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Cruise News
April 1-30, 2008

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Azamara to 'Journey' Through a Dreamy Caribbean

MIAMI, April 30 -- When travelers sail the Caribbean on an Azamara Cruises ship, they enjoy indulgent onboard experiences, spectacular blue waters and an exotic array of islands, islets, reefs and cays. Azamara aims to offer all that and more with its lineup of itineraries in the region in late 2009 and early 2010, which opened for sale today.

Azamara Journey, the 694-guest ship that underwent a $19-million makeover before its 2007 launch, will sail through the Caribbean and Panama Canal from December 2009 through mid-April 2010, visiting 23 ports in 15 countries. The season's highlights include:

-- First-time calls at Castries, St. Lucia; Willemstad, Curacao; and San Diego, California. Azamara Journey also will anchor off of the 7-mile island of Bequia, The Grenadines, a favorite port of call for yachts and small cruise ships because of its unspoiled, quaint atmosphere and attractions such as Princess Margaret Beach, the unique cliffside dwellings at Moonhole, and Oldhegg Turtle Sanctuary.
-- San Diego instead of Los Angeles as the turnaround port for two 16-night Panama Canal sailings, one westbound from Miami departing on December 18, 2009, and one eastbound to Miami departing on January 3, 2010. Between the two Panama Canal sailings, Azamara Journey will call at Port Antonio, Jamaica; Cartagena, Colombia; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Willemstad, Curacao; and Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas and Huatulco, Mexico.
-- A new 10-night Easter voyage sailing roundtrip out of Miami on April 1, 2010, calling at St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands; Marigot, St. Martin; Roseau, Dominica; Basseterre, St. Kitts, and Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands.
-- A rotation of three different 12-night Caribbean itineraries out of Miami from January through March 2010, each featuring a balance between exotic beach-intensive, shopping-intensive and nature-intensive ports. These include Bequia; Castries; Roseau, Dominica; St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; Falmouth, Antigua; Fort de France, Martinique; Gustavia, St. Barts; Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe; and others.

In each port of call in its Caribbean/Panama Canal lineup, Azamara will offer travelers a range of immersive shore excursions, many of which are "off the beaten path." Examples include:

-- "Jewels of the Monteverde Cloud Forest" in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, during which guests can gaze upon the Monteverde Cloud Forest from the suspended bridges that cross the treetop canopy.
-- "Baths and Spring Bay Exploration" in Virgin Gorda, BVI, which includes a visit to the unusual geologic formation known as The Baths as well as the opportunity to swim, snorkel, hike or relax.
-- "Best of Dominica" in Roseau, Dominica, which transports travelers to Morne Trois Pitons National Park, where they can explore stunning botanical gardens and hike to the tropical-plant-and-waterfall grotto known as the Emerald Pool.
-- "Mexican Cooking Experience" in Huatulco, Mexico, where guests learn to prepare Mexican classic dishes such as tortillas, enchiladas, stuffed chilies or Oaxaca chicken stew, before dining on their culinary creation.
-- "Historical Plantation Ruins of St. John" in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a historical and cultural island tour of St. John led by a local expert in the country's history.

Azamara Cruises' deluxe ships--Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest--offer an intimate experience, while allowing access to exotic destinations experienced travelers long to reach. For the 694 guests on each Azamara Cruises ship, every moment at sea embodies the pinnacle of luxury, and each footstep on shore accentuates the difference between visiting a place and getting a true sense of place. This year, Azamara Cruises presents the best of enchanting Europe, elite Asia, and the most captivating Caribbean and the Panama Canal. The line also offers unique cruisetours in Europe. For more information, call 1-877-999-9553, or visit

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Two Princess Ships to be Remodeled with Line's Latest Signature Features

SANTA CLARITA, CA, April 30 - Two Princess ships will be remodeled to incorporate a number of the most popular amenities that have become passenger favorites on the line's newer ships. The upcoming makeovers of Star Princess and Caribbean Princess will include a transformation of the Deck 5 atrium into the inviting piazza-style street café currently found on Crown Princess and Emerald Princess; plus will add the company's signature adults-only Sanctuary and showplace Crown Grill steak and seafood restaurant, along with a more centrally located casino and seven new suites. Star Princess will receive these new features during her September drydock in San Francisco and Caribbean Princess will follow in January 2009.

The ships' updated atriums will not only feature the specialty coffees, freshly baked goods, paninis and tapas of the International Café, but will also introduce an expanded Vines wine bar concept, which will now include rare vintage wines, a selection of artisan meats and cheeses, plus a wine shop where passengers can purchase their favorite bottle. In addition, passengers will be able to relax in the tranquility of The Sanctuary, Princess' signature adults-only retreat, featuring plush padded lounge chairs and the services of dedicated Serenity Stewards. The ships will also replace their current steakhouse with the Crown Grill restaurant featuring an open show kitchen where passengers can enjoy watching as chefs prepare chops, steaks and seafood, including live lobsters. As part of the renovation, each vessel will also receive seven new suites with ocean-view picture windows, and the casino will be relocated one deck higher to deck 7, bringing it into the ship's central entertainment area.

"After Crown Princess and Emerald Princess debuted, we knew we had struck a chord with our passengers who loved the piazza-style atriums, new dining experiences and the peaceful environment of The Sanctuary," said Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president. "And so we're delighted to bring these hallmark features to two of the other vessels."

To make room for the new features, passengers may find that some of their favorite areas have been relocated. In addition to the casino, the sports court, Internet Café and wedding chapel are also among the spaces that will be moved in the renovation process.

The new features passengers will find aboard these vessels include:

The Piazza - This piazza-style atrium has been a popular area on the new ships, with its sidewalk café feel and casual dining options. The ships will offer this lively area on Deck 5, designed to be the bustling hub of the ship with a street café atmosphere, featuring live music and entertainers throughout the day and evening. With Italian-inspired décor, this charming area serves as an inviting venue throughout the day for passengers seeking a more casual dining option. Within this space, passengers can relax over coffee and pastries at the International Café or a glass of wine at Vines, or keep in touch with home at the Internet Café.

Vines - The expanded Vines concept features a wine bar serving a selection of rare and unique new- and old-world vintage wines along with gourmet delicacies. Here passengers can enjoy an assortment of fine wines by the glass, wine flights, a wine shop and a walk-in glass artisan cheese and cured meat humidor. Designed to resemble a wine cellar, the venue hosts unique wine tasting sessions, while the chef makes special appearances to pair selections with some of the world's most desirable artisan cheeses. Food-lovers can also sample a daily selection of sushi, sashimi, antipasti or ceviche. A signature feature in Vines, wine lovers will have the opportunity to sample a Swiss specialty, Raclette, a traditional melted cheese dish. The Vines shop offers an extensive collection of hard-to-find wines available for purchase, as well as Princess-branded favorites such as extra virgin olive oil, aged Italian balsamic vinegar and a selection of related gift items.

International Café - Serving up a variety of tasty options throughout the day, the International Café features an ever-changing array of quick bites and light meal choices. In the morning, passengers will be attracted by the aroma of freshly baked croissants, Danish pastries and beignets; while in the afternoon the Café serves grilled-to-order paninis, quiches and salads. At dinnertime passengers can stop by for tapas or dessert - including the popular chocolate fondue. Throughout the day, the café features the line's famous fresh-baked cookies, and coffee lovers can also select from a variety of specialty coffee drinks and Revolution teas.

The Sanctuary - The adults-only "pocket of tranquility" that has been so popular on Crown Princess and Emerald Princess, will be added to the uppermost forward deck of the ship, which currently houses the ships' sports court. The Sanctuary offers a relaxing alternative to the myriad activities available throughout the ship. Solitude seekers will be able to escape completely to this plush, outdoor spa-inspired setting with refreshing beverages and healthy fare, massages, relaxing personal entertainment and attentive service from the area's Serenity Stewards.

