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News from the world of cruising ~
March 16-31, 2002

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

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Grand Princess & Golden Princess to Sail on Favorite Barcelona/Venice Itinerary

3/28/2002 - Passengers will have twice as many opportunities to enjoy some of Europe's most romantic ports as Princess deploys two of its largest ships on its famed Grand Mediterranean itinerary in 2003. Not only will Golden Princess return for a third European season, but she will be joined by her sister ship, Grand Princess, which pioneered these immensely popular sailings.

Both 2,600-passenger ships will take guests to some of the most renowned ports in the region, sailing between Barcelona and Venice with overnight stays in each city, and calling at Monte Carlo, Livorno (for Florence and Pisa), Naples, Athens, and the Turkish cities of Kusadasi and Istanbul. The two 109,000-ton vessels will each offer 10 departures on this route, with Golden Princess sailing from May 5 through August 21, and Grand Princess sailing between May 14 and August 30.

"There's never been two ships of this size and quality in the Mediterranean," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of customer service and sales. "This route is certainly the best itinerary in the region, and our passengers have raved about it. We've committed to doubling departures based on this popularity."

In addition to their Grand Mediterranean voyages, each ship will also offer a Mediterranean/ Atlantic and two trans-Atlantic sailings that will take them to a number of new ports. Grand Princess' Ft. Lauderdale to Barcelona crossing on May 4 includes two first-time calls for the ship in Gibraltar and Alicante, Spain. The Mediterranean/Atlantic cruises (September 2 on Golden Princess and September 11 on Grand Princess) travel between Barcelona and Southampton, stopping at Marseille, Livorno, Cannes, Gibraltar, Casablanca (maiden calls for both ships), Cadiz (Spain, also first-time calls), Lisbon, Vigo (Spain) and Le Havre.

Golden Princess and Grand Princess each provide their passengers with a "large ship choice with small ship feel" atmosphere, highlighted by numerous innovative Personal Choice Cruising features, such as multiple dining rooms and show lounges, one of the largest casinos at sea, a dedicated youth center with activities for three age groups, an AOL Internet Café and a wedding chapel for Princess' exclusive wedding-at-sea program, featuring an online "wedding cam" to broadcast the nuptials to loved ones at home. Both ships also offer Princess' unique Personal Choice Dining, which enables passengers to choose between restaurant-style Anytime Dining or Traditional Fixed Seating in the ships' main dining rooms.

Passengers can also choose to extend their vacation with a number of cruisetour options that combine a land tour with their Grand Princess or Golden Princess cruise. Destinations include some of Europe's most sought-after locales, such as Spain, Tuscany, and the French wine country.

Early booking fares for Grand Mediterranean 12-day voyages begin at $2,340 for travel reserved by February 14, 2003. Cruises are open for booking beginning April 8, 2002.

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Ultra Luxury Cruise Line Among Elite Hospitality Industry Honorees

MIAMI, March 27, 2001--The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences has granted Seabourn Cruise Line its prestigious International Five Star Diamond Award for the eighth consecutive year. The award honors recipients for "outstanding commitment to excellence and service within the hospitality industry." The 2002 award, which designates Seabourn as one of the finest guest establishments in the world, was presented at a gala ceremony in the Hotel Adlon in Berlin, Germany on March 16, 2002.

Only a very few entities have matched this record of consistent excellence, and they include some of the most prestigious names in the industry: Hotel Ritz in Paris, Hotel Arts Ritz Carlton Barcelona; The Peninsula Hong Kong; The Ritz Carlton Kapalua; and the Turnberry Isle Resort and Club.

"We really appreciate this recognition by an organization that measures us against the world's finest hotels, restaurants and spas," said Richard Meadows, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Seabourn. "We aspire to be the finest ultra luxury cruise experience available, full stop. To do that, we are constantly developing new features and elements to delight our guests. I believe that's one of the things that convinces the Academy that we deserve this honor year after year," he continued.

Guest ratings on the three all-suite Yachts of Seabourn: Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend likewise reflect exceptional satisfaction, with marks for overall experience posting steadily above nine out of a possible ten points. Travel agents, too, have given the line their stamp of approval, and the line has experienced a strong resurgence in bookings this year, meaning higher revenues for the company and more commissions for the agents who sell their cruises.  A recent annual independent industry survey found that travel agents scored Seabourn highest among all lines measured for "quality reputation" and "attention to detail."

For more information on The Yachts of Seabourn, consult a professional travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or click on

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MIAMI (03/27/02) - Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that, following a two-month trial period, the company's individual reservations department will be permanently staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The new reservations hours, which have been in effect since mid-January, apply to call centers at both the company's Miami headquarters and in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

"When we first announced our new reservations hours two months ago, we anticipated there would be enough demand to warrant keeping our call centers open 24 hours a day. Our instincts proved correct and we are very pleased to provide travel agents with this convenient, 'round-the-clock access," said Adolfo Perez, Carnival's vice president of reservations sales.

Perez noted that many businesses have gravitated toward a "24/7" operation and Carnival's new reservations hours reflect Americans' increasing preference for making discretionary purchases outside of traditional business hours. Carnival's toll-free number for individual reservations is 1-800-327-9501.

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Family Departures and Recreational Diving/Active Departures in the Galapagos Islands – with Quasar Nautica

Miami, FL - The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador are gaining popularity with families, recreational divers and active individuals. Quasar Nautica is pleased to present its 8-day 7-night special departures that will cater to each of these particular activities.

Family Departures 
These special ‘family friendly’ voyages will feature lectures, activities and education for children of all ages. There will be special meals for the kids, star gazing, movie nights, and lots of other family and children related activities. All this, in the company of the fine crew and National Park Certified Guides onboard the M/V Eclipse.

M/V Eclipse 

  • June 22 – 29, 2002
  • July 13 – 20, 2002
  • July 27 – August 3, 2002
  • August 03 – 10, 2002
  • August 10 – 17, 2002

Recreational Diving/Active Departures 
Quasar Nautica is pleased to announce Recreational Diving/Active Departures onboard M/S Lammer Law & M/V Mistral. While the itinerary remains the same, these departures will be slightly more active and challenging with longer hikes, more snorkeling opportunities and lots of kayaking and swimming. For certified recreational divers, these departures represent an opportunity to participate (with your dive guide) in a maximum of 3 immersions, to approximately 45 feet (location of dives at our discretion). One does not need to be a diver to participate in these departures.

Lammer Law

  • April 27 – May 04, 2002
  • July 20 –2 7, 2002
  • Oct. 26 – Nov. 02, 2002
  • Nov. 30 – Dec. 07, 2002 



  • June 01 – 08, 2002
  • July 20 – 27, 2002
  • Nov. 09 – 16, 2002
  • Nov. 23 – 30, 2002
  • Dec. 7 – 14, 2002

Quasar Nautica Galapagos Expeditions operates seven upscale yachts catering to independent travelers, including family, friend and affinity groups, and full charters. The modern Quasar Nautica fleet ranges from 12 to 48-passengers and includes the exceptionally spacious 48-passenger expedition vessel Eclipse, the 48-passenger barquentine sail yacht Lili Marleen, the luxurious 16-passenger yachts Alta and Parranda, and the 12-passenger Diamante. The 16-passenger trimaran Lammer Law and 12-passenger motor yacht Mistral are outstanding vessels for both naturalist and diving cruises.

