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Cruise News
March 1-31, 2011

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

Return to's Cruise News Index & Archive

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

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

Kids & Conservation Are The Focus of Crystal's Spring-Summer "You Care, We Care"

LOS ANGELES, March 31: As part of its gratifying new "You Care, We Care" program, Crystal Cruises announces seven more spring-summer voluntourism excursions focusing on both conservation and helping disadvantaged children. Scheduled with voyages through Africa, Hawaii, Alaska, and the Pacific Coast aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity sailings, the complimentary shore excursions offer hands-on opportunities for guests and crew to aid communities-in-need, including:

-- Langa Township, South Africa (4/18): Assisting orphans with homework at the Siyamphambili Orphanage.
-- Astoria, Oregon (4/14 and 4/20): Working with the Friends of Ft. Stevens to improve a former Civil War fort-turned-state park.
-- Makapu-u Beach, Hawaii (5/1): Removing invasive weeds that threaten the less than 2% of original coastal plant ecosystems left on Oahu.
-- Sitka, Alaska (5/14-8/18): Supporting the operation/maintenance of the salmon hatchery and/or marine-life exhibits at the Sitka Sound Science Center.
-- Dublin, Ireland (7/29): Helping troubled youth from St. Joseph's Youth Club with facility upkeep, activity planning, and/or simply playing a game of snooker.

"Whether from the hugs from village children or the tears from grateful adults, our volunteers always leave these places moved by the experience," says John Stoll, vice president, land and port operations. "These trips are changing lives, on both sides of the spectrum."

This year, "You Care, We Care" volunteers have:

-- Bonded with young burn victims over arts and crafts, card games, and a musical "jam session" at Lima, Peru 's ANQUIEM Burn Rehabilitation Center.
-- Planted trees to restore native forests at the Hakikino Conservation Reserve in Napier, New Zealand .
-- Helped with building restoration, garden revitalization, and/or recreational activities while brightening the lives of children at orphanages and villages in Lautoka, Fiji ; Rio, Brazil ; Marigot Bay, St. Martin ; and Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Most outings include immersive education about the cultures visited ranging from urban farming lessons in Cartagena, Colombia to Maori traditions in New Zealand. Voluntourism excursions for the remainder of 2011 itineraries are in development.

 A cornerstone of Crystal Cruises' culture is its genuine hospitality and service that has been internationally celebrated for two decades. This spirit of generosity extends to its respectful treatment of the environment, oceans and communities in which it travels. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact your travel agent, call 888-799-4625. Visit

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Oceania Cruises’ New ‘Marina’ To Debut in Manhattan

MIAMI, March 31: Oceania Cruises’ new flagship, Marina, arrives in Manhattan for the first time on Saturday, April 2, 2011. New York City is the last port of call in the U.S. before Marina crosses the Atlantic for a summer season cruising the Mediterranean and Baltic seas. As part of her two-day “Big Apple” debut, Marina will be hosting marketing partners and more than 800 travel agents that have been influential in the line’s resounding success.

”With so many of our top travel agents based in the tri-state area, it is the perfect stage to celebrate the arrival of the most elegant and stylish ship to have been built in the modern era of cruising, a span of some 50 years,” said Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO of Oceania Cruises’ parent company Prestige Cruise Holdings. “We also look forward to hosting the various design and culinary partners who have been instrumental in Marina’s design.”

The new ship is not just the first cruise ship tailored for epicureans with 10 dining venues, but also the first to embrace a residential aesthetic in its design. While in New York City, the line will present a showcase featuring the following partners:

-- Ralph Lauren Home, which furnished the Owner’s Suites designed by S.B. Long Interiors
-- Dakota Jackson, designer of Oceania and Vista suites
-- Kravet and Lee Jofa supplied the luxurious residential fabrics which adorn Marina’s furniture
-- Wine Spectator magazine, designer of the wine-tasting room La Reserve
-- Lalique, the French glass artisans who crafted the grand staircase and atrium chandelier
-- Bon Appétit magazine, designer and host of the only true cooking school at sea
-- Chef Jacques Pépin, Oceania Cruises’ culinary director and the namesake of his first-ever restaurant
-- Canyon Ranch, the leader in health and wellness resorts, presents their full-service fitness facility and spa

To learn more about Marina, contact a travel professional, visit or call toll-free at 800-531-5658.

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New “Legends” Set To Rock Norwegian Epic In Europe

MIAMI, March 30: Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that three new Legends in Concert tribute artists will make their debut on Norwegian Epic’s May 18, 2011 Western Mediterranean sailing from Barcelona, Spain, where the ship will homeport until Oct 23, 2011. The three Legends will perform on board through Nov 5, 2011 and represent some of the world's most famous entertainers–Whitney Houston, Elton John, and Shakira. A staple on the Las Vegas' center strip for over 25 years, Legends in Concert is known as the pioneer of live tribute shows and has assembled the greatest collection of live tribute artists and celebrity look-alikes in show business.

"Legends in Concert has been one of the most popular and memorable shows aboard Norwegian Epic because the performers are so dynamic and authentic. We keep it fresh and exciting by changing the performers every four months,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. “We are pleased to bring these new Legends performers to Norwegian Epic for her inaugural season in Europe.”

Jazmine Hyytia, a native of Long Island, New York, portrays Whitney Houston and draws her musical inspiration from her Cuban heritage while speaking and singing in both English and Spanish. Hyytia started her musical career on the European music scene including performances in hundreds of nightclubs, several European summer festivals and multiple radio and television appearances. European success led to Hyytia’s 1998 debut within the Latin-American community by singing in eight episodes of the popular Telemundo television show, “Sueños De Fama.”

Paying tribute to the “Rocket Man,” Stephen Sorrentino embodies Elton John, the bespectacled Englishman known for a number of international musical hits, along with his outlandish attire. Born and bred in New York, Sorrentino has trained at the Metropolitan Opera and later studied comedy with The Second City in Chicago. He is fluent in all instruments, especially voice. Among his repertoire of Elton John songs are “Pinball Wizard,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” and the rousing “Saturday Night.”

Ines Zak, a native of Mexico, who will portray Shakira, has been a singer and an entertainer all her life. In Mexico, she performed on radio and television and as the opening act for Mexican legends such as La Prieta Linda and La Sonora Santanera, singing also in prestigious places such as the National Auditorium of Mexico and the Arena Mexico. In the United States, she was proud to perform as part of the 21st Century Platters with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Marvin Hamlisch and as part of Andrea Bocelli’s choir for his performance at MGM Arena in Las Vegas. Residing in Las Vegas since 2000, she has also performed the Mexican and American National Anthems for televised sporting events.

“The entertainers appearing on Norwegian Epic for the European summer itineraries performing as Elton John, Whitney Houston and Shakira were specifically selected because of their international appeal and diverse musical styles,” said Brian Brigner, chief operating officer for "Legends" producer, On Stage Entertainment. “They are three of the highest quality tribute acts in the world, and they will be joined by the always electrifying Legends singers and dancers, and a rockin’ live band.”

Legends in Concert is a live musical celebration featuring the world's greatest celebrity tribute artists. Legends in Concert on Norwegian Epic features three celebrity tribute performers taking the stage in the Epic Theater for six 45-minute shows over three days during a seven-day cruise. In addition, a Legends “Unplugged” show is performed on three additional nights in the Manhattan Room, the ship's New York-inspired supper club, providing an unprecedented dining and entertainment experience. Past tribute performers on board Norwegian Epic have included Madonna, Elvis, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Aretha Franklin, Neil Diamond and Janet Jackson.

Norwegian Epic sails 7-day Western Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona, Spain from May 22 through Oct 23, 2011 calling on Florence/Pisa (Livorno); Rome (Civitavecchia); and Naples, Italy; and Palma, Majorca, Spain. To learn more about Norwegian Epic’s cruises or to book an exciting European itinerary, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit

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Carnival Valor to Operate Series of 6- & 8-Day Cruises from Miami in 2012

Building upon its distinction as the Caribbean cruise leader, Carnival Cruise Lines will introduce a series of 6- and 8-day voyages from Miami aboard the 2,974-passenger Carnival Valor operating mid-Jan through Oct 2012. Carnival Valor’s 6- and 8-day departures provide consumers with new itineraries featuring unique combinations of Caribbean destinations and opportunities to visit islands that are typically not featured on longer length cruises from Florida.

Six-day cruises depart on Sunday and return the following Saturday, while the 8-day cruises depart on Saturday and return the following Sunday.

The value-packed 6-day cruises will call at Key West, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios, departing once every two weeks beginning Jan. 15, 2012.

Three different four-port, 8-day cruise itineraries will be offered on a rotating basis from Jan. 21 through Oct. 27, 2012. The itineraries include:

· Eastern/western Caribbean cruises calling at Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, Grand Turk and Nassau
· Eastern Caribbean cruises featuring stops at St. Thomas, Antigua, Tortola and Nassau
· Eastern/southern Caribbean cruises to Grand Turk, La Romana (Dominican Republic), Curacao and Aruba

Between now and Dec 2011, Carnival Valor will operate its popular 7-day voyages which depart Sundays from Miami, alternating to the eastern and western Caribbean.

Carnival Valor is one of 19 Carnival Cruise Lines’ ships that call at Caribbean destinations on a year-round or seasonal basis. Carnival carries over 3.3 million guests on Caribbean cruises annually, the most of any cruise operator. The line will expand its Caribbean offerings in November when the new Carnival Magic launches seven-day eastern and western Caribbean cruises from Galveston, becoming the port’s largest year-round ship.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Launches Online Shopping Site

MIAMI, March 28: Norwegian today announced the launch of its online shopping portal at with branded merchandise ranging from men’s, women’s and children’s apparel to travel and promotional items, including special Norwegian Epic paraphernalia. Guests can purchase swag pre or post-cruise to build excitement for their upcoming sailing or check the site for items they may have forgotten to purchase while on board. The expansive product line features stylish gear for the resort-casual savvy cruiser including rhinestone-studded shirts for women and embroidered polo shirts for men, a leather passport and luggage tag set for the avid traveler and even the newest addition to the family can be well-equipped for Freestyle Cruising with a selection of baby bibs, onesies, and t-shirts for toddlers.

The online store also offers travel partners a simple way to view and order an array of promotional items for their agencies, as well as giveaways for special events. Travel partners will receive 10 percent off their purchases when entering the promotion code PARTNER at checkout on a variety of items including embossed pens, wine sets, notebooks, beach balls, tote bags and more.

Norwegian’s Latitudes members (past guests) will also receive 10 percent off purchases using promotion code LAT10, and to celebrate the online store’s opening, the first 200 customers will receive a complimentary Norwegian drawstring backpack.

Fans of the line on Facebook should also stay tuned to the fan page at for a special promotion code redeemable for an exclusive fan-only t-shirt. The first 200 Facebook fans that place an order on will receive the t-shirt. To purchase Norwegian merchandise, please visit

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Comedy Improv Team Plays for Laughs on Crystal Cruises in Alaska This Summer

LOS ANGELES, March 28: Crystal Cruises is bringing the Canadian improvisational comedy troupe, Vancouver TheatreSports™ League (VTSL), to Alaska this summer. With their own brand of hilarious interactive improv, the band of merry-makers will regale guests with evening performances, participatory improv workshops, and other impromptu fun on Crystal Symphony's July 8 and July 20 Alaska cruises. VTSL can also be seen on two earlier Crystal Symphony sailings on the West Coast this spring, starting with March 31's "Treasures of Mexico" cruise and April 10's "Pacific Escape" voyage.

"We tested the troupe in December and the ratings were through the roof," says Chris Corrigall, manager, entertainment. "They're quick, smart and clever and created a lot of onboard buzz. When guests eagerly anticipate the next performance, you know you have a winner."

The League combines dramatic elements of comedy and tragedy with the enthusiasm and edge-of-your-seat excitement of professional sports. Similar in spirit to famous comedy improvisation groups like The Groundlings and Second City, the VTSL has spent over 30 years performing on stage and television throughout the world, with five shows a night, 52 weeks a year in Vancouver, in addition to 250 international private events annually.

On board Crystal, all classes, presentations, and performances are always complimentary, as are activities like junior cruiser programs this summer and specialty restaurant dining in Nobu Matsuhisa's Silk Road and Piero Selvaggio's Prego.

The troupe passes through their hometown of Vancouver on the July "Inside Passage Discovery" and "Islands & Glaciers" Crystal Symphony cruises. Round-trip from San Francisco, additional calls include Victoria, BC and Sitka, Juneau, Skagway/Haines, Glacier Bay, and Ketchikan, Alaska.

These 12-day Alaska itineraries include air transportation from 24 North American gateways (or generous air credit); $500/person "All Inclusive--As You Wish" spending credits; and possible additional savings for "New-to-Crystal" travelers and/or for family and friend groups of six or more via Crystal's "Family Memories Program."

Crystal Cruises' service, choices, space, quality, and value have earned the luxe line more "World's Best" awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625 or visit

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Paul Gauguin Cruises Launches E-Store

BELLEVUE, WA, March 28: 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 pleased to announce the launch of Gauguin Apparel. This new e-store provides a unique collection of apparel and gear to outfit guests for any Paul Gauguin cruise. Clothing and accessories are available for purchase, enhancing the cruising experience and all outdoor activities and excursions.

New Headings LLC has partnered with Paul Gauguin Cruises for the launch of Gauguin Apparel, featuring clothing that is lightweight, sun-protective, waterproof, windproof, moisture wicking, quick drying, insulating and easy to pack. New Headings has hand-selected this gear from some of the best manufacturers in the outdoor industry- Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Tilley Endurables, Eagle Creek and others.

“We launched Gauguin Apparel to help our clients better prepare for their cruise aboard The Gauguin with a quick and easy shopping experience. Guests are also offered a chance to have a memento to remind them of their sailing through the store’s Logo category,” said Diane Moore, President of Paul Gauguin Cruises.

Guests may choose from a variety of items, including:

· Hats, polo shirts, long -sleeved shirts, pants, and shorts
· Footwear and socks
· Watersports apparel, such as wetsuits, gloves, and reef shoes
· Luggage, including duffel bags, backpacks, camera cases, and security pouches
· Sunglasses, binoculars, sunscreen, insect repellent, and other essentials

Gauguin Apparel offers men’s, women’s, and children’s sizes in a variety of colors and fabrics, and new items will be added to the shop regularly. Visit Gauguin Apparel at For rates and reservations for Paul Gauguin Cruises, contact a professional travel agent, call 800-848-6172, or visit

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Royal Caribbean Announces 2012 Europe Schedule With a Record Twelve Ships

MIAMI, March 24: Royal Caribbean has unveiled its 2012 Europe cruise and cruisetour season, upping the ante from its 2011 lineup of 11 ships to 12 for 2012, which will again include two Freedom-class ships, the largest and most groundbreaking in the line’s fleet to sail European waters. Amsterdam will debut as a homeport, for a total of 12, with ships calling at 101 ports in 34 countries on itineraries ranging from three to 16 nights. Serenade of the Seas will make its European debut from Barcelona. Brilliance of the Seas will operate on a new series of Northern Europe itineraries out of the new homeport of Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Mariner of the Seas s will add new Holy Land vacations and 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises from Rome; and Vision the Seas will also sail on Holy Land sailings as well as a roster of Northern Europe itineraries. Liberty of the Seas will offer new 5-night Western Mediterranean itineraries. Independence of the Seas, Adventure of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas will sail on a wide-ranging roster of Mediterranean vacations; Voyager of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas will operate on Greek Isles and Turkey cruises; and Jewel of the Seas will focus on Scandinavia and Russia vacations. Itineraries sailing on Adventure of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas, are now open for booking.

“Every year Royal Caribbean surpasses its previous Europe offerings to continue to exceed the expectations of vacationers,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean. “In 2012 the line’s ships will add 23 more ports in seven additional countries, giving vacationers the opportunity to tailor-design their cruise experiences on itineraries that are as short as three nights or as long as 16.”

In addition to the 12 homeports from which guests can choose from, Royal Caribbean is also offering eight “interports”--where guests can board itineraries en route--creating 20 options for embarkation and disembarkation, including Toulon, Marseille and LeHavre, France; Genoa, Messina (Sicily), and Bari, Italy; Valencia, Spain; and Kusadasi (Ephesus) Turkey. Maiden calls will be made at Arhus, Denmark; Klaksvik, Faroe Islands; and Kenes (Lofoten), Norway.