Crown Grill - The ships will trade their Sterling Steakhouse restaurants for a Crown Grill premium seafood and chop house concept as found on Crown Princess and Emerald Princess. This showplace restaurant entertains passengers with an open, theater-style kitchen where chefs custom-prepare steamed shellfish - such as lobster, scallops, clams and mussels - and cooked-to-order steaks and chops. Passengers can choose to sit at the kitchen's eat-up counter and watch the show as they dine.

Suites - Seven new oceanview suites will be added on deck six, offering additional options for passengers who enjoy the luxury and amenities that come with Princess' most spacious accommodations.

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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Holland America Line & the Port of Seattle Partner to Help Area Charities

SEATTLE, April 29 -- Holland America Line and the Port of Seattle have announced Ship to Shelter, an innovative new community-giving program that is the first of its kind in the nation. Holland America Line will collect valuable and reusable goods from their ships sailing from Seattle this summer, and donate them to Seattle area charities serving people in need.

The Port of Seattle, partnering with United States Customs and Border Protection, Cruise Terminals of America and Northwest Harvest, will work with the Seattle-based cruise line to donate items from the ships weekly and the goods will be distributed to shelters and homeless programs throughout Washington State.

In addition to the weekly donations of individual-sized toiletries, Holland America Line will periodically provide items such as towels, linens, dishes, cookware, silverware, televisions and mattresses.

"Giving back is part of the corporate culture at Holland America Line and it is part of our corporate social responsibility," said Stein Kruse, president and chief executive officer. "Over the years Holland America has worked with non-profits around the world to donate reusable goods in a socially conscious, environmentally friendly method. These items are periodically replaced on our ships and can be put to use for a good cause."

The program kicks off April 29 with ms Oosterdam, which will be docked at Pier 30, providing hundreds of items to Northwest Harvest, where they will be stored and then distributed to needy individuals and families. Each week, a Holland America Line ship will be in port to donate items. On May 16, ms Amsterdam will provide toiletries as well as dishes, 150 cooking knives and 300 sheet pans. Mike Regis, Procurement and Outreach Director, Northwest Harvest, said, "The missions and shelters will be incredibly grateful to receive these items as they are very difficult to come by and not something we see in the donation stream very often."

Holland America Line will continue to donate other items from various Seattle-based ships sailing to Alaska from May through September, helping Northwest Harvest provide very basic but much needed necessities to shelters throughout the state.

The Ship to Shelter pilot program incorporates strategic partnerships between the Port of Seattle, Northwest Harvest and Holland America Line to provide valuable goods that are no longer needed on cruise ships for reuse by needy individuals as well as providing an environmentally positive solid waste solution.

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John Lithgow to Perform Aboard Silver Whisper

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, April 29 -- Silversea Cruises' Silver Whisper will welcome award-winning actor John Lithgow as a celebrity guest speaker aboard its July 5 voyage from Athens to Venice. Guests will be treated to a portion of Lithgow's new one-man show, Stories by Heart, now playing a limited engagement at Lincoln Center's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater in New York. The show is a comic meditation on the art and essence of storytelling. Invoking memories of his grandmother and father before him, Lithgow traces his own history as an actor and storyteller, a history spanning three generations.

"We're thrilled and honored to have such a renowned stage, film and television actor on board to entertain our guests," said Cliff Perry, Silversea's director of entertainment. "The intimate, club-like ambience of Silver Whisper will make it the perfect venue to showcase Mr. Lithgow's formidable talents."

A theater actor at heart, Lithgow won the first of two Tony Awards three weeks after his Broadway debut, in David Storey's The Changing Room. He went on to make a major mark in films with Oscar nominations for his performances in The World According to Garp and Terms of Endearment. Lithgow has been nominated for ten Emmy Awards for his work in television. He won three Emmy Awards, one Golden Globe, two SAG Awards and an American Comedy Award for what is perhaps his most celebrated creation--the loopy character of the alien High Commander, Dick Solomon, on the hit NBC comedy series 3rd Rock from the Sun.

The July 5 cruise aboard the all-suite, 382-guest Silver Whisper departs from Athens for Kalamata, Argostoli, Kotor, Dubrovnik, and Split, with an overnight stay in Venice.
For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent; for a complimentary brochure, please call toll-free (877) 215-9986 or visit

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Ambassadors Intl, Inc. Announces Plans to Sell Majestic America Line

NEWPORT BEACH, CA, April 29 -- Joe Ueberroth, Chairman and CEO of Ambassadors International, Inc., stated, "We are committed to operating the 2008 season of Majestic America Line while conducting our exit of the business in an orderly and effective manner. Several credible parties have expressed a sincere interest in acquiring some and/or all the assets of Majestic America Line and building upon the efforts and investments we have made in delivering unique cruise experiences that celebrate American history, culture and our magnificent waterways. In addition, our decision to exit Majestic America Line enables us to focus our efforts and investments on the successes of Windstar Cruises. Our dedicated American crew remain committed to providing our customers with extraordinary cruises and key vendors and business partners are working with us to ensure a smooth transition."

Ambassadors International, Inc. has a conference call scheduled on Tuesday, May 6, 2008 to discuss the financial results for the first quarter of 2008 and at that time management will elaborate further on the decision to sell Majestic America Line.

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Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Galaxy to Become First Ship
 in New TUI Cruises Fleet

MIAMI, April 29 -- Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Galaxy will become the first ship of TUI Cruises, a new cruise brand established through a joint venture between Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and TUI AG. TUI Cruises is designed for German-speaking guests seeking a contemporary/premium cruise experience. The onboard product will be custom-tailored to German tastes in food, entertainment and amenities.

Celebrity Galaxy will complete its scheduled sailings through the March 2, 2009, itinerary. It will enter service for TUI Cruises in May 2009 under a new name, and will sail in the Baltic in the summer season, and in the Caribbean in the winter.

"Celebrity Galaxy has been a treasured member of our family of ships since her maiden voyage in December 1996, and the outstanding crew onboard will continue to offer the service with style Celebrity is known for right up until the shift to TUI Cruises," said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Dan Hanrahan. "We look forward to transitioning those fine shipboard colleagues to the balance of the Celebrity fleet as we grow the brand with our new Solstice class."

Celebrity Galaxy joined the Celebrity Cruises fleet in December 1996 and was built by Jos. L. Meyer GmbH & Co. of Papenburg, Germany. Celebrity invested $4-million in a series of upgrades on the ship this month, including new carpeting, upholstery and lighting in a variety of public spaces and staterooms. The 77,713 gross-registered-ton ship carries 1,870 guests (double occupancy) and 909 crew.

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Fodor's Complete Guide to European Cruising Designates Carnival Cruise Lines as 'Best Of Cruising' in Nine Categories

MIAMI, April 29 -- Carnival Cruise Lines--a relative newcomer in European cruising, entering the market just three years ago--is well represented in the recently published Fodor's Complete Guide to European Cruises, garnering nine "Best of Cruising" designations, more than double the number of any other cruise line.

Fodor's Complete Guide to European Cruises is an annual publication providing comprehensive overviews of all major cruise lines operating within the region, along with travel tips, detailed port-of-call information and other helpful content aimed at experienced and first-time cruisers alike.

Carnival's nine "Best of Cruising" awards include:
-- Best Regular Dining Room Cuisine
-- Best Specialty Restaurants
-- Best Cruise Line For Families
-- Best Regular Cabins
-- Best Beds
-- Best Entertainment At Sea
-- Best Sports and Fitness Centers
-- Best Shops on Board
-- Best Fun & Funky Activities

According to Carnival's Executive Vice President of Marketing and Guest Experience Ruben Rodriguez, Carnival's nine awards reflect many of the signature elements of a "Fun Ship" cruise -- outstanding dining, spacious and comfortable accommodations, modern spa and children's facilities, and fun- filled activities for guests of all ages, all of which add up to memorable vacations.

