Make the most of your cruise vacation with 
information from

Discover the world of cruising

Get ready to cruise with Cruise Wear, Accessories, Luggage & More from
The Cruise Shop

 Cruising by the Book ~ Top Picks in 
Cruise Guidebooks

The favorite of serious cruise travelers:

 Cruise Travel
Cruise Travel

Have a question or a review to submit?

Copyright © 1995-2001 
Linda Coffman

News from the world of cruising ~
April 9-15, 2001

Back to Cruise News Weekly Index & Archive

Great Lakes Cruise Company Offers New
Soft Adventure Travel Destination

ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 13 -- For many cruisers who have already explored popular tropical ports of call or even Alaska's inner passages, finding new and exciting soft adventure travel destinations becomes more difficult. Close to home and inexpensive to travel to, one new soft adventure destination is becoming very popular -- The Great Lakes. 

Ports of call on these inland seas take in the civilized pleasures of Chicago, Windsor, and Toronto as well as dramatic cliffs, canyons and waterfalls just beyond the shore. Passengers enjoy stops at historic Mackinac Island, Niagara Falls, Marquette, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and Saugatuck while savoring the northern wilderness and the lakes themselves. Shore excursions include hikes through rarely visited forests and rock formations, bicycle adventures around historic islands, dune buggy rides along the sand dunes of Lake Michigan, and Canadian canyon rail adventures. 

Six 7-night cruises will either embark or disembark in Chicago and Toronto during the 2001 season, aboard the newest and highest rated passenger ships now sailing the Great Lakes -- the 3 1/2-Star German cruise ship MV Columbus and the 4 1/2-Star French yacht Le Levant (Source: Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships 2001). 

Both ships have been designed and built specifically for Great Lakes travel, with its narrow connecting canals and locks. Unlike the wider and less environmentally friendly ocean vessels, these fresh water cruise ships must adhere to stringent environmental regulations established by the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore, these Great Lakes cruises provide passengers international flavor with foreign crews who speak impeccable English with a delightful accent.

"Guests on our Great Lakes cruises this past summer included both veteran cruisers as well as those new to cruising," states GLCC president Christopher Conlin. Passenger comments included a couple who wrote, "We loved the experience -- we have cruised Alaska and the Bahamas. We have traveled all over the U.S. and the world and this was wonderful!" Another delighted couple said, "We were looking forward to this trip with great anticipation. It exceeded our expectations on all accounts -- the accommodations, the staff, the food, and the entertainment, and the Great Lakes!" 

For more information, visit their Web site at or call toll-free 1-888-891-0203.

Back to the top of the news list


Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Ltd. announced that it has reached agreement to purchase the cruise ship 'Crown Dynasty' which is currently owned by a subsidiary of Commodore Cruise Line Ltd. The ship will join the company's two other vessels Black Watch and Black Prince on worldwide cruise itineraries, mainly focused on the British market.

The 19,089 grt vessel, with a capacity of 800 passengers entered service in 1993, and will be moved to a European shipyard in the near future where she will undergo refurbishment to bring her into line with the existing Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines fleet. The cost of the vessel including refurbishment is estimated at approximately £52 million.

The vessel, to be renamed Braemar, is expected to arrive in Dover in the early part of August. She will be the third passenger ship of that name to sail under the Fred. Olsen flag. Her initial cruising pattern will feature itineraries from Dover, then Southampton, before a winter Caribbean fly/cruise season. Details of this year's cruise itineraries and prices will be available shortly, with the brochure containing details of all three ships for the year 2002 ready for distribution later this summer.

Making this announcement from the company's headquarters in Ipswich, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines managing director Paul Brigginshaw said "This addition to our fleet certainly reinforces our commitment to the British cruising market. The search to find a third, modern vessel, in keeping with the style of our existing tonnage, has been extremely thorough and has taken some time, but we have remained steadfast in our pursuit and are extremely pleased with the result."  He added, "We are delighted that the purchase of this vessel is now agreed, and that our long search for a ship which will fit in with our existing fleet has had a successful conclusion. The addition of Braemar to our fleet will allow us to offer our passengers an even bigger choice of destinations, as well as to continue to give our passengers the style of cruise holiday they expect from Fred. Olsen."