Serenade of the Seas will make its European debut on 12-night alternating cruises in the spring, summer and fall roundtrip from Barcelona, with one of the itineraries featuring an overnight in Venice and the other offering port calls in Greece and Turkey. Brilliance of the Seas’ new sailings, roundtrip from Amsterdam and Copenhagen, include a mix of Norwegian Fjord and Arctic Circle sailings of 12 nights through mid July. Its other offerings feature seven-night “Scandinavia & Russia” sailings roundtrip from Copenhagen from late July through early September.

Mariner of the Seas will return to Europe for its second season with new 12-night Holy Land itinerary roundtrip from Rome, available in May, September and October, which will offer overnights in Jerusalem and Alexandria, Egypt. Its new 7-night itineraries roundtrip from Rome, are available from June through mid-September. Liberty of the Seas’ features new 5-night spring sailings from Barcelona will call at Cannes (France)/Monte Carlo; Rome; and Palma de Mallorca, Spain The ship will also operate on seven-night itinerary from June through Sept.

For the third consecutive year, Liberty of the Seas’ sister ship, Independence of the Seas will be positioned year-round in Southampton, primarily operating on an alternating series of 14-night sailings, “Mediterranean Treasures” and “Italian Mediterranean” programs. Three 10- and 11-night Canary Islands itineraries will be available in October and November. The ship will also offer one 3-night sailing, overnighting in Paris (LeHavre) in May; and a 4-night cruise spending the night in Cork, Ireland.

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.

Vision of the Seas, meanwhile, will add two new 6-night Norwegian Fjord cruises from Oslo. The ship will sail Northern European waters from April 29 to Sept 7, offering 14 different itinerary options. Itineraries, which will range from four to 12 nights, will explore ports in Scandinavia, Russia, the Norwegian Fjords and British Isles. A 12-night Arctic Circle sailing on Aug 9, roundtrip from Copenhagen, will cruise the Arctic Circle.

From May through Sept, Adventure of the Seas will continue on its pattern of 7-night Western Mediterranean itineraries roundtrip from Malaga, Spain. At the end of the season the ship will operate on a series of five 7-night Canary Islands sailings, also from Malaga. Sister ship Navigator of the Seas begins its European season with an 8-night itinerary on April 14 from Barcelona to Spain, where, through Nov 18, it will offer 7-night Mediterranean sailings.

Grandeur of the Seas’ cruise schedule will include 7-night Western Mediterranean sailings that will operate from June 2 to Oct 10, roundtrip from Palma de Mallorca. Voyager of the Seas, meanwhile, will spend the bulk of its Europe season sailing out of Venice, but will shift from 7-night itineraries to 10- and 11-night cruises, with itineraries including overnights in Istanbul and Kusadasi.

Splendour of the Seas will return to its schedule of 7-night “Greek Isles and Turkey” and “Greek Isles” sailings for the bulk of its season, sailing roundtrip from Venice from late April through early Nov. Jewel of the Seas will continue to operate on its 12-night “Scandinavia & Russia” cruises from May 15 to Aug 19 roundtrip from Harwich, England. It will also feature one new cruise on June 20, a “Fjords & Iceland” itinerary, roundtrip from Harwich.

To add even more depth and breadth to their Europe vacations, Royal Caribbean is offering six cruisetours, which enables guests to couple sailings with escorted land tour options to create packages in conjunction with six of the line’s ships. Options include four nights in Madrid and Barcelona, available on Serenade of the Seas; five nights in Venice, Florence and Rome, available on Mariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas; three nights in glamorous Lake Como and Venice, available on Voyager of the Seas; four nights in Paris and London, available on Jewel of the Seas; and four nights in Turkey’s Istanbul and Cappadocia, a region filled with ancient, underground cities, available on Vision of the Seas.

For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Carnival Cruise Lines Launches 'Build A Ship' Contest to Benefit
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

MIAMI, March 23: Starting today, kids and big kids at heart can put their artistic skills to good use and build a ship for a good cause. Carnival Cruise Lines is launching a “Build a Ship” contest that invites anyone 13 years or older to build a model Carnival ship out of everyday items and submit a photo of it to win a free Carnival cruise. The contest, which benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, is the latest in a series of contests and other activities in anticipation of the May 1, 2011 launch of the line’s newest ship, Carnival Magic.

Participants are encouraged to put their thinking caps on and use their imagination to create their own custom-designed Carnival cruise ship. Whether it’s soda cans, leftover scraps of wood or cardboard boxes, there are no limits on what household materials can be utilized. Once the ship model is complete, entrants are asked to snap a photo of their creation and upload it to with a title and a brief description of the materials used to build the model. Photos will be displayed in an online gallery on the Carnival Magic microsite. Submissions can be entered now through April 6, 2011, and the winner will be announced April 26, 2011.

 The winner will be chosen by an online vote open to the public from a predetermined selection of five finalists and will receive a 7-day Carnival Magic Caribbean cruise for four from Galveston, Texas, in an ocean view stateroom. Details and contest rules can be found on Carnival Magic’s microsite at Carnival will donate $1 to St. Jude, up to $10,000, for each entry and vote, as well as for each Facebook fan who “likes” the contest.

Carnival Magic is set to debut in Europe with a series of 7- to 12-day Mediterranean cruises operating May 1–Oct. 16, 2011. Following a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing, Carnival Magic will launch 7-day Caribbean service from Galveston, Texas, Nov. 14, 2011, becoming the port’s largest year-round cruise ship. Additional information on Carnival Cruise Lines is available by calling 1-800-327-9501 or visiting

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Silversea Cruises' Silver Shadow Gets A Major Makeover

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 23: Silversea Cruises' Silver Shadow has a fresh new look thanks to a major renovation completed during the two weeks that the ultra-luxury ship spent in dry dock in Singapore, before returning to service on March 19. As with the refurbishment of sister ship Silver Whisper last year, the enhancements made aboard Silver Shadow echo the sophisticated contemporary design themes and warm color palettes of Silversea's newest ship, Silver Spirit.

Some of the highlights of Silver Shadow's makeover include:

New Look for Suites: All carpets, headboards, curtains and veranda furniture were completely replaced. The sofas and chairs feature new upholstery. Each suite has a new mattress custom-made exclusively for Silversea. The mattress features an individual spring system with a soft and firm side that can be reversed to suit each guest's preference. There is also a new memory pillow top that covers the mattress when configured as a queen-sized bed.

The larger suites (Owner's, Grand, Royal and Silver) have also been outfitted and a new state-of-the-art Bang & Olufsen home audio system.

Refreshed Public Areas: La Terrazza, the Bar, Panorama Lounge, Reception area, Card Room and Conference Room received new upholstery, carpeting, curtains and wall treatments. New carpet was laid in the Observation Lounge. The Spa features new wood flooring with new tiling and wall décor in the treatment rooms. The Restaurant's hardwood floor was completely reconditioned and polished and the chairs dressed in new upholstery. An upgraded sound system was added to the Show Lounge, Panorama Lounge and La Terrazza. New carpet was installed in all corridors, landings and staircases.

Upgraded Outdoor Spaces: The jogging track features all-new synthetic turf, and the pool area has been outfitted with new deck furniture, plus a new sound and light system for evening entertainment and outdoor shows. The pool itself has been upgraded inside and out with new tiles. A large awning was installed over the outdoor dining section of La Terrazza, along with new outdoor furniture. And the Pool Grill, sporting a new awning as well, will become The Grill for evening dining featuring the popular new Black Rock cooking concept that debuted aboard Silver Spirit. At the new outdoor restaurant, guests will enjoy an interactive dining experience that lets them cook prime meats and fresh seafood on heated volcanic rocks at their table.

In addition to enjoying a fresh reconditioning and polishing of teak decks and woodwork, the ship underwent thorough maintenance on mechanical and propulsion systems.

For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent, call toll-free (877) 215-9986, or visit

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Silversea Extends 'Passport to Luxury'

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 23: Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has extended its popular "Passport to Luxury" promotion to all voyages in 2012, with the exception of Prince Albert II expedition cruises. The multi-tiered program, available on new bookings only, provides an Onboard Spending Credit of up to $1,500 per suite ($750 per person) depending on the length of the voyage (or back-to-back voyages) as follows:

Voyage of 6 - 7 days: $500 per suite Onboard Spending Credit
Voyage of 8 - 21 days: $1,000 per suite Onboard Spending Credit
Voyage of 22 or more days: $1,500 per suite Onboard Spending Credit

"When we introduced our 'Passport to Luxury' promotion for voyages in 2011, the response was amazing and indicated that travelers recognize and appreciate the exceptional value it offers," said Steve Tucker, Silversea's vice president of field sales for North America. "It provides tremendous economic incentive and also gives guests the freedom to tailor their vacation experience according to their personal preferences." Added Tucker, "With the new multi-tiered program for 2012, guests can sail on consecutive voyages and the applicable Onboard Spending Credit will be determined by the total number of days on the booking. That means you could take two 7-day voyages back-to-back and qualify for a $1,000 Onboard Spending Credit."

For example, a couple could book Silver Spirit's 7-day Voyage 5213, sailing May 24-31, Barcelona to Rome, with calls in Sete, Monte Carlo (overnight visit for Grand Prix), Ajaccio, Portofino and Livorno, and enjoy a $500 per suite Onboard Spending Credit. Or increase the Onboard Spending Credit to $1,000 per suite by combining Voyage 5213 with 7-day Voyage 5214 (May 31-June 7), sailing Rome to Venice, with calls in Sorrento, Taormina, Kotor, and Dubrovnik. Or go all the way up to a $1,500 per suite Onboard Spending Credit by combining Voyage 5213 and 5214 with 11-day Voyage 5215 (June 7-18), sailing Venice to Istanbul, with calls in Hvar, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Santorini, Rhodes, Kusadasi, and Mytilene.

The "Passport to Luxury" Onboard Spending Credit lets Silversea guests craft their own luxury experience. You can treat yourself to a soothing aroma stone massage at the onboard spa. Hire a private car and driver in St. Tropez to explore the glamorous Riviera. Or savor an exquisite six-course dinner in Le Champagne -- the only Relais & Châteaux wine restaurant at sea.

Onboard Spending Credit options include:

Spa treatments
Specialty restaurants
Premium spirits & rare vintages from the Connoisseur's List
Silver Shore excursions (none are excluded)
Boutique purchases
Internet packages
Laundry service
Personal fitness training
Direct-dial phone calls

Aboard Silversea's award-winning, all-suite ships, guests enjoy spacious, ocean-view accommodations, sumptuous gourmet cuisine, the personalized service of a butler assigned to every suite, and a generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, wines and spirits served throughout the ship, 24-hour room service, stocked in-suite beverage cabinet and all gratuities.

The Onboard Spending Credit may be combined with Silver Savings fares (offering up to 60% savings on select voyages) and included roundtrip air and transfers, if applicable. It is a capacity-controlled program and subject to availability. Maximum value of Onboard Spending Credit is determined by number of days on the booking. The Onboard Spending Credit is offered per double-occupancy suite. Single occupancy suites will receive 50% of the Onboard Spending Credit. It is valued in U.S. dollars, regardless of booking currency. It may not be redeemed for cash, and any unused portion will be forfeited. Additional restrictions may apply. For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent, call toll-free (877) 215-9986. or visit

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Seabourn Quest to Feature Seabourn Square

MIAMI, March 23:  When Seabourn Quest debuts in the summer of 2011, the intimate, all-suite ship will feature Seabourn Square, an innovative concierge lounge with a "club room" ambiance, offering a variety of attractions and amenities making guests feel at home during their cruises. First introduced to acclaim on sister ship Seabourn Odyssey and also a popular spot on Seabourn Sojourn, Seabourn Square, the brainchild of Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison, is one of the most distinctive features of the ship. It replaces the conventional reception lobby and invites guests to access every shipboard service in a relaxed atmosphere designed to encourage sociability.

"Seabourn Square is without doubt the most popular spot on the ship, and our guests really do love the room's friendliness and welcoming atmosphere," said Richard D. Meadows, Seabourn's President. "There is a little something for everyone to enjoy, whether it's checking your email while your spouse shops, sipping a cappuccino on the aft terrace or relaxing in one of the comfortable lounge chairs, reading the paper."

The lounge is furnished with comfortable sofas, easy chairs and cocktail tables, and the walls are lined with fiction, nonfiction and reference books. Eight computer workstations are available for guests to check their emails or surf the Internet during their cruise. One of the most popular spots in Seabourn Square is the European konditorei-style coffee bar, with a tall, gleaming espresso machine serving specialty coffees, drinks, sandwiches, pastries, and gelati. The coffee bar is open from 6:15 a.m. until midnight, perfect for both early morning risers and night owls.

In the center of the room is an enclave housing a team of Guest Services Specialists. They sit discreetly at individual desks, ready to assist guests 24 hours a day with any inquiries they may have, from onboard account questions and money exchange to reserving shore excursions and giving advice about ports of call. The Destination Services staff is also present in Seabourn Square, and there is a separate desk where the onboard Cruise Sales Specialist can discuss guests' future bookings in privacy.

At Seabourn Square, guests are welcome to borrow iPods already loaded with a wide range of music from classical to rock and popular music to country and jazz, or netbook computers for accessing the Internet. Aft of the Square is an open deck terrace, an ideal place for guests to take in some fresh air overlooking the wake of the ship. The Square is conveniently located adjacent to three duty-free shops including The Boutique, offering fine men's and women's fashions and accessories, and The Seabourn Shop, offering Seabourn logo-wear and accessories. The Collection, a curated boutique of fine jewelry and watches from top designers and manufacturers such as Chopard and Aaron Basha, also boasts a private diamond showroom where guests can discreetly view fine diamonds and other precious gems from the most reputable gem suppliers, including Lady Heart and Canadia.

Seabourn Quest is the third iteration of the sleek and widely admired design that first appeared as Seabourn Odyssey in June 2009, and has been hailed as a "game-changer for the luxury segment." The second sister ship, Seabourn Sojourn, entered service the following year in June of 2010. Together, the three new vessels represent a 217 percent capacity increase for the line in a three-year period, allowing Seabourn to offer its guests more departures in more destinations than ever before.

Seabourn Quest's maiden season includes 7-day Eastern Mediterranean cruises, operating alternately between Athens and Istanbul, and Venice and Athens, as well as a 7-day Black Sea voyage. On Jan 5, 2012, Seabourn 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. For more information or reservations, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Crystal to Go All Inclusive In 2012

LOS ANGELES, March 22: Crystal Cruises is enhancing its already expansive host of luxury services and amenities. Effective spring 2012, vacations on the award-winning Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will include complimentary fine wines and premium spirits throughout the ship, open bar service in all lounges, and pre-paid gratuities for housekeeping, bar and dining staff. The complimentary gratuity amenity also includes Penthouse butler service as well as service in all of Crystal's fine specialty restaurants and sushi bar.

"Our 'All Inclusive' is an evolution of Crystal's luxury services and responds to the desires of today's upscale cruise traveler," says Gregg Michel, president of Crystal Cruises. "As many lines throughout our industry have itemized their services for additional charges, Crystal is maximizing the guest experience by eliminating additional transactions--further enhancing the ease and luxury of a Crystal cruise. We believe this service will offer greater convenience, simplicity and comfort."

The new benefits begin with each ship's first Trans-Atlantic cruise next year: Crystal Symphony's "Beyond the Sea" sailing from Miami to Lisbon on March 19, 2012, and Crystal Serenity's "New World to Norway" voyage from New York to London on May 8, 2012.

A complete list of 2012 Crystal itineraries, with fares, for all cruises is now posted on Crystal's website,, and all cruises are now open for booking. Also included with all cruises is free round-trip air transportation from two dozen North American gateways (or a generous air credit), with airport/ship transfers included. Since its inception, Crystal Cruises has added to its award-winning luxury vacation experience each year with more and more complimentary amenities, services, workshops and dining opportunities.