For more information about the Galapagos Islands and the vacation of a lifetime, contact your travel professional or call (305) 599-9008 or 1-800-247-2925. And take advantage the company’s new unbranded online brochure at

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MIAMI (03/27/02) - New for the 2002 Alaska cruise season is a two-night pre- or post-cruise package offered by Carnival Cruise Lines that combines an exciting taste of the "real Alaska" with two of the state's most elegant resorts. Available in conjunction with seven-day cruises aboard the Carnival Spirit, the two-night land package features a visit to the charming town of Talkeetna, Alaska, including a river safari by jet boat and nature hike, an overnight stay at the picturesque Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, a drive along stunning Turnagain Arm, and a visit to the luxurious Alyeska Resort, including an awe-inspiring tram ride up Mount Alyeska and lunch at a mountain-top restaurant. The package also includes an overnight hotel stay in Anchorage.

"This new two-night Alaska pre- or post-cruise option is absolutely perfect for people with a limited amount of time who want a comprehensive taste of everything Alaska has to offer—incredible scenery and wildlife, fascinating historical lore and wonderful hospitality," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president.

Talkeetna is a uniquely Alaskan village located in the shadow of Denali National Park. Nearly untouched by commercialism, this quaint town is alive with history and local character. While in Talkeetna, guests will experience a scenic two-hour ride on the Susitna River via fully-enclosed glass-domed jet boats. During the 10-mile narrated journey, it is possible to view nesting bald eagles, beaver, moose and bear. A stop along the way includes a quarter-mile nature walk and visit to a trapper's cabin. An overnight stay at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge provides a cozy and delightful ambiance for taking in stunning views of the neighboring mountains. The property's rustic décor features log construction and an immense 56-foot-tall river-rock fireplace in the graceful grand lobby. An elegant dining room, outdoor hot tub, and nature trail system on the premises are other highlights of this property, newly opened in 1999. 

The Alyeska Resort, Alaska's only AAA four-diamond hotel, is situated on more than 1,500 acres, surrounded by majestic mountains, hanging glaciers, sparkling streams and towering spruce. During a daytrip to the resort, guests will experience a breathtaking one-mile ride up Mt. Alyeska on an aerial tramway, affording sweeping views of Glacier Valley and Turnagain Arm. Once at the top, lunch is provided in the casual Glaciers Express restaurant. An outdoor deck provides the perfect venue for taking in the glorious scenery and, frequently, even during the summer months, snow is just a few steps away at this 2,300-foot elevation. 

Between Alyeska and Anchorage, guests will travel via deluxe motorcoach along Turnagain Arm, rated among the top 10 most scenic drives in North America by National Geographic magazine. Dall sheep, bald eagles, moose and even Beluga whales can occasionally be seen along the way. An overnight stay in Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, provides access to a variety of museums, specialty shops, gourmet coffee houses and fine restaurants. 

Prices for the two-night package begin at $580 per person. It can be added to both north and southbound weeklong Carnival Spirit voyages. Northbound cruises, which depart Vancouver, feature the Inside Passage, Ketchikan, Endicott Arm, Juneau, Skagway, Lynn Canal, Sitka, and Prince William Sound, including College Fjord. Southbound voyages feature Prince William Sound and College Fjord, Valdez, Yakutat Bay and Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, Skagway, Lynn Canal, Ketchikan and cruising the Inside Passage. For additional information and reservations, call Carnival's Alaska desk at 1-800-529-6792. Information and reservations also can be obtained via Carnival's Web site at

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Five-Night Program Specially Priced at $1,995

LOS ANGELES, March 25, 2002 - For the first time in four years, this June, luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises is offering a five-night, fully escorted optional Alaska land program to Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Denali National Park, one of America's last unspoiled wilderness areas. The "Alaska Frontier" program is available prior to Crystal Harmony's June 14th Alaska cruise, the  Six-Star rated vessel's only Alaska cruise that reaches as far north as Seward. Crystal Cruises guests can also experience Denali Park in conjunction with its June 3 Japan/Pacific cruise, which concludes in Seward to kick off the Alaska season. All meals, rail and deluxe motor coach transportation, porterage and gratuities are included in the value price of $1,995.

Qualified escorts will lead the exploration of Denali National Park, named for the native Alaskan word for Mount McKinley, North America's highest peak. In addition to the 20,320-foot tall centerpiece, Denali's more than six million acres also encompasses other mountains and large glaciers, and a complete sub-arctic eco-system with large mammals such as grizzly bears, wolves, Dall sheep, and moose. Opportunities to delve deeper into the region's natural beauty include an array of guided hikes, river-rafting, flightseeing, and park drives. The Park's knowledgeable staff are also an invaluable resource for guests who prefer to explore independently.

Additional highlights of the extended land program include a scenic rail journey aboard the glass-domed Midnight Sun Express, Goose Lake Kennel, home of Iditarod Champion Jeff King, where guests will gather insight into the unique relationship between a musher and his dogs, a riverboat discovery cruise on the Chena River, and a tour of El Dorado gold mine. Overnight accommodations are at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge,  Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge, and the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage.

"Alaska Frontier" is available as a post-cruise option following Crystal Harmony's June 3 12-day Japan and Pacific cruise from Yokohama to Seward, calling in Hakodate and Otaru, Japan; and the Alaskan ports of Dutch Harbour and Kodiak; or, as a pre-cruise option to the luxury vessel's 10-day June 14 Alaska cruise from Seward to Vancouver, featuring Hubbard Glacier, Ketchikan, Glacier Bay, Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, the Inside Passage, and Victoria, British Columbia.

At 50,000 tons carrying only 940 guests, the elegant Crystal Harmony is a spacious floating resort. The award-winning ship offers expansive decks, exquisitely-appointed staterooms (more than half with private verandahs), a variety of entertainment lounges for acclaimed, Broadway-style shows, gourmet dining including Japanese and Italian specialty restaurants and "Valentino at Prego" selections from the renowned restaurants (Los Angeles and Las Vegas), a full-service spa, and the only Caesars Palace at Sea casino.

For the sixth consecutive year Crystal Cruises was named best large cruise line in the 2001 readers' surveys conducted by Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler magazines. In February 2002, Condé Nast Traveler named Crystal Harmony the best medium-sized cruise ship in the world.

Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents. For a complimentary brochure on Japan/China, Alaska or any other worldwide destination, call 800.820.6663. Visit the luxury cruise line's Web site at

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Celebrity Cruises Launches Inaugural Sailings From Baltimore

BALTIMORE, March 25 - Celebrity Cruises set out today on its inaugural sailing from the Port of Baltimore on the 1,870-guest Galaxy. As the first guests embarked on Galaxy, they were joined by Celebrity executives, officials from the Port of Baltimore and Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association, members of the media, and representatives from other organizations in a special ceremony onboard the ship.

"We are thrilled to be sailing from the Port of Baltimore. It is a perfect location for guests throughout the mid-Atlantic and Northeast to embark on a warm, exotic Celebrity Caribbean vacation," said Celebrity Cruises Senior Vice President, Marketing and Brand Planning Ares Michaelides. "We have had a warm and welcome reception from every organization we have worked with in launching these new departures, and we look forward to welcoming thousands of guests to Baltimore and to our stunning ship."

Maryland Governor Parris N. Glendening and the Maryland Department of Transportation also celebrated the arrival of Celebrity Cruises in the Port of Baltimore. 

