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Cruise News
March 1-31, 2010

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

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

CDC Inspection Scores for all ships inspected.

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

Cruise Diva

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Launches 2010-2011 Winter Collection Brochure

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, March 31: Regent Seven Seas Cruises has released a stunning catalog containing many of the ultra-luxury line’s most exotic itineraries for 2010-2011. The new “Winter Collection” features cruises to Africa, Asia, Australia, South America, the Caribbean and Panama Canal on the all-suite Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Navigator. The 172-page brochure provides detailed information on each cruise, with two pages dedicated to each individual day-by-day itinerary including highlights of the complimentary shore excursions.

Previously, the cruise line marketed all worldwide destinations in one annual compendium, which resulted in abbreviated itinerary descriptions and limited destination information. Past guests and travel professionals have unanimously hailed the new 2010-2011 Winter Collection brochure for its clever and concise layout, as well as its attractive design.

“Like the Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand, the new winter brochure is elegant, awe-inspiring and inclusive,” stated Kari Tarnowski, the cruise line’s senior vice president of marketing. “The goal is for people to find all of the information in one bold catalog that they would happily display on their coffee tables. According to the initial feedback, our new in-house design team rose to the challenge.”

Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers the world’s most inclusive luxury cruise experience. Two-for-one cruise fares include free round-trip air from 22 cities, free unlimited shore excursions, open bars throughout the ships, and open-seating, gourmet dining with no surcharges. Prices also include staff gratuities, all surcharges, airline fees and government taxes. To receive a 2010-2011 Winter Collection brochure, see a travel professional, visit or call toll-free 800-285-1835. A 2011 Summer Collection brochure will showcase Europe and Alaska and will be available in June 2010.

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Innovation + Imagination = New Magical Experiences For Guests Aboard the Disney Dream

CELEBRATION, FL, March 30: Adding to its impressive list of cruise industry firsts, Disney Cruise Line will combine technology-infused innovations and imagination to create a whole new level of magical experiences for families sailing on its newest ship, the Disney Dream. Throughout their cruise vacation, guests will encounter unexpected magic – such as a restaurant that transports guests under the sea, artwork that magically comes to life and youth clubs filled with immersive gaming environments and personalized character encounters. Disney Cruise Line partnered with Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative force responsible for designing Disney theme parks and resorts world-wide, to develop new forms of family entertainment for the Disney Dream. New experiences planned for the Disney Dream include:

Animator’s Palate
For the Disney Dream, Disney Cruise Line is re-imagining a fan favorite from the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder – Animator’s Palate restaurant. The restaurant design is that of a classic animation studio filled with character sketches, maquettes (three-dimensional character models), paint brushes, colored pencils and other tools of the animation trade. Scenes and characters from popular Disney•Pixar films adorn the walls.

Once the dinner service begins, however, the dining room begins a magical transformation as scores of wall-mounted LCD screens switch to scenes of a vivid undersea environment. It’s as if the restaurant was transported to the ocean floor and the LCD screens are windows, providing incredible views of a colorful coral reef and creatures that reside on the reef.

While dining, Crush, the surfer-dude sea turtle from DisneyPixar’s “Finding Nemo,” makes a special appearance, swimming around the restaurant and engaging in live impromptu interactions with guests. Crush will ask guests about the experience onboard the ship and in turn answer questions about life under the sea. While Crush is moving throughout the restaurant, other characters from “Finding Nemo,” such as Nemo, Dory, Squirt and Bruce the shark, swim by and visit with guests.

The dining experience culminates with a surfing lesson led by Crush as the EAC (East Australian Current) swirls around the room. As Crush swims away, other characters from “Finding Nemo” make a final appearance before magically turning into pencil sketches.

Interactive Play-floor
For young cruisers, Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab will feature an interactive play-floor, a cruise industry first that blends the latest in gaming technology with Disney’s panache for storytelling. Located in the main gathering space in both venues, the interactive play-floor allows children to engage in team play exercises where their movements control the action on the interactive floor. For example, one activity has children scrambling around the perimeter of the interactive play-floor with their movements controlling the pitch of a virtual tilt maze.

On the interactive play-floor, children will be able to explore a wide variety of gaming options with varying levels of difficulty. Disney Cruise Line youth counselors will use the interactive play-floor during storytelling activities where children will be able to fly over the streets of London with Peter Pan or ride the ocean waves with Crush.

Living Characters
Also in Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab youth areas, Disney characters come to life and interact with children in one-of-a-kind experiences. On a 103-inch screen, Crush, the animated sea turtle from the Disney•Pixar motion picture “Finding Nemo,” or the mischievous animated alien Stitch make scheduled appearances to chat, play and joke with kids in live, unrehearsed conversations. Sometimes using silly props from their digital environments, Crush and Stitch amaze and entertain children during real-time, personalized appearances. These magical experiences with Crush and Stitch continue Disney’s legacy of bringing characters to life in new and incredible ways.

Enchanted Art
Throughout the Disney Dream, guests will encounter Enchanted Art that immerses guests in Disney storytelling in a completely new way. Appearing as traditional framed art, Enchanted Art magically comes alive when guests pause to admire the artwork. Enchanted Art will carry the appearance of popular art mediums – photography, oil paintings, paper sculpture, travel posters and animation cells. In reality though, they are framed LCD screens made to look like artwork through special effects and recognizes when a guest is present…which triggers the animated sequence. Guests may see new and different animations each time they come back and visit the Enchanted Art pieces.

In addition, the Enchanted Art is used as part of a one-of-a-kind detective themed adventure where guests of all ages join a ship-wide quest to find either stolen artwork or missing puppies. By using a simple card that serves as a high-tech detective device, guests can peer behind virtual canvases and discover clues that will lead them to solve the mystery and capture the villain responsible. A self-paced adventure, the game offers six potential villains and features randomized events so each time a guest plays they will encounter a different and unique gaming experience.

Virtual Porthole
The Disney Dream carries on the spirit of innovation with a cruise industry first for all inside staterooms. Virtual Portholes offer a “window” to the world with a real-time view outside the ship. High-definition cameras placed on the exterior of the ship feed live video to each Virtual Porthole. The live video feed corresponds to the stateroom location – with a view to port, starboard, forward or aft. As guests are observing the outside views, they may glimpse a magical surprise: animated characters may pop by the Virtual Porthole. Characters may include Peach the starfish from the Disney•Pixar film “Finding Nemo,” the flying balloon house from “UP” or even Mickey Mouse.

The Disney Dream is scheduled to depart on its maiden voyage Jan. 26, 2011, and will sail alternating 3- and 4-night cruises to the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. During summer months, the ship will alternate 4- and 5-night itineraries with two stops at Castaway Cay. To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a cruise vacation onboard the Disney Dream, guests can visit, call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500 or contact their travel agent.

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Seven Holland America Line Ships Offer Extensive Alaska Itineraries in 2011

SEATTLE, March 30: Alaska-bound travelers can choose from four cruise itineraries of 7- to 14-days with Holland America Line in 2011. The company's fleet of seven ships will offer a wide selection of visits into Glacier Bay throughout the 2011 cruise season and reservations are now open for booking. Guests can choose from a 14-day Explorer cruise roundtrip from Seattle and three seven-day itineraries departing from Seattle, Vancouver and Seward. The 14-day Explorer from Seattle will add Icy Strait Point as a port of call for the first time since 2007, providing guests with an opportunity to discover native Tlingit culture near Hoonah.

Holland America Line will deploy seven ships to cruise Alaska with 125 total departures from May 7 through Sept 21, 2011. The premium cruise line continues to offer an extensive choice of seven-day cruises, both roundtrip from Seattle and Vancouver and one-way between Vancouver and Seward.

"Holland America Line continues to lead the cruise industry in offering the most cruises to Alaska and especially Glacier Bay," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "Alaska adventurers appreciate Holland America Line's mid-sized cruise ships with more of the popular verandah staterooms for maximum viewing opportunities."

The 7-day roundtrip Seattle itineraries will feature two Vista-class ships - ms Westerdam and ms Oosterdam - increasing verandah stateroom availability by almost a quarter. The ms Zaandam will sail the 7-day Glacier Discovery between Vancouver and Seward, increasing verandah staterooms on that route by nearly a third.

14-day Explorer from Seattle
The ms Amsterdam will sail 14-day Explorer cruises roundtrip from Seattle - a new itinerary that debuts in summer 2010 - and add Icy Strait Point as a new port of call in 2011. The 1,380-guest Amsterdam will also change to Friday departures, sailing May 13 to Sept. 2 on an extensive itinerary that features scenic cruising in the Tracy Arm fjord and past the Hubbard Glacier - North America's largest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site - and port calls at Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Anchorage, Homer, Kodiak and Sitka.

Guests will enjoy a day ashore at Icy Strait Point near Hoonah, the largest Tlingit Indian village in Alaska. They can visit the Native Heritage Center to learn Tlingit history and culture through exhibits and live performances. They can also go wildlife watching, flightsee above Glacier Bay, book a charter fishing excursion or ride the world's longest ZipRider™ line.

Seven-day Alaska Cruises
The 1,916-guest Westerdam and Oosterdam will sail the 7-day Explorer itinerary roundtrip from Seattle from May 7 through Sept. 18. The Westerdam departs Saturdays and highlights the Hubbard Glacier, while the Oosterdam leaves Sundays and features Glacier Bay scenic cruising. In addition, the Amsterdam sails the itinerary on Fri., Sept. 16. Ports include Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria, BC.

The 1,916-guest ms Zuiderdam and 1,432-guest ms Volendam will sail the 7-day Inside Passage roundtrip from Vancouver May 14 through Sept. 21, departing Saturdays and Wednesdays, respectively. The Zaandam also offers a Sunday sailing on Sept. 18. The ships cruise Tracy Arm fjord with its twin Sawyer Glaciers, spend a full day exploring spectacular Glacier Bay, and call at Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan.

One-way, 7-day Glacier Discovery cruises between Vancouver and Seward will depart on Sundays May 15 through Sept. 18. The 1,432-guest Zaandam and the 1,260-guest ms Statendam will each sail 18 cruises through the Inside Passage and Alaskan Gulf, visiting Glacier Bay and College Fjord with 15 glaciers named after Ivy League colleges. Northbound from Vancouver, the ships call at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway; southbound from Seward, they visit Haines, Juneau and Ketchikan.

All cruises bring Alaska native guides, naturalists and park rangers aboard at key times to share their knowledge of local culture, history, glaciers and wildlife with guests. Holland America also offers more than 250 optional shore excursions so guests can maximize their Alaska experience with everything from sea kayaking and wildlife watching to history, art and cuisine. For more information and to book a 2011 cruise, contact a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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Lynyrd Skynyrd & Sixthman Announce Simple Man Cruise 2011

ATLANTA, GA, March 30: On January 20, 2011, Sixthman and Lynyrd Skynyrd will host Simple Man Cruise 2011; this is the fifth voyage of this nautical Southern rock festival. The Carnival Inspiration will take Skynyrd and friends on a 4-day Caribbean cruise from Tampa to Grand Cayman, returning on Jan 24, 2011.

On Simple Man 2010, guests enjoyed unforgettable performances by Skynyrd, .38 Special, Molly Hatchet, Blackberry Smoke, and more. There were also fun events like a men's wet t-shirt contest and a belly flop competition. 2011 promises to deliver that much fun and more.

Sixthman owner Andy Levine says, "We're proud to work with Lynyrd Skynyrd one more time, bringing the ultimate southern rock party to the high seas, for the fifth year in a row." Sixthman's first Simple Man cruise in 2007 was such a hit that fans have been returning year after year, and the artists love coming back to play for the most loyal audiences in the country.

Lynyrd Skynyrd will take a break from cruising for a while after Simple Man 2011, so visit and book your cabins now for this rare opportunity.

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Royal Caribbean Expands Allure of the Seas’ Inaugural Season With Special 4-Night Sailing

MIAMI, March 30: Vacationers can experience the world’s newest, largest and most innovative cruise ship even earlier aboard Allure of the Seas, featuring the widest array of onboard amenities only found on an Oasis-class ship. Royal Caribbean International today announced the expansion of Allure of the Seas’ inaugural season with a special 4-night cruise, departing Port Everglades on Dec 1, 2010. The special itinerary will feature two days at sea and a call at Labadee, Royal Caribbean private beach destination on the northern coast of Haiti. Valued members of the Crown & Anchor Society, the cruise line’s loyalty program, and the public can book passage on Allure of the Seas’ new voyage beginning March 31, 2010.

Guests booked on the Dec 5 inaugural 7-night voyage have until April 30, 2010, to choose to be re-accommodated in the same stateroom on the new cruise. Any price difference will be adjusted on their booking. Additionally, these guests will receive $100 onboard credit per stateroom when adding the new 4-night cruise to their existing Dec 5 booking for an 11-night grand western Caribbean adventure.

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

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 21 ships currently in service and one under construction. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit,  or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Windstar Cruises Announces Its 2011-2012 Sailings

SEATTLE, March 30: Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most sought-after destinations, announces its 2011 and Winter 2012 season which include new Baltic, Holy Land, European, Costa Rican, Caribbean and Transatlantic voyages.

"We are excited to premiere a new collection of diverse itineraries that give our guests a wealth of cruise choices," said Diane Moore, President of Windstar Cruises. "These are truly extraordinary voyages to enchanting destinations."

New Baltic Voyages: Architectural wonders, monuments, picturesque villages and dramatic landscapes are some of the sites on Baltic cruises.

-- 7-day sailing on Wind Spirit from Le Havre, France to Oslo, Norway departs July 9, 2011, and visits Dieppe, France; Oostende/Brugge, Belgium; Amsterdam, Netherlands (overnight); and Kristiansand, Norway.
-- 7-day sailing on Wind Spirit from Oslo, Norway to Stockholm, Sweden departs July 16, 2011, and visits Goteberg, Sweden; Arhus,Denmark; Copenhagen, Denmark; Warnemunde, Germany; and Visby, Sweden.
-- 7-day sailing on Wind Spirit Stockholm, Sweden roundtrip departs July 23, 2011, and visits Helsinki, Finland; Tallinn, Estonia; and St. Petersburg, Russia (overnight).
-- 7-day sailing on Wind Spirit from Stockholm, Sweden to Oslo, Norway departs July 30, 2011, and visits Visby, Sweden; Warnemunde, Germany; Copenhagen, Denmark; Arhus, Denmark; and Goteberg, Sweden.
-- 7-day sailing on Wind Spirit from Oslo, Norway to Le Havre, France departs Aug6, 2011, and visits Kristiansand, Norway; Amsterdam, Netherlands (overnight); Oostende/Brugge, Belgium; and Dieppe, France.

New Holy Land Voyages: Rich with history, ancient ruins, museums and archeological sites, the Holy Land sailings also feature optional excursions to Cairo and pre- and post-cruise programs to Jerusalem.

-- 10-day sailing on Wind Star from Athens, Greece to Ashdod, Israel departs Oct 15, 2011, and visits Santorini, Greece; Rhodes, Greece; Alanya, Turkey; Limassol, Cyprus; and Port Said, Egypt (overnight).
-- 11-day sailing on Wind Star from Ashdod, Israel to Athens, Greece departs Oct 25, 2011, and visits Haifa, Israel; Port Said, Egypt (overnight); Limassol, Cyprus; Marmaris, Turkey; Patmos, Greece; and Idra, Greece.

New European Voyages: These European sailings highlight World War II sites, charming towns, castles, fishing villages and offer an optional post tour to Paris.

-- 7-day sailing on Wind Spirit from Lisbon, Portugal to Le Havre, France departs July 2, 2011, and visits Porto, Portugal; Brest, France; Roscoff, France; and Cherbourg, France.
-- 7-day sailing on Wind Spirit from Le Havre, France to Lisbon, Portugal departs Aug 13, 2011, and visits Cherbourg, France; Roscoff, France; Brest, France; and Porto, Portugal.

New Costa Rica Voyages: New Costa Rica itineraries offer lush jungles, pristine beaches, abundant wildlife and a Panama Canal Transit.

-- 7-day sailings on Wind Star from Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica to Colon, Panama depart Dec 31, 2011 & February 4, 2012, and visit Bahia Drake, Costa Rica; Golfito, Costa Rica; Isla de Cobia, Panama; Panama Canal Transit; and San Blas Islands, Panama.
-- 7-day sailings on Wind Star from Colon, Panama to Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica depart Jan 7 and Feb 11, 2012, and visit San Blas Islands, Panama; Panama Canal Transit; Isla de Cobia, Panama; Golfito, Costa Rica; Bahia Drake.

New Caribbean Voyages: Vibrant ports, white-sand beaches and azure waters are some of the elements that comprise these cruises.

-- 7-day sailings on Wind Surf from Barbados to St. Martin depart Jan 7, Feb 11, March 24, 2012, and visit Mayreau, The Grenadines; Pigeon Island, St. Lucia; Le Marin; Cabritts, Dominica; Marie Galante, Guadeloupe; and St. Barts, F.W.I.
-- 7-day sailings on Wind Surf from St. Martin to Barbados depart Jan 14 and Feb 18, 2012, and visit Virgin Gorda, B.V.I.; St. Kitts, F.W.I.; lles de Saints, F.W.I.; Pigeon Island, St. Lucia; Bequia, The Grenadines; and St. George's, Grenada.

New Transatlantic Voyage:

-- 13-day sailing on Wind Spirit from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain to St. Martin, F.W.I. departs Nov 20, 2011.

The 312-guest Wind Surf begins its 2011 season with a series of 7-day roundtrip, northbound and southbound Barbados voyages from January through March. From April through November, Wind Surf operates 7-day Mediterranean cruises from Lisbon, Portugal; Barcelona, Spain; Rome, Italy; Nice, France; Venice, Italy and Athens, Greece. During December 2011 through March 2012, Wind Surf sails 7-day northbound and southbound Barbados voyages along with new itineraries between Barbados and St. Martin.

The 148-guest Wind Spirit offers 7-day roundtrip St. Martin itineraries from January through March 2011 and again in December 2011 through March 2012. From April through June, and mid-August through mid-November 2011, Wind Spirit sails Europe and Greek Isles itineraries from Lisbon, Portugal; Barcelona, Spain; Rome, Italy; Athens, Greece; and Istanbul, Turkey. In July and August, Wind Spirit premieres new European 7-day voyages from Lisbon, Portugal; Le Havre, France; Oslo, Norway; and Stockholm, Sweden.

The 148-guest Wind Star starts its 2011 season with 7-day Costa Rica cruises roundtrip from Puerto Caldera. From April through mid-October and in November, Wind Star operates Europe and Greek Isles itineraries from Lisbon, Portugal; Barcelona, Spain; Athens; Greece; Istanbul, Turkey; Rome, Italy; and Venice, Italy. In mid-October, Wind Star premiers two Holy Land voyages--a 10-day Athens, Greece to Ashdod, Israel itinerary and an 11-day Ashdod, Israel to Athens, Greece itinerary. In December, Wind Star sails a 14-day Panama Canal cruise followed by a 7-day Costa Rica cruise roundtrip from Puerto Caldera. From January through March 2012, Wind Star will operate four new 7-day Costa Rica itineraries that feature a Panama Canal transit along with 7-day roundtrip Puerto Caldera cruises.

Reservations for Windstar's 2011 and 2012 voyages will be open for bookings starting March 29 exclusively for Windstar Foremast alumni members and on April 12 for everyone. For more information on Windstar's itineraries, please visit or 1-800-258-7245.

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MSC Announces New Partnership with Luxury Watchmaker Baume & Mercier

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, March 29: MSC Cruises recently announced a new partnership with Baume & Mercier, the sixth oldest worldwide Swiss watch brand. Over the past three years, special Baume & Mercier boutiques have been onboard select MSC ships, bringing these luxury hand-crafted timepieces to a discerning clientele of cruise guests.

Commenting on the new partnership, Pierfrancesco Vago, Worldwide CEO of MSC Cruises, said, “This partnership is another indication of MSC’s excellence and ability to attract esteemed brands. This partnership showcases our desire to continually offer the best products and onboard experience for our valued guests.”

Significant similarities: The partnership represents a particularly complementary pairing of two companies able to leverage their common commercial interests around a shared set of values. At the core of both businesses is the ability to combine technical excellence with an elegant design aesthetic, one that is constantly being revisited. Both the luxury liner and the precision watches are crafted by hand by talented artisans, all of whom are as passionate as they are skilled.

Business synergies: In addition to sharing a solid foundation of similar values, there are key strategic synergies driving the MSC Cruises - Baume & Mercier alliance. The elegant environment of MSC Cruise’s ships and the company’s dedicated onboard horology and jewelry boutiques offer the perfect setting in which to showcase Baume & Mercier timepieces.

Joint celebrations at launch of new vessel: The celebratory launch of MSC Cruises’ newest ship, MSC Magnifica, provided the ideal platform to celebrate the new vessel and the partnership. Taking place in Hamburg, Germany earlier this month, Baume & Mercier presented 12 handmade timepieces customized with the MSC Magnifica name and launch date to select VIPs in attendance.

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

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Vintage Room Highlights 1990 Cuvees & Celebrates Crystal’s 20th Anniversary

LOS ANGELES, March 29: The year 1990 was extraordinary for wine. Think Krug, Brut, Reims, France 1990 and Barbaresco, Angelo Gaja, Piedmont, Italy 1990 and Dominus, Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, California 1990. These and other celebrated selections born 20 years ago star in Crystal Cruises’ Vintage Room experiences debuting this month in celebration of Crystal’s own 20th anniversary. Perfectly paired with an exquisite tasting menu of Osetra Caviar served with a crème fraiche cannoli, poached lobster and asparagus salad, fresh fish, Côte de Beouf, and other sweet and savory small plates, the wines of 1990 are widely considered the third and strongest year in a triumvirate of excellent vintages.

All of the 2010 Vintage Room experiences – on every cruise this year – feature 1990 wine dinners for up to 14 guests in the intimate, stylish dining lounges of the same name aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. Crystal’s professional, certified sommeliers and imaginative chefs will design each menu to pair perfectly with the rare 1990 wines available during each cruise and the cruising region.

In all, the 20th Anniversary Vintage Room debuts with:
Krug, Brut, Reims, France 1990
Riesling, Auslese, “Ockfener Bockstein”, Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, Mosel, Germany 1990 Barbaresco, Angelo Gaja, Piedmont, Italy 1990 Dominus, Dominus Estate, Napa Valley, California 1990 Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France 1990 Château Rieussec, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France 1990

“Like Crystal Cruises, the wines of 1990 are coveted by connoisseurs for their marvelous depth, finesse, perfect balance and great longevity,” says Toni Neumeister, Crystal’s vice president, food & beverage. “The 1990 Vintage Room experiences are a fitting way to celebrate our 20th year and the highly nuanced Crystal experience.”

Based on the rarity and caliber of the wines, each Vintage Room experience is priced at $490 per person. A dedicated sommelier will share the significance of each wine with each pour.

With worldwide itineraries of seven- to 100+ days, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity are consistently distinguished as the highest rated ships in the world. For more than a dozen years, Crystal Cruises has been voted the “World’s Best” more than any resort, hotel or cruise line in history. For more information and Crystal Cruises reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625 or visit

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Cunard Line Welcomes Nobel Peace Prize Winner & Celebrated Activist
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu Aboard Queen Mary 2

March 26: The Most Reverend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu arrived in Cape Town, South Africa today after enjoying a segment of Cunard Line’s 2010 World Voyage onboard the legendary Queen Mary 2. Upon the flagship’s arrival - her maiden call to Cape Town - Archbishop Tutu, flanked by Captain Nick Bates and Cunard Line President Peter Shanks, unveiled a plaque that read: “This plaque was unveiled by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to commemorate his voyage onboard Queen Mary 2 between Port Louis and Cape Town from 20 March to 25 March 2010.”