Always included at no additional cost are: all non-alcoholic beverages such as bottled water, specialty coffee drinks, soft drinks and fresh juices; all meals, including dining in specialty restaurants that feature the cuisine of Nobu Matsuhisa and Piero Selvaggio; high tea; ice cream and frozen yogurt bar; gym, steam, saunas and whirlpools; numerous fitness classes such as Spinning and group Pilates Reformer instruction; golf lessons with PGA pros; Walk-on-Water weighted vests and Nordic Pole walking equipment; Yamaha keyboard classes; Berlitz language classes; paddle tennis; dozens of computer/technology classes; art classes; Crystal Visions lecture series, featuring Crystal Visions lecture series featuring distinguished speakers; award-winning entertainment; in-stateroom movie and CD rentals; film screenings in the onboard cinema; dance lessons; dedicated junior cruiser facilities; early embarkation luncheon; welcome champagne; comfortable shuttles to town; pillow menus; self-service laundries; twice-daily housekeeping with nightly turndown service; and 24-hour room service. Penthouse accommodations also include personal butler service, pressing, stocked bar, and other amenities and services.

All guests enjoy Six-Star service from gracious European-trained wait staff, concierges who belong to the prestigious "Les Clefs d'Or," and sommeliers certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers. Crystal's passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more "World's Best" awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history.

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Holland America Line Partners With U.S. National Park Service to Produce
Glacier Bay Ranger Podcasts

SEATTLE, March 22: Holland America Line has joined with the U.S. National Park Service to produce a "Glacier Bay Ranger Podcast Anthology" that gives guests a unique glimpse into one of the largest protected wilderness areas in North America. Narrators Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman, radio personalities and hosts of Holland America Line's iPod Art Tours, present a rare insider's view into this land of scenic and natural wonders. Each podcast includes in-depth interviews with Glacier Bay scientists, rangers, administrators and even an elder from the native Huna tribe.

"Holland America Line's enrichment program is one of the most important elements of our cruise experience, and this project enables us to offer our guests unprecedented access to the experts who know this region better than anyone," said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, of Holland America Line. "We have been exploring the pristine waters of Glacier Bay for many years even before it was a national park, and with these in-depth podcasts our guests will develop a deeper appreciation of this beautiful area."

The one-of-a-kind auditory adventures offer inspiring insights about the early exploration of Glacier Bay, the spectacular glacial fjords, snow-capped mountain ranges and the region's marine and terrestrial wildlife. The 16 podcasts begin with a welcome message from Cherry Payne, former superintendent of Glacier Bay National Park, and Randy Thomas, a ranger naturalist, who guide listeners on how to get the most out of their Holland America Line Alaska Glacier Bay cruise experience.

"Through these podcasts, our ranger naturalists and experts will take Holland America Line guests on a journey to the last ice age, where they can discover a breathtaking land that continues to attract thousands of visitors each year," said Tom VandenBerg, supervisory park ranger and the podcast project coordinator from Glacier Bay National Park. "This diverse area is so impressive and extensive that listeners will learn something new in every podcast."

The "Glacier Bay Ranger Podcast Anthology" joins Holland America Line's exclusive iPod Art Tours, a self-guided walking tour of each ship's extensive art collection, that also are available for download. Listeners can download all 16 of the "Glacier Bay Ranger" podcasts, or only a specific audio file, onto a personal iPod, MP3 or portable media player before embarking on a Holland America Line Alaska cruise to Glacier Bay. Preloaded podcasts on iPods also are available on board for checkout. The "Glacier Bay Ranger Podcast Anthology" is available for download on the Holland America Line website at

For more information on the U.S. National Park Service and Glacier Bay, visit For additional information on Holland America Line's cruises and cruisetours, consult a professional travel seller, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425), or visit

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Windstar Cruises Debuts Redesigned Website

SEATTLE, March 21: 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, launched its stylish redesigned website,, which captures the essence of the Windstar brand and experience, offers enhanced functionality, provides tools for consumers and travel professionals to plan voyages and features a new Blog. The new design emulates the luxury sailing experience Windstar is known for. The Home Page features colorful, revolving imagery, featured sailings, special offers and a voyage search tool. Key elements of the site that users can explore include: Destinations, Yachts, Windstar Style, Special Offers and Already Booked along with sections for Windstar's Foremast Club members, Travel Professionals and Media.

-- Featured on the Destinations page are the eight destinations that Windstar sails: Italy, the Mediterranean, Greek Isles, Caribbean, Costa Rica, Panama Canal, the Baltic, and the Transatlantic. Users can click to view detailed itineraries, maps, pricing, shore excursions, ship and port information by sailing.

-- The Yachts page describes each sleek sailing yacht in the Windstar fleet in rich detail including accommodations, amenities, itineraries and images along with 360-degree virtual tours and deck plans.

-- Windstar Style captures the feeling of sailing aboard and provides information on Windstar's awards and accolades, popular enrichment voyages along with information on weddings and honeymoons.

-- The Special Offers page highlights the latest offers by destination, along with itineraries and pricing for each sailing.

-- The Already Booked section contains general information, responses to frequently asked questions, passport requirements, immigration forms, the passage contract, special requirements form, travel protection, cruise contract and WSC personalized services. Guests can also easily pre-book spa services and shore excursions from here. There is also a link to Windstar gifts and apparel highlighting a unique collection of apparel and gear that can be purchased online for wearing onboard or ashore.

Shortly, Windstar will unveil its new Travel Agent Center to assist travel professionals with marketing and selling Windstar. Travel professionals are the lifeblood of Windstar's business and the new Travel Agent Center will bring the latest in customization technologies to help travel professionals market their brand while selling the Windstar story. Windstar's Travel Agent Center will provide tools, updates on promotional schedules, access to Windstar's extensive image library, group policy information and Star Club membership benefits.

The new Blog will explore Windstar's enchanting destinations, highlighting magical moments that happen on board, sharing real-time stories from guests and crew, along with behind-the-scenes highlights, adventures, enrichment voyages, shore excursions, new amenities, travel tips and exclusives. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Carnival Fascination Passenger Becomes One Millionth Cruise Passenger
 to Sail from Jacksonville

March 21: An Arkansas eighth grader starting her spring break vacation with her family on the Carnival Fascination became the one millionth passenger to embark on a cruise through JAXPORT's Northside terminal this weekend. Emily Wilt of Siloam Springs, Northwest Ark., drove 12 hours with her parents and older brother to board the ship and was identified as the one millionth passenger by the terminal customer service crew shortly after embarkation began. Emily received a number of gifts and perks from Carnival and JAXPORT, including a commemorative plaque and special VIP treatment throughout their 5-day cruise, which includes stops at the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and Nassau.

"I was really excited about our cruise before, but now it's going to be even better," Emily told reporters following a short ceremony outside the cruise terminal.

Carnival Fascination Hotel Director Andrew Mace welcomed the Wilts aboard, recognizing Emily and the important milestone being reached. JAXPORT Senior Director David Kaufman thanked Emily and her family for choosing to cruise through Jacksonville and JAXPORT's cruise terminal. The JAXPORT cruise terminal opened in 2003 and the Carnival Fascination launched the port’s first year-round cruise program in September 2008. The 2,052-passenger ship offers 4-day cruises to Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas, and 5-day cruises to Nassau and Half Moon Cay or Key West. Carnival carries an estimated 170,000 passengers annually from Jacksonville.

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Royal Wedding Bells Are Ringing On Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line will join in the world-wide celebration of the union between Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011. The highly-anticipated event will be broadcast across Norwegian’s fleet of Freestyle Cruising ships, with the exception of Norwegian Sky in the Bahamas. Guests can watch the magic of the royal wedding on two-story big screens on Norwegian Pearl, Jewel, Jade, Gem and Epic, as well as in any of the line’s bars and lounges.

Special dining events will be held throughout the sailing including the Prince and Princess Brunch, $15 per person, with eggs poached in champagne and served on English muffins, kippers, scrambled eggs with grilled lamb, toast with marmalade and fruit salad with clotted cream. Guests may also enjoy an afternoon Royal High Tea, $10 per person, which will include an assortment of sandwiches such as the classic cucumber, scones with jam and cream, lemon curd sponge and a selection of cakes. Fish and chips will be the special of the day in the pubs and 24-hour eateries, and guests can enjoy traditional English fare such as pie and mash, and bread and butter pudding in select dining venues. For dessert, wedding cake adorned with a Union Jack will be available in the ships’ action-station restaurants.

After the royal couple say their “I do’s,” guests can raise a toast to the newlyweds with champagne, gin and tonic, or a pitcher of Pimm’s and attend Street Parties held in true British style, complete with music playing tribute to the Beatles. To celebrate the Royal Wedding with a Norwegian cruise, call Norwegian at 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), visit, or contact a travel professional.

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Oceania Cruises Showcases Autumn in Italy

 Miami, March 21: Changing of the leaves is typically associated with New England and Canada, but Oceania Cruises is introducing two 2011 voyages timed for fall foliage in Tuscany and the French Riviera. Inspired by the strong response it received to its new 7-day itineraries for 2012, the upper-premium cruise line has created two week-long Saturday departures this fall in the Mediterranean.

“Tuscan Charms” sails from Barcelona on Oct 29, 2011, to Rome, visiting Provence (Marseille), Monte Carlo, Portofino, Florence/Pisa/Tuscany (Livorno) and Sorrento/Capri en route. Two-for-one cruise fares include round-trip economy class air transportation and an overnight aboard ship in Livorno.

“Italian Treasures,” from Rome to Venice, departing Nov 5, 2011, calls at Amalfi/Positano, Taormina, Corfu, Bari and Dubrovnik. Guests enjoy an overnight aboard ship in Venice at the end of the cruise. Two-for-one cruise fares include free round-trip economy class air transportation.

“These two cruises depart on Saturdays so that our working guests can enjoy a week in Europe,” according to Oceania Cruises’ President Bob Binder. “Fall is one of the best times to visit the destination because there are no crowds and the weather is pleasant.”

Travelers will cruise the Mediterranean and Adriatic aboard Oceania Cruises’ 684-guest Insignia – an intimate ship acclaimed for its open-seating dining in four gourmet restaurants, all with no surcharge; luxurious public rooms, sumptuous accommodations, and warm, attentive service. For more information on these two new Oceania Cruises’ voyages, see a professional travel agent, visit or call toll-free 800-531-5658.

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Carlos Mencia, Ty Stone Added to Kid Rock Cruise

Kid Rock has announced the lineup for his second annual Chillin' the Most Cruise! In addition to Rev Run, who will be joining him in his main theater shows, Kid Rock will be bringing along some of his favorite performers:

*Nashville recording artist John Stone, whose album Boy From Alabam debuted in 2010
*Detroit artist and Kid Rock discovery Ty Stone, with a full band
*Country and southern rock artist Leroy Powell, swagger included
*Kid Rock's DJ and protege, Paradime
*NYC hard rock outfit Envy, ft. Jessica Wagner
*Howling Diablos, the best funk from Detroit
*Top Dog family member DJ Mark EP
.... and a special comedy treat: CARLOS MENCIA!

Read more about each of them at

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Royal Caribbean Launches Signature Bedding Collection

MIAMI, March 17: Royal Caribbean Intl has launched the Royal Caribbean Bedding Collection, providing consumers with the opportunity to recreate their onboard sleep experience – from mattress to pillow and duvets to pillow cases – in the comfort of their own home. Manufactured exclusively for Royal Caribbean in Italy, the collection is designed to provide the regenerative comfort of a vacation-night rest and features a full-line of bedding essentials available for purchase at

“In line with our Royal Advantage program, the Royal Caribbean Bedding Collection was chosen with care to offer the indulgent sleep experience that they enjoy onboard and longed and requested to bring home,” said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president of Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “Guests can continue to experience the WOW at home with a good night’s rest with our signature bedding, designed for comfort and, most important, quality. The new bedding collection offers consumers a little Royal Caribbean cruise vacation at the end of every day.”

Made and imported in Italy, the Royal Caribbean Bedding Collection by Matermoll & Emmebiesse is distributed by Global Resources Registry and offers guests the opportunity to enjoy a home version of the same bedding they experienced onboard. Each item, available in various sizes, is designed and engineered to deliver, deep, restorative sleep, night after night. Guests may choose to purchase a mattress, pillow top pads, pillows, bedding set or a duvet insert.

The collection features two types of mattresses, the Royal Mattress and the Royal Suite mattress. Also available are two types of pillow top pads – the Royal Pillow Top Pad and Royal Memory Pillow Top Pad – and two types of pillows, Royal Memory Pillow and Royal Sweet Dream Pillow. The complete bedding set includes: fitted sheet with corners, flat sheet embroidered with the Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor logo, which arrive in an elegant Cofanneto gift box, plus two pillowcases, two Royal Sweet Dream Pillows and a duvet cover with buttons. The Royal Caribbean Collection is available for purchase with shipping to the U.S. and Canada.

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Celebrity Cruises to "Go Big" in Summer of 2012

MIAMI, March 17: Some say that to be effective, it’s best to “go big or go home.” Celebrity Cruises is going big in the summer/early fall season of 2012, when it will offer vacationers more opportunities to enjoy premium Europe cruises than ever before, with five ships visiting 70 ports in 22 countries, sailing from six departure ports, and featuring 19 distinct Mediterranean itineraries. Celebrity’s 2012 summer/early fall season also will include a variety of premium cruise vacation opportunities to enjoy Alaska, Bermuda, Canada and New England, and a series of immersive cruisetours in Europe and Alaska.

European expansion includes new Venice homeport, Iceland cruises
Recognizing that people’s vacation time is precious, Celebrity has shaped a 2012 Europe lineup that exemplifies the premium cruise brand’s focus on offering a multitude of ways for people to have the best vacation experience possible. Some extended overnight stays and eight new ports will add even more depth to Celebrity’s already broad Europe offerings; these include Klaksvik, Faroe Islands; Akureyri, Iceland; Bari, Catania, and Ravenna, Italy; Skijolden, Norway; Koper, Slovenia and Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. Travelers can enjoy these and the 62 other ports Celebrity will visit in Europe in 2012 in ultra-premium style, as Celebrity is deploying four of its award-winning Solstice Class ships to sail full Europe seasons in 2012. They will be joined by the recently “Solsticized” Celebrity Constellation.

The 2,886-guest Celebrity Silhouette, which will debut later this year, will be the first Celebrity ship to offer a variety of sailings from Venice, Italy. These will be a series of roundtrip, Venice-based cruises and open-jaw cruises between Venice and Rome, ranging from 11-13 nights in length, from May through mid-August of 2012. Sailing along the Adriatic Coast as well as in Greece and Turkey, these itineraries will be port-intensive, with only one or two “sea days” on each cruise. In mid-August, Celebrity Silhouette will offer eight Holy Land voyages roundtrip from Rome, ranging from 11-14 nights in length.

The 2,850-guest Celebrity Eclipse, which launched in 2010 and features the first “Celebrity iLounge” and unique specialty restaurant Qsine, will be based in Southampton, England for the summer of 2012. She will offer four unique 14-night itineraries in the Mediterranean, Scandinavia/Russia, Iceland/Fjords and Canary Islands/Azores. A brand-new expanded Baltic season will include cruises to Iceland and the Norwegian Fjords, with an overnight, in-port stay in Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital of a sovereign state and a hub of nightlife and shopping, and a full-day visit to Akureyri, the country’s second-largest urban area.

Celebrity Constellation, which was retrofitted with a series of Solstice-class venues last year, will offer a variety of cruises from Amsterdam, including seven Scandinavia/Russia cruises, one Arctic Circle cruise and one Norwegian Fjords cruise. Additional offerings on Celebrity Constellation will include three port-intensive, 12-night Greek Isles and Turkey cruises with only two sea days, and three 12-night Holy Land sailings that each feature three immersive days in Israel: a two-day overnight, in-port stay in Ashdod and Alexandria and a full-day call in Haifa.

Celebrity’s flagship Solstice Class vessel, Celebrity Solstice, and sister ship Celebrity Equinox will continue 2011’s itineraries, which are proving to be popular choices among premium vacationers. Celebrity Solstice will present two distinct choices of 12-night Mediterranean sailings roundtrip out of Barcelona, Spain: a an itinerary highlighted by an overnight, in-port stay in Venice, and an itinerary that will include calls at Mykonos, Santorini and Kusadasi. Celebrity Equinox will homeport in Rome (Civitavecchia), and perform 10- and 11-night cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean, visiting ports in Greece and Turkey. The 11-night itinerary will include an overnight, in-port stay in Istanbul, Turkey, allowing vacationers more opportunities to absorb the ancient city’s dual cultures and mystique.

