Viking Century Sun—awarded a 5-star rating by the China National Tourism office—at Chongqing and cruise all the way to Nanjing (or the other way around) before they disembark and head to Shanghai for their flight home. As they cruise, guests visit Chongqing, China’s third largest city; the Three Gorges and the Lesser Gorges; the Three Gorges Dam; the capital of Hubei Province, Wuhan; Jingdezhen, where porcelain was first developed centuries ago; Mt. Jiu Hua, one of four mountains sacred to the Buddhist faith; the lovely architectural gardens at Suzhou; and much more, including a charming visit to a Viking-sponsored elementary school along the river.

“Viking Century Sun is the best river cruise vessel sailing on the Yangtze River,” pointed out Mr. Hagen. “It is also the largest ship in Viking’s fleet, with a capacity of more than 300 guests, and the most luxurious. Every stateroom is deluxe, with hotel-style beds, and every stateroom has a full balcony. The food is topnotch, complete with made-to-order cooking stations at the breakfast buffet and special Chinese dishes designed by celebrity chef Martin Yan. Onboard staff are exemplary, and guests are accompanied by a Tour Escort throughout their journey.

“Some of our guests have already visited China’s big cities and would now like to experience the country’s heartland along the Yangtze River. Others are curious to see how the monumental Three Gorges Dam, now completed, has affected the nearby area,” said Mr. Hagen. “Passengers enjoy the service, amenities and cuisine on Viking Century Sun while visiting some of China’s most interesting destinations and we hope the 2-for-1 pricing will make this China trip a very easy decision.”

For more information on Viking River Cruises, visit

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Political Satirist Christopher Buckley to Sail Aboard Queen Mary 2’s November 5 Transatlantic Crossing

Feb 12: Award-winning author and political satirist Christopher Buckley has joined the distinguished list of literary luminaries scheduled to sail aboard Cunard Line’s flagship ocean liner Queen Mary 2. He will be aboard the Nov 5 Transatlantic Crossing from New York to Southampton. Hailed as “the quintessential political novelist of our time” by Fortune magazine, Buckley will be a featured guest of Cunard Insights, Cunard’s acclaimed onboard enrichment program which, this year, will host notable authors such as E.L. Doctorow, Erica Jong and Amy Bloom. Like his literary contemporaries, Buckley will deliver a series of lectures, Q&A discussions, readings and book signings during his voyage aboard Queen Mary 2.

“Buckley’s political insight and ‘insider intelligence’ promise an engaging and entertaining experience for our guests,” said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line. “His humourous take on Washington’s political life is always fresh and appealing and we know his unique brand of wit will resonate with our guests.”

A cum laude graduate of Yale University, Buckley has been awarded the Thurber Prize for Literary Excellence and the Thurber Prize for American Humor. He has written fourteen books, including God Is My Broker, The White House Mess, No Way to Treat a First Lady, Little Green Men, Florence of Arabia, Boomsday and Supreme Courtship, his newest work. His book, Thank You for Smoking, was made into a major motion picture starring Aaron Eckhart and Robert Duvall. Buckley is the founding editor of Forbes FYI (now ForbesLife) and is currently the magazine’s editor-at-large. A former managing editor of Esquire magazine (at the age of 24) and chief speechwriter to Vice President George H.W. Bush (at age 29), Buckley has written more than 60 comic essays for The New Yorker and writes regularly for the New York Times.

The Nov 5 Transatlantic Crossing is one of more than 20 classic six-day voyages between New York and Southampton offered by Cunard in 2009. In addition, Queen Mary 2 will sail two voyages between New York and Hamburg and two voyages between Boston and Southampton. Widely considered the definitive ocean travel experience, a Cunard Transatlantic Crossing offers guests myriad opportunities for intellectual interaction, leisurely pursuits, health and wellness activities and gourmet dining. Unique Cunard amenities found aboard Queen Mary 2 include the Canyon Ranch SpaClub®, the famed Princess and Queens Grill accommodations, restaurants and lounges and the first Todd English restaurant at sea.

Cunard has long been the line-of-choice for travelers with a passion for literature. Cunard was the first company to install a library aboard a passenger vessel and, today, Queen Mary 2 continues the tradition with the largest library at sea, a two-story space with two librarians and more than 8,000 books. Cunard also features an onboard Book Club.

Delving deeply into a variety of compelling and relevant topics, Cunard Insights introduces guests to stimulating experts and accomplished visionaries who reflect the line's heritage of adventure and prestige. Through a series of lectures, Q&A's, debates, social gatherings and workshops, guests connect with authors and intellectuals who have achieved notable distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, politics, arts and literature. The Insights program underscores Cunard’s longstanding view that onboard entertainment should afford guests a provocative and rewarding cerebral experience.

For more information and to book a voyage aboard Queen Mary 2, consult your Travel Professional, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Crystal Cruises Announces 'All Inclusive-As You Wish' Europe Promotion

LOS ANGELES, Feb 12: In conjunction with its Celebration Fares, Crystal Cruises is announcing its most dramatic promotion for Europe 2009: a $2,000 per couple - or $1,000 per person - shipboard spending credit for discerning travelers who want to design their own vacation experience.

"All Inclusive - As You Wish" can be used toward:
-- Any Crystal Adventure shore excursion,
-- Any spa treatment,
-- Any wine,
-- Any cocktail,
-- Any boutique purchase,
-- Any gratuities,
-- Any Vintage Room experience,
-- And anything else on board except Casino gaming.

Applicable with:
-- Every Mediterranean cruise aboard Crystal Serenity July-Nov
-- All 11-day Baltic and British Isles cruises aboard Crystal Symphony June 19-Aug 23
-- Crystal Symphony's Northern Europe London-New York Transatlantic cruise.

Guests on Crystal's seven-day Baltic cruise departing August 5 will enjoy a $1,000 per couple, or $500 per person, spending credit. In all, there are 17 Mediterranean and Northern Europe cruises eligible for the "All Inclusive-As You Wish" promotion.

"Our guests know what they want, when they want it and how they want it. Each of our guests is different and they want choices," says Bill Smith, Crystal's senior vice president, sales & marketing. "Throughout the world, at a great value, Crystal offers a dizzying array of stimulating programming and smart, stylish and personal choices - from connoisseur wine experiences to over-the-top adventures ashore to indulgent spa treatments and personalized weight training. We're inviting our guests choose the options that are most meaningful to them - and we'll make that dream experience come true."

In addition to the custom onboard spending bank, Crystal Cruises is celebrating its 15 years as the highest rated cruise line with European Celebration Fares, saving travelers up to $1,500 per person on most European cruises. Crystal's European fares for 2009 are lower than comparable cruises in 2008. Travelers sailing on any 2009 Europe or Transatlantic cruise can enjoy 20 percent savings on almost every cruise in every category in 2010. The 2009 and 2010 cruises must be booked by March 31 and Nov 30, 2009, respectively. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the line's website,

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Princess Cruises Celebrates Valentine's Day by Naming Ruby Princess Godparents Trista & Ryan Sutter to Department of Romance

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Feb 12: Love is "exciting and new" at Princess Cruises in celebration of Valentine's Day, as the line announced that the christeners of Ruby Princess, Trista and Ryan Sutter, will join its Department of Romance as its newest experts, and that a new online community for all Princess Cruises romantics has debuted on Facebook. Trista and Ryan are known as one of the most romantic duos in recent broadcast history following their courtship and marriage on the popular TV series The Bachelorette, and this past November they marked their fifth wedding anniversary by christening Princess' latest cruise ship, Ruby Princess. As part of their new role, the Sutters will offer their advice on love for Princess' exclusive online home for all things romantic.

"We're thrilled to join Princess' Department of Romance and share our unique perspective on dating, falling in love, getting married and having a family," said Trista Sutter. "After having the honor of christening Ruby Princess, we've seen firsthand the romantic ambiance of a Princess cruise and we look forward to offering our tips for helping couples reconnect and make romance a priority."

Further celebrating romantic connections with its past passengers, the cruise line is also launching an "I'm a Princess Cruises Romantic" group on Facebook. This special group will let passengers share their memorable love stories and moments from their Princess cruise vacation. Group members are encouraged to post their personal stories, photos, videos and engage in discussions about romance-related topics.

Princess' Department of Romance, a tribute to the company's decades-long legacy as the setting for the iconic TV show The Love Boat, is made up of noted experts on a variety of romantic topics and includes actor Gavin MacLeod, The Love Boat's "Captain Stubing;" Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the always-provocative couples therapist; and Lisa Light, destination wedding expert and author. Throughout 2009 the Department will feature a changing array of expert topics, advice and points of view on everything from reinvigorating romance to tips on planning a destination wedding.

"It was such an exciting moment when Trista and Ryan christened Ruby Princess this past fall," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "So they seemed a natural choice to become a more permanent part of our company's romance story, especially on Valentine's Day."

Trista and Ryan, the first and only couple from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette franchises to have actually gotten married, met in 2002 when Trista was America's first Bachelorette. The two shows were the first and still are the most popular reality dating shows in which one man or woman searches for their soul mate out of 25 potential suitors.

Princess has been offering romantic cruise vacations around the world for more than 40 years. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Carnival Cruise Lines Offers Early Booking Discount of Up to $200 Per Person on Summer & Fall Voyages

MIAMI, Feb 12: Carnival Cruise Lines is currently offering Early Saver rates providing savings of up to $200 per person on summer and fall cruises for those who plan ahead and book early. Early Saver rates are available up to three months prior to sailing date for cruises of five days or less and up to five months prior to sailing date for longer length voyages. The special fares include all stateroom types, including suites, and come with a rate protection feature if rates later drop below what the consumer originally paid. Early Saver rates are currently available on a wide variety of 3- to 16-day cruises.

Among the savings currently available:
• Up to $200 off per person on seven-day Alaska cruises aboard the Carnival Spirit with Early Saver prices starting as low as $449
• Up to $200 off per person on seven-day Mexican Riviera voyages from Los Angeles/Long Beach aboard the new Carnival Splendor with Early Saver prices starting as low as $399
• Up to $200 off per person on seven-day Caribbean cruises from Florida aboard the Carnival Valor and Carnival Liberty with Early Saver prices starting as low as $399
• Up to $150 off per person on five-day Atlantic Canada cruises from New York aboard the Carnival Triumph with Early Saver prices starting as low as $399

The Early Saver rate protection feature provides that if a lower Carnival advertised rate becomes available after the booking is made, a rate adjustment can be requested and the cruise line will issue the difference in the form of a non-refundable shipboard credit. Deposits on Early Saver bookings are non-refundable. Early Saver fares are available for both individual and group reservations. The fares are subject to availability and certain restrictions apply. For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501.

