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News from the world of cruising ~
May 21-27, 2001

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Renaissance Cruises Signs Marine and Technical Operations Contract with Martinoli SAM   

Fort Lauderdale, FL, 5/25/01 – Renaissance Cruises today announced that it has signed an agreement with Martinoli SAM for its Marine & Technical Operations.   Martinoli SAM will assume management of Marine & Technical Operations of the Renaissance Cruises fleet. The new contract will not affect the status of any shipboard positions related to Marine and Technical Operations. Renaissance Cruises currently operates one of the youngest and most technically advanced cruise fleets in the industry.

Renaissance Cruises said that it expects the new agreement with Martinoli SAM will improve the efficiency of shipboard operations and further enhance the quality of the cruise experience for passengers on all the state-of-the-art ships in its award-winning fleet.

“Renaissance Cruises is committed to delivering an excellent cruise experience,” said Manfred Ursprunger, Renaissance Cruises’ President & Chief Executive Officer. “This new agreement with Martinoli SAM will streamline the Company’s Marine & Technical Operations and allow Renaissance Cruises to continue to offer an excellent cruise product and focus on increasing guest satisfaction to the next level.” “The agreement we have recently signed with Renaissance Cruises is a recognition of Martinoli SAM’s achievements in ship management and reputation for professionalism, particularly in the cruise sector during the last ten years,” said Andrea Zito, Managing Partner of Martinoli SAM. “We consider this to be an important step in the history of our Company, and we remain committed to our goal of providing the highest possible level of service to the cruise industry.” Martinoli SAM, is a Monte Carlo based ship management company. It was founded in 1946 by Federico Martinoli and still retains the name of its founder. The Company has earned a distinguished reputation for their expertise in Marine & Technical Operations.

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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Costa Cruises Corporate Office Drops Anchor in Hollywood, Florida

MIAMI, May 25 - Costa Cruises has announced the relocation of its North American headquarters to Hollywood, Florida, as of May 29, 2001.

Currently located in Miami, Costa's 100-staff North American office is responsible for all of Costa's sales, marketing and reservations for the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

"This new location puts us closer to our winter homeport of Port Everglades and also allows for future expansion as our company continues to grow," stated Dino Schibuola, President and CEO of Costa Cruises. 

Costa currently has five new ships entering service in the next three years including the 36,700-ton CostaTropicale in June 2001, the 54,000-ton yet-to- be-named transfer from Holland America's fleet in 2002, a yet-to-be-named 86,000-ton sister ship to the CostaAtlantica in 2003 and two yet-to-be-named 105,000-ton vessels in 2003 and 2004.

Costa's new office will be located at: 

200 South Park Road, Suite 200 
Hollywood, FL 33021-8541

Costa, Europe's #1 Cruise Line, has an international fleet that spans the globe offering cruises of 7 nights and longer throughout the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America and Transatlantic.

Costa Cruises is a member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance which also includes Holland America Line, Cunard Line, Seabourn Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Lines and Windstar Cruises. Together, these member lines share a commitment to quality and value, offering cruise vacations that appeal to the widest range of lifestyles and budgets and sail to some of the world's most exciting destinations.

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Renaissance Cruises Announces the Departure of Frank Del Rio  

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, May 24, 2001 – Renaissance Cruises today announced that Frank Del Rio, a cruise industry veteran, has resigned from Renaissance Cruises in order to pursue other interests. Until recently, Frank Del Rio held the title of Co-Chief Executive Officer. 

Prior to becoming Co-Chief Executive Officer in June 2000, Mr. Del Rio served in a number of top executive positions at Renaissance Cruises. Mr. Del Rio joined the Company in 1993.  

“While it is with mixed emotions that I leave Renaissance Cruises, I am pleased with the progress that the Company has made over the past year with the travel agent community,” said Del Rio.  “Renaissance Cruises continues to experience strong sales growth and bookings, which is a tremendous validation by our customers and travel partners of the phenomenal value and cruise experience offered by Renaissance Cruises.  The members of the agency community, especially the leaders of ASTA and CLIA and the heads of our major consortia travel partners, have my particular gratitude for their friendship and willingness to renew a meaningful relationship with Renaissance Cruises. Their support was critical as Renaissance Cruises renewed its commitment to the travel agency distribution system. I am especially proud of the contributions made by Renaissance employees in the Company’s successful growth since its inception in 1989.”