"Considering that Carnival has been sailing in Europe for just three years, it is indeed an honor to be named 'Best of Cruising' by Fodor's in so many different categories," Rodriguez said. "We pride ourselves on providing our guests with fun, high quality vacations--regardless of where our 'Fun Ships' are sailing--and this recognition is a wonderful validation of our efforts," he added.

"By providing the 'Best of Cruising' to readers, Fodor's identifies the cruise lines and ships that offer the highest quality in features sought by today's passengers. I'm pleased that Carnival Cruise Lines has consistently met and exceeded our expectations in nine 'Best of Cruising' categories," said Linda Coffman, who, along with veteran travel journalists Ralph Grizzle and Lindsay Bennett, serve as editors of Fodor's "Best of Cruising" section.

Carnival's entry into Europe began in 2005 with a series of cruises aboard Carnival Liberty and, over the past three years, the line has tripled its number of voyages within the region. This year, Carnival will deploy two ships in Europe for the first time, including its newest and largest ship, the 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor, which will launch the line's first-ever 12-day Northern Europe program. Joining the Carnival Splendor will be the Carnival Freedom, which will operate Carnival's popular Mediterranean, Greece and Turkey cruises. Carnival will deploy two ships to Europe in 2009, as well.

In addition to European cruises, Carnival operates three- to 18-day voyages to destinations such as the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, New England, the Panama Canal, Bermuda and South America aboard its 22-vessel fleet. For additional information and reservations on the "Fun Ship" vacation experience, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Celebrity Cruises Gives 'Spring Cleaning' New Meaning

MIAMI, April 28 -- For many homeowners, "spring cleaning" can be an overwhelming chore. But just imagine if the effort involved replacing 2,707 square feet of tile, 9,843 square feet of carpeting, and 2,500 yards of fabric. Within just 17 days, Celebrity completed all that and more on Celebrity Summit during the ship's scheduled drydock period from April 11-27 at Blohm + Voss in Hamburg, Germany. The ship resumes its European season tomorrow, complete with a new 11,000-kilowatt diesel genset (dedicated electrical generation system), which reduces fuel consumption by generating electricity for the ship while in port.

Additionally, dance enthusiasts will find an entirely new floor in the ship's Rendezvous Lounge, shoppers can enjoy a completely renovated boutique gift shop area, and guests with attention to detail will notice freshly-varnished wood railings and newly-polished surfaces throughout the ship.

"We are constantly focused on the care and maintenance of our fleet, and evaluate the exterior and interior appearance of every ship, every day, to ensure we're consistently delivering the best guest experience," said Celebrity's Senior Vice President of Marine Operations, John Krousouloudis. Added Celebrity's Vice President of Hotel Operations, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, "We tend to be modest about talking about the work that takes place during scheduled drydocks, but it's a high priority, and a significant investment, because we know how important it is to guest satisfaction and our brand as a whole."

In 2007 alone, as part of its standard maintenance program, Celebrity Cruises invested more than $13 million across the fleet in bedding upgrades, new gym equipment in the fitness centers, marble polishing and repair, carpet replacement, new teak surfaces on several pool decks, varnishing of wood surfaces, revitalization of various gift shop areas, and new upholstery.

Celebrity's current fleet will be joined by Celebrity Solstice in 2008, Celebrity Equinox in 2009, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, and a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Ships Meet in Bermuda

FORT LAUDERDALE, April 28 – Regent Seven Seas Cruises offered guests aboard the 700-guest all-suite, all-balcony ships Seven Seas Voyager® and Seven Seas Mariner® an extraordinary treat as the celebrated ultra-luxury ships docked side-by-side in Hamilton, Bermuda this past weekend. The dual docking marked a rare event for Regent Seven Seas and its guests. The line’s international itineraries seldom allow the ships to simultaneously travel the same regions of the world, let alone meet in the same port. Seven Seas Mariner is in the midst of a 12-night Bermuda cruise which departed roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale; Seven Seas Voyager is nearing the completion of a 17-day transatlantic voyage from Piraeus, Greece to Fort Lauderdale on the final leg of its World Cruise.

In honor of this extraordinary mid-voyage meeting, Regent Seven Seas hosted a dual-vessel, bloody mary cocktail party, welcoming guests to visit either ship for a historic celebration that began at 10 a.m. Saturday and lasted through the day. Although the Bermuda meeting was unusual, it is actually the Regent Seven Seas fleet’s third visit to this sunny archipelago this year. Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Voyager and 490-guest, all-suite Seven Seas Navigator all visited Bermuda in April. For full information on all 2008 and 2009 Regent Seven Seas voyages, please visit

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New Extended Land Program Takes Crystal Guests to 'Wild Coast'

LOS ANGELES, April 28 -- Crystal Cruises announces a new post-cruise land program enabling guests to immerse themselves in the beauty and culture of Spain's Costa Brava, or "wild coast." Following Crystal Serenity's October 18 voyage from Rome to Barcelona, an optional four-night, five-day program offers historical, architectural and culinary enrichment in Barcelona and the Spanish countryside. In addition to five-star resort accommodations, highlights of the post-cruise program include:

-- The medieval city of Figueres, the birthplace of artist Salvador Dali, including a visit to the Dali Theater-Museum.
-- The Segrada Familia, the famed church and centerpiece of Barcelona designed by master architect Antonio Gaudi.
-- Besalu, one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the region.
-- Girona, nicknamed the "City of a Thousand Sieges," as a result of being repeatedly invaded by numerous armies, including Napoleon's, over the centuries.
-- The castle of Perelada, which houses a fine restaurant, casino, glass and wine museums and a library of more than 80,000 antique books.
-- Gourmet dining at a 13th century farmhouse restaurant.

"We continue to respond to our guests' requests for shoreside opportunities in certain destinations," says John Stoll, Crystal's director of land programs. "We've had limited calls in Spain, but found that our guests really loved the Crystal Adventures in Spanish ports, so we have expanded our program there. We're always seeking to give our guests more of the experiences they love."

The five-day itinerary takes guests to Barcelona and through the Catalonian countryside, with luxury hotel accommodations at Hotel Alva Park Resort & Spa in Girona. The 12-day cruise prior calls in Rome, Naples and Sicily, Italy; Gibraltar, UK; Malaga, Cartagena, Valencia, Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain.

The Crystal Difference
Aboard the ultra-luxurious Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, 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 superior quality, providing worldwide vacations of seven to 100+ days that bridge the best of land and sea. For additional information and Crystal reservations, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

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Active & Retired Military Personnel Can Book up to Three 'Fun Ship' Staterooms at Special Rates During Month of May

MIAMI, April 28 -- In honor of Memorial Day, Carnival Cruise Lines is offering active and retired military personnel an opportunity to book up to three "Fun Ship" staterooms for themselves and their friends and family members at special discounted rates. The new "Carnival Salutes Our Troops" promotion is available in conjunction with a wide variety of three- to 12-day "Fun Ship" voyages to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii and Europe, departing between now and Dec. 31, 2009, from 20 different departure points. Reservations must be made between May 1-31, 2008, to qualify.

Military personnel and their friends and families can take advantage of the following special rates: $219 per person for three-day cruises to the Bahamas and Baja Mexico; $229 per person for four-day cruises to the Bahamas, Caribbean and Mexico; $279 per person for five-day cruises to the Caribbean, the Bahamas and Mexico; $479 per person for seven-day cruises to the Caribbean and Alaska; and $829 per person for 12-day cruises to Hawaii and Europe. The promotion is valid for individual bookings only, capacity controlled and not applicable with any other discount offer. Military personnel must provide proof of service during the reservations process to be eligible for the special rates. Certain other restrictions apply.

"The new 'Carnival Salutes Our Troops' promotion is our way of recognizing the tremendous efforts of the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces," said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO.

For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Holland America Line Plans Exciting New Cruises and Ports in 2009

SEATTLE, April 28 -- Holland America Line has announced its 2009 global deployment which includes nearly 500 cruises that visit all seven continents and more than 320 ports of call. A highlight of the 2009 plan will take place in the fall when the ms Oosterdam moves to South America as the first Vista-class ship in the Southern Hemisphere. This will increase the line's South America capacity by 32 percent in this popular market.

