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Cruise News
February 1-28, 2010

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

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

CDC Inspection Scores for all ships inspected.

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

Cunard Begins Next Chapter of Literature and Liners

Feb 26: Cunard Line announces the return of their popular Literature and Liners series as part of Cunard Insights, the line’s award-winning onboard enrichment program. Introduced in 2009, Literature and Liners provides guests sailing on select Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossings the opportunity to interact with some of the literary world’s most intriguing figures. Best-selling authors scheduled to sail as part of this year’s program are Kate Atkinson, John Berendt, Bill Bryson, and Joanne Harris. Guests can look forward to engaging Q&A discussions, lectures, book signings and readings with select titles to be featured in the Cunard Book Club.

Kate Atkinson: Novelist Atkinson, known for her award-winning Case Histories and Behind the Scenes at the Museum, is scheduled to sail on the April 15 eastbound Crossing. Atkinson, who was born in York, England, recently released When Will There Be Good News? – a follow-up to the “Jackson Brodie” character from Case Histories.
John Berendt: Berendt is an American-born author known for writing the best-selling non-fiction book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 1995. Prior to writing the overnight success story, Berendt wrote for Esquire and New York magazines. He is also the author of The City of Falling Angels. Berendt will be sailing on the June 7 eastbound Crossing.
Bill Bryson: Best-selling American author Bryson is scheduled for the Oct 1 westbound Crossing. He is well known for his humorous books on travel, including A Walk in the Woods and The Lost Continent. Bryson also has penned a number of other bestsellers on the subject, as well as those on the English language and scientific subjects. In addition to being an author, Bryson also spent many years writing for The Times and The Independent while living in England.
Joanne Harris: The British writer is best known for her acclaimed novel, Chocolat, which was made into an Oscar®-nominated film starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. She is also the author of The Evil Seed, Sleep, Pale Sister and seven other novels, most recently The Lollipop Shoes and Runemarks. Harris’ other works include Jigs & Reels, a collection of short stories, and two cookbooks with food writer Fran Warde – The French Kitchen and The French Market. Her books are now published in more than 40 countries and have won a number of British and international awards. She will be joining the Oct 1 westbound Crossing, as well as the Oct 12 eastbound Crossing.

“As operator of the most famous ocean liners in the world, Cunard is known for bringing distinguished luminaries onboard to provide our guests with unique experiences as they sail our legendary voyages,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “We set the bar high with the caliber of talent we present and are confident that this year’s programme will appeal to our guests’ literary interests and sensibilities.”

In 2010, Cunard offers guests more choices of Transatlantic Crossings between April and November, sailing 6- and 7-day voyages between New York and Southampton, as well as new extended 7-, 8- and 9-day Crossings to Cherbourg, France and Hamburg, Germany. Widely considered the definitive ocean travel experience, a Transatlantic Crossing offers guests a myriad of opportunities for intellectual interaction, leisurely pursuits, health and wellness activities, and gourmet dining. Unique Cunard amenities found aboard Queen Mary 2 include the famed Princess and Queens Grill accommodation, the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea and the first Todd English restaurant at sea.

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, social gatherings and workshops, guests connect with personalities who have achieved notable distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, 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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Paul Gauguin Cruises Offers Exclusive Sailing with Jean-Michel Cousteau

BELLEVUE, WA, Feb 25: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest rated and longest continually-sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, announces an exclusive voyage with explorer and environmentalist, Jean-Michel Costeau, departing May 22, 2010. Mr. Cousteau will join guests of the m/s Paul Gauguin as the ship sails for 16 days to Fiji, Tonga, and the Cook and Society Islands. As the ship’s special guest, Mr. Cousteau will offer a series of lectures with videos of his work in the oceans of the world, as well as accompany several dives from the ship.

The m/s Paul Gauguin’s revolutionary Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program was created by Mr. Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society. The unique, groundbreaking program introduces travelers to the extraordinary natural wonders of French Polynesia. The program aims to give young participants ages 9 to 17 direct, hands-on, interactive experience with knowledge of marine and island ecosystems. Young Ambassadors will explore coral reefs, hike rainforest trails and visit marae (ancient Polynesian temples). They’ll learn how black pearls and vanilla are cultivated, how volcanic islands become coral atolls and how to paddle an outrigger canoe. Parents are encouraged to join children on eco-excursions and other activities aboard and ashore.

Founded in 1999 by Jean-Michel Cousteau, environmental advocate and son of the legendary Jacques Cousteau, the mission of the Ocean Futures Society is to explore our global oceans, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for their protection, documenting the critical connection between humanity and nature, and celebrating the ocean’s vital importance to the survival of all life on our planet. For more than 60 years, Jean-Michel Cousteau, his father and family have been part of the greatest exploration of the ocean in all of history. This program is available on all cruises from June through August and on select holiday cruises for a nominal fee of $269 per child. Rates for the May 22, 2010 sailing begin at $6,545 per person. For a coveted reservation on this m/s Paul Gauguin cruise, contact your Professional Travel Agent, call 1-800-848-6172 or visit

The m/s Paul Gauguin will embark on 38 expeditions in 2010 to destinations including Tahiti, the Society Islands, the Tuamotus, the Cook Islands, the Marquesas, Tonga, Fiji, and New Zealand. Each of these exclusive voyages will highlight the beauty of French Polynesia from the luxurious and spacious accommodations on board the m/s Paul Gauguin, which underwent a multi-million dollar enhancement in 2009. The ship’s staterooms, public areas and restaurants have been upgraded to reflect the luxurious standard that is characteristic of Paul Gauguin Cruises.

About Paul Gauguin Cruises
Owned by Pacific Beachcomber S.C., the leader in French Polynesia luxury destination resorts, Paul Gauguin Cruises operates the award-winning luxury cruise ship m/s Paul Gauguin, providing a luxury cruise experience tailored to the unparalleled wonders of Tahiti, French Polynesia and the South Pacific. The m/s Paul Gauguin was built at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France. The ship is 513 feet long, 71 feet wide and has a draft of 16.9 feet. The ship can accommodate 332 guests with a staff of 215 and is one of the top Exclusive Charter and Incentive Group venues in the industry. The m/s Paul Gauguin has undergone more than $25 million in enhancements since its inaugural sail in 1998. Since 1998, the m/s Paul Gauguin has completed more than 500 South Pacific cruises and served more than 140,000 guests, including more than 12,000 honeymooners.

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'Uniquely Unordinary' Dining Venue Debuts On Celebrity Eclipse

MIAMI, Feb. 24: The world's top-rated restaurants are often showplaces for art and design, and beginning April 26, in-the-know food followers can experience a new venue whose cuisine is an engaging combination of both. But they won't find it through MapQuest, and their GPS will find it tough to track, too...since it's moving. That's because the new restaurant, "Qsine," can be found only on Celebrity Eclipse, the third of five ships in Celebrity Cruises' stylish, $3.7-billion Solstice Class fleet. The brainchild of Celebrity's Vice President of Culinary Operations, Chef Jacques Van Staden, Qsine presents guests with an unexpected, modern approach to familiar dishes from around the world.

"Our guests love new and different dining experiences, and we've designed Qsine to deliver that in a big way," said Van Staden. "Qsine is designed to offer a globally-influenced blend of nostalgic and contemporary favorites, artfully presented with elements of surprise."

Van Staden says Qsine also will further validate Celebrity's leadership position in offering world-class dining experiences, as evidenced in the brand's stunningly designed, guest-inspired Solstice Class specialty restaurants including Tuscan Grille, Blu, Murano, and Silk Harvest, not to mention the series of intimate venues on Celebrity's Millennium Class foursome.

Qsine's menu design alone - a large, backlit square filled with words and phrases designed to engage guests in the experience - implies that Qsine is an unusual place. And the cuisine makes it abundantly clear, with most of the selections so unique that nearly all of the dishes and plating have been designed exclusively for Celebrity. Among the selections are spring rolls nestled in vertical springs, "Sushi Lollipops" (Nigiri sushi with soy center, wasabi mayonnaise and pickled ginger-radish salad), "Meatball Trilogy" (Kobe beef with cheddar and marinara sauce; veal with mushrooms and marsala sauce; and turkey with cranberry and sage gravy), "Chitinis" (Chinese selections served in martini glasses), "Tresviche" (tiger shrimp and bay scallops with lemon juice, tequila, cilantro, tomatoes and jalapeno oil), "Popcorn Fish & Chips" (Boddington's-battered codfish and chips served with malt vinegar or aioli), "Slider Party" (mini-grilled Kobe beef patties with aged Wisconsin cheddar served on brioche buns with "Qsine's original slider sauce" and garnishes), "Taco Royale" (Black Angus sirloin steak, homemade taco shells, caramelized onion-poblano, and do-it-yourself fresh guacamole, with a stone mortar and pestle), and "Lava Crab" (Alaskan King crab, sweet yellow corn and scallions with Hataifi and Old Bay sauce, served in glasses over heated red stones).

Libations to accompany the cuisine range from approximately 100 varieties of primarily organic, contemporary wines, to a vast array of creative cocktails. And, for the first time on a Celebrity ship - just one week after announcing the hip, new "Celebrity iLounge" - Celebrity has designed a means for guests to capitalize on technology to easily review and order wines via the latest touch-screen devices.

Even the uniforms of the wait staff illustrate the venue's unique nature. Designed by Van Staden and custom-made exclusively for Celebrity, the jackets are decidedly asymmetrical and sport square buttons, and are intended to illustrate that the wait staff also are considered chefs, offering guests a highly interactive and personalized dining experience. Capping the Qsine experience is a series of desserts whose menu is as sweet and surprising as its selections: A hinged, twistable cube presents options ranging from candied apples to popcorn to individual cookie jars.

"Qsine is designed to surprise our guests with uniquely unordinary dishes, innovative presentations and engaging experiences," said Van Staden. "It's designed to allow them to share with each other, sample several different selections, and simply experience both new and favorite foods in an entirely fun and unexpected way."

Qsine will be open nightly on Celebrity Eclipse from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., for a cover charge of $30 per person. There are no age restrictions for dining in Qsine, and the dress code is smart casual and above. Guests booked to sail on Celebrity Eclipse can plan their unique evening in Qsine right now, by making dining reservations on the Celebrity web site, at Designed for cruisers who appreciate online options, the Celebrity site offers Celebrity Select Dining, the industry's first pre-cruise, day-by-day flexible dining reservation system. The site also presents guests with the option to book pre-cruise AquaSpa reservations, specialty dining reservations, shore excursion bookings, and online documentation, or "e-docs."

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Carnival Cruise Lines Reports Record Wave Season Activity;
Summer Price Increase Effective March 22

MIAMI, Feb 24: Carnival Cruise Lines is reporting record wave season bookings, with strong reservations activity for 2010 departures. As a result of the strong booking volumes, a general price increase will be implemented effective March 22 for all summer sailings in June, July, and August. Wave season typically runs from about mid-January through early spring and is traditionally the busiest, most important booking period in the cruise industry. For the period of Jan. 1 through Feb. 21, 2010, bookings were at unprecedented levels for the line’s 22 ships which operate 3- to 15-day voyages from a variety of convenient North American home ports.

Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill said, “We’re seeing significantly increased volume as consumers are taking advantage of the incredible value that a Carnival cruise provides. And while pricing hasn’t fully recovered to 2008 levels, we are increasing prices and will implement an across-the-board increase effective March 22.” He said that the price increases will vary by departure date but will be up to 5 percent. Cahill attributed the record booking activity to a wide range of factors, including strong travel agent partner support, targeted marketing initiatives, itinerary enhancements, and the wide variety of close-to-home departure points.

Carnival Cruise Lines is the largest and most popular cruise line in the world, with 22 “Fun Ships” operating voyages ranging from three to 15 days in length to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Canada, New England and Europe. Carnival also has two new ships on order -- the 130,000-ton Carnival Magic, which is scheduled for delivery in 2011, and a sister ship set to debut in 2012. For additional information on the Carnival vacation experience, call 1-800-327-9501.

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2011 Europe & Alaska Sailings Go On Sale at Regent Seven Seas Cruises

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Feb 24: Effective immediately, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is accepting reservations for its collection of cruises from April through Nov 2011 to Europe, Alaska and beyond. All voyages feature 2-for-1 cruise fares plus early booking savings of up to $3,000 per person (Offers expire March 31, 2010). Moreover, a wide selection of excursions as well as round-trip, Economy Class air, are complimentary for 2011.

The elegant Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner, and Seven Seas Navigator, which all recently emerged from a multi-million dollar refurbishment, will discover the Old World in depth on cruises to the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Holy Land and Baltic. New North America voyages include cruises beginning or ending in San Francisco and Montreal.

“Since we opened bookings on President’s Day our 2011 spring, summer and fall cruises have been selling briskly,” stated Mark Conroy, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ president. “Whether discovering Alaska, taking a grand European tour, or catching the leaves changing in New England, our 7- to 21-night voyages highlight the very best these destinations have to offer. Plus the all-inclusive value of Regent Seven Seas Cruises is unrivaled in the luxury and ultra-luxury cruise sectors.”

2011 Program Highlights:

Seven Seas Mariner will offer 7- to 14-night cruises to storied ports in the Greek Isles and Mediterranean, departing from Barcelona, Rome, Athens, Istanbul and Venice.
Seven Seas Voyager visits Scandinavian and Russia capitals on 7- to 12-night voyages in June and July before sailing Southern Europe from August through October; three voyages depart from Southampton.
Explore the wonders of antiquity – Seven Seas Voyager offers two fall voyages that visit Egypt and the Holy Lands via the Suez Canal.
Seven Seas Navigator operates a series of 7-night Alaska cruises between Vancouver and Seward, plus two new, 12-night Alaska cruises that begin or end in San Francisco. A 3-week cruise takes Navigator from San Francisco to New York via the Panama Canal.
The splendors of Canada and New England will be offered onboard Seven Seas Navigator on two all-new, fall foliage cruises that begin or end in Montreal.
Round-trip air transportation from 23 North American gateways, including all surcharges, airline fees and government taxes

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

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Top Culinary Talent on the Menu for Crystal's Back-to-Back Wine & Food Cruises

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 24: Michelin Star chefs Michael Mina and Tom Aikens are among an impressive roster set to share their specialties aboard two Wine & Food Experiences of Discovery Crystal cruises this fall. Aboard the back-to-back Mediterranean voyages, foodies can sate their palates with cuisine and demos from the chefs, savor the nuances of wine pairings with guest sommeliers and wine experts and learn the art of the perfect cocktail from guest mixologists. The 12-day, star-studded sailings depart Sept 5 and 17 on award-winning Crystal Serenity. Calling in cities throughout Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, Monaco and France, the voyages feature tasteful experiences ashore, from exclusive private tours and tastings at a farm and wine cellar in Sorrento to a classic Spanish tapas feast in Barcelona.

Wine & food highlights include:

September 5, Istanbul to Barcelona
-- Michael Mina - Founder of the Mina Group, with 11 concept restaurants including two-Michelin-Starred Michael Mina in San Francisco;
-- Chris L'Hommedieu - Chef de Cuisine at Michael Mina in San Francisco;
-- Aglaia Kremezi - Writer and publisher of Greek and Mediterranean cookbooks;
-- Victoria Ordonez - Her family is Spain's largest wine wholesaler and exporter to the U.S.;
-- Tony Abou-Ganim - Master mixologist and mastermind behind Crystal's cocktail program.