Added Del Rio, “Since my executive career began soon after college, I’ve been working non-stop for the last 24 years and I’m looking forward to a little rest and relaxation. A Mediterranean, Tahiti, or Greek Isles cruise sounds like the perfect plan for me right now.  After that, I look forward to renewing and developing new relationships within the travel community.”

Manfred Ursprunger, Renaissance Cruises’ President & Chief Executive Officer, said, “Renaissance Cruises has recently achieved one of the travel industry’s great transformations, thanks in large part to Frank’s efforts at renewing the Company’s relationship with the travel agent community. Frank’s abilities as a leader and visionary are well documented.  We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

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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Great Lakes Cruise Company Offers Unique Vacation Destination

ANN ARBOR, Mich, May 24 - As the world grows smaller, finding new and exciting travel destinations becomes more difficult. With concerns over cost and safety of international travel, one new destination is becoming very popular, especially for cruisers--the Great Lakes.

At the start of the 20th century, it was common to see cruise ships sailing lakes Michigan, Superior, Ontario, Huron, and Erie. By the late '60s, luxury cruisers had switched allegiance to tropical, international waters, and the aging Great Lakes ships ceased offering vacation cruises. But everything old becomes new again, thanks to the Great Lakes Cruise Company headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For cruisers who have already visited popular tropical ports of call or even Alaska's inner passages, the Great Lakes offer new and unexplored waters. Close to home and inexpensive to travel to, the Great Lakes are proving to be the hottest new cruising destination in North America.

During 2001, six cruises will either embark or disembark in Chicago and Toronto, aboard the newest, highest-rated passenger ships now sailing the Great Lakes: 3 1/2-Star German cruise ship MV Columbus and 4 1/2-Star French yacht Le Levant (Source: Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships 2001). Both ships were specifically designed for Great Lakes travel, with its narrow connecting canals and locks. Unlike wider and less environmentally friendly ocean vessels, these fresh water cruise ships must adhere to stringent environmental regulations established by the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore, these Great Lakes cruises provide passengers international flavor with foreign crews who speak impeccable English with delightful accents.

Ports of call include the civilized pleasures of Chicago, Windsor, Toronto and Traverse City, as well as dramatic cliffs, canyons and waterfalls just beyond the shore. Passengers enjoy stops at historic Mackinac Island, Niagara Falls, Marquette, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and Saugatuck while savoring the northern wilderness and the lakes themselves.

Passenger comments include, "We loved the experience--we have cruised Alaska and the Bahamas. We have traveled all over the U.S. and the world and this was wonderful!'' Another delighted couple said, "We were looking forward to this trip with great anticipation. It exceeded our expectations on all accounts--the accommodations, the staff, the food, and the entertainment, and the Great Lakes!''

For more information, visit or call 888-891-0203.

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Royal Caribbean International Opens Bookings For 2002 Alaskan Adventures

 Additional Rail Cars To Be Introduced Next  Season

MIAMI, May 24, 2001 - Royal Caribbean International has opened bookings for the 2002 Alaska season, offering roundtrip and open jaw sailings on Radiance of the Seas, Vision of the Seas and Legend of the Seas. Premium cruisetour packages, introduced this year, will be available on Legend of the Seas' itineraries.

"Alaska continues to lure vacationers with her rugged landscape and spectacular sights," said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales, Royal Caribbean International. "From traversing an ice field, kayaking pass a spectacular glacier, taking a train deep into the heart of Alaska, or roaming free among majestic wildlife, our guests will experience remarkable adventures." 

With an increase in rail car accommodations, more guests can experience any of 13 exciting packages taking them deep into the heart of Alaska on the most-advanced dome rail cars in the world. The cars offer 360-degree viewing; roomier, more comfortable seats that recline in pairs and rotate; onboard dining; outdoor viewing platforms; and wheelchair accessibility to the dome level - a first in the industry. All tours include a dedicated host, and are designed to balance viewing time onboard the rail cars and motor coaches with the time spent exploring the outdoors.

Guests will have the opportunity to experience one of nature's spectacular
ice sculptures, Hubbard Glacier, as part of the 2002 Alaska program.
Measuring more than six miles wide, and located among the world's tallest
coastal mountains, Hubbard Glacier is Alaska's largest valley glacier, and
one of the most active iceberg calving glaciers in the world.

2002 Itineraries

* Radiance of the Seas will sail seven-night voyages roundtrip from Vancouver each Saturday, from June 8 through September 14.  Ports of call include Inside Passage (cruising), Juneau, Skagway, Hubbard Glacier (cruising), Ketchikan and Inside Passage (cruising.)