During the voyage, guests enjoyed a standing room only Cunard Insights Q&A session and lecture with Archbishop Tutu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism, the Gandhi Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Additionally, guests had the opportunity to participate in a silent auction and bid on advanced copies of Archbishop Tutu’s new book, “Made for Goodness,” co-written by his daughter Mpho Andrea Tutu. Proceeds from the silent auction benefited his charity, the Zithulele Hospital based in Eastern Cape province.

“It was an honor to have Archbishop Tutu onboard Queen Mary 2 during this World Voyage, especially as the ship sailed into Cape Town for the first time,” said Peter Shanks. “Our guests were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet this living luminary, and I am delighted to say that he now holds a very special place in Cunard's 170-year history."

Archbishop Tutu joins Cunard's illustrious legacy of welcoming world-famous guests and politicians, including Winston Churchill, President Nelson Mandela, Lady Margaret Thatcher, Elizabeth Taylor, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Rod Stewart and Buzz Aldrin.

Cunard Insights is the company's award-winning onboard enrichment programme that introduces guests to stimulating experts and accomplished visionaries who reflect the Line's heritage of adventure and prestige. Through a series of lectures, Q&A's, social gatherings and workshops, guests connect with personalities who have achieved notable distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, arts and literature. The Insights programme underscores Cunard’s longstanding view that onboard entertainment should afford guests a provocative and rewarding cerebral experience. For more information about Queen Mary 2 or to book a voyage, consult your travel professional, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD (728-6273) or go to

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Princess Cruises Announces Australian Expansion

Princess Cruises has announced that its superliner Sea Princess will be based in Australia over the 2011-12 cruise season, taking the size of the locally based Princess fleet to an unprecedented four ships. Sailing from Sydney between October 2011 and March 2012, the 77,000-ton Sea Princess will offer cruises to New Zealand, Japan and Tasmania. She will join Dawn Princess, Sun Princess and Sapphire Princess in sailing Australian waters.

Sea Princess' move to Sydney means that the popular Sun Princess will head north to Brisbane from September 2011 until February 2012, becoming the first Princess Cruises' ship to be based in the Queensland capital. Sun Princess' cruises from Brisbane will include seven 2-week sojourns to New Zealand, two 11-night South Pacific cruises to Fiji, and an exciting new 41-night voyage to Asia, featuring visits to Brunei, Vietnam, Japan and China including Beijing.

Meanwhile, Dawn Princess will return to Melbourne for another summer season, offering cruises to New Zealand, around Australia and to Tahiti and Hawaii.

Announcing Princess' expansion in Australia, Princess Cruises President Alan Buckelew said Australian interest in Princess Cruises' ships was at an all-time high. "Since Princess Cruises based its first superliner, Sun Princess, in Australian waters full time in late 2007, it's been clear that Australians love the cruise line's relaxed style of cruising as well as the exotic destinations that it offers," Buckelew said. Dawn Princess debuted full time in Australia in late 2008 and has been just as successful as Sun Princess, so we think the time is right to introduce their sister ship, Sea Princess, into the Australian market. Meanwhile Sapphire Princess, the youngest ship to be deployed in Australian waters, attracts a large number of Australians and Americans on its trans-Tasman voyages each summer."

A sister ship to Dawn Princess and Sun Princess, Sea Princess first debuted in the Princess fleet in 1998. She carries 1990 passengers and offers 975 staterooms, including more than 400 with private balconies. Her other features include two showlounges, four pools, two main restaurants, a steakhouse, pizzeria and 24-hour café as well as a giant poolside movie screen.

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Carnival Cruise Lines Launches Fleetwide Fundraising Initiative
Benefitting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®

MIAMI, March 25: Carnival Cruise Lines, the world’s largest cruise operator, has partnered with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to launch a comprehensive fundraising initiative with a goal of raising $3 million for the organization over the next three years. St. Jude is one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic diseases. The program, called Care to Play: Carnival For St. Jude Kids, kicks off the week of March 28 aboard all 22 Carnival ships and provides guests an opportunity to participate in fun, interactive activities designed to raise funds and awareness in the fight against childhood cancer. The new shipboard fundraising effort is the second phase of the Carnival-St. Jude partnership that began late last year with the line’s initial $50,000 donation to St. Jude. Funds were raised through Carnival’s “Virtual Book of Dreams” contest which asked kids to share their dreams for an opportunity to become the cruise industry’s first waterslide godchild.

Care to Play activities include the “Groove for St. Jude,” a fun dance activity held once each cruise that allows guests to make a $10 donation and “groove to the music” in one of the ship’s high-energy dance clubs with sounds provided by the ship’s DJ. Guests receive a Care to Play T-shirt and wristband and 100 percent of their donation goes directly to St. Jude. Another component is Carnival’s Teddy Bear Workshop in which children from the line’s Camp Carnival program can build their own cuddly St. Jude keepsake bear. To show their support, kids can also customize their bear with doctor’s apparel, including scrubs, surgical mask, and a lab coat. One hundred percent of profits, after all related expenses, benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Additionally, copies of the “The Dream Plucker of Perrysport,” a highly imaginative children’s book based on creative stories and illustrations submitted by Camp Carnival participants, will be sold in the shipboard Camp Carnival facilities for $5.95. One hundred percent of the purchase price of this item will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Several hundred copies of the book have also been donated to the hospital. A number of other fun and exciting activities are planned for the future and will be announced at a later date.

Just in time for Opening Day, Carnival will be auctioning off the baseball bat signed by All-Star third baseman Alex Rodriguez of the World Champion New York Yankees that was used in the Carnival Dream’s naming ceremony in New York. Those interested in bidding on this one-of-a-kind commemorative item can visit, a special Web site that highlights the Carnival-St. Jude partnership. One hundred percent of the auction proceeds will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The site also includes a two-minute video on Carnival-St. Jude initiatives, a listing of the line’s yearly progress toward its fundraising goal, and a link to St. Jude’s Web site where visitors can donate directly to the organization.

“Carnival Cruise Lines is pleased to launch the Care to Play initiative which provides our guests with a number of wonderful and memorable ways to help some very special children,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “With a goal of $3 million, these fundraising opportunities will enable our guests to assist St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in their groundbreaking efforts in the fight against childhood cancer,” he added.

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The Yachts of Seabourn Names Captain of Sojourn

MIAMI, March 25: The Yachts of Seabourn has named Captain Karlo Buer to be master of Seabourn Sojourn when it debuts on June 6, 2010, in London. Capt. Buer has served as captain on all Seabourn yachts over the past 19 years, including Seabourn Odyssey when the vessel was introduced in 2009. Capt. Buer has been at sea since he was 16 years old, working with various companies and on different ships, including Royal Viking Line. He graduated as a master from the Norwegian merchant marine academy in 1980. Buer joined Seabourn in 1989, supervising the construction of Seabourn Spirit that year, and then worked in Seabourn’s Oslo office for more than a year, before returning to the ships in 1991 as master of Seabourn Spirit. A native of Norway, Capt. Buer will return there as master of Seabourn Sojourn during its maiden season. On June 6, 2010, Seabourn Sojourn will operate a 14-day maiden voyage from London to Dover, visiting Scotland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, the Norwegian Fjords and Amsterdam. The maiden season will also include a series of 12- to 14-day voyages in Northern Europe, including Norway, Scotland, the Baltic Sea and Russia, offering the most luxurious and spacious cruise experience in the cruising region.

“We are pleased that Capt. Buer will be in command of our newest yacht when we welcome Seabourn Sojourn to our fleet this summer,” said Pamela C. Conover, Seabourn’s President and CEO. “He has been the supervising captain at the yard during her completion, and it’s fitting that he will take her to sea and start her on her career.”

Like its sister ship, Seabourn Odyssey, Sojourn will provide the most exclusive all-suite accommodation available at sea, with 225 suites in total, 90 percent of which have private verandas. Top of the range suites include Wintergarden Suites with private solarium and veranda, and Signature Suites with sweeping verandas and unrivalled views facing forward. All suites will feature separate living areas and bedrooms, writing desks with personalized stationery, iPod and MP3 connections and spacious granite bathrooms with separate bath and shower and twin sinks.

The two-deck, state of the art Spa at Seabourn will feature a Spa Villa that can be reserved for hours of pure indulgence and relaxation. The new vessel will offer four dining venues, including a spacious open-seating Restaurant capable of seating all guests. Six bars and lounges will serve a full range of beverages including fine wines and spirits with Seabourn’s compliments.

Seabourn is currently offering two-for-one cruise fares and value-priced round trip airfare on Sojourn’s Europe maiden season. On Jan. 5, 2011, Sojourn will embark on a 111-day World Cruise from Los Angeles to London via the South Pacific, New Zealand, around Western Australia, Indonesia and Southeast Asia, India, Arabia and the Mediterranean. For more information, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Princess Cruises Debuts New Land Excursion Options for Alaska Cruisetour Passengers

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 25: Princess Cruises has added nine new choices to its lineup of optional land excursions for Alaska cruisetours, giving travelers opportunities for fresh adventures, including discovering how local hunters and trappers live, exploring by ATV, riding a dog cart, visiting a true Eskimo village or learning to cook Alaska cuisine. In total, the optional land excursion program features 96 tour choices that cruisetour travelers can add to the land portion of their trip. These activities are currently open for purchase and offer a range of experiences from easygoing to exhilarating – including cultural tours, nature hikes, kayak adventures and flightseeing tours. Cruisetour passengers can get additional information about the land excursions from a new section on Princess’ web site, offering full details on the program and tour listings.

“Just like shore excursions from our ships, these optional land excursions are selected to give cruisetour guests some uniquely Alaska adventures and experiences,” said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. “And because these tours are all operated by Alaskan companies, travelers will be able to experience the state from a true local perspective.”

Land excursions operate from each of Princess’ own wilderness lodges – Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge and Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge – as well as from additional locations featured on some cruisetours, such as Anchorage and Coldfoot (for Arctic Explorer cruisetours).

New land excursion options debuting this season include:

Wilderness Living Adventure & Dog Cart Ride (Denali) – How did the hunters, trappers and woodsmen of old travel and live in the wilderness of Alaska? This tour provides a look at many Alaskans who make their living in the wilderness near Denali. The hosts share stories about their lives, particularly what winters are like in Denali. A dog cart ride takes travelers down a rustic trail for a taste of sledding and possible views of Mt. McKinley.
Anaktuvuk Pass Adventure (Coldfoot) – Guests can visit a true Eskimo village with this tour to the Nunamiut village of Anaktuvuk Pass. Travelers fly northwest from Coldfoot to Anaktuvuk Pass, nestled in the heart of the majestic Brooks Mountain Range and the Gates of the Arctic National Park. Once in the village, guests will get a first-hand look at life in Anaktuvuk Pass as it exists today.
A Taste of Fairbanks – An evening at Chez World Cooking School will show travelers how to prepare food the Alaskan way. Whether they fully experience the class with hands-on participation or simply watch the overhead monitors, students will learn the secrets behind Alaskan delicacies such as salmon, reindeer sausage, halibut, crab, moose, and caribou, as well sourdough bread and pancakes. Students will get to taste the entrees of the day plus take home recipes and a chef’s apron.
Susitna River Airboat Adventure (Mt. McKinley) – Travelers can experience parts of the lovely Susitna River that others can’t with this airboat excursion. Piloted by a captain who knows the waters well, the airboat can navigate through narrow channels, moving through inches of water and in some cases no water at all. Participants will enjoy the beauty of the Susitna while looking for wildlife and their tracks, and can even bring home a souvenir animal track casting. On clear days, they can also marvel at spectacular views of Mt. McKinley.
Sea Kayaking at Columbia Glacier (Copper River) – This opportunity to paddle into the massive Columbia Glacier icefield offers an experience that travelers will never forget. From Valdez participants take a scenic ride to Columbia Glacier for a kayaking expedition up close to the glacier, plus lunch on the beach. The excursion could also result in sightings of wildlife such as seals, sea otters, bald eagles, sea lions, whales and bears.
Chatanika Gold Camp & ATV Ride with Dinner (Fairbanks) – The early miners never traveled like this! Following a hearty dinner at Chatanika Gold Camp, travelers take a 2.5 hour ATV ride along a mining trail used by early miners to access the surrounding gold fields. The approximately 15-mile route follows a ridge line and offers beautiful views of the distant mountains and valleys.
Explore Historic Seward (Kenai) – From Kenai, travelers can enjoy a drive down one of the nation’s most scenic highways and past parts of the Iditarod National Historic Trail. At the end of the road at Resurrection Bay is the historic city of Seward, gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park. Travelers will have plenty of time to see the town, visit local attractions or browse the quaint shops and art galleries.
South Denali 65-Mile ATV Adventure (Mt. McKinley) – An ATV adventure along dirt roads carved out of the wilderness by the area’s first prospectors, this tour takes travelers far into the back-country of south Denali with its cascading waterfalls and scenic wonders. Participants can also try their hand at panning for gold in Peters Creek.
Scenic Koyukuk River Float (Coldfoot) – It’s not too often that travelers can enjoy a scenic float trip 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle! This tour takes passengers down the Middle Fork Koyukuk River through the Brooks Mountain Range, where they can relax as their raft floats through the vast wilderness of Alaska and a guide shares the rich history of the region.

Optional land excursion information is available through the passenger’s online Cruise Personalizer. Tours are currently available for pre-purchase by calling 1-800-426-0442. As many tours fill up quickly, passengers are encouraged to make excursion selections as early as possible. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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March 27th Passport Day Helps US Citizens Save Before Fee Increases

SILVER SPRING, MD, March 24: On Saturday, March 27th, all 23 regional passport offices will be open to the public in honor of "Passport Day in the USA." On this Saturday, any citizen in need of a passport can walk into any of these 23 offices without an appointment between 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. A list of these office locations can be found at

The timing of this event is particularly beneficial to American citizens as it occurs before passport fees are likely to increase later this spring. The U.S. State Department formally announced on Feb 9, 2010 its proposal to increase U.S. passport fees in order to fully recover its costs for producing these travel documents. The State Department said it intends to implement its proposed new fees as soon as practicable after it reviews public comments, but certainly not before April.

A summary of some of the proposed fee increases for both the passport book and card are as follows:

-- First-time Passport Book for Adult - Increasing from $100 to $135
-- Renewal Passport Book for Adult - Increasing from $75 to $110
-- Passport Book for Minors - Increases from $60 to $105
-- Passport Card for Adult - From $20 to $30
-- Passport Card for Minors - From $10 to $15

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Holland America Line Offers Holiday Escapes With 22 Warm Water Cruises

Seattle, WA, March 24: Whether you’re seeking an entirely new holiday experience or simply escaping the frantic pace of the season, Holland America Line offers 22 holiday cruises in 2010 for warm weather celebrations.

“Holiday cruises are a very special experience,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Holiday cruises are a very special experience,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Our crew takes special pride in delivering all the seasonal favorites for guests to enjoy without the traditional rush. Holiday meals, decorations and family time can be savored while sailing through warm, picturesque waters.”

Sail the Caribbean on 7 to 14-day Cruises
Departing between Dec. 17 and Dec. 31 aboard seven ships — ms Westerdam, ms Maasdam, ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Ryndam, ms Prinsendam and ms Noordam — options abound for Caribbean cruises with 13 holiday sailings from Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa over one or both holidays. Itineraries include exploring the southern Caribbean via a seven-day cruise with stops in such exotic ports as Aruba, Curaçao and Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s private Bahamian island. Or try seven days exploring the rich waters of the eastern Caribbean and legendary ports of call such as Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Finally, holiday cruisers can settle into several western Caribbean options with stops that may include Belize, Montego Bay, Georgetown, Costa Maya and Key West.

The more adventurous travelers can opt for a 10- or 14-day cruise throughout the Caribbean and usher in the New Year in St. Thomas or St. George’s while sampling the ports of Barbados and Grand Turk. Most itineraries feature a visit to Half Moon Cay, the line’s award-winning exclusive private island experience with white sand beaches, aqua waters and shore activities from horseback riding to a stingray adventure.

Sunny Mexican Riviera & Panama Canal for a Festive Occasion
Departing from Fort Lauderdale, San Diego or Los Angeles in mid to late December, Holland America Line offers five cruises that visit the warm water ports of the Mexican Riviera — Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, Puerto Chiapas and Puerto Quetzal — as well as the Central America coastline and Panama Canal.

The Sunfarer Caribbean Holiday cruise is a 10-day trip departing roundtrip Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 23 aboard ms Zuiderdam and sailing through the southern Caribbean with Christmas Eve at Half Moon Cay, a partial transit of the Panama Canal to Gatun Lake and New Year’s Eve at sea before returning on Jan. 2, 2011.

Two additional cruises visit the Panama Canal beginning with the 14-day Panama Canal which departs Los Angeles on Dec. 22 aboard ms Amsterdam in time for Christmas Day at sea and stops in Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica before traversing the Canal en route to Ft. Lauderdale. Or guests can opt for the 14-day Panama Canal Holiday Cruise aboard ms Statendam departing San Diego on Christmas Eve. Stops in Mexico include Puerto Vallarta and Puerto Chiapas before crossing the Canal to Fort Lauderdale.

Christmas and New Years holidays along the Mexican Riviera can be particularly memorable with an eight-day cruise from San Diego aboard ms Oosterdam on Dec. 18 or a seven-day sailing on Dec. 26 that visit Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Or guests can opt for a 12-day cruise departing Dec. 22 aboard ms Rotterdam that features Christmas Eve in Cabo San Lucas, Christmas Day at sea and New Year’s Eve in Mazatlan.

Longer Voyages Sail the Pacific
The warm waters of the far Pacific offer memorable holiday adventures as well. A 14-day Circle Hawaii sailing aboard ms Zaandam departs San Diego Dec. 19 with Christmas Eve in Hilo, Christmas Day in Honolulu and New Year’s Day in Ensenada, Mexico. Departing Dec. 17, the 16-day Australia-New Zealand Holiday Cruise aboard ms Volendam explores the southern coast of Australia from Sydney before an extensive tour of exotic New Zealand ports like Milford Sound and Auckland and celebrating Christmas Eve in Wellington.

White Christmas in the Antarctic
Guests who want their holidays adorned with snow and ice will see a white Christmas aboard the adventurous 17-day South America and Antarctica Explorer journey. Departing Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile, Dec. 20, ms Veendam steers south amid the glaciers to spend Christmas Eve cruising Darwin Channel and the Chilean Fjords, Christmas Day sailing Amalia Glacier Canal and New Year’s Eve in the Antarctic Sound.

Host of Special Activities for All Guests
Holland America Line’s on-board festivities for the entire family include holiday decorations, sumptuous traditional meals, special movie showings, a visit for the kids from Santa — sometimes arriving by parasail — activities and crafts for the Club HAL kids program, strolling carolers, tree lighting ceremony, eggnog in the Atrium, Christmas brunch, Santa’s milk and cookie late-night snack and a holiday show by the crew on Christmas Eve. For sailings over Hanukkah, ships display a ceremonial Menorah. New Year’s Eve cruisers will enjoy the New Year’s Eve Gala and the broadcast of select college bowl games on board ships. Each holiday voyage features clergy to conduct Catholic, Protestant and Jewish services (for cruises over Hanukkah). Another special feature for the holidays are culinary classes highlighting such traditional seasonal treats as latkes with rosemary and brown butter sauce; Alsatian potato and bacon tarts; sausage cakes with red wine prunes; and other tasty holiday fare.

For more information, contact a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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New Crystal Itinerary Focuses on Spain

LOS ANGELES, March 24: From Picasso to paella, Spain's rich history, art, architecture and cuisine is the focus of Crystal Cruises' new Mediterranean itinerary in October. Award-winning Crystal Serenity sails a new route from Rome, calling in Barcelona, home of Gaudi's masterpieces; Valencia, where classic Spanish paella was first perfected; Malaga , birthplace of Pablo Picasso, and a maiden visit to Almeria, known for its expansive coastline and beaches. Late night and overnight calls enable guests to even enjoy Spain's cultural treasures, outdoor adventures and vivacious nightlife.

"Each year we add new ports to our comprehensive Europe collection -- sprinkling less familiar cities with the known hot spots," says Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales & marketing. "Crystal guests enjoy places that offer a variety of travel experiences, and Spain is currently one of the most favored tourist destinations for travelers worldwide."

Numerous culinary and cultural Crystal Adventures ashore complement exclusive experiences- like a private apartment visit in Gaudi's famed La Pedrera House - and aerial adventures like helicopter and paragliding experiences. The 11-day, October 31 voyage also calls in Naples and Sicily, Italy; Valetta, Malta; and Tunis, Tunisia. Among the noted history and world affairs speakers slated for this cruise are former Washington Post bureau chief Thomas Lippmann (also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations) and Dr. Jay Wolff of Florida Gulf Coast University's Renaissance Academy and a commentator on the History Channel.

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

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March 27th Passport Day Helps US Citizens Save Before Fee Increases

Passport Offices Open March 27th for "Passport Day in the USA," Association Applauds Agency for Saturday Opening Without Appointments

SILVER SPRING, MD, March 24: On Saturday, March 27th, all 23 regional passport offices will be open to the public in honor of "Passport Day in the USA." On this Saturday, any citizen in need of a passport can walk into any of these 23 offices without an appointment between 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. A list of these office locations can be found at

The timing of this event is particularly beneficial to American citizens as it occurs before passport fees are likely to increase later this spring. The U.S. State Department formally announced on Feb 9, 2010 its proposal to increase U.S. passport fees in order to fully recover its costs for producing these travel documents. The State Department said it intends to implement its proposed new fees as soon as practicable after it reviews public comments, but certainly not before April.

A summary of some of the proposed fee increases for both the passport book and card are as follows:

-- First-time Passport Book for Adult - Increasing from $100 to $135
-- Renewal Passport Book for Adult - Increasing from $75 to $110
-- Passport Book for Minors - Increases from $60 to $105
-- Passport Card for Adult - From $20 to $30
-- Passport Card for Minors - From $10 to $15

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“Deadliest Catch” Captain Keith Colburn to Sail
on Holland America Line's ms Zaandam June 18

Seattle, March 24: Captain Keith Colburn of Discovery Channel’s Emmy-nominated “Deadliest Catch” series is scheduled to sail as part of the guest-enrichment program on the June 18, 2010, Alaskan Explorer Voyage aboard Holland America Line’s ms Zaandam. The 7-day cruise sails round-trip from Seattle, and calls at Glacier Bay, Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan, Alaska, and Victoria, B.C., Canada. During his cruise, Colburn will share his expertise on how to select, crack and clean fresh crab, while Holland America Line’s executive chef demonstrates different ways to prepare and serve this delectable Alaska seafood favorite. Colburn is one of more than 65 celebrated chefs and wine experts scheduled to sail in 2010 and share their expertise in the line's Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine magazine.

Colburn started as a true greenhorn on an Alaskan crabber in 1985. The fishing lifestyle and camaraderie of being part of a crew, along with working in and against the elements, captured him immediately. While initially looking only for adventure in Alaska’s unknown waters, Colburn found something unexpected: a career. In 1988, he became a full-share deck hand on the Wizard, and in 1992 he received his master’s license and has since remained as captain of the vessel that he eventually purchased. As captain, Colburn has garnered numerous accolades, including the number-one combined catch history from 1999 to 2005 in a fleet of more than 250 vessels for king crab and snow crab; number-one catcher vessel allocation in the Bering Sea for combined king crab and snow crab from 1995 to present; and number-one snow crab vessel in the Bering Sea crab fleet in 2002 and 2004. Since its television debut in 2005, “Deadliest Catch” has been Discovery Channel's number-one regular series. Viewers follow the captains and crew of crab-fishing vessels in the Bering Sea as they struggle against treacherous weather conditions to perform one of the deadliest—and most lucrative—jobs in the world.

Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center
Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center is featured on each of the line’s 14 ships. A first-class “show kitchen at sea,” the Culinary Arts Centers presented by Food & Wine magazine resemble the elaborate show kitchens used by celebrity chefs on television cooking programs. The facilities offer demonstrations, tastings and hands-on cooking classes aboard every Holland America Line sailing. Each facility features a theater-style venue, with two large plasma video screens and a large cooking display counter where guests can learn from and interact with the masters. On cruises that do not have a celebrity chef on board, hands-on classes and demonstrations in the show kitchen are scheduled with Holland America Line’s own expert chefs.

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

For a full schedule of Holland America Line’s culinary guest program, visit  and click on the Culinary Arts Center tab.

From Culinary Demonstrations to What Life’s Like on the Bering Sea
For guests visiting Ketchikan, Alaska, Holland America Line’s “Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour” offers a behind-the-scenes look at life aboard the Aleutian Ballad — the same vessel seen on Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” program. The three-and-a-half-hour tour, which sails the calm, protected waters of coastal Ketchikan, reveals all manner of sea life including a skilled fishing crew hauling crab pots and fishing lines just as if they were working in the Bering Sea. For more details about this Holland America Line shore excursion, or the line’s entire shore excursions program, visit  and click the “book shore excursions” button.

For cruise brochures or for more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Paul Gauguin Cruises Offers Smooth Sailings For Savvy Singles

BELLEVUE, WA, March 24: No ring, no worries! Now there’s good news for single travelers – Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest rated and longest continually-sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, is waiving single supplement fees for seven Spring sailings, making it more affordable than ever to sail solo.

“Single” has never been a popular term, especially when referring to “single supplement” fees on cruises, forcing those who prefer single staterooms to pay significantly more for their vacations than travelers sharing a double room or cabin. Move over, Cupid -- by waiving single supplements on select sailings to the exotic South Pacific this season, Paul Gauguin Cruises is saving guests thousands.

Now singles can enjoy the extraordinary natural wonders of French Polynesia: explore coral reefs; hike rainforest trails; visit marae (ancient Polynesian temples); get lost in a great book on Paul Gauguin’s private island, Motu Mahana; indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment; or savor a split of something sparkling on their private balcony aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin. Who says two is better than one?

Reservations must be made by April 30th, 2010 on one of the sailings below. Contact your Professional Travel Agent, call 1-800-848-6172 or visit

Sailing Dates*:

Apr. 6, 2010: Cook & Society Islands - 11 nights
Apr. 17, 2010: Society Islands - 7 nights
Apr. 24, 2010: Society Islands - 7 nights
May 8, 2010: Fiji Westbound Itinerary - 13 nights
May 22, 2010: Fiji Eastbound Itinerary - 15 nights
June 12, 2010: Society Islands - 7 nights
June 19, 2010: Society Islands - 7 nights

*Applies to Stateroom Categories B-F

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

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

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All Seabourn Voyages Through Fall 2011 Are Now Open For Sale

MIAMI, March 23: The Yachts of Seabourn has opened its 2011-2012 cruise season for sale today, with a value-packed promotion featuring Two-for-One cruise fares plus value-priced air add-ons on all Seabourn voyages through fall of 2011. Cruise fares start from $3,250 per person, and value-priced round-trip, add-on airfares from 40 North American gateways begin from $499 for economy and from $1,999 for business class. A complete, 24-month listing of cruise itineraries and fares is available on Seabourn’s website,

“We are excited to be opening up the most wide-ranging and diverse cruise schedule Seabourn has ever planned," said Pamela C. Conover, Seabourn’s President and CEO. “With the addition of Seabourn Sojourn this June, and Seabourn Quest in 2011, travelers can book now to travel well and save well, on six intimate Seabourn yachts sailing to every corner of the world.”

To qualify for the Two-for-One promotional fares, 2010 and 2011 cruises must be booked by May 31, 2010. Both the cruise fare and airfare promotions are capacity controlled and subject to space availability. Certain other restrictions apply. For more information, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Cruise West Sets the Table with Local Culinary Delights for World Voyage Explorers

Seattle, WA, March 23: While Cruise West’s Voyages of the Great Explorers is global in scope, the star of onboard dining is most definitely local. An artful blend and variety of regional delights sets the table for global culinary adventure, culled from many ports of call that highlight Cruise West’s 24 worldwide voyages.

“As we planned the menu for this global voyage, we thought why not engage our onboard chefs to explore the local cuisine and prepare entrées based on ingredients available in the countries visited,” said Douglas Kramer, executive corporate chef. “It presents our staff with opportunities to entertain and educate our guests via a sampling of local culinary delights that complements the theme of each voyage. And it allows us to support local communities by procuring fresh and healthy ingredients.”

Since the cruise set sail on March 6 from Singapore, guests on board the line’s flagship 60-suite Spirit of Oceanus are dining on sumptuous fare. The line developed and introduced a culinary program ‘Palate’ in 2009 that has become a signature hallmark of Cruise West, featuring an expertly crafted dining experience through distinctive food and wine pairings. Menu selections highlight the cuisine of the Pacific Northwest (the line is Seattle-based) as well as regional cuisine.

Reflecting the spirit of exploration of the 24 exotic voyages, the Oceanus’ chef shops local markets at each port of call and then prepares a soup and entrée selection indigenous to that destination. Based on research of the country’s traditions, the chef and servers describe each nightly regional offering, explaining its particular cultural connection. For example, Thai food is known for its balance of five fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: hot (spicy), sour, sweet, salty and bitter. On the voyage that includes Thailand, the chef’s are cooking up Crispy Catfish Green Mango Salad ‘Yum Pla Dook Foo.’ Where applicable, local wines are paired with the regional selection, further extending the regional history and culture represented in food.

From Myanmar to New Zealand, the ambitious itinerary of the global journey is reflected in the preparation of regional cuisine. Guests can anticipate such local delights as Persian Duck in Pomegranate Walnut Sauce from Iran to White Fish Pie from Malta to Coconut Ahi Ceviche from Polynesia to Moussaka from Greece. And just for variety, the sturdy American hamburger is well represented on the cruise as well. In fact, the ship’s culinary staff is pressing their own specially seasoned burger patties for lunch or dinner staring a different Chefs Gourmet burger each day, accompanied by freshly baked buns.

Each of the 24 meticulously crafted itineraries from Asia to the Mediterranean, Europe to the Americas and throughout the South Pacific, offers the most discerning and well-traveled guests an array of distinctive choices and authentic experiences. Suites and savings are still available on 2010 and 2011/2012 voyages. For further details, visit, call 800-296-8307 or contact a travel professional.

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Silversea Announces First-Ever Corporate Chefs Culinary Cruise

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 23: Silversea continues its commitment to the culinary enrichment of its guests with the creation of Flavors of the Mediterranean, a special program showcasing the talents of its corporate chefs, slated for the May 24, Rome-to-Nice sailing of Silver Whisper. This unique voyage is designed to highlight the flavors of the Mediterranean by bringing together, for the first time, Silversea's corporate culinary stars to tantalize guests with festive dinners and tastings, cooking demonstrations and wine pairings. Guests can attend lectures discussing top trends from terroir to sustainable; join optional tours to renowned wineries and bistros; and visit a local market with a chef to learn how to pick the perfect ingredients for a delicious meal.

The cast for this epicurean extravaganza includes:

Rudi Scholdis -- voyage host and Silversea's director of culinary development. Belgium-born Scholdis has catered to an impressive list of international celebrities. After cooking his way across Europe, he spent five years working in top London hotels, culminating with the legendary Dorchester. From Alain Ducasse to Charlie Trotter, Scholdis has worked alongside some of the world's leading chefs. He has catered for Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles; and served heads of state from President Bill Clinton and Saudi Arabia's King Fahd to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, plus an array of Hollywood superstars.
David Bilsland -- Silversea's culinary trainer and program leader for L'École des Chefs. Educated in classic French cooking, Bilsland's career includes several years as a chef/instructor at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in London. He currently hosts Silversea's L'École des Chefs, a unique interactive cooking school offered in partnership with Relais & Châteaux.
Richard Weichbold -- the corporate chef for Silversea. This son of a South African restaurateur moved to London where he became sous chef at the Dorchester. In 2003 he left the urban scene to join Silversea as executive chef aboard Silver Shadow and was promoted to corporate chef in 2009.
Alberto Colombo -- Silversea's corporate Italian chef. A native of Turin, graduate of the Culinary Institute in Alessandria and an alumnus of some of Piedmont's top restaurants, Colombo is steeped in the gastronomic traditions of a region known as Italy's culinary star. He oversees the authentic Italian regional cuisine for Silversea's fleet-wide La Terrazza restaurants.
Alex Hekimov -- the corporate pastry chef for Silversea. From Shanghai to London, Hekimov has practiced his craft in a number of major international hotels before joining Silversea in 2002. In 2009, he was named "Barcardi Chef of the Year" for his Citrus & Barcardi Indulgence recipe. However, his true addiction is chocolate and today he travels from ship to ship, making sure the croissants are flaky, the dough perfect, and the desserts -- a chocoholic's nirvana.
Lyn Farmer -- the wine consultant for Silversea. This widely published wine and food writer and senior editor of The Wine News magazine, has been honored with the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Writing on Wine and Spirits. He has judged international wine competitions and led tastings and tours to food and wine regions throughout the world. His A Moment on Wine video series is featured throughout the Silversea fleet.

"With Silversea's Italian heritage, it is not surprising that Mediterranean cuisines are very close to our heart," said Scholdis. "And with the ports on this itinerary, our chefs can demonstrate their artistry with a bounty of fresh ingredients."

From Rome to the Riviera, guests on this 7-day voyage will explore lands where wines are mellow, glories eternal and breezes fragrant with rosemary and thyme. They will chart their own course to gastronomic discovery with the option to savor the flavors of Sicily at a Relais & Châteaux restaurant along the Amalfi Drive, or by joining a cooking class in St. Tropez, perhaps, or Corsica. The May 24, 2010, Flavors of the Mediterranean cruise (#4013) aboard the all-suite, 382-guest Silver Whisper departs from Rome for Sorrento, Taormina, Palermo, Calvi (Corsica), St. Tropez and Nice. Available is a free roundtrip air package that includes transfers between airport and pier on the day of embarkation and disembarkation. The free air package is available from 22 gateway cities in the U.S. and Canada. It is a capacity-controlled program offered for a limited time. Additionally, there are specially priced air programs available from another 50 cities.

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

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Dan Rather & Robert Lacey to Headline Stellar Roster of Speakers
 on Silversea World Cruise 2011

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 22: The world's newest ultra-luxury, all-suite cruise ship, Silver Spirit, will take to the seas next January on a 119-day eastbound World Cruise traversing both hemispheres from Los Angeles to Southampton. To complement such an extraordinary odyssey, Silversea is lining up an impressive array of distinguished speakers. Among those already tapped to host enriching presentations are:

Dan Rather: The Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist who anchored the CBS Evening News for 24 years, and contributed to CBS' 60 Minutes and other prime-time news programs, will host Voyage 5107, March 22-April 3, Hong Kong-Singapore.
Robert Lacey: The British historian and biographer, whose numerous international bestsellers include Majesty, considered the definitive study of British monarchy, is slated to host Voyage 5110, May 3-19, Athens-Southampton.
Zahi Hawass: The world-famous Egyptologist and secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo will host Voyage 5109, April 18-May 3, Dubai-Athens.
Bruce Riedel: A senior fellow in foreign policy at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy of the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., former C.I.A. analyst, counter-terrorism expert and author is slated to host Voyage 5110, May 3-10, Athens-Southampton.
Geoffrey Blainey: The eminent Australian historian, commentator and author of numerous books, including his highly acclaimed A Short History of the World, will host Voyage 5105, Feb 12-March 1, Auckland-Sydney.
Lawrence Blair: The writer, host and co-producer of the Emmy Award-nominated BBC/PBS adventure series Ring of Fire, tracing a ten-year epic journey across the Indonesian archipelago, will host Voyage 5106, March 1-22, Sydney-Hong Kong.
Caroline Boyle-Turner: The world-renowned art historian, author of several books and founder of the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art will host Voyage 5103, Jan 20-Feb 1, Los Angeles-Papeete.
George Losey: A professor of zoology and marine biology at the University of Hawaii, who has studied the behavior and ecology of marine animals throughout the world, will host Voyage 5103, Jan 20-Feb 1, Los Angeles-Papeete.
Mark Eddowes: The New Zealand archaeologist who has lived in the Society Islands for over 20 years, doing field work throughout Polynesia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Easter Island and the Cook Islands, will host Voyages 5103-5104, Jan 20-Feb 12, Los Angeles to Auckland.
John Hartley: The retired Australian major general, a graduate of Duntroon's Royal Military College, the University of Queensland and the U.S. Army War College, will host Voyage 5106, March 1-22, Sydney-Hong Kong.
Denise Heywood: The author, journalist, photographer, fellow with the Royal Geographical Society, and lecturer for the British Museum on their Asian Art course, will host Voyages 5106-5107, March 1-April 3, Sydney-Singapore.
Scott Pearson: The recipient of a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, who taught economic development and international trade at Stanford University, winning several awards for his research and teaching, will host Voyages 5108-5109, April 3-May 3, Singapore-Athens.
Lyn Farmer: The widely published wine and food writer and senior editor of The Wine News magazine, who has been honored with the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Writing on Wine and Spirits, will host Voyage 5105, Feb 12-March 1, Auckland-Sydney.
Rosanne Martorella: The professor of sociology at William Paterson University and author of several books on art and society will host Voyage 5110, May 3-10, Athens-Southampton.

"The enrichment program is an integral part of our World Cruise experience and is designed to appeal to luxury travel's most discerning clientele," said Steve Tucker, Silversea's vice president of field sales for North America. "We scoured the globe to find fascinating personalities and some of the most distinguished and stimulating speakers. Engaging experts from an array of fields will be on hand to share their talents and perspectives."

This grandest of voyages, appropriately themed "Spirit of Discovery," begins in Los Angeles on Jan 19, when Silver Spirit is set to welcome no more than 540 privileged guests for a 119-day odyssey exploring 60 destinations in 25 countries, with 11 overnight port visits, before concluding in Southampton on May 19. Along the journey, Silver Spirit will take in the tranquility of French Polynesia, Australia's untamed landscapes, the unique customs and cultures of Asia, ancient Egyptian wonders and timeless Mediterranean hideaways spanning from Italy and Monaco to Spain and Portugal. For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent; for a complimentary brochure, please call toll-free (877) 215-9986 or visit

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Holland America Line's Signature of Excellence at Greatest Level Ever

Seattle, WA, March 18: As part of its on-going Signature of Excellence program, Holland America Line continues to add enhancements and new features to its fleet of ships, including dramatic new public areas and stateroom upgrades as well as expand their industry-leading enrichment program. From May 2009 through April 2011, 11 ships will have completed dry dock refurbishments adding several elements from the ongoing Signature of Excellence enhancements, extending the company’s efforts to its most extensive level to date.

“Signature of Excellence raised the bar in the premium cruise category and highlights Holland America Line’s outstanding brand attributes,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “The enhancements have received several awards and generated rave reviews from our guests, travel seller partners and the industry alike. We will continue to demonstrate our commitment to our fleet of mid-sized ships through our investment in this program, which engages our guests in innovative and enriching new ways.”

The unprecedented Signature of Excellence enhancements launched in 2004 emphasize Holland America Line’s dedication to all aspects of the guest experience, including spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; sophisticated five-star dining; gracious, award-winning service; extensive enrichment programs and activities; and compelling worldwide itineraries. The cruise experience delivered by Holland America Line and the Signature of Excellence enhancements appeal to discerning cruisers who prefer mid-sized ships, personalized service and sophisticated ambiance throughout both public areas and staterooms. To date, Holland America Line has invested more than $525 million into Signature of Excellence.

Latest Signature of Excellence Enhancements Arrive on Five Ships
The investment in the latest series of enhancements will include new entertainment and enrichment options and all new stateroom décor aboard five ships: ms Veendam, ms Rotterdam, ms Ryndam, ms Statendam and ms Maasdam. Veendam and Rotterdam also received a new resort pool concept and innovative new lanai staterooms. Three ships’ enhancements are already complete, while Statendam will receive upgrades in April 2010 and Maasdam in April 2011.

Public area highlights of the latest phase feature:

· Mix, a new bar concept with three specialty lounges serving their namesakes: Martinis, Champagne and Spirits & Ales.
· Showroom at Sea, a glamorous nightclub with a new slate of performances featuring seasoned Broadway entertainers.
· A new resort pool feature called The Retreat, a shallow area where guests may lounge in chairs and dip their fingers and toes in the water. The Retreat also includes a new pool bar, upscale pizzeria named Slice and a giant LED screen for evening movies.
· Canaletto, a complimentary Italian restaurant that was introduced aboard ms Eurodam, comes to life for dinner when a section of the Lido is transformed with glass partitions and an Italian ambiance.
A redesigned, high-energy casino highlighting the latest table and slot games.
· Addition of a Merabella luxury jewelry boutique.

New Stateroom Designs and Lanai & Spa Staterooms
Under the latest series of enhancements, Holland America Line is introducing new soft goods, new carpeting, completely renovated bathrooms with new vanities and cabinetry, new Spa staterooms and, on Veendam and Rotterdam, the new Lanai stateroom category.

Lanai staterooms feature doors that open directly onto the walk-around promenade, while Spa staterooms located near the Greenhouse Spa offer exclusive amenities such as an organic cotton bathrobe and slippers, yoga mat, water fountain, special room service menus and treatments, and more. In addition to the five ships mentioned earlier, Spa staterooms are currently on Eurodam and will be added to the forthcoming Nieuw Amsterdam. Additionally, on all ships, staterooms feature the Mariner Dream Bed with premium plush Euro-top mattress and high-quality cotton bed linens, flat-screen TVs and bathroom enhancements ranging from deluxe bathrobes to lighted, magnifying make-up mirrors. All suites include comfortable bed duvets, fully-stocked mini-bars, VCR/DVD players with access to an extensive video/DVD library, personalized stationery and use of the exclusive concierge-staffed Neptune Lounge.

Explorations Team Delivers Robust Enrichment Programs
To provide guests with new and unique experiences, Holland America Line offers the Explorations program, guided by staff with specific expertise ranging from technology to travel. The team includes a Party Planner, LifeStylist, Travel Guide and “Techspert.” On cruises lasting 14 days or more, a book club leader also joins the team.

Among the Explorations activities are:

· The onboard Party Planner hosting Explore Food & Entertaining events in the Culinary Arts Center, significantly expanding the innovative program which brings more than 70 culinary experts on board each year for cooking demonstrations and seminars.
· The Travel Guide, as the destination expert on board under the Explore Our World programming, delivering dynamic multimedia presentations about the ship’s itinerary and be a one-stop source for port-of-call information.
· The “Techspert” offering Explore Technology classes and personal workshops where guests can learn how to blog, work with digital photos arrange a digital scrapbook, create a slideshow or edit a movie.
The LifeStylist leading the Explore Wellbeing Program. Developed in cooperation with the Greenhouse Spa, the program focuses on various forms of well being.
· Other activities by the Explorations Team range from dance lessons to wine tasting, floral arranging and craft classes.

Extensive Activities for Guests to Discover, Learn & Daydream
Aboard ship, Holland America Line’s Signature of Excellence activities provide relaxing and inspiring options while allowing the freedom and time to make choices. Among the latest innovations aboard the company’s premium ships are the:

· Digital Workshop Powered by Windows, which offers complimentary classes on how to manipulate photos and videos online to share with family and friends.
· The Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine Magazine, features shipboard chefs and guest experts providing cooking demonstrations, specialty workshops and seminars for adults and kids. The Explorations Team Party Planner will host innovative new culinary events and programs ranging from regional dish preparation to barista training.
· Greenhouse Spa & Salon expansion with exclusive signature treatments and more treatment rooms, including couple’s massage rooms, dry float suite with massage option and thermal suites with hydro-therapy pool, steam and aromatic room, heated ceramic lounges and in-suite showers. Unique new offerings include Acupuncture and Tai Chi.
· Expanded Club HAL and teen programs. Kids ages 3-7 participate in creative arts, watch big-screen television and enjoy a play area. Older kids 8-12 have an area featuring arcade games, air hockey, foosball, Karaoke, Internet access and Sony PlayStations. Teens 13-18 can enjoy The Loft, a teens-only lounge, connecting to a teens-only sun deck called The Oasis.
· Explorations Café — powered by The New York Times, where guests can sip coffee, browse one of the most extensive libraries at sea, enjoy diverse music at one of several listening stations or surf the Internet.
· An expanded Exploration Speakers Series, including topics that excite and enlighten guests, leaving them wanting to learn more. Sessions range from culinary to mixology to entertaining for guests.
· A new complimentary Ship Flicks movie lending program with more than 1,000 titles aboard each ship. DVDs are delivered to your stateroom and guests can re-order when finished.

Service Enhancements Add to Gracious Experience
Already renowned for its service, Holland America Line’s expanded Signature of Excellence onboard services and amenities include:

· Early Embarkation that features boarding as early as 11:30 a.m. Guests are welcomed aboard with live music and invited directly to the Lido Restaurant for lunch or to explore the public areas until staterooms are ready – when white-gloved stewards show the way.
· Silent Debarkation with one announcement that debarkation has begun and one upon completion. Guests may relax in public areas or their staterooms until the time stated on their debarkation letter.

A Special Focus on the Port Experience
Holland America Line ships will call at a total of 354 ports in 98 countries or territories in 2010. Nearly 500 shore excursions include exotic and exclusive destinations through The Collections of Holland America Line. Collections series are the Signature, Medallion, Encore and World Wonders Collections, each with its own individual focus.

Exclusive shore excursions range from private tours of Caribbean estates to African safaris offering opportunities to photograph big game. Unusual shore excursions include such adventures as the Flight from Helsinki across the Arctic Circle to the city of Rovaniemi, Lapland, and the Vallarta Adventures' Outdoor Challenge, which takes place in jungles of Mexico’s Sierra Madre. This active six-hour excursion begins with a panga boat ride and off-road adventure and includes instruction in wilderness techniques and mule rides, plus splashing through streams, rappelling through waterfalls and soaring 200 feet above the ground on a 1000-foot zip line.

Holland America Line continues to enhance Half Moon Cay, its award-winning private island in the Caribbean, to offer more activities while maintaining its exclusive appeal. The island offers full bar service, a buffet-style restaurant, three Water Sports Centers, a children’s playground and beach area with slides and water toys, the exclusive Grand Cabana private retreat, and the activities of Horseback Riding by Land and Sea, Stingray Adventure, Personal Watercraft Adventure. New additions are the Pirate Play Area, distinctive Lustre jewelry shops and a jogging course around the island.

For more information on Holland America Line, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Sail Windstar with Winemaker Eric Dunham of Dunham Cellars

SEATTLE, March 18: Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, offers guests the opportunity to learn about wine making from Eric Dunham of award-winning Dunham Cellars aboard Wind Surf's July 25, 2010, Rome to Venice sailing. Windstar's Signature Collection Host Series features distinguished guests and lecturers throughout the 2010 season, including Dunham. Dunham will discuss the wine making process during a lecture and question and answer session and also conduct wine tastings. When the ship is Dubrovnik, Dunham will host an exclusive shore excursion to the Dalmatian Coast wineries in Croatia.

Dunham trained in all phases of wine making through an internship with Hogue Cellars and served as assistant winemaker at the prestigious L'Ecole No. 41 winery under the tutelage of Marty Clubb. He handcrafted small lots of premium Cabernet Sauvignon under the Dunham Cellars name achieving prestigious awards including a Gold Medal and a 93 rating at the World Wine Championship. In the Spring of 1999, Dunham and his family opened the winery in a converted WWII airplane hanger at Walla Walla's Regional Airport. Dunham Cellars was "2008 Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year" and their wines have received accolades from The Wall Street Journal, Wine Enthusiast and Food & Wine magazine.

