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News from the world of cruise travel ~
April 1-15, 2004

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

Important Travel Safety Information letter from Jack Williams, President and Chief Operating Officer, Royal Caribbean International

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Crystal Cruises Rewards Early Bookings With New Services

LOS ANGELES, April 13 -- Instead of relying on just dollar incentives for early bookings, Crystal Cruises is rewarding its paid-in-full guests with an innovative new program of services. Effective April 20, the luxury line is rolling out the most extensive pre-reservation program in the industry for all guests who pay in full six months in advance and for penthouse guests after they have paid in full. The value-added program, available in addition to the existing 3.5% full payment savings, enables guests to pre-reserve spa and salon appointments, specialty restaurant dinner reservations, "Crystal Adventure" shore excursions and the complimentary Creative Learning Institute classes 180 days in advance of sailing.

"While some lines offer the pre-registration of shore excursions and select programs, Crystal Cruises is the only cruise line -- large or small -- introducing such a scope of pre-reservation options," says Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president, hotel operations. "We selected our most popular signature amenities for this program -- including the option to pre-reserve the most coveted Berlitz language classes, Yamaha keyboard lessons and our popular Computer University@Sea digital photography clinics."

Crystal is launching the web-based program with its European cruises aboard Crystal Symphony. On April 20, guests who meet the full payment criteria can pre-reserve services on any Crystal Symphony cruises departing within 180 days, which includes all of her Mediterranean, Baltic, Trans- Atlantic and most New England/Canada cruises. Then, in conjunction with the existing early payment plan, cruises 180 days in advance of departure will be added on an ongoing basis. The program will be available online on June 1, for Crystal Serenity and on September 1, for Crystal Harmony cruises.

Guests who meet the full payment criteria, or their travel agents, can complete the pre-reservation process at A link to the pre-reservations area will be available, via the sidebar navigation, on every page of the website. Guests who pre-reserve online will receive a confirmation receipt via e-mail. Final confirmation of the reservations will await guests in their staterooms and suites upon embarkation. Services for which there is a charge, such as spa, salon and shore excursions, will be added to the guests' onboard folio. Additional reservations can be arranged on board.

Spa and Salon Services
Crystal Cruises is renowned for its state-of-the art, Feng Shui-designed spas and fitness centers. In keeping with the line's commitment to excellence, Crystal Symphony's spa, fitness center and salon will be completely redesigned just prior to her May 2 cruise. Indulgent treatments that can now be pre-reserved include hot aroma stone massages, reflexology, coconut rub and milk ritual wraps, sports massages, and yin and yang facials with essential oils. Manicures, pedicures, hair styling and scalp treatments can also be pre-reserved.

Specialty Restaurants
In addition to the acclaimed Crystal Dining Room, the elegant Crystal ships offer at least two additional open-seating, specialty restaurants. All of the ships offer a Prego restaurant for Italian specialties, including an intriguing seasonal menu of signature dishes from the famed Valentino restaurant in Santa Monica and Las Vegas. Crystal Symphony also boasts Asian Jade Garden, Crystal Harmony offers Japanese Kyoto, and Crystal Serenity is distinguished by The Sushi Bar and Silk Road restaurants that delight guests with cuisine by Nobu Matsuhisa. For the specialty restaurants only, pre-reservations will be limited to two reservations per stateroom for each restaurant on a cruise of 12 days or more, or one reservation per stateroom for each restaurant on a cruise of 7 to eleven days.

Creative Learning Institute
Since it debuted on Crystal Serenity in July, the line's innovative and comprehensive Creative Learning Institute has garnered rave reviews from guests and critics. Through partnerships with Yamaha, Berlitz, Parsons School of Design, The Cleveland Clinic, Tai Chi Cultural Center, among others, the line is offering a sophisticated series of classes. The keyboard classes, language and Computer University@Sea classes are routinely full on each voyage. With the full payment plan, guests can now pre-reserve any of these popular classes in advance.

"Crystal Adventures" ashore
With each cruise itinerary, Crystal Cruises offers dozens of fascinating cultural tours, as well as new active adventures, which will be available for pre-reservation. In Europe, for example, Crystal Symphony guests can pre-book tours of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, hot air balloon trips in Stockholm, or kayaking in Copenhagen, among others.

Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents. For a complimentary brochure on any of Crystal's worldwide sailings, call 866.446.6625. Visit the luxury line's website at

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Discovery Cruise Line Announces Kids Free Program  

MIAMI, April 13 -- Discovery Cruise Line, the largest tour operator from South Florida to Grand Bahama Island carrying more than 200,000 passengers annually, announced a new program effective in the Summer of 2004, whereby kids six years old and under will sail free on the cruise line and stay free at the resort of choice (kids from 7 to 11 years of age pay only $49 per child for the cruise and stay free at the resort).

According to Hanns J. Hahn, General Manager of Discovery, "This new program will enable more parents to travel with their young children because the cost of traveling together will be substantially less than before, and one of our goals is to encourage family travel to Grand Bahama where there are many activities for parents and kids alike."

Discovery sails daily from Ft. Lauderdale to Grand Bahama Island, departing at 7:45 am and arriving back at the pier at 10 pm. The cruise features all the amenities of a longer cruise in one fun-filled day, including three lavish buffet meals on board, exciting casino action, live entertainment, outdoor games and activities, contests, spacious sun decks, a swimming pool, duty-free shopping, and more. For more information or reservations call 1-800-93-SHIPS, or visit our web site at

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Princess Introduces 18 New Adventures Ashore® in Alaska 
Active Outings and Exclusive Tours Bring Even More Choice to Shore Excursion Lineup in 49th State 
Entire Season of Tours Available Now for Online Reservations

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 12 -- From rock climbing and sled dog mushing to wildlife encounters and exclusive tours that take guests back in time, Princess' shore excursions enable guests to experience Alaska from a number of different perspectives. This summer, passengers will have even more Adventures Ashore® to choose from as the line adds 18 new tour options to its roster of more than 125 total shore excursions in this destination.

"Experiencing the wilderness and the culture of this magnificent state are highlights of any Alaska cruise," said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. "We go to great lengths to find the best excursions for our guests and offer them exceptional choices so they can fully enjoy all of the wonder Alaska has to offer."

The line's full season of Alaska shore excursions are now available for passengers who wish to pre-reserve their tour choices through Princess' online Cruise Personalizer. Anyone booked on an Alaska cruise can take advantage of this early reservation process to make sure they get just the excursions they're hoping to take. "Many of our Alaska tours are very popular and fill up quickly," noted Ball. "So we encourage our passengers to make their selections early." Princess pioneered online shore excursion booking, and this will be the fourth Alaska season where passengers have the convenience of this reservation system at

The new options passengers can choose from this season include:


  • Adventure Kart Expedition - A way to experience the wonders of the Alaskan wilderness from the driver's seat of a specially designed, off-road adventure go-kart. The exciting one hour guided trek enables passengers to explore the remote back country along the shoreline of George Inlet. The expedition ends with a one-hour jet boat cruise through George Inlet and back to town.

  • Clover Pass Bike Ride -- A chance to ride where locals go to bike. This 9.5- or 11.5-mile (rider's choice) trek takes passengers into the beauty of the Tongass National Forest including rolling hills, scenic views and waterfalls.

  • Coastal Rain Forest Sanctuary -- An opportunity for guests to immerse themselves in a private wilderness environment for a chance to view wildlife in a natural habitat. The sanctuary includes a forest and protected estuary, which attract a variety of animals including wolves, minks, marten, eagles, bears, seals and shore birds. A naturalist will guide passengers to the best viewing areas.

  • Clover Passage by Kayak -- A paddling adventure in the Tongass National Forest through protected waters that enable passengers to fully experience the tranquility of the forest while learning about the natural and cultural history of the area.

  • First City Deluxe Tour -- An exclusive tour through Ketchikan's colorful history and rich heritage. Guests travel on a deluxe mini bus to see many of the town's highlights in a more intimate setting, including a private encounter with two fascinating birds of prey at the Deer Mountain Tribal Hatchery and Eagle Center as well as private guided tours of Dolly's House, Ketchikan's most celebrated brothel, and the Southeast Discovery Center.


  • Klondike Rock Climbing & Rappelling -- Professional mountain guides take passengers on an exciting climb on the smooth granite walls of the White Pass. Climbers of all abilities are welcome to enjoy this scenic outing among the majestic cliffs off the Klondike Highway.

  • Deluxe Klondike Experience & Yukon Quest (Princess exclusive) -- A way to experience the 1898 gold rush as the stampeders never could - in first-class comfort. Participants will retrace the route of prospectors from Skagway to the Klondike gold fields with the help of the Klondike Experience, an attraction that 'virtually' re-creates the classic journey. Guests will also enjoy the drive along the White Pass Trail of '98, as well as an exclusive lunch menu and private reserved seating for their meal at the Caribou Crossing Trading Post. 

  • Alaska Sled Dog & Musher's Camp -- The whole family can enjoy this opportunity to take an exhilarating ride on a wheeled dogsled - custom- made for running during the snow-free summer months. The husky team whisks passengers on a fun ride through the temperate rainforest. Participants will also visit the musher's camp and cuddle the adorable husky puppies. 


  • Glacier Outback Helicopter Adventure -- The opportunity to view area glaciers from the air, and close up. This "soft adventure" tour is the perfect combination for passengers who want a taste of what it is like to walk on a glacier with crampons and an ice axe.


  • Tongass Rain Forest Hike -- A chance to explore the remote areas of Sitka with a four-mile, guided hike through the world's largest temperate rain forest. 

  • Captain's Choice Wildlife Quest & Beach Walk -- Alaska's most intimate wildlife viewing cruise offers the opportunity to search out wildlife from a deluxe 12-person catamaran. Passengers will also have the exclusive opportunity to step ashore on a remote island to explore the rugged coast.


  • Blackstone Glacier Cruise -- A chance to experience the majesty of Prince William Sound from the comfort of an intimate cruising vessel. The cruise will take passengers through the calm, glacier-carved fjords as they watch for otters, sea lions, seals, orcas and other wildlife.

  • Kayaking in Prince William Sound -- An opportunity to experience the natural beauty of a deep water fjord, with waterfalls, rock formations and wildlife. Enjoy an otter's eye view while paddling through the majestic waters of Prince William Sound.


  • Vancouver Lookout & Scenic Trolley -- Guests can sightsee at their own pace aboard a charming Vancouver trolley, hopping on and off at any of the route's featured stops to visit attractions, shop or dine. In addition, a highlight of the tour includes admission to the Vancouver Lookout, British Columbia's tallest building.


  • Victoria's Ghosts & Graveyards - Canada's "most haunted" city, Victoria's final resting places overflow with stories of the city's most famous citizens. Participants will visit three different cemeteries and hear stories of haunted homes and ghosts. 

  • Butchart Gardens, Wine & Chocolate - A visit to one of Victoria's most popular attractions combined with the chance to savor edible delicacies from Victoria Estate Winery where passenger can sample wine paired with Roger's Chocolate truffles.

  • Orca & Wildlife Quest by Jet Boat - A tour offering the opportunity to visit Victoria's resident Orcas aboard a jet boat equipped with hydrophones so passenger can hear the vocalization and communication between the whales.

  • Victoria Bicycle Adventure - A chance to see the cycling capital of
    Canada from two wheels. The 6.5-mile bike ride takes passengers on a
    guided tour through quiet neighborhoods and past numerous points of
    political, cultural and historical significance.

These tours are available to passengers on Princess' Gulf of Alaska or Inside Passage cruise itineraries. Princess' 2004 Alaska season will feature the company's most diverse cruise and tour options. With 116 departures on seven ships, Princess offers a range of experiences on vessels that range from 1,590 passengers to 2,670 passengers. Travelers can choose from a Gulf of Alaska cruisetours or round-trip Inside Passage sailings from Seattle and San Francisco. On land, Princess will significantly expand its capacity in the Denali area, and remains the only company to offer Alaska's two most popular attractions -- Mt. McKinley and Glacier Bay -- on every cruisetour. Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Holland America Line Offers Spring Getaway Values on Caribbean Cruises from Baltimore, New York & Philadelphia

SEATTLE, April 12 -- Looking for a way to shake off the winter and early spring chill? Holland America Line is providing a great getaway value for cruisers from Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia to the sunny Caribbean, where the average temperature is well into the 80s or higher this time of year. Prices start at just US$849 (CAN$1,019) per person for a 10-day Caribbean sailing aboard Holland America Line's flagship ms Rotterdam.

The Eastern Caribbean cruises depart Baltimore on April 25; Philadelphia on May 6; and New York on May 17 and 27. Ports of call feature San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Tortola, Britsh Virgin Islands; and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. At Half Moon Cay, the company's award-winning private island paradise, guests may sail, swim and snorkel in the turquoise waters, bask on white sand beaches, have a beachside massage, and then enjoy traditional barbecue fare. The island also offers a variety of age-appropriate activities for kids and shore excursions through the company's Club HAL children and teen's program.

