Cruise Planner & Industry News from Cruise Diva
Discover the world of cruise travel

Subscribe Now! Cruise Diva's FREE Newsletter

Make the most of your cruise vacation with
 information from
CruiseDiva.com 


~ Cruise Lines
~ Articles & Advice
~ Cruise News
~ Planning Tips
~ Packing & Lists
~ Ports of Call

~ Cruise Reviews

~ HOT Tips Archive
~ About CruiseDiva
~ Cruise Links
~ Cruise Diary
~ CruiseDiva Home

Insure My Trip
Insure your cruise ~ Use the automated quote form to compare plans

Cruise Bon Voyage Gifts from Well Wishers -- CLICK HERE!!!

Bon Voyage gifts & more delivered worldwide by Well Wishers

Get cruise gear & more from
The Cruise Shop

 Cruising by the Book ~ Top Picks in 
Cruise Guidebooks

The favorite of serious cruise travelers:

 Cruise Travel
Cruise Travel

Have a question or a review to submit?

Copyright © 1995-2002 
Linda Coffman


News from the world of cruising ~
April 16-30, 2002

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

Back to Cruise News Weekly Index & Archive


HOLLAND AMERICA LINE'S MS ZAANDAM WILL BE SITE OF 51ST ANNUAL SEATTLE MARITIME FESTIVAL LUNCHEON

Seattle, April 25, 2002 - Holland America Line-Westours will host the 2002 Seattle Maritime Festival Luncheon aboard the 1,440-passenger luxury cruise ship ms Zaandam on May 6 while the ship is in port in Seattle. The visit by the Zaandam marks the arrival of the first Holland America ship into Seattle for the 2002 cruising season. On May 18, the ms Amsterdam will arrive to begin 19 weekly roundtrip cruises to Alaska through September. Members of the International Council of Cruise Lines will attend the luncheon, which is co-hosted by the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the Seattle chapter of the Propeller Club of the U.S.  Michael Crye, president of the ICCL will be the keynote speaker. Proceeds from the event will benefit local maritime industry non-profit agencies and charities. 

"This is a wonderful opportunity for us to host an event that raises money for our local charities and is a tangible demonstration of our commitment to our hometown," said Kirk Lanterman, Holland America Line chairman and CEO. "We also are delighted that our guests and business partners will be able to see our beautiful ship and experience first-hand a sampling of Holland America's outstanding service." 

About 400 people are expected to attend the luncheon. Guests will have the opportunity to attend on-board receptions in the Zaandam's Ocean Bar, Seaview Bar and Explorer Lounge, and enjoy guided tours of the ship. The luncheon will be in the lower level of the ship's formal Rotterdam Dining Room. For more information, contact the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce at 206-389-7265. 

The growing cruise ship industry in Seattle creates a significant economic impact in the Puget Sound community. In 2002, the Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal, where the Zaandam will dock during its Seattle visits, will handle 79 cruise sailings and more than 250,000 passengers. The operations support 945 new jobs. Holland America estimates the direct impact from its 27 sailings in 2002 to be US$18,594,365. Passenger and crew will spend about US$13,134,750 in shops, restaurants, hotels, museums, local sightseeing attractions, and taxicabs. Port fees, charges and taxes are estimated at US$1,943,215. Fuel totals US$1,900,000 and general hotel costs such as a US$5,000 flower order each week add up to US$840,000.

In 2002, Holland America is pleased to offer a choice of Pacific Northwest and Alaska cruises originating in Seattle. The Zaandam will sail on three- and four-night cruises between Seattle and Canada this spring and fall. In addition, the ms Amsterdam, a Holland America flagship recently named "Ship of the Year" for 2002 by the members of the World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society, will sail from Seattle on 19 seven-night roundtrip cruises to Alaska from May through September.

For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.

Back to the top of the news list


COMPLIMENTARY LUGGAGE SERVICE INTRODUCED FOR FULL-CRUISE GUESTS ON 2003 GRAND WORLD VOYAGE

Seattle, April 25, 2002 - Holland America Line has announced it will provide complimentary luggage service as a new benefit for guests who book the ms Amsterdam's full 108-day Grand World Voyage in 2003. 

"Holland America Line is constantly looking for ways to further enhance our premium, top-quality service. We are pleased to introduce this new luggage program to provide even greater value and convenience for our full-world cruise guests," said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president, marketing and sales. 

Under the new program, each full-world cruise guest may ship 100 pounds of personal effects free of charge from their homes in the United  States or Canada to Ft. Lauderdale, the embarkation port for the Grand World Voyage, and back from Los Angeles, the port of disembarkation. Guests having more than 100 pounds of luggage will be charged $1 per pound (in each direction) to ship the excess baggage; the excess luggage fee will be waived for guests booked in stateroom categories PS, S, A and B. Full-world cruise guests will be provided with a toll-free number to call to arrange for pick-up of their luggage by early December 2002. 

The luggage shipping company working with HAL will transport the items to the Amsterdam in Ft. Lauderdale, where it will undergo security screening before being loaded on board and delivered directly to the guest's stateroom. Representatives from the luggage service company will be on board the Amsterdam on the journey back from Honolulu to set up the return shipments of luggage, which will arrive at the guests' homes seven to 10 days after disembarkation in Los Angeles. All luggage will be insured against damage through the company performing this service under contract with Holland America Line. 

The 1,380-passenger Amsterdam, the World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society's "Ship of the Year for 2002" and the largest and most spacious ship in the world cruise market, departs on Holland America's 38th grand world cruise from Ft. Lauderdale on Jan. 4, 2003. During the voyage, the Amsterdam will visit 38 ports while cruising the Southern Caribbean, South America, Antarctica, the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia, the Far East and Hawaii before the adventure ends in Los Angeles on April 22. 

Since its first world cruise in 1958, Holland America has earned a stellar reputation for providing the utmost in personal service and amenities to its world cruise guests. Crews for these very special voyages are individually selected from the entire fleet to create a staff of unmatched excellence and experience. An array of special world cruise events, services, surprise gifts, culinary delights and entertainment add extra luster to Holland America's premium cruise experience. 

Cruise fares for the full Grand World Voyage start at US$27,771 per person, double occupancy, including first class air and limousine transfers between airport and ship and port charges, when booked by June 30, 2002. Governmental taxes are additional at US$491.27 per person.

For more information about Holland America Line's Grand World Voyage,
consult a professional travel agent, call 1-800-522-3399 or visit
www.hollandamerica.com.

Back to the top of the news list


HOLLAND AMERICA LINE TO NAME THIRD VISTA CLASS SHIP
 THE MS WESTERDAM

Seattle, April 25, 2002 - Holland America Line today announced that its third Vista class ship, scheduled for delivery in the spring of 2004, will be named ms Westerdam, in keeping with Holland America Line's long-standing tradition of honoring prior vessel names. The new 85,000-ton, 1,848-passenger vessel will be the third in Holland America Line's history to bear the Westerdam name. 

"We're excited to honor Vista 3 with the name ms Westerdam," said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president, marketing and sales, Holland America Line. "She will share a rich history with two past Holland America Line vessels of the same name. And, this name is consistent with the points or 'vistas' of the compass that the other new Vista series ships will bear." 