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Ambassadors Intl, Inc. Announces It Will Be a Cruise-Only Company

NEWPORT BEACH, CA, Feb 11: Ambassadors International, Inc. (the "Company") announces the engagement of Stephens Inc. ("Stephens") to sell the Company's principal non-Windstar assets as well as evaluate corporate capital and debt opportunities available to the Company.

Joe Ueberroth, CEO of the Company, stated, "The Board and management are confident in the strategy to focus all of our capital and efforts on Windstar Cruises and the small ship luxury segment. Further, we believe that Windstar has the most potential upside for our shareholders and a successful sale of our other businesses provides the Company stability in a difficult economy."

The businesses to be sold by Stephens include the Company's marine division, including its marina construction and marine operations businesses, and its travel and events division.

The Company also announced effective today that Art Rodney, a thirty year cruise veteran, replaces Joe Ueberroth as the Chairman of the Board and that cruise and corporate headquarters will be consolidated in Seattle, WA over the next several months. In addition, during this transition period the current executive team in Newport Beach, CA will be transitioning out of the Company. The Company has already commenced a search for experienced cruise executives to replace Mr. Ueberroth as CEO and Laura Tuthill as CFO.

"I have enjoyed working with Joe over the last year and respect his resolve to put shareowner interest ahead of his personal interest." commented Mr. Rodney. "The Board requested Joe's participation in the bidding process for our marine group, since he knows the business well and can move quickly, although we also will actively solicit bids from other interested parties." In light of Mr. Ueberroth's anticipated participation in the marine division bidding process, the Board of Directors has formed a special committee to be advised by Stephens.

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Honeymooning Brides Sail Half-Off on Star Clippers Tahiti Cruises

MIAMI, Feb 11: Newlyweds looking to take a honeymoon to an exotic destination while being cost-conscious can take advantage of Star Clippers' new offer on 7-day Tahiti sailings in 2009. Under the program, brides receive a 50-percent discount off of the cruise fare when the groom pays the brochure rate on an outside cabin (C1-C3 only).
Guests who book their air with Star Clippers also receive a free night post cruise at the Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti in Papeete. Honeymooners must have been married within three months of the sailing departure and book at least four months in advance.

"The crystalline seas, warmth of the sun and exotic culture of Tahiti along with the uniqueness of sailing on a Star Clippers ship make it the ultimate romantic experience," said Mark Carlson, director of marketing for Star Clippers Americas. "Star Flyer is the ideal setting to create memories to last a lifetime, and this program makes a honeymoon in paradise affordable."

Combining the romance of the islands with the adventure of cruising on a tall ship, Star Flyer's intimate atmosphere creates the perfect environment for a honeymoon. Couples can cuddle in the widow's net under the bowsprit with only the ocean below or take a nighttime romantic stroll on deck under a blanket of sails and stars. Newlyweds are greeted with a bottle of champagne and fruit basket in their stateroom, as well as a host of other surprises.

Star Flyer's size enables the four-masted vessel to easily circle the islands for scenic cruising and glide inside the atolls that larger ships are unable to visit, giving passengers exclusive access to some of the most spectacular landscapes and marine environments in the world. Feeling more like a private yacht than a passenger vessel, Star Flyer moves smoothly from one island to the next mainly under sail.

Water sports are a highlight of the Star Clippers experience, and the Tahiti itineraries allow for plenty of time to take advantage of the complimentary snorkeling, sunfish sailing, waterskiing and windsurfing. (Scuba diving is available for a fee and certification is required.) And some of the most picturesque beaches in the world provide venues for Star Clippers' popular beach parties.

Star Flyer sails a seven-night, round-trip Papeete itinerary that calls at Huahine, Raiatea, Taha'a, Bora Bora, and Cook Bay and Opunohu Bay, Moorea, with an overnight in Papeete before disembarkation. Cruise fares per honeymooning couple begin at $3,743 ($2,495 for the groom and $1,248 for the bride). For more information or to make a honeymoon reservation, contact a travel professional, call Star Clippers at (800) 442-0551 or visit Star Clippers. To request a brochure, call (800) 442-0556.

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Holland America Adds More Sydney, Australia, Round-Trip Voyages in 2010

SEATTLE, Feb 11: Holland America Line will add to its schedule of round-trip Sydney, Australia, sailings in 2010. The line has created three exciting 14-day cruises aboard ms Volendam geared to exploring the vast region that encompasses Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. Two cruises, departing Jan. 20 and Feb. 28, are set to spend more time discovering the multifaceted terrain of New Zealand than any other premium cruise, while a third, departing Jan. 6, highlights the South Pacific's exotic beauty.

"Our 14-day, roundtrip Sydney cruises are the perfect answer for a relaxing holiday escape," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, for Holland America Line. "Travelers will pay calls to some of the most intriguing and exciting ports throughout New Zealand, including Christchurch, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga and Auckland and the most breathtaking islands in the South Pacific. At the same time, guests can indulge in our five-star, award-winning service--all at an incredible value."

Guests on board Volendam for the Jan. 6, 14-day Pacific Treasures cruise will kick-start the year sailing through the breathtaking vistas of the South Pacific. As the ship departs Sydney it makes a beeline for Noumea, New Caledonia, and the heart of French Polynesia. Here, guests will leisurely explore the region's culture with additional calls at Mouli and Ile des Pins, New Caledonia; Port Vila and Luganville, Vanuatu, and Lautoka and Levuka, Fiji, before returning to Sydney.

The 14-day New Zealand Discovery cruise, departing Jan. 20 and Feb. 28, provides Kiwis-at-heart with a unique opportunity to explore the diverse landscapes throughout the country. Both the north and south islands of New Zealand, each with incredibly vibrant and lush scenery, will be explored with six different port calls and extensive scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Additionally, Holland America Line is one of the few premium cruise lines calling at Picton, the gateway to the South Island and the hub of Marlborough Sounds' thriving wine country.

Between the two New Zealand Discovery cruises, departing Feb. 3, Volendam will also sail a 14-day Sydney-to-Auckland itinerary.

When in port, guests can choose from a multitude of diverse shore excursions including Overland Adventures, off-the-beaten-track explorations, Signature Collection private-car touring and exclusive Medallion Collection excursions. For a cruise brochure or for more information on Holland America Line's voyages, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-800-522-3399 or visit

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Holland America Line to Circumnavigate Australia in 2010

SEATTLE, Feb. 10: In 2010, Holland America Line will feature new itineraries throughout the Southern Hemisphere aboard the 1,432-guest, ms Volendam, including--for the first time--a circumnavigation of the continent departing in Sydney, Australia. The 34-day sailing will spend two days cruising the Great Barrier Reef during daylight hours and visit 18 ports of call. Holland America is the only premium cruise line to offer daylight scenic cruising along the Reef's magnificent coastline. A new series of 14-day, Sydney, Australia, roundtrip cruises throughout the region offer explorations focused on the cultures and the raw magnificence of Australia's and New Zealand's diverse landscapes. And, in the spring, Volendam will sail to the South Pacific for a leisurely 26-day cruise, visiting some of the world's most captivating islands from Sydney, Australia, to Vancouver, British Columbia.

"We recognize that for many travelers a trip to Australia and New Zealand is a cruise-vacation must," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, Holland America Line. "And Holland America Line offers more itineraries and more time cruising throughout Australia and New Zealand than any other premium cruise line."

14-day, Sydney round-trip sailings highlight Down Under & the South Pacific:
For the first time, Holland America Line has created a series of round-trip Sydney, Australia, 14-day cruises for travelers. Two cruises, departing Jan. 20 and Feb. 28, are set to spend more time discovering the multifaceted terrain of New Zealand than any other premium cruise line. A third cruise, departing Jan. 6, highlights the South Pacific's exotic beauty.

On the Jan. 20 and Feb. 28 sailings, the North and South islands of New Zealand, each with incredibly vibrant and lush scenery, will be explored with six different port calls. Both itineraries feature extensive scenic cruising opportunities in Fiordland National Park--a UNESCO World Heritage Site--as well as Queen Charlotte Sound. Additionally, Holland America Line is one of the few premium cruise lines calling at Picton, the gateway to the South Island and the hub of Marlborough Sounds' thriving wine country. Picton, a lively and picturesque resort town, will most assuredly delight the wine aficionados.

Guests joining Volendam for the Jan. 6, 14-day Pacific Treasures cruise will kick-start the year sailing through the breathtaking vistas of the South Pacific. As the ship departs Sydney it makes a beeline for Noumea, New Caledonia, known for its blend of French and Melanesian culture and often referred to "as the place where the French Riviera meets the South Pacific." Here, guests will leisurely explore the region's culture with additional calls at Mouli and Ile des Pins, New Caledonia; Port Vila and Luganville, Vanuatu, and Lautoka and Levuka, Fiji, before returning to Sydney.

Australia circumnavigation features a two-day Great Barrier Reef experience:
Departing March 14, Volendam will celebrate a first for the line when the ship sails a 34-day voyage circumnavigating Australia. This new itinerary, developed out of the growing popularity of the region, will feature an unforgettable two-day Great Barrier Reef daylight scenic cruise experience through Torres Strait and The Far North Region before anchoring for an overnight at Sherrard Island.

Guests also will enjoy overnight calls at Hobart, Perth and Sydney, Australia, where they can spend time sampling the local cuisine or explore the versatile culture and nightlife of the cities. Other ports of call on the 34-day voyage include Melbourne, Adelaide, Albany, Exmouth, Darwin, Cairns, Whitsunday Island and Brisbane, Australia. In addition, guests will have the opportunity to take in an optional, fully escorted shore excursion of Komodo National Park (Indonesia) in search of one of the fewer than 300 Komodo dragons which make their habitat there amidst squawking cockatoos, flowerpeckers and noisy friarbirds.

Collectors' Voyages sail to the Great Barrier Reef and includes port-intensive visits in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific:
For travelers who enjoy time aboard ship as well as the unique experiences that Down Under offers, Holland America Line provides the opportunity to explore Australia, New Zealand and the Fijian islands with four Collectors' Voyages: a 28-day, Pacific Treasures and New Zealand, roundtrip Sydney, Australia, departs Jan. 6, 2010, with fares beginning at $3,599; a 48-day, New Zealand and Australia Circumnavigation, roundtrip Sydney, Australia, departs Feb. 28, 2010, with fares starting from $5,599; a 74-day, New Zealand, Australia and South Pacific cruise from Sydney, Australia, to Vancouver, B.C., departs Feb 28, 2010, with fares from $7,999; and a 60-day, Australia Circumnavigation and South Pacific sailing, from Sydney, Australia, to Vancouver, B.C., departs March 14, 2010, with fares from $6,599.