September 17, Barcelona to Venice
-- Tom Aikens - Youngest British chef ever awarded two Michelin Stars; owner of Tom Aikens Restaurant in the U.K., named eighth best restaurant in the world;
-- Gerhard Retter - Renowned wine & cheese sommelier at 2-3-star Michelin restaurants worldwide;
-- Francesco La Franconi - Co-founder of the U.S. Bartenders Guild (Nevada); National Director of Mixology & Spirits for Southern Wine & Spirits.

"Wine and food are integral to the culture of the Mediterranean, and a great way to immerse oneself in these spectacular destinations," says Toni Neumeister, vice president, food and beverage.

Double occupancy two-for-one cruise fares include $1,000 per person 'All Inclusive - As You Wish' shipboard credits and complimentary air transportation from more than 20 North American gateways - Business Class air for Penthouse guests. Guests can extend their culinary vacation and save up to 10% by combining the two voyages. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625 or visit

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Norwegian Cruise Line’s Winter/Spring 2011/12 Deployment Adds
 Tampa & Rome Homeports

MIAMI, Feb 23: Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that its 2011/12 winter/spring deployment includes two new seasonal homeports: Tampa, Florida and Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, marking the first time Norwegian has initiated voyages from these cities. In addition, for the first time since 1999 the cruise line will visit Israel.

Guests cruising from Tampa on Norwegian Star will sail a 7-day Western Caribbean itinerary beginning Oct 16, 2011 through April 8, 2012. In Europe, Norwegian Jade will sail from Rome (Civitavecchia) on 11-day Mediterranean and Holy Land cruises, along with 10-day Eastern Mediterranean sailings, from Oct 15, 2011 to April 11, 2012.

In the Caribbean, Norwegian Pearl’s 7-day Western Caribbean cruise from Miami now includes Ocho Rios, Jamaica as a port of call. The company also announced new sailing dates for Pride of America in Hawaii.

“Norwegian’s 2011/2012 winter/spring cruise season will be one of our most exciting Freestyle Cruising seasons yet with opportunities to sail from three cities in the Sunshine State, including from Miami on our newest ship Norwegian Epic,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer. “We’ve also added an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to cruise to five countries in 11 days on Norwegian Jade, which includes a visit to the Holy Land, a first for Norwegian since 1999.”

These new sailings go on sale today to Latitudes members (guests who have cruised with Norwegian before) along with the line’s top travel partners. The cruises open for sale to the public on Thursday, Feb 25, 2010. As part of Norwegian’s “Year of the Freestyle Vacation” promotion, all new reservations from today through March 14, 2010 will receive up to a six-category upgrade. In addition, book any category suite including Penthouse, Deluxe Owners Suite, Courtyard Villa and Garden Villa from now through April 1, 2010 on a cruise departing at least nine months prior to sailing and receive up to $300 in on-board credits.

Norwegian in Europe
Norwegian Jade’s 11-day Mediterranean and Holy Land itinerary offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Alanya, Turkey; Limassol, Cyprus; Haifa and Ashdod, Israel; Port Said and Alexandria, Egypt, along with four relaxing days at sea. Featured shore excursions include overnight tours in Israel to Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv, Jaffa, the Dead Sea and Masada, as well as in Egypt to Cairo’s pyramids and tombs. Guests can also discover the Taurus Mountains in Turkey on a 4x4 safari and set off on a wine tour through the picturesque villages in Cyprus. Norwegian Jade’s 10-day Eastern Mediterranean cruise from Rome (Civitavecchia) includes the following ports: Olympia (Katakolon) and Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Ephesus (Izmir), Turkey; and an overnight in Alexandria, Egypt, offering two full days to experience all of the ancient treasures.

Norwegian in the Caribbean
Norwegian Star’s 7-day Western Caribbean cruises from Tampa will depart on Sundays and include stops in Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; along with two days at sea. Norwegian Sun will return to Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida from Oct 8, 2011 through April 7, 2012 offering alternating 7-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. Norwegian Sun’s Eastern Caribbean itinerary includes the following ports of call: Nassau, Bahamas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas. The ship’s Western Caribbean itinerary includes: Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and Great Stirrup Cay.

From Miami, Norwegian Cruise Line will feature its largest and most innovative ship to date, Norwegian Epic, sailing 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruises with stops in Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas with three full days at sea to enjoy all of the ship’s amenities and world-class entertainment.

Norwegian Pearl will return to Miami from Oct 16, 2011 to April 8, 2012, sailing 7-day Western Caribbean cruises with stops in Great Stirrup Cay; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico, along with two days at sea.

Rounding out Norwegian’s winter/spring deployment from Miami is Norwegian Dawn offering 10 and 11-day Southern Caribbean escapes from Nov 13, 2011 through April 8, 2012. The ship’s 10-day itinerary visits the following ports: Samana, Dominican Republic; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. John’s, Antigua; Bridgetown, Barbados; and Basseterre, St. Kitts; along with three full days at sea. Norwegian Dawn’s 11-day Southern Caribbean cruise includes Samana, Dominican Republic; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. John’s, Antigua; Roseau, Dominica; Bridgetown, Barbados; and Basseterre, St. Kitts; and three days at sea.

For those in the Northeast looking to escape the cold winter temperatures, Norwegian Gem will sail 10-day Eastern Caribbean itineraries from New York City departing Jan 8, 2012 through Feb 8, 2012. This offers guests an easy and convenient departure point without the expense and hassle of air travel. Ports of call include: San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; St. John’s, Antigua; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

Norwegian in Hawaii
Pride of America will continue as the only US-flagged vessel sailing among all four of Hawaii’s main islands. Pride of America’s 7-day Hawaii inter-island cruises departing from Honolulu are now available through April 7, 2012. Ports of call include: an overnight in Kahului, Maui; Hilo, Hawaii; an evening sail by the Kilauea Volcano; Kona, Hawaii; an overnight in Nawiliwili, Kauai; and an afternoon cruise of the breathtaking Napali Coast.

Norwegian in Canada & New England
Norwegian Jewel will sail four 7-day sailings from New York City to Canada & New England from Sept 17 through Oct 8, 2011. Ports of call include Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick; and Portland, Maine.

Norwegian Repositioning Cruises
Norwegian’s repositioning cruises are a great way to hit several cruise regions on one trip and include more sea days offering a relaxing vacation without back-to-back port calls. Norwegian Jade offers a 15-day Best of the Mediterranean from Barcelona to Venice and a 7-day Adriatic & Italy from Venice to Rome. Closer to home, Norwegian Pearl offers two 14-day Panama Canal cruises from Miami to Los Angeles and Los Angeles to Miami; a 7-day British Columbia & US West Coast from Los Angeles to Vancouver and a five-day Pacific Coastal from Vancouver to Los Angeles; Norwegian Star offers a 14-day Panama Canal cruise from Los Angeles to Tampa; and a 7-day British Columbia & US West Coast from Vancouver to Los Angeles. For an extended Caribbean vacation, Norwegian Gem will offer a 13-day Caribbean Escape from Miami to New York and Norwegian Jewel will offer an 11-day Caribbean Escape from Miami to New York.

For additional information and to book one or more of these new sailings, please visit; call 866-234-7350 or contact a travel professional.

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New Shore Excursion Finder Allows Crystal Guests to Find Their Perfect Adventure

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 22: How do I find the perfect excursion for the whole family? What if I want high adventure, or more exclusive experiences? How do I find excursions that include nature and wildlife, but aren't too physically challenging? Beginning today, Crystal Cruises is introducing its Shore Excursion Finder, a dynamic new online feature allowing travelers to search and sort more than 1,500 Crystal Adventures ashore by specific parameters they choose. Searching by Activity Types, foodies can find tours that take them to Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte for a four-course dinner and wine tasting, or a tapas cooking lesson in Barcelona. History buffs can search the "Cultural/Historical" options and find hundreds of choices suiting their interests, while water and nature lovers have categories specifically for them. In all, there are 12 Activity Types, including Culinary, Cultural/Historical, Eco-Adventure/Wildlife/National Park, Entertainment, Flightseeing, Sightseeing, Outdoor, Sports, Water, Overland, the line's Signature Collection and NEW Adventures.

Undecided guests can also search by Destination and Activity Level, with difficulty ranging from "Soft" to "Extreme" Adventure. To further hone one's search results, simply search by all categories simultaneously. Excursions can then be sorted by Age Appropriateness from age 3 to adults only, or Walking Level to specify preferred physicality. Crystal is expecting Shore Excursion Finder to be a great tool to help choose a cruise. Guests can select an itinerary based on their ideal shoreside experiences. Voyage suggestions are provided with each Crystal Adventure.

"Crystal is all about choices, and the Shore Excursion Finder provides guests the freedom to explore and easily locate numerous specific choices that best suit their needs and desires," says John Stoll, director of land programs. "It's an efficient, invaluable tool for planning and researching possibilities, as well as finding activities that satisfy an array of interests."

Located at under the top 'Destinations' tab, the Shore Excursion Finder is currently available with Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity excursions in Africa, the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Middle East, South America, Asia, Hawaii/South Pacific, Transocean, Australia/New Zealand, and the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Excursions for New England/Canada, Panama Canal and Alaska voyages will be available six months in advance.

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

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Announcing Cruise West’s Galápagos in 2011

Seattle, WA, Feb 22: Cruise West, the world’s leading provider of small-ship explorations to the most fascinating destinations on earth, has added three additional Galápagos Island departures in 2011 for total of five voyages. Discover the natural paradise that inspired Darwin to rock the scientific world and discover new wonders everyday. Take advantage of the savings--pay in full by April 30, 2010 and save up to $600 per person.

In the company of naturalist guides, aboard the gracious 50-suite Galápagos Explorer II, sister to ship to the lines Spirit of Oceanus, guests will scout for breaching whales, pink flamingos, blue-footed boobies, giant tortoises, marine iguanas, tiny penguins and flightless cormorants, to name just a few of the many species that call the Galápagos home. Much of this extraordinary wildlife has never developed a fear of man. The stunning wildlife viewing combined with exploring the volcanic shores of the remote islands and relaxing at pristine beaches makes the journey remarkable. The 9-night journey starts at Latin America’s best-preserved colonial historic center, Quito, with a city tour, welcome dinner at the Theatrum Restaurant & Wine Bar in the National Theater and two included overnights at the centrally located Hilton Colon Quito. Guests continue via plane to San Cristobal Island to board the Galápagos Explorer II for the next 7-nights, where the island adventure begins.

Guests will visit all the ‘hot spots’ to search for the wonderful creatures that Galápagos is known including: the southernmost island Española (Hood) that offers an amazing assortment of wildlife; Santa Cruz to visit the renowned Darwin Station and Puerto Ayora, the largest town in the islands; Rabida island with its startling red sand; desolate yet breathtaking Bartolomé Island that features a tuff cone known as Pinnacle Rock; Santiago (James) Island, the only island where fur seals can be found in the Galápagos; and Fernandina Island, where marine iguanas bask on every plausible surface and penguins can be found diving into the water. Continue onto Isabela Island with its massive volcanoes and where intrepid sea-goers can snorkel at a cave that boasts a dazzling array of marine wildlife; ending the journey back at Santa Cruz Island to search for the 40 giant tortoises that live in the highlands.

Guests have the option to add a fully guided, post-cruise 5-night Land Tour of Cusco and Machu Picchu. Spend one night in Lima en route to Cusco for two nights to explore the lively markets and significant monuments of the Inca Fortress, Citadel of Ollantaytambo and the Pisac ruins in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Then it’s onto a scenic train ride to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to one of the Seven New Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Machu Picchu. Guests will be welcomed to the charming Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel for a 2-night stay.

Galápagos cruises depart March 14, 21; Augt 15, 22; and Oct 10, 2011. For further details, visit, call 800-296-8307 or a travel professional.

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Seabourn Offers 2-for1 Fares, Reduced Air to Asia, Europe

Whether you are a luxury cruise aficionado or aspire to become one, The Yachts of Seabourn has announced a compelling reason to book 2010 voyages aboard the company’s fleet of five award-winning, all-suite vessels before the end of April–2-for-1 cruise-only savings on over 80 voyages in Europe and Asia, plus substantially reduced round trip add-on airfares from only $499 for economy class and $1,999 for business class, from 40 North American gateways.

“These cruise savings alone represent a great value for a great experience,” noted Seabourn president and CEO Pamela Conover. “But when you add in these remarkably low fares for a round-trip, business-class flight to Europe or Asia, you will get an award-winning, ultra-luxury cruise package at a truly exceptional price.”

The cruises depart from May to November, 2010, and range from 7- to 15-days in length. In the Mediterranean, travelers can choose voyages aboard the intimate, 208-guest Seabourn Spirit in the Adriatic and Dalmatian Coasts, or Legend in the French and Italian Rivieras. Also in the Mediterranean, the acclaimed 450-guest Seabourn Odyssey, hailed as “a game-changer” in luxury cruising when it was launched last summer, will sail the Greek Isles, Turkey, and the Black Sea. In June, brand-new sister-yacht Seabourn Sojourn will begin its maiden season in Northern Europe, cruising Scandinavia, Russia, Scotland and Norway. In Asia, Seabourn Pride offers voyages visiting Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and China, including pre- and post-cruise extensions to Beijing on some departures.

Remarkably all-inclusive cruise-only fares start from $3,550 per person, based on double occupancy of an ocean view suite. To qualify for this promotion, cruises must be booked by April 30, 2010. Airfares include transfers between the piers and airports. For more information, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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This Summer Princess Introduces New “A la Carte” Alaska Cruisetours
for Independent-Minded Travelers

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Feb 19: Princess Cruises is introducing four new “A la Carte” Alaska cruisetour options for this summer’s season, offering more affordable and flexible options for independent-minded travelers. These new cruisetours spend an extra day at one of the Denali-area Princess lodges, and do not include excursions, giving travelers the time to customize their own daily schedules.The four A la Carte tours range from 10 to 12 nights, offering at least three nights in the Denali area. All cruisetours feature a northbound “Voyage of the Glaciers” Gulf of Alaska cruise aboard Coral Princess or Island Princess, departing from Vancouver; combined with a three-, four- or five-night land tour to the heart of Alaska, featuring stays in Princess’ two Denali-area wilderness lodges and exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service. All tours will visit both of the state’s top attractions: Denali National Park and Glacier Bay National Park. Travelers choosing these itineraries will not be scheduled on the Denali National Park tour or other activities usually included with cruisetours, and instead can choose to add any of four park tour options or a variety of other area excursions offered at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge.

“These new A la Carte cruisetours are designed specifically with the value-conscious, independent traveler in mind,” said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. “With fewer ‘extras’ included, we can offer a more affordable tour option with greater flexibility for travelers who prefer to discover the wonders of Alaska at their own pace. Passengers can truly customize their vacation to suit their own interests, whether they want to spend extra time viewing Denali’s fascinating wildlife, hike through the spectacular wilderness or try an exhilarating pursuit such as river rafting.”

The four A la Carte cruisetours itineraries are:

Tour 101: 10 nights (Two nights at Denali lodge, one night at Mt. McKinley lodge)
Tour 102: 11 nights (Two nights at Denali lodge, one night at Mt. McKinley lodge, one night Fairbanks)
Tour 103: 11 nights (Two nights at Denali lodge, two nights at Mt. McKinley lodge)
Tour 104:: 12 nights (Two nights at Denali lodge, two nights at Mt. McKinley lodge, one night Fairbanks)

All A la Carte tour options are available throughout the May to September Alaska season, with fares beginning at $899 per person.

