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News from the world of cruising ~
May 7-13, 2001

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MIAMI -- Recognized by Forbes as one of the best travel sites on the web, recently added a shore-excursion booking tool. This feature allows guests and prospective cruisers to review more than 1,500 excursions in 260 ports of call as they plan or consider their customized Royal Caribbean vacation. 

"With our interactive website, we put guests and prospective cruisers in the drivers' seat, where they can experience "virtual" cruise vacations, get information on itineraries, ships, ports of call and onboard amenities, and now, choose the shore experience to complete their ideal cruise vacation," said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales, Royal Caribbean International. 

The new tool simplifies the booking process. Once guests book a Royal Caribbean cruise with a travel agent or directly with the company, they can use their booking number to purchase shore excursions online up to 10 days prior to their departure. A shore excursion icon takes guests to the Explorations! site where they browse by destination or make a purchase. Every excursion is profiled by port of call, with full descriptions, pricing and availability information.

"No one else in the industry offers this level of simplicity for such a diverse selection of excursions," said David Llewellyn, director, Shore Excursions. "The new system provides immediate answers to questions that previously required calls to our department." 

The new tool also expedites confirmation and payment. Once an excursion is booked, guests receive immediate confirmation by e-mail. The secured system allows guests to charge the cost to a credit card. International guests can select their preferred language and also can be charged the booking fee in their local currencies. Shore excursion tickets will be delivered to guests' staterooms on the first day of the cruise. Guests are free to make changes to their bookings up to 10 days prior to the cruise. Changes can still be made upon embarkation. Space will be reserved for guests who wish to book onboard. Reservations by mail and fax will continue to be available for select itineraries. With the aid of streaming video, allows prospective and past cruisers to experience "virtual" cruise vacations, which enable them to visit the Caribbean or Europe, and feel like they're parasailing in Grand Cayman or bicycling in Copenhagen. 

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

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Cruise Ship Cited for Sewage Violations in Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska - One of the first cruise ships to visit southeast Alaskan ports this season was cited for illegally dumping concentrated sewage into the scenic Inside Passage, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday.

The Norwegian Sky, owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines, discharged the sewage for 20 to 30 minutes while it was traveling between Juneau and Ketchikan, the Coast Guard said. With the ship traveling at about 17 knots, that means a waste stream of half to three-quarters of a mile, said Coast Guard Commander John Bingaman.

Tests performed by an independent laboratory on effluent samples from the ship showed fecal coliform 3,500 times the allowable federal standard and suspended solids 180 times the standard, the Coast Guard said.

The violation comes as residents and government agencies have heightened their concerns about cruise ship pollution, and as officials here debate a possible new law that would make Alaska the first U.S. state to regulate the vessels.

Bingaman said he found the timing surprising.

"With all the media coverage and with all the efforts that we have taken to work with the industry ... I find it unusual that this would have occurred,'' he said.

It was the first known violation of a new federal law that sets standards for treated sewage from cruise ships and prohibits discharge of untreated sewage in the Inside Passage's so-called "donut holes,'' areas in the channel more than three miles from shore.

The civil penalty for such a violation is up to $25,000 a day, the Coast Guard said.

Gov. Tony Knowles, who is pushing for state legislation that would be stricter than the federal standard, believes the incident illustrates why the cruise industry needs stricter controls, said Bob King, the governor's press secretary.

"It just shows the need for the state of Alaska to enforce its own standards and its own laws to protect our state waters,'' King said.

The Coast Guard learned of the situation after Norwegian Cruise Lines last Friday reported it had discharged treated sewage the previous night in the donut hole areas.

Coast Guard investigators boarded the ship Friday when it was docked in Ketchikan to take effluent samples. Test results showed the effluent had 700,000 fecal coliform per 100 milliliters, the Coast Guard said. The federal standard is 200 fecal coliform per 100 milliliters.

The Norwegian Sky was the first large cruise ship to dock this year in Juneau, a city of 30,000.

Knowles, a Democrat, on Tuesday called state lawmakers back to the capital for a special session on cruise pollution after the Republican-controlled legislature adjourned without taking final action on a bill to regulate the huge ships.

The bill, similar to one Knowles introduced in March, calls for ships capable of carrying at least 50 overnight passengers to register with the state; adhere to state waste regulations that may be stricter than federal standards; be subject to state civil and criminal penalties for violations; and pay a $1-per-passenger fee to fund state monitoring and enforcement.

The House passed the bill on May 1, but it became bogged down in a Senate committee over the weekend. (By Yereth Rosen, Reuters)

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Rolls-Royce Wins Two More Contracts for Queen Mary 2

LONDON -- Rolls-Royce has won two new contracts to supply podded propulsion systems and deck machinery for Queen Mary 2, the new luxury cruise liner to be built for Cunard Line at Alstom Chantiers de l'Atlantique in France. It has also won contracts to supply podded propulsors to three other cruise ships. The total value of these contracts is approximately 15 million pounds sterling.

Dr Saul Lanyado, President, Marine for Rolls-Royce, said: "These contracts bring the total value of equipment orders we have won in Commercial Marine so far this year to more than 170 million pounds. They are also another illustration of the wide range of products we are able to offer to the cruise and ferry industry. We have now won three contracts to supply equipment for Queen Mary 2 and we are very pleased to be playing a major part in this prestigious project.''

Rolls-Royce will supply four Mermaid™ podded propulsion systems for Queen Mary 2, the largest ocean liner ever built. This will be the first four-pod installation to date and will consist of two fixed and two azimuthing pod units delivering a combined output of more than 85MW. They will provide a speed of nearly 30 knots with low noise and vibration levels and maximum maneuverability. The Mermaid™ units will be delivered in December 2002.

Rolls-Royce has also won a contract to supply the deck machinery for Queen Mary 2. It will supply eight double drum Rauma Brattvaag mooring winches and two separate windlasses. The winches and windlasses will be electrically driven using frequency converter drive and they will have an auto-tensioning function. The pull of the mooring winches will be 25 tons per drum and the diameter of the anchor chain will be 114 mm. All the equipment will be delivered by September 2002.

These successes follow the announcement in March that Rolls-Royce will supply Brown Brothers stabilizers for the same vessel.

In addition, Rolls-Royce has won contracts for a further six Mermaid™ podded propulsion systems to be supplied for three other ships being built by Alstom Chantiers de l'Atlantique in France.

MSC Cruise, Italy's largest privately owned cruise line, is to increase its fleet with two new ships. Each of the 60,000 ton vessels will be equipped with two rotating Mermaid™ pod propulsion systems rated at 10 MW per unit.

The two Mermaid™ units for the first ship will be delivered in May 2002 and those for the second vessel in mid-2003.

Also currently under construction at Alstom Chantiers de l'Atlantique, is a 68,000 ton luxury cruise liner for NYK (Nippon Yusen Kaisha). The ship will be powered by diesel engines and two rotatable Mermaid™ pod propulsion systems, rated at 13.5 MW per unit.

Developed by Rolls-Royce and Alstom Power Conversion, Mermaid™ is the most powerful and flexible marine propulsion system in the world. Each system is optimized by the Rolls-Royce Hydrodynamic Research Centre in Kristinehamn in Sweden to the hull form and performance specifications of the vessel, ensuring maximum maneuverability with minimum noise and vibration levels. Alstom Power Conversion supplies the electric drives.

Rolls-Royce plc is a global company providing power on land, sea and air. Rolls-Royce is the global leader in marine power systems with a broad product range and full systems integration capability. Over 2,000 marine customers and more than 30 navies use Rolls-Royce propulsion. The company is investing in new products and capabilities for energy markets which include the oil and gas industry and power generation. It also develops its own power projects through Rolls-Royce Power Ventures Ltd.