For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines visit the web site

Back to the top of the news list

CostaAtlantica Sails Through Surprise CDC Inspection
with a Perfect Score

MIAMI, April 12--Costa's newest flagship, the CostaAtlantica passed its semi-annual, unannounced sanitation inspection from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with ease, earning a perfect score of 100! The CostaAtlantica is one of only two vessels currently awarded a perfect score.

Since the early 1970's, all ships calling on U.S. ports are subject to these unannounced inspections as part of the CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program. The inspections, conducted by U.S. Environmental Health Officers, focus on a checklist of 48 areas of sanitation including the handling, preparation and storage of food; plumbing, spa and pool facilities; onboard water supply; and equipment maintenance and personnel. Each ship is given a score based on a scale of 1 to 100, with an 86 or above being a passing score.  

"We are very pleased with the CostaAtlantica's score of 100 on its recent CDC inspection,'' said Giovanni Onorato, Vice President of Cruise Operations for Costa Crociere. Onorato continued to say, "This score reflects the officers', crew's and company's total dedication to operating in the highest standards of safety and sanitation.''

Up-to-date inspection reports are made available to the public at 

Costa, Europe's #1 Cruise Line, has an international fleet that spans the globe offering cruises of 7 nights and longer throughout the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America, and Transatlantic.

Back to the top of the news list


Carnival MasterCard Sets Sail with Consumer Benefits in Forefront

MIAMI (04/11/01) -- Carnival Cruise Lines and Capital One have launched an affordable cruise financing program bundled with a cobranded credit card featuring a comprehensive rewards program.  The Fun Finance Plan(SM) will enable millions of potential cruise vacationers to fund a Carnival cruise purchase via fixed monthly payments while also benefiting from MasterCard's global acceptance.

Cardholders receive the traditional benefits of MasterCard as well as an affordable financing plan to purchase Carnival cruise vacations with a fixed 24-month payment schedule. For example, cardholders who qualify for a 9.9% APR would pay $14 per month for a three-day cruise and $28 per month for a seven-day voyage over a 24-month period (based on a three-day cruise rate of $299 per person or seven-day rate of $599 per person).  And, with every dollar spent on the Carnival MasterCard - including the first cruise purchase - cardholders earn one (1) Fun Rewards(SM) point toward Carnival cruise upgrades and discounts up to a free cruise.

"This is a fantastic program that we believe will be very effective in attracting new customers," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president.  "The Fun Finance Plan will provide a large consumer audience with the opportunity to purchase a cruise vacation via low, fixed monthly payments.  Buying items such as furniture or computers on a monthly payment plan has become extremely popular, so it only makes sense to extend this option to cruise vacations."

Dickinson added that, when combined with the Carnival Vacation Guarantee, the program creates a very attractive enticement for generating first-time cruisers.  In addition, the financing opportunity and comprehensive rewards program may also shorten the window of time for repeat cruise bookings.

"Carnival and Capital One worked together to create the Carnival MasterCard with the customer experience in mind.  We asked how we could help vacationers plan and budget their next trip on the most popular cruise line in the world," said Jory Berson, Capital One's Vice President, Marketing and Analysis.  "And we answer that important question with a product customized to each customer's needs, across the credit spectrum, with valuable benefits and a comprehensive rewards program."

The financing plan may be utilized in conjunction with new or existing individual bookings for departures on or after June 21, 2001.  Available payment levels (based on the cost of the chosen voyage and stateroom category and predicated on credit qualification) are easily accessible to travel agents and consumers via Carnival's reservations department. Due to credit regulations, at the point consumers wish to apply for financing, they must call to process the application themselves (third party applications are not permissible).  All bookings made with the Carnival MasterCard, including those involving discounts or upgrades via the Carnival MasterCard Fun Rewards program, are fully commissionable to travel agents.  The program  launch is supported by television, newspaper advertising, travel agent communications and shipboard promotion.

Individuals who wish to apply for the Fun Finance Program in conjunction with a cruise purchase, should call Carnival Cruise Lines at 1-800-CARNIVAL and select option one. Individuals who wish to apply for the Carnival MasterCard without a cruise purchase at the time of application, should contact Capital One at 1-800-499-4993.