Vista Series of Ships Looks to the Future in Premium Cruising Holland America Line's fleet will grow for the foreseeable future with its Vista series, five 1,848-passenger ships entering service through 2006, beginning with the ms Zuiderdam this November, then the ms Oosterdam in June 2003, and the ms Westerdam in April 2004. As yet unnamed, the fourth ship of the series will be delivered in October 2005 and the fifth in spring 2006. 

HAL's Vista Class premium ships are the largest ever built for the company; they also will boast the highest passenger space ratio of its fleet at 46, keeping the company firmly placed as the leader in premium cruising. The Vista-class ships feature innovative "exterior elevators," located on both sides of the vessel and vertically traversing 10 decks, providing guests with panoramic sea views. The ships also include a wide range of spacious accommodation categories. About 85 percent of the staterooms feature an ocean view, with approximately 80 percent of those offering private verandahs.

The 951-foot-long ships build upon the hallmarks of the Holland America brand, displaying extensive multi-million-dollar art collections and a signature Waterford Crystal installation in the ship's atrium. The vessels feature numerous dining options, from elegant full-service meals to casual Lido Restaurant service. The ships also will continue other trademark features of Holland America ships, including the Explorers Lounge, Ocean Bar, an exterior covered promenade deck encircling the entire ship, a large Lido pool with a retractable dome, and Holland America's signature "Crow's Nest" observation lounge. 

The ship also will offer a new "cabaret-style" show lounge complementing a new three-deck main show lounge. Other new features include a sophisticated nightclub, the casual "round-the-clock" Windstar café, an Internet cafe, the largest spa facilities in the fleet, Internet/e-mail data ports in all staterooms, an extensive Club HAL children's facility with inside and outside play areas, a concierge lounge for the exclusive use of Penthouse and Deluxe Verandah Suite guests and two interior promenade decks. The new vessels' propulsion system includes a full-scale diesel-electric power plant, backed up by a gas turbine as an additional power source, giving the vessel the capability to operate on either diesel or gas turbine power. The ships also will use the Azipod propulsion system, allowing for greater maneuverability, enhanced operating efficiencies and environmental benefits. 

Westerdam II
The second Westerdam sailed on 643 voyages for Holland America Line during a career spanning more than 13 years with the company. The ship, which began service as the former Home Lines' Homeric in 1986, was named the Westerdam and officially entered service with Holland America Line on Nov. 12, 1988. The Westerdam's arrival expanded the fleet to four ships and signaled the beginning of a new era of growth for Holland America that continues today. 

In 1989, the Westerdam underwent a notable $84 million renovation at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, where it was originally built. During an extended drydock, it was "stretched" by a then-cruise industry record 130 feet, increasing its capacity 1,000 to 1,494 guests and its size from 42,000 gross tons to 53,872. After carrying more than a million guests on Caribbean, Panama Canal and Alaska cruises, the ship left the Holland America fleet on March 10, 2002, transferred to sister company Costa Cruciere, where it will continue its career cruising European waters as the Costa Europa. 

Westerdam I
The first Westerdam sailed for Holland America Line from 1946 to 1965. A combined cargo/passenger ship, with five cargo holds and accommodations for 143 first-class passengers and 126 crewmembers, the ship made the Atlantic crossing twice a month between Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and New York City. The 12,149-gross-ton, twin-propeller ship and its sister ship, Noordam II, took eight days to make the crossing. The Westerdam was a survivor of three sinkings during World War II before it ever made its maiden voyage. Its keel was laid in Rotterdam on Sept. 1, 1939, at the Wilton Feyenoord Shipyard, but construction was suspended when the Germans invaded Holland in 1940. On Aug. 27, 1942, the half-completed ship was bombed by Allied forces at its berth and sunk. German troops raised the ship, but in September 1944, it was sunk by Dutch underground resistance forces. Raised again by the Germans, it was sunk for the third time by the Dutch underground on Jan. 17, 1945. 

After the war, the Westerdam was raised by the Dutch and construction was completed. On June 28, 1946, the Westerdam departed Rotterdam on its maiden voyage to New York. It continued regular trans-Atlantic service until it was sold to Spain for scrap on Feb. 4, 1965. 

For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.

Back to the top of the news list


Royal Caribbean & Port Of Seattle Hold Cruise Roundtable For Media

SEATTLE, April 25 - Royal Caribbean International and the Port of Seattle held a roundtable meeting today in Seattle to discuss the upcoming Seattle cruise season and numerous other issues related to the cruise industry.

With the Seattle cruise season beginning soon, the Port of Seattle and Royal Caribbean held today's event to provide a forum for Seattle's business and tourism leaders to join with them for a discussion with local media about cruise industry issues of mutual interest and concern.

"I'm glad the port and Royal Caribbean were able to hold today's meeting for the Seattle media," said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president of Marketing and Sales for Royal Caribbean International. "There are many things happening in the cruise industry and, specifically, in Seattle. I appreciate this opportunity to meet with Seattle's business and tourism leaders, and media, to discuss some of the top issues."

Royal Caribbean's gas turbine-powered ship, Radiance of the Seas, will be making 19 two-, three- and four-night sailings from Seattle from May 10 to June 6, and from September 17 to October 18, 2002. The three- and four-night sailings will make ports of call in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. The two-night sailings will call in Victoria, British Columbia. This is the third consecutive year Royal Caribbean has sailed from the Port of Seattle.

The meeting, held at the World Trade Center Seattle, touched on a wide range of topics, including the upcoming cruise season from the Port of Seattle and its growing role in the Alaska and Pacific Northwest cruise markets; plans for a second cruise terminal at the port, the impact of cruising on the Seattle and Washington economies, the impact of the September 11 attacks on the cruise industry, increased cruise security measures, and Royal Caribbean's Seattle sailings for 2002.

Participants in the roundtable meeting included Mic Dinsmore, chief executive officer, Port of Seattle; Steve Leahy, president and chief executive officer, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce; and Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales, Royal Caribbean International.

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

Back to the top of the news list


SEABOURN COMPLETES A MAJOR UPDATE OF ITS WEBSITE
Multi-Media, Virtual Tours Enhance Upgraded Ultra Luxury Web Presence

MIAMI, April 25, 2002 - Seabourn Cruise Line has completed a thorough overhaul and added substantial new interactive content to its award-winning website located at www.seabourn.com. Visitors to the site will notice a completely new look and feel to the content, bringing more of the luxury of a Seabourn experience right to their desktops. They are now greeted by a stirring music track, and invited to take a virtual tour of the line's three intimate Yachts of Seabourn: Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend by means of 360-degree photography, video and standard photography.

 "We realize that more and more consumers and agents use the web to get information," said Richard Meadows, CTC, Seabourn's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "In the past year, Seabourn has invested in a continuing series of enhancements to the cruise experience on The Yachts of Seabourn, and it's important that our site expands to represent everything that a Seabourn cruise offers today."

 In 2001, Seabourn's site was selected by the editors of Forbes.com for its "Best of the Web" list of the best-designed and most effective sites on the worldwide web. Key features of the site which have been added or updated include:

· On the re-designed home page, a streaming series of images portray the line's hallmarks including exceptionally personalized service, fine cuisine, spacious and elegant accommodations, an indulgent spa and exotic destinations.

· Clicking on the menu item "Virtual Tour" brings up a menu of 14 images, ten of which were created using 360-degree photography.

· A streaming Quicktime video is also accessible, highlighting the "realm of heavenly delights" offered by The Yachts of Seabourn, including free Massage Moments on deck, Exclusively Seabourn shoreside experiences, cuisine designed by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer and more.