Rolls-Royce pioneered gas turbine technology for aerospace, power generation and marine propulsion and is involved in all the major future programs in these fields. These include the Trent aero and industrial engines, the Eurofighter Typhoon and Joint Strike Fighter combat engines, the WR21 marine engine and leading edge water jet propulsion systems.

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Miami - Celebrity Cruises named long-time Celebrity executive Ares Michaelides senior vice president, Marketing and Brand Planning, expanding his financial and administrative responsibilities to include marketing and brand development.

Michaelides has played a major role in the evolution of the 11-year-old cruise line.  Since joining the then four-year-old company in 1994, as vice president of Finance and Administration, he has helped to shape the five-star product, secure the brand's premium position in the marketplace, and guide the overall growth of the company.  From 2000 through 2002, Celebrity's capacity is doubling to 16,000 berths and nine ships. Michaelides also led Celebrity's efforts in the 1997 merger of Celebrity and Royal Caribbean International.

"Ares has been instrumental in making Celebrity Cruises the success it is today," said Celebrity President Richard Sasso.  "He has been involved in every major decision, and at every level of our operations, from building ships to picking music for television ads.  He knows this brand as well as anyone, and I can think of no better person to promote our product." 

Prior to Celebrity, Michaelides worked as vice president for Chase Manhattan Bank, and, earlier, as assistant vice president of the Industrial Bank of Japan and financial analyst for Moody's Investor Services. 

Currently, Michaelides serves on the company's Vessel Newbuild Steering Committee, Ethics Committee and Fain Scholarship Committee.  He also chairs the company's Diversity Council.

Michaelides holds a bachelor of science degree in math and economics from Drew University and master's degrees from the London School of Economics. He also holds a chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation.

Michaelides replaces James Lomonosoff, who is leaving the company to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.

Celebrity Cruises is the highest rated premium cruise brand in the industry and has the youngest fleet of any major cruise line.  Celebrity's eighth ship, Summit, launches this Fall, and Constellation will make its maiden voyage in May 2002.  For more information, visit the Celebrity web site at

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Renaissance Cruises Announces “The Great Gift Sail”
Two Can Sail for the Price of One Through August 2002

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, May 10, 2001 – Renaissance Cruises today announced a special, limited time promotion called “The Great Gift Sail.”

The exciting promotion allows two people to sail for the price of one.  A passenger booking a Renaissance Cruises balcony stateroom or suite can take along a loved one or fellow traveler for free.  The promotion also makes a unique gift to a couple for any special occasion: Father’s Day, graduation, birthday, anniversary, or “just because”.

“This sale is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself, a special someone, or a favorite couple to the adventure of a lifetime,” said Charlie Dunwoody, Renaissance Cruises’ Vice President of Sales. “We’re thrilled that our ‘Great Gift Sail’ makes it easier to give a Renaissance Cruises vacation. All of our cruises – on brand new ships with their intimate service and unforgettable itineraries – offer open seating dining, plenty of time for relaxation, and an atmosphere of casual elegance that distinguishes our ships from the crowded and impersonal mega-ships. Give someone the gift of a Renaissance Cruise Vacation and enrich a loved one’s life.”

For this special promotion, passengers can choose from both current and newly released itineraries sailing through August of 2002 to virtually every fabulous Renaissance Cruises destination including Europe, the Caribbean, Tahiti, Africa, and South America.

The offer applies to “R-Class” stateroom categories B, C, D, and all suite categories on Renaissance-Class vessels. The 2-for-1 discount applies to the cruise fare only (port charges and airfare are not included).  This amazing offer expires June 30, 2001.

Renaissance Cruises distinguishes itself from other cruise lines with its extraordinary destinations and Five Star service, on the youngest fleet in the cruise industry. The readers of Travel + Leisure magazine named Renaissance Cruises one of the top three large cruise lines in the world. The Company’s R-Class ships have also received top marks in CruiseReports’ annual “Top of the Class” rankings. Renaissance Cruises offers year-round itineraries to the Greek Isles, Tahiti and her Islands, Africa, Asia, Northern Europe and Scandinavia, South America, New Zealand and Australia, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean on eight brand new 684/698-passenger R-Class ships and two 114-passenger Renaissance-Class ships. The recent launch of the latest R-Class ship, R8, brings Renaissance Cruises’ total capacity to 5,742 berths and secures the company's place as the fifth largest cruise line company in the world. 

To book a Renaissance Cruises’ vacation, travelers should see their Professional Travel Agent or call 1-800-525-5350.

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Former First Lady Barbara Bush to join Gov. Jeb Bush for "Fascination with Reading 2001" on board Carnival¹s "Fun Ship" Fascination in Miami.

MIAMI ­ The Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation and the Cruise Line Coalition are inviting South Florida business and community leaders to join Gov. Jeb Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush for "Fascination with Reading 2001." This fund-raising event for the Governor¹s Family Literacy Initiative will be held Friday, May 18, aboard Carnival Cruise Lines¹ "Fun Ship" Fascination at the Port of Miami-Dade.  

This charity event will raise awareness of as well as financial support for the Governor¹s literacy program. Featured will be readings by the world¹s best-selling author of the "Goosebumps" series, R.L. Stine; Florida-based Daniel Keyes, author of "Flowers for Algernon"; former First Lady Barbara Bush, Gov. Jeb Bush, local celebrities and special guests In addition, the cruise industry is expected to make a charitable donation to the initiative.

"As an industry, we are committed to investing back in the local community, and we are proud to be a part of such a worthwhile effort," said Jim Border, chairman of the Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation and a vice president of Carnival Corp. "The individuals who benefit from the Governor¹s program will be role models for all those who struggle daily because of their lack of reading skills."

The Governor¹s Family Literacy Initiative recruits literacy volunteers, with the Florida Literacy Coalition serving as the fiscal and administrative agent for the program. A network of more than 300 "Literacy Providers" throughout Florida serves children, adults and families, teaching parents and children how to read together.

Studies have shown that literacy is one of the most pressing issues facing adults and children in the United States, and Gov. Bush has made it a priority in Florida. Statistics show that:

- 21 to 23 percent (40 to 44 million) of the 191 million U.S. adults were found to have literacy skills in the lowest measurable level (Level One);
- 25 percent of Level One readers are recent immigrants;
- 62 percent of Level One readers dropped out of school without finishing high school;
- 60 percent of Level One readers are over 65;
- 26 percent of Level One readers have physical, mental or health conditions that prevent them from holding a regular job;
- 19 percent of Level One readers reported having visual difficulties, and
- 21 percent of Florida¹s adult population rates in the lowest literacy level, and in the South Florida region that number is as high as 42 percent.

"As parents, we are our children¹s first teachers and our home is their first school," said Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. "Too many parents can¹t read anything more than very simple words and phrases themselves, as a result they have a very difficult time supporting the educational development of their children. This event is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to share the joys and benefits of reading, and contribute to the long-term prosperity of Florida¹s children."

For tickets or more information about the May 18 event, contact Ann Herberger at (305) 670-8031. Individual tickets are $500 per person, and corporate tables start at $5,000. The cost of each table or ticket includes a matching donation which provides an equal number of tickets to be donated to local literacy volunteers and coalition leaders who otherwise would not be able to attend. So far the initiative has issued $1 million in family literacy grants to 20 public and private non-profit education and community organizations in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

The program¹s major founding partners include the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, Carnival Cruise Lines, Comcast, Cooper and Hayes, the South Florida Annenberg Challenge, Verizon Communications, Walt Disney World Co. and Washington Mutual.

