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News from the world of cruise travel ~
March 1-15, 2004

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

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

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Celebrity Cruises Cancels one Caribbean Cruise

MIAMI - (March 12, 2004) - Celebrity Cruises will swap the itineraries of two sister ships, Infinity and Millennium, and use Millennium for two Panama Canal cruises on March 28 and April 11, previously scheduled on Infinity. The change will allow Infinity to enter dry dock to replace thrust-bearing units in its propulsion system. Consequently, the March 28 sailing by Millennium to the eastern Caribbean has been canceled. Once Infinity emerges from dry dock, the ship will adopt the Millennium itineraries for three sailings to the Caribbean on April 4, 11, and 18. The two ships will return to their normal itineraries April 25.

“I want to apologize to all of our guests affected by this unexpected situation,” said Jack Williams, president and chief operating officer of Celebrity Cruises. “The cancellation of a cruise always has an undesirable impact on our guests, so we always try to make decisions that will affect the least number of guests. It’s clear that swapping the itineraries of Infinity and Millennium will cause the least disruption for the majority of our guests.”

The cancelled sailing is a seven-night cruise, departing Port Everglades and visiting Casa de Campo, San Juan, St. Thomas, and Nassau. Guests booked on the cancelled sailing will receive a full refund and a voucher for a free Celebrity cruise to the Caribbean, of seven nights or less, that concludes before November 30, 2005, excluding Christmas and New Year’s sailings. Travel agents will receive full commissions, plus a $50 rebooking fee per stateroom when their clients reschedule their cruise.

Celebrity has established a special Help Desk to assist guests and travel agents. That toll-free number is 1-888-837-5676.

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"Sail and Save" Rates Offered on All 2004 Sailings

Seattle, WA, March 11, 2004 -- Windstar Cruises sails into its 2004 European schedule with 57 opportunities for guests to go "180 Degrees From Ordinary," including a return to the Baltic with eight sailings after a successful inaugural season in northern Europe in 2003. All 2004 sailings in Europe are now available at special "Sail and Save" rates. Windstar will once again deploy two of its three luxurious sailing yachts in Europe for the sailing season that runs from mid-April through mid-November. Plying the waters will be the 148-passenger Wind Spirit, with 30 sailings set for the Mediterranean and Greece, and the 308-passenger Wind Surf, which is scheduled for eight voyages in Northern Europe and the Baltic states, as well as 19 sailings in the Mediterranean. Each ship, with its distinctive white sails rising gracefully from the deck, offers the utmost in romantic, unhurried luxury sailing, with dynamic itineraries and a wide range of shore-side options and excursions.

"Our premier season cruising the Baltic states was a hit with our guests, and we're coming back with even more ways to go '180 Degrees From Ordinary' in the great capitals of St. Petersburg, Estonia, Finland and Denmark," says Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and sales for Windstar Cruises. "Add extensive Mediterranean and Greek Island sailings on our beautiful yachts, and our European program for 2004 is stronger than ever." 

Mediterranean -- The enticing ports of Lisbon, Barcelona, Rome, Nice, Venice and Malta serve as homeports for Mediterranean cruises on both the Wind Spirit and Wind Surf, with 14 different itineraries scheduled for 49 cruises that run from six to eight days beginning in mid-April. The cruises offer a vast array of options for passengers, from lingering overnight in Marseille or Monte Carlo to exploring far-flung and infrequently visited ports tucked around the Mediterranean Sea.

For guests who want to soak up the atmosphere of France and Italy, eight sailings between Rome and Nice visit the ports of Civitavecchia (Rome), Porto Vecchio, Portoferraio, Portovenere, Portofino, St. Tropez, Monte Carlo and Nice. For film and racing buffs, the Wind Surf will embark on an 8-day voyage from Nice on May 16th that includes an overnight in Cannes for the glamorous Cannes Film Festival, and continues via Portofino to Monte Carlo for two nights that coincide with the 2004 Grand Prix Race. Four additional 7-day voyages from Barcelona to Rome or Nice take in the lovely ports of Tarragona, Mahon, Port Vendres and Porquerolles.

For bon vivants who relish the option of stepping off their luxury yacht for a night on the town in beautiful Monte Carlo, there are 11 different cruises scheduled that include overnights in the capital of Monaco. Other cruises offer overnight visits in Marseille, Venice and Malta's Grand Harbour. Guests who wish to explore exotic ports might choose one of several 7-day voyages from Rome to Malta, or Malta to Venice, that include calls at Capri, Sorrento, Gozo, Corfu, Cephalonia and Dubrovnik. Sail and Save cruise-only fares begin at $1,495 per person for 7-day voyages.

Greek Islands - Departing under full sail from one of the sun-drenched and legendary islands of Greece is an unforgettable cruising experience that is unique to Windstar guests. The Wind Spirit will conduct 18 voyages to the Greek islands in 2004, with 7-day itineraries that begin in Rome, Athens and Istanbul. The Greek sailing season begins on May 1st and runs through the last week of October.

Topping the list with 14 sailings is the popular voyage between Athens and Istanbul, a favorite of Windstar guests. The voyage calls at the popular islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Bodrum and Kusadasi. For travelers wishing to explore lesser-known ports, four other voyages are conducted between Athens and Rome, calling at Ermoupolis, Navplion, Gythion, Messina and Capri. Sail and Save cruise-only fares begin at $2,995 per person for 7-day voyages.

Northern Europe and the Baltic -- Highlighting the 2004 deployment schedule for Northern Europe are new voyages to and from St. Petersburg in July on board the Wind Surf. Three of the departures, which begin on June 20th and run through September 2nd, include overnight stays in the Czarist capital of St. Petersburg, offering guests unlimited opportunities for exploring the great city and its fascinating museums.

Northern Europe itineraries stretch out to 10, 12 and 13 days for guests who wish to extend their time on board and enjoy romantic sailing among the great ports of northern Europe. The season begins on June 20th when the Wind Surf departs from Lisbon on a 10-day voyage to London (Dover) that lingers along the coastline of northern Spain and France, with calls at Leixoes, Villagarcia de Arosa, La Coruña, St. Jean de Luz, La Pallice, Belle Isle and Le Havre before crossing the English Channel. The voyage is repeated in the opposite direction on September 2nd.

On July 29th, a fascinating 13-day voyage begins with an overnight stay in St. Petersburg and includes an overnight visit in Stockholm on its way to Copenhagen. Other ports of call include Vyborg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Tallinn, Estonia; Mariehamn, Åland; Visby, Gotland; Ventspils, Latvia; Klaipeda, Lithuania and Gdynia, Poland. 

Other voyages on the schedule visit Amsterdam, Oslo and Germany's Rostock on the continent; and the Scottish ports of Leith and Invergordon. Extensive shore excursion options are available on all itineraries, including tours of the capital cities of Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Lisbon, London, Oslo, St. Petersburg and Tallinn. Fares start at $2,995 for 10-day cruises; $3,995 for 12-day voyages and $4,995 for the 13-day option.

Windstar offers guests top-quality activities, amenities and service with complimentary water sports on all three ships, Signature Cuisine created by acclaimed chef Joachim Splichal, Sail Light and vegetarian healthy menu options from author Jeanne Jones, plush bathrobes, complimentary DVD rentals and an attentive staff that knows guests' names by the second day.

Romance-inspired shore excursions and special celebration packages available through Windstar's "Romance Under Sail" program add to the romantic appeal of an exotic cruise on an intimate sailing yacht.

Guests sailing with Windstar in 2004 will benefit from a recent multi-million dollar investment in the Windstar fleet. In fall 2003, all three ships received extensive improvements to public spaces, soft goods, pool and deck areas and more. Enhancements range from new flat screen LCD TVs and DVD players in staterooms to new fabrics, décor and window treatments throughout the ships.

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

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Dynamic Sales Duo Set to Sail Aboard Silver Whisper's 7-Day "Mediterranean Tapestry" Cruise from Rome to Barcelona on May 31 

Ft. Lauderdale, FL -- March 5, 2004 -- Silversea Cruises' David Morris, Senior Vice President, North America Sales, and Marilyn Richardson-Conroy, Vice President, Field Sales, will team up to host a special 10th Anniversary Voyage aboard Silver Whisper on May 31.