* Vision of the Seas will sail seven-night voyages roundtrip from Vancouver each Sunday, from June 2 through September 8. Ports of call include Inside Passage (cruising), Hubbard Glacier (cruising), Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Misty Fjords and Inside Passage (cruising.) 

* After sailing two seven-night roundtrip Vancouver voyages on May 17th and 24th, Legend of the Seas will sail seven-night Gulf of Alaska cruises:

Vancouver to Seward (Northbound):  May 31, June 14 and 28, July 12 and 26,  August 9 and 23 and September 6. Ports of call include Inside Passage (cruising), Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau, Sitka and Hubbard Glacier (cruising) 

Seward to Vancouver (Southbound): June 7 and 21, July 5 and 19, August 2, 16 and 30 and September 13th. Ports of call include Hubbard Glacier (cruising), Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, Ketchikan, Misty Fjords, and Inside Passage (cruising)

Cruisetour Packages

Nine-, 10-, 11-, 12-, and 13-night cruise tour packages will be offered on
each northbound and southbound sailing.

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

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Royal Celebrity Tours Provides Travel Agents With Automated Booking Ability

MIAMI, May 23 - Royal Celebrity Tours now offers travel agents the ability to book its premium Alaska land tours through a variety of automated booking systems, including those of Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises.

Royal Celebrity Tours, established last year, offers premium land-tour programs throughout Alaska for Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises guests traveling on Gulf of Alaska itineraries. The company introduced the largest and most accessible dome rail cars in the world to the Alaska vacation market, on May 14.

"Giving travel agents the ability to book our new Alaska land tours through automated systems will save them time and energy,'' said Craig Milan, president of Royal Celebrity Tours. "Our automated systems provide the most up-to-date information and pricing for our tour packages, as well as the ability to book them immediately.''

Travel agents in the United States and Canada can use CruiseMatch 2000 (available through Sabre, Worldspan, Apollo-Galileo and Amadeus), CruiseMatch 2000 Online, Amadeus Cruise and Apollo-Galileo Leisure Shopper to research and book the 2001 and 2002 Alaska land tours for individual guests. Automated group bookings are currently available through the use of CruiseMatch 2000 Groups (available through Sabre, Worldspan, Apollo-Galileo and Amadeus). Agencies that do not use CruiseMatch 2000 Groups can book groups through the Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Groups Departments.

Travel agents may contact the Royal Celebrity Tours Help Desk at 1-888-307-8401 (individual bookings) and 1-800-722-5476 (group bookings) with any questions regarding all Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises Alaska cruise and land-tour packages. Complete overviews of Royal Celebrity Tours' automated booking processes can be provided through the Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises Automation Support Desk at 1-800-443-5789.

The new land tour packages are available to cruise guests onboard Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas or Celebrity's Mercury, as they sail north and southbound in the Gulf of Alaska. The tours have assorted itineraries, ranging from two to six nights, with a variety of options that bring guests to areas such as Alyeska, Anchorage, Talkeetna, Denali and Fairbanks.

All tours include a dedicated escort to guide guests through their Alaska adventure. Additionally, all rail tours include overnight stays in Denali, as well as at the new Talkeetna Lodge, which offers spectacular views of Mount McKinley. The Talkeetna area provides a wider variety of options and excursions than those available on traditional rail tours through Denali. Overnight stays in Talkeetna also balance the time guests spend on the rail cars each day.

Royal Celebrity Tours' rail cars have the most dome glass of any double- deck rail car, an open viewing platform and extra-wide seats that recline and rotate so guests can face forwards or backwards. The cars also are equipped with dome-level, ADA-compliant seating, which allow physically challenged travelers to access both levels, a first in the business.

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 eight under construction or on firm order. Royal Celebrity Tours operates land-tour vacations in Alaska utilizing the world's largest glass-domed railcars. Additional information can be found on,

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PA Gov. Ridge Delivers $3 Million To Erie-Western PA Authority To Build World-Class Cruise- And Ferry-Boat Terminal

Gov. Ridge's Second Major Investment in a Month in Erie's Bayfront Total Investment in Erie Bayfront Now More Than $60 Million

ERIE, Pa., May 23 - Overlooking picturesque Presque Isle Bay, Gov. Tom Ridge today delivered $3 million in capital budget redevelopment assistance funds to the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority to construct a new 16,000-square-foot cruise- and ferry-boat terminal on the Erie Bayfront.

"The adage `build it, and they will come' was never more true,'' Gov. Ridge said. "Erie's new cruise terminal provides the city with another world-class facility, a magnificent gateway that will enable the region to attract even more of the tens of thousands of tourists who cruise the Great Lakes each year.