To volunteer as a literacy tutor, contact the Florida Literacy Coalition at (800) 237-5113 or visit the Web site at

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Norfolk, Virginia, May 9, 2001 - The Norfolk City Council voted another $2 million to upgrades at the harborfront pier at “Nauticus.” The dock at the National Maritime Center will have new and stronger bollards and other facilities added to better enable the docking of today’s larger cruise ships. The battleship Wisconsin is co-located and was opened for no charge public viewing last month.

Delta Queen Coastal Voyages has begun a series of cruises from the Nauticus location. Regal and Carnival each have several scheduled departures this summer. In October, the Holland America Line's Amsterdam will be in port for a dry-dock period and will originate a 12-day Canal cruise on the 1st of November from Norfolk to Costa Rico.

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From the Galapagos to the Great Wall, Crystal Cruises Explores Four Continents By Ship, Train, Plane, Helicopter ...

Luxury Line is Developing More Than 100 Shore Excursions for 2002 World Cruise

LOS ANGELES -- Shanghai by train, Bora Bora by snorkel, New Zealand by helicopter, the Great Barrier Reef by catamaran, and the Carara Rain Forest on foot are just a few of the opportunities for in-depth exploration along the route of Crystal Cruises' 2002 World Cruise. The 100-day "Grand Pacific Circle" aboard Crystal Symphony will sail round-trip from Los Angeles on Jan. 17, 2002. The floating resort is slated to visit 33 ports in 20 countries in North and South America, the South Pacific, Australia and Asia for its seventh consecutive World Cruise, including the luxury line's first-ever calls in Hayman Island, Australia; Shimizu, Japan; and Inchon, for Seoul, South Korea.

Crystal Cruises is developing a roster of more than 100 optional day tours and overnight expeditions offering a mix of historic and cultural sites, cosmopolitan cities, intimate experiences, exotic destinations, and soft adventure.

"Crystal Cruises' land program experts are creating a collection of programs to intrigue and inspire our guests who are searching for a variety of unforgettable experiences," says Craig Laforest, Crystal Cruises' director, land programs. "We customize a range of adventures -- from a few hours to several days -- to ensure our guests travel in the comfort and luxury synonymous with the Crystal Cruise experience while enjoying the richest treasures of a destination."

Among the shoreside highlights scheduled for Crystal Symphony's 2002 World Cruise are:

Historical Discoveries and Cultural Masterpieces: 
-- Explore Borobudur, one of the forgotten wonders of the world (from Semarang, Indonesia) 
-- Fly to Angkor Wat or Phnom Penh (from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) 
-- Unearth the Terra Cotta Warriors of Xi'an (from Hong Kong) 
-- Wander to the Great Wall, Tian An Men Square and the Forbidden City (from Tianjin for Beijing, China) 
-- Pass through the gates of Seoul's Chondungsa Temple (from Inchon, South Korea) 
-- Reflect in the waters surrounding Kyoto's famed Kinkaku-ji Temple (from Osaka, Japan)

Adventure Expeditions and Exotic Explorations: 
-- Trek through the Carara Rain Forest (from Puntarenas, Costa Rica) 
-- Journey to the Galapagos Islands (from Guayaquil, Ecuador) 
-- Snorkel with sharks and sting rays in Bora Bora 
-- Ride in an off-road vehicle to Litchfield Park and the Table Top mountains (from Darwin, Australia)

Intimate and Exclusive Experiences: 
-- Visit with locals at a traditional sheep station in Queenstown (from Auckland, New Zealand) 
-- Savor a specially-created gourmet lunch at Hayman Island resort

"World Value Fares" for the complete 100-day voyage start at $38,725 per person, double occupancy and include round-trip First or Business Class air transportation (depending on the stateroom category) from a Crystal Cruises North American gateway city, with private car, pre-paid gratuities, luxury overnight hotel accommodations and lavish gala bon voyage party in Beverly Hills, an overnight program in Beijing, and other exclusive events in Costa Rica, Tahiti, Bali and Hawaii, among others. Shorter voyages (from 18 to 34 days) are also available.

The 50,000-ton, 940-guest Crystal Symphony is one of the most spacious and luxurious vessels cruising the world. Her unique size in the luxury market allows for smooth sailing and a wide range of innovative facilities, generous amenities and elegant accommodations. The Six-Star rated liner features grand lounges and intimate clubs for extravagant production shows and star performers, a full-service fitness facility, Computer University@Sea, the only Caesars Palace at Sea casino, a lavish spa adhering to the principles of Feng Shui, expansive decks, two pools, award-winning cuisine, including "Valentino at Prego" selections from the esteemed restaurants of Los Angles and Las Vegas, and exquisitely appointed staterooms, more than half of which offer private verandahs.

Crystal Symphony and her sister ship Crystal Harmony are operated by Crystal Cruises, winners of the travel industry's most distinguished hospitality awards and guidebook ratings, including the fifth consecutive designation as best large-ship line in the 2000 readers' surveys conducted by Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines.

Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents. For a complimentary World Cruise 2002 brochure, please call (800) 820-6663. Visit the luxury line's website at

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MIAMI - Carnival Cruise Lines' 2,052-passenger Paradise - the 
world's first and only totally smoke-free cruise ship - will operate a series of six 10- and 11-day Caribbean "Fun Ship" cruises round-trip from Miami in 2002. The new 10- and 11-day voyages, combined with the Paradise's popular eastern and western Caribbean cruises from Miami, provide consumers four different options for smoke-free cruising. 

"Since we introduced the Paradise two-and-a-half years ago, there has been an increasing demand for more smoke-free itineraries and these exciting new 10- and 11-day voyages provide even more choices for guests to enjoy this one-of-a-kind vacation experience," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president.

On its new schedule, the 70,000-ton SuperLiner will sail on three "exotic" 10-day southern Caribbean cruises departing Feb. 21, May 2, and Oct. 3, 2002, and three "exotic" 11-day western Caribbean voyages departing Feb. 10, April 21, and Sept. 22, 2002.  

Ten-day sailings will feature St. Thomas/St. John; St. Lucia; Barbados; Martinique; and St. Maarten, while 11-day voyages will visit Curacao; Aruba; Colon, Panama (optional Panama Canal and Gatun Lake shore excursions available); Limon, Costa Rica; and Key West. 

Prior to and following its new 10- and 11-day voyages in winter, spring and fall 2002, the Paradise will operate its current schedule of weekly eastern and western Caribbean cruises. Eastern cruises visit Nassau, San Juan and St. Thomas/St. John, while the western route features Playa del Carmen/Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios.

Launched in November 1998, the Paradise offers a wide variety of dining, activity and entertainment options, all of which are enjoyed in a totally smoke-free environment. The Paradise also features inventive interiors that pay homage to the great ships of yesteryear with public rooms such as the Queen Mary Lounge, Rex Dance Club, Rotterdam Bar, America Piano Bar, and Blue Riband Library, named after the award given to the fastest transatlantic ocean liner.  

Dining options include a casual poolside eatery, the Paris Restaurant, featuring a 24-hour pizzeria and breakfast, lunch and dinner alternatives, as well as the elegant Elation and Destiny formal dining rooms offering full-service multi-course meals. Complimentary 24-hour room service and a patisserie are also available.  All of these options comprise Carnival's Total Choice Dining(SM), cruising's most comprehensive dining program offering the widest variety of casual and formal choices at sea. Also featured are three swimming pools, an expansive casino, a 12,000-square-foot health club, a conference center, a duty-free shopping mall, and indoor and outdoor children's play areas, part of the line's "Camp Carnival" children's program. 

