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Cruise News
April 1-30, 2007

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New Carnival Splendor to Launch Line's First 
Northern European Cruises in 2008

MIAMI, April 30 -- Carnival Cruise Lines' new 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor, representing a new class of vessel with a host of innovations including exclusive new "spa staterooms" that surround a luxurious 21,000-square-foot health and wellness center, will debut in July 2008 operating the line's first-ever Northern European cruise program. These 12-day Northern Europe voyages, which will operate July 13 - Aug. 30, 2008, will offer guests a diversity of shoreside experiences with visits to historic, centuries-old cities in Denmark, Germany, Finland, Russia, Estonia, and The Netherlands. 

Following the Northern European voyages, Carnival Splendor will operate a unique 12-day London-to-Rome cruise Sept. 11, 2008, then sail on a series of 12-day Mediterranean voyages Sept. 23 - Oct. 17, 2008. Carnival Splendor will be the second Carnival ship deployed in Europe next year, joining the Carnival Freedom, which will operate a program of 12-day Mediterranean cruises May-October 2008.

"Consumers are discovering that cruising is the best way to see Europe as it provides the opportunity to experience and explore multiple destinations while enjoying the comfort and convenience of a modern 'floating resort,'" said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. "Carnival Splendor represents a new class of 'Fun Ship' offering a number of innovative facilities and features and, for its inaugural season, we've assembled a truly diverse schedule that showcases the fascinating cultures, history and architecture that has made Europe such a sought-after cruise destination," he added. Dickinson noted that with its all-inclusive amenities and diverse itineraries, a "Fun Ship" cruise is already the most affordable way to see Europe and the high dollar/euro ratio makes this value even greater. He added that in addition to experiencing an all-new class of "Fun Ship," Carnival Splendor's Northern Europe cruises also offer an exciting new option for those guests who have sailed on the line's Mediterranean program in the past.

Also included in Carnival Splendor's 2008 inaugural season will be a 16- day transatlantic voyage departing Rome Oct. 29, as well as a series of seven- day Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale commencing Nov. 22, 2008. A special one-time four-day eastern Caribbean cruise will depart from Fort Lauderdale Nov. 17, 2008.

Inaugural 12-Day Northern Europe Program
Carnival Splendor is slated to debut July 13, 2008, with a 12-day Northern Europe cruise departing from London (Dover) -- the first of five voyages within the program. Other departure dates include July 25 and August 6, 18 and 30, 2008. Featured ports on these voyages include Copenhagen, Denmark; Warnemunde (Berlin), Germany; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia (two-day call); Tallin, Estonia; and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Guests will have the opportunity to experience and explore a spectacular variety of historical and cultural attractions including St. Petersburg's extraordinary palaces, Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, Amsterdam's Vincent Van Gogh Museum, and Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens just to name just a few.

12-Day Mediterranean, Greek Isles Voyages
Following its Northern Europe cruises, Carnival Splendor will operate on a special one-time 12-day western Mediterranean cruise departing London (Dover) Sept. 11, 2008, and arriving Rome (Civitavecchia) Sept. 23, 2008. The voyage includes port calls to Le Havre (Paris), France; Vigo, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Malaga and Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy. Carnival Splendor will then operate one Grand Mediterranean and two Mediterranean & Greek Isles cruises round-trip from Rome (Civitavecchia) Sept. 23 - Oct. 17, 2008. The 12-day Grand Mediterranean cruise will depart Sept. 23, 2008, and call at Naples and Venice (two-day call), Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy.

The two 12-day Mediterranean & Greek Isles cruises will depart Oct. 5 and 17, 2008, calling at Naples, Italy; Marmaris, Izmir (Ephesus) and Istanbul, Turkey, with scenic cruising of the Dardanelles; Athens (Piraeus) and Katakolon, Greece; and Livorno, Italy, as well as an overnight call in Rome (Civitavecchia).

16-Day Transatlantic Crossing
Following its Mediterranean/Greek Isles cruises, Carnival Splendor will sail on a 16-day transatlantic crossing that will depart Rome on Oct. 29 and arrive Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Nov. 14, 2008. Ports of call include Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and Malaga, Spain; Funchal (Madeira), Portugal; and St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles.

Seven-Day Caribbean Cruises from Fort Lauderdale
The 16-day transatlantic crossing that ends in Fort Lauderdale will position Carnival Splendor for a series of 10 seven-day exotic eastern Caribbean voyages from that port beginning Nov. 22, 2008. These Caribbean voyages will call at four tropical ports - Casa de Campo/La Romana, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas/St. John, U.S.V.I.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Nassau, The Bahamas, each of which offers beautiful beaches and excellent watersports opportunities.

Variety of Modern Amenities, Innovative Features
As the first in a new class of "Fun Ships," Carnival Splendor will offer a host of innovative on-board features and facilities, highlighted by a 21,000- square-foot health and fitness center - one of the largest at sea - which will feature Carnival's first elaborate thermal suite and thalassotherapy pool covered by a glass dome. Surrounding the facility will be 68 exclusive "spa staterooms" - also a first for Carnival. Guests in spa staterooms will have exclusive entry access to the adjacent spa facilities and will receive a wide array of special offerings including priority spa appointments, unlimited use of the thermal suite and thalassotherapy pool, complimentary fitness classes and other amenities.

Its family-friendly facilities will include a water spray park on Lido Deck, along with a two-level 5,500-square-foot children's play area - the largest in the Carnival fleet, part of the line's "Camp Carnival" program - along with a teen club featuring a dance floor, DJ and high-tech sound and lighting system, part of Carnival's "Club O2" program.

A comprehensive golf program with opportunities to play top European and Caribbean courses will also be available. Of the ship's 1,503 spacious staterooms, more than 60 percent will offer an ocean view or private balcony -- ideal for scenic European cruising.

Carnival will begin accepting reservations for Carnival Splendor's various European and Caribbean departures on Thursday, May 10, 2008. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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New York's "Food Maven" to Highlight Seabourn Cruise

MIAMI, April 30 -- Arthur Schwartz, the genial "Food Maven" who was the executive food editor and restaurant critic of the New York Daily News for 18 years, will headline the fifth annual Great American Food & Wine Festival aboard the intimate, ultra luxury Seabourn Pride departing October 19, 2007. Schwartz's appearance was developed through Seabourn's relationship with Travel + Leisure magazine. Schwartz is the author of five award-winning cookbooks, including his latest, Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food: An Opinionated History with Legendary Recipes, which was named 2005 Cookbook of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Until last year, he hosted the Food Talk radio show on WOR in New York, and he has been a guest on numerous network and cable television shows. 

The 12-day voyage from Gloucester, MA to Nassau will feature special culinary-themed optional shore excursions in most ports of call, which include Newport, RI (clams and chowder); Philadelphia, PA (Philly cheese steak sandwiches); Baltimore, MD (Chesapeake Bay crabs); Norfolk VA (Virginia hams); Charleston, SC (Low Country cuisine); Savannah, GA (Southern cooking) and Port Canaveral, FL (wild ocean shrimp). In addition, guests may enjoy a complimentary "Shopping With the Chef" excursion in South Philadelphia's Italian Market section. During the voyage Schwartz will also present a cooking demonstration and an illustrated lecture about New York City food, and sign copies of his award-winning cookbook for guests. 

Non-foodies will also find much of interest on this itinerary, from the colonial-era homes and grand "summer cottages" of Newport to the antebellum plantation manors of Charleston and Savannah. Both Baltimore and Philadelphia are treasuries of early Americana, and the latter also boasts museums offering exceptional collections of art. The fascinating 18th century restoration of Colonial Williamsburg near Norfolk is a world famous attraction, as is the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. At Charleston, all guests are invited to enjoy a complimentary Exclusively Seabourn shore experience that features an authentic 18th century-style tea at one of the city's historic residences. 

For details or to book a suite, contact a professional travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Landmark Year for MSC Cruises in 2008-09

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, April 30 – With two major additions to its growing modern fleet and an expanded variety of itineraries, 2008-09 will be a landmark year for MSC Cruises. MSC Cruises will add two new ships to its fleet in 2008, including the newest in its “Musica” class of Panamax vessels and its largest ship ever. Plus, one of the line’s newest ships, MSC Orchestra, will join MSC Lirica sailing Caribbean waters during the 2008-09 Caribbean season. 

Sister ship to MSC Musica and MSC Orchestra, MSC Poesia is slated for spring delivery. The ship is 89,600 gross registered tons, 961 feet long and 108 feet wide and can host 2,550 guests (double occupancy). Like its sister ships, MSC Poesia will have more than 236,800 square feet of public space and 80% of the outside staterooms will have balconies. On April 12, 2008 MSC Poesia will begin sailing 7-night Eastern Mediterranean roundtrip itineraries from Venice, calling at Bari, Katakalon, Izmir, Istanbul and Dubrovnik. 

The line’s largest ship ever, MSC Fantasia, is scheduled to be delivered in the latter part of 2008. She will sail alternating Canary Island and Egypt itineraries. MSC Fantasia is first of two post-Panamax ships on order by the cruise line. MSC Fantasia and sister ship MSC Serenata (scheduled to debut in 2009) will be the largest ships commissioned by a European ship owner to date. At 133,500 gross registered tons, 1,093 feet long, and 125 feet wide, each will have a passenger capacity of 3,900 and 1,313 staff members. 

Also featured in the Italian-style cruise line’s exciting 2008 plan are the following: 

Year-round Mediterranean sailings – All of the fleet’s 10 ships will be in the Mediterranean at some time in 2008, reaffirming MSC Cruises as a leader in the market. As a result of MSC Cruises’ extensive presence in the region, guests can depart on their MSC Cruises experience from almost any Mediterranean port the line visits. 

Variety in Mediterranean itineraries – This includes cruises of varying lengths (from weekend cruises to 11-night itineraries) and port calls. In addition to the MSC Fantasia and MSC Poesia, the following will be available: 

  • MSC Orchestra will sail 11-night Eastern/Western winter itineraries from Genoa and 7-night summer itineraries from Barcelona or Genoa, visiting Naples, Palermo, Tunis, Palma and Marseille. 

  • MSC Musica – After completing the 2007-08 winter season with 11-night roundtrip sailings from Genoa, the ship will sail 7-night Eastern Mediterranean roundtrips from Venice beginning March 16, 2008, visiting the beautiful Greek islands of Katakolon, Santorini, Mykonos, Piraeus and Corfu as well as Bari and Dubrovnik. 

  • MSC Sinfonia will return to the Mediterranean from its winter in South America to sail 7-night Western Mediterranean roundtrip itineraries from Genoa or Rome beginning in March, calling at Monte Carlo, Spain, Malta, Tunisia. 

  • MSC Melody will return from South African waters to sail 7-night roundtrip cruises from Barcelona or Rome, calling at Ibiza, Tunis, Messina, Livorno and Monte Carlo. 

  • The line’s other classic vessel, MSC Rhapsody, will offer 7-night Western Mediterranean roundtrip itineraries from Genoa from March to October that features four Italian ports of Livorno, Salerno, Taormini and Sardinia along with Malta and Tunisia. 

  • MSC Armonia will spend the fall of 2008 sailing 11-night Eastern Mediterranean itineraries from Genoa to Egypt or the Black Sea. 

  • Both MSC Opera and MSC Lirica will be sailing 7-night itineraries in Mediterranean waters in the fall of 2008, with MSC Opera sailing the Greek islands and Dubrovnik from Trieste and MSC Lirica from Genoa and Rome, calling at France, Spain and Morocco. 

Three ships sailing in Northern Europe – The line will continue to have three ships in Northern Europe, maintaining its popular variety of cruise lengths and itineraries. 

  • MSC Lirica and MSC Opera will sail alternating 7-night Norwegian Fjords and Baltic Capitals itineraries.

  • In addition, MSC Armonia will offer 10- and 11-night cruises as well as four sailings to the exciting Cape North. 

Three ships in South America – Guests can embark in Rio de Janeiro, Santos or Buenos Aires on a variety of cruise lengths and itineraries. MSC Opera will sail 3- to 8-night itineraries from Santos, while MSC Sinfonia sails 8- to 9-night itineraries from Buenos Aires and MSC Armonia sails 4- to 9-night itineraries from Rio. 

Two ships – including one of the line’s newest – in the Caribbean – The winter 2008-09 Caribbean season will mark the first time one of the line’s 89,600-ton “Musica” class Panamax vessels arrives in Fort Lauderdale. MSC Orchestra will depart Genoa Dec. 15, 2008 on a 18-night Christmas/New Year’s transatlantic cruise, arriving in Fort Lauderdale Jan. 2, 2009. On Jan. 3, 2009, she will begin sailing 7-night alternating roundtrip Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale. The ship will join MSC Lirica, which will sail 10-night Deep Caribbean and Panama itineraries during the winter 2008-09 season. Both MSC Lirica’s itineraries and MSC Orchestra’s Eastern Caribbean itinerary feature the line’s private island experience, Cayo Levantado in the Dominican Republic. 

And there’s much more – including the classic MSC Melody sailing in South Africa and a variety of transatlantic and repositioning cruises that offer unique onboard experiences and destinations to create a truly cultural experience.

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit or a local travel professional.

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NCL to Convert to All-Electronic Cruise Documents

MIAMI, April 26 -- Beginning May 28, 2007, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and NCL America guests will receive travel documents earlier and more conveniently when the company converts to an electronic documentation process for all cruise bookings. For reservations that are paid in full and finalized, e-documents will be available up to 60 days prior to sailing. In addition, guests will have 24/7 access to their cruise documents wherever and whenever they want. NCL is one of the first cruise lines in the industry to implement all-electronic cruise documents.

"Our mission for our guests is to provide a great vacation experience from beginning to end," said Andy Stuart, NCL's executive vice president of marketing, sales and passenger services. "E-docs offer increased flexibility and choice for all of our guests further supporting the freedom and flexibility offered by our signature Freestyle Cruising, in addition to significantly enhancing reliability and earlier delivery of cruise documents."

Travel partners or guests with fully paid reservations after May 28 will begin receiving email messages from NCL that serve as notification that electronic documents are ready and can be accessed via an imbedded link in the e-mail. As an added convenience for travel partners, the subject line of all email notifications will contain the guest name, reservation number, and ship and sail date, allowing travel partners to easily organize incoming email messages. In addition, travel documents can be accessed from any computer with internet access by going to a designated section of NCL's website.

Once the cruise documents are accessed, the travel partner or guest views HTML-based cruise documents that are easy to print or forward on to clients or traveling companions. If they have not already done so, guests may also complete their online advance guest registration form up to four days prior to sailing, giving them 10 days longer than the current system allows. NCL's e-documents include a welcome aboard letter, cruise ticket, passenger terms and conditions, airline e-ticket if air travel arrangements have been made through NCL's air/sea program, pre- or post-cruise hotel vouchers (if applicable), pre- or post-cruise transfer vouchers (if applicable) and electronic luggage tags which are printable online.

In advance of the e-documents, travel partners or guests with paid reservations will receive a new pre-documentation Freestyle Cruising Kit in the mail approximately 75 to 21 days prior to their scheduled sailing. This kit includes a personalized welcome letter, NCL's welcome aboard booklet that answers questions they may have prior to their cruise, a shore excursion order form and booklet, personalized luggage tags and travel protection plan details, if applicable.

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Costa Inaugurates New Cruise Terminal in Port of Barcelona

MIAMI, FL, April 26 – Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, officially opened its new “Palacruceros” cruise terminal on Tuesday with an inaugural ceremony in Barcelona. The ceremony was attended by national and local authorities including Jordi Valls, Chairman of the Port of Barcelona; Pier Luigi Foschi, Costa Crociere Chairman and CEO; Gianni Onorato, President of Costa Crociere; and Luis Grau, General Manager of Costa Cruceros Spain. Inaugural festivities concluded with a concert by the singer Soraya and a special fireworks presentation.

The new “Palacruceros” terminal in Barcleona occupies a nearly 6,000 square-foot stretch of the “Muelle Adosado” quay. The Port of Barcelona granted a 25-year concession over the area to Costa, which is now equipped to accommodate cruise ships of all tonnage, length and capacity, including the largest currently in service (over 140,000 gross tonnage). The Italian company has invested approximately 12 million Euros in the new terminal for preferential use by Costa and other companies in the Carnival Corporation group. The “Palacruceros” project was designed by the architects Luigi Vicini and Andrea Piazza, from the Vicini firm in Genoa. Vicini and Piazza contributed to the design of the “Palacrociere” terminal in Savona, Italy; which is also managed by Costa. The detailed design features the involvement of the Sener engineering firm of Barcelona and was built by the Spanish firm Sacyr. 

The inauguration of the “Palacruceros” Terminal means Costa is the first company in Europe to implement a policy for undertaking direct management of cruise terminals. This is also evident in its investment and direct management of terminals in Savona and La Romana (Dominican Republic), and the agreements it has reached with the Port Authorities of Naples and Civitavecchia. The new terminal was built on four levels, covering a total area of approximately 107,000 square feet. With its architecture, characterized by light and glazed surfaces, and the excellent, functional layout of its interior spaces, passengers are guaranteed maximum comfort and top-quality services during their visits. Passenger safety and protection for the environment are just two of the factors that were given priority during the development of the project. Among the facilities the terminal provides for the convenience of guests are a Children's Club, Internet Café, a shopping area, a VIP lounge and a cafeteria and terrace with panoramic views. The terminal is designed to make the time passengers guests embarking and disembarking as convenient and comfortable as possible. Barcelona has forecasted a total of 1.6 million cruisers in 2007.

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Silversea's 2007 Mediterranean Collection Offers Unique Privileges

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, April 26 - For the sophisticated and discerning world traveler, there's no better way to explore the Mediterranean this summer than aboard the four award-winning, elite ships of Silversea, offering 45 cruises from six to 15 days, calling in over 95 distinctive ports in 20 countries. Anchor alongside sleek yachts in Portofino and Monte Carlo's postcard perfect harbors or traverse the sparkling Aegean and into the storied Black Sea by way of the narrow Dardanelles, indulging in the small ship freedom to visit the less-traveled, more intriguing destinations. Enjoy a front-row seat for the prestigious America's Cup regatta in Valencia's picturesque bay. Or, explore some of Italy's rarely seen, magnificent historical properties and artistic treasures on an exclusive land program. 

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. This unique 8-day voyage from Barcelona to Barcelona departs on June 22, 2007. All-inclusive, cruise-only fares start from $6,915 per person, including all port charges, government fees, taxes and special event fees, and a 10% Early Booking Incentive discount. 

On Culinary Arts sailings, guest chefs display their exceptional talents during informative and entertaining cooking demonstrations. Guests can taste and learn firsthand the secrets of enticing signature dishes created by award-winning international chefs. Sample cruises include: 

  • Silver Whisper's 7-day "Realms of Myth and Legend" cruise from Athens to Venice, August 3 - 10, 2007 (Voyage 4727). Guest Chef: Gale Gand, Tru, Chicago, Illinois.

  • Silver Whisper's 7-day "Timeless Treasures" cruise from Venice to Rome, August 10 - 17, 2007 (Voyage 4728). Guest Chef: Renato Piccolotto, Hotel Cipriani, Venice, Italy.

Through Silversea's exclusive partnership with FAI -- Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano (the National Trust for Italy), guests can extend their voyage on 20 itineraries with optional four-night, pre- and post-cruise land extensions to Northern Italy to explore rarely seen, magnificent historical properties and artistic treasures. The unique land extensions feature deluxe accommodations, all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing and some meals.

  • Italy's Romantic Landscape: With the Alps as backdrop, cruise Lake Como to FAI's magnificent 18th century Villa del Balbianello, acclaimed as the most beautiful and striking property on the lake. In the lovely town of Cernobbio, stay at the magnificent Villa d'Este hotel, one of Europe's most luxurious properties. Sail by private boat to explore the picturesque village of Bellagio. (Program departs from Monte Carlo and Nice.) 