"Maryland is pleased to welcome Celebrity Cruises to the Port and commends its wisdom in recognizing the State's excellent location for business and recreation," said Governor Glendening. "In the best tradition of smart maritime growth, Celebrity Cruises has made a strategic decision to bring its business closer to the people, benefiting the company as well as the vacationers embarking from the great Port of Baltimore."

Celebrity's Galaxy is the first of nearly 40 cruise ships to call on the Port of Baltimore during the 2002 cruise season. Maryland Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend applauded Celebrity for choosing Baltimore, located in the heart of the fourth largest and second wealthiest region in the country.

"In its long history, the Port of Baltimore has launched clipper ships and cargo ships, and now it launches cruise ships. This new arrangement with Celebrity Cruises will provide an important opportunity for Maryland's tourism industry and for the thousands of travelers who will sail to and from our region. It attests to the port's ongoing significance as an economic engine for the city and state," said Lt. Governor Townsend.

Galaxy's 11-night Caribbean cruises depart Baltimore today, as well as April 15, May 6, May 27, June 17, July 8 and 29, August 19, September 30, October 21, and November 11, 2002, with ports of call in Charleston, South Carolina; St. Thomas; St. Maarten; San Juan, and Nassau. Fares begin at $999 per person, double occupancy.

Galaxy's 10-night Caribbean cruises depart Baltimore on April 5 and 26, May 17, June 7 and 28, July 19, August 9 and 30, September 20, October 11, November 1 and 22, 2002, with ports of call in Key West; Cozumel; Belize City; and Cococay and Nassau, Bahamas. Fares begin at $999 per person, double occupancy.

Celebrity Cruises is the highest-rated, fastest-growing premium cruise line in the industry, with the youngest fleet of any major cruise line. Constellation will make its maiden voyage this year, bringing the Celebrity fleet to nine ships. For more information, visit the Celebrity web site at

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36 New Exclusive Tours Offered in 2002

Seattle, WA, March 22, 2002 - Windstar reveals its European 2002 shore excursion line-up, with a total of 88 varied day trips available in 46 ports of call. Windstar boasts 34 new tours for 2002 highlighting its new itineraries between homeports Rome, Italy; Grand Harbour, Malta; and Venice, Italy.  New offerings also enhance Windstar's classic Greek Isles, Andalusia, French and Italian Riviera voyages. 

"Our shore excursions enable guests to truly immerse themselves in the history, culture, and scenic beauty of Windstar's eclectic European itineraries," remarked Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and sales for Windstar Cruises. 

Windstar's 2002 shore excursions cover a broad range of interests. Tempt the senses with sumptuous wine and cheese tastings, scenic walking, bus, and flight tours, and historic explorations into the ancient art, architecture, and culture of the old world.

Hectare upon hectare of olive groves, whitewashed buildings overlooking the sea, handmade crafts in bustling bazaars, marble figures and mosaics donning ancient buildings, and minaret topped mosques decorating the skyline. These are just a few of the sights awaiting passengers on Windstar's Aegean shore excursions. 

A journey to the land once ruled by the mythological god Zeus is not complete without a visit to the awe-inspiring relics and ruins of the ancient Greek culture. The Athens and Acropolis shore excursion offers a peek into the heart of antiquity with a tour of the infamous ruins of the Parthenon and a panoramic view of the sprawling city of Athens below. 

Once upon the shores of remote Kusadasi, guests will visit the land where the roots of Christianity meet the ancient world, on Windstar's new Religious and Antique Highlights of Kusadasi tour. Travel to the home of the Virgin Mary dated back to the first century AD on the way to an archeological awakening in what has been described as the most beautiful ancient city, the remains of Ephesus.

On the picturesque isle of Santorini, Greece, history and culture unite on The Ruins of Akrotiri & Boutari Winery tour. Discover the Lost City of Atlantis, a Minoan city once completely covered by ash, whose remains still offer a clear glimpse of this culture's day-to-day life. A wine tasting follows the tour, where guests can sample vintages produced from the flavorful volcanic soil-grown Ayrtico grapes. 

Windstar offers a total of 46 Greek Isles cruises in 2002. The 148-passenger Wind Star and Wind Spirit will sail seven-day cruises between Athens (Piraeus), Greece, and Istanbul, Turkey from May through October 2002. Ports of call include the islands of Kusadasi, and Bodrum, Turkey; Rhodes, Santorini, and Mykonos, Greece. A unique repositioning voyage between Athens (Piraeus), Greece and Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy will also be offered in 2002. Sail the course less charted, with visits to Ermoupolis, Navplion, and Gythion, Greece; and Messina and Capri, Italy.

Windstar's Western Mediterranean shore excursions visit the infamous religious, architectural, and artistic landmarks of such notable cities as Lisbon, Portugal; Barcelona, Spain; and Rome, Italy, as well as lesser-known but equally fascinating tours at smaller ports. 

Along the rocky coast of Andalusia, the port of Marbella, Spain offers a historical and architectural look at the lovely city of Malaga on the new Explore Malaga tour. Located in the heart of the Costa del Sol, Malaga holds an overwhelming collection of architectural remains including an extravagant castle, a Moorish fortress, and a Renaissance style cathedral. A stop is also made at Picasso's birthplace on the way back to the ship. 

The French Riviera offers miles of white-sand beaches, quaint villages for shopping, and on top of all that, the spoils of Provence's fertile wine country. The glamorous port of Cannes offers a tour highlighting a drive through the beautiful Esterel Massif to the capital of Cotes de Provence wines, La Maison des Vines (House of Wines). On the Taste of the Wines of Provence tour an oenologist describes the wines; their history, vineyards, varietals, and characteristics. Delve into the coastal culture of Italy with a visit to the five remote towns on the Cinque Terre tour. Departing from Portovenere, the tour winds through the lush countryside to Manarola. Guests will tour this charming town on their way down to the Via Dell'Amore for a scenic walk along a twisted seaside path to the steep hillside town of Riomaggiore. Look up for a beautiful view of waves crashing against the base of the hill of colorful terraced homes. A short boat ride to the delightful fishing village of Vernazza is included.

Windstar also offers a host of unique excursions with its new itineraries between homeports Rome, Italy; Malta; and Venice, Italy. Romance abounds on the underground cave tour of the Blue Grotto on the Island of Capri tour and the Gondola Serenade at Night in Venice. A cultural exploration of La Goulette, Tunisia on the Carthage & Sidi Bon Said tour provides guests with a glimpse of the ancient Phoenician city of Carthage complete with remains of baths, cisterns, basilicas, and homes. Top the day off with some souvenir shopping along the cobbled streets of famed Sidi Bon Said. 

Windstar offers a total of 37 Mediterranean cruises in 2002. The deluxe 308-passenger sailing yacht, Wind Surf will embark on 27, seven-day cruise departures from either Lisbon, Portugal; Barcelona, Spain; Nice, France; Rome, Italy; Grand Harbour, Malta; or Venice, Italy from April to November 2002. The seven-day segments can be combined to create a 14-, 21-, 28-, or 35-day cruise with no repeating ports. The intimate Wind Star and Wind Spirit will also offer select voyages in the Western Mediterranean this season with a total of 10 sailings departing from either Lisbon, Portugal; Barcelona, Spain; Nice, France; or Rome, Italy. Shore excursion pricing ranges from US$24 - $199, [CDN$35 - $288]. Full descriptions of European offerings are listed in shore excursion booklets provided with guests' cruise documents prior to sailing and can also be found at All excursions can be booked once onboard.