Prices for the Paradise's 10-day sailings begin at $799 per person, while 11-day voyages start at $849 per person, based on double occupancy. If purchased via Carnival's new "Fun Finance Plan," 10-day cruises are available starting at $37 per month and 11-day cruises at $40 per month (based on a 24-month payment term at the lowest annual percentage rate available). Actual monthly payment terms may vary according to the applicant's credit qualifications. Valid for U.S. individual bookings only. Certain other restrictions apply. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom, along with round-trip air transportation from a variety of North American gateways, are also available. Carnival is currently accepting reservations for the Paradise's new 10- and 11-day sailings. 

For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit the line's Web site at

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Seabourn 'Signature Series' Excursions Set the Pace; Exclusive,
Innovative Shoreside Events Are Often Imitated, Never Equaled

MIAMI FL - Ultra-luxury cruise pioneer Seabourn Cruise Line remains the frontrunner when it comes to creating imaginative, exclusive shoreside events to complement the pampered lifestyle aboard its yacht-like ships. Now the company is expanding its menu of memorable excursions worldwide, adding a fresh range of offerings aimed at discerning travelers who seek a privileged and very personal experience of the fascinating places frequented by the yachts of Seabourn.

"Because our yachts carry just a few fortunate guests, we are able to provide all of them with a virtual backstage pass to the world,'' said Rick Meadows, Seabourn's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "Seabourn guests can visit the most famous sites, but privately, without the crowds,'' he continued. "And they can also discover the best-kept secrets of insiders, so that they experience our ports of call in ways that are sometimes unexpected, but always unforgettable.''

Some of the Signature Series excursions involve access to major attractions at times when they are closed to the general public. Thus Seabourn guests in Rome can tour the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel in a small group, with an expert guide, and view the museum's treasures of art unhindered by the crowds of visitors present when the building is open.

Signature Series experiences can also provide unusual perspectives such as a majestic hot air balloon flight from Greece's Plain of Thessaly to the towering 900-foot high rock columns supporting the astonishing Monasteries of the Air at Meteora.

Predictably, fine food, wine and festivities play an important part in Signature Series excursions, as well. Private visits, tastings and meals available encompass venues ranging from the celebrated restaurant Moulin de Mougins near Cannes to a luncheon in a Sicilian villa so spectacularly photogenic that Francis Coppola chose it as the setting for Don Tomasino Corleone's home in his film "The Godfather.''

Seabourn also takes pride in its Adventure Collection tours, which are designed for active travelers seeking exciting pastimes such as hiking, kayaking, biking, sailing, snorkeling or fishing. True to the company's personalized style of service, Seabourn staff members are knowledgeable and skilled at arranging golf, tennis, private cars or other private activities for guests in ports of call.

"Seabourn Pride, Spirit, Legend and Seabourn Goddess I and II visit the most appealing and fascinating places on earth,'' said Meadows. "We leave no stone unturned to assure that our guests have experiences ashore that are as exceptional as those we provide on board.''

Seabourn Signature Series Shore Excursions -- A Sampling

Private Visits:
* Private dinner with the curator and sunrise visit to the Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza
* The Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel
* The Tower of London and the British Crown Jewels
* The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia
* The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Florence
* Seville's Alcazar Palace
* Chile's Cerro Tololo Observatory -- largest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere

* A balloon flight over Stockholm, Sweden 
* A flightseeing tour to Antarctica from Chile
* A balloon flight above the fairytale carved cities of Cappadocia in Turkey
* Flightseeing Peru's mysterious Nazca Lines in the Atacama Desert
* A balloon flight at the Monasteries of the Air at Meteora, Greece
* Flight tour to Moscow from St. Petersburg
* Balloon flight over the ruins of Delphi in Greece
* Helicopter flight over Montserrat's volcano-engulfed capital

Tastings and Culinary Visits
* Bordeaux: Chateau Smith Haut-Lafitte and Chateau Grand Barrail
* An elaborate Czarist-styled evening in St. Petersburg's Yusupov Palace
* A class and tasting of classical Vietnamese food in Saigon
* An enchanting Thai dinner in a private Bangkok residence
* An evening cocktail concert in the courtyard of the Library of Celsus at Ephesus
* Dinner in London's exclusive In & Out Naval and Military Club
* Thai cooking class at Bangkok's Oriental Hotel
* Amalfi drive and luncheon at Hotel San Pietro
* Private regional olive oil tasting and luncheon at Hotel Splendido in Portofino
* A day at the exclusive Cotton House hotel on Mustique
* A 19th century-style French dinner at Quebec's Chateau Frontenac Hotel
* Luxury "castaway" day on Scilly Cay near St. Martin

Family Visits
* Visit to a private estancia in Argentina
* Home visit in St. Petersburg, Russia
* Home and school visit in Danang, Vietnam
* Visit to a private Hacienda in Andalusia where fighting bulls are raised

Seabourn is an ultra luxury cruise line with stylish, yacht-like vessels. The Seabourn fleet includes Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend and the Seabourn Goddess I & II. 

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Express Check-In and Early Embarkation Add to Personal Choice Cruising Experience

Princess will soon add another feature to its innovative Personal Choice Cruising program with the launch of "Your Choice Boarding." Designed to provide passengers with a faster and simpler embarkation procedure, as well as provide a welcoming experience for early arriving passengers, this new program creates a better than ever boarding process.

Your Choice Boarding debuts with a choice of a new Express Check-In alternative - specifically for passengers who return their pre-cruise documents 40 days or more in advance of departure - as well as the convenient option to board the ship much earlier than is standard in the industry and enjoy a leisurely lunch in either the dining room or top deck Horizon Court buffet.

"This is yet another innovation of our Personal Choice Cruising program which enables passengers to tailor their vacation according to their desires," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service. "Because passengers throughout the industry commonly cite boarding a ship as one of the least enjoyable aspects of the cruise, we're changing the process to make it easier and more convenient, and enabling passengers to begin their cruise vacation aboard ship almost immediately after they check in."

Beginning across the Princess fleet in May, the Express Check-In option will make boarding a simple process for passengers who meet the deadline to return their pre-cruise forms. Passengers who opt for Express Check-In will receive a special sticker on their cruise tickets designating that all of their paperwork has been completed, thus requiring them only to sign their cash-free signature card for their onboard charges before boarding the ship.

Whether they choose to use Express Check-In or not, all Princess passengers have the opportunity to board their vessel directly after check-in, which typically begins at noon.

"Your Choice Boarding is designed to begin our passengers' cruise vacation as soon as possible after they arrive at the ship. With some cruise lines, passengers are forced to wait in the terminal to board the ship until the cabins are ready, which can be as late as 3 pm," noted Brown. "With our Early Embarkation program, passengers can consistently board the ship following check-in and even enjoy a leisurely lunch in the dining room or Horizon Court, or relax by the pool. We know our passengers appreciate this special welcoming touch."

Express Check-In service will be available for all summer cruise destinations by mid-May. Passengers will receive pre-cruise information packets 70 to 90 days in advance of their sailing, and can return the requested forms by mail, fax or via the Princess website at Those wishing to use the online service can visit Princess' Cruise Personalizer by clicking on "Access Your Booking" on the Princess homepage and entering their reservation number. With this tool, passengers can quickly and easily fill out all required forms and choose their shore excursions, as well as note any special occasions taking place during the cruise, along with dietary requirements or other important personal information.

More information about Princess' Your Choice Boarding program is available through a professional travel agent. Brochures are available by calling 1-800-PRINCESS.