Wind Surf's 7-day Rome to Venice itinerary includes Capri, Italy; Taormina, Italy; Kotor, Montenegro; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Hvar, Croatia. To complement this sailing, Windstar is offering guests a special shore excursion with Dunham. The shore excursion begins with a scenic drive along the Adriatic Coast to the village of Komaji, home of the Crvik family's vineyards and winery, where guests have the opportunity to try wines from the region and meet winemaker Andro Crvik. Next is a specialty food tasting at Orasac, a village known for its olive oil productions, and a visit to the Milos Winery in Ponikve Village for a tasting at one of the regions' best-known wine cellars. From there, guests visit Mali Ston, the "oyster capital" of Croatia. Lunch is served at a local tavern featuring fresh seafood and local wines. The 7 ½-hour excursion is $159 per person and can be purchased online at

Wind Surf accommodates 312 guests and offers deluxe, oceanview staterooms that include beds with luxury linens and mattresses, flat-screen TV and DVD player, Bose SoundDock speakers for Apple iPods, waffle-weave robes with slippers and sumptuous L'Occitane products. Suites also include an extra bath, TV and sitting area. Bridge Suites give guests the additional luxury of a spacious private living room and relaxing whirlpool spa. Culinary wonders abound in Wind Surf's The Restaurant, Degrees, Le Marche and Candles. Water sports enthusiasts will appreciate Windstar's complimentary waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing and kayaking from the ship's water sports platform. For more information including rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Holland America Line Announces 55 New Shore Excursions for Summer 2010

Seattle, WA, March 18: To complement its already extensive and award-winning shore excursion offerings, Holland America Line has put together 55 new and captivating tours for its 2010 summer season. The new excursions range from an afternoon in the French city of Cognac, France, where one can discover the secrets of making Cognac and sample the delights of what many French call “the healing drink;” to a nostalgic steam-hauled train ride which crosses the world-famous Glenfinnan Viaduct — a 21-arch, 1000-foot span featured in the Harry Potter and Narnia films; to an unforgettable flightseeing Brown Bear and wildlife tour in the wilds of Southeast Alaska, visiting remote areas that only a bush pilot can reach.

“Holland America Line is always looking for new opportunities to provide our guests with a variety of memorable and unique excursions that will enrich their cruise-travel experience,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Our selections not only give our guests the chance to expand their cultural horizons but also cater to a variety of interests including romantic candlelight cruises in Northern Europe, an elegant, white-gloved dinner in the Mediterranean, parasailing in the Caribbean and zipline eco-adventures in Alaska. We have something for everyone.”

Holland America adds Anchorage, Alaska, to itinerary and will include 22 new shore excursions

Holland America Line will, for the first time in the line’s history, pay calls to Anchorage, Alaska. A diverse line-up of shore excursions within the state’s largest city has been arranged. Highlights include: fly-in fishing expeditions to remote Alaska backcountry; a sled dog rodeo; flightseeing safaris through the Chugach Mountain Range and over Captain James Cook’s Turnagain Inlet in search of beluga whales; a Prince William Sound Glacier cruise; a full-day scenic ride aboard the historic Alaska Railroad to Talkeetna with the chance to view Mt. McKinley; a guided, fly-out bear-watching tour where guests can view Alaska black and brown bears in their natural habitat; and a visit to Wildberry Park and Anchorage Museum, home of many Native Alaskan art and artifacts as well as paintings by renowned Alaskan artist Sydney Laurence.

In addition to the line’s Alaska offerings, 17 new excursions have been added to the company’s Europe tour itineraries. Featured tours include:

 –- Roman Catacombs, Pompey’s Pillar and National Museum of Alexandria — An exploration of one of the most distinguished museums in the world — the National Museum of Alexandria — home to antiquities ranging from Egyptian mummy cases to Greek statues and papyri. The museum also displays the underwater excavation of the Faros Lighthouse — one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In addition, guests will explore the 2nd-century catacombs at Kom el Shugafa, where tombs are cut 115 feet into the bedrock, and the famous Pompey's Pillar, a column of polished, rose-colored Aswan granite that stands before the ruins of the Temple of Serapis.
 –- Budva, Kotor and Coastal Views — An extraordinary tour in the port of Montenegro, showcasing the exotic Montenegrin Riviera with visits to The Old Town, a 15th century walled city in Budva, followed by a spectacular coastal tour to Kotor, a medieval Mediterranean town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 –- Traces of Alexander the Great — A fascinating drive across the Macedonian countryside with a tour of Pella, birthplace of Alexander the Great, where guests can enter the residences of the ancient aristocrats and explore archeological sites dating from the 4th century BC.
 –- Historic Jewish Dublin — A panoramic tour of Dublin’s main attractions coupled with a heritage tour of Dublin’s historic Jewish community whose presence in Ireland can be traced back to 1079.
 -– The Atlantic Ocean Road and Håholmen Island — A unique tour, which zigzags across bridges and causeways between dozens of forested islands and right out to the ocean’s edge, will delight guests who love the call of the sea. From the Varden Viewpoint, guests will enjoy a spectacular view over Romsdalsfjord with its many small islands. A stop at Bud village, a charming fishing village facing the open ocean, is also included.

Holland America Line offers hundreds of shore excursions to more than 300 ports in more than 100 countries. To discover more about Holland America Line’s entire award-winning shore excursions program or to pre-book excursions online, visit and click “shore excursions.”

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Royal Caribbean to Deploy a Record Ten Ships to Offer Widest Selection
 of 2011 Europe Cruises & Cruisetours

MIAMI, March 18: Royal Caribbean International announced the cruise line’s 2011 Europe cruise and cruisetour season, the cruise line’s biggest ever European deployment with 10 ships slated to sail Baltic and Mediterranean waters. The 2011 European deployment will be an increase from eight ships in 2010 and offer 109 unique itineraries, ranging from three to 15 nights and visiting 27 countries and 78 ports. Two ships, Liberty of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas,will sail their maiden Europe seasons from Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain, respectively. Independence of the Seas will continue its year-round service from Southampton, U.K. and, with Liberty of the Seas, make two Freedom-class ships to sail European waters as the largest and most innovative cruise ships. Navigator of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, and Splendour of the Seas will sail a variety of Mediterranean itineraries, while Jewel of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will ply the Baltic and North seas. Most 2011 Royal Caribbean International Europe cruises and cruisetours are now open for booking.

“Vacationers will have the widest selection of Europe’s largest and most innovative cruise ships with Royal Caribbean in 2011,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “With four classes of ships in the region, Royal Caribbean is offering a 2011 Europe cruise lineup that will appeal to a wide range of vacationers from couples seeking the romance of Europe to multigenerational family vacations. And all of our guests receive the Royal treatment from our friendly and engaging staff and crew.”

Vacationers also can choose a Royal Caribbean Europe cruisetour, providing a more comprehensive vacation experience. A cruisetour allows guests to choose from packages that combine a Europe cruise aboard one of seven Royal Caribbean ships with a three-night Italian Lakes and Venice, four-night Paris and London, four-night Madrid and Barcelona, five-night Venice, Florence and Rome, or a four-night Istanbul and Cappadocia land tour itinerary. Each land tour is escorted by a Tour Director, and ground transfers, hotel reservations, city tours and some meals are inclusive.

Guests can enhance their Europe cruise vacation with a panoply of excursion options for an additional charge, including overland options such as one featuring a comprehensive overview of the Holy Land with a stay in Jerusalem on “Grand Overland,” and another which includes both Cairo and Luxor and the Valley of the Kings on "Grand Egypt Tour." Guests also can choose from a long roster of day excursions, from visits to the ruins of Athens’ Acropolis on “Athens Sightseeing and Acropolis,” trips that explore the craters of Italy’s Mt. Etna on “Taste of Sicily: Mt. Etna & Taormina,” and an overview of Russia’s St. Petersburg, visiting the famed Hermitage Museum, Catherine’s Palace and Peterhof Palace on “The Grand St. Petersburg with Hermitage.”

For its part, Liberty of the Seas will begin its very first Europe season at Barcelona with nine short roundtrip sailings, four- and five-night Western Mediterranean itineraries. Then, Liberty of the Seas will offer a repeating seven-night Western Mediterranean itinerary for the remainder of the season. Sister-ship Independence of the Seas will offer year-round Europe itineraries for the second consecutive year, beginning with alternating 14-night roundtrip Eastern and Western Mediterranean sailings from Southampton, U.K. The ship will then sail 11-night Canary Islands itineraries in autumn and 18-night Ultimate Mediterranean itineraries during the winter months. Liberty of the Seas and Independence of the Seas will be the only vessels in Europe exclusively featuring amenities that have revolutionized the cruise industry, such as the FlowRider surf simulator, the H20 Zone water park, a boxing ring, cantilevered whirlpools, and the four-bedroom, four-bathroom Presidential Family Suite that sleeps up to 14. With eight restaurants and more than 15 bars and lounges, each of the two ships offer guests one-of-kind vacation experiences found on no other ship in Europe.

In 2011, Voyager of the Seas will mark the first ever arrival of a Voyager-class cruise ship to Venice and offer new seven-night roundtrip itineraries from the City of Canals, opening for booking at a later date. Sister-ship Adventure of the Seas will homeport for a second year in Malaga, Spain, offering a seven-night Western Mediterranean itinerary through early autumn, followed by six five-night sailings alternating a Mediterranean with Canary Islands itinerary. Navigator of the Seas, meanwhile, will offer a seven-night roundtrip Eastern Mediterranean itinerary from Rome, which includes a call at Chania (Souda), Greece, a new port for Royal Caribbean. All three Voyager-class ships are equipped with ice-skating rinks, the line’s iconic rock-climbing walls, nine-hole miniature golf courses, and the Royal Promenade, a boulevard, lined with shops, restaurants, bars and lounges running nearly the length of the ship.

Grandeur of the Seas will offer vacationers two brand-new alternating seven-night itineraries, Western Mediterranean and Italian Mediterranean, sailing roundtrip from Palma de Mallorca, a new homeport for the cruise line. Brilliance of the Seas will return to Barcelona on alternating 12-night roundtrip Mediterranean sailings, which feature maiden calls at Italy’s Naples (Salerno) and Ravenna, a new port offering more choices of tours to Milan and Florence.

From Istanbul, Turkey, Vision of the Seas will offer six roundtrip sailings in autumn 2011 on new 10- and 11-night Holy Land itineraries. Splendour of the Seas will be homeported at Rome (Civitavecchia) and offer a variety of itineraries, including new 12-night roundtrip Mediterranean Holy Land and Mediterranean Egypt cruises. The Egypt itinerary features a two-day overnight call in Alexandria Egypt.

The 2011 summer Baltic season for Jewel of the Seas will offer vacationers a range of 12-night roundtrip itineraries from Harwich, England, to Scandinavia and Russia. Ports of call include Copenhagen; Stockholm; Tallinn, Estonia; and an overnight at St. Petersburg, Russia. Vision of the Seas, meanwhile, will offer a range of three- to seven-night Baltic and Scandinavia itineraries sailing from Copenhagen, Oslo, or Stockholm. On the June 11, 2011 sailing, Vision of the Seas will make a maiden call at Liverpool, England.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 21 ships currently in service and one under construction. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Norwegian Epic to Feature Largest Spa at Sea

MIAMI, March 18: Norwegian Cruise Line hasannounced that Norwegian Epic, its most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, will feature the largest spa facility and fitness center at sea, totaling more than 31,000 square feet. The ship’s luxurious Mandara Spa will feature 24 treatment rooms, two private couple’s villas, two exotic steam Rasul rooms, a DIY Scrub Experience, Hydrotherapy Courtyard & Thermal Suite, full-service salon, fitness center and barber shop. In another first for the line, Norwegian Epic features 39 spa suites, deluxe balcony and balcony staterooms, which are accessed via private key-card and offer complimentary access to the enclave surrounding Norwegian Epic's luxurious Hydrotherapy Courtyard & Thermal Suite and state-of-the-art fitness center. For an added indulgence, eight spa suites each feature an in-room whirlpool.

"As with our world-class entertainment, dining and innovative stateroom categories on Norwegian Epic, our spa facilities will take cruising to an entirely new level," said Kevin Sheehan, chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "The Mandara Spa on Norwegian Epic is a relaxing retreat with unique treatments, innovative fitness training, a stand-alone barber shop, spa staterooms with in-room whirlpools and an expanded Hydrotherapy Courtyard & Thermal Suite facilities.”

The spa features more than 50 treatments for both men and women including Elemis facials, massages, body therapies, bliss® face and body treatments, and acupuncture along with cosmetic medical treatments performed by a licensed doctor. The salon features hair, nail and waxing services. In addition, kids and teens can choose from a selection of kid-friendly spa services. Among the two dozen treatment rooms are two new couple’s villas for the ultimate in togetherness massages with the opportunity to soak in a private, outdoor whirlpool. Two solo villas also have outdoor whirlpools, and six treatment rooms have balconies with chaise lounges where guests can relax privately outdoors before or after their treatment.

Hydrotherapy Courtyard & Thermal Suite
Expanding on the popular Thermal Suite on board the line’s Jewel class ships, Norwegian Epic’s adults-only Hydrotherapy Courtyard & Thermal Suite features separate men's and women's areas equipped with sauna, aromatherapy steam, experience showers and heated ceramic loungers. In addition, the Hydrotherapy Courtyard & Thermal Suite features a tropical garden communal setting, chaise lounge seating, a pool with massaging jets and waterfalls, a whirlpool and an outdoor relaxation deck.

Exotic Steam Rasul Rooms
Guests looking for a unique body renewing experience should indulge in one of the two Rasul rooms. This is a purpose-built steam room that soothes and detoxifies the body, while guests are provided with organic muds, exfoliants and oils to purify and nourish the body. To complete the ritual, a warm tropical rain pours down from the dome of the rasul to wash away tension.

DIY Scrub Experience
Epic’s onboard spa mixologist creates personalized sugar or salt exfoliating scrubs using herbal blends to use during treatments or within the Rasul rooms. Each flavorful blend soothes sore muscles, removes dead skin and reveals a smoother, more polished glow.

Epic Signature Spa Treatments
Among the new spa treatments and services that will be introduced on board Norwegian Epic is the signature Epic 24 Karat Gold Facial. This luxurious facial includes a blend of medicinal plants, rose quartz and a pure 24 karat gold leaf mask that brings about miraculous results speeding up cell renewal while evoking a brighter and more clarified skin texture and complexion. Norwegian Epic will also feature two bliss® services: the bliss® triple oxygen treatment and the bliss® fatgirlslim. The bliss® triple oxygen treatment is an all-around complexion reviver that includes a cleansing and exfoliating fruit acid wash, an oxygen wrap, a calming oxygen and milk mask, a hydrating enzyme pack and a vitaminized oxygen spray. The bliss® fatgirlslim is a detoxifying, circulation-stimulating, body-toning treatment that includes dry brushing, a firming grapefruit essential oil, a trouble-spot-targeting seaweed mask, a heated wrap and a rubdown. Norwegian Epic will also offer three new massages: the Thai Herbal Poultice Massage, the Bamboo Massage and the Freestyle™ Massage.

Thai Herbal Poultice Massage: This energizing, rhythmic massage utilizes scented herbal poultices that are heated and applied to the body at pressure points to relax the muscles and release tension. The therapist then follows with an array of Eastern and Western massage techniques and acupressure movements combined with essential oils that take the body on an exotic journey of total renewal.
Bamboo Massage: A warm, soothing massage using bamboo shoots of various sizes soaked in essential oil which then roll, slide and massage muscles. This indulgent massage revives the senses in a new and innovative way, inspiring the most relaxed state. Customized to the guest’s preference, the therapist uses deep tissue techniques or gentle strokes to melt away tension and soothe muscles.
Freestyle™ Massage: A customized massage that lets the guest choose what areas to focus on during the treatment.

In the Medi-Spa, guests can have their teeth whitened or try acupuncture. A licensed medi-spa doctor is also onboard to provide BOTOX® Cosmetic, Dysport™, Restylane® and Perlane® treatments.

In keeping with the extensive family and kid-friendly facilities on board Norwegian Epic, the spa offers several treatments for younger cruisers. The signature ME! Bath® Ice Cream Manicure and Pedicure gives kids and teens the inside scoop on their beauty regimen. The ME! Bath® Ice Cream Social is a fun group activity that will have kids all screaming for ice cream. The Mother-Daughter Paradise Massage and the Father-Son Chill Out Massage allow for the ultimate in relaxation and bonding time for both parent and child.

Fitness Center
Fitness enthusiasts won't need to put their workout routines on hold while vacationing on Norwegian Epic. The ship has many firsts that take sports and fitness to a new level: the first rappelling wall at sea and the only U.S. rated climbing wall afloat. The fitness center features an unprecedented 37 treadmills and 18 cross trainers, extensive weight equipment and free weight areas, stretching areas and four distinct aerobic studios. For those who enjoy group settings, Norwegian Epic has more diverse fitness classes than any other ship at sea, including TRX and kettlebell training; yoga; pilates; Activio® group cycling; Gravity® reformer; and body sculpting boot camp classes. Personal training sessions will also be available, along with nutritional consultation and metabolism testing.

For more information on Norwegian Epic, its spa facilities and services, and to book a cruise, please call Norwegian at 866-234-7350, visit, or contact a travel professional.

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Norwegian Epic to Offer 11 Complimentary Dining Options

MIAMI, FL, March 17: Norwegian Cruise Line announced that its largest, most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, Norwegian Epic, will feature an extensive number of complimentary Freestyle dining options – 11 out of 21 total – that are included in the cruise fare. The additional 10 dining options will have a nominal cover charge.

Guests on board Norwegian Epic can select from a variety of cuisines, dining styles and atmospheres on board with a total of 21 dining options. Those that will be free of charge are:

· Taste, the atrium restaurant serving traditional and contemporary cuisine;
· Manhattan Room, reminiscent of an elegant supper club complete with music, dancing and entertainment;
· O'Sheehan's Neighborhood Bar & Grill, serving American favorites and comfort food, 24 hours;
· Garden Café, Norwegian's signature action station casual restaurant;
· Great Outdoors, the pool-side grill;
· Spice H20, serving Latin and Asian-influenced cuisine in the adults-only complex;
· Atrium Cafe and Wine Bar;
· Studio Lounge, serving snacks and light fare;
· Epic Club, the elegant, exclusive eatery available to Norwegian Epic's Suite and Villa guests;
· Courtyard Grill, the more casual, outdoor area of the Epic Grill, open for breakfast and lunch; and
· 24-hour room service.

“It’s important for our guests to know that Freestyle Cruising on Norwegian Epic will offer the ultimate in freedom and flexibility, especially when it comes to dining,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “With that flexibility comes a wide-range of complimentary dining venues and options.”

In addition, Norwegian also announced the cover charges for Norwegian Epic’s specialty dining/entertainment venues:

· La Cucina, Tuscan-style eatery serving regional Italian specialties, $10 per person;
· Cirque Dreams & Dinner, two shows nightly including a three-course meal, $15 for general seating/$20 per person for preferred seating;
· Shanghai’s, Norwegian Epic’s new Chinese restaurant serving a delicious mix of Chinese dishes and noodle bar specialties, $15 per person;
· Shanghai’s Noodle Bar, a la carte pricing;
· Wasabi, expansive sushi and sake bar, a la carte pricing;
· Le Bistro, Norwegian’s elegant bistro serving classic French cuisine with an American flair, $20 per person;
· Moderno Churrascaria, expansive salad bar and choice of a variety of meats served by tableside passadors, $18 per person;
· Cagney’s Steakhouse, the line’s signature American steakhouse, $25 per person;
· Teppanyaki, the largest signature Japanese experiential restaurant at sea, $25 per person; and
· Pizza delivery, $5, available 24 hours around the ship.

"With our specialty restaurants, some guests may choose to dine in one of these venues just once or twice during their cruise to celebrate a special occasion," added Kevin Sheehan. "At the same time, others may want to sample a different specialty restaurant each evening to experience a new type of cuisine. That’s the great thing about Freestyle Cruising – the choice is up to our guests to decide how they want to customize their trip.”

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

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

The ship also boasts unique nightlife options with the first Ice Bar at sea and Spice H20 with entertainment day and night; an expansive Aqua Park with the only tube slide and largest bowl slide at sea -- The Epic Plunge; seven decks of Freestyle Family Fun with highlights including a 33-foot high, 64-foot wide extreme rock climbing wall and the first ever rappelling wall at sea; the most bowling lanes at sea with six in two venues; a mixed-use sports deck with the ability for guests to engage in eight different athletic activities; as well as three separate kids’ and teen activity areas.

For more information on Norwegian Epic as well as to book a cruise on the ship, please call Norwegian at 866-234-7350, visit, or contact a travel professional.

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Norwegian Cruise Line to Significantly Enhance Its Private Island, Great Stirrup Cay

MIAMI, March 17: Norwegian Cruise Line announced today at Cruise Shipping Miami that it will make major enhancements to its private island, Great Stirrup Cay, located 120 miles east of Ft. Lauderdale in the Berry Island chain of the Bahamas. The 250-acre island will undergo a two-phase renovation, totaling in excess of $20 million, spanning 22 months and scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011.

“We have one of the best private islands, particularly for swimming and snorkeling. With these improvements, we can provide an even more enjoyable island experience for the more than 9,000 guests who visit Great Stirrup Cay weekly during the height of the season,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “Highlights of the enhancements include an expanded beach front, exciting island excursions, additional dining facilities, private beachside cabanas and a new kid’s area.”

The first phase of improvements to Great Stirrup Cay is already underway. This includes the excavation and formation of a new entrance channel for tenders, marina basin and arrival area with welcome pavilion that will be the site for new tender landings and docks. Once this is complete, the island’s current beach front will be expanded significantly to accommodate more guests.

New infrastructure and landscaping to enhance the guest experience is planned in the second phase including new dining and bar facilities; several comfort stations; a band stand; cruise program activity area; private beachfront cabanas; a kid’s play area; straw market; and beach volleyball courts. Several new island activities and shore excursions will be added including wave runners, a floating Aqua Park with a variety of water toys, kayak tours through man-made rivers within the island, an eco-cruise, and a stingray encounter experience. These are in addition to the existing snorkeling; floats; inflatable hippo slide; and parasailing that are currently offered.

Norwegian has owned the island since 1977 when it became the first cruise line to offer an uninhabited tropical island experience exclusively for its guests. Great Stirrup Cay offers magnificent white sand beaches, majestic palms and calm, pristine waters where an abundance of colorful marine life inhabits the surrounding coral reefs. Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Pearl regularly call on Great Stirrup Cay throughout the year. For more information on Norwegian or to book a cruise, call 866-234-7350, click, or phone a travel professional.

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Crystal Cruises Announces Perfect Choice Dining™
With Open Dining By Reservation
for 2011

LOS ANGELES, March 17: Crystal Cruises is expanding its fine dining options in 2011 with Perfect Choice Dining, an innovation in the ultra-luxury sector of the cruise industry. Offered complimentary in the Crystal Dining Room, Perfect Choice Dining maintains Crystal's classic dining experience, while adding greater flexibility and choices. Beginning with its January 2011 cruises, Crystal will complement its Crystal Dining Room choices of Classic Main Seating and Classic Late Seating with a brand new option, Open Dining by Reservation.

An expansive online Priority Check-in and Planning Center (PCPC) launching in July will enable any fully paid guests who have opted for Open Dining by Reservation to make nightly reservations in the main dining room in advance of their cruise - in addition to their reservation in each of Crystal's specialty restaurants. More information on the new service is available at

From the inspired creations of Crystal's internationally acclaimed chefs, to the celebrity fare of Nobu and Piero Selvaggio, to the coveted pairings of the Vintage Room, to the casual simplicity of outdoor dining on deck, the evening dining venues aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity offer the ultimate in personal choice to suit every palate.