Widely known and well-respected among the travel trade, the powerhouse sales duo recently joined Silversea, bringing with them over 40 years of combined luxury travel experience. Morris and Richardson-Conroy are now on a mission to map out progressive new sales strategies for future growth and success for the world's pre-eminent ultra-luxury cruise line.

"Marilyn and I are delighted to have joined Silversea at such an exciting time when the company is celebrating its 10th Anniversary," said Morris. "The chance to serve as Executive Hosts of an Anniversary Voyage is something we're really excited about and looking forward to. It'll be the perfect opportunity to spend time with our guests, exchange ideas and share experiences."

Morris and Richardson-Conroy will host a special 10th Anniversary Voyage aboard the newest ship in the luxury fleet, Silver Whisper, on a 7-day "Mediterranean Tapestry" itinerary from Rome to Barcelona, departing May 31. Celebrating the cultural and gastronomic flavors of Italy, France and Spain with special menus and onboard enrichment, the voyage also features the renowned culinary expertise of Relais Gourmand Franz Faeh, Executive Chef at the Relais & Châteaux Grand Hotel Park in Gstaad, Switzerland.

Guests can sip champagne as they enjoy a complimentary Silversea Experience™, an innovative hallmark of the award-winning cruise line. On this Anniversary Voyage the exclusive shore event is a reception and musical performance at the Teatro Tasso in Sorrento's Piazza San Antonio. Built on the remains of an ancient convent, the theater was completely renovated and re-opened in 2000, marrying modern technology with 16th-century historical charm. Sorrentine and Neapolitan music and dance - including the unforgettable Tarantella - will showcase the last 500 years in the history of the Kindgom of Naples.

As Executive Hosts of the cruise, Morris and Richardson-Conroy will dine with guests; lead intimate Q&A conversations, providing personal perspectives on Silversea and luxury travel; host the gala Anniversary Ball along with Captain Angelo Corsaro; and 'role play' for a day as Hotel Director and Cruise Consultant - adding a bit of whimsy to the casually elegant onboard ambience.

Early Booking Incentive fares for this special 7-day 10th Anniversary Voyage (#4415) start at $4,187 per person. Detailed itinerary and pricing information is available at the line's Web site, 2004 will be an exciting year as Silversea celebrates its 10th anniversary. Look for upcoming announcements about gala events and special programs to celebrate the line's ten years of excellence. 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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Carnival's 'Rusty Wallace Cruises' Serioes to Continue in 2004
Carnival Conquest to Host Sixth Edition of the Popular Racing-Themed Cruise
Dec. 5, 2004

MIAMI (March 11, 2004) - Carnival Cruise Lines will continue its popular "Rusty Wallace Cruise" series in 2004 with a seven-day western Caribbean voyage aboard the 110,000-ton Carnival Conquest departing New Orleans Dec. 5. The week-long voyage will include numerous opportunities to interact with the NASCAR legend, as well as a variety of racing-themed contests and giveaways. Ports of call include Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. 

"We're delighted that Rusty and ! his fans will join us for the sixth 'Rusty Wallace Cruise,' which offers racing fans a unique opportunity to get 'up close and personal' with one of NASCAR's most popular drivers," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

Commented Rusty Wallace, "With the race season being so long, it is hard to meet my fans at every race event. The Carnival cruise experience allows me to interact with my fans in a fun, relaxing environment."  Each "Rusty Wallace Cruise" participant will enjoy a number of exclusive, invitation-only activities, including question and answer and autograph sessions, a private cocktail reception, and photo opportunities with Wallace featuring a racing-themed backdrop. Various other activities, including raffles and giveaways, trivia contests, and a scavenger hunt, will be featured, as well.

Prizes will also be awarded, including complimentary pit and garage passes, autographed racing memorabilia, and an opportunity to be an honorary member of Wallace's pit crew. Participants can also win a chance to dine with Wallace one night during the cruise. Additionally, the first 100 bookings to make reservations on their "Rusty Wallace Cruise" will receive a goody bag during the cruise, filled with an assortment of racing-themed logo items and merchandise.  

In addition to the wide variety of "Rusty Wallace Cruise" events and activities, participants can enjoy Carnival Conquest's numerous resort-style features and facilities. These include a 14,500-square-foot health club, four swimming pools, a 214-foot-long corkscrew water slide, an Internet café, a full gambling casino, and expansive children's play room, part of the complimentary "Camp Carnival children's program. A teen club, including a video game room, dance club and soda/coffee bar, is also featured. The 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest, which entered service in November 2002, also houses four restaurants, including twin two-level main dining rooms, a two-deck-high poolside eatery and an upscale "steakhouse-style" supper club.

Prices for the 2004 "Rusty Wallace Cruise" begin at $529 per person based on double occupancy. Round-trip air supplements and special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom are also available. Reservations for the "Rusty Wallace Cruise" can be made by calling 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups). Participants must reference fare code CPRW when making a reservation to be eligible for the invitation-only events taking place on this voyage. Information on the Carnival Conquest and other "Fun Ships" within the Carnival fleet is available at

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Diamond Princess Arrives at Port of Los Angeles
Largest Cruise Ship to Sail on West Coast Debuts with March 13 Inaugural Voyage

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 10, 2004 -- Princess' largest and most amenity-filled vessel yet, Diamond Princess, arrives at the Port of Los Angeles today, becoming the largest cruise ship based at the port -- and to sail on the West Coast. The 116,000-ton, 2,670-passenger vessel was built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in Nagasaki, Japan. It departed from the shipyard on February 27 and has been sailing across the Pacific for its maiden voyage on March 13. The ship will be based in Los Angeles through April, offering week-long roundtrip Mexican Riviera cruises.

Diamond Princess represents a new generation of cruise ship design, which expands upon the company's extraordinarily popular Grand Princess-class vessels, offers new dining options, more spacious facilities and a wide range of amenities. Among the vessel's many new features are its innovative themed main dining rooms. Passengers will find a total of five main dining rooms on board -- one traditional fixed-seating dining room and the four smaller themed restaurants for those choosing Princess' Anytime Dining option, the Vivaldi (Italian cuisine), Sterling (steakhouse), Santa Fe (Southwestern) and Pacific Moon (Asian) dining rooms.

In addition, Diamond Princess will feature the wide array of options that passengers have come to expect from Princess, including one of the largest Internet Cafes at sea, special facilities just for kids, and multiple show lounges including an exciting new venue, Club Fusion, a multi-function, high-tech space that serves as a dance club, cabaret theater and gaming room. In addition, couples can get married on board in the ship's wedding chapel as part of the only program where the ship's captain conducts ceremonies at sea. Guests who wish to pamper themselves will love the extensive Lotus Spa with its Asian-based treatments and therapies, plus fully equipped fitness center.

Diamond Princess will depart from Los Angeles until May 1, when it travels to Seattle for seven-day roundtrip Alaska Inside Passage sailings. The ship will return to Southern California in September to resume its Mexican Riviera program. 

One of the best-known names in North American cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise and tour company. Part of Carnival Corporation, its current fleet of 12 ships sail on approximately 150 different itineraries around the globe, calling at more than 260 ports on all seven continents. By 2006 a further three ships will be introduced.

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Carnival, Shape/Men's Fitness Magazines Team Up for 'Mind/Body Cruise' on Carnival Triumph in Oct. 2004
Seven-Day Eastern Caribbean Cruise to Feature Workshops, Seminars By Leading Health, Fitness, Nutrition, Relationship Experts

MIAMI (March 10, 2004) - From tai chi, yoga and strength training to "spiritual fitness" and proper diet and nutrition techniques, the "Mind/Body Cruise," sponsored by Carnival Cruise Lines and Shape and Men's Fitness magazines, offers a broad range of activities to enrich the mind, body and spirit. The week-long health and wellness cruise takes place aboard the "Fun Ship" Carnival Triumph Oct. 9-16, 2004. Informative and insightful workshops and seminars by leading health, nutrition, fitness and relationship experts will be held throughout the seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise, which will feature port calls to San Juan, St. Thomas/St. John and St. Maarten. A number of on-island events will be held, as well.