Princess offers a variety of land/sea Alaska experiences with itineraries ranging from 10 to 15 nights. All cruisetour options feature at least two nights in the Denali National Park area, stays in Princess’ own riverside wilderness lodges, and a 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers sailing with Glacier Bay National Park. 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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So Long Springfield At Sea/Guiding Light Cruise to Set Sail on Carnival Glory

 Sail away with 12 of GUIDING LIGHT’S most adored actors for 5 memorable days aboard the Carnival Glory, departing from New York City on July 31, 2010. GUIDING LIGHT fans young and old will have day in and day out, up close-and-personal time with the actors. Not JUST getting the autographs, hugs and photos of each of the actors—but fans will be singing, dancing and getting to know them as well! This “dream-come-true” vacation will visit charming Saint John, New Brunswick and majestic Halifax, Nova Scotia, in addition to 2 relaxing days at sea. The perfect vacation for the whole family.

The scene-stealing celebrities that will be aboard So Long Springfield at Sea:

Make your plans fast as the first 200 registrants are invited to a VIP Breakfast with the actors while aboard!

Some of the unforgettable, fan-focused activities and events include:
GUIDING LIGHT THEATER (a highlight of the Cruise…)
Disco Dancing with the Stars
Get autographs and pictures with all the actors
Soap Star/Soap Fan Karaoke (the stars perform and cruisers will too!)
Q & A and Trivia Sessions
Act Out Actual Soap Scenes Onstage Opposite the Stars
Workshops with a Soap Director (Behind-the-scenes secrets revealed!)
Farewell Cocktail Party and much, much more!

In addition to all these fun activities, guests sailing on the “So Long Springfield at Sea” cruise can enjoy the Carnival Glory’s wide range of on-board amenities and facilities – four restaurants, including two formal dining rooms, a casual poolside eatery featuring a 24-hour pizzeria, and an elegant steakhouse – along with a 14,500-square-foot health club, full casino gambling, and a variety of entertainment options, including lavish production shows. Carnival Glory also offers organized programs for children age 2-17, four swimming pools, and a 270-square-foot outdoor LED screen displaying movies, concerts and other programming.

Prices begin at $949.00 (based on double occupancy). For family members not participating in the Guiding Light events, prices begin at $549.00. Government taxes ($69.77) and gratuities not included. Proper documentation is necessary to travel. To register and for more details, visit or call toll-free 1-866-364-0330.

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Guests to Have Opportunity to Discover Hidden Treasures on Celebrity Equinox Cruise

MIAMI,– Feb 19: The Caribbean has always carried a mystique of being a great place to stumble upon hidden treasure. Celebrity Cruises has designed a way to offer guests on an upcoming cruise the opportunity to do just that - by way of their own personal possessions. One of the many ways that Celebrity designs its cruise vacations for discerning travelers is by providing experiences that enrich them. The cruise line is living up to that promise by bringing art historian, TV personality and syndicated newspaper columnist known affectionately to fans and followers as “Dr. Lori” to Celebrity Equinox’s March 29, 2010 itinerary. During the cruise, guests will have the opportunity to have their antiques’ values approximated, at no charge.

Celebrity Life, Celebrity’s onboard programming line-up, exemplifies the cruise line’s focus on discerning travelers who enjoy enriching and inspiring experiences such as Dr. Lori’s engaging presentations. Overall, Celebrity Life offers guests the opportunity to explore their tastes and enhance their knowledge, through three areas of focus: “Savor,” with a culinary and wine emphasis, “Discover,” with an educational/entertainment/language-learning focus, and “Renew,” with a spa/wellness concentration. As another way of creating experiences designed to appeal to the specific tastes and interests of its guests, who have expressed an interest in antiques and insightful, engaging presentations, Celebrity is partnering with Dr. Lori as part of Discover’s “Beyond the Podium” series. Dr. Lori is an award-winning TV personality and TV talk show host with a Ph.D. in art history. A certified fine art and antiques appraiser, Dr. Lori also is a nationally syndicated columnist with columns carried in 86 publications, an editor of several lifestyle magazines, and an author with 30 books to her credit.

During the “Celebrity Equinox Presents Antiques Appraisals by Dr. Lori” cruise, Dr. Lori will offer guests her expert opinion on the likely origin and value of their personal items, using her signature presentation style: relaxed, interactive, intelligent, humor-focused engagement. Guests planning to sail on the March 29, 2010 voyage of Celebrity Equinox are encouraged to bring personal items onboard for the duration of the cruise. Once onboard, the daily in-stateroom newsletter will offer information about the times and locations of Dr. Lori’s presentations.

Space is available on the March 29 cruise, “Celebrity Equinox Presents Antiques Appraisals by Dr. Lori.” The 11-night “Ultimate Caribbean” cruise will sail roundtrip out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with stops at George Town, Grand Cayman; Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Roatan, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico. For more information, interested travelers should visit
Dr. Lori does not appraise antique and collectible stamps, coins, currency, musical instruments (or guns or other weapons, which are prohibited from being brought onboard). Items that are extremely fragile, that may be difficult to carry, or that are particularly subject to damage from exposure to an ocean-going environment should not be brought onboard. Celebrity Cruises will not carry or otherwise handle these personal items for its guests. Each guest brings such items onboard at their own risk.

Celebrity Cruises is designed for discerning cruisers, with modern, sophisticated environments, impeccable service, enriching and inspiring onboard programs, and world-class cuisine. The ultimate in premium cruising, Celebrity sails in Alaska, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, Europe, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Caribbean and the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity’s fleet currently consists of nine ships. Its $3.7-billion investment in building five stylish Solstice Class ships between 2008-2012 represents the largest newbuild commitment for a single brand in industry history. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Cunard Welcomes Filmmakers Dori Berinstein & Judd Ehrlich
on April
29th Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossing

Feb 19: In association with Cunard's partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival, which included the sponsorship of the 2009 World Documentary Feature competition and recognition as the 2009 Official Cruise Line of the Tribeca Film Festival, the iconic ocean liner company welcomes acclaimed documentary filmmakers Dori Berinstein and Judd Ehrlich on the 29 April Transatlantic Crossing from New York to Southampton aboard Queen Mary 2. With this upcoming sailing, Berinstein and Ehrlich join a distinguished list of luminaries and tastemakers that have sailed this legendary voyage with Cunard, operator of The Most Famous Ocean Liners in the World.

April marks the start of Cunard’s Transatlantic Crossing season, and the 29 April voyage is one of more than 21 six-, seven-, eight- or nine-day Crossings between New York and Southampton, Cherbourg or Hamburg offered by Cunard until mid-November this year. During the Crossing, Berinstein and Ehrlich will participate in Cunard Insights, the line's award-winning onboard enrichment programme, and will each screen one of their films. Berinstein will discuss “Gotta Dance,” a documentary focusing on a unique dance team made up entirely of senior citizens. Ehrlich will screen “Run for Your Life,” a feature-length documentary about the enigmatic running guru and founder of the NYC Marathon, Fred Lebow. In addition, they will engage in a panel conversation with the ship’s entertainment director where they will share stories about their multi-faceted careers and the many roles they play in the entertainment industry – from director to producer to writer. All programmes will be held in Queen Mary 2’s spectacular 450-seat, stadium-style theatre, Illuminations, which is also the only planetarium at sea.

“Cunard’s partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival represents our commitment to celebrating the art of filmmaking,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “We welcome these distinguished documentarians aboard Queen Mary 2 and are confident that the real-life stories they capture through their work, and in turn share through the Insights programme, will thoroughly entertain and engage our guests.”

Dori Berinstein is an award-winning director, producer and writer of film, theater and television. Her first feature film, “Show Business: The Road to Broadway,” about Broadway behind-the-curtain, was named one of the top five documentaries of 2006 by the International Documentary Association. Berinstein’s second feature, “Some Assembly Required,” about kids nationwide competing in a toy invention competition, will be released in 2010. Her most recent film, “Gotta Dance,” was released theatrically during the summer of 2009; a Broadway adaptation is underway. Berinstein is a three-time Tony-winning Broadway producer (“Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest” and “Fool Moon”). Her 11th Broadway show, “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” currently is playing in London and on tour across the United States. Berinstein has served as an executive and/or consultant at DreamWorks, Walt Disney Imagineering, Paramount and Sony Pictures.

Judd Ehrlich, a native of New York City, most recently directed and produced “Run for Your Life.” The film, which features interviews with notables from Olympian Frank Shorter to Mayor Ed Koch, premiered at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, was acquired by Screen Media Films/Universal Studios and was released theatrically. Ehrlich's directorial debut, “Mayor of the West Side,” the coming-of-age story of a teenager with multiple disabilities, was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Documentary and is airing on PBS nationwide through 2010. Ehrlich collaborated on the editing of Ric Burns' epic PBS series and Emmy Award-winner, “New York,” and worked for acclaimed PBS independent documentary series “POV” and edited for CBS News. Ehrlich has also created and curated multiple film series at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Museum and the JCC in Manhattan. He currently is completing a documentary, following young magicians at the country's premier magic camp.

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, 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 programme underscores Cunard's longstanding view that onboard entertainment should afford guests a provocative and rewarding cerebral experience.

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 famed Princess and Queens Grill accommodation, the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea and the first Todd English restaurant at sea. For more information and to book a voyage aboard Queen Mary 2, consult your travel professional, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD, or visit

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Celebrity Cruises Introduces 'Celebrity iLounge'

MIAMI, Feb. 18: With the launch of its new brand platform, "Designed for you," last month, Celebrity Cruises reinforced its commitment to delivering the ultimate combination of ship design, service, cuisine and programs for cruise lovers. And today, it announced plans for a new venue whose design, products and programming are sure to appeal to today's cruisers. When Celebrity Eclipse, the third in Celebrity Cruises' stylish Solstice Class fleet of ships, launches in April, guests will find the first "Celebrity iLounge." Designed to not only offer a hip, modern lounge ambience, Celebrity also created the space to offer what its guests said they wanted most in an Internet cafe: easy access to the Internet, inspiring classes, and new products.

The Celebrity iLounge is composed of three main areas: a series of 26 contemporary workstations where guests can check their e-mail, retain their social media connections, or print boarding passes; a retail space offering cruisers the opportunity to see and try out the latest MacBooks®, iPods®, and accessories; and an enrichment center where certified staff will offer guests tips on Mac or iPod usage.

"Our new Celebrity iLounge is a direct outgrowth of our 'Designed for you' brand platform, and our commitment to listen to our guests and offer experiences and programs expressly designed for them," said Celebrity's President and CEO Dan Hanrahan. "Our surveys show that our guests rely heavily on the Internet for research, learning and staying in touch, so we think this new offering will be a big hit, as will the contemporary online classes offered through the 'Discover' series of our inspiring and enriching 'Celebrity Life' experiences."

Enhancing the "Discover" component of its "Celebrity Life" series of inspiring enrichment and entertainment experiences, Celebrity will offer in the Celebrity iLounge a series of engaging new courses designed to suit its guests' interests, including do-it-yourself photo books, movie editing, and web design, through programs including iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD and iWeb. And whether guests are savvy or novice users of Mac or iPod products, Celebrity's certified staff will be well-equipped to assist, following more than 125 hours of training in operating systems, applications, and products. They also will be poised to illustrate to guests the differences between Macs and PCs. Guests eager to expand their collection of merchandise will find the Celebrity iLounge an enticing venue, too. As an Authorized Apple Reseller, Celebrity will have products available for guests to purchase, including iPods, MacBooks, and essential accessories.

Located on deck six of Celebrity Eclipse, the Celebrity iLounge will house the 26 MacBook Pro's, classroom and retail area, in addition to display pods, a 56-inch flat-screen TV for use during classes, and an accessible workstation. The Celebrity iLounge also will be presented on Celebrity Silhouette, which launches in 2011, and the fifth ship in the Solstice Class fleet, which sets sail in 2012.

Celebrity Cruises is designed for discerning cruisers, with modern, sophisticated environments, impeccable service, enriching and inspiring onboard programs, and world-class cuisine. The ultimate in premium cruising, Celebrity sails in Alaska, Bermuda, California, Canada/New England, Europe, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Caribbean and the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity's mega-series of honors include being named the top mega-ship line in Conde Nast Traveler's annual Readers' Choice Awards (November 2009). Celebrity's fleet currently consists of nine ships. Its $3.7-billion investment in building five stylish Solstice Class ships between 2008-2012 represents the largest newbuild commitment for a single brand in industry history. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Italian Singer Eros Ramazzotti & Screen Legend Sophia Loren Welcome
 MSC Magnifica on March 6 in Hamburg

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Feb 18: MSC Magnifica – the fourth Panamax cruise ship in the MSC Cruises Musica class is scheduled to have her flag-changing ceremony on February 25, in Saint-Nazaire, France followed by her christening in Hamburg, Germany on March 6 as the 11th ship in the MSC fleet. Renowned Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti, adult contemporary/soft rock/pop artist, performs on stage during the christening while MSC Cruises’ traditional godmother, Italian screen legend and icon Sophia Loren, participates in the ribbon cutting. Ramazzotti is one of the most popular Italian singers and songwriters selling more than 40 million records in his 25-year career.

MSC Magnifica combines the intimacy of her three Musica Class sister vessels—MSC Musica, MSC Orchestra, and MSC Poesia—with the state-of-the-art facilities and comfort of the company’s larger flagships, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia. A magrodome or retractable roof covers the pool making it possible to enjoy one of the four pools throughout the year regardless of the weather. The Il Bar del Sole area on the top deck boasts its own whirlpools and solarium.

The ship’s 17 bars and lounges, four restaurants, and a large new buffet area will serve Italian and international cuisine; an à la carte restaurant L’Oasi will provide fine dining in an exotic Moroccan atmosphere. Entertainment features on board include a high-tech 4D cinema, mini-bowling alley and a billiard table in the L’Olimpiade sports bar. Relaxation opportunities await guests in the MSC Aurea Spa wellness center for massages, facials, and other specialty spa treatments in a resort-standard setting.

The new addition to the MSC Cruises’ fleet will sail the Eastern Mediterranean beginning March 20, for 7-night itineraries departing Venice, Italy and calling at Bari, Italy; Katakolon (Olympia) Greece; Izmir, Turkey; Istanbul, Turkey; and Dubrovnik, Croatia. For more information about MSC Cruises, visit, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

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Costa Deliziosa: Inaugural Ceremony Less Than One Week Away

MIAMI, Feb 18: In less than one week, Costa will show off its signature style of hosting some of the most celebrated inaugurals with the naming of the Costa Deliziosa in Dubai on Feb 23. This unique and innovative ceremony will be held by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) together with Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line. The Costa Deliziosa, which was built in Italy by Fincantieri and delivered in Venice on Jan 30 of this year, recently set sail from Savona on Feb 5 for her Grand Inaugural Cruise. The voyage includes stops in the Mediterranean, Suez Canal, Red Sea and Arabian Gulf. The ship will stopover in Dubai from Feb 23 through the 26. This 15th member of the Costa fleet is the first cruise ship to be named in an Arabian city. The ceremony will further strengthen the links between Costa Cruises and the DTCM. Over 3,000 guests are expected to witness the event, including approximately 2,200 Costa guests traveling on the first sector of the maiden cruise.