"From the sunny shores of Presque Isle, to the Historic Brig Niagara and Erie Maritime Museum, to the art galleries and museums of Discovery Square,  Erie's scenic waterfront truly is the crown jewel of the community and the region.''

Gov. Ridge was joined at today's announcement at the Erie Maritime Museum by local community and business leaders. The announcement included a performance by the Strong Vincent High School jazz band.

The cruise- and ferry-boat terminal will be built just east of the Maritime Museum and the Blasco Library complex. When completed later this year, the terminal will be the largest and most modern facility of its kind on the Great Lakes.

The new terminal will accommodate the largest cruise ships currently touring the Great Lakes, and enable the authority to better market the region to tens of thousands of tourists who visit Great Lakes ports each year. The $12 million project includes construction of the terminal: much-needed dock facing rehabilitation; and construction of a parking lot capable of accommodating tour buses. The terminal also will house U.S. Customs and Immigration offices, and will be the primary point of entry into Pennsylvania for tourists cruising the Great Lakes and Canada.

The new facility also will enable the Port Authority to pursue plans for a cross-lake ferry to Canada that would carry 300 passengers and 55 cars on a daily basis. The location of the Customs and Immigration Service offices in the terminal were critical to this plan.

The project also includes the $6 million expansion of Metro Machine. The company is developing a major shipbuilding operation on the Bayfront. Metro expects to create between 25 and 50 permanent jobs with the fabrication of double-hulled tanker barges and ships.

"The Port of Erie is grateful to Gov. Ridge for his vision of our region,'' said Raymond P. Schreckengost, Executive Director of the Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority. "As Pennsylvania's only Great Lake port, Erie's cruise-boat terminal will open new market opportunities not only for the City of Erie but also for Northwestern Pennsylvania.''

Schreckengost said there has been a recent renewal in Great Lakes cruising, and Erie has sought to take full advantage. In 2000, only four cruises stopped in Erie. That number has grown to nine in 2001. The Port Authority expects about 1,700 cruise-boat passengers to visit the city and region during those trips.

According to cruise-industry reports, cruises generate about $200 per passenger call per day for the local port of call. That means the nine cruises and 1,700 passengers that visit Erie this year will generate about $350,000 for the region.

With a larger, state-of-the-art facility to market, the Port Authority can attract even more vessels to Erie.

Right now, three Great Lakes cruise ships call on Port Erie. Two vessels, the 90-passenger French cruise ship LeLevant and the 65-passenger U.S. cruise ship Niagara Prince, are small enough to dock at Dobbins Landing. Because of its size, the third vessel, the 250-passenger Greek cruise ship Arcadia, has to use Metro Machine's dock.

The new terminal's deep draft slip will meet the needs of the larger cruise boats.

During the winter season, the dock will be used for ship repair. The remaining dock face will be used by Metro Machine to build double-hulled tanker barges and ships.

Metro Machine already has made significant investments in their facility to manufacture barges. They also are leasing a portion of a Keystone Opportunity Zone site on the Bayfront for their expansion. This proposed project would allow them to complete the topside work on the barges/tankers after the hulls are finished.

Already home to an engaging mix of public facilities, restaurants, shops, maritime activities and an abundance of public space, Erie's Bayfront District has benefited from recent public and private initiatives to rejuvenate, develop and beautify the Bayfront as a first-class tourist district and "people place.''

Under Gov. Ridge, Pennsylvania has invested more than $60 million in the Bayfront, delivering $32 million for the Erie Convention Center; nearly $18 million for Presque Isle; $10 million for reconstruction of the U.S. Brig Niagara and the Maritime Museum; $1 million for State Street redevelopment; and $500,000 for a new children's section within the Blasco Memorial Library. The Port Authority's Bayfront District runs along the waterfront from the East Avenue boat launch to the Cascade Creek wetlands. The district itself is bounded by Presque Isle Bay, a scenic harbor protected by Presque Isle State Park on the north and bounded by Erie on the south. The bay has been the historic focal point of life in the Erie Region for more than 250 years, and today's Bayfront District is steeped in this history.

Today's $3 million grant was enabled in February 1999 when the General Assembly approved Gov. Ridge's plan to raise the cap on the capital budget's redevelopment assistance fund by $650 million for vital community- and economic-development projects.