"Crystal's Perfect Choice Dining retains the traditional dining experience of two seatings each evening where guests become friends with tablemates and have wait staff who know their preferences - as well as offers a new additional option to satisfy the demand for open dining," says Gregg Michel, president of Crystal Cruises. "No other cruise line in the luxury market is offering this choice of personalized luxury dining."

How does one book this?

  -- Effective immediately, guests can choose Classic Main dining seating, Classic Late dining seating or Open Dining by Reservation when they book their 2011 cruise. Guests already booked on 2011 World Cruise voyages will automatically retain their selection of Classic Main or Classic Late, or they can switch to Open Dining by Reservation by contacting their travel agent or Crystal's Onboard Guest Services at .
  -- Effective July 2010, the online Priority Check-in and Planning Center (PCPC) launches. Guests who are fully paid for 2011 cruises and who have opted for Open Dining by Reservation can make their individual Crystal Dining Room reservations using the comprehensive PCPC online service. While Crystal currently offers an online pre-reservation system, PCPC will expand pre-reservation services. Details on PCPC services and complete instructions for making reservations will be available at the end of June 2010.

Tables for two, four, six, or eight are available for dinner reservations and reservation times and table size can vary each night. If a specific time is unavailable, the Open Dining by Reservation system will suggest an alternative.

As a complement to the classically elegant Crystal Dining Room, the award-winning Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity feature specialty dinner restaurants: Prego, Silk Road, and The Sushi Bar. The latter two feature cuisine by Master Chef Nobu Matushisa, while Prego offers signature dishes from Piero Selvaggio's Valentino restaurant. Intimate wine and food experiences for up to 14 guests can be savored in the Vintage Room. Casual on deck evening dining is available on most nights and 24-hour room service is available, including dinners that can be served course by course in one's stateroom or penthouse. All of Crystal's dining venues are complimentary, with the exception of the Vintage Room, which showcases reserve wines.

Michel reiterates, "For guests who prefer two dining seatings in the main dining room, nothing will change. We have many, many passionate repeat guests who look forward to having their same evening dining room table, who enjoy cultivating the bonds that develop amongst tablemates and who appreciate the attention that comes with having the same senior waiter and waiter. Perfect Choice Dining adds another flexible dimension, delivered with Crystal's penchant for unparalleled service and attention to detail."

Sailing on worldwide itineraries of 7- to over 100-days, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity are consistently distinguished as the highest rated ships in the world. For more information and Crystal Cruises reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625 or visit

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Crystal Cruises Sets Value-Added Fares for 2011 Worldwide Itineraries

LOS ANGELES, March 16: Luxury specialist Crystal Cruises announces the opening of reservations for 2011 with value added for all of its worldwide cruises:

  -- Two-for-one fares for World Cruise, including all segments, booked by April 30, 2010;
  -- Save Now, Save Later promotion for World Cruise, including all segments. Two-for-one fares now and 20% off most additional 2011 or 2012 cruises;
  -- Two-for-one fares for all cruises (except World Cruise) booked by September 30, 2010;
  -- 'All Inclusive - As You Wish' spending credits for all cruises;
  -- Free roundtrip air transportation, with transfers, for all cruises; and
  -- Free Business Class roundtrip air transportation for all Penthouse accommodations with European cruises.

Air transportation is included from more than 20 North American gateways, or guests can opt to arrange their own air transportation and deduct an air credit from the fare.

"Based on the enormous - and continuing - success of our 2010 offers, we've launched 2011 with the strongest combination of promotions that we know resonate with value-conscious travelers," said Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales & marketing.

Effective immediately, Crystal is taking reservations for the full year.

Whether celebrating a reunion or a romantic getaway, Crystal's 2011 cruise repertoire highlights the best of each destination on a variety of 7- to 21-day itineraries, in addition to the full World Cruise. Most itineraries boast overnight night stays and late night port calls. In all, Crystal's 59 cruises in 2011 will visit 167 ports in more than 65 countries.

News and highlights for 2011 include:

  -- 110-day World Cruise from Los Angeles to London, via the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, Southeast Asia, India, and Africa.
  -- Maiden calls in the Greek island of Kefalonia; Komodo, Indonesia; Koper, Slovenia; Fethiye, Turkey; Trabzon, Turkey; Golfo de Papagayo, Costa Rica; and Marigot Bay, St. Martin.
  -- Return to West Africa for the first time since 2001.
  -- Return to Alaska with 12-day voyages round-trip from San Francisco, for the first time since 2005.
  -- Seven World Cruise segments departing from Los Angeles, Papeete, Auckland, Sydney, Singapore, Mumbai and Cape Town.
  -- Additional North Cape opportunities to the Polar Ice Cap, two cruises in 2011.
  -- Every fall New England/Canada cruise includes shipboard overnights in New York and Montreal.
  -- Eight Mexican Riviera choices round-trip from Los Angeles, including several 7-day voyages and a holiday cruise.
  -- All but one Crystal Symphony voyage embarking and/or debarking from a U.S. port.
  -- Overnight calls in Ashdod and Melbourne, as well as Barcelona, Cannes, Istanbul, New York and other worldwide cities.
  -- Double overnight calls in Cape Town, St. Petersburg, Montreal, Yangon and Stockholm.
  -- More than 80 possible combo cruises throughout Europe without repeating ports.
  -- Thanksgiving cruise roundtrip from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera.
  -- Christmas/New Year holiday cruise round-trip from Los Angeles to the Hawaiian Islands.
  -- Christmas/New Year holiday Panama Canal cruise round-trip from Miami, including Gatun Lake.
  -- Dozens of career-friendly itineraries embarking and/or debarking on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Crystal's detailed 2011 itineraries are now available at, as well as downloadable listings. The 2011 Cruise Guide, including fares and itineraries, will be available for download and request in April. The comprehensive 2011 Worldwide Cruise Atlas will follow. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit the line's website at

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Princess Cruises Honors Copenhagen as 2009 “Port of the Year”

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 16: Princess Cruises has named Copenhagen as its “Port of the Year” for 2009, a distinction awarded as the result of passenger satisfaction surveys. Copenhagen is the first port outside of North America to earn this honor. The annual award is given to one of Princess’ 33 worldwide turnaround ports that earn the highest scores for the year, as rated by passengers on each cruise. A turnaround port is where a cruise ends and the next one begins. The honor recognizes that a port has provided the service, facilities and personnel that have enhanced the passenger experience while boarding or disembarking the ship. In total, the voting measured passenger satisfaction scores from 14 calls in Copenhagen during the summer 2009 season.

“A turnaround port offers passengers their first or last impression of their cruise with us, so it’s very important that they have a good experience as they travel through the local facilities,” said Dean Brown, Princess executive vice president of corporate services. “Copenhagen has been recognized as the highest ranked port for 2009, but they’ve also been one of the highest ranked ports in years past. It’s clear that our passengers appreciate the level of service and efficiency that the port and their staff provide.”

This is the fifth year for the award, and previous Port of the Year designations have gone to Los Angeles, Whittier, Vancouver, and Brooklyn. Copenhagen serves as home port for Princess Scandinavia & Russia itineraries. Star Princess will begin the 2010 cruise season on these popular itineraries on May 12. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Sixthman & Sister Hazel Announce The Rock Boat XI

ATLANTA, GA: From Jan 6-10, 2011, Sister Hazel will once again host Sixthman's most popular (and inaugural) music-themed cruise: The Rock Boat! The Rock Boat is a twenty-four-hours-a-day floating music festival, boasting a more than sixty-percent rate of returning guests. This will be the eleventh Rock Boat journey; the lineup, in addition to Sister Hazel, will include Alternate Routes, Elmwood, Gaelic Storm, Green River Ordinance, Matt Hires, Will Hoge, Tony Lucca, Nada Surf, Ponderosa, and more. This year The Rock Boat will sail to "Somewhere": a port unnamed until the day of departure, so Sixthman and Carnival can determine the port with the fairest weather. This year's event will be hosted during a four-day cruise aboard the Carnival Inspiration from Tampa.

Sixthman has promised to amp up this year's voyage: "We're taking it to 11!" says owner Andy Levine, referencing everyone's favorite rockumentary, Spinal Tap. Sister Hazel is also excited: "Although Rock Boat X was a huge celebration, it's only the beginning. After all, Rock Boat XI is one better. We're totally excited about the band line up and some of the surprises we've got in store for everyone. Are we there yet?"

Enhancements to The Rock Boat XI include a re-vamped lineup that mixes Rock Boat favorites with fresh talent, a more rock-friendly dining experience, and intimate meet-and-greets with the artists. The Rock Boat will continue to integrate unparalleled artist collaborations with an atmosphere that encourages spontaneous rock sessions at all times and places on the ship.

"Now in its 11th year, The Rock Boat stands alone as the most successful and longest running music-themed charter in the cruise industry. Carnival is proud to continue its longstanding partnership with Sixthman on this unforgettable floating music festival," said Joan Levicoff-Sanchez, Carnival's vice president of large group sales and operations.

The Rock Boat XI is projected to sell out quickly, so reserve your spot now at

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2011 Crystal Serenity World Cruise Guests to Save Now, Save More Later

LOS ANGELES, March 16: Luxury specialist Crystal Cruises is adding valuable incentives for its 2011 World Cruise. A new Save Now, Save Later promotion invites travelers to book the 110-day World Cruise - or any of its seven segments - by April 30, 2010 and enjoy two-for-one fares and value-added bonuses, plus save 20% on virtually any 2011 or 2012 cruise. Additionally, World Cruise fares are as much as 20% lower than 2010, depending on category and itinerary.

Visiting 44 ports in 25 countries, Crystal Serenity's "Grand Exotic Expedition" sails from Los Angeles to London January 17, 2011 and includes:

 -- 2-for-1 World Cruise fares if booked by April 30, 2010;
 -- Free air transportation on all segments;
 -- Up to $10,000 per couple 'All-Inclusive. As You Wish' spending credits for the Full World Cruise, up to $2,000 per couple for segments;
 -- Up to $20,000 savings per couple for Crystal Society members (past Crystal guests); or up to $8,000 savings per couple for new-to-Crystal
 -- Additional 2.5% savings for guests paying in full 180 days out;
 -- Onboard booking savings for guests booking their next cruise on board.

"The Save Now, Save Later promotion provides a compelling opportunity to enjoy what connoisseurs consider the ultimate vacation - a Crystal Cruises World Cruise," says Bill Smith, Crystal's senior vice president, sales and marketing. "Each segment of the World Cruise features unforgettable destinations, stimulating activities enriched with notable speakers, classes, special shore-side excursions, events, and the warmth and seamless luxury of the most consistently rated #1 cruise ship in the world."

Available in seven segments from 12 to 21 days, the 2011 World Cruise includes many overnight port stays in its journey around the world. Guests booking any of the segments will save 20% on any 2011 or 2012 voyage (except December holiday cruises or 2011 World Cruise). The second 2011 or 2012 cruise must be booked by May 27, 2011. For more information or Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Announcing Cruise West’s New Blog Generated by Guests & Crew Around the Globe

Seattle, WA, March 15: Travel the world via Cruise West’s new Voyages of the Great Explorers blog. Guests, Captain and crew will share daily stories and observations at sea with daily posts from the line’s inaugural world cruise, Voyages of the Great Explorers that departed Singapore on March 6, 2010, aboard the 60-suite Spirit of Oceanus. Cruise West invited guests to become bloggers on each of the 24 voyages associated with the world voyage. Encouraged by a free camera and Internet time, the line has had a good response from willing guests. Follow the journey online or book one of the voyages and join in the adventure. Blog submissions will also be posted to the line’s Facebook page where consumers and travel agents are encouraged to become a fan, and Twitter via the hash tag #VOGE.

Sample Blog submission from a visit to Langkawi Island, Malaysia -- “Today we cruised up the Kelim River to visit a fish farm where we walked among the floating ‘ponds’ to see various species of the fish they raised and then we were treated to a demonstration of the spitting fish, a wild fish from the river. The fish spits at its prey, causing the prey to fall in the water and its eventual demise. Very amazing.”

Blogs from around the world in the coming months may include “TISWLOOTW” (Today I saw whales leaping out of the water), or “ICBTSTCOB” (I can’t believe the spectacular temple complex of Borobudur), or “TFISGIMNL” (The food is so good I may never leave)!

Cruise West, the world’s leading provider of small-ship explorations to the most fascinating destinations on earth, invites guests to book one or multiple segments of the 2010 or 2011 world voyages. Each of the 24 meticulously crafted itineraries from Asia to the Mediterranean, Europe to the Americas and throughout the South Pacific, offers the most discerning and well-traveled guests an array of distinctive choices and authentic experiences. Savings are still available. For further details, visit, call 800-296-8307 or contact a travel professional.

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Costa Cruises Affirms Standing As European Market Leader in 2010

Genoa, March 15: Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, affirms its standing as the European market leader in 2010. In 2009, a year marked by a severe economic crisis that significantly decreased consumption, approximately 1.3 million guests around the world cruised with Costa. The expansion of Europe’s largest fleet, all flying the Italian flag, continued with the recent arrival of the Costa Deliziosa (, 92,600 gross tonnage and 2,826 total Guests), the company’s most exclusive and innovative ship, along with her sister ship the Costa Luminosa. The Costa Deliziosa, built at the Marghera shipyard by Fincantieri, was named on 23 February in Dubai, and is the first ship inaugurated in an Arabic country.

The Costa Deliziosa is the third ship delivered by Fincantieri to the Italian Company in less than nine months (April 2009- Jan 2010), and is part of a 2.4 billion euro fleet expansion program with five new liners entering service between 2009 and 2012. The Costa Luminosa and Costa Pacifica, christened together on June 5, 2009 at a Guinness World Record event, and the Costa Deliziosa will be followed by sister ships Costa Favolosa (114,500 gross tonnage and 3,780 total Guests), due for delivery in summer 2011, and the Costa Fascinosa, which will make her debut in spring 2012. All five ships are Italian builds commissioned from Fincantieri and their introduction will lead to a 50% increase in capacity for the Costa fleet, which by 2012 will be 16-strong with accommodations for 45,000 total Guests.

Costa Cruises’ brand new 2011 brochure, which will be available soon at leading travel agencies, features the return of the historic “world cruise,” this time on the Costa Deliziosa. The return of this cruise confirms Costa’s reputation for innovation and reflects its pioneering spirit. This 100-day trip of a lifetime can be broken down into three stand-alone segments (Savona-Los Angeles; Los Angeles-Singapore; Singapore-Savona) providing an authentic travel experience and the opportunity to experience the style of voyages from yesteryear while enjoying world-class amenities. Other innovative itineraries in the brochure include 7-day winter cruises in the Red Sea with the Costa Marina and the Costa Allegra, along with the arrival of the Costa Favolosa, currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyards in Marghera.

Costa Cruises’ commitment to environmental protection, always one of the company’s distinctive features of excellence and innovation, has also been confirmed. The Costa Deliziosa, along with her sister ship the Costa Luminosa, are the first ships in Italy, and one of the few in the world, designed for “cold ironing.” With this system, ships berthed at the quayside can receive power from shore without having to keep their engines running to operate onboard generators. This further reduces the environmental impact of vessels while berthed in port. Other design features of the Costa Deliziosa help reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions to avoid wasting electricity and water.

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RSVP Vacations Celebrates a Quarter Century of All-Gay Cruises

MINNEAPOLIS, March 15: RSVP Vacations, the creator of the gay and lesbian cruise concept, has kicked off a yearlong celebration of 25 years of all-gay and lesbian cruises. To commemorate its 25th birthday, the Minneapolis-based company also unveiled its Silver Anniversary Cruise to Hawaii - RSVP's first cruise to the 50th state. RSVP Vacations produces distinctive travel packages designed for gay and lesbian travelers. It custom tailors the traditional cruise vacation experience for its gay and lesbian guests. RSVP pioneered the all-gay cruise concept, signing its first cruise ship charter in 1985 and hosting its first all-gay cruise in 1986. Since then, more than 80,000 men and women have participated in RSVP's wide range of big and small ship cruises, riverboat cruises, land tours and resort vacations.

"We're thrilled and honored to have been a central force in the growth and evolution of gay and lesbian travel throughout the last 25 years," said Charlie Rounds, president of RSVP. "RSVP's first gay cruise sailed nearly 25 years ago, during the height of the AIDS crisis and before the collapse of the Soviet Union or the fall of the Berlin Wall. At that time, Kevin Mossier, RSVP's founder, wanted to provide a safe vacation environment for gay people and to tailor that experience just for them. 25 years later, RSVP is still creating unique cruise and resort experiences that bring together gays and lesbians from all walks of life, celebrating the great diversity of our community."

In addition to sailing the first all gay and lesbian charter cruise, aboard the Bermuda Star in 1986, RSVP also chartered the first ever all-gay cruise to the Mediterranean, in July 1989 on the Stella Maris. RSVP cruises have visited ports on five continents, from Puerto Vallarta to Phuket and Montevideo to Mykonos. RSVP has also operated tours and land resorts in South Africa, Peru, Ireland, Tahiti, and throughout Mexico. Today, 25 years since RSVP's inception, a wide range of major travel-related companies and organizations now actively market to gay and lesbian travelers, including: domestic and international airlines; hotel chains; convention and visitors bureaus; travel agents; tour operators; and car rental companies. RSVP also paved the way for a number of other travel and vacations companies dedicated exclusively to the gay and lesbian market.

As part of its yearlong Silver Anniversary celebration, RSVP announced its first ever cruise to one of the company's most requested destinations - the Hawaiian Islands. The 7-day adventure on NCL's Pride of America visits Hawaii's four most popular islands in an unforgettable all-gay vacation that blends relaxation with exploration in the U.S.'s most beautiful tropical setting. Departing from Honolulu on Oct. 30, 2010, the cruise calls on Maui, Kauai, and Hilo and Kona on the Big Island, before returning to Honolulu on Nov. 6. A popular gay and lesbian vacation destination, Hawaii is also known for its welcoming attitude towards gay and lesbian travelers.

"It took us 25 years to get to the 50th state," said Rounds. "Our loyal guests have waited a long time for an RSVP Hawaii cruise, and we're pleased to finally deliver them an all-Hawaii itinerary on the only ship to sail exclusively within the Hawaiian Islands today." Reservations for all RSVP programs are available through most travel agencies or directly from RSVP at 1-800-328-RSVP. For detailed information, visit

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Cunard Line Announce 2011 Program

March 15: Combining 170 years of experience with the youngest, luxury fleet at sea—flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and the soon-to-be-launched Queen Elizabeth—Cunard has announced its most extensive range of voyages to date, with a greater choice of itineraries, departure dates, and overnight stays. Guests will have more opportunities to experience the new golden age of ocean travel with the classic traditions and legendary White Star Service for which Cunard is renowned.

The line’s flagship, Queen Mary 2, will continue to offer extended Transatlantic Crossings between New York and Southampton, as well as to Hamburg; Queen Victoria will journey across the Atlantic for a second Americas season in early 2012; and new to the voyage schedule will be visits to the Holy Land aboard both Queen Victoria and the new Queen Elizabeth.

“Three new ocean liners in just six years demonstrates the deep resonance of the Cunard brand to guests looking for the best in luxury cruising and the ability to experience a unique sense of heritage and tradition,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “With the addition of Queen Elizabeth, we can now offer guests even more legendary voyage options, featuring the signature Cunard ocean travel experience.”

Queen Mary 2: The grandest ocean liner at sea, Queen Mary 2 will continue to offer her legendary Transatlantic Crossings in 2011, sailing 21 in total, with most voyages now seven days between New York and Southampton. Eight- and nine-day extended Crossings between New York and Hamburg also will be available. In addition, “Grand” voyage options are available, roundtrip from New York, combining classic European itineraries with a Crossing on either side.

Guests on the elongated Crossings will enjoy additional time to explore the extensive onboard offerings, including lectures through the award-winning Cunard Insights program; stargazing in the only planetarium at sea; afternoon tea served in the Queens Room or a spin around the dance floor during a Royal Nights themed ball; taking in a performance or workshop by members of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art; or perusing the 8,000 volumes in the largest library at sea.

Queen Mary 2 also will offer two voyages to the Atlantic Isles and Iberia, seven voyages in Northern Europe with trips to Norway from Southampton and Hamburg, and an 8-day Around the British Isles voyage. After her annual Getaway for the Fourth of July holiday, she returns to New York in the fall for an enhanced 10-day Canada & New England voyage, which now features an overnight stay in Quebec, and in December, a holiday-timed Caribbean Celebration.

Queen Victoria: Queen Victoria once again begins her 2011 season with a series of voyages to the Mediterranean and Canary Islands, roundtrip from Southampton. Additionally, she will offer five voyages to Northern Europe, including two 12-day St. Petersburg & Baltic Capitals itineraries which feature overnight stays in St. Petersburg, and a new Gallic Overture voyage, taking in Ireland, France and Spain. After repositioning to Venice at the end of the summer, she will once again be based in the Mediterranean for a series of 12-day sailings between Venice, Rome and Athens. These popular itineraries cover the very best of the region, including one voyage to the Black Sea, three voyages to Turkey and the Greek Isles, and two voyages to Egypt and the Greek Isles, with most featuring an overnight in either Istanbul or Venice.

New for 2011 is a Holy Land Explorer voyage, offering calls in Egypt and Israel. The 12-day voyage, roundtrip from Rome, provides the opportunity to visit historic Cairo, Jerusalem and Galilee. Queen Victoria then journeys across the Atlantic to start her second Americas season in 2012. In addition to a return of the 17-day voyage from Los Angeles to New York, she will offer three 15-day Panama Canal transits between Los Angeles and Ft. Lauderdale, two 14-day voyages to Hawaii, and an 11-day partial Canal voyage roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale. She will then head back across the Atlantic on an eight-day Transatlantic Crossing.

Queen Elizabeth: The eagerly anticipated 2011 maiden voyages for Queen Elizabeth will offer a wide-ranging series of itineraries in Europe and beyond from her home port of Southampton, with a total of 52 maiden calls in her first full season. Included in next year’s line-up are four sailings to the Mediterranean and one Voyage to the Holy Land, which includes calls in Jerusalem, Galilee and Cairo. Also available will be a series of 14-day Baltic voyages that include a full day and overnight call in St. Petersburg, two 7-day Fjord departures, an 11-day voyage to the North Cape, a maiden Around the British Isles voyage, plus a number of voyages to the Atlantic Isles and Canary Islands. Rounding out her 2011 season will be a series of 5-day Getaway voyages and two visits to the United States on roundtrip voyages from Southampton. Growing interest in overnight calls will see the newest Cunarder also stay overnight in Amsterdam, Venice, New York, and Quebec.

See Cunard’s 2011-2012 voyage schedule online for complete details. Reservations for Cunard’s 2011 and 2012 voyages will open for booking on Apri 26l for Cunard World Club Members and April 27 for non-members. For more information and to book a voyage, consult your Travel Professional, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD, or visit

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Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Search For The "Epic Star" Contest

MIAMI, March 12: Norwegian Cruise Line today announced the "Search for the Epic Star" talent contest. In celebration of the launch of Norwegian's largest and most exciting Freestyle Cruising ship to date, Norwegian is searching for talented entertainers to perform on board the ship during her inaugural festivities, July 2-4, 2010, in New York. The contest is being hosted on USA TODAY's website,, and talented performers can enter starting Friday, March 12, 2010.

Norwegian Epic, which will take entertainment to an entirely new level in cruising, features performances by world renowned Blue Man Group, Cirque Dreams™ & Dinner, The Second City, Legends in Concert, Howl at the Moon and Nickelodeon at Sea™. The "Search for the Epic Star" contest will provide amateur entertainers with the opportunity to share the spotlight with these famed performance groups during the ship's inaugural.

