Created by the Author of FODOR'S

tLinda Coffman's
Linda Coffman
Author & Cruise Authority

Cruise Lines & Ships Articles & Advice

Cruise Reviews

Before You Go 
On Board In Port Get a Fare Quote   Home Page

Cruise Essentials:

Site Search
Cruise News
Planning Tips
Packing & Lists
HOT Tips
Cruise Links
About Us

Insure My Trip
Use the automated quote form to compare plans
Click here -- Cruise Insurance Comparison Guide

CLICK HERE for savings--CruiseCompete
Don't pay more than your tablemates...
CruiseCompete makes it easy to let independent agents compete to offer you the best deal.

Click Here to Shop Hilo Hattie
Hilo Hattie
The original source for Island fashions

Cruisers' favorites:

Cruise Travel Magazine
Cruise Travel

Porthole Cruise Magazine

Click Here for Magellans Travel Gear
Shop Magellan's Catalog for a wide selection of travel gear

Have a question or a review to submit? Write

Copyright © 1995-2006 Linda Coffman,™

ll content is protected by United States Copyright Laws. Violators of our copyright, as well as bandwidth theft by "direct linking" of images, will be pursued by all means necessary. Find out more in
  Terms of Service

Back to the top of this page

The Intl Council of Cruise Lines releases Cruise Industry Crime Statistics. Here's what they mean to you.

Cruise News
April 1-30, 2006

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

Return to's Cruise News Weekly Index & Archive

Subscribe Now! Cruise Diva's FREE Newsletter. Read the current issue. Check the archive for past issues.
CDC Inspection Scores
for all ships inspected--updated monthly

Royal Caribbean Takes Delivery of Much Anticipated Freedom of the Seas

MIAMI, April 25 -- The world's largest and most innovative cruise ship, Royal Caribbean International's famed Freedom of the Seas, was delivered yesterday at a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany, kicking off the 15-day countdown until her U.S. debut in New York on May 10. The cruise line that revolutionized the industry with rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks and the Royal Promenade entertainment boulevard is poised to unveil a range of new industry-first attractions. The first in the Freedom-class of ships, Freedom of the Seas debuts engineering marvels such as a shipboard surf park and cantilevered whirlpools suspended 112 feet above the ocean, in addition to unexpected amenities like a full-size boxing ring and a 14-person family suite.

Putting Freedom in Perspective
One of the world's recent modern marvels, the 160,000 GRT Freedom of the Seas weighs more than 80,000 cars or 32,000 adult elephants and would trump New York's famed Chrysler building (1,046 feet) and Paris' Eiffel Tower (986 feet) if it stood upright on its bow. Boasting a width of 185 feet, the ship is actually wider than the White House is long (168 feet), and when measured from the waterline to the top of the funnel, Freedom of the Seas towers 208 feet tall, approximately the same height as two of the Statue of Liberty, placed head to toe.

More Freedom Features Revealed
Located at the heart of the ship, the Royal Promenade is a 445-foot-long shopping, dining and entertainment boulevard that spans the length of an entire football field. The Promenade also hosts nightly street parades, put on by select staff, commencing from a revolutionary new descending bridge amidst a fanfare of music, lasers and lights. Guests can begin their culture quest at one of the varied and diverse experiences found in the Royal Promenade, including a new 3,600-volume Book Nook for relaxed reading and an Italian- style pizzeria, Sorrento's, for an afternoon with a group of friends. At Freedom-first A Clean Shave, male guests can rekindle the nostalgia of their favorite neighborhood barbershop, indulging in traditional shaving, scalp and shoulder massages, haircut and shoe-shining services.

Outside the Royal Promenade, courageous crooners, theater buffs and gutsy gamblers will delight in Freedom's engaging entertainment offerings, from Broadway and ice-skating shows to blackjack and karaoke. Guests can find their 15 seconds of fame at the On Air Club, Freedom's karaoke venue, equipped with state-of-the-art theatrical lighting, video cameras, flat screen TVs and even a "green screen" for aspiring music stars to record their own music video. For professional entertainment, the Art Deco-style Arcadia Theatre (1,350 guests) features three shows: Marquee, a medley of performances, the musical Now You See It! magic show, and Once Upon a Time, a narrative piece combining the Brothers Grimm's fairytales. Finally, Freedom of the Seas introduces two new sipping spots on the high seas, including Squeeze, a refreshing juice bar near the H2O Zone for health- conscious cruisers, and the Wipe Out! bar, a free-standing shack near the FlowRider® surf park which offers draft beer, wine and icy fruit drinks in a casual and fun environment.

At 160,000 GRT and holding 3,634 guests double-occupancy, Freedom of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship in the world when she debuts in May 2006. The first in Royal Caribbean's new Freedom class, she will be the most forward-looking and innovative ship the company has built to date. Freedom of the Seas will sail seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami calling in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Royal Caribbean's private destination, Labadee, Hispaniola.

Back to the top of the news list

Silversea's 2006-2007 Voyage Atlas Evokes the Line's Sterling 
Quality & Exotic Flair

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, April 25, 2006 - Silversea Cruises has released its elegant new Voyage Atlas with nearly 200 full-color pages promoting over 200 cruises aboard its four award-winning, ultra-luxury ships, sailing from July 2006 to December 2007. The handsome new catalog immediately captures the imagination with an exquisite cover design featuring Silver Cloud in the misty, silver-hued waters of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, and gracefully transports the reader to a distant place of myth and legend, where dragons once descended to earth -- the perfect introduction to Silversea's glorious and exotic world.

"Travel is an art form, and our new brochure reveals the same attention to style, design and detail that lies at the heart of the Silversea lifestyle experience," said David Morris, Silversea's senior vice president of sales for North America. "Once again, we are proud to feature our Ambassador, Isabella Rossellini, in photographic scenes from her world journeys aboard our ships, as seen through the lens of acclaimed Italian photographer Fabrizio Ferri. These images create a mood of elegance and enchantment as they take the reader on an excursion through Silversea's richly exotic world." 

The new Atlas opens with an easy-to-read, voyage-by-voyage summary for all sailings from July 2006 to December 2007. This is followed by over 20 pages of captivating images and descriptions that delve deeply into Silversea's signature luxury lifestyle, including a sneak preview of the company's latest innovation -- the first Viking Cooking School at Sea, set to debut in summer 2006. The balance of the brochure provides detailed worldwide cruise itineraries by region, followed by highlights of shore excursions, descriptions of land programs, a listing of culinary and wine enrichment voyages, deck plans, savings programs and general information. 

WORLDWIDE DESTINATIONS: In 2007, Silversea caters to the discerning traveler's love of unique locales by offering its most diverse collection of worldwide itineraries with a record number of 350 destinations featured on more than 130 different itineraries ranging from six to 126 days. Calling in nearly 120 countries, the line's four all-suite, all ocean-view ships will visit 29 new ports. Guests can explore the world and escape the ordinary with a comprehensive selection of intriguing shore excursions. From gourmet tastings to adventurous escapades, historical sights and artistic masterpieces, the themes appeal to a wide variety of interests. Many ports feature UNESCO World Heritage sites of inspiring natural beauty or cultural importance. Places as unique and diverse as the fjords of southwestern Norway, the pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America. 

THE AMERICA'S CUP: One of the most thrilling events highlighted in the new brochure is Silver Whisper's "America's Cup 2007" cruise, a unique 8-day voyage from Barcelona to Barcelona, departing on June 22, 2007. Silversea's privileged guests can experience all the drama and excitement of the thirty-second America's Cup regatta in luxurious style when Silver Whisper drops anchor in the vibrant Mediterranean harbor of Valencia for this most famous and most prestigious competition in the sport of yachting. Sip champagne under bright Spanish skies as rival yachts slice through the whitecaps into view. Follow the competition on deck on any of a number of large-screen televisions while guest experts give a play-by-play accounting of the races, the teams and the history of these legendary races.

WORLD CRUISE 2007: An entire section of the Atlas is devoted to World Cruise 2007. Departing January 15, 2007 from Fort Lauderdale, Silver Shadow's World Cruise will cross three oceans, seven seas and six continents, visiting 61 different ports, and conclude on the originating coast, in New York City, on May 22. During the nine segments of this extraordinary four-month odyssey, guests will enjoy 126 days of unrivaled luxury as they follow the trade winds from Mexico to Peru, then sail across the Pacific to the fabled South Seas with stops at such idyllic isles as Robinson Crusoe Island, Easter Island and Pitcairn Island. Guests will visit the island paradises of the South Seas including Bora Bora, Tahiti and Fiji before sailing to the most desirable destinations of New Zealand, Australia and the Far East, including enticing resorts like Bali and Phuket. They'll explore exotic India, the spice ports of Arabia, the mysteries of Egypt and the must-see ports of the Mediterranean. On the final leg of this epic journey, Silver Shadow will pass through the Strait of Gibraltar en route to the Atlantic Isles and Bermuda on a classic Grand Crossing to New York City.

For a complimentary copy of the 2006-2007 Voyage Atlas, please call toll-free (877) 215-9986.

Back to the top of the news list

Windstar's Connoisseurs' Collection: 2007/2008 Itineraries Facilitate Back-to-Back Cruising

SEATTLE, April 24 -- Guests wishing to book longer cruises on Windstar Cruises' fleet of upscale motor sailing yachts will find a wider selection of back-to-back options on the 2007 and 2008 deployment calendar. Itineraries featured as part of the Connoisseurs' Collection feature different itineraries week to week to facilitate 14-day cruises on the same ship. Guests booking back-to-back receive 5-10% off the total cost of the cruise depending on date and itinerary.

"We've thoughtfully planned our itineraries to offer not only spectacular seven-day sailings, but also unforgettable 14-day cruises," says Diane Moore, Windstar's vice president of marketing and sales. "Our Connoisseurs' Collection identifies the ideal seven-day itineraries suited for back-to-back sailings. The longer voyage is a great way to experience the wide array of different islands in the Caribbean," adds Moore. "An advantage of sailing with Windstar is our ships are able to visit smaller islands that are less developed, such as Bequia and Dominica. Guests enjoy a wider variety of islands because we sprinkle in these lesser known gems along with the favorites such s St. Bart's."

Mediterranean Connoisseurs' Collection
The 308-guest Wind Surf features the largest selection of 14-day cruises in the Mediterranean. The ship sails seven-day cruises in the Western Med from Lisbon, along the coast of Spain, France and Italy to its easternmost port of Venice. Possible combinations include the enticing 14-day cruise from Monte Carlo to Rome to Venice or Rome to Barcelona to Lisbon. Guests wishing to fly in and out of the same city may book a back-to-back cruise returning to the same port such as Rome to Venice to Rome.

The Wind Surf also explores new ports of call in Spain in 2007. Valencia is one of the liveliest cities in Spain with beaches in the heart of the city. In southeast Andalucia, the city of Almeria has a striking Arab fortress, the Alcazaba, built in the 10th century on a hill overlooking the city. The lunar landscape around Almeria makes it a popular location for the film industry-Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here. Palamos, founded in 1277, is located at the foot of the coastal mountains in the heart of Spain's Costa Brava region. The town still retains its fishing industry roots with the day's catch auctioned off quayside. Cartagena is a naval seaport in the southeast of Spain with a walled town center and many archaeological sites to visit. Tarragona, just 60 miles southwest of Barcelona, is known for its Roman ruins, fine wine and lively café scene serving tapas.

The 148-guest Wind Star and Wind Spirit also offer opportunities for 14-day voyages in the Mediterranean and Greek Isles. The Wind Spirit sails two different itineraries in the Greek Isles allowing guests to book a two-week cruise roundtrip from Istanbul. The Wind Star's spring and fall itineraries in the Mediterranean are ideal for longer cruises with options such as Rome to Athens to Istanbul and Athens to Rome to Barcelona.

Caribbean Connoisseurs' Collection
In the Caribbean, the Wind Surf sails alternating northbound and southbound itineraries roundtrip from Bridgetown, Barbados. Each of the two itineraries are unique and offer an ideal opportunity to sail for 14-days visiting islands in the windward and leeward chain.

Windstar's elegant motor sailing yachts have recently received a multi-million dollar investment in luxury amenities. New plush euro-top mattresses and luxury linens dress up all staterooms along with shea butter bathroom amenities by L'Occitane and flatscreen televisions and DVD/CD players. High-tech amenities include wireless Internet, Apple iPod Nanos, and Bose SoundDock speakers especially for playing music from the Nanos or other MP3 players.

In The Restaurant, new Signature Cuisine menus created by acclaimed Chef Joachim Splichal of L.A.'s Patina Group are served on Rosenthal china. Reidel stemware graces the tabletop. The fine dining experience has been elevated with special touches such as an amuse-bouche, or little bite, compliments of the chef; a cheese course featuring fresh, artisan cheeses; and petit-fours served as a final sweet treat at the end of the meal. Menus in The Restaurant will change each evening over the course of the 14-day cruise. A longer menu rotation has been created with the increase in back-to-back bookings in mind. The Wind Surf's alternative restaurant, The Bistro, has been redecorated with new furnishings and dinnerware turning it into a steak house four nights a week. Alternate nights feature cuisine from Northern Italy, France and Indonesia.

On deck, hammocks built for two offer spectacular views from the top deck of the ships. Lemon-scented frozen towels and sorbet served in chilled orange halves keep guests cool and comfortable on hot days. Complimentary water sports from the water sports platform include kayaking, wind surfing, boat rides, sailing, water skiing and ski tubing. Snorkeling gear may be checked out for the week. Scuba diving excursions for novice and experienced divers are available for a fee.

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

Back to the top of the news list

Senator Daniel K. Inouye to christen Pride of Hawai`i

MIAMI, April 24, 2006 – NCL Corporation announced the Honorable Daniel K. Inouye, senior United States Senator from Hawai`i, will give the keynote address and officially name NCL America’s newest U.S.-flag ship at her christening on May 20th in Los Angeles, California. Pride of Hawai`i is the third in a series of U.S.-flag cruise ships sailing under the NCL America brand and built for the Hawai`i market in furtherance of the “Hawai`i Cruise Ship Initiative,” legislation sponsored by Senator Inouye and passed by the United States Congress in February 2003. 

“Senator Inouye is the father of this project and its most steadfast supporter,” said Colin Veitch, President and CEO of NCL and NCL America, “and the introduction of Pride of Hawai`i is its crowning event. So there can be no one more fitting than he to name our newest U.S. flag ship.”

At just over 93,500 gross registered tons, carrying more than 2,400 passengers, and costing over half a billion dollars, Pride of Hawai`i is by far the largest and most expensive U.S. flagged passenger ship ever built. It will employ a crew of over 1000, bringing the total seagoing workforce of NCL’s U.S. flagged fleet to approximately 4000, making NCL America the largest private employer of American seafarers in the world. The economic impact of the three ship fleet has been estimated by PriceWaterhouse Coopers to be nearly $830 million a year and an additional 20,000 jobs, including over a quarter of that impact occurring in other parts of the U.S. outside of Hawai`i.

NCL’s U.S. flag fleet, the first ship of which began service in July 2004, and its one international ship, will boost Hawai`i cruise passenger carryings to in excess of 650,000 a year by 2007. At these levels, Hawai`i as a cruise destination will be comparable in size and importance to Alaska and, together with Alaska, will be one of the top two domestic cruise destinations in North America. Recent studies by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the North American cruise industry’s marketing and travel agent association, have revealed that travel agents believe Hawai`i will overtake Europe as the third most in-demand worldwide destination for American cruise passengers (after Caribbean and Alaska). For further information, please contact NCL in the U.S. and Canada at (800) 327-7030; visit NCL’s website at

Back to the top of the news list

Dawn Princess Earns San Francisco's Gold Level 
Cruise Ship Environmental Award

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 24, 2006 - Dawn Princess' onboard programs to reduce air and water pollution while operating in San Francisco Bay have earned the ship the Port of San Francisco's prestigious Gold level Cruise Ship Environmental Award for 2005. The annual award recognizes the vessel for demonstrating "the strong commitment of Princess Cruises in the areas of Air Emission Reduction, Wastewater Treatment, and Recycling and Disposal Programs for Solid Waste." The award was given by San Francisco's Cruise Terminal Environmental Advisory Committee (CTEAC), which works with the city's many maritime interests to address environmental issues. The advisory committee operates an incentive program to reward cruise lines that are committed to environmentally responsible operations, including the deployment of ships using reduced emission system technology or cleaner-burning fuel.

Back to the top of the news list

Explore Europe with Ease on Costa Cruise Lines

HOLLYWOOD, FL, April 24, 2006 -- With summer and fall 2006 projected to be one of the busiest tourist seasons in Europe in recent years, there’s never been a better time to explore the continent with the expertise and gracious hospitality of Costa Cruise Lines—Europe’s number one cruise line. The beauty of the sea combined with the ease of visiting top destinations aboard one of the fleet’s 11 stunning ships make cruising Costa the ideal way to explore the most exciting destinations in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. 

Boasting nearly 60 years of cruising history in Europe and offering more 7-night itineraries than any other cruise line, Italian-based Costa knows the continent inside and out, providing guests with an expert view of the destinations they visit. In Northern Europe, guests are provided with a stunning look at legendary cities including St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, London, Dublin and Oslo. Among the experiences on Costa’s Baltic, Russia, Scandanavia and British Isles itineraries are tours of the Tower of London, the pubs of Dublin, medieval castles of Gdynia, Poland, and the magnificent art of the Dutch masters in Amsterdam. Planning ahead is easier than ever with Costa’s online pre-book excursion option at A simple click and guests’ vacations are set to go—offering an easy way to plan ahead. 

The sun-kissed ports of the Mediterranean are a great way to visit Costa’s Europe as well—especially this year aboard the new Costa Concordia. The largest cruise ship flying the Italian flag and the largest European cruise ship in terms of passenger capacity, the 112,000 ton Costa Concordia will debut in July 2006 and sail the Mediterranean in her first year. Extraordinary features of the ship include a Formula One driving simulator, a pool area expanding over two decks featuring a giant movie screen, and the largest spa at sea. Extending over two decks, the “Samsara” spa features innovative treatments and a specialty restaurant offering a wide range of spa-healthy cuisine. In addition, guests may reserve one of 55 Samsara staterooms and 12 Samsara suites, all of which are a veritable extension of the spa experience.

The ships of Costa range in size from 30,000-tons to 112,000-tons, and provide an ambience that is distinctly Italian – from the progressive architecture and stylish design to the unforgettable cuisine and gracious hospitality. The number one cruise company in Europe and South America, Costa offers cruises that span the globe on itineraries of three nights and longer throughout the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America and Transatlantic, Far East and Dubai. For reservations or more information, contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit

Back to the top of the news list

Star Clippers to Add Tahiti Cruises in 2007

MIAMI, April 21, 2006 -- For the first time ever, Star Clippers will journey to French Polynesia, repositioning Star Flyer to Papeete, Tahiti, year-round beginning Dec. 16, 2007. The 170-passenger clipper ship will sail seven-night cruises, as well as a selection of 10- and 11-night itineraries that include the Marquesas Islands. Addition of the islands of French Polynesia allows Star Clippers to continue offering guests the mega-yacht experience while re-creating the golden age of the tall sailing ships. Star Flyer can visit ports untouched by larger cruise ships and venture into the lush coves and harbors that have made the area famous. At this time, the full Tahiti cruise schedule, air, hotel and excursion details are being finalized, and information is expected to be released as it becomes available.

"We made the decision to move Star Flyer to Tahiti after we received tremendous support and cooperation from the French Polynesian government," said Anjie McFarlane, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Star Clippers. "At Star Clippers we are always looking to offer our guests something new, and Tahiti embodies the perfect combination of exotic scenery and exciting itineraries that our passengers desire."

The repositioning of Star Flyer also will affect the schedule of Star Clipper, sister ship to Star Flyer. While itinerary changes have not been finalized, it is intended that come winter 2007, Star Clipper will assume the Far East itineraries sailing out of Phuket, Thailand and Singapore. In spring 2008, Star Clipper potentially will sail round-trip Athens cruises, picking up Star Flyer's Greece and Turkey itineraries. The foundation of Royal Clipper's itinerary remains unchanged. The 227-passenger flagship will continue to sail round-trip Barbados cruises in the Caribbean during the fall and winter months, and Mediterranean cruises in the spring and summer.

Star Clippers combines the pampered luxury of mega-yacht cruising with the exhilarating thrill of sailing aboard an authentic clipper ship. Guests rediscover what sailing was like during the glorious age of the tall ships while visiting intimate ports of call untouched by larger cruise ships. The four- and five-masted clipper ships feature a relaxed yet elegant atmosphere. Passengers dress in resort-casual attire and dine in one unhurried, open seating. Whether unwinding in the bowsprit net while gazing at the sea below or climbing the mast for a panoramic view of the horizon, a unique sailing adventure awaits. For more information or to make a reservation, contact a travel professional, call Star Clippers at (800) 442-0551 or visit To request a brochure, call (800) 442-0556.

Back to the top of the news list

St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten Featured on Carnival 2007 8-Night Cruises

MIAMI, April 21, 2006 – Carnival Cruise Lines’ 88,500-ton Carnival Legend will offer a new eight-day schedule from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., featuring three distinctly different tropical destinations – St. Kitts, St. Lucia and St. Maarten – beginning in January 2007. This marks the first time that St. Kitts and St. Lucia have been featured on a Carnival itinerary in more than 10 years. 

“Carnival is constantly seeking fresh and exciting itinerary choices for our guests. These new eight-day southern Caribbean cruises offer a diversity of island experiences – each offering magnificent beaches as well as a history and character all its own – aboard one of the cruise industry’s most innovative and technically advanced ships, Carnival Legend,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. Dickinson noted that the eight-day rotation creates a wide range of days of the week on which voyages depart and return, providing maximum choice and flexibility for guests and frequently placing Carnival Legend in port on less congested days, enhancing the shoreside experience. 

  • Carnival Legend’s new eight-day southern Caribbean itinerary includes St. Kitts, offering rugged mountainous interiors and dense rainforest and featuring centuries-old fortresses and plantations, the unique Scenic National Railroad tour, as well as excellent duty-free shopping and magnificent beaches ranging in color from black to golden. 