"Shape and Men's Fitness are among the most popular active lifestyle magazines on the market and we're delighted to partner with them on this unique seven-day health and wellness cruise, which offers participants insightful workshops and activities to enhance and enrich virtually every aspect of their lives," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. "As living a healthy lifestyle becomes more and more important to Americans, it's easy to understand why they would want a vacation that allows them to feel good while having a good time," said Kerri Fox, VP group marketing director at AMI/Weider Publications, publisher of Shape and Men's Fitness magazines. "Who better than Shape and Men's Fitness to partner with Carnival, a leader in their field, to build this unique program that brings the magazine pages to life."

Activities held during the week-long voyage include "Restorative Yoga," providing proper techniques for the centuries-old relaxation and exercise regimen; "Shaping Your Goals," which helps participants develop a nutritional profile; "Transformational Dance," a fun and interesting way to get or stay in shape; and "Shaping Your Mother/Daughter Relationship," with effective methods to further enhance the parent/child bond.

While aboard the 2,758-passenger SuperLiner, "Mind/Body Cruise" participants can also take advantage of the ship's 15,000-square-foot health club, Spa Carnival, which offers a wide variety of workout equipment, exercise classes, sauna/steam rooms, whirlpools, and body and facial treatments. A jogging track and full-service salon are also available. Carnival Triumph also houses four swimming pools, one with a 214-foot-long water slide.

Participants can also enjoy a variety of delectable dining choices, including health-conscious Spa Carnival selections in the main dining rooms featuring items that are lower in fat, sodium, cholesterol and fat content. An extensive 35-item salad bar and a 24-hour frozen yogurt station are available in the casual poolside South Beach Club. A diversity of daytime activities and nighttime entertainment, from lavish Vegas-style production shows to bands, solo singers and midnight comedy revues, are also featured.

Other amenities include on-board duty-free shopping, full casino gambling, 18 lounges and bars, and a children's play area, part of the line's top-rated "Camp Carnival" program. Carnival is currently accepting reservations for the "Mind/Body Cruise." Prices start at $699 per person based on double occupancy. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom are also available. For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups) or visit the line's travel agent Internet portal, Participants must request fare code CSSH when making a reservation. Information about the "Mind/Body Cruise" will also be included in the March 2004 issues of Shape and Men's Fitness.

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MIAMI, March 10, 2004--- Every year, ultra luxury Seabourn Cruise Line invites luminaries from far-flung fields of human endeavor to join its guests on board the all-suite Seabourn yachts and add their insights and expertise to enrich their journeys. For 2004, Seabourn has invited Arnold Palmer, Michelle Phillips, Alex Trebek, Star Jones and a lively mix of other guests from the arenas of the arts, science, politics, popular culture and sports to sail on its 208-guest Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend.

Selected as especially congenial and companionable personalities, these stimulating shipmates do more than simply entertain and enlighten the line's guests with informal presentations on every Seabourn cruise. According to Richard D. Meadows, Seabourn's senior vice president of sales and marketing, "When these fascinating, and often quite famous people sail on a Seabourn yacht, they aren't just there to entertain from afar. They participate in the social life on board, really sharing the journey with all of our guests. That's what makes our program different, and that's why we call it Dress Circle." 

Some are household names, celebrities whose faces are instantly recognizable. Others are respected and renowned within more specialized circles. But each one brings a wealth of new and fascinating information, of anecdote or of scholarly acumen-to enhance Seabourn's guests' experiences.

Some of the celebrities scheduled to sail on The Yachts of Seabourn in 2004 are:

  • Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry (Legend April 18) The husband-and-wife actors will make an encore appearance, this time performing A.R. Gurney's poignant two-person, two-act play Love Letters.

  • Michelle Phillips (Legend June 27 and July 4) is a co-author of the mega-hit song "California Dreamin," which she also sang with the popular vocal quartet the Mamas & the Papas. She has since displayed an immense talent for acting, as well.

  • Arnold Palmer (Pride November 14) has attained nearly legendary status as a professional golfer, golf course designer, successful businessman, aviator and idol of an "Arnie's Army" of avid fans.

  • Alex Trebek (Pride July 18) is returning to the Seabourn Yachts after popular acclaim from guests. And this year the masterful game show host is bringing the infamous Jeopardy buzzer with him.

  • Star Jones (Legend August 22) A lawyer and former prosecutor, Ms. Jones was a legal eagle for Court TV during the O.J. Simpson trial. She currently co-hosts the pithy girl-talk ABC-TVdaytime television show "The View."

  • Artist Giancarlo Impiglia (Pride May 7) creates vivid works in several media, in an original style that blends cubist and figurative elements with social commentary and wit.

  • Dan Benedict (Legend May 9) is an astro-journalist who will assist guests in viewing Comet Q4 (NEAT), predicted to be one of the brightest comets of a generation.

  • Frank Deford (Date TBA) the popular author, Sports Illustrated Senior Contributing Writer and frequent sports commentator on radio and television returns this year to regale guests with his well-polished irony and wit.

  • Bernard Kalb (Spirit December 19) A correspondent for CBS News, NBC News and the New York Times, Kalb also served as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.

  • Mary Wilson (Date TBA) was a member of the iconic vocal girl-group The Supremes, whose glamour and style carried the Motown Sound from the streets of Detroit to Broadway and beyond. Since dissolving The Supremes, Mary has appeared in several off-Broadway plays and written two books, as well as touring and recording.

  • Tom Smothers (Date TBA), along with brother Dick, spent decades pushing the comic envelope on television. The duo still performs regularly and Tom pursues his passion for golfing (sometimes sinking putts with a yo-yo) and his award-winning vineyard and winery, Remick Ridge.

In 2004, The Yachts of Seabourn sail a full season of cruises of seven to 21 days or more in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. With savings of up to 50 percent, fares start from $2,995 per person, based on double occupancy. For more information, contact a professional travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Brand New Feng Shui-Designed Spa, Vintage Room, and Expanded Computer University@Sea Highlight Major Construction Projects

LOS ANGELES, March 5, 2004 - Crystal Cruises is investing $12 million in the award-winning Crystal Symphony with a completely new Feng Shui-designed spa and fitness center, an expanded Computer University@Sea, and a brand new Vintage Room highlighting the major construction projects slated for the luxury cruise ship's scheduled drydock this April. Other areas to undergo complete refurbishment include The Crystal ! Dining Room, The Library, Photo Shop, public restrooms and all penthouse and penthouse suite accommodations, as well as staterooms and soft goods.

The refurbishment marks Crystal Cruises' most extensive interior drydock to date. More than 750 shipyard workers, contractors and designers from all over the world, supported by more than 400 of Crystal's international shipboard crew, will be working on the 150+ individual projects. Crystal Symphony's 21-day drydock begins April 12 and will be completed in Lisbon, Portugal at Lisnave shipyard.

"As Crystal continues to earn the highest awards and accolades from noted travel experts and a very discerning clientele, we remain committed to exceeding our own standards of excellence. This significant financial investment demonstrates our commitment, as well as our parent company's support, to ensuring that the Crystal fleet maintains its international reputation as the finest afloat," says Gregg L. Michel, president, Crystal Cruises. Crystal Cruises is owned by NYK, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, the successful Japanese shipping company that operates more than 800 ships.

For this refurbishment and to further enhance Crystal Symphony's casually elegant ambience, the Six-Star rated line secured the finest luxury fabrics and stylish accouterments from prestigious design houses, including furniture from Andrew Martin, Cabas and Battaglia, fabrics from Pierre Frey and Rubelli, lighting from Porto Romana and carpets from Brintons. 

Crystal Spa & Salon and Fitness Center
A completely reconstructed and enlarged Crystal Spa & Salon with sweeping ocean views completes the luxury line's fleetwide spa expansion initiative. Following the design principles of Feng Shui, the ancient practice of balance and harmony, the new facility will feature eight new treatment rooms (expanded from six), a new relaxation area, a private canopied teak sundeck, a new state-of-the-art steam shower and sauna area. Other highlights include custom-designed manicure/pedicure areas with sunken foot bowls, ideal for the "Sole Delight Foot Ritual" with warmed aromatherapy oils and massage prior to a full pedicure. A luxurious new dry float bed suite, appropriate for singles or couples, will contain a sensory bed to create a feeling of weightlessness, ideal for "Aroma Spa" ! and other treatments. 