Carrying 1,316 passengers, the ship is renowned for its more than US$2 million in artwork and antiques and classic, relaxed on-board environment. Holland America Line excels in service, amenities and special programs. Known for gracious, unobtrusive service, its ships have one of the highest staff-members-to-guest ratios. Spacious staterooms average 25 percent larger and verandahs twice as large as those on other lines' ships. Menus are among the most extensive at-sea. Dining choices include formal elegance, alternative specialty dining in the Pacific Northwest-themed Pinnacle Grill, casual fare and complimentary 24-hour room service. To book these special rates, travelers should see their travel agent or call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425). Government taxes are not included in the US$849 (CAN$1,019) per person fare.

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Century Casinos Announces Eighth Cruise Ship Casino Opening

CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo., April 12 -- Century Casinos, Inc. announced that on April 10, 2004 it opened a casino aboard the Nautica, the luxurious, 684 passenger cruise ship operated by Oceania Cruises, a Miami, Florida, based cruise line catering to the high-end segment of the cruise industry. The casino is equipped with 42 slot machines and 3 gaming tables. The Nautica commenced its inaugural voyage on April 10, 2004 and will cruise the Mediterranean Sea until November 2004. It will then resume operations in the spring of 2005.

"We are delighted to be the exclusive casino operator aboard the luxury cruise vessels of Oceania, and by the expansion in our cruise ship segment," said Erwin Haitzmann, Chairman and CEO.

In addition to operating the casinos aboard Oceania Cruises' Regatta, Insignia and Nautica, Century Casinos has the first right of refusal for casinos aboard any new ships that Oceania may bring into service, pursuant to a long term casino concession agreement. Together with the casinos on board the vessels of Silversea Cruises and The World of Residensea, Century Casinos now operates casinos on a total of eight cruise ships with over 360 gaming positions.

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Silversea Cruises Announces Exclusive Offer for Couples Celebrating 10th Wedding Anniversaries in 2004

Ft. Lauderdale, FL - April 8, 2004 -- Silversea Cruises announced a special incentive for couples celebrating their 10th Wedding Anniversary in 2004. The ultra-luxury cruise line, which is also celebrating its 10th Anniversary, is offering a bottle of Dom Pérignon Champagne and a $250 (per suite) shipboard credit to couples sailing on any of its cruises this year and whose 10th Wedding Anniversary falls on any date in 2004. Cruises must be booked by July 31, 2004, and the line needs to be advised of the guests’ 10th Anniversary at least 30 days prior to sailing. Proof of wedding date will also be required at the time of booking.

“This is a very attractive offer for those sophisticated couples looking for a truly unique way to celebrate their 10th Wedding Anniversary,” said David Morris, Silversea’s Senior Vice President, North America Sales. “While the offer is available on all sailings this year, our 10th Anniversary Voyages are the perfect match for 10th Anniversary couples. With stopovers in some of the world’s most romantic cities, award-winning cuisine, and a roster of gala events, our 10th Anniversary Voyages offer the ideal setting where couples can feel like pampered honeymooners as they celebrate their ten years together.” 

The 10th Anniversary Collection:

  • Across the Bering Sea - On May 23, 2004, Silver Shadow sails from Tokyo to Anchorage on a 14-day voyage (#3412) that crosses the Bering Sea and International Dateline, giving guests an extra day to celebrate. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $5,721 per person.

  • Mediterranean Tapestry - Silver Whisper departs Rome on May 31, 2004, on a 7-day voyage (# 4415) to Barcelona that calls in Italy and Spain, where guests can explore Florence’s famous Uffizi Gallery or enjoy a Chopin piano recital on Palma. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $4,187 per person.

  • La Dolce Vita - Silversea’s Chief Executive Officer, Albert Peter, will be aboard for a lively celebration of la dolce vita when Silver Wind sails from Rome on June 14, 2004, on a 7-day voyage (#2417) to Monte Carlo, featuring stopovers in some of Italy’s most beautiful ports. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $4,031 per person.

  • Scandinavian Summer - On July 8, 2004, Silversea’s flagship, Silver Cloud, will set sail from Copenhagen on a 7-day voyage (#1421) to Stockholm, featuring a three-day stopover in historic St. Petersburg where guests will be treated to a grand ball at Peterhof Palace. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $4,357 per person.

  • Dalmatian Delights - On July 28, 2004, guests will embark Silver Wind in Venice for a 12-day roundtrip voyage (#2422) dedicated to members of Silversea’s Venetian Society. With calls in Italy, Croatia, Greece and Yugoslavia, this exciting voyage features an exclusive masked Venetian Ball. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $7,355 per person.

  • Atlantic Impressions - Silversea’s flagship, Silver Cloud, will sail from London on August 15, 2004, on a 15-day voyage (#1426) to Southampton that calls in Spain, Portugal, Morocco and France. Guests on this unique voyage will be treated to an exclusive musical event at Lisbon’s 16th-century Convento do Beato. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $8,811 per person.

  • Alaska Harbors - On August 16, 2004, Silver Shadow departs Vancouver for a 7-day voyage (#3420) to Seattle that showcases all the untamed grandeur and spectacular scenery of Alaska’s famed Inside Passage. Highlights of the voyage include an authentic salmon bake at Mendenhall Glacier. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $3,418 per person.

  • The Grand Crossing - Silver Whisper sails from London on September 14, 2004, on a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing (#4427) to New York City. Rich in nostalgia and elegance, this voyage features a private reception for Silversea guests at the prestigious John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $6,408 per person.

  • Tropical Adventures - Capping off the 10th Anniversary collection is Silver Whisper’s 11-day voyage (#4432) from Fort Lauderdale to Fort Lauderdale, which departs on November 8, 2004, and navigates the sun-drenched waters of the Caribbean. Guests will have a chance to explore the diverse and intriguing cultures of Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Colombia and Mexico. Advance Payment Bonus fares start at $3,951 per person.

For more detailed information on Silversea ships, worldwide itineraries, and the 10th Anniversary Voyages, visit the line’s Web site at

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Holland America Line Enhances Award-Winning Private Island with Exciting New Activities
Signature of Excellence Initiative Brings More Ways to Enjoy Half Moon Cay, the Renowned Private Island Paradise

SEATTLE -- Holland America Line announced that, as part of its Signature of Excellence initiative, the leader in premium cruising will add several exciting activity choices to Half Moon Cay, the exclusive private island paradise available only to Holland America and Windstar guests. Enhancements such as a horseback riding and swimming tour, a stingray adventure program, a WaveRunner® park and an aqua park will fuel guests' sense of adventure. These new activities provide even more ways for guests to experience the warm sun, white sandy beach and turquoise waters of this Caribbean island retreat and enjoy exciting sporting activities. All of these activities are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2004.

"Holland America Line developed Half Moon Cay to provide our guests the ultimate Caribbean private island experience," said David A. Giersdorf, executive vice president, marketing and sales. "These new activities were designed to offer a sense of exploration, discovery and adventure that helps bring this exclusive, unforgettable destination to life."

The highest rated port of call on Holland America's Caribbean itineraries, Half Moon Cay is located on 45 acres of the 2,400-acre Little San Salvador Island, an international sanctuary for bird-watching. It is a destination on all Caribbean itineraries and on Panama Canal cruises sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. For the past four years, Half Moon Cay has won the Annual Editor-in-Chief Award for "Best Private Island" from Porthole Cruise Magazine. Holland America Line goes to great lengths to help protect the natural ecology of the island. The cruise line worked directly with the Bahamian government to ensure that the new facilities were designed to minimize the environmental impact and preserve this island paradise in a manner consistent with its natural beauty.

Beginning this fall, a new Horseback Ride 'n Swim excursion will allow guests to explore the island's natural beauty on trails that are accessible only by horseback. Guests will be taken by jitney to stables at the center of the island where they will get a brief orientation before saddling up on these specially trained horses. During the ride, guides will share insight on Bahamian history, people and culture. The trail will lead guests to a deserted beach where they enjoy refreshments and can take an unforgettable swim in the sea with the horses.

For those who prefer to get a closer look at the island's incredible sea life, the new Stingray Adventure Program will offer guests the opportunity to swim or snorkel with these gentle and mysterious creatures in a secluded cove, which is part of a beautiful 700-acre lagoon. The program will start with an informative session from an expert lecturer on the Southern Stingrays and other marine life living in the lagoon. Under the direction of tour guides, guests can interact with and feed the stingrays. The Stingray Adventure Program will also be available by fall of 2004.

This summer, a new WaveRunner tour will take guests along the island's picturesque shoreline, navigating around natural reef locations and stopping at a sandy beach for refreshments and a discussion of the region's rich history and culture. The tour will continue to an active reef where guests can swim with and feed schools of beautiful tropical fish. A highlight will be the new WaveRunner park that includes a series of courses that allow guests to test their skills. This park will be located in a separate area of the beach that is removed from the island's other activities.

Half Moon Lagoon, designed especially with kids in mind, is a fun-filled aqua park conveniently located on the shore of Half Moon Cay's main beach that will provide Island-themed action and adventure in the sun. Half Moon Lagoon will be ready for action by the end of 2004. These new activities augment Half Moon Cay's extensive array of existing excursions including scuba diving tours to explore the marine life, catch-and-release deep sea fishing trips in the island's beautiful waters, eco tours by glass-bottom boat or kayak and parasailing. Other features for guests to enjoy on Half Moon Cay include an aqua-sports center, a fully-equipped Club HAL children's playground, beach chairs, volleyball, shuffleboard, basketball, a network of nature trails and a designated wild bird reserve. Guests can also rent an air-conditioned, private beach-front cabana for the day, have a beachside massage, and then enjoy traditional barbecue fare.

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Holland America Names Dutch Actress as Godmother
 to ms Westerdam

SEATTLE -- Dutch actress Renee Soutendijk will be godmother to Holland America Line's new Vista-class ship, the ms Westerdam, in a ceremony dedicating the ship in Venice on April 25, 2004.

"We feel honored to have an actress of the caliber and renown of Renee Soutendijk to be the godmother for the ms Westerdam," said A. Kirk Lanterman, chairman and CEO, Holland America Line. "It will be a very special celebration as we dedicate our first ship in Venice, Italy, and share in the moment with our maiden voyage guests, our friends in Italy, and several top North American travel agents."

Born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in 1957, Renee Soutendijk has appeared in more than 50 films and TV programs. Soutendijk began her film career in The Netherlands, becoming well-known for playing heroines in the Paul Verhoeven-directed films "Spetters" (1980) and "The Fourth Man" (1983). Soutendijk's first English-language assignment was as Eva Braun in the made-for-TV "Inside the Third Reich." In 1991 she made her first American film, playing the title character in "Eve of Destruction" (1991), also starring Gregory Hines. She was honored with the well known German film industry's Adolf Grimme Prize in 1999. Renee is married to director Thed Lensen and has a daughter, Caro, and son, Jair.

ms Westerdam Latest in Series of Exclusive Vista-class Premium Vessels
With the delivery of its first 1,848-passenger Vista-class ship in December 2002, Holland America Line immediately expanded its premium appeal to a broader range of guests. While many additions to the ships are newly evident -- exterior elevators, two promenade decks, multi-tiered show lounge, varied dining options -- the Vista class ships look and feel like others in Holland America's fleet, delivering the traditional on-board "HAL-marks" that made the company the undisputed leader in premium cruising.

Like its sisters, ms Zuiderdam and ms Oosterdam, the new Westerdam boasts a spacious design for public areas and staterooms with a high passenger space ratio of 46. And 85 percent of its staterooms have ocean views, with 67 percent of all staterooms sporting verandahs, including the new value-priced stateroom category -- Deluxe Verandah Outside -- the best verandah value at sea. Penthouse and Deluxe Verandah Suite guests also enjoy the use of a private concierge lounge. The ms Westerdam will be the first ship delivered complete with the Signature of Excellence cabin amenities, including plush Euro-top mattresses, fluffy robes, and make-up mirrors in all cabins.

Additional features include TheGreenhouse Spa and Salon, a renowned full-treatment spa, exercise facility and hair and nail salon; the multi-level Vista Show Lounge; a second "cabaret-style" theater for late-night entertainment and daytime first-run movies; and a golf simulator. Two interior promenade decks, an exterior covered promenade deck, Lido pool with a retractable dome, the Club HAL kids and teens areas, and the signature Explorer's Lounge and "Crow's Nest" observation lounge are also featured.

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Active, Intimate & Artistic 'Crystal Adventures' Offer a Fresh Look at the Eastern Mediterranean

LOS ANGELES -- From active outings (such as mountain biking in Corfu, scuba-diving in Rhodes, and off-roading the slopes of Mt. Etna) to cultural pursuits (such as culinary classes in Santorini, private home visits in Split, and exclusive tours of Venetian artisan workshops), Crystal Cruises unveils its most active, enriching and intimate collection of "Crystal Adventures" in the Eastern Mediterranean, providing savvy travelers with a new look at an old destination.

This May through October 2004, the new Crystal Serenity departs Athens, Rome, Venice, Istanbul, and Barcelona on 15 destination-rich itineraries of seven, 11, and 12 days. Recognizing that the Dalmation Coast remains a hot destination in 2004, the award-winning luxury line has scheduled eight calls in Dubrovnik along with maiden visits in Split, Korcula and Zadar, Croatia. Other new ports of call include Italy's Ravenna and Porto Cervo on the island of Sardinia; Izmir, Turkey; and Volos, Greece.