  • Often referred to as the “crown jewel” of the Windward Islands, St. Lucia is distinguished by the Pitons, twin volcanic mountains that overlook a lush landscape of flowers, fruit trees, cane fields, rain forests and white and black sand beaches.

  • The half Dutch/half French island of St. Maarten is a Caribbean favorite, boasting excellent shopping and dining and a diversity of watersports. The island’s white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters attract sun worshippers, scuba divers and snorkelers the world over. 

The Carnival Legend’s new southern Caribbean cruises begin Jan. 27, 2007 and are part of the ship’s seasonal eight-day schedule from Fort Lauderdale encompassing alternating southern and western Caribbean cruises. 

Eight-day western Caribbean cruises include Colon, Panama; Limon, Costa Rica; and Belize City, Belize. Carnival Legend’s eight-day program will operate Oct. 23 – April 9, 2007 and Oct. 22 – April 7, 2008. (The ship will continue to offer its original eight-day southern Caribbean cruises to St. Maarten, Barbados and Martinique from Oct. – Dec. 2006).

Immediately prior to and following the eight-day voyages from Fort Lauderdale, Carnival Legend will operate a program of eight-day Caribbean cruises round-trip from New York. 

Carnival Legend is part of the line’s 2,124-passenger “Spirit-class” series and offers a host of innovative features, including indoor and outdoor promenades, a wedding chapel, and an upscale reservations-only supper club located at the top of a soaring nine-deck-high atrium. In addition to the supper club, Carnival Legend’s dining options include a two-deck-high formal restaurant with extensive menus and wine lists and an expansive poolside eatery featuring a 24-hour pizzeria. All Carnival Legend dining venues feature the new “Georges Blanc Signature Selections” created by the world-renowned French master chef who has maintained the coveted three stars from the Michelin guide for the past 25 years. 

Eighty percent of the ship’s 1,062 staterooms offer either an ocean view or balcony, perfect for scenic Caribbean cruising. Other amenities include a 14,500 square foot health club, an Internet café, a cascading water slide, a duty-free shopping mall, full casino gambling, and 16 lounges and bars, including a sports bar, wine bar and elaborate multi-level show lounge showcasing lavish Vegas-style productions. “Camp Carnival” and “Club 02,” featuring fun, supervised activities and expansive facilities for children and teens, respectively, are also featured.

Reservations are currently being accepted for Carnival Legend’s eight-day cruises from Fort Lauderdale and New York. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

Back to the top of the news list

New Crown Princess to Return to New York for Summer 2007

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 20, 2006 - The upcoming Crown Princess' first-ever New York season has generated such interest from passengers that the ship has been scheduled for a second season from the Big Apple in summer 2007. The ship will reprise its nine-day Eastern Caribbean including Bermuda run, plus will add a new Eastern Caribbean route as well. In addition, sister ship Caribbean Princess' summer will be full in 2007 with alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages.

"Crown Princess is debuting our first ever summer Caribbean cruises from New York in just two months, and already we've decided to bring her back for a second season because of the enthusiastic response," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "Both Crown Princess and her sister ship, Caribbean Princess, were designed with Caribbean cruising in mind so they're the ideal ships for enjoying a wealth of amenities perfect for the region, such as Movies Under the Stars or the local flavors of Café Caribe."

Crown Princess' summer season from New York will include 12 departures between May 12 and September 6 on the Eastern Caribbean with Bermuda itinerary it debuted for its inaugural season. Ports of call on this nine-day roundtrip voyage include Bermuda (West End), San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk. In addition, the ship sails twice on a new Eastern Caribbean itinerary featuring calls in San Juan, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk (departures on June 26 and August 28).

Caribbean Princess once again offers regular alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises between May 20 and October 21. Both seven-day itineraries sail roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale. The line's classic Eastern Caribbean route features Princess' own private island, Princess Cays plus calls in St. Maarten and St. Thomas. The Western Caribbean itinerary includes Princess Cays, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Both ships feature the many hallmark features that define the Princess experience, including the dramatic Movies Under the Stars poolside movie screen; multiple dining venues including specialty restaurants, atrium dining and the regional Café Caribe; Personal Choice Dining featuring traditional or Anytime seating; Lotus Spa with fitness center; an extensive children and teen's center; a wedding chapel and nearly 900 staterooms with private balconies.

Early booking fares for seven-day summer Caribbean cruises begin at $599 per person, based on double occupancy. Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

Back to the top of the news list

Deilmann Expands Cycling Itineraries on European River Cruises

NEW YORK, April 20, 2006 – Cycling enthusiasts can sail the inland waterways of Europe, visit cities and towns and bicycle through the countryside on more Peter Deilmann river cruises this year. Deilmann is expanding soft cycling adventures this summer and fall on river cruises visiting the Rhône-Saône, Provence and Normandy regions of France, the Hanseatic and eastern regions of Germany and the Danube areas of Austria and Hungary. The cycling river cruise programs include pre- or post-hotel stays and opportunities to ride and explore the countryside. Deilmann is also introducing hiking theme river cruises in France.

Travelers can join cycling river cruises on Cezanne sailings on the Seine River from Paris in June, July and August; Princesse de Provence cruises on the Rhône from Lyon to Avignon in August and September; Dresden cruises on the Elbe from Hamburg in June, July and August; and Mozart sailings from Passau on the Danube in July and September. The hiking theme cruises from Lyon to Avignon are to Burgundy castles, Beaujolais vineyards and Provence in May-June and October. Deilmann also has a hiking theme ocean cruise that sails from the Spanish island of Palma de Mallorca to Santa Cruz de Tenerife with hiking in the Canary Islands, Nov. 10-20.

The Seine River cycling tours start in Fontainebleau where there is dinner and an overnight stay in a four-star hotel. Particpants board the ship in Paris where the ship remains overnight. There are bicycle rides to the market town of Milly-la-Fôret and Rambouillet, visiting Chartres Cathedral and the Palace of Rambouillet. Bikers cycle along country roads through the scenic Pays de Caux to Tancarville Castle, along the river at Rouen to a Cloister ruin and through the Normandy landscapes to Monet’s house and garden at Giverny. 

Cruise tour rates start at $3,285 per person in an outside twin cabin for seven nights on the ship, one night at the Napoleon Hotel in Fontainebleau with dinner and breakfast, six escorted cycling tours, bicycle rental and service, accompanying driver, refreshments, lunches and picnics, transfers, excursions and entrance fees. 

The cycling cruises on the Rhône begin in medieval Pérouges with dinner and overnight stay at the classic Hostellerie du Vieux-Pérouges and a bike ride though the forests, fields and meadows of Lyon. Cyclists ride through the wine regions of southern Burgundy and Beaujolais, to the Ardeche plateau down to the bottom of the gorge, the medieval town of Viviers, to Les-Baux, the vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and to the Roman theater of Orange. 

The ship sails roundtrip from Lyon and calls at Tournous, Chalon sur Saône, Mâcon, Trévoux, Tournon, Arles, Avignon and Vienne. The eight-night package starts at $2,620 per person for an outside twin cabin for the seven-night cruise and all meals, the Pérouges hotel overnight with dinner and breakfast, six escorted cycling tours, two wine tastings, lunches and afternoon picnic, transfers, excursions, entrance fees and farewell dinner in Lyon. 

The Danube cycling river cruises aboard the Mozart begin with an overnight stay at the first class Hotel Residence in the lovely German town of Passau, two hours from Munich. The cycling excursions feature paths along the Inn River; a ride along the Danube through Austria’s Wachau wine region; small country roads, orchards and wine terraces leading to Vienna, a ride to “Heurigen” or rustic wine taverns in the Viennese Forest and along the Danube Bend to a Hungarian village. The Danube cruise calls at the wine village of Dürnstein, overnights in Vienna and Budapest and visits Bratislava, capital of Slovakia. Rates start at $3,160 per person for an outside double or twin for seven nights on the Mozart and one at the Passau hotel with dinner and breakfast, the cycling program, lunches, picnics, transfers, excursions, fees and accompanying driver.

Biking cruise tour rates are up to $580 less than in 2005. Each day’s cycling mileage, on traffic-free paths and small side roads, is outlined in the program. Depending on the itinerary, non-cycling river cruise companions deduct between $400 and $800 from the cruise tour price. Deilmann also arranges air transportation, meet and greet services and transfers between airports and ships for all river cruises. Port charges are an additional $90 per person. Cycling theme cruises and Great Rivers of Europe 2006 brochures are online for viewing and downloading at For copies, cruise details and booking, contact a travel agent or Peter Deilmann Cruises at 1-800-348-8287 or by e-mail at .

Back to the top of the news list

Costa Mediterranea Receives 2nd Vessel Sanitation Perfect Score in 2006

HOLLYWOOD, FL, April 20, 2006 – The Costa Mediterranea scored a perfect score of 100 for the second time in a row during the 2006 cruise season in an unannounced inspection held by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on April 9. The same Costa ship also obtained a perfect score on December 13, 2005. At present the Costa Mediterranea is the only cruise ship inspected by the CDC this year to have scored a perfect score twice in one year.

The CDC inspections are part of the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP), which was introduced in the early 1970’s and involves all ships that stop in a US port. They are unannounced inspections and are carried out by officials from the USPHS (United States Public Health Service) twice a year. The score, on a scale from 1 to 100, is assigned on the basis of a checklist with some 48 areas of assessment which include hygiene and sanitation of food (from storage to preparation), water, shipboard personnel and overall cleanliness of the ship. 

Thanks to this second perfect score, Costa’s fleet has now received the highest possible marks from the CDC inspectors five times. The first Costa ship to obtain a perfect score of 100 was the Costa Atlantica, sister ship of the Costa Mediterranea which obtained a perfect score in 2001 as well as in 2005. The Costa Mediterranea herself first obtained the top score in 2004. 

The Costa Mediterranea, which entered service in 2003, is 86,000 tons, 960 feet in length and 106 feet wide. She has a double occupancy of 2,114 in 1,057 staterooms 845 of which are ocean view, and 80% are fitted with private verandas.

Back to the top of the news list

Celebrity Cruises Announces Significant Expansion in Europe

MIAMI, April 19 -- From Casablanca to Cornwall, from the Bosporus Strait to the best of ancient Greece, Celebrity Cruises' European itineraries in 2007 and 2008 will take guests to the broadest array of romantic, historic and exotic locations since the line began sailing there in 1999. Bookings opened today for Celebrity's new and expanded European season on Century, Constellation, Galaxy and Millennium, and for Cruisetours in the region.

Celebrity's European Itinerary Highlights 2007-2008
on April 23, 2007, will cross from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on a 12-night transatlantic voyage featuring the line's first call on Cornwall, England, ending in Dover, the major channel port famed for its coastal white cliffs. The ship then will present a series of 14-night Scandinavia and Russia cruises roundtrip from Dover, England, featuring Celebrity's first visits to Visby, Sweden, a walled town with ancient ruins, cobblestone streets, and quaint pubs and restaurants.

Constellation concludes its season in Northern Europe on September 20, 2007, with a seven-night cruise from Southampton to Cape Liberty, New Jersey. Constellation returns to Europe on April 11, 2008, on a 13-night transatlantic voyage from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., featuring Celebrity's first calls on Brest, in the Bretagne region of France, and Cherbourg, the gateway to Normandy, France.

Galaxy crosses the Atlantic on April 27, 2007, departing San Juan, Puerto Rico, on a 14-night voyage to Civitavecchia (for Rome), Italy, featuring Celebrity's first calls on the city Humphrey Bogart helped make famous, Casablanca, Morocco, and Agadir, a favorite Moroccan destination thanks to its laid-back boulevards and inviting beaches.

Galaxy then presents an extraordinary series of 10- and 11-night Eastern Mediterranean cruises -- each visiting Greece, Turkey and Italy -- roundtrip from Civitavecchia until October 13, 2007. Two exotic, 14-night Mediterranean and Black Sea cruises follow, featuring calls on Constanta, Romania and Odessa, Ukraine -- two ports Celebrity introduced in 2006 -- along with Celebrity's first cruise through the Bosporus Strait, which forms the boundary between the European and Asian portions of Turkey, and connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara.

Ancient empires await guests booked on Galaxy's 14-night cruise departing Civitavecchia on November 10, 2007, and featuring Celebrity's first visits to Limassol, Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean, and Alexandria, Egypt, named for Alexander the Great, and in ancient times, known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This Galaxy cruise concludes in Athens, Greece, where the ship sets sail November 24 on a 14-night cruise ending in Barcelona, Spain.

Galaxy concludes its 2007 European season with a 14-night westbound transatlantic cruise from Barcelona on December 8, ending in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and featuring calls on Casablanca and Agadir, Morocco, along with Tenerife and the new port of Santa Cruz in the Spanish archipelago, the Canary Islands. Galaxy will return to Europe in 2008 on a 15-night transatlantic voyage departing San Juan on April 18.

Millennium sets sail for Europe on March 18, 2007, departing Fort Lauderdale on a 14-night cruise to a destination rich with maritime history, Southampton, England, and featuring the new port of Santa Cruz, Canary Islands. On April 21, 2007, Millennium departs Southampton on a 12-night cruise featuring the line's first calls on La Rochelle, France, home to Europe's largest marina for pleasure boats, and Bilbao, the largest city in the Basque region of Spain, along with Casablanca, ending in Barcelona. There, a 10-night cruise departing May 3 includes a visit to Provence (Marseilles), France, known for sunsoaked mountains, vineyards and fields of aromatic lavender.

Millennium presents a series of 12-night sailings from Barcelona and Venice from May 13 through November 18, capping its 2007 season in Europe with a 14-night transatlantic voyage from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale on December 2, ending in Fort Lauderdale, and featuring Casablanca, as well as Celebrity's first visit to the Moroccan city of Tangier, at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Century, fresh from its $55-million revitalization set for completion in May 2006, will launch its 2007 Northern Europe season with eight-night Norwegian Fjords cruises roundtrip from Amsterdam (Rotterdam), Netherlands, May 9 and 26, and August 26. Celebrity's first Scotland and Ireland cruise sets sail roundtrip from Amsterdam on May 17, with a nine-night itinerary featuring the line's first visits to the land rich with rolling hills and dramatic castles, Edinburgh, Inverness/Loch Ness and Kirkwall, Scotland. A series of 12-night roundtrip Scandinavia and Russia itineraries follow, roundtrip from Amsterdam on June 3, 15 and 27; July 21; and August 2 and 14.

On July 9, Century presents Celebrity's first Arctic Circle and North Cape cruise roundtrip from Amsterdam, with the line's first calls on the Norwegian towns of Molde, famed for its panoramic views of snow-clad peaks along the fjords, and Tromso, considered "the gateway to the Arctic." Century caps its Northern Europe season with a 10-night British Isles cruise roundtrip from Amsterdam on September 3, featuring the line's first call on Holyhead, Wales, home to one of Europe's only three-walled Roman forts. 

The Mediterranean season for Century in 2007 begins September 13, with an eight-night cruise from Amsterdam to Barcelona. Century then presents 10- and 11-night sailings in the Western Mediterranean and Morocco, roundtrip from Barcelona, through November 12. Century concludes its European season in 2007 with a 17-night transatlantic voyage from Barcelona, highlighted by visits to the exotic Moroccan ports of Casablanca, Tangier and Agadir, along with Lanzarote, Tenerife, and Santa Cruz, Canary Islands, ending in Miami, Florida.

To allow travelers to delve deeper into the heart of many of the destinations Celebrity visits in Europe, the line presents another season of enchanting Cruisetours, pairing fully guided land tours with either a Mediterranean or Northern Europe cruise. All Celebrity Cruisetours include stays at four- and five-star hotels, select meals, guided tours of top cultural attractions, and plenty of free time to pursue individual interests.

Celebrity's Northern Europe Cruisetours
In Northern Europe, Celebrity's newest Cruisetour allows guest to pair their 12-night Century cruise with either a three-night tour of Brussels and Amsterdam, or a five-night tour featuring Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. The five-night tour includes the fabled sites in Paris -- including the Champs Elysees, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower -- while both land options feature guided walking tours through Bruges, and a private cruise through Amsterdam's historic center. As in 2006, guests in 2007 can pair a Scandinavia/Russia cruise onboard Constellation with a four-night Paris and London tour, featuring visits to the Eiffel Tower, Place de la Concorde and Notre Dame, and Eurostar travel through the Chunnel capped with two nights in London.

Celebrity's Mediterranean Cruisetours
In the Mediterranean, Celebrity guests can discover the beauty of Barcelona and Madrid on four-night tours; explore the magic of Venice and the Italian Lakes on a three-night tour; relish three nights in Rome and Florence, or savor five nights in Venice, Florence and Rome. The land tours can be paired with 12-night Mediterranean cruises onboard Millennium; 10- and 11- night Balearic Islands and Tyrrhenian Sea cruises onboard Century; or 10- and 11-night Eastern Mediterranean cruises onboard Galaxy.

Celebrity Cruises offers a comfortably sophisticated, upscale cruise experience with highly personalized service, authentic five-star dining, and extraordinary attention to detail. Its nine ships and the line's service, cuisine and spas consistently dominate top travelers' surveys. Celebrity sails in 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

Back to the top of the news list

Princess' "Tropical Summer" Features More of the South Pacific in 2007

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 19, 2006 - Princess' most intimate vessels will spend summer 2007 sailing through a variety of South Pacific itineraries, perfect for a relaxing island-filled vacation. Not only will Princess offer its first-ever summer Hawaiian Islands cruise season, but ships will sail a special cruise to Midway Islands for the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Midway and feature several full Pacific crossings.

Pacific Princess, Tahitian Princess and Regal Princess will each offer different South Pacific options. Pacific Princess crosses the Pacific from Sydney, offering a variety of cruise segments along the way. Tahitian Princess begins another full season of French Polynesia and Hawaii/Tahiti sailings, now scheduled through spring 2008. And Regal Princess' final season with the line features the company's first ever summer sailings on the favorite roundtrip Hawaiian Islands sailings, plus a Midway Anniversary cruise.

"These cruises are perfect for passengers looking for a summer island getaway," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "We know our smaller ships have many fans who will appreciate the opportunity to enjoy a summertime escape to Hawaii, Tahiti and other romantic South Pacific destinations."

The 2007 summer Exotics program includes:

  • Pacific Princess Crosses the Pacific - The 670-passenger Pacific Princess offers explorers the opportunity to cross the Pacific with several cruises and segments.

  • Hawaii, Tahiti & South Pacific - This 33-day ocean voyage across the Pacific from Sydney to Honolulu departs on April 24 for calls at Melbourne, Tasmania (Burnie), Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, Auckland, Bay of Islands, Fiji (Suva), Pago Pago (American Samoa), Moorea, Tahiti (Papeete), Raiatea, Bora Bora, Christmas Island, Hilo, Kauai (Nawiliwili), and Maui (Lahaina). This extended voyage is also offered in segments from Sydney to Tahiti (21 days) and Tahiti to Honolulu (12 days departing May 14). 

  • Hawaiian Islands - The ship then sails on an 11-day cruise from Honolulu to Vancouver with stops in Kauai, Maui, Kona and Hilo, plus scenic Kilauea volcano cruising, departing May 26. 

  • Tahitian Princess to French Polynesia and Hawaii - Sister ship Tahitian Princess will once again entrance her 670 passengers with scenic cruising on two French Polynesia itineraries plus a Tahiti/Hawaii option.

  • Polynesia & Cook Islands - A favorite 10-day roundtrip itinerary featuring an overnight in Papeete, plus calls at Huahine (Polynesia), Rarotonga (Cook Islands), Raiatea (overnight), Tahaa Scenic Cruising, Bora Bora (overnight), and Moorea. The ship will sail on 23 departures of this route beginning April 26, 2007 through April 28, 2008. 

  • Hawaii & Tahiti - A 12-night journey between Papeete and Honolulu with calls in Moorea, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Christmas Island, Hilo, Maui (Lahaina), and Kauai (Nawiliwili). Passengers can choose from six departures throughout the summer on June 5 and 17, July 19 and 31, and September 1 and 19. 

  • Polynesia & the Marquesas Islands - This 10-day roundtrip voyage from Papeete includes visits to Moorea, Tuamotu Atolls Scenic Cruising, Nuku Hiva (Marquesas Islands), Hiva Oa (Marquesas Islands), Rangiroa (Polynesia), Tahaa Scenic Cruising, Raiatea (overnight), and Bora Bora. Tahitian Princess will offer seven sailings on this itinerary on October 11 and 31, November 20, December 10 and 30, January 19, and February 8. 

  • Regal Princess to Hawaii ... and Beyond - Princess' first summer Hawaiian cruise season features convenient roundtrip sailings from Los Angeles aboard the 1,590-passenger Regal Princess for a farewell season that also spotlights a special Midway anniversary cruise and a Pacific crossing.

  • Hawaiian Islands - A popular roundtrip sailing from Los Angeles, this 15-day voyage takes in Hilo, Kilauea Volcano Scenic Cruising, Kona, Honolulu, Kauai (Nawiliwili), and Maui. Seven sailings are offered between April 28 and August 16, 2007. 

  • Hawaii and Midway Islands Anniversary - Also sailing roundtrip from Los Angeles, this special 20-day voyage sails straight to Midway Islands for the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, returning via Kauai (Nawiliwili), Honolulu, Maui (Lahaina), Kona, Kilauea Volcano Scenic Cruising, and Hilo. This one-time only sailing departs on May 28. 

  • Hawaii, Tahiti and South Pacific - A 31-day Los Angeles to Sydney crossing, featuring stops in many of the Pacific's most enchanting destinations, including Maui (Lahaina), Honolulu, Bora Bora, Tahiti (Papeete), Rarotonga (Cook Islands), Pago Pago (American Samoa), International Dateline crossing, Fiji (Suva), Auckland, Tauranga, Dunedin (Port Chalmers), Fiordland National Park Scenic Cruising, Tasmania (Burnie), and Melbourne. Regal Princess departs Los Angeles on August 31. 