Currently celebrating its 15th anniversary year, Windstar pioneered the concept of a luxury cruise vacation with a laid-back attitude. The company's trademark of "casual elegance" delivers a sophisticated yet relaxed experience with all-view staterooms and suites, innovative cuisine and wine selections, open dining, pleasant and pampering service, enchanting ports of call, complimentary water sports, and resort-style dress. Seattle-based Windstar Cruises operates four sailing yachts, the 308-passenger Wind Surf, and 148-passenger Wind Star, Wind Song and Wind Spirit. Windstar's unique cruise vacations are a mix of casual luxury and small-ship intimacy. The fleet sails worldwide to over 40 countries with regularly scheduled cruises to Tahiti, New Zealand, the Mediterranean, the Greek Isles, the Caribbean, the Bahamas and Florida Keys, Central America, Panama Canal and Trans-Atlantic, and now the Baltic. For reservations contact a travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-SAIL (1-800-258-7245). To request a brochure call 1-87-STAR-SAIL (1-877-827-7245.)  Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Seattle, March 21, 2002 - For 2002, Holland America Line is featuring a total of 18 holiday cruises, four more than last year, which include new Mexico and Australia-New Zealand itineraries, the new embarkation port of Port Canaveral, and the ms Zuiderdam, first of Holland America's new Vista series ships. Fares start at US$1,099 [CAN$1,599] per person for a seven-day cruise. With several new ports of call, cruisers can treat themselves to an exceptional holiday this year, and join festive shipboard celebrations and traditional holiday dining with dishes such as pheasant, goose and plum pudding. 

"Taking a cruise is one of the best ways to relish the holidays - without the season's usual stresses," said David A. Giersdorf, vice president of marketing and sales. 

Celebrate Christmas or New Year's or both: Holland America cruises depart Dec. 20 to 29, and itineraries range from seven to 16 days to such destinations as the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, Hawaii and Australia/New Zealand. In addition to the ships' holiday festivities and decorations, on-board clergy conduct Catholic, Protestant and Jewish services. New Year's cruises feature a gala party, complete with champagne toasts and party favors.

New Zuiderdam Debuts in Caribbean
The Zuiderdam leads the way in the Caribbean, sailing two of the 12 seven-day holiday Caribbean cruises offered in 2002. The 1,848-passenger Vista ship debuts with its inaugural Eastern Caribbean Christmas cruise departing Dec. 21. The ship sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, calling at San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas and St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Half Moon Cay, Holland America's private island in the Bahamas. The Zuiderdam then sails a seven-day Western Caribbean New Year's cruise Dec. 28, calling at Key West, Florida; Cozumel, Mexico (Chichen Itza and Tulum tour options); Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala (Copan, Rio Dulce and Tikal tour options); and Half Moon Cay. With Holland America's Early Savings discount, cruise fares start at US$1,249 [CAN$1.799] per person, double occupancy, including port charges, for the Christmas cruise and US$1,199 [CAN $1,739] for the New Year's sailing. 

The Zuiderdam is the most advanced and luxurious ship ever built for Holland America. It features a wide range of spacious accommodation categories, with 85 percent of the staterooms enjoying an ocean view and 80 percent of those having a private verandah. The ship offers dining options ranging from elegant full-service to casual, large Lido pool with a retractable dome, expanded spa facilities, Internet café, Internet/e-mail data ports in all staterooms and a "cabaret-style" show lounge complementing a multi-level main show lounge. 

New Homeport and Caribbean Ports of Call 
In addition to the Zuiderdam, five other Holland America ships ply the Eastern and Western Caribbean on seven-day holiday cruises. The ms. Amsterdam, ms Volendam and ms. Maasdam sail roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, the ms Veendam from Tampa, and the ms Zaandam from the new homeport of Port Canaveral, affording guests pre- and post-cruise opportunities in nearby Orlando.

The 1,440-passenger Zaandam offers a Western Caribbean Christmas cruise Dec. 21 and Eastern Caribbean New Year's cruise Dec. 28. Cruise fares start at US$1,149 [CAN $1,669] per person, double occupancy, including port charges. 

Several new ports of call are featured on the other ships' itineraries. The Amsterdam calls at Montego Bay, Jamaica on its Western Caribbean Christmas cruise Dec. 21 and Freeport, Bahamas on its Eastern Caribbean New Year's cruise Dec. 28. The Volendam stops at Belize City, Belize (Tikal tour option) on its Western Caribbean New Year's cruise Dec. 28, and the Maasdam at Progreso, Mexico (Chichen Itza, Merida and Uxmal tour options) on both its Western Caribbean Christmas and New Year's cruises Dec. 22 and 29. Fares for these Caribbean gems start at US$1,099 [CAN $1,599] per person, double occupancy, including port charges.

Holland America is also featuring two 14-day cruises for those desiring a longer holiday vacation. The ms Rotterdam offers an extraordinary Caribbean and Panama Canal cruise, sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 20. The 1,316-passenger ship calls at Half Moon Cay; Montego Bay; Panama Canal and Gatun Lake (Gatun tour options); Puerto Limon, Costa Rica (Rain Forest Aerial Tram, San Jose and eco-tour options); Belize City (Tikal tour option); Cozumel, Mexico (Chichen Itza and Tikal tour options); and Veracruz, Mexico. Cruise fares start at US$2,899 [CAN $4,219] per person, double occupancy, including port charges. 

For those who would rather explore the exotic Southern Caribbean, the ms Noordam features a 14-day holiday cruise sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 22; it can be extended into a 16-day trip as the ship continues on to Mobile, Alabama. Ports of call include George Town, Grand Cayman; Santa Marta, Colombia; Oranjestad, Aruba; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Bridgetown, Barbados; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Tortola, British Virgin Islands (Virgin Gorda tour option); St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (St. John tour option); and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. Cruise fares start at US$1,999 [CAN $2,919] per person, double occupancy, including port charges. 

New Eight-Day Mexico Holiday Cruises
From the West Coast, Holland America offers two eight-day holiday cruises departing San Diego roundtrip for the sun-drenched Mexican Riviera on Dec. 21 and Sea of Cortez on Dec. 28. Both are aboard the 1,266-passenger ms Ryndam. The Mexican Riviera cruise calls at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, while the Sea of Cortez sailing calls at Cabo San Lucas, Loreto and Pichilingue (La Paz), plus anchors in Bahia Magdalena for whale watching. Fares for both Mexican cruises start at US$1,349 [CAN $1,949] per person, double occupancy, including port charges.

Rather cruise to Hawaii? Holland America also offers a 15-day holiday cruise roundtrip from San Diego departing Dec. 20 on the ms Statendam. After several relaxing days at sea, the ship calls at Lahaina, Maui; Nawiliwili, Kaui; Honolulu, Oahu; and the new port of call, Kaunakakai, Molokai. Cruise fares start at US$3,299 [CAN $4,789] per person, double occupancy, including port charges. 