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~ Norwegian Dream and Norwegian Sky Receive Rare Perfect Scores ~

MIAMI - The U.S. Public Health Service (USPH), a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has conducted its recent round of unannounced cruise ship inspections. Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sky scored 100% (up from 97% in 2000) on April 29, 2001 in Seattle, Washington, and on April 2, 2001 in Miami, Florida, Norwegian Dream also scored 100% - making them two of only 15 ships to ever have earned a perfect inspection.

The USPH Vessel Sanitation Report consists of inspecting all facets of a cruise ship including disease reporting, toxic substances, potable water, environmental health and the swimming pools. The widest focus of the inspection is geared to reviewing the ship's food safety standards, such as personnel sanitation procedures, food source handling and protection, cleanliness of kitchen equipment, accessibility and maintenance of toilet and hand washing facilities and adequacy of deck facilities such as ventilation, plumbing, lighting and waste containers.

Norwegian Cruise Line has consistently scored over 90% in the USPH ratings. In previous inspections this year, Norway received a 93% and Norwegian Wind a 92%. In 2000, Norwegian Majesty received 92% and Norwegian Sea scored 90%.

On April 30, 2001, Norwegian Dream will begin its "Baltic Capitals" series entailing 11, 12-day cruises round-trip from Dover, England visiting Warnemunde, Germany; Tallin, Estonia, St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm Sweden; and Copenhagen, Denmark.* At the conclusion of the Baltic itineraries, Norwegian Dream will offer a fall series of 12-day Mediterranean and Ancient Holy Lands cruises until December 2001 alternating from Athens (Greece) and Istanbul (Turkey), with stops in Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Egypt and Israel.

Beginning on April 29, 2001, Norwegian Sky will feature cruises from Seattle to Alaska during the summer season through September 3, 2001. Norwegian Sky is the only major cruise ship to use Seattle as its homeport. At the conclusion of the Alaska season, Norwegian Sky will offer a series of 10-day Hawaiian Islands cruises round-trip from Honolulu before arriving back in Miami on December 15, 2001, to operate Eastern Caribbean itineraries throughout the winter.

Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line is an international cruise company and industry innovator that currently operates a fleet of eight ships sailing to more than 200 ports around the world. NCL is currently building three new ships: Norwegian Sun, a 1,960-passenger sister ship to Norwegian Sky (for delivery September 2001); Norwegian Star, a 2,200-passenger ship that will be NCL's largest (for delivery in November 2001); and Norwegian Dawn, a 2,200-passenger sister ship to Norwegian Star (for delivery in December 2002).

For further information on NCL, contact a travel agent or NCL in the U.S. and Canada at (800) 327-7030 or their web site at

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Cruise Lines Create Memorable Vacations while Preserving the Natural Beauty of Bermuda and the Bahamas

NEW YORK -- Hundreds of shades of blue water have long attracted visitors to Bermuda and the Bahamas. One of the best ways to count the various shades is to arrive in the islands by cruise ship.

Local governments have dedicated themselves to conserving these marine "parks,'' a commitment strictly observed by the cruise industry, reports the Cruise Line Coalition, an information bureau launched by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL).

"The islands' natural beauty is a major attraction,'' said Michael Crye, ICCL president. "We are committed to helping preserve that natural beauty by abiding by strict conservation policies in the islands, as well as all the over 1,800 ports we visit.''

"More people are discovering, and re-discovering, these beautiful islands,'' said James G. Godsman, CLIA president. "Their proximity to the U.S. and the availability of short cruises to the Bahamas make these ideal destinations for first-time cruisers who want to 'sample' a destination, while having a relaxing vacation at sea.''

In fact, cruising is seen by 88 percent of first-time cruisers as a good way to sample a geographical area for possible return visits, according to a CLIA study.

"About 6 percent of our land visitors have first visited the Bahamas on a cruise,'' said Dr. Jim Hepple, deputy director general of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. "This equates to about 100,000 visitors and about $100 million in economic contribution a year.''

With distinctly British ambiance, beautiful beaches, unique landscapes, and historic architecture, scenery is a key part of the attraction. Travelers will also find friendly residents, delightful shopping experiences and numerous water sports, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, swimming and world-class fishing.

"Getting there via a cruise ship adds an extra dimension to the island experience,'' added Godsman.

Sailing to Bermuda during the summer 2001 will be Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, Regal Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Seabourn Cruise Line.

The Bahamas, a year-round cruise destination, will be visited in 2001 by ships of Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, Regal Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn Cruise Line and Silversea Cruises.

For more information, visit a CLIA-affiliated travel agent or log on to CLIA's web site at

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Ocean Fund Gives National Audubon Society, Seven Others $770,000 In New Grants From Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

MIAMI -- The Ocean Fund of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has awarded a three-year, $450,000 grant to the National Audubon Society, plus grants to seven other marine conservation organizations, Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain announced today.

In 4-1/2 years since the launch of the Ocean Fund, the global vacation company has donated $4.9 million on behalf of Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises to 34 organizations working to protect the marine environment.

The latest grants, totaling $770,000, range from $20,000 to $150,000 annually. These funds will underwrite projects related to coral disease research, marine animal rescue, manatee protection, and the purchase of land in Alaska.

The major grant to Audubon supports two programs: Living Oceans, which protects endangered fish populations, and Coastal Islands Sanctuaries, which monitors wading birds and restores habitats in Florida. The Ocean Fund also continued support of education programs at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, California, and MAST Academy in Miami.

New grantees include the Washington-based Conservation Fund and four Florida organizations -- Florida International University Foundation, Tampa BayWatch, the Ocean Research and Education Foundation, and Mote Marine Laboratory's Tropical Research Center.

"We consider it a privilege to be associated with the outstanding work done by organizations receiving support from the Ocean Fund," Fain said. "It is doubly exciting to welcome five new partners. By working together, we can accomplish great things for the marine environment."

Audubon, which received three previous grants for a combined $150,000 from the Ocean Fund, will use the new grant to expand its fisheries program and include not only the protection of large pelagic fish, such as sharks and swordfish, but also the reduction of bykill of seabirds. Audubon's Living Oceans program uses science-based policy analysis and education to raise awareness of the challenges facing ocean wildlife.

Audubon also will continue its "Just Ask" seafood campaign, which encourages buyers and sellers to ask about their seafood: "What is it really?" and "Where did it come from?" In addition to the Audubon Seafood Guide and the 120-page Seafood Lover's Almanac, Audubon will create wallet cards, public-service announcements, and a museum-quality traveling exhibit about sustainable seafood choices.

One-third of Audubon's grant is earmarked for Audubon of Florida and its Coastal Islands Sanctuaries program, which educates the public about protection of bird habitats in the Tampa Bay and Florida Bay estuaries. Audubon will develop a Colony Watch Handbook and train volunteers in Tampa to monitor the health of colonies of wading birds, such as herons and egrets. Separately, Audubon will conduct nest surveys of roseate spoonbills in Florida Bay.

