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News from the world of cruise travel
March 1-31, 2005

Return to's Cruise News Weekly Index & Archive features thoughts & insights on things seen & heard around the internet & the cruise industry.

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Silversea Unveils New 2005–2006 Voyage Atlas

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 31, 2005 -- Silversea Cruises has published its new full-color, 160-page Voyage Atlas outlining 140 cruises its four ultra-luxury ships offer from spring 2005 to spring 2006. Highlighting the brochure are descriptions of over 100 pre- and post-cruise hotel and land programs, and a sampling of the more than 2,500 shore experiences that Silversea’s in-house destination experts have specially designed for the line’s sophisticated, travel-savvy guests. 

The new Atlas opens with an easy-to-read, voyage-by-voyage summary for spring 2005 to spring 2006, followed by a full-year voyage preview for 2006. The lifestyle section features captivating images of actress and model Isabella Rossellini, Silversea’s new Ambassador, taken by acclaimed photographer Fabrizio Ferri. These candid photographs, taken during Rossellini’s recent cruises with her daughter, Elettra Wiedemann, give expression to the line’s unique style and luxury concept, which Silversea calls “Intimate Italian Cruising”. The balance of the brochure provides detailed worldwide cruise itineraries by region, followed by highlights of shore excursions, descriptions of land programs, deck plans, savings programs and general information. 

“We’re extremely honored to have the wonderful collaboration of our new Ambassador, Isabella Rossellini, in creating this year’s Voyage Atlas,” said Barbara Muckermann, Silversea’s senior vice president, worldwide marketing and communications. “With the help of Isabella’s incomparable photographic images, we think this brochure does a great job of communicating the style, elegance and ineffable qualities that characterize our unique concept of luxury cruising."

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Sizzling Savings Offered on Star Clipper Fall Caribbean Cruises

MIAMI, March 31, 2005 -- Next fall travelers will have another reason to leave the cold weather behind and head to the sun-kissed beaches and azure waters of the Caribbean aboard Royal Clipper and Star Clipper. Star Clippers has introduced special savings of $800 off cruise and air packages aboard Star Clipper, and $700 off cruise and air packages aboard Royal Clipper, including exceptional air add-on fares from 49 cities or free air from New York, Miami and Washington, D.C. These offers are available on a variety of departures in November and December 2005 (holiday sailings excluded). 

Royal Clipper, the 227-passenger flagship of the fleet, is sailing two seven-night Caribbean itineraries starting from $1,295 per person, double in an inside cabin. That includes $300 off the cruise fare, plus $400 off the add-on airfare from major U.S. gateways. After the savings, passengers coming from the East Coast can fly for air add-on fares as low as $245. Central zone add-on fares start at just $295, and fares to the Caribbean from the West Coast begin at $445. Airfare for passengers flying from New York, Miami and Washington, D.C., is free.

The 170-passenger Star Clipper also is sailing two seven-night Caribbean itineraries starting from $1,295 per person, double in an inside cabin. That includes $300 off the cruise fare, plus $500 off the add-on airfare from major U.S. gateways. After the savings, passengers coming from the East Coast can fly for air add-on fares as low as $145. Central zone add-on fares start at just $195, and fares to the Caribbean from the West Coast begin at $345. Airfare for passengers flying from New York, Miami and Washington, D.C., is free. 

Star Clipper and Royal Clipper combine the pampered luxury of mega-yacht cruising with the exhilarating thrill of sailing aboard an authentic clipper ship. Guests rediscover what sailing was like during the glorious age of the tall ships while visiting intimate ports of call untouched by larger cruise ships. The four- and five-masted clipper ships feature a relaxed yet elegant atmosphere. Passengers dress in resort-casual attire and dine in one unhurried, open seating. Whether unwinding in the bowsprit net while gazing at the sea below or climbing the mast for a better view of the horizon, a unique adventure awaits. For more information or to make a reservation, contact a travel professional, call Star Clippers at 1-800-442-0551 or visit To request a brochure, call 1-800-442-0556.

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Three High Energy Vegas-Style Revues to be Featured
 on New Carnival Liberty

MIAMI March 31, 2005 — Carnival Liberty, the newest addition to Carnival Cruise Lines’ “Fun Ship” fleet, will feature three different Vegas-style production shows with elaborate sets and costumes and captivating pyrotechnics and other special effects, all enjoyed in a magnificent 1,400-seat theater with Venetian-inspired interiors. The three Vegas-style shows are among the wide variety of entertainment options that guests will enjoy during Carnival Liberty’s 12-day Mediterranean cruises which are scheduled to kick off July 20, 2005. The three revues include “Rock Down Broadway,” “Wonderful World” and “Singin’ With the Big Band.” 

Like the name implies, “Rock Down Broadway” features songs from popular rock-oriented Broadway productions. The show kicks off with title songs from two of the earliest rock musicals, Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar, followed by hits from Saturday Night Fever, Footloose, Rent and other Broadway favorites, all enhanced by spectacular laser and pyrotechnic effects. There’s also a performance of “Pinball Wizard” from The Who’s rock opera Tommy, complete with a flying pinball machine.

“Wonderful World,” takes guests on a magical journey to a variety of international venues. The show begins with a replica of the signature oversized globe of the 1964 New York World’s Fair, which opens to reveal dancers in stylish costumes. From there, it’s a fun-filled balloon ride over France, followed by a visit to Paris’ fabled Moulin Rouge, and a trip to Asia complete with kimono-clad dancers, dragons and shogun warriors. Also featured are traditional Irish folk dancing, African-style rhythms, and colorful Latin- and Caribbean-inspired numbers. The show closes with a tribute to the American classic, West Side Story, that includes a glittering pyrotechnics display.

The third show, “Singin’ with the Band,” is Christopher Alan Graves’ salute to two of the world’s most beloved entertainers, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. Accompanied by a cast of talented backup singers, dancers and musicians, with a set reminiscent of the legendary Cotton Club, Graves performs tunes from the singers’ vast library of classics, including “Fly Me to the Moon,” “My Way” and “The Candyman.” At one point during “Mr. Bojangles,” Graves even appears to dance with Shirley Temple and Mr. Bill “Bojangles” Robinson himself with the help of state-of-the-art video projection technology.  

The three shows will be staged in the multi-level Venetian Palace, whose elegant design captures the artistic variety and quality for which the fabled Italian city of canals is renowned. Its striking Venetian-inspired décor includes walls composed of Murano glass tiles in a red-and-gold pattern, and a ceiling adorned with carnival masks in a dozen different motifs. At either side of the proscenium is a giant harlequin figure that appears to be holding back the curtain as if presenting the show. Flanking the stage are large red-and-white candy-striped Venetian mooring posts — the kind gondolas are tied to in the “Floating City’s” many canals. The shows make maximum use of the Venetian Palace’s technological advances, which include a revolving stage, rising orchestra pit, “fly-in” scenery capabilities and a multimillion-dollar sound and lighting system.

For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, or visit

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Come Aboard MS Europa for a Once-In-A-Lifetime 
European Gourmet Experience

Hamburg, Germany, March, 2005 – If you didn’t know you could reach Gourmet Heaven by ship, look again, as two “peak experience” gourmet happenings take place in June and July aboard Hapag-Lloyd’s MS EUROPA, while sailing through Europe. Named by Berlitz Publishing’s Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships 2005 as the #1 ship in the world for the last five years, MS EUROPA is known not only for its superb cuisine and service, but for its imaginative events. 

According to Managing Director Sebastian Ahrens, it is Hapag-Lloyd’s objective to continually provide unparalleled food and service. While cuisine takes center stage every day of the year, two days this summer are of particular interest to epicureans who are hungry for an inimitable, world-class culinary experience.

EUROPA’S BEST. Sailing Lisbon-Hamburg, June 15-24, MS EUROPA will be in dock at Amsterdam, Netherlands on June 22 when a stellar line-up of Europe’s best chefs, masters of wine, and chocolatiers will gather aboard to present their delicacies to passengers and other guests. They will line-up for a “gourmet mile” on the Lido Deck. Participants will include: Dieter Koschina of Portugal; Karlheinz Hauser of Hamburg, Germany; Rudolf and Karl Obauer of Austria; Guy Martin of France; Fromagier Phillippe Olivier of France; Chocolatiers Neuhaus of Brussels; Chocolatiers Imperial of Vienna; Wine growers Leonardo Frescobaldi, Wilhelm Haag, La Flevle; and Karl-Heinz Wolf presents the Champagne “Bollinger”. Performing artists will include the legendary Magic Platters (“Under the Boardwalk”, “Only You”) and the showband Sonic Pearls. The night will end with a fireworks display.

BIG EUROPA EVENT, 2005. Sailing from Travemuende to Kiel, July 6-10, MS EUROPA will have a special event in Heiligendamm on July 9. The first event of its kind, a gathering of renowned winegrowers especially selected by the wine experts of Hapag-Lloyd will present their rare, large-sized (27 liters) bottles and offer tastings to the passengers. Some of the bottles will later be offered by auction. Music and fireworks will crown the event. 

These events are but two examples of many events to come, and they illustrate how MS EUROPA makes food into a significant experience. Every day is a dining extravaganza on MS EUROPA, and it’s a key element that helped this ship earn its reputation for its Five-Stars-Plus rating, in which cruise critic Douglas Ward summarized overall dining experience that is “simply superb.”

Onboard are four restaurants, and fare includes Haute Cuisine, Euro-Asian and Italian, as well as the Lido Café – with a new open-air kitchen where chefs provide cooking lessons. MS EUROPA’s 33 cooks are headed onboard by its executive chefs Fritz Pichler and Peter Springer. Guest chefs with Michelin star ratings have included French Jean-Paul Bourgueil, Swiss Reto Mathis, and German Harald Wohlfahrt. It’s MS EUROPA’s policy to cater to guests’ every whim, and this is especially true with food. If you have a dietary restriction, a whim for a special dish, or you even want to have your supper on the deck, MS EUROPA staff will graciously accommodate. 

Visit Hapag-Lloyd Cruises on the Internet at:

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Crystal Harmony to Leave Crystal Cruises Fleet

LOS ANGELES, March 30, 2005 - Crystal Cruises reveals that following its scheduled dry-dock in December 2005, Crystal Harmony will join its parent company's Japanese cruise division. Crystal Cruises, which also operates the ultra-luxury ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, announced it is developing plans to replace Crystal Harmony with a new ship. The luxury line has established a shipbuilding team and is already involved in developing new designs for the future.

"With this transfer, we have an opportunity to provide an excellent and larger ship to our sister company, meet the growing demand, and keep her in the family," says Gregg Michel, Crystal's president. "At the same time, this paves the way for new tonnage for Crystal. We will return to a three-ship operation."