  • Italian Treasures: In Milan stay at the elegant Hotel Principe di Savoia and explore Italy's fashion capital. Travel through breathtaking scenery to the charming lakeside town of Como. The highlight of your tour will be a picturesque boat ride to FAI's romantic 18th-century Villa del Balbianello. You'll also visit Villa Carlotta, renowned for the beauty of its gardens, blazing with the colors of acres of flowers. (Program departs from Venice.) 

Following is a small sampling of Silversea Mediterranean voyages for 2007: 

  • Silver Wind departs June 7, 2007 on a 15-day "Mosques and Monuments" voyage (#2718) from Istanbul to Rome with calls in Mykonos, Rhodes and Crete, Greece; Sicily and Sorrento, Italy; Kusadasi, Turkey; Tartous, Syria; Alexandria, Egypt; and Malta. 

  • Silver Cloud departs July 6, 2007 on a 7-day "Minarets and Revelations" voyage (#1717) from Istanbul to Athens with calls in Bodrum, Turkey and Mykonos, Thessaloniki, Crete and Nauplia, Greece.

  • Silver Whisper departs August 17, 2007 on a 7-day "Arts and Antiquity" cruise (#4729) from Rome to Monte Carlo with calls in Minorca, Spain; Portovenere and Livorno, Italy; Cannes and Sete, France.

  • Silver Shadow departs September 23, 2007 on a 9-day "Atlantic Isles Accents" cruise (#3725) from Lisbon to Las Palmas with calls in Casablanca, Morocco; Funchal (Madeira), Portugal; Malaga, Cadiz, and Canary Islands, Spain.

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Celebrity Cruises Sets Sail for the Caribbean in Winter 2008-2009

MIAMI, April 25 -- Travelers wishing to spend next winter in the sunny Caribbean can trade their parkas for pina coladas and snow shovels for snorkels, with Celebrity Cruises' latest slate of 2008 and 2009 cruises, which open for sale today. 

  • Holiday sailings for Celebrity Century include a five-night Western Caribbean itinerary roundtrip from Miami on December 24, 2008, with stops in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and George Town, Grand Cayman, and on December 29 out of Miami, another five-night sailing that will call on Key West and George Town. Celebrity Century will sail alternating four-night and two different five- night Western Caribbean voyages roundtrip from Miami from December 2008 through April 2009.

  • Celebrity Constellation will sail an 11-night Bermuda and Caribbean cruise on October 30, 2008, from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The first stop is an overnight stay in Kings Wharf, Bermuda, before the ship continues on to Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Oranjestad, Aruba; and Labadee, Haiti.

  • Celebrity Constellation will sail a series of alternating 10- and 11-night "Ultimate Caribbean" itineraries roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale from November 2008 through March 2009. Stops on the 10-night voyages are Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; and Philipsburg. On the 11-night sailings, Celebrity Constellation will visit varying ports that include George Town; Oranjestad; Cartagena, Colombia; Cristobal Pier, Panama; Cozumel, Mexico; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.

  • Celebrity Galaxy will sail 10- and 11-night Southern Caribbean cruises roundtrip out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, from December 2008 through April 2009. Stops on the 10-night voyages include Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Philipsburg; Castries; Bridgetown; St. George's, Grenada; Willemstad, Curacao; and Oranjestad. On the 11-night sailings, Celebrity Galaxy will stop at Oranjestad; Willemstad; St. George's; Bridgetown; Castries; Roseau, Dominica; Basseterre; and Tortola.

  • From December 2008 through April 2009, Celebrity Summit will sail seven- night Southern Caribbean voyages roundtrip from San Juan, stopping in Philipsburg; Roseau; St. George's; Kralendijk, Bonaire; and Oranjestad.

Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale cruise experiences with highly personalized service, exceptional dining, and extraordinary attention to detail. Celebrity sails in Alaska, Antarctica, Bermuda, California, Caribbean, Europe, Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal and South America, and will begin sailing in Australia and New Zealand this year. The line also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Canada, Europe and Australia through its cruisetour affiliate. Celebrity's current fleet will be joined by Celebrity Journey and Celebrity Quest this year, Celebrity Solstice in 2008, Celebrity Equinox in 2009, and Celebrity Eclipse in 2010. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Princess to Deploy Five Ships Across Gulf of Alaska in 2008

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 25 -- Long the leader in cruising both Alaska's Inside Passage and its dramatic glacier rimmed Gulf Coast, Princess Cruises announces that its 2008 Gulf of Alaska program will feature five vessels, including one which will offer the most destination-intensive itinerary in Alaska. Sailing in Alaska for the first time, the intimate Tahitian Princess will debut a new longer "Connoisseur" route that features a number of unique and memorable experiences not usually included on most Alaskan cruises, including the chance to view the famous brown bears of Kodiak, explore the natural beauty of "Alaska's Little Switzerland," at Valdez and revel in one of Alaska's best wildlife spectacles from Seward, the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park.

Princess ships will offer 73 signature Gulf of Alaska sailings and eight departures of the new Connoisseur voyages throughout the May to September season. Ranging in size from 670 to 2,670 passengers, ships include Diamond Princess, Sapphire Princess, Coral Princess and Island Princess, each returning for another season of the seven-night "Voyage of the Glaciers" cruises between Vancouver and Whittier, and Tahitian Princess, which for the first time joins the lineup with its 14-day Connoisseur cruise sailing roundtrip from Vancouver.

"We dedicate our newest and most innovative ships to these itineraries because we believe they offer an unrivaled way to see Alaska's world-famous coastline," said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. "No other line offers the range of ships and itineraries we do, and no one else provides the wonderful opportunity to experience Glacier Bay on every Gulf sailing. And with our new longer Connoisseur itinerary, we're offering travelers the chance to explore many of the hidden gems of this region they don't often get the opportunity to explore - making it the perfect vacation choice for the growing number of returning visitors to Alaska who want to see even more of the state's wonders."

The seven-day Gulf of Alaska cruises can also be combined with one of 34 different land tour options for a complete cruisetour featuring the best of Alaska by land and sea, including the state's two most sought-after destinations on every departure - Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park. All of the line's 2008 Gulf of Alaska cruises include calls in Glacier Bay, and Princess ships will carry more passengers to this spectacle of ice and sea life than any other cruise line. In addition, travelers headed to Denali arrive earlier with Princess' exclusive Direct to the Wilderness rail service to/from Whittier, giving them more time to explore the state's dramatic interior.

Voyage of the Glaciers
The 2,670-passenger Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess will be deployed on 37 voyages departing Saturdays from Vancouver or Whittier and featuring calls at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway with daylight cruising of Glacier Bay and the 16 glaciers of College Fjord. In addition, the 1,970-passenger Coral Princess and Island Princess will offer 36 sailings on the same itinerary, departing on Mondays.

Alaska Connoisseur Voyages
Princess will offer a new Connoisseur itinerary aboard the intimate 670-passenger Tahitian Princess. This 14-day voyage includes new port calls at Kodiak, Seward, and Valdez in addition to visits to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka and Victoria, B.C., with daylight cruising of Glacier Bay. Tahitian Princess will sail on eight voyages departing on Thursdays from Vancouver. With eight ports of call and a full day of cruising Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, this itinerary is perfect for the traveler who wants the most Alaskan cruise available.

Alaska Cruisetours
Voyage of the Glaciers passengers can choose from a variety of three- to nine-night land packages to create a comprehensive 10- to 16-night land/sea vacation in the heart of "The Great Land." All Princess Alaska tours offer at least two nights at either Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge or Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, or a combination of both, ensuring that travelers enjoy more time among the Denali-are wilderness and wildlife they came to see. Passengers can travel directly to their lodge from the ship with Princess' exclusive Direct to the Wilderness rail service. Expanded for 2008, this unique service features trains waiting right at the Whittier cruise ship dock to offer passengers the only same-day luxury rail service between the ship and Denali Park.

Princess' Alaska cruisetours include accommodation at the line's five exclusive wilderness lodges, with scenic riverside settings in some of the "Great Land's" most desirable locations. The expanded Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge house Denali-area visitors, while the company's Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge and Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge are set, respectively, among the dramatic beauty of the Kenai Peninsula and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. The Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge also offers quality accommodations in the heart of Alaska's interior with views of the Chena River.

Gulf of Alaska cruises and cruisetours for 2008 are available for reservations on May 14, 2007. Additional information about Princess' Alaska cruises and cruisetours is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting

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Princess Cruises Announces 2008 Cruise Program in French Polynesia

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 25 -- Princess Cruises has announced its full 2008 cruise program in French Polynesia which features a spring season from January through May, and a fall schedule from October through December. Cruises will continue aboard the intimate Tahitian Princess on the popular 10-day itinerary sailing roundtrip from Papeete, and visiting Huahine, Rangiroa, Raiatea, Bora Bora and Moorea.

"We've enjoyed good success with our Tahiti-based cruises, and our passengers have been enthusiastic about the islands and the warm welcome from the people of French Polynesia," said Alan Buckelew, president of Princess Cruises. "So we're pleased to return not only for the spring of 2008, but to also announce we will be home-porting Tahitian Princess in Papeete in the fall of 2008 as well."

Princess began roundtrip cruising from Papeete through French Polynesia in 2002, when Tahitian Princess joined the fleet. Since that time, the line has brought over 135,000 passengers to this idyllic destination on this ship alone. Other Princess ships also call on French Polynesian ports during transit calls.

Between the spring and fall of 2008, Tahitian Princess will reposition north to offer a brand-new Connoisseur itinerary in Alaska. Following her first summer season is this destination, the ship will return to French Polynesia to again offer the intimate-style of cruising which has proved so popular with Princess passengers.

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Holland America Line's New ms Eurodam to Feature 
New Inspired Guest Room Decor

SEATTLE, April 24 -- Staterooms and suites on the new ms Eurodam will feature an inspired and a distinctly different decor when the 2,044-guest luxury liner, Holland America Line's first Signature-class ship, debuts in June 2008. The staterooms and suites will offer a calming, more mono-chromatic design, accented with bursts of color, will replace the floral schemes used in the past. The elegantly simple design is enhanced with rich wood tones and the use of burnished nickel fixtures. Passenger corridors leading to the guest staterooms also will be decorated in the same contemporary theme.

"Holland America Line chose NB Design Group of Seattle to create this stylish new decor," said Stein Kruse, president and chief executive officer. "We sought a design firm capable of providing a fresh look while retaining a tailored, Euro-classic aesthetic. NB Design Group has succeeded wonderfully by introducing different woods and textures and fresh color combinations."

Nancy Burfiend, principal designer and founder of NB Design Group, added the intent was to transform each stateroom and suite into a calming oasis where guests could relax and rejuvenate. "There is so much taking place aboard a cruise ship--diverse activities, exciting dining, theater shows, and more--that we wanted the guest rooms to reflect a soothing environment," said Burfiend. "For example, the deluxe verandah suites will feature rich walnut furniture, charcoal gray seating, crisp white draperies and a patterned gray tip sheared carpet--accented with powder blue and citrus orange in strategic areas to add dimension and interest.

"Inside staterooms will have blond, maple-toned furniture to create a lighter environment, with the recessed area behind the beds painted sky-blue and covered by sheer curtains with a burn-out, wave pattern that allows hints of blue to show -- in effect, creating the sense of a window," Burfiend added.

The new decor will be in all staterooms on the 11-passenger deck Eurodam. For the first time on any Holland America ship, staterooms will be added to the top decks. Deck 11 just off the Crow's Nest will feature 10 verandah staterooms and, just below on Deck 10, 28 staterooms with verandahs and four, forward-facing "panorama" rooms will be located. With one more deck than Holland America's 10-deck Vista-class ships, the Signature-class Eurodam will feature three alternative dining venues, including a new pan-Asian restaurant on Deck 10. The Explorations Cafe, powered by The New York Times, will be located on Deck 11 on the starboard side of the Crow's Nest.

Staterooms will feature all the Signature of Excellence premium amenities: plush Euro-top Mariner's Dream beds, deluxe waffle/terry cloth robes, Egyptian cotton towels, flat panel televisions, DVD players, make-up mirrors with halo lighting, massage shower heads, professional grade hair dryers, fresh flowers and complimentary fruit baskets.

Eurodam is scheduled to debut in June 2008 with European inaugural events and then cruise the Baltic region through the summer. The ship will then offer its first trans-Atlantic cruise and sail Canada/New England in the fall, followed by Caribbean itineraries the remainder of 2008. For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Silversea Lines Up Luxury Lifestyle Partners For World Cruise 2008

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, April 24 --  Silversea, a name synonymous with luxury, announced today it is teaming up with such high-end brands as Men's Vogue, Ferragamo, Travel + Leisure and Bon Appétit to offer guests aboard its World Cruise 2008 an enticing enrichment program specially designed for those who want to live life to the fullest. 

"Silver Shadow's first World Cruise is sailing to rave reviews from our guests," said David Morris, Silversea's executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. "A lot of the credit for the excellent feedback we're getting has to go to our onboard programming. For this very special voyage, we pulled out all the stops, lining up an impressive roster of celebrity speakers and exclusive events, and we intend to create the same enriching experience for our World Cruise guests next year." Added Morris, "Celebrity film critic Rex Reed's "Silver Screen Cinema" program has been so well received that we've already invited him back for next year's voyage, plus we'll be bringing on many new personalities and programs to entertain, engage, and tap into the sophisticated tastes, pursuits and interests of our typical World Cruise guest." 

Following below are the luxury lifestyle partnerships the company has already lined up for World Cruise 2008: 

  • Iconic fashion house Ferragamo and Men's Vogue magazine are teaming up to offer a "Tuscan Style" experience aboard the April 10 "Classic Compositions" segment, sailing nine days from Athens to Barcelona with calls in Sicily, Naples, Rome, Portofino, Livorno and Monte Carlo. From Livorno, guests will enjoy a rare opportunity to go inside the Ferragamo family's legendary fashion house, take a guided tour of the renowned Ferragamo Museum and shop in their only boutique in the world offering custom-made replicas of famed shoes worn by Hollywood legends. Guests will also be treated to award-winning wines from the family's own Il Borro vineyards with lunch at one of their luxurious Florentine hotels. The Tuscan Style enrichment program also includes exclusive Men's Vogue onboard events. 

  • Renowned television personality and Bon Appétit executive chef Cat Cora is slated to host a culinary program on the March 26 "Melodies from an Ancient Sea" segment, sailing 15 days from Mumbai to Athens with visits to some of the world's most exotic destinations in Oman, Egypt and Jordan. Chef Cora will present Greek-inspired specialties -- prepared with her trademark brand of fresh inventiveness and style -- as guests traverse the history-rich waters of the Aegean. 

  • Celebrity film critic Rex Reed will host his popular Silver Screen Cinema program for the second consecutive year, an event developed in partnership with Travel + Leisure. A renowned author, actor, talk show host, and film historian, Reed's name is synonymous with Hollywood. His film reviews have appeared in nationally syndicated columns for decades, making him one of the most prolific movie critics in the U.S. Guests aboard this year's World Cruise enjoyed an insider's view of Hollywood with Reed and dancer/actress Marge Champion, a star of film and television. Their lively interview and intimate coffee-and-conversation session proved an instant hit with Silver Shadow's guests and offered fascinating glimpses into the lives and careers of these distinguished film professionals. For World Cruise 2008, Reed will again share anecdotes and insights as he hosts screenings of cinematic classics aboard a segment to be determined in the coming weeks. 

Departing January 16, 2008 from Fort Lauderdale, Silver Shadow's World Cruise 2008, appropriately themed "The Rhythms of the World," will host no more than 382 privileged and pampered guests on a wondrous odyssey, encircling the world and embracing the cultures of more than 25 countries and over 50 different destinations.

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New Web Site Highlights Carnival's $250 Million ‘Evolutions of Fun’ Product Enhancement Program

MIAMI, April 23  – Carnival Cruise Lines has created a special Web site showcasing the many features and highlights of its recently announced $250 million "Evolutions of Fun" product enhancement initiative. Located at, the new micro-site provides a comprehensive overview of the cruise industry’s most ambitious ship refurbishment program which is resulting in a dramatic transformation of the line’s eight "Fantasy-class" ships. 

"Fun Ships" included in the Fantasy-class are the Fantasy, Ecstasy, Sensation, Fascination, Imagination, Inspiration, Elation and Paradise, which comprise the most successful series of ships ever introduced. Contained within the site are multiple images highlighting "Evolutions of Fun" features such as expansive facilities for children and teens – part of the line’s popular "Camp Carnival" and "Club O2" programs, respectively – along with completely renovated health and fitness centers, atrium lobby bars, coffee bars, nine-hole miniature golf courses, and elaborate new production revues and updated sound and lighting systems in the main show lounges. Stateroom upgrades, which include new flat-screen televisions, the Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system, and dozens of interconnecting cabins, are also highlighted. 

The site also provides a preview of upcoming "Evolutions of Fun" upgrades which will include expansive children’s water parks, the creation of the exclusive adults-only "Serenity" pool areas, and a new design style and feature for the ships’ pool areas. Other upgrades, incorporated fleetwide, such as cell phone service and Wi-Fi Internet access, are also included. 

Many aspects of the "Evolutions of Fun" enhancements have already been completed on the Fantasy, Ecstasy and Fascination and partially executed on the Sensation, Elation and Paradise. The Imagination and Inspiration are next in line to receive the "Evolutions of Fun" upgrades during upcoming month-long dry docks this fall, with all Fantasy-class ships expected to be completed by 2009.

Carnival’s eight Fantasy-class ships are part of the line’s 22-vessel fleet, which operates voyages ranging from three to 16 days in length to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Europe and the Greek Isles. The line currently has three new ships scheduled for delivery between now and 2011. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Silversea Guests Set to Cruise the Stratosphere at Supersonic Speed

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, April 23 -- This summer adventurous guests of ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises will have the chance to experience the incredible thrill of flying near the stratospheric border at 700 miles per hour as part of a new optional overland tour offered from St. Petersburg, Russia. The expanded three-day excursion offers a number of enhanced features, including an extended one-hour flight aboard a MiG-31 "Foxhound," Russia's most advanced high-altitude interceptor aircraft. While the adventure begins in Moscow, the actual jet flight takes place several hours away in the historic Russian town of Nizhny Novgorod. 

"We tailor our shore excursions to fit a broad range of interests and our new MiG jet tour is obviously designed for the ultimate thrill-seeker," said Jim Droney, Silversea's director of land programs. "It definitely falls in the category of extreme adventures -- the kind that well-heeled, 'been there, done that' world travelers like to collect and brag about." 

The new three-day, two-night "MiG-31 Foxhound" optional overland tour includes a business-class flight to Moscow, where guests have a chance to explore many of the city's highlights, including Red Square, the Kremlin and its cathedral, and the Metro, before enjoying dinner at the famous Writers' Club. The tour continues on a business-class flight to Nizhny Novgorod, where guests are accommodated for the night at a local hotel. 

On the second day, guests journey to the Sormovo airfield for flight training where they are issued a special flight suit that is theirs to keep as a trophy souvenir to show friends and family back home. After training, each participant boards a MiG-31 for an exhilarating one-hour flight, climbing to an altitude of 80,000 feet -- the edge of the stratospheric border. An English-speaking test pilot will assist in letting the novice pilot take the reins and perform basic maneuvers. The entire flight and ground preparations are filmed and presented to the guest. The tour concludes in the evening when guests board an express train for St. Petersburg, enjoying the cocooned luxury of a first-class sleeper cabin as they journey back to their Silversea ship. The price for this extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime adventure is $29,815.

The MiG tour is available on eight voyages this summer featuring three-day, two-night stopovers in St. Petersburg. Options include a series of seven-day cruises aboard Silver Shadow with departures from Copenhagen and Stockholm, and Silver Wind offers a ten-day voyage from London to Stockholm.