Travelers can extend their vacations with Princess' Cruise Plus hotel packages in Papeete, Honolulu, Sydney and Los Angeles. A four-night Moorea and Tahiti package is available for some extra romantic time for passengers in Papeete. Early booking fares for Exotic cruises start at $1,345 per person, based on double occupancy. Sailings open for booking on April 22, 2006. Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

Back to the top of the news list

World Cruises Circumnavigate the Globe in Comfort & Luxury

NEW YORK - Although Ferdinand Magellan's 1522 expedition was the first to circumnavigate the globe, Magellan himself did not survive the grueling voyage, and only 18 of his 200 crew-members finally returned to Spain. How times have changed. Guests sailing aboard today's passenger-pleasing cruise ships can circumnavigate the earth on voyages ranging from 80 to 126 days - with no worries of hardship and plenty of pampering. In fact, today's world cruise travelers can experience the earth's most magnificent destinations in superlative style and luxury aboard the ships of the member lines of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the chief marketing organization for 20 premier cruise lines and nearly 17,000 North American travel agencies. Vacationers who are unable to commit to full world cruise itineraries can opt for voyage segments available in a variety of lengths. This year five CLIA members - Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Silversea Cruises - will offer world cruises aboard seven ships. 

"World cruises offer the ultimate in travel - the opportunity to circumnavigate the globe and visit some of the world's most fascinating destinations along the way," said Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of CLIA ( "Travelers with time constraints can opt for shorter cruise segments that offer fascinating excursions to the world's many exotic destinations."

Around-the-world voyages enable guests to couple relaxing days at sea with visits to some of the world's most exciting destinations, including Guayquil, Ecuador; Bangkok; Bombay; Hong Kong; Auckland and Wellington, New Zealand; Tasmania and Sydney, Australia; Dubai; and Alexandria, Egypt. These voyages also visit cosmopolitan cities and small, quaint ports. Guests will also have the chance to visit some of the world's most famous and historic sites, including India's Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and Australia's Ayer's Rock. Sightseeing excursions offered in connection with world cruises are equally compelling. Guests can opt for tours that include four-wheel drive excursions in the Namibian desert, evening concerts at Ephesus in Turkey, or explorations of the mystical Moai statues on Easter Island. For the time-pressed, world cruise segments cover fascinating destinations in much shorter periods of time. 

Following is a list of CLIA-member cruise lines that offer world cruise itineraries:

  • CRYSTAL CRUISES: A return to Israel, Carnaval in Rio, three days cruising Antarctica, three days in Dubai and Cape Town, and multiple African safari options are among the rare travel opportunities distinguishing Crystal Cruises' 12th annual World Cruise. Departing on January 12 from Miami on a 109-day journey, Crystal Serenity explores 44 ports of call in 27 countries on five continents.

  • CUNARD LINE: Cunard Line's venerable Queen Elizabeth 2 and flagship Queen Mary 2, will depart Fort Lauderdale together on January 10, 2007, initially sailing on a southward journey that will see Queen Mary 2 circumnavigate the globe in 80 days while her sister QE2 celebrates her 25th Anniversary Silver Jubilee World Cruise with an exotic 108-day itinerary. 

  • HOLLAND AMERICA LINE: Two Holland America Line ships will offer three epic cruise experiences. Amsterdam, on January 15 departs Fort Lauderdale, circumnavigating the globe in 105 days. Prinsendam begins a 66-day exploration of South America and Antarctica on January 5 out of Fort Lauderdale. On March 12, the ship embarks on a 56-day sojourn traversing the Atlantic to ports in Europe and North Africa.

  • REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES: Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Seven Seas Voyager embarks on its most extensive world cruise yet. The 111-day itinerary calls at 46 ports in 26 nations, sailing January 9 from Fort Lauderdale to Rio de Janeiro, then across the Southern Atlantic to Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Six cruise segments of 25, 21, 15 and 14 days are available.

  • SILVERSEA CRUISES: Silversea Cruises features its first-ever world cruise aboard Silver Shadow, departing on January 15 from Fort Lauderdale. The 126-day journey crosses three oceans, seven seas and six continents, visiting 61 different ports. Highlights include visits to destinations in South America, the South Seas, New Zealand, Australia, the Far East, India, Egypt and the Mediterranean. Nine cruise segments are available.

The best way to learn more about these exciting world cruise itineraries is to seek the counsel of a professional cruise specialist. To locate a CLIA-member travel agency near you, use the Travel Agent Locator on CLIA's website at

Back to the top of the news list

Pride of Hawai`i Makes her Debut in Germany

MIAMI, April 19, 2006 – NCL Corporation (“NCL”) welcomed Pride of Hawai’i as the newest member to the NCL America fleet, with a handover ceremony in Emeshaven, Holland. At today’s onboard ceremony, Star Cruises Chairman Tan Sri LIM Kok Thay was joined by Colin Veitch, NCL President and CEO; and Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft, the shipyard that constructed the vessel.

“We are proud to take delivery of this beautiful new ship not only because she is our newest and largest U.S. Flagged vessel but because she features the innovative design and the tremendous consumer appeal of Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Star and Norwegian Spirit,” Tan Sri said. “Pride of Hawai`i is the ninth in a series of 11 such Freestyle Cruising ships delivered as part of a U.S. $5 billion cruise ship building program undertaken by Star Cruises and NCL since 1998.” 

Pride of Hawai`i is also the third in a series of U.S. flag cruise ships, built for the Hawai`i market. At just over 93,500 gross registered tons, carrying over 2,400 passengers, and costing over half a billion dollars, Pride of Hawai`i is by far the largest and most expensive U.S. flagged passenger ship ever built. Pride of Hawai`i will employ a crew of over 1000, bringing the total seagoing workforce of NCL’s U.S. flagged fleet to some 4000, including those on leave.

“We are thrilled to complete our ambitious plan of bringing three U.S.-flagged ships to Hawai`i by 2006,” Colin Veitch said. “Pride of Hawai`i, along with Pride of America and Pride of Aloha, and our one international ship, will bring around half a million passengers a year to the Hawai`i Islands and not only offer an unparalleled Hawai`i cruise experience but will also help create more than 20,000 U.S. jobs and generate more than $800 million of expenditures in the U.S. economy by the end of 2007 including over a quarter of that impact occurring in other parts of the U.S. outside of Hawai’i.”

The ship will arrive in Baltimore at the end of the month and after a series of inaugural events in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Pride of Hawai`i begins sailing in Hawai`i on June 5. She departs every Monday from Honolulu and offers the line's extremely popular itinerary with a full day in Hilo, Hawai`i; two days in Kahului, Maui; a day in Kona, Hawai`i and two days in Nāwiliwili, Kaua`i. 

Purpose built for NCL's signature Freestyle Cruising, Pride of Hawai`i features a vast array of accommodations including two luxurious Garden Villas with their own private gardens and sun decks, 10 Courtyard Villas sharing a private courtyard, pool and sundeck on deck 14, and a spectacular top-of-the-ship Owner's Suite. The ship also features multiple lively public rooms, 10 restaurants and impressive onboard amenities. For further information, please contact NCL in the U.S. and Canada at (800) 327-7030; visit NCL’s website at or on AOL at keyword: NCL; or to download high-resolution photography, visit

Back to the top of the news list

SeaDream to Attract Golfers for South America Voyages

SeaDream Yacht Club’s South America voyages this winter (2006-2007) will offer golfers the opportunity to play some of the southern continent’s finest courses. Weather conditions in the region for the months of December through February range from a high of 84F to a low of 61F. Prior reservations must be made independently in advance by the golfing SeaDream guest or by a travel agent. 

Golfing opportunities are available on SeaDream’s two, nine-night, ten-day voyages that commence and end in Buenos Aires, Argentina. These voyages are a Christmas holiday sailing commencing December 20, 2006 and one on February 3, 2007. Both include a visit to famed Iguacu Falls by chartered aircraft that is included in the voyage price. 

Courses at or near ports-of-call that golfers on these voyages may wish to try: 

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina--Buenos Aires Golf Club, Jockey Club, Olivos Golf Club, Martindale Country Club. 

  • Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay--Four Seasons Hotel, Carmelo 

  • Montevideo, Uruguay--Uruguay Golf Club. 

  • Piriapolis, Uruguay--Club del Lago Golf, La Barra Golf Club, Cantegril Country Club. 

  • Punta del Este, Uruguay--Same courses as from Piriapolis. 

SeaDream is offering a series of ten South America voyages this winter. Four commence in Rio de Janeiro and end in Buenos Aires. Four itineraries are to be operated in the reverse and two, are the above-mentioned Buenos Aires-Buenos Aires sailings. Complete details of these South America voyages, including schedules, itineraries and pricing are available from travel agents or from SeaDream Yacht Club, 1 (800) 707-4911 or on the website

Back to the top of the news list

What Do the Galapagos, Machu Picchu, Victoria Falls, Singita Private Game Reserve and Nile River Cruising Have in Common?

LOS ANGELES, April 18 -- In keeping with the surge of participation in expanded shoreside experiences, Crystal Cruises has increased the number of extended land adventures available with its 2007 World Cruise program. The ultra-luxury line is presenting 25 compelling one- to four-night overland trips, including 11 completely new programs, in Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. Crystal's World Cruisers will have the opportunity to view iguanas and giant tortoises in the Galapagos, crocodiles and monkeys in the Amazon, and rhinos, lions, elephants, zebras and giraffes on an array of African safaris. In 2006, more than 100 Crystal World Cruisers participated in overland adventures. In the past few weeks, excursions to the Mala Mala, Singita, and Phinda Private Game Reserves and a dune dinner safari in Dubai all rated a perfect 10. In 2007, Crystal is not only offering those lauded adventures but has added exclusive journeys to the luxurious, acclaimed Londolozi Private Game Reserve and the Mt. Kenya Safari Club, among other memorable options.

"Our guests have an insatiable curiosity for up close and personal worldwide adventures -- whether one is taking a segment of the World Cruise or the entire voyage," says Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales & marketing. "Traveling to different countries aboard the luxurious floating resort that is Crystal Serenity is just one part of their experience. Our guests relish the opportunity to venture beyond the port cities to experience the destinations' culture, wildlife and unique treasures."

Considered the grandest of all voyages, Crystal Cruises' 12th Annual World Cruise aboard the ultra-luxurious, award-winning Crystal Serenity departs Miami, Florida on January 12, 2007 and concludes in Southampton, England. A return to Israel, Carnaval in Rio, three days cruising Antarctica, and three days in Dubai and Cape Town are just some of the destination highlights.

Among the newest overland programs:

  • A three-night Patagonian adventure from Puerto Montt, Chile

  • A choice of three-night adventures from Buenos Aires to the Amazon, Iguazu Falls or Uruguay's oldest city, recently declared a UNESCO world heritage site

  • Two- and four-night safaris to the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, the exclusive Rattray's camp on the Mala Mala Game Reserve and the Crater Lodge at Ngorongoro, among others

  • A three-night adventure exploring Israel's city of Eilat, Massada and the Dead Sea, Galilee and the various historic sections that distinguish Jerusalem. 

Overland Adventures range from $621 to more than $8,000 per person, depending on the excursion. In addition to the numerous overland opportunities, Crystal is offering more than 250 full-day and half-day Crystal Adventures during the 109-day journey to 44 ports of call in 27 countries. A dedicated Crystal Private Adventures team is also available to arrange a completely customized shoreside experience. Crystal Adventures can be savored, and booked, on line at Crystal Private Adventures can also be contacted through the website or by emailing . For additional information, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

Back to the top of the news list

easyCruise Announces a Second Vessel and Updates to easyCruiseOne

Together with its second vessel easyCruise unveils an exciting new look and upgraded onboard facilities. Starting on Friday 14 July 2006, easyCruiseTwo will sail weekly itineraries along the rivers and canals of Holland and Belgium from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, Brussels, Antwerp and back. Following the successful easyCruise concept, easyCruiseTwo will arrive in a new and exciting destination by lunchtime each day so that passengers have the freedom to spend most of the day and night ashore. Sailing during the early hours of the morning, the younger crowd can enjoy the nightlife in some of Europe’s top cities. In addition, passengers can join and leave the cruise where and when they wish, subject to a minimum two night stay.

All passenger cabins on easyCruiseTwo are outside with a window and in response to customer demand more outside cabins will also be opened up on easyCruiseOne during its refit at the end of October 2006. easyCruiseTwo has 50 twin cabins with en-suite bathroom with shower. There is a canopied sun deck with an outdoor hot tub, a bar and restaurant. The riverboat is 80 metres long and carries 100 passengers and a crew of 15. easyCruiseTwo is the first easyCruise vessel to be operated by a franchisee - formerly the ‘M.S. Frontera', the riverboat is owned and operated by Boonstra River Line and will be refurbished to the a easyCruise standard before entering service. 

A more sophisticated look!
easyCruiseTwo will be the first vessel to bear a brand new easyCruise livery. Reflecting the aspirations and sophistication of our passengers, the orange hull with website address in large letters, is to be replaced with a more refined graphite grey hull with orange beading and a new and more dynamic logo. The colour scheme of the cabins is also being re-designed. easyCruiseOne will be transformed with the new easyCruise livery when it goes into dry dock in October 2006. Currently easyCruiseOne is finishing its winter season in the Caribbean before returning to the Mediterranean to cruise the French and Italian rivieras from next month, 13 May 2006.

More “Luxe for Less”
easyCruise has also employed a US east coast based consultancy, CB5 Restaurant Group, who has worked with hotel groups and on more than 85 restaurants. CB5 is in the process of designing an on-board food and beverage concept to be used on all easyCruise vessels. Since launch easyCruise has offered its passenger the freedom and independence to go ashore by day and by night as they please. But within the first year of operation more passengers opted to stay on board and enjoy the atmosphere. The sports bar menu on offer turned out to be too limited for passengers and the demand has been for more international cuisine. So in response to customer feedback and to satisfy the desires of its younger clientele, easyCruise has decided that it is worth offering a more upscale dining experience on board. 

The first easyCruise vessel with the new updated restaurant and bar will be easyCruiseTwo, sailing from Amsterdam on 14 July 2006. easyCruiseOne will be refurbished in dry dock at the end of the coming summer season in October 2006. 

"easyCruise is attracting young, independent passengers who enjoy visiting many of the top destinations on both sides of the Atlantic," said Stelios the serial entrepreneur and founder of easyCruise. "I am delighted that we are now expanding the company and taking the brand further upscale in order to grow the business and keep satisfying our passengers," he continued.

easyCruiseTwo will be launched with prices starting from just €10 per person per night available to book online by the middle of May. Subscribers who register at will be among the first to receive news when the program goes on sale.

Back to the top of the news list

Sail Through History as Cruise West Explores Ancient Dynasties & Modern Asian Cultures

Seattle, WA, April 13, 2006 - Cruise West, the largest American-owned cruise line and leader in small-ship cruising, is once again pioneering a journey through history with two new itineraries for 2007. For the first time, Cruise West is offering guests the opportunity to explore the ancient capitals and modern cities of Vietnam on the line’s new Vietnam sailing. On the Treasures of the Orient voyage, Cruise West will explore four nations in Asia on a sailing through Northern Japan, South Korea, China and Vietnam. Both itineraries will sail aboard the company’s flagship and most luxurious vessel, the Spirit of Oceanus. 

Vietnam: The Vietnam itinerary will explore the nation’s ancient capitals, experience the French colonial influences on architecture and cuisine, and enjoy the country’s blossoming cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Along the way, guests will sail through the majestic Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, discover Vietnam's rich past at the Cham Museum in Danang and temples at Nha Trang, and experience a cooking school in China Beach. The 11-night journey is offered on November 18, 2007, and November 26, 2007, starting at $4,199 per person.

Prior to and following embarkation on the Vietnam journey, guests will enjoy overnight stays in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In Hanoi, Cruise West will arrange sightseeing of the Ethnographic Museum and a private dinner at the Temple of Literature, while in Ho Chi Minh City, guests will have a full-day tour of the Mekong Delta. Guests can also arrange a pre- or post-trip land tour of Cambodia with visits to the temples at Angkor, Artisans d’Angkor and Banteay Srei, as well as Phnom Penh.

Treasures of the Orient: Treasures of the Orient, an epic voyage beginning in Osaka and concluding in Hanoi, travels for 13 nights. As the Spirit of Oceanus sails southbound from Japan to Vietnam, guests will journey through time with visits to one of the most important Shinto shrines in Miyajima, the Peace Park in Nagasaki, Cheonjiyeon Waterfall in Jeju Island, Korea, and Ha Long Bay. Guests will have the privilege of interacting with the monks of the Nanputao Temple in Xiamen, experience an acrobatic performance in Shanghai and have a cooking and art tour through Hong Kong with expert guides. The Treasures of the Orient tour starts at $6,499 per person and departs on November 6, 2007.

Prior to embarkation on the Treasures of the Orient voyage, guests will enjoy an overnight visit in Kobe. Following the cruise, guests will stay for two nights in the city of Hanoi, a bustling metropolis of pagodas, colorful markets and towering modern buildings. Guests also have the option of adding a five-night pre-cruise land tour of Kyoto and Nara or a five-night post-cruise land tour in Cambodia.

Up-Close, Casual and Personal Cruising: Cruise West offers the opportunity to explore remote, worldwide locales by providing distinctive, one-of-a-kind, personalized itineraries not offered by the traditional larger cruise lines. Cruise West’s smaller ships – ten in all – hold between 70-138 people each, and the casual style onboard encourages relaxation and congenial interaction between guests and crew alike. The experience is personally enriching through expert Exploration Leaders providing onboard narrative and lectures, special local guests from a wide variety of backgrounds, and the library provided on each vessel. All have forward lounges and ample outdoor deck space for viewing and photographing wildlife and scenery. All vessels are also equipped with inflatable landing boats for close-up exploration of remote areas and shore landings. 

To make reservations or request a brochure, visit or call (800) 888-9378.

Back to the top of the news list

Cunard's Queen Mary 2 Finds a New Home Port in Brooklyn

Brooklyn, NY, April 15, 2006 -- On Saturday, April 15, the world's most famous ocean liner, Queen Mary 2, made the new $56 million Brooklyn Cruise Terminal her new home port for transatlantic sailings.

Back to the top of the news list

Grand Turk Brings 20 New Shore Excursion Options 
to Crown Princess Passengers

SANTA CLARITA, CA -- The unspoiled beaches and historic attractions of Grand Turk will be one of the highlights of Crown Princess' new Eastern Caribbean itinerary when the ship debuts in June. In addition to a brand new welcome center designed with activities for cruise passengers, the island will also feature 20 new shore excursions to take advantage of the local offerings, from renowned diving sites to historic attractions. These tours in Grand Turk bring Princess' total for new Caribbean and Panama Canal area itineraries to more than 150 new excursions that have been added recently. The line now offers a total of more than 700 tour options throughout the region.

"The development of Grand Turk's facilities for cruise visitors gives us a wonderful opportunity to expand our Caribbean excursion offerings," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "And when you think that these are just 20 of the new tours we have added in the region over the last year, our commitment to giving our passengers a rich shore-side experience is evident."

New tour offerings on Grand Turk include:

  • Hop-On/Hop-off Island Tour - This first of its kind island tour operates as a hop-on-hop-off tour which includes stops at a restored 1800's prison in town and a historic lighthouse.

  • Marine Tours - Many tours will also focus on and under the water to take advantage of Grand Turk's renowned marine environment, including a semi-sub, snorkeling, kayaking, fly fishing, power snorkeling and helmet diving.

  • Soft Adventure Tours - There will also be several soft adventure tours such as a Beach Horseback Ride and Swim, and a Stingray Interaction at Gibb's Cay, four-wheel drive and dune buggy tours, and a bike, hike and swim.

Of course, some passengers may not wish to go any further than Grand Turk's specially designed new cruise terminal and welcome center. Sporting both a private beach and sparkling super-sized pool, this center offers passengers a relaxing getaway right at the port. Dining will include the newest outpost of Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville restaurant, plus a coffee bar and ice cream parlor; while shoppers will delight in a unique 10,000 square-foot duty free store. Center services include car, jeep and bike rentals, non-motorized water sports, an internet café and communications center, and the ultimate relaxation with beachside massage service. Entertainment, poolside games and other activities will keep passengers occupied throughout the day.

In addition to Grand Turk, a number of new tours have been developed in many of Princess' Caribbean destinations. These excursions include cultural and soft adventure options, including volcano and waterfall hikes, underwater tours, even the opportunity to ride a Harley or a Segway. In addition, several new ports offer a full roster of new excursions, including the island of Bonaire and ports in Guatemala and Nicaragua. A sampling of these new tours includes:

Hike to a Waterfall ... or Volcano:
Princess offers three new waterfall hikes to cool passengers off - The Maracas Waterfall Hike in Trinidad, the Hike to Grand Bois Waterfall in St. Lucia and the Hike to Sari-Sari Falls in Dominica. Or, for a fierier outing, passenger can hike up a volcano. Among the featured peak climbs are the extinct Mount Liamuiga Volcano Hike, taking in St. Kitts' highest spot; or the La Soufriere Volcano Summit Hike, a trek up a 5,000-foot volcano in St. Vincent.

Unique Transportation:

  • Harleys in Paradise (St. Maarten) - Motorcycle riders will be in "hog heaven" with this new opportunity to tour St. Maarten's scenic highlights on a Harley-Davidson. The guided ride takes in a number of stunning coastal views plus beach time at the island's most popular beach, hailed as the "French Riviera of the Caribbean."

  • Segway Adventure to Chankanaab Park (Cozumel) - Passengers can experience the wave of the future in transportation - the Segway Human Transporter. Riders receive professional instruction on how to operate their vehicle, then will take off along a bike trail on a ride to Chankanaab State Park for a guided snorkeling tour.

  • St. Lucia Canopy Adventure - Explore St. Lucia's rainforest by effortlessly gliding through the tree tops on a zip line. Canopy adventures via zip line are among the newest and hottest tours in the Caribbean and receive raves from Princess passengers.

Active Caribbean Adventures:

  • Fly Fishing Adventure (Costa Maya) - An opportunity for fishermen to catch the Grand Slam of fishing. This expedition to the famous Bacalar Channels offers anglers the chance to fish what is considered by many to be one of the best fishing destinations in the Caribbean. Passengers can catch and release tarpon, bonefish, permit, snapper and snook, among other fish.

  • Beach & Trail Horseback Ride (Cozumel) - A thrilling opportunity to enjoy a horseback ride along one of Mexico's secluded beaches.