"By contemporary standards, Crystal Harmony is better suited for the Japanese market and Crystal Cruises' product will be more consistent," adds Michel. "Crystal Harmony represents a significant asset for NYK Cruises and, at the same time, Crystal can move forward with a new generation of luxury ships."

Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), Crystal Cruises' parent company, will replace its cruise ship, Asuka, with Crystal Harmony, in April 2006. The luxury vessel will be renamed Asuka II, operated by its Japanese cruise division, NYK Cruises. The 940-guest, 50,000-ton Crystal Harmony is the award-winning line's first ship and has been in service since 1990.

Since Crystal Harmony's launch, the ship has garnered Six-Star ratings, awards for "World's Best Mid-Sized Cruise Ship" and numerous accolades from industry critics. As recently as fall 2002, Crystal Cruises spent millions on major design upgrades including a lavish spa and fitness facilities, to maintain the highest luxury standards. The ship's hardware has been supported by exquisite service and impeccable attention to detail, which include its rich appointments and soft goods of superior quality. Nevertheless, the line's newer ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity boast, among other features, larger bathrooms and more penthouse accommodations. 

With 2,020 berths in 2006, Crystal Cruises will remain the industry's largest luxury operator. For 2006, Crystal Serenity will maintain her schedule as released, while Crystal Symphony's January-May schedule has been revised to include an additional winter Panama Canal transit, new Amazon cruises, Cape Horn and East Coast South America cruises, an Atlantic crossing and an additional 10-day May Mediterranean cruise before resuming her previously announced pattern beginning on May 18. In all, in 2006, the Crystal fleet will cruise the Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal, Amazon, South America, Baltic, British Isles, North Cape, Western Europe, Mediterranean, Canary Islands, New England/Canada and Caribbean, as well as an 11th annual World Cruise aboard Crystal Serenity that will call in Western South America, the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. 

NYK, the largest shipping company in the world, operates more than 800 ships, including the cruise division, one of its core businesses. NYK Cruises is currently operating one ship, the 592-passenger Asuka for the Japanese market, a market that has greatly expanded with demand far exceeding supply. By shifting Crystal Harmony and refitting the ship for Japanese guests, NYK can increase capacity to meet the needs of this growing market.

"Crystal Harmony was our first jewel and she made such a strong impact on the luxury travel market when she was launched," comments Michel. "We will always have fond memories of her, as will the travel community and her huge base of Crystal Society fans. I have no doubt that 2005 will be marked by a series of meaningful reunions for the repeat guests who want to enjoy Crystal Harmony's warm ambiance one more time."

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Seabourn's 'Chefs' Circle' Cruises for 2005 Announced
Award-Winning Chefs Gathered From the Four Corners of North America

MIAMI, March 28, 2005 -- Chef/restaurateur Charlie Palmer and Seabourn Cruise Line have gathered some of the finest practitioners of the culinary arts in North America for the third annual "Chefs' Circle" series of cruises. The quartet of cuisiniers participating this year command kitchens located almost literally on the four corners of the continent.

Representing the burgeoning Pacific Northwest food scene is Rob Feenie, whose Relais Gourmands flagship Lumière in Vancouver is unanimously cited on both sides of the border as one of Canada's finest restaurants. Chef Feenie will join Seabourn Spirit on a seven-day cruise departing Rome on August 28th, visiting Capri and Taormina, Italy; Katakolon (Olympia), Itea (Delphi), Corinth Canal and Navplion (Mycenae), Greece. 

One of the paragons of South Florida's red-hot culinary revolution, Robbin Haas has had a talented hand in many of the area's hottest properties including Baleen and Raku. His latest Latin-inspired eatery is Chispa, Spanish for "spark." Chef Haas sails on Seabourn Legend on August 28th, from Rome to Monte Carlo via Porto Cervo, Sardinia; La Goulette, Tunisia; Palermo, Sorrento, Giannutri Island, Italy and Nice, France.

Mary Sue Milliken, with her partner Susan Feniger, has provided great food and good fun at their Border Grills in Santa Monica and Las Vegas and the Pan-Latin Ciudad, in Los Angeles. They are also the Food Network's popular "Too Hot Tamales." Chef Milliken will join Seabourn Legend on October 2nd, from Monte Carlo to Barcelona with visits to Le Lavandou and Cannes, France; Menorca, Mallorca and Valencia, Spain.

Anne Desjardins created a charming small hotel and restaurant called L'Eau à la Bouche in the Laurentian village of Ste-Adele, Quebec. Her talent has earned it a coveted membership in Relais Gourmands. Chef Desjardins will join Seabourn Spirit on a November 25th cruise round trip from Singapore to Bangkok and Ko Kood, Thailand; Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Kuantan and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Each of these guest chefs will give cooking demonstrations and tastings on board, and signature dishes from their repertoires will be served on a special dinner one night in the ship's open-seating Restaurant. With Early Booking Savings of up to 30 percent, fares for these Chefs' Circle cruises start from $4,287 per person, based on double occupancy of a 277-square foot ocean-view suite.

Guests on any of these Chefs' Circle cruises will enjoy an array of thoughtful enhancements to shipboard and shoreside services called Signature Delights that add luxury and value for guests aboard the three 208-guest Yachts of Seabourn: Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend. Signature Delights include complimentary service of spirits and wines including French champagne throughout every cruise, gourmet cuisine created by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer, indulgent Pure Pampering therapeutic bathing selections from Molton Brown and an Exclusively Seabourn complimentary shoreside experience on every cruise. For information, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Fitzwater, Photography & Fjords Headline Crystal Cruises' Only North Cape Itinerary This Summer

LOS ANGELES - March 25, 2005 - Former U.S. Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater and National Geographic Photographer James Blair will share their views on politics and nature aboard Crystal Symphony's 12-day journey through the Norwegian Fjords this summer, June 28 - July 10, 2005.

The only North Cape itinerary offered during Crystal Cruises' summer Baltic program, the luxurious Crystal Symphony will cross the Arctic Circle on a journey from Copenhagen to London calling at Geiranger, Trondheim, Honningsvåg/North Cape, Bergen, Stavanger, and Oslo, Norway along the way. The itinerary is highlighted by a maiden call at the charmingly eccentric Norwegian port of Ålesund, known for its flamboyant Art Nouveau architecture.

"A June/July cruise through the Norwegian Fjords promises spectacular scenery, captivating lighting and, on this particular voyage, the rare opportunity to travel across the Arctic Circle," says Nitsa Lewis, Crystal's vice president, marketing. "The adventure is enhanced by Crystal Symphony's award-winning service and cuisine, compelling day and evening enrichment, elegant accommodations and engaging speakers."

Marlin Fitzwater, the only press secretary in U.S. history to be appointed by two presidents, served for almost a decade as the public relations strategist to Presidents Reagan and Bush. Back by popular demand, previous talks aboard Crystal ships have generated rave reviews from filled auditoriums.

As part of Crystal's photography enrichment cruise, James Blair will frame the wonders of the Norwegian Fjords, offering guests professional instruction on how to capture the beauty of the destination both on board and ashore. A staff photographer for the National Geographic Society since 1962, Blair's photographs have illustrated more than 40 articles concentrating on environmental issues, science and social change.

Norway is home to some of the longest, deepest, narrowest and most beautiful fjords in the world, and the Crystal Adventures ashore promise unique perspectives of this breathtaking destination including: 

  • A flightseeing adventure from Bergen, the Capital of the Fjords, across some of the largest glaciers in Norway;

  • A rafting excursion through majestic fjords (from Geiranger);

  • A journey to the North Cape, the arctic land of the Midnight Sun, from Norway's northernmost port of Honningsvåg;

  • A bird watching expedition to the island of Runde, site of Norway's southernmost nesting cliff and home to a half a million birds (from Ålesund); or,

  • A culinary adventure to Holmenkollen Restaurant in Oslo, home to some of the most famous chefs in Norway.

Fares for Crystal Symphony's 12-day cruise begin at $4,495 per person, double occupancy. Guests may choose to combine their North Cape adventure and receive an additional 5% off the combined fare with a second 11-day cruise to either the Baltic (June 17-28) or the British Isles (June 28-July 10), creating a truly enriching Northern European vacation.

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Silversea Cruises Reveals Hidden Treasures of Northern Italy With Exclusive New Land Programs

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 24, 2005 -- This summer Silversea Cruises is offering its sophisticated, well-traveled guests a rare opportunity to explore some of Italy’s most exclusive artistic and architectural treasures, set amid the unmatched beauty of Lombardy’s pristine lakes and Alpine slopes. The ultra-luxury line’s new collection of land programs, created through its exclusive partnership with FAI – Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano (the Italian National Trust), will debut on 28 Mediterranean itineraries as optional three-night land extensions offered from Monte Carlo, Nice, and Villafranche-sur-Mer, and four-night programs from Venice.

Nestled in the romantic landscape of northern Italy’s picturesque lake region, and well off the beaten path for most tourists, lie some of Italy’s most intriguing historic buildings and architectural jewels: Villa del Balbianello, an 18th-century villa in Lenno, overlooking Lake Como, showcasing Louis XV and Louis XVI furnishings, and a rich collection of Chinese, African and pre-Colombian art; Villa della Porta Bozzolo in Casalzuigno (Varese), a 16th-century country villa and former residence of Italian nobility, boasting an imposing Italianate garden and exquisite rococo frescoes; and Villa Panza in Varese, an 18th-century villa and home to one of Europe’s finest collections of contemporary American art. 

“FAI, the Italian National Trust, was created to save, protect and care for the artistic, architectural and natural beauty of Italy, and we are honored to support this organization through an exclusive partnership that offers our guests rare access to some of Italy’s most cherished treasures,” said Jim Droney, director of land programs for Silversea. “These exciting new pre- and post-cruise land extensions present an in-depth and enriching exploration of Italian art and culture, and give expression to that unique experience of luxury we call ‘intimate Italian cruising’."