The enlarged Fitness Center redefines existing space and will boast a separate room for the line's complimentary yoga, Pilates, aerobic and personal training instruction, and an expanded gym with state-of-the-art fitness equipment featuring cardio theater TV, LifeFitness treadmills,! cross trainers, recumbent and upright life cycles and stepper, all with heart rate sensors. The reconstruction will increase the spa and fitness facility to almost 6,000 square feet. 

The Vintage Room
A classic boardroom with access to Crystal Symphony's extensive wine cellar, The Vintage Room debuted to rave reviews aboard the new Crystal Serenity and will be recreated aboard Crystal Symphony in a totally new constructed space at the heart of the ship's main entertainment area on deck 6. Designed for the line's exclusive Wine & Champagne Maker's Dinners, The Vintage Room will accommodate intimate groups of 12 in a luxuriously inviting enclave of deep green colors and rich polished woods.

Computer University@Sea 
Since its debut in 1997, Crystal's innovative Computer University@Sea has expanded yearly to offer 24-hour email capability and in-stateroom internet access, but it is the complimentary computer instruction and popular classes that have garnered the most demand and praise from guests. To accommodate a dedicated 25-seat classroom adjacent to a separate area reserved for e-mail and web surfing, the facility aboard Crystal Symphony will be expanded to 1,087 square feet, nearly double its present size. A marble entry will welcome guests into a room of rich, warm woods and soft green colors housing comfortable executive chairs.

The Crystal Dining Room
Fostering an ambience of warmth and intimacy, The Crystal Dining Room will be handsomely redesigned with rich dark paneling offsetting a bronze and peach color palette. The completely new decor includes new carpeting, chairs, lighting, window treatments and a new acoustically-designed, elegant ceiling. 

Suites, Penthouses & Staterooms
In keeping with Crystal's established position as a leader in luxury travel, each year the line excels in the innovative design and enhancement of its ships, and every penthouse and stateroom aboard Crystal Symphony will be updated with new decor during the spring drydock.

The completely refurbished Penthouse (category PH) and Penthouse Suite (category PS) accommodations will be redecorated with new carpeting, window treatments, custom lamps, bedspreads and new hydraulic tables for in-room dining. Italian-made fabrics in blues, peaches and lavenders, and Yamaha CD players and DVD televisions complete the refurbishment. Deluxe staterooms will feature new bedspreads, carpeting and televisions with DVD and CD capability.

The Library
To accommodate the Computer University@Sea expansion, The Library and its more than 1,400 titles will relocate to a brand new facility in Crystal Symphony's spectacular atrium amidship. The extensive collection of VHS tapes has been replenished with DVDs, with all books and movies offered complimentary. A door with brushed bronze finish opens to an inviting room of warm woods, stylish lights and Andrew Martin leather chairs.

Photo Gallery and Public Restrooms
A brand new Photo Gallery will find a new home on deck 6, featuring new decor and an easy-access location. Throughout Crystal Symphony, public restrooms will be redone with new stone flooring and granite countertops.

Following the successful refurbishment of Crystal Harmony in November 2002, Crystal has again selected prestigious design firms with proven experience to oversee Crystal Symphony's renovation. The Syntax Group, celebrated for spa projects including Thailand's Chiva-Som resort,! the One Health Club & Spa in Edinburgh, and Hampshire's Forest Mere, will supervise the Crystal Spa & Salon expansion. London-based SMC Design, an affiliate of the Tillberg Design group renowned for its 40 years of expertise in the cruise and marine industry, will manage the refurbishment of the Computer University@Sea, The Library, and all suites, penthouses and staterooms, while London-based Clixby Associates will supervise the design and construction of The Vintage Room. 

Following the drydock, Crystal Sympyhony will make two Mediterranean cruises followed by a summer season of cruising the Baltic, North Cape and British Isles. At 50,000-tons and carrying only 940 guests, Crystal Symphony is one of the most spacious and luxurious vessels cruising the world. Its unique size in the luxury market allows for smooth sailing and a wide range of innovative facilities, generous amenities and elegant accommodations. The Six-Star rated floating resort is home to grand lounges, a lavish spa outfitted in accordance with the principles of Feng Shui, extensive exercise facilities, complimentary golf, yoga and Pilates instruction, the only Caesars Palace at Sea Casino afloat, and the innovative Creative Learning Institute offering progressive curriculums in the arts, finance, wellness, lifestyle and food and wine. The ship features expansive decks, two pools, gourmet dining, including Japanese and Italian specialty restaurants, and exquisitely appointed stater! ooms, more than half of which offer private verandahs.

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

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Pulitzer Prize Winning Authors, Decorated Military Historians, Acclaimed Political and Sports Figures Provide Unique Insight

Miami, FL, March 8, 2004 -- Oceania Cruises is proud to present the line’s new celebrity lecture series. As part of the Oceania Cruises Enrichment Series, this new series of renowned speakers and celebrity guest lecturers elevates the program to new heights. Emmy and Grammy award winning celebrities, larger than life sports legends and revered political insiders will share their stories and unique experiences with guests. As respected authorities in their fields, they bring the world to life, shedding new light on their areas of expertise while sparking frank and titillating discussions. 

“Travel is not just about discovering new destinations and embracing new cultures. It’s about taking time to learn, to discover and to rejuvenate,” says Joe Watters, Chairman of Oceania Cruises. “This comprehensive and diverse new lecture series allows our guests to participate in enrichment activities that suit their individual interests and desires, making the Oceania Cruises experience more about one’s overall personal journey of discovery.”

The stellar lineup of lecturers includes the noted authorities and celebrities detailed below. Oceania Cruises will be announcing additional celebrity lecture dates in the near future. 

Bud Friedman ● Regatta, March 29: Bud Friedman is the founder of The Improv, the world famous comedy club. The Improv Comedy Club proudly features the nation's hottest stand up comics and was founded by Bud Friedman in the mid 60's in New York City. Their roster has included such stars as Tim Allen, Robin Williams, Steve Martin, Jerry Seinfeld, Garry Shandling, Roseanne, Steven Wright, Dennis Miller, Rodney Dangerfield, Lilly Tomlin, Ellen Degeneres, Drew Carey and Jim Carrey.

Bill Press ● Regatta, May 8: Bill Press is one of the three co-hosts of Crossfire, CNN's popular political debate program. Press' career in politics and government spans more than two decades. Prior to joining CNN's Crossfire, Press was chairman of the California Democratic Party, a post he held for three years. Press has received numerous awards for his work, including four Emmys and a Golden Mike Award. The Associated Press named him Best Commentator of the Year in 1992.

Verne Lundquist ● Insignia, May 17: A leading sportscaster with CBS since 1982, Lundquist was a leading play-by-play announcer for NFL games; pro and college basketball, including the NCAA men's tournament; and professional golf, including The Masters. Lundquist, who spent eight years at ABC prior to moving to CBS, won seven consecutive Texas Sportscaster of the Year awards from 1977-83.

Brigadier General Stanley Ulanoff
● Insignia, May 31: A widely decorated military historian, General Ulanoff served with the Counterintelligence Corps during World War II. A brilliant military strategist, he has authored countless volumes on all aspects of military history throughout the modern ages. From Colonial America to modern-day warfare, ground wars to great battles waged in the skies, General Ulanoff will immerse you in the planning and execution of the Allied invasion of France during D-Day and the subsequent battles that ensued. He, along with a cadre of military experts will bring you an entirely new appreciation of this dramatic event and its historical significance.

Jim Nantz ● Insignia, June 26: Jim Nantz joined CBS Sports in 1985 as host of the CBS Television Network's college football studio show. A regular golf announcer for CBS Sports since 1986, he assumed the anchor position for the Network's golf coverage in April 1994. He has hosted the Network's coverage of the Masters Tournament since 1989 and hosted CBS Sports' weekend daytime coverage of the 1992 and 1994 Olympic Winter Games and the Network's college football studio show.

David McCullough ● Insignia, July 22: Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian, David McCullough has been called a "master of the art of narrative history." His books have been praised for their exceptional narrative sweep, their scholarship and insight into American life, and for their literary distinction. His books include The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, The Path Between the Seas, Mornings on Horseback, Brave Companions, and Truman and he has hosted and narrated numerous documentaries and television series including Smithsonian World, The American Experience, The Civil War and Napoleon. As may be said of the work of few writers, none of his books have ever been out of print.