"We are thrilled to be introducing a Vista ship with more verandah staterooms in the growing South American market," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "Our commitment to offering the most varied and intriguing destinations to our guests is unparalleled. In 2009 alone, we visit 20 new ports and introduce a number of new itinerary options."

Cruises, which sail from 35 home ports--11 in North America--range from two to 117 days in length.

Other 2009 Deployment Highlights
-- The first full year of sailings by 2,104-guest ms Eurodam, which enters service in 2008. The ship will offer itineraries in the Caribbean, Europe, and Canada/New England.
-- More than 20 new ports, including Cardiff, Wales; Kristiansund, Norway; Vaasa, Finland; Kiel, Germany; Batumi, Georgia; Maputo, Mozambique; Bonne Bay, Newfoundland; and Itajai, Brazil.
-- Four distinctive Grand Voyages aboard ms Rotterdam, ms Prinsendam and ms Amsterdam, ranging from a 50-day Mediterranean and Black Sea voyage to 117-day circumnavigation of the world.
-- Full Panama Canal transits in fall and winter aboard ms Statendam on 14- to 28-day cruises between Fort Lauderdale and San Diego.
-- Holland America Line will offer a total of 28 Mexico sailings including seven-day, nine and ten-day Sea of Cortez, 12-day in-depth Mexican Riviera itineraries, and an extensive 21-day Panamerica voyage to Mexico, the Panama Canal and Costa Rica.

South America & Antarctica
During the winter and spring season, Amsterdam embarks on six South America and Antarctica cruises ranging from 16 to 22 days and sailing from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Valparaiso, Chile. Amsterdam will also sail two 20-day cruises that venture farther south to Antarctica, sailing past stunning icescapes, volcanic Deception Island, Paradise Bay and Elephant Island. In November, Oosterdam will assume South America and Antarctica itineraries, including a 20-day holiday sailing for the first time aboard a Vista ship.

South America itineraries showcase intriguing cities such as Callao, Peru, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Montevideo, Uruguay, and the scenery of Tierra del Fuego, the Beagle and Cockburn Channels, Strait of Magellan and the Chilean Fjords. Some cruises include the Falkland Islands.

Prinsendam reprises its popular 26-day Amazon River cruise roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on November 25. The sailing calls at ports in the western Caribbean before heading to the jungles of Brazil. The adventure features eight days cruising the Amazon River with an overnight in Manuas, the furthest navigable point on the river for ocean-going vessels.

Europe & Trans-Atlantic
Whether guests are seeking an introduction to classic European capitals or a glimpse of life in the Shetland Islands or the Black Sea, Holland America Line packages more than 70 European itineraries, including 18 transatlantics in 2009. Six ships -- Eurodam, ms Maasdam, ms Noordam, Oosterdam, Prinsendam and Rotterdam -- will sail in northern and western Europe, eastern and western Mediterranean and across the Atlantic.

Noordam offers 18 Mediterranean sailings with 10-day itineraries departing Civitavecchia (Rome) April through October. Two cruises can be combined for a unique 20-day Collectors Voyage. The Oosterdam adds 14 alternating 12-day cruises sailing from homeports Barcelona and Venice, each offering overnights in Venice, Barcelona and/or Istanbul.

Prinsendam and Rotterdam cover Europe from the Black Sea and Mediterranean to Northern Europe and the Baltic, adding 22 distinct itineraries that range from 12 to 50 days.

For travelers seeking longer voyages, Maasdam offers a 35-day roundtrip Boston journey with two summer transatlantic segments between Boston and Rotterdam that include Iceland and Greenland. The Eurodam also sails August 11 from Copenhagen for a 16-day voyage to New York.

Eighteen additional transatlantic cruises provide a variety of itinerary options between Europe and North America with routes including varied ports in the Europe, Mediterranean, Iceland and Greenland and Canada.

Holland America Line offers 154 departures from May 8 to Sept. 27 on three cruise options -- Glacier Bay Inside Passage Cruises, Glacier Discovery, and Alaskan Explorer Cruise. Statendam, ms Ryndam, ms Veendam, ms Volendam and ms Zuiderdam will offer seven-day cruises roundtrip from Vancouver or between Vancouver and Seward. ms Zaandam, Amsterdam, and ms Westerdam will offer seven-day round-trip sailings from Seattle.

Many itineraries include Glacier Bay National Park with others visiting the larger and equally spectacular Hubbard Glacier. Port highlights include Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Haines and Sitka, Alaska and Victoria, British Columbia. Holland America Line also features 29 CruiseTours, which combine cruises to or from Vancouver with inland adventures.

From Alaska's incomparable Denali National Park to the Kenai Peninsula, Arctic and Yukon Territory, Holland America Line's 2008 Alaska CruiseTours will explore natural wonders and provide guests with in-depth cultural and wilderness experiences. With 29 CruiseTours ranging from 10 to 20 days in length, Holland America Line combines an Inside Passage cruise with exceptional land tours.

Grand Voyages
Rotterdam returns to world cruising in 2009 with a 117-day Grand World Voyage departing Jan. 19, 2009, from Los Angeles across the Pacific Ocean to the Hawaiian Islands, South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, before concluding in New York. Guests also have the option of a pre Grand-World Transcanal on Jan. 5, 2009 from Ft. Lauderdale.

Prinsendam sails on two grand voyages in 2009. On January 2, the ship departs Fort Lauderdale for the 68-day South America & Antarctica Voyage. This sailing explores this amazing continent from the Inca empires of the Andes to the lacy fjords of Chile and three incredible days cruising in Antarctica to the remote jungles of the Amazon.
On March 11, Prinsendam departs Fort Lauderdale for a 50-day journey to the Mediterranean and Black Sea, exploring 25 centuries of history, culture and art with stops in Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Turkey. This includes overnights in Barcelona, Spain, and Istanbul, Turkey, with port calls in France, Monaco, Italy, Greece, Ukraine and Portugal.

Amsterdam departs Seattle on September 26 for a new 67-day adventure to Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific. The itinerary includes French Polynesia, The Great Barrier Reef, and New Zealand.

Australia & New Zealand, South Pacific & Asia
Twenty-one South Pacific and Asia sailings from 12 to 19 days include brand-new itineraries and maiden ports aboard the Volendam. Itineraries are combinable into Collector's Voyages ranging from 27 to 66 days.

In Australia and New Zealand, cruises sail between Auckland and Sydney, visiting such ports as Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington. Two new Great Barrier Reef Experience cruises will enjoy four days in the Great Barrier Reef, an overnight at Sherrard Island, Darwin and Cairns.

New among Asia cruises are a 14-day Southeast Asia itinerary from Singapore to Hong Kong on April 4 (a reverse cruise sails from Hong Kong on November 9 for 12 days). The itinerary explores the best of Southeast Asia with an overnight in Bangkok and a first-time stop in Puerto Princesa, Philippines. Holland America Line has also added its first roundtrip Hong Kong sailing, a 14-day China and Vietnam itinerary departing on Oct. 26.

To start the year, Ryndam will sail roundtrip from San Diego on a 30-day voyage to Hawaii, French Polynesia, and the Marquesas Islands.

Mexico & Hawaii
Seventeen Mexico sailings and 14 Hawaii departures in 2009 aboard the Ryndam, Zaandam, Amsterdam and Oosterdam range from seven to 19 days. Most depart roundtrip from the popular homeport of San Diego, which provides convenient port access.

Ryndam will sail on 10- to 15-day Mexican Riviera and Sea of Cortez itineraries from February through April, while changing to seven to 12-day cruises to both destinations from September onward. Oosterdam will sail seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Jan. through Feb. Holland America Line is the only premium line to sail the Sea of Cortez and offer optional shore excursions to Copper Canyon.