Departing from Monte Carlo, Nice and Villafranche-sur-Mer, “Italy’s Romantic Landscape” optional three-night program features: one night at Milan’s renowned Hotel Principe de Savoia; two nights at the legendary 16th century Villa d’Este on Lake Como in Cernobbio; a guided tour of Villa Balbianello; a visit to scenic Bellagio, considered one of Europe’s prettiest towns; and a visit to either Villa Panza in Varese (Biumo) or the famous Museum of Silk in Como. Three breakfasts and transfers, including private-boat transfer, are included in the program. An optional tour of Milan’s Teatro alla Scala Museum may also be offered on some programs. Prices for “Italy’s Romantic Landscape” program start at $1,395 per person for air/sea guests and $1,995 for cruise-only guests 

Departing from Venice, the “Italian Treasures” optional four-night program features: two nights at Milan’s renowned Hotel Principe de Savoia; a guided walking tour through Piazza del Duomo, featuring Milan’s great cathedral, its famous Galleria shopping mall and La Scala Opera House; two nights at the grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio; a guided tour of Villa della Porta Bozzolo and Villa Panza in Varese; and a visit to either Villa Balbianello and Villa Carlotta on Lake Como or the famous Museum of Silk in Como. Four breakfasts, a lunch, and transfers, including private-boat transfer, are included in the program. Prices for the “Italian Treasures” program start at $2,925 per person.

Listed below is a small sampling of the 28 Mediterranean voyages offering these exclusive land programs: 

  • Silver Whisper’s “Images of Italy & Spain” 10-day cruise from Villefranche (France) to Lisbon, calling in Portofino and Livorno, Italy; Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Alicante, Malaga and Cadiz, Spain; May 23 – June 2, 2005 (Voyage 4520). Silver Sailing fares start at $5,096 per person. 

  • Silver Cloud’s “Artistic Influences” 7-day cruise from Monte Carlo to Palma de Mallorca, calling in Portofino and Livorno, Italy; Marseille and Port Vendres, France; and Barcelona; June 5 – 12, 2005 (Voyage 1516). Silver Sailing fares start at $3,497 per person. 

  • Silver Wind’s “Mediterranean Reflections” 10-day cruise from Monte Carlo to Athens, calling in Portoferraio, Sorrento, Amalfi and Siracusa (Sicily), Italy; Valletta, Malta; Aghios Nikolaos, Santorini and Paros, Greece; July 18 – 28, 2005 (Voyage 2518). Early Booking Incentive fares start at $6,286 per person. 

  • Silver Shadow’s “In the Wake of Medieval Adventurers” 7-day cruise from Venice to Barcelona, calling in Zadar, Croatia; Valletta, Malta; Ustica and Porto Cervo, Italy; and Mahon (Minorca), Spain; August 5 – 12, 2005 (Voyage 3523). Early Booking Incentive fares start at $4,076 per person. 

  • Silver Shadow’s “Ionian & Adriatic Sojourn” 7-day cruise from Athens to Venice, calling in Mykonos, Greece; Dubrovnik, Hvar and Zadar, Croatia; September 16 – 23, 2005 (Voyage 3529). Early Booking Incentive fares start at $4,161 per person. 

For more detailed information on Silversea ships, pricing and worldwide itineraries, visit the line’s Web site at

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Lilly Pulitzer® and Queen Mary 2 Embark on a Unique Partnership
Lilly Pulitzer's First Collection Ever Inspired by an Ocean Liner

VALENCIA, CA - March 23, 2005 - Ocean voyaging has inspired many works of art and literature during the Golden Age of Travel. Now, Cunard's iconic Queen Mary 2 has become the first-ever ocean liner to inspire a clothing line by one of America's most revered design houses: Lilly Pulitzer. The new collection, called Hail to the Queen , will debut this spring in stores nationwide. "It is a great compliment to have a clothing company of Lilly Pulitzer's caliber theme an entire line around Queen Mary 2," says David Gevanthor, vice president of marketing for Cunard Line. "We were delighted to have inspired the Lilly Pulitzer design team to create a collection that exudes a timeless sensibility. Queen Mary 2 appeals to a more genteel style of travel and leisure."

"I was enchanted by Queen Mary 2 during a recent Transatlantic crossing," says Sandi Davidson, Vice President and Creative Director for Lilly Pulitzer. "It was on this memorable voyage that Hail to the Queen, Lilly Pulitzer's Summer 2005 collection, was first conceived."

A tribute to the timeless elegance of ocean travel, Hail to the Queen was inspired by Queen Mary 2's glamorous restaurants, lavish stateroom accommodations, spectacular entertainment and the elegance of a more genteel era. Cunard's Queen Mary 2 has re-defined the luxury ocean liner for the 21st century, combining more than 160 years of tradition with modern innovations hardly dreamed of only a few years ago.

The Summer 2005 Lilly Pulitzer signature print, Junk on the Trunk, is a tribute to vintage travel trunks, featuring nautical details, images from exotic ports of call and tropical flowers in traditional Lilly Pulitzer bright colors. The Hail to the Queen collection features flowing skirts, wide leg pants and novelty dresses in airy summer fabrics like cotton eyelet, linen, and silk charmeuse - all perfect for vacation and travel. Selected items in the collection pay homage to Queen Mary 2's many dining and entertainment venues: Golden Lion, inspired by the ship's traditional English pub; Winter Garden, elicited by the elegant room serving the British ritual of afternoon tea; Illuminations, a glow-in-the dark print inspired by Queen Mary 2's dreamy planetarium, the only one afloat, and the beautiful white-on-white Queen's Floral print - there is a unique pattern to suit any taste. All prints are offered in a number of fun and feminine styles, perfect for summer barbecues, graduations or weddings.

Lilly Pulitzer offers apparel for ladies and children, as well as ladies' shoes, jewelry and a complete home collection. There are currently 75 retailers in communities around the country recognized as Lilly Pulitzer Signature Stores. Lilly Pulitzer is also sold in major department stores including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom as well as upscale specialty shops and clubs nationwide. For more information on Lilly Pulitzer visit

Queen Mary 2 debuted in January 2004 and is the only ocean liner providing regularly scheduled transatlantic service. She carries 2,620 guests in degrees of comfort and style ranging from pampered elegance to almost unimaginable luxury. Among her notable facilities are 10 dining venues, including a Mediterranean specialty restaurant run by star chef Todd English, world's first planetarium at sea, the only spa at sea operated by Canyon Ranch, the largest ballroom at sea, the largest library at sea, the largest wine collection at sea, and a Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar. On transatlantic crossings guest lecturers are provided by the University of Oxford and performers from London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art complement the entertainment offerings.

Queen Mary 2 will sail 26 Atlantic crossings in 2005 and offers a variety of cruises to Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. More records will be broken in winter 2006 when she becomes the largest passenger ship ever to circumnavigate South America with maiden calls planned for the US West Coast and Hawaii. For more information on Queen Mary 2, consult a travel professional, call 1-800-7CUNARD or visit the website at Cunard Line has operated the most famous ocean liners in the world since 1840. Cunard vessels have a classic British heritage and include the legendary Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2. Queen Victoria joins the fleet in 2007.

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Celebrity Cruises Cancels One Hawaii Cruise

MIAMI, March 23, 2005 -- Celebrity Cruises is canceling one cruise on Infinity to replace the starboard thrust bearing in the ship’s propulsion system. The ship must enter drydock to replace the bearing, which will result in the cancellation of its March 27 sailing. The ship is expected to return to its scheduled sailings on April 6. The cancelled sailing, scheduled to depart this Sunday, is a 10-night cruise from Ensenada to Honolulu. Infinity is currently sailing a 14-night trans-Canal cruise that will end in San Diego, Sunday, as scheduled. 

“I apologize to our guests who are affected by this cancellation,” said Dan Hanrahan, president of Celebrity Cruises. “Although the ship continues to operate safely, this is a matter that must be addressed now. An unscheduled drydock can never happen at a good time and I am sorry about the disruption to our guests’ vacations. We will do everything we can to assist them.”

Guests booked on the cancelled sailing will receive a full refund and free Celebrity cruise of 10 nights or less, departing on or before March 27, 2006, excluding holiday and Celebrity Xpedition sailings. Travel agents will receive full commissions for the cancelled sailing, 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 with rebooking, air transportation and other issues. That toll-free number is 

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Seabourn Spas Top 2005 Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Poll

MIAMI, March 22 -- The Spa at Seabourn, a full-service spa and well-being franchise located only aboard the three all-suite Yachts of Seabourn, was awarded the highest score for a shipboard spa in the 2005 Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Poll. The poll results, published in the magazine's April issue, reveal that voters cited the line's menu of European- and Asian-based treatments, as well as exceptional staff, service and accommodations, for raising the Seabourn spa experience above the line's competition.

"We are naturally pleased to receive this score from Conde Nast readers," said Deborah L. Natansohn, Seabourn's president. "Our spas are intimate and personal, scaled to the size of our ships and our complement of guests," she continued. "It proves again that it's not how many guests you serve, but how you serve each guest that counts."

The Spa at Seabourn provides "Ceremonies," which are combinations of treatments to be enjoyed by guests on board, similar to what they experience at a spa ashore. The Ceremony of Tranquility, for instance, is a five-hour indulgence that combines Aroma Stone Therapy with Well-Being Massage, Traditional Manicure, an LT Oxygen Lifting Facial and an Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap for detoxification. The line's signature, free Massage Moments(SM) service on deck introduces guests to the pleasures of massage, and may encourage a treatment appointment later. 

Conde Nast readers also awarded the line's three sister-ships--Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend--several individual top scores for service, itineraries and cuisine in the 2005 poll. Seabourn Spirit was the highest rated cruise ship overall. The line has earned a spot on the magazine's prestigious Gold List for each of the list's ten annual editions. Guests can enjoy The Spa at Seabourn during ultra luxury cruise vacations of seven to 72 days or more in the Mediterranean; Northern Europe; the Americas and Caribbean; Southeast Asia; Africa, India and Arabia; Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. For information, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Holland America Line Debuts "Down Under"

Seattle, March 21, 2005 - From the Great Barrier Reef and cosmopolitan Sydney to pastoral New Zealand and the exotic Orient, Holland America Line announces new intriguing escapes throughout the Pacific Rim aboard the 1,258-guest, five-star ms Statendam. Cruises visit Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, Japan, China, Korea and Russia from November 2005 through May 2006 and from September through December 2006.

"Our new Pacific and Asia cruises arc the Pacific Rim from Peru to Russia featuring extended sailing on a series of Australia/New Zealand and China/Japan cruises," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "At Holland America Line, we are experts at exploring the world's most exotic destinations in the timeless style afforded by the luxurious life aboard ship."

35-day South America/South Pacific Repositioning Cruise:
An extraordinary 35-day itinerary from San Diego combines ports in Mexico and South America with dreamy South Sea isles. Port visits to Manta (Quito), Ecuador and an overnight in Callao (Lima), Peru offer colonial history, while mystery pervades a stop at Easter Island off Chile. Statendam then sails past Pitcairn Island of Mutiny fame calling on Tahiti, Bora Bora and Tonga followed by Bay of Islands in New Zealand. Guests set sail from San Diego on November 17, 2005 and arrive in Auckland, New Zealand on December 22, 2005. 