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Princess Passengers Can Enjoy More Options "Down Under" as Line Opens P&O Australia Cruises to North American Travelers

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 20 - Princess is offering North American travelers an opportunity to expand their "down under" cruise options by sailing throughout the South Pacific with sister company P&O Cruises Australia. Offered primarily for sale in Australia and New Zealand, these voyages give North American passengers the chance to experience P&O's fun Australian-style cruising while traveling to an intriguing lineup of destinations, including idyllic islands and exotic ports of call such as Pago Pago, Bora Bora, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, the Cook Islands and Tonga, as well as the best of Australia. Onboard, passengers will enjoy P&O's casual "Aussie" atmosphere and traditional dining, featuring entertainment and food options geared to local "down under" tastes. Voyages are available on three ships, Pacific Sun, Pacific Star and the new Pacific Dawn, which will sail on P&O Australia's largest program ever in 2007-08 as the line celebrates its 75th anniversary season. The schedule features 95 sailings to choose from on a wealth of itineraries departing from Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland.

"We're very pleased to be able to open up these wonderful sailings to passengers here in North America," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "This arrangement will make booking a P&O Australia voyage nearly as easy as booking a Princess cruise, and gives our customers an unusual opportunity to experience new destinations and Australian hospitality."

  • The 2,050-passenger Pacific Dawn, familiar to many Princess fans from her days sailing as Regal Princess, debuts as Australia's first "superliner" in November. The ship's first season features 10 different roundtrip Sydney itineraries, ranging from seven- to 28-day sailings. Highlights include regular cruises to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and even a 28-day cruise to French Polynesia, calling at a wealth of Pacific Islands, including Bora Bora, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

  • The 1,900-passenger Pacific Sun sails on an extensive roster of itineraries, ranging from seven to 13 days in length. Sailing roundtrip from its new homeport of Brisbane as well as Sydney, the ship features voyages not only to the tranquil South Pacific Islands, but also a week-long Queensland sailing highlighting the best of the Great Barrier Reef and surrounding areas.

  • The 1,350-passenger Pacific Star sails from Brisbane and Auckland, New Zealand, offering South Pacific island voyages as well as cruises between Australia and New Zealand. Itineraries range from seven days up to a 21-day Australia odyssey highlighting the best of the country's eastern coastline.

U.S. dollar rates apply to cruise fares only - onboard purchases will be priced in Australian dollars. Booking information and reservations for P&O Australia's 2007-08 cruise season is available from a professional travel agent or by calling 1-800-PRINCESS. For additional information about Princess Cruises, visit the company's website at

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Carnival's Ecstasy Earns 'Crystal Eagle' Award for Superior Guest Service

MIAMI, April 20 – Carnival Cruise Lines’ 2,052-passenger Ecstasy, which underwent an extensive refurbishment last year under the first phase of the line’s $250 million "Evolutions of Fun" initiative, has earned the company’s coveted "Crystal Eagle" award for superior guest service. The award is presented annually by Carnival to the shipboard team that receives the highest ratings from the line’s comprehensive guest comment card system, in which guests are asked to rate their "Fun Ship" cruise experience in a wide range of categories, including crew service and friendliness, on-board cuisine and entertainment, and children’s programming.

"While Carnival endeavors to provide fun, quality and affordable vacations aboard all 22 of its ‘Fun Ships,’ the Ecstasy received particularly high marks not only in the all-important area of guest service but also for the many guest-pleasing facilities and features incorporated during its recent renovation. Congratulations to the Ecstasy team for embodying our company’s commitment to creating lasting vacation memories for our guests," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

To mark the occasion, a shipboard reception was held aboard the Ecstasy during which Dickinson presented Captain Salvatore Messina with a custom-designed award that resembles an eagle. The criteria for "Crystal Eagle" award is best described by its acronym for "eagle" which is as follows: Exceeding Expectations; Anticipating Needs; Going the Extra Mile; Lasting Memories; Excellence in Every Aspect.

The Ecstasy’s extensive 35-day refurbishment included expansive new facilities for children and teens, a 1,200-square-foot conference center, an updated Lido restaurant and gift shop, a completely renovated Spa Carnival facility, new art and photo galleries, and a nine-hole miniature golf course, all of which are part of "Evolutions of Fun," the cruise industry’s most ambitious ship refurbishment and product enhancement initiative focusing on the line’s eight Fantasy-class vessels. The Ecstasy’s multimillion-dollar refurbishment also included the renovation of its 1,026 staterooms which now feature flat-panel televisions, new wall coverings, and updated bathrooms. Future "Evolutions of Fun" initiatives include expansive new children’s water parks, a new design style and features for the pool areas, and the creation of the "Serenity" adults-only deck area. 

The Ecstasy sails year-round from the Port of Galveston on four- and five-day cruises to Mexico. Four-day cruises depart Thursdays and call at Cozumel, while five-day voyages depart Mondays and Saturdays and visit Cozumel and Progreso/Yucatan. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Royal Princess Debuts with Inaugural Voyage from Barcelona

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 19 -- Royal Princess, the newest ship to join the Princess fleet, welcomed its first passengers today, as it set sail on its maiden voyage from Barcelona, Spain under the command of the line's senior master, the recently appointed Commodore Michael Fatchen. The intimate 710-passenger vessel, which takes the name of a much-beloved former Princess ship, debuts with a series of unique Elite Mediterranean cruises that feature a variety of new itineraries and unique ports. Royal Princess' first "Mediterranean Interlude" voyage features calls in Marseille, Florence/Pisa, Elba, Palermo, and Mallorca. Upcoming voyages include a number of interesting new "explorer" destinations, including four ports appearing for the first time in Princess routes: Ravenna, Italy; Split Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; and Canakkale (for Troy), Turkey - all UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Royal Princess itineraries will also take travelers to such intriguing places as the Crimean coast, Egypt and the Holy Land.

A sister ship to the line's popular Tahitian Princess and Pacific Princess, the 30,200-ton Royal Princess offers passengers a boutique version of Princess' acclaimed onboard options, including a variety of dining and entertainment choices and a large number of cabins with private balconies , all offered in intimate surroundings. Royal Princess guests will enjoy the line's new culinary enhancements set to debut on the ship, including the innovative Chef's Table exclusive dinner experience, all new dining room menus, enhanced buffet service, and a number of special treats such as an afternoon "cookies and milk break" featuring fresh-from-the-oven soft-baked cookies, and in-cabin delivery of Princess' renowned homemade pizza.

Passengers will find the ship offers many of Princess' signature dining options, including the favorite Sabatini's trattoria and Sterling Steakhouse. Other hallmark Princess features added to the vessel include the Lotus Spa, Grand Casino and 24-hour room service, including Ultimate Balcony dining. Suite passengers will enjoy fully renovated accommodations featuring fresh décor and new furnishings. The ship was also readied for her new passengers with new production staging in the show lounge, new carpet and upholstery, and the line's new premium mattresses and bedding. Additional information about Royal Princess is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Royal Caribbean Takes Delivery of Liberty of the Seas

MIAMI, April 18 -- Continuing on the successful track of creating revolutionary onboard offerings and innovative products, Royal Caribbean International took delivery of its newest Freedom-class ship, Liberty of the Seas, from Aker Yards during a ceremony today in Turku, Finland. Just weeks away from making her U.S. debut on May 3, 2007, the ship will be the first in Royal Caribbean's fleet to showcase new and distinctive wellness, family and wedding programming, which will be rolled out fleet-wide. Liberty shares the title of world's largest cruise ship with sister ship, Freedom of the Seas, which launched in May 2006.

Healthy Living, Family Fun and "I Dos"
From tots to teens to brides and wellness seekers, Royal Caribbean has kept all guests in mind when developing its original and enhanced programming. For health and wellness enthusiasts, Royal Caribbean presents a completely revamped Vitality wellness program, promoting well-balanced healthy vacations through a variety of diverse fitness, spa, shore excursion and culinary offerings, including Tai Chi, acupuncture, wellness seminars and even a soothing signature scent.

Adventure Theater by Camp Broadway, New York City's famed children's theater group, introduces kids and teens to the theatrical arts by folding folktales, music, dance and cultural elements into the mix. Sure to be a hit among teen cruisers are the Scratch DJ 101 classes, where teens hone their turntable skills in sessions hosted by professionals from New York City's Scratch DJ Academy. Royal Caribbean launches the Crown & Anchor Society Youth Program, the industry's first loyalty program designed for cruiser under the age of 18. Members will enjoy frequent cruiser rewards such as the Youth Ultimate Value Booklet, which includes puzzles, games, and special onboard offers to Ben & Jerry's, Challenger's Arcade, and Y-spa, the line's teen spa treatment menu. The Build & Grow with Lowe's program and Chefs on Deck by Fisher-Price bring budding young builders and tomorrow's culinary super-stars together with their families to play, learn and grow while at sea.

Brides and grooms now have more distinctive settings in which to say "I do" with Explorer Weddings, an extreme extension of the line's existing Royal Romance wedding and vow renewal program, allowing thrill-seekers the option of tying the knot on an Alaskan glacier, in a hot-air balloon or on Liberty's FlowRider surf simulator, to name a few.

The Liberty to Do it All
At 160,000 GRT with a capacity of 3,634 guests double-occupancy, Liberty of the Seas has emerged from Aker Yards in Finland with the popular, industry- first amenities seen on Freedom of the Seas, including the FlowRider, the H2O Zone water park, a full-size boxing ring and a 14-person family suite. Liberty's 445 foot-long Royal Promenade will keep guests busy at one of the many restaurants, shops and lounges. From an Italian-style pizzeria, Sorrento's, to A Clean Shave men's barbershop and the Hoof & Claw pub -- cruisers have a wide variety of venues to visit and experience while onboard. The On Air Club, the ship's karaoke venue, and the Art Deco-style Platinum Theatre (1,350 guests), home to dazzling new Broadway-style shows Ever After and Somewhere in Time, provide endless hours of entertainment. 

In addition to the popular FlowRider, Royal Caribbean's active onboard amenities include an interactive sculpture garden, located in the H2O Zone water park. Both offer many ways to stay cool in the Caribbean sun. Cantilevered whirlpools suspended 112 feet above the ocean, located in Liberty's serene solarium, are an adults-only oasis flanked by a pool, hammocks and colorful art sculptures. For an indoor chill, the ice-skating rink, Centre Ice at Studio B, is open for lessons and free skating during the day and presents the spectacular original ice show Encore on Ice at night.

At 1,215 square feet, Liberty's Presidential Suite sleeps 14 people and features an 810-square foot outdoor living area with a Jacuzzi and private wet bar. The 588 square-foot Royal Family Suites include two bathrooms, a living area, and best of all, a 234 square-foot balcony to catch a breath a fresh air and enjoy a private meal. In addition, each stateroom onboard Liberty comes equipped with flat-paneled televisions and the line's plush bedding enhancements, an indulgence for all guests.

Sailing the Caribbean
Royal Caribbean's new Freedom-class ships will be joined by a third, Independence of the Seas, in 2008. Liberty will depart on Saturdays and Freedom on Sundays from Miami and will alternate between 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. Both itineraries include a call at Royal Caribbean's private destination Labadee, Haiti. Liberty's Western Caribbean itinerary calls in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Cayman Islands; and Montego Bay, Jamaica. The Eastern Caribbean itinerary calls in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Philipsburg, St. Maarten, allowing for a third day at sea to take advantage of all the ship has to offer. For additional information or to make reservations, call a travel agent, call (800) 327-6700 or go to

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4th Annual Mind/Body Cruise Aboard Carnival Conquest Dec 2 - 9, 2007

MIAMI, April 18 -- Carnival Cruise Lines, Shape and Men's Fitness magazine have partnered to sponsor the fourth annual "Mind/Body Cruise" to be held aboard the Carnival Conquest, December 2-9, 2007. The seven-day cruise aboard the 2,974-passenger "Fun Ship" will operate round-trip from Galveston, Texas, and call at Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, and offer guests a rejuvenating experience through a variety of fitness, nutritional, and wellness classes and seminars. In addition to fitness and relaxation classes that include an energetic aerobic workout to the sound of live drums or a daily sunset meditation session on the ship's Lido Deck, the "Mind/Body Cruise" offers interesting and informative cooking demonstrations and nutritional workshops, all hosted by renowned personal trainers, and nutrition and health experts.

"We are excited to team up with Shape and Men's Fitness magazine for the fourth 'Mind/Body Cruise' which provides guests the opportunity to experience creative fitness classes and learn about new and different ways to improve their fitness levels, all in a fun relaxing environment," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

Classes and other programming for the "Mind/Body Cruise" will be conducted by leading experts who will also be on hand for personal, one-on-one consultations and Q&A sessions. Participating experts include:

  • Jacqui Stafford- Recognized as a leading authority on beauty, style and fashion, Stafford is an executive director at Shape magazine where she writes a monthly fashion column and has made countless TV appearances on such shows as NBC's "Today" show, ABC's "The View" and "The Tyra Banks Show."

  • Teri Hanson- a personal trainer and group fitness instructor for more than 20 years, Hanson is assistant fitness editor for Weider Publications, contributing to such magazines as "Shape," "Natural Health" and "Fit Pregnancy." She is also the star of Shape's soon-to-be released Yoga DVD "Long Lean and Strong."

  • Jon Giswold- is best known for his work in the country's most prominent fitness clubs. He currently teaches group exercise classes at Reebok/Sports Club New York and other locations.

  • Jeffrey Scott- A Reebok University global master trainer and an international fitness presenter, Scott is known for his creative choreography and a strong athletic influence. He has starred in more than 20 fitness videos and has made numerous television appearances including NBC's "Today" show.

  • Kent and Maria Burden- Authors of the award-winning book, "Yin Yang Fitness: The Whole Package of Health" and creators of a series of mind and body DVDs, the Burdens have made numerous appearances on television programs both in the U.S. and U.K.

  • Misty Tripoli- Tripoli is a Nike Elite Instructor and one of the world's most innovative and engaging fitness instructors, dance choreographers and personal trainers. She is known for her revolutionary and energetic fitness classes, and has been featured in several fitness magazines and television programs.

  • Jim Stoppani, Ph.D.- Stoppani received his doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Connecticut. He currently serves as senior science editor for Muscle & Fitness, Muscle & Fitness Hers and Flex magazine.

Carnival is currently accepting reservations for the upcoming "Mind/Body Cruise" aboard Carnival Conquest. Fares include all "Mind/Body Cruise" activities. Participants must reference fare code CSSH when making the reservation. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Princess Introduces Nearly 200 New Adventures Ashore® 
in Europe This Summer

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 18 -- Whether travelers want to follow in the steps of "The Godfather" in Sicily, feel like a Nobel Prize winner for a day in Stockholm, or learn how wine was made in ancient Pompeii, Princess offers nearly 200 new shore excursion options to add unforgettable experiences to their European vacation. The new additions to the line's comprehensive Adventures Ashore program offer distinctive options for food enthusiasts, wine and spirit lovers, historians, art aficionados, pilgrimage seekers, race car fans, movie lovers, families and explorers of all kinds. In total, Princess offers a comprehensive lineup of more than 800 intriguing tour choices throughout Europe.

"Whether they want to relax on a dazzling beach in Greece, 'chill out' in Stockholm's Ice Bar or nourish their inner speed demon at the Ferrari and Lamborghini factories in Italy, our passengers may have trouble choosing between all of the wonderful tours debuting this season," said Bruce Krumrine, Princess' vice president of shore operations. "Our Europe cruises just keep getting richer with experiences and exploration for our passengers, and this year we're unveiling a truly remarkable program of excursion options for our guests."

In addition to the many new tours, this year Princess also debuts a new tool in its shore excursion booklets -- a handy "Excursions at a Glance" section. This feature categorizes each port's tours into one of four types -- Explorer (full-day tours), Traveler (half-day excursions), Adventurer (for active travelers) and Elite & Overland (Elite Collection tours offer an intimate group setting, while Overland tours offer unique, multi-day experiences). Found in the front of each Europe shore excursion booklet, this chart offers an easy way for passengers to choose which tours best fit their plans for each port day.

Among the many new tours debuting this season are:

Unique Experiences -- Several tours offer unusual opportunities to experience something different:

  • Be a Nobel Prize Winner for a Day in Stockholm -- For those enchanted by the idea of winning an illustrious Nobel Prize, this private tour includes a visit to the Nobel Museum in Stockholm's original Stock Exchange building, following the path of history for Nobel Laureates. An exclusive lunch is served in the intimate City Hall Cellar Restaurant, recreating the most recent menu presented to the Nobel prizewinners, right down to the same table settings.

  • Commune with Italian Racing Legends Ferrari & Lamborghini (Ravenna) -- Fans of fast cars have a unique opportunity to visit the sacred ground of motor sports: the factory museums at Ferrari and Lamborghini. Visitors will explore the history of both premier automakers as well as view historic and exotic cars. In addition, lunch is served in the famous Ferrari Restaurant near the factory grounds.

  • Choose Your Sport in Finland (Helsinki) -- Active travelers can choose their perfect sport on the triple-option Haikko Manor Sport Activity Adventure, offering a choice of hiking, Nordic walking and bicycling. No matter which they pick, passengers will set off from a dramatic 14th century monastery that has been converted to a luxurious hotel and spa.

Raise a Glass: Passengers can toast their vacation in a number of unusual settings with a variety of beverage options:

  • Absolut Ice Bar and the Old Town (Stockholm) -- Travelers can get in the "spirit" of Sweden with a visit to the world's first permanent ice bar, where they don fur ponchos and mittens to taste vodka served in ice glasses amidst a 23 degree F lounge. The 2 1/2 hour tour also includes a narrated stroll through Gamla Stan, the birthplace of Stockholm more than eight centuries ago.

  • Cider Museum & Historic Locronan (Brest) -- Sample Brittany's most celebrated product with a visit to the Cider Museum in Argol. Passengers will become familiar with all the stages of traditional cider production and be able to taste Breton cider and liqueurs accompanied by pancakes. Travelers will also visit Locronan with its 17th century buildings that have provided a backdrop for several films including Roman Polanski's "Tess."

  • Uncover Pompeii's Wine Secrets (Naples/Capri) -- Travelers can go back in time not only with a special visit to areas of Pompeii not often seen by visitors, but also with a taste of truly "vintage" wine. Passengers on the Unexplored Pompeii and its Wine Secrets tour will enjoy the unique opportunity to visit the Mastroberardino winery, which has a special permit to plant grapes inside the excavations of Pompeii using the same methods of 2,000 years ago. Each year they produce only 1,800 bottles of "Villa dei Misteri" wine -- making it not only one of the most refined worldwide wines, but also a piece of history.

For Movie Lovers -- Several new options will appeal to fans of the cinema:

  • Nordisk Film Studio and Carlsberg Brewery (Copenhagen) -- Film buffs will love the opportunity to visit the world's oldest movie studio, which was founded in 1906 and continues to produce films and television shows today. Passengers will also explore another local product with a visit to the nearby Carlsberg Brewery, where they can learn about the fine art of brewing and sample the results.

  • In the Steps of the "The Godfather" (Messina) -- An opportunity to go behind-the-scenes in two locations used by Francis Ford Coppola in filming "The Godfather" -- Savoca, which appeared in "The Godfather, Part II" and Forza d'Agro, which was used in both the original movie and "Part III." Passengers will also enjoy typical Sicilian refreshment at Bar Vitelli in Savoca, which also houses a small collection of photographs from the film production.

  • London & The Da Vinci Code (Dover) -- Travelers can follow in the footsteps of Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu on a guided walking tour of London inspired by the book and movie "The Da Vinci Code." Guides help fans separate fact from fiction as they explore Temple Church, Westminster Abbey and the National Gallery.

Grand Personalities -- Explore the lives, and houses, of many of history's most colorful figures:

  • In the Steps of St. Patrick (Belfast) -- Walk in the footsteps of the world's most celebrated saint. Participants will learn more about the epic story of Ireland's patron saint with a visit to the St. Patrick Centre, and they can pay tribute with a visit to the saint's grave. They can also explore the oldest ecclesiastical site in Ireland, where legend has it that Patrick preached his first sermon.