"The array of new Crystal Adventures offers guests authentic experiences with a richer, more personal connection to each destination," says John Stoll, Crystal Cruises' director of land programs. "Crystal Serenity's extensive activities on board are complemented by the varied opportunities for intimate, active and cultural exploration ashore."

Indeed, in 2004 Crystal has set never-before-offered exclusive active tours alongside new 'Signature Collection' experiences in Venice, including:

  • a private opening of the legendary La Fenice Opera House (currently closed for continued restoration) followed by a lunch at a 16th-century private palazzo on the banks of the Grand Canal; and

  • a limited-participation tour of the private workshops of some of Venice's most renowned artists, including a private lunch at the Seguso family glass factory in Murano, one of the few still closed to the public.

Throughout the Mediterranean, Aegean and Adriatic seas, the breathtaking scenery, countryside and historic treasures are revealed in an extensive new collection of "Crystal Adventures"...

Active and Adventurous

  • Explore Mt. Etna on a four-wheeling adventure up the slopes of one of Europe's most active volcanoes and discover vast lava flows and caves (new from Taormina)

  • Mountain bike the panoramic cliffs and inner plains of Corfu

  • Dive the waters of Rhodes' Kalithea Bay, just recently opened to scuba enthusiasts, and see ancient artifacts and caves thought to be millions of years old

  • Hike into Krka National Park to witness thundering waterfalls (new from Split)

Culinary Adventures

  • Savor a traditional Sicilian meal and private tour of the renowned San Michele Estate, one of Sicily's finest wineries (from Taormina)

  • Assist in the preparation of a Sicilian luncheon with the owners of Villa Trinita, following a tour of their famed botanical garden (from Taormina)

  • Discover the culinary secrets of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine at an exclusive cooking demonstration, followed by a luncheon of the chef's signature dishes (from Santorini)

  • Learn about Greek wine-making at one of Santorini's premier vineyards, Antoniou Winery

Intimate Experiences

  • For a more personal portrait of Croatian life, visit homes in Dalmation villages and enjoy traditional regional food in Split and Dubrovnik

  • In small local boats, cruise the lesser-known islands of Lokrum, Kolocep and Lopud or the Neretva River (from Dubrovnik)

  • Walk through the historic Jewish ghetto district in Ferrara, Italy, as part of a new tour from San Marino

Art, Architecture & Archeology

  • Explore the Diocletian Palace, a 4th-century UNESCO World Heritage Site, on a new tour into the very heart of Split's old town

  • Behold the Byzantine mosaics of Ravenna and the famed ceramics of Faenza on an in-depth tour focusing on the magnificent artistry of the region (new from San Marino)

  • Journey to Oia, one of the most picturesque and dramatic towns in the Cycladic Islands, to explore Greek architecture and artistry (in Santorini)

  • Tour the dreamlike villas of Venetian patricians and nobility along the Riviera del Brenta and Padua (from Venice); to name just a few of the rich architectural experiences

For more information on the rich itineraries offered during Crystal Serenity's 2004 Mediterranean season, visit the line's website at or call 866.446.6625.

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Viking River Cruises Launches Inaugural Sailing in China
New Viking Century Star Set Sail on Yangtze

LOS ANGELES, April 8 -- Marking a new phase in the history of the world's largest river cruise line, Viking River Cruises will celebrate the launch of Viking Century Star and its new Yangtze River Cruisetours on Saturday, April 10, in Chongqing, China. A delegation of Chinese and cruise industry dignitaries will be on hand to celebrate the event, which is the result of the partnership between the New Century Cruise Company and Viking River Cruises.

"Viking River Cruises venture into China marks the culmination of a five- year dream," says Viking River Cruises chairman Torstein Hagen. "Now Viking River Cruises blends the best of all worlds for our passengers with our partner New Century Cruise Company, as they can experience the 'real' China and its fascinating culture and traditions from the comfort and convenience of the world's finest floating hotel, Viking Century Star."

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Princess to Add Popular Outdoor Movie Theater Concept to Its Seven-Day Caribbean Fleet
All Grand-Class Ships to be Fitted With State-of-the-Art Outdoor Movie Screen

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 7-- One of the most acclaimed features on Caribbean Princess when she debuted last week, the poolside theater featuring "Movies Under the Stars," has already made such a splash that Princess will expand the concept and install additional screens on all of its seven-day Caribbean vessels. These screens will be added to Princess' trademark Grand-class ships, Grand Princess, Golden Princess, and Star Princess.

"Movies Under the Stars has proven to be an immediate hit with both travel agents and passengers," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of sales and customer service. "Everyone loves to go to the movies, but few have the opportunity to watch them while floating in the pool mid-day or while enjoying a cocktail in the evening. This million-dollar screen is more than 300 square feet in size with a 69,000-watt sound system and has sufficient lighting power to be seen clearly at mid-day and heard clearly even while the ship is moving at full speed, offering passengers a movie experience comparable to the best shoreside movie theater."

Caribbean Princess' giant Times Square-style LED (Light Emitting Diode) screen shows a variety of entertainment throughout the day, including up to three feature length films. In addition to family cinema and first run hits, passengers can enjoy major sporting events and other can't-miss programming. Complimentary chaise lounge reservations, special movie theme cocktails, and casual dining are offered to round out the ultimate poolside experience.

Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting

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Windstar's European Shore Excursions Feature Romance, Culture and La Dolce Vita
Affordable Tours Go "180 Degrees From Ordinary"

Seattle, WA, April 7, 2004 -- As if arriving in the great harbors of Venice, Monte Carlo and Stockholm on a distinctive cruising yacht is not exciting or romantic enough, Windstar passengers can now make a seamless transition from ship to shore through an extensive program of shore excursions designed especially for the cruise company that goes "180 Degrees From Ordinary." Windstar's 2004 European shore excursions program has hundreds of options. Guests can explore ancient ruins in Italy and Greece, enjoy private tastings of wines and distinctive foods in France, dash off to London, Paris and Rome on memorable side-trips or find secluded, romantic getaways in Turkey and Scandinavia. 

Because of the size and maneuverability of Windstar's two European-positioned sailing yachts -- the 148-passenger Wind Spirit and 308-passenger Wind Surf -- shore excursions are reserved for small groups of guests who are transferred quickly from the ship, spend more time at attractions, can be flexible with tour schedules and have the chance to mingle more freely with locals. Exclusive excursions for couples are given special designations as part of Windstar's "Romance Under Sail" program of on-board and shore excursion amenities. Prices for shore excursions are modest, with most options priced at under $80 per person and many tours available for under $50.

"Our shore excursions program allows guests to get the very most out of the exotic ports that we visit," said Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and sales for Windstar Cruises. "We've hand-picked the finest tour operators and asked them to show off their most interesting cultural, romantic and historical sites."

Exploring Mediterranean Ports and History: 

  • In the fabled ports of Corfu and Cephalonia, Greece; Dubrovnik, Croatia and Italy's Sicily, Liguria, Capri and the Amalfi Coast, just to name a few Mediterranean ports of call, shore excursions are offered that provide myriad opportunities for visiting the ancient sites of Rome and classical Greece, or touring charming, off-the-beaten-path towns and fishing villages.

  • In Gythion, Greece, for example, guests are transferred to the astonishingly intact Byzantine city of Mystras -the most inspiring site in the Peloponnese. After passing modern Sparta, home of the original Spartans, the tour continues to the hillside city of Mystras for a walk through winding alleys and majestic gates, past medieval houses, palaces and into a series of churches, several of which house exquisite and radiant frescoes. The 1249 castle dominating the city was once in the hands of the Byzantines.

  • Couples will enjoy the romantic Emerald Grotto tour in Amalfi, Italy, where a small rowboat transports guests into a lovely cave of stalagmites and stalactites, all glowing a luminescent Emerald green. Afterwards, there is ample time to explore Amalfi before returning to the ship. Other tours available in Amalfi visit the historic ruins of Pompeii, or travel to the lovely coastal city of Ravello on the Gulf of Salerno to tour a gorgeous villa.

  • For the ultimate in romance, guests who visit Bodrum, Turkey can enjoy the magnificent coves of the Bodrum peninsula together on their own private sailing vessel, a 14-meter wooden sailing boat that comes equipped with bathroom and sunbathing terrace! A leisurely day is spent swimming in wonderful bays and partaking of a delicious lunch featuring local specialties and cold white wine served on board.

  • Guests visiting Portoferraio (Elba), Italy, can tour either Napoleon's in-town residence of Villa dei Mulini or his country residence of Villa San Martino. Highlights of the latter include Room of the Doves, with a painting on the ceiling of two doves bound by the same ribbon and a knot that tightens as they fly further away from each other. The Egyptian Room has a circular ring of Zodiac signs painted on the ceiling. Guests can also view Napoleon's bedroom, dressing room, study and stroll through the nicely manicured gardens. Napoleon's town residence, Villa dei Mulini includes the study, reception hall, Napoleon's bedroom and his library. A stop at the Porto Azzuro summer resort concludes the historic tour.

  • Sampling the Good Life on the French Riviera: The urbane cities of Marseilles, Nice, Cannes and Monte Carlo are wonderful for exploring straight from the ship, with plenty of people-watching opportunities at any number of chic sidewalk bistros. Guided tours that depart straight from the pier allow for an even greater appreciation of this long-time playground for Europe's beautiful people, and a fast getaway for an overnight stay in Paris may be the ultimate sightseeing indulgence.

  • From Cannes, guests can embark on a half-day wine-tasting trip to Provence, beginning with a visit to La Maison des Vins (the House of Wines) located in Les Arcs, the "capital" of the Côtes de Provence wine-growing region. An English-speaking oenologist provides an introduction to the Côte de Provence wines' history, vineyards, varietals and characteristics.

  • From Marseilles, guests can enjoy a walking tour of Aix en Provence, with a stroll down 17th-century Cours Mirabeau Avenue and explorations of the old quarter and Saint Saveur Cathedral.

  • The Overland Tour to Paris (available on the Wind Surf's 6/10 and 11/11 Marseilles calls only) allows guests to make a quick getaway to the City of Lights, with a return trip to the ship the next day on board France's super-fast TGV train. A sightseeing tour by coach visits major landmarks such as the Arch of Triumph and the Avenue Champs Elysées, Place de la Concorde, the Eiffel Tower and the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. The evening is spent at the famous Moulin Rouge club for dinner and a show.

  • For an unforgettable overview of the Riviera, guests can take a deluxe Riviera Helicopter Tour from Monte Carlo that features a 20-minute flight over the glorious Côte d'Azur, with views of the Maritime Alps, the Rock of Monaco with its magnificent gardens, and  the cathedral where Prince Rainier III married American film star Grace Kelly. After the flight, guides bring guests to the top of Monaco Rock for an hour-long visit, and to the medieval village of Eze to browse and explore this charming hilltop village.

  • Romantic Explorations in Scandinavia and the Baltic: Windstar's second summer of sailing to the Baltic states and Russia provide a wealth of opportunities for exploring ancient medieval cities and the dazzling treasures of Czarist Russia from the ship's extended port call in St. Petersburg. Visits to the cities of Berlin, Amsterdam and London are also available on Windstar's northern European itineraries, as well as wonderful tours of the Scandinavian ports of Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

  • In Århus, Denmark, couples can embark on a five-hour excursion to the peaceful and beautiful Silkeborg region, with walks through narrow streets of a charming town and a private tour on a small boat.

  • "Secret Amsterdam" is the name of a popular tour that winds through the canals of Holland's vibrant city by small boat, and then goes ashore for walks through the 15th-century Nieuwmarkt and a tour of the Heineken brewery.

  • In Helsinki, the "Romance in the Baltics" tour explores the relationship between Finland's capital city and the sea, with a romantic cruise that stops on a lovely, secluded island where guests can swim, experience a Finnish sauna, practice archery or sunbathe on scenic cliffs.

  • St. Petersburg comes alive with a wealth of tours. Guests can visit Peterhof, the "town of palaces" that was built in 1710 by Peter the Great, or enjoy a lavish gala evening of costumed entertainment at the magnificent Yusupov Palace, which witnessed the murder of Grigori Rasputin in 1916. Other tours visit the Hermitage Museum for a unique tour of the Golden Room, and travel to Pushkin for a visit to the breathtaking palace built by Catherine the Great.

  • Guests on Windstar's northern European tours are also invited to bike on unspoiled Swedish islands, tour cultural centers like Berlin's Jewish Museum, share a Nobel Prize-style banquet dinner in Stockholm, or see Sweden's capital city from the unique perspective of a hot air balloon.

About Windstar Cruises
Seattle-based Windstar Cruises operates three sailing yachts known for their casually elegant atmosphere. A high-percentage of return guests attests to the appeal of Windstar's casual ambiance of resort-style attire, innovative cuisine and wine selections, open restaurant-style seating, attentive service, exotic destinations and complimentary water sports. For more information including brochures, rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Oceania Cruises Launches Insignia in Monaco

Miami, FL, April 7, 2004 -- Under cerulian blue skies and in the presence of Royalty and World Leaders, Virginia Watters released a triple magnum of Perrier Jouet that kissed Insignia’s hull, thus signaling the arrival of Oceania Cruises’ second ship.