New Australia-New Zealand Holiday Cruise
For those desiring a truly far-flung holiday vacation, the ms Prinsendam features a new 16-day cruise departing Sydney, Australia Dec. 22 for Auckland, New Zealand. Cruise to Port Arthur and Hobart, Tasmania; Milford Sound, New Zealand (Queenstown tour option); Dunedin/Port Chalmers (Taieri Gorge tour option); Christchurch; Nelson; Wellington; Napier; and Tauranga (Rotorua tour option) - plus marvel at spectacular scenery such as Tasmania's d'Entrecasteaux Channel and New Zealand's Fjordland National Park, Kaikoura Whale Trench, Marlborough and Queen Charlotte Sounds and volcanic White Island. Cruise fares start at US $2,899 [CAN $4,219] per person, double occupancy, including port charges.

Guests may extend their vacations or start them earlier by booking optional one-, two- or three-night hotel accommodations in Ft. Lauderdale in conjunction with their cruise.  A three-night stay in Orlando, home of Walt Disney World, is also available. 

About Holland America Line
Holland America Line has 11 luxury ships sailing to more than 280 ports of call and scenic cruising destinations on all seven continents, including Antarctica. In 2002, Holland America Line will offer 360 sailings within a half-day's drive of 40 percent of North American households and departing from 15 North American home ports. Affordable air arrangements are available through the Home City Air program and Holland America offers the only trip cancellation program in the industry that offers cash back for canceling for any reason prior to 24 hours before departure. Holland America Line is the highest-rated premium cruise line in the world in the 2001 "Travel & Leisure" magazine "World's Best" Awards and one of the world's three highest rated large-ship cruise lines in the 2001 "Conde Nast Traveler" Readers' Choice Awards. The company also has won its 10th consecutive "Best Overall Cruise Value" award from the World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society (WOCLS). For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Miami, March 21, 2002 - According to the Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (SATH), cruise travel is the most common way for Americans with disabilities to travel overseas. To accommodate this growing market, Royal Caribbean International's 14-ship fleet offers extensive services, amenities and medical facilities to ensure that vacationers with special needs can participate in every aspect of the cruise experience. 

Royal Caribbean International is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation to upgrade and enhance offerings on all ships over the next three years, which will even further enhance accessibility onboard for Americans with disabilities. Accessibility features on the line's Voyager- and Radiance-class ships include:

  • Staterooms with 32- to 34-inch doors, ramped bathrooms, roll-in showers, grab bars, raised toilet seats, lowered sinks and vanity areas, and a five-foot turning radius in sleeping areas, bathrooms and sitting areas.

  • Spacious corridors, special pool lifts and ramps in terraced public areas.

  • Braille on menus, cabin doors, service directories and elevators buttons.

  • Portable kits for the hearing impaired including TTY (Text Telephone)/TDD (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf), Alertmaster and a strobe alarm.

  • Closed-captioned televisions, amplified telephones in staterooms and public areas and infrared systems.

"Our goal is to provide personalized service to each disabled guest, which sometimes includes extra assistance at the pier, an early boarding orientation, a Sign Language Interpreter, special dietary meals or onboard medical services," said Laura Amor, access specialist for Royal Caribbean International. "Our highly trained Access Desk specialists are committed to helping travelers make informed decisions regarding the best itineraries, ships and shore excursions for their particular needs."

Several itineraries are particularly suitable to those with mobility impairments. The cruise line is making it easier for guests to go ashore in the Caribbean and Hawaii, as several ships are equipped or currently being installed with lifts that aid guests to board tender boats. Royal Caribbean International's Alaska cruises provide ample opportunity for guests to see stunning wilderness in the first accessible motor coaches and glass-domed, double-deck train cars, which feature ADA-compliant seating on both levels. Eastern Caribbean and Hawaiian itineraries are popular among disabled travelers as lift-equipped vehicles are readily available for exploring various ports of call.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 14 ships in service, and five under construction or on firm order. For more information about Royal Caribbean International's disability programs, please contact the Access Desk at 800-722-5472 x34492. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's Internet Web site at

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Value Collection Pricing Offers Up To 2-for-1 Savings

How you visit tropical destinations with a minimum of flights and airport inconveniences, be thoroughly stimulated and entertained, and luxuriate in a pampering environment... all while not spending as much as others would think? Crystal Cruise s offers it all with this fall's Panama Canal/Caribbean season.

LOS ANGELES, March 21, 2002 - The Crystal Visions enrichment series is adding sizzle to Crystal Cruises' fall Panama Canal and Caribbean schedule. Celebrated guests from the worlds of politics, culture, academia and arts and science, including The Smithsonian Associates, as well as the Crystal Wine & Food Festival, Jazz & Blues, and Yoga, Health & Fitness themed programming are slated to enhance nine distinct itineraries from October through December aboard Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony.

In all, the luxurious sister ships will visit 16 ports of call, including Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Cartagena, Colombia; Grand Cayman; Playa del Carmen, Cabo San Lucas and Cozumel, Mexico; Aruba; St. Barts; St. John; St. Thomas; St. Maarten; Antigua; Curaçao; St. Lucia; St. Kitts; and Tortola, as well as the line's first cruise of Panama's Gatun Lake.

Complementing the stimulating onboard experiences are the luxury line's specially-created shore and water excursions, with options ranging from the historic to adventurous. Crystal guests can explore Cartegena's Gold Museum and its Palace of Inquisition, observe marine life on a submarine expedition at Chankanaab National Park, Cozumel or kayak through Aruba's Spanish Lagoon, once used as a safe haven by Spanish sailing vessels.

"In addition to the stimulating enrichment programming, guests appreciate the variety of tropical, yet relatively close to home itineraries, while being indulged in the warm and luxurious environment of our floating resorts," says Adam Leavitt, senior vice president, marketing. "This fall's program in the Caribbean and Panama Canal offers new experiences while maintaining our standards of well-appointed luxury that appeal to the repeat Crystal guest or first-timer."

On four of the fall Panama Canal/Caribbean itineraries, The Smithsonian Associates lecture series brings aboard guest speakers from the revered institution to share their expertise on selected aspects of the cruising regions' natural and cultural history. Scheduled are Dr. Anthony Coates, director for scientific programs emeritus, Smithsonian Institution; Fulbright scholar, zoologist and biologist Dr. Juan Maté; Dr. Christian Samper, deputy director, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; and former evolutionary parasitologist turned malacologist Dr. Helena Fortunato, who uses the Isthmus of Panama as a model system to study evolutionary events.

The Crystal Wine & Food Festival, which has become very popular for travelers and visiting chefs alike, brings aboard celebrity chefs and wine experts from around the globe for cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and gala dinners to personally share their talents and culinary tips with guests. Among those scheduled for this fall are Sherry Yard, executive pastry chef, Spago in Beverly Hills; Tim Keating, executive chef, Houston's Four Seasons Hotel; and master sommelier Evan Goldstein.

Tom Hook and the Terrier Brothers, headliners of the Jazz & Blues cruise, will perform concerts and dance sets of jazz and the blues while Crystal Harmony cruises to New Orleans, considered by many to be the birthplace of jazz. Vocalist and pianist Yve Evans will also perform her stylized one-woman shows. Each evening, Crystal Harmony's striking Club 2100 nightclub will be transformed into a sizzling jazz venue. Jazz-related films and documentaries, and guest speakers will explore the fascinating roots of this indigenous music.