En route to Dubai, the Costa Deliziosa, a floating ambassador of Italian-made excellence, will celebrate with two first calls. The first of these new calls is on Febr 20 in Muscat, the capital of Oman, where a new cruise terminal will be inaugurated as well. The second is on Feb 22 in Abu Dhabi. During both stopovers the ship will be met by government delegations and Italian state dignitaries who will pay a special tribute to the Italian Tricolor. Tuesday, Feb 23 in Dubai marks the occasion for the grand inaugural event, involving not only the ship but also the new cruise terminal in Port Rashid. Part of the quay will feature a stage and grandstand with seating for 3,000 and will be set up specially to celebrate the Costa Deliziosa.

The inaugural show is set to be a memorable occasion and will highlight the links between Italian and Arab culture. The first part of the show will take guests on an artistic journey into the history and culture of Dubai and the Emirates with traditional dance and music. The second part will be dedicated to Italian culture, music and art. Khalid Ahmed Bin Sulayem, director general of the DTCM, and Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and ceo of Costa Crociere S.p.A., will both make speeches. There will also be an exchange of greetings between local dignitaries and their counterparts from the Italian government. In keeping with tradition, the ceremony will climax with the arrival of the godmother, who will cut the ribbon that will send a bottle of Champagne to break against the bow of the ship. The event will end with a fireworks display and a gala dinner in traditional Arab style.

The naming ceremony of the Costa Deliziosa in Dubai will be broadcast live on The inaugural event for the Costa Deliziosa is taking place in Dubai under the patronage of the Italian Embassy to the United Arab Emirates, the Consulate General of Italy in Dubai and the ICE (Istituto Italiano per il Commercio Estero, or Italian Institute of Foreign Trade). It is being staged in partnership with Alpha Tours, Dnata, Emirates, Grand Hyatt, Gulf Venture, Jumeirah, Maserati and RHS (Raiss Hassan Saadi Group). This event, which constitutes another milestone in the development of the cruise industry not only in Dubai but also in the region as a whole, is the result of an alliance between Costa Cruises, the first operator in the world to market regular cruises in Dubai beginning in 2006, and the Government of Dubai, through the DTCM. This solid partnership has contributed to the development of local tourism.

Following her Grand Inaugural Cruise, which will continue after the inaugural event to India and the Maldives, in March the Costa Deliziosa will be redeployed back in Dubai where, like her sister ship Costa Luminosa, she will offer 7-night Arabian Gulf cruises. The itinerary includes two nights in Dubai and one-day stopovers in the ports of Muscat (Oman), Fujairah and Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) and Bahrain. The Costa Deliziosa will sail from Dubai every Sunday from March 14 through May 9, 2010. The Costa Luminosa, her sister ship, departs from Dubai every Saturday through April 10, 2010. In addition, this winter the Costa Europa will operate on 18-night cruises from Savona to Dubai and Dubai to Savona – on an exclusive route crossing the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. In winter 2010/2011, Costa Cruises will once again offer 7-night Gulf cruises on the Costa Deliziosa and Costa Luminosa, the top of the range products for Costa.

In summer of this year and next, the Costa Deliziosa will be deployed on cruises to the Norwegian fjords and Baltic cities. On Dec 28, 2011, the ship will set sail from Savona on an incredible 100-day world cruise, which may also be broken down into three stand-alone segments: Savona-Los Angeles; Los Angeles-Singapore; Singapore-Dubai.

Costa Deliziosa
Together with her sister ship Costa Luminosa, the Costa Deliziosa (92,600 tons; 2,260 double occupancy) represents the most exclusive and innovative offerings in the Costa fleet. The ship was built at Fincantieri’s Venice-Marghera yard in Italy with the labor of approximately 3,000 people, comprising both the shipyard’s own employees and those of nearly 500 contracted suppliers, most of which are Italian firms, with a total investment worth 450 million euros.

Along with her sister ship, the Costa Luminosa, the Costa Deliziosa is the fleet’s “flagship,” offering the most exclusive and innovative elements in the fleet and designed for Costa’s most discerning clientele. These innovations include the ship’s avant-garde design and the use of premium materials, such as various type of marbles, granite, mother-of-pearl and Murano glass, and stucco applied by spatula using the technique known as “spatolato veneziano.” Other decorative interior finishes including “parchment scroll” lamé, refined Zebrano wood, Wenge timber and stylish polished and glazed steel were also used in her design. The stunning atrium features fine works of art, including “Sphere” by Arnaldo Pomodoro, and “Delizia fisica e Delizia intellettuale” (Physical Delight and Intellectual Delight), a piece by leading contemporary Italian painter Mario Donizetti. In addition, there are a variety of entertainment options onboard including a 4D cinema; roller skating track; the latest generation golf simulator with an outdoor putting green, a Grand Prix race car driving simulator with the same software and technology used by the F1 champion drivers in training; the exclusive “Samsara Spa,” “PlayStation World,” an area on board dedicated exclusively to PlayStation3, as well as the “PlayStation on demand” cabin service.

The ship is innovative in terms of environmental compliance as well, which has always been one of Costa Cruises’ distinguishing features. Like her sister ship Costa Luminosa, the Costa Deliziosa is the first vessel in Italy and one of the first in the world to be equipped for “cold ironing,” a system whereby the ship is plugged into shoreside electrical power, enabling generators to be shut down during stopovers in port. This is a way of further reducing the environmental impact of liners when they call at ports. Other energy- and fuel-saving measures have also been introduced on the Costa Deliziosa, with a reduction in CO2 emissions and the objective of cutting down on wastage in the use of electricity and water.

Costa Cruises,, is Europe’s Number One Cruise Line. For more than 60 years its ships have sailed the seas of the world, offering the best in Italian style, hospitality and cuisine and providing dream vacations filled with fun and relaxation. In 2009, 1.3 million guests chose to cruise with Costa, a record for the European cruise industry. The company’s 15 fleet members, each with her own distinctive characteristics and unique style, all fly the Italian flag and sail each year to 250 destinations in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Baltic Sea, the Caribbean, South America, the United Arab Emirates, the Far East and the Indian Ocean. Two more new ships are due to enter service by 2012.

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Carnival Corporation Signs Memorandum of Agreement for
Two Ships for Its Princess Cruises Brand

MIAMI, Feb 17: Carnival Corporation & plc has signed a memorandum of agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of two 3,600-passenger cruise ships for its Princess Cruises brand. The agreement is subject to execution of a definitive contract, financing and other customary closing conditions.

The new ships, which will have an all-in cost of approximately €155,000 per lower berth, are scheduled to enter service in spring 2013 and spring 2014. At 139,000 tons each, the as-yet-unnamed ships will be the largest in the Princess Cruises fleet.

Additional details will be announced at a later date.

Carnival Corporation is the largest cruise vacation group in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe and Australia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, The Yachts of Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Ibero Cruises, Ocean Village, P&O Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia.

Together, these brands operate 95 ships totaling more than 184,000 lower berths with 11 new ships scheduled to be delivered between March 2010 and May 2012. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour company in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon.

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Seabourn Introduces ‘Click & Sail’ E-Documents Option

MIAMI, Feb 17: The Yachts of Seabourn has introduced a convenient, eco-friendly alternative for guests who do not wish to receive printed preliminary and/or final cruise documents by mail. “Click & Sail” provides a single e-pass document via the company’s website, which can be printed and presented at check-in for embarkation. Complete cruise document information is available for review online at any time, and guests can select any pages to download and store on their own computers or print.

“Seabourn does offer a very thorough preliminary cruise booklet, as well as a handsome final document presentation,” said Seabourn president and CEO Pamela Conover. “But a lot of our guests sail with us repeatedly and frequently, and they told us they felt it was a waste to send the whole package each time, so we designed this alternative for them.”

When booked guests log on to the “Already Booked” section of the company’s website, they receive a prompt explaining the option and offering the opportunity to select “Click & Sail” and download the e-pass. If a guest selects this option, it will become the default both on the current booking and any future booking.
The e-pass document’s unique barcode contains all pertinent information about the booking, and is scanned during check-in for embarkation. Temporary pre-printed paper luggage tags are sent to the guest by mail. These are meant to be affixed when the guests check in, to expedite delivery of the baggage to the proper suite.

“Click & Sail" is completely optional, but it clearly does have a receptive audience, since over 250 bookings opted for some or all of the “Click & Sail” options within the first five days of its becoming available. For more information or to book a cruise on The Yachts of Seabourn, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Silversea's Silver Wind to Host 2010 World Leaders Symposium,
Featuring Condoleeza Rice

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Feb 16: Building on the past success of World Leaders Symposium cruises in Asia and the Middle East, ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises today announced its collaboration with San Francisco-based World Leaders Travel to host the 2010 World Leaders Symposium, a Black Sea voyage aboard Silver Wind headlined by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other dignitaries. This one-of-a-kind travel event from Aug 30 to Sept 15, 2010, includes a 10-night cruise aboard the award-winning, all-suite Silver Wind and a range of specially arranged shore excursions in Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Turkey. In addition to former Secretary of State Rice, featured speakers include former Secretary of Defense William Perry, former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, and leading figures in fields ranging from technology and the U.S.-Russian space race to cultural history and global affairs.

"It's a great honor for us to host this year's World Leaders Symposium aboard our elegant Silver Wind," said Steve Tucker, Silversea's vice president of field sales for North America. "Through our collaboration with World Leaders Travel, we're able to offer inquisitive travelers an unmatched educational experience featuring some of the world's most sought-after speakers. It's such a great program for our guests that we're already looking at possibly hosting additional Symposium cruises in the future." 

Focusing on the cultural, historical, and political highlights of the Black Sea region, the Symposium begins in Moscow with three nights at The Ritz-Carlton. Travelers will experience a Moscow rarely seen by visitors and attend a gala dinner with Gorbachev. Participants then fly by chartered jet to Istanbul, Turkey, to board the luxurious Silver Wind, which serves as the primary venue for presentations by Rice and others. The ship, among the highest-rated small cruise vessels afloat, will circumnavigate the Black Sea with visits to Batumi, Georgia; Sochi, Russia; Baku, Azerbaijan; and Yalta, Sevastopol, and Odessa in Ukraine before returning to Istanbul. After disembarking the Silver Wind, guests will move in to Istanbul's elegant Ciragan Palace Kempinski Hotel for two nights, and enjoy special excursions and lectures during the trip's final days. Optional extensions to Kiev, Chernobyl, and Moscow, and to Istanbul and Ephesus, are also available.

An unparalleled educational program includes off-the-record discussions with globally significant leaders and valuable context and insight provided by a team of scholars from sponsoring organizations. Featured speakers include Librarian of Congress James Billington; Google's Vinton G. Cerf, widely regarded as one of the "fathers of the Internet"; former diplomatic correspondent Marvin Kalb; EastWest Institute president John Mroz; and astrophysicist Michael Shara, among others. Symposium sponsors include American Museum of Natural History Expeditions, Chautauqua Institution, Foreign Affairs magazine, Harvard Alumni Association Travels, Princeton Journeys, Alumnae Association of Smith College, Smithsonian Journeys, and Yale Educational Travel.

Aboard Silver Wind, guests will enjoy a generous all-inclusive shipboard policy (all beverages, including a premium assortment of wines, champagne and spirits are complimentary), impeccable service from a courteous and efficient staff, and unparalleled onboard amenities. The ship's all-suite accommodations include butler service, ocean views and a wide range of features, from walk-in closets and flat-screen televisions to 24-hour room service and Wi-Fi Internet access. All bathrooms have marble tiles, shower/bathtub combinations, hair dryers, and plush robes. Of the ship's 149 suites, 115 feature private verandas. There are eight suite categories, ranging in size from the 240 square-foot Vista Suites to the 1,314 square-foot Grand Suites.

For pricing information, a detailed brochure, or to book today, please contact your professional travel advisor, sponsoring organization, or World Leaders Travel at (800) 395-3288, or visit
World Leaders Travel, formerly High Country Passage, specializes in creating extraordinary educational travel events defined by a compelling combination of experts, access, and insight. Under the banner explore the world with the people who shape it, each travel event is built around a prominent leader and a timely theme, with highlights including a comprehensive educational program, exclusive access, private events, customized excursions, and the highest level of luxury and service.

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Crystal Cruises Adds Black Sea Voyages in 2010 With Maiden Call in Ukraine

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 16: Due to strong demand, luxury specialist Crystal Cruises has expanded its 2010 European cruise collection to include two Black Sea voyages this summer. The two new itineraries feature a maiden visit to Sevastopol, Ukraine, as well as calls in Greece, Italy, Bulgaria and Turkey. Steeped in artistic, military and architectural history, the 12-day cruises sail from Venice to Istanbul on July 19 and Aug 24 aboard the award-winning Crystal Serenity.

"The Black Sea cruises are an exotic counterpart to the more familiar Mediterranean hot spots," says Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales and marketing. "These destinations have a mysterious charm and tremendous historic value that places them high on travelers' lists of must-see places."

Beginning with overnight stays in Venice, the itineraries visit Katakolon (birthplace of the Olympics) and Navplion, Greece; Nesebur, Bulgaria; Yalta, Sevastopol and Odessa, Ukraine; and conclude with an overnight stay in Istanbul, Turkey. Other highlights include the sail from Venice, the cruise through the Dardanelles and the Bosporus Straits.

Distinguished speakers on world affairs, architecture, science and culture add rich dimension to the voyages, including Newsweek's Chief Political Correspondent, Senior Editor and Deputy Washington Bureau Chief, Howard Fineman; Dr. David Davenport, Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and former president of Pepperdine University; and Dr. Bulent Atalay, a compelling expert on art, archaeology and the sciences.

Two-for-one cruise fares include $1,000 per person 'All Inclusive - As You Wish' shipboard credits. Free air transportation from more than 20 North American gateways, Business Class air for Penthouse guests, is also included. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Cruise West Reveals 2011/2012 Worldwide Voyages Aboard the Spirit of Oceanus

Seattle, WA, Feb 16: Cruise West, the world’s leading provider of small-ship explorations to the most fascinating destinations on earth, announces its second edition of the Voyages of the Great Explorers in 2011/2012. Twenty-five meticulously crafted itineraries from Asia to the Mediterranean, Europe to the Americas and throughout the South Pacific offer the most discerning and well-traveled guests an array of extraordinary choices and authentic experiences. Book and pay in full by April 30, 2010 and save up to $4,600 per person and receive free international air of up to $1,500.

While several ports are repeats from the original 2010 voyages, there are a myriad of exciting new ports in which to have your passport stamped in countries such as Israel, Greece, Morocco, Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Nicaragua, Peru, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and more.

Exclusive encounters, inclusive pricing (except alcohol) and personal touches define the Cruise West experience. Shore excursions are included at every port and each voyage will be enhanced by an extraordinary ‘Ultimate Explorers Experience’ (UEE), designed to bring guests into direct personal contact with fascinating people. For instance, guests will have the chance to observe some of the finest dancing in all the South Pacific at Kitava, Trobriand Islands in Papua New Guinea, and participate in the noviciation ceremony and food offering to the monks in Rangoon. The discovery and learning continues aboard ship as well with expert guest speakers sharing their knowledge of the people, cultures, and sights from each journey. On average there will be seven to 10 thought provoking lectures on a 14-night itinerary.
Further exploration by Zodiac to private islands, snorkeling safaris, pristine inlets and hard to reach villages fulfill the promise of an unforgettable journey.