  • Charles Dickens and Victorian London (Dover) -- London was as much a character in Dickens' novels as Nicholas Nickleby. Passengers can explore major sites from Dickens' works as well as important places in his life with a guided walking tour that includes visits to the Dickens House Museum and lunch at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, believed to be the tavern described by Dickens in "A Tale of Two Cities."

  • Chekhov's House and Concert (Yalta) -- Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov wrote two of his greatest plays -- "The Cherry Orchard" and "Three Sisters" -- while living in Yalta. This tour will take passengers inside the writer's life with visits to sites mentioned in his works as well an opportunity to tour his house, known as the White Dacha, which still holds the original furnishings and many of his personal effects.

Grand Overland Adventures -- For a more in-depth experience in select locations Princess offers multi-day Grand Overland Adventures which includes at least two full days of travel, hotel accommodations and meals. Passengers disembark the ship in one port and rejoin it in another, giving them extra time to really acquaint themselves with a destination. Two new overland tours debut this season:

  • The Holy Land Experience -- Traveling between the ports of Asdod and Haifa, these new extended excursions give passengers an in-depth look at the major holy sites and attractions of Jerusalem, Nazareth and Bethlehem plus a visit to a kibbutz. The tour includes an overnight stay in Jerusalem.

  • Grand Brussels Overland -- Passengers can more fully explore Belgium's cultural and historic treasures with this two-day journey between Rotterdam and Zeebrugge. Highlights include the romantic canals of Bruges, the famous three towers of Ghent, the capital of the European Union and the battlefield where Napoleon met his Waterloo. Guests will enjoy an overnight visit to Brussels.

Family Fun -- Princess adds a several new tours designed with families in mind:

  • Family Adventure with Boat Trip (Istanbul) -- Family members will revel in this opportunity to sail along the Bosporus in a private yacht for stunning views of Istanbul, including the grand Ottoman palaces. They'll also travel to the old city to visit the Blue Mosque and the Underground Cistern, plus enjoy refreshments at an authentic Turkish tea house and shopping in the Grand Bazaar.

  • Family Adventure Ephesus and Beach Club (Kusadasi) -- Families can explore the remarkable ruins of ancient Ephesus together, followed by an afternoon at a private beach club. Kids and parents alike will enjoy the opportunity to sunbathe, comb the beach, or swim in the crystalline waters.

  • Swimming in Greece -- Special family swimming outings are now available in many of Greece's most scenic ports. All ages will enjoy the opportunity to take a dip in the blue Aegean waters and relax on some of the country's best beaches and seaside resorts. Tour options include Swimming at Kourouta Beach (Katakolon), Swimming at Platis Yialos (Mykonos), Corfu Beach Tour, and Swimming at Tsambika Beach (Rhodes). Families can also enjoy a beach break in Italy with the Sorrento and the Lido (Naples/Capri) tour.

Princess shore excursions can be reserved in advance through the line's innovative Cruise Personalizer on or by phone, providing passengers with the comfort of knowing they're confirmed on their preferred tours before they sail, with the added convenience of having tickets ready and waiting in their stateroom on arrival. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Naming Ceremony Plans Change for New Princess Ships Next Month Out of Respect for Recent Tragedy in Santorini

SANTA CLARITA, CA April 17 - Out of respect for the tragic sinking of the Greek cruise ship off the coast in Santorini last week, the naming ceremonies of the new Emerald Princess and Royal Princess - previously scheduled to take place in the same location - have been changed to different dates and ports. Princess had planned to simultaneously name both ships in a historic dual ceremony in Santorini on May 12. Emerald Princess will now be christened on Mother's Day in Athens on May 13, and the new date and location for the Royal Princess festivities will be announced shortly.

"Given the great shock and sadness this incident has caused, and out of the respect for those affected, we have decided that it would not be appropriate to continue with the celebrations we had planned in Santorini," said Alan Buckelew, president of Princess Cruises. "Our thoughts are with all those affected, especially the family of the two missing French passengers."

Buckelew added, "However we're quite pleased to continue with our original plans to reunite a pair of television's favorite mothers and daughters for the christening of Emerald Princess." Television icons Florence Henderson, best known as "Carol Brady" on The Brady Bunch, and Marion Ross, aka "Marion Cunningham" of Happy Days fame and their TV daughters, Susan Olsen ("Cindy Brady") and Erin Moran ("Joanie Cunningham") will all be aboard Emerald Princess in Athens to officially welcome her into the Princess fleet. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Costa Serena Inaugural Will Become a “Mediterranean Serenade”
 to City of Marseille

MIAMI, FL, April 17 – Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, boasts a rich history and grand tradition of hosting “the biggest and best inaugurals” in the world – and 
the May 19th inaugural festivities of the Costa Serena in Marseille will be no exception to the rule. From Fellini-esque productions at sea to incredible acrobatics and over-the-top fireworks productions, Costa’s inaugurals bring the Italian flavor of “love, laughter and la dolce vita” to life in the form of an inaugural fête that leaves an indelible impression on the mind. 

The Costa Serena, which is the twelfth ship in the Costa fleet, will be the first ship to be inaugurated in the Port of Marseille. In accordance with maritime tradition, the yet-to-be-announced godmother will cut the ribbon that breaks a bottle of Champagne against the hull of the ship. The celebrated French Champagne purveyor, Piper-Heidsieck, will create a special edition magnum of Champagne, whose label will be specially designed for the occasion and dedicated to the Costa Serena. Afterwards, the Choir of the Opéra de Marseille will bring the ceremony to a close for the estimated 1,000 guests in attendance. From there, the anticipated inaugural show entitled “Mediterranean Serenade” will begin with the Costa Serena and the great monuments of Marseille taking center stage. Some of the city’s great landmarks including Notre Dame de la Garde, the Pharo Cove and Palace, Satine Marie Majeure Cathedral, the Entrecasteaux Castle and Fort Saint-Jean will join together in a show of lights and images, with the Costa Serena becoming the “sixth monument of Marseille.”

“The Costa Serena inaugural is an act of gratitude towards the splendid city of Marseille, where our ships have been calling on since the 1980s, and towards France as a whole, which accounts for 14% of our worldwide guests,” said Gianni Onorato, President of Costa Crociere. “This is why we have decided to produce this spectacular show for the entire city and for the enjoyment of locals and tourists alike on May 19.” The “Mediterranean Serenade” show will be dedicated to the people of Marseille and feature 70 light projectors (each one with the power equivalent to a lighthouse), 2,500 pyrotechnics, five days of preparation and 90 technicians for a show spanning nearly one and a half miles. 

“Without a doubt, Marseille has the greatest potential of any port in the Mediterranean and we’re delighted a company like Costa has given us this vote of confidence,” said Jean-Claude Gaudin, Mayor of Marseille and Vice President of the Senate. “Marseille is not only France’s main commercial port, but it has also now become a cruise port recognized worldwide – in 2006 we had 400,000 cruise passengers and we expect to have 800,000 to one million by 2010.”

Like her sister ship, the Costa Concordia, the 112,000-ton Costa Serena will be the largest vessel flying the Italian flag. The ship is 290 meters in length with 1,500 cabins and a total guest capacity of 3,780. She will also feature all of the main innovations offered on her sister ship, including the Samsara Spa—one of the largest spas at sea, two swimming pools with a retractable magrodome, an authentic Grand Prix race car driving simulator, and menus created by the Italian culinary innovator Ettore Bocchia at "Club Bacco," the ship’s á la carte restaurant. The interiors of the Costa Serena are designed by the ingenious American architect Joe Farcus, with a central theme of Greek and Roman mythology. For reservations or more information, contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit

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NCL Announces Jade, Jewel & Gem for Largest-Ever European Deployment

MIAMI, April 16 - NCL Corporation has announced that it will place three of its newest Jewel-class ships in Europe beginning in March 2008 in response to increased consumer demand for European cruises. The company will re-flag Pride of Hawai`i into the Bahamas registry and re-name her Norwegian Jade after a short wet dock in Honolulu in February 2008. Norwegian Jade will join her sister ships Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Jewel in Europe in 2008 offering NCL's largest and most varied European deployment ever. Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Jewel itineraries will go on sale April17 and Norwegian Jade's itineraries will go on sale April 24. 

"The combination of our new and varied itineraries, the choice of three new sister ships, along with an extended season, will make for an unforgettable Freestyle Cruising experience for guests who explore Europe with us in 2008," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL Corporation. "In particular, Freestyle Cruising gives them the freedom and flexibility to explore and make the most of the culture-rich European destinations without worrying about returning to the ship for a set dining time."

Norwegian Jade will be the first to arrive in Europe at the end of March 2008, staying through the end of November. The ship will sail a unique mix of 12-, 13- and 14-day Eastern and Western Mediterranean cruises, beginning with a number of 12-day cruises departing from Barcelona, Istanbul, and Athens (Piraeus) with a variety of ports including Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples, and Venice, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Ephesus, Turkey; Mykonos, Santorini, Iraklion, Crete, Corfu and Katakolon, Greece; and Alexandria, Egypt.

Norwegian Jade will then reposition from her spring Mediterranean base to Southampton in the UK for a series of cruises to the Mediterranean, North Cape, Western Europe and British Isles. In an NCL first, Norwegian Jade will offer several sailings out of the UK designed specifically for the local UK market, departing roundtrip from London (Southampton). These include a pair of two-day sampler cruises and four 14-day Western Mediterranean cruises roundtrip from London (Southampton) with stops in Malaga (Cordoba), Spain; an overnight in Barcelona; Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Gibraltar; Lisbon, Portugal; and Vigo, Spain. 

Norwegian Jade's 12-day North Cape itinerary roundtrip from London (Southampton) will cruise the North Sea with several stops in Norway, cross the Arctic Circle and cruise by the Svartisen Glacier. The ship's 13-day Around the British Isles and Northern Europe itinerary roundtrip from London (Southampton) will visit France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. Two 13-day Western Europe itineraries will depart from London (Southampton) to Barcelona or Barcelona to London (Southampton) and visit Nice (Villefranche), France; Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples, and Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy; Granada (Malaga), Spain; Gibraltar; Seville (Cadiz), Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; and Vigo, Spain.

Norwegian Gem, NCL's newest ship, complete with bowling alley, arrives in Europe in early May after her winter season in New York and will sail seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises roundtrip from Barcelona through November 9, 2008. The Western Mediterranean itinerary includes stops in Valletta, Malta; Naples, Rome (Civitavecchia), and Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy; and Nice (Villefranche), France. 

Returning for her third season in Europe in early May, Norwegian Jewel will replace Norwegian Dream, sailing a Baltic Capitals itinerary roundtrip from London (Dover) through mid-September. The 12-day sailings will run from May 5 through August 23 with stops in Copenhagen, Denmark; Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; two days in St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden. On August 9, the ship will offer a two-day sampler cruise from London (Dover) specifically designed for the UK market. A final 13-day sailing departing on September 4 will include a stop in Oslo, Norway.

Pride of Hawai`i becomes Norwegian Jade
Pride of Hawai`i will continue her seven-day roundtrip Honolulu cruises through the January 28, 2008 cruise. The ship will enter wet dock on February 6 where she will receive modifications including the addition of a casino and new hull artwork. The ship will be re-named Norwegian Jade and will be showcased during inaugural events in both Los Angeles and Miami. After a series of repositioning cruises, the ship will arrive in Barcelona for her first 12-day cruise beginning on March 30, 2008. 

As a Jewel-class ship and a sister to Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Jade features all the attributes of NCL's purpose-built ships for Freestyle Cruising. Norwegian Jade features a vast array of accommodations including the very popular Villa complex at the top of the ship. This "ship within a ship" complex features 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. Here, guests can enjoy an exclusive private haven while still experiencing all the amenities, and Freestyle flexibility, of a big ship. The ship features multiple lively public rooms, 10 restaurants, NCL's Bar Central area -- the brand's popular new entertainment concept first introduced on Norwegian Jewel and impressive on-board amenities. 

Detailed information on Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Gem's European itineraries will be available on in the next few days. Detailed information on Norwegian Jade's European itineraries will be available next week on

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A 'Tribute to Character Actors' Sets the Stage for Crystal Cruises' 2007 Film & Theatre Festival

LOS ANGELES, April 16 -- Crystal Cruises is paying tribute to character actors: the villains, sidekicks, familiar faces and unforgettable characters who have made their mark on film and theatre history. Aboard the luxury line's August 31 Film & Theatre Festival voyage on Crystal Symphony, the tribute features noted actor Bruce McGill, along with theatre lecturers, producer Steven Rivellino and author and historian Robert Kimball. A departure from the typical crossing, the 14-day trans-Atlantic cruise boasts port calls in Dublin, Ireland; Reykjavik, Iceland; Nuuk, Greenland; and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Bruce McGill's film resume includes pivotal roles in "Cinderella Man," "Collateral" and "The Insider," among dozens of others. In addition to McGill's work, the ship will screen films of other great scene-stealers, complemented by pre- and post-movie commentary by an expert moderator. Film and theatre enthusiasts will also be treated to stimulating panel discussions, insightful lectures, daily movie trivia contests and a social "name that movie tune" cocktail party. McGill will share his personal story of nearly 30 years in the industry, as well as discuss the motion picture industry from silent films to the digital age and biographical sketches of famous stars.

"Many of our guests have a sophisticated eye for the impact a gifted actor can bring to the stage and screen," says Bret Bullock, Crystal's vice president, entertainment. "Crystal Cruises' tribute to character acting is sure to spark lively debates regarding favorite actors, special films and winning theatre productions."

As vice president and general manager of Radio City Music Hall, producer Steven Rivellino has produced The Grammy Awards, MTV Music Video Awards, and the world-famous Christmas Spectacular, as well as concerts starring Frank Sinatra and Madonna. Currently preparing "Rizoma" to open on Broadway next season, Rivellino will share insights on "The Business of Broadway Trends," "Tonys and Tickets" and "Radio City Music Hall, the Showplace of the Nation." Renowned theatre historian, author, and Grammy Award nominee Robert Kimball is artistic adviser to both the Gershwin Trusts and the Cole Porter Trusts, and a consultant on musical theatre to the Library of Congress. He will regale Crystal guests with talks on Berlin cabaret, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, the Gershwins in Hollywood, and the music of Frank Loesser.

Embarking in London and concluding in New York, this voyage offers the perfect chance for a pre- and/or post-hotel stay for guests wishing to catch a Broadway show or theatre production in London's famed West End.

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Royal Caribbean Announces 2008-09 Alaska and Year-Round Caribbean, Mexican Riviera Itineraries & Opens Hawaii Bookings

MIAMI, April 13 -- For some travelers, a cruise is a vacation to get away from it all; For Royal Caribbean cruisers, it also is an exciting adventure to get to it all. For 2008-09, the cruise line this week opens bookings for 35 itineraries offering more than 750 voyages ranging from three to 15 nights and calling at more than 55 ports in some of the most spectacular destinations in the Western Hemisphere. Vacationers can choose from Alaska, year-round Caribbean and Mexican Riviera itineraries, and seasonal Hawaii sailings.

"With the 2008-09 line-up, Royal Caribbean will offer year-round service on both the East and West Coasts, giving travelers more convenient options to enjoy some of the most innovative shipboard amenities in the cruising industry," said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Sales, Royal Caribbean International. "New York-area travelers can already cruise year-round from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in New Jersey on Explorer of the Seas and now Californians also will have cruising options all year long with both Vision of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas sailing from Los Angeles. We continue our popular sailings from the West Coast taking travelers to the scenic destinations of Hawaii or Alaska. And to complete our diverse offerings, short cruises will allow first-time cruisers to sample cruising and get away for a quick mini-vacation."

Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas, the cruise line's two newest ships and the world's largest, will offer guests an unparalleled cruise experience with signature amenities such as the FlowRider surf simulator, boxing ring, H2O Zone water park and 11-route rock-climbing wall. Both ships will alternate between seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages roundtrip from Miami. Liberty will sail on Saturdays, and Freedom on Sundays, to give guests more opportunities to cruise aboard the world's two most innovative ships. Travelers also can choose among alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries aboard Mariner of the Seas sailing every Sunday from Port Canaveral. Prices for seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages begin at $599 per person, double occupancy.

For voyages to lesser-trodden jewels of the Southern Caribbean, Adventure of the Seas offers vacationers seven-night cruises sailing roundtrip from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Through April 2009, travelers can choose from two itineraries going as far south as Barbados. Prices for Southern Caribbean cruises begin at $649 per person, double occupancy.

Short cruises for quick three-, four-, and five-night Caribbean getaways allow first-time cruisers to explore the cruising experience and also are an ideal setting for corporate meetings and incentive travel. From Fort Lauderdale, guests can sail roundtrip on four- and five-night Western Caribbean itineraries aboard Enchantment of the Seas, or on the Voyager-class Navigator of the Seas -- the only ship deployed on short cruises in the Caribbean that offers such a breadth of onboard amenities. More time-strapped travelers also can choose among three- or four-night Bahamas itineraries aboard the recently revitalized Majesty of the Seas, sailing roundtrip from Miami, or aboard Sovereign of the Seas, sailing roundtrip from Port Canaveral. Prices for three-, four- and five-night Caribbean cruises start at $279 per person, double occupancy.

In the Pacific, travelers can enjoy year-round exhilarating cruise adventures with Royal Caribbean roundtrip cruises from Los Angeles aboard Vision of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas. Vision will sail every Sunday taking guests to popular ports-of-call on seven-night Mexican Riviera voyages. West Coast travelers also can try cruising for the first time or escape to the Baja California peninsula on a three- or four-night cruise aboard Monarch. Prices for Mexican Riviera cruises start at $239 per person, double occupancy.

In early and later summer 2008, Royal Caribbean will offer five cruise itineraries to the lush paradise and warm hospitality of Hawaii. Radiance of the Seas will take guests on one eastbound and one westbound Hawaii 10-night cruise between Ensenada, Mexico and Honolulu. In addition, Serenade of the Seas and Radiance together will offer three 15-night Hawaii Circle itineraries roundtrip from San Diego, giving guests the convenience of starting and ending their vacation from the same port. Hawaii cruises start at $1,399 per person, double occupancy.

Also in the summer of 2008, guests can explore the untamed wilderness and awe-inspiring glaciers of Alaska on one of more than 55 Royal Caribbean voyages to the "great land." Radiance will take guests on seven-night North- and Southbound itineraries between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska. Rhapsody of the Seas returns to Seattle cruising on seven-night roundtrip Alaska Fjords & Glacier voyages and Serenade of the Seas will sail a seven-night roundtrip itinerary from Vancouver visiting the famous Alaska Hubbard Glacier, the largest and most active in the world. Both Radiance and Serenade will each offer a 14-night Ultimate Alaska voyage for an extensive adventure in Alaska. Alaska cruises start at $749 per person, double occupancy.

Guests wanting a more immersive Alaskan experience can book a Royal Caribbean cruisetour choosing from 20 pre- or post-cruise packages. The tours take them into Alaska's magnificent interior allowing them to fully explore the sights, history and culture of the last American frontier. Tours visit destinations throughout the state, including the historic gold rush town of Fairbanks, the coastal town of Seward and Denali National Park, home of Mt. McKinley. Many of the Alaska cruisetour packages also include segments on Royal Caribbean's Wilderness Express; a luxurious, glass-domed railcar that offers unobstructed views of the wildlife and untamed terrain. Cruisetour packages to the Canadian Rockies and Whistler in Canada also are available.

With a record seven ships in Europe for the 2008 summer season, travelers also will have 12 transatlantic itineraries from which to choose. These 12- to 15-night cruises aboard Brilliance of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Legend of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas, and Voyager of the Seas are in the Spring and Fall of 2008. In addition, Grandeur of the Seas will offer two repositioning voyages, one from Baltimore to San Juan on April 19 and another from San Juan to Tampa on October 30, 2008.