Ten Cruises Explore Australia and New Zealand:
Ten cruises in 2005-06 feature the lands of kiwis and kangaroos. Guests will enjoy New Zealand on eight ports of call featuring Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Captain Cook's Ship Cove, Picton, Christchurch (Tranz Alpine Express tour option), Dunedin (Queenstown tour option), and Milford Sound as well as scenic cruising of Mercury, Aldermen, and White Islands and a full day in Fjordland National Park sailing Dusky, Doubtful and Milford sounds. In Australia three ports of call are featured including Burnie in Tasmania, Melbourne and Sydney.

Kicking off in 2005, a 16-day holiday celebration cruise departs Auckland, New Zealand on December 22, after ringing in the New Year; guests have an overnight in cosmopolitan Sydney. Four 14-day options are then available on Jan 7 and 21; Feb 4 and 18, 2006. The ship repeats the itinerary in the fall of 2006 on five departure dates: Oct 27, Nov 10 and 24, and Dec 8 and 22, 2006.

16-day Australia, Orient and China Cruise:
A myriad of sights and sounds await in Brisbane, Australia; unique cultures in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia; and lush palm-fringed Philippine lush palm-fringed shores create an exotic tapestry. Guests embark in legendary Sydney on March 4 and sail for 16 days to the skyscrapers, sampans and duty-free shopping of Hong Kong arriving March 20, 2006. 

Three Cruises and Three Overnight Stays on 14-day China/Japan Voyages: Three adventurous cruises through the meditative Orient sail between the bustling world ports of Hong Kong and Osaka on March 20, April 3 and 17, 2006. In depth exploration invites with overnight stays in both Shanghai and Xingang (Beijing), People's Republic of China and in Osaka, Japan. Cruisers will also visit Dalian, China; Pusan, South Korea; Nagasaki, Japan and enjoy scenic cruising on the Inland Sea of Japan. 

North Pacific 18-day Sailing Visits Russia:
On May 1, 2006, the Statendam makes a one-of-a kind 18-day voyage from Japan to Russia, crossing the International Date Line en route to the Aleutian Islands and Alaska. Highlights include an overnight in Tokyo, scenic cruising of the Kuril Islands, a visit to Petropavlovsk, Kamchatha, Russia, and unusual calls at Alaska's Dutch Harbor and rugged Kodiak Island.

Customized South Pacific Crossing from 18- to 28-days:
After summering in Alaska the Statendam returns to Australia/New Zealand with a Pacific crossing. Embarkation options include Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Honolulu. The voyage visits Christmas Island, crosses the Equator and the International Date Line, and calls at Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji. Departures are on Sept 29, Oct 2, 3 & 9.

Asia/Pacific 2005-2006 fares start at $1,999 per person, double occupancy for a 14-day cruise. Guests will enjoy all Signature of Excellence™ amenities including the Greenhouse Spa, Culinary Arts Center and the Explorations Café. For more information on Holland America Line's extraordinary Pacific Rim voyages, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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CLIA Cruise Lines Ride the Wave of Unprecedented Growth
Number of travelers opting to cruise reaches historic proportions

MIAMI BEACH, March 15 -- The good news just keeps getting better for the 19 cruise lines and 16,500 travel agencies that are members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). Spurred by a strong upsurge in cruise travel, the tally for passengers choosing to sail last year surpassed, by far, all previous booking records. In all, a record 10.5 million people took a cruise in 2004, it was announced today at the 20th annual Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention. CLIA predicts just over 11 million travelers will cruise in 2005. The numbers break down as follows: 8,870,901 North American passengers sailed on CLIA-member line ships in 2004, compared with 7,990,246 in 2003 -- which represents a year-to-year increase of 11 percent. In 2004 1,589,936 international passengers sailed on CLIA lines, compared with 1,536,714 in 2003.

"Bookings for 2005 are coming in at a fast and furious pace, far in advance of departure dates," said Terry L. Dale, President and CEO of CLIA -- the cruise industry's chief marketing organization and North America's largest travel industry association based on agency membership. "Many of the positive trends we saw emerging in January are becoming firmly entrenched. The booking window continues to narrow, consumer demand continues to rise, and travelers are flocking to more far-flung destinations like Europe and Asia."

Although there are more cruise departures and itineraries than ever before--68 vessels will have debuted between 2000 and the end of 2005--CLIA's member line ships are sailing at a remarkable 104 percent occupancy rate. Furthermore, CLIA-member lines report that the robust bookings generated during this year's Wave Season, the period from January to March during which cruise lines capture their largest share of annual bookings, is bringing record numbers of new passengers into the cruise fold.

"Bookings are so robust that some of our member agencies are scrambling to find staterooms on certain itineraries requested by their clients," Dale said. "While there are still exciting itineraries and a choice of staterooms available on many sailings, consumers should act fast." To ensure that passengers obtain the ship, stateroom and itinerary of their choice, Dale suggests travelers book at least six months in advance. Booking further out also entitles consumers to attractive early booking opportunities typically unavailable to cruise guests who reserve space closer in to sailing dates.

Travelers are flocking to Europe in droves -- and choosing to cruise to insulate themselves from the sticker-shock of European land vacations. Cruise vacationers in Europe pre-pay in U.S. dollars, which protects them from the effects of the weak dollar abroad. In fact, the high cost of the euro against the U.S. dollar, coupled with extraordinary early booking opportunities, is transforming 2005 into a banner year for cruising in Europe.

Cruise vacations offer the travel industry's greatest inherent value. One price covers everything -- accommodations, all meals, snacks and entertainment. Furthermore, CLIA cruise lines constantly up the ante on features and amenities. Today's ships have cutting-edge facilities that equal or surpass those found at the best land-based resorts. Guests can revel in a host of cutting-edge nightclubs and discos, find tranquility in state-of-the art spas, or gaze at the stars while watching a movie on a 300-square foot poolside screen. CLIA member line ships feature multiple dining venues and unlimited activities - from ice-skating to acting classes to scuba diving. All the while, cruise guests have the opportunity to travel to ports across the globe.

Since CLIA's inception in 1975 the number of North American "homeports" -- cities from which cruise ships offer regular departures -- has nearly tripled. Vacationers now have a staggering 30 homeports from which to choose because CLIA's member cruise lines recognized North Americans' desire for departure ports within driving distance, which eliminate the expense and hassle of flying and reduce the overall price of a cruise.

Always seeking new ways to address its guests' vacation desires, the cruise industry will continue to grow through continued fleet expansion throughout this year and beyond. CLIA fleets will introduce 20 more cutting- edge ships between now and 2008.

"CLIA will continue to support the travel agent community's cruise sales efforts and initiatives by providing the travel industry's premiere educational curriculum and cruise marketing strategies," said Dale. "We will also continue to promote CLIA-member agencies as the 'best choice' for North American vacationers to plan, select and book a cruise."

For more information on CLIA member cruise lines, contact a CLIA-member travel agency. To locate an agency near you, use the Travel Agent Locator on CLIA's website at

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Cruising: Less Than Half the Price Versus 25 Years Ago

MIAMI, March 14 -- Despite reports that cruise prices are at their highest level in several years due to increased demand, a cruise vacation is a much better bargain than it was 25 years ago. The current minimum price of a seven-day Carnival Caribbean cruise from Miami is $599--just as it was 25 years ago. But when adjusted for inflation, a seven-day Carnival cruise that sold for $599 in 1980 would cost $1,373 today.

"Price is not the story--it's value," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. "And when comparing today's ultra-modern 'floating resorts' to cruise ships of 25 years ago, your $599 buys so much more."

Indeed, where older ships were mostly converted transatlantic ocean liners with smallish cabins and little in the way of on-board amenities, today's cruise ships are stocked with features such as an array of formal and casual dining options, expansive spa and children's facilities, soaring atriums, and double-width promenades lined with myriad entertainment venues -- all available at roughly half what vacationers paid in 1980.

"There's really no comparison between the seagoing vacations of today and yesterday. Everything, from dining options and health and fitness centers to children's facilities and in-cabin amenities, has been upgraded dramatically. Factor in today's affordable pricing, and cruising is the best vacation value, hands down," Dickinson said.

In addition to a greater variety of culinary choices, from expansive casual poolside eateries with 24-hour pizzerias and New York-style delis to intimate upscale supper clubs, today's mega-liners feature a seemingly endless array of bars, lounges and nightspots, everything from sports bars and wine bars to multi-level theaters showcasing lavish Vegas-style revues. Staterooms are not only roomier but ships feature more ocean view and balcony accommodations than ever before. For instance, 80 percent of the 1,062 staterooms on Carnival's 88,500-ton Spirit-class ships offer either an ocean view or private verandah.

Even younger cruisers have spaces to call their own, with expansive children's facilities, as large as 4,200 square feet on Carnival's 110,000-ton Conquest-class vessels, stocked with computer labs, indoor climbing mazes, arts and crafts centers and more. Internet cafes, unheard of 25 years ago, have also been introduced, enabling guests to access e-mail, surf the Web, and send video postcards. And today's health-conscious consumers have access to spacious health and fitness centers with equipment and pampering treatments rivaling the best facilities ashore. For additional information and reservations on Carnival's "Fun Ship" cruises, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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MSC Cruises’ Pagliacci Bring Impromptu Fun, Excitement to ‘True Italian Signature’  Cruise Experience

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL -- A one-of-a-kind entertainment troupe has been sparking fun and activities throughout MSC Cruises’ MSC Opera and MSC Lirica on Caribbean sailings. This fun-loving, animated group is known as the Pagliacci (Italian for clowns, pronounced paliachi) and has earned rave reviews from guests. Pagliacci is also the title of a famous Italian opera written by Ruggero Leoncavallo in which a troupe of strolling players arrive in a Sicilian village to perform a comedy; Pagliacci is one of the characters in the play. Like the troupe in the opera, the Pagliacci onboard MSC Cruises’ ships stroll through the vessels, sharing their energy and talents. Guests never know where they may turn up next impromptu fun may be right around the next corner!

“They are like a catalyst, the spark that helps get things going,” says Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises USA. “Their enthusiasm is contagious. It’s almost impossible not to have fun when you’re surrounded by that kind of excitement.”

Already being regarded as some of the best entertainment at sea, MSC Cruises takes shipboard entertainment to an even higher level. Guests obviously agree. Here is what some have had to say:

  • “I can’t say enough about this energetic team! They were amazing. These guys and gals always looked like they were having such a great time and I just wonder where they get all their energy.”