Traverse the Pacific and Enjoy the Polynesian lifestyle:
Volendam takes guests from Sydney to Vancouver, British Columbia, on a memorable 26-day cruise to the islands of the South Pacific and through some of the most pristine waters in the world. Guests board the ship April 17 and enjoy an overnight in Sydney where they will have ample time to visit the iconic opera house or perhaps catch a glimpse of a koala or kangaroo at the Sydney Zoo before departing April 18. This unforgettable odyssey includes Noumea and Ile des Pins, New Caledonia; Port Vila, Vanuatu; the Fijian islands of Lautoka, Viti Levu, and Levuka. From Fiji, Volendam will cross the equator and International Date Line, continuing to Apia, the capital of the Independent State of Samoa. After a full day in Apia, where guests have the option of swimming in the placid, warm waters at the Beach of Saleapaga, shopping with the locals, taking part in a kava ceremony or visiting the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, the ship will spend five relaxing days at sea before paying calls at Nawiliwili, Kauai; Honolulu, Oahu; Lahaina, Maui and Hilo, Hawaii. Hawaii's exotic beauty and deep history can be enjoyed at each port, from Kona's world-famous Hawaii Volcanoes National Park -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site -- to the USS Arizona Memorial in Honolulu. Guests wishing to soak up the sun or take in the natural surroundings can spend the day at a black-sand beach in Kona or a lush fern grotto in Nawiliwili.

Before reaching Vancouver, travelers will have relaxing days at sea filled with enriching activities such as cooking demonstrations at the Culinary Arts Center, pampering at the Greenhouse Spa or simply sipping a coffee while reading the news at the Explorations Cafe.

Those looking to make the most out of their time in Australia and New Zealand, pre- or post-cruise land tours are offered to further explore sites such as Ayers Rock or Alice Springs. For more information featuring Holland America Line's Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific cruises, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-724-5425 or visit

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NCL To Sail From Port Canaveral To The Caribbean in 2010-2011

MIAMI – February 10, 2009 – Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced that for the first time in more than 11 years, the company will homeport a ship seasonally at Port Canaveral, Florida beginning Oct 2010. The 1,936-passenger Norwegian Sun, purpose-built for Freestyle Cruising, will sail alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral, departing every Saturday from Oct 9, 2010 through April 16, 2011.

“As part of our homeland cruising initiative, we are always looking for attractive ports in which to base our ships,” said Kevin Sheehan, NCL’s president and CEO. “By bringing Norwegian Sun to Port Canaveral, we are offering cruisers in Central Florida and to those vacationing in Orlando quick and easy access to Freestyle Cruising. In addition, Port Canaveral offers our guests a wide range of pre- and post-cruise packages with the ability to visit a number of family attractions.”

Norwegian Sun’s 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise will stop in Nassau, Bahamas; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. The ship’s seven-day Western Caribbean will call in Cozumel, Mexico; Santo Tomás de Castilla, Guatemala; Belize City, Belize and Key West, Florida. Since there is no port repetition between the two itineraries, they can be easily combined to create a port-rich 14-day Caribbean tour.

NCL will also offer 7-day Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Miami on Norwegian Pearl from Oct 10, 2010 through April 10, 2011. Ports of call on the Western Caribbean itinerary include: Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya, Mexico; and Key West, Florida. Norwegian Pearl’s Eastern Caribbean itinerary includes stops in: Samaná, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Great Stirrup Cay, NCL’s private island in the Bahamas. For guests seeking a full Caribbean escape, these two Norwegian Pearl itineraries can be combined into a 14-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruise. Norwegian Dawn will sail alternating five-day Western Caribbean and nine-day Southern Caribbean cruises from November 14, 2010 through April 22, 2011. Ports of call on the Western Caribbean sailing include: George Town, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. Norwegian Dawn’s Southern Caribbean itinerary includes: Samaná, Dominican Republic; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. John’s, Antigua; Bridgetown, Barbados; and Basseterre, St. Kitts. Norwegian Dawn’s five- and nine-day sailings can be combined to create a 14-day Caribbean cruise with no port repetition.

Also from Miami, NCL has extended Norwegian Sky’s 3- and 4-day cruises to the Bahamas through April 18, 2011. The 2,002-passenger Norwegian Sky sails four-day Bahamas cruises on Mondays with full-day stops in Grand Bahama Island, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, NCL’s private island in the Bahamas. On Fridays, the ship sails a weekend getaway, three-day Bahamas itinerary, departing Miami at 5 p.m. with all-day stops in Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, returning to Miami at 7 a.m. on Monday mornings.

For foliage seekers, NCL will offer a variety of Canada & New England sailings from New York and Boston. In the fall of 2010, Norwegian Dawn will sail four 7-day Canada & New England cruises from New York, along with Norwegian Jewel sailing three 10-day Canada & New England cruises from New York. Norwegian Dawn’s ports of call include Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick; Bar Harbor, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts; and Newport, Rhode Island. Norwegian Jewel’s 10-day Canada & New England itinerary includes: Newport, Rhode Island; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Quebec City, Quebec; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; and Sydney, Nova Scotia.

From Boston, Norwegian Spirit will sail a series of four 7-day Canada & New England itineraries from Sept 25, 2010 through Oct 16, 2010, with alternating departures from Boston and Quebec. Ports of call from Boston include: Bar Harbor, Maine; Saint John, Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; and Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Ports of call from Quebec include: Sept-Iles, Quebec; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Portland, Maine, along with a cruise of the Saguenay Fjord. These sailings can also be combined into a port-rich 14-day cruise for the ultimate fall foliage experience.

Guests looking for a taste of Freestyle Cruising can sample one of NCL’s 1-, 2-, or 3-night getaways in 2010-2011 on Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Spirit from London, New York, Miami and Boston. These cruises go on sale Feb. 12, 2009. To book one of these new itineraries, contact a travel professional, NCL at 866-234-0292 or go to

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Glaciers, Fjords & the Polar Ice Cap Highlight Crystal North Cape Voyage

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 10: Luxury specialist Crystal Cruises is taking guests to the end of the world on its only 2009 North Cape itinerary, where only the Norwegian Svalbard Islands stand between them and the North Pole. The July 11 "Arctic Expedition" itinerary aboard Crystal Symphony departs Copenhagen for Stockholm, stopping in several charming Norwegian ports, including Honningsvag, the country's northern most fishing village, then to the Polar Ice Cap in search of the Ice Barrier. Featuring Norway's spectacular fjords, dramatic mountains and endless miles of drift ice, the voyage offers guests an array of adventures amidst some of the world's most breathtaking terrain. Other highlights include Molde, Longyearbyen, Geiranger/Hellesylt, Bergen and Alesund, Norway, and transits along Bear Island and the Barents, North and Norwegian Seas.

"These ports may not be household names, but Crystal guests are savvy travelers who are culturally curious and ready for adventurous experiences that create lifetime memories," says Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales and marketing. "The North Cape cruise has been very popular with guests who have explored traditional European routes, who seek alternatives to Alaska cruises and want to escape the summer heat and humidity. This sailing allows guests to appreciate some of the still untouched beauty of the region in a way not possible by land."

Crystal Adventures run the gamut by land, air and sea. Travelers can trek the ice fields of Longyearbyen Glacier, fly over the fjords of Bergen, hike to the village of Trollkirka for some cave exploration, or quest for king crab in the North Cape. With Crystal's Save Now, Save Later program, guests who book this cruise by March 31 can save 20 percent on most 2010 cruises. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the line's website,

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Holland America To Include Air On Quantas A380, The Largest Passenger Airliner In the World For 2009 Fall Asia, Australia & New Zealand Sailings

Seattle, Feb. 10: Holland America Line is offering a new cruise-and-fly package on select 2009 Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand sailings that includes airfare between Los Angeles, Calif., and Sydney, Australia. Guests booking air-inclusive Asia and South Pacific cruises on the line’s ms Volendam and ms Amsterdam starting in September will fly on the new Air Qantas A380 Airbus, the largest commercial aircraft in the world, either to or from Sydney, depending on the itinerary. Segments of the Grand Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific voyages also are eligible for the offer.

“This package combines the best of Australia and New Zealand with the opportunity to fly on one of the newest, most-spacious and state-of-the-art aircrafts available,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, for Holland America Line. “And, we are able to offer extraordinary values on these unique cruise-fly packages.”

The A380 air promotion is available on two segments of Amsterdam’s Grand Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Voyage. On the first segment, guests are able to embark in three ports—Vancouver, British Columbia, Sept. 27; Seattle, Wash., Sept. 26, and Los Angeles, Sept. 30—making it 31 to 35 days. While on board, guests will sail throughout French Polynesia, American Samoa, Fiji, the Cook Islands and Tahiti before heading to Australia and disembarking in Sydney. Highlights include crossing the International Date Line and overnight stays at Papeete, Tahiti; Bora Bora, French Polynesia, and Sydney.

Amsterdam will then depart Nov. 1 on a 32-day segment from Sydney to Los Angeles. With eight calls throughout New Zealand, guests will feel like honorary Kiwis before they sail to Tonga, Western Samoa and the islands of Hawaii.

Those interested in a Far East adventure can set sail Oct. 26 on Volendam’s 41-day China, Southeast Asia and Great Barrier Reef Collectors’ Voyage that journeys from Hong Kong to Sydney. The itinerary includes some of Asia Pacific’s best-known destinations, and overnights in Shanghai, China, and Bangkok, Thailand, allow guests to thoroughly explore the cities.

Collectors’ Voyages cater to guests who want to take an extended vacation while receiving a good value for their travel dollar. The cruises combine intriguing ports and offer special fares, making them all the more enticing to those who want a unique yet affordable adventure.

Guests with less time on their hands can take advantage of one of the less extensive voyages available such as the 27-day Collectors’ Voyage departing Nov. 9 from Hong Kong to Sydney, or the 15-day voyage from Singapore to Sydney departing Nov. 21.

Volendam also will sail a 14-day Australia and New Zealand cruise departing Sydney Dec. 6. With eight port calls in New Zealand, guests will have the opportunity to explore the incredible Fiordland National Park before debarking in Auckland.

When in port, guests can choose from a multitude of diverse shore excursions including Overland Adventures, off-the-beaten-track explorations, Signature Collection private-car touring and exclusive Medallion Collection excursions. For a cruise brochure or for more information on Holland America Line’s voyages, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-800-522-3399 or visit

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Holland America Line Adds New Adventures to Its 2009 Alaska
 Shore Excursion Program

SEATTLE, Feb. 10: Noting a trend to get out in the wilderness and frontier towns in Alaska to experience its landscapes, history and culture, Holland America Line has added new shore excursions to its 2009 Alaska program. More than 250 excursions and day tours are available throughout Alaska and the Yukon.

"We are seeing an increase in demand for the more active, adventure tours," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "Many flightseeing tours combine the flight with a walk or trek on a glacier. People want to experience the unique wilderness that Alaska has to offer, and these activities allow them to do that in incredible ways."

With an increasing variety of tours available to cruise and CruiseTour guests in Alaska this season, guests can choose their own activity levels--from relaxing to extremely active. Tours showcase everything from native culture and cuisine to wilderness adventures and wildlife.