For the 2008-09 cruising season, Royal Caribbean will sail year-round to the Caribbean, Mediterranean and the Mexican Riviera; and seasonally to Northern Europe, Alaska, East Asia, Australia and Hawaii. In total, Royal Caribbean will call at 245 ports in more than 70 countries around the globe. All Guests, including U.S. citizens, traveling between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda are reminded that they will be required to present a valid passport as early as January 1, 2008. U.S. and Canadian citizens 15 or younger with their parents' consent may cross the U.S./Canadian border by land or sea with a certified copy of their birth certificate. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) 327-6700.

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Celebrity Cruises Opens Bookings for Alaska, Pacific Northwest, Hawaii & Panama Canal

MIAMI, April 13  -- From luaus to loons, Celebrity Cruises' most recent slate of itinerary openings offers unforgettable experiences sure to please nature lovers, wine enthusiasts, and cruise aficionados. Yesterday, the top-rated line opened 2008 bookings for its Alaska, Hawaii, Pacific Northwest and Panama Canal seasons as well as for some of its 2009 sailings.


  • Celebrity Infinity will bookend her Alaska season with "Ultimate Alaska" itineraries. The first is an 11-night itinerary northbound from San Francisco, California, on April 28, 2008, arriving in Vancouver, British Columbia on May 9. The second is southbound out of Vancouver on September 19, 2008, with a 14-night itinerary that arrives in San Francisco on October 3. Both sailings feature ports of call in Alaska and British Columbia; the southbound trip includes stops in Washington and Oregon.

  • Celebrity Millennium will kick off her 2008 Alaska season with a 14-night "Ultimate Alaska" itinerary, sailing roundtrip from San Francisco on May 5. On May 19, Celebrity Millennium will sail an 11-night West Coast and Alaska cruise from San Francisco to Vancouver. The end of Celebrity Millennium's Alaska season features another 14-night "Ultimate Alaska" sailing on September 22 from Vancouver to San Diego, California.

  • Celebrity Mercury will sail a 14-night "Golden Gate to Alaska" cruise from San Francisco to Vancouver on April 27. 

  • Between May and September, Celebrity Infinity will sail a series of seven-night Hubbard Glacier itineraries roundtrip from Seattle, Washington. Celebrity Millennium will alternate between seven-night northbound and southbound sailings between Seward, Alaska and Vancouver. During the same months, Celebrity Mercury will sail a series of seven-night Hubbard Glacier itineraries roundtrip from Vancouver before an eight-night trip from Vancouver to Seattle on September 14. 

  • Celebrity Millennium's May 30 northbound sailing will be the vessel's first sailing of the season that offers the line's Alaska cruisetour packages.

  • Beginning May 11, cruisetour packages are available for all of Celebrity Mercury's 2008 sailings roundtrip from Vancouver, including the opportunity to explore the Canadian Rockies or Whistler either before or after an Alaska Hubbard Glacier cruise. With the 2008 season, the line is introducing a Frasier Discovery tour offered exclusively in conjunction with Celebrity Mercury's sailings. During this tour, guests will travel through the unique northern interior of British Columbia, and includes stops at Calgary, Banff, Jasper, Quesnell, Whistler, and Vancouver.

California/Pacific Northwest

  • Before the Alaska season, Celebrity Mercury will sail three seven-night and one eight-night Pacific Coastal cruises roundtrip from San Francisco beginning March 29, 2008, with stops in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. The eight-night itinerary also visits Monterey, California.

  • At the end of the 2008 Alaska season, Celebrity Mercury will offer a series of three- and four-night Pacific Northwest sailings roundtrip out of Seattle.

  • On October 13, Celebrity Mercury will sail a nine-night wine cruise from Vancouver to San Diego, featuring stops in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California, including an overnight stay in San Francisco.

  • On September 19, Celebrity Millennium will present a three-night British Columbia cruise roundtrip from Vancouver.


  • On March 16, 2008, Celebrity Mercury will sail a 12-night Hawaii northbound cruise from Honolulu, Hawaii to Ensenada, Mexico, featuring overnight stays in both Honolulu and Kailua Kona, Hawaii.

  • On October 6, 2008, Celebrity Millennium will sail an 11-night Hawaii southbound cruise from Ensenada to Honolulu, featuring overnight stays in Lahaina and Honolulu.

  • On October 22, November 6, and December 19, 2008, and on February 28 and March 15, 2009, Celebrity Mercury will sail 15-night Hawaii itineraries roundtrip out of San Diego. The November sailing features an evening sail around Mount Kilauea, and the October and December sailings include an overnight stay in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii.

Panama Canal

  • On April 13, 2008, Celebrity Infinity will sail a 15-night Panama Canal cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to San Francisco, with stops in Jamaica, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico.

  • On April 20, 2008, Celebrity Millennium will sail a 15-night Panama Canal cruise from Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco.

  • Celebrity Infinity will sail a 16-night Panama Canal cruise from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on October 3, 2008. Celebrity Infinity will also sail two 14-night Panama Canal cruises from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego on October 19, 2008, and March 29, 2009, and a 13-night Panama Canal cruise from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale on November 2.

  • Celebrity Mercury will sail a 14-night eastbound Panama Canal itinerary from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale on November 21, 2008, and return west on another 14-night sailing between the same cities on December 5. In 2009, Celebrity Mercury will sail transcanal sailings between Fort Lauderdale and San Diego on January 3, January 17, January 31, February 14 and March 30.

For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Explore the Canary Islands--Spain's Celebrated Winter Getaway--with Value & Ease Aboard the New Costa Serena

MIAMI, April 12 -- Europeans have long made the Canary Islands their choice for a sun-soaked getaway from winter weather - and with good reason. These Spanish islands off the coast of the Western Sahara boast a stunning, varied landscape - from the soft sands of their volcanic-formed beaches to charming hillside banana plantations, the islands provide a warm winter retreat combined with incredible history dating back to the sixteenth century. Beginning in November 2007, Costa's newest flagship, the Costa Serena, will feature 11-night cruises to the Canary Islands, with stops in Arecife as well as the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Arecife, which is located on the island of Lanzarote, offers guests the perfect starting point from which to visit one of the most beautiful of the Canary Islands. Lanzarote features a perfectly-preserved natural environment with a climate and landscape that makes it more similar to Africa than its home country of Spain. From its sandy beaches to the lunar feel of the Timanfaya National Park, a large area of land completely buried by lava after various eruptions in the 18th and 19th centuries, excursion options provide guests a glimpse into the wonders of the island. In Santa Cruz de Tenerife, capital of the Canary Islands, guests may relax on one of the island's most gorgeous beaches, Playa de Las Teresitas. The beach features a mile of golden sand lined with palm trees and dotted with "chiringuitos," local cafes and bars from which to enjoy refreshing seaside drinks. A drive up the picturesque roads leading to "El Tiede," the largest mountain in Spain, offers breathtakingly majestic views of lush valleys and the distant sea. The islands also provide a shopping paradise for tourists, filled with rare finds at very favorable prices.

"While Europeans consider the Canary Islands as their winter getaway from the cold of Northern climates, many North Americans have not yet discovered these stunningly beautiful islands," said Lynn Torrent, President & CEO of Costa Cruise Lines-North America. "For the traveler who is looking for a new and different winter vacation, our cruises to the Canary Islands aboard the Costa Serena provide an easy and affordable way to visit this incredible region."

Additional ports-of-call on this unique itinerary that begins and ends in Savona, Italy include Barcelona (Spain), Casablanca (Morocco) and Funchal (Madeira). During sea days, guests may enjoy the many innovations found on the Costa Serena, including one of the largest spas at sea, an authentic Grand Prix race car driving simulator, and the largest enclosable pool deck on a ship. Fares for the 11-night itinerary begin at $899, based on double occupancy.

Like her sister ship, the Costa Concordia, the 112,000-ton Costa Serena will be the largest vessel flying the Italian flag. The ship is 290 meters in length with 1500 cabins and a total guest capacity of 3,780. She will also feature all of the main innovations offered on her sister ship, including the Samsara Spa-one of the largest spas at sea, two swimming pools with a retractable magrodome, an authentic Grand Prix race car driving simulator, and menus created by the Italian culinary innovator Ettore Bocchia at "Club Bacco," the ship's specialty restaurant. The interiors of the Costa Serena are designed by the ingenious American architect Joe Farcus, with a central theme of Greek and Roman mythology. For reservations or more information, contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit

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Princess Partners with Port of San Francisco to Develop Shore Power System for City's Cruise Terminal

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 12 - Furthering Princess' dedication to improving air quality in the port cities from which its ships sail, the cruise line has partnered with the Port of San Francisco to develop a shore power system that will enable its ships to turn off their engines when they dock at Pier 35 and "plug in" to clean electrical power. The Port of San Francisco and Princess Cruises have received a $1.9 million clean air grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) to develop the system, which will be based on similar shore power programs Princess debuted in Juneau in 2001 and in Seattle in 2005. Next year, Princess will also begin a shore power program at the Port of Los Angeles. Shore power, also known as "cold ironing," enables ships to turn off their diesel engines and connect to local electric power that travels to the ship from a specially designed transformer at the dock. As a result, shore-based electricity runs all onboard services during the day-long calls.

"We've been committed to shore power for many years, and we're pleased to bring our expertise to the Bay Area to help introduce this important capability to the San Francisco cruise terminal," said Dean Brown, executive vice president for Princess Cruises. "We know that local communities care about air emissions, and this is an innovative way to benefit the local air quality."

Princess' shore power program made history when it first began operations in Juneau in the summer of 2001. The innovative program, initiated by the City of Juneau, involved the expertise of worldwide and local contractors, including Alaska Electric Light and Power. The technology was expanded to Seattle in summer 2005, and shore power connections are now featured on eight ships which are equipped to use local hydroelectric power. All Princess ships sailing from the Port of San Francisco are fully equipped and ready to plug into shore power when it debuts there. To create this unusual power system, Princess has outfitted its ships with a custom-built, state-of-the-art electrical connection cabinet that automatically connects the ship's electrical network to the local electrical network ashore. The electrical power is transmitted from the landside transformer to the vessel via four 3 1/2-inch diameter flexible electrical cables. The actual cable connection on the vessel is a traditional, though quite large, male/female plug and socket.

"When we first developed shore power, it was a challenging project because it was the first of its kind and there was no existing blueprint we could use. Now with Juneau and Seattle operating successfully for several years and Los Angeles also working on a program, we can share our expertise with the Port of San Francisco to help expand this successful environmental initiative in California," added Brown.

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Cruise West Enhances 2007 Alaska Experience With New Excursions & Overnight in Glacier Bay 

SEATTLE, April 12 -- The small-ship cruise line Cruise West, with more than 60 years experience in Alaska, will be adding even more opportunities to explore the vast region for the 2007 season. Guests will now be able to spend two nights in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, and choose from four new shore excursions added to the extensive list of land adventures. Cruise West has more permits than any other line to enter the 3.3-million- acre Glacier Bay National Park. This year, Cruise West guests can extend their stay in the park to two nights on the Wilderness Inside Passage itinerary. During this added time, guests will explore the wildlife and sights of this region with the guidance of a National Park Ranger and Native Cultural Interpreter. Cruise West will also offer more departures on this itinerary with two ships rather than one, via the Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Endeavour. This itinerary boasts the Whale Sighting Guarantee; should whales not be spotted on a sailing, the line will refund $250 to each guest -- a price that they have never had to pay.

In addition to the included activity or excursion in all ports that Cruise West's seven Alaska-sailing ships visit, guests can choose from an extensive array of add-on adventures. The following excursions are new for 2007:

  • A guided onshore hike through the vast terrain of Glacier Bay National Park.

  • A Rainforest Canopy and Zipline Adventure in Juneau, where participants will glide on 6,000 feet of zip lines, cross the Gastineau Channel, mountain ascent in an off-road vehicle, and explore a world-famous gold mine.

  • A tour of the only public glass blowing studio in Alaska as part of the Jewell Gardens tour in Skagway, where visitors will have the opportunity to create their own glass memento.

  • An exclusive tour of the Saxman Village, known for its Totem poles, to experience the rich culture of Southeast Alaska's Native Americans led by Native Tlingit and Mayor of Saxman, Joe Williams.

Cruise West travels in Alaska from May through early-September, with three Grand Voyages aboard the flagship, Spirit of Oceanus, four itineraries in Alaska's Inside Passage, and a cruise in Prince William Sound.

Up-Close, Casual & Personal Cruising
Cruise West offers the opportunity to explore remote and distinctive destinations throughout North and Central America, Asia and the South Pacific. Small-ship cruising allows for personalized experiences not offered by larger cruise lines. Guest capacities aboard Cruise West's nine ships range from 78- 138. Guests may expect personal enrichment through onboard narrative and presentations by local experts. The ships' forward lounges and ample outdoor deck space provide outstanding viewing opportunities, and inflatable boats allow for up-close exploration and shore landings. For more information, call 1-800-296-8993 or visit

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Emerald Princess Sets Sail on Inaugural Voyage

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 11- The new Emerald Princess welcomed its first passengers on board, as it set sail on its maiden voyage from Rome's seaport, the town of Civitavecchia. The 113,000-ton ship's first cruise is a 12-day Greek Isles 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.

The new vessel includes many of the enthusiastically received design elements and amenities that debuted last year on sister ship Crown Princess, including a dramatic piazza-style atrium, a multitude of casual dining venues and an adults-only retreat called The Sanctuary. A number of new culinary enhancements will also debut on the ship, including a special Chef's Table dinner for epicurean aficionados, all new dining room menus, enhanced buffet service, and a number of special touches such as an afternoon "cookies and milk break" featuring fresh-from-the-oven soft-baked cookies, and in-cabin delivery of Princess' renowned homemade pizza.

Emerald Princess will offer the many other innovations that define the Princess experience, including the popular Movies Under the Stars poolside movie screen, multiple 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 -- perfect for enjoying the scenic European views. 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

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Celebrity Cruises Opens Transatlantic Cruise Bookings

MIAMI, April 11 -- Travelers wanting to "cross the pond" in the comfortable sophistication of a Celebrity Cruises vessel have eight dates from which to choose. Today, the top-rated line opened bookings for transatlantic voyages in 2008. A repositioning cruise from Cape Liberty, New Jersey to Fort Lauderdale, Florida also opened today.

Transatlantic bookings are largely grouped to take place in the spring and fall of next year:

Spring 2008

  • Celebrity Summit will sail a 12-night eastbound transatlantic itinerary departing San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 29, 2008, arriving in Southampton, England on April 10, with stops in Ponta Delgada, Azores; Vigo and Gijon, Spain; and La Rochelle and Cherbourg, France.

  • Celebrity Constellation will sail a 13-night eastbound transatlantic itinerary out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida on April 11, 2008, arriving in Harwich, England on April 24, with an overnight stay in King's Wharf, Bermuda, and stops in Cork, Ireland; and Brest, Normandy, and Cherbourg, France.

  • Celebrity Quest, the 710-guest ship joining the line's fleet in October 2007, will sail a 14-night transatlantic eastbound itinerary departing Miami, Florida on April 12, 2008 and arriving in Civitavecchia, Italy on April 26. During the voyage, Celebrity Quest will call on Ponta Delgada, Azores; Malaga, Alicante, and Menorca, Spain; and Bonifacio, Corsica.

  • The recently revitalized Celebrity Century will sail a 14-night eastbound transatlantic itinerary out of Miami, Florida on April 28, 2008, arriving in Amsterdam, Holland on May 12, calling on Nassau, Bahamas before an overnight stay in King's Wharf, Bermuda, and additional stops in Cornwall, England; Paris, France; and Dover, England.

Fall 2008

  • Celebrity Constellation will sail a 14-night westbound transatlantic itinerary departing Barcelona, Spain on September 9, 2008, arriving in Cape Liberty, New Jersey on September 23. Ports of call include Malaga, Spain; Marrakech, Morocco; and Cadiz, Spain before an overnight stay in Lisbon, Portugal, and additional stops in Ponta Delgada, Azores and St. John's, Newfoundland.

  • Celebrity Summit will sail a 14-night westbound transatlantic itinerary out of Barcelona, Spain on November 29, 2008, arriving in San Juan, Puerto Rico on December 13, with stops in Malaga, Spain; Madeira, Portugal; Lanzarote, Tenerife, and La Palma, Canary Islands; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

  • Celebrity Century will sail a 14-night westbound transatlantic itinerary out of Barcelona, Spain on December 1, 2008, arriving in Miami, Florida on December 15, with stops in Cartagena, Spain; Gibraltar; Marrakech and Agadir, Morocco; and Lanzarote and La Palma, Canary Islands.

  • Celebrity Galaxy will sail a 14-night westbound transatlantic itinerary departing Civitavecchia, Italy on December 5, 2008, arriving in San Juan, Puerto Rico on December 19, with calls on Marrakech and Agadir, Morocco; Lanzarote, Tenerife, and Santa Cruz, Canary Islands; and Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

Celebrity also opened bookings today for an 11-night Bermuda and Caribbean repositioning cruise on Celebrity Constellation, departing Cape Liberty, New Jersey on October 30, 2008, arriving in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on November 10, with an overnight stay in King's Wharf, Bermuda and stops in Philipsburg, St. Marten; Oranjestad, Aruba; and Labadee, Haiti. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Rendezvous in Croatia Celebrates Historic Meeting of Holland America Ships

SEATTLE, April 11 -- When Holland America Line's flagship the ms Amsterdam and the Elegant Explorer ms Prinsendam met today in Dubrovnik, Croatia, the combined 2,000 guests were treated to a special event commemorating the first time in the company's 134-year history that two ships on simultaneous Grand Voyages met at a port of call. Presented on the ms Amsterdam, the event featured performances by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and a Dubrovnik children's choir. Special guests included His Excellency Robert A. Bradtke, United States ambassador to the Republic of Croatia; Her Excellency Catharina Maria Trooster, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Republic of Croatia; and Dubravka Suica, mayor of Dubrovnik. "We thank the people of Dubrovnik for extending their warm hospitality to our guests, and we thank Atlas Travel Agency which worked so closely with Holland America Line to plan and execute this commemorative event," said Stein Kruse, Holland America Line president and CEO.

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Seabourn Spirit Welcomes TV Icon Hugh Downs

MIAMI, April 11 -- Hugh Downs, one of television's most familiar and highly regarded personalities, will be a special Dress Circle guest speaker on board the award-winning Seabourn Spirit during a 14-day Southeast Asia voyage, departing December 6, 2007. Downs and his wife will share the fascinating Singapore to Hong Kong journey with guests aboard Seabourn Spirit. Highlights include calls at Bangkok and Ko Kood, Thailand; and Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, Halong Bay and Cai Lan (for Hanoi), Vietnam. At the tropical island of Ko Kood, weather permitting, guests will enjoy a complimentary Exclusively Seabourn beach barbecue featuring Seabourn's signature "Champagne and Caviar in the Surf."

In 1985, the Guinness Book of World Records certified Downs as the person with the most exposure on network television with a total of over 15,000 hours. Downs received six Emmy Awards and has broadcast from every continent and both poles. He was anchor of ABC's primetime news magazine 20/20 for 21 years and host of PBS' Live from Lincoln Center for a decade. 

Downs, who anchored Today and hosted NBC specials and documentaries from 1962 to 1971, earlier served as host of Concentration and helped launch the Tonight Show where he remained for five years. When he left regular broadcasting in 1999, he began to pursue other activities, including travel, flying, riding, sailing, composing, lecturing and writing. Among Downs' dozen books are Letter to a Great Grandson and My America: What America Means to Me, an anthology of essays from prominent Americans following the 2001 terrorist attacks. He and his wife co-authored Pure Gold on marital longevity and he has written several books on aging, including Fifty to Forever. A Shoal of Stars is his account of sailing a 65-foot ketch across the Pacific and Rings Around Tomorrow is a collection of his science articles.