The complete list of Ocean Fund grant recipients is as follows: 

* Cabrillo Marine Aquarium: $70,000 over three years to continue its Sea Rangers youth conservation program, where trained students conduct tours of the Cabrillo Bay coastal habitat. 
* The Conservation Fund: $100,000 to help buy the Cape Bingham property, an 840-acre tract of beach and wilderness near Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park. 
* Florida International University Foundation: $75,000 over three years to build a rehabilitation pool and other facilities for the Marine Animal Rescue Society. 
* MAST Academy: $15,000 to create a preview video for Miami teachers and students using the magnet school's mobile marine science laboratory. 
* National Audubon Society: $450,000 over three years to support the Living Oceans program and Seafood Consumer Campaign and protect bird sanctuaries in Florida. 
* Mote Marine Laboratory: $20,000 to support research into coral diseases in the Tortugas Ecological Reserve by the Center for Tropical Research, Summerland Key. 
* Ocean Research and Education Foundation: $20,000 to support the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) program, measuring the health of coral reefs in the Bahamas, Jamaica and Central America. 
* Tampa BayWatch: $20,000 to support a boater education program to protect manatees and seagrass beds in Tampa Bay.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise company operating two cruise brands, Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises. The brands' combined fleet currently consists of 21 vessels with eight additional vessels under construction or on firm order for delivery through 2004. For additional information about Royal Caribbean, visit the company's Internet sites on the World Wide Web at and

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Holland America Line-Westours Inc. Funds Statewide Education Programs In Alaska With $200,000 in Grants

JUNEAU, Alaska - Holland America Line-Westours Inc. announced that the company is donating $200,000 in educational grants to Alaska university programs, primarily those related to tourism.

Speaking on board the company's cruise ship ms Zaandam, making its inaugural visit to Juneau, Al Parrish, Holland America Westours' vice president of government relations, said the $200,000 donation represents his company's continued commitment to support educational programs throughout Alaska. Total donations made to-date to the statewide system now total nearly $2 million.

"Holland America Westours takes very seriously its long-standing commitment to the State of Alaska, its residents and its educational programs. Tourism is vital to the state's economy and Holland America Westours is committed to maintaining the educational programs that will continue to foster quality tourism facilities and services for the future,'' said Parrish.

Parrish said this year's grants will go to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Alaska Anchorage, Sheldon Jackson College and Alaska Pacific University.

Programs the $200,000 donation will fund include:

  • $100,000 for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Museum, completing a six-year, $500,000 pledge made in 1996.
  • $55,000 for the University of Alaska Anchorage, to fund writer-in-residence program featuring Peter Jenkins, author of such noted travel books as A Walk Across America, Close Friends, The Walk West, Along the Edge of America and The Untamed Coast, and to continue a funding commitment to the Food Service Program.
  • $25,000 for tourism-related studies and educational programs at Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka.
  • $20,000 for Alaska Pacific University to continue to foster the Tourism Industry Management Program, the only program of its kind in the state.

Holland America Line-Westours Inc. is the largest and most experienced Alaska cruise and tour operator celebrating its 55th year of operations in "The Great Land.''

Holland America Tours owns Gray Line of Alaska, with the largest fleet of deluxe motorcoaches in the Far North, two large excursion boats and 13 McKinley Explorer luxury glass-domed rail cars, Alaska's most popular luxury rail experience. In addition, the company owns Westmark Hotels and Inns, the largest group in Alaska and Yukon Territory with 14 hotels in 11 communities. It also owns Gray Line of Seattle, offering a full line of tours to the Pacific Northwest and Canadian Rockies that can be combined with an Alaska cruise.

Holland America Line operates 10 premium cruise ships in the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Europe and Asia, as well as Alaska. The company has five additional cruise ships under construction in Italy and scheduled to enter service in 2002-2005.

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American Classic Voyages Co. Reports First Quarter 2001 Results

CHICAGO - American Classic Voyages Co., the largest American cruise company, today announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2001. Revenues for the first quarter were $64.2 million, an increase of $23.5 million, or 58%, over the first quarter of 2000. Net loss for the first quarter was $12.7 million, or $0.60 per basic and diluted share, as compared to a net loss of $6.4 million, or $0.33 per basic and diluted share in the first quarter of 2000.

AMCV Chief Executive Officer Phil Calian said, "Our first quarter performance was adversely affected by the downturn in the general economy and competitive pricing in the leisure industry. These factors occurred at the same time that we increased our Hawaii capacity by 140% with American Hawaii's Independence showing the greatest decline in yields.''

The company has taken action to improve its future business, Calian added. The steps include aggressive pricing in Hawaii, expansion of AMCV's distribution channel, continued product improvement at United States Lines and a reduction in the company's overall cost structure.

In the first quarter of 2001, the company reported yields on American Hawaii cruises of $130 per passenger night, a decrease of 39% from the comparable period of a year ago. For the full year 2001, the company estimated yields at American Hawaii to be $105 and yields at United States Lines 25% to 30% higher. For the full year 2001, yields at Delta Queen are expected to be 8% to 12% lower in 2001 than in 2000.

"On a positive note, we seem to have reached bottom with pricing and have experienced positive booking momentum in Hawaii during the past month, as well as significantly increased group allotments for 2002,'' Calian said.

On May 5, Delta Queen Coastal Voyages' cv Cape May Light set sail from Norfolk, VA on its inaugural seven-day coastal cruise. The introduction of this vessel, the first of two 224-passenger ships, with destinations along the eastern seaboard of the United States, was featured in last Friday's USA Today.

The first quarter of 2001 includes $2.0 million in pre-marketing costs for vessels that were not yet in service during the quarter and $0.9 million in start-up costs related to the introduction of the cv Cape May Light and cv Cape Cod Light, the second Delta Queen coastal vessel currently under construction. The first quarter of 2000 did not include any start-up expenses, but did include $1.1 million in marketing costs for vessels not yet in service during the quarter. On March 24, the ss Independence was removed from service for one week while its bow thruster was repaired. The cost of the repair was approximately $500,000. On February 20, the Patriot interrupted its seven-day cruise for unscheduled repairs, resulting in refunds issued to passengers of approximately $1.6 million, and travel credits for a future cruise expected to cost approximately $0.5 million.

American Classic Voyages is the largest owner and operator of U.S.-flag, U.S.-crewed passenger vessels. Its cruise lines explore the inland rivers and coastal waters of North America and sail throughout the Hawaiian Islands. For more information, visit

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Funniest Questions Asked by Tourists - In Celebration of National Tourism Week May 6 - 12, 2001

WASHINGTON, May 7 - The opportunity to disengage your brain for some true relaxation is one of the greatest attributes of leisure travel. A fringe benefit for travel industry employees is the comic relief that comes from serving people who sometimes have too much fun to think. Just ask them about the questions travelers pose when they're away from home -- the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) did as part of our celebration of National Tourism Week May 6-12 and the tourist that is in every one of us. 


* Does the river come back to the same spot where we put in? (from a whitewater rafter) 
* Does the sun set every night? 
* Are the Amish in season? 
* How long is a one-day pass good for? 
* What time does the 9 o'clock ferry leave? 
* How many miles of undiscovered cave are there? 
* Why is the CLOSED FOR CLEANING sign on the rest room? 
* When do they turn off the waterfalls? (at Yosemite National Park) 
* How come all of the war battles were fought in National Parks? 
* Why don't you have better marking in the places where trails do not exist? 
* Is that the same moon we see in Vermont?
* Does the bus tour go the same places that the boat tour does?
* Why don't you have more signs saying to keep the area pristine? 
* How much does it cost to mail a letter to the U.S.? (from an American tourist in Hawaii) 
* Are you expecting any earthquakes? 
* If it rains, will the fireworks be held inside? 
* Will I need my passport when I get off the ferry on Nantucket? 
* Do you serve breakfast? (at a bed and breakfast) 
* Is the horse manure on the square real? 
* When your fish die, do you flush them down the toilet like we do at home? (at an aquarium) 
* When do the caribou turn into moose? 
* What is the altitude? (on a boat passing through the fjords of Alaska's Inside Passage) 
* At what time of the year are the fewest Californians here? 
* I've heard about the jazz funerals in New Orleans. When can I go to one?