The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is a state grant program for the acquisition and construction of economic, cultural or civic improvement projects. The General Assembly must authorize funding for projects before they can be considered by the Governor. Since 1985, more than $1.5 billion in redevelopment assistance funds have helped to leverage $4.1 billion in local matching funds. Projects range from museums, zoos, theaters and cultural centers to airports, convention centers and industrial parks.

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Cocaine Seized From Disney Crew

ORLANDO, Fla., May 23 - Three crewmen of a Disney cruise ship have been arrested at Port Canaveral, central Florida, on charges of trying to smuggle cocaine off the vessel, the U.S. Customs Service said on Wednesday.

Customs agents spotted packages bulging from the trouser legs of the men as they carried out a routine inspection of passengers and crew disembarking from the Disney Magic on Saturday.

The men were found to have packages of cocaine taped to their legs. A total of 6.6 pounds (3 kg) of cocaine was seized worth approximately $60,000 wholesale.

Pedro Woods, 33, and Brent Andrews, 28, both from St. Vincent, and Rohan Walters, 30, from Jamaica, were arrested. 

The Customs Service said it was the first significant drug seizure off a cruise ship in Port Canaveral, an Atlantic coast port which mainly serves the Caribbean cruise ship industry. 

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MIAMI (05/23/01) - Carnival Corporation today announced that it has  priced the previously announced sale of its 25 percent interest in Airtours plc,  at £2.84 per share, resulting in gross proceeds to Carnival of approximately £350 million ($497 million at current exchange rates).

Proceeds from the sale will be used for general corporate purposes. The sale of Carnival's 123.3 million shares is expected to close on June 1, 2001. The sale will result in a one-time nonoperating gain of approximately $90 million ($0.15 per share) in Carnival's fiscal third quarter 2001 (at current exchange rates).  The expected impact of excluding Airtours' results from Carnival's 2001 and 2002 operating earnings is in line with estimates previously disclosed.

"Airtours has been a positive investment for Carnival from both a financial and strategic standpoint," said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation chairman and CEO.  "For the five years that Carnival held its interest in Airtours, the company earned a 13 percent compound annual rate of return on its investment.  More importantly, the Airtours investment facilitated Carnival's entrance into the European vacation market and helped the company to become the leading provider of cruise vacations to Europeans through its various Carnival Corporation brands," he added. 

Arison also noted the sale of Carnival's interest in Airtours will remove the quarterly fluctuations in Carnival's reported earnings which resulted from the highly seasonal nature of Airtours' tour business.  At the same time, Carnival will continue its relationship with Airtours, an important distributor of Carnival's cruise vacations in North America and Europe.  "We appreciate the professionalism and skill of David Crossland and his entire team and look forward to a continuing association with the Airtours organization," Arison added.

Carnival Corporation is comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, the world's largest cruise line based on passengers carried, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Seabourn Cruise Line and Windstar Cruises. Carnival  Corporation's various brands operate 45 ships in the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, Mexican Riviera, South America and other worldwide destinations.

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Multi-Million Dollar Search for Art To Be Displayed
 Aboard Queen Mary 2

MIAMI, May 22 - The hunt is on for a royal treasure trove of fine art to decorate the cabins, companionways and public rooms of Cunard Line's highly anticipated liner, Queen Mary 2. The London-based marine interior design firms Tillberg Design and the Design Team created detailed specifications for a multi-million dollar contract to supply nearly 5,000 works of art for the pleasure of the 2,620 guests aboard the 150,000-ton ship. The contract has been awarded to the Netherlands art consultant firm Onderneming & Kunst (Enterprise & Art). 

"Queen Mary 2 will be the largest passenger ship ever built,'' said Deborah Natansohn, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Cunard.          "Therefore, it's only proper that she should possess an art collection worthy of her status. Cunard Line has always been a patron of the arts, and Cunard liners have always been repositories of fine art. QM2 will continue this tradition in grand style,'' Natansohn stated.

The firm expects to award commissions for well over 300 original works, which will be created especially for QM2 by renowned international artists. Works will range from free-standing bronze and glass sculptures to expansive murals, oil paintings, watercolors, mosaics, reliefs, models and many other works. Major elements of the liner's art collection will include a sculptural relief of some 450 square feet, a 300 square-foot tapestry, a number of oil paintings in the range of 250-300 square feet each, several groupings of oversized bronze sculptures and a trompe l'oeuil painted ceiling of 1,200 square feet. In addition, the company will supply some 4,000 limited edition prints for use in cabins and companionways on board.