Back to the top of the news list


MIAMI (04/11/01) - Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL), earlier today took delivery of its new $375 million cruise ship, the 88,500-ton Carnival Spirit, during the traditional "hand-over" ceremony at the Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Helsinki, Finland, where the 2,124-passenger vessel was built.

The Carnival Spirit, the 15th vessel in the "Fun Ship" fleet and the first in a new class of ship for the line, will depart Helsinki Thursday, April 12 on its transatlantic crossing and is expected to arrive Miami on Tuesday, April 24. Following a two-day pre-inaugural voyage for the travel trade, the Carnival Spirit will begin its inaugural season with a 16-day Panama Canal cruise departing Miami April 29 and arriving in Los Angeles May 15.  The ship will then host a series of travel agent functions on the West Coast before sailing on a special three-day Pacific Coastal voyage from San Francisco to Vancouver departing May 20. 

The Carnival Spirit will then launch a summer program of week-long Glacier Bay and Glacier Route Alaska voyages, followed by two 12-day Hawaii cruises, marking the first time that a new "Fun Ship" has been deployed in those markets.  The ship will sail on a 14-day Panama Canal cruise departing Oct. 20 from San Diego to Miami, where the Carnival Spirit is scheduled to operate a unique eight-day "exotic" Caribbean program beginning Nov. 3.

The Carnival Spirit offers a host of innovative dining and entertainment  options, including the line's first wedding chapel, a large conference center, a reservations-only supper club bordering the ship's massive winged funnel and a spectacular outdoor wrap-around promenade.  It is also one of the most spacious cruise ships in the contemporary market and offers the highest percentage of ocean view and balconied staterooms of any "Fun Ship."

Dining options also include a two-level formal dining room, an expansive 
casual poolside eatery and a 24-hour pizzeria.  Also featured are four
swimming pools, one with a retractable dome, a two-level "Nautica Spa"
health club, and a 2,400-square-foot children's play area. A diversity of
entertainment venues, ranging from a multi-deck show lounge housing Las
Vegas-style revues to an intimate piano bar and live music clubs, is
included, as well.

Carnival currently has six other "Fun Ships" with an estimated value of $2.6 billion scheduled for delivery over the next three years.  Included in the company's order book are three additional "Spirit-class" ships under contract with Kvaerner - the Carnival Pride, which is scheduled to debut Jan. 12, 2002, the Carnival Legend in summer 2002 and the Carnival Miracle in early 2004.

Back to the top of the news list


MIAMI-April 10, 2001 -- The Board of Directors of Royal Celebrity Tours Inc. has elected Jack Williams, president of Royal Caribbean International, its first chairman.

Williams was elected during a Royal Celebrity Tours board meeting in Seattle, Washington, and the company's base.  Royal Celebrity Tours, established last year, offers premium land-tour programs throughout Alaska for Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises guests traveling on Gulf of Alaska itineraries.  The company is introducing the largest and most accessible dome rail cars in the world to the Alaska vacation market, beginning May 18.  The Alaska tour company is part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

In addition to Williams, the Royal Celebrity Tours board includes Rick Sasso, president of Celebrity Cruises; Craig Milan, president of Royal Celebrity Tours; Jerry Mackie, a former Alaska State House and Senate member and oil company executive from Juneau; Steve Frank, a former Alaska State House and Senate member and resort owner from Fairbanks; and Tom Tougas, an owner and operator of numerous Alaskan travel and tourism businesses from Seward.

The new land-tour packages are available to cruise guests onboard northbound and southbound cruises and have assorted itineraries, ranging in duration from two to six nights, and a variety of options to suit the needs of guests.  Guests will be able to visit areas such as Alyeska, Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali and Fairbanks.

All tours will include a dedicated escort to guide guests through their Alaska adventure.  In addition, all dome rail tours include overnight stays in Denali, as well as at the new Talkeetna Lodge, which offers spectacular views of Mount McKinley.  The Talkeetna area provides a wider variety of options and excursions than those available on traditional rail tours through Denali.  Additionally, an overnight stay in Talkeetna balances the time guests spend on the rail cars each day.