A number of new tours have been added for 2009. In Sitka, three new active tours include the Volcano Coast Exploration by Ocean Raft; an Ultimate Adventure Combo-Volcano Exploration by Ocean Raft and 4x4 Adventure; and Sea Mountain Golf. The ocean raft explores the coast of Kruzof Island while looking for seabirds, whales, sea otters, sea lions, brown bears and Sitka black tail deer. Riders are secured in the raft for a thrilling ride at speeds up to 50 mph. The 4x4 adventure climbs to the top of the volcanic crater of Mt. Edgecumbe for magnificent views.

In Skagway, two longer tours combine multiple elements to provide a comprehensive overview of the area: Klondike Summit, Suspension Bridge and Salmon Bake; Klondike Gold Dredge, White Pass Rail and Scenic Highway Expedition. Haines has two new tours: Sunshine Mountain ATV Adventures and Deluxe Haines Highlights.

Juneau's new tours include Alaska Whales and Rainforest Trails (available on Westerdam and Zuiderdam only) and Rainforest Canopy and Zipline Adventure.

Due to the popularity of zipping between trees high up in the forest canopy, another new zipline has been added in Ketchikan-Bear Creek Zip Adventure. And Ketchikan's Cultural Discovery takes guests to Totem Bight State Park, Deer Mountain Hatchery & Eagle Center and Totem Heritage Center.

Flightseeing is a "must do" for many people traveling to Alaska. Excursions are available in most ports with flight paths varying by tour and location to give guests a bird's eye view of the spectacular scenery over sea, mountains, islands, forests and glaciers. Planes include fixed wing, floatplanes and helicopters which often land on glaciers allowing guests the opportunity to get out and walk on the glacier. Active adventurers can go ice trekking on a glacier. Other flightseeing tours head to known bear watching sights deep in the wilderness.

Fishing enthusiasts have many opportunities for fly fishing, sport fishing and crabbing. Many fishing excursions are combined with a seafood feast to savor the fresh catch. Fans of the Discovery Channel's television show Deadliest Catch won't want to miss the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour out of Ketchikan. Guests set out on the f/v Aleutian Ballad -- the same vessel as seen on the show but modified for comfort and safety -- with real fisherman who will set and pull pots for an inside look into their life and livelihood.

A number of culinary excursions provide gourmet feasts in picturesque locations while passing on Alaskan culinary traditions. Three popular excursions in Ketchikan include The Alaskan Chef's Table, Exclusive Guided Fishing and Wilderness Dining and Exclusive Mountaintop Flightseeing and Crab Feed. In Juneau, the Taku Glacier Lodge Feast and Flight by Floatplane is popular and sometimes a bear or two show up lured by the smell of grilled salmon.

New in 2009, guests can purchase a Fresh Ketch 'home excursion,' an Alaskan seafood feast delivered at home for friends and family to enjoy. The ultimate culinary souvenir comes in two packages -- the Halibut Schooner and the Salmon Troller -- and feeds six to eight people. It comes wrapped in a keepsake box decorated with local artwork and filled with menus, recipes, cooking tips, special cooking tools, place cards for your table and secret sauces.

Other popular activities in Alaska include wildlife sightseeing, sea kayaking, hiking excursions and cultural tours exploring the areas Native Alaskan lifestyle. A knowledgeable shore excursion staff is available on each ship to provide insight and assistance in booking the right shore excursion to match guests' expectations.

Holland America Line has been leading tours in Alaska for more than 60 years and has eight premium ships offering a total of 158 cruises and 29 CruiseTours ranging from 10 to 20 days in length. Optional tours are available in most ports or towns throughout Alaska and the Yukon Territory.

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 six-digit booking number may 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.

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Announces New Entertainment Concept:
 "Dinner & A Show”

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL. Feb 9: Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC) announced the introduction of a new entertainment concept, “Dinner and a Show”, aboard the 700-guest, all-suite, all-balcony vessels Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner. The evening’s entertainment, consisting of a gourmet meal in one of the line’s exclusive alternative dining venues, followed by an intimate cabaret-style performance in an elegant lounge, has already proved a hit during the recent introduction aboard both ships as they operate their respective World Cruises.

“We are adding an extra layer to our regular entertainment on these longer voyages,” said Michael Day, Senior Director of Entertainment for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “We wanted to create a truly memorable night that includes a very special menu and some of today’s great cabaret performers from around the world. We are delighted by the high level of interest this concept has generated and, more importantly, the extremely positive response it has elicited from our discerning guests,” he added.

Following a cocktail party featuring French canapés and cocktails, guests enjoy a gourmet meal, accompanied by fine wines, from a special Opera-inspired menu. Highlights of the meal include a Sicilian lobster salad to start, a choice of Tournedos Rossini or Branzino al Ferri for the main course, topped off with Gateau Opera and Petit Fours for dessert. The meal is served in Signatures Restaurant, one of the ships’ alternative dining venues.

Following the meal, the guests adjourn to the redesigned Horizon Lounge for the evening’s performance. To date, these have consisted of special performances from Broadway’s Tony® award-winning show “Forbidden Broadway”; and Key West & Palm Beach’s society singer/pianist Bobby Nesbitt and Friends performing their show “The Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein.” Future “Dinner and a Show” entertainers scheduled to perform are: Broadway Star KT Sullivan; Australian Mo® award-winning singer Rhonda Burchmore; New York cabaret star Jeff Hamar; actress and singing star Susan Anton; and, direct from Buenos Aires, “Tango e Tango”.

As with all entertainment aboard the ships of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, there is no additional charge for “Dinner and a Show.” However, reservations are required for this exclusive and intimate evening. Visit for more information.

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Antipasti, Osso Bucco, Gelato: Canaletto Brings Italian Favorites to Four More Holland America Line Ships

SEATTLE, Feb. 9: A dedicated Italian restaurant first introduced on ms Eurodam, Canaletto will soon be found on four more Holland America Line ships this spring. The popularity of the family style Italian restaurant has prompted the line to add it on board ms Oosterdam, ms Veendam, ms Noordam and ms Amsterdam during planned dry docks scheduled to be completed in early May, 2009.

Canaletto, which debuted on the ms Eurodam in 2008, comes to life for dinner when a section of the Lido restaurant is transformed each evening into the Italian restaurant. Although reservations will be encouraged for this casual dining venue, walk-ups will be accepted. Canaletto will be open for dinner from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm. There is no extra charge.

"We've received very positive comments about Canaletto from our guests on the Eurodam," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "They appreciate the variety offered by yet another restaurant."

Featuring cuisine from many regions in Italy, Canaletto's menu begins with an antipasti plate with a fresh selection of meats and vegetables chosen nightly by the chef. Soup choices include a traditional Italian minestrone and zuppa di pesci, assorted seafood in a tomato broth. Salad Canaletto combines seasonal greens with olives, tomatoes and cucumber. Four pasta dishes are available each evening: spaghetti with meatballs, penne alla vodka, linguine frutti di marre and baked meat lasagna pomodoro. Four more entrees fall under Carne, Pesce o Pollo--meat, fish or chicken. Choices include veal Milanese, chicken marsala scaloppini, osso bucco and cod putanesca.

To end the meal on a sweet note, four desserts have been chosen. Italy's most famous desert, tiramisu, is served as a trio of flavors--espresso, lemon, and Amaretto. There is also limoncello creme, mille-feuille of Madagascar chocolate and four flavors of gelato: strawberry, mango, vanilla and lemon.

Holland America Line's ships feature As You Wish dining which allows guests to choose from the best of both worlds - either traditional pre-set seating and dining times, or a completely flexible dining schedule. In addition to Canaletto, dining options include the main dining room, the casual Lido Buffet, Terrace Grill, the reservations-only Pinnacle Grill and room service. The ms Eurodam also features Slice pizzeria, Tamarind and the Silk Den.

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Silversea Designs More Ways To Discover Alaska By Sea & By Land

Ft. Lauderdale, FL -- February 9, 2009) This summer, Silversea's award-winning all-suite Silver Shadow will set a course for one of the world's last great unspoiled frontiers: Alaska. From May through Sept, Silver Shadow will embark on 12 magnificent voyages, taking a privileged group of 382 travelers to explore a paradise of glaciers, rugged mountains and ancient forests.

The Alaska itineraries feature convenient round-trip or open-jaw departures from San Francisco, Seward and Vancouver. Ranging from seven to 12 days, these intriguing journeys will offer Silversea guests what others can only dream of … breathtaking vistas from a base of floating luxury complemented by optional in-depth explorations ashore that extend the adventure in grand style.

"To capture the complete portrait of Alaska, we're offering an exciting collection of pre- and post-cruise land extensions of two to six nights that can easily fit most traveler's schedules and accommodate the varied interests of our guests," said Darius Mehta, Silversea's director of land programs. "These programs are carefully designed to showcase the region's rich cultural heritage, dramatic natural beauty and abundance of wildlife."

Except as otherwise indicated, the following optional land programs feature deluxe accommodations, all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing, and some meals. The package prices listed are for guests who purchase Silversea's optional air program.

** NEW FOR 2009: "Champion Alaskan Huskies" -- Meet champion dog musher Martin Buser who holds the record for the fastest time in the 1,049-mile Iditarod dogsled race. Visit his home and kennels to see a mushing demonstration, pet and cuddle the puppies, and learn about how he cares for his dogs on and off the trail. This two-night package offered from Seward includes a city tour of Anchorage and accommodations at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel. Meals and some transfers are additional.

** NEW FOR 2009: "Wilderness Retreat" -- Escape to two of Alaska's premier lodges, where awesome landscapes know no boundaries. At the remote and secluded Winter Lake Lodge, silently glide across the lake by canoe taking in the majestic sight of Trimble Glacier. Hike along gentle mountain trails and dine on the owner/chef's gourmet cuisine. Travel by floatplane to Talkeetna Lodge for spectacular views of famed Mount McKinley and excursions that take you floating down the Susitna River, in search of wildlife on a jetboating safari, and flying around North America's highest peak before touching down for an unforgettable glacier landing. This five-night package offered from Seward includes a luxury railway transfer through the scenic mountain ranges of the Matanuska Valley.

** From Vancouver, "The Majestic Canadian Rockies" four-, five- or six-night program explores the breathtaking peaks and valleys of the Canadian Rockies from the comfort of your railcar. Enjoy two nights in Banff and visit the "Jewel of the Canadian Rockies" -- Lake Louise, set in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join the Rocky Mountaineer for a two-day journey by rail through the snow-capped Canadian Rockies, past the Continental Divide, the Spiral Tunnels and Kicking Horse Canyon to Kamloops for an overnight stay.

** From Seward, the three-night "Denali -- Nature at Her Grandest" program features a journey to Denali by luxury rail, crossing the magnificent vista of Hurricane Gulch. Denali National Park, one of the world's greatest wildlife sanctuaries, offers the chance to spot grizzly bears, caribou, moose and perhaps even wolves. The park rests under the shadow of spectacular Mount McKinley, North America's highest mountain.