Insignia, currently sailing a sold out gala maiden voyage between Barcelona and Athens, was recently christened in Monte Carlo, Monaco by Virginia Watters, wife of Oceania Cruises Chairman Joe Watters. Over 250 invited dignitaries, travel agents and VIP’s gathered to celebrate the occasion which was hosted by His Serene Highness, Prince Albert and the Principality of Monaco.

Addressing the assembled guests, Joe Watters, Chairman of Oceania Cruises, praised the dedicated staff of Insignia and Regatta for their hard work. He also praised the travel agent community for their support of the line during the first year. “In the audience are some of the world’s finest travel agents. Their belief in Oceania Cruises allowed us to have one of the most successful introductions in the history of cruising and we sincerely thank them for their great support,” stated Watters.

Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises paid homage to Watters, praising him for all of his contributions to travel industry over the past three decades and referring to him as a “living legend of the luxury cruise industry”. Del Rio also praised the travel agent community and credited them for Oceania Cruises’ tremendous success over the past year. “Oceania Cruises’ success lies with the thousands of agents like you who believed in our concept. Professional travel agents make the difference between success and failure and we ask for your continued support in the future,” stated Del Rio as he informed the VIP agents and guests of the arrival of the line’s third ship Nautica, in May, 2005.

His Serene Highness, Prince Albert cited the strong ties between the Principality of Monaco, the Grimaldi family and Oceania Cruises, “The Regatta has already visited Monte Carlo 18 times and we hope the Insignia will follow in the same way,” stated His Serene Highness. “My country has spent time, energy and dedication to build this semi-floating pier so that we may receive Regatta, Insignia and other liners,” added Albert. 

Insignia’s inaugural season will take her to the French and Italian Rivieras, the Eastern Mediterranean, Greek Isles, Black Sea, British Isles, Norwegian Fjords, South American and Antarctica. She will then join Regatta and the latest addition to the Oceania Cruises fleet, Nautica, for an encore season of European cruises in 2005. Details regarding Nautica and Oceania Cruises 2005 European season will be available shortly. For detailed itineraries or additional information on Oceania Cruises or to make a reservation, please contact your Travel Agent. To request a brochure, call 800-531-5658 or visit

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Oceania Cruises' Introduces 2004-05 South America & Caribbean Brochures and Online E-brochures for European Itineraries

Miami, FL, April 7, 2004 -- Oceania Cruises is pleased to announce the release of its 2004-2005 Caribbean and South America brochure. Verdant landscapes juxtaposed against majestic glaciers and vibrantly colored tropical fauna meld together to create a distinctly different look for the 70-page compendium that details Insignia’s inaugural season of cruises South America and Regatta’s encore season of voyages from Miami and Los Angeles to the exotic Caribbean, Mexico and Panama Canal. 

Taking you on voyage of discovery from beginning to end, the comprehensive brochure details the Oceania Cruises’ unique brand of approachable luxury. Through striking imagery and engaging copy, the brochure brings to life the extraordinary comfort, impeccable service, enriching shore-side discoveries and the culinary artistry of Master Chef, Jacques Pepin that make Oceania Cruises truly unique.

“Oceania Cruises brings its guests a distinctly different tropical experience as we cruise to such enticing destinations as the exotic Caribbean, the Chilean Fjords, Antarctica and the Amazon” stated Joe Watters, Chairman of Oceania Cruises. “Guests have told us they yearn for a more intimate cruise experience in the Caribbean and South America; they want to go where the mega-ships cannot,” added Watters.

“The Oceania Cruises experience is a sophisticated blending of casual elegance and refined comfort combined with the most intriguing destinations the world has to offer. This new brochure paints a vivid picture of South America and the Caribbean, destinations that are ideally suited for Oceania Cruises,” stated Bob Binder, Executive Vice President of Oceania Cruises.

Exceptional Value with 2-For-1 Cruise Fares and FREE Airfare
Insignia’s inaugural season in South America features itineraries ranging from 12 to 18 days and for a limited time, feature 2-for-1 cruise fares and free airfare* from over 50 North American gateways. Fares start at $2,499 per guest including port charges. Fares for deluxe staterooms with private teak verandas start at $3,299 per guest and for the ultimate indulgence, expansive suites with private teak verandas and butler service represent the greatest value in luxury cruising with prices starting at just $4,199 per guest. 

Regatta returns to the tropics with 12-, 14- and 16-day itineraries with fares starting at $1,999 per guest, including free airfare from over 50 North American gateways. With convenient departures from Miami and Los Angeles, you will explore the playgrounds of the jet-set, emerald isles beyond the reach of larger ships, ancient empires of Central American and Mexico and the eighth wonder of the world, the Panama Canal.

Online E-brochure Technology
Oceania Cruises is pleased to announce the addition of new, online e-brochure technology to its website located at A first in the cruise industry, these new electronic brochures offer guests the ability to view Oceania Cruises’ 2004 European Collection brochure from the comfort and convenience of their desktop. The new e-Brochures showcase the line’s intimate and elegant 684-guest ships, destination-rich itineraries and enticing ports of call. This new technology enables you to literally flip through vivid photography and imagery while using zoom features to enlarge images and deck plans. Each page links directly to detailed itineraries as well as virtual tours of the ships’ public rooms, suites and staterooms. 

“Oceania Cruises is committed to providing our valued guests and travel agent partners with quality online tools and resources. Our websites are especially useful for those travel agents, especially home-based agents, seeking quick access to sales tools to conveniently email to their clients,” stated James Rodriguez, Director of Internet and Database Marketing for Oceania Cruises.

Oceania Cruises’ new 2004 European Collection e-Brochures are available at  The line’s 2004-2005 Caribbean and South America e-brochure will be available shortly.

Oceania Cruises features three intimate and luxurious 684-guest ships, REGATTA, INSIGNIA and NAUTICA. Oceania Cruises is setting a new, worldwide standard for luxury cruising with the finest cuisine at sea, exceptional personalized service, grand style, and luxurious accommodations coupled with extraordinary value. For detailed itineraries or additional information on Oceania Cruises or to make a reservation, please contact your Travel Agent. To request a brochure, call 800-531-5658 or visit

*2 for 1 fares are cruise only, per person, based on double occupancy and include port charges “From” fares apply to select sail dates only and exclude Holiday Sailings. This offer not valid on Owner and Vista Suite categories. Air promotion applies to economy, round-trip flights only from select Oceania Cruises U.S. & Canadian gateways. This offer expires April 30, 2004. Offer based on availability. Prices are subject to change. Offer cannot be combined with other promotions.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Revises Norwegian Star Itinerary and Cancels Trans Pacific Crossing

MIAMI, FL -– Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced a revised schedule for Norwegian Star’s Hawai`i itineraries due to damage to the forward thrust bearing in the ship’s azipod system. The ship can still travel 18 knots, but she cannot perform the normal 25 knots needed to run the Hawai`i itinerary including Fanning Island. Therefore, beginning Sunday, April 4th through April 25th, the ship will drop Fanning Island from its itinerary and offer a revised itinerary with more time in Hawai`i. Details and itineraries here.

Norwegian Star will enter its previously scheduled dry dock early for repairs to the azipod. As a result, NCL is regrettably canceling Norwegian Star’s Trans Pacific voyage on May 2nd from Honolulu to Vancouver. Guests booked on this cruise will receive a full refund, a 25 percent cruise credit certificate for the value they paid for the cruise, and applicable airline change fees. NCL has established a special number 1-877-501-6021 for further questions.

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Seabourn's 2004 Chefs' Circle Celebrates 'Continental' Cuisine 
(North American Continent, That Is!)

MIAMI, April 6 -- Continuing its mission to showcase the finest cooking from restaurants all around North America, Seabourn Cruise Line in 2005 has gathered another posse of award-winning chefs to star in the second season of its Chefs' Circle series of culinary cruises aboard the ultra luxury, all-suite Yachts of Seabourn: Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend.

Once again, celebrity chef Charlie Palmer has invited friends and associates whose creativity and originality have captured the attention of critics and pleased the palates of discerning diners at their signature restaurants across the U.S. and Canada. Each chef will sail on board alongside guests, presenting cooking demonstrations and tastings, serving up signature dishes at dinners on board and, when possible, guiding the line's popular "Shopping with the Chef" excursions to local markets in search of fresh local ingredients.

"We are thrilled that Seabourn's guests will be able to meet these talented chefs and taste their creations while they are cruising," said Richard D. Meadows, Seabourn's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "Each of their restaurants is a landmark on the culinary map, drawing gourmands from around the world. They will add the crowning touch to the Seabourn Experience."

Scheduled to appear on this year's Chefs' Circle cruises are:

Gerry Hayden & Claudia Fleming, Restaurant Amuse, New York (Spirit July 11)
Hayden's talent has helped shape many of New York's most acclaimed eateries, including The River Cafe, Aureole, Tribeca Grill and East Hampton Point in New York and Aqua in San Francisco. He was executive chef at Marguery Grill before returning to Aureole in that role for three years. He was instrumental in the onboard implementation of Seabourn's Charlie Palmer- designed menus. His new restaurant, Amuse, has won critical acclaim and a glamorous, loyal following for his imaginative menus of small plates for sharing and tasting, which celebrate what Hayden calls "the left side of the menu." Hayden's wife, Claudia Fleming, who won a James Beard Foundation Award as Best Pastry Chef while at Gramercy Tavern, now graces the front of the house at Amuse.

Dean Fearing, The Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas. (Pride Aug 15)
Since Fearing took the helm as executive chef in 1985, The Mansion on Turtle Creek has had U.S. presidents and foreign royalty flocking to taste the creative Southwest cuisine that started a nationwide trend and won Fearing both a James Beard Award as Best Chef: Southwest Region and multiple Mobil Five-Star awards. A CIA graduate, Fearing staged at Maisonette in Cincinnati and the Fairmont in Dallas before opening The Mansion as executive sous chef in 1980. He resigned to partner Agnew's in Dallas, where his innovative Southwest cuisine was championed by Craig Claiborne of the New York Times. Fearing, whose chef's whites are accented with colorful Lucchese cowboy boots, relaxes when he's not cooking by playing guitar with The Barbwires, a group of Texas chefs who play country music ... progressive country, naturally.

Jean Marie Lacroix, Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, Philadelphia (Legend Oct 12)
Born in France and trained in Switzerland, England, Scotland and Canada, Jean Marie Lacroix arrived in Philadelphia fresh from a triumphant reign as Executive Chef at Montreal's Quatre Saisons. His tenure at the Fountain Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel earned him accolades from virtually every critic in the United States and awards such as the Best Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator, a Robert Mondavi Award for Culinary Excellence, a James Beard Award for Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic Region and an AAA Five Diamond Award. His eponymous restaurant on Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square was voted the "Best new restaurant throughout the United States" by Esquire Magazine in 2003 and "Philadelphia's best new restaurant ... in a decade" by Philadelphia Magazine.

Todd Gray, Equinox, Washington D.C. (Pride Nov 7)
Todd Gray trained at the Culinary Institute of America and served his stages with many of America's most celebrated chefs including Jean Louis Palladin at the Watergate; Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and others. He also staged at classic restaurants in Northern Italy. Gray has been nominated as Best Chef Mid Atlantic by the James Beard Foundation for the last three years. Equinox has won numerous awards including Town & Country magazine's Best Restaurant in Washington DC, and is included in top tables lists of Esquire, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveler, Wine Spectator and the Washington Post since its opening in 1999. Todd and his wife, Ellen, have been co-chairs of the Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation charitable event for the last three years. Chef Gray is also Culinary Director for the International Trade Center in the Ronald Reagan Building.

Rob Feenie, Lumiere, Vancouver (Pride Dec 12)
Where the French traditions of Canada meet the Pacific Rim, Chef Feenie has created a philosophy that keeps his restaurant ahead of the curve and at the top of the charts. Feenie's resume includes stages spent with Vongerichten, Trotter, Keller and Boulud, among others. He applies his mastery in a region rich in some of the most sumptuous ingredients anywhere, with vivid influences from Asia and Europe. Gourmet readers name Lumiere tops for food in Vancouver, as do Zagat's surveys, the New York Times and ultra-hip publications such as InStyle and Wallpaper. Lumiere is Canada's only freestanding restaurant to be awarded the prestigious Relais Gourmands designation by the Relais & Chateaux group. National polls rate Lumiere not only one of Canada's finest restaurants, but also one of the top reasons to be proud of being Canadian.

In 2004, The Yachts of Seabourn sail a full season of cruises of seven to 21 days or more in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. With savings of up to 50 percent, fares start from $2,995 per person, based on double occupancy. For more information, contact a professional travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Geolink Uses Performance Technologies' SEGway™ Devices To Enable Mobile Satellite Communications at Sea

ROCHESTER, NY, April 6 -- Performance Technologies, a leader in unified systems design for the communications, military and commercial markets, today announced that Geolink, a developer of mobile satellite communications systems, is using Performance Technologies' SEGway™ 1100 SS7/IP Signaling Platform in its OceanCell GSM Solution. OceanCell is the first GSM solution to enable mobile telephone use at sea. Geolink's OceanCell solution uses maritime satellite links to allow mobile phones to be used on cruise ships, ferries, oil barges and military ships when terrestrial GSM coverage is not available. Geolink is using Performance Technologies' SEGway devices to enable the transmission of IP-based SS7 signaling over a satellite link.