  • “They were everywhere at all hours, interacting with passengers and trying to make sure everyone had a great time”

  •  “This group really made this a lively ship … This is no exaggeration when I say that this ship might be the most lively I have been on. The lively atmosphere seemed to float into every lounge where the staff seemed to be everywhere at the same time, getting everyone up and dancing.”

The Pagliacci is an integral part of the “True Italian Signature” experience guests will find with MSC Cruises. It is an experience that includes Italian officers, authentic Italian specialties on the menu each evening, and nightly entertainment with a distinctively international flair.

“Our objective was to provide North American guests with a cruise unlike anything they might experience on any other cruise line, from the ambiance to the cuisine to the entertainment and everything in between,” says Sasso. “Guest reactions confirm that, from the nightly shows to the performers in the lounges and the Pagliacci strolling the decks, we have succeeded.”

MSC Opera completes her inaugural Caribbean season with seven-night sailings from Fort Lauderdale through March 26 before embarking April 2 on a 17-night transatlantic crossing. MSC Lirica wraps up her second Caribbean season with 11-night Panama Canal sailings through April 22. She sets sail for Europe May 2 on a 17-night transatlantic crossing. Both ships will join the five other ships in the MSC Cruises’ fleet to sail Europe/Mediterranean itineraries through fall 2005. MSC Opera and MSC Lirica are slated to return to the Caribbean for the 2005-2006 season with an exciting new lineup of itineraries. For more information about MSC Cruises, visit or contact a travel agent.

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Ports of Stockholm to Create Dedicated Cruise Terminal

The Board of Directors of the Ports of Stockholm has announced a plan to create a dedicated cruise terminal with the goal of attracting home-ported cruise ships and to better accommodate large vessels and their passengers. The plan centers on conversion of an existing 3,000-square-meter (9,800 square feet) cargo warehouse located at Frihamnen into a cruise terminal. The adjacent pier also will be extended by 130 meters (426 feet), which will enable the facility eventually to accommodate three Panamax cruise vessels simultaneously. The terminal is expected to be completed by the 2006 cruise season.

"This is the first step toward our Vision 2015 program and will set the stage for Ports of Stockholm to become the number-one passenger port in the Baltic," said Christel Wiman, chief executive officer, Ports of Stockholm. "We believe the new facility will enable Stockholm to attract home-ported cruise ships and strengthen its role as a major cruise destination in the Baltic."

According to the Stockholm Cruising Capital Network, the number of cruise liners calling at Stockholm has been rising at an average rate of 10 percent per year since 1996. Cruise ship passenger traffic increased by 55 percent in 2004 to 210,000 passengers. For the coming 2005 season Ports of Stockholm expects an all-time high with 263 international cruise calls to Stockholm and Nynäshamn.

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Extreme Excursions Soar to New Heights During Crystal Cruises' 2005 European Season

LOS ANGELES, March 10 -- Travel at twice the speed of sound in a MiG fighter jet over Moscow; journey to the Arctic Circle for a Lapland adventure from Helsinki; explore ancient civilizations in Cappadocia and Ephesus on an overland excursion from Istanbul; soar above the breathtaking Dolomite Mountains from Venice. This summer, luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises debuts its most exclusive collection of extreme Crystal Adventures shore excursions ever offered in Europe, appealing to travelers seeking exclusive adventure and privileged experiences.

"Whether soaring high in a fighter jet, a helicopter or a hot air balloon, or diving the ancient Roman underwater ruins of Baia, our extreme excursions allow guests to view the fascinating architectural and geological wonders of Europe from a remarkable perspective available only to a privileged few," says John Stoll, Crystal's director of land programs. "For the true adventurer, access to exclusive experiences doesn't come with a price tag. We've crafted this special collection of Crystal Adventures to satisfy their hunger for extreme adventure and intimate experiences."

During Crystal's 2005 Europe season, additional Crystal Adventures include:

  • A two-night overland excursion to Moscow highlighted by an exclusive visit to the KGB Museum and an overnight return to St. Petersburg aboard the luxurious Nikolaevsky Express train;

  • A two-night overland adventure to Krakow and Auschwitz revealing the beauty, the history and the tragedy of Poland (also from St. Petersburg);

  • An adrenaline-filled high-speed sailing adventure in a state-of-the-art V.O.60 Volvo professional ocean racer (from Warnemunde);

  • Exclusive tours of the stunning Amalfi Coast -- by helicopter or private motor launch -- highlighted by lunch on the Isle of Capri (from Sorrento);

  • Helicopter or hot-air balloon flightseeing adventures over Dublin and Tallinn -- a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site; and,

  • An intimate tour of Italy's Veneto Valley for exclusive wine tastings and meals at the captivating Villa Monteleone and Villa Spinosa (from Venice).

From April to October, the ultra-luxurious Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will offer 28 cruises through the Baltic (fares starting at $3,995), the Mediterranean (fares starting at $1,795), the British Isles (fares starting at $4,295), the North Cape (fares starting at $4,495) and the Black Sea (fares starting at $4,915). Port intensive itineraries of 7- to 12-days are enriched by the luxury line's most extensive collection of Crystal Adventures shore excursions, offering everything from intimate tours of renowned wineries, museums and cathedrals to active adventures including hiking, diving and kayaking.

With a minimum price of $500 to explore the underwater ancient Roman ruins of Baia to a maximum of $13,500 for a flight aboard a Russian MiG (rates are per person), participation in these Crystal Adventures is extremely limited and most must be pre-reserved. Additional details on these extreme shore tours, as well as all Crystal Adventures, may be accessed on the line's website at

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Jewish Points of Interest Showcased on New Shore Excursions During Crystal Cruises' 2005 European Season

LOS ANGELES, March 10 -- A two-day overland excursion to Krakow and Auschwitz is the newest and most extensive of the Crystal Adventures shore tours focusing on Jewish points of interest during Crystal Cruises' 2005 summer European season. From May through October, the luxurious Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will cruise Northern Europe and the Mediterranean on itineraries ranging from 7 to 12 days. Port calls in St. Petersburg, Russia; Gdansk, Poland; Warnemunde, Germany; Dublin, Ireland; and, Venice, Italy, offer travelers an opportunity to explore several sites important to Jewish history in Europe, many of which have a fraction of the Jewish population of years past.

"This collection of excursions allows travelers to connect with places important to their ancestry and knowledge of world history," says John Stoll, Crystal's director of land programs. "Hosted by experts on Jewish heritage and European history, these tours provide our guests with a compelling personal shoreside experience."

Seven different Crystal Adventures with a focus on Jewish points of interest are available on more than half of the line's 28 European itineraries, including:

  • A two-night moving adventure to Krakow and Auschwitz revealing the historic neighborhoods, significant monuments and unforgettable tragedy of Poland. Guests will tour Old Town Krakow -- placed on UNESCO's very first World Heritage Site List in 1978 -- and visit one of the most famous symbols of terror and genocide, the Auschwitz concentration camp, which has also become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (from St. Petersburg)

  • A full-day exploration devoted to the history of Gdansk, and the much briefer, but all the more poignant story of Nazi occupation as told by the Stutthof concentration camp. (from Gdansk)

  • A visit to the Great Coral Synagogue, a majestic building of Moorish architecture that remained open for prayer during difficult periods in history is hosted by a Rabbi of the synagogue. (from St. Petersburg)

  • A tour of Dublin's Jewish landmarks includes the Irish Jewish Museum, the Ireland Courts of Justice and the Jewish cemetery, dating from the early 1700s. (from Dublin)

  • A walking tour of Venice's historic Jewish Ghetto includes visits to two local synagogues and a look at temples representing different Jewish nationalities. (from Venice)

  • A visit to Sachsenhausen, one of the Nazis first concentration camps, and its much-anticipated visitor's center that opened in 2004. (from Warnemunde)

  • A tour of the Old Jewish Quarter and the Centrum Judaicum in Berlin which includes an exploration of the New Synagogue, one of the most important locations for Jewish life in Berlin, the Jewish Museum and a look at the new Holocaust Memorial. (from Warnemunde)

With a strong focus on destination enrichment, Crystal's shore excursion experts have created hundreds of Crystal Adventures ashore -- the most extensive collection ever offered in Europe. Stoll adds, "Our tours to Jewish sites are just one example of the breadth and diversity of the Crystal Adventures, not just in Europe, but throughout the world."

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Crown Princess to Debut Line's First Roundtrip Caribbean Sailings from New York
New Ship Marks Princess' Return to Bermuda, Introduces Two New Ports of Call

SANTA CLARITA, CA (March 10, 2004) - When Crown Princess debuts next summer, the vessel will introduce Princess' first ever roundtrip Caribbean sailings from New York. This inaugural sailing season will feature nine-day roundtrip voyages to both the Eastern and Western Caribbean and will include Princess' return to Bermuda. Beginning June 14 and running through October 18, 2006, Crown Princess will offer 10 sailings on an Eastern Caribbean itinerary with calls at Bermuda (West End), San Juan, St. Thomas and a new port of call for Princess, Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands. In addition, the lineup includes five sailings on a Western Caribbean itinerary with stops at another new port for Princess, Port Canaveral, as well as Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, and Grand Turk.

"Having Crown Princess sail from New York during her inaugural season is tremendously exciting and offers a brand new cruise option for our customers," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "We're especially pleased to once again offer passengers a regular opportunity to enjoy the British flavor and pink sand beaches of Bermuda plus introduce our passengers to Grand Turk and Port Canaveral."

Princess last offered regularly scheduled calls in Bermuda in 2002. On this new itinerary, Crown Princess will call on the island during weekends, offering a less congested experience for passengers as most cruise ships make Bermuda calls during the week.

In Grand Turk, Crown Princess will be one of the first cruise ships to call upon the completion of the island's new cruise terminal and welcome center, which will offer a variety of guest services and attractions, including a recreational area with private beach and swimming pool. The terminal will serve as the gateway to an unspoiled, remote island experience featuring some dramatic diving/snorkeling opportunities. Port Canaveral calls will enable passengers to explore the nearby Kennedy Space Center and other local attractions.

The 116,000-ton Crown Princess will introduce a number of new design innovations to the Princess fleet, including a dramatic new piazza-style atrium, new casual dining venues and expansion of some favorite shipboard areas. Within the new street café environment of the atrium, passengers will find an International Café serving up fresh pastries and baked goods in the morning and assorted other offerings throughout the day, as well as a wine and seafood bar. Several signature Princess venues have been further enhanced, including an expanded Trattoria Sabatini with a new piano lounge area and the addition of pub fare to the trademark Wheelhouse Bar. A new Steak and Seafood restaurant expands on the Sterling Steakhouse concept with an open, theater-style kitchen where chefs will custom-prepare steamed shellfish and cooked-to-order steaks and chops.