Guests who wish to deepen their experience in Europe can take advantage of Celebrity’s cruisetour offerings, which combine a cruise with a 3- to 5-night pre-cruise escorted land package in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. The packages, exclusive to Celebrity Cruises, immerse guests in culture-rich destinations such as Amsterdam; Venice; Paris; the Italian Lakes; Florence; Madrid; London; and Cappadiocia, Turkey. Celebrity Silhouette will offer two new cruisetour packages: a three-night pre-cruise Italian Lakes and Venice experience that now offers two nights in Como and includes a lake tour to Bellagio, and a five-night Venice, Florence and Rome pre-cruise experience that is ideal for guests who wish to book roundtrip air to and from Venice and sail from Rome to Venice after the land portion of the cruisetour. All of these packages are escortedby a local tour director and include hotel accommodations, transportation, select activities, breakfasts and some additional meals.

Celebrity's Europe season will be bookended by transatlantic sailings that will transition the ships from Europe to their next destination; these cruises range from 13 to 15 nights in length and feature ports such as Barcelona, Lisbon, the Azores, the Canary Islands and Paris/Normandy (Le Havre).

Popular Alaska vacation experiences continue; new cruisetour targets families
For the fifth consecutive year, Celebrity Century, Celebrity Infinity, and Celebrity Millennium will return to Alaska in the summer of 2012, offering vacationers ways to enjoy premium vacations featuring Celebrity’s signature cuisine, activities, and service amidst unforgettable, inspiring scenery.

Celebrity Infinity will return to Seattle, Washington in the summer of 2012, to offer its popular 7-night roundtrip Tracy Arm Fjord itinerary. The majestic Alaskan scenery will serve as an ideal backdrop for the ship, which will be “Solsticized” in December of this year. The refurbishment will add some of the most popular venues on Celebrity’s widely heralded Solstice Class ships, including the first spa-inspired AquaClass accommodations to be added to a Millennium Class ship, the specialty restaurants Qsine and Blue, entirely new verandas added to the ship’s spacious Celebrity Suites, additional new oceanview and inside staterooms, the inviting Café al Bacio and Gelateria, a restyling of staterooms to include entirely new carpeting, flat-screen TVs, upholstery and bedding; and more.

The 1,814-guest Celebrity Century will present 7-night roundtrip cruises from Vancouver. At the end of the season in September, Celebrity Century will offer a nine-night “Ultimate Alaska” sailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, followed by a 10-night wine cruise from Vancouver to San Diego, which features the wine-rich port cities of the Pacific Northwest.

Cruising between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska, will be Celebrity Millennium, with a series of 7-night open-jaw cruises. Celebrity Millennium’s Alaska season will begin with a 15-night Panama Canal sailing from Miami to San Diego on May 12, 2012. Other unique offerings during Celebrity Millennium’s 2012 Alaska season will include two cruises highlighting vacationers’ passion for wine and food: one 5-night wine cruise in May from San Diego to Vancouver, and an 8-night wine cruise in September, from Vancouver to San Diego.

Guests who wish to deepen their experience in Alaska can take advantage of Celebrity’s cruisetour offerings, which combine an Alaska cruise on Celebrity Millennium with a pre- or post-cruise escorted land package highlighting the region’s natural beauty, culture and heritage. A total of 20 packages will be available in 2012, including a new tour geared toward intergenerational travel groups. The popularity of Alaska as a family vacation destination is at the heart of the new tour, which features travel on Celebrity’s Wilderness Express domed railcars, experiences on a Resurrection Bay wildlife cruise, lunch at Fox Island, a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, time at the Anchorage Museum and Imaginarium and a Denali tour designed specifically for families.

Travelers who wish to have a once-in-a-lifetime Alaska experience can opt for an 18-night “Ultimate Cruisetour,” which includes a 6-night pre-cruise Canadian Rockies land tour, a 7-night cruise on Celebrity Millennium from Vancouver to Seward, and a 5-night post-cruise escorted Alaska land tour. All of Celebrity’s Alaska cruisetour packages are escorted by an expert tour director and include hotel accommodations, transportation, select activities, breakfasts, and some additional meals. Additional cruisetours to the Canadian Rockies and Whistler are available.
Bermuda lineup aims to bewitch travelers
After being “Solsticized” in January 2012, Celebrity Summit will return to Bermuda that summer for a third consecutive season, reprising its 2011 roundtrip 7-night itineraries from Cape Liberty (Bayonne), New Jersey.

Travelers who wish to take advantage of the convenient New York-area departure point will have the opportunity to enjoy many new experiences on Celebrity Summit. Like Celebrity Infinity’s late-2011 “Solsticizing,” Celebrity Summit’s refurbishment will add some of the most popular venues on Celebrity’s widely heralded Solstice Class ships, including AquaClass accommodations inspired by the spa enthusiast lifestyle, the specialty restaurants Qsine and Blu, the hip “Celebrity iLounge,” entirely new verandas added to the ship’s spacious Celebrity Suites, additional new oceanview and inside staterooms, Cellarmasters wine bar, Bistro on Five creperie, and more.

Canada and New England to be presented as enchanting autumn destinations
In September 2012, Celebrity Summit will shift from Bermuda cruises to three 14-night Canada and New England sailings. Differing from previous years, the cruises, which will depart on Saturdays, will include a new port of call for Celebrity: Gaspé, a city situated on the point of the Gaspé Peninsula in eastern Quebec, Canada. To help vacationers maximize their celebration of autumn’s splendor, Celebrity is also building on its previous Canada and New England offerings in 2012 by adding more time (two full days) in Quebec City, Canada.

Shoreside options add immersion, depth
To help round out travelers’ summer cruise experience, Celebrity will offer a variety of shore excursions aimed at satisfying a range of travelers’ interests, including winery visits, glacier tours, private floatplane trips, beach visits and more. To make it easy for guests to plan their vacation, Celebrity offers the option for guests to book shore excursions in advance of their cruise.

Examples of Celebrity’s premium summer shore excursions include:

· In Italy, guests can explore their love of wine and their fascination with the Italian countryside simultaneously through a Naples shore excursion that features a tour of Mount Vesuvius National Park in a 4x4 vehicle, a hike, and a winery visit.

· In Iceland, guests can enjoy an authentic Icelandic experience through a trip through Reykjavik and the rugged lava fields of the Reykjanes peninsula to the Blue Lagoon, which offers a glimpse of the region’s unusual landscape and an opportunity to indulge in the waters of the lagoon, and an air tour over the Tindfjallajokull and Eyjafjallajokull glaciers and Hekla volcano. En route, guests will also take in Geysir, one of the world’s renowned geothermal areas, and the Thorsmork Valley, believed to be the realm of the thunder god Thor.

· In Alaska, Celebrity offers unique Alaska excursion packages that take the guesswork out of choosing shoreside activities and offer a discount over purchasing the same excursions individually. Three packages including tours in Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway hone in on key themes: the “Alaska Sightseeing Package” includes visits to landmarks; the “Flora and Fauna Package” gives nature-lovers an easy way to see the region with whale-watching, rainforest and eagle-spotting activities; and the “Family-Friendly Package” offers activities for guests of all ages with dog-sledding, a suspension bridge and gold-seeking experiences.

· In Bermuda, guests can experience Bermuda’s famed beaches by booking a trip to the uncrowded, pristine Stone Hole Bay, ideal for relaxing and enjoying the island’s famous pink sand.

· In New Brunswick, guests can become “a Fundy scientist for a day” through an experience at Fundy National Park. During the excursion, guests will spend time with park scientists and learn the basics of studying the aquatic ecosystems of the well-known Bay of Fundy.

Space available now
Celebrity’s 2012 Europe and transatlantic season opened for sale today. On March 15, Celebrity opened its 2012 Bermuda and Canada/New England cruises for sale. On April 6, Celebrity’s 2012 Alaska season will open for sale. Members of Celebrity’s Captain’s Club loyalty program are eligible to receive up to $600 savings per stateroom when booking select 2012-13 itineraries before July 29, 2011. Complete details on Celebrity’s shore excursions are available online; shore excursions are not included in cruise fare. More cruise and cruisetourdetails are available at

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Princess Cruises Announces Full 2012-2013 Cruise & Cruisetour Season

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 17: Princess Cruises today opened its entire 2012-2013 season for booking, offering an extensive selection of worldwide sailings – a total of nearly 600 cruise options on 150 itineraries to more than 300 destinations around the world. For the first time, the line has simultaneously launched its full slate of cruises which include Princess’ largest Europe deployment, an expanded Alaska schedule, new sailings from Galveston, more South American options with two ships sailing around Cape Horn, and more West Coast sailings to Hawaii, Mexico, and along the California coast than ever before. A detailed overview of Princess’ 2012-2013 cruise season can be found here.

“We know that many of our passengers are advance planners, and would like to see the full breadth of our cruise itineraries to decide where to vacation next with us,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “So for the first time we’ve released all of our itineraries at once so they have the entire world at their fingertips as they’re planning their next cruise.”

Among the line’s offerings for the 2012-2013 season, Princess will begin sailing to the Hawaiian Islands from San Francisco, will offer longer 14-day Australia & New Zealand itineraries, and will once again sail to the Western Caribbean from Galveston, Texas. More ships will sail in South America and Alaska, and several ships will make regional debuts, including Grand Princess’ first ever sailings on the West Coast and Caribbean Princess’ maiden European deployment. Cruisetours combining a cruise and land experience will enable passengers to more fully explore Alaska, Europe, Canada and New England, Asia, Australia and South America.

Highlights of Princess’ 2012-2013 season include:

Princess draws on more than 40 years of experience cruising the 49th state, offering Gulf of Alaska and Inside Passage sailings with an extensive selection of cruisetours to the heart of Alaska. The 2012 program will include a seven-ship deployment, including a fourth ship added to the Voyage of the Glaciers route, and three ships sailing the Inside Passage. All cruisetour options will continue to include Alaska’s top two attractions – Denali and Glacier Bay National Parks, and Princess will take more passengers to Glacier Bay than any other cruise line.

The largest Europe deployment in Princess history, the 2012 season offers a wide selection of sailings through the timeless cities of the Mediterranean, the splendor of Scandinavia and Russia and the intriguing ports of Northern Europe. The season features seven ships sailing on 57 itineraries to 116 destinations, including Caribbean Princess’ European debut and new 14-day Baltic and 16-day Land of the Midnight Sun routes. And 12-day Mediterranean and Greek Isles cruises will continue to offer overnight stays in one of the continent’s most sought-after destinations – Venice. Two new ports will debut – Korcula, Croatia on the 12-day Mediterranean Collection on Pacific Princess and Nessebar, Bulgaria (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) on the 12-day Black Sea & Crimean Coasts route.

Princess’ Caribbean schedule will feature five ships sailing to the best of the sparkling waters of the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean. Passengers can choose from 115 voyages sailing to 22 destinations on 10 itineraries. The season includes Princess’ return to the Texas Gulf Coast with the debut of Crown Princess sailing out of Galveston.

Princess continues to be the leader in Panama Canal cruising, with two ships, eight itineraries – including both full and partial transits – and 40 voyages aboard Coral Princess and Island Princess.

The 2012-2013 season will feature more Pacific coastal sailings than ever before, plus Mexico sailings from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. Five ships will sail on 31 departures of nine itineraries sailing to 14 destinations. A new 7-day California Coastal itinerary will feature the best of the Golden State with an added visit to Catalina and an overnight in San Francisco.

The dazzling islands of Hawaii and Tahiti headline a season with more Hawaiian Islands sailings than ever before including new voyages from San Francisco. The full program includes eight ships offering 12 itinerary choices with 56 voyages to 32 destinations. Among the highlights are an expanded Hawaiian Islands program with three ships sailing roundtrip from Los Angeles and San Francisco, Grand Princess making her West Coast debut, and two sailings of the popular 28-day Hawaii, Tahiti & Samoa itinerary previously introduced with the fall 2011 schedule.

Princess’ Exotics program includes sailings throughout Asia plus passages through the Suez Canal and across the Indian Ocean. Five ships sail on 28 sailings of 21 itineraries to 54 destinations. Other highlights include Bangkok once again featured as a homeport on the line’s 16-day Southeast Asia & China itinerary, plus the line’s first call in Aomori, Japan.

“Down Under” cruising expands with a new longer itinerary, plus three ships based locally for Aussie-style cruising. Four ships will sail on 40 voyages of eight different itineraries. Highlights include a new 14-day Australia & New Zealand itinerary – adding Wellington and Picton – and a new 33-day Round Australia & New Zealand itinerary. Featuring the largest Australia deployment of any North American line in the region, Princess ships will also offer more New Zealand cruises than any other line.

The lively Latin culture of South America takes center stage with Princess 2012-2013 cruise season, offering three ships sailing on 18 voyages of 11 itineraries. Highlights include two ships – Star Princess and Grand Princess – both sailing an around Cape Horn itinerary between Buenos Aires and Santiago, and a new 19-day Brazilian Adventure route that stops for an overnight in Rio during the world-famous Carnival. Pacific Princess will once again offer cruises up the mighty Amazon River.

The North Atlantic Coast voyages offer dramatic scenery and historic attractions. Two ships sail on three favorite Princess routes visiting 12 destinations. The 11 departures include Caribbean Princess sailing roundtrip from New York, and Emerald Princess offering 10-day Classic Canada & New England sailings between New York and Quebec.

Three ships will offer world voyages, including Pacific Princess rounding the globe on a 107-day voyage from Ft. Lauderdale to Venice on January 27, 2013; Sun Princess setting sail on her first-ever global circumnavigation with a 104-day sailing from Sydney on May 16, 2012, and Dawn Princess offering a 75-day Circle Pacific itinerary that departs July 27, 2012.

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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Royal Caribbean Unveils New 2012 Cruises From Northeast U.S.

MIAMI, March 16: Royal Caribbean Intl has announced new 2012 Canada, New England & Bermuda sailings from three convenient U.S. homeports, comprising a slate of itineraries ranging from five to 10 nights and providing vacationers more choices from the region than ever before. Enchantment of the Seas’ summer program will debut an entirely new program of 6-night Bermuda and 8-night Bermuda & Northeast itineraries, sailing roundtrip from the ship’s year-round homeport of Baltimore. Explorer of the Seas will kick off a new 7-night roundtrip itinerary in September and October from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ, featuring three days in Bermuda, as well as five- and 9-night Bermuda & Caribbean itineraries through the spring and summer. For its part, Jewel of the Seas will offer its ninth short season of roundtrip sailings from Boston on a roundtrip, 7-night Canada itinerary. Bookings for these cruises are now open.

“Royal Caribbean’s new 2012 sailings from the Northeast U.S. offer convenient options for area-vacationers to enjoy our amazing service, exclusive and innovative onboard amenities, and great destinations within just a few-hours drive from home,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “Ideal for families or couples and friends traveling together, our onboard experience offers upscale accommodations, dining and entertainment, delivered with our signature friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service from every member of the staff and crew. It's the Royal Advantage, which is delivering the best value that your vacation money can buy.”

Enchantment of the Seas’ 8-night Bermuda & Northeast and 6-night Bermuda itineraries will depart on Thursdays and Fridays, respectively, from Baltimore throughout the spring and summer. The 6-night sailing will call at Kings Wharf, Bermuda for three days, while the 8-night sailing will overnight in Bermuda and also call at Boston and Newport, R.I. In the fall, Enchantment of the Seas will alternate the six-night Bermuda itinerary with the new eight-night itinerary, which calls at Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine; St. John, New Brunswick, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Canada. Enchantment of the Seas also will sail a 5-night itinerary on April 14, which features an overnight in Bermuda.

Explorer of the Seas will maintain 5-night Bermuda and 9-night Bermuda & Caribbean roundtrip itineraries from Cape Liberty during the spring and summer months. The 5-night itinerary overnights at Kings Wharf, and the 9-night itinerary calls at Kings Wharf, Philipsburg, St. Maarten, San Juan, P.R.; and Labadee, Royal Caribbean’s private beach destination on the northern coast of Haiti. A special 10-night Bermuda and Caribbean sailing on Aug 30 will add St. Thomas as a port of call. In September and October, Explorer of the Seas will then repeat 7-night Bermuda itineraries, featuring three days in Bermuda. The 9- and 10-night Bermuda & Caribbean itineraries will open for sale later in the month.