"Norwegian Epic is known for its groundbreaking, world-class entertainment offerings," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "Therefore, we wanted to take that a step further and search for tomorrow's star and give them a chance to showcase their epic talent during the ship's inaugural."

Contestants who think their talent is "epic" should submit a video of one minute or less to by April 25, 2010. Singers, musicians, dancers, jugglers, comics, rappers and more in groups of one to four performers who are 21 years of age and older and reside in the U.S. or Canada are eligible. A panel of esteemed, professional judges including Neil Goldberg of Cirque Productions, Tim Aumiller of Blue Man Group, Beth Kligerman of The Second City and Brian Brigner of Legends in Concert will select eight semi-finalists whose

videos will be displayed on USA TODAY's Cruise Log throughout May. Two videos will be shared per week. The public will then have the chance to vote for their favorite from June 1-13, 2010. From the top three scoring acts, the judges will select the grand prize winner, who will be announced on June 18, 2010. The top two finalists and grand prize winner will be awarded the opportunity to come to Norwegian Epic's inaugural in New York, July 2-4, 2010. The grand prize winner will also be invited to perform on board during the inaugural cruise, as well as receive a 7-day Caribbean cruise on Norwegian Epic during her inaugural season.

Judging will be based on creativity, originality, entertainment value, quality of performance and professionalism. Only original content and videos of one minute or less will be considered. Any videos that use licensed material will be disqualified. For more information about the contest and to register, please visit

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Celebrity Cruises Presents an 'Eclipse' That's Easy on the Eyes

MIAMI, March 11: Conventional wisdom advises the use of special eye protection when viewing an eclipse. But none of that was necessary for the thousands of individuals who lined the banks of Germany's River Ems today to see Celebrity Eclipse embark on a fascinating adventure in cruising.

The third of five in Celebrity Cruises' stylish, $3.7-billion Solstice Class fleet, Celebrity Eclipse today made her first departure from the innovative Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, to embark on what is very likely to be the most challenging ride of her life: an event known as the "conveyance."

At the tightest points along the way, there are as few as two feet between each side of the 1,040-foot-long, 121-foot-wide Celebrity Eclipse and the locks. The depth of the river and the draft of the ship allow for mere inches - or less - beneath the ship. These factors and others led Celebrity Cruises and Meyer Werft to essentially create a science all their own, carefully monitoring the position of the moon and tidal conditions to identify the precise moment when the depth of the river is ideal for the ship to set sail from the shipyard.

"Cruise ship captains generally do not expect to encounter the challenges the conveyance presents," said Celebrity Eclipse Captain Panagiotis Skylogiannis. "Although I am accustomed to docking in tight ports, I prefer to be chasing sunshine in the open sea. Celebrity Eclipse is only a few feet slimmer than the narrowest lock we have to navigate, which isn't much room, particularly when the president of the company is onboard, keeping a close watch! But we've done this twice before, and I am entirely confident of another smooth and successful passage."

Celebrity's President & CEO Dan Hanrahan and the Captain are far from alone on the ship. This year, among those experiencing the once-in-a-lifetime conveyance are a host of winners of the line's global "Eclipse of a Lifetime" sweepstakes.

"This event is a vivid example of our 'Designed for you' brand platform, as it's an experience ideally suited for discerning cruisers like those who entered our sweepstakes," said Hanrahan. "Our sweeps in North America alone generated more than 200,000 entries, which attests to the appeal of this very unique experience."

Before setting sail, the lucky winners, as well as a select group of travel agents and elite members of the press, had the exclusive opportunity to press the button activating the very first cuts of steel that will become a permanent part of the next ship in Celebrity's Solstice Class fleet, Celebrity Silhouette, during a customized, private tour at Meyer Werft shipyard.

After arriving in Emshaven, Netherlands, where those fortunate first few individuals to experience Celebrity Eclipse will depart, the ship will embark on sea trials, followed by a series of promotional events in Hamburg, Germany, and Southampton, England, where the vessel will be the first in the Celebrity fleet to be dedicated to the UK market. During her inaugural season, Celebrity Eclipse will offer cruises in the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Scandinavia and Russia, as well as short cruise options to Le Havre (for Paris), France, and Cork, Ireland, all roundtrip from Southampton. The ship will present Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Miami, Fla., after crossing the Atlantic in November.

Celebrity Eclipse will be the industry's first to offer the "Celebrity iLounge," complete with a retail area offering the latest products through Celebrity's Authorized Apple Reseller status, and the first to present "Qsine," a "uniquely unordinary," interactive dining venue complete with wine menus on a personal touchscreen.

Like her sister ships - Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox - Celebrity Eclipse will present The Lawn Club, with real, growing grass; The Hot Glass Show, a glassblowing show and studio developed with The Corning Museum of Glass; 10 unrivaled dining venues, including Qsine; and widely varied entertainment, including shows with breathtaking aerial acts.

Celebrity Cruises is designed for discerning cruisers, with modern, sophisticated environments, impeccable service, enriching and inspiring onboard programs, and world-class cuisine. The ultimate in premium cruising, Celebrity sails in Alaska, California, Canada/New England, Europe, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Caribbean and the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity's fleet currently consists of nine ships. Its $3.75-billion investment in building five stylish Solstice Class ships between 2008-2012 represents the largest five-year investment in premium cruising. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Inspiring New York Themes Highlight Public Areas on ms Nieuw Amsterdam,
the Newest Holland America Line Ship

SEATTLE, March 11: The extensive array of upscale public areas aboard the new Holland America Line Signature-class ship ms Nieuw Amsterdam reflects the brand's enhanced premium-class facilities and amenities, highlighted by decor honoring the historic glamour of New York City, known as Nieuw Amsterdam by its Dutch founders. Art, craftwork and historical artifacts documenting New York's Native American history and Dutch influences, along with the history and glamour of Holland America Line's 138-year association with the world's greatest city, are displayed throughout the ship's expertly finished public areas.

The new facilities are highlighted by Silk Den, a serene 52-seat lounge on Observation Deck (deck 11), featuring sweeping views of the ocean. Immediately adjacent is Tamarind, Nieuw Amsterdam's Pan Asian restaurant, which also features pan-optic sea views and, like Silk Den, is decorated with fine Asian handicrafts, including framed leather carvings set against gold leaf.

Guests in search of their own private outdoor haven need only visit the Observation Deck Cabana Club, a private, outdoor oasis located high above the lower decks. Guests can reserve the airy, tented Cabanas by the day or for an entire voyage. Nieuw Amsterdam also offers a second collection of Cabanas lining Nieuw Amsterdam's mid-ship Lido pool area. Equipped with luxurious chaises, ottomans and upholstered settees, the Cabanas feature bathrobes and plush towels, refreshments ranging from iced fruit skewers and frozen grapes to chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne, and iPods(TM) uploaded with a choice of music.

Additional premium facilities found on deck 11 include the Explorations Cafe powered by The New York Times. This comfortable, seagoing coffee bistro features an extensive library, Internet terminals, international newspapers, plush chairs and sofas, and a comfortable, upscale environment for reading and conversation. The Crow's Nest lounge, which completes Observation Deck's public areas, overlooks Nieuw Amsterdam's bow and features a collection of Nieuw Amsterdam memorabilia dating back to the original ship's 1906 launch and the heyday of Nieuw Amsterdam II, which carried the cream of international society between New York and Rotterdam in the post World War II era. A plush and quiet vantage point by day, the room transforms into a stylish dance club in the evening.

Kids are in control on Panorama Deck (deck 10), which features Club HAL®, the dedicated youth facilities and activities center offering supervised, age-appropriate programming for kids 3 to 12. And, because teens desire their own space, Holland America created The Loft, a hip lounge where teen-age cruisers can meet, have fun and hang out. The Loft is equipped with comfortable chairs and sofas, games and a new video editing facility, and is decorated as a typical New York street design of large murals featuring creations by top New York City graffiti artists, crosswalk, street signs, a real New York yellow cab and old-fashioned hot dog stand.

In addition to a fully equipped Fitness Center offering the largest gymnasium ever on a Holland America Line ship, Lido Deck (deck 9) features the inspiring Greenhouse Spa and Salon, providing premium beauty and wellness rituals from facials to bamboo and Thai poultice massages. The Greenhouse Spa's Thermal Suites offer premium private settings for detoxifying and relaxing therapy. Ladies can have their hair and nails done in the Salon. A relaxing Hydrotherapy Pool and Sauna complete the Greenhouse Spa facilities.

Lido Deck is also home to the ship's largest pool, the Lido Pool, which also features three Jacuzzis, and is flanked by the Cabanas. The entire area is covered by a retractable magradome, offering year-around opportunities for relaxing on deck. Guests can stop by the nearby Lido Bar and Terrace Grill for burgers, fries and grilled fare. Continuing on Lido Deck, the nearby Lido Restaurant features a wide variety of casual "comfort" cuisine with individual stations offering specialized ethnic and regional dishes.

The Sea View Pool on Deck 9 aft offers a sunny retreat with inspiring views of the ocean and ship's wake. Guests can break for refreshments at the Sea View Bar, which completes deck 9.

Promenade Deck (deck 3) begins with the Half Moon, Hudson and Stuyvesant meeting rooms, which offer flexible and functional meeting facilities including full audio/visual capabilities. The rooms provide the ideal private settings for group meetings and other gatherings. Nearby is the Screening Room, an ultra-plush 36-seat movie theater screening first-run films and special presentations.

Promenade also features The Signature Shops, an upscale shopping area headlined by Merabella, a luxury boutique offering high-end designer jewelry collections. Promenade also features Fine Jewelry, which specializes in diamonds and exotic gemstones; Fine Watches, offering top global brands; and Destination & Apparel, which features classic nautical wear and designs tailored to specific cruise regions. The Ocean Bar, centrally located on Promenade in the ship's atrium, provides a stylish vantage point from which to enjoy pre- or after-dinner drinks.

The Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine, a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen featuring gourmet cooking lessons from Holland America Line Master Chefs and celebrity guest chefs on many voyages, highlights the Lower Promenade (deck 2) public areas. The Culinary Arts Center is an interactive demonstration center providing guests with up-close access to the newest food preparation techniques and practices taught by the masters. When not providing cooking demonstrations, the room becomes the Queen's Lounge, an upscale performance venue and presentation room. Meanwhile, night club Northern Lights offers guests a magical venue for late evening dancing.

Lower Promenade's Explorer's Lounge continues Nieuw Amsterdam's New York theme with a stunning wall-to-wall mixed media collage of the 17th Century New York City skyline by Dutch artist Harald Vlugt. The room also features sculpture and decorative accessories from New York's early Native American and European inhabitants. Nearby is the Digital Workshop powered by Microsoft Windows, an interactive design studio featuring free workshops led by Microsoft-trained "techsperts" who show guests how to take better pictures, make movies, edit images and create scrapbooks using Microsoft Windows and Windows Live. Here, cruise image-makers can also learn to share images via email, blogs and social networks, creating instant vacation updates.

Lower Promenade also includes a fully equipped Casino, offering 116 slots, blackjack, roulette, craps and a variety of poker games. Located adjacent is the Casino Bar, highlighted by a display of large-format contemporary and classic photographs of New York City (NYC) street scenes, sports icons, and American and Dutch celebrities. The NYC-centric decor is continued in the nearby Piano Bar, which also features live keyboard music.

Nieuw Amsterdam's soaring Atrium is highlighted by a majestic telescoping chandelier designed to honor New York City's iconic skyline. The LED-equipped chandelier is lit in an ever-varying spectrum of rich colors.

The Deck 2 Pinnacle Grill and Pinnacle Bar offers an exclusive, reservations-only dining experience and exclusive wine lounge in a glamorous setting. The grand, three-level Showroom at Sea spans decks 2 and 3, and offers impeccable sightlines for feature production shows and headline entertainment.

Built at Fincantieri's Marghera yard near Venice, Italy, the 2,106-guest Nieuw Amsterdam will sail its maiden voyage July 4, 2010. After several 12-day Mediterranean sailings, Nieuw Amsterdam embarks on a fall crossing of the Atlantic for the warmth of the Caribbean with seven-day eastern and western island itineraries from November through March of the next year. For more information on Nieuw Amsterdam, visit

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Royal Caribbean Announces 2011-12 Cruises from Northeast U.S.

MIAMI, March 11, 2010 – Royal Caribbean Intl today announced its roster of 2011-12 Bermuda, Caribbean, and Canada and New England cruises, ranging from five- to 12-night itineraries sailing from three convenient U.S. Northeast cruise ports. In 2011, Enchantment of the Seas will continue year-round service from Baltimore – its second consecutive year; for the fifth consecutive year, Explorer of the Seas will remain the most innovative cruise ship in the New York City metropolitan area, sailing year-round from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J.; and Jewel of the Seas will offer its eighth short season from Boston. Royal Caribbean’s 2011-12 Bermuda, Caribbean and Canada and New England cruises from the Northeast U.S. are open for booking.

“Whether for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Royal Caribbean offers the best value for vacationers in the Northeast,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “Guests will enjoy exciting vacations on a variety of compelling itineraries that sail from convenient, local home ports. Our innovative cruise ships and award-winning onboard programming offer guests of all ages the opportunity to enjoy their own ‘Why Not?’ moments.”

Vacationers can take in the breathtaking seasonal color of Canada and New England on 16 Royal Caribbean voyages in fall 2011. Jewel of the Seas will sail a seven-night itinerary, with calls at Portland and Bar Harbor, Me.; St. John, New Brunswick; and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Vacationers also can choose longer, 9-night itineraries aboard Explorer of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas, which include Boston as a port of call.

In the summer and autumn seasons, vacationers have a choice of two ships sailing from convenient local home ports to Bermuda and the Caribbean. From Cape Liberty, Explorer of the Seas will alternatea 5-night Bermuda and a 9-night Bermuda and Caribbean itinerary. Enchantment of the Seas will alternate a 5-night Bermuda and a 9-night Eastern Caribbean itinerary from Baltimore. Both ships’ short Bermuda itineraries include an overnight in King’s Wharf, enabling guests to enjoy the island’s nightlife at their leisure. Both ships also will feature seven-night winter and Easter holiday sailings, with port calls at Port Canaveral, Fla.; Nassau, Bahamas and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island paradise.

During the 2011-12 winter months, vacationers also have choices of longer cruises to the warm waters of the Caribbean. Explorer of the Seas will alternate 10-night Eastern Caribbean and 11-night Southern Caribbean itineraries from Cape Liberty, while Enchantment of the Seas will alternate 9-night Bahamas and 12-night Southern Caribbean itineraries from Baltimore. Most Caribbean itineraries also will include a call to Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach destination on the northern coast of Haiti.

Guests will enjoy the award-winning onboard programming and innovative amenities that are exclusive to Royal Caribbean International. Voyager-class Explorer of the Seas features an ice-skating rink, full-size basketball court, in-line skating track, and the Royal Promenade, a boulevard that spans nearly the length of the ship, lined with boutiques, restaurants, bars and lounges. Jewel of the Seas is appointed with a 10-story glass Centrum, glass elevators offering vistas of the unfolding coastline, and self-leveling billiard tables. Kids and adults alike can bounce to their hearts’ delight on Enchantment of the Seas’ bungee trampoline or race to the top of the cruise line’s iconic rock-climbing wall, an amenity aboard every Royal Caribbean ship. Guests enjoy award-winning Broadway-style musical revues from Royal Caribbean Productions, complimentary Adventure Ocean kids and teen programming, and the cruise line’s world-renowned friendly and engaging Royal treatment from every staff and crew member.
Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 21 ships currently in service and one under construction. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Oceania Cruises’ New Flagship Sets New Booking Records

Miami, March 11, 2010 – Oceania Cruises reported record single-day bookings on Wednesday, March 10, when its 2011 European Collection featuring the line’s new flagship Marina went on sale. Reservations for the day exceeded the line’s previous record illustrating the ongoing demand for the acclaimed product.

Two-for-one cruise fares start at just $1,799 per guest and include free Economy Class air transportation from 20 North American gateway cities. Moreover, Oceania Cruises offers an entirely new level of value with unlimited and complimentary bottled water and soft drinks for all guests.

“The response to the 2011 European Collection has surpassed our most ambitious projections,” stated Bob Binder, president of Oceania Cruises. “The incredible interest in our diverse itineraries reaffirms that travelers are seeking unique experiences and is a testament to the quality and value of the Oceania Cruises brand.”

High Style Hits the High Seas
Scheduled to debut in January 2011, the 1,258-guest Marina is destined to set new cruise industry standards for her elegant and spacious accommodations and 10 dining venues – six of which are open-seating gourmet restaurants, including Jacques - the first restaurant at sea for Master Chef Jacques Pépin. Other highlights include a full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub and fitness center, Bon Appétit Culinary Center, grand stairway custom-crafted by renowned French glass master Lalique, and top suites designed by Dakota Jackson and Tocar New York, including Owner’s Suites furnished exclusively in Ralph Lauren Home.

Oceania Cruises® is the world’s only upper-premium cruise line and offers an unrivaled combination of the finest cuisine at sea, elegant accommodations, exceptional personalized service and extraordinary value. Award-winning itineraries visit more than 300 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Americas aboard the luxurious Regatta, Insignia, Nautica and brand new Marina. Riviera, a sister ship to Marina, will join the fleet in April 2012. For reservations or to order a brochure, contact a travel agent, visit or call toll-free 800-531-5658.

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Princess Cruises Announces Largest Europe Program Ever for 2011 Season

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 10: Princess Cruises has unveiled its most extensive Europe season ever for 2011, with more ships, departure choices and itinerary options than in previous years. In total, seven vessels will offer 42 itinerary choices, including seven new routes, with calls at more than 135 ports. More than half of these ports feature access to notable attractions designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These remarkable places that make up the planet's cultural and natural heritage range from Italy's Amalfi Coast and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg to the birthplace of Apollo on the island of Delos (from Mykonos) and the 16th-century Suleymaniye Mosque (in Istanbul). In addition, Princess has enhanced overnight offerings to give passengers extra time in fascinating ports throughout Europe, such as Venice, Istanbul, St. Petersburg, Alexandria, Dublin and Edinburgh on various routes.

The line's 2011 program includes seven new itineraries, offering fresh vacation opportunities in each major cruise region. Among the new routes are an expanded 11-day Scandinavia & Russia itinerary featuring calls in ports such as Oslo, Berlin, Stockholm and a 2-day stay in St. Petersburg. The season also features new seven-day Interlude voyages that can be combined for longer sailings, visiting boutique ports in the Mediterranean.

"As a leader in Europe cruises we constantly aim to design an intriguing range of vacation choices, but next year our lineup may really challenge passengers to choose among some outstanding options," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "Whether they want the amenities of a large ship or the intimate experience of a smaller vessel; a short, seven-day getaway or an extended adventure over several weeks, there's a Princess cruise to match."

The 2011 Europe program ships and routes:

-- Ruby Princess returns with the line's signature 12-day Grand Mediterranean itinerary and Greek Isles routes.
-- Star Princess also cruises the Mediterranean, taking over the 12-day Egypt, Greek Isles and Mediterranean itineraries.
-- Emerald Princess returns to Europe with a new 11-day Scandinavia & Russia itinerary including the best of the Baltic region with Princess' signature two-day experience in St. Petersburg
-- Crown Princess sails to the British Isles on two 12-day itinerary options, as well voyages to Norway and Iceland from seven to 12 days.
-- Grand Princess offers three new itineraries featuring a selection of Mediterranean and Northern Europe voyages, ranging from seven to 17 days.
-- The intimate Ocean Princess offers new 7-day Greek Isles and Mediterranean Interlude itineraries that can be combined into 14-day or longer voyages, giving passengers the opportunity to explore boutique ports such as Cephalonia in Greece, and Koper, Slovenia.
Small sister ship Pacific Princess sails to the Holy Land and Black Sea, and offers experiences in classic destinations such as Egypt, Israel, Ukraine, Greece and Turkey

Overnight Calls and Two-Day Experiences: More itineraries than ever offer passengers more time to explore port highlights and enjoy a more immersive experience. All 12-day Mediterranean voyages have been enhanced to include an overnight stay in Venice, while the 12-day Black Sea & Crimean Coasts route now features an overnight stay in Istanbul. Passengers on 12-day Holy Land voyages can explore more of Egypt and Israel, with calls in two ports in each country. In Northern Europe, overnight calls in Dublin and Edinburgh are featured on select voyages, and 11-day Scandinavia & Russia sailings offer two full days in St. Petersburg on every voyage.

New ports: Princess ships will add five new European ports this season, including the charming city of Aahus, home to the tallest cathedral in Denmark; Motril (for Grenada), on Spain's beautiful coast of Andalusia and within reach of the stunning Alhambra palace; the Mediterranean port of Sete, France; the resort city of Aghios Nikolaos on Crete (Greece), and cosmopolitan Antwerp, Belgium.

Mediterranean & Greek Isles: Princess ships offer 21 different itineraries through the storied waters of the Mediterranean, including six new routes. Both Ruby Princess and Star Princess will offer the line's signature Grand Mediterranean and Greek Isles itineraries, as well as Egypt & Aegean sailings, giving passengers 30 different cruises to choose from in the Mediterranean. Grand Princess offers roundtrip voyages from Southampton to the Western Mediterranean, including new Canary Isles and Mediterranean & Adriatic sailings.

Seven-Day Interlude Voyages: Ocean Princess offers the small ship experience on a number of Mediterranean options, including new week-long Interlude voyages that are specially designed so they can be combined into longer 14- or 21-day sailings without repeating a port.

Holy Land and Black Sea: Pacific Princess also offers an intimate cruise experience as it sails to the unforgettable ports of the Holy Land, plus Mediterranean Collection voyages and a Black Sea & Crimean Coasts itinerary.

Scandinavia & Russia: Emerald Princess returns to the Baltic region to debut a rich new 11-day itinerary that features the best of the region with calls in Oslo, the new port of Aarhous (Denmark), Berlin, Tallinn, a two-day experience in St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Stockholm.

Northern Europe: A selection of 14 different itinerary options throughout Northern Europe offers passengers cruise options to the British Isles, Norwegian fjords, and even Iceland and Greenland. A new seven-day Norwegian Fjords Interlude adds to a lineup that includes sailings from Southampton aboard Crown Princess, Grand Princess and Ocean Princess; plus the opportunity to travel on top-of-the-world voyages aboard Ocean Princess to explore the beauty of Iceland and Greenland, or sail on a week-long Ireland & Scotland Interlude.

Princess also offers three European cruisetours which combine certain sailings with a fully-escorted land tour to explore the Italian destinations of Rome and Florence, Ireland's wild west and the breathtaking Ring of Kerry, or the imperial treasures in Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin. The 2011 Princess Europe season opens for bookings on March 25, 2010.

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Legendary DJ and Producer Paul Oakenfold Hosts ‘Perfecto at Sea’
 Aboard Carnival Inspiration

March 10: Sixthman and Carnival Cruise Lines have teamed up to present a new vacation experience called Perfecto at Sea, an unparalleled floating electronic music festival hosted by legendary DJ and producer Paul Oakenfold. This cruise will take place aboard the 2,052-passenger Carnival Inspiration Sept. 30 – Oct 4, 2010.

Perfecto at Sea is a 4-day journey that will span the shores of Tampa to beautiful Grand Cayman. Synonymous with high-caliber nightlife, Oakenfold’s Perfecto experience will feature the epic sounds that he’s become known for, but rather than the traditional club or festival experience, the beats will hail from under the stars as guests cruise the Caribbean.

Oakenfold will bring friends and other special guests to help keep the party going 24/7 and deliver a cutting edge, music-meets-leisure experience. The full line-up will be announced very soon. Perfecto at Sea will include theme nights, gambling, pool-side cocktails, and a sea deck turned dance floor.