Destinations that only small-ships can access: Each distinct voyage, ranging from 9- to 18- nights, will visit many ports, places and inlets that the larger ships can’t access such as: Ile Rousse, Corsica, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus; the secluded beaches of Belle-Île-en-Mer, France, also known for its dramatic coastline; the pristine coral reefs of isolated Corn Island, Nicaragua - once frequented by Caribbean pirates; Santa Ana, Solomon Islands known for its elaborately decorated “spirit house”; and Kumai, Kalimantan, Borneo to experience dawn in the jungle and observe orangutans. Explore cultural treasures, archaeological sites, unique landscapes and remote island chains that many people have only dreamed to venture. Sink your teeth into local Turkish delicacies at an exclusive reception featuring a private classical concert at Ephesus; discover the excavations of Capharnaum and the Mount of Beatitudes in Haifa, Israel; visit the exquisite Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman that can accommodate up to 20,000 worshippers, and travel onto ancient Shiraz and Persepolis via charter flight; and witness the spectacles as Edinburgh’s world-famous Military Tattoo.

The world will see you now: The 2011/2012 Voyages of the Great Explorers 25 unique back-to-back itineraries will circumnavigate the world in 335 days, commencing in Singapore on February 22, 2011 and ending in Hong Kong on January 24, 2012. The 25 voyages will visit six continents, 254 ports of call in 61 countries while crossing 14 seas and oceans, and transiting four canals -- Port Suez/Port Said (Suez Canal transit); Corinth Canal/ Corinth (Mycenae/Nafplion); Kiel Canal; and the Panama Canal.

The Spirit of Oceanus: Cruise West’s all-suite Spirit of Oceanus is the line’s most spacious and luxurious ship. It offers gracious comfort for 120 select guests. Seven suite categories are offered onboard, including 14 suites with private balconies and one elegantly appointed and spacious Owner’s Suite located on the ship’s Sun Deck.

More information about these voyages can be found online at or by calling 1- 800-296-8307 or a travel professional. Visit the line’s video gallery at

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Carnival Glory Returns to Service Following Extensive Multi- Million-Dollar Refurbishment

MIAMI, Feb 15: The 2,974-passenger Carnival Glory has resumed Caribbean service from Miami following a multi-million-dollar renovation that added a host of new facilities and features, including a Serenity adults-only retreat, a 270-square-foot Seaside Theatre poolside LED screen, and a Circle “C” facility for 12- to 14- year olds. Eighteen new balconies were also incorporated onto existing ocean view staterooms and a new Mongolian wok venue was added to the casual poolside restaurant. Bow-to-stern Wi-Fi access was added, as well.

From February to May, Carnival Glory operates seasonal 7-day cruises from Miami, alternating weekly to the eastern and western Caribbean. Seven-day eastern Caribbean cruises visit Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk, while the western route features Grand Cayman, Isla Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. The ship will then be deployed to New York where it will offer a series of 4- and 5-day Atlantic Canada voyages from June 6 – September 6, 2010, followed by a series of 7-day Canada/New England cruises, from Sept 11 – Oc 9.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve and expand our product to deliver fun and memorable vacations to our guests while at the same time offering exceptional value,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “The new Seaside Theatre, adults-only area and Circle ‘C’ facility, which are all available to our guests on a complimentary basis, serve to enhance an already terrific, value-packed vacation choice,” he added.

New Seaside Theatre: Located poolside on Lido Deck is the Carnival Glory’s new “Seaside Theatre,” a massive 270-square-foot LED screen displaying movies, concerts, sporting events, and other programming, including the popular “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 Balcony Accommodations: During dry dock, 18 new balconies were added to existing Spa Deck accommodations, creating spacious 220-square-foot verandah staterooms. They are conveniently located next to the ship’s 14,500-square-foot “Spa Carnival” facility offering sophisticated exercise equipment, expansive workout facilities and a variety of soothing European-style treatments. With the addition of these newly reconfigured staterooms, nearly 40 percent of the Carnival Glory’s 1,487 cabins now feature private balconies.

New Adults-Only Retreat: Another popular feature added during the dry dock is Serenity, a two-level adults-only retreat located forward on Sun Deck and Sky Deck. Designed as an oceangoing oasis for relaxation, with decorative latticework and teak-style decking, this area features different styles of seating, including shaded sun loungers and hammocks, a full bar, and two oversized whirlpools.

Circle “C” Facility for 12- to 14-Year-Olds: A new Circle “C” facility catering to 12- to 14-year-olds has been added as part of the line’s unique offerings for kids. The center features 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.

Dining Enhancements: A new Mongolian wok option was added to the Carnival Glory’s Red Sail casual restaurant located poolside on Lido Deck. At the new venue, guests can select their favorite meat, sauce, vegetables and other ingredients and watch as a chef creates their custom-designed stir fry dish right before their eyes.

Additionally, the Golden dining room, located forward, was reconfigured for Your Time Dining providing guests the option of open seating between 5:45 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. nightly.

For additional information and reservations on the Carnival Fascination or any other vessel in the “Fun Ship” fleet, call 1-800-327-9501.

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Norwegian Epic Sea Trials A Triumphant Success

SAINT-NAZAIRE, FRANCE, Feb 15: Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Cruise Line’s largest and most innovative ship to date, returned from her first successful sea trials on Sunday, February 14, 2010, after four days of sailing the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. During the sea trials, 300 technicians and engineers from STX FRANCE SA, along with 30 Norwegian Cruise Line representatives, checked more than 60 different aspects of the ship’s performance by running trials of the vessel’s speed, maneuverability, hydrodynamics and propulsion, amongst others.

“During her first time ever at sea, Norwegian Epic performed above expectations with excellent marine behavior,” said Roberto Martinoli, Norwegian’s president and COO, who was on-board during the sea trials. “All tests were conducted with positive results. She is a beautiful ship with outstanding performance. Now that sea trials are completed, we can concentrate on finishing the ship and showing her to the world in June.”

A second round of sea trials is scheduled for mid-April in order to finalize all tests, including final speed measurement. The 153,000-gross ton, 4,200-passenger ship – the largest ship ever built in Saint-Nazaire – is scheduled for delivery on June 15, 2010.

Following her 7-day transatlantic crossing from Southhampton to New York on June 24, 2010 and inaugural activities in New York and Miami, Norwegian Epic will sail alternating 7-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami from July 10, 2010 through April 30, 2011. Ports of call on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary include Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. The Western Caribbean cruises visit Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico. The 2011 cruise season from May-October will have Norwegian Epic sailing a series of 7-day Western Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona. When she returns to Miami on Nov 5, 2011, she will sail a series of 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruises through April 7, 2012.

Norwegian Epic

World-class entertainment is Norwegian Epic’s hallmark. For the first time at sea, Blue Man Group will perform their exhilarating fusion of comedy, theatrics and paint, exclusively on Norwegian Epic. In the only “big top” at sea, Cirque Dreams and Dinner, created and directed by Neil Goldberg, will present a one-of-a-kind interactive theatrical dining experience with music, mayhem and acrobatic imagination. Legends in Concert, the original and world’s greatest live tribute show, will be featured for the first time at sea in more than a decade on Norwegian Epic, along with The Second City improvisational comedy and Howl at the Moon, the world’s greatest rock ‘n roll dueling piano show that encourages audience participation.

In addition to world-class entertainment, the 4,200-passenger Norwegian Epic incorporates many innovations including several new types of accommodations – the curved New Wave staterooms; the largest Villas suite complex at sea, comprising 60 suites and villas on two private decks at the top of the ship; and spa and family-friendly accommodations. Kids will have a blast with Nickelodeon at Sea offering Nickelodeon-themed family entertainment and programming including: character meet and greets; interactive game shows; and more.

The ship also boasts unique nightlife options with the first Ice Bar at sea and Spice H20 with non-stop entertainment day and night; an expansive Aqua Park with the only tube slide and largest bowl slide at sea -- The Epic Plunge; seven decks of Freestyle Family Fun with highlights including a 33-foot high, 64-foot wide extreme rock climbing wall and the first ever rappelling wall at sea; the most bowling lanes at sea with six in two venues; a mixed-use sports deck with the ability for guests to engage in eight different athletic activities; as well as three separate kids’ and teen activity areas. In addition, Norwegian Epic will offer the next generation of Freestyle Dining with 20 dining choices and 20 bars and lounges. To book a Norwegian Epic itinerary or for more information on Norwegian Epic, call Norwegian at 866-234-7350, visit, or contact a travel professional.For further information on Norwegian Cruise Line, visit

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Crystal Adventures Highlight European Destinations From New Heights & Depths in 2010

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 12: This spring through fall in Europe, luxury specialist Crystal Cruises is rolling out nearly 800 boutique shore excursions, dozens of which are brand new. From soaring above Stockholm in a hot air balloon to scuba diving off the coast of Turkey, distinctive Crystal Adventures augment Crystal's 32 destination-rich itineraries exploring the Mediterranean, Baltic and Black Seas, North Cape, Canary Islands, Middle East and British Isles.

-- *NEW* Navigate the corniches of the French Riviera in a private Maserati, Lamborghini or Ferrari (Cannes)
-- *NEW* From a private box, sample Scotch whiskeys and view the pageantry of the Military Tattoo (Edinburgh)
-- *NEW* Take an exclusive palace cooking lesson with an Italian Countess (Venice)
-- Thrill to a high-speed sailing adventure in a state-of-the-art professional ocean racer (from Berlin)
-- Enjoy a rugged bicycle and 4x4 exploration of the lava fields and Mt. Etna (from Taormina)

"Each year we strive to offer meaningful experiences ashore that satisfy our guests' appetite for diverse adventures," says John Stoll, Crystal Cruises' director, land programs. "The breadth of options guests have in each destination is truly staggering - whether one is seeking cultural enrichment or more active pursuits."

From April through Nov 2010, the ultra-luxurious Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity offer 7- to 15-day itineraries departing from Athens, Greece; Copenhagen, Denmark; Istanbul, Turkey; London, England; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Rome, Italy; Stockholm, Sweden; Barcelona, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal and Venice, Italy. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Princess Revives Nostalgic Cruising Tradition with New Bon Voyage Experience

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Feb 11: Reviving a signature tradition from the early days of cruising, Princess Cruises is debuting an innovative, new program giving passengers the opportunity to invite their friends and family aboard their ship on embarkation day to wish them “bon voyage” and get a taste of the onboard experience. Called the “Bon Voyage Experience(sm),” the program is a new twist on the departure celebration of bygone days, when friends and family would routinely come aboard to see off passengers. Because of increasingly tighter security procedures, this practice disappeared more than two decades ago, but it’s now back – complete with lunch in the dining room and tour of the ship.

Unique in the cruise industry, the Bon Voyage Experience enables passengers to extend an invitation to their guests to join them onboard during sailing day for a four-course dining room lunch with wine, a ship tour and even a souvenir photo. Passengers and their guests can enjoy priority embarkation and will be able to spend approximately four hours together on the ship before it sets sail. The cost for the program is $39 per person, which can be applied toward a future Princess cruise. The program will debut in March in the ports of Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale, and then roll out to New York, San Francisco and Seattle.

“Long-time cruisers will recall the fun of the bon voyage send-off with their family and friends, and we’re excited to re-introduce a new, modern version of this experience,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.

Cruise passengers will be notified about the program through the pre-cruise emails they receive from Princess as their cruise date approaches. In-port guests can be booked through a travel agent or by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, beginning 120 days before the cruise and up to six days before the sailing date. Once registered, guests will be able to input their required security information through the line’s Cruise Personalizer. The number of guests who will be able to participate in the Bon Voyage Experience on any given embarkation day will be approximately 50.

The roll-out schedule for the launch of the Bon Voyage Experience is:

Sapphire Princess – March 6 in Los Angeles
Crown Princess – March 6 in Fort Lauderdale
Coral Princess – March 7 in Los Angeles
Emerald Princess – March 7 in Fort Lauderdale
Island Princess – March 10 in Los Angeles
Ruby Princess – March 10 in Fort Lauderdale
Golden Princess – March 14 in Los Angeles
Royal Princess – March 27 in Fort Lauderdale
Star Princess – April 10 in Fort Lauderdale
Caribbean Princess – May 18 in New York
Sea Princess – June 1 in San Francisco

During the Alaska season, Sapphire Princess, Golden Princess and Royal Princess will offer the program in Seattle, beginning in May. 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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Princess Cruises Debuts 20 New Shore Excursions in Alaska This Summer

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Feb 9: This year Princess Cruises offers passengers some fresh ways to experience Alaska up close and personal with a variety of new shore excursions for the summer. Among the 20 new options is a unique opportunity to join a scientific expedition while in Juneau to help study climate change and wildlife behavior patterns. Passengers can also get closer to the dramatic glaciers of Tracy Arm, pilot their own zodiac on a tour of Ketchikan or enjoy the opportunity for animal encounters at a film trainer’s wildlife park. These new options join Princess’ extensive shore excursion program, which currently offers 215 different Alaska tour options for passengers starting in May.

“Alaska offers so many thrilling experiences for visitors – there’s beautiful scenery nearly everywhere you turn, great opportunities to encounter wildlife, an intriguing Native culture, and of course the towering glaciers,” said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. “These new excursions showcase some of the many wonders available throughout this amazing state, and offer visitors a number of ways to get a very personal Alaska vacation.”

New tours available to Alaska passengers this summer include:

Whales & Glaciers Citizen Science Adventure (Juneau) – This unique tour will give participants a taste of what it’s like to be a research scientist in the wilds of the Last Frontier. Passengers join a science-based excursion giving them the opportunity to participate in a GPS time-lapse photo project at the Mendenhall Glacier that documents the effects of climate change on the Juneau Icefield. Citizen scientists can also collect water samples, net plankton and record humpback whale and other marine wildlife behavior. This observational data will improve scientists’ understanding of the many variables that affect Alaska’s marine ecosystem. In addition, passengers will enjoy a whale-watching cruise, with guaranteed whale sightings.

Back Country Zodiac Expedition (Ketchikan) – Passengers can be their own captain for the day as they skipper their custom-built motorized inflatable along the coastline of Revillagigado Island for a unique Alaska adventure. Participants will follow their guide on a journey that explores Native culture with a view of Saxman Native Village, and a search for wildlife such as bears, eagles, whales, seals and more. The group guide will explain the area's history, geology, culture and ecology.

Alaska Wildlife Park (Princess Exclusive – Skagway) – Visitors can meet many types of animals at the Kroschel Films Wildlife Park Center. The park is run by trainer Steve Kroschel who has a lifetime of experience working with wild animals for movies such as "Never Cry Wolf" and the PBS "Wild America" series. His center provides a home for numerous orphaned wild animals including wolves, Arctic fox, lynx, porcupine, pine marten, mink, reindeer and wolverines. Guests will enjoy hands-on, face-to-face encounters and intimate close-up photography of many of these animals as they learn about the behavior of these intriguing creatures and gain an understanding of the time and trust required to train them.

Whales, Bears & Glaciers Adventure (Princess Exclusive – Juneau) – This excursion offers an opportunity to experience the perfect Alaska trifecta: whale watching, bear viewing and a scenic flight over the glaciers of the Juneau Icefield. Visitors will see two of Alaska’s most impressive creatures with a whale watching cruise that guarantees sightings, plus a bear search at a salmon-bearing stream. The tour caps off with a flight over the Juneau Icefield and the Mendenhall Glacier on the way back to town.