Jacques Pépin ● Regatta, August 24: Executive Culinary Director for Oceania Cruises, author of more than 20 cookbooks, Dean of the French Culinary Institute, star of 13 highly rated TV cooking shows, for which he won an Emmy, and chef to three French heads of state including Charles de Gaulle, Pépin is One of America's best-known chefs, food columnists, cookbook authors, and cooking teachers. Pépin is also currently hosting, with his daughter, Claudine, the acclaimed public television series, “Jacques Pépin Celebrates.” Featuring recipes for holidays and celebrations, the series was produced by KQED-TV, the PBS station in San Francisco, and is being broadcast over public television stations nationwide.

Richard Sherman ● Regatta, August 24: Richard Sherman is a living legend and a true Disney Legend at that. A 2-time Academy Award winning composer for Walt Disney, he has created some of the most memorable songs in history including "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", "It's A Small World", the theme song for Winnie the Pooh and many, many others. 

Whitey Ford ● Regatta, September 5: They called Ford "The Chairman of the Board" for good reason. In contrast to pitchers who dominated hitters with overpowering physical abilities, Ford controlled games with his mastery of the mental aspects of pitching and pinpoint control. The Yankee’s all time win’s leader and has a World Championship ring for each of his fingers; Ford was given baseball's greatest honor by being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974. Whitey Ford can currently be found on the spring training diamond coaching some of today’s Yankee pitching prospects.

Bill Harris ● Insignia, October 24: Bill was head writer and entertainment producer for ABC’s Good Morning America and Rona Barrett’s segment for 3 ½ years before debuting on camera himself for PM Magazine. He was quickly signed to a long-term contract by the Showtime Television Network, where his entertainment features, facts and fun continue to be a top attraction. His celebrity spots were a hit on Entertainment Tonight and today, he’s also the co-host of TV’s long-running, highly rated At The Movies.

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

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Jacques Pépin To Host Oceania Cruises’ Culinary Arts Festival At Sea

Miami, FL, March 8, 2004 – World-renowned master chef Jacques Pépin will host Oceania Cruises’ first Culinary Arts Festival at Sea. Sailing August 24, 2004 aboard the intimate and luxurious REGATTA from London to Lisbon, guests will be able to immerse themselves in the culinary arts. Executive Culinary Director for Oceania Cruises, author of more than 20 cookbooks, Dean of the French Culinary Institute, star of 13 highly rated TV cooking shows, for which he won an Emmy, and chef to three French heads of state including Charles de Gaulle, Pépin will treat guests to evenings of specially designed signature menus in the dining rooms and by day, culinary demonstrations and one-of-a-kind Epicurean Excursions. Joining Jacques Pépin will be special guest Jean-Claude Szurdak, his best friend of almost 50 years and a world class chef in his own right. Together, they will provide new insight on the art of fine food, wine, entertaining and the joys of life. 

“Oceania Cruises and Jacques Pépin are synonymous with fine food and wine. We’re delighted to be able to provide our guests with such an enlightening and enthralling experience,” stated Bob Binder, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Oceania Cruises. “Jacques and Jean-Claude’s culinary mastery, life experiences and anecdotes elevate enrichment and personal discovery to an entirely new level, there is nothing that can rival an experience such as this.”

Of course, fine food must be accompanied by fine wines and to compliment the culinary experience, Master Sommeliers and guest wine experts will lead guests through wine tastings where they may enjoy and compare appellations, vintages and varietals from wine-producing regions around the world. They will also learn the history of wine along with the art of choosing and pairing wines, and become more familiar with Oceania Cruises’ cellar of more than 150 selections, one of the most extensive at sea.

For a limited time, this immensely popular voyage is available at extraordinary savings with 2-for-1 cruise fares beginning at $1,699 per guest. Ports of call include St. Peter Port, Channel Islands; Cork, Ireland; Dublin, Ireland; Paris, France; St. Malo, France; Bilbao, Spain; La Coruña, Spain and Oporto, Portugal. 

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

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Tastes, Sounds and Traditions of Popular Destination Highlighted 
Onboard Caribbean Princess

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 4 -- True to her name, Princess' first ship solely dedicated to Caribbean cruising will offer passengers a medley of special Caribbean-themed dining, entertainment and activity options. The ship's destination-specific innovations include an elegant Caribbean dining option with rotating local specialties, festive deck parties, a special stage show and, several dining innovations created to take full advantage of passengers' private balconies.

"Caribbean Princess passengers will enjoy a casual and fun atmosphere that incorporates the tastes, sights and sounds of their destination," said Rai Caluori, senior vice president of hotel operations. "From rum punch and jerk chicken to Calypso music and vibrant décor, we wanted to pull out all the stops to give our passengers a true Caribbean experience."

Among the many special Caribbean touches are:

Dining: Café Carib - The flavors of the Caribbean can be savored in an all-new dining area exclusive to the Caribbean Princess. The Café Carib concept was created to allow passengers to savor the flavors of the Caribbean in a casual setting, reminiscent of an island hot spot. A blend of buffet and made-to-order service from a changing menu will feature such local specialties as grilled Caribbean Rock Lobster, Paella-style prawns, whole roast suckling pig, Jerk Chicken, and Guiana Pepperpots and Curries. Although the open kitchen format is sure to provide entertainment value, this innovative dining venue will also feature live music nightly. Hours of operation are 5:30-10 pm, with a bistro menu offered after 10 pm.

Balcony Dinner/Breakfast -When Princess first introduced the concept of affordable balconies it was an instant success. What next? The ultimate in personal choice dining, of course. In an industry first, Caribbean Princess passengers can enjoy The Ultimate Balcony Dinner - an all-inclusive evening featuring cocktails, fresh flowers, champagne and a deluxe four-course meal including delicate sweet Caribbean lobster tail - all served by a member of the Princess dining staff on passengers' private balcony. And for those who prefer to begin the day with romance, why not order up the Ultimate Balcony Breakfast, featuring Cuban specialty pastries, tropical fruit salad in a pineapple boat, chilled marinated shrimp with papaya relish, warm egg and tomato pie with cheese gratin and a split of French champagne.

Onboard Entertainment: Movies Under the Stars - Stretch out in a chaise lounge, order up a "Director's Cut" iced tea and settle in for the ultimate stargazing experience. After all, what better backdrop for the silver screen than the starry night sky of the Caribbean? The 300-square-foot LED poolside screen featured on Caribbean Princess will show a variety of entertainment throughout the day, including up to three feature length films. In addition to family cinema, first run hits, and late night movies, passengers will be able to bask in the glow of the tropics without missing a moment of major sporting events and other can't-miss programming. Lounge chair reservations will be available for film screenings through Princess Concierge, and Princess' hallmark poolside service will be available to enhance the viewing experience with a variety of drink specials and movie nibbles.

Island Nights - If soft evening air, perfect sunsets and the mellow tones of a steel drum band seem like the perfect way to start a vacation, then Caribbean Princess will not disappoint. Guests will be encouraged to leave their troubles behind and escape to the islands from the moment the ship sets sail, with a special top deck sailaway party featuring local entertainers, prizes, food and plenty of festive cocktails and mocktails. To continue the fun, Princess will combine the tradition of Island Night with the concept of island hoping, offering "Caribbean Carnivale" celebrations at both the Terrace and Neptune's Reef pools simultaneously at the midpoint of each sailing.

Caribbean Caliente - A new stage show designed specially for Caribbean Princess will pulse with music from Caribbean-area destinations such as Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Miami, Mexico and other Latin America countries. Passengers can enjoy songs and lively dance numbers featuring hits from contemporary Latin artists such as Ricky Martin, Luis Miguel, Enrique Iglesias and Gloria Estefan; long-time favorites Tito Puente and Celia Cruz; and island-style music from singers such as Bob Marley.

The Lotus Spa Experience: Lotus Spa - Princess Cruises brings passengers a host of new, unique, marine-based spa treatments and services with the introduction of its all-new Lotus Spa, operated exclusively by the line, debuting on Caribbean Princess. Among the new concepts being introduced: a teen program, men's treatments, and a number of unique treatments developed especially for calls at Princess Cays, including beach massage, pre- and post-island sun care treatments, Thalasso therapy and relaxation classes.