  • Grenada River Tubing (Grenada) - A wet and wild float along Grenada's Balthazar River. Passengers will gently spin and swirl with the currents on this thrilling ride down river. Several stops are made along the way in the river's natural pools, with an opportunity to swim and relax in the last pool.

  • Bird Watching at the Bocuare Wildlife Reserve (Limon) - More than 840 different bird species have been recorded in Costa Rica, and on this excursion passengers could spot many of them. Bocuare Reserve's unique eco-system offers nature lovers the opportunity to view a variety of species in several different habitats, from aquatic wildlife to hummingbirds.

  • New Waves Certified Scuba in Costa Maya - Princess' popular New Waves diving program adds a two-tank certified boat dive on the pristine and seldom dived reefs of Costa Maya.

Back to the top of the news list

Gavin MacLeod Honored for 20 Years as Princess Cruises Spokesperson

SANTA CLARITA, CA -- Actor Gavin MacLeod, best known for his 10-year role as Captain Merrill Stubing in the popular television series The Love Boat, was honored by Princess Cruises on Saturday for his 20 years as the line's spokesperson. MacLeod began appearing in Princess advertisements and at public events in 1986, and continues as the line's celebrity ambassador, which was featured as the setting for the long-running show. The actor was recognized by Princess President Alan Buckelew, during the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)'s cruise3sixty industry conference in Ft. Lauderdale, where MacLeod accepted the award on behalf of The Love Boat. The iconic TV show was inducted into the CLIA Hall of Fame.

Back to the top of the news list

Seabourn Pride Will Sail Under London Bridge Again This Summer 

MIAMI, April 12 -- Ultra luxury small-ship specialist Seabourn Cruise Line has announced that, for the summer of 2006, calls of its yacht-like ship Seabourn Pride at London will once again involve sailing under the city's famous Tower Bridge. The bridge transit, which requires the drawbridge to be lifted to allow the ship to berth alongside the historic museum ship HMS Belfast in the heart of London, had been deleted in 2005, when the ship instead used a floating dock situated just downriver from the landmark bridge. The Tower Bridge transit had long been a highlight of voyages into and out of London for Seabourn guests, said Seabourn president Deborah L. Natansohn. "Everyone on board always loves going under the bridge," noted Natansohn. "They line the railings and wave, and the people on the banks are taking pictures. It's a great feeling."

The intimate, all-suite Seabourn Pride is one of the few cruise ships able to navigate the Thames River above the Tower Bridge. The 208-guest ship will call at London on June 3, following a 14-day European Food & Wine festival cruise from Lisbon, and again on September 29 to begin a 14-day transatlantic voyage "In the Wake of the Pilgrims." The unique itinerary of the latter voyage includes visits to Old England's Plymouth and the one in Massachusetts, as well. The voyage ends in the picturesque port of Gloucester, Massachusetts, near Boston. Fares are being offered at savings up to 50 percent, with single supplements as low as 110 percent. In addition, Seabourn Pride will call at London on August 31, beginning a 14-day private full-ship charter in connection with the Ryder Cup golf tournament in Dublin, Ireland. For more information about Seabourn cruise vacations, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

Back to the top of the news list

Carnival Liberty to Operate Year-round from Fort Lauderdale Beginning November 2006

MIAMI, April 12, 2006 – Carnival Cruise Lines’ 110,000-ton Carnival Liberty will be deployed year-round from Port Everglades on six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning in November 2006. It is the only program of its kind from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Carnival Liberty, which currently operates seasonal six- and eight-day voyages from Fort Lauderdale and 12-day European cruises from Rome (Civitavecchia), launches year-round service from Fort Lauderdale Nov. 19, 2006, following a 16-day transatlantic voyage. 

On its year-round program from Fort Lauderdale, six-day cruises departing Sundays visit Freeport, The Bahamas; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Costa Maya, while eight-day voyages departing Saturdays alternate to the eastern and western Caribbean. Eight-day eastern Caribbean voyages feature five ports: San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas/St. John, U.S.V.I.; Antigua, Lesser Antilles; Tortola/Virgin Gorda, B.V.I.; and Nassau, The Bahamas. Western Caribbean cruises include Limon, Costa Rica; Colon, Panama and Costa Maya , Mexico. 

“The Carnival Liberty’s six- and eight-day cruises from Fort Lauderdale have been a huge success and consumers will now have even more opportunities to sail on this spectacular ship and enjoy these unique cruise itineraries,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

Diversity of Port Offerings 
On Carnival Liberty’s six-day cruises, guests can enjoy three distinctly different island experiences – Freeport, Grand Cayman and Costa Maya – each of which offer magnificent beaches, local shopping and a host of watersports. Because of the six-day duration, these cruises also offer a tremendous vacation value. 

Carnival Liberty’s eight-day eastern Caribbean cruises feature five ports – San Juan, St. Thomas (optional shore excursion to St. John), Antigua, Tortola (optional shore excursion to Virgin Gorda) and Nassau – providing consumers a diversity of shoreside options. In addition to excellent dining and shopping, a wide range of shore excursions are offered, including horseback riding, scuba diving, hiking and kayaking. During an extended evening stay in San Juan, guests can also sample that city’s legendary nightlife. 

Eight-day western Caribbean cruises visit Costa Maya, Mexico; Limon, Costa Rica; and Colon, Panama, which, in addition to historical sites and attractions, including centuries-old ruins, offer a multitude of dining, shopping and watersports experiences. A number of “adventure-type” tours, including canoeing, and white-water rafting, are featured, as well. From Colon, guests can experience all the wonders of the Panama Canal and even a unique bi-coastal railroad adventure. 

Both of these eight-day cruises offer visits to ports that are usually available only on cruises of ten-day or longer durations. In addition, these cruises depart on Saturdays and return on Sundays, which allow them to fit into the consumer’s traditional one week vacation pattern. 

Signature ‘Fun Ship’ Amenities
Carnival Liberty houses a 13,300-square-foot health club, four swimming pools – one with a 214-foot-long water slide – as well as 22 lounges and bars, including a piano bar, wine bar, sports bar and a three-deck-high theater showcasing lavish Vegas-style revues. 

Dining options include twin two-level formal dining rooms, a 1,400-seat casual poolside eatery featuring a 24-hour pizzeria, and a reservations-only supper club serving U.S.D.A. prime beef and other upscale cuisine. All Carnival Liberty dining venues feature the new “Georges Blanc Signature Selections,” created by the French master chef who has maintained the coveted three stars from Michelin for the past 25 years. 

Also featured are “Camp Carnival” and “Club 02,” supervised programs for children’s and teens, respectively, featuring expansive facilities and a variety of organized activities.

Sixty percent of the Carnival Liberty’s 1,479 staterooms offer either ocean view or private balcony. All Carnival Liberty staterooms include the new “Carnival Comfort Bed” sleep system featuring plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high quality pillows and linens.

Carnival Liberty also features “Carnival’s Seaside Theatre,” a 270-square-foot LED screen that displays movies, concerts and other programming. 

Pricing and Reservations
Reservations are currently being accepted for the Carnival Liberty’s year-round six- and eight-day cruises from Fort Lauderdale. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom, along with round-trip air supplements from more than 170 North American gateways, are also available.

Prices for the Carnival Liberty’s six-day cruises start at $459 per person, while eight-day cruises begin at $629 per person, based on double occupancy. Special rates for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom, as well as round-trip air supplements from a variety of North American gateways, are also available. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

Back to the top of the news list

Silversea's New "Wellness Program" Offers the Perfect Recipe for Pampering Mind, Body & Soul

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, April 12, 2006 -- Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises is catering to today's health-conscious travelers with a new "Wellness Program" that fully integrates classes in nutrition and exercise, fitness activities, spa therapies and healthy dining options to create the opportunity for a complete rejuvenation of mind, body and soul while at sea. 

Every day of every voyage, Silversea's privileged guests receive a schedule in their suite of the day's Wellness Program -- activities and seminars developed by the fitness experts of its award-winning Mandara Spa, which is again ranked among the "Top 50 Spas" in Condé Nast Travelers' latest readers' poll published in the magazine's April issue. This comprehensive fitness regimen, which includes popular workout programs such as aerobics (including aqua and step), Pilates, circuit training, and yoga, is perfectly paired with a daily collection of light and low-carb menu selections designed by Silversea's master chefs. 

"More and more, today's affluent travelers are looking for a personal journey to wellness to complement their global adventures," said David Morris, Silversea's senior vice president of sales for North America. "We're taking steps to ensure our guests have access to a well-balanced program of fitness education, exercise and healthy dining choices, with the option to further pamper themselves with luxurious spa treatments. We want our guests to have a chance to focus on their well-being and enjoy a truly restorative cruise experience." Added Morris, "To accommodate the growing popularity of our fitness programs, we're also expanding the fitness centers aboard Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper, adding nearly 300 additional square feet for new cardiovascular training equipment. Silver Shadow had the work done in drydock last month in Singapore, and we'll do the same with Silver Whisper during a scheduled drydock next year." 

A typical day on the Wellness Program might include a sunrise morning walk and yoga class followed by a late-morning seminar on nutrition, exploring the pros and cons of popular diets. The afternoon might offer a seminar on healthy backs and abs, followed by a workout with circuit weights. Guests could wind down their day with exercises to stretch and relax their bodies, under the careful guidance of their professional fitness instructor. And what better way to reward oneself for such good behavior then by indulging in an exotic coconut rub and body wrap, or a soothing scalp and face massage followed by a gentle foot massage, or maybe even a relaxing Bali-style, finger-pressure shiatsu massage? These are just some of the many therapeutic options available to create a complete wellness lifestyle for Silversea guests. 

Whether the goal is better health or weight control, the Wellness Program guide offers a daily sampling of lunch and dinner selections to complement the roster of fitness activities and seminars. And creating healthy dining alternatives does not mean sacrificing taste or creativity when placed in the capable hands of Silversea's master chefs. Many of the light and low-carb options are from the line's "Collection du Monde" signature dishes, created in collaboration with Relais & Châteaux chef Jacques Thorel, owner of Michelin two-star L'Auberge Bretonne, a "Relais Gourmand" restaurant in La Roche-Bernard, Brittany, France. 

Light (Low-Calorie) Menu: A typical low-calorie lunch might start with a spicy salmon ceviche, followed by an entrée of grilled fresh fish, and topped off with an apple and pear pavé for dessert. To achieve a moderate daily intake of calories, the line's light menu selections feature fresh fish, lean meats, seasonal fruits and vegetables, olive oil and sugar substitutes, and vary between 100 and 300 calories. Sugar-free desserts are under 200 calories. 

Low-Carb Menu: Low-carb dining options feature appetizers, soups and salads containing no more than five grams of carbohydrates and main courses that vary between ten and fifteen grams. For dinner, carb-counting guests can enjoy smoked salmon and caviar as an appetizer, or fillet of veal with creamy morel sauce as an entrée, or a sumptuous key lime cheesecake soufflé for dessert -- all without any guilt. 

Vegetarian and Vegan Options: A host of enticing gourmet vegetarian and vegan selections is also available, including such delicacies as grilled teriyaki-glazed tofu steak with stir-fried vegetables, honey and sesame sauce; a bamboo basket with steamed Chinese greens and vegetable dumplings; and oven-roasted Mediterranean vegetable mille-feuille with homemade tomato sauce, to name a few.

Vitamin Boosters and Smoothies: Silversea guests can now get their day off to a healthy start with a refreshing Carrot and Tangerine Cooler, a Mango, Peach and Apricot Fizz, or a Thyme-Scented Plum Crush -- just a few of several new "vitamin booster" juice blends served at breakfast that meld together only the freshest raw fruits and vegetables. Also available for breakfast are new low-fat yogurt smoothies with tantalizing names like Mango and Banana Tango, Cucumber and Mint Reviver, and Fragrant Fusion (made with fresh mango, papaya and passion fruit). 

Each of Silversea's four all-suite, all ocean-view ships features an elegant Mandara Spa, featuring dry and steam saunas, a beauty and hair salon, and a sizable fitness center and aerobics studio equipped with circuit weights, state-of-the-art treadmills, stair climbers, rowing machines, stationary bicycles, fit balls, step blocks and yoga mats. Additionally, the spa offers a complete menu of restorative body treatments that combine exotic Indonesian traditions with classic international therapies. Highlighting many of the treatments are Elemis aromatherapy products, featuring essential oils and plant extracts of unsurpassed therapeutic value. Guests can enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences like Mandara's specialty "Elemis Absolute Spa Ritual," a complete journey of rejuvenation for the face and body. It blends the scientific skin therapy and pure plant essences of the "Elemis Japanese Silk Booster Facial" with Mandara's signature "Massage Around the World," featuring some of the finest massage techniques from Asia and Europe.

Private poolside cabanas are another enticing Mandara Spa option that allows guests to fully immerse themselves in a natural and holistic massage experience infused with gentle sea breezes. Guests can also indulge in an exotic and rejuvenating Balinese massage in the privacy and comfort of their suite. All organized group fitness classes and seminars are complimentary. Personalized, one-on-one training programs and spa therapies are offered at an additional charge.

Back to the top of the news list

Ambassadors International, Inc. Signs Definitive Agreement With Delaware North Companies to Acquire Delta Queen Steamboat Company 

NEWPORT BEACH, CA -- Ambassadors International, Inc. announced  it has reached a definitive agreement with Delaware North Companies, a privately-held, global leader in the hospitality industry, to acquire the assets of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company. The Delta Queen Steamboat Company is a premier cruise company operating historical cruise itineraries on many of America's best known rivers, including the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland and Arkansas rivers with stops at many of America's most historic cities, battle grounds and estates. The Delta Queen Steamboat Company is America's oldest cruise line with its history dating back to 1890. The Delta Queen Steamboat Company owns and operates a three-vessel fleet which includes the 436-passenger American Queen®, the 416-passenger Mississippi Queen® and the 174-passenger Delta Queen®. Delta Queen Steamboat Company's cruises recreate the grandeur of the past on the company's luxurious, modern-day and historic sternwheelers.

Delaware North Companies acquired the Delta Queen Steamboat Company in 2002. Over the past several years, Delaware North Companies has focused on stabilizing and growing the business by adding new itineraries and marketing programs, as well as provided economies of scale with its other world-class hospitality holdings and operations. These efforts have contributed to building a world-class reputation of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company in the global travel and tourism market.

"Ambassadors International clearly has established itself in the cruise industry through its outstanding operations of American West Cruises," stated Chuck Moran, President and Chief Operating Officer, Delaware North Companies. "Even though we are privately-held, we continually look for opportunities to improve corporate value. Our decision was driven by the need to focus on growth opportunities in our core business and because of other investment considerations. Delaware North Companies decided it was in its best interest to find a company that could continue the tradition of excellence that has always been part of the Delta Queen. We have found that in Ambassadors International."

Joe Ueberroth, President and CEO of Ambassadors International, Inc., added, "The combination of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company with American West Steamboat Company takes two significant regional businesses and creates a national, American cruise company. The operations will be combined under our Ambassadors Cruise Group subsidiary and be led by David Giersdorf. Our team is excited to offer our customers a selection of wonderful American itineraries across a fleet of luxurious sternwheelers with dedicated American crews. This acquisition will increase our number of vessels to five and the number of berths from 365 to approximately 1,400 berths, making us the largest operator in our category."

Back to the top of the news list

Crystal Cruises Celebrates Thanksgiving & Fall Sailings With Family 'Values'

LOS ANGELES, April 11 -- Luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises celebrates this Thanksgiving with a tropical flair and extraordinary savings of up to 50% off brochure fares. Families seeking a holiday getaway will appreciate all of the luxury, tradition and savings available with Crystal's Thanksgiving cruises aboard the award-winning Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. Offered in November and December, Crystal's late fall Value Collection features sailings of seven to 15 days on itineraries through the Panama Canal and Caribbean, as well as a southern Trans-Atlantic crossing. Fares start at less than $250 per person, per day.

"Whether choosing to celebrate Thanksgiving at sea or simply enjoying a rejuvenating escape during the hustle of the holidays, our fall Value Collection provides a strong incentive to experience Crystal Cruises' incomparable hospitality, luxury and style," says Bill Smith, Crystal's senior vice president of marketing and sales. "Even our veteran cruisers tend to add Value Collection sailings to their vacation plans because these values are so hard to pass up."

Thanksgiving Cruises
During the Thanksgiving holiday, Crystal goes to great lengths to ensure its ships provide a festive ambience with all the trimmings of the season. Both the Trans-Atlantic crossing aboard Crystal Serenity and the Panama Canal transit on Crystal Symphony will host a traditional five-course feast prepared by the line's acclaimed culinary team. Days at sea offer an array of stimulating activity, as well as time to indulge oneself in a lavish spa treatment. Thanksgiving cruises at savings up to 50% are scheduled on:

  • November 12; 12-day Panama Canal cruise from Miami to Caldera, Costa Rica; starting at $2,380 (Crystal Symphony)

  • November 15; 10-day crossing from Lisbon to Miami, including an overnight stay in Bermuda; starting at $2,875 (Crystal Serenity)

Fall Value Collection
As November and December brings cold weather to much of the U.S., late fall is an ideal time to escape to the tropical warmth of the Caribbean and Central America. Luxury cruises listed below offer savings up to 50%, except as noted:

  • November 24; 12-day Panama Canal cruise from Caldera to Tampa; starting at $2,380 (Crystal Symphony)

  • December 5; 10-day Caribbean cruise round-trip from Miami; starting at $2,950, up to 45% (Crystal Serenity)

  • December 6; 15-day Panama Canal cruise from Tampa to Los Angeles; starting at $2,930 (Crystal Symphony)

  • December 15; seven-day Caribbean cruise round-trip from Miami; starting at $2,165, up to 45% (Crystal Serenity)

Fares quoted are per person and based on double occupancy accommodations. For additional information, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

Back to the top of the news list

Exciting New Adventures Await Royal Caribbean Cruisers in 2007 & 2008

MIAMI, April 11 -- Royal Caribbean has announced the name of the cruise line's second Freedom class ship. The Liberty of the Seas reflects the same freedom of choice and experiences as does her similarly- titled sister ship, Freedom of the Seas, which enters service in June. With Liberty's debut in May 2007 as well as exciting new itineraries, new departure cities and exotic ports of call on the horizon, Royal Caribbean is setting a bold precedent for the 2007-2008 season.

Liberty of the Seas Enters Service
Currently under construction at Aker Finnyards in Turku, Liberty of the Seas will closely mirror her prototype with signature class amenities such as the FlowRider® surfing simulator and cantilevered whirlpools suspended over 200 feet above the ocean but will also continue the cruise line's legacy of providing the unexpected with her own unique features.

The 3,600-guest Liberty of the Seas will sail alternating 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries year-round from Miami, calling on San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten and Labadee, Haiti in the east and in Labadee; Montego Bay, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico in the west. Liberty will depart Miami on Saturdays while Freedom of the Seas also sailing alternating 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries out of Miami, will depart Sundays.

Explorer of the Seas to Make Northeast New Home Year-Round
Explorer of the Seas returns to Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J., on May 6, 2007, where she will sail alternating 5-night Bermuda and 9-night Caribbean sailings. In time for the fall foliage, this popular Voyager-class ship will head north for four 9-night Canada/New England sailings.

And for the first time ever, Explorer will remain in the Northeast for the remainder of the year, offering various 2007-08 winter escapes from Cape Liberty including 9-night Eastern Caribbean sailings calling on Labadee, Haiti; Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas and San Juan, Puerto Rico; as well as an exotic 12-night Southern Caribbean itinerary calling on Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. John's, Antigua; Roseau, Dominica; Bridgetown, Barbados; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Charlotte Amalie and San Juan.

New Summer Sailings from the Northeast
Empress of the Seas will venture into new waters, when she splits her time between Philadelphia and her new drive-to homeport of Norfolk, Virginia. Empress is Bermuda-bound from both historic cities starting in April 2007.

On May 13, 2007, Baltimore favorite Grandeur of the Seas will embark on a series of summer sailings, bringing more options to the mid-Atlantic market than ever before. Spanning the summer and fall seasons, Grandeur will alternate new 9-night Canada/New England sailings -- calling on Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine; Saint John's, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia and Boston -- with sunny 5-night Bermuda itineraries and 9-night Eastern Caribbean itineraries.

Shorter Cruising on Voyager Class Ships from Florida
Meetings and incentive groups will have more convenient short-cruising options when Navigator of the Seas returns to the U.S. after a summer spent overseas, offering a combination of 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean sailings out of Miami including Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Key West, Florida; Cozumel, Mexico; and Belize City, Belize. The newly-lengthened Enchantment of the Seas will sail similar Western Caribbean itineraries from Ft. Lauderdale and then from Tampa in the winter months of 2007.

Gulf Coast to Get More Adventurous Cruise Options
In fall 2007, the ship that revolutionized the cruise industry, Voyager of the Seas, will replace Rhapsody of the Seas in Galveston, Texas, marking the first time that a Voyager-class ship will sail from the Lone Star State. Next winter, Voyager will offer alternating 7-night Western Caribbean itineraries, calling one week on Montego Bay, Jamaica; George Town and Cozumel; and the next on Cozumel; Roatan, Honduras; Costa Maya, Mexico and Progreso, Mexico.

Rhapsody of the Seas will resume these same itineraries from Galveston in the summer months. However, the winter months will welcome Rhapsody to New Orleans, where she will offer 7-night Western Caribbean sailings. In a similar move, Grandeur of the Seas will reposition to Tampa during the winter season offering 7-night Western Caribbean itineraries to George Town, Grand Cayman; Costa Maya, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico.

New Homeports Add Adventure ... and Alternatives
From December 2007 through March 2008, Splendour of the Seas will sail from a brand new homeport in the Dominican Republic. Offering a wide range of options, Splendour will embark on two 7-night Southern Caribbean itineraries, calling in at such ports as Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Roseau, Dominica; St. George's, Grenada; Margarita Island, Venezuela and Oranjestad, Aruba or in Basseterre, St. Kitts; Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe; Fort De France, Martinique; Bridgetown, Barbados and Castries, St. Lucia.

Vision of the Seas Embarks on Alaskan Adventures
Vision of the Seas will return to Seattle in May 2007 to offer a series of 7-night roundtrip Alaska sailings until September 2007. Vision will be adding a brand new port of call to her roster--Prince Rupert in British Columbia--as well as sailing through the breathtaking Tracy Arm Fjord.