The ship will also feature the many hallmark features that define the Princess experience, including the dramatic Movies Under the Stars poolside movie screen, multiple dining and entertainment options, Personal Choice Dining featuring traditional or Anytime seating, a two-story Lotus Spa with fitness center, an extensive children and teen's center, a wedding chapel and nearly 900 staterooms with private balconies.

Crown Princess sailings will be open for booking on April 1, 2005. Additional information about Crown Princess is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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“One-Stop Shopping” Cruise Tours from Norwegian Coastal Voyages

New York, March, 2005 -- NCV Escorted Vacations is offering "one-stop shop" cruise tours featuring the best of Norway -- in-depth land and fjord exploration combined with the majestic scenery and intimate villages on a Norwegian Coastal Voyage aboard one of three new Millennium ships. Three 13- to 18-day itineraries include roundtrip transatlantic air from New York on SAS, accommodations in first-class hotels, selected cabin category on six-, seven- or 12-day NCV sailings, all meals onboard and most meals on shore, deluxe motor coaches, extensive sightseeing, entrance fees and the services of a tour director. Departures run between May 5 and September 8. An AARP discount of $100 to $150 per cabin available year-round can be combined with NCV senior savings of $95 to $170 per guest for those 67 and older, offered on sailings in May, August, and September. 

The centerpiece of each vacation is the Norwegian Coastal Voyage , each vessel is a unique combination of first-class cruise ship, a working ship carrying local passengers and cargo between ports, and a lifeline to remote coastal towns and villages. Fishing villages in the Lofoten Islands, the town of Alesund with its many art galleries and the bustling cities of Trondheim and Tromso are some of the 34 ports the ships call at between Bergen and Kirkenes, above the Arctic Circle. 

Land highlights include traveling on the narrow-gauge Flam Railway and the scenic Bergen Railway, named one of the top 20 rail experiences in the world; touring the Viking Ships Museum and sculptures in Vigeland Park in Oslo, Norway’s capital, the Hanseatic Museum and Grieg's home in Bergen, a charming seaport, and the waterfalls and orchards of the Hardangerfjord; and a ferry cruise on the scenic Sognefjord, past waterfalls, isolated hamlets and steep mountains. The 13- and 15-day cruise-tour also visits villages and cultural centers of the indigenous Sami people in Lapland.

The three cruise-tours are the 13-day “Norway Naturally,” with a six-day southbound sailing from Kirkenes; 15-day “Spectacular Norway,” with a seven-day northbound cruise from Bergen; and 18-day “Norway Splendor,” with a 12-day round-trip voyage. 
The 674-berth MS Midnatsol, which made her maiden voyage in April, 2003, and the 674-berth MS Trollfjord, launched in May 2002, have a similar modern design while the 643-berth MS Finnmarken sports an Art-Nouveau style. All three ships feature original Norwegian paintings, sculpture and textiles and large expanses of glass for panoramic viewing. Contact Norwegian Coastal Voyage, (800) 323-7436 or (212) 319-1300; for brochures, (800) 666-2374; web site,

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Carnival Liberty: The Ultimate European Vacation
European-Inspired Interiors, Exciting Seven-Port, 12-Day Mediterranean Itineraries, Attractive Pricing Add Up to One-of-a-Kind Vacation Experience 

MIAMI, March 8 -- With its European-inspired interiors celebrating great artisan works, an unforgettable seven-port, 12-day Mediterranean itinerary, and affordable pricing, Carnival Cruise Lines' new 110,000-ton Carnival Liberty offers the ultimate European vacation. Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, the 2,974-passenger SuperLiner is slated to debut July 20, 2005, with the first in a series of eight 12-day Mediterranean voyages from Rome (Civitavecchia) -- Carnival's first-ever Mediterranean cruise program.

"Not only does the Carnival Liberty offer a distinctive and memorable vacation environment, its value-added features and facilities, and magnificent Mediterranean ports of call make it the ideal vessel for scenic European cruising," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

Carnival Cruise Lines' Mediterranean voyages are one of the most cost- effective ways to see Europe. Plus, with the high dollar/euro exchange rate, there's no better way to experience Europe this summer. (Prices for Carnival Liberty's 12-day Mediterranean cruises start at $1,899 per person based on double occupancy.

Carnival Liberty's Mediterranean program will encompass eight 12-day cruises operating round-trip from Rome (Civitavecchia) July 20 - Oct. 12, 2005. The unique seven-port itinerary features some of the most charming and historic cities in Europe, including Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy (two-day call); Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy. During these cruises, guests can visit popular destinations such as Capri, Taormina, Monte Carlo and Florence. Guests can also extend their European vacation with one- to three-night pre- and post-cruise land packages in Rome.

European-Inspired Interiors
Carnival Liberty will feature an interior design that celebrates the work of fine craftsmen. The central theme is certainly evident in the Grand Villa Garden Atrium, where ironworking, masonry, pottery making and painting come together to create an elegant park-like atmosphere. The main show lounge, called Venetian Palace, captures the artistic variety and quality for which the fabled Italian city of canals is renowned, while the art of fine tableware is featured in the Gilded and Sterling dining rooms. Harry's, the ship's reservations-only supper club, takes its cue from the magnificent pieces of famed jewelry by designer Harry Winston. Gloves Sports Bar explores the role of leatherworking, particularly as it relates to sports. Body art is the craft featured in the Tattoos Dance Club, and photography in the Paparazzi wine bar.

Value-Added Features
The fourth in Carnival's highly successful Conquest-class, Carnival Liberty will offer a wide range of signature "Fun Ship" amenities -- a 13,300- square-foot spa, expansive children's and teen facilities, and a multitude of dining options, including two two-deck-high formal restaurants, a 1,400-seat poolside eatery and an intimate reservations-only supper club.

Encompassing 13 passenger decks, Carnival Liberty will also house an Internet cafe, a jogging track, a patisserie, full casino gambling, and a multi-level theater showcasing lavish Vegas-style production shows, just one of several entertainment venues on board. Of the ship's 1,479 staterooms, 60 percent will offer either an ocean view or private balcony.

Pricing and Reservations
Space is still available on Carnival Liberty's 12-day Mediterranean voyages. (Prices start at $1,899 per person based on double occupancy.) Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom, as well as round-trip air supplements from more than 170 North American gateways are also available.

The line currently has two 110,000-ton SuperLiners, Carnival Liberty and Carnival Freedom, scheduled to enter service between now and February 2007. For additional information, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Save on Star Flyer Greek Isles & Turkey Cruises

MIAMI (March 8, 2005) -- This summer, Star Flyer passengers can let the ouzo flow and toast "Opa!" to special savings on Greek Isle and Turkey cruises. Star Clippers has introduced savings of $700 off seven-night cruise and air packages aboard the 170-passenger sailing vessel. Travelers can observe the wonders of bygone civilizations and feel the presence of Greece's philosophers and ancient gods on 10 departures from June through September. Star Flyer is sailing three different seven-night cruises that call at a variety ports throughout Greece and Turkey -- all starting from $1,425 per person, double. That includes $300 off the cruise fare, plus $400 off the add-on airfare from major U.S. cities.

The Southern Cyclades itinerary sails round-trip Athens and includes calls at Rhodes, Santorini and Hydra, Greece; and Bodrum and Dalyan River in Turkey. The Northern Cyclades itinerary also sails round-trip Athens and calls at Kusadasi, Turkey; Pythagoria, Samos; and Patmos, Delos, Mykonos and Sifnos, Greece. The seven-night Istanbul to Athens sailing departs June 4, 2005, and includes calls at Dikili, Kusadasi and Bodrum, Turkey; and Patmos, Delos and Mykonos, Greece. 

Star Flyer combines the pampered luxury of mega-yacht cruising with the exhilarating thrill of sailing aboard an authentic clipper ship. Rediscover what sailing was like during the glorious age of the tall ships while visiting intimate ports of call untouched by larger cruise ships. The four-masted clipper ship features a relaxed yet elegant atmosphere. Passengers dress in resort-casual attire and dine in one unhurried, open seating. Whether unwinding in the bowsprit net while gazing at the sea below or climbing the mast for a better view of the horizon, a unique adventure awaits. For more information or to make a reservation, contact a travel professional, call Star Clippers at 1-800-442-0551 or visit To request a brochure, call 1-800-442-0556.

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MSC Cruises Features Variety of Itineraries & Embarkation Points in 2005 Europe/Mediterranean Season

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (March 7, 2005) – All seven ships in MSC Cruises’ fleet will sail European and Northern Europe itineraries this year, taking guests to visit historic lands and view dazzling scenery while enjoying the European flair that can only be found with MSC Cruises.

“Now that so many travelers have enjoyed MSC Cruises’ ‘Premium Class™ With a True Italian Signature’ experience during the Caribbean season, we are confident many will want to experience Europe while enjoying the same service, spirit and atmosphere,” says Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises USA. “Plus, by booking early, American travelers can lock in the best possible price in U.S. dollars; without having to worry about fluctuating exchange rates and the high cost of land travel, the bulk of the cost of the trip is locked in ahead of time.”

“Europe, and specifically the Mediterranean, is not just a destination for MSC Cruises, it is our home, so who better to serve as your guide?” asks Sasso. “An MSC Cruises experience lets you experience the treasures, heritage and beauty of Europe while enjoying the legendary warmth and personal attention of classic Italian service.”

With ships departing from a variety of European and Scandinavian embarkation points this spring and summer, travelers can select journeys of five to 14 days to some of the hidden corners of history, culture and nature. Guests will have the opportunity to experience remote beaches, rustic villages, ancient ruins and sophisticated cities while enjoying a European experience with a definite Italian flavor, from the Italian officers and waiters and authentic regional Italian cuisine prepared fresh onboard to the nightly European-style entertainment. 

For the first time, MSC Lirica will sail seven-night roundtrip cruises from Rome. From May 22-Oct. 30, the ship will take guests to Messina, Tunis, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Marseille and Genoa.  The ship will also sail a six-night Rome-to-Genoa cruise Nov. 6, a series of 11-night roundtrip itineraries from Genoa that call at Naples, Alexandria, Rhodes, Kusadasi, Messina and Capri and a 12-night Mediterranean roundtrip holiday cruise from Genoa Dec.15 that visits Capri, Rhodes, Alexandria, Tripoli, Valetta/Malta, Catania and Naples.

MSC Opera will begin its second Mediterranean season April 19 with a four-night Genoa to Venice itinerary that stops in Naples and Dubrovnik. From April 23 through Oct. 22 the ship will sail seven-night Greek Isles and Turkey roundtrip cruises from Venice, ending the season with an 11-night Venice roundtrip and an 11-night Venice to Genoa sailing that includes port calls at Alexandria, Tripoli, and Valetta, Malta.