Featured guests on the Yoga, Health and Fitness theme cruise include Dr. John C. McMichan, former Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist, critical care and herbal medicine expert, and teacher; certified yoga instructor Marnie Neve, who also holds degrees in both theatre and counseling psychology; and award-wining medical writer, columnist and teaching hospital administrator, Ruth Jacobowitz, whose books include The Estrogen Answer Book and 150 Most-Asked Questions About Midlife Sex, Love and Intimacy.

Other esteemed lecturers include John Augelli, who served as dean of international programs, director of the center of Latin American studies, and chairman of the geography department at the University of Kansas; Dr. Fred Chernow, retired psychology professor from St. John's University and best-selling author of The Sharper Mind; and Juilliard graduate and award-winning producer, director and choreographer Kevin Carlisle.

Departure dates for the 10-, 11-, 12- and 14-day cruises are Oct. 16 and 27, Nov. 7, 17, 18, 29 and Dec. 9 and 10. Depending on the itinerary, the luxury ships sail from New Orleans, Ft. Lauderdale, Acapulco or Costa Rica. Several of the cruises are part of the Crystal Value Collection and offer up to 50% savings. Cruise fares start at $2,215 for an 11-day cruise, or as low as $200 per person, per day, double occupancy.

The 50,000-ton, 940-guest Crystal Symphony and her sister ship, Crystal Harmony, are two of the most spacious and luxurious vessels cruising the world. Their 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 liners feature pampering refinements such as grand lounges, a lavish spa adhering to the principles of Feng Shui, and exquisitely-appointed staterooms, more than half of which offer private verandahs. Coupled with these luxurious appointments are expansive decks, two pools, a full-service fitness facility, Computer University@Sea, Crystal Cruises' award-winning cuisine plus entertainment and the only Caesars Palace at Sea casino.

Crystal Symphony and Crystal Harmony are operated by Crystal Cruises, winner of the travel industry's most distinguished hospitality awards and guidebook ratings. For the sixth consecutive year, Crystal Cruises was named best large-ship line in the 2001 readers' surveys conducted by Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines.

Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents. For a complimentary 2003 Cruise Guide, please call 800.820.6663. Visit the luxury liner's web site at

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Carnival Corporation Reports First Quarter Earnings

MIAMI, March 21 - Carnival Corporation reported net income of $129.6 million ($0.22 diluted EPS) on revenues of $905.8 million for its first quarter ended February 28, 2002, compared to net income of $128.0 million ($0.22 EPS) on revenues of $1.0 billion for the same quarter in 2001. 

Commenting on first quarter results, Carnival Chairman and CEO Micky Arison said he was particularly pleased with the company's first quarter earnings performance, despite the adverse impact on business from the tragic events of September 11. "In the two months following September 11, our advance bookings for 2002 cruises dropped dramatically because of the significant slowdown in travel. The subsequent recovery in our booking levels has greatly exceeded earlier expectations and demonstrates the resiliency of the cruise vacation business," Arison said.

Revenues for the first quarter of 2002 were down 10 percent compared to the same quarter in 2001. This decrease in revenues was primarily caused by the impact of the September 11 events, which resulted in a significant reduction in the number of guests purchasing air travel and also lower cruise ticket prices and occupancies. These reductions were partially offset by a 2.3 percent increase in cruise capacity. As a result of lower ticket prices and occupancies, net revenue yields (net revenue per available berth day) were down 7.5 percent compared to the first quarter of last year. Arison pointed out this was "a significant improvement over our November expectations that first quarter net revenue yields would be down 15 percent." Partially offsetting the lower revenues in 2002 was a 7.2 percent reduction in the company's cost per available berth day. First quarter 2002 results also did not include any losses from the company's investment in Airtours plc, which was sold in June 2001.

Looking to the remainder of 2002, Arison said that he is very encouraged that recent booking levels have been running well ahead of last year. Prices on those bookings have also recovered significantly from the highly discounted levels late last year, although they are still less than prices during the comparable period last year. Primarily as a result of the dramatic slowdown in 2002 bookings last fall and the shift to closer to sailing booking patterns after September 11, cumulative advance bookings and average prices for the remainder of 2002 are still below last year's levels. "If the current trend of booking levels continues, we anticipate that net revenue yields will continue to improve throughout 2002," Arison said. "Our current expectation for net revenue yields for the balance of 2002 is for the second and third quarters to be down approximately 4 percent to 6 percent and the fourth quarter to increase slightly compared to last year."

In discussing the company's global cruise strategy, Arison commented that Carnival "is continuing to execute its plan to increase its presence in the high-growth European vacation market." Costa Cruises will introduce the Costa Europa, formerly Holland America's Westerdam, to its European fleet in April 2002, and this month Costa will launch a new cruise product onboard the 760-passenger Costa Marina targeted at German-speaking vacationers.  Also, in May 2002, the Caronia will begin offering Cunard's world-renowned British service from its new homeport in Southampton, England.

While the company is increasing its presence in the European vacation market, it is also continuing to expand in North America. Carnival Cruise Lines launched the 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride from Port Canaveral, Fla., in January 2002 and is scheduled to introduce the 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend in August 2002, offering the line's first-ever sailings from Europe. Following its European program, the Carnival Legend will operate from several American ports starting September 2002. Carnival Cruise Lines is expected to launch the 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest in November 2002 from New Orleans. Additionally, the company's Holland America Line brand will begin operating the Prinsendam, formerly the Seabourn Sun, from Europe, Asia and the Pacific in June 2002, and is also scheduled to introduce the 1,848-passenger Zuiderdam in December 2002 from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

On December 16, 2001, Carnival announced its pre-conditional offer to acquire P&O Princess Cruises plc. The company continues to work closely with regulators in the U.S. and Europe on its offer.

Carnival scheduled a conference call with analysts discuss its 2002 first quarter earnings. This call can be listened to live and additional information can be obtained at the company's web site at

Carnival Corporation is comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, the world's largest cruise line based on passengers carried, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Seabourn Cruise Line and Windstar Cruises.  Carnival Corporation's six brands operate 43 ships in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, Mexico, South America and other worldwide destinations.

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Silversea Cruises Offers Enticing New Options

A new Deluxe Suite Category 
New for the 2003 season, Silversea is introducing a new suite category created for discriminating guests who prefer veranda suites in prime mid-ship locations. This new category, the Deluxe Veranda, is not physically different in any way from a regular Veranda suite with the exception of its attractive mid-ship location. It is priced slightly higher than standard Veranda suites, similar to the way resort rooms are priced based on their deluxe location and view.

Enhanced Early Booking Savings
Price integrity continues to be a cornerstone of the Silversea philosophy, providing travel agents and their clients the confidence that those who book early will receive the most generous savings without concern for last minute discounts that undercut the initial selling price. The way to achieve the ultimate savings on a Silversea cruise vacation remains booking early and paying in full.

Early booking savings will range per voyage from 5 percent up to 20 percent with a new Early Booking Incentive (EBI) program that offers attractive savings driven by consumer demand. Rather than setting eligibility around a specified date, savings will now be capacity controlled based on availability. As the sailing date approaches, the EBI may be adjusted downward. Savings will never increase over time, ensuring that guests who book early are rewarded with the greatest savings.

Silversea's Advance Payment Bonus (APB) will reward guests who book and pay in full six months prior to sailing with an additional saving of 5 percent on top of the EBI - translating into savings of up to 25 percent on some voyages. Silversea's past guests will continue to enjoy special Venetian Society savings ranging from 5 to 15 percent on designated "VS" sailings, combinable with EBI and APB saving programs.