Space is limited on this exclusive sailing. To make reservations consumers should contact a travel agent or call Seabourn toll-free at 1-800-929-9391. For more information or to receive a brochure, visit

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Windstar Cruises Sails to Sun Kissed Destinations in 2008: Costa Rica, Panama Canal, Caribbean, Mediterranean and Greek Isles

SEATTLE, April 11  -- Windstar's three-ship fleet of elegant motor sailing yachts -- 148-guest Wind Star and Wind Spirit and 312-guest Wind Surf -- entice vacationers to step aboard in 2008 with intriguing itineraries visiting a mix of popular and secluded locals. Highlights of the 2008 deployment are two new Adriatic itineraries between Venice, Italy and Dubrovnik, Croatia visiting picturesque gems along the Croatian Coast. Between Venice and Dubrovnik, ports visited include Koper, Slovenia; Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Split and Korcula, Croatia. From Dubrovnik to Venice, ports include Kotor, Montenegro; Ploce, Hvar, Sebenik, Rab, Croatia and Trieste, Italy. The Wind Star sails the Adriatic twice and the Wind Surf four times.

"Croatia is a new hot spot for travelers," says Diane Moore, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Windstar Cruises and Majestic America Line. "It's a perfect cruising destination with over 1,000 islands, beautiful beaches and coastline, a balmy climate and historic and cultural attractions. We expect this to be a popular itinerary."

All three Windstar ships set sail in Europe from March through November with 49 sailings planned in the Mediterranean and 40 in the Greek Isles. The Wind Surf spends the season sailing seven-day itineraries in the Western Mediterranean between homeports of Lisbon, Barcelona, Rome, Nice, Monte Carlo, Venice, and Dubrovnik. For guests desiring a longer cruise, the Wind Surf's itineraries have been arranged to facilitate back-to-back cruising without repeating ports. The Wind Star and Wind Spirit will offer a combined total of 40 departures in the ever-popular Greek Isles. Seven-day itineraries between Athens, Greece and Istanbul, Turkey visit Mykonos, Santorini, and Rhodes, Greece; Bodrum and Kusadasi, Turkey.

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 18 and overnights one night in Cannes, two nights in Monte Carlo, and visits St. Tropez, France and St. Florent, Corsica. An optional special event to view the Grand Prix race will be planned.

The Wind Spirit and Wind Surf sail 35 seven-day cruises in the Caribbean in winter 2008. The Wind Spirit sails roundtrip from St. Thomas visiting St. John, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda with overnights stays planned in St. Thomas and Virgin Gorda. The Wind Surf sails roundtrip from Bridgetown, Barbados on two different itineraries. The northbound itinerary visits St. Kitts; Nevis; St. Martin; St. Barthelemy; Basse-Terre and Les Saintes, Guadeloupe; and St. Lucia. To experience the Caribbean of yesteryear, the southbound itinerary visits Bequia and Mayreau, The Grenadines; Dominica; St. Lucia; Grenada and Tobago.

The Wind Star will sail 16 seven-day cruises along the beautiful Pacific coast of Costa Rica in winter 2008. The roundtrip itinerary from Puerto Caldera visits San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Playas del Coco, Quepos, Bahia Paraiso, Curu (National Wildlife Refuge), and Tortuga Island, Costa Rica. Two 14-day Panama Canal cruises sail between Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica and Bridgetown, Barbados departing April 5 and November 29.

In spring and fall, each ship will sail a 14-day Transatlantic voyage between Portugal and the Caribbean. With no ports of call, the extended time at sea invites total relaxation and a retreat from the demands of the world.

Windstar recently announced another multi-million dollar investment in all three ships to add even more luxury amenities on board and update public spaces and staterooms. The Wind Surf was the first ship to be completed in December 2006. Highlights include two new luxury Bridge Suites, remodeled bathrooms in all suites and staterooms, and The Yacht Club-the new social hub of the ship with an espresso bar, comfortable seating, computers and Internet. The Wind Spirit renovations will be completed prior to the European season in spring 2007, with the Wind Star following in fall 2007. For more information including brochures, rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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NCL Announces Temporary Withdrawal of Pride of Hawai`i

MIAMI, April 10 – NCL Corporation (“NCL”), parent company of NCL America and Norwegian Cruise Line, today announced the temporary withdrawal of Pride of Hawai`i from the Hawai`i market effective February 2008. The ship will be deployed to Europe for the summer of 2008 as part of the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet. NCL’s substantial 2006 losses, reported in February of this year, have been caused by downward pricing pressure in the Hawai`i market following the addition of Pride of Hawai`i to the fleet last summer, and the steep increase in the amount of foreign flag competition entering the Hawai`i market from the west coast. 

“We take this action with regret, but sure in the knowledge that a temporary retrenchment is the right thing to do for the good of the business and the good of Hawai`i in the long run,” said Colin Veitch, NCL Corporation’s president and CEO. “We remain committed to building a strong U.S. Flag cruise business home ported in Hawai`i, and we need to make sure that our other two ships, Pride of Aloha and Pride of America, are able to achieve acceptable profitability before we can confidently re-introduce Pride of Hawai`i.” 

According to Veitch, NCL America has grown very quickly over three years, and its competitors have also surged, starting in 2006, offering almost 80 percent additional capacity days on top of NCL America’s in 2007.

“Clearly we are victims of our own success,” Veitch continued. “We have demonstrated that Hawai`i is a highly attractive cruise destination and Hawai`i now has four times as much capacity serving it in 2007 as it did in 2004 when we started NCL America. We are now very hopeful that this latest measure will make the critical difference in ensuring the success of this important venture. We continue to have a vision of a strong domestic cruise industry in Hawai`i and firmly believe that the combination of steps we have now taken will result in a strong NCL America delivering the best cruise itinerary anywhere in the world with the very highest standard of service at sea.”

For guests booked on Pride of Hawai`i in February 2008 and beyond, NCL is offering a $50 on-board credit per stateroom for those who rebook by May 1, 2007, on Pride of America, Pride of Aloha or any ship in the NCL fleet. Guests choosing to cancel will receive a full refund.

NCL Corporation Ltd. is an innovative cruise company headquartered in Miami, Florida, with a fleet of 15 ships in service and under construction. The corporation oversees the operations of Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America, and Orient Lines. The company recently took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Pearl, and is currently building Norwegian Gem for delivery in October of 2007. In addition, NCL plans to build up to three new third generation Freestyle Cruising ships for delivery between 2009 and 2011. NCL is on target to have the youngest fleet in the industry by the end of 2007, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.

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'Cruise' to Lake Como, Prague & Budapest Aboard Crystal Cruises in 2007

LOS ANGELES, April 10  -- In addition to visiting the world's great coastal cities, luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises is taking guests deep into Europe's interior in 2007, a departure from the typical pre- and post-cruise hotel stay. Via four- and five-night luxury hotel programs from Venice and Rome, Crystal guests can enjoy extended stays in Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg and Lake Como. Crystal Cruises is also offering luxury rail travel options aboard the Orient-Express. In grand style, the programs feature stays at the award-winning Villa d'Este on the shores of Lake Como, the sumptuous Hotel Imperial in Vienna and coveted Four Seasons Hotels in Budapest and Prague.

"For the past several years, we have greatly expanded our shoreside opportunities before, within and after the cruise experience," says John Stoll, director, land programs. "While we cannot take our ships to Austria, for example, we have designed a program that takes the Crystal experience into the interior with one-of-a-kind accommodations, enriching guides and personal attention to deliver the same level of style, luxury and service that our guests have come to expect aboard our ships."

From spring through fall, the extended land programs, available with select European cruises aboard Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, include:

  • Prague & Budapest: Five nights, with cruises beginning/ending in Rome

  • Vienna & Salzburg: Five nights, with cruises beginning/ending in Venice

  • Lake Como, Villa d'Este & Milan: Four nights, with cruises beginning/ending in Venice

  • Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: Two to four nights, with cruises beginning in London and Venice and cruises ending in London

Most programs include tours to compelling cultural attractions, breakfast daily and several meals.

The Crystal Difference
Aboard the ultra-luxurious ships of Crystal Cruises, refined elegance meets casual simplicity. With an emphasis on innovative product differentiation, the renowned Crystal experience is distinguished by classic service, abundant space, extensive choices, and quality, providing worldwide vacations that bridge the best of land and sea. For additional information, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

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Holland America Line Kicks Up the Time Spent in the Land Down Under

SEATTLE, April 9  -- From the cosmopolitan, glittering cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia to the breathtaking sights and exciting adventures of the north and south islands of New Zealand, Holland America Cruise Lines offers diverse itineraries and more time spent exploring this vast and multi-cultural part of the world. Guests aboard the ms Statendam and the ms Volendam will spend time in Fiordland National Park, Milford Sound, Mercury Islands and Queen Charlotte Sound. They will also call at less- visited ports such as Burnie, Australia where they can enjoy outstanding views, see beautiful waterfalls, experience Rhododendron Gardens or perhaps, visit the Lactos Cheese Factory.

Holland America Lines' Australia and New Zealand itineraries also offer more time spent in New Zealand than other cruise lines. "With more time spent in New Zealand, including calls at Napier and Picton, we offer one of the best itineraries in the industry," said Richard D Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "In addition to the classic ports of Auckland and Sydney, we offer guests a chance to see more of the Australian continent with pre- or post-cruise options that can take guests to the Great Barrier Reef, Alice Springs and Ayers Rock, or both. With visits to marquee cities and unique ports, Holland America provides a more comprehensive cruise experience."

Cruise highlights include convenient 14-day sailings from Auckland to Sydney or vice versa, extensive explorations of both the northern and southern islands of New Zealand with six ports of call including Christchurch, Tauranga, Dunedin, Wellington, Picton and Napier. Extensive Australian explorations include Brisbane, Whitsunday Island, Cairns and Darwin.

Holland America's optional shore excursions spotlight distinctive activities to satisfy every sense of adventure. Guests can delve deeper into the countryside of New Zealand by swimming with dolphins in the Bay of Islands, kayaking in Queen Charlotte Sound, or taking a guided tour through the wine country in Auckland or visit Mount Cook National Park in the heart of New Zealand's Southern Alps. Guest can also spend more time in Sydney and Brisbane on shopping excursions, walking tours, a cruise along the Sydney Harbor or perhaps a visit to Bondi, the world famous surfing beach. Explorations of historic sites and botanical gardens, food and wine tours and beach excursions are just a few of the activities that allow guests to experience a tailor-made Australia and New Zealand vacation.

The itineraries also offer three relaxing days at sea, larger staterooms and verandahs, and more overall space than other premium cruise lines sailing to Australia and New Zealand. With more than $2 million worth of art and artifacts, the Statendam features a theme of Dutch life and exploration. The Van Gogh Theater is a work of art in itself. Themed to Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh's paintings "The Starry Night" and "Irises," the room features computerized fiber optic lighting as well as a state-of-the-art sound system. The Volendam has a beautiful garden theme including an artful floral motif throughout the ship's spacious public rooms and elegant staterooms (149 which have private verandahs). This beautiful ship accommodates 1,440 guests.

Both ships showcase the Culinary Arts Center, the Explorations Cafe, powered by The New York Times featuring the largest library at sea as well as comfortable music listening stations and Internet access, The Crows Nest where sweeping views make this observation lounge a top choice for relaxation. The Greenhouse Spa features thermal suites, a hydrotherapy and thalassotherapy pool, and the show lounges -- Statendam's Van Gogh and Volendam's Frans Hals -- feature Las Vegas style productions, talented vocalists, illusionists, comedians and variety acts. For more information on Holland America Line's itineraries in this extraordinary part of the world, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Norwegian Cruise Line 'Springs For It'!

MIAMI, April 9 - The weather is warming up, and now is the perfect time to heat up those travel plans, too! Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is rewarding travelers who book a cruise with up to $450 in on-board credits during the Spring For It sales event. From getting a relaxing spa treatment to enjoying a bottle of wine with dinner at one of NCL's specialty restaurants-guests can use their credits however they please. 

"This sales event emphasizes Freestyle Cruising-doing whatever you want, whenever you want," said Andy Stuart, executive vice president of sales, marketing and passenger services for NCL. "By letting our guests choose what they'd like us to 'spring' for, we encourage them to experience everything NCL has to offer, both on board our ships and ashore in our exciting destinations."

From now through June 18, guests who book any NCL sailing between Oct. 1, 2007 and March 31, 2008 will receive a $25 on-board credit for reserving an inside stateroom, $50 for an oceanview stateroom, $75 for a balcony stateroom, $100 for a mini-suite and $150 for a suite or garden villa (all based on double occupancy). In addition, travelers can earn up to an additional $50 in on-board spending for each additional guest booked per stateroom. Each week, NCL is also rewarding one lucky cruiser with the "NCL Springs for Your Next Vacation" contest. Guests are invited to play an online game at and enter to win (one entry per day) a five-day cruise from Miami for two.

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Royal Caribbean Announces 2008-09 Itineraries From Major Northeast Ports

MIAMI, April 6 -- Royal Caribbean Intl has opened bookings for 19 exciting 2008-09 itineraries, offering East Coast travelers more voyages and embarkation ports to experience a cruise vacation. More than 80 sailings, ranging from five to 15 nights will sail to New England/ Canada, Bermuda, and Eastern Caribbean. The new itineraries will give New York-metropolitan area travelers convenient year-round cruise choices from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, NJ. Travelers also will enjoy summer and autumn sailings from Baltimore, Norfolk and Boston aboard Grandeur of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas.

"Travelers from the East Coast now have more convenient choices than ever to escape on an exciting Royal Caribbean cruise," said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Sales, Royal Caribbean International. "Guests can enjoy voyages aboard some of the world's most innovative ships as they visit scenic New England and Canadian coastlines or get away to the warmth of the Caribbean and Bermuda. We are thrilled to bring Grandeur of the Seas to the cities of Norfolk, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland in 2008. The Royal Caribbean itineraries from these two major home ports complement the variety of cruising options available to travelers along the Eastern Seaboard."

Throughout 2008-09, travelers from the New York and New Jersey regions will continue to have convenient sailings year-round from Cape Liberty Cruise Port aboard Explorer of the Seas. She will sail on eight distinct roundtrip itineraries ranging from five to 12 nights to Bermuda, and Eastern and Southern Caribbean. Northeast travelers also can choose among six sailings to New England and Canada on nine-night voyages. Prices start at $649 per person, double occupancy.

Grandeur will sail roundtrip from Norfolk's newly constructed Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center on five-night Bermuda cruise getaways, eight- and nine-night voyages to New England and Canada, and nine-night Eastern Caribbean sailings. From Baltimore, Grandeur will sail roundtrip on five-night voyages to Bermuda and nine-night cruise vacations to the Eastern Caribbean. Prices start at $649 per person, double occupancy.

Jewel of the Seas returns to Boston in 2008. Travelers can enjoy the changing of the foliage and the vivid autumn colors of the New England landscape from the historic port on four roundtrip seven-night sailings to New England and Canada beginning on September 20, 2008. In addition, Boston-area travelers also can choose a shortened itinerary on one five-night sailing on October 13. Prices start at $549 per person, double occupancy.

Other 2008 Royal Caribbean itineraries also open for individual, group and incentive bookings this week are four 14- or 15-night Panama Canal voyages, aboard Radiance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas. For additional information or to make reservations, go to or call (800) 327-6700.

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Norfolk signs Royal Caribbean International for 2008

Norfolk, Va.— The world’s second-largest cruise line, Royal Caribbean Intl, will call Norfolk’s Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center home again in 2008. Royal Caribbean’s 916-foot-long Grandeur of the Seas will sail regularly to Bermuda, the Caribbean and Canada/New England throughout the spring and summer. 

“Based on a solid partnership and strong sales this year, Royal Caribbean has committed a larger ship and more itinerary options in 2008,” said Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim. “Among other incredible destinations, Norfolk cruise passengers will have the unique option of visiting St. George’s, Bermuda, St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, or St. John, New Brunswick. That’s an incredibly diverse schedule.”

Features aboard the 2,400-passenger Grandeur of the Seas include Royal Caribbean’s signature rock-climbing wall, themed bars and lounges and a Ship Shape Day Spa and Fitness Center. Royal Caribbean will sail regularly from Norfolk June 13 through September 4, 2008, and alternate 8 and 9-night Canada/New England cruises, 5-night Bermuda cruises and 9-night Eastern Caribbean cruises.

"Royal Caribbean is thrilled to inaugurate sailings from Norfolk's impressive new Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center,” said Diana Block, Vice President, Revenue Management and Deployment, Royal Caribbean International. “Norfolk is a great centralized port from which Royal Caribbean is able to offer Virginians many exciting cruise itineraries to some wonderful destinations. We are already planning to return in 2008 and look forward to a long partnership with the port and the community of Norfolk.”

Currently, 100,000 cruise passengers are expected in 2008. For more information on Norfolk’s cruise program, visit

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A Cruise Industry First: Wedding Adventure Program to Debut with New Liberty of the Seas

MIAMI, April 5 – Reflecting the cruise line’s dedication to provide guests with exciting and innovative experiences, Royal Caribbean Intl is unveiling Explorer Weddings, a first-of-its-kind program that combines a cruise with an exotic destination or themed wedding. Couples saying “I do” for the first time or repeating their vows will share in a customized wedding experience onboard or shoreside. Explorer Weddings add an extra measure of exhilaration for couples, who can exchange vows in distinctive settings, such as beside the line’s onboard FlowRider surf simulator, on top of an Alaskan glacier, mid-air in a hot-air balloon or in a medieval castle. As an extension of Royal Caribbean’s Royal Romance program, Explorer Weddings was created in partnership with The Wedding Experience and is part of a series of guest program enhancements to debut with the launch of Liberty of the Seas. Liberty’s maiden voyage will be on May 19, 2007 and is the cruise line’s newest ship to share the title of the world’s largest cruise ship with sister-ship Freedom of the Seas. 

“More than 15 percent of Americans are choosing a destination wedding instead of a traditional land-based ceremony,” said Steve Shaiken, vice president, Onboard Revenue Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “The Explorer Weddings program offers couples the opportunity to combine an unforgettable destination wedding in a very unique setting with a cruise honeymoon. Royal Caribbean is applying our expertise in providing exciting cruise vacations to help create an event of a lifetime.”

Explorer Wedding coordinators work closely with the bride and groom to customize their wedding or vow renewal, including creating personalized vows, if needed. They arrange all the transportation and priority check-in for the couple and their guests, and even meet the couple at the pier and escort them to their stateroom to address any last minute questions. Couples can choose to marry at onboard locations such as the ice-skating rink, rock-climbing wall or ship’s golf course, or shoreside settings, including the top of a volcano, in a rainforest, or on a vineyard, all of which would be decorated thematically for a private ceremony. As part of the basic Explorer Weddings package, the bride and groom will receive an elegant bouquet, a boutonniere with matching bloom, traditional or customized music accompaniment, champagne and wedding cake, and a keepsake Explorer Weddings marriage certificate. The ceremony is performed by a nondenominational officiant and a professional photographer will be on hand to capture every moment. Any additional special requests can be accommodated, allowing for a truly personalized experience.

To continue the nuptial celebration, wedding guests can enjoy the full myriad of dining and entertainment options available to all Royal Caribbean guests. Guests can enjoy the wide spectrum of onboard activities throughout the day, including an extensive spa menu, fully-equipped gym, fitness classes and Adventure Ocean youth programming. At night, they have choices among casual and elegant dining venues, top-rated Broadway-style theater productions, a high-energy nightclub and lounges to suit every taste. For further details and pricing, contact Royal Romance Wedding Consultants at (888) 933-7225 or .

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Celebrity Cruises Opens Bookings for Northeast and Panama Canal 

MIAMI, April 5  -- Travelers wishing to gaze upon the fiery reds, golds, and oranges of fall foliage in the Northeast or the emerald-green rainforests of the Panama Canal can dust off their binoculars and charge their camera batteries. Top-rated Celebrity Cruises has just opened bookings for its 2008 itineraries in both regions. 