There will be time for the paint to dry, however. The massive ship is scheduled to be delivered in late 2003 by the Alstom Chantiers de L'Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France. Recent tank tests were successfully completed on a model of the liner's hull, and construction is due to begin early next year. Bidding also is underway to supply the massive quantities of other materials and fixtures needed to complete this, the first purpose-built ocean liner built in a generation. Carpets, furnishings, wiring and acres of linens and fabrics all must be selected and ordered, as well as the technical and mechanical elements that will make the vast machine capable of steaming across the North Atlantic at over 30 miles per hour.

The two sets of huge fin-like stabilizers that help control the rolling of the ship in Atlantic swells, for instance, were recently ordered from Britain's Rolls Royce company. Even the steel plating for the sleek 1,131- foot-long hull is a special order, being several times thicker than that used on most contemporary ships, to achieve the greater rigidity required for crossing the Atlantic in all weathers.

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. Visit Cunard's website at

Cunard Line is a unit of Carnival Corporation and a member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance, which also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Seabourn Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises and Windstar Cruises. Together, these member lines share a commitment to quality and value, offering cruise vacations that appeal to the widest range of lifestyles and budgets and sail to some of the world's most exciting destinations.

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Seven Seas Mariner Christened in Los Angeles by Arleen Martin Carlson, Board Member Emeritus of Carlson Companies & Wife of Late Founder, Curtis Carlson

'Godmother' of Radisson Seven Seas' & the World's First All-Suite, All-Balcony Ship Performs Traditional Blessing, Breaking Bottle of Champagne on Hull

LOS ANGELES CA, May 21 - The 700-guest Seven Seas Mariner, the world's first all-suite, all-balcony cruise ship, was christened here today by Arleen Martin Carlson, first lady of one of America's most influential business families, board member emeritus of the Carlson Companies, Inc. of Minneapolis and wife of the company's late founder, Curtis Carlson. The $300 million luxury ship -- boasting the only shipboard restaurant to be run on a permanent basis by the prestigious French culinary institute Le Cordon Bleu -- is the newest and largest addition to a fleet that reaches 500 destinations on all seven continents (including Antarctica). Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, whose distinctive teal logo of a lyre emblazons the new ship, is a part of Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, one of the major operating groups of Carlson Companies, Inc. 

With the flourish of a commemorative "magic'' wand presented to her for the occasion, Mrs. Carlson, who helped her husband Curtis Carlson establish the Gold Bond Stamp Company (forerunner to the $31 billion Carlson Companies, Inc.) in 1938 on a $55 loan, broke the traditional bottle of champagne across the Seven Seas Mariner's gleaming white hull as invited guests looked on. As the official "first lady'' of the Carlson family and board member emeritus of one of the world's largest privately owned companies, Arleen Martin Carlson has long been known for her active community and philanthropic involvement. An avid supporter of the United Way, Arleen joined the Million Dollar Roundtable in 2000 with a $1 million gift to United Way of Minneapolis Area's Century Legacy program. In addition to philanthropic and community work, Arleen is devoted to strengthening family bonds and encouraging family members' involvement in their community as well.

She has two daughters, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman and chief executive officer of Carlson Companies, Inc. and Barbara Carlson Gage, president of the Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation, one of Minnesota's largest non-corporate charitable foundations. Arleen has seven grandchildren, including Curtis Nelson, president and CEO of Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, and eight great-grandchildren. 

"It is a great honor for me to officially christen this magnificent new ship, which represents a crowning achievement for our company and fulfills the greatest dreams of my husband and our family when we embarked into the  cruise industry,'' Mrs. Carlson said.

Mariner Sets New Luxury Standards Other speakers at the christening included Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman and CEO of Carlson Companies, Inc., who said the Seven Seas Mariner represents the finest example of what Carlson Companies provides to its customers around the world. "As this great vessel travels to ports around the world, it stands as a symbol of exceptional customer service, superior quality, and global presence, all cornerstone values of Carlson Companies,'' she said.

Curtis Nelson, president and CEO of Carlson Hospitality Worldwide and the Carlson Consumer Group, said the addition of the Mariner to the Radisson Seven Seas fleet solidifies the company's position as the market leader in  the luxury cruise industry. "When we entered the cruise industry in 1992, with the christening of the revolutionary, twin-hull Radisson Diamond, in London, we pledged to set new standards of excellence in luxury cruising,'' Nelson said.

"During the late 1990s, we accelerated our expansion with plans to add a new series of ships designed with the features and services most valued by our guests. The Seven Seas Mariner embodies the culmination of these strategies as we once again establish a new mark of achievement for the luxury cruise guest,'' Nelson added. He noted that another addition to the Radisson Seven Seas fleet, the Seven Seas Voyager, currently under construction, is scheduled for delivery in 2003. Like the Mariner, the Voyager's 700 guests will luxuriate in the all-suite ocean-view balcony accommodations.