This selection of questions was culled from more than 400 submissions from travel and tourism companies and destinations from all segments of the industry. TIA is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $584 billion travel industry. TIA's mission is to represent the whole of the U.S. travel industry to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United States.

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Cunard Liners Sail Through the Seasons 
in New England & Canadian Waters

Round-Trip New York Cruises Embrace Old World Charm
 and Storybook Towns

MIAMI, May 7 -- Glide along the Eastern Seaboard of North America and relish in the emerald hues of the foliage while sailing on board Cunard Line's classic liners, Queen Elizabeth 2 and Caronia. Escape the sweltering summer heat and sail to cooler climates as the vessels make their way along the New England coast and Canadian shoreline during five spectacular round-trip New York cruises.

"Cunard ships have been calling at ports along the East Coast of North America since 1840, and we're pleased to continue traversing these waters 161 years later," said Deborah Natansohn, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Cunard Line. "Guests from around the world will be privy to the best this continent has to offer: picture-perfect villages, cosmopolitan cities, history steeped in tradition and plenty of culture," Natansohn added.

For global travelers, this is the opportunity of a lifetime to experience the multitude of exclusive shore excursions that allow guests to explore the history, geography and beauty of the area. Not only will the view from the decks of QE2 and Caronia be enriched with flora from the seasonal bloom, but once on land guests will have the opportunity to walk the historic Freedom Trail in Boston and sail the Tablelands Fjord in Newfoundland on one of Cunard's renowned shore excursions. A visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where Cunard's first steamer, Britannia, called at on her first crossing in 1840, is sure to be a highlight.

The cruises and their itineraries are:

Queen Elizabeth 2

* July 31 - August 11, 2001 (7124) -- French Canadian Breezes -- 11 days, round-trip New York: Quebec City, Quebec; Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia; Portland, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island. Special rates in conjunction with applicable offers begin at $1,495 per person, double occupancy and include port and handling fees.


*August 11 - 23, 2001 (8116) -- New England & Canadian Maritimes -- 12 days, round-trip New York: Oak Bluffs (Martha's Vineyard) and Boston, Massachusetts; Portland, Maine; St. John, New Brunswick; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia; Newport, Rhode Island. Special rates in conjunction with applicable offers begin at $1,695 per person, double occupancy and include port and handling fees.
*August 23 - September 4, 2001 (8117) -- New England & Labrador -- 12 days, round-trip New York: Oak Bluffs (Martha's Vineyard) and Boston, Massachusetts; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Corner Brook and L'Anse au Meadows, Newfoundland; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Newport, Rhode Island. Special rates in conjunction with applicable offers begin at $1,695 per person, double occupancy and include port and handling fees.
*September 16 - October 4, 2001 (8119) -- French Canadian Sojourn -- 18 days, round-trip New York: Oak Bluffs (Martha's Vineyard) and Boston, Massachusetts; Portland, Maine; St. John, New Brunswick; Corner Brook, Newfoundland; Quebec City, Quebec; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia; Newport, Rhode Island. Special rates in conjunction with applicable offers begin at $2,575 per person, double occupancy and include port and handling fees.
* October 4 - 16, 2001 (8120) -- Fall Foliage -- 12 days, round-trip New York: Oak Bluffs (Martha's Vineyard) and Boston, Massachusetts; Quebec City, Quebec; Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia; Newport, Rhode Island. Special rates in conjunction with applicable offers begin at $1,730 per person, double occupancy and include port and handling fees.

Cunard's QE2 and Caronia embody an Old World charm and incomparable British style that are reminiscent of Europe's finest hotels. While on board, guests can languish in a multitude of diversions or simply relax and soak up the sun. Take advantage of the esteemed lecture program; participate in enrichment activities, including Bridge, sports, computer classes and dance lessons; and savor glamorous evenings strolling around deck or watching a musical spectacular. With so much to offer, it's no wonder they're often called "Cities at Sea." The classic atmosphere combined with modern amenities of today make the sister liners the supreme playground to explore the world of timeless tradition and ultimate luxury. 

For more information or to reserve a voyage, contact a professional travel agent, call Cunard at 1-800-7-CUNARD or visit their website at Cunard Line, one of the world's most recognized brand names with a classic British heritage, has been in the business of providing luxury ocean travel for more than 160 years. The Cunard fleet includes famed Queen Elizabeth 2 and Caronia.

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MIAMI - May 7, 2001 - Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity
Cruises have launched a new Internet tool that provides online booking capabilities to customers who visit travel-agency websites.  The booking tool also allows travel agents to earn full commissions on all sailed bookings made through their website.

The new tool, Partner Booking Link, is designed to assist customers who visit a travel agent's website.  Partner Booking Link allows customers to quickly and simply connect to or where they can book cruises, as well as view entertaining multi-media presentations.  Partner Booking Link then directs booked cruises to the travel agency used as the online gateway, while providing the travel agency with full commissions on all sailed bookings.

"This is a wonderful new way to assist both our customers and travel agents," said Jack Williams, president of Royal Caribbean International. "As our customers visit the websites of their favorite travel agents, they can immediately link to one of our websites to research or book a cruise."

Customers who use Partner Booking Link connect to the Royal Caribbean or Celebrity website, which will include the travel agency's pricing and contact information.  When a cruise is booked, Royal Caribbean or Celebrity sends an e-mail confirmation to both the customer and the travel agency. The confirmation includes guest and travel-agency contact information and booking numbers.  The travel agency is responsible for supporting the booking by making changes the customer requests, processing cancellations, collecting final payments and delivering travel documents.

"We made Partner Booking Link easy for travel agents to use," said Rick Sasso, president of Celebrity Cruises.  "Our travel-agent website,, is the source for all enrollment information and technical assistance.  We provide everything, including the link buttons for use on the travel-agent websites."

Travel agents must visit in order to enroll in Partner Booking Link.  The website serves as a comprehensive resource for Partner Booking Link enrollment forms, instructions, information, and materials. There also is a downloadable guide with easy, step-by-step instructions for creating links and colorful link buttons for use on the travel-agent website.  Royal Caribbean and Celebrity continually update their websites, therefore, no maintenance time or effort is needed by travel agencies using Partner Booking Link.

Unlike similar online booking tools, which merely take customers to a cruise line's home page, Partner Booking Link can link customers directly to information on specific ships and destinations, available on the Royal Caribbean or Celebrity websites.  This feature makes gaining specific information quicker and easier for prospective cruise guests.

Customers have the option of submitting a credit-card deposit online via Royal Caribbean's or Celebrity's secure websites, or place their cruise "on hold."  Customers who place a cruise "on hold" are then contacted by the travel agency to obtain payment information. 

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Celebrity Tours.  Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises have a combined total of 21 ships in service and 8 under construction or on firm order.  Royal Celebrity Tours operates cruise-tour vacations in Alaska utilizing the world's largest glass-domed railcars.  Additional information can be found on &

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Golden Princess Debuts for Maiden Europe Season
Introduces Personal Choice Cruising Innovations

SANTA CLARITA, CA -- Princess' newest ship, the 109,000-ton Golden Princess, arrived in Southampton, England, on Saturday, May 5, 2001, launching the maiden  season for this anticipated vessel and introducing the company's Personal Choice Cruising(SM) program in Europe. 

Following a series of preview cruises May 8-16, Golden Princess will set sail from England to begin her Grand Mediterranean summer program between Barcelona, Spain, and Istanbul, Turkey, which runs through September. 

Golden Princess offers her 2,600 passengers the same unique design and innovative features that made her sister ship, Grand Princess, one of the most popular cruise vessels sailing today -- along with a few exciting additions. The ship's wedding chapel features an exclusive Wedding Cam, enabling friends and family back home to view passenger nuptials. Princess is the only line to offer at-sea weddings conducted by the ship's captain. 