· These Signature Delights are further illustrated on their own menu page.

· Clicking on the "Destinations" heading takes visitors to an interactive world map of Seabourn's sailing regions. When the cursor passes over a region, ports of call in that region appear on the map, as well as an illustration depicting the region.

· Each sailing region has a page of menus linked to itineraries, ports of call, shore excursions, land extensions and hotel selections for the region. Buttons provide maps and average daily temperatures for the months in which Seabourn sails there. 

· Clicking on "Itineraries" leads to a search engine of all 2002 and 2003 Seabourn itineraries by destination or by month. Alternatively, visitors can simply scroll through the calendar with departures listed by date.  Selecting any departure brings up a day-by-day itinerary with an added button for special savings offers.

· Past guests have a special section offering expedited email contact and dealing with the benefits and privileges of membership in the Seabourn Club.

· Visitors can place orders for current cruise brochures on the site.

· Travel agents also have exclusive content accessed by entering a valid IATA number, where they can receive sales and marketing assistance, order brochures and collateral materials in quantity and download various forms for their use.

· A library of high resolution photographs and logos is available for downloading from the site.


Other sections offer complete details of deck plans, suite configurations, news releases and an array of special promotional offers on selected cruises.

For information on the Yachts of Seabourn contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit www.seabourn.com.

Back to the top of the news list


Royal Caribbean Brings New Ship To San Diego
Grandeur of the Seas to offer 19 sailings from May to September

MIAMI, April 24 - Royal Caribbean International and the Port of San Diego announced today that Grandeur of the Seas will sail from the California seaport this summer. The announcement was made at a press conference in San Diego.

The 74,140-ton, 1,950-passenger ship will offer 19 sailings from San Diego in 2002, from May 19 through September 21. This is the first time in 10 years that summertime weekly roundtrip cruises will be offered out of San Diego Bay. Grandeur of the Seas joins three other Royal Caribbean vessels sailing from San Diego this year, Legend of the Seas, Vision of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas. Royal Caribbean's sister cruise line, Celebrity Cruises, also will sail three ships from San Diego in 2002, Infinity, Mercury and Summit. Altogether, Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises will originate 46 cruises in San Diego in 2002.

"We're thrilled to have Grandeur of the Seas sailing from San Diego," said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president of Marketing and Sales for Royal Caribbean International. "Our guests have always enjoyed sailing from San Diego and we're glad to be making one more ship available to them. We appreciate the warm California welcome we've received and look forward to more successful sailings."

Grandeur of the Seas will depart San Diego on Sundays on seven-night Mexican Riviera sailings, with ports of call in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Fares start at $849 per person, double occupancy.

"We're excited to announce these new sailings from Royal Caribbean," said Stephen Cushman, chairman of the board of the San Diego Port Commission. "Wonderful cruise opportunities for San Diegans continue to increase, and with every cruise ship call, the whole region benefits economically."

On September 15, Grandeur of the Seas will make a special six-night California Coastal sailing, with port calls in San Francisco, Monterey and Catalina Island, and Ensenada, Mexico.

Grandeur of the Seas arrives in San Diego on May 19, at the completion of a 14-night Panama Canal sailing that departs Miami on May 5. The trans-Canal sailing will make calls in Oranjestad, Aruba; Panama Canal; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Grandeur of the Seas departs San Diego on September 21, on a 14-night sailing to New Orleans, with ports of call in Cabo San Lucas and Acapulco, Mexico; the Panama Canal; and Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas will sail from San Diego from September 29 through November 10, on seven-night Mexican Riviera sailings.

Vision of the Seas has sailed from San Diego since the beginning of the 2002, and will do so until May 5, on a variety of Mexican Riviera and Panama Canal sailings. Radiance of the Seas will make a 14-night Panama Canal sailing from San Diego on November 16.

Royal Caribbean's sister cruise line, Celebrity Cruises, will sail Infinity, Mercury, and Summit out of San Diego on a number of Panama Canal cruises in April, May, October, November, and December.

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

Back to the top of the news list


Philadelphia's Star Chef Guillermo Pernot Shares His 'Pasion!' on Crystal Cruises' Wine & Food Festival
Award-Winning Sommelier Cristie Dufault Pairs Wines

LOS ANGELES, April 24 - This summer, Philadelphia's Guillermo Pernot will spice up Crystal Harmony's July 28 Alaska sailing as guest chef during Crystal Cruises' Wine & Food Festival. Author of the critically-acclaimed cookbook, "Ceviche!", and chef and proprietor of Philadelphia's hot Nuevo Latino restaurant, "Pasion!", Pernot will treat guests to a four-course dinner of signature dishes and share some of his recipes and tips at daytime cooking demonstrations. Each year, Crystal's successful Wine & Food Festival series showcases award-winning chefs from some of the world's most celebrated restaurants, as well as renowned wine authorities for wine tastings from the cruise line's extensive cellar.

Pernot has been nominated for the prestigious James Beard Award in both 2001 and 2000. "Pasion!" was named "Best New Restaurant" and "Best of Philly" by Philadelphia Magazine, and John Mariani, food and travel correspondent for Esquire named him "Chef of the Year" in 1999. Additional accolades have poured in from Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and Food & Wine magazines.

Noted sommelier, Cristie Dufault from Gary Danko Restaurant in San Francisco, will complement Pernot's exciting cuisine with expert advice and wine pairings for every palate. Dufault is a recent recipient of Wine Spectator's "Grand Award of Excellence," which recognizes the top wine lists in the world.

The 12-day Alaskan Memories cruise sails round-trip from San Francisco on July 28 and visits Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia; the Alaskan ports of Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, and Ketchikan, and cruises the Inside Passage and Glacier Bay. Perfect Harmony cruise fares start at $2,975 per person, double occupancy, or under $250 per day.

"Crystal Cruises, like Guillermo Pernot, has won the industry's highest accolades," says Adam Leavitt, senior vice president, marketing, Crystal Cruises. "Pernot's cuisine and culinary lectures are fitting enhancements to the stimulating, quality programming we offer on our luxury cruise experience."

At 50,000 tons carrying only 940 guests, the elegant Crystal Harmony is a spacious floating resort. The award-winning ship offers expansive decks, exquisitely-appointed staterooms (more than half with private verandahs), a variety of entertainment lounges for acclaimed, Broadway-style shows, gourmet dining including Japanese and Italian specialty restaurants and "Valentino at Prego" selections from the renowned restaurants (Los Angeles and Las Vegas), a full-service spa, and the only Caesars Palace at Sea casino.

Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents. For a complimentary brochure on Alaska 2002 or any other worldwide destination, call 800.820.6663. Visit the luxury cruise line's Web site at www.crystalcruises.com.

Back to the top of the news list


CARNIVAL LEGEND TO OPERATE UNIQUE EIGHT-DAY CARIBBEAN CRUISES ROUND-TRIP FROM NEW YORK IN 2003
Line's 2003 Sailings from New York to Also Include Four- and Five-Day Canada Cruises, Seven-Day 'Fall Foliage' Voyages Aboard Carnival Victory

MIAMI (04/24/02) - Carnival Cruise Lines will offer a one-of-a-kind 8-day round-trip Caribbean cruise program from New York in 2003 aboard the new 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend. The new program, which will operate May 13 - Oct. 12, 2003, is the only Caribbean cruise schedule round-trip from New York and features three different tropical destinations: San Juan, St. Thomas/St. John and Tortola Virgin Gorda. The unusual eight-day rotation creates a wide range of days of the week on which voyages will depart and return, providing maximum choice and flexibility for guests and will frequently place the Carnival Legend in Caribbean ports on less congested days, enhancing the shoreside experience.