In Hawaii, Zaandam sails 15- to 19-day Circle Hawaii cruises. Fourteen departures call at Hawaii's four main islands, including Hilo and Kona, Hawaii; Honolulu, Oahu; Nawiliwili, Kauai; and Lahaina, Maui.

Panama Canal and Amazon
Six Holland America Line ships traverse the Panama Canal on 23 sailings that range from 14 to 21 days. The 27-day Inca Discovery sailing aboard Statendam from Fort Lauderdale departs Jan. 10 on a journey that explores five Central and South America countries and the Panama Canal. The Oosterdam will sail a shorter version of the itinerary on Nov. 2 from Fort Lauderdale to Valparaiso, Chile. And Amsterdam sails a 21-day roundtrip Panamerica voyage Dec. 2 and visits Mexico, the Panama Canal, Guatamala and Costa Rica.

Ten 14-day full transit Panama Canal cruises depart Fort Lauderdale and San Diego aboard Statendam during winter and fall months. With these departures, Holland America Line has returned to Panama Canal cruises for an entire season in addition to spring and fall sailings. The Zuiderdam continues its 10-day Fort Lauderdale Panama Canal roundtrip cruises.

Other canal sailings are the 14-day Amsterdam departure from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 23. The Rotterdam also sails a 19-day holiday canal voyage on Dec. 16 from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles.

Canada/New England
Holland America Line's new Signature-class Eurodam will continue sailing Canada and New England cruises in 2009 and, together with Maasdam, will offer 21 cruises ranging from seven- to 15-days between May and Oct.

Eurodam features 10-day cruises between New York and Quebec City and also offers a 14-day cruise from Quebec City to Ft. Lauderdale. Maasdam adds seven-day sailings between Boston and Montreal with spring through fall dates. One Boston to Boston roundtrip sails on Aug. 29.

Nine Holland America Line ships will sail the Caribbean, with a roster comprising more than 220 sailings from Jan. to Apr. and October to December. Cruises range from seven-day eastern Caribbean getaways to exotic 14-day adventures in the southern Caribbean, some of which include the Panama Canal or South American ports. Guests on seven-day cruises may choose western, eastern or southern itineraries.

Departures are designed so guests can combine a seven-day southern Caribbean with a seven-day western or eastern Caribbean cruise to offer a more in-depth journey. The Collector's Cruises are also offered on select 10-day sailings, turning them into 20-day complete Caribbean experiences. Many cruises also feature a day at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's acclaimed private island. With activities such as a guided AquaTrax watercraft tour and stingray adventure, Half Moon Cay continues to serve as the line's highest rated Caribbean port of call.

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

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Oceania Cruises Adds More Than 100 Gateways to Free Air Program

Miami, FL, April 28, 2008 — Oceania Cruises is pleased to announce that it has expanded the Free Airfare program for its 2009 European Collection to include more than 120 cities in the Untied States and Canada.

“Based on the feedback we have received, we want to ensure that our promotions are inclusive of as many of our travel partners and guests as possible. The Oceania Cruises Experience has tremendous allure and now offers even greater value with a free airfare program that is unrivaled in its scope,” stated Bob Binder, President of Oceania Cruises.

With Free Airfare from more than 120 North American gateways and 2 for 1 cruise fares, these extraordinary voyages are the pinnacle of value and guests are urged to make their reservations as early as possible to ensure that they take advantage of the free airfare and receive the accommodations of choice on their preferred voyage. The free airfare promotion is valid through August 31, 2008 and is capacity controlled.

With an unrivaled array of itineraries that call on Europe’s most enticing ports, Oceania Cruises will offer 56 European voyages that range in length from 10 to 30 days and call at more than 80 ports. With a keen focus on providing a unique and enriching destination experience, every aspect of the line’s 2009 European Collection has been meticulously crafted with the discriminating traveler in mind. With more overnight stays in Europe’s star cities and a unique mixture of marquee and boutique ports, traveler are afforded the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich and abundant history, culture and cuisine of Europe’s most alluring cities. Oceania Cruises’ three ships offer opportunities for discerning travelers to explore everything from the romantic waters of the Mediterranean and Greek Isles to the cosmopolitan capitals and stunning scenery of Northern Europe.

Highlights of the 2009 European Collection:

Magnificent Maiden Ports – Hellesylt, Norway; Fowey, United Kingdom; Biarritz, France; Koper, Slovenia; and Split, Croatia.

Jacques Pépin sails aboard Insignia from Barcelona to Istanbul on August 9. With a mix of intriguing ports including Egypt and the Holy Land, this voyage will include special culinary demonstrations, wine lectures and exclusive shore side events.

5th Annual Oceania Club Reunion Cruise – departing from Rome on October 5, 2009, this extraordinary 12-day voyage call on a dozen ports in five fascinating countries. With a stellar line-up of ports that includes Venice, Cinque Terre, Dubrovnik, Kotor, and Monte Carlo to name just a few, Oceania Club members will be feted with exclusive cocktail parties, members-only lunches and dinners, private shore excursions and additional surprises.

A New 16-day Venice-Rome voyage highlights the scenic splendor and intriguing history of the Dalmatian Coast. Insignia sails from Venice to Rome on May 15 and calls on Koper, Split, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Corfu, Sarande, Valletta, Taormina, Sorrento, Amalfi, Florence, St Tropez, and Cinque Terre.

Regatta returns to Scandinavia and Russia and sails to Norway and the British Isles for the very first time. A 12-day Norwegian Fjords and British Isles cruise sails roundtrip from Dover on July 13 and calls on Edinburgh, Invergordon, Alesund, Hellesylt, Belfast, Dublin, Waterford, and Fowey.

A new 14-day Egypt and Israel itinerary sails from Barcelona to Istanbul and includes Tunisia, Malta, Greece, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus and Turkey. This voyage departs aboard Nautica on June 27, Insignia on August 9 and Regatta on October 31.

4 new Grand Voyages that span all of Europe and South America. Guests may sail from Venice to Stockholm; Barcelona to Venice, showcasing virtually the entire Mediterranean; Istanbul to Miami; and Rome to Rio de Janeiro.

For additional information, to make a reservation, or to order a brochure, please contact your Travel Agent or Oceania Cruises at 800-531-5658. Visit us at

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Best of the Baltics & Fjords: Costa Cruises Offers Most Verandas & Savings on Northern European Voyages in 2008

MIAMI, FL, April 28 – From the lush green landscapes surrounding centuries-old fjords to the sophisticated cities of Scandinavia, Costa Cruises offers travelers a glimpse into the “Best of the Baltics” aboard its three ships that sail the region on seven to 14-night voyages in 2008. With more verandas in Northern Europe than any other cruise line, guests will have a special view into this incredible part of Europe that brings both sublime nature and cultural enticement together in one place. Fares on these sailings begin at just $799 in the summer, offering an outstanding value for travelers to experience the region, complete with Costa’s signature Italian flair for “la dolce vita.”

In 2008, three Costa ships will sail Northern Europe – the 86,000-ton Costa Mediterranea and Costa Atlantica, as well as the 76,000-ton Costa Victoria. Together, these ships offer more veranda accommodations than any other cruise line. Costa’s Northern European itineraries cover thousands of square miles, from Iceland to Sweden, from Norway to Germany, from Denmark to Russia. Travelers will see awe-inspiring fjords, cascading waterfalls, legendary castles, ornate palaces and brilliantly colorful meadows visiting cities like St. Petersburg, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Oslo. This unique mix of spectacular natural beauty, medieval castles, storybook palaces and savvy city flair come together to form an unbelievable experience for guests.

“This summer, we’re offering some of our best values ever to travelers visiting Northern Europe – not only are the fares incredible, but the quality guests will experience onboard is beyond excellent on all three ships sailing the region,” said Maurice M. Zarmati, President and CEO of Costa Cruise Lines—North America. “Our three ships in the region offer guests more veranda options than any other cruise line. For travelers who have already visited the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, or even Alaska, sailing Northern Europe is the perfect vacation option.”