Golden Princess also debuts the first AOL Internet Cafe, one of the largest  cyber facilities at sea, featuring 25 computer stations. And passengers can choose to have portraits taken at their convenience, and enjoy a host of photographic services, at the F/X Digital Photo Center, the first complete professional digital photography studio in the industry. 

On board, passengers will have plenty of opportunities to customize their vacation experiences through an unstructured approach that the line calls Personal Choice Cruising. One of the key elements of this program is Princess' innovative Personal Choice Dining, which is the only dining program in the industry to give passengers freedom to dine where, when and with  whom they wish. 

Passengers can choose between a restaurant-style dining option, where they can dine in one of the main dining rooms when and with whom they want, just like a shoreside restaurant, and a traditional experience with an assigned dining time, tablemates and wait staff. Or, they can choose among other special eateries including an Italian trattoria, Southwestern restaurant and 24-hour buffet and bistro. 

Like her sister ship, Golden Princess features three main show lounges and three main restaurants -- also Princess exclusives -- a virtual reality entertainment center, a state-of-the-art spa with a swim-against-the-current lap pool, a nine-hole putting green, two-level children's and teen's centers with activities for three age groups, and a trademark nightclub/observation lounge set dramatically atop the rear of the vessel and accessible only by a glass-enclosed, moving "skywalk.'' The ship also features more than 700 balcony cabins, another Princess trademark. 

"Passengers and travel agents alike have been eagerly awaiting Golden Princess, sister ship of one of the industry's most successful vessels -- our own Grand Princess,'' said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service. "The many innovative cruising 'firsts' introduced on Grand Princess made her one of the most successful ships in the industry, and now Golden Princess offers these same innovative features, plus more. 

"With the combination of the Personal Choice shipboard experience and the best Mediterranean itinerary in the business, Golden Princess is sure to make passengers feel that this is `where they belong,' an idea which is at the heart of our advertising theme.'' 

Golden Princess' Mediterranean route includes Europe's most heralded ports of call, such as Monte Carlo, Monaco; Florence/Pisa, Naples/Capri and Venice, Italy; Athens, Greece; and Ephesus, Turkey. It is the industry's only itinerary to feature overnight stays on board the ship in Barcelona, Venice and Istanbul, allowing passengers more time in these fascinating cities. 

She will sail this route through September before making her trans-Atlantic crossing for her U.S. debut in Florida, where she will be officially named by actress Jane Seymour. 

Princess Cruises, one of the best-known names in North American cruising, is a global cruise and tour company. Part of P&O Princess Cruises, it operates 10 ships on 150 different itineraries calling at nearly 260 ports around the globe. By 2004 another five ships will be added to its worldwide fleet.

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Seattle-Based Holland America Line Celebrates Huge Economic Impact With Visit of ms Ryndam

2002 Cruises From Seattle Announced

SEATTLE -- In conjunction with a Seattle visit by its luxury cruise ship ms Ryndam, Holland America Line-Westours Inc. announces that the company and its passengers contributed $139 million in economic impact to its headquarters city last year.

Holland America also announced it will offer spring cruises from Seattle in 2002, beginning a regular series of cruises from the company's home city. Holland America Line has been headquartered in Seattle since 1983. Prior to that time, its subsidiary company, Westours, made the city its home from 1951.

The 55,451-ton, 1,266-passenger Ryndam arrives in Seattle the morning of May 8 for a three-day visit at the Pier 66 Cruise Ship Terminal. Scheduled events include activities for local alumni passengers and travel agents as well as employee appreciation parties on May 8 and 9 and the gala Port to Port luxury travel and wine auction benefiting United Way of King County the evening of May 10.

"We are pleased and excited to welcome our ship, the Ryndam, to Seattle, the worldwide headquarters for the world's highest-rated major cruise line,'' said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "Unlike some other recent business announcements, we are celebrating the fact that our headquarters is anchored in Seattle and poised to grow even larger. We currently have 10 ships in our fleet and will be adding six more by the end of 2005.''

The company does business with 1,395 Washington business partners, 778 of which are in Seattle. The company's direct spending, including travel agent commissions, taxes, rent, fuel, food/beverage, utilities, equipment, air transportation, advertising, maintenance, port fees, etc., was $114 million statewide; $94.6 million for Seattle.

With the addition of six more ships through 2005, Holland America Line will have grown by 64 percent.

Coinciding with the Ryndam's visit, Holland America Line has announced its new program of three- and four-day cruises from Seattle, beginning in the spring of 2002.

The cruises, on board the 60,906-ton, 1,440-passenger ms Zaandam, will take place May 3, 6 and 10, 2002. Fall dates are being scheduled.

The three-day cruise departs May 3 and will visit Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia before returning to Seattle. The four-day May 6 cruise will include a visit to Victoria, scenic cruising of the Strait of Georgia, Seymour Narrows and Johnstone Strait to Alert Bay, and a visit to Vancouver. The May 10 sailing will be a one-day overnight cruise to Vancouver.

The Port of Seattle reports that there will be 56 cruise ship visits to Seattle in 2001, including the Ryndam's visit this week. This represents a significant increase from the 20 port calls in 2000.

For 2000, Holland America Westours estimates the direct economic impact of the company and its passengers on the state of Washington at $158 million and on Seattle alone at $139 million. Incorporating the commonly accepted economic multiplier of 2.5, the total economic impact of the company in the state is estimated at $396 million; $348 million for Seattle.

Holland America Westours and its subsidiary, Gray Line of Seattle, provided a total of 1,183 full-time equivalent jobs in Seattle in 2000. The company's payroll contribution to the local economy was $41 million.

Holland America Westours is the oldest and largest operator in the Alaska market, the third most popular cruise destination in the world after the Caribbean and Europe, hosting nearly 20 percent of all Alaska visitors. The majority of these passengers visit Seattle for one or more days. Passenger spending in Seattle is estimated at $3.5 million.

About Holland America

Holland America Line-Westours Inc. will offer 121 premium cruises and 26 tour options for the 2001 Alaska season. The line offers more cruises visiting Glacier Bay National Park than any other company, with 84 percent of its 2001 sailings -- 101 cruises -- visiting this spectacular attraction.

Holland America excels in service, amenities and special programs. Its ships have more staff members per guest than any other major cruise line, and its popular "tipping not required'' policy ensures consistent, attentive service.

Spacious staterooms average 25 percent larger and verandahs twice as large as those on other lines' ships. Menus, highlighted by Alaska specialties like salmon, halibut and King crab, are among the most extensive at sea. Dining choices include formal elegance, casual fare and 24-hour room service.

A wide range of shore excursions is offered, including an exclusive "Just for Kids'' program, with high appeal to the growing numbers of families choosing to cruise Alaska for their summer vacation. Onboard, guests may participate in the "Passport to Fitness'' activity program and take advantage of a complete fitness center as well as two exclusive cultural programs: the "Artists in Residence Program'' which features an Alaskan native on board to demonstrate a traditional craft, and the "Huna Interpretive Program,'' which provides rare cultural insight into Southeast Alaska's spectacular Glacier Bay through the eyes of a Huna Totem member, a tribe that has called the area home for centuries. All Alaska cruise also feature an on-board naturalist.

Holland America Line is the highest-rated premium cruise line in the world in both the 2000 "Travel & Leisure'' magazine "World's Best'' Awards and the "Conde Nast Traveler'' Readers' Choice Awards. The company also has won its ninth consecutive "Best Overall Cruise Value'' award from the World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society (WOCLS).

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

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