Beginning in September, Celebrity Constellation will sail a series of three 12- and 13-night cruises roundtrip from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey, to Canada and the Northeast. Picturesque ports of call will include Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine; St. John, New Brunswick; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The sailings will also feature an overnight stay in Quebec City, Quebec.

On April 20, 2008, Celebrity Millennium will sail a 15-night westbound Panama Canal cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to San Francisco, California, calling on Cartagena, Colombia; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Huatulco, Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated, upscale cruise experiences with highly personalized service, exceptional dining, and extraordinary attention to detail. Celebrity's current fleet will be joined by Celebrity Journey and Celebrity Quest this year, Celebrity Solstice in 2008, Celebrity Equinox in 2009, and Celebrity Eclipse in 2010. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Norwegian Cruise Line Announces 2008 Alaska Deployment

MIAMI - April 5 - NCL Corp announced that three NCL Freestyle Cruising vessels - Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Star and Norwegian Sun - will return to Alaska for the 2008 season. 

Norwegian Pearl, NCL's newest ship featuring the first bowling alley at sea, and Norwegian Star will sail seven-day roundtrip cruises from Seattle, while Norwegian Sun will sail seven-day roundtrip cruises from Vancouver. All of the itineraries will sail Alaska's Inside Passage and feature either Glacier Bay or Sawyer Glacier.

NCL's Freestyle Cruising offers guests the flexibility of having no fixed schedules or dining times, no formal dress codes and a variety of activity options - perfect for families and individuals alike who prefer to do what they want, when they want. 

"With Freestyle Cruising, our guests can enjoy the Alaska experience to the fullest," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO. "In particular, Freestyle Cruising gives them the freedom and flexibility to explore ashore and really make the most of this spectacular destination without worrying about returning to the ship for a set dining time."

NCL will offer the following Alaska itineraries from May through September 2008:

Norwegian Pearl

o Seven-day Alaska Glacier Bay, roundtrip from Seattle: Ports of call include Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan, Alaska and Victoria, British Columbia.

Norwegian Pearl sails May 4, 11, 18, and 25; June 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29; July 6, 13, 20 and 27; August 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31; and September 7 and 14.

Norwegian Star

o Seven-day Sawyer Glacier itinerary, roundtrip from Seattle: Ports of call include Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska and Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

Norwegian Star sails May 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31; June 7, 14, 21 and 28; July 5, 12, 19 and 26; August 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30; and September 6 and 13.

Norwegian Sun

o Seven-day Sawyer Glacier itinerary, roundtrip from Vancouver: Ports of call include Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, Alaska.

Norwegian Sun sails May 11, 18 and 25; June 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29; July 6, 13, 20 and 27; August 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31.

NCL's Alaska voyages feature more than 130 adventurous shore excursions, including:

  •  Whale Watching and Wildlife Quest: In Juneau, guests can take a guided jet-powered catamaran around Stephen's Passage, a summer feeding ground for humpback whales. 

  • Adventure Kart Expedition: For family adventure in Ketchikan, guests venture to the Cape Fox Rainforest Preserve and navigate an obstacle course in a custom-designed Tomcar on their way to Mahoney Lake. 

  • A Toast to the Gold Rush: In Skagway, guests celebrate the Gold Rush by riding the scenic White Pass & Yukon Route Railway, taking a dramatic walk across the new Yukon Suspension Bridge over the Tutshi River and then discovering the "Garden City of Alaska" during a tour of the Jewell Gardens.

  • Great Canadian Rafting Adventure: In Prince Rupert, guests can raft the Skeena River, one of the most spectacular river valleys in Canada's North, home to the majestic white Kermode bear and a countless number of flora, fauna, geologic phenomena and cultural history.

Introduced and available during the 2007 season, NCL will again feature one-of-a-kind Freestyle Private Tours on all Alaska cruises calling in Juneau and Ketchikan. Freestyle Private Touring is a completely personalized experience comprised of carefully chosen tours created exclusively for NCL guests, encouraging them to customize their time ashore and discover Alaska at their own pace. Tours include a personal guide, giving guests an exclusive insider's perspective. NCL Freestyle Private Tours are available by various modes of transportation including 20-foot private skiff, chauffer-driven Hummer®, luxury SUV and floatplane. Since each tour is completely private and tailored to each group's interests, the experience is a perfect option for families and small groups wanting to spend quality time together and have an Alaskan experience unlike any other.

NCL recently took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Pearl, and is currently building Norwegian Gem for delivery in October of 2007. In addition, NCL plans to build up to three new third generation Freestyle Cruising ships for delivery between 2009 and 2011. NCL is on target to have the youngest fleet in the industry by the end of 2007 with the introduction of Norwegian Gem, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.

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Celebrity Cruises to Add Series of Upgrades to Celebrity Mercury 

MIAMI, April 5 -- It takes 88 days for the planet Mercury to orbit the sun, but it will take only six for Celebrity Cruises to navigate through a significant "home improvement" program on Celebrity Mercury, highlighted by the addition of new verandas and a complete transformation of the ship's boutique boulevard. From April 13 - 20, during Celebrity Mercury's scheduled drydock period in San Francisco, 14 new verandas will be added to the aft end of the ship, offering breathtaking views from the 210-square-foot staterooms on cruises through Alaska from May through October. The vista then transitions to Hawaii, before Celebrity Mercury embarks on the line's first season in Australia and New Zealand beginning in December.

Celebrity Mercury's entirely transformed boutique boulevard will present Celebrity's "Beauty," the line's first "cosmeceutical" (pairing science with cosmetics) store, offering products from leading brands including Dr. Brandt, DermaNew, Freeze 24/7, Fekkai, L'Occitane, MD Skincare, Origins and StriVectin. A skin-care specialist will be available by appointment to offer personalized demonstrations and tips for guests. The new shopping boulevard also will feature "Boutique C," Celebrity's ultra high-end, appointment-only jewelry store; a dedicated destinations store featuring merchandise reflective of the region in which the ship is sailing, and Celebrity's "Blue Collection" line of upscale, subtly-branded casual apparel.

To help guests maintain their fitness regime while sailing, all gym equipment -- strength training as well as cardio machines, which will have individual TVs -- will be upgraded during the drydock, with new carpeting installed throughout the fitness center. Celebrity also will roll out on Celebrity Mercury its new bedding program, upgrade the entire pool deck, and install new carpeting in the ship's main restaurant, Martini and Champagne Bars, Cova Cafe, Fortunes Casino, guest corridors, staircases and main foyer.

For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Michelin Stars, Iron Chefs & Master Sommeliers Shine on Crystal Cruises' 11th Annual Wine & Food Festival

LOS ANGELES, April 4 -- Some of the hottest names in food -- Christophe Eme of LA's hip Ortolan and Iron Chef America Beau MacMilllan of the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort -- join recently knighted Master Chef Anton Mosimann and Master Chef Andre Soltner for Crystal Cruises' 2007 Wine & Food Festival. Now in its 11th year, Crystal continues to attract the most celebrated names in cuisine and wine as they take to sea to host cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and gala dinners spotlighting the signature cuisine of each chef. Exceptional wine educators such as Master Sommelier Fred Dame, acclaimed Napa Valley winemakers Beau and Heidi Barrett and Piedmont, Italy winemaker Gaia Gaja, partner with wizards of cuisine including Andre Rochat of Andre's and Alize both in Las Vegas, and Heinz Winkler, whose Relais & Chateaux, Residenz Heinz Winkler in Bavaria, Germany has been awarded three Michelin stars.

Aboard the ultra-luxurious Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, guest chefs and wine experts inspire guests with their knowledge and passion for food and wine on worldwide itineraries. Crystal's 2007 Wine & Food Festival features voyages of 10 to 14 days exploring Western Europe (April 19, May 1 and August 9), the Mediterranean (May 25 and October 6), Africa and the Red Sea (May 17), New England (October 24), and the Panama Canal (November 4). In addition to the two Wine & Food cruises in January and February, Crystal offers a total of ten culinary-themed cruises in 2007.

Nearly every itinerary is complemented with culinary-themed Crystal Adventures ashore. Highlights include:

  • An exclusive cooking demonstration at Le Moulin de Mougins -- a favorite restaurant of stars visiting the Cannes Film Festival -- organized under the direction of virtuoso chef and owner Alain Llorca (from Monte Carlo)

  • Learning to prepare gazpacho, seafood paella and crema Catalana in the kitchen of a Spanish restaurant (from Barcelona)

  • The vegetable markets of Old Nice and sampling regional wines and cheeses at a local bistro (from Monte Carlo)

  • A port wine cellar visit for tasting, history and tour (from Oporto, Portugal)

  • Dining on a three-course lunch prepared by one of the most renowned culinary masters in Greece (from Santorini)

"The caliber of our program and the top name chefs and wine experts it continues to draw is a reflection of Crystal's culinary philosophy, commitment and execution," says Toni Neumeister, Crystal's vice president, food and beverage operations. "For anyone passionate about food and wine, the chance to spend quality time with some of the world's greatest culinary artists is a rare and memorable treat."

During each cruise, guests are treated to a specially prepared four-course dinner utilizing the sailing region's freshest ingredients, matched with wine pairings by the guest wine expert. By day, visiting chefs demonstrate cooking techniques, share recipes and tips, and participate in question and answer sessions. Wine experts lead guests through wine tastings to enjoy and compare appellations, vintages and varietals; learn the history of wine in the regions sailed; receive valuable hints on choosing and pairing wines, and become more familiar with one of the most extensive wine cellars at sea.

Crystal's devotion to cuisine is evidenced by its alliances with some of the world's most celebrated names in food, wine and hospitality -- Nobu Matsuhisa brings his legendary Japanese fusion cuisine to The Sushi Bar and Silk Road aboard Crystal Serenity; Asian specialties from Wolfgang Puck's "Chinois on Main" are showcased at Jade Garden aboard Crystal Symphony; and the exceptional Italian fare of Piero Selvaggio's Valentino restaurants is featured on both ships in Prego. The intimate Vintage Room on both ships plays host to ultimate gourmet experiences with wine-makers dinners. For additional information, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

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Princess Cruises Celebrates Mother's Day by Introducing 'Mother/Daughter Memories' Package on Emerald Princess

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 4 -- To celebrate the launch of its two newest cruise ships, Emerald Princess and Royal Princess, which will be christened together over Mother's Day weekend, Princess Cruises is debuting a new "Mother/Daughter Memories" package. Designed to help a mother and daughter celebrate their time together, the package offers activities they are sure to love, such as shopping, relaxing at the spa, sampling fine wines and creating lasting memories of their cruise vacation together. Available on Emerald Princess beginning May 5, 2007, the "Mother/Daughter Memories" package can be enjoyed any time of year, including on Mother's Day, and features two of each of the following:

  • A custom-designed sterling silver charm bracelet featuring a sterling silver sand dollar charm with an emerald accent, created to commemorate the launch of Emerald Princess

  • "Exotic Hand and Sole Delight Foot Ritual" Lotus Spa manicure and pedicure

  • Half-day pass to The Sanctuary, the ship's adults-only retreat

  • Reserved seats for a wine tasting event

  • 8"x10" photos of their choice

The package cost is $495 and can be reserved on board by all mother and daughters 21 years of age and older.

"As we launch our pair of new ships over Mother's Day weekend, we thought it fitting to offer something special for mothers and daughters who are sharing a special vacation experience on board," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president."

Mothers and daughters can enjoy the best of Mediterranean and Greek Isles on Emerald Princess as she sails to the region's most alluring and historic destinations. The 113,000-ton Emerald Princess will be the line's first ship to begin cruising from Rome's seaport, the town of Civitavecchia. Emerald Princess' first cruise, a 12-day Greek Isles itinerary, is scheduled to set sail April 11 on a 12-day, 11-port voyage to Venice.

Emerald Princess will include the many new design innovations introduced aboard Crown Princess including a dramatic piazza-style atrium, a wide array of casual dining venues, and an adults-only retreat called The Sanctuary.

Princess Cruises will reunite a pair of television's favorite mothers and daughters to christen Emerald Princess and Royal Princess over Mother's Day weekend in Santorini, Greece. Television icons Florence Henderson, best known as "Carol Brady" on The Brady Bunch, and Marion Ross, aka "Marion Cunningham" of Happy Days fame will christen the larger Emerald Princess, while their TV daughters, Susan Olsen ("Cindy Brady") and Erin Moran ("Joanie Cunningham") will christen the more intimate Royal Princess. More information about the two new ships and their launch events can be found at

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Suze Orman Hosts Her First Cruise Aboard Costa Fortuna

MIAMI, FL, April 4 – Suze Orman, America’s favorite personal finance expert, will host her first ever cruise from December 9–16, 2007 aboard the Costa Fortuna. During the seven-night Sail With Suze cruise, Orman will answer questions in a tell it like it is, easy-to-understand style while giving advice and direction through four in-depth workshops, including: How To Make More Out Of Less, Retirement Planning, Investments, and Estate Planning. 

“I am extremely excited to be hosting the first Sail With Suze cruise,” said Orman. “We were looking for a vehicle to interact with consumers in a relatively intimate setting over a series of days, where they could walk away with all the tools they need to get started in building their financial future. We believe a cruise is a great way to combine personal financial education in a fun, interactive environment.” 

The stunning 105,000-ton (2,720 passenger) Costa Fortuna is sailing her inaugural Caribbean season from Ft. Lauderdale beginning in November 2007. Her design draws inspiration from the grand Italian liners of yesteryear that provided regular passenger service between Italy and the Americas, which is evident in the ship’s rich woods, ship replicas and multi-million dollar art collection. A stunning array of facilities are available for guests, including 11 bars, 4 restaurants, a theater extending over three floors, three swimming pools, a casino, disco, ballroom and a gym. 

Produced by EGO:EAST Inc., the Sail With Suze 7-night Southeastern Caribbean cruise will depart from Ft. Lauderdale and feature stops in San Juan, St. Maarten, Tortola, and Nassau. The cruise will feature four lectures, including: 

  • How To Make More Out Of Less -- The opening lecture features a discussion on understanding Debt, Credit, and how FICO scores can change your life. 

  • Retirement Planning -- How do they work for you . . .401K, Roth or Traditional IRA? Is Social Security enough? 

  • Investments -- Real Estate, Stock Market, Insurance (Variable, Term & Long-term Care) 

  • Estate Planning -- Do you have a Will & Trust? What are the must-have documents you need in place? 

Along with the lectures and opportunity to meet Orman during book signings to follow each lecture, every Sail With Suze participant will have an opportunity to win one of two Tea With Suze onboard raffles, in which the winner and their travel companion will have a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sit down privately with Suze Orman to discuss their current personal finance situation and ask any questions about the steps they should personally take to secure their Financial Future. 

Sail With Suze participants also receive a free a nine-book Ask Suze Library book set, along with a Sail With Suze carry bag filled with Suze Orman’s latest Will & Trust Kit, Insurance Kit, and other discount offers and goodies to help participants walk away with the tools they need to get started immediately on their new financial future. There is no additional charge for Sail With Suze carry bag items, and participants will not be solicited by financial services companies for financial products or services. 

Booking Details: Bookings for the Sail With Suze cruise are being handled by Harmon Travel, an American Express Travel Services Representative in Boise, Idaho. Guests may call the agency for more information at (208) 388-3046 or toll free at 800 852-2605. Travel agents wishing to participate in the bookings for the Sail With Suze cruise should call Tammy Selee toll free at (866) 865-3437. For more details on Sail With Suze, visit:

About Suze Orman: USA Today has called Suze Orman “a force in the world of personal finance” and a “one-woman financial-advice powerhouse.” She is a two-time Emmy award winner and the author of six consecutive New York Times bestsellers. Suze has written, co-produced, and hosted six PBS specials based on those books, and is the most successful single fundraiser in the history of public television. She hosts her own national award winning CNBC-TV show, which airs every Saturday night in the U.S. and 18 additional countries. She is the contributing finance editor to O: The Oprah Magazine, the Costco Connection Magazine and for Money Matters on Yahoo’s personal finance site. As a well-known motivational speaker, Suze focuses on helping people change the way they think, feel and act with their money. For more info on Suze Orman, please visit:

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Costa Luminosa Sees the Light

MIAMI, FL, April 3 – Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, announced the name of its newest ship – the Costa Luminosa – at the cutting of the ship’s first plate in Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard yesterday. This marks a new record for the innovative cruise line, as it’s the first time the company has had three new builds under construction at once in Italy. The 92,700-ton Costa Luminosa will be delivered in Spring 2009, while two more Costa ships are currently under construction in the Genoa Sestri Ponente ship yard: the 112,000-ton Costa Serena is set for delivery on May 15, 2007, while a sister ship will enter service in Spring 2009. Costa has embarked upon a 4.5 billion Euro fleet expansion program with 11 new builds from 2000 to 2010, including seven orders worth 3.5 billion Euros placed with Fincantieri in Italy. 

“With the arrival of the Costa Luminosa, and the other ships now under construction, not only will we have Europe’s largest fleet, but it will consist of a varied range of liners in terms of size, features and style,” said Costa Crociere’s Chairman & CEO, Pier Luigi Foschi. “This way, we will be able to further diversify our offer and continue to propose new destinations every year. The Costa Luminosa and her sister ship will be the results of a brand new design concept, whereby – rather than size – we have concentrated on combining the best aspects of our product, such as wellness, exclusive itineraries, art and top quality cuisine, which are especially popular more and more with our guests.” 

When completed, the Costa Luminosa will measure 292 meters in length, with a double occupancy capacity of 2,260. In addition, she will boast 772 cabins with private verandas, out of a total of 1,130 cabins, making her the Costa fleet member with the highest percentage of veranda cabins (68%) and particularly suited to cruises with spectacular itineraries and picturesque scenery. Cruisers on the Costa Luminosa will find the pick of the most recent innovations introduced on Costa’s ships: the “Samsara Spa,” one of the largest spas at sea, a central pool area extending over two decks fitted with a retractable magrodome and a giant movie screen, as well as a Grand Prix race car driving simulator. In addition she will feature several exclusive innovations introduced for the first time on the Costa fleet, including a golf simulator. The interiors, devised by the ingenious architect Joe Farcus, will be designed to offer maximum comfort and state-of-the-art facilities, and guests will be able to walk around all of the passenger decks from bow to stern. 

Costa’s expansion program, extending upon what is already Europe’s largest and most advanced fleet (12 ships counting the Costa Serena, with total guest capacity of over 23,000, all flying the Italian flag), goes beyond the three new builds currently under construction. A sister ship to the Costa Luminosa is also planned with delivery from the Marghera yard scheduled for March 2010. In all, Costa Crociere has invested a total of 3.5 billion euros in Italy for the construction of 7 new ships, all commissioned from Fincantieri, within the framework of its upgrade program worth 4.5 billion euros and entailing the addition of 11 new vessels between 2000 and 2010. By 2010, when the last of the four new orders is completed, the Costa Crociere fleet will be 15 strong and have total guest capacity of over 30,000, further consolidating its place as the largest and most advanced fleet in Europe. 

Costa offers an experience that is delightfully different in service and cuisine, in an atmosphere filled with love, laughter and la dolce vita. It’s called “Cruising Italian Style” and true to its heritage, no detail has been overlooked in bringing the beauty and hospitality of Italy to the sea. Cruising Italian Style…that’s Amore! For reservations or more information, contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit

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Seabourn's Signature Service Desk Knows More Than You Do

MIAMI, April 3 -- Puzzled about Portofino? Curious about Callao? Seabourn Cruise Line has come up with a solution for its yachting guests who want to plan a picture-perfect day in any of its far-flung, and sometimes unfamiliar, ports of call. Seabourn's Signature Service Desk uses privileged, up-to-date local knowledge and assistance to create customized shoreside experiences tailored to the guests' individual tastes. There is no charge for this concierge service - like the rest of Seabourn's award-winning service -it's all included in the fare. Whether a guest dreams of a massage and steam bath in an exotic Turkish hammam, a visit to a factory in Stockholm that manufactures the same sort of widgets the guest does at home, or a private tasting at a tiny boutique winery in the Provencal countryside, Seabourn's Signature Service Desk can help transform any port call into a uniquely personal, perfect day. 