Royal Celebrity Tours' rail cars were built by Colorado Railcar Manufacturing, LLC, the premier manufacturer of dome rail cars.  They have the most dome glass of any double-deck rail car, an open viewing platform, and extra-wide seats that recline and rotate so guests can face forwards or backwards. Additionally, the cars are equipped with dome-level, ADA-compliant seating, which allow physically challenged travelers to access both levels, a first in the business.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Celebrity Tours.  Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises have a combined total of 21 ships in service and eight under construction or on firm order.  Royal Celebrity Tours operates cruise-tour vacations in Alaska utilizing the world's largest glass-domed railcars.  Additional information can be found on

Back to the top of the news list


Miami, Florida, April 10, 2001 - What's cooking tonight? Will it be the San Pedro crab cakes, pumpkin bisque, or ziti Santa Fe?   Great meals are the highlight of a cruise vacation for many guests. Now they can recapture great meals and memories at home, thanks to Royal Culinary Collections, a new line of products made to the exacting standards of Master Chef, author and artisan Rudi Sodamin.  The line includes foods, seasonings, sauces, and chef's essentials. All products carry the Chef Rudi signature, and represent the creative vision of one of the cruise industry's most decorated chef.

"Many guests have told us how much they miss our food at the end of a great vacation," said Master Chef Rudi. "We wanted to bottle the international flavors of their journey to remind them to return to Royal Caribbean for wonderful sights and tastes."

The signature foods, seasonings, and sauces are designed to capture the rich flavors of Royal Caribbean International's ports of call, from Alaska to Australia, Mexico to India, and the Mediterranean to Scandinavia.  They will be available onboard all ships in the fleet by July, 2001, and eventually through Royal Caribbean's catalog and Web site,

"Rudi's entrepreneurial vision in developing signature products for our guests and friends is a great enhancement to our brand," said Maria Sastre, vice  president, Total Guest Satisfaction - Services.

The collection presently includes:

* Herbs and spices from around the globe in 12 blends, e.g., Tropical Seafood Seasoning, with sparkling hints of French, Spanish, West Indian and African flavors; Mardi Gras Cajun Seasoning, a jazzy blend full of the flavors of New Orleans. 
* Specialty oils and vinegars, full of the warmth of sun-drenched cuisine, e.g., Rosemary-Basil Olive Oil, as fragrant as the gardens of Tuscany, and Sherry Vinegar, perfumed by oaken wine casks.
* Salad Dressings like Bermuda Onion, to bring home the island experience in a bottle.
* Condiments like Captain's Steak Sauce and Spicy Cognac Mustard, served in Chops Grille, the premium steak house onboard Radiance of the Seas. 
* Marmalades such as Wild Strawberry and Apricot Blossom, for a rich essence of fruit flavor.
* Boxed Chocolates, each morsel an intense burst of deep flavor with a satiny finish.
* Chef's wear: a baseball-style Chef's Cap, heavy-duty chef's apron, and kitchen towels, for gifts or to make cooking at home more fun.

Rudi Sodamin has received international awards, including the title Honorium Con Scosi from the Maitres Cuisiners de France, the hospitality industry's highest award, and has been knighted by the Club Prosper Montagne.  Sodamin also has been granted honorary membership in Le Club de Chefs des Chefs, an exclusively culinary organization comprised of chefs who cook for royalty and heads of state.  In 1997, he also received the Silver Spoon Award from Food Arts magazine, recognizing his contributions to the food and beverage industry.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 14 ships in service and six under construction or on firm order.  For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's Internet web site at

Back to the top of the news list


MIAMI (04/10/01) - The annual shareholders meeting of Carnival Corporation -- scheduled for Tuesday, April 17 at 11 a.m. -- will be broadcast live on the company's Web site. Interested parties may listen to the meeting by visiting A replay will be available on the site for one week following the event.

The meeting will include a presentation by Carnival Corporation Vice C Chairman Howard Frank who will recap the company's performance for the past fiscal year and provide an overview of Carnival's future growth strategies. Following the presentation, Frank and senior level Carnival Corporation executives, including Chairman and CEO Micky Arison, will entertain questions from attending shareholders.

Additionally, four proposals are scheduled to be voted on at the event including, the election of 14 directors; an increase in the number of shares in the company's stock option plan; the approval of the 2001 Outside Director Stock Option Plan; and the ratification of independent certified public accountants. 