Jewel of the Seas will continue to operate on its popular series of 7-night Canada roundtrip itineraries from Boston, with calls at Portland and Bar Harbor; St. John, New Brunswick; and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Departures for the six cruises are set for Sept 16, 23 & 30; and Oct 7, 14 & 21.

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. 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. On every ship, guests enjoy the cruise line’s award-winning entertainment and innovative amenities that are exclusive to Royal Caribbean International. Younger guests can join the complimentary Adventure Ocean kids and teen program, with counselor-led activities from 9 a.m. till late. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Seabourn's Six-Ship 2012 European Cruise Season Opens For Sale

MIAMI, March 16: Seabourn's award-winning fleet of six intimate, all-suite ships will offer an unprecedented array of voyages in Europe during 2012. From Norway's North Cape to the czarist palaces of the Black Sea coast, the line's ships will explore 165 different destinations among the continent's landmark cities, historic sites and natural splendors on cruises of 7- to 19-days. The entire eight-month season is now open for sale, and itineraries, fares and other details can be viewed on the company's website at

"Europe is really a destination that travelers will return to again and again, " noted Seabourn's President, Richard D. Meadows. "No matter how many times you visit great European cities, you always discover something new," he continued, "and our Seabourn ships also take our guests into smaller, hidden gems that many travelers never see."

Following its maiden World Cruise in early 2012, the 450-guest Seabourn Quest will offer cruisers an extended April-to-November season of voyages exploring the whole expanse of the Mediterranean Sea. Appealing 7-day cruises between Venice, Athens, Istanbul, Rome and Barcelona are easily combinable into longer voyages with different ports and extra savings. A trio of longer Holy Land cruises, in May, September and November combine ports in Israel with the antiquities of the Turkish Aegean coast, Cyprus, Crete, Rhodes and more.

Also concentrating on the Mediterranean, Seabourn Odyssey's 7-day voyages sail east from Venice to Athens and Istanbul, calling on the gorgeous Greek Isles, the scenic coast of Turkey and, on a couple of occasions, into the Black Sea. Odyssey's week-long voyages are also combinable for more variety and extra savings.

The French and Italian Rivieras, islands and yacht harbors of the Western Mediterranean provide a wealth of fascinating ports to explore, and the 208-guest Seabourn Legend takes full advantage of that fact by sailing two different, 10-day itineraries between Rome (Civitavecchia) and Monte Carlo that include overnight stays in Barcelona and Valletta, Malta, both of which have a celebrated nightlife.

Legend's sister-ship Seabourn Spirit is offering a new 10-day itinerary sailing roundtrip from Venice to the very best of the Adriatic coast, including ravishing Kotor in Montenegro, the rustic, friendly Puglia region of Italy, the Dalmatian towns of Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia, plus Rovinj, the gem of Croatia's northern Istria peninsula. The cruise also includes a Marina watersports day in Triluke Bay in high season, and an overnight in incomparable Venice.

Summer cruises in Scandinavia, the Baltic and the Norwegian Fjords are immensely popular, and for good reason. The baroque masterpieces of St. Petersburg form the multi-day centerpiece of cruises on both the 450-guest Seabourn Sojourn and the 208-guest Seabourn Pride. Sojourn's version sails between Copenhagen and Stockholm in seven days, including three full days to explore all of St. Petersburg's treasures. Pride's are longer, between 12 and 16 days, and add charming Hanseatic ports such as Riga, Klaipeda and Gdansk along the Baltic's Amber Coast, as well as Warnemuende for Berlin and Scandinavian summer resorts Ronne on Bornholm and Mariehamn in the Aaland islands. Cruises of the Norwegian fjords on both ships vary from 10 to 16 days, with some including the Arctic Circle and the North Cape.

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Oceania Cruises Presents 2012 European Collection

Miami, March 16: Reservations opened today for Oceania Cruises’ 2012 European Collection. For the first time, the company will operate four ships in Europe, including Marina and its sister ship, Riviera, which debuts in April 2012, on more than 72 sailings, from April through December 2012. Other exciting firsts include a complimentary hotel stay before every voyage, an overnight stay on every itinerary, more late-night departures and the addition of three 7-night voyages. Featuring 41 distinct itineraries, Regatta, Nautica, Marina and Riviera will cover the continent in depth, calling at 145 different ports of call, 12 of which are new for 2012.

“Oceania Cruises’ guests value immersive experiences and have a real passion for discovery,” stated Bob Binder, Oceania Cruises’ president. “For 2012 we will offer Europe
in its entirety, all of the most desirable destinations from east to west.”

Introducing Riviera, Sister Ship to Marina
Riviera, Oceania Cruises’ new 1250-guest ship launching April 2012, sets sail on her inaugural season of European voyages. From romantic Provence and Positano and historic landmarks such as Jerusalem and Ephesus to new ports of call including Argostoli, Greece; Granada, Spain; and La Palma, Canary Islands; Riviera offers 21 voyages to choose from.

Marina will spend most of the summer sailing the Mediterranean calling on favorite ports including Saint-Tropez and Monte Carlo. From May 12-22, 2012, Jacques Pépin, Oceania Cruises’ executive culinary director, will join Marina on her 10-day Tuscan Artistry itinerary to host cooking demonstrations, lead shore-side market tours and oversee the operations in his namesake restaurant, Jacques. Beginning in June, Marina will join Nautica in Northern Europe, visiting Dublin, Reykjavik, Oslo and Copenhagen.

Highlights of the 2012 European Collection

· The introduction of 1,250-guest Riviera
· 41 distinctive itineraries, including first-ever voyage to Greenland
· 145 ports of call
· Complimentary overnight calls on every voyage, a total of 72 stays in all
· Three 7-night voyages to the French and Italian rivieras and Greek Islands
· Increased number of sailings to the Holy Land
· 12 new ports of call including Akureyri, Iceland; Cephalonia for Argostoli, Greece; Batumi, Georgia; Cartagena, Spain; Cherbourg, France; Motril for Granada, Spain; Horta, Azores; Qaqortoq, Greenland; La Palma, Canary Islands; Vigo for Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Tasiilaq for Ammassalik Island, Greenland and Trapani, Sicily.

With free air transportation from 20 North American gateway cities, two-for-one cruise fares and the line’s new complimentary, pre-cruise hotel stay, these extraordinary voyages are the pinnacle of value. The line encourages travelers to make reservations as early as possible to take advantage of the free air and receive the accommodations of their choice on their preferred voyage. For more information and to receive a brochure about Oceania Cruises’ 2012 European Collection, visit To make a reservation, see a travel agent or call toll-free 800-531-5658.

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Holland America Line Leverages Microsoft Tags to Create a Smartphone Video Experience With Social Sharing Features

SEATTLE, March 16: Holland America Line has launched an innovative new marketing campaign that incorporates Microsoft Tag 2D bar code technology to connect its print advertising to more information about cruise options and onboard amenities via a web-based interactive experience. The smartphone campaign is designed to encourage consumer engagement and social sharing of Holland America brand content.

"Leveraging Microsoft's Tag technology is a new way to engage potential cruisers in an interactive video experience that brings the Holland America Line brand to life," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "The ability to connect printed materials to a more captivating digital experience that can be easily shared adds a new dimension to our marketing efforts."

Tags will appear in Holland America Line consumer magazine advertisements and consumer brochures. When scanned by a smartphone using the Microsoft Tag Reader (a free download at, the Tag will open a mobile site containing video and interactive content delivered in a simple interface designed for easy sharing. Tag Reader is a free phone app, not an online app and accesses the Internet via the phone's data plan, so normal charges apply.

The desktop version of the experience is delivered via a Facebook Page that behaves like a website with links to specific content being shared. The content and user interface are designed to encourage sharing and include a series of mobile-optimized videos and a mobile gallery displaying art collections aboard Holland America Line ships.

The Microsoft Tag Reader supports Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Java 2 Micro Edition, Symbian S60, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7 smartphones. The Tags will appear in consumer print advertising in publications including Food & Wine, The New York Times Magazine and Travel + Leisure. Tags also will appear in branded materials, product brochures and in Mariner Magazine, Holland America Line's quarterly loyalty magazine.

For a cruise brochure or for more information on Holland America Line, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-800-522-3399 or visit

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Princess Cruises Previews Newest Ship as First Steel Plate is Cut

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 15: As the first steel plate was cut today marking the official start of construction of Princess Cruises’ next ship, the line unveiled the vessel’s profile, released preliminary details about some of its features, and revealed its name – Royal Princess. This will be the third time the name Royal Princess has been given to a Princess ship.

Debuting in spring of 2013, the new 141,000-ton, 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is the first of two new-generation ships for Princess which are being built by Fincantieri at their Monfalcone, Italy shipyard. The prototype design is an evolution of the line’s classic style of ships, while including some new features and expanded signature spaces.

A new design element revealed today is an over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed enclosed walkway on the ship’s starboard side extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel. From here passengers can enjoy dramatic views, including to the sea 128 feet below. On the ship’s port side, passengers will find a similarly-unique cantilevered SeaView bar, featuring cocktails with unbeatable vistas.

Also on her top decks, Royal Princess will feature a new adults-only pool surrounded by seven plush private cabanas that appear to be floating on the water. Two additional pools will flank a tropical island that will offer pool seating by day, and by night will become an outdoor dance club, complete with a dazzling water and light show. Princess’ signature adults-only haven, The Sanctuary, will be expanded both in size and amenities. The popular poolside theater, Movies Under the Stars, will play a starring role mid-ship with an expanded size and high-definition viewing.

“Princess passengers will easily recognize our next ship as a natural progression in our fleet,” said Princess President and CEO Alan Buckelew. “We’re taking the best features of our newest vessels that have been such customer pleasers, and taking them to the next level. Just as the original Royal Princess ushered in a new era for our company with its innovative design, we expect our new Royal Princess to do the same.”

Inside the ship, one of the line’s hallmark venues, the Piazza atrium, will be significantly expanded. This area will be the multi-faceted social hub of the vessel, combining always-changing quick bites and light meals, beverages, entertainment, shopping and guest services. Royal Princess will include 260,000 square feet of inside public space with multiple dining and entertainment venues, as well as other special features and amenities which will be revealed over the coming months. All outside staterooms on Royal Princess will have balconies, which means that 80 percent of the ship’s staterooms will include this desirable feature.

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 A video preview of Royal Princess is available at A sister ship to Royal Princess will be launched in spring 2014.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Launches Europe’s Leading Cruise Line Campaign

MIAMI,  March 15: Norwegian Cruise Line announced that it is launching a new campaign promoting its diverse and unique Freestyle Cruising offerings in Europe and its recognition of being named “Europe’s Leading Cruise Line” three years in a row (2008, 2009, and 2010) by the World Travel Awards. These awards recognize travel companies for delivering an outstanding customer experience and are voted by travel agents worldwide.

This spring, the line’s newest and most innovative ship, Norwegian Epic, will make her debut in Europe cruising 7-day Western Mediterranean itineraries departing from Barcelona from mid-May through October. The 4,100-passenger Norwegian Epic offers the ultimate in Freestyle Cruising with more than 20 dining options; the largest suite complex at sea; award-winning staterooms for solo travelers, world-class entertainment featuring Blue Man Group; Legends in Concert; Nickelodeon at Sea; and Cirque Dreams and Dinner; along with the first ice bar at sea; among many other offerings.

Norwegian Sun makes her debut sailing from Copenhagen, Denmark offering 9-day Baltic Capitals voyages, which is the only cruise itinerary of this length to include an overnight stay in St. Petersburg, Russia. In addition, Norwegian Jade, cruising year-round in Europe, offers 7-day Greek Isles and Adriatic itineraries from Venice, Italy through early October and 10-and 11-day Eastern Mediterranean and Holy Land itineraries from mid-October through April 2012 from Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy. In addition to having more dining choices than any other cruise line in Europe, all onboard restaurants on all three ships will have extended dinner hours on European sailings so guests will have more time to enjoy their day.

“Being named Europe’s Leading Cruise Line three years in a row is a prestigious honor and we are pleased that travel partners around the world have voted our Freestyle Cruising ships as the best of the best in Europe,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer. “Freestyle Cruising is the perfect fit for cruising throughout Europe since it offers guests the freedom and flexibility to soak in the culture and rich history in our dynamic ports of call during the day and then come back to the ship to relax in the evening.”

Norwegian’s European campaign features a variety of new materials for both consumers and travel partners. Available in mid-April, a new dedicated Europe brochure highlights all of the company’s offerings in Europe, including detailed information on Norwegian’s three ships sailing in the region in 2011 from desired vacation destinations such as Rome (Civitavecchia) and Venice, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; and Copenhagen, Denmark. Consumers and travel agents can also view three videos – on Europe, Freestyle Cruising and one specific to Norwegian Epic – to give them an idea of what to expect from Norwegian in Europe. These videos will be available for ordering on the company’s web site, along with being posted to social media sites.

In addition, Norwegian’s “Free Upgrades For All” promotion (, extended through March 31, focuses on European sailings and provides guests with a balcony upgrade for the price of an oceanview stateroom, or a spacious mini-suite for the price of a balcony on the line’s newest and most innovative ship, Norwegian Epic, and e-coupons in on-board savings worth more than $400. To learn more about Norwegian’s Europe cruises or to book one of these exciting itineraries, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit

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Crystal Expands Worldwide Jewish Culture Exploration in 2011

LOS ANGELES, March 14: With increased participation in Jewish heritage tours, luxury seafarer Crystal Cruises is expanding its related programming in 2011. Scheduled are over a dozen Crystal Adventures that explore Jewish life, past and present, around the world: in/near Mumbai, Miami, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Berlin, Hamburg, St. Petersburg, Rome, Dublin, Jerusalem/Ashdod, and Odessa.

Each tour gives an overview of a culture within a culture, while also providing intimate connection with spaces, exhibits, artifacts, traditions, and people that bring the international Jewish narrative to life. Among the highlights:

-- St. Petersburg: Discover how this resilient Russian Jewish community survived Communist oppression, war, and hardship to flourish today, as demonstrated through its people, community centers, music, and an intimate home visit.
-- Mumbai: Visit three synagogues, ranging from Baghdadi to Bene-Israel congregations.
-- Copenhagen: Learn how 99% of Denmark's Jews survived the Holocaust, at the Museum of Danish Resistance.
-- Dublin: Take in the social, legal, and political contributions of the Irish-Jewish community; see the first dedicated day school and home of Israeli ex-President Chaim Herzog.
-- German Concentration Camps: Explore Neungamme, which housed 100,000 prisoners outside Hamburg, and Berlin's Sachsenhausen, which became the blueprint for all other camps.
-- Rome: Walk through the 2000+ year-old Jewish Quarter of Rome.

While most 2012 excursions are still in development, Crystal is planning a Jewish heritage tour of Shanghai for its 2012 World Cruise.

"These experiences offer meaningful opportunity for education, understanding, and reflection, for Jews and non-Jews alike," says Vice President, Land and Port Operations John Stoll.

Crystal Cruises' passion for creating unique and impactful luxury shore-side experiences are cornerstones of its Crystal Adventures program, and have earned the line top ratings from international travelers for two decades.

The excursions are available as half-day or full-day adventures with the worldwide, value-rich itineraries aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. Cruise promotions include up to $2,000/couple "All Inclusive--As You Wish" spending credit, up to $8,000/couple Verandah and Penthouse savings, Fall Fare Sale, Crystal's Family Memories programs, and New-to-Crystal, Bring-a-Friend, and Crystal Society benefits. All cruises include free air from many North American gateways (or generous air credits). For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625 or visit

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Hurtigruten Announces Top 10 Excursions on Norwegian Coastal Voyages

New York, NY, March 2011: Leading Hurtigruten’s list of its ‘Top Ten Excursions for 2010’ – with more than 55,000 guests in this year alone – is a trip across the 71st parallel to the magnificent sub-Arctic landscape of the North Cape Plateau, the northernmost point in continental Europe. The journey is one of more than 40 diverse excursions, priced from $32, designed to immerse guests in the culture and history of Norway while enjoying one of the company’s classic six-, seven- or 12-day Norwegian Coastal Voyage itineraries. Coming in second and third, respectively, are the tour of the Arctic Capital Tromsø, including a visit to the stunning Arctic Cathedral, and ‘A Taste of Vesterålen,’ a guided tour illuminating the history and landscape of the lovely town.