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Celebrity Cruises Cancels Summit, Infinity Sailings

MIAMI, March 20 - Celebrity Cruises will send two ships, Summit and Infinity, into unscheduled drydocks March 29 and April 13, respectively, to repair propulsion pods. Both ships are operating safely today but at a lower cruising speed.

Summit will cancel a March 29 sailing from Fort Lauderdale, and an 11-night cruise April 8 will be shortened to a seven-night sailing April 12. Guests on the shorter voyage will receive a 50-percent refund.

Infinity will miss her April 13 and 20 sailings from San Juan. In addition, Infinity will modify two itineraries. The April 6 sailing, originally a roundtrip from San Juan, now will originate in San Juan and terminate in Fort Lauderdale. The April 27 Transcanal sailing, originally from San Juan to San Diego, now will operate from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego.

The problem with the pods involves ball-bearing units that are wearing out prematurely. Consequently, ships must reduce their cruising speed, potentially falling behind schedule on port calls. By making repairs as soon as possible, Celebrity will avoid further changes in itineraries. Both ships will be drydocked at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, Bahamas.

"Disrupting a guest's vacation experience is not the business we are in, and this announcement is painful for all of us," said Celebrity President and Chief Operating Officer Jack Williams." The ships are operating safely, but unless these repairs are made, we cannot guarantee the integrity of our advertised itineraries."

Guests booked on the cancelled sailings will receive a full refund and a voucher for a 50-percent discount on any seven- to 15-night Caribbean, Transcanal or Hawaii cruise, originating before May 31, 2003, excluding Christmas and New Year's 2002 sailings. Travel agents will have their original full commission protected, plus a $50 rebooking fee per booking when their clients reschedule their cruise. Celebrity has established a special Help Desk to assist guests and travel agents with rebooking, air transportation and other issues. That toll free number is 1-888-305-4626. The cancelled cruises are expected to have a negative impact on the earnings of Royal  Caribbean Cruises Ltd. of $.06 per share.

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Windstar Tahiti Brochure Just Released
Wind Song Returns to Her Native Islands

SEATTLE, March 19 - Heralding the return of the Wind Song to Tahiti and her islands in Spring 2002, Windstar Cruises has just released the new "Tahiti and Her Islands" brochure. The first person account of Windstar's Tahiti is employed to lure travelers to open this colorful 12-page brochure, with promises of "blue lagoons, dramatic harbors, ancient temples, and deck-side sunsets." Inside, potential guests and travel agents will find details on itineraries, dates and pricing for Windstar's 2002 Tahiti program.

"The reunion of the Wind Song with her Tahitian home has been greatly anticipated by many. The pampering Wind Song staff and crew is more than ready to renew this award-winning program with the ship that was built to sail it," said Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and sales for Windstar Cruises. "The new brochure is only a taste of what awaits travelers on one of our exclusive Tahitian cruises," Russell added.

The adventure begins on May 1, 2002, when the 148-passenger Wind Song sets sail on a 14-day repositioning voyage from Auckland, New Zealand to Papeete, Tahiti. After eight days of exploring the course charted by Captain James Cook across the South Pacific, the Wind Song visits Cook's namesake; Islands of Rarotonga, Aitutaki, and Atiu. She then continues on course for her final destination, Papeete, Tahiti.

Next, the Wind Song sets sail on May 14, 2002 with a 10-day "Tahiti Maeva" welcome back sailing, accompanied by Windstar's 2002 brochure artist Christopher Corr and local dignitaries. This extravagant voyage celebrates Wind Song's return to her native islands sailing round trip from Papeete, Tahiti, with stops in Rangiroa, Arutua, Huahine, Raiatea, Bora Bora, and Moorea.

On May 24, 2002 the Wind Song begins its regularly scheduled seven-day cruises departing every Friday through December of 2002. A total of 32 cruises round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti explore the favorite islands of Huahine, Raiatea, Bora Bora, and Moorea. Itinerary highlights of Windstar's 7-day cruises include overnight port calls at four of the five destination islands, including Raiatea, Bora Bora, Moorea, and Tahiti. This will provide cruise guests with the opportunity to indulge themselves and truly experience all the islands have to offer. Guests can do as much or as little as they like, going on adventures such as a four-wheel drive jeep tour or relaxing in their own private over-water bungalow.

Windstar's Tahiti brochure tempts cruise guests with the following descriptive island adventures: On Tahiti, "warm smiles and tiare-flowered leis welcome you to paradise." At Raiatea, "learn about the mystical origins of the Polynesian peoples, or ride into the lush picturesque mountains on horseback." Huahine offers the chance to "make your acquaintance with the amazing undersea life while snorkeling at the Coral Gardens." Bora Bora invites vacationers to "picnic on a palm-fringed motu, or go for an underwater walk in the world's most famous lagoon." On Moorea, "hike past towering waterfalls through unspoiled rainforest trails to Belvedere Overlook with its dramatic view of Moorea's twin bays." Twenty-two diverse shore excursions will offer cruisers a variety of activities ranging from educational, such as the Huahine Culture and History Tour, to adventurous, such as the Deep Sea Fishing Tour.

Shore excursions are priced from US$26 (CDN$38) per person. Another high point of the week-long Polynesian adventure will be Windstar's signature afternoon beach barbecue on Motu Tapu off Bora Bora, and a gala deck barbecue onboard Wind Song the evening of Moorea's port call. Special early booking rates are available on all 2002 Tahiti voyages.

Starting rates for the May 1, 2002 14-day repositioning cruise are US$3,595 (CDN$5,210). Prices for the 10-day "Tahiti Maeva" cruise start at US$3,895 (CDN$5,645). Rates for the seven-day voyages start at US$2,695 (CDN$3,906). All rates are based on per person, double occupancy and include port taxes and charges. Windstar is offering cruise passengers who book the seven-day itinerary an optional package including round-trip airfare from Los Angeles, California, post-cruise hotel dayroom, and all necessary transfers for US$495 (CDN$717) per person. Cruise passengers sailing on the 10-day itinerary can purchase a package including round-trip airfare from Los Angeles, California, pre-cruise hotel, post-cruise hotel dayroom, and all necessary transfers for US$695 (CDN$1007) per person.

Windstar is partnering with Air Tahiti Nui, the preeminent airline of Tahiti, providing passengers with the convenience of flying in and out of Tahiti on embarkation and debarkation days. Reasonable air add-ons are available from most major gateways. Windstar also offers a trip cancellation protection program that provides cash back for cancellation for any reason prior to 24-hours before departure. To request a copy of the "Tahiti and Her Islands" brochure please call 1-87-STAR-SAIL (1-877-827-7245.) For reservations contact a travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-SAIL (1-800-258-7245.) Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Holland America Line Offers 20 Cruises Featuring West Coast Cities From Mexico to British Columbia
Special May 3rd Sailing at $299 Per Person From Seattle

SEATTLE, March 19 - This spring and fall, Holland America Line offers 20 cruises along the scenic Pacific Coast and in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, providing an opportunity for those looking for a premium cruise experience without much time. Cruises vary in length from one to six days and feature nine West Coast ports. Pacific Northwest coastal cruises also offer tremendous values starting at US$89 per person and include a special fare of $299 per person for a three-day sailing out of Seattle aboard the ms Zaandam on May 3.