"Travelers who book a Seabourn vacation do so largely because of where we go and the style in which we take them there," noted the line's president and CEO, Pamela C. Conover. "They expect fascinating places and they value highly personalized service," she continued. "Our Signature concierge staff is an evolution of that promise, ensuring that we meet or exceed their expectations on both counts."

Special-interest arrangements might also include a tour of Berlin for classic-car lovers, a chance to operate a virtual full-size cargo ship on an innovative computer simulator, or a fantastic super-cold freezing treatment in a Finnish spa, where participants experience therapeutic temperatures of minus 166 degrees Fahrenheit. 

For those who would like a custom experience but aren't sure what they'd prefer, the staff has a vast menu of special-interest concepts from which undecided travelers may choose, including Signature Series tours, which have long been the gold standard for shore excursions, and "Insider Tips" provided by editors of Condé Nast Traveler magazine. Signature Service Desks on board each of the line's three intimate, all-suite ships are manned by a tour staff capable of creating a wide range of custom arrangements in ports along the way. However, guests can create more elaborate plans and finalize costs and details long before they embark on the ship. Seabourn guests or their travel agents can call toll-free at 1-800-929-9391 and ask for the Signature Service Desk to start the process. Once the guests have voiced their wishes, the Seabourn's staff will do the research and report back on availability and costs for the various adventures. Finalized arrangements are paid in advance. 

Back on board, guests on the line's 208-guest Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend enjoy a continuing series of thoughtful enhancements to shipboard and shoreside services that add luxury and value. These "Signature Delights" include Exclusively Seabourn complimentary shoreside experiences in selected ports of call; free Massage Moments on deck; complimentary service of spirits and wines including French champagne throughout the cruise, gourmet cuisine created by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer, and indulgent Pure Pampering therapeutic bathing selections from Molton Brown. The Yachts of Seabourn sail cruises of seven to 18 days or longer on itineraries worldwide.For information, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Queen Mary 2 Returns to the Big Apple on April 10

VALENCIA, CA, April 3 -- Cunard's celebrated flagship Queen Mary 2 returns to New York on April 10 after completing her maiden World Cruise and will be based in the Big Apple for the next 18 months, significantly expanding her New York service offering more signature Transatlantic Crossings, weekend getaways and Caribbean adventures.In a move that underscores a continued commitment to New York and support of the arts, Cunard will host the The Britannia Ball, a gala fundraiser onboard Queen Mary 2 jointly benefiting the New York City Opera and Brooklyn Academy of Music, on Thursday, May 24. Guests who attend the gala and book the four-day Memorial Day Getaway to the Bahamas, departing the next afternoon, will be offered special "early embarkation" and invited to enjoy an extra night of classic ocean liner luxury by retiring to their stateroom after a glamorous evening of fine dining, dancing and entertainment.

"Queen Mary 2 is proud to call New York her North American home," said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line. "With this expanded schedule of sailings, we're making it easier than ever to sail from New York to the Caribbean, the Bahamas, the Mediterranean and even Norway this year, without the burden of traveling to another city for departure."

Transatlantic Crossings
The only ship offering regularly scheduled Transatlantic service between New York and Southampton, Queen Mary 2 will offer 10 six-day eastbound crossings from New York, April through October 2007. In addition, the ship will offer two seven- and eight-day eastbound Transatlantic Crossings to Le Havre, France and Hamburg, Germany from New York this year

Caribbean Adventures
Another addition to Queen Mary 2's 2007 itinerary is a collection of 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.

Queen Mary 2 offers her guests a very different way of seeing the Caribbean, underscored by the elegance and sophistication of this magnificent ocean liner and Cunard's maritime heritage. In addition, the ship's faster speed allows her to sail farther south than other ships out of New York, affording more Southern Caribbean port stops, such as Barbados, on ten-day voyages. While soaking up the Caribbean sun they can still enjoy the classic Cunard white gloved service for traditional British afternoon tea, grand balls in the largest ballroom at sea, and truly experience the golden age of ocean travel. In December, the ship's 14-day Caribbean Celebration takes passengers roundtrip from New York on an extended holiday journey to eight Caribbean ports of call.

Short Holiday Getaways
The ship will also sail a series of three four-day Getaway voyages in 2007. Coinciding with popular long weekend holidays, two are roundtrip sailings from New York to sunny South Eleuthera, Bahamas, overlapping with Memorial Day 2007 and Fourth of July 2007. A Labor Day 2007 Holiday Getaway voyage travels to picturesque Halifax, Nova Scotia, roundtrip from New York, and in September, the ship's Splendours of the Fall itinerary takes autumn color-tour enthusiasts 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.

A Trio of European Voyages
Interspersed in QM2's Transatlantic schedule are three European voyages departing roundtrip from New York. Two of the 12-day voyages focus on the Mediterranean, with port calls in such cities as Barcelona, Rome, Naples, Marseille and Lisbon. Departing in May and September, the Mediterranean Explorer and Mediterranean Medley, respectively, are priced from $3,829. In June, the 10-day Norwegian Odyssey traces a path through the magnificent fjords of Norway with stops in eight ports.

Cunard voyages are renowned for their luxurious surroundings, exceptional dining and signature White Star Service. These signature services, together with the opportunity to explore and discover alongside like-minded travelers, result in a thrilling experience for first-time and longtime cruisers. Onboard Queen Mary 2, guests revel in extravagant musical productions in spacious theaters, dance the night away in the Queens Room, the largest ballroom at sea, enjoy the vast selection of 8,000 books in the largest library at sea, take a ride through the Cosmos in the only planetarium at sea, engage in stimulating activities and fascinating lectures, and savor superb gourmet dining prepared by world-class chefs. For more information and reservations for Cunard and Queen Mary 2, contact a travel professional, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Alaska Culture Takes Center Stage on Princess Ships this Summer

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 3 - As passengers relax under cozy woolen blankets, glaciers tower before them, crackling occasionally as a piece breaks off in a dramatic "calving." Later, sharp-eyed guests train their binoculars to where their onboard naturalist has spotted a whale. Soon Princess chefs offer up a deckside buffet to complement the scenery with a bounty of local Alaskan flavors, while later local park rangers regale their audience with an entertaining presentation full of insights about "The Great Land." Alaska offers passengers a thoroughly unique experience in which they can be close to natural wonders and enjoy adventurous activities on shore. But on a Princess ship this summer, travelers can also continue to immerse themselves in the wonders of Alaska even when they return onboard, thanks to a special onboard experience designed to complement the itinerary. Special guests and programs fill the day's program, helping passengers appreciate the richness around them whether they're captivated by local wildlife and scenery, or want to get a closer feel for Alaska Native culture or the favorite local sport of dog mushing. And through it all, the flavors of "The Great Land" come alive as passengers enjoy Princess' Signature Alaskan Cuisine featuring such delicacies as salmon, king crab, venison or even reindeer chili.

"It's very important to us at Princess that we really give passengers a true feel for the rich culture and natural wonders of Alaska," said Rai Caluori, Princess' executive vice president of fleet operations. "When our guests join us for a cruise of the 49th state, they'll know they're someplace special, and will be able to savor many of the region's delights right onboard."

Starting this May, Princess' specially designed program will offer its passengers a variety of ways to experience Alaska onboard their ship, including:

  • Meet a Musher - Libby Riddles, the 1985 Iditarod sled dog race champion and first woman ever to win the famous Anchorage to Nome trek, has become a Princess favorite, enthralling passengers with exploits from her days as a musher. In her exclusive appearances for Princess, Riddles joins each of the line's Alaska ships during its call in Juneau. Taking passengers behind the scenes into the world of dog mushing, she shares her Iditarod experiences while describing what it's like to live in a native Inupiat village near Nome. Riddles' approximately hour-long presentations are held aboard the ship in the afternoon, followed by an opportunity for passengers to ask questions, get autographed copies of her books or pose with her for photos.

  • Alaska Naturalists - On each Alaska sailing, passengers have the benefit of the expert guidance of their own dedicated onboard naturalist throughout their cruise. These veteran guides include biologists, writers, adventurers, professors and Alaska Natives, among others, who give informative presentations about local wildlife, glaciers, oceanography, marine life, native Alaskan cultures, history and many other local topics of interest. Naturalists often provide colorful bridge commentary as well and help with spotting wildlife.

  • "North to Alaska" in Skagway - Local historian and performer Steve Hites presents a colorful tribute to the Klondike days during the ship's call in Skagway. This entertaining "North to Alaska" show offers passengers the opportunity to learn more about Alaska's gold rush era through an entertaining mix of song, poetry and folklore.

  • Park Ranger Programs in Glacier Bay - Park rangers present a variety of programs for passengers of all ages while ships sail among the dramatic ice fields of Glacier Bay National Park. National Park Service rangers join the ship for the day, offering a live commentary from ship's bridge throughout the visit to Glacier Bay, pointing out the natural wonders and wildlife sightings. Rangers also give an informative shipboard presentation with videos of Glacier Bay's environment. They also meet with passengers at a dedicated booth, offering reference books and other information to further inform interested visitors about Glacier Bay's natural and cultural history.

  • Glacier Bay Junior Ranger/Teen Explorer - Princess ships also offer special Glacier Bay activities for the ships' younger passengers. The enriching Junior Ranger and Teen Explorer program is designed to bring Glacier Bay and the Alaska wilderness to life for the thousands of children who cruise each summer. This joint effort between Princess and the National Parks Service is designed to encourage young cruisers to explore Glacier Bay's natural and cultural history through fun interactive projects. Children ages 3-12 and teens ages 13-17 can participate in special programs customized for their age group and take home specially developed activity books. Kids who participate in a certain number of events and activities can earn Junior Ranger status, which is commemorated with an official badge and certificate.

  • Forest Service Presentations in Ketchikan - Passengers have the opportunity to learn more about the nation's largest National Forest - Tongass National Forest - with a special onboard presentation by rangers from the U.S. Forest Service. A naturalist station will be set up throughout the afternoon each ship is in Ketchikan, and passengers are invited to special presentations for adults and children as the naturalists share information about Southeast Alaska and this important national treasure.

  • Signature Alaskan Cuisine - The enticing flavors of Alaska feature in menus and events throughout Princess' Alaska fleet. Each season chefs create a bounty of flavorful dishes that reflect the state's culinary delights, featuring fresh fish, savory meats and an assortment of seafood specialties. Passengers will find ample opportunity to sample these treats, with a number of special culinary events throughout the cruise. In the dining rooms, one evening will culminate with a special Chef's Alaskan Dinner featuring fresh and smoked salmon, fresh halibut, loin of venison and king crab. On another day, cruisers will return from port to find a festive poolside fish barbeque serving up such specialties as grilled prawns, halibut brochettes, crab cakes and venison chili. And while ships sail among the stunning scenery of Glacier Bay, a lavish mid-day buffet fuels passengers with choices such as hot and cold smoked and chaud-froid salmon, crab salad, and grilled fish, plus ice carvings and other special décor. Passenger also might discover a reindeer chili or rockfish chowder cook-off. To top off any meal, diners can wash down their Alaskan feasts with local beers or an Alaskan Hot Toddy.

  • Glacier Bay Balcony Breakfast - For a more private repast among the scenic ice floes of Glacier Bay, Princess offers guests the opportunity to order a special Glacier Bay champagne breakfast to be served right on their stateroom balcony. This indulgent morning option features fresh pastries, forest berries, Copper River salmon and Alaskan crab quiche to further enhance their cruise through this natural wonder.

  • Gold Rush Marketplace - For passengers seeking the perfect memento of their Alaskan adventure, Princess ships offer a one-time special event each cruise - the Gold Rush Market Place. This unique shopping opportunity offers a comprehensive collection of exclusive Alaskan merchandise representing the 49th state's many cultures and resources, with items such as gold nuggets and quartz, cozy totem blankets, hand crafted figurines depicting Alaska's natural wildlife, authentic Russian souvenirs from Sitka, Native Alaskan dolls, and totems all manufactured by local Alaskan artisans. Exclusive Alaska apparel represents the rich history and culture of Alaska with designs only available on Princess ships.

  • Exclusive Cruise Companion Book/Map and Video - A Princess exclusive, the "Alaska Cruise Companion" book and map set was created especially for the line by author and long-time Alaskan Joe Upton. The insightful guide lets passengers follow along on their cruise as the detailed map and information-packed guidebook are organized to fit Princess' itineraries. Loaded with facts and colorful stories about each port and coastal features along the way, the set is a favorite with Alaska passengers each year. An accompanying video, also produced by Upton, is shown throughout the cruise in shipboard cabins, following the cruise route with beautiful photography and entertaining narration.

Princess will feature its largest ever Alaska fleet in 2007, with eight ships sailing through the scenic waters of the "Great Land." Passengers can choose from 139 total departures aboard a diverse lineup of vessels that range from 670 passengers to 2,670 passengers. For the first time, the line offers mid-week departures of its popular Gulf of Alaska cruises aboard Pacific Princess. In addition, Golden Princess will make her Alaska debut, adding a new choice and expanding capacity to Princess' popular Inside Passage program. Passengers have more opportunities than ever to visit Glacier Bay in 2007 as Princess ships will sail into the national park a record 78 times, carrying more passengers to this spectacle of ice than any other cruise line. Additional information about Princess Cruises Alaska programs is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting

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Princess Unveils Sweeping Culinary Enhancements

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 2 -- Combining best-loved favorites and traditions with contemporary culinary trends, Princess Cruises is debuting an array of epicurean initiatives which represent the line's most sweeping changes to its highly-regarded food and beverage program. Princess' two new ships debuting this month -- Emerald Princess and the intimate Royal Princess -- will be the first vessels to feature these enhancements, which include all-new dining room fare with a modern presentation, enhanced buffet service, redesigned cuisine in the alternative restaurants, and special touches such as an afternoon "cookies and milk break" featuring fresh-from-the-oven soft-baked cookies, and in-cabin delivery of Princess' renowned homemade pizza.

"We always strive to keep our culinary program fresh and up-to-date, reflecting both changing trends and what our passengers tell us they enjoy," said Peter Tobler, vice president of food and beverage operations for Princess. "Princess has a long history of signature culinary traditions, and we wanted to celebrate these while introducing a new variety of modern classical dishes and contemporary service. The result is a significant re- design of our dining room experience that we think our passengers will love, based on the testing we've done."

The most noticeable change will be the new menus and presentation in the main dining rooms. Rich in choice, the menus will present dishes that offer non-traditional combinations, sophisticated flavors, ethnic influences and skillful preparation. Passengers will also find a wider selection of lighter fare, designated with a "Lotus Spa" insignia. Oversized, contemporary white- on-white crockery and beautiful leather-bound menus will showcase the cuisine.

Princess' new culinary initiatives were designed after months of collaboration among Princess' culinary operations team including the five corporate chefs, who together bring decades of both shipboard and landside experience to their craft. Leading the team is Princess' master chef, Alfredo Marzi, a 35-year culinary veteran with the cruise line, who combines his passion for continental (and native Italian) cuisine with a dramatic flair.

"The exciting result of our culinary team's effort is the introduction of over 1,350 new lunch and dinner dishes," Marzi said. He further explained that the line's new menus were developed as part of Princess' C.H.E.F. program, which was launched last year to celebrate Princess' Culinary Heritage of Excellence in Food by fostering culinary initiatives to delight passenger palates, celebrate signature dishes and dining experiences, and introduce new products and educational opportunities for passengers and culinary staff alike.

The new epicurean experiences have also been extended outside of the main dining rooms to the alternative restaurants, the 24-hour buffet restaurant or even to passenger cabins. "We want our passengers to know that wherever they choose to enjoy their meal or snack, that they'll enjoy a signature Princess experience," added Tobler. "For example, our passengers rave about our homemade Italian-style pizza, which they can now have delivered directly to their cabins."

The company's culinary enhancements include:
New Dining Room Fare - The new menus have re-designed the dining room meal to give passengers the ultimate in flexibility in planning their culinary experience. Instead of many specified courses, diners may now choose from a greater variety of starters, main plates and desserts to compose a menu to his or her liking. The famous Princess pasta dishes will be re-emphasized, as will a larger selection of healthy Lotus Spa dishes, now available on the luncheon menu. Those who enjoy sleeping in on lazy sea days will appreciate the "Late-Late Riser" category - breakfast favorites offered at lunchtime.

Among the culinary arts trends represented in Princess' latest menus are Pan-Asian fusion dishes, Mediterranean and Latin American-inspired plates, specialty sandwiches and bite-sized desserts. Taking center stage will be such global ingredients as pomegranates, figs, unique herbs and spices, aged meats, ginger, salsas, relishes, aromatic oils, vinaigrettes and exotic mushrooms. A wider choice in breads such as whole-grain, flatbread and focaccia will also be featured, as will an emphasis on pan-seared, grilled and braised items.

Contemporary Presentation - When sitting down to enjoy the new flavors in Princess dining rooms, passengers will also notice a modern, new tableware look featuring custom-made white, oversized china to showcase the cuisine. In addition, the menus will be presented in rich leather covers and with a completely new layout that easily guides passengers through designing their perfect multi-course meal.

Signature Surprises - The long-time popularity of Princess' homemade Italian-style pizza inspired the company to offer a new cabin delivery service of its renowned pies. For a nominal $3 service charge, the pizza will arrive in a traditional pizza box with plates, napkins and cutlery. A number of varieties will be available, including the oft-ordered cheese, pepperoni and a daily special pizza.

When Crown Princess debuted last year, Princess discovered that passengers fell in love with the warm, freshly baked cookies and the enticing aroma that wafted through the atrium every afternoon. After serving more cookies in one day than during an entire cruise aboard the line's other ships, Princess knew it had a winning combination - a daily afternoon "cookies and milk break," featuring straight-from-the-oven soft-baked cookies, with a different flavor featured each day.

Alternative Restaurant Offerings - Princess' popular Sabatini's Italian trattoria, introduced nearly a decade ago, has undergone a modernization as the traditional fare is presented with the same number of tantalizing courses, but with a lighter twist in keeping with the tasting menu concept. As well, the line's steakhouse restaurant has been re-defined to incorporate the new steak and seafood menus which have proved so popular after debuting aboard Crown Princess.

Enhanced Buffet Service - When passengers visit the buffet restaurant, they will find an experience that is more in keeping with a dining room than a 24-hour eatery. Tables will be pre-set with cutlery and napkins meaning these items will not have to be collected while selecting meals and snacks. Servers will be standing by to provide beverage service to each table, whether passengers order self-service selections or bar items.

Princess' new culinary initiatives will gradually roll out to the rest of the Princess fleet this year and next. Emerald Princess debuts April 11 for an inaugural schedule of Greek Isles and Mediterranean voyages. A week later on April 19, Royal Princess joins the fleet to offer a collection of Connoisseur Mediterranean and Holy Land voyages. On May 12 the two ships will meet for a historic dual christening ceremony in Santorini, Greece, set in the port's dramatic crater-formed harbor. Additional information about Princess is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Royal Caribbean Exercises Option to Build Second Genesis Ship 

MIAMI, April 2 -- Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. exercised its option to build a second ship in its "Genesis Project" today. Destined to become the 24th ship in the Royal Caribbean International fleet, the 5,400-guest, 220,000-gross-registered-ton ship would be built at Aker Yards in Finland, with delivery projected for August, 2010. Like the prototype ship due out in Fall, 2009, the second Project Genesis ship will be a trailblazer in cruise-ship and vacation innovation. New icons and amenities will continue to challenge and expand guests' expectations of cruising, and the latest technology and design will continue to increase efficiencies. The company estimates the all-in cost of the ship will be approximately $260,000 per berth. The contract is contingent on the completion of customary financing.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Pullmantur. The company has a combined fleet of 34 ships in service and six under construction. The company also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Australia, Canada, Europe and Latin America. Additional information can be found on 

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Cruise News Archive - Past cruise news items listed by month

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

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