“The North Cape is a fantastic experience for everyone – and a must-see for many of our guests,” says Trond Øverås, Hurtigruten product and marketing director. One of the Cape’s first tourists, in 1664, was priest Francesco Negri from Ravenna, Italy – and he wrote “Here I am at North Cape – at the very edge of civilization – and I can say that my hunger for knowledge is satisfied. Now I can travel home content if God permits.”

The other winners, in order, are the unforgettable Midnight Concert in the Arctic Cathedral; a visit to the Russian Border; the Geiranger fjord (Panorama 2), a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the Lofoten Islands in the Arctic Circle; Breakfast at the North Cape; the ancient Nidaros Cathedral & Ringve; and the Glacier Adventure in Svartisen. Because the ‘Top Ten’ list is based on the number of visitors, some of the smaller group excursions, such as dog sledding and the bird watching safari, did not make the list but are often fully booked.

Despite the success of their current offerings, the award-winning company continues to create new options. “We are constantly working with suppliers to develop new and improved excursions,” says Øverås. “Having been around since 1893, Hurtigruten has good, close contacts to draw on along the coastline as it strives to develop the best possible travel product for its guests. That is one of our clear advantages.”

Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen as well as year round along Norway's coast and Europe in the spring. The company’s fleet of 14 intimate ships, carrying 100 to 646 passengers, allows passengers to enjoy unique destinations in a relaxed atmosphere. Additional information on all of these adventures, as well as brochures and reservations, can be obtained from travel agents or Hurtigruten's visitor-friendly web site,; or by phone: (877) 301-3117; fax (888) 524-2145; for brochures (800) 582-0835, 24 hours a day.

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Azamara Club Cruises Unveils “You’ll Love Where We Take You

MIAMI, March 12: Azamara Club Cruises, known for delivering destination immersive travel experiences for up-market travelers, has launched a series of engaging videos called “You’ll Love Where We Take You.” The series, hosted by Azamara’s Manager of Deployment and Destinations Claudius Docekal, provides greater in-depth knowledge about the compelling attractions at the cruise line’s ports of call, where more than 45 percent of port visits feature overnight and late night stays in 2011. Available now for viewing at, each video provides educational tips for guests to plan their upcoming voyage.

“Azamara Club Cruises sails to more than 50 countries and 170 ports in 2011, including many unique destinations that larger ships cannot reach,” said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “Claudius, having spent time in most of the destinations we visit around the world, is one of our most knowledgeable travel experts and provides invaluable advice on what to do and when to do it, to make the most of a day or night in port. With more overnight and late-night stays, Azamara offers guests the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in local cultures and nightlife for a truly unforgettable experience.”

Each 3- to 5-minute video provides guests a comprehensive overview of a specific itinerary aboard Azamara Journey or Azamara Quest, as well as insight and ideas for immersive and unique experiences while in port. Mr. Docekal provides a day-by-day account of the shoreside and shipboard activities available for guests to enjoy and offers his personal suggestions of the not-to-be-missed and little-known gems at select ports of call, nearly all of which he has visited and explored. As part of the “You’ll Love Where We Take You” series, vignette showcase each of Azamara’s 2011 itineraries to offer up-market travelers a supplemental guide to help them choose the ideal voyage fit for their interests.

Travelers exploring Azamara’s electronic destination guide, available at, may simply click on an itinerary header to access that itinerary’s “You’ll Love Where We Take You” video. They also may be viewed on YouTube. The 2012 “You’ll Love Where We Take You” videos are currently in production.

Azamara Club Cruises is a destination-immersive cruise line for up-market travelers who want to not only see the places and cultures they visit, but to live them. Azamara’s two intimate, 694-guest ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, with a combination of 347 suites and staterooms, offer a European-boutique hotel ambience with extraordinary service, fine cuisine and wines from around the world, and wellness and vitality programs, all while sailing to a host of destinations larger ships cannot reach. Azamara Club Cruises sails European destinations, including the Baltic and Scandinavia, British Isles, Western Europe, French and Italian Rivieras, Greek Isles, Croatia, Holy Land and Black Sea, as well as Asia, South America and lesser-traveled islands of the West Indies, with more overnight and late-night stays in every region. Travelers also can choose even more immersive experiences with Azamara cruisetours in eight of the world’s most exciting destinations, including Rome, Athens, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Istanbul, Jordan and Israel, India, and China. For more information, travelers can call their travel professional, dial 1-877-999-9553, or visit the Azamara Club Cruises microsite

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Hawaii For the Holidays: American Safari Cruises Explores the Hawaiian Islands During the Holiday Season

Seattle, WA, March 11: Abandon holiday routines for a tropical inter-island yacht cruise during American Safari Cruises’ inaugural season sailing the Hawaiian Islands. Two weeklong Hawaiian Seascapes holiday cruises sail between Maui and the Big Island while exploring secluded beaches, coves and passages rich with wildlife. American Safari Cruises’ flagship, the 36-guest luxury yacht Safari Explorer, begins cruising in the Hawaiian Islands in October 2011. Cruise dates have been specially selected to encompass popular holiday celebrations in December. Weeklong cruises depart Dec 19 and Dec 27.

“Hawaii has always been a popular holiday escape, and we’re offering a new vacation option that’s very different from anything else currently available,” said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “The small, intimate nature of our yacht takes full advantage of Hawaii’s secluded shoreline with small group explorations by land and sea.”

Although the venue will be tropical with no chance of snow, guests wishing for a holiday atmosphere will find a festive mix of elements combining traditional holiday customs with Hawaiian culture. On the Dec 19-26 cruise from Maui to the Big Island, the yacht will be decked out in holiday decorations. The executive chef’s holiday menus, premium spirits and wine and special added touches by the yacht’s attentive crew bring the spirit of the holidays to sea.

Ring in the New Year Hawaiian-style on the Dec 27-Jan 3 cruise from the Big Island to Maui. Once on board, guests won’t have to travel far for the intimate, shipboard New Year’s Eve party. Scheduled to anchor off the picturesque island of Lana’i, the smallest inhabited island in Hawaii, the stunning setting will be a memorable backdrop to end one year and begin anew. Elegant decorations and cuisine, expertly-made cocktails and traditional Hawaiian music add panache to the celebration.

Both cruises explore Maui, Moloka’i, Lana’i, Molokini and The Big Island. Outfitted for active adventures, the yacht’s well stocked water sports equipment includes kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling gear, wet suits, a sailboat and a tube for thrilling rides behind the skiff. Two knowledgeable expedition leaders guide hiking and kayaking tours. Bicycles are also available for guest use.

Exclusive cultural experiences on the beautiful island of Moloka’i introduce guests to the culture and ecology of the island. Guests may join a guided hike with Lawrence, a 50th generation of his Hawaiian Halau lineage, and spend time with him “talking story” and listening to the land in Moloka’i’s Hālawa Valley—a pristine, breathtaking tropical landscape. Another included tour visits ancient Hawaiian homelands and spends time restoring ancestral taro terraces. Before the evening’s Pa’ina (local feast), guests can explore an ancient fishpond which represents an important part of Moloka’i’s history and culture. The private shoreside Pa’ina is a traditional Hawaiian party with local cuisine and a homestyle Hawaiian music jam session.

The unstructured nature of the adventure cruise allows time to seek out wildlife such as humpback whales and dolphins, both prevalent in Hawaii, one of the richest marine mammal environments in all of North America. Snorkeling adventures abound with opportunities to see colorful corals, sea turtles, sponges, harmless sharks and tropical fish. When anchored off the backside of Molokini, guests have a rare chance for a nighttime snorkeling adventure, and offshore the Big Island, guests can swim with Great Pacific Manta rays.

The Safari Explorer has an on-deck hot tub, sauna, exercise equipment, a wine library and a large-screen TV in the main salon. Exceptional cuisine is prepared with fresh, local ingredients and the complimentary bar offers premium spirits, fine wines and microbrews. All staterooms offer Tempur-pedic mattresses, flat screen TV/DVD players and iPod docks. Upper category staterooms feature Jacuzzi tubs and suites have private step-out balconies. The guest-crew ratio is 2 to 1, with an all-American crew that includes two professional naturalists, masseuse and captain – some who hail from the Hawaiian Islands. Fares for the 7-night holiday cruises  include transfers, port fees and taxes and all activities except optional excursions. To book a Hawaiian yachting adventure or to request additional information, contact American Safari Cruises at 888-862-8881 or email .

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Camillus House Names New Campus After Norwegian Cruise Line,
In Recognition of $5 Million Gift

MIAMI, March 11: Camillus House is one step closer to their goal of ending chronic homelessness in Miami-Dade County after receiving a $5 million pledge from Norwegian Cruise Line to support ongoing construction of its new three-acre Campus on Northwest 7th Avenue in Miami’s Health District. In recognition of this gift, which represents the largest corporate contribution to Camillus House’s capital campaign, the new home of the prominent not-for-profit organization was named the Norwegian Cruise Line Campus of Camillus House.

“We are profoundly honored and grateful to Norwegian Cruise Line for this generous gift to our campaign,” said Dr. Paul Ahr, Camillus House President and Chief Executive Officer. “Thanks to their support, we have taken a giant step toward achieving our goal of ending chronic homelessness in our community.”

During the naming ceremony held yesterday at the construction site, Camillus House and Norwegian Cruise Line representatives unveiled renderings of Miami’s newest landmarka 120-foot towerdisplaying the Campus’ new name. Once erected in October 2011, the tower will be visible from Interstate 95 and the Dolphin Expressway. Community leaders and guests also had the opportunity to tour the $84 million construction site, getting a first glimpse of the nearly completed Shepherd’s Court permanent housing apartments.

“As a long standing member of the Miami community, Norwegian Cruise Line is proud to support Camillus House,” said Kevin Sheehan, Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Camillus House has long been a leader in this community and has helped thousands of people in need. We are proud to have our name associated with this shining example of their strong positive force in Miami, our hometown.”

The new eco-friendly Campus, which is expected to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, will feature seven buildings surrounding two open courtyards. Once fully operational, the Norwegian Cruise Line Campus will provide services to more than 3,000 people in need each year integrated with a variety of employment, social service and clinical treatment programs, including an expansion of emergency housing and a residential treatment for women and Spanish-speaking individuals. In addition, the Campus will provide the following services: emergency, treatment and permanent housing beds; basic human services of food, clothing, showers and overnight shelter; primary health care; residential and outpatient treatment for mental illness and addiction; employment training and job placement. In addition, there will be a kennel for pets. The first phase of the construction began in mid-2010, and it is expected to be completed in 2012. The construction has simulated the local economy with the creation of 200 construction jobs. In addition, 100 new full-time positions will be created once the Campus is completed.

Camillus House provides humanitarian services to persons who are poor and homeless in Miami-Dade. Established by the Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd in 1960, Camillus House has grown steadily over the years from a small overnight shelter into a full-service center for persons who are poor and homeless. For more information on Camillus House, visit For further information on Norwegian Cruise Line, visit

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Statement Regarding Carnival Cruise Lines’ Cancellation of Mobile Cruise Program

March 10, 2011: “We have made the very difficult decision to discontinue our cruise operations from Mobile effective Oct 22, 2011. We are extremely grateful for the many years of tremendous partnership, support and cooperation provided by the Alabama Cruise Terminal team, the local leadership in Mobile, area travel agents and the community at large.

Unfortunately, we have not been able to achieve favorable financial results with this program. Although we have consistently filled the ship, it has been at lower relative pricing to the rest of our fleet. We have made every effort to drive higher demand and pricing through our sales and marketing initiatives and the deployment of a newer class of ship in 2009. However, we have not been successful in achieving a sustainable level of acceptable pricing. Additionally, the itineraries from Mobile require much higher relative fuel costs to operate and those fuel costs will become even more unfavorable with the implementation of the new ECA requirements starting in 2012.

We would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to everyone in the Mobile community for the friendship and support we have received during the past six years.”

- Gerry Cahill, president and CEO, Carnival Cruise Lines

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Carnival to Launch New One-of-a-Kind Short Cruise Program From Port Canaveral

MIAMI,March 10: Carnival Cruise Lines today announced a unique and exciting new “Fun Ship” cruise program from Port Canaveral, Florida. The 2,052-passenger Carnival Ecstasy will operate 4- and 5-day Bahamas cruises from the Space Coast beginning Nov 7, 2011. The move further bolsters Carnival’s position as Port Canaveral’s largest cruise operator with three year-round ships carrying approximately 600,000 guests annually.

“In addition to offering a convenient departure point for millions of consumers in the southeastern U.S., along with attractive port facilities and excellent flight options into nearby Orlando, Port Canaveral is an extremely popular homeport and we’re excited to provide our guests with some fantastic new cruise choices from Central Florida,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO. On the Carnival Ecstasy’s new schedule, two different 4-day itineraries will be offered, along with two different 5-day itineraries.

Carnival Ecstasy will depart Thursdays on 4-day ‘long weekend’ cruises visiting Nassau and Half Moon Cay or Freeport. Five-day cruises will depart Mondays and Saturdays and call at Nassau, Freeport and Half Moon Cay or Key West. Prior to repositioning to Port Canaveral, the Carnival Ecstasy will continue to operate from Galveston, Texas through Sept 8, 2011 and then from New Orleans Sept 22 through Nov 5, 2011, as previously scheduled.

With Carnival Ecstasy’s new 4- and 5-day schedule, combined with year-round 3- and 4-day Bahamas cruises aboard Carnival Sensation and 7-day eastern and western Caribbean voyages on Carnival Dream, the line will offer an unprecedented array of cruise lengths and itineraries from Port Canaveral.

Carnival Elation from New Orleans
Carnival Elation will reposition from Mobile, Alabama, to New Orleans to operate year-round 4- and 5-day western Caribbean cruises beginning Nov 5, 2011. On this route, 4-day cruises will depart Thursdays and visit Cozumel, one of the Caribbean’s most popular ports, while 5-day voyages will call at both Cozumel and Progreso.

Carnival Elation’s new schedule from New Orleans replaces the previously announced program from that port on the Carnival Ecstasy. Carnival Elation will join the Carnival Conquest in New Orleans, marking the first time Carnival has operated two ships from New Orleans in six years. Carnival will be the only cruise line with two ships based year-round in New Orleans, carrying more than 350,000 passengers annually.

Guests with Current Reservations
As a result of these deployment changes, Carnival will no longer offer cruises from Mobile, Alabama. Guests booked on those voyages will have the option of re-booking from an alternate homeport and receive a $25 per person onboard credit, or they can elect to receive a full refund.

Guests booked on cruises from New Orleans on the Carnival Ecstasy that will now be operated on the Carnival Elation are being automatically shifted to the Carnival Elation. Itineraries on the Carnival Elation will be identical to those that were scheduled for the Carnival Ecstasy. The two vessels are sister ships with largely similar features, amenities and staterooms. (Those guests who were booked in standard balcony staterooms on the Carnival Ecstasy--a cabin category not featured on the Carnival Elation--will be contacted individually to discuss their preferences.) The movement of bookings from Carnival Ecstasy to Carnival Elation will be completed by Friday, March 11, 2011.

New Reservations
Carnival will begin accepting reservations for the Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Elation’s new programs from Port Canaveral and New Orleans beginning Friday, March 11. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Get Ready to Hula Aboard Carnival Spirit

March 10: With a mix of sunshine, surf and sand, the Hawaiian Islands consistently rank among the world’s most popular vacation destinations. And Carnival Spirit’s Hawaii cruises provide guests with an unforgettable way to explore the Aloha State. Carnival kicks off its 2011 Hawaii program with two 12-day cruises next month. The April 10, 2011, voyage departs from Ensenada, Mexico and includes daylong visits to Hilo, Kona and Nawiliwili, along with overnight calls in Kahului and Honolulu that provide guests with time for an evening luau or extended adventures ashore. A similar 12-day cruise departs Honolulu April 22, 2011, and ends in Vancouver, British Columbia with the same ports of call but in reverse order.