Tracy Arm Fjord & Glacier Explorer (Juneau) – Sapphire Princess passengers have a new way to get a close-up look at the glaciers of Tracy Arm as they cruise aboard a luxurious, high-speed catamaran for an in-depth exploration of the twin Sawyer Glaciers. The adventure begins just before Sapphire Princess reaches the entry to Tracy Arm, as participants board their catamaran directly from the ship. After viewing glaciers from a much closer vantage point than is possible from a cruise ship, they will travel to Juneau to rejoin Sapphire Princess.

Adventure Park & Zip Lines (Skagway) – Thrill-seeking passengers can walk along raised balance beams, cross suspension bridges and fly through the air on a series of zip lines with this adventurous excursion. The exciting course will keep passengers challenged and exhilarated as they soar through the air on a series of six zip lines through the lush Alaska canopy.

Juneau Jeep Adventure (Princess Exclusive) – Visitors can experience Juneau's most scenic and historic locales in the rugged comfort of a Jeep Wrangler for a small group adventure. A diver/guide will take each group on a tour through Juneau, to a scenic view of Mendenhall Glacier and other local sites, ending with a stop at the award-winning Alaskan Brewing Company for a final taste of Juneau.

Mendenhall Glacier Helicopter & Salmon Bake Combo (Princess Exclusive, Juneau) – This unique tour combination gives passengers a stunning aerial view of the famed Mendenhall Glacier plus the chance to feast on wild Alaska salmon. Participants will enjoy a glacier landing where they can explore the glacier’s surface and learn how glaciers form, flow and shape the landscape. Once they’ve worked up an appetite, visitors join the salmon bake festivities for an all-you-can-eat meal.

Historical Ketchikan Walking Tour (Princess Exclusive) – Visitors can gain a unique understanding of Ketchikan and its Tlingit culture on this guided walking tour of Alaska's "First City." Led by a former city mayor of Tlingit descent, the tour offers personal knowledge of the many changes Ketchikan has experienced over the years. Visitors will also learn the significance of totem poles within Native culture, see the former red light district, and visit a salmon ladder to see the incredible journey salmon endure as they return to their spawning ground.

Bear Country & Wildlife Expedition (Ketchikan) – Passengers can view black bears in their natural habitat on a wildlife experience just a short drive from downtown Ketchikan. Participants will enjoy a nature walk on their way to a stream where more than 100,000 Pacific salmon return each year to spawn. Large concentrations of bears and other wildlife gather to feed on the huge runs of salmon. In addition to the bears, bald eagles wait for scraps, while mink, marten and wolf frequent the area, and seals can usually be seen feeding on the bountiful fish harvest.

Behind the Scenes at Butchart Gardens (Victoria) – One of Victoria’s premiere attractions, Butchart Gardens is a beautiful place to explore independently. However, with this tour, guests have the unusual opportunity to go beyond the usual self-guided visit, and enjoy an exclusive in-depth guided tour behind the scenes. Visitors will learn the history of the gardens and explore the Mediterranean Garden and botanist’s greenhouse, plus see a demonstration by the gardens’ ceramics master as he displays his skills in flower-pot making.

All Alaska shore excursions are currently available for pre-reservation. Passengers who are already booked on an Alaska cruise can reserve their tours by logging on to the Cruise Personalizer on, to ensure they get the excursions of their choice. As many tours fill up quickly, passengers are encouraged to make selections as early as possible. 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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Whale rescued in Puerto Vallarta By Holland America Line Tour Operator

Seattle, Feb 9: Vallarta Adventures, an operator of shore tours for Holland America Line, recently participated along with the Mexican navy in the rescue of an entangled humpback whale. The whale was ensnarled in fishing nets and staff of the tour company came alongside to free the creature.

“Our tour operators regularly become involved in these sorts of wildlife rescues,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, Holland America Line. “We applaud Vallarta Adventures dedication to wildlife and are proud to work with them. We share their commitment to the environment and nature.”

Based in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Vallarta Adventures provides safe learning experiences for those who like to explore nature and culture. For Holland America Line, they operate several tours in Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, including interactive ecological dolphin encounters, eco safaris, horseback rides to secluded beaches, canopy adventures and America’s Cup sailing regattas. Vallarta Adventures also works locally with ecological programs and regularly provides sea mammal rescue assistance.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Sails Into Summer With New Deployment For 2011/2012

MIAMI, Feb 9: Norwegian Cruise Line today announced its 2011/2012 summer deployment and itineraries with highlights including a new homeport in Europe; more capacity and newer ships to Bermuda from the Northeast; and a year-round commitment to New Orleans. In a first for the line in Europe, Norwegian Sun will homeport in Copenhagen offering 9-day cruises to the Baltic. Continuing its ongoing commitment to Bermuda, the company is deploying Norwegian Gem from New York for the first time and Norwegian Dawn from Boston. In addition, Norwegian Spirit will homeport year-round in New Orleans, home to the 2010 Super Bowl Champions the New Orleans Saints, representing the first time the company will homeport a ship year-round in the Crescent City. These cruises go on sale to Norwegian’s top travel partners and Latitudes members (past guests) today, Feb 9, 2010, and to the general public on Thursday, Feb 11. Norwegian is currently offering a 50 percent reduced deposit for all bookings made fleetwide through Feb 14, 2010. In addition, for all cruises booked to Europe, the line is offering up to a six category upgrade, if booked by Feb 14, 2010.

“Our summer 2011 deployment is filled with exciting itineraries and new choices, so that our guests can enjoy Freestyle Cruising to a variety of destinations around the world during the popular summer travel season,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s CEO.

In the Baltic, Norwegian Sun will sail from Copenhagen, Denmark, a new homeport for Norwegian, on 15 nine-day Baltic Capitals cruises. Ports of call include: Berlin (Warnemünde), Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm (Nynashamn), Sweden.

In addition to Norwegian Epic’s deployment from Barcelona to the Western Mediterranean in the summer of 2011, Norwegian Jade, which currently sails year-round in Europe, will replace Norwegian Gem sailing from Venice on a 7-day Greek Isles cruise with ports of call including: Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos and Olympia (Katakolon), Greece. The ship will also sail a 7-day Adriatic, Greece and Turkey cruise with ports of call including: Dubrovnik, Croatia; Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Ephesus (Izmir), Turkey and Split, Croatia. These sailings can be booked back-to-back for a 14-day cruise with no port repetition sailing to Greece, Italy, Croatia and Turkey.

Norwegian will continue its commitment to Bermuda, sailing two ships from the Northeast to Bermuda weekly from May through October calling on King’s Wharf. Norwegian Gem, one of Norwegian’s newest and largest Freestyle Cruising ships carrying 2,400 guests, will replace Norwegian Dawn sailing from New York on Sundays to Bermuda, staying for three full days. In Boston, the 2,224-passenger Norwegian Dawn will homeport there for the first time, replacing Norwegian Spirit which sailed from Boston for two years. The ship will depart on Fridays with three days in Bermuda.

For the first time in Norwegian’s history, the line will homeport year-round in the Big Easy with Norwegian Spirit sailing weekly 7-day Western Caribbean cruises from April 2011 through April 2012. The 2,000-passenger Norwegian Spirit will depart New Orleans every Sunday. Ports of call include Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; and Belize City, Belize. Norwegian has homeported cruise ships in New Orleans seasonally since 2003 with Norwegian Spirit there in the winter since 2007.

Norwegian Jewel, carrying 2,400 passengers, will continue her year-round deployment in New York sailing 7-day Bahamas & Florida cruises departing on Saturdays through April 2012. Ports of call include: Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida; Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian’s private island) and Nassau, Bahamas. Norwegian Jewel will offer Nickelodeon™ at Sea, exclusively on Norwegian Cruise Line, with Nickelodeon-themed family programming on all of its sailings. Guests will have the opportunity to experience character meet and greets; interactive game shows; and more. Also from New York beginning in Dec 2011 through April 2012, Norwegian Gem will sail a series of weekly 7-day Bahamas & Florida cruises, departing on Sundays, with stops in Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida; Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian’s private island) and Nassau, Bahamas.

In Alaska, both Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Star will return, sailing 7-day Glacier Bay and Sawyer Glacier cruises respectively, both from Seattle, Washington. Norwegian Pearl’s weekly Glacier Bay cruises depart on Sundays and will sail through Alaska’s Inside Passage with ports of call including: Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, Alaska; and Victoria, British Columbia. Norwegian Pearl will also sail a 7-day Alaska & Sawyer Glacier cruise from Vancouver to Seattle on May 8, 2011 and a seven-day Glacier Bay cruise from Seattle to Vancouver on Sept 18, 2011. Norwegian Star’s weekly Sawyer Glacier cruises depart on Saturdays sailing through Alaska’s Inside Passage with ports of call including: Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska; and Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Norwegian Star will also sail a 7-day Sawyer Glacier cruise from Vancouver to Seattle on May 14, 2011 and a 7-day Sawyer Glacier from Seattle to Vancouver on Sept 17, 2011.

For the shorter cruise option, Norwegian Sky will continue sailing 3- and 4-day cruises to the Bahamas year-round from Miami through April 20, 2012. The 3-day Bahamas cruise departs Fridays and includes stops in Nassau, Bahamas and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas. On Mondays, the ship departs Miami on a 4-day Bahamas cruise with stops in Grand Bahama Island, Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island; and Nassau, Bahamas.

To book one of these new itineraries, guests should contact a travel professional or Norwegian at 866-234-7350. Further information can be found online at

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Culinary Experts Take Center Stage for Holland America Line's
2010 Culinary Arts Center Program

SEATTLE, Feb. 9: Taking top chefs from kitchens and restaurants all around the world and inviting them aboard Holland America Line ships, the line's Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine Magazine, continues to expand in popularity. This year, more than 65 guest culinary experts are participating in the hugely successful program. Culinary notables this season include Bravo-TV's "Top Chef" contender, Nikki Cascone; Mark Bittman, food columnist for The New York Times and award-winning cookbook author; and Keith Coburn, television personality of the hit series, "Deadliest Catch."

"Because the Culinary Arts Center is such a hit, we will continue to expand the program and provide our guests with the enriching culinary experiences that have made it so successful," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "For those who love to cook and cruise, there is no more enjoyable vacation experience than taking over a fully stocked and equipped professional kitchen with an expert chef as guide."

Holland America Line's award-winning celebrity chefs and experts in the 2010 season include:

-- Dean James Max, executive chef of 3030 Ocean (FL) aboard ms Westerdam, March 28-April 4.
-- Marisol Koczal Simon, culinary educator, author and chef aboard ms Prinsendam, April 9-26.
-- Lon Symensa, executive chef, Buddakan (NYC), winner of the 1996 US Culinary Olympic team and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America sailing on ms Eurodam, May 9-19.
-- Martin Blunos, UK television personality and chef sailing on ms Eurodam, May 29-June 8.
-- Lars Kronmark, executive chef instructor at The Culinary Institute of America (CA) aboard the inaugural sailing of ms Nieuw Amsterdam, July 4-14.
-- Tre Wilcox, executive chef, culinary educator and Top Chef contender, aboard ms Statendam, July 25-Aug. 1.
-- Bryan Caswell, chef / owner, Reef and Little Bigs (Houston, TX), sailing aboard ms Prinsendam, Aug. 8-18.
-- Barbara Lynch, James Beard Award Winner, recipient of Food & Wine Magazine's "Ten Best New Chefs" award, executive chef and owner of Number 9 Park (Boston), sailing aboard ms Noordam, Sept. 18-28.
-- Paul McCabe, executive chef, L'Auberge (Del Mar, CA), winner of the Golden Sceptre and Golden Baccus awards from the Southern California Restaurant Writers and named "rising star of American Cuisine" by the James Beard Foundation, sailing aboard ms Amsterdam, Oct.20-29.
-- Joey Campanaro, chef / owner, The Little Owl (NYC), aboard ms Amsterdam, Oct. 29-Nov.12.

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. The line's two cookbooks, "A Taste of Excellence" and "A Taste of Elegance," written by Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, offer guests preparation techniques for some of Holland America's most delectable dishes and lavish libations as part of the Culinary Arts Center experience.

The line's complimentary demonstration classes by award-winning chefs are only one element of the extensive culinary enrichment program. As part of Holland America's burgeoning enrichment activities, the program also features one-hour food-and-mixology demonstrations, wine tasting and party-planning sessions, ice carving and floral arranging workshops and hands-on cooking classes for kids. A new feature in the line's culinary program is Dine with the Chef held in the Culinary Arts Center. A combination of a cooking demonstration and a fine-dining experience, guests sit at elegantly set tables and interact with the chef as he or she prepares a five-course dinner in which each served course is paired with an appropriate wine.

A permanently installed, state-of-the-art "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 video screens to display overhead and close-up video views of food preparation, and a large cooking display counter where guests can learn from the masters. Culinary demonstrations are also filmed and aired on in-stateroom televisions. Holland America Line invested nearly $1 million per ship to create and install the Culinary Arts Center facilities. This investment is part of the company's Signature of Excellence initiative which has invested more than $525 million to date in fleet-wide product and service enhancements. For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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VIP Access to 150th British Open With Crystal's New Land Option

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 8: For travel-savvy golf enthusiasts this summer, Crystal Cruises is introducing an ultra-exclusive opportunity to be a part of the ultimate competition in the birthplace of the game. During the new three-night Extended Land Program from Edinburgh, Crystal guests will be treated to VIP access and the highest level of service at the 150th British Open Championship at famed St. Andrew's Golf Club, before joining Crystal Serenity's July 19 Black Sea voyage to Istanbul. Besides the action on the links during the final two days of the championship, participants will enjoy full access to a private hospitality area with refreshments and open bar throughout the day, three-course lunch and traditional English afternoon tea. Arrangements include five-star hotel accommodations in Edinburgh, a private driver and air transportation from Edinburgh to Venice.

"To attend such a renowned tournament at the oldest golf club in the world is a thrill for golf-lovers, and we're excited to offer our guests such a distinctive opportunity," says John Stoll, director of land programs. "This program offers guests the ideal kickoff to a fantastic vacation, with the high standards of luxury and service they enjoy aboard our ships."

The limited-availability British Open Championship Extended Land Program starts at $5,199 per person, double occupancy. Following the British Open land program, Crystal Serenity's July 19, 12-day cruise sails from Venice July 19, visiting Katakolon and Navplion, Greece; Nesebur, Bulgaria; Yalta and Odessa, Ukraine, plus a maiden call to Sevastopol; and Istanbul, Turkey. On board, golfers can perfect their own game in the ship's dedicated driving and putting areas, and get tips from Crystal's onboard PGA Pros Denise and Gordon Walker.

Two-for-One cruise fares include a $1,000 per person 'All Inclusive - As You Wish' shipboard credit. Air transportation from more than 20 North American gateways - Business Class air for Penthouse guests - is also included. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Royal Caribbean Expands Allure of the Seas Inaugural Season

MIAMI, Feb 8: Royal Caribbean Intl today announced that the first revenue voyage for Allure of the Seas’ inaugural season will take place one week earlier than originally planned. The ship’s first revenue voyage will be a 7-night Western Caribbean itinerary, sailing on Dec 5, 2010. Allure of the Seas’ new cruise for the inaugural season is now open for booking. Guests booked on the original inaugural season sail date of Dec 12, 2010, will be contacted by their travel agent or a Royal Caribbean representative, and given the opportunity to move their cruise vacation to the new sailing of December 5. Booked guests who wish to take the Dec 5 sailing will be re-accommodated in the same stateroom and category, and the cruise fare will be the lower of either the fare paid or current prices. Guests booked on the Dec 12, 2010 sailing will have until the end of Feb 2010 to opt to change their cruise to the Dec 5 sailing and ensure they keep the same stateroom.