MSC Sinfonia, which was purchased in 2004, will join sistership MSC Armonia sailing Mediterranean itineraries from March through November, departing from Venice and Genoa. Among the port calls are Catania, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Palermo, Tunis, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Marseille, and Naples. 

MSC Melody and MSC Monterey will sail Mediterranean and Black Sea itineraries, while MSC Rhapsody will depart Genoa for exotic ports in Greece, Turkey, Libya, Spain, Morocco, Madeira and the Canary Isles. From May 14 through Aug. 27, MSC Rhapsody departs Copenhagen on alternating seven-night roundtrip itineraries – one to the Baltic capitals of Visby, Stockholm, Tallin, St. Petersburg and Helsinki and the other to explore the Norwegian fjords with calls at Flaam, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Bergen, Kristiansand and Oslo. 

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit or your local travel agent.

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Royal Caribbean Signs Letter of Intent for Third Freedom-Class Ship

MIAMI, March 7 -- Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has signed a letter of intent with Aker Finnyards in Turku, Finland, to add a third ship to its Freedom class of vessels now being built for Royal Caribbean International. The agreement is subject to certain conditions, including board approval. Like the series' first and second ships, this third Royal Caribbean newbuild is a 158,000-GRT vessel equipped with 1,800 cabins that accommodate 3,600 guests double occupancy. It enters service in early 2008, two years after the class debuts in April, 2006, with Freedom of the Seas.

The Freedom series builds on Royal Caribbean's five, highly popular Voyager-class ships--the vessels that introduced rock-climbing, ice-skating and Royal Promenade into cruising's vernacular. The ships in this newest class will be 15 percent larger than those in the Voyager-class and will have new features, not yet revealed, also destined to become industry icons.

"We have said all along that the continued success of our brands will depend on the steady, sustained growth of our fleet," said Chairman and CEO Richard Fain, "We are pleased to reaffirm that pledge today and are excited about the enormous possibilities inherent in these new ships."

Royal Caribbean's newest entrant to its fleet, Jewel of the Seas, its 19th ship, debuted last Spring. The company ordered Freedom of the Seas in September, 2003. The company estimates the cost of the third ship, including the contract price (specified in euros), capitalized interest, owner-delivered items, and engineering/construction oversight, to be approximately $230,000 per berth, at current exchange rates. Additional information can be found on

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Carnival Named a 'Best Value' by Ocean and Cruise News for the 11th Consecutive Year

MIAMI, March 4 -- For the 11th year in a row, the "Fun Ships" of Carnival Cruise Lines have been named a "Best Cruise Value" by Ocean & Cruise News, the monthly publication of the World Cruise & Ocean Liner Society, a 24-year-old organization comprised of highly experienced cruise enthusiasts. The awards, which were featured in a recent issue of Ocean & Cruise News, are divided into 10 categories and recognize those cruise lines that provide a superior product at the best prices.

Commented Carnival President and CEO Bob Dickinson, "Value, providing far more than what guests pay for, is an important part of Carnival's success. In the past few years, we've revamped every aspect of the 'Fun Ship' vacation experience from updated menus and a greater variety of shore excursions to higher service standards and more in-cabin amenities.

Carnival, which earned "best value honors" in the "High-Superior Four- Star-Plus Category," was recognized for its recent product enhancements, spacious staterooms, affordable pricing and distinctive shipboard ambiance. "Carnival delivers the fun that is promised in its advertising and then some. The line continues to improve its on-board product in the key areas of service, dining and entertainment and exceed the expectations of its passengers. Cabins are also larger than other ships within this category. All of this, combined with Carnival's moderate prices, makes this a real value winner," said Tom Cassidy, Ocean & Cruise News editor.

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Silversea Set to Offer First-Ever Grand Mediterranean Cruise 
This Summer

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 3, 2005 -- Silversea Cruises announced details of its first-ever Grand Mediterranean Cruise for summer 2005. On June 19, the ultra-luxury 296-guest Silver Wind departs Venice on a grand 49-day journey visiting 37 of the world’s most desirable destinations in nine countries before arriving in Istanbul on August 7. 

“Our new Grand Mediterranean Cruise is the perfect way to explore the incomparable beauty, culture and history of the Mediterranean this summer, while enjoying generous savings,” said David Morris, Silversea’s senior vice president, North America sales. “And our luxurious and intimate Silver Wind is the ideal ship, offering enriching shipboard programs, award-winning cuisine and personalized service, plus our signature Italian hospitality, to just 296 guests who will take home unforgettable memories of the very best of the Mediterranean." 

Silver Wind’s Grand Mediterranean Cruise will visit Italy, Croatia, Greece, Malta, Tunisia, France, Spain, Monaco and Turkey. Special enrichment lecturers and activities include Relais & Châteaux – Relais Gourmands guest chef Rick Tramonto of Chicago’s Tru Restaurant, who will host guests to cooking demonstrations and a gala gourmet dinner, and Philip Di Belardino of Castello Banfi Vineyard & Winery, who will be on board to share insights into the art of fine winemaking and guide guests through special tastings. The Grand Mediterranean Cruise also features a complimentary shoreside event in Kusadasi – an exclusive classical concert at the ancient site of Ephesus, one of Turkey’s most magical and best preserved places of antiquity. 

Guests on the full 49-day voyage will enjoy Combination Cruise savings, in addition to other available savings incentives, plus a $1,000 onboard spending credit per suite ($500 per person). Complimentary Business Class air upgrades are also available with the purchase of Silversea’s optional air and hotel program. The Grand Mediterranean Cruise, a collection of five distinctive voyages, also offers guests the flexibility of combining select back-to-back voyages or sampling just one. The full 49-day Grand Mediterranean Cruise starts at $25,044 for a Vista Suite and $31,404 for a Veranda Suite. These cruise-only rates are per person based on double occupancy and include customary Early Booking Incentive savings, special Silver Sailings savings of up to 50%, and Combination Cruise savings. Silversea has just published a colorful and attractive mailer that provides complete details of the Grand Mediterranean Cruise. To request a copy, please call toll-free (877) 215-9986.

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Deilmann Cruises Introduces Garden Programs on European River & Ocean Cruises

NEW YORK, March 4, 2005 – Peter Deilmann Cruises is introducing European garden theme cruises this year on both its river ships sailing inland waterways and the luxury ocean liner Deutschland on Atlantic and Mediterranean sailings. The cruises feature some of Europe’s most renowned gardens in England, Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Morocco.

Other new Deilmann theme cruises this year offer golf, music and cycling tours. Gardening enthusiasts can view and download the day-by-day itineraries of each gardening program and cruise from the Great Rivers of Europe 2005 brochure by logging on to Copies of the Great Rivers brochure are available from travel agencies or Peter Deilmann Cruises by calling 1-800-348-8287 or by e-mail at

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Carnival Cruise Lines Launches New 'Corporate University'

MIAMI, March 2 -- Businesses and other organizations wishing to enhance their communication skills, teamwork and creativity can now tap into the vast knowledge and expertise of one of the world's most successful companies -- Carnival Cruise Lines. The new "Carnival Corporate University" encompasses a series of professional enrichment seminars that provide insight into the proven management principles that have made Carnival the most popular cruise line in the world.

"Carnival has earned its leadership position through an unmatched combination of superior products and top-notch service delivered by a highly motivated workforce. With the new 'Carnival Corporate University,' we are pleased to share our expertise to help businesses enhance teamwork, build communication skills and celebrate diversity through fun, interactive activities -- all at a cost that is lower than most land-based training sessions," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. "The courses within 'Carnival Corporate University' go beyond typical landside training sessions, with enthusiastic facilitators who utilize role- playing and other instructional methods that engage participants and ultimately lead to higher retention and greater productivity," Dickinson added.

The program, which is available in conjunction with any Carnival cruise, encompasses a full schedule of custom-designed management training sessions created by Carnival's award-winning corporate training department, which conducts in-house training for the company's 30,000 shipboard and shoreside employees. The department can also work with businesses to specifically tailor programming designed to meet individual goals or objectives and businesses can purchase as many or as few sessions as they want. Unlike typical shoreside management seminars, "Carnival Corporate University" classes take an inventive, often unconventional approach, with thought-provoking seminars where participation is encouraged -- all in a relaxing and memorable environment that is conducive to learning and team building.

Sample programming includes "Cruising to Communication," focusing on effective verbal and non-verbal communication techniques; "Win Win," an interactive exercise on building and maintaining trust; "Charting the Course," emphasizing strategies of effective leaders; "Creativity by Design," which enables participants to harness their creativity within; and "Passport to Diversity," a celebration of today's culturally diverse work environment. When participants are not enrolled in "Carnival Corporate University," they are free to enjoy the wide range of "resort-style" amenities and facilities available aboard the "Fun Ships" -- an array of formal and casual dining options, numerous dancing, entertainment and live music venues, including lavish Vegas-style production shows, luxurious spa facilities, full casino gambling, duty-free shopping, swimming pools and cascading water slides. 

Many Carnival ships also have private conference centers and the line's public rooms are also available for meetings, awards receptions and other corporate functions. Prices for "Carnival Corporate University" vary according to the size of the group and the number of sessions purchased.

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Tommy Dorsey Orchestra Headlines Big Band Transatlantic Journeys Aboard Crystal Cruises in 2005

LOS ANGELES - March 1, 2005 - The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra will celebrate the centennial of the legendary Tommy Dorsey aboard two Crystal Cruises trans-Atlantic journeys dedicated to the sounds of Big Band. Led by the inimitable Buddy Morrow of "Night Train" fame, the orchestra will regale guests with the irreplaceable swing and Dixieland tunes, sentimental ballads and jazz music that made Tommy Dorsey famous. The orchestra will be featured on a cruise to Europe on April 25 and from Europe on November 16. 

"A trans-Atlantic itinerary is ideally suited for a Big Band theme, allowing for late nights of dancing and camaraderie followed by relaxing days of enrichment, luxurious comfort and pampering service from our award-winning staff," says William Smith, Crystal's senior vice president, sales and marketing.  

Special guest lecturer Dan Morgenstern, author of the recently published "Living with Jazz" and Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, adds colorful anecdotal stories about the history of jazz during Crystal Symphony's April crossing. Morgenstern's personal experiences with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Lena Horne, Jimmie Crawford, Sarah Vaughan, Roy Eldridge and others, provide a deeper appreciation for the love of jazz music. In Big Band history, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra is recognized as one of the best all-around dance bands, especially renowned for its ballads. Today, the orchestra's repertoire embraces not only the classics of the original Dorsey Orchestra, but also the spectrum of popular music from Dixieland, rhythm and blues, progressive jazz, and contemporary.