Navigator of the Seas to Join Sister Ship in Europe
The first Voyager-class ship to serve Southampton, Navigator of the Seas will make her European debut on April 26, 2007. This family favorite will circle the continent, embarking on a number of exciting new itineraries throughout the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Scandinavia/Baltics and the United Kingdom, available until November 2007. One of the most innovative ships at sea, Navigator is sure to make waves with families, featuring a rock-climbing wall, ice-skating rink, in-line skating track, Royal Promenade and over 22,000 square feet of Adventure Ocean Youth programming space.

Numerous European Adventures in Store on Popular International Ships
Following her first European season in 2006, Voyager of the Seas will sail two 3-night itineraries in May 2007 from Barcelona to the bustling French Riviera. Due to increased demand, the legendary ship also will make more stops in Malta and the Mediterranean. On Nov. 17, Voyager will kick off two exotic itineraries featuring the Canary Islands and a new port of call, Casablanca, Morocco.

Jewel of the Seas will be offering guests new options when she sails a series of short 3- and 4-night sailings from the historic ports of Amsterdam, Netherlands; Hamburg, Germany and Oslo, Norway. On May 25, 2007, she will set sail for Scandinavia and Russia on her regularly scheduled 12-night itineraries from Harwich, England. Splendour of the Seas, too, will undergo minor itinerary modifications, adding calls in Dubrovnik, Croatia and a new port of call, Split, Croatia to her glamorous 7-night Greek Isles & Turkey sailings.

Exotic New Ports of Call Encourage International Exploration
For those guests who think they've seen and sailed it all, Royal Caribbean promises to offer diversity in 2007-08 with several exotic new ports of call. Other than Casablanca, Morocco; Fort De France, Martinique and Split, Croatia mentioned in the itineraries above, some of the other exciting destinations guests can explore include La Coruna, Spain; Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe; Samana, Dominican Republic and Kingstown, St. Vincent.

For additional information, see or call 800-327-6700.

Back to the top of the news list

NBC's 'TODAY' to Broadcast Live Morning Show From Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas When She Debuts in New York

NEW YORK -- Millions of NBC "TODAY" show fans are in for quite a treat when the morning show sets sail onboard Royal Caribbean International's newest ship, Freedom of the Seas. The top-rated three-hour show will bring Freedom in to New York Harbor on May 12, 2006 where she will be christened by foster mother to hundreds, Louise Calder. Mrs. Calder was selected by "TODAY" viewers to be the Godmother of the world's largest ship. Adding to the excitement, "TODAY" announced on Friday that legendary singer and songwriter Barry Manilow, currently topping the charts around the world with his recent album, will kick off the show's popular Summer Concert Series that morning.

"We are thrilled to introduce Freedom of the Seas to 'TODAY' show viewers," said Adam Goldstein, president for Royal Caribbean International. "It is equally exciting to host world renowned superstar and icon, Barry Manilow onboard for a live performance."

Viewers tuning in to "TODAY" on May 12 will marvel at Freedom's cruise industry firsts including FlowRider, the first surfing simulator at sea; an interactive water park; two cantilevered whirlpools that extend 12 feet out from the sides of the ship; a family suite that sleeps up to 14 people; and a full-size boxing ring. At 160,000 GRT and holding 3,634 guests double-occupancy, Freedom of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship in the world when she debuts in May 2006. The first in Royal Caribbean's new Freedom class, she will sail seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami calling in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Royal Caribbean's private destination, Labadee, Hispaniola. For more information or to make reservations, go to or call (800) 327-6700.

Back to the top of the news list

Spectators and Special Guests Celebrate Queen Mary 2's Maiden Call at the new Brooklyn Cruise Terminal

VALENCIA, CA - April 11, 2006 - Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will share the spotlight with the world's most famous ocean liner, Queen Mary 2, when he and other dignitaries gather for the official opening of the new Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on April 15. The brand-new facility is Queen Mary 2's new home port in New York City and, as such, the legendary ship will dock there, for the first time ever, during the terminal's official opening ceremony and press conference. Mayor Bloomberg will be joined by Andrew Alper, president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation; Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough president; Richard Larrabee, port commerce director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Carol Marlow, president and managing director of Cunard Line.

Queen Mary 2 begins her 2006 transatlantic season with her departure for Southampton later in the day. Crossing the Atlantic from April-November, QM2 is the only ship making regularly scheduled transatlantic crossings between New York and England. In New York, crowds of well-wishers are expected to converge on Brooklyn's working waterfront as well as other waterfront areas to view the Queen Mary 2. The ship can be seen from the following vantage points during the ship's departure at 5:00 p.m.:

  • Valentino Pier (Also known as Coffey Street Pier) - Located on the waterfront in Red Hook at Coffey Street. Coffey Street is off Van Brunt Street.

  • Beard Street Pier - A locally-managed artist gallery complex located at the end of Van Burnt Street on the waterfront. The Beard Street Pier will be open to the public during the daylight hours.

  • Bay Ridge/Shore Parkway Bike Path - This pedestrian friendly area traces a path along the bay between Bay Ridge Avenue and the Verranzano Bridge in Brooklyn.

  • Battery Park - Public park located at the Southern tip of Manhattan.

  • Staten Island Ferry - Departs the St. George Ferry Terminal at 1 Bay Street, Richmond Terrace, Staten Island and arrives at the Whitehall Terminal at 1 Whitehall Street at South Street in Lower Manhattan.

"Cunard's move to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is an exciting new chapter in the history of Cunard Line and we're looking forward to sharing this celebratory day with the Brooklyn community. This location offers unparalleled views of lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty creating a truly memorable start and end to a legendary Cunard voyage," said Carol Marlow, president and managing director of Cunard Line.

The Red Hook facility will be used by Carnival Corporation's Cunard Line and Princess Cruises. In April 2004 the Bloomberg Administration reached a historic agreement with Carnival that calls for the company to support the City's investments in cruise facilities in Brooklyn and Manhattan through port charges in exchange for berthing rights. In its first year of operation, the 182,000-square-foot Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is expected to welcome approximately 40 ships, including the new Crown Princess launching in June 2006. The Terminal adds 330 new, permanent jobs to the Brooklyn waterfront.

Back to the top of the news list

Windstar Cruises Announces 2007/2008 Deployment 
With 18-Month Sailing Calendar 

SEATTLE, April 10 -- Windstar Cruises' three upscale sailing ships -- the 148-guest Wind Star and Wind Spirit and 308-guest Wind Surf -- offer cruise vacations 180 degrees from ordinary in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Panama Canal, Mediterranean, Greek Isles and on Transatlantic voyages in 2007 and 2008. A new 18-month deployment calendar allows groups and individual guests to plan vacations further out and reserve the ship and date of their choice.

"People are booking vacations farther in advance again," says Diane Moore, Windstar's vice president of marketing and sales. "This new 18-month calendar benefits our guests, especially families or groups traveling together, by allowing a longer time frame for reserving the cruise of their choice."

Adding to Windstar's "Degrees of Difference," a recent multi-million dollar initiative features new luxury amenities on board all three ships. Windstar's tech savvy guests will enjoy wireless internet, laptops for rent and Bose SoundDock speakers for playing music from mp3 players or Nanos. Apple iPod Nanos may be checked out complimentary from the reception desk.

For the second year in a row, Windstar has increased the number of sailings offered in the Greek Isles along the popular Istanbul to Athens route. The four-masted Wind Spirit and Wind Star will sail the Greek Isles from May to September along with a sprinkling of Mediterranean itineraries in early spring and late fall. In the Greek Isles, both ships will sail an itinerary between Athens and Istanbul (and reverse) visiting Kusadasi and Bodrum Turkey; and Rhodes, Santorini and Mykonos, Greece. The Wind Spirit will also sail a new Greek Isles itinerary which will allow guests to combine two weeklong cruises into a 14-day cruise adventure without repeating ports of call. The new itinerary between Istanbul and Athens visits Canakkale and Izmir, Turkey; and Patmos, Naxos, Ermoupolis, and Navplion, Greece.

Windstar has recently assembled its "Connoisseurs' Collection," a selection of seven-day cruises ideal for booking back-to-back for a longer voyage. The itineraries have been coordinated for a seamless 14-day voyage without repeating ports.

"We are responding to our guests desire for more options in Europe by adding new ports and scheduling itineraries ideal for back-to-back sailings," says Moore. "We are finding that people traveling to Europe want to spend two weeks or more exploring and an elegant Windstar ship cruising along the beautiful coastline of Italy is a luxurious way to travel."

The five-masted Wind Surf will sail seven-day cruises in the Western Mediterranean from April through November. Homeports include Lisbon, Barcelona, Rome, Nice, Venice and Monte Carlo. A new seven-day itinerary from Rome to Venice visits picturesque harbors of Amalfi, Italy; Taormina, Sicily; Corfu, Greece; and Dubrovnik and Hvar, Croatia. On the reverse, from Venice to Rome, the Wind Surf visits Dubrovnik and Korcula, Croatia; Corfu, Greece; and Messina and Sorrento, Italy. A new port for Windstar in 2007, Korcula is known as the greenest island in the Adriatic and often described as a little Dubrovnik. Other new ports in the Mediterranean include Palamos, Spain along the Costa Brava; Tarragona, Spain, 60 miles southwest of Barcelona in Catalonia; and Valencia, Spain's third-largest city situated on the Mediterranean. An eight-day cruise on the Wind Surf coincides with the Formula One Grand Prix race in Monaco and the Cannes Film Festival in France. The cruise departs Nice roundtrip on May 20 and overnights one night in Cannes, two nights in Monaco, and visits St. Tropez, France and St. Florent, Corsica. An optional special event to view the Grand Prix race in Monaco will be planned.

The Wind Spirit and Wind Surf sail seven-day cruises in the Caribbean from December through March. The Wind Spirit sails roundtrip from St. Thomas visiting St. John, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda. The Wind Surf sails roundtrip from Bridgetown, Barbados on two different itineraries. The northbound itinerary visits Nevis; St. Martin; St. Barthelemy; Basse-Terre and Les Saintes, Guadeloupe; and St. Lucia. For a different taste of the Caribbean, the southbound itinerary visits Bequia, Dominica, St. Lucia, The Grenadines, Grenada and Tobago. 

The popularity of cruising in Costa Rica lures the Wind Star back for another year. The ship will sail seven-day cruises roundtrip from Puerto Caldera. The Pacific Coast itinerary visits San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Playa del Coco, Quepos, Drake Bay, Curu (National Wildlife Refuge), and Tortuga Island, Costa Rica. Three 14-day Panama Canal cruises sail between Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica and Bridgetown, Barbados departing March 31 and November 24, 2007 and April 5, 2008.

In all staterooms, guests enjoy luxury linens, plush Sealy Euro-Top mattresses, bathroom amenities by L'Occitane, flatscreen televisions and DVD/CD players. In The Restaurant, new Signature Cuisine menus by acclaimed Chef Joachim Splichal are served on Rosenthal china and an updated wine list offers more boutique labels. Riedel stemware graces the tabletop. The dining experience now includes an amuse-bouche (small bite) complements of the chef, a cheese course serving fresh, artisan cheeses, and petit-fours to finish the meal. Other enhancements include hammocks built for two on deck, sorbet served in a chilled orange half and lemon-scented iced towels offered on deck on hot days, and dinner available course by course via room service.

Warm-water sailing with Windstar brings out the best of the intimate sailing ships. Complimentary water sports are offered from the ship's water sports platform which lowers into the water at anchor creating a private marina. Activities include water skiing, wind surfing, kayaking, boat rides, ski tubing and sailing. Snorkeling equipment may be checked out complimentary for the week. PADI-certified dive instructors lead scuba diving adventures for novices and experienced divers for a fee.

Back to the top of the news list

Seabourn Opens Bookings for 2007-08 Cruises

MIAMI, April 10 -- Ultra luxury small ship specialist Seabourn Cruise Line has opened bookings for its three yacht-like, all-suite ships through the first quarter of 2008. The 15-month schedule includes 125 cruises aboard Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend, calling at more than 225 ports in 64 countries between January 2007 and April 2008. The schedule can be found at the company's website located at Cruise schedules and fares for the first quarter 2007 were published a year ago in an annual brochure along with the complete 2006 cruises, and have already been selling steadily, according to Deborah L. Natansohn, Seabourn president.

"Because our ships carry just 208 guests each, and because they have been sailing at very near full capacity for the last couple of years, our loyal repeat guests are booking further in advance to ensure themselves the widest choice of departures and accommodations," said Natansohn, "Especially if they want to book back-to-back combinations in their favorite suites."

While the sailing regions for the three Seabourn ships are familiar to longtime devotees, the actual day-to-day itineraries contain a wealth of new ports of call, and returns to others which have been missing from the ships' itineraries for a few years. New for 2007 are several "Sail & Stay" packages combining cruises with luxury pre- and post-cruise extensions in popular destinations such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Istanbul and Athens.

In the first quarter of 2007, Seabourn Spirit returns to China after an extended absence, with a 9-day voyage round trip from Hong Kong that provides a generous three-day stay in fascinating Shanghai. Seabourn Legend will cruise northward from Caldera, Costa Rica to Los Angeles, on a pair of 10-day voyages exploring Guatemala and the Mexican Riviera. Seabourn Pride repeats her perennially popular circuit of South America, a 72-day odyssey that is available in segments of seven to 18 days.

The Mediterranean provides a myriad of intriguing ports accessible to the yacht-sized Seabourn Spirit and Legend, and in 2007 notable additions or revisits include a bevy of beauties along the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic, such as Split and Zadar in Croatia and Kotor Fjord in Montenegro. These are added to Dubrovnik, Korcula and Rovinj in this increasingly popular cruising region. Monopoli, in Italy's southern Puglia region, and the volcanic Aeolian island of Lipari are new in 2007, as are Tarragona in Spain and lovely Belle- Ile-en-Mer off the coast of Brittany. More ports along Turkey's Turquoise Coast include Fethiye and Alanya, with a return to the popular seaside resort Marmaris.

Seabourn Pride's fall foliage cruises sail 10 days between Gloucester, Massachusetts and Montreal in 2007, adding more ports such as Summerside on Prince Edward Island, the French territory of St. Pierre & Miquelon and St. John, New Brunswick.

Nearly 30 percent of the line's cruises in the 15-month period are being marketed in cruise lengths of six to eight days. The bulk of the seasonal cruises in the Caribbean and Mediterranean for Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend are available in the form of seven-day cruises, designed to be easily combined for longer voyages of up to five weeks' sailing with different port content. Generous Early Booking Savings of up to 50% mean that travelers can enjoy the award-winning, all-inclusive style of Seabourn yachting life for fares from $1,595 per person, based on double occupancy of a 277-square foot ocean-view suite.

Back to the top of the news list

Growing Cruise Popularity Reflects Strong Guest Satisfaction & High Perceived Value

FORT LAUDERDALE, April 10, 2006 - Leisure cruise vacations are reaching new levels of popularity among American consumers while also attracting younger and more affluent guests, according to results from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) 2006 Market Profile Study, conducted by TNS Travel & Transport Group and released today. Cruising continues to represent a fast-growing travel segment with significant growth potential. Over 51 million current vacationers have ever taken a cruise, representing 17 percent of the total U.S. population, according to the CLIA study. The study identifies the "core" U.S. cruise market as adults 25 or older with minimum household incomes of $40,000. 

This core market consists of 127 million future cruise prospects. Thirty-nine percent of core market consumers - more than 49 million vacationers - have previously cruised; 50 percent of core consumers sailed within the past three years. More than 31 million U.S. vacationers have expressed their strong intent to cruise within the next three years, according to the study.

"Leisure cruising's continuing growth and surging popularity reflect the fundamental value, outstanding guest satisfaction and broad appeal of today's cruise vacations," said Terry L. Dale, CLIA's president and CEO. "The meteoric growth of cruising from a boutique vacation to a mainstream travel option is a testament to the dedicated efforts of CLIA's 16,700 member travel agencies, and the innovative, passenger-pleasing ships launched year after year by CLIA's member cruise lines."

Today's cruisers are younger and more affluent than ever. The 2006 study found that the average age of all cruise vacationers fell to 49, the lowest figure recorded in a CLIA tracking study report since 2002, the first year CLIA conducted the study. Average income for the first time exceeded $100,000 at $104,000.

As they attract younger and more affluent guests, cruise lines also continue to meet their passengers' vacation needs. Compared with other types of vacations, cruising has the highest percentage of extremely satisfied customers (45%), outpacing all-inclusive resorts (42%) and visiting friends and relatives (40%). Eighty-two percent of cruisers gave the industry high marks when considering ratings of "very" satisfied and "extremely" satisfied. Seventy-one percent of past cruisers said they will "definitely or probably" cruise again in the next three years.

Moreover, most people believe cruises offer superior value versus other forms of vacations. The study uncovered that 65 percent of respondents found cruises offer a high value for money, versus 58 percent for all other types of vacations, and a majority of respondents said cruises are superior to other types of vacations in terms of being pampered (57%), the chance to visit several locations (63%), fine dining (54%) and in being luxurious (52%). 

The CLIA study was based on 2,482 national online interviews conducted among adults 25 and older with minimum household income of $40,000. The interviews represent a balanced national sample derived from TNS' panel of more than 1 million U.S. households. The respondents' median age was 43, with household incomes averaging $94,000. One in eight is retired (13%), half (52%) are college graduates, and 54 percent of respondents are female, with 46 percent male.

The study found:

  • On average, cruise vacationers spent considerably more--by about 40 percent--on their last vacation, regardless of type ($1,690 to $1,180).

  • Cruise vacationers are frequent vacationers, taking nearly three vacations of more than three days per year, with cruises representing 25 percent of vacations taken.

  • The most important factors contributing to the vacation/cruise decision are the actual destination (8.2 out of 10) and price (6.7 out of 10).

  • More than 90 percent of respondents said that having a greater number of embarkation ports provides a benefit, with 74 percent saying the primary benefit is the convenience of not having to fly to the embarkation city, and 72 percent identifying the savings involved in avoiding air travel as the primary benefit. Seventy percent of respondents said having more embarkation ports will increase their likelihood of cruising in the next three years.

The study also outlines several positive trends for the travel agent distribution system. For example, cruise vacationers use travel agents more frequently than land-based vacationers (83% to 51%) with 79 percent of cruisers using an agent specifically to book a cruise. (Due to the proliferation of travel agency Web sites, the reported incidence of travel agent cruise booking activity may be suppressed because consumers are often unaware of the travel agent behind the transaction.) Cruise vacationers are also far more likely than non-cruisers to use agents for non-cruise travel services.

Additionally, the study found that consumers retain a positive opinion of travel agents in several key areas. For example:

  • Three out of five respondents believe agents are knowledgeable about different cruise lines and their unique experiences.

  • Three out of five respondents believe agents are usually more knowledgeable about hotels, resorts and destinations than they are.

Nevertheless, the study results indicate that travel agents are facing growing challenges regarding consumer expectations. Although most respondents said agents offer the best service of any distribution channel (40% versus 35% who cited direct booking with the cruise line), consumers purchasing travel demonstrate increased demands and some degree of cynicism. 

The study also found:

  • Two in five respondents believe they get better information on the Internet than through a travel agent (40%).

  • Nearly as many respondents consider travel agents to be more interested in the sale than in meeting their vacation needs.

  • Just over one-half (56%) of respondents who used travel agencies were "extremely" or "very" satisfied with their services.

Finally, the study also revealed that overall leisure travel intent within the broader vacation market, remains strong. According to the study:

  • 19 percent of respondents plan to travel more

  • 71 percent said their travel frequency will remain unchanged

  • Only 10 percent said they plan to travel less frequently

Back to the top of the news list

Queen Mary 2's 'Retreats on the High Seas' Onboard Enrichment Programs Showcase Lifestyle Trendsetters on Fall 2006 Transatlantic Crossings

VALENCIA, Calif., April 6 -- Lectures and demonstrations by well-known industry trendsetters in the worlds of art, design, dining and literature will be a highlight of Queen Mary 2's autumn transatlantic voyages. A Cunard hallmark, the engaging, thought-provoking enrichment programs are presented in partnership with Conde Nast Traveler, The New Yorker, Gourmet, Architectural Digest and Departures. 

A "Literary Retreat on the High Seas" is the subject of the September 6, 2006 eastbound transatlantic voyage. Presented by Conde Nast Traveler and The New Yorker, the journey brings together three well-known authors for lectures, book-signings and Q&A sessions on their works and diverse areas of expertise, including fine wine and southern culture. The accomplished authors are Joe Ward, senior wine editor of Conde Nast Traveler and author of "How to Buy Fine Wine"; Robert Hicks, historian of Southern culture and author of "The Widow of The South," and Kathleen Tessaro, best-selling author of contemporary women's fiction, including her newest work, "Innocence."

On Queen Mary 2's October 24, 2006 eastbound crossing, Departures magazine presents "Modern Dance on the High Seas." Featuring Janet Eilber, chief choreographer of the Martha Graham Modern Dance Company, the oldest and most celebrated contemporary dance company in America, this voyage-long program offers an interactive series of events commemorating the work and legacy of dance pioneer Martha Graham. Highlights include a series of five lectures by Eilber, including solo and duet performances. Guests will also enjoy the opportunity to participate in daily dance classes led by members of the Company. A meet-and-greet Q&A session with Eilber and company dancers completes the voyage.

On QM2's November 5, 2006, eastbound crossing, Gourmet magazine and Architectural Digest team up to present "Fine Living on the High Seas." Offering expert insight into the art of fine living well will be Dave Lieberman, host of the Food Network's "Good Deal with Dave Lieberman" and author of "Dave's Dinners: A Fresh Approach to Home Cooked Meals" and Jamie Drake, well-known New York-based interior designer and author of "Jamie Drake's New American Glamour." Lieberman will engage passengers with a series of three cooking demonstrations in the ship's Chef's Galley, while Drake will inspire the design-minded in three lectures that capture his bold take on glamorous interiors. Both speakers will follow their presentations with book signings.