Debuting April 3, 2004, Caribbean Princess will carry 3,100 passengers and feature nearly 900 cabins with balconies -- more than on any other cruise ship sailing year-round in the Caribbean. The ship also offers many of the line's distinctive features such as the signature Personal Choice Dining®. Other Caribbean Princess amenities include extensive children and teen centers, a wedding chapel, internet center, and an extensive array of entertainment options and venues.

One of the best-known names in North American cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise and tour company. Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry Will Perform Popular Play On Board

MIAMI, March 3 -- Husband-and-wife actors Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry will perform the poignant, romantic A. R. Gurney two-act play Love Letters aboard the ultra luxury ship Seabourn Legend during an April 18th Mediterranean cruise.

The actors, who gained fame as odd-couple attorneys on television's 'L.A. Law,' are participating in Seabourn's Dress Circle onboard enrichment program, which gathers celebrities and experts from a variety of fields to the line's three all-suite vessels. Although it is the first time they will perform the play on board, the 7-day cruise is an encore visit for the couple, who garnered enthusiastic responses from guests when they last sailed with the line in 2002.

The week-long cruise, which departs from Lisbon on April 18th, explores the Iberian Peninsula including calls at Gibraltar and the Spanish ports of Malaga (for Granada), Cartagena, Alicante and Barcelona.

Along with the intimate theatrical performance, Seabourn Legend's 208 guests will enjoy a complimentary Exclusively Seabourn shoreside experience in Barcelona. They will be invited to the Monastery of Pedralbes, an historic venue favored by the city's cultural and artistic elite, for a cocktail reception and a private guided tour of the museum's collection of classical art masterpieces. On board, guests will also enjoy Seabourn's Signature Delights, from Heidsieck champagne that welcomes them to gourmet cuisine designed by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer; complimentary Massage Moments on deck; open bars; casual alternative dining nightly; Pure Pampering therapeutic baths from Molton Brown; fine Italian linens by Frette and renowned, nearly clairvoyant service that sets Seabourn apart from all others.

With savings up to 50 percent, fares start from $2,998 per person, based on double occupancy of a 277-square foot ocean-view suite. For more information, contact a professional travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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ms Westerdam Debuts on 2004 European Schedule
58 Cruises on 4 Ships Feature the Mediterranean, Baltic & Great Capitals of Europe
Cruising is a Cost-Effective Way to See Europe this Summer

SEATTLE, March 3 -- It is dancing and sipping champagne on the French Riviera. Raising an espresso toast to an Italian couple at a cafe in Venice. Getting a first-hand look at the priceless treasures of Russia and more before returning to the personal treasure of a beautifully appointed stateroom and ship.

Holland America Line's 2004 European deployment delivers the best in art, culture, fine food and graceful living, not to mention the simple pleasure of watching Europe drift by from the private verandah of a stateroom, knowing that the next day's itinerary provides more glamour, more culture and more excitement. The itineraries for the Westerdam, Noordam, Rotterdam and Prinsendam are as varied as Europe itself. Holland America, the line that has been cruising Europe for more than 130 years, will visit more than 100 ports on 58 cruises ranging from nine to 17 days.

Under its new service and product initiative Signature of Excellence, the world's top premium cruise line will increase its Europe presence with 58 cruises and four ships in Europe in 2004. Featured is a full season of 16 sailings on the ms Westerdam, the third of four 1,848-passenger Vista Class ships, scheduled to launch in Venice, Italy in April. The striking new ship will cut a regal figure as she sails the Mediterranean Sea, introducing herself at Greek islands and exotic ports in France, Spain and Tunisia. Highlights of next summer's European cruises include the return of cruising to the Black Sea aboard the 793-passenger Prinsendam, crossing the Arctic Circle aboard the 1316-passenger Rotterdam, and sailings along the Norwegian fjords aboard both the 1848-passenger Westerdam and 1214-passenger Noordam.

As current Euro exchange rates climb against the dollar, cruising is quickly becoming the best value for a vacation in Europe. Transportation between cities, accommodations, food and shipboard entertainment are all included in the cruise fare, which is paid in American or Canadian dollars.

Europe's Most Diverse Cruise Itineraries
Holland America Line offers many vacation choices in Europe with nine different itineraries for voyages from Western Europe that range from nine to 16 days; 22 fascinating journeys of nine to 14 days in the Mediterranean itself; 18 different ways to visit the great capitals of northern Europe and the Balkan states from 10 to 14 days; and 10- to 17-day transatlantic crossings harkening back to Holland America Line's storied past with 10 intriguing routes spanning the Atlantic from the Arctic Circle to the Azores.

"Our 2004 Europe program is packed with unique cruises," said David A. Giersdorf, executive vice president, marketing and sales. "We will honor the anniversary of D-Day on a fascinating voyage in June, and we have cruises that bookend the summer Olympic Games in Athens in August. We also offer guests the opportunity for 13 extended stays in St. Petersburg, as well as overnight stays in Venice, Rome, Amsterdam, Cherbourg, Lisbon and Hamburg. And our exclusive optional shore excursion program delivers the best sights and sounds that Europe has to offer."

Among the shore excursions offered are several Medallion Collection programs designed to offer an in-depth perspective for seasoned travelers such as the "Achillion Palace and Private Villa" tour in Corfu, Greece, "Montpelier and Flaugergues Castle" tour in Sete, France, and the "Lapland, Arctic Circle and Santa Claus" tour in Helsinki, Finland.

ms Noordam sails Farewell Season In Europe
The 20-sailing Noordam "Farewell Season" begins with a special transatlantic departure on April 15, from Tampa, its long-time U.S. homeport, to Lisbon. The Noordam will reprise its popular "Gems of the Baltic" voyage, a 10-day round-trip tour from Copenhagen. The final cruise of Holland America's famed ms Noordam sails on November 3 from Rome, arriving Lisbon on November 12.

D-Day Voyage and Grand Western European Tours
Highlighting the summer season is a 10-day tour by the Noordam that embarks at Dover (London), England on June 2nd and overnights in Cherbourg, France, on the night of June 5th in commemoration of the invasion that took place 60 years ago. The voyage continues to St.-Malo and Honfleur, France; Zeebrugge, Belgium; followed by an overnight visit to Amsterdam before returning to Dover.

Exploring Europe's magnificent cities by day while returning to a luxurious shipboard home at night is a great way to discover the continent. Eight other voyages of 10 to 16 days by the Noordam, Westerdam, Prinsendam and Rotterdam visit the great capitals of Europe on voyages between Mediterranean ports of Civitavecchia (Rome), Venice and Piraeus (Athens) and the northern ports of Dover and Harwich (London), Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Each city offers a number of opportunities for exploring, via guided or solo tour, or just mingling with the locals to get a taste of the passing scene.

Mediterranean Cruises
The Westerdam will spend her inaugural months calling on the great ports of "the wine-dark Mediterranean Sea," as Homer put it. Sailing her inaugural cruise from Venice on April 25th, the new ship offers three 12-day "Aegean Odyssey" voyages roundtrip from Venice to the Greek islands of Santorini, Rhodes, Samos, and Katakolon as well as Piraeus (with tours to Athens), Dubrovnik, Malta and the Turkish port of Kusadasi. A 10- to 14-day journey in August at the conclusion of the Summer Olympic Games allows guests to embark at either Piraeus (Athens) or Civitavecchia (Rome) on a fascinating journey that calls at Dubrovnik, Croatia; Sicily, Sardinia and Livorno, Italy; La Goulette, Tunisia; Tarragona, Spain; and Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Romance and exotic ports-of-call are the themes for the Noordam, which is slated to sail on seven Mediterranean voyages in the spring and fall with five distinct itineraries. A 9-day "Romantic Rivieras" cruise begins in Civitavecchia (Rome) and calls at the charming Riviera ports of Monte Carlo, Marseille and Barcelona, as well as visits to Cadiz and Casablanca and a daylight passing of the Rock of Gibraltar on the way to disembarkation in Lisbon, Portugal. Other Noordam voyages have 10-day itineraries that offer a variety of unique destinations, including Corsica, Naples, Minorca and the Balearic Islands, Corfu and St.-Tropez.