On April 25, 2005, Crystal Symphony will travel across the Atlantic from Ft. Lauderdale to Lisbon. Crystal Serenity departs Lisbon on November 16, 2005, on a 10-day itinerary en route to Ft. Lauderdale with calls in The Azores and Bermuda. A special celebration is planned to commemorate the November 19th birthday of the "Gentleman of Swing." Cruise fares begin at $1,795 and $2,795, respectively for double occupancy accommodations. Crystal's theme cruises are an integral component of the line's renowned Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program - and its Big Band cruises feature daily activities such as afternoon dances, trivia contests, swing lessons, special lectures, presentations, and more.

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P&O Cruises Offers Two British-style Global Adventures in 2006

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (March 2, 2004) - North American passengers will be able to enjoy a distinctly unique British-style cruise experience aboard P&O Cruises' two around-the-world adventures in 2006. The just-announced world cruise itineraries will include a 100-day "Grand Voyage" aboard Oriana, and an "Around the World in 80 Days" option on Aurora. Both vessels sail roundtrip from Southampton, England giving travelers the opportunity to explore exotic ports of call in Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and North America. Aurora's "Around the World in 80 Days" adventure - which spans 25 ports of call in 21 different countries - departs January 7, 2006, and returns March 29. Passengers can also choose from shorter segments ranging from 13 to 61 days. Oriana's "Grand Voyage" sets sail on January 8, 2006 and returns April 18, covering a total of 41 ports of call in 19 countries. Segments of 15 to 51 days are also available.

"Around the World in 80 Days"
As in the legendary novel, passengers aboard the 1,870-passenger Aurora will cover a large portion of the globe in 80 days. The adventure starts from Southampton, where the vessel sets sail to her first port of call Ponta Delgada in the Azores, and then continues to the Caribbean islands of St. Lucia, Isla Margarita and Aruba. Aurora will then pass through the dramatic locks of the Panama Canal on the way to Acapulco and San Francisco before arriving at Honolulu. Next, passengers enjoy the sun of the South Pacific with stops at island destinations such as Pago Pago, Fiji and Auckland. In Australia, the vessel calls at Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin. Following the Australian ports of call, Aurora heads to Asia with stops at Manila, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia. Next up is Colombo, Sri Lanka; and two ports of call in India - Cochin and Mumbai -- before the ship continues on to Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Aurora will then sail through the famous Suez Canal before reaching her next ports of call - Athens, Rome and her homeport of Southampton.

"The Grand Voyage" 
P&O's 1,822-passenger Oriana offers travelers an even more extensive journey with the "Grand Voyage." This new itinerary starts by sailing from Southampton to the Mediterranean with calls at Palma, Majorca; Malta; and Athens. The ship then continues to Port Said for a visit to Cairo and Giza. After passing through the Suez Canal, Oriana makes another Egypt stop at Safaga for visits to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. The vessel continues to Oman and makes three calls in India - Mumbai, Cochin and Chennai. Then it's off to Asia will stops at Singapore; Kunatan, Malaysia; Bangkok and two calls in Vietnam -- Nha Trang, and Da Nang.

Oriana next vists Hong Kong and Manila before spending an extended period in Australia. Calls "Down Under" include Darwin, Cairns, Whitsundy Islands, Brisbane, Sydney, Burnie (Tasmania), Melbourne, Adelaide, Albany, Perth and Exmouth. The ship then heads back to Asia for a return visit to Singapore, followed by Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia, Phuket (Thailand) and Colombo. Oriana follows with visits to the Seychelles islands and the South African ports of Richard's Bay, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.

The vessel then heads up the west coast of Africa for calls at Walvis Bay in Namibia and St. Vincent in the Cape Verde Islands. The adventures winds up with visits to Tenerife in the Canary Islands and Lisbon before returning home to Southampton.
Travelers aboard P&O ships will find themselves in a classic British atmosphere, one reflecting the company's long and distinguished tradition of ocean travel. Passengers can enjoy many uniquely British touches such as traditional afternoon tea, 'West End'-style entertainment, or trying their hand at activities such as cricket or whist.

Early booking fares for Aurora's "World Cruise" and Oriana's "Grand Voyage" start at $14,550 for Aurora and $17,160 for Oriana . Further information about P&O's 2006 world cruises is available at or by calling the line's toll free travel agent number at 1-800-340-POSH (7674).

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Oceania Cruises—What's New in 2005

  • New Destinations: Libya, Tunisia and Morocco 

  • Debut of Nautica and voyages to the Far East and China 

  • New Concierge Level Staterooms 

Oceania Cruises is proud to present two very special voyages aboard Regatta and Insignia that visit the Mediterranean’s hidden jewels, including Libya, Tunisia and Morocco. These extraordinary voyages offer sophisticated travelers a remarkable opportunity to discover the rich cultural diversity and historical treasures of Tripoli and Benghazi in Libya while transporting them through centuries of history and ancient civilizations. Brimming with intriguing ports of call, these exceptional itineraries have been perfectly tailored to appeal to those discriminating travelers seeking exotic destinations and far-flung adventures. Having been off-limits to Americans for more than two decades, travelers can once discover the region’s wealth of incomparable archaeological treasures as they explore lands settled by the Romans, Phoenicians, Greeks and other great civilizations.

Regatta’s 12-day voyage sails from Barcelona to Lisbon on November 5, 2005. Ports of Call include: Benghazi ● Tripoli (overnight) ● Valletta ● La Goulette ● Gibraltar ● Casablanca ● Seville

Insignia’s 10-day voyage sails from Athens to Barcelona on November 17, 2005. Ports of call include: Benghazi ● Tripoli (overnight) ● Valletta ● La Goulette ● Monte Carlo ● Marseille

While space aboard Regatta’s voyage to Libya is extremely limited, prime accommodations are available aboard Insignia’s November 17th voyage. Including Free Air, 2-for-1 cruise fares aboard Insignia’s November 17th voyage begin at $1,799 per guest for an inside stateroom.

Oceania Cruises’ Nautica, the third and newest member of its highly acclaimed 5-Star fleet, charts a distinctly different course as she undertakes her inaugural season of voyages to Asia. Debuting on November 27, 2005, Nautica sets sail for the Far East and China, enchanting lands that overflow with centuries of history and culture. Offering more overnight port stays than any other premium cruise line, Oceania Cruises presents a comprehensive, in-depth travel experience. Overnight port stays in Beijing, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Shanghai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kyoto, Bombay, Luxor and Dubai provide two full days and an evening in each of these ports, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the local culture, history, lore and cuisine of these magnificent cities and surrounding regions. And to allow them more time to explore the extraordinary cities that we embark and disembark in, they may take advantage of pre- and post-cruise hotel stays or extended land tours of three to nine days to such mystical locales as Chiangmai, Myanmar, Guilin, Siem Reap, Beijing and The Great Wall, Xian and the Yangtze River. 

A tasteful example of understated elegance, our new Concierge Level staterooms boast a private teak veranda, as well as a preferred location on Decks 7 and 8 of Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. They offer such extraordinary amenities as a welcome bottle of champagne; a refrigerated mini-bar; 20” color television and DVD player; personalized stationery; our exclusive Tranquility Bed, featuring 350 thread count Egyptian cotton linens; cashmere lap blanket; plush cotton robes and slippers; a complimentary tote bag; and exclusive bathroom fixtures including a hand-held hairdryer, Hansgrohe hand-held massaging shower heads and Concierge Grade toiletries.

In addition to the stateroom amenities, Oceania Cruises’ Concierge Level staterooms also offer guests special service enhancements: priority embarkation with a dedicated check-in desk and priority luggage delivery, priority restaurant reservations for Toscana and Polo Grill, and complimentary shoeshine service. Oceania Cruises’ new Concierge Level staterooms are yet another example of our continual efforts to provide our guests with an unrivaled cruise experience.

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Oceania's European Voyages Offer Unprecedented Value

Miami, FL, March 2, 2005 – European cruises have never represented a better value than this year. With airfares rising dramatically and an exchange rate that makes land travel in Europe increasingly expensive, Oceania Cruises is pleased to present a selection of voyages it believes to be the best value in European travel. While many of our 2005 European voyages are sold out, consumers may still take advantage of Free Airfare and thousands of dollars in cruise fare savings on select voyages. 

“Travel in Europe need not be exorbitantly expensive. With the inclusion of free airfare, gourmet meals and transportation throughout Europe, Oceania Cruises is breaking down the barriers to European travel,” stated Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises. For a limited time, consumers may choose from a variety of Mediterranean and Western European voyages with cruise fares starting at $1,799 per guest. “Sailing to Europe’s most alluring ports of call, Oceania Cruises offers its guests the unique opportunity to explore as many as twelve different cities in a single voyage, without the unnecessary expense of inflated hotel and restaurant prices or expensive land travel arrangements,” added Del Rio. 

As a leader in destination cruising, Oceania Cruises offers extraordinary voyages to the most fabled ports of call in Europe. Through overnight port stays and in-depth shore excursion programs, guests have the unique opportunity to truly immerse themselves in the history, culture and cuisine. This allows for a better understanding and appreciation of the regions visited and creates the most memorable travel experience possible. And Oceania Cruises’ unique blend of casual elegance and affordable luxury perfectly complements the grandeur and splendor of Europe. “Discerning travelers are in search of luxury and value. Luxury does not necessarily equate to high prices; rather it is a combination of superb cuisine, exceptional service and intriguing destinations,” stated Bob Binder, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Oceania Cruises. “We’re committed to providing our guests with the highest quality, luxury cruise product at fares that are extraordinarily affordable,” added Binder. 

Free Airfare and 2-For-1 Cruise Fares
For a limited time, Oceania Cruises is offering Free Airfare and 2-for-1 cruise fares on the following voyages. Reservations must be made no later than March 31, 2005, and space is limited. 

10-Day Sailings:

  • Barcelona to Athens - November 7 - Veranda staterooms from $2,699 per guest 

  • Athens to Barcelona - November 17 - Inside staterooms from $1,799 per guest

12-Day Sailing 

  • Barcelona to Lisbon - May 17 - Inside staterooms from $2,299 per guest

14-Day Sailings

  • Barcelona to Istanbul - April 1 - Inside staterooms from $2,799 per guest

  • Lisbon to Venice - August 25 - Inside staterooms from $3,499 per guest 

16-Day Sailing 

  • Barcelona to Stockholm - May 23 - Inside staterooms from $3,499 per guest

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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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