Carnival Corporation is comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, the world's largest cruise line based on passengers carried, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line,  Seabourn Cruise Line and Windstar Cruises.  Carnival  Corporation's various brands operate 44 ships in the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, Mexican Riviera, South America and other worldwide destinations.

Back to the top of the news list

Mississippi Queen Celebrates 25th Birthday

NEW ORLEANS, April 9 -- In 1976, as America celebrated its 200th birthday, the oldest U.S. cruise line launched the biggest steamboat ever built. This summer, The Delta Queen Steamboat Co.'s magnificent Mississippi Queen turns 25 -- and although she's no longer the largest steam-powered paddlewheeler, she's one of the most famous, having carried nearly half a million passengers on river cruise vacations through the nation's Heartland and South.

To commemorate her christening, calliope music filled the air, steamboat whistles sounded loudly and hundreds of colorful balloons were released from her Sun Deck. The Riverboat Ramblers played a jazzy tune as a jet painted in red, white and blue dipped from the sky and flew close overhead. John Warner, chief administrator of the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration, traveled from Washington to officially incorporate the vessel into America's Bicentennial celebration, citing the important contribution that steamboats had made to the development of the Heartland.

The Mississippi Queen was designed by well-known ship designer James Gardner, who also designed Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2. The riverboat was built for $27 million at one of America's most famous shipyards: Jeffboat, Inc., formerly Howard Shipyard, in Jeffersonville, Ind. It was there, beginning in 1834, that more than 4,800 steamboats were built, including the renowned J.M. White of 1878. That vessel's claims to fame included having hot and cold running water -- and, while the Mississippi Queen features the more modern amenities that today's travelers expect (a bathing pool, exercise room, beauty salon, movie theater and elevators), she is still pure American riverboat, dressed in 19th century fru-fru from her tall twin stacks to her big red paddlewheel. That 70-ton wheel, powered from steam produced by tandem, compound, condensing steam engines and oil-fired boilers, actually propels the vessel along the river; there's no hidden screw-type propeller.

Despite the fact that the Mississippi Queen is 382 feet long, 68 feet wide and weighs 3,364 tons, she floats in only 9 feet of water. She accommodates 416 passengers in 208 suites and staterooms, most of which feature a view of the river from a private veranda, large window or porthole. Her custom-built calliope, or steam-powered piano, is the world's largest; it features 44 gold- plated, solid brass pipes. Passengers can try their hand at playing a few notes -- for which they receive a special certificate, suitable for framing, from the vessel's captain.

Famous Mississippi Queen passengers have included dancer Ginger Rogers; actor Jerry Lewis; boxer George Foreman; country music singers Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty; astronaut Michael Collins; talk show host Phil Donahue; Senator Barry Goldwater; former Texas Governor Ann Richards; and actress Helen Hayes, who vacationed on board 14 times and called the crew her "steamboat family.'' Other memorable guests included a large group of Avon ladies who transformed the vessel's old-fashioned Paddlewheel Lounge into a modern disco, complete with a revolving disco ball in place of the room's signature large crystal chandelier.

All vacations on the Mississippi Queen feature daily lectures by a riverlorian, or historian of the rivers, award-winning entertainment, fun onboard activities, nightly dancing and the service of American officers and crew. Numerous theme cruises throughout the year include Big Band, '50s Hit Review, Fall Foliage and Southern Steamboatin' Christmas.

The Delta Queen Steamboat Co. has recently launched "Paddlewheel Deals,'' a pricing program that offers discounts of up to 50 percent or more off brochure fares on most river cruises aboard the company's paddlewheelers from June through December 2001. Paddlewheel Deals start as low as $355* per person, double occupancy, for 3 nights on the Mississippi Queen, including all onboard meals, entertainment and activities. Cruises of up to 14 nights are featured.

Round-trip air add-ons are available from more than 80 U.S. gateways and start at just $195 per person, plus air taxes and charges. Hotel extension packages are offered in ports where the Mississippi Queen cruises begin and end, including New Orleans, Memphis, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville and Chattanooga.