For longer tours, the intimate and elegant Prinsendam will conduct six different voyages of 12, 13 and 14 days that explore the Mediterranean and venture as far as the Black Sea ports of Nesebur, Bulgaria, and Odesa and Yalta, Ukraine. A 13-day voyage from Lisbon in September includes an overnight visit to Civitavecchia (Rome) on its way to four ports in Greece, a call at Kusadasi, Turkey, and disembarkation at Piraeus (Athens). A subsequent 13-day voyage from Piraeus (Athens) through the Bosporus Strait concludes with an extended visit in Venice.

St. Petersburg Overnight Visits Highlight Baltic & Scandinavian Schedule
Holland America's guests will have 13 opportunities for extended visits to the fascinating Czarist capital of St. Petersburg in 2004 on a number of voyages that tour northern capitals and the Baltic states. The Noordam leads the way during the summer months with eight 10-day "Gems of the Baltic" cruises roundtrip from Copenhagen that call at Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg for an overnight visit; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm and Visby, Sweden; and Warnemunde, Germany. The ship also offers a 10-day exploration of the visually striking Norwegian fjords in June that embarks in Dover (London) and disembarks in Copenhagen.

The Prinsendam is slated for six northern voyages on four different itineraries of 14 days each. An "Emerging Eastern Worlds" voyage from Copenhagen takes in Helsinki, St. Petersburg for an overnight visit, Riga, Latvia and Gdansk, Poland then transits the Kiel Canal for an overnight visit to Hamburg before disembarkation in Amsterdam. "Baltic Summer" voyages conducted in both late June and August combine an overnight visit to St. Petersburg with tours of the Norwegian fjords and Finland's Aland archipelago. "Ireland and Ice" is the name of a sailing in July that will allow guests to visit the namesake of Waterford crystal, as well as take in the sights of Reykjavik, Isafjord and Eyjafjord, Iceland, the Shetland Islands, Stavanger, Norway and Skagen, Denmark before disembarking at Copenhagen. A similar voyage in September calls at Hamburg, Amsterdam, Antwerp and Dunmore East (Waterford) on its way to Lisbon.

The Westerdam offers four fascinating northern European 12-day cruises between Copenhagen and Harwich (London). Featuring capitals and the Baltic port calls include Stockholm, Sweden; Talinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg overnight; Helsinki, Finland; Warnemunde, Germany; Arhus, Denmark; and Oslo, Norway with scenic cruising of Oslofjord and Stockholm Archipelago.

Holland America Line's Europe cruise fares start at US$899 and taxes are additional. The premium line's extended and expanded "View & Verandah" sale offers a one to seven category stateroom upgrade when booked by April 30, 2004. Special airfares are available from several North American gateways and pre- or post-cruise hotels and packages can also be purchased through the line. For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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FORT LAUDERDALE -- "Maritime Memories" is the name of a fascinating 17-night cruise vacation from Fort Lauderdale to Harwich, England, departing April 14, 2004, that is geared to those who appreciate the grand days of transatlantic travel aboard luxury ocean liners. Ships' models and memorabilia will be on display and special dinner menus will be created, based on those once used by such famous shipping lines as Union-Castle, Orient Line, Blue Funnel, Blue Star, British India, Federal Steam, Cunard Line and Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company.


The innovative, sentimental journey is offered aboard the 650-passenger MV Discovery operated by Discovery World Cruises and includes port calls at the Bahamas, Bermuda and Azores. Rates start from $4,495 for the first person with no single supplement, second person sails free, and include a two-night hotel stay in London upon disembarkation and free Economy Class air from London to Miami or New York.


"Traditional ship enthusiasts will relish this unique theme cruise," said Tim Davey, vice president of sales, marketing and passenger services for Discovery. "It appeals to anyone who ever went to sea, worked in the industry in its heyday, or who just has a passion for ships."


"Maritime Memories" will be hosted by Des Cox, writer, producer and director of the popular British TV series The Great Liners, which uniquely charts the history of shipping from the 19th century to the present. Cox is currently working on a project for PBS Network in the U.S. to be released this fall. According to Cox, "We've chosen MV Discovery because she is a real ship, with solid construction, speed, stability, a deep draft and wide-open decks that allow us to see the sea and the stars at night."


During the voyage, each day at sea will be dedicated to one of the great shipping companies, with MV Discovery decorated in the appropriate line's colors. There will be lectures on maritime heritage and screenings of rare archive film, including showings of all 21 episodes of The Great Liners. In addition, passengers who turn up for dinner in their old sea-going uniform will receive a complimentary bottle of wine. Noted British marine artist, Robert G. Lloyd, will be among the special on-board lecturers and will paint a picture of MV Discovery for auction in aid of seaman's charity.


Joining the voyage are the RMS Foundation and PastTimes on the Queen Mary. The group, which is the nonprofit operator of the Queen Mary, will be hosting a luncheon with the Captain and several other special events aboard Discovery during the crossing including a private VIP ship tour.


Discovery's springtime transatlantic crossing first calls on Nassau. After two days on the Atlantic, the ship arrives in lovely Bermuda where passengers enjoy two days of unique Bermudian hospitality in the capital of Hamilton. After three blissful days at sea, MV Discovery visits the Azores, with an excursion from Horta to the Blue Island of Faial and a sunset cruise to Mt. Pico before heading on to Ponta Delgada, arguably the most beautiful of the Azores. The voyage comes to an end at Harwich, from where passengers are transferred to London for their post-cruise hotel stay. 


The 20,186-ton MV Discovery is a medium-size liner resplendent with every modern comfort and convenience including 351 cabins and suites, equipped with televisions and built-in hairdryers; three restaurants; five elegant lounges; a well-stocked library; casino; modern health club and beauty center; two swimming pools, including one with a retractable dome; two Jacuzzis; and duty-free boutiques. Senior officers are from Scandinavia, the ship's cruise staff is American and European, while the service staff - perhaps the ship's biggest asset - is from The Philippines.


Discovery World Cruises was founded in 2002 by Gerry Herrod, a noted travel and cruise industry entrepreneur, who is the former chairman of such award-winning and beloved lines as Orient Lines, Pearl Cruises and Ocean Cruise Lines. For more information and to make a reservation, see a travel professional or contact Discovery World Cruises toll-free at 866-623-2689.


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Follow In The Footsteps of History Aboard Oceania Cruises’ Historic D-Day Cruise
Insignia to sail a 14-day voyage commemorating the 60th Anniversary of D-Day

Miami, FL -– Join Oceania Cruises’ on this spellbinding voyage aboard the elegant and intimate Insignia as we commemorate 60th anniversary of the historic D-Day landings. And for a limited time, this immensely popular voyage is available at extraordinary savings with 2-For-1 cruise fares and 2-For-1 air fares. 2-For-1 cruise fares begin at $2,499 per guest and 2-For-1 economy class air fares from select US and Canadian gateways begin at just $550 per guest. You will be joined by widely decorated military historian Brigadier General Stanley Ulanoff and a host of other D-Day experts. Calling at nearby Honfleur, you may join the ceremonies honoring the historic D-Day landings or perhaps journey to Paris. You’ll also sail to Saint-Malo on the Brittany Coast, St. Peter Port in the Channel Islands, England’s naval bastion at Plymouth and a host of other fascinating ports in seven magnificent countries. 

A wide variety of special events and full complement of shore excursions have been tailored to bring you the most insightful, impactful experience possible. You may tour the picturesque Normandy countryside, brimming with charming villages full of narrow streets and flowers before arriving at Arromanches, site of an engineering marvel--the artificial harbor built by the Allied forces.

As part of the Oceania Cruises Enrichment Series, this very special D-Day voyage will feature lectures by renowned historians, retired military officers and military strategists. Together, they will immerse you in the planning and execution of this fabled military operation and bring you an entirely new appreciation of this dramatic event and its historical significance.

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

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Latest Princess Cruises Ship Launched with Traditional Japanese Ceremony

SANTA CLARITA, CA -– Under sunny skies in Nagasaki, Japan, the new Diamond Princess was named on February 26, 2004 in a colorful ceremony which featured traditional Japanese festivities set against the state-of-the-art ship. The ship was delivered earlier in the morning to Princess Cruises by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), builders of the 116,000-ton vessel.