For additional information, pricing, and reservations, visit Additional information on Carnival is available by contacting any travel agent, calling 1-800-CARNIVAL or visiting

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Oceania Cruises Introduces 2011 European Collection

MIAMI, March 10: Oceania Cruises has unveiled its 2011 European Collection, which opened for reservations today. With voyages to more than 125 ports on three elegant, mid-sized ships, including the magnificent new Marina, the line’s 2011 Europe itineraries are unrivaled in their scope and diversity. Featuring 21 new itineraries, Insignia, Nautica and Marina will cover the continent in its entirety. In addition to its award-winning destination experience, Oceania Cruises offers the finest dining at sea and an entirely new level of value with unlimited and complimentary bottled water and soft drinks for all guests.

With 32 unique itineraries to choose from, more than any other premium or deluxe brand, Oceania Cruises offers new and unique opportunities to travel to off-the-beaten-path destinations in Greece, Turkey, Sweden and Denmark along with the continent’s perennial favorites in France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia and Russia. With a keen focus on providing the most unique and enriching destination experience, every aspect of the 2011 European Collection has been meticulously crafted with the discerning traveler in mind.

Marina, the line’s new $600 million flagship, sets sail on her inaugural season of Europe voyages. From the tony yacht harbors of the western Mediterranean and ancient splendors of Israel, to the majesty of Russia and rugged wilderness of Iceland, Marina offers 20 unique and scintillating voyages to choose from. Travelers may choose from alluring choice of voyages which range from the ancient sands of Egypt and Israel to the rugged lands of Iceland and the Polar Ice Barrier.

“The sophisticated traveler wants in-depth, enriching travel experiences. We have not only created a intriguing blend of itineraries, we have sought out the premier ports interspersed with hidden gems to present our guests with the most rewarding vacation possible,” stated Bob Binder, Oceania Cruises’ president.

Highlights of the 2010 European Collection
-- The introduction of Marina, the first ship designed specifically for lovers of fine food and wine
-- 125 intriguing ports of call and 65 overnight port stays
-- 21 brand new itineraries
-- Itineraries range from the Polar Ice Barrier to the desert sands of Egypt and Israel
A unique selection of western European itineraries that focus on the extraordinary wine producing regions and local cuisines of Italy, Spain, Portugal and France
-- An array of off-the-beaten-path, boutique ports such as Zakinthos, Greece; Rønne, Denmark; Murmansk, Russia; Marmaris, Turkey; and Portree, Scotland – just to name a few
-- 2-for-1 Cruise Fares with Free Air; With free air transportation from 20 North American gateway cities and two-for-one cruise fares, these extraordinary voyages are the pinnacle of value.

Travelers are urged to make their reservations as early as possible to ensure that they take advantage of the free airfare and receive the accommodations of choice on their preferred voyage.

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Windstar Offers a Future Cruise Credit of $250 Per Person for New Bookings
 On Select April Through June 2010 Sailings

SEATTLE, March 9: Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, offers a Future Cruise Credit of $250 per person for guests who book select April through June 2010 sailings now through April 30, 2010.

Select April through June Sailings Include:
Wind Surf
-- April 4, 2010 Lisbon to Barcelona visiting Tangier, Malaga, Alicante, Palma de Mallorca and Valencia.
-- April 18, 2010 Rome to Athens visiting Ischia, Sorrento, Messina, Zakynthos and Monemvassia.
-- April 25, 2010 Athens to Rome visiting Ischia, Sorrento, Messina, Zakynthos and Monemvassia.
-- May 2, 2010 Rome to Rome visiting Porto-Vecchio, Messina, Sorrento, Capri and Ischia.
-- May 9, 2010 Rome to Nice visiting Bastia, San Remo, Cannes (overnight), Monte Carlo (two overnights).
-- May 23, 2010 Nice to Rome visiting Monte Carlo (overnight), Portofino, Livorno, Portoferraio and Port Cervo.
-- May 30, 2010 Rome to Rome visiting Ischia, Capri, Amalfi, Sorrento, Ajaccio, Livorno.
-- June 6, 2010 Rome to Venice visiting Capri, Taormina, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Hvar.
-- June 13 & 20, 2010 Venice to Venice visiting Rovinj, Opatija, Trogir, Dubrovnik.

Wind Star
-- April 24, 2010 Lisbon to Barcelona visiting Portimao, Cadiz, Puerto Banus, Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca.

Wind Spirit
-- May 1, 2010 Barcelona to Nice visiting Palamos, Port Vendres, Sete, Marseille, Le Lavandou and Cannes.
-- May 8, 2010 Nice to Rome visiting Monte Carlo (overnight), Portovenere, Livorno, Portoferraio, Palau.
-- May 15, 2010 Rome to Rome visiting Ischia, Capri, Amalfi, Sorrento, Ajaccio and Livorno.

Offer is valid on new bookings on select April through June 2010 sailings made by April 30, 2010. The Future Cruise Credit can be applied to any future 2010 or 2011 sailing booked at Advance Savings Advantage Program rates, Early Booking Incentive rates or Alumni rates. Future Cruise Credit certificates will be mailed two weeks after guests sail and are valid until December 20, 2011. Offer is combinable with one shipboard credit, upgrade or package offer. Taxes additional. Offer is capacity controlled and may be withdrawn or modified at the discretion of Windstar.

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

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Holland America Line’s ms Ryndam Receives Latest
Signature of Excellence Enhancements

Seattle, WA, March 9: Holland America Line’s ms Ryndam recently sailed with several new enhancements on its 7-day western Caribbean cruises sailing from Tampa, Florida. The premium ship just completed a 17-day dry dock in Freeport, Bahamas, and now features the new, stylish lounge called Mix, a sophisticated Showroom at Sea with several new productions, the complimentary Italian eatery Canaletto, and a complete new stateroom and bath design.

“We are in the midst of an extensive and exciting phase of our Signature of Excellence enhancements program,” said Richard Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs at Holland America Line. “As the most recent ship to receive the new public areas and soft goods, the Ryndam looks wonderful and our guests will feel like they are sailing on a new ship. Our Signature of Excellence investment reaffirms our ongoing leadership by continually raising the expectations of our premium category.”

Public Areas Feature Latest Innovations
During dry dock, Canaletto, an Italian restaurant that was introduced aboard ms Eurodam, has been added and comes to life for dinner when a section of the Lido is transformed with glass partitions and an Italian ambiance. Dishes range from putanesca to penne alla vodka. Although there is no charge to dine in the alternative venue, reservations are suggested.

Nightlife on board Ryndam just got more exciting with the reconfiguration of the existing Casino and Piano bars into Mix, a multi-themed area with three separate bars: Martinis, Champagne and Spirits & Ales, serving their namesakes. Next door, the high-energy casino was redesigned and the main show lounge was transformed into the Showroom at Sea with the ambience of a glamorous nightclub and a new slate of shows. Other public areas around the ship also were refurbished and received new carpeting, and an upscale luxury jewelry shop called Merabella also was added midship to the enhanced main shopping area.

Staterooms Receive New Look & New Spa Category
Completing the enhancements, all Ryndam’s staterooms received new carpeting, soft goods and completely renovated bathrooms with new vanities and cabinetry. Sixteen staterooms near the spa (on Verandah deck) became “spa staterooms” featuring a variety of enhanced amenities. Each offers exclusive items such as organic cotton bathrobe and slippers, yoga mat, water fountain, special room service menus and treatments, and more.

Explorations Team Expands the Exclusive Activities on Ships
The Explorations Programonboard Ryndam and all Holland America Line shipsfeatures a team of specialists with an expanded menu of programs to educate and entertain guests. Each team consists of a Party Planner, LifeStylist, Travel Guide, “Techspert” and Dance Director. On cruises lasting 14 days or more, a book club leader also joins the team.

The Party Planner host events in the Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine Magazine, significantly expanding the innovative program which brings more than 70 culinary experts on board each year, in addition to demonstrations and classes held on every sailing. As the destination expert on board, the Travel Guide is the one-stop source for port-of-call information. The “Techspert” leads classes in the Digital Workshop, powered by Windows®, teaching guests how to blog, work with digital photos arrange a digital scrapbook, create a slideshow or edit a movie. Other activities range from dance lessons to wine tasting, floral arranging and craft classes. The LifeStylist leads the Mind, Body and Spirit Program. Developed in cooperation with the Greenhouse Spa, the program focuses on many forms of well being.

Signature of Excellence tops $525 Million
The industry-leading Signature of Excellence initiative is an ongoing and comprehensive program that touches every aspect of the Holland America Line experience and the investment now exceeds $525 million. Signature of Excellence features and amenities offer guests more luxurious accommodations, enhanced dining experiences, more enriching activities and exceptional levels of service. For a cruise brochure or for more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Seabourn Unveils 2011-2012 Cruise Itineraries,
Will Launch With Two-for-One Fares & Value-Priced Airfares

MIAMI, March 10: The Yachts of Seabourn has issued an advance announcement highlighting the new worldwide itineraries that its fleet of award-winning, all-suite yachts will offer in 2011 and 2012. At the same time, the line announced a special promotion on the entire 2011 Europe and Asia schedule of voyages. The promotion, which begins when the cruises go on sale on March 23, features two-for-one cruise fares from $3,250 per person, and value-priced round-trip, add-on airfare from $699 for economy and from $2,299 for business class. The promotion continues for bookings made through June 30, 2010. The cruise itineraries can currently be viewed from a link on the “Plan a Cruise” section of the company’s website at

“With the launch of Seabourn Quest in June 2011, our six intimate yachts will enable us to provide the unique, Seabourn yachting lifestyle to travelers anywhere they wish to explore, from the beaches of St. Tropez to the jungles of Borneo,” said Pamela C. Conover, Seabourn’s president & CEO. “From Iceland to Queensland and Beijing to Barcelona, you can travel the world, and travel it well, on a Seabourn yacht,” she said.

During the 15 months between January 2011 and April 2012, the ultra-luxury cruise line will offer its most extensive and diverse menu of itineraries ever, calling at a record 266 ports in 78 countries during 252 scheduled voyages visiting a wide variety of popular destinations and exotic locations across the world. Fares and details will be available on Seabourn’s website on March 23, and a lavishly illustrated catalogue will be published in April. With the introduction of Seabourn Quest, Seabourn will complete its three-year fleet expansion, which has added three new vessels, allowing the line to offer more departures in more destinations, for longer seasons than ever before.

Sophisticated travelers continue to look to Seabourn for more exotic and unique destinations, and in 2011-2012, Seabourn will satisfy their appetites with visits to novel, far-flung ports in Africa, South America and Asia, such as Maputo, Mozambique; Port Stanley, Falkland Islands; and Bangaram in India’s Laccadive Islands.

New Yacht: Seabourn Quest
The new, ultra-luxury Seabourn Quest will launch June 20, 2011, with a 14-day Maiden Voyage from Barcelona to Athens. Quest’s maiden season will include seven-day Eastern Mediterranean cruises, operating alternately between Athens and Istanbul, and Venice and Athens, as well as a seven-day Black Sea voyage. On January 5, 2012, Quest begins a 109-day World Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Venice on a unique eastbound course via South America, South Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean.

New Itineraries
In 2011-2012, Seabourn returns to Canada and New England with a series of nine-day Autumn Maritime cruises aboard Seabourn Sojourn, which will include the yacht’s maiden call to New York. Sojourn will also operate a series of six 14-day Patagonian Passage voyages to the picturesque Chilean Fjords, Cape Horn and the Falkland Islands between Valparaiso, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Seabourn Pride remains in Asia for a second season of year-round exotic cruises to major destinations such as Japan, China, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan. New for 2011, Pride will operate a series of new 12-day cruises between Singapore and Bali with calls to exotic ports in Borneo, Sulawesi and Java.

In early 2012, Seabourn Legend will be based in the Arabian Sea and offer Indian Oceans Delight with stops to Oman’s capital city of Muscat, also known as “Arabia’s jewel,” and the vibrant city of Mumbai, India. Other new itineraries include a 60-day Stars of the Southern Cross cruise round trip from Los Angeles to French Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii aboard Seabourn Odyssey; new seven-day St. Petersburg & the Baltic cruises between Copenhagen and Stockholm aboard Sojourn; week-long Gems of the Adriatic and Dalmatian Discoveries cruises round trip from Venice aboard Seabourn Spirit; an 18-day Path of the Vikings transatlantic voyage from Dover to Quebec, and a 12-day Canada & Colonial Autumn voyage from Quebec City to Fort Lauderdale aboard Sojourn.

New, Exotic Ports of Call
Seabourn’s record number of port visits in 2011-2012 will include more than 50 destinations that are either maiden calls or ports that the cruise line has not visited in years. New ports include Bangaram (Laccadive Islands), and Porbandar,India; Matarani, Peru; Brindisi, Italy; Burnie (Tasmania), Australia; Cape Town, South Africa; Chan May, Vietnam; Constantza, Romania; Pointe des Galets, Reunion; Doha, Qatar; Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Port Louis, Mauritius; Fanning Island, Republic of Kiribati; Port Stanley, Falkland Islands; Gili Sudak Island and Waikelo, Sumba, Indonesia; Qaqortoq, Greenland; Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; St. Helena, United Kingdom; Karimunjawa Island, Indonesia; Sur and Khasab, Oman; Manama, Bahrain; Maputo, Mozambique; and Walvis Bay, Namibia.

New Seabourn Journeys
In 2011-2012, Seabourn will offer two new Seabourn Journeys, fully-escorted packages for guests wishing to extend their stays on land. A new three-night pre- or post-cruise Journey from Sydney, Australia, provides an in-depth exploration of the Australian Outback, including a sunset camel safari to a bush barbecue and visits to the breathtaking scenic wonders, the Olgas and Uluru, the largest monolith on earth also known as Ayers Rock. Also new is a five-night pre- or post-cruise wildlife safari Journey from Cape Town, South Africa to the Singita Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve.

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

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Cruise West Ventures to Patagonia 2011 By Land and By Sea

Seattle, WA, March 9: Cruise West, the world’s leading provider of small-ship explorations to the most fascinating destinations on earth, ventures to rugged and mysterious Patagonia in 2011 with four departures aboard the spacious 64-cabin mv Via Australis. The new 8- or 10- night journey highlights hotspots in Chile by land and cruising through renowned channels, scenic bays and glaciated fjords from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas. Save $600 per person by paying in full by April 30, 2010.

Patagonia is like no other place on earth offering impressive landscapes, beautiful vegetation and a variety of marine mammals and wildlife. The journey includes two nights in the thriving city of Santiago where guests will partake on a private walking tour, lively folkloric dinner show and a full day touring Casablanca Valley, one of Chile’s supreme wine regions, and historic Valparaiso, once the residence of poet Pablo Neruda. Board the mv Via Australis in Punta Arenas, an included flight away, and head out to sea on a custom-designed 5-night voyage, cruising through the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel that separates the islands of the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago, making a stop at Magdalena Island to visit the immense colony of Magellanic Penguins.

Continue onto Ainsworth Bay located inside the Alberto De Agostini National Park that offers a sun-polar Magellanic forest, and if the timing is right, elephant seals lounging on the beach; explore a scenic amphitheatre of glaciers via Zodiacs in Brookes Bay; and search for marine mammals around Carlos III Island and Rupert Inlet, known for its unique biodiversity. After navigating across Desolation Bay en route Pia Fjord, explore smaller inlets by Zodiac, stopping to hike to a look out point offering spectacular views of the entire glacier tongue of Pia Glacier.

Last day of exploration includes majestic ‘Glacier Alley;’ Cape Horn National Park, declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005; and Wulaia Bay, once the site of the largest Yamana aboriginal settlement. Disembark in Ushuaia and continue by plane to Argentina’s capital city of Buenos Aires for one last night of fun including a farewell Tango dinner show and city tour.

The 10-night program includes two extra nights in Puerto Natales with private escorted tours of majestic Torres Del Paine National Park and Milodon Cave, where in 1895 the remains of extinct animals such as the Sabre Tooth Tiger and the Milodon (giant sloths) were found.

Choose from four departure dates: Jan 26, 31; and Feb 5 and 10, 2011. Prices start at $6,095 per person for the 8-night and $6,795 for the 10-night program, before savings, and include internal flights, all excursions and hotel nights as listed. Save $600 per person by paying in full by April 30, 2010. Note the journey operates one-way between Santiago and Buenos Aires or reverse, depending on departure date. For further details, visit, call 800-296-8307 or a contact a travel professional.

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Experts Offer Stylish Advice on Crystal Voyages

LOS ANGELES, March 9: While some travelers yearn to look refreshed from their vacations, Crystal guests can actually return home with a head-to-toe makeover. On Crystal Cruises' two 2010 Fashion & Style Experiences of Discovery voyages, veteran hair, makeup, and fashion professionals share their "tricks of the trade" and expand the personal complimentary services at Crystal's Style Desk. One-on-one consultations, runway-style fashion shows, insights on the influence of European fashion, and fashion-focused films up the glamour quotient on Crystal Serenity's June 6 "Culture & Couture" cruise from Barcelona to Athens and September 29 "Fashion Capitals" itinerary from Venice to Monte Carlo.

Setting the style are:
  -- Hair and Make-up Style Lab - Hair and make-up artist Lauren Favorule and Stephanie Kelly highlight guests' best features during hands-on sessions and share practical every day and super glam beauty tricks.
  -- Style Desk - Fashion stylist Caitlin Crespin provides personal consultations to perfect your look.
  -- Fashion Show - Fashion designer and model Lauren Elaine presents a runway-style show of her contemporary, European-influenced collection.
  -- Presentations - Designer and stylists will give interactive lectures and interviews.

"The innate style and glamour of the Mediterranean provides an inspiring locale from which to explore one's own style, as well as to celebrate memorable European fashion," says Christopher Escamilla, Crystal's entertainment coordinator. "Whether guests are looking to spice up their look, glean a few easy tips, or shop for tasty additions to one's wardrobe, the designers are invaluable resources for both sexes."

The June 6 12-day cruise visits Barcelona, Monte Carlo (overnight), Porto Venere, Rome, Sorrento (overnight), Sicily, Kusadasi, Mykonos and Athens. The Sept 29 nine-day voyage begins with an overnight in Venice, visiting Dubrovnik, Sorrento, Rome, Porto Venere, Florence and Monte Carlo.

With two-for-one rates, per person (double occupancy) cruise fares start at $5,045 or $5,640 for the 9- or 12-day cruises, respectively - including $1,000 per person "All Inclusive -As You Wish shipboard spending credits and free air transportation from more than 20 North American gateways - Business Class air for Penthouse guests. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Cunard Line Announces Queen Mary 2’s First Circumnavigation of Australia

March 8: Cunard Line has announced that the world’s grandest ocean liner, its majestic Queen Mary 2, will be based in Australia in 2012 for a history-making circumnavigation which will see her visit five states and the Northern Territory. Queen Mary 2’s Royal Circumnavigation of Australia is a first for Cunard.

The largest ship ever to visit Australia, Queen Mary 2 will call at eight Australian ports during her time Down Under including Sydney, Fremantle, Adelaide and the Whitsundays, as well as maiden visits to Cairns (Yorkey’s Knob), Darwin, Melbourne and Brisbane. Her circumnavigation will also include a call at Bali. Australians will be able to choose from three circumnavigation options: a 22-night voyage departing Sydney on 14 Feb 2012; a 20-night voyage departing Fremantle on 8 Feb 2012; and a 21-night voyage departing Adelaide on 11 Feb 2012.

In all, Queen Mary 2 will spend 28 nights in Australian waters, as she sails from Cape Town to Sydney via Fremantle and Adelaide, and then circumnavigates the country. As a result, Fremantle, Adelaide and Sydney will each enjoy two visits from the liner during her Australian season. The Australian deployment will mark the longest period of time that Queen Mary 2 has been based in one country outside of her northern hemisphere home ports of Southampton and New York.

Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line, said "Cunard has strong and proud links with Australia, going back many years. Recognizing the enduring appeal and increased demand from Australians for the unique Cunard Line experience, we are delighted to offer this series of legendary voyages for our flagship Queen Mary 2 in Australia in 2012.”

The Royal Circumnavigation of Australia will go on sale this spring as part of the announcement of the 2012 World Voyage program. For more information about Queen Mary 2 and to book a voyage, consult your Travel Professional, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Cruise West’s Spirit of Oceanus Inaugural World Voyage Commences

Seattle, WA, March 8: Cruise West’s maiden world voyage aboard the 60-suite Spirit of Oceanus set sail from Singapore on March 6, 2010, with 71 delighted guests (including two solo travelers who are participating on the entire 335-day circumnavigation) and 72 crew. Guests were welcomed to a special gala at the legendary Raffles Hotel on March 5 that included the hotel’s signature Singapore Sling cocktail, entertainment by a traditional Chinese orchestra, a mystical fortuneteller accompanied by a parrot with ‘divination’ capabilities, a warm welcome by Captains Reidulf Maalen, Malcolm Scanlan and Boris Tsvetkov and a sumptuous dinner featuring Singaporean and Malaysian cuisine. In addition, each guest received a monogrammed fan with hand painted Chinese calligraphy of his or her name, ending the evening with a city tour by night via Trishaws. Concluding the festivities on embarkation day, March 6, was a champagne toast and a colorful, raucous Lions Dance, said to be an auspicious way to begin such an extraordinary series of voyages.

Captain Maalen remarked, “This is truly a grand moment for the Spirit of Oceanus, her guests and her crew. No other line, big or small, has endeavored to circumnavigate the world in 335 days. I am thrilled to be at the helm of five of the 24 voyages and be a part of making history.”

The first of 24 distinct voyages, a Southeast Asian journey, will travel for 15 nights from Singapore to Chennai, India, making stops at Malacca, Malaysia; Georgetown, Penang; Langkawi; Phuket and Kho Yao, Thailand; Similan Islands; Rangoon, Myanmar; and the Andaman Islands en route to Chennai. This is not an ordinary voyage – guests will enjoy exclusive and fascinating included excursions, further exploration of remote islands via Zodiac and presentations by expert guest lecturers.

There’s still time to book one or multiple segments of the 2010 or 2011 world voyages that range from 9 – 18 nights. Each meticulously crafted itinerary from Asia to the Mediterranean, Europe to the Americas and throughout the South Pacific offer the most discerning and well-traveled guests an array of distinctive choices and authentic experiences. Savings are still available. For further details, visit, call 800-296-8307 or contact a travel professional.

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MSC Magnifica Joins MSC Cruises as 11th Ship in Fleet

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, March 8: MSC Magnifica, the fourth Panamax cruise ship in the MSC Cruises Musica class, joins MSC Cruises as the 11th ship in the fleet after being christened in Hamburg, Germany on March 6. Renowned Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti, adult contemporary/soft rock/pop artist, performed on stage during the christening while Italian screen legend and icon Sophia Loren, participated in the ribbon cutting as the godmother of her eighth MSC ship.

MSC Magnifica combines the intimacy of her three Musica Class sister vessels—MSC Musica, MSC Orchestra, and MSC Poesia—with the state-of-the-art facilities and comfort of the company’s larger flagships, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia. A magrodome or retractable roof covers the pool, La Grotta Azzurra, making it possible to enjoy one of the four pools throughout the year regardless of the weather. The Il Bar del Sole area on the top deck boasts its own whirlpools and solarium. The ship’s 16 bars and lounges, four restaurants, and a large new buffet area—Sahara—will serve Italian and international cuisine; an à la carte restaurant, L’Oasi, will provide fine dining in an exotic Moroccan atmosphere.

Culinary masterpieces by Mauro Uliassi, the Michelin Star Chef, recipient of three prized Gambero Rosso forks, and winner of the prestigious Kungsfenan Award for the best seafood, are available in the L’Oasi restaurant; soon, they’ll be offered in all of MSC Cruises’ Musica Class à la carte restaurants.