Carnival’s Hawaii itineraries offer an extensive menu of shore excursions that lets guests explore the islands from above and below. Helicopter rides reveal stunning views of active volcanoes and picturesque waterfalls, while those who prefer the water can participate in deep-sea fishing, kayaking, tubing, canoeing, snorkeling and much more. Guests wishing to keep their feet on the ground can opt for hiking, horseback riding or wine tastings.

Several sea days on each cruise leave plenty of time to explore Carnival Spirit and check out all of the “Fun Ship” activities. Kids and kids-at-heart will enjoy testing the Twister Waterslide, nine-hole mini-golf course and youth program, while grown-ups can visit a luxurious 14,500-square-foot spa, a two-level dance club, and casino. Carnival Spirit will also operate the line’s first-ever 15-day round-trip Hawaii cruises from Los Angeles Dec. 2-17, 2011, and from San Diego April 13-28, 2012. Carnival is currently accepting bookings for all of its Hawaii cruises. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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InnerSea Discoveries’ Expedition Vessels Outfitted For Adventure With High-Tech
 & Upscale Amenities

Seattle, WA, March 7, 2011 – An underwater bow camera, high-tech kayak launchers and iPod docks are just a few of the new features being installed on InnerSea Discoveries’ two expedition ships, Wilderness Discoverer and Wilderness Adventurer, during preparation for its inaugural season in Southeast Alaska beginning May 2011.

Kayaking adventures will be a popular activity with each ship carrying 28 assorted styles of Necky kayaks—stable, roomy and good for pros and novices. With multiple guided trips throughout each cruise, the ease of launching and return of kayaks is a priority. Both ships have been outfitted with custom made EZ Dock kayak launching systems able to quickly and safely launch four kayaks at a time. Kayakers can also easily guide themselves back onto the ship using the system.

“Though our focus is on activities outside the ship such as hiking and kayaking, we have put a lot of thought into new features to make the experience on board even more enriching and comfortable,” said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “Guests will return to a relaxing and inviting atmosphere after a day spent outside exploring nature.”

An underwater camera mounted on the ships’ bow will stream video from the underwater world to flatscreen televisions in all guest rooms and the lounge. A close-up view of life underwater will amaze with a large variety of sea life and at times, views of dolphins playing in the bow’s wake. An underwater hydrophone pipes in the otherworldly sound of whales communicating with each other.

All guest cabins are above deck with large, view windows and feature upscale amenities to ensure a warm, inviting home-away-from-home for active adventurers. Eco-friendly memory foam mattresses are included in all cabins as either a twin, double or queen bed. Flatscreen televisions with DVD players, iPod docking stations and eco-friendly bath amenities take these expedition ships to a new level of creature comfort.

Hot tubs situated outside on deck provide a spectacular setting for guests to relax and take in the scenery. Each ship also has a sauna, exercise equipment, complimentary on-deck yoga classes, a large resource library, well-stocked DVD library and board games. A professional masseuse is part of the crew and massages are available for a fee.

The interior of the newly-refurbished ships feature contemporary colors that complement the wilderness outside. The main lounge, a prime gathering spot for guests to meet and share tales of adventure, has been designed to feel like a cross between a National Park lodge and a quaint neighborhood pub with a bar top made from salvaged Alaskan yellow cedar. Guests can enjoy wine, spirits and a large variety of microbrews on tap.

The company’s “un-cruise” adventures sail between Juneau and Ketchikan (and reverse) from May through September on a Western Coves and Eastern Coves itinerary. When combined, it becomes the two-week Ultimate Adventure. Setting it apart from other cruise line itineraries, InnerSea Discoveries’ ships spend less time in port and instead spend time tucking into hidden bays and coves for adventure activities in Alaska’s wilderness.

Fares include transfers and all activities except optional excursions. Massages, wine, spirits, beer and gratuities are extra. Select 2011 dates are designated as Family Discoveries with a focus on activities tailored for all ages. Kids 12 years and younger receive a 25% savings on all departures and 30% on Family Discoveries voyages. To book the ‘un-cruise’ or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or InnerSea Discoveries at 877-901-1009 or

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Cunard Line Announces Summer 2012-Spring 2013 Voyage Program

March 7: Cunard Line brings more than 170 years of maritime heritage to the youngest fleet at sea to offer an exquisite program of luxury cruise vacations aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth in 2012 and early 2013. On sale 4 April, highlights of the new season include many popular itineraries with multiple departure dates; overnight stays in Amsterdam, Venice, Rome, Hamburg, St Petersburg, Boston, Quebec, Madeira and Barcelona; and maiden calls in Morocco and Spain. Featuring more than 70 departures, Cunard combines the New Golden Age of Ocean Travel with the classic traditions and legendary White Star Service for which Cunard is renowned.

In addition to the extensive voyage program, Cunard is excited to announce another Cunard Royal Rendezvous on June 5, 2012, when all three Cunard Queens will meet in Southampton, England to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen.

“Since the launch of Queen Elizabeth this past fall, it has been remarkable to see the response to our ships as they tour the globe,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “As the pace of life accelerates, more and more people are seeking unique experiences, traditional values and service excellence. Our unrivalled heritage and youngest fleet in the world are proving to be more popular than ever.”

Queen Mary 2
The Line’s flagship Queen Mary 2 continues to sail her legendary Transatlantic Crossings in 2012, including 19 classic 7-day voyages between New York and Southampton and six 9-day extended Crossings between New York and Hamburg.

Queen Mary 2 also offers voyages to the Baltic, Norway and the North Cape, the Atlantic Isles and Iberia, as well as a return to the Mediterranean including maiden calls in Malaga and Valencia, Spain. All of these European itineraries can be combined with a Transatlantic Crossing on either side to create a Grand Voyage – offering North American guests the chance to sail to Europe roundtrip from New York. After her annual Getaway for the 4th of July holiday, Queen Mary 2 returns to New York in fall 2012 for two Canada and New England voyages – including one with an overnight stay in Quebec – and a Holiday sailing to the Caribbean.

Queen Elizabeth
Cunard’s newest ship, Queen Elizabeth, takes over the successful fall Mediterranean programme with 12-day Mediterranean voyages that begin and end in Athens, Venice or Rome. Featuring eight unique itineraries, Queen Elizabeth’s Mediterranean season commences with a 9-day voyage from Southampton to Rome on August 28 and concludes with the 10-day voyage from Rome (overnight) to Southampton on 29 November. These voyages call on Seville (Cadiz); Palma; Barcelona; Monte Carlo; and Florence/Pisa (Livorno). In 2012, this popular offering has been further enhanced with two voyages to the Holy Land – including calls in Jerusalem, Galilee and Alexandria – as well as more voyages to the Greek Isles and Black Sea including:

Three 12-day Greek Isles voyages between Athens and Venice, and one 12-day Greek Isles voyage roundtrip Athens (including calls to Mykonos; Mytilene; Istanbul; Kusadasi (for Ephesus); Rhodes; Santorini; Katakolon (for Olympia); Corfu; Dubrovnik; Heraklion; and/or Alexandria (for Cairo/Giza), depending on the voyage). One 12-day Black Sea voyage from Venice to Athens (featuring calls to Katakolon (for Olympia); Mykones; Instanbul (overnight); Yalta; Odessa; Nessebur; Kusadasi (for Ephesus); and Santorini Prior to that, Queen Elizabeth also takes guests on a series of voyages roundtrip from Southampton to Norway, the Baltic and her second circumnavigation of the British Isles.

In early 2013, Queen Elizabeth will showcase a series of legendary voyages that include full transits of the Panama Canal, plus new voyages to the South Pacific and New Zealand – including maiden calls in Hilo, Hawaii; Bora Bora, French Polynesia; and Christchurch, New Zealand. The ship’s South Pacific voyages include: one 15-day voyage from Los Angeles to Auckland; one 21-day from Auckland to Los Angeles; or guests can opt to sail the 36-day roundtrip South Pacific voyage from Los Angeles.

Queen Victoria
With a range of voyages to Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Atlantic Isles and Iberia, Queen Victoria makes Southampton her homeport for 2012. New for Queen Victoria in 2012 is a 20-day voyage to the Black Sea and Turkey as well as maiden calls in Casablanca, Morocco and Constanza, Bulgaria.

Some of Queen Victoria’s returning itinerary favorites include the seven-day Fjords and Waterfalls voyages to Norway, the 14-day St. Petersburg & Baltic Explorer (with an overnight in St. Petersburg), the 17-day Adriatic Discovery and an enhanced Mediterranean Gems itinerary that adds an additional day for a 13-day voyage.

World Club members enjoy 5% discounts of up to $1,000 per person off public rates and are available to past guests who book by:

September 30, 2011 for summer 2012 voyages
December 31, 2011 for fall 2012 voyages
March 31, 2012 for spring 2013 voyages

Reservations for Cunard’s 2012 and 2013 voyages will open for booking on 4 April for all guests. For more information and to book a voyage, consult your travel agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Rare Arctic Wonders Await Travelers On Hurtigruten’s “Kingdom of the Polar Bear”

New York, NY, March 2011 – Majestic polar bears and Svalbard reindeer roaming icy tundra, Moffen Island’s walrus colony, and Hornsund Fjord, with its dramatic vertical cliffs and imposing glaciers, are among the rare Arctic wonders travelers can experience on Hurtigruten’s 9-day “Kingdom of the Polar Bear.” The MV Polar Star, specifically designed to explore areas inaccessible to most other ships, travels roundtrip from Longyearbyen to the farthest corners of Spitsbergen and explores a diverse and fascinating landscape of Arctic tundra, impressive fjords, stunning national parks and scenic islands. Guests experience the impressive culture of Spitsbergen firsthand with an array of ports and excursions ranging from a charming folklore show in Barentsburg to Sjuøyane (“Seven Islands”), the northernmost point in the Svalbard Archipelago and the closest most will ever get to the North Pole.

After a day of guided sightseeing in Longyearbyen that includes the Svalbard Museum and Svalbard Gallery, the MV Polar Star embarks on its roundtrip journey, stopping first in Barentsburg and then Ny Ålesund, the northernmost permanently inhabited Arctic Research Station. Venturing past the “Seven Icebergs” and entering North West Spitsbergen National Park, guests explore the whaling history of breathtaking Magdalenefjorden before sailing past the walrus colonies of Moffen Island and across the 80th parallel towards the North Pole. After passing through scenic Sorgfjorden and navigating the Hinlopen Strait, the ship arrives at the face of Bråsvell Glacier – a seemingly infinite branch of the Nordaustlandet Nature Reserve –continuing its journey past snow-capped peaks to stunning Hornsund, a spectacular fjord defined by steep cliffs and mammoth glaciers.

Fares include the cabin grade of your choice; transfers as applicable; all meals on board, with a selection of drinks for those in suites; one night in Longyearbyen before the voyage, including breakfast and sightseeing; roundtrip economy class flights between Oslo and Longyearbyen; and a wind and water proof jacket. International flights are additional.

Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen as well as year round along Norway's coast and Europe in the spring. The company’s fleet of 14 intimate ships, carrying 100 to 646 passengers, allows passengers to enjoy unique destinations in a relaxed atmosphere. Additional information on all of these adventures, as well as brochures and reservations, can be obtained from travel agents or Hurtigruten's visitor-friendly web site,; or by phone: (877) 301-3117; fax (888) 524-2145; for brochures (800) 582-0835, 24 hours a day.

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Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria Meets Queen Mary in Long Beach Harbor
for a Royal Rendezvous

March 4: Amidst fireworks and much fanfare yesterday, Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria met Queen Mary for a historic Cunard Royal Rendezvous. Thousands of Cunarders and maritime enthusiasts alike gathered along the shores of Long Beach Harbor and aboard Queen Mary for a celebration that began with a series of whistle salutes between the two ships. Spectators were treated to a celebratory fireworks show, which illuminated the skies above the harbor during the first-time meeting between the two ships. Queen Victoria then departed on her 15-day Panama Canal voyage as she completes her debut Americas season.

The meeting of the two Queens marks only the second time in Cunard’s 171-year history that a modern Queen has visited her docked sister ship; the first rendezvous occurred in February 2006 when flagship Queen Mary 2 met her namesake during her maiden call to Los Angeles. The momentous Cunard Royal Rendezvous of Queen Victoria and Queen Mary also signaled the celebration of another significant milestone in Cunard history: the 75th anniversary of Queen Mary’s maiden voyage from Southampton, England (May 27, 1936). Yesterday also marked Queen Victoria’s fourth and last visit to the Port of Los Angeles as part of her debut Americas season, where she traversed both coasts through the Panama Canal. Queen Victoria returns to the West Coast again in late 2011 when she reprises her Americas season.

During Cunard’s legendary 171-year history, the iconic Queen Mary epitomized the Golden Age of Ocean Travel and served as a Cunard liner for more than 30 years. Additionally, she served as a troopship during World War II and a Royal Mail Ship, under contract with the British Royal Mail service. Queen Mary’s influence lives on today serving as interior design inspiration for the modern Cunard fleet – the youngest at sea – and continues to be a popular destination for maritime enthusiasts. She retired from service in 1967 and is permanently docked in Long Beach, Calif. as a hotel, museum and tourist attraction. For more information about Queen Mary, visit

Debuting in December 2007, Queen Victoria is the third largest Cunarder ever built, weighing in at 90,000 tons. The 2,000 passenger liner is infused with a sense of luxury and tradition, from the Royal Court Theatre, which includes the first private viewing boxes at sea, to the signature two-storey library featuring a spiral staircase and nearly 6,000 volumes. For more information about Queen Victoria, consult your travel agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD (1-800-728-6273) or visit

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New Mobile App and Mobile Web Site Introduced by Tech-Savvy Celebrity Cruises

MIAMI, March 3: Celebrity Cruises knows consumers' vacation time is precious, as is the time invested in researching and planning for that rare time away. So, Celebrity has made the process more widely accessible, not to mention even more fun, by introducing the brand's first mobile app and mobile web site.

Now, iPhone users have the opportunity to download the free, new app from the Celebrity web site or from the Apple store. Users of Celebrity's new mobile app will have a wealth of "search" and "explore" functionality allowing them to view the breadth of global destinations Celebrity visits; review the widely varied onboard activities, including the line's iLearn courses in the Celebrity iLounge, Rosetta Stone language courses, and comparative wine tastings with Riedel Crystal; e-mail itineraries of interest to themselves or to others; request a call or e-mail from Customer Service or call them directly via the app, and even peruse answers to the perennial question: "What should I pack?"

Concurrently, the new mobile web site introduced by technologically-savvy Celebrity, the first cruise line to present menus, wine lists and even art tours on an iPad, in addition to the "Celebrity iLounge," a hip cybercafe equipped with some of the latest Apple products and accessories, allows consumers to utilize iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry (models 8520 and up) devices to search for a Celebrity cruise and itineraries, obtain destination information, view details about each stylish ship, connect with Celebrity's social media sites, e-mail itineraries of interest to Celebrity's Customer Service team, or contact Customer Service 'live' at any point during the experience. For more information, visit

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Princess Cruises to Return to Port of Galveston for 2012-13 Caribbean Season

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 3: For the first time since 2007, a Princess Cruises ship will again set sail from the port of Galveston, offering cruises to the sunny Western Caribbean. Crown Princess will offer 19 departures from Galveston between Dec 22, 2012 and April 27, 2013. The 7-day roundtrip Western Caribbean itinerary features ports of call at Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico.

“We’ve received a great deal of feedback from cruisers interested in sailing from Galveston again,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “So we’re excited to be returning in 2012 to bring our Western Caribbean sailings back to Texas.”

The 3,070-passenger Crown Princess offers greater capacity than Princess ships previously based in Galveston. The 113,000-ton vessel debuted in 2006 and offers the line’s popular signature features, including a piazza-style atrium with International Café and Vines wine bar; the 300-square-foot Movies Under the Stars poolside theater; The Sanctuary, an adults-only “oasis of tranquility”; and a variety of dining, recreation and entertainment options.

The remainder of the Princess Cruises Caribbean schedule will be announced later this month. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Princess Cruises Celebrates Gavin MacLeod’s 80th Birthday

SANTA CLARITA, CA, March 2: Princess Cruises honored the line’s long-time ambassador and everyone’s favorite “Love Boat” captain, Gavin MacLeod, with a special 80th birthday party aboard Golden Princess today in Los Angeles. Crew members, along with his friends and family, sang “Happy Birthday” and presented him with a massive cake – a 5-foot-long, 3D replica of the original “Love Boat,” Pacific Princess.