Industry's Highest Space Ratio 
Mark Conroy, president of Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, said the Seven Seas Mariner, offers expansive yet intimate design, with her spacious all-suite accommodations, private balconies, and walk-in closets, plus exceptional choices in fine dining and entertainment. "We have taken the cruise industry trend toward more suites and balconies to its logical conclusion by building the first all-balcony suite cruise ship in the world,'' Conroy said.

Aboard the Seven Seas Mariner, a maximum of 700 guests enjoy virtually the highest space ratio (71.4) of any luxury ship afloat. Single, open seating dining in the Compass Rose Restaurant allows guests to dine when and with whom they wish. Three other fine restaurants provide alternative dining venues including "Signatures,'' staffed by chefs trained at the famed Cordon Bleu of Paris. A Judith Jackson Sea Spa provides a popular alternative to traditional oceangoing spas, including Jackson's celebrated aromatherapy. An Internet Cafe ( features 12 computer stations with additional computers for guests who wish to surf the Net and check their e-mail.

The French-flagged ship provides the highest levels of service for each guest, as French officers and a European and international crew of 445, provide a crew-to-guest ratio of 1:1.6. Eight passenger decks feature 262 deluxe ocean view suites boasting a minimum of 301 square feet including balconies, walk-in closets, marble bathrooms with full tubs and showers. Another 92 suites range from 449 to 1,580 square feet, with the top three categories offering private butler service.

Conroy noted the significance of christening the Mariner in California, as the company is expanding its product offerings and presence in the California market. "California is one of the top markets for Radisson Seven Seas Cruises and we are kicking off our first world cruise from Los Angeles in January of 2002 with the Seven Seas Navigator,'' he said.

Mariner Bound For Alaska and Then South Pacific 
Prior to today's  christening, the Seven Seas Mariner arrived in Ft. Lauderdale for a series of Bermuda and Panama Canal cruises at the completion of her maiden trans-Atlantic crossing from Europe in March. She will depart tomorrow, May 23, on a ten-night voyage from Los Angeles to Vancouver to open her inaugural season in Alaska.

After her Alaskan season, the Seven Seas Mariner, featuring 21st century Mermaid® pod propulsion systems for virtually vibration-free cruising, will offer a 26-night "South Pacific Odyssey'' cruise sailing roundtrip from San Francisco on September 16 to the South Pacific, followed by an 18-night "Coast-to-Coast through the Panama Canal'' voyage from San Francisco to Ft. Lauderdale on October 12. She will then sail on a series of Canal, Bermuda, and Caribbean cruises before embarking on a 54-night "Grand Circle'' circumnavigation of South America voyage on December 27, 2001. Radisson Seven Seas Cruises is part of Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, one of the world's major hospitality services companies including over 1,400 hotels, resorts, restaurants, and cruise ships operating in 79 countries plus port destinations around the world. 

For further information and to book your cruise, contact your travel professional.

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Maritime & Coastguard Agency to Chair Conference of Future of Cruise Ships

Maurice Storey, Chief Executive of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) is to chair the IMarE conference on 29 May 2001 on the future of large cruise ships. The conference which is being held at the City Conference Centre, London will seek to identify the outcome of current new thinking, and explore other new areas where further thought and study is required.

Maurice Storey said: "With the increasing size and popularity of the cruise ship, there is a responsibility on all those involved in the design, construction, regulation and operation of these vessels, to have a clear vision of the future, and to establish a clear consensus on the acceptable  limits for these aspects.

"The aim is to achieve an innovative philosophy for the introduction of new concepts and designs where there is a cost-effective approach to passenger safety and comfort, with acceptable environmental effects." Members of the MCA's Innovation Group (David Wright (MCA), John McNeece (McNeece) and John Rugg (Lloyd's Register of Shipping) will present a double session on a holistic approach to the future of large passenger ships. The session will introduce the concept of the RASCon Ship (Revenue-driven, Advanced, Safety, Concepts). For the first time ever, the balance of 'revenue- driven' benefit with 'advanced safety' investment will highlight the unique link between new business development and safety.

The session will identify areas in which new, and innovative thinking will be required both by the regulator and the industry. The presentation will call for other areas to be identified and will ask delegates for proposals on how  some of the areas could be addressed.