On the Dec 5, 2010, inaugural season voyage of Allure of the Seas, guests will be among the first to enjoy an exceptional vacation experience on the newest Oasis-class ship, featuring an array of exclusive, industry-revolutionizing onboard amenities, and premiering new, breathtaking high-diving, light and fountain shows in the AquaTheater and dazzling entertainment productions in the Opal Theater and Studio B ice-skating rink. Throughout, guests will enjoy the cruise line’s world-renowned friendly and engaging Royal treatment from Allure of the Seas’ staff and crew.

Allure of the Seas shares the title of the world’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ship with sister-ship Oasis of the Seas. An architectural marvel at sea, she will span 16 decks, encompass 225,282 gross registered tons, carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. Allure of the Seas will tout Royal Caribbean’s exclusive neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which will include Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. The ship will alternate a Western Caribbean with an Eastern Caribbean seven-night itinerary from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Additional information is available at

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New Canada/New England Fall Foliage Cruises on MSC Poesia:
Dazzling Landscapes, Historic Destinations

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL: MSC Poesia sails her inaugural fall foliage Canada/New England cruises Sept 22 from New York City with 14 itineraries and nearly 25 ports of call for guests departing New York and Quebec. Crimson and gold landscapes dazzle during the fall in New York City. Discover the colonial history, exquisite mansions and lighthouses of the New England coast, the St. Lawrence River for the French charm of Quebec, and quaint shops in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Cruises vary from 6- to 19-nights, and can be combined for an extended experience such as the repositioning cruise on Oct 23 with the Les Merle Big Band.

6-night “Maple Leaves & Mansions” cruise departing Quebec City and calling in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; and New York. October 23..
7-night “Scenic Splendors of Fall” cruise departing New York City and calling in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada; Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada, and Quebec City, Quebec; Canada, Oct 2.
7-night “Brilliant Colors of Fall” cruise departing Quebec City and calling in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada; Bar Harbor, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; and New York. Oct 9.
9-night “Autumn Leaves to Palm Trees” cruise departing Quebec City and calling in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; New York, and Fort Lauderdale. Oct 23.
10-night “Dazzling Fall Foliage” cruise departing New York City and calling in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada; Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Newport, Rhode Island; and New York. Sept 22.

Kids Cruise Free (17 and younger) when sharing a stateroom with two full-fare-paying adults. Government fees and taxes are applicable. Aeroplan Members earn Aeroplan Miles on select MSC cruises offered throughout the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Caribbean, Canada/New England, transatlantic and positioning cruises. Visit For more information, visit, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

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A Mediterranean Culinary Adventure Awaits Guests on Windstar's Wind Surf

SEATTLE, Feb. 4: 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, unveils its new dining experience in Wind Surf's Degrees restaurant reflecting a Mediterranean culinary journey of simple cooking and seasonal preparations, showcasing authentic ingredients and classic techniques.

"We look forward to presenting our guests with yet another degree of choice in dining and delivering a culinary adventure highlighting the regional and local cuisine reflective of destinations visited on our voyages," said Diane Moore, President of Windstar Cruises.

Degrees now features an innovative and stylish Mediterranean menu created by David Shalleck who has worked for over two decades in the culinary industry as a chef and television producer alongside some of America's most celebrated chefs. Shalleck is the author of the culinary travel memoir "Mediterranean Summer" chronicling his experiences as a chef on a private sailing yacht in France's Cote d' Azur and Italy's Costa Bella preparing menus comprised exclusively of local ingredients, reflecting the flavors of each port. Shalleck's book is the inspiration for Degrees' new dining concept.

The spirited menus comprise 70 new recipes and use ingredients indigenous to local cuisines with flavors and styles of cooking inherent of Windstar's destinations. Guests enjoy an evening starting with amuse bouche, followed by a selection of first courses, then on to pastas and soups, followed by a variety of entrees and side dishes and ultimately finishing with an assortment of desserts to choose from. Highlights of the menu include: Baccala Mantecato - a delicate creamy blend of salt cod and potatoes; Canape Pissaladierre - a caramelized onion tartlet with Nicoise black olives; Assiette Charcuterie - Spanish pork loin lomo, French saucisson, Italian speck and celery root remoulade; Pulpo "a la Plancha" - braised and griddled octopus with potatoes and spicy chorizo sausage; Provencal Squash and Leek Soup; Griddled Tuna "Misticanza;" Fish in Crazy Water; Pan Roast Duck Breast with Apricots; Double-Cut Lamb Chops; Honey-Coated Calmyrna Figs and Whipped Mascarpone in a Pistachio Tuile; and Panna Cotta with Pineapples and Dark Rum Syrup.

While there is no additional charge for dining at Degrees. which accommodates 90 guests, reservations are recommended. Degrees new dining concept is part of Windstar's previously announced next phase of its Degrees of Difference initiative, adding amenities and enhancements to its luxurious ships. For more information including brochures, rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Crystal Cruises Reports Soaring January Sales for 2010

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 4: Luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises reports that soaring sales for its 2010 cruises continued through the end of January. Bookings for the month were 205% greater than for the same month in 2009. Additionally, to date, new-to-Crystal guests booked for 2010 are 89% of totals for all of 2009. The update comes shortly after announcing record bookings for its week ending January 11 and its highest January sales in more than five years for same year bookings.

Where do luxury travelers want to go in 2010?

-- Crystal's European cruises are generating some of the strongest sales farthest out. Understandable, since the line has more than 30 different itineraries in Northern, Western and Eastern Europe, including cruises to the Black Sea, British Isles, Greek Isles, Dalmatian Coast, Baltic, French and Italian Rivieras, North Cape and Canary Islands in its cruise collection.
-- Crystal Symphony's new holiday cruise in Hawaii is expected to sell out soon.
-- Crystal's fall Canada/New England season is booking at impressive 2007 and 2008 levels and approximately 30% ahead of last year at this time. Many of Crystal's huge base of Crystal Society members (repeat guests)
have added one of the new seven-day fall Mexican Riviera cruises to their travel plans because they are only seven days and cruise roundtrip from Los Angeles.
-- While the booking window is increasing (travelers booking farther out), there continues to be substantial close-in reservations, even for very exotic two-week cruises. Of the line's two Australia/New Zealand cruises, one is completely full, while the second is continuing to book closer in.

"The close-in booking patterns for 2009 are shifting dramatically," says Bill Smith, Crystal Cruises' senior vice president, sales & marketing. "Savvy travelers and travel agents recognize the value and reputation of Crystal's luxury cruising in 2010, and that we deliver an incomparable experience of service, space, quality and choices. Along with the strong bookings from new Crystal guests, our very loyal Crystal Society members continue to come back - discovering Crystal's many new itineraries and voicing overwhelming compliments for the major redesign of Crystal Symphony. I'd like to think it was Crystal's 20th anniversary that is bringing everyone out this year, but it's probably our guests' pent up demand to celebrate their own anniversaries, birthdays, family getaways, reunions, special interest trips and the emotional enrichment of travel that is nearer and dearer to their vacation hearts."

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

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Lights, Camera, Action! Silversea Takes You Behind the Scenes
 With Acclaimed Film Professionals

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Feb 4: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has tapped motion picture luminaries to host filmmaking discussion panels, screenings and enlightening presentations on the Feb 20, 2010, 16-day segment of Silver Spirit's Grand Inaugural Voyage, sailing from Buenos Aires to Santiago.

Guests on this special voyage will enjoy an enrichment program hosted by award-winning actress Karen Allen, best known for her role as Marion Ravonwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull; award-winning production designer Kristi Zea, renowned for her work on such films as The Departed, Good Fellas and As Good as It Gets; and screenwriter Ron Nyswaner, whose screenplay for The Painted Veil won the National Board of Review's Best Adapted Screenplay Award.

"It's a great pleasure for us to welcome such accomplished members of the film industry to share their insights and expertise for the enjoyment of our guests," said Mary Thomas, Silversea's manager of enrichment programs.

Another award-wining filmmaker Silversea has lined up as a guest speaker during Silver Spirit's Grand Inaugural Voyage is Hugh Thomson. His acclaimed ten-hour BBC documentary series Dancing in the Street: A Rock and Roll History was nominated for a BAFTA award and another of his film series, Indian Journeys, also made for the BBC, won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary Series. Thomson is also an author and explorer, with special expertise in explorations of Inca settlements in Peru and far-reaching travels in Mexico. He will host presentations with a regional focus on two Silver Spirit voyages: #5006, a 14-day cruise from Valparaiso to Acapulco departing March 8 (featuring an overnight stay in Lima); and #5007, a 10-day sailing to Los Angeles departing Acapulco March 22.

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 Silver Spirit -- all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. With the inclusion 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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Condoleezza Rice to Headline Black Sea Cruise Aboard the Silver Wind

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 3: San Francisco-based educational tour operator World Leaders Travel today announced its 2010 World Leaders Symposium featuring former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of Defense William Perry, former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, and a team of leading figures in fields ranging from technology and the U.S.-Russian space race to cultural history and global affairs. This one-of-a-kind travel event from August 30 to September 15, 2010, features a 10-night cruise aboard the privately chartered Silver Wind, with specially arranged shore excursions in Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Turkey.

Focusing on the cultural, historical, and political highlights of the Black Sea region, the Symposium begins in Moscow with three nights at The Ritz-Carlton. Travelers will experience a Moscow rarely seen by visitors and attend a gala dinner with Gorbachev. Participants then fly by chartered jet to Istanbul, Turkey, to board the luxurious Silver Wind, which serves as the primary venue for presentations by Rice and others. The ship, among the highest-rated small cruise vessels afloat, will circumnavigate the Black Sea with visits to Batumi, Georgia; Sochi, Russia; Baku, Azerbaijan; and Yalta, Sevastopol, and Odessa in Ukraine before returning to Istanbul. After disembarking the Silver Wind, guests will move in to the elegant Ciragan Palace Kempinski Hotel for two nights, and enjoy private special events and lectures during the trip's final days. Optional extensions to Kiev, Chernobyl, and Moscow, and to Istanbul and Ephesus, are also available.

An unparalleled educational program includes off-the-record discussions with globally significant leaders and valuable context and insight provided by a team of scholars from sponsoring organizations. Featured speakers include Librarian of Congress James Billington; Google's Vinton G. Cerf, widely regarded as one of the "fathers of the Internet"; former diplomatic correspondent Marvin Kalb; EastWest Institute president John Mroz; and astrophysicist Michael Shara, among others.

Symposium sponsors include American Museum of Natural History Expeditions, Chautauqua Institution, Foreign Affairs magazine, Harvard Alumni Association Travels, Princeton Journeys, Alumnae Association of Smith College, Smithsonian Journeys, and Yale Educational Travel. For pricing information, a detailed brochure, or to book today, please contact one of the Symposium sponsors, your professional travel advisor, call World Leaders Travel at (800) 395-3288, or visit

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Cunard to Launch Special Relationship Enrichment Program

Feb 2: In keeping with its longstanding tradition of offering guests award-winning enrichment programs, Cunard Line announces the Special Relationship speaker series. Guests sailing on select 2010 Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossings will have the unique opportunity to attend lectures by ambassadors, statesmen, politicians, journalists, academics and broadcasters with a shared interest between the United States and United Kingdom, an association first referenced as a “special relationship” by Winston Churchill in 1946. The programme was developed in direct response to guests noting their interest in hearing about politics and contemporary issues while onboard.

“When Cunard began its Transatlantic liner service 170 years ago, it began a tradition of bridging the United Kingdom and the United States. With this program, we will bring to life and explore the historical connection between these two countries with our guests, who have expressed great interest in the subject,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “Additionally, the Special Relationship series further underscores Cunard’s commitment to bringing its guests not only legendary voyages aboard the most famous ocean liners in the world, but also engaging and intellectual pursuits during their journey.”

Joining the 15 April Crossing will be Iwan Morgan, professor of U.S. Studies and head of U.S. Programs at the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London. The political scientist also has been published widely in various fields of modern U.S. political history and economy. He is presently writing a book, The Other Red Peril: Presidents and the Budget Deficit from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush, which is due for publication later this year.

Kenneth T. Walsh, chief White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, is scheduled to sail on the 1 June Transatlantic Crossing. He has covered the residencies of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and, currently, Barack Obama. Walsh is the author of four books focused on presidential topics and has won the two most prestigious awards for White House coverage – the Aldo Beckman Award in 1991 and the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency in 1992 and 1998.

Sailing aboard the 25 June Crossing is Jeffrey Weinberg, who has served each of the last seven U.S. presidents as a legislative attorney at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Executive Office of the President. While onboard, Weinberg will be leading discussions on the following topics: the first four months of the Obama administration, insights on the personal and institutional approaches of Presidents Nixon to George W. Bush, and "tools" that are available to the President to enhance his effectiveness.

Additional program participants will be announced in the coming months. Other scheduled voyages featuring Special Relationship speakers include:

• 12 September
• 1 October
• 10 November

The Special Relationship series is part of Cunard Insights, the enrichment program that 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, social gatherings and workshops, guests connect with personalities who have achieved notable distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, arts and literature. The Insights programme underscores Cunard’s longstanding view that onboard entertainment should afford guests a provocative and rewarding cerebral experience.

In 2010, Cunard offers guests more choices of Transatlantic Crossings, sailing classic six- and seven-day voyages between New York and Southampton, as well as new extended seven-, eight- and nine-day Crossings to Cherbourg, France, and Hamburg, Germany, between April and November. Widely considered the definitive ocean travel experience, a Transatlantic Crossing offers guests a myriad of opportunities for intellectual interaction, leisurely pursuits, health and wellness activities and gourmet dining. Unique Cunard amenities found aboard Queen Mary 2 include the famed Princess and Queens Grill accommodation, the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea and the first Todd English restaurant at sea. 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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Holland America Line Brings on the Heat With Warm Water Cruises
for Fall 2010 Through Spring 2011

Seattle, WA, Feb 2: Holland America Line highlights warm tropical destinations from October 2010 through April 2011 with an exceptional variety of Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico and Hawaii cruises. Among the most popular cruise choices, warm water itineraries provide a sunny getaway with the relaxing ambiance of a premium cruise ship.

“The Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico and Hawaii all offer extraordinary cruise experiences that include exotic ports, warm water beaches and exciting shore excursions,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Each region is historically and culturally different so guests can choose from six- to 25-day cruises for a perfect warm weather vacation.”

Nine ships—including the new ms Nieuw Amsterdam—will sail 142 cruises to the eastern, western and southern Caribbean. Six ships will feature 25 full-transit Panama Canal cruises. Four ships will offer 40 cruises to the popular Mexican Riviera and Sea of Cortez. And ms Zaandam will add 11 among the Hawaiian islands.

146 Caribbean Cruises Bring the Best of the Islands
A leader in cruises of 10 days or longer, Holland America Line’s Caribbean itineraries range from six to 25 days. Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Eurodam, ms Ryndam and ms Westerdam offer six- and seven-day western, eastern or southern itineraries while the ms Noordam, ms Zuiderdam, ms Maasdam and ms Prinsendam feature 10- to 25-day explorations of the southern and eastern Caribbean. All cruises sail roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale or Tampa from October 2010 through April 2011 with 14 holiday cruises in late December. Many departures are designed so guests can combine different 7-day Caribbean sailings to offer a more in-depth 14-day exploration. They also can combine two 10-day Noordam Southern Caribbean sailings to create a truly memorable 20-day Collector’s Cruise. Maasdam offers 21-, 24- and 25-day Collectors’ Cruises.