Costa offers guests a unique experience of “love, laughter and la dolce vita” in Northern Europe, and everywhere they sail. For 60 years, Costa Cruises has brought its special brand of Italian warmth and European sophistication to travelers around the world. “Cruising Italian Style” with Costa is much more than a voyage to a new and exciting destination – it’s an experience that creates lifetime memories that linger and make guests smile at unexpected moments. From delectable fresh pastas, warm cappuccinos, international guests who become friends from around the world, and charming Italian greetings travelers hear such as “buon giorno” and “buona sera,” sailing with Costa brings the passion and vitality of Italy to sea. For reservations or more information, contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit

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NCL’S First F3 Ship Takes Shape With Keel Laying

ST. NAZAIRE, FRANCE – April 24, 2008 – During a ceremony today at Aker Yards in St. Nazaire, France, the keel was laid for the first of Norwegian Cruise Line's F3 ships, the third generation and the next evolution of the company’s innovative Freestyle Cruising ships. The first block of the keel, number 5006, a double bottom block weighing 322 tons, was put into place marking the start of the overall construction of the ship. The milestone ceremony was attended by executives from Star Cruises, Apollo Management, NCL, and Aker Yards. Upholding maritime tradition, each attendee was invited to put a specially designed coin in a tube that was welded shut and placed in the keel for good luck.

“The F3 ships are our most innovative project in the company’s 41-year history and will provide a totally unique vacation experience,” said Colin Veitch, NCL’s president and CEO. “Today as we lay the keel for this groundbreaking new ship, we are one step closer to revolutionizing cruising as we know it.”

The two 150,000-ton F3 ships will each total 4,200 passenger berths, representing the largest ships in NCL's fleet. The new ship design will offer 60 percent more guest space than NCL's largest ships to date, which will be used to provide guests an even wider range of on-board activities, amenities and stateroom options. The ships' cabin mix will be the richest of any NCL ship with 100 percent of outside staterooms featuring private balconies. In total, each ship will have 1,415 balcony staterooms.

More details about the F3 ships including other innovative accommodations, public spaces, dining, entertainment/nightlife, cutting-edge technology and casino will be announced leading up to the launch of the first F3 ship in 2010. For the latest updates on F3 with downloadable high-resolution images of the New Wave staterooms, visit

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Boston Symphony Chamber Players to Perform Aboard Queen Mary 2

SOUTHAMPTON, England, April 24 -- The Boston Symphony Chamber Players, one of the world's most distinguished chamber music ensembles, will perform on Queen Mary 2's eastbound Transatlantic Crossing departing New York on September 4. Cunard Line, the "Official Cruise Line" of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, will welcome these players and the Boston Symphony Orchestra's esteemed Artistic Administrator, Anthony Fogg, for special performances and lectures held throughout the voyage.

The Boston Symphony Chamber Players' engagement is a highlight this season of many illuminating performances and appearances that comprise "Cunard Insights™", the Line's award-winning enrichment program, which is now available on all three of its celebrated ocean liners. "Live classical music remains a Cunard hallmark to this day and showcasing a world-class chamber orchestra of this notoriety will be a truly memorable event for our guests," said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line.

The Boston Symphony Chamber Players were founded in 1964 to ensure the BSO could share the unique qualities of the full chamber repertoire with concertgoers. Cunard Line is entering its second season as sponsor of the Boston Pops at Tanglewood Series and the Tanglewood Jazz Festival. To learn more about the upcoming schedule of performances for "Cunard Insights", visit and search for a specific voyage itinerary. To book passage aboard Queen Mary 2's September 4 Transatlantic Crossing, or for general information and reservations for Cunard, contact your travel professional, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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NCL Introduces New Entertainment On Board Norwegian Jade

MIAMI, April 24 – Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced that it has introduced new entertainment on board Norwegian Jade as part of the ship’s year-round deployment in Europe. Reflecting the company’s continuing commitment to Freestyle Cruising, the wide variety of entertainment offerings were designed to offer guests more flexibility during Norwegian Jade’s port-intensive European itineraries. The new entertainment includes four new off-Broadway musicals, the legendary show phenomenon Tony n' Tina's Wedding, an expanded The Second City comedy show, and a classical dance production by award-winning choreographer Twyla Tharp. In addition, Norwegian Jade is the first NCL ship to feature Freestyle 2.0 enhancements, including all new menus in the restaurants, upgraded bedding and enhanced on-board activities programming, including NCL “U” enrichment classes, themed parties, sports programming and enhanced youth programs.

“With Norwegian Jade’s year-round deployment in Europe, we’ve developed special entertainment programming that raises the bar for cruise ship entertainment, offering an engaging and vibrant daytime and nighttime line-up for our guests,” said Colin Veitch, NCL’s president and CEO.

On Norwegian Jade, NCL has replaced the traditional cruise director with both a master of ceremonies and a guest activities director. The master of ceremonies is a professional entertainer who hosts all evening events while the guest activities director coordinates the ship’s daytime activities. In addition, the entertainment scheduling has been changed to allow guests more flexibility and choice each evening. The nighttime production shows are offered twice per cruise, but only one performance per evening, in contrast to the traditional offering of one production show being offered twice per night. This provides guests the option of catching a show later in the cruise if they miss the first performance. In addition, most evenings there is a second show performed that includes acrobatics, action comedy and magic. To enhance the performance, all shows are performed live with the accompaniment of the Norwegian Jade orchestra.

Norwegian Jade’s new Freestyle Entertainment includes:

-- Smokey Joe’s Café, The Songs of Leiber and Stoller: A jukebox comes alive during this Tony-awarding winning musical, showcasing more than 40 classic favorite rock and roll, rhythm and blues songs written by songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The hits include “Dance with Me,” “Poison Ivy,” “Hound Dog,” “Stand by Me,” and more.
-- SHOUT! The Mod Musical: Based on a popular British magazine, this engaging revue brings back the smashing sounds of England in the 1960s. From cover to cover, SHOUT! travels through the decade with unforgettable music of the era and includes performances of classic songs such as “Downtown,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” and “Goldfinger” along with eye-popping fashions and groovy dance numbers.
-- And the World Goes ‘Round: The Songs of Kander & Ebb: This glittering musical features an eclectic collection of love and torch songs, such as “New York, New York,” “Cabaret,” and “Money, Money,” interspersed with banjos, roller skates and a tribute to Sara Lee.
-- Showdown!: This NCL Entertainment original production features four “contestants” who compete in a mock reality singing competition where the audience votes on the winner. The contestants sing Motown favorites and engage the audience with their unique personalities. They also invite the audience to join in the fun in a dance-a-thon medley.
-- Sinatra Suite: Choreographed by the award-winning dance legend Twyla Tharp, this two-dancer ballet set to Sinatra music was originally performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov and is performed on the ship by a husband and wife team. Full of emotion and romance, the piece features classic Frank Sinatra songs, including “Strangers in the Night,” “That’s Life,” and “My Way.” Costumes for the production were designed by Oscar de la Renta. The dance is performed as part of a Classical Evening that includes an opera singer and another Tharp choreographed work, Junk Duet.
-- The Second City International Cabaret: A seven-member ensemble from famed Chicago improvisational group, The Second City, hosts an entirely new and expanded evening of cabaret theatre in the Spinnaker Lounge. Offered multiple nights and running for four hours, the cabaret mixes The Second City’s unique sketch improvisational comedy with game show vignettes, special guests and dance and music sets performed by a live band. This highly interactive evening includes lots of spontaneous entertainment and audience involvement.
-- Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding: The hottest off-Broadway show and one of the longest running, Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is a hilarious interactive show that satirizes a traditional Italian-American wedding with audience members as "invited guests" to the nuptials of the Vitale and Nunzio families, portrayed by a improvisational cast of 25. The wedding and reception is held once per cruise in the Spinnaker Lounge, which is transformed into Vinnie's Coliseum restaurant, a classic Italian wedding hall complete with pasta served on paper plates.
-- Bar Central: In addition to the shows in the Stardust Theater and Spinnaker Lounge, Bar Central is another exciting entertainment venue. This dynamic piano lounge attracts guests from cocktail hour to late night with its engaging blend of show tunes, classical and popular music. Guest entertainers from other venues often drop in for impromptu duets and star turns.