MacLeod is perhaps best known for his role as “Captain Merrill Stubing” in the popular television series, The Love Boat. One of the longest running television shows in history, The Love Boat cruised through ten seasons from 1977 to 1986 and is still in syndication in 92 countries worldwide. This year also marks MacLeod’s 25th anniversary serving as Princess Cruises’ spokesperson.

MacLeod’s impressive career spans television, theater and film. He spent seven years on the award-winning television series The Mary Tyler Moore Show as “Murray Slaughter,” the acid-tongued newswriter. His other well-known television roles include “Happy” on McHale’s Navy and “Big Chicken” on Hawaii Five-O, and he has also appeared in The Dick Van Dyke Show, Hogan’s Heroes, The Big Valley, Ironside, To Catch a Thief, Run For Your Life, Hotel and Murder She Wrote.

MacLeod’s film debut was in 1958 with Susan Hayward in the Oscar-winning film I Want to Live. His subsequent 35 film credits include Compulsion with Orson Welles, Operation Petticoat with Cary Grant, High Time with Bing Crosby, The Party with Peter Sellers, The Sand Pebbles with Steve McQueen and Kelly’s Heroes with Clint Eastwood.

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American Entertainment News Pioneer Rona Barrett Receives Warm Welcome
Aboard Queen Victoria

March 2: Cunard Line recently welcomed entertainment news pioneer Rona Barrett on board Queen Victoria’s Hawaiian Adventure voyage where she enthralled guests with two exclusive at-sea performances of her one-woman show, “Rona Barrett: Nothing But the Truth.” As part of the Cunard Insights enrichment program, Barrett’s well-received performances were met with standing ovations, and afterwards, she chatted with guests about both her iconic career as well as her current mission: supporting her eponymously-named foundation which aims to assist seniors in need. In support of this endeavor, Cunard made a $5,000 donation to Barrett's foundation.

Barrett, one of the pioneers and innovators in entertainment news reporting and publishing in the United States, created “Nothing But the Truth” to raise funds to build The Golden Inn & Cottages, a pilot facility that can be constructed in communities throughout the U.S. to provide affordable housing and care, among many other elderly needs. She premiered the show in June 2010 at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills and was delighted to be asked to design an abridged version of the show exclusively for guests on board Queen Victoria’s current voyage.

“Not only has it been an honor to be sailing aboard this majestic liner and performing for the guests on board, I’m overwhelmed by the kind support and generosity shown to me and my foundation by Cunard Line,” said Rona Barrett.

The Hawaiian Adventure voyage departed round-trip from Los Angeles on Feb 17 for two relaxing weeks sailing the Hawaiian Islands. The itinerary has included visits to Hilo (Hawaii), Honolulu (Oahu), Nawiliwili (Kauai) and Lahaina (Maui), as well as a quick visit to Ensenada, Mexico. Barrett and guests aboard Queen Victoria will return to the Port of Los Angeles tomorrow, where later that evening the liner will meet her sister ship, Queen Mary, for the first time during a Cunard Royal Rendezvous in Long Beach Harbor. Queen Victoria's Americas Season continues until 18 March and, in addition to four Los Angeles calls and voyages to Hawaii, features transits through the Panama Canal and one Getaway voyage to Mexico.

Debuting in December 2007, Queen Victoria is the third largest Cunarder ever built, weighing in at 90,000 tons. The 2,000 passenger liner is infused with a sense of luxury and tradition, from the Royal Court Theatre, which includes the first private viewing boxes at sea, to the signature two-storey library, featuring a spiral staircase and nearly 6,000 volumes. For more information about Queen Victoria or to book a voyage, consult your travel agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Holland America Line Launches 'Stateroom Direct Service' Program on All Sailings

Seattle, WA, March 2: Holland America Line has launched a new Stateroom Direct Service program that simplifies the boarding process by giving guests immediate access to their staterooms upon embarkation. Under the program, staterooms will be ready as early as 11:30 am, and cruisers will no longer have to check their carry-on bags and wait in public areas while their staterooms are being prepared. Additionally, arriving guests will receive their luggage earlier, allowing them more time to unpack and settle into their rooms. Guests also will have the opportunity to enjoy lunch at their leisure in the line’s Lido restaurant, which features a full-service buffet.

“Holland America Line is always seeking new ways to enhance our on-board cruise experience, and through this streamlined boarding process guests can now get into their staterooms earlier and begin enjoying their vacation sooner,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Stateroom Direct Service creates the best start to a cruise for our guests and sets the precedent for top-notch service to follow.”

The early embarkation initiative is in place on all of the line’s 15 vessels. As part of its on-going fleetwide Signature of Excellence enhancement program, Stateroom Direct Service adds to Holland America Line’s long list of exclusive offerings that allow guests to maximize their premium cruise experience and start enjoying the on-board facilities and amenities as soon as they board the ships. For more information and cruise fares, contact a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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Norwegian Pearl to Set Sail From New York for the First Time

MIAMI, March 2: Norwegian Cruise Line announced its Northeast deployment schedule for the 2012/2013 fall and winter season which features two, large Freestyle Cruising ships sailing from New York offering a variety of itineraries. For the first time, the 2,394-passenger Norwegian Pearl will sail from New York beginning in October 2012, offering a series of 21 seven-day Bahamas and Florida cruises, along with three 12-day Southern Caribbean voyages. Norwegian Gem, also accommodating 2,394 passengers, will continue to homeport in New York where she will offer a series of 24 nine-day Eastern Caribbean voyages and four 10-day cruises to Eastern Canada and Quebec. Rounding out the fall season from the Northeast, Norwegian Dawn will sail seven day cruises to Canada and New England from both Boston and Quebec for five weeks starting September 21, 2012.

“With the arrival of Norwegian Pearl in New York, we will have two of our newer and larger Freestyle Cruising ships sailing from this very popular homeport,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer. “New Yorkers love Freestyle Cruising because it suits their needs. With two of our Jewel-class ships in New York, we are giving guests more choice and the opportunity to sail longer cruises to the Caribbean.”

Norwegian Pearl will make her New York debut on Oct 14, 2012, sailing a 7-day itinerary that calls on Orlando & the Beaches (Port Canaveral); Great Stirrup Cay (Norwegian’s private island) and Nassau, Bahamas. The three 12-day Southern Caribbean cruises, on Jan 6, Jan 20, and Feb 3, 2013, include stops in San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Castries, St. Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados and St. John’s, Antigua; as well as five relaxing days at sea. Norwegian Pearl will also offer three opportunities to experience Freestyle Cruising on a 2-day getaway sailing from New York on Jan 18, Feb 1, and Feb 15, 2013.

Continuing to homeport in New York, the 2,394-passenger Norwegian Gem will sail two newly extended itineraries to Eastern Canada and Quebec and the Eastern Caribbean. Norwegian Gem will begin her four 10-day sailings to Canada and Quebec on Sept 8, 2012; calling on Halifax, Nova Scotia; an overnight in Quebec City, Quebec; Corner Brook, Newfoundland; and Sydney, Nova Scotia. From Oct 20, 2012 to April 18, 2013, Norwegian Gem’s 9-day itinerary to the Eastern Caribbean will stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; and Samana, Dominican Republic.

Beginning on Sept 21, 2012, the 2,224-passenger Norwegian Dawn will spend the fall season in Canada and New England. The ship will offer three 7-day sailings from Boston visiting Portland, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Gaspésie, Quebec; Saguenay (La Baie), Quebec and ending in Quebec City, Quebec. Norwegian Dawn will also offer two 7-day sailings from Quebec calling Corner Brook, Newfoundland; Sydney, Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick; Bar Harbor, Maine. Guests can combine these itineraries into a 14-day cruise, with an option to embark from either Boston or Quebec. This will be the first time Norwegian Cruise Line will visit Gaspésie in Quebec.

These itineraries are currently on sale. To book, please contact a travel professional, visit; or call 866-234-7350.

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Celebrity Cruises to Take Solstice-Class Style to Australia

MIAMI, March 1: Get ready for some company, Sydney Opera House. Another thing of beauty will share Sydney Harbour when premium cruise brand Celebrity Cruises sends its award-winning Celebrity Solstice to Australia and New Zealandfor the winter of 2012-13.

“Celebrity Solstice has satisfied guests around the world since we introduced her in 2008, and the obvious next step is to send her to Australia,” said Dan Hanrahan, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “With this move, we are delivering another way for people to have the best vacation experience possible, in one of the most stunning geographic regions of the world.”

Australians will enjoy the return of the Celebrity Cruises brand to the region this coming winter with the deployment of the 1,814-guest Celebrity Century. Her subsequent replacement by the 2,850-guest Celebrity Solstice is a symbol of the premium cruise brand’s ever-expanding global presence and the popularity of the service, activities, cuisine, and stylish design exemplified on its Solstice Class ships, which are frequently rated as the best by consumer- and travel agent-focused publications around the globe. Recent accolades include the Solstice Class being named among “Best Cruise Ships” by and Celebrity being named “Best Premium Cruise Line” and “Best Cruise Line in Europe” by the readers of Travel Weekly.

“Travelers around the world value their vacation time, and we want to give them more opportunities to enjoy Celebrity’s signature attributes, including the first Lawn Club and Hot Glass show at sea, more spacious staterooms, our AquaClass staterooms geared toward the spa enthusiast lifestyle, multiple specialty restaurants, the Celebrity i Lounge and state-of-the-art entertainment, in more places. The culture and way of life in Australia and New Zealand are an ideal backdrop for our Solstice Class style and the overall onboard experience.”

Celebrity Solstice will transition from a 2012 summer in the Mediterranean to Australia/New Zealand via the Suez Canal and through Southeast Asia before arriving in Sydney, Australia in early December. The repositioning sailings will include multiple overnights in ports including Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Cochin, India.

Upon arriving in Australia, Celebrity Solstice will present a series of 12- and 13-night open-jaw sailings between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand. The season also will include a circumnavigation of Australia, consisting of two open-jaw sailings between Sydney and Perth (Fremantle). Many of the itineraries include overnight stays in Sydney. Celebrity Solstice will continue a series of destination-immersive onboard activities that will debut during Celebrity Century’s upcoming Australia/New Zealand season; activities include local vineyard and wine shore excursions, onboard talks by local cultural entertainers and speakers, and destination-focused food and drink menus. Some activities will be complimentary.

Celebrity will continue to offer its popular Australia/New Zealand cruise tour program geared toward guests who wish to combine a land-based vacation with a cruise. Premium concierge-style service is the hallmark of Celebrity’s four- and five-night pre- and post-cruise escorted land tour packages in Australia, which will visit destinations including Port Douglas (Great Barrier Reef), Ayers Rock (Uluru) and Sydney. A six-night pre-cruise New Zealand package will visit Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown and Sydney. Highlights include a full-day tour over the Great Barrier Reef and a gourmet barbecue dinner under the outback sky in Ayers Rock. All of Celebrity’s cruise tours are escorted by local tour directors, and include hotel accommodations, transportation, select activities, breakfast and some additional meals.

Full details will be available on March 23, when bookings for Celebrity’s new 2012-13 Australia/New Zealand itineraries will open for sale. Bookings for the 1,814-guest Celebrity Century’s 2011-12 Australia/New Zealand cruises are open now. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Norwegian Cruise Line to Increase Cruise Fares on April 1, 2011

MIAMI, March 1: Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that it plans to raise cruise fares up to ten percent on April 1, 2011. The company also announced it will extend its “Free Upgrades For All” Sales Event through March 31, 2011. This popular Wave Season promotion provides up to a four-category upgrade on select sailings, along with e-coupons in on-board savings of up to $400. This extension will give those planning to book a cruise extra time to take advantage of this offer prior to price increases which will take effect on April 1, 2011.

“We’ve seen exceptional demand spurred by our Wave Season promotion, particularly for the popular summer destinations. In fact, we surpassed our weekly booking record three times in the last eight weeks,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “Based on this demand, we will increase our fares on April 1. We wanted to give consumers and travel agents the opportunity to take advantage of these offers before the price increase.”

Norwegian’s signature Freestyle Cruising provides extraordinary value by offering premium deployments on one of the youngest fleets in the industry, and includes an unparalleled variety of dining options along with non-stop entertainment experiences. For more information on Norwegian or to book a cruise, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 866-234-7350 or visit

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Crystal Sets Varied Northern European Sensory Adventures

LOS ANGELES: Feel perfectly-chilled vodka slide down your throat while sitting snugly inside a Scandinavian "ice bar." Smell fresh-cut grass while swinging your 9-iron across championship golf courses in Ireland. Hear the Russian Imperial Guard march to symphonic crescendos while welcoming you to the royal Catherine Palace. Taste homemade goat caramel amongst Norwegian fjords. View Stockholm by hot-air balloon. These are but a sampling of the extraordinary sensory adventures travelers can savor as part of Crystal Cruises' Northern European voyage collection beginning this May.

Other shore-side excursions include:

-- Pop culture-related destinations such as Stieg Larsson's Stockholm; the Beatles' Liverpool; Belfast's Titanic shipyard; and St. Andrews University, where Prince William and Kate Middleton met, and the Da Vinci Code's Rosslyn Chapel (Edinburgh).
-- Historical journeys related to Vikings in Stockholm, Dublin, and Roskilde (near Copenhagen); genealogical emigration and the Cold War in Hamburg; and life behind Berlin's Iron Curtain.
-- Architectural tours spanning the Art Nouveau in Alesund, Norway, to the Modern in Berlin.
-- Eco-conscious trips including bird watching in Runde Island (near Alesund) and Shetland (Scotland), kayaking the Finnish Archipelago (Helsinki), or exploring the wind-powered town of Paldiski (near Tallinn, Estonia) by 4x4.
-- Adrenalin-fueled adventures like racing rally cars in Estonia; cosmonaut training, including zero gravity weightlessness, near Moscow; and, in Crystal's most over-the-top excursion of 2011, flying a MiG fighter jet over Russia, for $39,300.
-- Complimentary "You Care--We Care" voluntourism excursions where guests can "give back" by packing and donating food at the Estonian Food Bank or volunteering at the Rostock Zoological Garden.

Additional opportunities include visits to Royal stomping grounds; private art gallery and museum tours; and culinary expeditions ranging from tasting Irish Whiskey to replicating the Titanic's inaugural menu.

Following her $25 million makeover, Crystal Serenity will offer 11-day Baltic cruises including St. Petersburg overnights, 14-day North Cape/Arctic Circle voyages, and an 11-day golf-themed British Isles itinerary.

Promotional two-for-one fares  include free air from North American gateways (or generous air credit) and $1,000/person "All Inclusive--As You Wish" shipboard credit. Additional savings are available for Verandah and Penthouse bookings and/or round-trip Stockholm or Copenhagen combination cruise packages. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625 or visit

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MSC Cruises’ Repositioning Sailings Offer Unique Voyages

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL: Guests who take advantage of early booking rates on MSC Cruises’ winter 2011-2012 repositioning cruises can save as much as 50 percent off the cost of their memorable voyage. As ships reposition for the upcoming season, they undertake longer journeys and call at ports not regularly visited. The added days at sea enable guests to relax and make full use of the ship’s amenities in an atmosphere reminiscent of ocean crossings of the past.

MSC Poesia, for example, returns to North American waters in the fall with an 18-night sailing from Kiel, Germany that departs Sept. 10, 2011 (17 nights from Copenhagen, Denmark departing Sept. 11, 2011) for New York, New York.

Other MSC Cruises’ winter 2011-2012 repositioning cruises include:

MSC Orchestra: Nov. 18, 2011 17-night sailing from Genoa, Italy to Santos, Brazil; March 20, 2011 18 nights from Santos to Livorno.
MSC Opera: Nov. 10, 2011 20 nights from Venice, Italy to Buenos Aires, Argentina; April 14, 2012 19 nights from Buenos Aires to Southampton, United Kingdom.
MSC Musica: Dec. 1, 2011 17 nights from Venice to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; March 17, 2012 18 nights from Rio de Janeiro to Venice.

On each repositioning cruise, guests will enjoy that elegant décor, the luxurious MSC Aurea Spa, outstanding entertainment, international cuisine and superb Italian hospitality that are the hallmarks of MSC Cruises. For more information about MSC Cruises, visit us online at , call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

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