The program represents the first time Carnival has operated round-trip Caribbean cruises from New York, which is a geographically convenient departure point for a huge percentage of the U.S. population, as well as one of the country's top tourist destinations. Carnival Legend's new 8-day Caribbean cruises will supplement the line's popular summer-long 4- and 5-day round-trip Canada cruises and 7-day fall foliage program from New York aboard the 102,000-ton Carnival Victory. The program will run June 23 to Sept. 1, 2003. 

Four-day cruises, which sail Thursday through Monday and call at Halifax, Nova Scotia, provide an ideal weekend getaway.  Five-day cruises, which depart on Mondays and Saturdays, visit Halifax and Saint John, New Brunswick. Seven-day fall foliage cruises on the Carnival Victory will depart New York each Saturday Sept. 6-27, 2003, and visit Boston; Portland, Maine; and Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Unlike most fall foliage cruises from New York, which operate north or southbound starting and ending in two different locations, Carnival Victory sails round-trip, providing added convenience for guests.

Prior to the start-up of the Canada/New England cruises, Carnival Victory will also operate three 2-day cruises-to-nowhere from New York departing June 17, 19 and 21, 2003. 

"Carnival has enjoyed tremendous success operating cruises from New York for the past several years and we are discovering that vacationers want a greater diversity of choice when it comes to departure points," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president. "New, faster vessels such as Carnival Legend are creating added opportunities in itinerary planning and enables us to complement our popular 4-, 5- and 7-day day Canada/New England cruises with these new 8-day round-trip Caribbean voyages from New York," he added. 

Carnival Victory and Carnival Legend both offer a wide variety of signature "Fun Ship" amenities, including a diversity of traditional and casual dining options, myriad dancing and entertainment venues, and a full schedule of on-board activities. Dining options range from elegant two-level main dining rooms to patisseries and casual poolside eateries offering full breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets, 24-hour pizza and ice cream, New York-style delis and Asian and American specialty areas. Carnival Legend also houses a "steakhouse-style" supper club offering USDA prime beef and other gourmet cuisine. 

Carnival is currently accepting reservations for all of the Carnival Legend's and Carnival Victory's various New York departures. Prices range from $579 per person for the Carnival Victory's four-day Canada sailings to $799 per person for the Carnival Legend's eight-day Caribbean voyages. If purchased via Carnival's "Fun Finance Plan (SM)," which enables guests to purchase a "Fun Ship" cruise over 24 monthly installments, prices range from $27 per month for 4-day Canada sailings to $37 per month for 8-day Caribbean voyages (based on a 24-month payment term at the lowest annual percentage rate available). Actual "Fun Finance Plan" monthly payments and terms may vary according to the applicant's credit qualifications. Valid for U.S. individual bookings only. Certain other restrictions apply. 

For its 2003 New York sailings, Carnival has expanded its "Fly Aweigh" program to include round-trip air transportation supplements from more than 120 North American gateways to all of the city's major airports. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom are also available. For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501 (individual) or 1-800-327-5782 (groups). Information and reservations are also available by visiting Carnival's travel agent Internet portal at www.bookccl.com.

Back to the top of the news list


ROYAL CARIBBEAN REPORTS FIRST QUARTER 2002 RESULTS

MIAMI (April 24, 2002) - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced that net income for the first quarter was $53 million, essentially the same as the first quarter of 2001. Earnings per share were $0.27 for the first quarter in both 2002 and 2001. Net income for the quarter was negatively impacted by $5 million in guest and travel agent related expenses due to the unanticipated drydock of two ships.

Revenues for the first quarter of 2002 were up 10%, at $800 million compared to $727 million in 2001. The increase in revenues was due primarily to an increase in capacity, offset by a decline in yields (net revenues per available passenger cruise day). Yields were down 7% for the first quarter of 2002 compared to the first quarter of 2001, primarily as a result of pricing actions taken in the months immediately following the terrorist attacks of September 11. Bookings during these months were taken at significantly discounted prices. By January, pricing on new bookings for the first quarter was only marginally lower than during the same period the prior year.

On an available passenger cruise day basis, operating and SG&A expenses were down 14% for the quarter. On the same basis, SG&A costs for the quarter were down 27%. This reduction was achieved through cost containment measures taken by the company, as well as the timing of marketing expenses. Certain operating expenses were also lower due to the impact of September 11 on the travel industry. In particular, travel agent commissions were lower due to lower cruise pricing, and air travel expenses were lower due to reduced air/sea levels. The percentage of passengers who chose to book their air passage through Royal Caribbean dropped from 31% in the first quarter of 2001 to 20% this year. Both commission and travel costs are expected to return to more normal levels as the year progresses. The company anticipates that full year operating and SG&A costs, excluding fuel costs, will be down approximately 5% on an available passenger cruise day basis.

"We are extremely pleased with the speed and strength of the industry's recovery," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "Clearly, the powerful fundamentals of our company and our industry have been proven in recent months. I am encouraged both by the recovery of pricing levels and by the company's ability to manage costs. We are committed to continuing our efforts on both fronts."

In recent weeks, pricing has returned to pre-September 11 levels. Looking forward, based on current pricing trends and booking levels, yields are expected to be down 5-7% in the second and third quarters relative to 2001. Booking patterns continue to be closer in than in prior years and visibility for the fourth quarter is therefore limited.

The company will introduce Constellation, the fourth Millennium-class ship, in May, and Brilliance of the Seas, the second of the Radiance-class series, in July. The company is also considering asking the shipyard to accelerate by a few weeks the delivery of Navigator of the Seas, the fourth Voyager-class ship. If so, the ship would be delivered in December 2002 in time to take advantage of the holiday sailings. The company has also announced that it will deploy six ships in the Europe next year, more than doubling its product offerings there.

"Our new ships continue to generate strong consumer demand in the marketplace," said Fain. "Based on the improved pricing trends in the market and the timing of the holiday season, we think a slightly earlier delivery date for Navigator of the Seas may provide an advantageous revenue opportunity."

The company scheduled a conference call to discuss its earnings. The call can be listened to on a delayed basis on the Company's investor relations web site at www.rclinvestor.com. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Celebrity Tours. Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises have a combined total of 22 ships in service and six under construction. Royal Celebrity Tours operates land-tour vacations in Alaska and Canada utilizing the world's largest glass-domed railcars. Additional information can be found on www.royalcaribbean.com and www.celebritycruises.com.

Back to the top of the news list


NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE EXPANDS COMMITMENT TO SEATTLE MARKET: TWO SHIPS TO HOMEPORT IN 2003
Seattle Cruise Innovator Doubling Capacity to Alaska From Seattle

MIAMI, April 22, 2002 - In an expansion of its successful Homeland Cruising program, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) will homeport two of its newest ships, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Sky, in Seattle in 2003 for seven-day Alaska voyages. In addition, Norwegian Wind will continue to offer seven-day Alaska cruises out of Vancouver in 2003.

Already the region's most experienced operator, NCL will offer more berths in Seattle than any other cruise line in 2003. The expanded Seattle presence will be highlighted by the arrival of Norwegian Sun, the first ship built exclusively for Freestyle Cruising to be deployed in Alaska. 