"More than 70 percent of the earth's surface is covered by ocean and is therefore inaccessible to wire and mobile phone networks," said Roch-Alexandre Nomine-Beguin, project manager for Geolink. "Performance Technologies' SEGway devices help make it possible for GSM communications to occur transparently -- even at sea -- by transmitting SS7 messages over satellite from any point on earth to our mobile switch. The GSM infrastructure relies on SS7 signaling, so the SEGway devices are critical to our solution."

Small, compact and operationally transparent, the SEGway 1100 SS7/IP Signaling Platform enables the reliable transport of SS7 messages over low cost, managed IP networks. In the case of Geolink, the SEGway devices are transporting SS7 messages over satellite to enable mobile communications in geographic locations where it would otherwise not be possible. The SEGway products utilize the Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) and Performance Technologies' field-proven SS7/IP software to ensure the same high level of reliability when transporting messages over IP as with traditional methods.

"At a time when global communications coverage continues to grow, we are seeing increased interest in our SEGway products to enable mobile satellite communications," said Deb Brunner-Walker, product manager for Performance Technologies. "Geolink is a pioneer in this area, and we look forward to a continuing relationship during this satellite-based buildout."

About Geolink
For more than a decade, Geolink's mission has been to provide reliable, continuous and secure telecommunication services, as well as all value-added services required by individuals and organisations in our modern information society (voice, fax, mail, Internet access, data file transfer, GSM, etc.), where traditional terrestrial or mobile telecommunication means are unusable or non-existent, or can simply not be economically envisaged.

About Performance Technologies
Performance Technologies develops the platforms, components and software solutions for the world's evolving communications infrastructure. Our broad customer base includes companies in the communications, military and commercial markets. Serving the industry for more than 20 years, our complete line of packet-based products enables equipment manufacturers and service providers to offer highly available and fully-managed systems with time-to-market, performance and cost advantages. Performance Technologies is headquartered in Rochester, New York. Additional operational and engineering facilities are located in San Diego and San Luis Obispo, California; Norwood, Massachusetts and Ottawa, Canada. For more information, visit or contact

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Celebrity Cruises' Entertainment Has Guests Seeing Stars

MIAMI, April 5 -- Vividly illustrating its commitment to "treat guests famously," Celebrity Cruises is rolling out a significantly expanded entertainment program onboard its award-winning fleet, featuring enrichment lectures by stars of stage and screen, and new shows featuring some of Broadway's hottest numbers.

"Our guests are experienced, savvy travelers who have seen a variety of acclaimed shows, so it's essential that we offer new and innovative productions along with classic favorites to satisfy their entertainment needs," said Celebrity's Director of Entertainment and Cruise Programs, Michael Thomas.

Celebrity is accomplishing that goal this year by introducing six entirely new production shows that will join the seven shows introduced last year, for a total of 13 new production shows in just 18 months.

"This has been a very aggressive entertainment initiative, and one we're very excited about," said Thomas. "Our ultimate standard is to present four production shows on every ship and every cruise, including our seven-night cruises."

Shows such as "Fantasea" -- whose premiere on Millennium met with consecutive standing ovations -- feature performers using silks, straps, hoops and webs to perform awe-inspiring aerial acts. Meanwhile, guests' ever-present interest in Broadway classics is met with shows like "A Touch of Broadway" onboard Century, offering a combination of standards from new hit shows and contemporary classics. Premiering onboard Zenith in June is "Thoroughly Broadway," featuring numbers from hit shows, revivals and the hottest tickets on Broadway.

Celebrity's "Celebrate The World" show premiering on Constellation during the ship's transatlantic crossing to Europe in May will display the most spectacular array of costumes in Celebrity's history, and will utilize the newest projection technology in the industry, including the catalyst DL1, a digital light system that merges moving light technology with digital video projections, offering virtually limitless possibilities with video displays and projections.

Two new shows will debut onboard Galaxy, including "Elements," an aerobatic show in May, and a yet-to-be-named spectacular slated for October. True to its name, Celebrity also is securing noted artists for special performances, most recently booking nine-time Tony Award winner Tommy Tune, the Manhattan Rhythm Kings and, direct from Las Vegas, musical impressionist Stephen Sorrentino.

With entertainment options ideally extending beyond the theatre, Celebrity last year introduced a piano and jazz bar concept within its cozy Michael's Club venues, a Spanish guitarist performing live on the aft deck for romantic sunset sailaways, live comedy acts in the discos, and "Celebrity Discoveries," an intensified enrichment lecture series featuring actual celebrities and recognized authorities discussing their life experiences, accomplishments and challenges.

Among the celebrities entertaining Celebrity guests this year are Hugh Downs, whose more than 60 years of experience in radio and television most recently included co-anchoring ABC's "20/20"; famed talk- and game-show host Regis Philbin; Academy Award winner Ernest Borgnine; celebrated news correspondents Ike Pappas and Irving R. Levine; actor Theodore Bikel; astronaut Col. Jack Lousma; actor Bernie Kopell, best-known for his role as "Doc" on "The Love Boat," and acclaimed maritime historians Bill Miller and John Maxtone-Graham.

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Cunard Orders New Luxury Liner, to be Named Queen Victoria, for Delivery in Early 2007
Current Queen Victoria Under Construction is Transferred to P&O Cruises

MIAMI, April 5 -- Cunard Line announced today that it has placed an order for a new, luxury ocean liner, to be named Queen Victoria, and has transferred the Queen Victoria currently under construction in Italy to its sister line, P&O Cruises. The new 85,000-ton, Panamax vessel will accommodate some 1,850 passengers and will enter service in January 2007. She will be built by Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani SpA, at its Marghera (Italy) shipyard, and is expected to have an all-in cost of approximately EUR 390 million.

The tremendous success of Queen Mary 2, particularly the demand for its suites and junior suites, has prompted Cunard Line to make these changes to its plans. "The design of the new Queen Victoria will be more consistent with the grand ocean liner style of Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2," explained Pamela Conover, Cunard's president. "It is clear that the traditional elegance of Cunard has broad appeal among discerning travelers worldwide, and we want to be sure that our new ship has all the luxurious Cunard attributes our clients expect."

In addition to increasing the number of suite and mini-suite accommodations, the enhancements will focus on providing passengers with Cunard's classic culinary experience in a variety of dining venues. The ship will feature a Queens Grill and Princess Grill, an impressive two-storey Aquitania Restaurant, as well as alternative dining options, including a Todd English restaurant. Other Cunard hallmark facilities will include a grand ballroom, an authentic British pub, and a classic library. For more information contact 1-800-7-CUNARD or visit our website at

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Carnival Corporation & plc Realigns and Expands Its Capacity in the British Cruise Market 
* Cunard Orders New Enhanced Version of Queen Victoria for Early 2007 Service 
* P&O Cruises to Take Delivery of a New Ship, the Arcadia, Originally Scheduled to be the Queen Victoria, in 2005 
* P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises Realign Their Fleets

MIAMI, April 5 -- Carnival Corporation & plc announced it is proceeding with a significant restructuring of its capacity in the British market. Cunard Line's Queen Victoria, a ship under construction in the Fincantieri Marghera Yard, will be transferred to P&O Cruises and renamed the Arcadia. The new Arcadia is scheduled to enter service in April 2005.

Cunard Line also announced that it has ordered an enhanced Queen Victoria, also to be built by Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A, which is now scheduled to enter service in January 2007. The new Queen Victoria will accommodate some 1,850 passengers and is expected to have an all-in cost of approximately euro 390 million. The new Queen Victoria will be more consistent with the grand ocean liner style of the Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2, and will include more luxury suites and mini-suites, and more classic culinary experiences including Queens and Princess Grills, and an upscale Todd English alternative restaurant. Like the Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2, the new Queen Victoria will be marketed to passengers in both the United States and United Kingdom, as well as to passengers in Australasia and Asia.

P&O Cruises, the leading cruise brand in the United Kingdom, will take delivery of the new 1,968-bed Arcadia in April 2005. At 85,000 tons, with an all-in cost of approximately £225 million she will be the largest cruise ship built exclusively for the British market. The ship, with 677 balcony cabins and alternative dining venues, will raise the quality of the P&O fleet still further. Arcadia, which was ordered prior to the combination of P&O Princess Cruises plc and Carnival Corporation, was originally designed to provide a premium British cruise experience and is well suited to delivering the P&O Cruises product to its British customers.

To provide an alternative cruise product for the British market and to satisfy the growing consumer demand for a more informal, upscale cruise experience, the Princess Cruises brand, renowned for its state of the art ships, informality, anytime dining and excellent American-style service, will allocate more of its capacity to the UK market. The 77,000-ton, 1,950-lower berth Adonia, currently sailing as part of the four ship P&O Cruises fleet, will be transferred to Princess Cruises in May 2005. This ship will reclaim the name Sea Princess, which she was originally given at the time of her delivery by Fincantieri to Princess Cruises in 1998, prior to her subsequent transfer to P&O Cruises. As the first Princess Cruises ship with itineraries tailored specifically to meet the preferences of British passengers, Sea Princess will spearhead an increase in Princess Cruises' capacity dedicated to the UK market. She will operate cruises from the UK in the summer and 14-day Caribbean cruises in the winter. These itineraries will also be attractive to North American customers.

In May 2005, the Royal Princess, which currently sails for Princess Cruises, will be renamed the Artemis and join the P&O Cruises fleet, which will bring the number of vessels in the P&O Cruises fleet to five. Already a classic medium-sized ship with all outside staterooms, the 45,000-ton, 1,200- bed Artemis will be converted to a British-style vessel prior to entering service for P&O Cruises.

The transfers of Adonia to Princess Cruises and the Royal Princess to P&O Cruises will further increase the capacity growth of the successful Princess brand to approximately 16 percent in 2005. The average age of the Princess fleet will be reduced to approximately four years, the percentage of the fleet's total number of cabins with balconies will increase to 54 percent and the greater consistency of the Princess fleet achieved with these transfers will further improve its ability to provide personal choice cruising and anytime dining.

For P&O Cruises, the net effect of the transfer of ships will result in a 2005 capacity increase of approximately 8 percent and almost 40 percent of the fleet's cabins will then have balconies, a feature which has become so highly desirable by today's cruisers.

"The tremendous success of the Queen Mary 2, and the potential to grow and offer further choice for UK cruise passengers, prompted these changes. We will now have brands and ships that cater to all the differing needs of the growing and diversifying United Kingdom passenger base," said Peter Ratcliffe, chief executive officer of P&O Princess Cruises International and an executive director of Carnival Corporation & plc. "Cunard Line, P&O Cruises and Princess Cruises will all benefit from these moves and the changes are a further fulfillment of the fleet optimization opportunities offered by the recent combination of P&O Princess Cruises plc and Carnival Corporation."

Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise vacation group in the world, with a portfolio of 12 cruise brands in North America, Europe and Australia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Windstar Cruises, AIDA, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Ocean Village, P&O Cruises, Swan Hellenic, and P&O Cruises Australia.

Together, these brands operate 75 ships totaling more than 123,000 lower berths with nine new ships scheduled for delivery between April 2004 and mid- 2006. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates the leading tour companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon, Holland America Tours and Princess Tours. Additional information on Carnival Corporation & plc is available at

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Viking River Cruises Offers Moms the Vacation of a Lifetime Just in Time for Mother's Day
Roundtrip Airfare to China From Just $99 for Limited Time

LOS ANGELES, April 5 -- To celebrate Mothers across the nation this year, Viking River Cruises is offering special Trans-Pacific roundtrip airfare to China, starting at just $99 in conjunction with any 12- or 16-night China Cruisetour booking.

"Viking River Cruises always tries to offer the most unique travel experiences with excellent value for the money," says Jeff Dash, President of Viking River Cruises. "With this special, limited-time only deal of a $99 airfare, we hope to reward Moms and pamper them on one of our China Cruisetours."

Passengers fly to Beijing, where they overnight for one or several nights, depending on itinerary, then fly to Chongqing to board Viking River Cruises newest ship, Viking Century Star, setting sail to experience the Yangtze River and all its offerings. This special Trans-Pacific airfare rate is available on June through August 2004 departure dates, on either of the following 12 or 16-night itineraries:

  • Imperial Treasures of China: 12-night stay includes seven-night Yangtze River cruise, three nights in five-star Beijing hotel, and one night each in five-star Shanghai and Xian hotels. Passengers will be able to experience: Tiananmen Square/Forbidden City/Summer Palace/Beijing Zoo/Great Wall/Ming Tombs/Peking Opera; Tang Dynasty show; Terra Cotta Army; Chongqing by Night; Lotus Cave; Shibaozhai Temple; Lesser Three Gorges sampan; Three Gorges Dam, and more.

  • In the Footsteps of Marco Polo: 16-night stay features seven-night Yangtze River cruise, three nights in five-star Beijing and Shanghai hotels, two nights in deluxe Suzhou hotel, and one-night in a five-star Xian hotel. Experiences will include: Bund/Old Shanghai/ Museum/Children's Palace; Suzhou Grand Canal/Wangshi Garden/Silk Factory/Zhouzheng Garden/Embroidery Institute; Chinese music performance; Three Gorges Dam; Lesser Three Gorges sampan; Shibaozhai Temple; Lotus Cave; Tang Dynasty Show; Chongqing by Night; Terra Cotta Army; Great Wall/Ming Tombs/Peking Opera/Tiananmen Square/Forbidden City/Summer Palace/Beijing Zoo, and much more

In addition to experiencing some of China's best-kept secrets, Viking Century Star guests will be treated to some of the best in Chinese cuisine with Chinese menus designed by world-famous chef, Martin Yan, of Yan Can Cook. Yan was contracted by Viking River Cruises to ensure the highest quality Chinese food was available to passengers onboard, in keeping with the line's quality reputation. In addition to the Chinese meals, passengers will also be able to enjoy the same quality European gourmet meals that are standard onboard the company's European itineraries.