** Also from Seward, the six-night "Land of the Midnight Sun" offers the ultimate Alaskan experience, combining the grandeur of Denali National Park with a journey of over 300 miles above the Arctic Circle to Barrow, the largest Inuit settlement in Alaska. Here in the land of the midnight sun, stand on the northernmost tip of the continent, encounter the unique traditional lifestyle of native Alaskans and explore the white wilderness of the tundra.

Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard its intimate, all-suite vessels: Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper -- and launching in December, Silver Spirit -- all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. With the addition of the regal expedition ship Prince Albert II, the company's itineraries encompass all seven continents. For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent. For a complimentary brochure, please call toll-free (877) 215-9986 or visit

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Circle ‘C’ Club, Seaside Theater, New Balconies Added to Carnival Conquest

MIAMI, Feb 5: The 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest resumed service this week from Galveston, Texas, following an extensive, multi-million-dollar renovation that included the addition of a new Circle “C” club for 12- to 14-year-olds and a massive LED screen on Lido Deck. Eighteen balconies were also added to existing ocean view staterooms. The Camp Carnival and Club O2 facilities for children and teens, respectively, were also updated.

The 110,000-ton Carnival Conquest operates year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises departing Galveston every Sunday. In addition to seven-day western Caribbean cruises to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, the ship begins a new weeklong eastern Caribbean option Feb. 15, with calls at Key West, Freeport and Nassau. The Feb. 15 departure will be the first of 11 eastern Caribbean cruises this year.

“Carnival Conquest is already a popular cruise vacation option and with these new guest-pleasing features – along with an exciting eastern Caribbean itinerary – we’re making a terrific ‘Fun Ship’ even better,” said Roberta Jacoby, Carnival’s senior vice president of hotel operations.

Expansive Kid-Friendly Facilities
Carnival Conquest’s extensive renovation included the addition of a Circle “C” facility on Atlantic Deck 8, part of the line’s fleetwide program aimed at 12- to 14-year olds. The center includes a high-tech sound and lighting system, plasma screen TVs displaying movies and music videos, a touch-screen jukebox, and gaming pods with the latest video games and consoles.

In addition to the new Circle “C” center, the 4,200-square-foot Camp Carnival play area was remodeled with updated gaming stations, while the 1,800-square-foot Club O2 teen center now features new plasma TVs. Various cosmetic enhancements were made to both rooms, as well.

Carnival’s Seaside Theatre
Carnival Conquest is also the latest “Fun Ship” to feature the line’s popular “Carnival Seaside Theatre,” a massive 270-square-foot LED screen on Lido Deck displaying movies, concerts, sporting events, and other programming, including a “Morning Show” hosted by the ship’s cruise director. Utilizing the same technology featured in large stadiums and New York’s Times Square, the state-of-the-art entertainment system includes a 70,000-watt sound system, providing concert quality sound, even outdoors.

New Balconies, Other Enhancements
Eighteen staterooms on the Carnival Conquest that previously featured floor-to-ceiling windows have been retrofitted with private balconies, creating expansive 230-square-foot verandah staterooms. Including these accommodations, Carnival Conquest now has 573 total balcony staterooms – ideal for scenic Caribbean cruising.

Additionally, dozens of individual pieces of exercise equipment were replaced in the ship’s 14,500-square-foot Spa Carnival facility. Carnival Conquest is also the latest “Fun Ship” to offer bow-to-stern Wi-Fi access, enabling guests to use their laptop computers from any location on the ship, including their staterooms. For more information and reservations on the Carnival Conquest’s seven-day cruises from Galveston, or any other vessel in the “Fun Ship” fleet, call 1-800-327-9501.

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Windstar Cruises Announces New Canary Islands Sailings for November 2009

SEATTLE, Feb. 5: Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore the hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, announces two new 7-day sailings to the Canary Islands in November 2009 on Wind Spirit. More than 10 years have passed since Windstar Cruises has offered a Canary Islands itinerary.

Wind Spirit departs Lisbon, Portugal on November 14, 2009, and visits the vibrant, cosmopolitan city of Casablanca and seaside resort town of Agadir, Morocco, on the northwest coast of Africa before sailing to ports of Lanzarote, Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands. On the November 21, 2009 sailing, Wind Spirit will depart Santa Cruz de Tenerife and cruise to Las Palmas, Lanzarote, Agadir and Casablanca before arriving in Lisbon. On these exotic voyages guests will be able to experience Moroccan culture and history, sun-drenched beaches, volcanic landscapes, sand dunes and stunning flora and fauna.

A variety of optional shore excursions will also be available including a Moroccan dinner with belly dancing in Casablanca, a sightseeing trip to Marrakech, a camel trek in Agadir, hiking and cave exploring in Las Palmas and volcanic crater expeditions and wine tasting in Lanzarote. These excursions will be available for advance purchase online at

Wind Spirit accommodates 148 guests and offers deluxe, oceanview staterooms that include beds with luxury linens and mattresses, flat-screen TV and DVD player, Bose SoundDock speakers for Apple iPods, waffle-weave robes with slippers and sumptuous L'Occitane products. Culinary wonders abound in Wind Spirit's The Restaurant and The Veranda. Enjoy live music in the Lounge and cocktails in the Pool Bar. Unwind in the sea air in a chaise lounge on deck or take a dip in Wind Spirit's pool or hot tub. Salon services, relaxing massages, facials and nail treatments can be indulged in at WindSpa. For more information including rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Seabourn Announces February One-Week Sale

MIAMI, Feb 5: The Yachts of Seabourn has announced a one-week sale of selected voyages in Europe. The promotion offers savings of 60 percent off the brochure fares for 14 voyages of seven to 14 days aboard the intimate Seabourn Pride, Spirit, Legend and Seabourn Odyssey between March and August of 2009. To qualify, bookings must be made from Monday, February 9 until close of business on Monday February 16, 2009.

The offer, which is in lieu of any other promotional offer or savings, is valid for new bookings on 14 voyages in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, and features lead-in fares from $2,840 per person, based on double occupancy of a 277-square foot ocean-view suite. The special sale savings are valid for all categories of suites on Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend and on suite categories up to and including PH on Seabourn Odyssey. The list of included voyages is:

Seabourn Pride
-- March 18 Portugal Passage I - Fort Lauderdale to Lisbon 13 days
-- March 31 Grand Mediterranean - Lisbon to Athens (Piraeus) 14 days
-- April 14 Mediterranean Panorama - Athens (Piraeus) to Lisbon 14 days
-- May 12 Grand Harbors of Europe - Dover to Copenhagen 11 days
-- June 13 Norwegian Fjords - Round Trip Copenhagen 9 days
-- June 22 Scandinavia & Russia - Round Trip Copenhagen 12 days

Seabourn Spirit
-- June 20 or July 11 Italian Idyll - Venice to Rome (Civitavecchia) 7 days

Seabourn Legend
-- Apr 16 Iberian Spring - Lisbon to Barcelona 10 days
-- June 20 Cote d’ Azur & Spanish Isles - Monte Carlo to Barcelona 7 days
-- June 27 The Yachtsman’s Riviera - Barcelona to Monte Carlo 7 days
-- July 11 Sardinia, Corsica & Cote d’Azur - Rome (Civitavecchia) to Monte Carlo 7 days

Seabourn Odyssey
-- July 18 Aegean Odyssey- Istanbul to Athens (Piraeus) 7 days
J-- uly 25 Greece & Dalmatian Delights - Athens (Piraeus) to Venice 7 days

For details, or to take advantage of this special one-week sale, contact your travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Costa Cruises Invest 22 Million Euros in Fleet Maintenance

MIAMI, Feb 5: Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, invested approximately 22 million Euros in the past three months for maintenance on five of the 12 ships in its fleet. Ships that were dry-docked for maintenance included the Costa Serena, Costa Europa, Costa Atlantica, Costa Romantica and Costa Concordia. Operations were carried out on the Costa Serena, the Costa Europa, the Costa Atlantica (in Palermo), the Costa Romantica (in Genoa) and the Costa Concordia (in Trieste) from the end of October 2008 to the end of January 2009.

The Costa Serena was dry-docked from Jan 28 through Feb 11, 2009 in Fincantieri’s Palermo shipyard. Two of the key improvements made on the Costa Serena included specific shipboard energy and fuel saving measures. One involved the installation of special air conditioning regulators, a system already in use on the Costa Fortuna. These devices are designed to increase the efficiency of the air conditioning systems in public areas with airflow adjusting automatically according to the number of people in the room and based on the outside temperature. The other operation involved the application of a special ecological silicone-based coating that inhibits the growth of microorganisms on the hull’s surface without releasing toxic substances into the sea. This enhances hydrodynamic performance while reducing environmental impact given the subsequent decrease in fuel consumption.

Additional maintenance performed on the Costa Serena and on the four other Costa ships in dry dock was routine and is carried out on each vessel every two years to maintain high quality standards of the company’s fleet and to comply with Italian and international safety regulations. This maintenance involves the hull and engine section and the hotel section. Scheduled hotel operations include the replacement of carpeting, curtains, upholstery and other items and materials subject to wear and tear in the public areas.

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Holland America Line Celebrates Alaska's 50th Anniversary of Statehood With 50 Percent Savings on Many CruiseTours

SEATTLE, Feb. 5 -- In recognition of Alaska's golden anniversary of statehood, Holland America Line is offering 50 percent off on many CruiseTour itineraries and stateroom upgrades from $50. Shipboard culinary events also are planned to further commemorate the state's anniversary.

"There has never been a better time to travel to Alaska," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "We are offering incredible values on CruiseTours this year, and because of the historical significance of the 50th anniversary, guests in Alaska can take advantage of special fares and events."

In 2009, guests can travel on select Alaska CruiseTours for 50 percent off the original price with deposits reduced by 50 percent. When booking an inside stateroom, guests can upgrade to an outside stateroom from $50 and third and fourth guests in a stateroom are 50 percent off the regular CruiseTour fare. In Vancouver B.C., travelers can add a deluxe downtown hotel room night onto their tour for as low as $50.

With 29 different itineraries varying in length from 10 to 20 days, CruiseTours include a scenic cruise of the Inside Passage and a land tour to a wide range of places throughout Alaska and the Yukon. Tours go to major cities of Anchorage and Fairbanks, wilderness areas in the Yukon, Denali National Park, the Kenai Peninsula, Alyeska, the Arctic and Homer. Rates now start at $949 per person, based on double occupancy. This particular rate is available on CruiseTour 11, a 12-day Discovery Cruise and Denali Adventure.

Onboard Celebrations
In honor of Alaska's 50th anniversary of statehood, the line is bringing back its popular "Salmon 50 Ways" on its ships in Alaska. Over the course of a seven-day cruise, wild Alaskan salmon will be prepared 50 different ways, each a unique recipe. Diners will find salmon available for lunch and dinner each day.