Freestyle 2.0 Offers Enhanced On-Board Activities -- On Norwegian Jade, guests are among the first to experience a wide-range of new day and evening offerings as part of Freestyle 2.0. These include:

-- NCL “U”: Guests on Norwegian Jade can experience this enhanced educational, entertainment and lifestyle programming, which includes a number of offerings throughout each cruise focused on four distinct areas: Digital Age & Technology; Destination Education; Food, Wine and Spirits; and Comedy & Humor hosted by the famed The Second City troupe. Guests can choose from a number of seminars including a variety of sessions giving tips on digital photography, a series of destination discovery overviews, mojito making, tequila tasting, French pastry making, 30-minute Italian meals, corporate world improv tips, class clowns: improv for kids and much more.
-- New Themed Parties: Guests can party to the wee hours with two new themed nighttime parties: NCL’s White Hot Night and NCL’s Monte Carlo Night. Held in the Spinnaker Lounge on Norwegian Jade, the White Hot Night is the ultimate dance party set in a wonderland of white. Guests are also asked to wear white to the party and they can purchase special “white hot” shirts designed specifically for the event. NCL’s Monte Carlo Night, held in the casino, sizzles with all of the glitz and glam reminiscent of the French Riviera. It’s an evening of tantalizing entertainment unlike any other.
-- Enhanced Pool Deck Experience: Guests on Norwegian Jade are treated to a number of special sailaway parties throughout the cruise. Drink flags have been added on all deck chairs with witty sayings such as “I’m unwinding. (Please don’t make me walk to the bar).” In addition, cold towels are delivered regularly throughout the day and crew members are equipped with Evian spritzers to cool off guests who need some refreshing.
-- Enhanced Sports Programming: All new sports activities have been designed to make the sports deck more interactive and exciting. These activities include basketball tournaments; fitness classes such as body sculpting and stretch and relax offered outside on the sports deck; scheduled walks with the activities staff; and scheduled shuffleboard, table tennis and human-sized chess games on the sports deck.
-- Expanded Kid’s Crew and More Teen Activities: Kid’s Crew hours have been expanded and now run from approximately 9:00 am through to 10:30 pm on both port and sea days. Parents have the flexibility of letting their children enjoy the Kid’s Crew during these expanded times. As part of Freestyle 2.0, table games, Nintendo Wii and Xbox video game consoles have been added to the Teen Lounge.

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Offers Tahitian Entertainment & Culture
 Aboard Paul Gauguin

FORT LAUDERDALE, April 24 – Regent Seven Seas Cruises is celebrating the music, dance and culture of French Polynesia aboard the 330-guest Paul Gauguin. A new “Polynesian Night” is now offered during one evening of each voyage.
Polynesian Night features exciting and enlightening entertainment direct from the people of Tahiti, with arts and crafts demonstrations, special decorations in public rooms, and Polynesian-themed dinners available in Paul Gauguin’s two main restaurants.

“Our love for the Polynesian people and admiration of their heritage and culture is evident throughout our ship and remains a key part of our guests’ experience,” said Mark Conroy, President of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “As operators of the only luxury vessel offering Tahiti cruises year-round, we feel a special responsibility to faithfully bring the music, dance and craftwork of French Polynesia to our guests.”

Departing roundtrip from Tahiti, Paul Gauguin will sail throughout French Polynesia in 2008 and 2009, offering seven-night Society Islands cruises, a handful of 10-, 11- and 14-night voyages in the region, and rare opportunities to sail to and from Brisbane, Australia on two 16-night cruises in January 2009. Ports of call include Bora Bora, located at the center of a multicolored lagoon surrounded by offshore "motu" islets inside a protective coral necklace; Moorea, home to spectacular bays and volcanic peaks reflected in the waters of Cook's Bay and Opunohu Bay; and Huahine, one of the most picturesque and geographically diverse islands in the Society Group. Paul Gauguin, which recently celebrated its 10th consecutive year of uninterrupted service in Tahiti, is the region’s premiere ultra luxury cruise vessel, perfectly suited to the balmy days, sultry nights and inspiring panoramas of the South Pacific. The ship’s spacious public rooms and informal but luxurious environment evoke Tahiti’s tranquil atmosphere while the friendly onboard staff reflects the welcoming nature of the French Polynesian people.

On board, guests experience entertainment and enrichment programs that draw from and also celebrate Tahiti’s culture and inspiring natural environment. The beautiful and talented Gauguines - part cruise staff, part musical entertainers, part storytellers - add the unique personality of French Polynesia to every voyage, interacting with guests aboard ship and during shore activities in their native land. This energetic troupe has been an integral part of Tahiti cruises aboard Paul Gauguin since its inception.

Young guests and parents aboard Paul Gauguin may also participate in an exciting enrichment program designed to teach vacationers ways in which they can help protect the earth. Ambassadors of the Environment, created by famed ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of Jacques Cousteau, provides families aboard Paul Gauguin with shared experiences in learning the skills and practices to ensure a sustainable environment. Ideal for families traveling together, the program, run by Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, gives all participants direct, hands-on experiences and knowledge of marine eco-systems, while emphasizing the critical importance of conservation. Through slide shows, hikes, snorkeling excursions and discussions, families are introduced to the natural wonders of the region’s environment and their residents. The optional program is offered during the summer months and over the holidays. Full information and special offers on all 2008 and 2009 Regent Seven Seas Tahiti voyages can be found at

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New Carnival Splendor Offers An Array of International Cuisines

MIAMI – From hand-rolled sushi and a supper club modeled after New York’s renowned steakhouses to Mongolian barbeque and Indian tandoori, the new 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor will provide guests with a delectable array of international cuisines when it debuts in Europe this summer. The largest “Fun Ship” constructed to date, the 3,006-passenger Carnival Splendor makes maximum use of its size, featuring the widest variety of formal and casual dining options at sea with delicious, palate-pleasing offerings from around the world.

In addition to multi-course meals served in spectacular two-level main dining rooms, a diversity of global choices await diners in The Lido restaurant, which boasts a tandoori oven offering Indian-style chicken, fish kebobs, breads and other delicacies, a Mongolian wok where guests can select vegetables, seafood, meat and spices and have it prepared right before their eyes, and the ever-popular 24-hour pizza with seven kinds of pies and calzone. Carnival’s successful supper club concept will also be taken to new heights with The Pinnacle serving the finest dry-aged U.S.D.A. prime steaks and other dishes in a refined atmosphere.

“Today’s consumers are savvier than ever when it comes to cuisine, and they want not only longtime favorites but also the opportunity to enjoy new choices they typically wouldn’t try at home,” said Natko Nincevic, Carnival’s senior vice president of hotel operations. “Carnival Splendor’s size has enabled us to explore different culinary options for our guests’ enjoyment and raise the bar on our ocean-going cuisine,” he added.

Main Dining Rooms Offer Carnival Favorites
In keeping with the theme of culinary diversity, Carnival’s main dining rooms, the Golden Pearl, located aft, and the forward Black Pearl, offer guests a choice of six different appetizers and soups, two salads, and six entrees, and the ever-popular Broiled Lobster Tail served once each voyage, Additionally, Carnival Classicsa selection of popular appetizers, entrees and desserts—is available daily. A variety of decadent desserts, including Carnival’s legendary Chocolate Melting Cake, and an extensive wine list, featuring a number of reserve selections, will also be available.