Holland America’s 10-day cruises to the southern Caribbean feature three itinerary options. Wayfarer itineraries highlight the islands of St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados and Martinique while Seafarer cruises showcase the Turks & Caicos Islands, Dominican Republic, Bonaire, Curaçao and Aruba. Nineteen Sunfarer itineraries combine some of these enticing destinations with Panama Canal cruising.

Aboard Maasdam, guests enjoy unique 10-day eastern and 11- and 14-day southern Caribbean itineraries roundtrip Fort Lauderdale. The eastern itinerary visits San Juan, Puerto Rico; Gustavia, St. Barts; Rosseau, Dominica; St. John’s, Antigua; St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; and Half Moon Cay. Both southern routes call at islands that can feature Half Moon Cay, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Vincent, St. Barts, Martinique, and St. Maarten en route to Barbados. The 14-day option will also sail to the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao.

Popular 6- and 7-day cruises explore the eastern, western and southern Caribbean, some including Central American ports. Itineraries may include the Turks and Caicos Islands; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Grand Cayman; Willemstad, Curaçao; Oranjestad, Aruba; Falmouth, Jamaica; Belize City, Belize; Roatan, Honduras; and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. Most Caribbean itineraries call at Holland America Line’s award-winning private island, Half Moon Cay, which continues to be the line’s highest-rated Caribbean port of call. Here guests can enjoy activities such as the guided AquaTrax watercraft tour, stingray adventure, and a horseback riding and swimming excursion.

Transit an Historic Engineering Feat on Panama Canal Cruises
 Holland America Line features 25 full-transit cruises though the canal from fall 2010 through spring 2011. Six ships – Statendam, Westerdam, Maasdam, Zuiderdam, Ryndam, ms Rotterdam and ms Amsterdam – offer itineraries ranging from 14 to 30 days. Cruises depart Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver, British Columbia.

The 14-day Panama Canal Adventurer and Explorer itineraries feature ports in the Mexican Riviera, Central America and Caribbean that may include Fuerte Amador (Panama City); Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, Puerto Chiapas, Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica; Cartagena, Colombia; and Oranjestad, Aruba. Longer cruises may add Grand Cayman; Corinto, Nicaragua; Santa Marta, Colombia; and the San Blas Islands of Panama. Guests may also combine east and westbound crossings for an all-inclusive 28-day Collector’s voyage, featuring in-depth exploration of the Panama Canal and surrounding regions with two complete transits.

For an extensive exploration, the Apr. 17 Rotterdam transit includes several ports in South America en route to a two-night stay in Callao, the gateway to Lima, Peru. The 30-day cruise, roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, also visits both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of Central America.

Sunny Riviera & Exclusive Copper Canyon Await in Mexico
From fall 2010 to spring 2011 Holland America Line is featuring 36 six- to 12-day cruises to the popular Mexican Riviera, plus four ranging from 10 to 14 days that highlight the Sea of Cortez with optional tours to famous Copper Canyon.

ms Oosterdam sails one 6-day and several seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises roundtrip from San Diego in fall and winter/spring. The Vista-class ship cruises first through wildlife-rich Bahia Magdalena and then visits the lively ports of Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. Oosterdam also offers a 14-day Sea of Cortez itinerary from San Diego to Vancouver, British Columbia, in the spring.

ms Zaandam features 10-, 11- and 14-day cruises departing roundtrip from San Diego for the Sea of Cortez and Mexican Riviera in winter and spring 2011. Guests visit Cabo San Lucas, Loreto, Guaymas, Topolobampo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta on the Sea of Cortez itineraries. From Topolobampo, the highlight is the full-day optional excursion via rail deep into spectacular Copper Canyon.

In addition, ms Rotterdam offers a 12-day holiday cruise and ms Amsterdam sails two six-day cruises to the Mexican Riviera roundtrip from San Diego in December 2010.

San Diego Offers Homeport Premium Cruise Access to Hawaii
San Diego is also the convenient homeport for roundtrip cruises to Hawaii. From October 2010 through April 2011, Zaandam offers 11 Circle Hawaii cruises that range from 14 to 18 days, including one holiday sailing. Departures mostly sail roundtrip from San Diego; one sails in April 2011 roundtrip from Vancouver, British Columbia in the Pacific Northwest. In October 2010, Zaandam features a 15-day Circle Hawaii sailing from Vancouver to San Diego. The cruises call at four main islands, including Hilo, Hawaii; Honolulu, Oahu; Nawiliwili, Kauai; and Lahaina, Maui. The October 2010 15-day sailing calls on these ports and also at Kona with an evening cruise by Kilauea Volcano.

Rotterdam adds four 30- and 31-day Circle Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas voyages that sail roundtrip from San Diego. These cruises through the islands of Polynesia include an overnight in Papeete, French Polynesia. For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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New Yachts, Guests &Travel Agents Drive Record Bookings For The Yachts of Seabourn

MIAMI, Feb 2: With three new yachts joining its award-winning fleet and a selection of new exotic itineraries and destinations, The Yachts of Seabourn is attracting all-time high numbers of new guests. And with new travel agent partners introducing their clients to Seabourn, the company has experienced record booking volume in the first month of 2010. For January, numbers of bookings showed a 106 percent increase compared to 2009, and were up 215 percent compared to 2008. The number of first-time guests booking a Seabourn cruise in January surged 79 percent over the same period in 2009 and 155 percent over January in 2008, which was Seabourn’s best year to date.

According to Pamela C. Conover, Seabourn’s President and CEO, the strong booking volume indicates the growing demand for luxury cruising, particularly for Seabourn’s high-end travel experience. “Travel agents and consumers have responded very favorably to our new yachts, itineraries and value-added promotions,” Conover said. “As a result, we are attracting higher numbers of both first-time travelers and repeat guests who are eager to travel well and experience Seabourn-style cruising.”

The 450-guest Seabourn Odyssey, introduced in June 2009 and the first luxury vessel to be launched in six years, has been hailed as a “game-changer for the luxury segment.” Two sister ships are scheduled to debut in the next two years - Seabourn Sojourn in 2010 and Seabourn Quest in 2011. Together, the three new vessels represent a capacity increase of over 200 percent for the line in a three-year period – underlining the company’s confidence in an increasing demand for high-end cruising. The addition of the three new ultra-luxury yachts has allowed the line to offer a wider range of new itineraries and exotic destinations, which have pleased its loyal repeat customers and attracted new ones as well. Further, beginning late last year, the line released several value-added promotions combining attractive savings and, in some cases, complimentary roundtrip air transportation.

Seabourn offers travelers an array of new itineraries, including year-round sailings in Asia aboard Seabourn Pride, exploring Vietnam, Thailand, China, Korea and Japan. The new vessels continue to offer popular itineraries such as Europe, the Mediterranean and the Americas, as well as annual World Cruises. For a limited time, many 2010 Europe voyages are being offered with free business or economy class airfare (depending on category of suite booked), plus savings of up to 50 percent off of published brochure fares, for bookings made in February. For more information or to book a cruise on The Yachts of Seabourn, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Carnival Fascination Returns to Service from Jacksonville
Following Extensive ‘Evolutions of Fun’ Upgrades

Miami, Feb 2: The 2,052-passenger Carnival Fascination resumes its year-round 4- and 5-day schedule from Jacksonville, Fla., yesterday following a $34 million dry dock that included the addition of an expansive new water park, exclusive adults-only retreat, redesigned main pool area and 98 balconies to existing staterooms. These renovations are part of the line’s $350 million “Evolutions of Fun” refurbishment program for its eight 70,000-ton Fantasy-class vessels. The Carnival Fascination is the sixth ship in the series to receive the extensive upgrades.

Carnival Fascination operates Jacksonville’s only year-round cruise schedule, carrying approximately 170,000 passengers a year. On this program, 4-day cruises departing Thursdays visit Freeport and Nassau, The Bahamas; 5-day cruises departing Mondays call at Key West, Fla., and Nassau; and 5-day voyages departing Saturdays visit the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and Nassau.

“Our Jacksonville-based cruises are a great option for those seeking a convenient, high quality vacation at a tremendous value and these new features will enhance the Carnival Fascination’s already strong appeal with consumers,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO.

Exciting Top Deck Features: Carnival Fascination’s multi-million dollar refurbishment included a total transformation of its open decks, which now feature a massive new WaterWorks aqua park on Verandah Deck. This sprawling, all-ages facility includes an enclosed 300-foot-long Twister water slide full of exhilarating twists and turns, two 82-foot-long racing slides, and a splash zone for kids. The ship’s Lido Deck pool was also renovated with a colorful tropical theme featuring oversized umbrellas, vibrant tile work, thatched roofing and huge stylized palm trees, creating a relaxing resort-style ambiance.

New Balcony Accommodations: Ninety-eight balconies were also added to existing accommodations during the dry dock, creating spacious 230-square-foot balcony staterooms that provide the ideal vantage point for viewing the tropical scenery. Sixty-two of the new balcony staterooms are located aft with several of these featuring extended balconies, while 24 are located mid-ship and 12 near the stern. Several suites were also retrofitted with larger, extended balconies.

New Adults-Only Retreat: Another popular “Evolutions of Fun” element added during the dry dock was an adults-only retreat called Serenity, which is located on Promenade Deck aft, providing magnificent ocean vistas. Designed as an oceangoing oasis for relaxation, this area features a tropical design with teak-style decking, colorful umbrellas, and thatched roofing, along with two oversized whirlpools. Guests can relax in comfortable chaise lounges and chairs while enjoying frozen drinks and other icy concoctions.

Dining Enhancements: Delicious new dining options were added to the ship’s casual poolside restaurant, Coconut Grove Bar & Grill. These include a Mongolian wok venue where guests can select their favorite meat, sauce, vegetables and other ingredients and watch as a chef creates their custom-designed stir fry dish, and a rotisserie featuring roasted chicken and traditional side dishes. Additionally, the Sensation and Imagination main dining rooms were refurbished with new carpeting, upholstery and other cosmetic enhancements. The Sensation dining room, located forward, was also reconfigured for Your Time Dining providing guests the option of open seating between 5:45 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. nightly.

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A Valentine's Gift From Windstar Cruises

SEATTLE, Feb. 1: 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 a Sweetheart Package to guests who book with a deposit between Feb 1 and Feb 14, 2010, for a 2010 sailing. Windstar's Sweetheart Package includes in-room delivery of chocolate-dipped strawberries and a bottle of chilled Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label champagne. Guests also receive relaxing his and her 50-minute massages in WindSpa. Package value is $250.

New 2010 bookings made and deposited between Feb 1 and Feb 14, 2010, are eligible for the Windstar Sweetheart Package. The Windstar Sweetheart Package offer is not combinable with other shipboard credits, package offers and select sale offers. Guests should refer to the Windstar Sweetheart Package offer when booking their cruise with their Travel Professional.

Windstar's romance has been recognized by some of the most notable names in the travel world including Porthole Cruise Magazine which awarded Windstar "Most Romantic Cruise Line" for the past five years.

Windstar recently announced the latest phase of its Degrees of Difference initiative featuring added amenities and enhancements to its luxurious ships in the areas of dining, accommodations, entertainment, spa, fitness and shore excursions. With this latest initiative, Windstar continues to raise the bar, delivering a vacation experience that is "180 Degrees from Ordinary."

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New Crystal Cruise Culminates in Venetian Fireworks

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 1: This July, guests aboard Crystal Cruises' award-winning Crystal Serenity will be treated to one of Italy's most popular Venetian traditions. The ultra-luxury line is introducing a new cruise for 2010 that sails into Venice just in time for the annual Redentore Festival, a spectacle of brightly colored boats, gondola races, costumes and traditional feasts culminating with a magnificent fireworks display. The 12-day Mediterranean/Adriatic voyage, departing from Athens on July 7, marks Crystal Cruises' first ever itinerary with two shipboard overnights in Venice.

Dating back to the 16th century, the Redentore Festival commemorates the church of the same name, built on the island of Giudecca to mark the end of a plague that had stricken the city. Each year on the third Saturday in July, Venetians gather in San Marco Basin to celebrate, where they remain until late-night fireworks are set off in the bay of San Marco. On board, guests can celebrate with an al fresco champagne reception, local entertainment, Venetian dinner, and view of the fireworks from the spacious open deck.

"Venice is one of the most magical cities in the world; to be there during this festival adds yet another layer to the authentic experience that our guests seek and expect with a Crystal vacation," says Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president, hotel operations. "We're thrilled to be a part of the celebration and to offer our guests more time to immerse themselves in the culture."

In addition to dozens of shoreside activities offered in the seven ports included in the itinerary, guests can maximize their stay in Venice with extravagant experiences like exclusive cooking lessons and lunch with Countess Lelia Passi or a bird's eye view of Padua from a hot air balloon.

The voyage visits Athens, Santorini, Crete and Patmos, Greece; Kusadasi, Turkey; Kotor, Montenegro; Split, Croatia; and Venice, Italy. Two-for one cruise fares start at $6,465 per person, double occupancy. Complimentary air transportation from more than 20 North American gateways, including Business Class air for Penthouse guests, plus a $1,000 per person 'All Inclusive - As You Wish' shipboard credit are included. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Princess Cruises to Host First-Ever Romance Summit
During Valentine’s Week Aboard Crown Princess

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Feb 1: In celebration of the most romantic holiday of the year, and to usher in the newest members of its Department of Romance, Princess Cruises is hosting the first-ever Romance Summit cruise. The Summit, which will be held on board Crown Princess during Valentine’s week, February 13-20, will feature a host of themed activities and presentations by the line’s Department of Romance members. Designed to celebrate the many aspects of cruising with Princess that can help couples reconnect, these special events will give passengers insight and inspiration on infusing romance into their everyday lives.

The entire Department of Romance will be aboard the special sailing. In addition to current members “Love Boat” captain Gavin MacLeod, “The Bachelorette’s” Trista and Ryan Sutter, and destination wedding expert Lisa Light, three new members will join the department. The new love experts are Anna Post, the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post who will be discussing romance etiquette; “The Dating Diva” Dee Frazier of The University of Dating, an authority on finding love at any age; and Princess Cruises comedian Kevin Hughes, who keeps audiences laughing with his comedic and insightful take on relationships.

“Hosting the first-ever Romance Summit seems like the perfect way to celebrate Princess’ legacy of romance in a fun, unique way with something for everyone onboard,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ executive vice president. “It’s also the perfect way to introduce the newest members of our Department of Romance. We look forward to starting some lively conversations, as well as provide our passengers with great relationship tips, and a lot of fun.”

 During the Romance Summit passengers will be treated to an abundance of romantic events, including an opportunity to meet all the Department of Romance members at a group panel discussion, plus attend individual presentations where each member will offer expertise on a particular aspect of love and relationships. Additionally, passengers will enjoy a variety of romance-themed activities, including a group renewal of vows for all couples on the ship and a Valentine’s Gala where passengers are invited to dress up in their best red attire for an evening of romantic dining and entertainment.

Throughout the sailing, passengers will enjoy themed food and beverage, entertainment, movies, and daytime activities. Crown Princess is sailing on a western Caribbean itinerary during the Romance Summit, with calls at Grand Cayman, Roatan, Cozumel, and Princess Cays. Further information about Princess is available through a professional travel agent, by visiting, or by calling 1-800-PRINCESS

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