One night during each cruise, a special Alaska Celebration Menu will be served in the main dining room. Created especially for the occasion by Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, the menu showcases the foods and culinary traditions enjoyed throughout Alaska's history. Entrees include items such as Sitka razor neck clams with noodles, braised caribou steak with wild mushrooms and Alaskan king crab cobb salad.

Holland America Line has been leading tours in Alaska for more than 60 years and has eight premium ships offering a total of 156 cruises and 29 CruiseTours ranging from 10 to 20 days in length. For more information about booking, contact a travel agent or call 1-877-724-5425 or visit

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John Mayer & Friends Get On Board for One Splendid Evening

Feb 4 – Carnival Cruise Lines and Mayercraft Carrier 2 present “One Splendid Evening,” a special concert event to benefit the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. The one night only event will take place the evening of March 26, 2009. Proceeds will help restore instrumental music education in America’s public schools and raise awareness about the importance of music as part of a child’s complete education.

One Splendid Evening will be held on board the new Carnival Splendor, Carnival’s largest and most innovative ship, while the vessel is docked at the Port of San Pedro in Los Angeles. The evening will include performances by Grammy Award winner John Mayer, Jordin Sparks, Gavin Rossdale, Sara Bareilles, O.A.R., Guster, Erin McCarley and DJ Logic. Guests will enjoy dinner, an open bar and additional live entertainment throughout the ship. The next day, the ship sets sail on a special four-day music cruise – the “Mayercraft Carrier 2: Even Crafter” voyage.

“We are very excited that Carnival Cruise Lines and Mayercraft have chosen to support music education in our schools at a time when many programs are at risk of being cut,” said Paul Cothran, Executive Director, VH1 Save The Music Foundation. “We are grateful to the performing artists for donating both their time and talent to our cause.”

One Splendid Evening will give guests an opportunity to explore the $640 million Carnival Splendor, the largest "Fun Ship" ever based year-round in Southern California. The ship can accommodate more than 3,000 passengers and features a luxurious 21,000-square-foot spa, four swimming pools, a 270-square-foot outdoor movie screen and 22 bars and lounges.

Atlanta-based Sixthman will produce both the dockside One Splendid Evening and the fully chartered Mayercraft Carrier 2: Even Craftier. The second annual music cruise, hosted by John Mayer, will sail March 27-31, 2009 from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. While onboard, music fans will enjoy concert performances by John Mayer, O.A.R., Guster and over a dozen other bands for a music festival at sea. For more information, visit Tickets for One Splendid Evening will go on sale February 11, 2009. For more information about One Splendid Evening or to buy tickets, visit

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MSC Fantasia Virtual Brochure Now Available

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Feb 4 – Guests can get a close-up look at MSC Cruises’ new MSC Fantasia, thanks to a new virtual brochure now available online. The 28-page brochure, available in both English and French at and, provides guests and travel agents an easily accessible way to view what they can expect onboard MSC Fantasia, the largest ship built for a European ship owner. Christened in Naples on Dec. 18, 2008. the ship’s virtual brochure details the ship’s inaugural season, which features 7- and 11-night Mediterranean itineraries.

The launch of MSC Fantasia will mark the beginning of a new concept in cruise ships for MSC Cruises: MSC YACHT CLUB, a dedicated VIP area with 99 beautiful, spacious suites fitted out to the highest standards, special restricted-access areas and exclusive, personalized butler service and a concierge.

Other MSC Yacht Club exclusive features include:
-- Priority boarding and check-in
-- Complimentary dining and special menus at L’Etoile French restaurant
-- Reserved VIP dining area in Il Cerchio D’Oro
-- Direct private access to Aurea Spa, along with VIP rooms
-- Daily English High Tea
-- Top Sail Lounge, with its panoramic views
-- VIP reserved area in Liquid Disco
-- One Pool & Spa, with bar, Jacuzzis and pool with sky dome
-- Private library
-- Complimentary mini-bar in each suite
-- Complimentary beverages (select wines and spirits, beer, soft drinks, juices, mineral water, espresso)

In addition to providing guests with a detailed look into the MSC Yacht Club and its many special amenities, the interactive brochure also allows guests to view the ship’s expansive public areas, including the 16,000-square-foot Aurea Spa, the Aqua Park, children’s play area (Il Polo Nord), optional dining experiences (including El Sombrero Tex-Mex restaurant and L’Etoile French restaurant), and the Teen Disco. For more information about MSC Cruises and the arrival of MSC Fantasia, visit or a local travel professional.

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John Lithgow & Ted Koppel Set to Take Center Stage Aboard Silversea

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Feb 4 -- Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises is delighted to announce that they will have the pleasure of welcoming two icons in the fields of entertainment and journalism as celebrity guest speakers: award-winning actor John Lithgow and celebrated broadcast journalist Ted Koppel.

"We are excited and honored to welcome such distinguished individuals to host what will surely be deeply engaging presentations," said Cliff Perry, Silversea's director of entertainment. "Our guests are well traveled, well educated and inquisitive, making the enrichment program an extremely important aspect of the cruise experience. Being able to feature Mr. Lithgow and Mr. Koppel demonstrates our commitment to selecting guest speakers of the highest caliber."

John Lithgow, a theater actor at heart, won the first of two Tony Awards three weeks after his Broadway debut, in David Storey's The Changing Room. He went on to make a major mark in films with Oscar nominations for his performances in The World According to Garp and Terms of Endearment. He has been nominated for ten Emmy Awards for his work in television. He won three Emmy Awards, one Golden Globe, two SAG Awards and an American Comedy Award for what is perhaps his most celebrated creation -- the loopy character of the alien High Commander, Dick Solomon, on the hit NBC comedy series 3rd Rock from the Sun.

Aboard Silver Cloud's Stockholm-to-Copenhagen cruise sailing July 4 (#1915), Lithgow will reprise a portion of his one-man show, Stories by Heart, the same presentation that proved hugely popular with Silversea guests during his debut performance last year aboard Silver Whisper. Stories by Heart is a meditation on the art and essence of storytelling that played a successful limited engagement at Lincoln Center's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in New York. Invoking memories of his grandmother and father before him, Lithgow traces his own history as an actor and storyteller, a history spanning three generations.

Ted Koppel spent 43 years working at ABC News, 26 of them as anchor and managing editor of Nightline. He has won every major industry award, including 42 Emmy Awards, eleven duPont-Columbia Awards, ten Overseas Press Club Awards and eight George Foster Peabody Awards. From Vietnam in the sixties to Iraq in 2003, he has covered more than ten wars. His career as a political reporter spans from the Johnson and Goldwater presidential campaigns of 1964 to the recent Obama-McCain contest. Currently, he is a senior news analyst for National Public Radio and a contributing analyst for the BBC.

On Silver Whisper's April 5 Tokyo-to-Singapore voyage (#4909), Koppel is scheduled to lecture on international affairs and host a screening of the final segment of The People's Republic of Capitalism, an enlightening four-part program on China he produced with Discovery Channel. (Guests will be able to view the first three parts of the series on their in-suite televisions.) Following the screening, Koppel will respond to questions and comments from the audience.

Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard its intimate, all-suite vessels: Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper -- and launching in December, Silver Spirit -- all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. With the addition of the regal expedition ship Prince Albert II, the company's itineraries encompass all seven continents. For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent. For a complimentary brochure, please call toll-free (877) 215-9986 or visit

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Sail Into The Sunset This Valentine's Day

Couples will fall in love all over again with NCL’s romantic touches, getaway deals and packages. For couples looking to embark on a romantic cruise this Valentine’s Day, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is offering sunshine escapes with sweet deals to set hearts a flutter. Guests who book a cruise from now through March 15, 2009 on any of NCL’s sailings receive up to $250 in on-board credit* to be used on everything from romantic shore excursions and candlelit dinners to couples’ spa treatments and more.

Once onboard, love birds are greeted with a welcome aboard glass of bubbly. Throughout the cruise, guests can find many ways to spoil their special someone including the purchase of fresh long-stem roses and a flower turn-down in the evening. Romantic dinners in NCL’s signature French restaurant, Le Bistro, where a special six-course dinner features extraordinary culinary delights such as seared spiced-crusted sea scallops, grilled swordfish loin and chocolate fondue or cheesecake St. Valentine for dessert. After dinner, guests can whisk their loved ones away to a night of dancing in any of NCL’s many bars and lounges, where specialty cocktails such as a Valentine’s Kiss, made with white chocolate liqueur, crème de cacao white and vanilla vodka, will be available throughout the sailing. In addition, each Valentine’s Day cruise features decadent chocolate treats in NCL’s action station restaurants, intimate couples’ massages in its relaxing spas and dazzling keepsakes from diamond earrings to watches in the many shops on board.

Sweet Deals
These last-minute getaways are sure to make couples feel as if they have just been struck by cupid’s arrow.

-- Feb. 6: Norwegian Jewel, 9-day Southern Caribbean cruise roundtrip from Miami, calling in Samana, Tortola, St. John’s, Bridgetown and Castries; from $999 per person.
-- Feb. 6: Norwegian Jade, 0-day Canary Islands & Morocco cruise roundtrip from Barcelona, calling in Casablanca, Agadir, Las Palmas, Funchal and Granada; from $949 per person.
-- Feb. 8: Norwegian Pearl, 7-day Western Caribbean cruise roundtrip from Miami, calling in Roatan, Belize City, Cozumel and Great Stirrup Cay (NCL’s private island); from $599 per person.
-- Feb. 8: Norwegian Spirit, 7-day Exotic Western Caribbean cruise roundtrip from New Orleans, calling in Costa Maya, Santo Tomas, Belize City and Cozumel; from $549 per person.
-- Feb. 13: Norwegian Sky, 3-day Bahamas cruise roundtrip from Miami, calling in Grand Bahama Island, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay (NCL’s private island); from $229 per person.
-- Feb. 14: Pride of America, 7-day Hawaii Inter-Island cruise roundtrip from Honolulu, calling in Kahului, Hilo, Kona, and Nāwiliwili; from $1,299 per person.
-- Feb. 14: Norwegian Star, 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise roundtrip from Los Angeles, calling in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta; from $549 per person.
-- Feb. 14: Norwegian Dawn, 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise roundtrip from Miami, calling in Samaná, St.Thomas, Tortola, and Great Stirrup Cay (NCL’s private island); from $999 per person.
-- Feb. 14: Norwegian Gem, 7-day Bahamas & Florida cruise roundtrip from New York, calling in Orlando, Great Stirrup Cay (NCL’s private island); Nassau and Grand Bahama Island; from $699 per person.