Reservations-Only Supper Club
For those seeking a more intimate meal, there’s The Pinnacle, a reservations-only supper club, which will offer the finest cuisine in elegant and memorable surroundings that include a glass dance floor suspended over a mini-atrium that’s sure to be a conversation starter. Modeled after New York’s top steakhouses, The Pinnacle’s menu includes a nine-ounce filet, 14-ounce strip loin, and a 24-ounce porterhouse, along with lobster tail, veal and lamb chops, Dover sole and surf and turf with seared lobster and grilled filet mignon. Traditional steakhouse accompaniments such as creamed spinach, wasabi mashed potatoes and sautéed mushrooms, will also be available. Impeccable, leisurely-paced service, the finest china and stemware, and one of the most extensive wine lists afloathand selected by the line’s master chefs to match the cuisinemake dining at The Pinnacle a truly unforgettable experience.

Increased Casual Offerings
Continuing Carnival’s efforts at expanding the quality and variety of its casual dining choices, Carnival Splendor’s poolside restaurant, The Lido, will offer a wide range of breakfast, lunch and dinner alternatives served buffet-style. In addition to Indian tandoori and Mongolian barbecue venues, The Lido will include a New York–style deli with piled-high sandwiches and popular sides, a 35-item salad bar, pasta and meat-carving stations, and a grill serving hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken and steak sandwiches. Carnival Splendor will also feature a rotisserie upstairs on Panorama Deck, serving rotisserie chicken with the cruise line’s signature spice rub, along with traditional accompaniments.

Other Palate-Pleasing Options
Carnival Splendor’s culinary choices don’t end there. The ship also features The Coffee Shop, offering espressos, lattes and cappuccinos and decadent sweets; California Roll, a sushi bar offering complimentary Asian specialties prior to dinner each evening; and El Mojito, which, like the name implies, will offer different variations of the classic cocktail, along with a selection of wines and martinis.

There’s also 24-hour stateroom servicecomplimentary, of coursewhere guests can have freshly made hot and cold sandwiches, salads and other fare delivered to their cabin any time of the day or night. Late-night buffets with a different theme each night, including the Gala Midnight Buffet and Chocolate Extravaganza, will be featured, as well.

Carnival Splendor will also offer the popular “Fountain Fun Card,” offering unlimited soft drinks throughout the voyage for a one-time fee. Adult and children’s versions of the card will be available.

Carnival Splendor is set to debut July 2, 2008, with an eight-day voyage from Genoa followed by the launch of 12-day Northern Europe cruises from London (Dover) July 13, 2008. The ship will be deployed to Rome (Civitavecchia) for 12-day voyages to the Mediterranean, Greece and Turkey then reposition to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for seven-day Caribbean departures. Following a series of 14- to 18-day South America voyages, Carnival Splendor begins year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera voyages from Long Beach, California on March 29, 2009.

For additional information and reservations on Carnival Splendor’s various European, Caribbean, South American, and Mexican Riviera cruises, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Oceania Cruises to Adjust Fuel Surcharge

In response to the continually escalating price of fuel, Oceania Cruises is increasing its fuel surcharge* to $10 per guest per day for all new reservations effective May 1, 2008. The surcharge applies to all currently published sailings.

"The price of fuel continues to rise in price to levels that were previously unimaginable. We appreciate the continued understanding of our guests and travel agent partners as we make this necessary adjustment,” stated Bob Binder, President of Oceania Cruises.

The fuel surcharge of $10 per guest per day, regardless of voyage length, is effective for all new reservations as of May 1, 2008. The fuel surcharge applies only to the first two guests in the stateroom or suite and does not apply to third or fourth guests.

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New 130,000-ton Carnival Dream to be Based at Port Canaveral

MIAMI, April 23 – Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that the new 130,000-ton Carnival Dream, the largest “Fun Ship” ever constructed, will be based at Port Canaveral, Florida, beginning in fall 2009. Details on the ship’s itinerary will be provided at a later date. Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, the 3,652-passenger Carnival Dream is the first in a new class of ship for the line with a unique interior design, sleek hull and distinctive profile, along with a host of innovative facilities and features which will be released in the coming months.

The deployment of the Carnival Dream to Port Canaveral continues the line’s 18-year relationship with the Canaveral Port Authority, the longest tenure of any cruise line there. In addition to the Carnival Dream, the line has two other “Fun Ships” scheduled to enter service: the 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor, set to debut in Europe July 2, 2008, and the 130,000-ton Carnival Magic, slated for delivery in June 2011.

Carnival is the largest cruise line in the world, with 22 “Fun Ships” operating 3- to 18-day voyages to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, Canada, New England, Europe and South America. For additional information on the “Fun Ship” vacation experience, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Celebrity Cruises to 'High Five' its Guests With 2009-10 Caribbean Season

MIAMI, April 23 -- Celebrity Cruises is giving Caribbean cruise enthusiasts something to celebrate in late 2009 and early 2010. For the first time in five years, Celebrity will offer a range of Caribbean itineraries lasting a week or longer on five of its ships: Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Mercury, Celebrity Solstice, and Celebrity Summit. Together, the ships will call at 26 different ports during sailings ranging from seven to 14 nights, departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. These bookings opened for sale today.

Celebrity's 2009-10 seasonal Caribbean season will feature calls on new ports, the deployment of two of the line's new Solstice class of ships to the region, and the reintroduction of a 14-night itinerary length. Highlights will include the following:

-- Celebrity will introduce three new ports to its Caribbean line-up, including Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe; St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Scarborough, Tobago.
-- Celebrity Solstice, launching in December 2008, will sail seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises roundtrip out of Fort Lauderdale. These will alternate between two itineraries, one featuring calls at San Juan; Basseterre, St. Kitts; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten, and the other featuring stops at San Juan; Philipsburg; Tortola, British Virgin
Islands; and Labadee, Haiti.
-- Celebrity Equinox will sail 10- and 11-night "Ultimate Caribbean" cruises roundtrip out of Fort Lauderdale, featuring stops at ports such as St. Thomas; St. Kitts; Barbados; Dominica; St. Maarten; Grand Cayman; Colombia; Costa Rica; and Mexico. The 11-night itinerary includes a stop at Roatan, Honduras, which Celebrity has not visited since 2007.
-- Celebrity Constellation will sail Celebrity's first 14-night Caribbean season itineraries since 2005, offering several 14-night "Exotic Southern Caribbean" sailings roundtrip out of Miami, featuring calls in St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Tobago, Aruba, and Curacao.
-- Celebrity Mercury will sail a series of 10- and 11-night Southern Caribbean cruises out of San Juan. Celebrity Mercury will also sail one 15-night holiday cruise during this series, and one nine-night cruise in early 2010.
-- From mid-December 2009 through mid-April 2010, Celebrity Summit will sail seven-night roundtrip voyages out of San Juan; this pattern includes the addition of the port of Scarborough to Celebrity's line-up as well as the addition of a call at Bridgetown, Barbados.

Celebrity will offer guests a variety of shore and land experiences in each port of call visited during its 2009-10 Caribbean season. Examples include:

-- "Mi Dushi" in Aruba, which lets guests board "Mi Dushi" for a day of sailing and snorkeling and an island lunch.
-- "St. Maarten Art Tour," which lets guests experience the island's art scene through tours of studios, galleries, and even homes of local artists.
-- "Swim with Turtles, Shipwrecks, Snorkel and Beach" in Barbados, during which guests encounter native sea life, learn more about abandoned ships and experience the pleasures of snorkeling.
-- "St. Thomas Ocean Racing Challenge," where guests have the opportunity to "be" part of the racing teams aboard the On Deck's Farr 65 Ocean Racing Around the World yachts.

Celebrity Cruises also recently announced its 2009-10 offerings of 4- and 5-night cruises to the Caribbean. To learn more about all of Celebrity's 2009-2010 Caribbean sailings, guests are encouraged to visit To learn more about Celebrity's new Solstice class, guests can tour

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Holland America Line Offers 70 Europe Cruises in 2009

SEATTLE, April 23 -- In 2009, Holland America Line is offering its most diverse and extensive European program ever. Six of the fleet's ships, including the soon-to-be-launched ms Eurodam, will cruise to 166 ports of call on 70 itineraries throughout the season. Sailing from March