Norwegian Sun will join Norwegian Sky in Seattle in 2003, making NCL the first and only operator to base two ships in the city for cruises to Alaska. NCL pioneered Alaska cruising from Seattle in 2000, launching the first regular sailings to the 49th state aboard Norwegian Sky. 

"NCL has enjoyed two very successful seasons in Seattle since taking what was considered a bold step by deploying a new ship there in 2000," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO. "Seattle has proven to be an ideal starting point for NCL's scenic Alaska vacations, prompting us to double our capacity there." 

NCL's Alaska itineraries include seven-day routes that highlight Glacier Bay and Sawyer Glacier.

Beginning May 11, 2003, Norwegian Sun will offer seven-day sailings departing roundtrip from Seattle on Sundays and calling at Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay (or Sawyer Glacier), Ketchikan and Victoria, British Columbia. Norwegian Sky joins Norwegian Sun on May 17, 2003, with seven-day Alaska itineraries from Seattle on Saturdays including calls at Juneau, Skagway, Sawyer Glacier, Ketchikan and Victoria, B.C.

Beginning May 19, 2003, Norwegian Wind, NCL's third ship in Alaska, will offer seven-day sailings departing roundtrip from Vancouver on Mondays calling at Skagway (or Haines), Sawyer Glacier, Juneau and Ketchikan.

"Norwegian Cruise Line has long been at the forefront of itinerary development and we've continued that tradition with our innovative Alaska deployment for 2003," Veitch added. "By positioning two ships in Seattle and one ship in Vancouver, we are expanding our Homeland Cruising program of close-to-home departures while adding exciting options for passengers who want to experience the pristine beauty of an Alaska cruise vacation and the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising."

Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line is an international cruise company and industry innovator that operates a fleet of nine ships sailing to more than 140 ports around the world. NCL is currently building Norwegian Dawn (for delivery December 2002), a 2,200-passenger sister ship to Norwegian Star.

Back to the top of the news list


ONLY IN ALASKA... Princess Brings The "Exotic" Home For The 2002 Season With A New Lodge, Exciting Shore Excursions, 
And A "Starry" New Ship

SANTA CLARITA, CA Apr 23, 2002 - Blue ice...glacier climbing...panning for gold...all without leaving the United States. Only Alaska, America's final frontier, offers travelers these diverse activities, as well as the chance to see North America's tallest peak, Mt. McKinley. And only Princess gives travelers the opportunity to experience this close-to-home yet exotic destination by offering the most extensive cruisetour packages, an innovative new ship with hundreds of balcony staterooms, and a new custom-built lodge with breathtaking views of the nation's largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias. For summer vacationers, it all adds up to a one-of-a-kind adventure that can be found right here in America's backyard.

"With a Princess cruisetour, guests can discover the heart of Alaska from both land and sea through a wide variety of activities and programs that cater to passengers of all ages," said Dean Brown executive vice president of Princess Cruises and chairman/CEO of Princess Tours. "For 2002, we're bringing the largest ship ever based on the West Coast, the new Star Princess, to Alaskan waters, and introducing the only lodge of its kind, the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge, to Alaska's south central region. Guests will have a taste of the exotic with a wilderness adventure that fully captures the excitement of the 49th state."

Princess boasts the youngest fleet and the largest cabin capacity in the region, enhanced by the addition of the new Star Princess. This 2,600-passenger vessel (sister to Grand Princess and Golden Princess) features both the largest youth center and spa facility in the fleet, a 24-hour AOL Internet Cafe, a dedicated wedding chapel with Princess' exclusive wedding-at-sea program, a swim-against-the-current pool, a nine-hole putting course, and a trademark nightclub/observation lounge set dramatically atop the rear of the ship (accessible only by a glass-enclosed, moving "skywalk"), as well as more than 700 balcony cabins, perfect for viewing the breathtaking Alaskan scenery.

Alaska is well known as the home to North America's tallest peak, Mt. McKinley (20,230 feet), but actually features 17 of the 20 highest mountains in the U.S. In addition, the 49th state has the largest park system in the country with more than 3.2 million acres of land and water, and 100 park units. Princess offers a variety of land tour options through which travelers can experience Alaska's beauty firsthand, including the "Maximum McKinley" package, featuring two- and three-night stays, more than any other tour company, in the shadow of Mt. McKinley and Denali National Park (the number two attraction that draws visitors to Alaska*). 

For those wishing for an authentic wilderness stay, Princess owns and operates five custom-built riverside properties. The newest, the  85-room Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge, features a design that combines the special architectural elements of historic national park lodges with old Alaskan mining buildings to create a unique environment for its visitors. Additionally, the lodge is the perfect starting point to trek to the Kennicott Copper Mines, a short distance from the property. These historic mines once produced more than 1.3 billion pounds of copper valued at more than $200 million.

Other properties include the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge.

Princess Cruises, one of the best-known names in North America cruising, is a global cruise and tour company. Part of P&O Princess Cruises plc, it operates 11 ships on 150 different itineraries calling at nearly 260 ports around the globe.

*According to an Alaska Travel Industry Association study 

Princess/Alaska Fast Facts

- According to an Alaska Travel Industry Association study, Glacier Bay National Park tops the list of reasons to visit Alaska. The number two reason is to visit Denali National Park. Princess' "Maximum McKinley" cruisetours combine both of these important options into one exciting package.

- Denali National Park attracts more visitors during its 114-day season than the entire state has residents. Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America, tops the list of most desired sites there. On average it's visible one day in three. The Princess "Maximum McKinley" cruisetours offer multiple-night stays near Denali, providing guests with a greater opportunity to actually view this amazing natural wonder.

- Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve covers more than 3.3 million acres and contains 18 glaciers that reach the ocean, making it the largest concentration of tidewater glaciers on earth - and it's featured on every Princess Gulf of Alaska cruise and cruisetour.

- From 1911 to 1938, more than 1.3 billion pounds of copper valued in excess of $200 million were extracted from the Kennicott Copper Mines. Princess guests staying at the new Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge will have the unique opportunity to visit this historic site for themselves. The McCarthy-Kennicott area is a private island surrounded by the vast Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

- Glaciers are a key draw for visitors to Alaska. College Fjord is home to 16 glaciers, many of which were named for the Ivy League colleges that sponsored the Harriman Expedition in 1899. All Princess Gulf of Alaska cruises/cruisetours feature College Fjord cruising to ensure visitors have multiple opportunities to view these natural phenomena.

- Of the 20 highest mountains in the United States, 17 are in Alaska, four can be seen while at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge and the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge: 

1. McKinley South Peak - 20,320 ft.
2. McKinley North Peak - 19,470 ft.
5. Blackburn - 16,390 ft.
14.Wrangell -14,163 ft.

- Alaska has one person per square mile, compared to a national average of 71.2 people per square mile.

- Alaska is considered the last great wilderness in the United States. Civilization has only encroached upon about 160,000 of its 365 million acres, less than 1/20th of one percent of the state; the balance is still untouched wilderness, perfect for "getting away from it all."

Back to the top of the news list


HOLLAND AMERICA LINE EXERCISES OPTION 
FOR 5TH VISTA CLASS SHIP

Seattle, April 23, 2002 - Holland America Line (HAL) announced it exercised an option with Fincantieri-Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A., to build a fifth 1,848-passenger Vista-class ship costing approximately $400 million for delivery in Spring 2006. Holland America Line is a unit of Carnival Corp.