For reservations, contact your travel agent. For a complimentary full- color brochure or more information, call The Delta Queen Steamboat Co. toll-free at 800-543-1949. Visit the Web site at

The Delta Queen Steamboat Co., which traces its roots back to 1890, also operates the legendary Delta Queen, a National Historic Landmark, and the grand American Queen, which now holds the record as the world's largest steamboat. The company is a subsidiary of American Classic Voyages Co., the largest owner and operator of U.S.-flag, U.S.-crewed cruise vessels. AMCV's cruise lines explore the inland rivers and coastal regions of the Americas, and sail throughout the Hawaiian Islands. For more information, visit

  • Paddlewheel Deals are subject to cabin availability and do not include port charges or taxes. This offer is capacity controlled, is not combinable with other offers, and may change or be withdrawn at any time. Other restrictions may apply.

Back to the top of the news list

USL and Bon Appetit Launch 'A Recipe for Adventure' Contest: Winning Dish Will Be Featured on Every ms Patriot Sailing for a Year And Its Creator Will Receive a 7-Night Hawaiian Cruise Vacation

NEW ORLEANS, April 9 -- United States Lines, operator of the Hawaiian cruise ship ms Patriot, and Conde Nast Publications, publisher of Bon Appetit magazine, announce a nationwide recipe contest with a unique twist: the winning dish will be featured on every Patriot sailing for a year, and the recipe's creator will receive a 7-night Hawaiian cruise vacation.

Maria Isabel Molina, vice president of marketing, United States Lines, says, "Readers of Bon Appetit are invited to submit original and never- published recipes that inspire the all-American spirit of United States Lines -- a U.S.-owned, U.S.-flagged and U.S.-operated cruise line.''

Culinary experts will judge the entries. Three finalists and a guest of each will enjoy a weekend vacation in Miami, Fla., Aug. 3-5, 2001, including accommodations and meals at selected restaurants, and a cook-off at Two Chefs Cooking School to determine the Grand Prize dish that will be added to the Patriot's menus. The Grand Prize winner and a companion will spend a week aboard the Patriot, visiting five ports on four Hawaiian islands with round- trip airfare and all onboard meals and entertainment included. The two contest runners-up will receive Bon Appetit gift baskets plus dinner at a Bon Appetit-recommended restaurant in the area where they live.

Mailed written menu entries (excluding appetizer recipes) must be postmarked by May 11, 2001, and received by May 15, 2001. Mail to: United States Lines' Recipe for Adventure Contest, c/o Kelly Joyce, Bon Appetit, 4 Times Square, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036. Online entries must be received at (click on "Bon Appetit'' and then on "Ready to Serve'') before 11:59 p.m. ET on May 15, 2001. Limit one entry per person. For complete contest rules, visit the Web site above or see the April or May 2001 issues of Bon Appetit.

The 1,212-passenger ms Patriot is the largest and most contemporary cruise ship sailing among the Hawaiian Islands year-round. It departs Honolulu, Oahu, every Saturday and visits Nawiliwili, Kauai; Kahului, Maui; Hilo, Hawaii; and Kona, Hawaii. The ship features 80 optional island adventures; authentic Hawaiian cultural enrichment; extensive spa, fitness and recreational programs; premium American and Pacific Rim cuisine; and the service of an American crew. New ship features resulting from a $21 million renovation in fall 2000 include a Hawaiian Destination Learning Center, innovative children's and teen's activity centers, and upgraded conference and meeting facilities. Visit

United States Lines is a subsidiary of American Classic Voyages Co., the largest owner and operator of U.S.-flagged, U.S.-crewed passenger vessels. AMCV's cruise lines explore the inland rivers and coastal regions of the Americas, and sail throughout the Hawaiian Islands. For more information, visit

Back to the top of the news list


MIAMI (04/09/01) - For its 2001 Alaska season set to begin May 23 on the new 88,500-ton Carnival Spirit, Carnival Cruise Lines has dramatically expanded its shore excursion offerings to include nearly 100 different tour options - a 17 percent increase over last year.

Included are 14 new excursions - everything from tours of the region's
spectacular undersea life to halibut fishing, alpine lake snorkeling and advanced mountain biking - many of which reflect the trend toward more active recreational  pursuits. "Our 2001 Alaska cruises are designed to appeal to a broad range of vacationers, offering an unforgettable shipboard experience, along with an outstanding mix of leisurely paced land tours and thrilling 'adventure-type' excursions for our more active guests," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president.