There’s even a Tiger bar, themed after the striped feline, serving up cocktails and musical acts. Other entertainment features on board include a high-tech 4D cinema, mini-bowling alley and a billiard table in the L’Olimpiade sports bar. L’Olimpiade is the first sports bar featured in the Musica class of ships, and its theme is inspired by the Olympics.

Relaxation opportunities await guests in the MSC Aurea Spa wellness center for massages, facials, and other specialty spa treatments in a resort-standard setting. Two treatments created just for MSC and are being offered on the MSC Magnifica—Aurea Papaveris, a 60-minute slimming and cellulite treatment, and a Himalayan massage.

MSC Magnifica sails 7-night Eastern Mediterranean itineraries departing Venice, Italy and calling at Bari, Italy; Katakolon (Olympia) Greece; Izmir, Turkey; Istanbul, Turkey; and Dubrovnik, Croatia. For more information about MSC Cruises, visit, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

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Norwegian Experiences Exceptional Booking Volumes During Wave Season;
Plans Fare Increase

MIAMI, March 4: Norwegian Cruise Line experienced an unprecedented year-to-date increase in booking volume during its “Year of the Freestyle Vacation” wave season promotion in January and February. In addition, group business was up close to twofold. The company also saw a strong interest in its new ship debuting in June, Norwegian Epic, and for its Hawaii-based ship, Pride of America. Because of this demand, prices are set to increase fleet wide up to seven percent as of Thursday, April 2, 2010.

“Our first quarter wave season promotion definitely persuaded consumers to book a Norwegian cruise vacation as we saw heavy call volumes translating to exceptional bookings,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line chief executive officer. “As we move out of wave season, consumers and travel partners can expect to see our prices rise across the fleet, especially for our new, highly anticipated ship Norwegian Epic.”

About Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 43-year history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising, most notably with the introduction of Freestyle Cruising which has revolutionized the industry by allowing guests more freedom and flexibility. Today, Norwegian has the youngest fleet in the industry with 10 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.Norwegian is presently building Norwegian Epic, the company’s largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date, for delivery in June 2010. Norwegian Cruise Line is the official cruise line of Blue Man Group, debuting for the first time at sea on Norwegian Epic. For more information on Norwegian or to book a cruise, call 866-234-7350, click ,or phone a travel professional.

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Azamara Club Cruises’ Distinct Brochure Produces Praises

MIAMI, March 4: New brochures and catalogues are often eagerly anticipated by fans of the brands producing them, but it’s rare that consumers, and particularly the press, write to praise them. But so it is with the new brochure of Azamara Club Cruises.

“Our new destination guide (brochure) was designed to break through the clutter and say, ‘We’re something different,’ particularly through photography,” said Azamara Club Cruises President & CEO Larry Pimentel. “And that’s not easy to do, in an industry where the collateral material produced by the competition is generally quite excellent.”

To stand out, Pimentel and his Azamara-focused team studied what, among the high volume of mail consumers receive, is opened, read, considered and purchased. Pimentel and team paid particular attention to holiday materials sent by upscale retailers.

“Upmarket retailers, particularly during the holidays, tend to produce materials in unique sizes, with dramatic photography and design schemes,” said Pimentel. “We concluded that having a unique size was one of the key reasons something got noticed first. So, we opted to follow suit.”

Where Azamara took an approach all its own was in the production of the photography, which Pimentel calls “a unique project of passion in design.” Azamara recruited five students obtaining their Master of Fine Arts degrees in photography at the esteemed San Francisco Art Institute and booked each to sail on Azamara Journey to conduct an extensive shoot in photojournalistic style. Each student was given a list of items on which to concentrate, and the entire group was directed by Azamara’s Director of Marketing Signe Bjorndal, and Sharon Till, Creative Director at Till+Truong Design Works, who accompanied them throughout the shoot onboard and in ports of call.

“The results were nothing short of stunning, illustrating many of the communities and cultures we visit through diverse lenses,” said Pimentel. “Our destination guide allows our guests and Travel Professionals to dress themselves in the experience and, for us, was an extremely cost-effective approach. It is a true ‘win-win’ scenario.”

Azamara Club Cruises’ destination guide measures 11”x17”. The front cover exhibits a series of die-cut holes revealing brand-inspired phrases, while the back of the book features a pocket for insertion of itinerary summaries, deck plans, and other materials produced in a variety of languages for tailored use around the world.Already, the popular cruise-trade publication, Cruise Week, has produced a column focused on Azamara’s new destination guide, as has the respected Seatrade Insider. Travel Professionals also have expressed enthusiasm.

“Admittedly, a few Travel Professionals said it’s too big, but in almost every case, they soon realized why, and appreciated what it’s designed to do,” said Pimentel. “This brochure was intended not as a mass market piece, but a ‘class market’ piece, to strongly convey our brand’s upmarket position.”

Pimentel added, “We designed this piece to help Travel Professionals convey what Azamara Club Cruises is all about. We also ensured that every spread within it features a clear advisement to ‘Contact your travel agent.’ We believe it’s a fantastic piece for their use as an inducement to sales and to closing the business.”
To obtain a printed copy of the new Azamara Club Cruises destination guide, consumers are invited to call 1-877-999-9553. Travel Professionals are encouraged to dial 1-877-222-2526. Or, to download an electronic version of the guide, visit the Azamara Club Cruises web site at, and click “brochure.”

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Windstar Cruises Offers New Shore Excursions on Mediterranean Voyages

SEATTLE, March 4 : Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, offers new Mediterranean shore excursions for 2010. From April through November, Windstar ships sail 7-day Mediterranean voyages departing Lisbon, Portugal; Barcelona, Spain; Rome, Italy; Athens, Greece; Nice, France; Venice, Italy; and Istanbul, Turkey. Windstar's Shore Excursion program features 180 shore excursions encompassing air, land and sea adventures, cultural and historical experiences, food and wine tours, walking and hiking journeys.

New Shore Excursions for 2010 include:
 -- Patrimonio and Wine Tasting in Bastia, Corsica: Wine tasting in Patrimonio, a picturesque village, with a stop in the quaint fishing port of St. Florent;
-- Nora Excavations in Cagliari, Sardinia: A visit to a collection of Carthaginian and Roman ruins, baths and their mosaics;
 -- Diros Caves in Gythion, Greece: View spectacular caves of Vlghada and Alepotrypa and journey through them by boat;
 -- Speed Boat Cruise to Vis & Bisevo Islands in Hvar, Croatia: Depart Hvar on luxury speedboat to the island of Vis and then on to Bisevo Island to visit world-famous Blue Cave;
-- Deluxe Orientation Tour in Istanbul (post-cruise for guests staying overnight), Turkey: Explore historic highlights in Istanbul including Byzantine Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar;
 -- Skada Lake Cruise in Kotor, Montenegro: Two-hour sightseeing cruise on the largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula;
 -- Bormes les Mimosas in Le Lavendou, France: Walking tour of the authentic medieval Provencal village known as one of the most-attractive flower-filled towns in France;
 -- Cassis & Cap Canaille in Marseille, France: Board a train to Cassis to tour this quaint seaside village complete with emerald inlets, tall houses, boutiques and cafes;
 -- Murgo Winery in Messina, Sicily: Wine tasting at the San Michele Estate of Murgo Winery whose cellars are situated in an ancient, traditional Etna-style building;
 -- Kvarner Bay in Opatija, Croatia: Walking tour of Villa Angiolina, the Convent of St. Jacob and Lungomare including coffee and chocolate praline tasting on the verandah of the Grand Hotel;
 -- Historic Costa Brava in Palamos, Spain: A visit to Empuries showcasing Greek and Roman construction, art and structures before traveling to Begur where medieval Castle of Begur lies;
 -- Walking & Wine Tasting Tour in Portoferraio, Italy: Walking tour along the Medicean Darsena to Villa dei Mulini where Napoleon lived. Wine tasting at the Teatro dei Vigilanti.

New Concierge Collection Excursions
Windstar also offers a unique selection of 33 Concierge Collection excursions in Croatia, France, Monaco, Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey. Due to the intimate style of these excursions, they are limited to small parties. New Concierge Collection excursions include:

 -- Roman Ferrari Adventure in Rome, Italy: Drive a Ferrari F430 Spider F1 along the legendary Mille Miglia;
 -- Watercolors with Antonia Ruskovic in Dubrovnik, Croatia: A painting lesson with a well-known Croatian watercolorist;
 -- Galimard Perfumery in Monte Carlo, Monaco: Guided tour of perfume museum and exclusive workshop to create a unique fragrance presented in a 100ml decorative bottle;
 -- Bike Ride on Lucca's City Walls in Lucca, Italy: A bike ride around the city, high atop the city walls with a guide viewing Lucca's famous monuments, gardens and highlights;
 -- Bodrum Castle with Underwater Archaeology Expert in Bodrum, Turkey: Tour the Castle of Bodrum with an underwater archaeology expert to view the castle's Underwater Archaeology Museum and 1000-year-old
Glass Shipwreck exhibit;
 -- Sailing on Caldera Lake in Santorini, Greece: Board a traditional sailing vessel to explore the volcanic crater islands of Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni and Thirassia.

New Pre- and Post-Cruise Packages
In Istanbul, Windstar offers pre- and post-cruise packages which include hotel accommodations, tours, select meals and transfers. Windstar also offers Cappadocia 5-night pre- and post-cruise packages which include hotel accommodations, tours in Istanbul and Cappadocia, select meals, flight to Cappadocia, yacht cruise along the Bosphorus Strait and transfers.

Windstar's Shore Excursions and Concierge Collection excursions can be booked in advance at Pre- and post-cruise packages in Istanbul and Cappadocia can be booked through Windstar Cruises reservations at 1-800-258-7245.

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Paul Oakenfold & Sixthman Present: Perfecto at Sea

Sixthman, a pioneer in the music-themed cruise movement, is excited to announce a partnership with Paul Oakenfold to present a new vacation experience: Perfecto at Sea. This cruise will set sail on Sept 30, 2010 from Tampa to Grand Cayman aboard Carnival Inspiration, and return on Oct 4, 2010.

Perfecto at Sea is an unparalleled floating electronic music festival hosted by legendary DJ and producer Paul Oakenfold, who lends his Perfecto brand to the 4-day journey. Synonymous with high-caliber nightlife, Oakenfold's Perfecto experience will feature the epic sounds that he's become known for, but rather than the traditional club or festival experience, the beats will hail from under the stars as we cruise The Caribbean. Oakenfold will bring friends and other special guests to help keep the party going 24/7 and deliver a cutting edge, music-meets-leisure experience. The full line-up will be announced very soon. Perfecto at Sea will include theme nights, gambling, pool-side cocktails, and a sea deck turned dance floor.

Fans will not want to miss this thrilling and unprecedented event. "We are very excited for this opportunity to reach a new musical community and to partner with such a hero of the electronic world. Together with Paul we'll bring an amazing festival to life," says Sixthman owner Andy Levine. Visit for more details and to reserve a cabin.

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New, Reduced Airfare to Cruise ‘Europe Your Way’ With MSC Cruises

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, March 3: MSC’s newly released airfare program features reduced airfare for cruises throughout the Mediterranean onboard MSC Magnifica, the latest fleet addition, MSC Splendida, MSC Fantasia, and MSC Musica. Airfare prices start from just $369.* This offer allows guests to experience the vacation of a lifetime with Mediterranean cruise itineraries featuring destinations in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, and departing from Venice, Barcelona, Genoa, and Rome. Cruises can be combined with airfare only or airfare and hotel. Airline departures are from Newark Liberty Intl Airport (EWR) in New Jersey. Overnight hotel stay is recommended due to cruise arrival times, and can be booked through MSC or on your own.

Cruise itineraries include:

MSC Magnifica, “Turkish Treasures and Croatian coasts” Eastern Mediterranean cruise from Venice; calling in Bari, Italy; Katakolon (Olympia), Greece; Izmir, Turkey; Istanbul, Turkey; and Dubrovnik, Croatia. Departures July 3-Nov 13, 2010. Cruise from $749 [plus $64.71 pp government fees and taxes (GFT’s)], Airfare from $369 (plus $393.94 pp taxes), Hotel from $196 pp.

MSC Splendida, “The Splendid Mediterranean” Western Mediterranean cruise from Genoa and Rome, Italy; calling in Marseille, France; Barcelona, Spain; La Goulette (Tunis), Tunisia; Valletta, Malta; Messina (Taormina), Sicily, Italy; and Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy. Departures May 15–Nov 6, 2010. From Genoa: Cruise from $799 (plus $60.57 pp GTF’s), Airfare rates from $369 (plus $391.23 pp.), Hotel from $129 pp. From Rome: Cruise from $899 (plus $51.30 pp. GFT’s), Airfare rates from $390 (plus $359.31 pp), Hotel from $196 pp.

MSC Musica, “Greek Islands in the Sun” Eastern Mediterranean cruise from Venice; calling in Bari, Italy; Katakolon, Greece; Santorini, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Piraeus/Athens, Greece; Corfu, Greece; and Dubrovnik, Croatia. Departures May 9–Oct 3, 2010. Cruise from $1,049 (plus $68.29 pp GFT’s), Airfare rates from $480 (plus $393.94 pp taxes), Hotel from $196 pp.

MSC Fantasia “Mediterranean Fantasy” Western Mediterranean cruise from Genoa, Italy, and Barcelona, Spain; calling in Naples (Capri), Italy; Palermo, Italy; La Departures May 9–Nov 8, 2010. From Genoa: Cruise from $899 (plus $58.81 pp GFT’s), Airfare rates from $369 (plus $391.23 pp taxes), Hotel from $129 pp. From Barcelona: Cruise from $899 (plus $73.06 pp GFT’s), Airfare rates from $435 (plus $382.69 pp taxes), Hotel from $196 pp.

For more information, visit, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

*All rates are USD, per person for new retail bookings for U.S. and Canadian residents and valid for the Sept 5, 12, 19, & 26, 2010 sailings of the MSC Musica, and Nov 13th, & 20th 2010 sailings of the MSC Magnifica. Cruise rates are based on double occupancy. Air purchase only valid in combination with purchase of a cruise. Air cost does not include transfers. Airline imposed baggage charges may apply. Airfare quoted is from Newark Liberty Intl Airport departing day prior to cruise departure date. Airfare is available from other US & Canadian gateways at an additional charge. Due to the arrival time of the ship in port on the last day of the cruise it is necessary for guests to purchase a one-night post cruise hotel stay. Guests may purchase hotel on their own or through MSC. Hotel purchase only valid in combination with purchase of a cruise. Offer cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion and maybe withdrawn without notice. MSC reserves the right to refuse to honor any prices that are erroneously printed or quoted. Rates and corresponding government fees and taxes for all other sail dates may be higher. Offer is capacity controlled, subject to availability and restrictions apply.

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AMAWATERWAYS Debuts the Industry’s Top Infotainment System

Award-winning river cruise line AMAWATERWAYS is proud to announce the industry’s most comprehensive complimentary information and entertainment experience, known as “Infotainment, ” on board its “AMA” ships* on the Danube, Rhine, Main and Mosel rivers in Europe. The new “Infotainment System” includes enhanced Internet connectivity, thanks to newly-installed 3G High Speed Internet service; as well as Hollywood new release feature and classic films, plus computing options featuring Microsoft Office programs that are sure to appeal to today’s sophisticated traveler, all at no charge to the guest. Highlights of the Infotainment System include:

1. New state-of-the-art video on demand system featuring Hollywood’s hottest current releases from top studios including Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, Paramount and Sony available on a complimentary basis in staterooms. A regularly changing selection of classic films will also be available for passengers’ enjoyment, as will informative television programs from renowned sources such as Rick Steves and Samantha Brown, chosen to coincide with the cruise itinerary;
2. Enhanced Broadcast Television options, including News, Sports, Current Affairs, and an array of special interest channels available on stateroom television;
3. A large selection of music in different styles and genres;
4. Improved Internet connectivity fleet-wide, with fewer interruptions due to location, bridges, weather, etc. Internet service is available via 3G signal, and will include convenient Wi-Fi access throughout the ship;
5. “Virtual Computer Desktop” providing computer-like functionality just like home. Using a specially-designed remote control, passengers can switch the television screen into a “computer screen,” allowing them to surf the Internet via Microsoft Internet Explorer; send emails; post blogs; create documents using word processing or spreadsheet programs;
6. Airline Boarding Pass printing capability, using a dedicated guest laser printer in the Aft Lounge;
7. A broadcasted Google map tracing the route of the ship;
8. Personalized welcome message and bill view, with the ability to check ongoing charges

“Today’s travelers expect a full array of Internet and entertainment options and do not want to pay extra for them. Our new, enhanced complimentary Infotainment System is the best offering in cruising today and adds value to the guest’s experience on AMAWATERWAYS. Exciting no-charge features such as the latest hit movies and high-speed Internet access in each stateroom, plus Wi-Fi throughout all areas of the ship continue to set AMAWATERWAYS apart as the true innovator in the world of river cruising,” said AMAWATERWAYS President, Rudi Schreiner.

AMAWATERWAYS is an award-winning river cruise line offering all-inclusive cruise vacations in Europe, Russia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Its luxurious, state-of-the art fleet in Europe consists of the ms Amadolce (2009), the ms Amalyra (2009), the ms Amacello (2008), the ms Amadante (2008), the ms Amalegro (2007) and the ms Amadagio (2006). The MS Amabella will join the fleet in the spring of 2010 and the ms Amaverde will debut in 2011. In addition to its core fleet of ships based in Europe offering river cruise vacations on the Danube, Rhine, Main and Mosel rivers, AMAWATERWAYS offers destination cruises to the breathtaking Douro River Valley in Portugal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; a Provencal sojourn on the romantic Rhone river in France, and an exhilarating journey through the legendary waterways of Russia. In Sept 2009, the line introduced “Vietnam, Cambodia and the Riches of the Mekong,” a 15-day program highlighting legendary locations in Southeast Asia, featuring a 7-night Mekong River cruise on the ms La Marguerite. Due to the program’s tremendous success, AMAWATERWAYS will introduce a new, larger vessel on the Mekong in 2011. For more information, visit online or call 800-626-0126.

*Not all features currently available on every ship.

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MSC Cruises Signs Letter of Intent for MSC Favolosa in 2012

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, March 1: Three days after the MSC Magnifica flag ceremony at the STX Europe shipyard in Saint-Nazaire (France), MSC Cruises signed a letter of intent for the delivery of a new ship in June 2012, to join the eleven new vessels built over the past seven years. MSC Cruises’ worldwide CEO, Pierfrancesco Vago, said, “We are immensely proud to announce the signature of a letter of intent for the building of a new ship, MSC Favolosa.”

Measuring 1,094 feet in length and 125 feet wide, MSC Favolosa will have 1,751 staterooms and be able to travel at speeds of up nearly 24 knots. Award-winning naval architects De Jorio Design International is once again designing the newest addition to the Fantasia class, technically called V32. The ship will herald a state-of-the-art concept in space management. Two additional lifts to improve flow of the guests and a total redesign of decks and restaurants to offer guests on board unprecedented comfort and the highest space ratio per guest. The MSC Yacht Club, this “ship within a ship,” will be enlarged and redesigned as well as the Aft Lounge, adults-only area surrounding the Aft Infinity Pool, the casino and the disco.

To achieve the highest environmental standards, substantial investments will onboard also include more efficient evaporators, chillers, a new generation of propulsor motors, and an additional bow thruster to improve maneuverability.

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

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Wellness at Sea: Extensive Programming Set for September Crystal Voyage

LOS ANGELES, March 1: Comprehensive wellness programming, dozens of special interest classes, plus visits to Dublin, Iceland, and Greenland are among the highlights of Crystal Symphony's September 5 voyage from London to New York. Leading experts and instructors from The Mayo Clinic, Tai Chi Cultural Center, and even the world of professional baseball are on the roster. Also a tremendous value, the voyage offers two-for-one fares, $1,000 per person 'All Inclusive - As You Wish' shipboard credits and free air transportation from more than 20 North American gateways. In fact, the 2010 fares are up to 15% less than 2009 prices.

The Mind, Body & Spirit Experiences of Discovery cruise augments Crystal's penchant for numerous healthy choices. (See Top 10 tips for staying healthy on a luxury cruise.)

Wellness experts leading complimentary classes and talks include:

-- Dr. John McMichan - The former Mayo Clinic critical care, anesthesiology and medical education specialist will provide valuable take-home messages for better health and longevity;
-- Jerry Kindall - The former Major League Baseball coach, player and today's USA Baseball senior advisor will share insights from his 55-year career;
-- Dr. Martin Lee - The founder of the Tai Chi Cultural Center will teach daily classes in the ancient discipline;
-- Pat Laster - The veteran yoga instructor and specialist in relaxation therapies will conduct daily classes.

"Many of our guests are active, health-conscious individuals who want to maintain, and even advance, their wellness practices while on vacation," says Chris Corrigall, manager, entertainment. "With more days at sea, this itinerary provides ample opportunity to learn and practice new things in health and wellness."

Ashore, guests can visit Reykjavic's legendary Blue Lagoon, whose waters are reputedly filled with healing minerals, and where local Icelanders go for the ultimate relaxing spa treatment. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Oceania Cruises Holds Dual-Ship Celebration at Fincantieri Shipyard

SESTRI PONENTE, Italy, March 1: Oceania Cruises celebrated two milestones on Friday, Feb 26, at the Fincantieri shipyard near Genoa. The building dock for its new 1,258-guest, flagship Marina began filling with water and the first steel was cut for Riviera, a sister ship. Marina is scheduled to sail her maiden voyage on January 22, 2011; plans call for Riviera to debut in April 2012. During the festivities, a bottle of prosecco wine was smashed on the hull of Marina by the shipyard "madrina" in a nod to Italian maritime tradition. The official naming ceremony for Marina will take place in Miami; her godmother has not yet been announced.

To celebrate the occasion, more than 50 guests were invited to don hard hats and preview Marina. Guests even had the chance to partake in the first meal served in "Jacques"--the eponymous restaurant of Master Chef Jacques Pepin--which is one of six, open-seating gourmet restaurants on the new vessels.

Oceania Cruises' Marina and Riviera will offer 629 elegantly appointed and custom-crafted accommodations that are among the largest at sea, ranging from 174 to a palatial 2,000+ square feet. Their top suites, destined to set new industry standards, will feature furnishings from Ralph Lauren Home and designs by Dakota Jackson and Tocar New York. The sister ships will also feature a Lalique-designed grand lobby, 10 dining venues and several elegant bars and lounges. Facilities will include a full-service Canyon Ranch SpaClub and fitness center, innovative Bon Appetit Culinary Center, swimming pool and hot tubs.

In her inaugural year, Marina will cross the Atlantic, transit the Panama Canal twice, visit ports in Mexico, as well as Los Angeles and San Francisco, and call at a host of Caribbean island gems, sailing round-trip from Miami. Marina will sail along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and call at Bermuda before repositioning to Europe for summer 2011. For more information or to order a brochure, contact a professional travel agent, visit or call Oceania Cruises toll-free at 800-531-5658.

About Oceania Cruises: Oceania Cruises® is the world's only upper-premium cruise line and offers an unrivaled combination of the finest cuisine at sea, elegant accommodations, exceptional personalized service and extraordinary value. Award-winning itineraries visit more than 300 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Americas aboard the luxurious Regatta, Insignia, Nautica and brand new Marina. Riviera is scheduled to join the fleet in April 2012

About Prestige Cruise Holdings: Prestige Cruise Holdings is the parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Formed in 2007 to manage select assets in Apollo Management's cruise investment portfolio, PCH is led by Chairman and CEO Frank Del Rio, the founder of Oceania Cruises. PCH is the market leader in the upper-premium and luxury segments of the cruise industry with nearly 4,000 berths between the Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, a number the company expects will grow to approximately 6,500 berths by 2012. 

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