"Our Pacific Coast and Northwest cruises are a great opportunity for travelers to experience a premium cruise," said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice-president of marketing and sales. "These cruises are close to home and well-priced to take advantage of a quick, great premium vacation this spring or fall."

The cruises begin in late April with two Mexican Riviera and Pacific coast cruises aboard the 1,440-passenger sisterships ms Volendam and ms Zaandam. Departing April 26 from Acapulco, the Volendam sails a five-day cruise to San Diego, visiting Zihuatanejo, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. The Zaandam departs April 26 from Puerto Vallarta with two options: a four-day cruise to San Francisco with a stop in Cabo San Lucas or a six-day option that extends the cruise to Vancouver. In addition, travelers may choose from a two-day San Francisco to Vancouver voyage departing April 30. Fares start at US$175 per person, including port charges and Early Savings discount.

On May 2, the Zaandam will sail from Vancouver to Seattle for a one-day excursion with fares starting at just US$89. Guests spend the night on the ship. The Zaandam next departs on a three-day roundtrip from Seattle May 3 featuring daylong visits to Vancouver and Victoria, plus scenic cruising of Puget Sound. Cruise fares start at a special fare of $299 per person.

The Volendam sails May 1 from San Diego to Vancouver. The cruise includes a stop in Portland on May 4, where passengers may board for the final two days to Victoria and Vancouver. Fares for the five-day voyage from San Diego start at US$419; the two-day portion from Portland starts at US$175.

The 1,266-passenger ms Veendam will sail a five-day itinerary from Acapulco to Los Angeles on May 11, with stops at Zihuatanejo, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Fares start at US$419 per person. The ship continues north on a three-day non-stop cruise up the Pacific Coast from Los Angeles to Vancouver on May 16. Fares begin at US$255.

The ms Statendam and the ms Ryndam both will embark this spring on three-day cruises, featuring three fun-filled days at sea, from San Diego to Vancouver with fares starting at US$255. The Statendam departs San Diego on May 9, the Ryndam on May 14.

On May 12, the 1380-passenger ms Amsterdam sails from Acapulco to Seattle with a day visit to Cabo San Lucas. Fares for this six-day cruise start at US$499 per person.

In addition, seven fall cruises are scheduled roundtrip from Vancouver, with three-day cruises departing on the Zaandam Sept. 21, Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 and on the Veendam Sept. 29. The Zaandam sails on four-day cruises departing Sept. 24, Oct. 1 and Oct. 8.

These fun-filled cruises, featuring Holland America's renowned service and spectacular cuisine, are perfect for the busy professional in need of a relaxing respite or a family vacation providing fun for everyone. These cruises also provide the opportunity to visit intriguing Pacific Northwest cities.

Vancouver offers expansive Stanley Park, historic Gastown and the second-largest Chinatown on the West Coast, wrapped up in a cosmopolitan and friendly cityscape. In Seattle, guests may visit the world-renowned Pike Place Farmers Market and historic Pioneer Square, shop 'til they drop in a downtown located only minutes from the cruise terminal and view the skyline and Puget Sound from the top of the 605-foot [184-meter] Space Needle. Victoria, BC, lives up to its British heritage with its double-decker buses, stores filled with English china, tweeds and woolens, and proper afternoon tea in numerous spots, including the Edwardian-era Empress Hotel. Also on the must-see list: the botanical attractions of world-famous Butchart Gardens.

Cruise vacations may be extended with pre- and post- cruise tour packages in Seattle or Vancouver. Affordable air arrangements are available through the Home City Air program and Holland America offers the only trip cancellation program in the industry that offers cash back for canceling for any reason prior to 24 hours before departure.

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

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MIAMI, March 15, 2002 - Oscar fever sets sail on March 24 when guests sailing on Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises' ships celebrate the best in movies at the live telecast of the 74th annual Academy Awards. Four-time host, Whoopi Goldberg returns for this year's star-studded ceremony, which will be preceded by the "On the Red Carpet: Oscars 2002 arrival special and pre-show starting at 6:30 p.m. EST. 

The telecast will be aired in various lounges and theaters onboard, with special decorations, themed events, drink specials and look-alike contests to heighten the excitement. Hollywood trivia contests directed by the Cruise Director and staff, including "Guess That Best Picture," "Best Song, Name that Tune," and "Who's Who of Oscar Winners" will set the stage for the actual show. Guests will be able to cast their ballots for their favorite nominees for fun prizes. Very Berry Bubbles, Beautiful Mind Eraser, Woo Woolin Rouge and many other drink specials will pay tribute to Hollywood's best actors, movies and directors.

Movie fans at sea will gather to watch Ananda Lewis, Leeza Gibbons and Chris Connelly co-host the "On the Red Carpet: Oscars 2002 arrival special and pre-show by interviewing celebrities as they make the walk down the famous red carpet. The ceremony will be showing on all ships except Splendour of the Seas and Legend of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Celebrity Tours.  Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises have a combined total of 22 ships in service and six under construction or on firm order. Additional information can be found on &

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Seattle, March 18, 2002 - Holland America Line has added a 24-day Mediterranean and transatlantic cruise this fall to the itinerary of the ms Noordam at the conclusion of the Noordam's Europe season. The voyage includes ports of call in enticing European cities, fun-filled days at sea on the ocean crossing, and a day at Half Moon Cay, Holland America's beautiful private Caribbean island, before arriving in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

"This new voyage hearkens back to the days of traditional transatlantic cruise journeys for travelers who want a complete cruise experience," said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president of marketing and sales.  "Passengers sail aboard a classic cruise liner with the renowned Holland America service and on an itinerary that combines exciting European ports with a transatlantic journey."

Guests will embark Nov. 10 for an overnight stay in Civitavecchia, Italy, the port city for Rome, and arrive Dec. 4 in Ft. Lauderdale. The itinerary includes stops in Naples, where shore excursions are available to the romantic Isle of Capri, historic Pompeii, or beautiful Sorrento; Messia, Sicily, with evening cruising past Mt. Etna; and Livorno, Italy, featuring optional tours to Florence and Pisa.

The Noordam will call on the historic walled city of Valletta, Malta; Ajaccio on the island of  Corsica, and Villefrache, France, with tours available to Cannes, Grasse/St. Paul de Vence, and Monaco; and, in Spain, stops include exciting Barcelona, Alicante - a maiden call to this port for Holland America - and Cadiz, the gateway to Seville. Guests will have a day in Gibraltar before a daylight passing of the Rock of Gibraltar and scenic cruising in the Strait of Gibraltar. 

Before embarking on the transatlantic crossing, the Noordam stops at Lisbon, Portugal and for a full-day in exotic Casablanca, Morocco. The ship makes one port of call, to Funchal, Madeira, during the ocean crossing, and arrives Dec. 3 at Half Moon Cay. The company's private island paradise and a role model visitor destination, Half Moon Cay provides an enhanced Bahamian experience while maintaining a positive balance with the natural environment. Guests may sail, swim and snorkel in the turquoise waters, bask on white sand beaches, have a beachside massage, and then enjoy an array of traditional barbecue fare. The island also offers a fun time for kids, too, with a variety of age-appropriate activities through the company's Club HAL children's program.

Fares for this extraordinary 24-day voyage start at just $3,187 per person, including port charges. For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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