The increase in shore excursions is a result of the line's efforts to provide more and varied choices, as well as the Carnival Spirit's faster speed, which allows the vessel to spend more time in port, offering guests the opportunity to partake in multiple tours if they desire. Included among the new tours are:

Mountain Point Snorkeling Adventure (Ketchikan) - Guests can view Alaska's spectacular yet seldom seen undersea life by snorkeling the crystal clear waters of Mountain Point Lake. During the excursion, guests can handle starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and other native marine life. Wet suits and snorkeling equipment are provided.

Traitor's Cove Bear Watching By Seaplane (Ketchikan) - This unforgettable  experience includes an aerial seaplane tour over Salmon Falls resort and pristine Behm Canal, followed by a visit to Margaret Creek Wilderness Trail, home to numerous bears, black-tailed deer and bald eagles, and a scenic flight back to Ketchikan.

Evening Whale Quest (Juneau) - Guests board a custom-designed catamaran taking them across Stephens Passage, a world-renowned summer feeding ground for humpback whales.  In addition to optimum whale-watching opportunities, an underwater "hydrophone" is employed, enabling guests to hear the "songs" of these massive and majestic creatures.

Full-Day Halibut Sportfishing (Juneau) - This eight-hour excursion provides guests the opportunity to fish for giant halibut and salmon in the awe-inspiring surroundings of Icy Straight, Lynn Canal, Stephens Passage and Naked Island, as well as view whales, sea lions and other native animals.

White Pass Railway, Helicopter and Hike (Skagway) - This tour combines a scenic helicopter flight with a ride aboard the historic White Pass Railroad and a four-mile hike along the Skagway River, home to a variety of native plant and animal life, including bears, moose and mountain goats.

Advanced Mountain Bike Tour (Sitka) - Designed for only the most physically fit, this tour begins in historic downtown Sitka and parallels the expansive Pacific Ocean. The ride also includes stops at pristine Beaver Lake, Whale Park featuring Silver Bay, and the decades-old Metavich Fish Hatchery where lunch is provided. 

Semi-Submersible Sea Life Discovery (Sitka) - Guests board the MV Sea Life Discovery, which ventures down 10 feet below the surface, allowing guests to immerse themselves in Alaska's unique cold water marine environment featuring giant kelp forests teaming with fish, crabs, urchins, jellyfish and sea anemones.   A naturalist is also on hand to answer questions.

The new tours complement a wide variety of longtime favorites such as the
Mendenhall Glacier and Gardens tour and Gold Creek Salmon Bake in Juneau,
the Klondike Summit and Gold Rush Camp and Yukon Territory Scenic Drive in Skagway, Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest and History and Nature Walk in Sitka.

"The expansion in shore excursion offerings, combined with a spectacular outdoor wrap-around promenade and huge number of ocean view and balconied staterooms,  and of course, Carnival's unmistakable brand of 'fun,' positions the Carnival Spirit as the ultimate Alaska vacation experience," Dickinson said.

The Carnival Spirit's 2001 Alaska season consists of 16 seven-day Glacier Route and two  Glacier Bay  voyages.  Glacier Route cruises  depart May 23 to Sept. 5,  either northbound from Vancouver or southbound from Seward/Anchorage. Cruises in both directions feature Prince William Sound, College Fjord, Lynn Canal, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and the Inside Passage.  Southbound cruises also visit Valdez, Yakutat Bay and Hubbard Glacier while northbound cruises feature Sitka and Endicott Arm Fjord. The two Glacier Bay cruises will depart round-trip from Vancouver Sept. 12 and 19 and  feature full  days cruising  Glacier  Bay National  Park and the Inside Passage, as well as visits to Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan.

Prior to and following its Alaska cruises, Carnival Spirit will operate a variety of other exciting voyages, including a 16-day inaugural Panama Canal cruise departing April 29 and an innovative eight-day "exotic" Caribbean program from Miami beginning Nov. 3. For additional information, brochures or reservations, contact any travel agent or call 1-800-CARNIVAL. Information and reservations are also available via the line's Web site at

Back to the top of the news list