Dream Dates
Taking the romance onto land, NCL offers a variety of romantic shore excursion options. Couples can explore mangroves by kayak and escape to the beautiful white-sand beaches of Cayo Levantado in the Dominican Republic; share a moment beneath one of Hawaii’s captivating waterfalls; or voyage to Stone Island on a catamaran off the coast of the Mexican Riviera. NCL also offers tailor-made shore excursions through its Ultimate Touring, where couples can create their own romantic dream date.

Romance Packages to Fall in Love With
NCL takes the stress of planning the perfect Valentine’s Day celebration away. To plan the perfect escape couples may choose from one of several romance packages:

· Romance Package – Includes sparkling wine and strawberries in stateroom upon embarkation, a traditional spa pedicure and manicure for one, two 25-minute half-body Seven Seas Massages and tea service in stateroom one afternoon. $249 per stateroom.
· Deluxe Romance Package – Includes sparkling wine and strawberries in stateroom upon embarkation, choice of Exotic Frangipani Body Nourishing Wrap or Exotic Coconut and Milk Ritual Wrap for one, two 25-minute half-body Seven Seas Massages, tea service in stateroom one afternoon, breakfast in bed, a keepsake formal portrait, and a romantic dinner for two with a complimentary bottle of wine in NCL’s signature restaurant, Le Bistro. $329 per stateroom.

For more information or to book an NCL getaway or romance package, call your travel agent, NCL at (800) 327-7030, or go to

* The amount of the on-board credit varies depending on the length of cruise and category of stateroom booked. For example, on sailings of six days or longer, the on-board credit ranges from $25 for an inside stateroom; up to $75 for a balcony, $150 for a suite or villa and $250 for a garden villa. For 3- to 5-day sailings, the on-board credit ranges from $15 for an inside stateroom up to $75 for a suite/villa.

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Seabourn Unveils Its Biggest Season Yet: New Yachts, Itineraries
 & Exotic Ports of Call

Miami, Feb 3 – Spin the globe and stop it with your fingerchances are The Yachts of Seabourn travel where it lands. The ultra-luxury cruise line unveils new itineraries and exotic ports of call for 2010-2011. With two new Seabourn yachts and a host of new destinations, the line’s well-traveled guests can look forward to its most extensive and diverse year yet. Cruises during the 15-month period are now featured on the line’s website at and are open for sale. A cruise catalogue will be published in April.

With its fleet of intimate, all-suite yachts, Seabourn is able to access less-traveled destinations that larger vessels can’t. With the addition of Seabourn Odyssey in June 2009 and Seabourn Sojourn in June 2010, the expanded fleet allows Seabourn to continue offering a full array of popular Mediterranean and Caribbean itineraries, but also explore newer, more exotic ports of call, such as Palopo on Sulawesi; Zanzibar, Tanzania; and Antseranana, Madagascar.

Starting in 2010-2011, Seabourn will operate year-round in Asiaa first for the fleet. As interest in travel to Asia continues to grow, Seabourn is offering many new itineraries as well as its first return to Indonesia in years. New Asian ports of call include Dalian, China; Busan and Inchon, Korea; Nagasaki and Kagoshima, Japan; and numerous Indonesian destinations, including Bali, Borneo, Komodo Island and the Karimoenjawa archipelago.

“One of the many benefits of our newbuilding program is the ability to add exotic, new itineraries in 2010 and 2011,” said Pamela C. Conover, president and CEO of Seabourn. “We are very excited about them and we think our guests will be too. We have never before offered such a wide range of destinations – from small-ship exclusives in the Caribbean and Mediterranean to more remote ports in Asia and Africa.”

The following are highlights to look forward to from The Yachts of Seabourn in 2010-2011:

Exotic New Ports of Call
With a deployment of five ships to the far reaches of the world, Seabourn will call at a record number of ports throughout 2010-2011, including 44 destinations that are either brand new for the cruise line, or where they have not called for years, from wealthy Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. to historically rich Zanzibar in Tanzania. New destinations include Antseranana, Madagascar; Busan, Jeju Island, Yeosu and Mokpo, South Korea; Djupivogur, Iceland; Doha, Qatar; Kagoshima, Japan; Karimoenjawa, Lombok, and Savu, Indonesia; Kuching, Malaysia; Fremantle, Australia; Mayotte, Comoros; Sir Bani Yas, U.A.E.; Manama, Bahrain; Mangalore, India; Muara Port, Brunei; Port Stanley, Falkland Islands; Sibenik, Croatia; Rarotonga, Cook Islands; Sihanoukville, Cambodia; Szczencin, Poland; and Torshavn, Faroe Islands, Denmark.

New Itineraries
In 2010-2011, Seabourn will return to Indonesia for the first time in years as Seabourn Spirit offers Gems of the Java Sea I and II with stops in Singapore, Kuching, the tiny island of Karimoenjawa, the legendary dragon island of Komodo, and Kota Kinabalu, where a Heritage Village is preserving the fast-disappearing tribal cultures of Borneo. Seabourn Pride will sail a China Journey from Hong Kong to Xingang, operating between the People’s Republic and Taiwan for the first time. Seabourn Spirit offers Java, Bali & the Barrier Reef, a winter cruisefrom Singapore to Darwin, Australia, taking in the Borobudur UNESCO World Heritage site in Semarang and frontier Cooktown, only recently connected to the rest of Australia by a road. Other new Seabourn itineraries include China/Korea/Japan Journey from Xingang to Kobe; Japan/Korea/China from Kobe to Shanghai; Spice Islands Holiday round trip from Singapore; Indian Ocean Edens from Dubai to Mahe, Seychelles; and Pearls of Arabia round trip from Dubai.

Expanded Destination Services
Whichever the yacht and whatever the destination, guests of Seabourn can look forward to the finest shoreside services in the luxury cruise segment. A newly-expanded destination services department will offer guests a wider variety of land-based activities, including Seabourn Journeys escorted extensions to Bhutan, Kyoto and Tokyo, and opportunities to experience the wonders of the Africa on safari in Kenya. Other new offerings include a four-night Florence and Venice Journey, including guided tours of each city; and a five-night Laos and Cambodia Journey, including a visit to UNESCO World Heritage Site Luang Prabang.

New Ships to Sail
Launching in Greenwich on June 6, 2010, the ultra-luxury yacht Seabourn Sojourn’s first season includes her 14-day maiden voyage from Greenwich to Dover visiting Scotland, Faroes and Iceland, and a 14-day voyage to the Baltic sailing roundtrip from Dover. In 2011, Sojourn embarks on a 110-day World Cruise from Los Angeles to London via the South Pacific, New Zealand, around Western Australia, Indonesia and Southeast Asia, India, Arabia and the Mediterranean.

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

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NCL Invites Families To Cruise Into Savings With Kids Sailing From $99

MIAMI, Feb 3 – Now is the time to book a summer Freestyle Cruising vacation on board any of Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) 11 ships with its extended Freestyle Resolution promotion. Families who book a cruise from now through March 15, 2009 on many of NCL’s sailings* can take their kids for as low as $99 each, and also receive up to $250 in on-board credit** to be used on everything from shore excursions and specialty dinners to spa treatments, the casino and more.

“This summer, NCL offers families a vacation of a lifetime to fantastic destinations like Alaska, Bermuda, Hawai’i, and Europe all at an affordable price,” said Kevin Sheehan, NCL’s president and CEO. “Family cruises on NCL have great activities for kids of all ages, from our expanded Kid’s Crew program allowing parents to take the night off for a romantic dinner, to the two-story Nintendo Wii, four-lane bowling, rock climbing wall, teen disco, and arcade, not to mention all the exciting shore excursions in each port of call – there’s no doubt kids will have as much fun as adults.”

Popular summer sailings include, a 7-day Sawyer Glacier cruise round-trip from Vancouver, British Columbia on Norwegian Sun with ports of call including Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, Alaska, from $599 per person. Norwegian Spirit features a 7-day Bermuda cruise round-trip from Boston, from $599 per person; and Norwegian Gem features a 7-day Western Mediterranean sailing round-trip from Barcelona, Spain to Valletta, Malta; Naples, Rome and Florence, Italy; and Cannes, France; from $599 per person. Pride of America offers a 7-day inter-island Hawaii cruise departing from Honolulu and visiting Hilo and Kona, Hawaii; along with overnights in Kahului, Maui and Nawiliwili, Kaui from $999 per person.

Families sailing with NCL can also save while onboard with half price dinners for children three to 12 years old in its numerous specialty restaurants. In addition, families can purchase an unlimited soda package for kids 12 and under for $39.50 which includes a Kid’s Crew backpack, t-shirt, and baseball cap. For teens, the Teen Passport Program is just $34.50 and includes a booklet with 20 tickets for non-alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic smoothies; and admission to an afternoon dance party with DJ, pizza and unlimited soft drinks.

With NCL’s new Groups 2.0 program, families looking to host reunions onboard can save even more. When booking eight or more staterooms via a travel partner, amenities offered range from the ability to make advance Freestyle Dining reservations in any restaurant prior to sailing, to a group cocktail party, on-board credits which can be used throughout the ship, and Freestyle Bowling in the Bliss Ultra Lounge, amongst others.

To book a sailing, contact a travel professional or NCL at 866-234-0292. Further information can be found online at

* One and 2-day sailings are excluded from NCL’s Freestyle Resolution promotion.
** The amount of the on-board credit varies depending on the length of cruise* and category of stateroom booked. For example, on sailings of six days or longer, the on-board credit ranges from $25 for an inside stateroom; up to $75 for a balcony, $150 for a suite or villa and $250 for a garden villa. For three to five day sailings, the on-board credit ranges from $15 for an inside stateroom up to $75 for a suite/villa.

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Seven-Category Upgrades Available on Select MSC Lirica Sailings

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Feb 3 – MSC Cruises is offering special bonus upgrades of up to seven stateroom categories on select 10-night Caribbean sailings on MSC Lirica. Cruise-only rates begin at $699 on MSC Lirica’s 10 night Deep Caribbean itineraries sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on March 4 and March 24. Rates begin at $799 on the 10-night Caribbean Featuring Panama itinerary that departs Fort Lauderdale March 14. All rates quoted are per person, double occupancy; government fees and taxes are additional.

Guests who book by Feb. 28 and pay at the time of booking are eligible for an up to seven-category upgrade (depending on availability), resulting in an upgrade from an inside to an outside stateroom. Also, guests who book a Category 8 balcony stateroom are eligible for an upgrade to a suite.

The Deep Caribbean itineraries take guests to San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Port Castries, St. Lucia; St. John’s, Antigua; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic. Guests also have three days at sea to enjoy the Italian ambiance and many activities available onboard MSC Lirica.

On the Caribbean Featuring Panama sailing, the ship calls at Costa Maya, Mexico; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Cristobal, Panama; Cartagena, Colombia; and Cayo Levantado, and has two sea days.

Both itineraries include calls at the line’s private paradise experience at Cayo Levantado. For more information about MSC Cruises, visit or a local travel professional.