The brand-new Viking Century Star provides spacious, all outside cabins with private balconies for 186 passengers. Each cabin is equipped with a phone, color television, private bathroom and shower, hotel-style beds and air conditioning. The ship also includes a restaurant, observation lounge and bar, coffee bar, gym, sauna, business center, sun deck, and shops. A doctor and beauty salon are also available onboard.

Viking River Cruises is offering $99 roundtrip airfare to China with purchase of a 12- or 16-night China Cruisetour, for passengers flying from Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. Passengers flying from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Newark, Orlando, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa and Washington fly for $199, while passengers from Philadelphia, Phoenix and Pittsburgh fly for $299 per person. The China Cruisetour with special air rate is subject to availability and must be booked prior to May 31, 2004. Passengers must pay in full at time of booking to secure this price. Travelers can obtain this special by referencing offer code "26River."

About Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises, the world leader in river cruising, offers quality service, gourmet cuisine and comfortable scenic cruising along Europe, Russia and China's most majestic rivers. In 2004, the company was named as one of only two river cruise companies to be promoted on the exclusive Conde Nast Traveler "Gold List." The "Gold List" is one of only two major "best of" lists based entirely upon consumer recommendations. Ranked in 2003 and 2004 by Conde Nast Traveler readers as one of the "Top-Ten Small Ship Cruise Lines" in the world, Viking Europe was also named the top river cruise ship in Europe. Since its 1997 inception, the company has grown its fleet to 24 vessels. It provides a unique and affordable vacation to experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history. For additional information, contact Viking River Cruises toll-free at 1-877-66VIKING (1-877-668-4546) or visit the company online at

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Alaska's Icy Strait Point Offers an Array of Shore Excursions
Alaska's newest destination will allow cruise passengers to choose from a selection of recreational, educational and cultural tours and activities

MIAMI -- When Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas and Celebrity Cruise Line's Summit and Mercury call at Icy Strait Point beginning May 11, passengers will find they won't need to travel far to experience the real Alaska. Located just 22 miles from Glacier Bay National Park and surrounded by beach and nature trails, Alaska's first purpose-built cruise destination offers a variety of wildlife tours and walk-around activities just minutes from the port's center of activity -- the Hoonah Packing Company Cannery. 

"Many Alaskan ports require passengers to travel hours to participate in shore excursions," said Michael Greve, president of Global Destinations Development, the company marketing Icy Strait Point. "But here, the ultimate Alaskan wilderness experience is so close to port that as soon as guests disembark they can join whatever adventure they choose." 

Visitors planning to join a shore excursion or explore the port on their own begin at Icy Strait Point's excursion lounge inside the Hoonah Packing Company Cannery. Refurbished on its original site, the 1930s-era fish cannery houses a museum, food and beverage service, and shops selling native and regional crafts. Icy Strait Point offers land, water and air tours, educational and recreational activities. The following excursions, activities and attractions are planned for the 2004 Alaska cruise season.

Remote Bush Exploration & Brown Bear Search
A motorcoach trip through the tiny town of Hoonah leads to the remote bush area of the Spasski River Valley in search of brown bears, other animals and plants, and points of interest. A local guide will provide historical details of Hoonah as well as information on the culture and history of the Huna Tlingits, the flora, the fauna and the logging industry. 
A short hike on gravel and boardwalk-lined paths through muskeg leads to specially designed viewing platforms where sightings of deer, otter, waterfowl, salmon, bald eagles and brown (grizzly) bears are common. Duration: 2 to 2.5 hours

Bike Excursion & Hoonah Sightseeing
Departing from Icy Strait Point, this scenic bike ride winds through the tiny fishing town of Hoonah. The four-mile ride includes stops at a local cemetery, the Alaska Marine Ferry terminal and downtown Hoonah. A stop at the boat harbor offers a glimpse of a variety of fishing, work and pleasure craft used in the waters of Icy Strait. Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours

Bus Excursion & Sightseeing in Hoonah
This excursion through the tiny coastal village of Hoonah, a town of 860 people, is highlighted by a local guide who relates the history and culture of the Huna Tlingits, and the unique way of life of the residents of the island. Once in the old-growth forest that envelopes the island it is time to learn about the heavy brown (grizzly) bear population and Sitka black tail deer that inhabit Chichagof Island. Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours

Salmon Bake
Situated at water's edge, Hoonah Packing Company Cannery is the site of this gastronomic adventure. The pristine waters of Icy Strait and the Chilkat mountain range provide the perfect panoramic scenery for this secluded location for a mouth-watering salmon feast on the coastal shoreline of a wilderness beach. The meal includes 1/3 pound of salmon with a choice of two sauces, crunchy blue cheese coleslaw, three-cheese au gratin potatoes and corn on the cob, and a choice of hot and cold beverages. Duration: At your leisure

Forest & Nature Tram Excursion
This intimate tour of the Southeast Alaska Rain Forest departs from Icy Strait Point. The covered tram meanders leisurely through the enchanting old-growth forest with its diversity of new growth, flowers, blow-downs and a variety of flora and fauna set against the backdrop of the nearby shore of Icy Strait. Sightings of Sitka black tail deer and brown (grizzly) bears that inhabit this island are common. Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours

Saltwater Salmon Charter Fishing
After a brief safety orientation, a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain will motor for the salmon-rich waters of Southeast Alaska. Within minutes, participants will be fishing in the pristine waters of Icy Strait with the panoramic background of the Chilkat mountain range. Sightings of whales, sea otter, sea lions, porpoise and seals are common. For an additional charge, your catch can be custom-packed and shipped to your home. Duration: 3.5 to 4 hours

Whales & Marine Mammals Cruise
This sightseeing boat leaves Icy Strait Point then cruises along the coast north through the waters of Icy Strait past astonishing scenery of Point Adolphus. An on-board naturalist describes the diverse marine life that migrates to the waters of Icy Strait each summer to feed. Wildlife that may be seen includes humpback and orca (killer) whales, stellar sea lions, harbor seals, Dall porpoise, bald eagles and other waterfowl. Duration: 3 to 3.5 hours

Flight-Seeing Over Glacier Bay
A short plane ride away are the wonders of world-famous Glacier Bay 
National Park, one of Alaska's geological treasures. Glacier Bay offers a bird's eye view of glaciers calving into the icy waters of the bay, the tour includes views of the towering glacial fields of the Fairweather and St. Elias mountain ranges and the lush rainforest. 

Cannery Historical Tour & Museum
Step back in time to 1912 as you begin your first day on the job at the Hoonah Packing Company Cannery as a new employee. The line forms to the left where you pick up your standard fish cutter apron. Your walking tour of this historic cannery begins as you clock in and proceed to orientation where you will learn about every step in the process of the canning line. Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours

Native Tlingit "Journey Through Time" Trail
This guided interpretive walking tour is led by a native Huna Tlingit on a "Journey Through Time." Learn the story of a people's survival and success in an environment that is at once harsh and wild, yet bountiful and beautiful. The trail takes you along the edge of a lake where you will view multiple displays that illustrate the many ways the Huna Tlingit learned to live and thrive in this magnificent land. Your final stop will be in the "living" museum where rarely seen native Tlingit artifacts are on display. Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours

Native Heritage Center Theater and Tlingit Dancers
At the Native Heritage Center Theater local Huna Tlingit Dancers perform in their colorful full regalia as they reveal their history through interpretive song, dance and storytelling. Duration: 1 to 1.5 hours 

Miami-based Global Destinations Development LLC specializes in the development and marketing of new cruise ports of call and leisure-travel destinations. Besides Alaska, the company currently has projects under way in Mexico, the Bahamas, Belize and other Caribbean destinations. 

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Last Chance to Explore the Mystery of the Marquesas on Two Exclusive Windstar Itineraries
Special "Sail & Save" Fares Offer Tremendous Value With Airfare Included From 78 Gateways

Seattle, WA, April 1, 2004 - The romance of the South Pacific's mysterious Marquesas archipelago, among the most beautiful and least visited islands in the world, is revealed aboard two exclusive Windstar cruises departing June 18 and September 17, 2004. This is the last chance for savvy travelers to explore these exotic islands thousands of miles from any continent aboard the motor sailing yacht Wind Star. Windstar Cruises has announced that the msy Wind Star will leave Tahiti at the end of 2004 and begin sailing new itineraries in Costa Rica, the Panama Canal, the Mediterranean and the Greek Islands.

Traveling roundtrip from Papeete on a 14-day journey that is truly 180 degrees from ordinary, the elegant Wind Star will visit the Marquesan islands of Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Ua Pou, and Nuku Hiva, travel to Rangiroa in Tuamatu, and then on to Tahiti's Bora Bora and Moorea. Windstar's 2004 "Sail & Save" rates include air from 78 North American gateways and begin at just $5,595 per person, double occupancy, offering tremendous value to couples searching for an idyllic romantic vacation.

"The unstructured nature of a Windstar cruise combined with the pure beauty of the Marquesas provides the perfect opportunity for travelers to script their own agendas, making their vacation together as romantic and adventurous as they wish," says Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and sales for Windstar Cruises. "The casually elegant atmosphere found aboard Wind Star is the perfect complement to the intoxicating landscape of the South Pacific islands."

With a beauty matched only by its serenity, the Marquesas are unique because they are not surrounded by a reef. The great volcanic cliffs and towering mountains pop out from the deep ocean, making this one of the most scenic regions in all of Tahiti. An inspiration to artists and musicians, and renowned for its dancers, wood carvers and tattooists, the Marquesas offer a countless number of cultural, archeological and man-made wonders: 

The Marquesas From the unadulterated beauty and hand-crafted treasures of Fatu Hiva to the soaring 4,000-foot obelisk-shaped columns in Ua Pou - arguably one of the most dramatic skylines on earth - guests will find an island paradise where time literally 
stands still. Hiva Oa, one of the Marquesas' most renowned islands thanks to French painter Paul Gauguin and Belgian musician Jacques Brel (both of whom are buried here in the tranquil Atuona cemetery), boasts Polynesia's tallest tikis at the archeological sites of Puamau, as well as the 1,000 ceremonial stone carvings at nearby Taaoa. 

On Nuku Hiva, a spectacular 1,100-foot waterfall plunges from the basaltic cliffs above the Hakaui Valley, and travelers can explore the island's amazing scenery by way of an open-air off-road vehicle. Rangiroa Drift-snorkeling is an experience unique to this island, allowing visitors to begin their adventure out at sea and drift into the lagoon with the fish when the tide comes in. 

Bora Bora A romantic escape to the award-winning Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort - voted fourth best resort in Australasia and the South Pacific by Condé Nast Traveler - promises an overnight stay of snorkeling, kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, beach and bar. This legendary island boasts the dramatic Mt. Otemanu, palm-fringed motus and emerald waters teeming with Technicolor tropical fish.

Moorea The ultimate in romantic adventure invites guests to explore Opunohu Bay via a two-person, 25hp, twin-hull boat, stopping to snorkel and swim with stingrays, and enjoy a fresh lunch lagoon-side. Papeete Travelers stock up on Tahiti's signature black pearls, learn to dive, and get to know the locals by sampling fresh seafood and crepes from a roulotte (a restaurant on wheels) near the harbor.

Days under sail offer breathtaking panoramas of lush, volcanic islands, pristine harbors, dramatic horizons, and at night, the world's best view of the Southern Cross constellation that commands the sky. Breakfast on the Veranda, afternoons at the spa, evenings dining on award-winning cuisine, hours of personal time and convivial moments with newfound friends - this is the essence of the Windstar experience. 

About Windstar Cruises
Seattle-based Windstar Cruises operates three sailing yachts known for their pampering without pretense and their ability to visit the hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations. Carrying just 148 to 308 guests, the luxurious ships of Windstar cruise to nearly 50 nations, calling at more than 100 ports throughout Europe, the Caribbean and Tahiti.

Windstar's trademark "casual elegance" delivers a sophisticated yet relaxed experience with all-view staterooms and suites, innovative cuisine and wine selections, open dining, attentive service, enchanting ports of call, complimentary water sports and resort-style dress. Guests will appreciate recent ship enhancements which range from flat screen LCD TVs and DVD players in staterooms to new fabrics, décor and window treatments throughout the ship.

The line's concept of a luxury cruise vacation with a laid-back attitude has been a runaway success. Windstar has lead the cruise industry and continues to be an innovator in the luxury small ship, casual attire, and alternative dining arenas. Pioneering and refining these concepts has earned the line an excellent reputation and the allegiance of a new generation of contemporary cruise vacationers. 