The first of the Vista class vessels, Holland America Line's 1,848-passenger ms Zuiderdam, will be delivered Nov. 15, 2002, and sail Dec. 14, 2002 on her maiden voyage, a seven-day Caribbean cruise from Ft. Lauderdale. Holland America Line's new ms Oosterdam is scheduled for delivery in June 2003. The third Vista ship will be delivered in April 2004 and the fourth in October 2005. 

"Exercising this option signifies a 73 percent growth in our capacity over the next four years," said A. Kirk Lanterman, chairman and CEO, Holland America Line. "These five Vista class vessels will define the next generation of Holland America cruising. We are tremendously confident in our brand and are eager to offer many more travelers a HAL premium cruise experience."

At 85,000 tons, HAL's Vista Class premium ships are the largest ever built for the company; they also will boast the highest passenger space ratio of its fleet at 46, keeping the company firmly placed as the leader in premium cruising.

The Vista-class ships feature innovative "exterior elevators," located on both sides of the vessel and vertically traversing 10 decks, providing guests with panoramic sea views. The ships also include a wide range of spacious accommodation categories. About 85 percent of the staterooms feature an ocean view, with approximately 80 percent of those offering private verandahs.

The 951-foot-long ships build upon the hallmarks of the Holland America brand, displaying extensive multi-million-dollar art collections and a signature Waterford Crystal installation in the ship's atrium. The vessels feature numerous dining options, from elegant full-service meals to casual Lido Restaurant service. The ships also will continue other trademark features of Holland America ships, including the Explorers Lounge, Ocean Bar, an exterior covered promenade deck encircling the entire ship, a large Lido pool with a retractable dome, and Holland America's signature "Crow's Nest" observation lounge.

The ship also will offer a new "cabaret-style" show lounge complementing a new three-deck main show lounge. Other new features include a sophisticated nightclub, the casual "round-the-clock" Windstar café, an Internet cafe, the largest spa facilities in the fleet, Internet/e-mail data ports in all staterooms, an extensive Club HAL children's facility with inside and outside play areas, a concierge lounge for the exclusive use of Penthouse and Deluxe Verandah Suite guests and two interior promenade decks.

The new vessels' propulsion system includes a full-scale diesel-electric power plant, backed up by a gas turbine as an additional power source, giving the vessel the capability to operate on either diesel or gas turbine power. The ships also will use the Azipod propulsion system, allowing for greater maneuverability, enhanced operating efficiencies and environmental benefits.

About Holland America Line
Holland America's premium cruises feature spacious staterooms, superb dining, renowned service, casino, first-rate entertainment, duty-free on-board shops, internet centers, the Club HAL children's program, complete fitness centers and popular "tipping not required" and "cashless" ship policies.

Holland America Line has 11 luxury ships sailing to more than 280 ports of call and scenic cruising destinations on all seven continents, including Antarctica. In 2003, Holland America Line will offer 447 premium cruises, visiting all seven continents. And, Holland America Line will sail from 14 North American home ports. Affordable air arrangements are available through the Home City Air program and Holland America offers the only trip cancellation program in the industry that offers cash back for canceling for any reason prior to 24 hours before departure.

Back to the top of the news list


Oprah Calls Seabourn "Most Fun Ever!"

The latest issue of O, Oprah Winfrey's magazine, contains an article in which various celebrities write about the most fun they ever had. Oprah's own fond memory of the most fun ever was the birthday cruise she planned for her friend Maya Angelou's 70th birthday aboard Seabourn Pride. Oprah chartered the ship and invited many of Miss Angelou's lifelong friends. A surprising 20 percent of  charters currently booked on The Yachts of Seabourn are for private or family events.

Back to the top of the news list


Disney Cruise Line's Millionth Guest Sails "On the Mouse"

April 22, 2002 - Honored last August as the millionth guest to sail with Disney Cruise Line, Steven Hitzel of Hopewell, NJ, returned to the Disney Wonder Cruise ship yesterday with 23 members of his family to redeem his complimentary four-night family reunion cruise. In total, Hitzel's family reunion includes three generations and residents of eight different American cities.

Back to the top of the news list


Carnival Corporation Declares Second Quarter Dividend

MIAMI, April 22 - Carnival Corporation announced today that its Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of 10.5 cents per share for the second quarter ending May 31, 2002. The dividend is payable on June 14, 2002, to shareholders of record on May 31, 2002.

Back to the top of the news list


Royal Caribbean International Keeps Sports Fans Tuned In On The High Seas

Miami, April 18, 2002 - Worried about missing the big game while on your cruise vacation? Sports fans aboard Royal Caribbean International ships now have the ticket to basketball, hockey and tennis action. These and other popular sporting events will be aired fleetwide, via ESPN International, in sports bars, theaters, lounges or on RCTV’s channel 26.

Live coverage of the NBA Playoffs begins on May 3rd, when East and West Coast rivalries take center stage during the Conference Semifinals and Finals. Back-to-back champions, the Los Angeles Lakers will be challenged by the likes of the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs. On the East Coast, the Philadelphia 76ers can expect to battle the Milwaukee Bucks and the New Jersey Nets. Stanley Cup Playoffs action continues in May as eight powerful teams battle for dominance. A showdown seems imminent between the East’s Philadelphia Flyers and the West’s Detroit Red Wings. The clay courts of Paris will welcome the best in tennis at the 100th French Open tournament, which begins on May 24. Top contenders include past champion Andre Agassi, rising Argentine talent Guillermo Canas, last year’s World Number one player, Lleyton Hewitt, and defending Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanesevic.

Coverage of Latin American and European soccer, the Senior PGA Tour and Grand Prix motorcycle racing and Elite motorcycle racing will also be featured.

Back to the top of the news list


Disney Cruise Line Celebrates Earth Day By Launching Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund Program At Sea

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - In time for Earth Day (April 22) 2002, Disney Cruise Line joins the Walt Disney World Resort in its efforts to study and protect marine life through the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund, a global awards program.

Disney Cruise Line shoreside cast and shipboard crew have long recognized the value and the beauty of the ocean as an environment where we are all guests. The Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund allows guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, The Living Seas at Epcot, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and now the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder cruise ships to support meaningful projects conducted by respected nonprofit conservation and wildlife organizations. Last year, guest contributions combined with support from Disney made more than $1 million in conservation projects, including studies of dolphins, coral reefs and endangered sea turtles, possible.

The Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund program aboard Disney Cruise Line is the latest example of the ongoing commitment its cast and crew have to the environment. Waste minimization and good stewardship of our ecosystems are practiced aboard Disney ships as part of a program titled Environmentality

A few examples of Disney Cruise Line Environmentality include:

~ Dedicated shipboard environmental officers focused on environmental training, compliance & waste minimization

~ Programs aimed at exceeding legal requirements in waste water treatment and waste disposal & minimization

  • Disney Cruise Line crew recycled more than 50,000 pounds of aluminum cans in 2001

~ Smoke opacity measurements that promote the monitoring of air quality

~ Organized shore cleanups, collecting thousands of pounds of garbage & recyclables

  • Port Canaveral Shore Cleanup (50+ Disney Cruise Line cast and crew voluntEARS)
  • St. Maarten (80+ Disney Cruise Line crew voluntEARS)

~ A “take only memories, leave only footprints” policy at Castaway Cay

  • Guests are prohibited from removing shells, which are often home to marine life

~ A captains’ protocol aimed at protecting manatees and right whales spotted in shipping channels

~ Support of children’s environmental programs in the communities in which our cast and crew live, work and play

  • U.S. Virgin Islands National Park Eco-Camp
  • Brevard County Youth Environmental Summit (Eco-Trek)

~ An “adopt-an-agency” program funded by crew and matched by Disney Cruise Line Community Relations

  • Recently benefited the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle research at the University of Florida

Back to the top of the news list


Family Vacation Fun & Adventure in the Galapagos Islands with Quasar Nautica And Now, 30% Discount for Kids Under 16

Miami, FL – The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador continues to gain in popularity as a family vacation destination. With summer vacation time approaching, Quasar Nautica Galapagos Expeditions is pleased to present its 8-day, 7-night “family friendly” voyages on the 48-passenger m/v ECLIPSE. The summer family departures will feature lectures, activities and education for children of all ages. There will be special meals for kids, stargazing and movie nights. In the company of the certified naturalist guides, parents and children will enjoy nature walk among the giant tortoises, iguanas and amazing bird life. Swimming, snorkeling and kayaking will also be featured. 

For these special family departures, Quasar Nautica is extending its normal discount of 30% to include all children under the age of 16. 

The dates of the five special summer family departures on the m/v ECLIPSE are:

June 22 – 29, 2002
July 13 – 20, 2002
July 27 – August 3, 2002
August 03 – 10, 2002
August 10 – 17, 2002

Besides the 48-passenger m/v ECLIPSE, Quasar Nautica Galapagos Expeditions operates six other upscale yachts, all of which cater to independent travelers, families, friends, affinity groups and full charters. The modern Quasar Nautica fleet ranges from 12- to 48-passengers. Two of its yachts, the 16-passenger trimaran LAMMER LAW and the 12-passenger motor yacht MISTRAL are outstanding vessels for both naturalist and diving cruises.

For more information about the Galapagos Islands and the vacation of a lifetime, contact your travel professional or call Jennifer Reynolds, Promotions & Marketing Manager, at 305-599-9008 or 1-800-247-2925. The company’s website is www.quasarnauticausa.com and its new unbranded online brochure can be viewed at www.yachtsgalapagos.com.

Back to the top of the news list


Uniworld Announces Plans to Buy Delta Queen Steamboat Company
Leader in Europe River Cruises to Expand into America's Waterways

LOS ANGELES, April 18 - Uniworld announced today its intentions to bid for the assets of New Orleans-based Delta Queen Steamboat Company. The assets include the Delta Queen Steamboat trademarks and logos plus the Mississippi Queen and Delta Queen, the classic American river steamboats.

"As the leading provider of river cruise vacations for Americans in Europe, it is logical for Uniworld to expand its fleet to include vessels operating on the fascinating rivers of the United States,'' declared Serba Ilich, President and CEO. "The acquisitions of the magnificent Mississippi Queen and the legendary Delta Queen would be a huge honor for our company, considering the great historic and commercial significance of the steamboats in the development of America,'' Ilich stated. "We feel the synergies generated by our Uniworld river cruise operations in Europe and the Delta Steamboat Company would be tremendous. In addition, Uniworld is a strong supporter of the agency community and we feel that Uniworld ownership would allow agents to again sell the Mississippi cruise product with confidence,'' Ilich added.

Uniworld operates its Europe river cruises through its wholly owned European subsidiary Global River Cruises. With 15 ships under ownership or long-term lease, Global River Cruises is Europe's leading river cruise line. Ilich said he would locate the North American headquarters of Global River Cruises in New Orleans to take advantage of the synergies presented by the acquisition of Delta Queen Steamboat Company. 

Uniworld Cruises can be booked by contacting your travel professional.

Back to the top of the news list


NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE ANNOUNCES HIGHLIGHTS
OF ITS 2003/2004 ITINERARIES

New Norwegian Dawn's Seven-day Sailings From New York to Florida
and the Bahamas Underscore NCL's Homeland Cruising Program

MIAMI, April 16, 2002 - A spectacular new ship and groundbreaking  itineraries mark the dawn of a new era in cruising for Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) as the industry innovator announces highlights of its fleet deployment for 2003/2004.

Building on the success of its Homeland Cruising theme, NCL's fleet deployment features exciting news for the New York cruising market as well as an expanded slate of sailings from Seattle to Alaska and throughout the homeland. In addition, NCL will offer more seven-day roundtrip departures from U.S. and Canadian ports to Alaska, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Canada/New England than any other cruise line.

NCL's 2003/2004 season highlights include:
• NCL's brand new 92,000, 2,240-passenger Norwegian Dawn, based in New York from May through October, will use her great speed to offer seven-day roundtrip cruises calling on four ports in the Bahamas and Florida: Nassau, NCL's private island Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, Miami and Port Canaveral, Florida;
•The only five-port, seven-day summer cruises to Canada/New England with embarkations in Boston and New York on Norwegian Sea;
•An increased presence in Seattle cruising to Alaska with three modern ships covering all of Alaska;
• A Caribbean season that will feature the line's newest and largest vessels and the biggest Caribbean deployment NCL has ever offered;
•An exclusive year-round seven-day Hawaii program on Norwegian Star, including calls on the four main Hawaiian islands and Fanning Island, a secluded Micronesian hideaway;
• An exotic South America itinerary and a popular traditional Europe season on Norwegian Dream, NCL's only non-homeland cruising ship.

"Our 2003/2004 itineraries will mark yet another innovative product for NCL headlined by the introduction of Norwegian Dawn," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and chief executive officer. "Her sister ship, Norwegian Star, has generated a great deal of excitement and interest in Hawaii and now guests will be able to experience this innovative class of ship on Norwegian Dawn from New York and Florida."

After her winter season in the Caribbean, Norwegian Dawn will be the only ship sailing to the Bahamas and Florida from New York and the cruise industry's only ship offering Port Canaveral and Miami as ports of call.

"We think New Yorkers will find it irresistible on a Sunday afternoon to walk into a ship of this quality in their own backyard that will take them to two great ports in the Bahamas, offer them a day in exciting Miami, give them a chance to spend a day at Disney World, Universal Studios or the Kennedy Space Center and have them back in New York the following Sunday."

NCL will also offer passengers the opportunity to embark in Port Canaveral for a seven-day roundtrip cruise.

The ship debuts in December of 2002 and because of a series of inaugural events, the vessel's first sailing from Miami has been rescheduled from December 14, 2002 to December 21, 2002.

Norwegian Dawn will begin her first season of alternating seven-day Eastern/Western Caribbean sailings from Miami through April 2003. The Eastern Caribbean itinerary takes passengers to San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. The Western Caribbean itinerary calls at Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Ocho Rios or Montego Bay, Jamaica; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico.

On May 18, 2003, Norwegian Dawn will begin her groundbreaking New York departures, with stops in the Bahamas and Florida. New York departure dates are on sale effective April 15, 2002. Guests will also be able to sail out of Miami and Port Canaveral, a new embarkation port to be introduced to NCL's Homeland Cruising program.

"When we introduced Homeland Cruising last year and brought our ships closer to home to support upcoming travel trends, it was the right move," Veitch said. "We've received tremendous response from travelers who appreciate being able to take cruise vacations without traveling too far. We will continue this program throughout 2003 and have modified our ports of call and increased our embarkation cities to provide even more options for passengers."