In 2006, Queen Mary 2 will cross the Atlantic 20 times including four 8-day transatlantic crossings to/from Hamburg and one seven-day voyage from Southampton to Ft. Lauderdale. For more information about Cunard, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

Back to the top of the news list

Princess Offers the Ultimate in Alaska Adventures with 
21 New Tour Options in 2006

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 6, 2006 - From ultimate thrill seekers to enthusiasts who want to become immersed in the "Great Land" culture, travelers visiting Alaska with Princess will have 2l new excursions to choose from this season. Between an off-road 4x4 adventure, snorkeling in a dry suit, searching for wildlife or tasting local treats at a crab feast, Princess offers something uniquely Alaska for everyone. In 2006, passengers who are planning their days during an Alaska cruisetour have 15 new Adventures Ashore® while in port and six new Optional Land Excursions from Princess' wilderness lodges. These new options add to Princess' already comprehensive program for a grand total of 238 tour choices - including many unique excursions exclusive to Princess.

"Passengers coming to Alaska arrive with the anticipation of seeing local wildlife, experiencing the richness of the local culture, taking in the beauty of the wilderness and enjoying unusual adventures that can only be done in this amazing state." said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. "We continue to offer new ways to satisfy these desires, whether by zip lining among the treetops in a rain forest reserve, dog sledding on a glacier or exploring beautiful gardens. A number of these new offerings provide a special small group atmosphere, and all of our excursions are led by top-notch guides, many of them award winners dedicated to providing visitors with a spectacular Alaska experience."

The 2006 season's new Adventures Ashore ® include:


  • Juneau Steamboat Cruise (Princess Exclusive) - An opportunity to embark on a cruise through Juneau Harbor aboard Alaska's only wood-fired passenger steamboat. Travelers will learn about the workings and history of steam engine travel, plus many colorful stories from Juneau's past, as they cruise amidst Juneau's scenic beauty.

  • Alaska's Whales & Rain Forest Trails - An intimate eco-tour in which passengers can experience Alaska's abundant wildlife by both land and sea without the crowds. Visitors travel in a intimate 20-passenger boat for truly up-close whale watching (sightings are guaranteed). Afterward, participants can stretch their legs along a tranquil, secluded trail accompanied by a certified interpretive guide.

  • Dog Sledding on the Mendenhall Glacier - One of Alaska's most popular visitor activities, this tour features one of the originators of helicopter glacier flightseeing for a dog sledding adventure on Juneau's most famous ice, the Mendenhall Glacier. Iditarod mushers share tales from the trails as the dogs pull passengers across the glacier.


  • Canopy Adventure & Wildlife Expedition - The ultimate nature experience features the opportunity to glide through the rain forest on zip lines, aerial bridges and nature trails. Seven zip lines and dramatic suspension bridges offer unique angles from which to view the forest reserve's abundant wildlife.

  • Exclusive Flightseeing & Crab Feast - A VIP tour offering the intimacy of travel with a small group, this tour combines two unique Alaska experiences - flightseeing over the Tongass National Forest and fine dining featuring Alaskan Dungeness crab. Passengers fly to the remote George Inlet Lodge for a gourmet lunch in a private dining room.


  • Experience the Yukon & Suspension Bridge - The opportunity to experience the Klondike's newest attraction - the Yukon Suspension Bridge. The tour includes travel up the White Pass summit and a barbecue lunch before traveling to the new bridge over the Tutshi River for a dramatic walk to savor the fresh mountain air and watch the spectacular scenery as the river rages below.

  • Klondike Scenic Highlights - A tour combining three of Skagway's most scenic highlights - the famed White Pass & Yukon Route railroad, the new Yukon Suspension Bridge and the lovely Jewell Gardens, where passengers will enjoy a gourmet lunch featuring local ingredients fresh from the garden itself.

  • Takshanuk Mountain Trail by 4x4 - Passengers of all ages and abilities can wind their way through breathtaking wilderness via a four-wheel-drive Kawasaki "mule." Designed to be easily accessible, these rugged vehicles are perfect for exploring forest and mountain spaces filled with beautiful waterfalls and crystal clear lakes.


  • Sitka Photography Tour (Princess Exclusive) - Participants can connect with their inner Ansel Adams as they join an experienced local photographer on a tour customized for shutterbugs who want to capture images of Sitka seldom seen by visitors, whether historic sites, wildlife, flora, harbors, or even spawning salmon.

  • 4x4 Wilderness Adventure - An opportunity to experience the beauty of Alaska on an exciting off-road adventure on Sitka's Kruzof Island. Participants will navigate Yamaha Rhino 4x4 vehicles through the island's lush temperate rain forest.

  • Dry Suit Snorkel Adventure - A unique way to get up close and personal with Alaska's underwater life. The buoyant dry suit slips conveniently over passengers' street clothes making it easy to enjoy the colorful life in the waters of Sitka Sound.

  • Sea Otter Quest & Alaska Raptor Center - A convenient combination of two of Sitka's most popular attractions - the Sea Otter & Wildlife Quest and a guided tour through the Alaska Raptor Center. Passengers are guaranteed to spot at least one otter, whale or bear.


  • Double-Decker Tour - A chance to experience Victoria's old-world charm with a guided tour aboard an authentic open-air English double-decker bus. Highlights include Chinatown, Old Town, Beacon Hill Park, Marine Drive, Antique Row, Fisherman's Wharf, Legislative Buildings and other scenic areas.

  • Multi-Media Self-Guided Walking Tour - Touring goes hi-tech with this novel way to explore Victoria's highlights at an individual pace. Participants are equipped with a handheld personal computer that guides visitors on a walk directly from the cruise ship pier. An audio/visual presentation provides insightful information about each designated stop.

  • Craigdarroch Castle & Butchart Gardens Gourmet Picnic - An opportunity to enjoy a visit to a stunning historic mansion followed by a gourmet picnic set among the lovely floral displays of Butchart Gardens. Visitors are supplied with picnic baskets and a scenic dining location to enjoy this VIP visit to the gardens.

Along with these new Adventures Ashore, six new land excursions also debut this season, offering some intriguing new opportunities to passengers staying in Princess' own wilderness lodges. New options include an Alaska Adventure Walking Tour in Denali; the opportunity to visit the seldom-seen Devil's Gorge or tour the kennels of a World Champion musher from Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge; or two new fishing expeditions and a river walk from the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge.

Adventure Ashore Available for Pre-Reservation
All Alaska Adventures Ashore® are currently available for pre-reservation. Passengers who are already booked on an Alaska cruise can reserve their tours by logging on the Cruise Personalizer on, to ensure they get the excursions of their choice. As many Princess tours fill up quickly, passengers are encouraged to make selections as early as possible. Princess pioneered online shore excursion booking, and this season marks the sixth year in which Alaska passengers have been able to use this convenient reservation system.

These new tour options are offered as part of Princess' 2006 Alaska season. In total, Princess will offer 122 departures on seven ships, offering a variety of experiences on vessels that range from 1,590 passengers to 2,670 passengers. Travelers can choose from a Gulf of Alaska cruise or cruisetour or round-trip Inside Passage sailings from Seattle and San Francisco. More than 20 cruisetour options are available, many featuring the line's exclusive new Direct to the Wilderness rail service that debuted to rave reviews last year. This industry first features trains ready and waiting right at the Whittier dock to whisk passengers directly to Princess' two Denali park-area lodges. And Princess remains the only company to offer Alaska's two most popular attractions - Denali National Park and Glacier Bay - on every cruisetour.

Back to the top of the news list

Pre-Purchase Program Debuts for Princess' Alaska Lodge Excursions

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 6, 2006 - For the first time, Alaska cruisetour passengers can take advantage of an opportunity to pre-purchase land excursions offered by Princess' wilderness lodges. This convenient new program enables travelers to leave home feeling confident that every last detail of their vacation is finalized.

"Whether they choose to soar over Mt. McKinley, explore the historic Kennicott Mines or enjoy the challenge of a fishing expedition, our guests can now assure themselves a spot on the perfect tour long before their trip," said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours.

This exclusive program frees up valuable vacation time as visitors can make all their arrangements at home instead of at the lodge, and eliminates the worry about sold-out excursions so that travelers can relax and enjoy their time in Princess' luxury wilderness lodges. Passengers on cruisetours will receive personalized tour reservation forms with their pre-cruise documents, which will indicate the closing date for tour reservations. These order forms can be mailed or faxed to Princess Tours, and tour purchases can be refunded up to 14 days prior to the cruisetour departure date.

Along with this new program six new Optional Land Excursions debut this season, offering passengers even more choices to pre-purchase. New tours include an Alaska Adventure Walking Tour in Denali; the opportunity to visit the seldom-seen Devil's Gorge or tour the kennels of a World Champion musher from Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge; or two new fishing expeditions and a river walk from the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge. Princess' Optional Land Excursion program includes 92 tours offered by the company's five exclusive wilderness lodges - Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge and Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge.

Lodge stays are featured on the line's more than 20 cruisetour options, offering a complete land/sea exploration of the "Great Land." In total, Princess will offer 122 departures on seven ships, offering a variety of experiences on vessels that range from 1,590 passengers to 2,670 passengers. Travelers can choose from a Gulf of Alaska cruise or cruisetour or round-trip Inside Passage sailings from Seattle and San Francisco. Many of the company's cruisetours feature the exclusive new Direct to the Wilderness rail service that debuted to rave reviews last year. This industry first features trains ready and waiting right at the Whittier dock to whisk passengers directly to Princess' two Denali park-area lodges. And Princess remains the only company to offer Alaska's two most popular attractions - Denali National Park and Glacier Bay - on every cruisetour.

Back to the top of the news list

Holland America Line Introduces Signature Master Chef's Dinner

SEATTLE, April 5 -- Dancing waiters! A napkin ballet! Flying pepper grinders and a plate-spinning kick-line! "Dinner theater" takes on a whole new meaning on Holland America Line with the debut of the entertaining and innovative Signature Master Chef's Dinner which combines the premium line's award-winning cuisine, service and entertainment into an engaging new fine dining concept at sea. "We are well-known for our outstanding service, excellent food and innovative entertainment," said Richard D. Meadows, vice president of marketing and sales. "Our new Signature Master Chef's Dinner builds on these strengths while creating an unforgettable dining experience."

Guests are greeted by more than 75 smiling service staff including dining room stewards, cruise activities staff as well as the ship's singers and dancers, all dressed as "chefs," wearing dazzling white hats and jackets. A crisp, pleated chef's hat festooned with a clever collector's menu in the shape of kitchen utensils describes the evening's dining and wine selections. Stewards welcome guests to the special dinner event and invite them to join in the fun and don the honorary chef's hat, which when lifted off the plate reveals a fresh-baked dinner roll also in the shape of a chef's hat. Musicians set the tone for the evening with custom-made "foodical" instruments such as drums shaped like cakes sitting on bread-stick stands, a banana saxophone, and a pear-shaped bass. The lights dim as the music begins.

Act 1, the "Waltz of the Napkins," involves the precise delivery of napkins by staff in a choreographed waltz. The dancers orchestrate each movement culminating in the presentation of a domed silver platter containing the "Chef's Amuse Surprise," a small treat that is a welcoming gesture from the executive chef. The "Chef's Amuse Surprise" selections are served on a rotating schedule and include delicacies such as Mushroom Mousse with Asparagus in Bouche, Smoked Salmon Mousseline with Chive and Dill, and Foie Gras Petit Four with Caramelized Anjou Pear.

Act 2, the "Show Salad Spectacular," literally brightens the air with blurs of red, green and yellow as stewards juggle colorful vegetables into an over-sized salad bowl. Singer "Pepper Romaine," costumed in a sequined, full- length green "salad" gown, accompanies the action. The atmosphere pulsates with servers cavorting around the salad bowl tossing baby greens, peppers, mushrooms, scallions and cherry tomatoes. The juggling is raised a notch as pepper grinders join the airborne entourage. Salads are then delivered direct from the galley as servers point out to guests the delectable choice of starters and entrees detailed on the menu's rolling pin and butcher knife.

The menu offerings feature an array of starters, including Alaskan Salmon Tartare with Avocado, Golden Baked Brie in Phyllo Dough, Lobster Bisque or Oxtail En Croute. The evening's highlight comes in the form of a choice of entrees that are a food-lover's delight. Whole Roasted Tenderloin of Beef; Grilled Lamb Chops with Oregano and Apple Chutney; Duck Breast a l'Orange; Sauteed Shrimps "Provencale"; Apricot Glazed Salmon with Soya Garlic and Ginger Splash; Tagliatelle with Roasted Chicken and Portobello Mushroom; or Wild Mushroom Strudel. The band provides background music during the starter and main courses.

The Signature Master Chef's Dinner "Grand Finale!," Act 3, features Master Chef Rudi Sodamin's "Hats Off" dessert -- an incredible creation that captures the dynamic, nuanced flavor of bittersweet chocolate in a luxurious mousse, surrounded by rubies of macerated berries and topped with a white chocolate chef's hat with Chef Rudi's signature in dark chocolate.

As guests receive and enjoy their signature "Hats Off" desert, the sweet sounds of The Archie's hit song "Sugar, Sugar" resonates throughout both levels of the stylish dining room. Next, the spectacle turns to the ship's real chefs who emerge from behind-the-scenes to line the dramatic balcony. The clever choreography continues as the servers dance through the audience with dinner plates spinning high in the air and then line up to form a kick-line. The rousing finish has guests singing and clapping along with the music as confetti flies through the air.

The Signature Master Chef's Dinner will be featured in the elegant two- tiered main dining room once on every Holland America Line cruise by fall of 2006. The event has debuted on the ms Volendam and will be rolled out on the ms Amsterdam in May. By early July, the dinner theater show will be on the ms Rotterdam, ms Zaandam, ms Maasdam, ms Ryndam, ms Statendam and ms Veendam. The dinner show debuts on the ms Prinsendam in late July and will be on board the Vista-class ms Noordam, ms Oosterdam, ms Westerdam and ms Zuiderdam in the fall.

The event is the creation of Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, who serves as culinary consultant for Holland America Line's fleet of five-star ships. Sodamin, a driving force behind the enhancement of Holland America Line's already superb dining offerings has developed a fresh line of full-concept dining "experiences" for Holland America Line guests. One of the hospitality industry's most accomplished chefs, Sodamin brings excitement, innovation, and unparalleled quality standards to menus at sea. Together with the Holland America Line Culinary Arts Team, Sodamin continues to whip up more cruise line and food industry firsts, such as the new Signature Master Chef's Dinner. For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

Back to the top of the news list

Silversea Takes the Wraps Off Exclusive World Cruise Events

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, April 5, 2006 - Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises is set to offer a unique selection of custom-tailored, land-based events during Silver Shadow's World Cruise 2007. Guests sailing the full 126-day cruise will enjoy five complimentary shoreside events showcasing the unique cultures, art, history and culinary traditions of a diversity of regions across the globe, hosted from select cities including Santiago, Auckland, Dubai, Safaga and Rome. 

"A voyage around the world is the event of a lifetime, and it's only fitting that we should celebrate this special experience by hosting gala events for our guests in several ports of call," said Joseph Proto, Silversea's director of World Cruise and business development. "Our destination and enrichment experts have collaborated to design five spectacular programs that promise not only to entertain, but also deepen our guests' understanding of the peoples and cultures they will visit during their global odyssey." 

Egyptologist Zahi Hawass to Escort Tour to Luxor
Guests sailing the full 126-day voyage will be treated to a complimentary two-day, one-night excursion to Luxor escorted by acclaimed Egyptologist Zahi Hawass, who is also slated to host a series of shipboard presentations as Silver Shadow journeys from Dubai to Alexandria from April 12 to 27, 2007. For guests who participate in this exclusive "Treasures of Luxor" event from Safaga, Dr. Hawass, Egypt's secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, will personally escort them on a once-in-a-lifetime exploration of some of Egypt's most renowned archaeological sites. Highlights include the magnificent temple complex of Karnak, the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, and the tombs of Seti I, Nefertari and the Ramoza Tomb in the Valley of the Nobles. This special event also includes a gala dinner at the magnificent Habu Temple on the west bank of the Nile. 

Other complimentary events for 126-day World Cruise guests will include the following: 

  • From Santiago, wine and nature lovers will enjoy an outing to the Matetic Vineyards, set in Chile's best-known and most scenic wine regions -- the San Antonio Valley. A tour of the Manor House offers stunning views of the vineyards and beautiful Rosario Valley. Other highlights include wine tasting and a delicious lunch with entertainment. 
  • From Auckland, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, renowned host of numerous international regattas, will welcome World Cruise guests with an exclusive performance by the Royal New Zealand Navy Band, followed by a presentation on past America's Cup races. Guests will have a chance to explore the club at their leisure and enjoy a three-course dinner, accompanied by select New Zealand wines. 
  • From Dubai, a spectacular evening awaits at the famous Burj Al Arab, arguably the world's most luxurious hotel. Designed to resemble a billowing sail, this award-winning architectural marvel dominates the Dubai coastline. World Cruise guests will enjoy cocktails, dinner and dancing in its exquisite, two-tiered, domed Al Falak Ballroom. 
  • From Rome, art and history enthusiasts will especially appreciate the chance to explore the grandeur of Italy's rich past during a private visit to the Palazzo Colonna, followed by a sumptuous luncheon. This splendid Renaissance palace was built for the Colonna family, one of the most powerful houses of Italian nobility. The palace boasts an impressive collection of original masterpieces from painters such as Bronzino, Tintoretto and Reni. 

Departing January 15, 2007 from Fort Lauderdale, Silver Shadow's World Cruise will cross three oceans, seven seas and six continents, visiting 61 different ports, and conclude on the originating coast, in New York City, on May 22. For more information on World Cruise 2007, visit

Back to the top of the news list

Emerald Princess Makes European Debut in 2007

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 4, 2006 - Princess Cruises' next new ship will set sail on her first voyage from the "Eternal City" of Rome in April 2007. The 113,000-ton Emerald Princess is currently under construction at Italy's Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone and will be the line's first ship to begin its life cruising from Rome's seaport, the town of Civitavecchia. Emerald Princess' first cruise, a 12-day Greek Isles itinerary, is scheduled to set sail on April 11 on a voyage to Venice that will take passengers to some of the most scenic spots in the Mediterranean and Aegean, including Naples/Capri, Santorini, Rhodes, Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Mykonos, Athens (Piraeus), Katakolon (for Olympia), Corfu and Dubrovnik. Thereafter the ship will offer a series of Greek Isles and Grand Mediterranean cruises before crossing the Atlantic to Ft. Lauderdale in October.

"Emerald Princess represents another great addition to our fleet, offering our passengers a bounty of choice while sailing through storied waters to some of the region's most important ports," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "Rome is such a wonderfully dramatic city from which to begin a cruise - and to debut a fantastic ship."

The new vessel will include many of the same new design elements and amenities debuting aboard the upcoming Crown Princess, including a dramatic new piazza-style atrium, new casual dining venues and expansion of some favorite shipboard areas. Emerald Princess will offer the many other innovations that define the Princess experience, including the popular Movies Under the Stars poolside movie screen, multiple dining and entertainment options, Personal Choice Dining featuring traditional or Anytime seating, a variety of alternative restaurants, a relaxing Asian-style Lotus Spa with fitness center, an extensive children and teen's center, a wedding chapel and nearly 900 staterooms with private balconies.

Additional information about Emerald Princess is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

Back to the top of the news list

Princess Unveils Unprecedented Europe Season in 2007

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 2006 - In its most dramatic deployment in Europe to date, Princess has unveiled the details of a 2007 Europe season offering the ultimate in diversity, with five ships ranging from 680 to 3,100 passengers, itineraries running from seven to 24 days and destinations as varied as Iceland and Egypt. Two vessels, Royal Princess and Emerald Princess, make their Princess debut with European sailings, as do five new boutique itineraries, featuring four new European ports and Princess' return to the Holy Land. In total, Princess' 2007 Europe season offers the widest variety of itineraries and ships in the industry, with 81 departures on 31 unique itineraries, calling at 110 ports. Passengers can choose from Royal Princess' new Elite Mediterranean itineraries, Emerald Princess' debut in the idyllic Mediterranean, Grand Princess in northern Europe, Star Princess in the Baltic region and Sea Princess sailing a variety of one- and two-week itineraries from Southampton. The extended Europe season begins on April 11 and runs through December 3, 2007.

In particular, the debut of the intimate Royal Princess offers globetrotters the opportunity to add some interesting new destinations to their travels, including the new ports of Ravenna, Italy; Split Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Canakkale (for Troy), Turkey - all UNESCO World Heritage Sites - and, on a transatlantic sailing, St. Barthelemy in the Caribbean. Other unique destinations include Corsica and Sardinia, the Crimean coast and the Holy Land.

"Although we've been the leader in Europe cruising for a number of years, we've never offered a season with such a diverse set of options," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "Whether passengers dream of visiting the continent's cosmopolitan capitals or want to step back in history to places such as Troy, Jeruselem, Ephesus and Egypt, there is a Princess ship to take them there."

Princess' 2007 Europe season includes:

  • Royal Princess' Elite Mediterranean - The 680-passenger Royal Princess joins the Princess fleet in 2007 and will offer five unique new itineraries, including Princess' first sailings to the Holy Land in more than five years.
  • Connoisseur's Mediterranean - A route between Barcelona and Athens featuring calls at St. Tropez, Portofino, Rome, Sorrento/Capri, Malta, Santorini, the new port of Canakkale (for Troy) and Istanbul. The ship will offer seven sailings of this 12-day itinerary, departing on April 26, May 8 and 20, July 19 and 31, August 12 and 24. 
  • Holy Land - Sailings between Athens and Rome offering stops at Patmos, Santorini, Kusadasi, Haifa (for Galilee/Nazareth), Ashdod (for Jerusalem), Port Said (for Cairo/Giza), Alexandria, Sorrento/Capri. This 12-day voyage departs four times, on June 1, September 5, October 23, and on a modified Athens/Venice itinerary on November 4. 
  • Mediterranean Collection - A series of 12-day voyages between Rome and Venice with calls at Portofino, Monte Carlo, Corsica (Ajaccio), Sorrento/Capri, Sicily (Messina), Malta (Valletta), Corfu, and the new ports of Kotor (Montenegro), Split (Croatia) and Ravenna. Five departures are offered on June 13 and 25, September 17 and 29 and November 16. 
  • Crimean & Aegean Coasts - A unique 12-day itinerary from Rome to Athens with port calls in Sorrento/Capri, Santorini, Volos (for Meteora), Varna (Bulgaria), Odessa (Ukraine), Yalta (Ukraine) and Istanbul, departing July 7. 
  • Mediterranean Mosaic - A 12-day roundtrip Rome sailing that visits Sardinia (Cagliari), Malaga (for Granada), Gibraltar, Casablanca (for Marrakech), La Goullete (for Tunis/Carthage), Malta (Valletta), Sicily (Messina) and Sorrento/Capri, with one departure on October 11. 
  • Three Continents Transatlantic - An opportunity for passengers to travel from Rome to Ft. Lauderdale while also taking in stops in Africa and South America. The 24-day sailing travels to Portofino, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Gibraltar, Casablanca (for Marrakech), Dakar (Senegal), Fortaleza (Brazil), Devil's Islands, Dominica, and the new port of St. Barthelemy, departing on November 28. 