Windstar offers optional trip cancellation protection that provides cash back when you cancel for any reason prior to 24-hours before departure. For more information including brochures, rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Discovery World Cruises Announces 2004/2005 Itineraries
Exciting Cruise-Tours to Antarctica, South America, the South Pacific & New Zealand

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL -- Following a successful inaugural season, Discovery World Cruises is gearing up for 2004/2005 with a series of tantalizing itineraries that will bring passengers up close with the wildlife of Antarctica, follow the routes of famed explorers, discover South Pacific islands cloaked in mystery and witness a total eclipse of the sun. Cruise-tours of 13 to 25 nights begin at per diems as affordable as $175 per person, double. In addition, Discovery World Cruises is offering attractive group rates and substantial advance purchase discounts for early bookings on all itineraries. 

Destinational Cruising at Affordable Prices
According to Tim Davey, the line's vice president, what differentiates Discovery from most other cruise lines is the emphasis placed on bringing the exotic itineraries within reach for most travelers. "We have put an enormous amount of effort into developing exciting itineraries, included pre- and post-cruise hotel packages, top-notch shore excursions, and a distinguished guest lecturer program, and priced these cruise-tours at rates travelers can easily afford." Many itineraries include an overnight hotel stay and sightseeing tour in the embarkation and/or disembarkation cities and all feature local cultural performances on board to showcase the customs and cultures of the regions visited.

Discovering the World in Luxury and Style
Beginning this December, MV Discovery will operate a series of cruises, three of which will explore the White Continent - Antarctica - while the others combine unspoiled islands with the ruins of ancient civilizations and a solar eclipse. Christmas Voyage to South America is the name of a special 25-night Holiday voyage, departing December 5, 2004, which takes guests from Lisbon to Buenos Aires, making stops in Gibraltar, Madeira, the Canary Islands and the Cape Verde Islands, Rio de Janeiro and Montevideo along the way.

From Buenos Aires Discovery journeys to the breathtaking beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula on three unique cruise expeditions. Passengers will discover the scenic grandeur and abundant wildlife of the White Continent while cruising in inflatable expedition boats and going ashore at Deception, Cuverville and Half Moon islands; Lemaire Channel, Paradise Harbor and Port Lockroy. Antarctica & the Falklands, departing December 28, is a 16-night New Year's itinerary that includes visits to the remote Falkland Islands and a two-night, post-cruise hotel stay in Buenos Aires. A 13-night expedition - Antarctica - that departs January 7 and a 20-night cruise adventure - Antarctica & Chilean Fjords - departing January 15 visit the same ports of call in Antarctica as the first. The former begins with a hotel stay in Buenos Aires, while the latter adds visits to the Chilean Fjords and Punta Arenas, before ending with hotel stay in Santiago.

Next Discovery charts a course shadowing the routes marked by famed Captains Cook and Blye on an 18-night voyage. In the Wake of the Bounty departs January 29 and calls at such South Pacific treasures as Robinson Crusoe Island, the mysterious Easter Island, Pitcairn Island, Bora Bora and Papeete.

New for 2005, Discovery World Cruises introduces two 18-day journeys through the South Seas. South Pacific I departs February 14 from Papeete, cruising through the Rangiroa Lagoon and Raiatea along the Tahitian coast before visiting Raratonga, Cook Islands; Vava'u, Tonga - where the ship will anchor in a volcanic crater; Suva and Dravuni in the Fiji Islands; and Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Passengers disembark in Auckland for a post-cruise hotel stay. 

South Pacific II - March 16-April 3 - begins with a hotel stay in Auckland before Discovery calls at Bay of Islands, New Zealand; Port Vila, Vanuatu; Yasawa and Suva, Fiji Islands; Apia, Samoa; Pago Pago, American Samoa; and Bora Bora, Raiatea and Papeete in Tahiti. Scenic highlights abound, including cruising Norfolk Island and Tin Can Island.

Another new addition to Discovery's roster is two Discover New Zealand itineraries. The two-week, cruise-tours depart February 26 or March 6 sailing round-trip from Auckland on a figure-eight path around New Zealand's North and South islands. Ports of call include Tauranga (gateway to the Maori homeland of Rotorua), Napier, Dunedin, Akaroa, Christchurch and Wellington. Passengers see White Island Volcano and the magnificent fjords of Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sounds, including a visit to Astronomer's Point. 

In 2005, MV Discovery will be perfectly positioned to witness April's total eclipse of the sun. South Pacific Eclipse is a 19-night itinerary that uniquely combines Polynesian ports with South America, including Papeete, Moorea, Pitcairn Island, Easter Island, Pisco and Lima. 

From Lima the ship embarks on Inca, Maya & Panama Canal, a 15-day, cruise-tour from the little-known Peruvian port of Salaverry to Fort Lauderdale's well-known Port Everglades. Passengers can explore the ancient Inca and Maya civilizations and enjoy a daytime transit of the Panama Canal. Ports of call include Chiclayo and Manta (Quito) in Peru; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; and Belize City.

The last cruise of the 2004/2005 season - Springtime Journey to Europe - is a 16-night transatlantic crossing that departs Fort Lauderdale May 2, calling at Nassau, Bermuda and the Azores en route to Harwich, England, from where guests transfer to London for an included hotel stay.

An Elegant Way to Travel
Before entering service as MV Discovery in 2003, the vessel underwent a multi-million refit. She retains her handsome, classic exterior profile, but now features every modern amenity. New facilities include 351 cabins and suites, equipped with televisions and built-in hairdryers; three restaurants, including one serving Asian cuisine; five elegant lounges; a well-stocked library; casino; modern health club and beauty center; two swimming pools, including one with a retractable dome; two Jacuzzis; and duty-free boutiques. Senior officers are from Scandinavia, the cruise staff is American and European, while the service staff - perhaps the ship's biggest asset - is from The Philippines. 

Discovery World Cruises was founded in 2002 by Gerry Herrod, a noted travel industry entrepreneur. Herrod is the former chairman of Orient Lines, Ocean Cruise Lines and Pearl Cruises. He was also the founder of Travellers International, which in the 1970s and 80s grew to be the largest European tour operator for U.S. travelers. Discovery World Cruises is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale with an operations center in London. For more information and to make a reservation, see a travel professional or contact Discovery World Cruises toll-free at 866-623-2689.

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Signature of Excellence Initiative Bolsters Holland America's Long History of Award-Winning Service 
New Enhancements Continue to Define World-class Service Levels in the Premium Cruise Category

The relaxing Hydro Pool at one of Holland America's Greenhouse Spa and Salons. Already on board Holland America's Vista-class ships, the renowned spa will be added to all ships in its five-star fleet in the next 24 months. (PRNewsFoto)

SEATTLE -- Holland America Line announced that, as part of its Signature of Excellence initiative, it will continue to enhance its award-winning service by providing even more ways for guests to feel pampered during their cruise experience. Building on its long "Tradition of Excellence," Holland America Line is taking the concept of attentive, unobtrusive service to a new level by offering onboard access to an exclusive, world-renowned spa, health club and salon; more personalized service in the main dining room; a convenient new tipping program and the option to take advantage of the industry-leading Early Embarkation program. In addition, suite guests will benefit from 24-hour telephone concierge services and Deluxe Verandah and Penthouse Suite guests will enjoy the luxurious Neptune Lounge.

"The foundation of Holland America's award-winning service is the careful balance of always being nearby but never intrusive," said David A. Giersdorf, Holland America's executive vice president, marketing and sales. "Our gracious crew members dedicate themselves to serving each and every guest and are the best in the industry at recognizing and delivering on the guest's priorities and wishes."

With a history of more than 130 years of luxury at sea, each staff member is committed to an elegant tradition of service. Guests enjoy the highest staff-to-guest ratio of any major cruise line. As a result, Holland America Line has been recognized as the highest-rated premium cruise line by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and The World Ocean and Cruise Liner Society.

Refresh, Relax and Rejuvenate at Sea
Travelers who are looking embrace sensory indulgence will be able to relax and rejuvenate at the spacious Greenhouse Spa and Salon. The famed land-based spa, already on board Holland America's Vista-class ships, will be added to all ships in the five-star fleet in the next 24 months. To accommodate the variety of Greenhouse Spa and Salon features, facilities will be expanded, adding several treatment rooms, a thermal suite and a hydro-pool.

The Greenhouse Spa and Salon also features a large, well-appointed fitness facility with the latest exercise equipment. Guests can enjoy the breathtaking panoramic ocean view while staying fit with state-of-the-art Cybex fitness equipment or participating in classes such as Mat Pilates, Pathway to Yoga, Cardio Ki-bo Circuit Training and spinning. There is a nominal charge for some of these classes.

Round-the-Clock Suite Life
With the addition of one-touch 24-hour telephone concierge service for all suite and mini-suite guests, a concierge can take care of any number of the guest's needs including reservations for shore excursions, car rentals, the Pinnacle Grill, the Greenhouse Spa and Salon and more. The service will debut on the ms Zaandam this spring and will be available on all ships by the end of 2005.

Deluxe Verandah and Penthouse Suite guests can also take advantage of personalized concierge service while visiting the Neptune Lounge, a private retreat where they can relax, read and socialize. Currently available on eight ships, the industry-leading concierge lounge will be added to all ships across the fleet within the next year.

Dining Service Gets Even More Personal
A notable addition to Holland America's gracious, worldly hospitality and service is taking place in the main dining room. Now Holland America Line is providing new, one-to-one service in the main dining room, which will allow one steward to stay with their assigned tables while an assistant steward delivers each course from the kitchen. This not only ensures quicker delivery time for the delectable cuisine, but the freshness of meals will be enhanced as well.

Enhanced Tipping Service Makes Guests' Experience Easier
In response to an overwhelming number of guests who have requested guidance on tipping and an easier way to reward Holland America's excellent service, the cruise line will automatically include a nominal gratuity of $10 per guest, per day for dining and stateroom services on the guest's shipboard account. Guests are able to make adjustments at the end of the cruise by contacting the front desk. Separately, a 15% service charge will be automatically added to bar and beverage charges. This new tipping policy will go into effect this spring.

Stellar Service Before the Journey Even Begins
Guests can now experience Holland America's unmatched service before the ship even leaves port. The recently-announced Early Embarkation program allows guests to board as early as 11:30 a.m. Deluxe Verandah Suite and Penthouse Suite guests who choose to participate in Holland America's Early Embarkation program will now be able to take advantage of the amenities and services in the Neptune Lounge before being escorted to their accommodations.

About Signature of Excellence
As the premium cruise leader, Holland America Line is investing $225 million in the Signature of Excellence initiative to provide unparalleled product and service enhancements to its fleet of five-star ships. Signature of Excellence will build on Holland America Line's renowned tradition of excellence by significantly raising the standard in premium cruising. The comprehensive enhancements will focus on five areas central to the Holland America Line guest experience: spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; sophisticated five-star dining; gracious, unobtrusive service; extensive enrichment programs and activities; and compelling worldwide itineraries. Enhancements, and in some cases construction build-outs, have been started and are expected to be completed by the end of 2006.

In 2004, Holland America Line's fleet of 13, five-star, premium ships will offer nearly 500 sailings from 15 North American home ports, including new departures from Norfolk, VA; Baltimore, MD; and Boston, Mass. Recent additions to the fleet include the 1,848-passenger Vista ships, ms Zuiderdam and ms Oosterdam. In April 2004, the third Vista sister, ms Westerdam joins the fleet. The fleet will visit all seven continents in 2004, while increasing the number of cruises to popular destinations like Alaska (139 cruises scheduled), the Caribbean (191), Europe (58) and Canada/New England (26).

Holland America Line excels in service, amenities and special programs. Known for consistent and attentive service, its ships have one of the highest staff members to guest ratio. Spacious staterooms average 25 percent larger and verandahs twice as large as those on other lines' ships. Menus are among the most extensive at-sea. Dining choices include formal elegance, alternative specialty dining in the Pacific Northwest-themed Pinnacle Grill, casual fare and complimentary 24-hour room service. For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Silversea Announces Enticing Schedule of Culinary & Wine Cruises
Celebrated Chefs from Relais & Châteaux and Top Winemakers Set to Host Popular Enrichment Cruises

Ft. Lauderdale, FL -- Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises is spicing up its 2004 schedule with an incomparable collection of nine Culinary Cruises and 11 Wine Series voyages. The popular culinary enrichment cruises will showcase the artistry of award-winning chefs from Relais & Châteaux - Relais Gourmands, the distinguished association of boutique hotels and restaurants, while international wine experts from an array of prestigious estates and wineries will be on hand to host the Wine Series voyages.

"Our culinary and wine theme cruises offer the perfect setting for education and entertainment to mingle," said Barbara Muckermann, Silversea's Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing and Communications. "Every year they continue to grow in popularity with our guests, and we're delighted to roll out a brand new collection of these special enrichment cruises for 2004." 
Added Muckermann, "Our guests have sophisticated tastes and expectations that reflect their lifestyle - one that celebrates travel, food, wine, culture and learning. Our Culinary and Wine Cruises provide a wonderful opportunity for guests to broaden their appreciation of life's finer elements, with some of the world's most acclaimed chefs and vintners as their guides."