More details on NCL's expanded program to Alaska from Seattle and further details of the 2003/2004 deployment schedule will be announced in the next few weeks.

Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line is an international cruise company and industry innovator that operates a fleet of nine ships sailing to more than 140 ports around the world. NCL is currently building Norwegian Dawn (for delivery December 2002), a 2,240-passenger sister ship to Norwegian Star.

For further information on NCL, contact a travel agent or NCL in the U.S. and Canada at (800) 327-7030; in Miami-Dade County, Fla., (305) 436-0866; visit NCL's web site at www.ncl.com.

Back to the top of the news list


Royal Caribbean International Executive Honored As Top Hispanic Businesswoman

MIAMI, April 17 - One of the top Hispanic executives at Royal Caribbean  International has been recognized by a leading Hispanic business magazine as one of America's leading Hispanic businesswomen.

Maria Sastre, Royal Caribbean's vice president for Total Guest Satisfaction Services, has been recognized by Hispanic Business as one of the magazine's 80 Elite Hispanic Women. The magazine recognized 50 women from the business sector, 17 from government, and 13 from academia.

For the second year in a row, the magazine recognizes the nation's leading Hispanic women who "portray a broad range of progress in ethnic and gender diversity." Featured in the magazine's April issue, the honorees explain how showing up early, working hard, and excelling at their jobs are not necessarily a formula for success. Many feel that the effective use of networking was critical to their ascent into the upper echelons of their professional pursuits.

"It is a great honor to be recognized by Hispanic Business," said Sastre. "It also speaks volumes for Royal Caribbean International and my previous employers for providing me and other Hispanic women with the opportunity to successfully climb our career ladders. I appreciate the responsibilities I have been presented throughout my career, and I will continue to do whatever I can to assist other women striving to succeed."

Sastre, who joined Royal Caribbean in March 2000, oversees culinary and beverage operations, entertainment, shore excursions, guest cabin services, private island destinations, and cruise activities and operations onboard the company's 14 ship fleet. Sastre joined Royal Caribbean after serving as vice president of Customer Satisfaction and vice president of Latin America, Caribbean and Miami for United Airlines. She also served as senior director of Sales and Distribution at Continental Airlines and held a variety of managerial positions at Eastern Airlines.

Sastre is an active civic board member in Miami, serving on both the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau executive committee and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. She also serves on the board of Darden Restaurants, which owns and operates The Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Bahama Breeze and Smokey Bones.

Hispanic Business, based in Santa Barbara, California, is a monthly magazine that reports on the growing affluence and power of the Hispanic community and developments within the U.S. Hispanic market. For two decades, it has provided a forum to bring together disparate market trends and presenting them in a national context.

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

Back to the top of the news list


Children, Families Sharing in the Cruise Experience; 
Number of Children Cruising Reaches Record High

NEW YORK, April 17 - Choosing the perfect family vacation means pleasing young, old and in between; creating memorable experiences for everyone; and still keeping within budget. A cruise offers the solution to this vacation dilemma for more families every year.

Reflecting this, the number of children on cruises has been steadily on the rise, reaching more than 700,000 in 2001, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), a member of the Cruise Line Coalition. The number has grown 40 percent since 1998, when it was estimated that 500,000 children cruised.

With an extensive selection of programs for all ages, the all-inclusive nature of a cruise and the deals that are regularly available, including "children sail free" specials, families are realizing that cruising is an affordable way to make everyone happy.

"Cruises have long been known for catering to passengers, and that includes the younger set," said James G. Godsman, president of CLIA. "The youngest cruisers have their own activities, parties and kid-friendly menus."

Mom and Dad don't have to worry about the kids, either. Highly trained youth counselors supervise youngsters ages three months to 17 years (depending on the line and the itinerary) through age-appropriate activities. In addition, several lines provide babysitting services. Either way, parents can enjoy their time knowing the children are enjoying themselves in a safe and secure environment.

Fun is the operative word for all ages on a cruise. Activities include treasure hunts, face painting, pool parties, children's films and cartoons, pizza parties, karaoke, talent shows, arts and crafts, video games and computer fun, mini-Olympic-style events and sporting tournaments.

Programs are designed to make education fun through hands-on activities and entertainment focusing on the destination's nature, heritage and the international experience. Young cruisers can go stargazing with an expert astronomer, draw with a famous animator, dive in to wacky water activities, learn the art of hula dancing or study the habits of the region's wildlife.

Supervised shore activities range from beach parties and sand castle building to tours designed with youngsters in mind. While their parents are enjoying the ship's nightlife, youngsters can party at a teen coffee shop, special disco or "coketail" party.

A cruise also is a great opportunity to share some "quality" family time. After spending the day doing what interests them individually, family members can reunite at dinner to share their experiences and enjoy a family show or film. Some lines feature programs that enable children and parents to play and learn together.

"A cruise is a great multi-generational family vacation," says Godsman. "There's something for everyone and plenty to share. It is truly a special experience."

To learn more about family cruise activities and fares, visit CLIA's website, www.cruising.org, or visit a CLIA-affiliated agency. To find one, use the Cruise Expert Locator on CLIA's website, or check the local yellow pages.

Back to the top of the news list


royalcaribbean.com Offers Virtual Experience Of Life Onboard A Royal
Caribbean Ship

MIAMI, April 16, 2002 - Prospective guests visiting Royal Caribbean International's award-winning website, royalcaribbean.com, now have a virtual pass to the company's 14-ship fleet. A new onboard experience section on the site provides an inside look at the full array of ships, and allows viewers to watch the colorful parade on the Royal Promenade, check out an ice show in Studio B, view action on the sports court, see an art auction, or visit the jogging track. Morning, afternoon and evening videos allow them to experience different times of the day on a ship. 

"We introduced this one-of-a-kind virtual access to the world of Royal Caribbean so that consumers can experience a cruise vacation on our innovative ships from the comfort of their home," explains Barbara Shrut, vice president, Customer Loyalty and e-Marketing. "For those who are undecided about their vacation plans, we believe this dynamic site will help to transform many prospective cruisers into loyal guests." 

The section's menu allows prospective guests to select the ship and the activity they would like to experience including: 

Ship Tours - 360-degree virtual tours of each class of ship, including public areas, staterooms and suites, bars, lounges, pools, conference centers, as well as onboard activities such as rock-climbing and ice-skating. 
Activities - rock-climbing, aquatics, inline-skating, shopping, wine tasting and art. 
Entertainment- theater, Royal Promenade parades, casino, bars and lounges, and cooking demonstrations.
Spa and fitness- spa services, products and facilities, fitness classes, sample ShipShape menus, as well as a chance to meet the attendant. 
Adventure Ocean - program information, videos, and the opportunity to meet a counselor.
Dining - dining options from the main dining room to the specialty restaurants including Chops Grille, Portofino and Windjammer Café, as well as menu samples.

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

Back to the top of the news list


ROYAL CARIBBEAN TO HOLD CONFERENCE CALL ON FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS

MIAMI (April 15, 2002) - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has scheduled a conference call with analysts for 10 a.m. Eastern time, Wednesday, April 24, 2002, to discuss the company's first quarter financial results. The call can be listened to by all interested parties at the company's investor relations web site, www.rclinvestor.com. Visual aids relating to the call will also be available at the web site. A replay of the webcast will be available at the same site for a month following the call.

Back to the top of the news list


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