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Nearly 100 New Crystal Adventures Debut in the Mediterranean

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3 -- Luxury and adventure specialist Crystal Cruises is introducing 100 new Crystal Adventures in the Mediterranean for 2009. Besides hundreds of carefully crafted cultural and historic excursions, the line is offering its largest selection ever of active outdoor pursuits. Thrilling options such as paragliding, rock-climbing, windsurfing and hiking allow guests to explore daring new territory. All told, Crystal will offer more than 500 Mediterranean Crystal Adventures--25 percent more than last year--in ports in Italy, Croatia, Greece, Spain, Turkey and Portugal from June through October on 7- and 12-day voyages.

"Many Crystal guests seek physically-challenging shoreside experiences that allow them to actively immerse themselves in a destination," says John Stoll, director, land programs. "For those wishing to be perpetually energized, we continue to feature options that will pique travelers' curiosity mentally and physically."

NEW Mediterranean Crystal Adventures include:

-- Paragliding over Spain's Lleida countryside (Barcelona)
-- Windsurfing along one of the world's most stunning peninsulas in Turkey (Bodrum)
-- Free Climbing at Malacka, one of Croatia's most exciting free-climbing courses (Trogir)
-- Trekking across Italy's Palmeria Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Portovenere)
-- Horseback Riding through Spain's Montseny National Park, and exploring the rugged countryside terrain by ATV (Barcelona)
-- Rafting on the Cetina River, renowned for prehistoric artifacts on its banks (Trogir) -- Hiking along the breathtaking Amalfi Coast in Italy, 1,500 above sea level (Sorrento)

The new tours join dozens of adventurous favorites including hiking a still-active volcano in Italy, and mountain biking and exploring caves in Greece.

All 2009 Mediterranean cruises qualify for Crystal's Save Now, Save Later program, allowing guests who book their 2009 vacation by March 31 to save 20 percent on most 2010 cruises. Travelers can also save up to $1,500 per person on most Mediterranean voyages with the line's European Celebration Savings program. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the line's website,

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Caribbean Princess Emerges From Drydock with Line’s Signature Features

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Feb 2 – Caribbean Princess has just emerged from an extensive three-week drydock to add many of Princess Cruises’ signature features that have proven so popular on its newest ships. The vessel now offers passengers the engaging street-café atmosphere of the piazza-style atrium with its International Café and Vines, the wine, seafood and cheese bar; the adults-only Sanctuary, seven new suites, and a more centrally located casino. Work is also nearly complete on a new Crown Grill steak and seafood restaurant. These amenities became passenger favorites when they debuted aboard Crown Princess, Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess over the last three years, and are being added to a number of ships, including Golden Princess in May. The company has already introduced many of these features on Star Princess and Grand Princess.

“We want to give passengers who sail aboard any of our large ships the opportunity to enjoy the innovative amenities that have become hallmarks of the Princess cruise experience,” said Jan Swartz, executive vice president of Princess Cruises.

Caribbean Princess’ new atrium now features the specialty coffees, fresh baked cookies and pastries, paninis and tapas of the International Café. Also new is the Vines wine bar offering a selection of more than 30 wines by the glass, plus a selection of seafood, artisan meats and cheeses, and a wine shop where passengers can purchase their favorite bottle.

Adult passengers looking to get away from it all will be able to relax in the tranquility of The Sanctuary, Princess’ signature retreat featuring plush padded lounge chairs and the services of dedicated Serenity Stewards. Visitors to this exclusive space can enjoy refreshing beverages and light snacks, or receive a massage in one of two private cabanas.

Caribbean Princess will soon debut a brand new Crown Grill restaurant featuring an open kitchen where passengers can enjoy watching as chefs prepare chops, steaks and seafood, including live lobsters.

As part of the renovation, the 3,080-passenger ship – which debuted in 2004 – also received seven new suites with ocean-view picture windows, and a relocated casino on deck 7, bringing it into the ship’s central entertainment area. Other changes include a new location for the sports court, a new Limelight boutique, new shore excursions and Captain’s Circle desks, new Internet café and library, and the addition of flat-screen televisions in all staterooms.

The dramatic makeover took place at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas, where more than 1,500 workers and contractors worked around the clock to complete the impressive project. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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130,000-Ton Carnival Dream: The Ultimate Family Vacation

MIAMI, Feb 2 – With more than 19,000 total square feet of space catering to children, ’tweens and teens – from expansive indoor and outdoor play areas to a sprawling aqua park housing the cruise industry’s longest water slide – the 130,000-ton Carnival Dream is designed as the ideal family vacation. In addition to modern facilities and the most dedicated space to families in the “Fun Ship” fleet, Carnival Dream’s kid-friendly amenities will include supervised programs for three age groups – Camp Carnival (ages 2-11), Circle “C” (12-14) and Club O2 (15-17) – offering a full schedule of morning-til-night activities organized by highly trained staff.

Slated to debut Sept. 21, 2009, Carnival Dream will further bolster Carnival’s distinction as the family cruise leader, carrying an estimated 625,000 children aboard its 22-vessel “Fun Ship” fleet – roughly half of the total number of kids carried by the entire North American cruise industry.

“Families today are looking for a vacation that provides children of all ages with a wide variety of fun-filled activities, all at outstanding value. We’ve taken everything we’ve learned over the years and incorporated it into the design of Carnival Dream whose unmatched combination of spacious facilities, unique outdoor features and enthusiastic staff makes it the ultimate family vacation,” said Roberta Jacoby, Carnival’s senior vice president of hotel operations.

Expansive ‘Camp Carnival’ Play Area
The focal point of Carnival Dream’s children’s activities will be an expansive play area encompassing 5,000 square feet of space and offering magnificent ocean views. Located on Deck 11, Camp Carnival will be divided into three distinct sections, each catering to a different age group.

The first area, designed for children ages 2-5, features an arts and crafts center and a variety of age-appropriate toys and games; the second, aimed at six- to nine-year-olds, offers video game consoles such as PlayStation2 and Wii linked to the latest plasma TV screens; and the third, catering to kids 9-11, includes a karaoke machine, air hockey and foosball tables and PlayStation2 and Wii video game consoles. A reception desk will provide parents with a convenient and inviting venue to check their kids in and out of the program.

Like all “Fun Ships,” Carnival Dream will offer a wide variety of activities specifically geared toward children, including the WaterColors art program; ExerSeas, emphasizing physical fitness, SeaNotes, with fun music-oriented games and activities; and EduCruise, designed to educate kids on the ship’s diverse European and Caribbean itineraries. Children can also create their own custom-designed Carnival T-shirts, as well as build their own Carnival Cuddly or “Fun Ship” Freddy plush toy. A number of multi-generational activities – including pizza-making sessions, family water play and trivia contests – will also be offered. Camp Carnival will also serve as the site for Carnival’s babysitting services, which are available from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. nightly and cost $6 per hour for the first child and $4 per hour for each additional child in the same family.

Older Kids Enjoy ‘Circle C,’ ‘Club O2’
Sure to be a big hit with older kids are the modern, high-tech Circle “C” and Club O2 facilities, catering to 12- to 14-year olds and 15- to 17-year olds, respectively.

Located on Deck 4, the 1,075-square-foot Circle “C” center gives ’tweens a place to call their own, with a dance floor, DJ, a video jukebox and Internet workstations, providing the perfect place to just kick back and relax. Adjacent to Circle “C” is Club O2, a 2,740-square-foot teen club where older kids can make new friends, and dance to the latest hits cranked out by a high-energy disc jockey. Designed as the ultimate “chill” space, this expansive room also includes a soda bar, music-listening stations and a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system. Both the Circle “C” and Club O2 programs have a dedicated director who oversees a host of fun activities, including late-night movies, video game contests and pool parties.

Located next to the teen club is The Warehouse, an expansive game room featuring the latest video and arcade games. Teens can also enjoy Carnival’s popular Y-Spa youth spa program offering a variety of soothing treatments.

Expansive Outdoor Activities
As the largest “Fun Ship” ever constructed, Carnival has made maximum use of the Carnival Dream’s massive open decks, creating a variety of fun and inviting features, including Carnival WaterWorks, the largest and most elaborate water park at sea. In addition to a 303-foot-long, four-deck-high corkscrew water slide – the longest in cruising – there will be another 104-foot-long spiral water slide that leads into a giant funnel, providing riders with an exhilarating and memorable conclusion to their journey. WaterWorks also includes twin double-lane 80-foot-long racing slides and various water spray apparatus with squirting fountains, splash zones, “dump buckets” and more. Carnival Dream’s other open-deck activities include the line’s first 18-hole miniature golf course, as well as basketball and volleyball courts with stadium-style seating.

Family-Friendly Staterooms, Kid-Friendly Dining
Carnival Dream’s family friendly features even extend to the ship’s accommodations, which include spacious deluxe ocean view staterooms with a unique configuration featuring two bathrooms. In addition to twin beds that convert to a king and ample closet space, the extra-roomy cabins will include one full bathroom and a second bathroom with a junior tub, shower and sink. In addition to dozens of inter-connecting staterooms, many of the Carnival Dream’s accommodations can hold up to five guests – a rarity in new ship construction and also ideal for families.

With dining such an important part of any cruise, Carnival Dream will also offer the widest variety of kid-friendly culinary choices at sea. In addition to a grille serving hamburgers and hot dogs, The Gathering casual poolside restaurant offers 24-hour pizza and ice cream while extensive children’s menus, with a daily junior special promising something new each day, are available in the main dining rooms. And with Carnival’s “dining under the stars” program, kids can also enjoy a meal with the youth staff in the Lido restaurant allowing parents to have a night to themselves.

Carnival Dream will also offer the line’s Fountain Fun Card program which, for a one-time fee, offers unlimited soft drinks throughout the voyage. And greeting guests each night as they return to their staterooms are Carnival’s wildly popular “towel animals” – in the shape of a swan, monkey, pig or dozens of other creatures – custom-designed by the line’s talented stateroom stewards.

Exciting Inaugural Schedule
Carnival Dream is slated to debut Sept. 21, 2009, with the first of three 12-day Grand Mediterranean cruises operating round-trip from Rome, followed by a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Rome (Civitavecchia) to New York Oct. 27 - Nov. 12, 2009. From New York, Carnival Dream will operate two 8-day Bahamas/Florida cruises departing Nov. 15 and 23, 2009, then reposition to Port Canaveral, Fla., for a special one-time 9-day Caribbean cruise departing Dec. 3, 2009. Carnival Dream will then launch year-round 7-day service from Port Canaveral, Dec. 12, 2009, offering weeklong voyages to the eastern and western Caribbean. With Port Canaveral’s close proximity to Orlando, home to numerous theme parks and attractions, these cruises are expected to hold particular appeal to families. Reservations are currently being accepted for the Carnival Dream’s various European and Caribbean departures. For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501 or visit

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