On nine culinary sailings spanning the globe from Athens to Ushuaia, the distinguished guest chefs of Relais & Châteaux - Relais Gourmands will show off their exceptional culinary talents during informative and entertaining cooking demonstrations. Guests on culinary sailings can taste and learn firsthand the secrets of enticing signature dishes created by award-winning chefs like Guenter Seeger, the Michelin, Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond chef/owner of Seeger's, Atlanta, and Joachim Koerper, the Michelin two-star chef/owner of Spain's famed Girasol restaurant. The Culinary Cruises also feature food and wine pairings, creative regional dishes, and a five-course grand gourmet dinner. Throughout these special voyages, the featured guest chef and Silversea's Executive Chef are on hand to share their culinary expertise and answer any questions.

Silversea guests can explore fabled wine regions from Europe to North America's Pacific Coast on 11 different Wine Series voyages. Discerning travelers with a passion for fine wines will enjoy sampling some of the world's finest vintages and visiting world-famous wineries, cellars and vineyards. Top experts, vineyard owners and winemakers from renowned establishments like Castello Banfi, Château Lynch-Bages, Cloudy Bay, Penfolds and Spottswoode, will be on board to provide enriching lectures, conduct special tastings of vintage blends and guide Silversea's guests on excursions to celebrated wineries and vineyards in select ports of call.

Guests can experience the perfect pairing of Culinary and Wine Cruises aboard Silver Whisper's "Princes & Patricians" 7-day cruise from Venice to Rome, calling in Split, Dubrovnik, Taormina and Sorrento. Guest chef Robert Carter of the famed Peninsula Grill at Planters Inn will join world-class Napa Valley winemakers Miljenko "Mike" Grgich and Violet Grgich to match delectable culinary creations with the perfect Chardonnay, Zinfandel or Cabernet from Grgich Hills Cellar.

Silversea has just published its "2004 Culinary & Wine Cruise Series" program schedule. The colorful leaflet provides a concise overview of the programs, ships, itineraries and hosts for these special theme cruises. To request a copy, please call toll-free (877) 215-9986.

Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard four intimate vessels, Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, and Silver Whisper, all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. For the seventh consecutive year, Silversea Cruises was named best small-ship line in the 2002 readers' survey conducted by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. For the fifth time, Silversea was selected "Number One" small-ship line in Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2003. 2004 will be an exciting year as Silversea celebrates its 10th anniversary. Look for upcoming announcements about gala events and special programs to celebrate the line's ten years of excellence.

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



Silver Cloud's "Iberian Favorites" 6-day cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona, May 12 - 18, 2004 (Voyage 1415). Guest Chef: Joachim Koerper, Girasol, Moaira, Spain. Silver Sailings fares start at $2,982 per person.

Silver Whisper's "A Glorious Passage" 9-day cruise from Barcelona to Athens, June 7 - 16, 2004 (Voyage 4416). Guest Chef: Guenter Seeger, Seeger's, Atlanta, Georgia. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $5,161 per person.

Silver Whisper's "Princes & Patricians" 7-day cruise from Venice to Rome, July 21 - 28, 2004 (Voyage 4421). Guest Chef: Robert Carter, Peninsula Grill at Planters Inn, Charleston, South Carolina. Winemaker Co-Host: Grgich Hills Cellar (California). Early Booking Incentive fares start at $4,357 per person.

Silver Cloud's "Riviera Reflections" 7-day cruise from Malaga to Barcelona, September 8 - 15, 2004 (Voyage 1428). Guest Chef: Jacques Thorel, L'Auberge Bretonne, La Roche-Bernard, France. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $3,951 per person.

Silver Shadow's "The Magic of Mexico" 11-day cruise from San Francisco to Costa Rica, September 26 - October 7, 2004 (Voyage 3426). Guest Chef: Executive Chef (To Be Announced), Las Mañanitas, Cuernavaca, Mexico. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $3,961 per person.

Silver Whisper's "New England Medley" 8-day cruise from New York to New York, September 30 - October 8, 2004 (Voyage 4428). Guest Chef: Eyvind Hellstrøm, Bagatelle, Oslo, Norway. Advance Payment Bonus fares start at $3,928 per person.

Silver Shadow's "Accent on the Panama Canal" 8-day cruise from Costa Rica to Barbados, October 19 - 27, 2004 (Voyage 3428). Guest Chef: Randy Akey, Kingsbrae Arms, St. Andrews, New Brunswick. Advance Payment Bonus fares start at $2,901 per person.

Silver Whisper's "Caribbean Celebrations" 9-day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Colon, November 20 - 29, 2004 (Voyage 4434). Guest Chef: Christopher Freeman, Topper's at The Wauwinet, Nantucket, Massachusetts. Advance Payment Bonus fares start at $3,334 per person.

Silver Wind's "Chilean Fjord Odyssey" 7-day cruise from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, December 7 - 14, 2004 (Voyage 2432A). Guest Chef: Anne Desjardins, Hôtel L'eau à la Bouche, Sainte-Adèle, Québec. Advance Payment Bonus fares start at $3,053 per person.


Silver Whisper's "A Taste of Italy & Spain" 7-day cruise from Barcelona to Rome, May 5 - 12, 2004 (Voyage 4411). Hosted by Cloudy Bay Vineyards (New
Zealand). Silver Sailings fares start at $3,479 per person.

Silver Cloud's "Riviera Rendezvous" 7-day cruise from Barcelona to Monte Carlo, May 18 - 25, 2004 (Voyage 1416). Hosted by Scotchmans Hill
(Australia). Silver Sailings fares start at $3,479 per person.

Silver Cloud's "Vintage Harbors" 10-day cruise from Monte Carlo to London, May 25 - June 4, 2004 (Voyage 1417). Hosted by Château Lynch-Bages
(France). Silver Sailings fares start at $4,832 per person.

Silver Wind's "Haute Harbors" 7-day cruise from Monte Carlo to Barcelona, June 21 - 28, 2004 (Voyage 2418). Hosted by Leeuwin Estate (Australia) with
COPIA - The American Center for Food, Wine & the Arts. Early Booking
Incentive fares start at $4,031 per person.

Silver Wind's "Masterpieces of the Mediterranean" 7-day cruise from Barcelona to Rome, June 28 - July 5, 2004 (Voyage 2419). Hosted by
Plumbjack Winery (California). Early Booking Incentive fares start at
$4,272 per person.

Silver Whisper's "Princes & Patricians" 7-day cruise from Venice to Rome, July 21 - 28, 2004 (Voyage 4421). Hosted by Grgich Hills Cellar
(California) and Guest Chef Robert Carter, Peninsula Grill at Planters Inn. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $4,357 per person.

Silver Whisper's "Passage to Antiquity" 7-day cruise from Rome to Venice, July 28 - August 4, 2004 (Voyage 4422). Hosted by Heitz Wine Cellars
(California). Early Booking Incentive fares start at $4,111 per person.

Silver Cloud's "Atlantic Vistas" 9-day cruise from London to Malaga, August 30 - September 8, 2004 (Voyage 1427). Hosted by Penfolds (Australia). Early Booking Incentive fares start at $5,001 per person.

Silver Cloud's "Mediterranean Interlude" 7-day cruise from Nice to Monte Carlo, September 22 - 29, 2004 (Voyage 1430). Hosted by Shafer Vineyards (California). Early Booking Incentive fares start at $4,031 per person.

Silver Wind's "Picturesque Passage" 7-day cruise from Rome to Barcelona, October 13 - 20, 2004 (Voyage 2428). Hosted by Castello Banfi (Italy). Advance Payment Bonus fares start at $3,391 per person.

Silver Shadow's "Alaska Reflections" 7-day cruise from Seattle to Vancouver, September 1 - 8, 2004 (Voyage 3422). Hosted by Duckhorn and Spottswoode
(California). Early Booking Incentive fares start at $3,418 per person.

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Celebrity Cruises' New Xpedition Goes Behind Iron Curtain 
Northern European Cruises Offer Insight Into Espionage, KGB and Kremlin

MIAMI, April 1 -- The Cold War may have ended long ago, but curiosity about the KGB lives on. Celebrity Cruises invites guests to delve into the intrigue personally with the latest entry in its Celebrity Xpeditions(SM) series: an in-depth look behind the iron curtain with the KGB, the once-feared Russian Secret Service in Moscow. Offered as an excursion option during Celebrity's Northern Europe cruises, the rare experience in Moscow allows guests to go behind-the-scenes with the KGB in the morning, followed by an in-depth tour of the Kremlin, the seat of the Russian government, in the afternoon.

After departing Constellation in St. Petersburg, guests board a one-hour flight to Moscow, followed by limousine transportation to the museum of the world-famous Russian Security and Intelligence Service, KGB. True stories of legendary Russian spies and details about the role the KGB played in developing the Soviet State are revealed, followed by a presentation of an impressive collection of espionage equipment and an array of artifacts that belonged to the Russian Secret Service.

In the heart of Moscow, guests visit the Kremlin, the most important historical and political center of Russia. The massive fortress houses a collection of Russian treasures, jewelry, court regalia, armor, coronation dresses, golden carriages, and priceless Faberge eggs.

In Cathedral Square, guests are invited to tour one of the three gold- domed churches -- the Archangel Michael Cathedral -- the oldest in the Kremlin, and once used as a private chapel for Russian czars. Red Square presents guests with an "up close and personal" view of St. Basil Cathedral, whose multi-colored onion-shaped domes have made it a classic image depicting Russian culture.

After visiting Kremlin Towers and Lenin's Tomb, the Celebrity Xpeditions experience concludes with dinner in a historic mansion, capped with a traditional vodka toast, before flying back to St. Petersburg to return to Constellation. The fee for Celebrity's 16-hour "Moscow, Kremlin and KGB" experience is $1,300 per person, including roundtrip airfare from St. Petersburg, limousine transportation, lunch and dinner. Additional details and online booking capability are offered via the Celebrity web site.

The new excursion is the latest in a series of Celebrity Xpeditions, which include vacation packages on a luxurious megayacht in the exotic Galapagos Islands and voyages on a Russian icebreaker in the isolated Arctic and Antarctic. Celebrity Cruises is the industry's highest-rated premium cruise brand with a taste of luxury. The cruise line has 10 ships in its fleet, which is the youngest of any major line. Celebrity sails in the Arctic, Antarctic, Alaska, Bermuda, California, the Caribbean, Europe, the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal and South America. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111, or visit the Celebrity web site at

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Caribbean Princess Arrives in Ft. Lauderdale for Dual 'Love Boat' Christening & Wedding 
Starring Actress Jill Whelan (aka Vicki Stubing)

Ship Is Princess Cruises' First to Be Based Exclusively in the Caribbean 

SANTA CLARITA, CA -- Princess Cruises' newest ship, the 113,000-ton Caribbean Princess, arrived in her new homeport of Fort Lauderdale, and will be the company's first ship to be dedicated year-round to Caribbean cruising. To celebrate the debut of the company's newest Love Boat, Jill Whelan, who spent nearly a decade growing up before viewers as Captain Stubing's TV daughter, will christen the 3,100-passenger Caribbean Princess on April 2. And, in a unique twist, in addition to becoming "godmother," Jill will also be the first christener to become a bride when she marries fiance Michael Chaykowsky onboard the new ship the same evening.

Both the wedding and naming ceremonies, at 6 pm and 7 pm Eastern time, respectively, will be broadcast live on Princess Cruises' web site, and fans can virtually attend the festivities by logging onto A special on-site interview with Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing) and Bernie Kopell (Doc) will also be shown during the live broadcast.

"As the line that made cruising and romance synonymous through the popular 'Love Boat' television series, it's fitting to have the show's 'daughter' not only name Caribbean Princess but also marry and honeymoon aboard our new ship," said Alan Buckelew, president of Princess Cruises. "What better way to mark Princess' expanding presence in the Caribbean -- one of the most romantic cruise destinations -- than to celebrate with a special dual wedding and naming."

Caribbean Princess will provide a real taste of the Caribbean with region-based innovations such as Cafe Caribe, a casual dining area featuring Jerk Chicken, whole roast suckling pig, and other local specialities; "Movies Under the Stars," a poolside screen with lounge chair reservations, drink specials and movie nibbles; "Island Nights" sailaway and pool parties; a "Caribbean Caliente" stage show, and a variety of other island-inspired entertainment options.

The ship also debuts Princess' new, proprietary Lotus Spa and includes many of the line's trademark touches such as affordable balconies with nearly 900 -- more than any other cruise ship based solely in the Caribbean -- Sabatini's Italian trattoria featuring a multi-course seafood-themed feast, three separate dining rooms and show lounges, an Internet cafe and four swimming pools. Caribbean Princess also features a wedding chapel and the lines' "Tie the Knot" program, the only at-sea wedding offering where couples can be married by the ship's captain in international waters.

Caribbean Princess will set sail on her inaugural Caribbean cruise on April 3 for a roundtrip voyage to the Western Caribbean. The ship will cruise roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale with an itinerary featuring calls at Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios (or Montego Bay), Cozumel and Princess Cays, Princess' private beach call in the Bahamas. The vessel will then offer alternating Eastern Caribbean itineraries with stops in St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Princess Cays.

One of the best-known names in North American cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise and tour company. Part of Carnival Corporation & plc, its current fleet of 13 ships sail on approximately 150 different itineraries around the globe, calling at more than 260 ports on all seven continents. By 2006 a further two ships will be introduced, including Sapphire Princess in June of this year. Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at 

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

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