Diamond Princess was named by Mrs. Yoshiko Tsukuda, wife of Kazuo Tsukuda, president of MHI. Dressed in a traditional kimono, Mrs. Tsukuda officially launched the ship in a ceremony that including such Japanese touches as a taiko drum performance, a traditional dragon dance and a Shinto-style blessing. Hundreds of guests from around Japan and other Asian regions attended the ceremony, which also featured a spectacular fireworks display and other touches designed to bring the ship good fortune.

The 116,000-ton, 2,670-passenger Diamond Princess launches a new ship design for Princess and makes history as the first large cruise ship built in Japan in more than a decade. The vessel incorporates Princess' trademark design philosophy -- including an abundance of balcony cabins, flexibility in dining and entertainment options, Princess' renowned service and a variety of intimate spaces -- giving the ship all of the choice of a large ship with the feel of a much smaller vessel. The ship offers passengers a unique dining program with four themed dining rooms, complimenting the main dining room and Sabatini’s trattoria -- Princess’ trademark alternative restaurant; a new Princess Concierge Service; the fleet's largest Internet Café, and the debut of Club Fusion, a new high-tech dance lounge.

Diamond Princess departed Nagasaki on a trans-Pacific crossing as it positions to Los Angeles for its inaugural season of Mexico cruises, which begins March 13. The ship will be based in Seattle this summer for seven-day round-trip Inside Passage cruises to Alaska.

One of the best-known names in North American cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise and tour company. Part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE: CCL and CUK), its current fleet of 12 ships sail on approximately 150 different itineraries around the globe, calling at more than 260 ports on all seven continents. By 2006 a further three ships will be introduced. Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company’s website at

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Ft. Lauderdale, FL -- Silversea Cruises has announced the full-year 2005 global itineraries for its four ultra-luxury ships in response to a strong early demand by guests to finalize their travel plans for next year. The award-winning luxury cruise line has been seeing an extraordinary increase in call volume and bookings recently, with many callers inquiring about next year's voyages. In response, Silversea has started accepting reservations for 2005 sailings and has published its full-year cruise schedule on its Web site,

"January is shaping up to be a month that will surely break all our previous sales records," said David Morris, Silversea's Senior Vice President, North America Sales. "I'm thrilled to see such a strong surge in bookings, plus guests who are showing a renewed enthusiasm for making their vacation plans early. We're hearing the same message from our travel-agent partners. With this kind of sustained momentum, we knew we had to roll out our 2005 itineraries as early as possible."

Highlights of Silversea's 2005 schedule include:

Silver Cloud: Fresh from a comprehensive refurbishment undertaken in 2004, 296-guest Silver Cloud begins the winter season in the warm waters of the South Pacific, offering three cruises to Australia and New Zealand, ranging from ten to 16 days, and continues to the Far East and Africa. In the spring, Silver Cloud sets a course for the Mediterranean, where the ship will offer a series of eight cruises to some of the most sought-after destinations in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy before embarking on a collection of summer cruises to Northern Europe. Silver Cloud wraps up an exciting 2005 schedule with cruises to South America and the Amazon.

Silver Wind: Next year, Silver Wind explores the spectacular beauty of South America, with a variety of itineraries ranging from seven to 16 days, before crossing the Atlantic to embark on a series of cruises to Africa, featuring scenic stopovers in Walvis Bay, Cape Town and Richard's Bay. The ultra-luxury ship's schedule continues with over twenty Mediterranean sailings, ranging from five to 15 days. In the fall, the 296-guest Silver Wind cruises to Egypt, the Seychelles and South Africa.

Silver Shadow: The 382-guest Silver Shadow spends the winter season navigating the warm waters of the Mexican Riviera and South America before repositioning to the Mediterranean. During spring and summer, Silver Shadow offers more than 25 different cruises visiting the most enticing destinations in the western and eastern Mediterranean, including a special program of 14 seven-day voyages. In autumn, Silver Shadow offers an exotic collection of voyages to the Far East and South Pacific.

Silver Whisper: During winter, Silver Whisper visits the sun-soaked beaches of the Caribbean on nine different voyages, ranging from five to ten days. The 382-guest luxury ship repositions to the Mediterranean for a series of cruises, ranging from six to ten days, revealing the history and grandeur of Spain, Italy, France and Northern Europe. Highlighting the program are several three-day stopovers in the celebrated city of St. Petersburg. In the fall, Silver Whisper sets a course for Canada, the Colonial Coast and the Caribbean.

The line's new Voyage Planner, featuring complete itineraries and pricing for 2005, is scheduled to be published in April. 2004 will be an exciting year as Silversea celebrates its 10th anniversary. Look for upcoming announcements about gala events and special programs to celebrate the line's ten years of excellence. 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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CLIA Member Cruise Lines Post Strong Passenger Growth With Over 9.5 Million Cruisers in 2003

NEW YORK -- In a strong performance that confirms cruising's broad appeal and the innovation and flexibility of the member fleets of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), a record 9.52 million worldwide guests enjoyed cruise vacations in 2003, a 10.2% increase over the 8.6 million who cruised in 2002.

The 2003 passenger figures were included in fourth-quarter totals released today by CLIA, whose member lines represent 97.5% of the cruise capacity marketed in North America. In addition to the worldwide totals, CLIA's member lines also posted significant growth among guests originating in North America. Nearly 8 million North Americans sailed aboard CLIA member line ships in 2003, a 6.9% increase compared with the nearly 7.5 million who cruised in 2002. CLIA member line ships also attained a 102.6% load factor in 2003 (compared with 98.6% in 2002), demonstrating the robust demand for cruise vacations and the industry's ability to fill new capacity.

"The industry's impressive 2003 passenger totals demonstrate the broad appeal of cruise vacations and the CLIA member lines' continuing efforts to improve our guests' shipboard experience and to respond quickly to their changing vacation desires," said Mark Conroy, CLIA's chairman and president and CEO of Radisson Seven Seas Cruises. "Cruising flourished despite significant obstacles that challenged the entire travel community in 2003, including SARS, terrorism fears and an uncertain economy."

CLIA member lines will introduce 12 new ships this year. While not a record number of ships (CLIA lines introduced 15 vessels in 2003 and 13 in 2002), the 2004 introductions do represent a record number of berths (26,687 in 2004 versus 21,273 in 2003 and 21, 074 in 2002), due to the larger ships being launched. Conroy added that should industry occupancy remain at current levels, "We could anticipate another record year in 2004, with approximately 10.6 million guests."

During the fourth quarter of 2003, CLIA member lines carried 2,340,436 worldwide passengers, a 5.3% increase over the 2002 total of 2,223,027. Of these, 1,936,745 guests, or 87%, originated in North America.

"The strong 2003 passenger totals confirm the industry's appeal and resilience amidst the many challenges travel faced last year," said Terry L. Dale, president and chief executive officer of CLIA. "Maintaining industry occupancies in excess of 100% is remarkable in itself," Dale said, "but considering that the cruise industry will have added 62 new ships to the CLIA fleet between 2002 to 2004, the positive 2003 results are a testament to the dedication, expertise and hard work of the CLIA-member travel agencies and their Certified Cruise Counsellors."

Among the other findings in CLIA's year-end passenger figures:

   * The average length of a cruise vacation declined from to 6.88 days in
     2003 from the 6.96 posted in 2002.

   * Most cruise vacationers (56.3%) opted for cruises lasting from 6 to 8
     days in 2003, with cruises of one to 5 days (32.9%) and cruises lasting
     from 9 to 17 days (10.4%) representing the next largest categories.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is a nonprofit marketing and training organization comprising 20 leading cruise lines in 2004, which together accommodate over 95 percent of the North American cruise passengers. Approximately 16,000 travel agencies focused and engaged in the sales of cruise vacations in the U.S. and Canada are members of the association. The association conducts cruise industry-related research and communication initiatives to educate and promote the attributes of cruise vacations and CLIA member travel agencies to the traveling public. CLIA is a recognized travel industry leader in sales education. CLIA provides an extensive array of educational programs for travel agents including curriculum leading to certification as Accredited Cruise Counsellors, Master Cruise Counsellors and Elite Cruise Counsellors - considered the consumers' best resource for planning a cruise vacation. For more information on CLIA, its member cruise lines and travel agencies, visit its website at 

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

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