Emerald Princess' Inaugural Season - Europe's newest vessel will offer her 3,100 passengers Princess' favorite Mediterranean and Greek Isles itineraries, including its signature Mediterranean route and two different choices for luxuriating in the sunny islands of the Aegean.

  • Grand Mediterranean - Princess' classic 12-day itinerary runs between Venice and Barcelona with calls at Athens (Piraeus), Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Istanbul, Mykonos, Naples/Capri, Rome (Civitavecchia), Florence/Pisa (Livorno) and Marseille/Provence. Eight sailings depart on May 17 and 29, June 10 and 22, July 28, August 9, and September 14 and 26. 
  • Greek Isles - A 12-day route between Venice and Rome that takes in Naples/Capri, Santorini, Rhodes, Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Mykonos, Athens (Piraeus), Katakolon (for Olympia), Corfu and Dubrovnik. Four sailings depart on April 11 and 23, July 4 and August 21. Also offered on Grand Princess on May 26 and Star Princess on October 16 and 28, and November 9. 
  • Greek Isles & Mediterranean - A Greek Isles itinerary calling at Monte Carlo, Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Naples/Capri, Santorini, Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Mykonos, Athens (Piraeus), Katakolon (for Olympia) and Corfu. The 12-day itinerary is offered on three sailings, departing May 5, July 16, and September 2. Also offered on Grand Princess on May 14, and Star Princess October 4. 
  • Mediterranean Transatlantic - An opportunity to cross the Atlantic from Venice to Ft. Lauderdale with calls in Naples/Capri, Rome (Civitavecchia), Cannes (for Monte Carlo), Barcelona, Seville (Cadiz), Lisbon and Azores Islands (Ponta Delgada). This 17-day crossing departs October 8. 

Grand Princess in Northern Europe - The 2,600-passenger Grand Princess not only takes passengers to European dream destinations such as Paris, Rome and Barcelona, but also the stunning Norwegian Fjords, the remote beauty of Iceland and the charming British Isles. The ship will additionally offer Greek Isles sailings at the beginning of the season, sailing on the same itinerary as Emerald Princess.

  • European Explorer - A 15-day sojourn between Rome and Southampton, offering calls at Naples/Capri, Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Cannes (for Monte Carlo), Barcelona, Gibraltar, Casablanca (for Marrakech), Seville (Cadiz), Lisbon, Vigo (for Santiago de Compostela), Paris/Normandy (Le Havre), Rotterdam (for Amsterdam), and Brussels/Bruges (Zeebrugge), depart June 7. 
  • Iceland, Norway & British Isles - Sailing roundtrip from Southampton, Grand Princess calls at Bergen, Olden (Nord Fjord), Hellesylt, Geiranger, Aalesund, Akureyri, Reykjavik and Belfast. This 12-day sailing departs on June 22. 
  • British Isles - A 12-day roundtrip voyage from Southampton calling at Guernsey (St. Peter Port), Holyhead, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow (Greenock), Orkney Islands (Kirkwall), Inverness (Invergordon), Edinburgh (South Queensferry) and Paris/Normandy (Le Havre). Grand Princess offers three departures on this itinerary, on July 4 and 28, and August 21. 
  • North Cape & Norwegian Fjords - This popular annual voyages sails roundtrip from Southampton on a 12-day journey up the coast of Norway to Stavanger, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Trondheim, Honningsvag (for North Cape), Tromso, Flaam (Sogne Fjord) and Bergen, departing on July 16.
  • Western Europe & British Isles - Grand Princess sails roundtrip from Southampton on a 12-day voyage to Paris/Normandy (Le Havre), Brussels/Bruges (Zeebrugge), Copenhagen, Oslo, Edinburgh (South Queensferry), Glasgow (Greenock) and Dublin. The ship departs on August 9. 
  • Mediterranean Transatlantic - A 16-day crossing from Galveston (or 13-day from Ft. Lauderdale) to Rome, stopping at the Azores Islands (Ponta Delgada), Lisbon, Barcelona, Cannes (for Monte Carlo), and Florence/Pisa (Livorno). The cruise departs on April 28. 
  • Iceland, Greenland & Norway Transatlantic - This 16-day fall crossing from Southampton to New York calls at Bergen, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Faroe Islands (Torshavn), Akureyri, Reykjavik, Prins Christian Sund Scenic Cruising (Greenland), Qaqortoq (Greenland), and St. John's (Newfoundland), departing on September 2. 

Star Princess in Scandinavia & Russia - The 2,600-passenger Star Princess returns to this favorite destination. With two alternating itineraries, passengers can choose to visit Oslo or Berlin in addition to the highlights of Scandinavia and two full days in St. Petersburg. In addition, the ship offers some late-season Mediterranean sailings, including Greek Isles (see Emerald Princess) and the opportunity to visit the wonders of Egypt.

  • Scandinavia/Russia with Oslo - Sailing roundtrip from Copenhagen, Star Princess takes passengers to Stockholm (Nynäshamn), Helsinki, St. Petersburg (overnight), Tallinn, Gdansk (Gdynia) and Oslo. Nine departures of this 10-day cruise are offered on May 22, June 1 and 11, July 1 and 21, August 10, 20 and 30, and September 9.
  • Scandinavia/Russia with Berlin - An alternate 10-day option, offering an overnight in Copenhagen on the return and calling at Stockholm (Nynäshamn), Helsinki, St. Petersburg (overnight), Tallinn, Gdansk (Gdynia), Warnemünde (for Berlin) and Helsingør (for shore excursions). Sailings depart on June 21, and July 11 and 31. 
  • European Explorer - A 15-day journey from Copenhagen to Rome, calling at Rotterdam (for Amsterdam), Brussels/Bruges (Zeebrugge), Paris/Normandy (Le Havre), Vigo (for Santiago de Compostela), Lisbon, Seville (Cadiz), Casablanca (for Marrakech), Gibraltar, Barcelona, Cannes (for Monte Carlo) and Florence/Pisa (Livorno). The cruise departs on September 19. 
  • Egypt & Aegean - Sailing roundtrip from Rome, Star Princess takes passengers to Naples/Capri, Athens (Piraeus), Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Istanbul, Mykonos, Port Said (for Cairo/Giza) and Alexandria. This special sailing departs on November 21. 
  • Western Europe Transatlantic - A 17-day transatlantic from Ft. Lauderdale to Copenhagen with stops in the Azores Islands (Ponta Delgada), Lisbon, Vigo (for Santiago de Compostela), Paris/Normandy (Le Havre), Dover (for London), Brussels/Brugge (Zeebrugge), Rotterdam (for Amsterdam) and Oslo, departing on May 5. 
  • Mediterranean Transatlantic - This 16-day Rome to Ft. Lauderdale crossing offers visits to Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Genoa (for Milan), Cannes (for Monte Carlo), Barcelona, Cartagena (Spain), Gibraltar, Casablanca (for Marrakech), and Madeira (Funchal), with a sailing that departs December 3.

Sea Princess from Southampton - Sea Princess again offers her 1,950 passengers a series of different one- and two-week voyages with convenient roundtrip departures from Southampton. Travelers will visit the Mediterranean, Iberian Peninsula and Scandinavia with these popular itineraries.

  • Mediterranean Medley - A 14-day journey to Seville (Cadiz), Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Sardinia (Alghero), Mallorca (Palma) and Gibraltar. Five sailings depart Southampton on April 28, June 2 and 30, August 4, and September 1. 
  • Mediterranean Adventurer - This 14-day itinerary travels to Vigo (for Santiago de Compostela), Lisbon, Barcelona, Cannes (for Monte Carlo), Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples/Capri, Corsica (Ajaccio), and Gibraltar on five sailings departing May 12, June 16, July 21, August 18 and September 22.
  • Spanish Splendor - A seven-day sailing to La Coruña (for Santiago de Compostela), Bilbao, Bordeaux (Le Verdon), and Guernsey (St. Peter Port), departing on May 26.
  • Scandinavia - A one-week getaway to Amsterdam, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Helsingborg, departing on July 14.Iberian Interlude - Another week-long Spanish option with calls at Vigo (for Santiago de Compostela), Lisbon, La Rochelle and Brest, departing on September 15.
  • Tropical Transatlantic (spring) - This 14-day Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton journey sails to Princess Cays, Tortola, Dominica, Antigua, and the Azores Islands (Ponta Delgada), and departs on April 14.
  • Tropical Transatlantic (fall) - A 14-day Southampton to Barbados crossing offering stops at the Azores Islands (Ponta Delgada), Antigua, Tortola, St. Kitts, Dominica and St. Vincent, and departing on October 13.

Passengers can add to their European adventure with a choice of cruisetour options offering in conjunction with Grand Princess, Emerald Princess and Star Princess sailings. These fully escorted tours include "Under the Tuscan Sun," highlighting Florence, Siena and Milan; "Cathedrals and Castles of Imperial Europe," featuring four capitals - Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin; and the "Ring of Kerry," with visits to Shannon, Killarney and Cork. All tours are designed to mesh seamlessly with Princess' cruise itineraries for a complete land/sea vacation.

Back to the top of the news list

New 'Crystal Private Adventures' Makes Guests the Master and Commander of Their Shoreside Experience

LOS ANGELES, April 3 -- From iPods and TiVo to the ubiquitous morning coffee, savvy consumers are getting used to customizing their experiences. In keeping with the trend, Crystal Cruises has launched "Crystal Private Adventures" to further personalize its guests' shore experience. In connection with its luxurious worldwide cruises, a dedicated team of travel experts is available to create highly customized excursions ashore for individuals and groups seeking a more intimate perspective of a particular destination. With the utmost attention to choice and service, the Crystal Private Adventures specialists will accommodate everything from personalized arrangements for a family reunion wanting to trace its heritage to a private chartered yacht from Sorrento to Capri to celebrate an anniversary. The service may be pre-reserved online, by fax or by phone.

"We want our guests' experience of a destination to be exactly what they want," says John Stoll, Crystal's director of land programs. "A Crystal traveler can be the captain and designer of his or her own unique adventure."

From the simple to the elaborate, the Crystal Private Adventures team handles each request with attention to detail. Guests or their travel agents can have an itinerary in mind fulfilled or work with a specialist to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Consider, for example, the possibilities in St. Petersburg, Russia: Start the day with a private tour of the Hermitage museum. Savor lunch and cocktails at the Grand Duke Vladimir's Palace, served by ultra-swank caterers Potel & Chabot. Enjoy an afternoon private cruise along St. Petersburg's rivers and canals followed by a stop at St. Isaac's Cathedral. Relax and refresh back on Crystal Serenity. Later take a private car to the Marriinsky Theatre for a performance of opera and ballet with privileged seating in President Putin's box, followed by dinner in a private dining room.

Crystal Private Adventures is offered to guests already booked on a Crystal cruise for a nominal $100 non-refundable charge, due upon receipt of request. If the guest accepts the personalized shore program, the service fee is applied to the booking. There are three convenient ways to pre-reserve a Crystal Private Adventure:

  1. Website. Visit and click on "Crystal Private Adventures" under the Crystal Adventures (shore excursion) tab. Guests complete the online form and e-mail it directly to .
  2. Fax. A Crystal Private Adventures form is included in the 90-day preliminary documents sent to all guests, with a direct return fax number to the Crystal Private Adventures desk.
  3. Telephone. The Crystal Private Adventures desk may be reached at 1-866-446-6625 for guests wishing to discuss details of their dream adventure. Verbal requests must then be confirmed in writing via email or fax.

Details of each Crystal Private Adventure are shared with the respective ship in advance of sail date, and guests receive a confirmed agenda and tour tickets upon boarding.

At Crystal Cruises, the choices ashore are greater than ever. Crystal Private Adventures is just one of the many options for guests' experience of a destination. The luxury line offers comprehensive destination tours and limited participation boutique excursions as well as very private highly customized adventures. With its worldwide itineraries, Crystal Cruises offers more than 1,200 Crystal Adventures, an enriching collection of active and cultural shore excursions for today's most discriminating travelers. For additional information, contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

Back to the top of the news list

Crown Princess Sails Through First Sea Trials

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 3, 2006 - Princess' upcoming 113,000-ton Crown Princess recently completed a major step in preparation for her June 2006 debut -- her first sea trials. The ship's first major outing took the new vessel out of its construction dock at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. Engineers tested the ship's maneuvering and propulsion machinery, and were pleased to report the ship's systems responded well. After further exterior and interior finishing, Crown Princess will undergo an additional series of sea trials in coming months. Her maiden voyage departs June 14, launching her season of nine-day roundtrip sailings from New York to the Caribbean. In fall, the ship repositions to San Juan for a series of alternating Southern Caribbean itineraries.

Back to the top of the news list

Oceania Cruises’ 2007 European Collection is Open for Sale

Miami, FL, April 3, 2006 — Oceania Cruises is pleased to announce the release of the new 2007 European Collection voyages. With three ships positioned in Europe for the season, Oceania Cruises will offer guests an unrivaled array of itineraries that set a new standard of excellence for destination cruising. Recognizing that discerning travelers are constantly seeking new adventures and a more in-depth travel experience, Oceania Cruises crafted the 2007 European Collection to offer 53 departures with 20 distinct itineraries to sate even the most seasoned traveler. Sailing to the Western Mediterranean, the Greek Isles and Scandinavia, Regatta, Insignia and Nautica will sail to more than 70 ports throughout Europe. 

New Ports, More Destinations, Fewer Sea Days
As the industry leader in destination cruising, Oceania Cruises has elevated the cruise experience to new heights with more than 80 overnight port stays in the greatest destinations in Europe such as Athens, Dubrovnik, Istanbul, Sorrento, St. Petersburg, Stockholm and Venice. In addition to such treasured favorites as Barcelona, Portofino, Athens, Monte Carlo, Rome and Provence, to name but a few, we have added an astounding and eclectic array of new ports. Loyal repeat guests and first-time guests alike will be awe struck by the ancient beauty of Cinque Terre, which is easily accessible from the Ligurian port of La Spezia. The charming Albanian seaside port of Sarande beckons with its story-book charm as do the dramatic Roman ruins of Butrinti, a UNESCO World Heritage site on the Albanian coast. Other new and noteworthy ports include Mitilini, on the Greek isle of Lesbos; historic Cagliari, on the Italian isle of Sardinia; the yachtsman’s haven of Portoferraio on Italy’s stunningly beautiful isle of Elba and captivating Mahon, the jewel of Spain’s Balearic Islands. 

2007 European Collection voyages range from 10 to 16 days in length and feature an overabundance of port time and a minimum number of sea days. On average, 10- and 12-day itineraries will feature no more than one sea day and 14-day itineraries will feature no more than two sea days. The Greek Isles are more popular than ever and in 2007, we offer 25 sail dates with nine distinctly different itineraries. 

  • Insignia’s 12-day sailings between Rome and Venice on April 28 and May 10 feature 11 ports of call with three overnight port calls and no sea days. 
  • Insignia’s new 14-day voyages between Rome and Athens feature calls in Sorrento, Italy; Messina, on the Italian isle of Sicily; Valletta, Malta; La Goulette, Tunisia; Heraklion, on the Greek isle of Crete; Alexandria, Greece; Limassol, Cyprus; Antalya, Turkey; Rhodes, Greece and Kusadasi, Turkey. 
  • A new 14-day Istanbul to Barcelona voyage calls upon the great wonders of the archeological world – Mitilini, on the Greek isle of Lesbos; Kusadasi, Turkey; Rhodes, Greece; Antalya, Turkey; Limassol, Cyprus; Alexandria, Egypt; Heraklion, on the Greek isle of Crete; Valletta, Malta; La Goulette, Tunisia; Cagliari, on the Italian isle of Sardinia; and Mahon, Spain. 
  • Nautica leaves virtually no port unexplored in the Mediterranean, Greek Isles or Black Sea. Sailing 15 voyages that range from 10- to 14-days in length, many of her voyages combine the best of Greece, Turkey and Italy. 
  • Regatta traverses virtually all of Europe with voyages to the Greek Isles, Mediterranean, Western Europe and the glittering, great northern cities of St. Petersburg, Russia; Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark; Berlin, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Gdansk, Poland; Tallinn, Estonia; and Bruges, Belgium. 

“Oceania Cruises has deftly crafted each 2007 European voyage to provide our guests the richest combination of destinations, overnight port stays and enriching shore side exploration opportunities,” stated Bob Binder, Executive Vice President of Oceania Cruises. Voyages begin and end in the great cities of Europe, affording guests the opportunity to extend their stay in Stockholm, London, Barcelona, Rome, Venice, Athens and Istanbul. “Whether taking a shorter 10-day cruise or combining several of our unique voyages to create the ultimate European travel experience, discerning travelers will enjoy the grandeur of Europe amidst the warmth and casual elegance that is unique to the Oceania Cruises experience,” added Binder.

With Free Airfare from 20 North American gateways and 2 for 1 cruise fares, these extraordinary voyages are the pinnacle of value. 2 for 1 cruise fares start at just $1,999 per guest and guests are urged to make their reservations as early as possible to ensure that they take advantage of the free airfare and receive the accommodations of choice on their preferred voyage. Detailed itineraries and pricing for Oceania Cruises’ 2007 European Collection are available online at As many 2006 European Collection voyages sold out so quickly, guests are urged to make their reservations as quickly as possible to avoid disappointment. The 2007 European Collection opened for reservations today and the offer of Free Airfare and 2 for 1 Cruise Fares expires August 31, 2006. For additional information or reservations, please contact your Travel Agent or Oceania Cruises at 800-531-5658. Visit us at

Back to the top of the news list

Queen Mary 2 Drops Anchor in Brooklyn Beginning April 15

VALENCIA, CA, April 3, 2006 - On Saturday, April 15, Queen Mary 2 makes New York City's brand-new $52 million Brooklyn Cruise Terminal her berth-of-choice, marking an exciting new chapter in the company's illustrious history. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and a host of other dignitaries will be on hand to welcome the world's most famous ocean liner as she sails into New York and docks in Buttermilk Channel to celebrate the official opening of the new full-service facility at Pier 12 in Red Hook.

"From stunning views of the iconic Manhattan skyline and close-by Statue of Liberty to the streamlined embarkation and disembarkation process, traveling through Brooklyn will create a truly memorable start and end to a legendary Cunard voyage," said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line.

The Red Hook facility will be used by Carnival Corporation's Cunard Line and Princess Cruises. In April 2004 the Bloomberg Administration reached a historic agreement with Carnival that calls for the company to support the City's investments in cruise facilities in Brooklyn and Manhattan through port charges in exchange for berthing rights. In its first year of operation, the 182,000-square-foot Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is expected to welcome approximately 40 ships, including the new Crown Princess launching in June 2006. The Terminal adds 330 new, permanent jobs to the Brooklyn waterfront. The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is the first in the New York area to be designed specifically to accommodate today's larger cruise ships. In addition to deepening the channel, reinforcing moorings and upgrading the gangway, the new facility includes traveler-friendly improvements such as improved signage, landscaping, a tourist kiosk and more attractive glass exterior and canopy.

Queen Mary 2 is the grandest ocean liner ever built. There are 1,310 suites and cabins available in degrees of style and comfort ranging from pampered elegance to almost unimaginable luxury in the ship's famed Grill-level accommodations. Queen Mary 2 brings together like-minded travelers who relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star ServiceSM, fine dining, sophisticated adventure and legacy of historic voyages and transatlantic travel. For more information about Cunard or Queen Mary 2, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

Back to the top of the news list

Carnival to Switch Itineraries for FANTASY & SENSATION Effective April 6

MIAMI, 04/03/06 - Effective April 6, 2006, Carnival Cruise Lines will permanently swap the itineraries operated by its cruise ships Fantasy and Sensation. Both ships are based at Port Canaveral, Florida. The Fantasy will take over the Sensation's four- and five-day Bahamas/Grand Turk cruise program and the Sensation will, in turn, operate the Fantasy's three- and four-day Bahamas program. The two vessels are virtually identical sister ships with the same features, amenities, accommodations and layout.

The change is being made as the result of a technical issue on the Sensation which is limiting the ship's maximum cruising speed. The ship cannot sail at a speed that enables it to operate its current five-day itinerary but it does have sufficient speed to operate the Fantasy's existing three and four-day Bahamas program. The technical issue, which relates to the Sensation's propulsion system, is only impacting the ship's maximum speed. All hotel systems and services are functioning normally.

Reservations will automatically be switched from one ship to the other and booking numbers and stateroom assignments will remain the same. For guests who have already received cruise documents, new ones will not be issued. Guests may use their existing documents. Air transportation purchased through Carnival will remain intact and previously received e-ticket receipt coupons will continue to be valid. For guests who have already registered through Carnival's Fun Pass pre-cruise online check-in system, it is not necessary to re-register. Advance shore excursion purchases will remain in place, as well.

The year-round three and four-day Bahamas program, to now be operated on Sensation, features three-day voyages departing Thursdays to Nassau, The Bahamas. Four-day cruises, departing Sundays, visit Nassau and Freeport, The Bahamas.

The year-round four and five-day Bahamas/Grand Turk program will operate from April 6 through Oct. 19, 2006 on the Fantasy and then be assumed by the Elation, effective Oct. 23, 2006, as previously announced. Four-day cruises visit Nassau and either Freeport or Half Moon Cay, The Bahamas, while five-day cruises visit Grand Turk, in the Turks & Caicos Islands, Half Moon Cay and Nassau throughout 2006 and from May to Sept. 2007. From Jan. to April 2007 and from Oct. to Dec. 2007, the five-day itinerary will feature Key West and Cozumel, as previously announced.

In October 2006, the Fantasy will reposition to New Orleans to resume a four- and five-day cruise program previously operated prior to Hurricane Katrina. (Originally, the program was to be resumed on Sensation but will now be operated on the Fantasy.) Four-day cruises will visit Cozumel, Mexico while five-day voyages will call at Cozumel, as well as either Calica or Costa Maya, Mexico.

Back to the top of the news list

Carnival Valor Hosts Second ‘Presidential Wine Club Cruise’ Dec 3-10, 2006

MIAMI, March 31, 2006 – Following the tremendous success of the inaugural “Presidential Wine Club Cruise” last December, Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that a second wine-themed voyage will be held, this time aboard the 2,974-passenger Carnival Valor in December 2006. Hosted by Carnival President and CEO Bob Dickinson – the namesake behind the Presidential Wine Club – the week-long voyage will operate round-trip from Miami Dec. 3-10, 2006. Featured ports include Nassau, St. Thomas/St. John, and St. Maarten. 

World-renowned French master chef, restaurateur and winemaker Georges Blanc, who, through an exclusive alliance with Carnival, is introducing his “Signature Selection” menu items fleetwide aboard the line’s ships, will be sailing on this voyage. Blanc, who has maintained the coveted three stars from the Michelin Guide for the past 25 years, will share his vast knowledge and expertise of fine food and wine to Presidential Wine Club Cruise participants. 

“The inaugural ‘Presidential Wine Club Cruise’ attracted several hundred wine enthusiasts who enhanced their knowledge and appreciation for wine through interesting and thought-provoking seminars and tastings by leading wine experts. I’m delighted to host the second in this popular series as the ‘Presidential Wine Club Cruise’ becomes an annual event,” Dickinson said. “With only 300 cabins available for Presidential Wine Club Cruise participants, wine enthusiasts should reserve their spot early for what’s sure to be an exciting week,” he added.

The “Presidential Wine Club Cruise” aboard Carnival Valor will include a wide range of wine-related events, including a Welcome Aboard Reception and Gala Tasting hosted by leading wine experts and featuring fine wines from around the world. Seminars include “Fundamentals of Wine,” covering a broad range of topics, from wine making to wine appreciation. There will also be food pairings where Dickinson will personally suggest wines for guests to purchase to accompany their meals in the Valor’s Lincoln or Washington dining rooms. Other wine-themed events are also being planned for the voyage and will be announced at a later date.

Launched last year, the Presidential Wine Club provides members with two bottles of select boutique wines each month from the world’s great winemaking regions, including California, France, Italy, Spain, Chile, Argentina and Australia. Members are also eligible for special discounts on wine and accessories through the club’s Web site,, which serves as an on-line wine information and communication resource with interactive message boards and a monthly “Ask Bob” feature by the cruise line president. A helpful “About Wine” section offers wine trivia, tips on storage and decanting, and background on the various types of wine. Membership is available by visiting or by calling toll-free at 1-888-292-2582. The cost of the “Presidential Wine Club” is $39.99 per month plus $9.99 shipping and handling. 

In addition to a variety of wine-themed events and activities, “Presidential Wine Club Cruise” participants can enjoy Carnival Valor’s wide range of on-board amenities: 22 lounges and bars, including an elaborate multi-level theater showcasing Vegas-style productions, a sports bar, piano bar, jazz club, and, of course, a wine bar serving Presidential Wine Club selections. Other features include a 13,300-square-foot spa, Internet café, jogging track, four swimming pools, a 214-foot-long water slide, and “Camp Carnival” and “Club 02,” with supervised activities and expansive facilities for children and teens, respectively. 

Dining options include twin two-level main dining rooms serving elegant, multi-course meals, a 1,200-seat casual poolside eatery featuring extensive hot and cold buffets and 24-hour pizza and ice cream, and an upscale supper club serving USDA prime aged beef and other gourmet cuisine. All Carnival Valor dining venues feature the new “Georges Blanc Signature Selections,” delicious menu items created exclusively for Carnival by the world-renowned French master chef. Sixty percent of the Carnival Valor’s 1,487 staterooms offer either an ocean view or balcony.

Prices for the Presidential Wine Club Cruise begin at $599 per person for members, based on double occupancy. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom and round-trip air supplements from more than 170 North American gateways are also available. Participants must request fare code CPWC when making the reservation; members of the Presidential Wine Club may request fare code CPW2. Participants need not be members of the Presidential Wine Club to sail on this voyage. For additional information on the “Presidential Wine Club Cruise,” visit For reservations, call 1-866-299-5862 or visit

Back to the top of the news list

Cruise Association Says Mexican Riviera Itineraries on the Rise

NEW YORK - As more travelers become experienced Caribbean cruisers, they are discovering a new tropical paradise, the Mexican Riviera, which offers sensational scenery, some of the best beaches in the world and a formidable array of cultural attractions. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the Mexican Riviera has grown into one of the top five cruise destinations in the last five years, and for good reason. Typically, CLIA ( member line ships call at such destinations as California's Monterey and Catalina Island, and the Mexican ports of Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa/Zihautanjeo, Manzanillo and Mazatlan. Cruises from seven to 11 days set sail from Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego and San Francisco.

"It's no wonder that Mexican Riviera cruises continue to grow in popularity," said Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of CLIA, the chief marketing organization for 20 premier cruise lines and nearly 17,000 North American travel agencies. "These cruises have it all - charming villages, bustling cities, fabulous food and culture and miles and miles of flawless beaches."

Travelers will visit a cornucopia of coastal villages and towns along the California and Mexican coasts. California's 70-square mile Catalina Island harkens back to a more gentrified time in history. Visitors can ocean kayak, mountain-bike through conversancy lands and take advantage of many types of water sports. And, travelers won't want to miss the Wrigley Memorial Garden, created in memory of chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Junior. Another California port favorite, Monterey, is renowned as a golfer's paradise - and a town that offers spectacular views of the harbor at Fisherman's Wharf on the Monterey Peninsula. Cruise guests sailing in November won't want to miss the Monarch Grove Sanctuary, which is the ultimate during the November butterfly-viewing season. An excursion along Seventeen Mile Drive showcases the region's redwood forest and jagged Pacific coast.

The glittering city of Acapulco is renowned for its legendary nightlife, restaurants, beaches and the La Quebrada cliff divers - who leap from 130-foot rock formations into the sea below. The city is also known for excellent fishing - particularly sailfish, snorkeling and scuba diving. The pulse of the city is its main street, Avenida Costera Miguel Alemán, where travelers will find most of Acapulco's attractions.

Quaint Cabo San Lucas is home to gorgeous beaches and a wide range of water-related activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, marlin fishing, surfing and kayaking. The town features an underwater nature preserve, a short boat ride away from the harbor and the famous Land's End rock formations.

With more than 250 restaurants and a hip nightlife scene, Puerto Vallarta still maintains the charm of an old-fashioned Mexican village with cobblestone streets and blossoming bougainvillea. In addition to shops and galleries, the town boasts ecotourism activities like mountain biking though the Sierra foothills and whale watching.

In Ixtapa, guests will find spectacular beach areas, including a two-mile strip that extends along the hotel zone, Playa del Palmar. The town also boasts two 18-hole golf courses and a 600-slip yacht marina with restaurants and shops. Down the coast from Ixtapa is Zihuatanejo, a historic fishing village located in a sheltered bay only a mile and a half wide.

Manzanillo, one of Mexico's most vibrant and active seaports, is one of the greatest fishing spots around the globe - and also features one of the world's best golf courses. The landscape is nothing if not diverse, as travelers will find jungles and mountains, palm trees and beaches. 

Mazatlan's harbor is set against a breathtaking mountain range and is blessed with magnificent beaches. A renowned fishing destination, Mazatlan is also known for excellent seafood. For the active traveler, a walk up to El Faro, the second-highest lighthouse in the world, provides panoramic views of the town. 

Following is a listing of cruise lines offering Mexican Riviera cruises this year:  

  • CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES: Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Pride and Carnival Spirit Mexican Riviera itineraries blend the line's "Fun Ship" ambience with mariachi bands that perform at select ports. Carnival Pride sails year-round on seven-day voyages from Long Beach, Calif., to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Carnival Sprit offers seasonal eight-day cruises from San Diego to Acapulco, Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa and Manzanillo. 
  • CELEBRITY CRUISES: Celebrity Cruises' Infinity offers two 10- and 11-day voyages from San Diego in April that visit Monterey and Catalina Island, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. Mercury features 10- and 11-day itineraries from San Diego that are available on select dates in April, October and November. Ports include Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Zihautenejo/Ixtapa and Manzanillo.
  • CRYSTAL CRUISES: Highlighting Crystal Cruises' Mexican Riviera offerings is a 14-day Christmas and New Year's cruise out of Los Angeles on December 21 aboard Crystal Symphony. With ports of call that include San Diego, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and La Paz, this year marks Crystal Symphony's first Mexican Riviera holiday voyage roundtrip from Los Angeles since 2002.
  • HOLLAND AMERICA LINE: From whale watching near Cabo San Lucas to discovering the famous Copper Canyon from Topolobampo, Holland America Line explores the natural wonders of the Mexican Riviera on 32 cruises. Oosterdam and Zaandam feature seven- and 10-day cruises traveling roundtrip from San Diego. Oosterdam operates on 29 seven-day itineraries while Zaandam offers three 10-day journeys enabling more in-depth exploration.
  • NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE: Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Star features eight-day itineraries that provide guests with full days in the ports of Zihautenejo/Ixtapa, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. The itineraries also offer overnight calls in Acapulco, with the ship departing the city after midnight. The sailings also include three days at sea. In all, 25 sailings along the Mexican Riviera. 
  • PRINCESS CRUISES: Four Princess Cruises' ships ply the waters of the Mexican Riviera. Golden Princess makes her West Coast debut with roundtrip sailings from San Francisco and a one-way voyage from Acapulco. Dawn Princess offers a series of sailings out of San Francisco. Diamond Princess operates roundtrip voyages from Los Angeles. Island Princess features a special Mexican Riviera holiday voyage.
  • REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES: Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Seven Seas Mariner departs Dec. 18 on an eight-night voyage roundtrip from Los Angeles that calls at San Diego, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, spending Christmas day at sea. The cruise features Le Cordon Bleu Cooking Workshops and a Club Mariner's children's program. Other Regent ships incorporate Mexican Riviera ports on Panama Canal itineraries. 
  • ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTL: Royal Caribbean Intl's Vision of the Seas operates on seven-night Mexican Riviera itineraries that sail roundtrip from Los Angeles. The cruises are offered through April 30 and again from September 24 through Dec. 31. The itineraries call at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Shore excursions include adventuresome options that enable guests to trek through jungles and plantations.
  • SILVERSEA CRUISES: Silversea Cruises offers a nine-day cruise roundtrip from Los Angeles on September 17 aboard Silver Shadow. Calls include Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada. Optional shore excursions include an ATV off-road adventure through the "Outback" of Cabo San Lucas and a flight aboard a Cessna Caravan from Puerto Vallarta to a village in the Sierra Madre Mountains.

The best way to learn more about these exciting itineraries and ports is to seek the professional counsel of a CLIA travel agent. To locate a CLIA-member travel agency near you, use the Travel Agent Locator on CLIA's website at 

Back to the top of the news list

2007: An Historic Year for Cunard Line

VALENCIA, CA, March 30 -- In the grand Cunard tradition, 2007 promises to be another historic year for the world's most famous ocean liners. Demonstrating the line's historic ties to its home port of New York, Queen Mary 2 will offer an expanded season of transatlantic travel, as well as introduce a collection of six four-day Getaway sailings and 12 10-day Connoisseur's Caribbean voyages in 2007 and 2008 -- all originating from New York. Queen Mary 2 will call on six ports as far south as Barbados on the Connoisseur voyages, highlighting the ship's fast sea-keeping abilities. Longest-serving Cunarder Queen Elizabeth 2, will celebrate her 40th anniversary with a special commemorative voyage around the British Isles. The year wraps with the highly anticipated maiden voyages of the new Queen Victoria, marking the first time in Cunard's 167-year history that three Cunard Queens will be in service simultaneously.

"Interest in ocean travel is at an all-time high," says Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line. "More than ever, we are crafting genuinely intriguing itineraries that satisfy the growing demand for meaningful luxury adventure travel. From our flagship Queen Mary 2 to the soon-to-debut Queen Victoria and the quintessential Queen Elizabeth 2, Cunard is the line of choice for travelers charmed by a singular blend of history and innovation."

Transatlantic Crossings, Short Getaways & More Aboard QM2
The only ocean liner offering regularly scheduled transatlantic service between New York and Southampton, Queen Mary 2 will offer 22 six-day crossings between New York and Southampton, April through October 2007. In addition, QM2 will introduce one seven-day crossing from Le Havre, France and four eight-day crossings from Hamburg, Germany in 2007; all include calls in Southampton for sightseeing in and around London. Fares for QM2's Transatlantic voyages start from $1,299 per person.

Short Holiday Getaways
Queen Mary 2 will also introduce a collection of six four-day Getaway voyages in 2007 and 2008. Coinciding with popular long weekend holidays, four are roundtrip sailings from New York to sunny Eleuthera, Bahamas, overlapping with Memorial Day 2007, Fourth of July 2007, President's Day 2008 and Easter 2008. Another four-day Getaway voyage is offered from Fort Lauderdale on January 6, 2007 and a Labor Day 2007 Holiday Getaway voyage travels to picturesque Halifax, Nova Scotia from New York. These voyages are priced from $749 per person.

In September, the ship's Splendours of the Fall itinerary takes leaf-peeping passengers on a roundtrip journey from New York to five historic seaports: Newport, RI; Boston, MA; Bar Harbor, ME; Halifax, Nova Scotia and Quebec City, Quebec. Pricing for this nine-day voyage begins at $1,999 per person.

QM2 on a Caribbean Course
Another addition to Queen Mary 2's 2007-2008 deployment is a series of 12 10-day Connoisseur's Caribbean voyages, traveling roundtrip from New York, and two 13-day Panama and the Caribbean voyages. The Connoisseur's Caribbean itineraries include stops in classic Caribbean ports of call, including Road Town, Tortola; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, and are priced from $1,599 per person, depending on departure date.

In April, QM2 makes back-to-back journeys to Caribbean ports on two eight-day itineraries: Caribbean Adventures, which sails from Fort Lauderdale to New York, and the Taste of the Caribbean, a New York roundtrip. Pricing for these voyages starts at $1,249 and $1,499 per person, respectively. In December, the ship's 14-day Caribbean Celebration takes passengers on an extended holiday journey to eight Caribbean ports of call. Rates begin at $3,299 per person.

A Trio of European Voyages
Interspersed in QM2's transatlantic schedule are three European voyages, departing from Southampton, which are ideal add-ons to transatlantic crossings. Departing in May and September, the 12-day Mediterranean Explorer and Mediterranean Medley voyages call in such romantic destinations as Barcelona, Rome, Naples, Marseille and Lisbon and are priced from $2,749 per person. In June, the 10-day Norwegian Odyssey traces a path through the magnificent fjords of Norway with calls in eight ports with fares from $1,899 per person.

Queen Mary 2 will offer a new dining option for 2007. Guests in 46 AA category staterooms will enjoy delicious five-star cuisine in an exclusive private dining area within the Britannia Restaurant. This single-seating club-like restaurant will offer the Britannia Restaurant menu, plus various a la carte options and table-side flambe service.

Queen Elizabeth 2 Celebrates A Special Birthday
In September 2007, the grand dame Queen Elizabeth 2 will celebrate the 40th anniversary of her launch by The Queen. To commemorate this event, Cunard plans a QE2 40th Anniversary Celebration voyage with stops in Newcastle, England; Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland; and Liverpool, England, where a public "anniversary party" is scheduled.

Other QE2 highlights in 2007 include three longer roundtrip voyages from Southampton to North America, including a 16-day Caribbean Crossing voyage via New York in April; a 19-day Autumn Colors voyage in September, with calls in Canada and throughout New England; and a 21-day Caribbean Calypso voyage in December.

The balance of QE2's full schedule will be spent traversing the waters of the Mediterranean and Northern Europe on 19 voyages of varying lengths, ranging from two-day Getaway voyages to Zeebrugee, Belgium to a 16-day Mediterranean Odyssey, with calls to Malaga, Spain; Sicily, Italy; Crete and Athens, Greece; Marmaris, Turkey; Valletta, Malta; and Gibraltar.

Cunard Showcases Rich Ocean Liner Heritage with Queen Victoria Launch
The year ends on a high note, with the December 2007 launch of the 90,000-ton Queen Victoria, a quintessential Cunard liner that includes all the hallmark features associated with the line together with exciting innovations, including private viewing boxes in the Royal Court Theatre, alfresco dining for Grill guests, a floating museum of Cunard memorabilia, and a two-story library with 6,000 books. She will debut with two special maiden voyages, a Christmas Markets Voyage on December 11, and a Canary Islands Festive Celebration in December.

For those who book a 2007 voyage prior to May 31, 2006, savings of up to 45 percent on Queen Mary 2, and savings of up to 50 percent on QE2 will be available, subject to availability. For more information about Cunard, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

Back to the top of the news list

The Da Vinci Code Inspires New Crystal Adventure in Italy

LOS ANGELES, March 28 -- Fans of Dan Brown's best-selling Angels & Demons -- prelude to his blockbuster The Da Vinci Code -- will relish the opportunity to follow the "Path of Illumination" on a new Crystal Adventure in Rome this summer. Given the growing fascination with The Da Vinci Code and works of Leonardo himself, Crystal Cruises will also welcome the author of Math and the Mona Lisa aboard two new Mediterranean cruises this summer.

"With the motion picture release of The Da Vinci Code just two months away, interest in Dan Brown's novels is at an all-time high. From the Sistine Chapel to the Castle St. Angelo, the Angels & Demons tour offers a topical look at some of Rome's most historic, artistic and architecturally significant monuments and churches--all with a dash of religious and scientific intrigue," says John Stoll, Crystal Cruises' director of land programs.

Walking in the steps of protagonist Robert Langdon, the new shore excursion showcases the four symbols along the "Path of Illumination" together with the exceptional works of renowned Baroque artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini:

  • Earth -- the Chigi Chapel where "Habakkuk and the Angel" points the way down the Path of Illumination
  • Air -- the "west wind medallion" in St. Peter's Square
  • Fire -- the "Ecstasy of St. Teresa" at the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria
  • Water -- the "Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi," or Fountain of the Four Rivers, in Rome's famed Piazza Navona

Showcasing the key symbols and landmarks in Angels & Demons, the tour also visits the Spanish Steps and the Church of St. Ignatius; the Pantheon, Rome's best-preserved ancient temple devoted to the goddess of the earth; St. Peter's Basilica, the largest shrine on earth; and, the many Egyptian obelisks so prominently displayed throughout the city and featured throughout the book.

With the escalating buzz surrounding The Da Vinci Code, Crystal will also welcome author Bulent Atalay aboard two Mediterranean cruises (July 19 and July 26) to discuss his book Math and the Mona Lisa. A mathematician and scientist, Atalay's amazing lectures examine the unity of art and science in all of Leonardo Da Vinci's works -- including two of the most famous paintings in history--"The Last Supper" and the "Mona Lisa."

The 10 1/2-hour Angels & Demons excursion is $249 per person and includes a three-course lunch at a local restaurant. Fares for cruises that offer this tour in Rome start at $3,395 per person, double occupancy. The two Mediterranean cruises featuring Bulent Atalay start at $2,390 per person, double occupancy.

For additional information, contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

Back to the top of the news list

Dr. Kathy Sullivan, America's First Female Spacewalker, Joins Norwegian Coastal Voyage as Guest Host & Lecturer

New York, NY, March 2006 -- Norwegian Coastal Voyage has announced that Dr. Kathy Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space, will be host and guest lecturer on a special air-inclusive cruise-tour, “From Vikings to Astronauts,” departing June 29, 2006. Dr. Sullivan, who earned her doctorate mapping the deep seafloor of the western North Atlantic, will lecture on her experiences in space, what we learn about Earth from space and the who, what and why of early 21st-century space exploration. The 12-day program, featuring a northbound Bergen-to-Kirkenes Coastal Odyssey voyage aboard the 482-passenger MS Polarlys and two and three days respectively in Bergen and Oslo, is priced from $4,600 to $5,215 per person, double with AARP members receiving a $100 per cabin discount.

Fishing villages in the rugged Lofoten Islands, Alesund with its many art galleries, the spectacular cliff-lined Geirangerfjord, and the bustling cities of Trondheim and Tromso are some of the 34 ports the ships call at between Bergen and Kirkenes, above the Arctic Circle. Land highlights include traveling on the scenic Bergen Railway, named one of the top 20 rail experiences in the world; touring the Viking Ships Museum and sculptures in Vigeland Park in Oslo, Norway’s capital, and in Bergen, where guests explore independently, the Hanseatic wharf Bryggen, the Fish Market, the Troldhaugen home of composer Edvard Grieg and Old Bergen.

Dr. Sullivan joined NASA in 1978 as one of 35 astronauts in the first space shuttle class, the first group to include women and minorities and is a veteran of three shuttle missions. Her list of accomplishments is extensive: Chief Scientist of NOAA, President and CEO of Ohio's Center of Science & Industry (COSI), serves on the National Science Board and was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2004. Dr. Sullivan spent a year of college studying at the University of Bergen, Norway, and still speaks fluent Norwegian.

The cruise-tour includes round-trip flights between New York and Oslo, hotel and some meals in both cities, cabin category selected and all meals on the cruise, shore excursions, transfers, port charges, air taxes and gratuities. Add-on airfares are available from other U.S. cities. Norwegian Coastal Voyage Inc. is at 405 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022; (800) 323-7436 or (212) 319-1300; fax (212) 319-1390; for brochures, (800) 666-2374, 24 hours a day;

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.

Cruise News Archive - Past cruise news items listed by month


CLICK HERE TO ORDER - Fodor's The Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises
Order My
Latest Book

Priceline -- CLICK HERE!

Click Here for Lands' End


            Use keywords to search...

Search Search the Internet