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Renaissance Cruises Names James Henwood
 New Vice President of Sales

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, May 21, 2000 – Renaissance Cruises today announced that cruise industry veteran James Henwood has been named Vice President of Sales. Mr. Henwood will oversee all aspects of Renaissance Cruises’ Sales Department including Field Sales, Incentive & Charter, Sales Service and International Sales.

James Henwood brings over 20 years of travel and cruise industry experience to his new position at Renaissance Cruises. He has a  distinguished career with numerous accomplishments at Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Mr. Henwood was part of the Celebrity management group that led the sales team for 15 years following its inception from Fantasy Cruises.

“This is an exciting time for Renaissance Cruises as we make great strides in strengthening the Company’s relationship with the travel community,” said Mr. Henwood. “The size of the ships, combined with great destinations and service, puts this product in a class of its own, allowing more choice for cruise travelers. I am delighted to join with the sales team in continuing to earn the trust and loyalty of travel agents so that Renaissance Cruises becomes the cruise line of choice for travel agents and their clients.”

Manfred Ursprunger, Renaissance Cruises’ President & Chief Executive Officer, said, “I am very pleased to have Jim onboard at Renaissance Cruises. I have known Jim for years, and I have great regard for his abilities and his knowledge of cruise sales. His proven track record for travel agency support and his extensive experience in the cruise industry make him the ideal leader for the Sales Department. As part of the Renaissance Cruises team, Jim will help us continue to enhance the quality of service and relationship with the travel agent community and make Renaissance Cruises a leader in the cruise industry.”

Mr. Henwood assumes all responsibilities formerly held by Charlie Dunwoody, who has decided to leave the Company to pursue other opportunities.

Added Mr. Ursprunger, “We appreciate all of the contributions Charlie has made to Renaissance Cruises and we wish him well in his new endeavors.”

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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New Star Princess Largest Ship to Sail Gulf of Alaska

Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge Will Debut in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Further solidifying its position as the cruisetour leader in Alaska, Princess continues its innovation both at sea and on land in 2002 with the introduction of the West Coast's newest ship and a new custom-built wilderness lodge.

The inaugural season for the 109,000-ton Star Princess, the second sister ship to Princess' groundbreaking Grand Princess, marks the first time a cruise line has offered this wide array of choice and amenities in the 49th state, and brings additional capacity to Alaska's most popular cruise itinerary, the Gulf of Alaska route. On land, Princess opens its fifth exclusive riverside property, Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge, adjacent to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the country's largest national park.

The Princess 2002 cruise season will feature a total of 93 sailings on four itineraries. In addition to the 2,600-passenger Star Princess, 1,950-passenger sister ships Sun Princess, Dawn Princess and Ocean Princess will return to the seven-night "Voyage of the Glaciers" Gulf of Alaska itinerary between Vancouver and Seward. Another sister, Sea Princess, will be deployed on a seven-night Inside Passage route departing from Vancouver every Saturday. Together these voyages will feature 80 calls to the star attraction of Alaska cruising, Glacier Bay - carrying more passengers to this natural wonder than any other cruise line.

"The addition of Star Princess to Alaska will give Personal Choice Cruising a dramatic new dimension and will set our fleet apart in this market," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service. "In terms of getting everything out of your Alaska vacation that you could possibly want, Star Princess will provide a luxurious and totally flexible experience where our guests can pursue a wide variety of shoreside and onboard activity options."

Star Princess will bring to Alaska the same unique features that made news with her sister ships, Grand Princess and Golden Princess. For romantics, the ship offers Alaska's only wedding-at-sea program. To take in the 49th state's stunning scenery from a different vantage point, the ship's trademark disco in the sky, Skywalker's Nightclub, becomes a dramatic observation lounge by day high atop the rear of the ship. The vessel also features two alternative restaurants, three main dining rooms, a 24-hour buffet and bistro, three main show lounges, Princess' exclusive AOL Internet Café, a nine-hole putting green, a swim-against-the current lap pool, and 710 cabins with private balconies.

For the ultimate land and sea vacation, passengers can choose to combine their cruise with any of Princess' 56 different land tour itineraries. New for 2002 are 11 tours featuring stays at the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge, the most recent addition to the company's lineup of exclusive riverside properties. These unforgettable 11- to 15-day tours will combine the grandeur of the Copper River Valley with stunning views of the U.S.'s largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias. Guests will also be able to spend more time in Denali National Park, with 10 new multiple-night tours featuring lodging at the renowned Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge and Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. In addition, more tours than ever will feature travel aboard the company's own luxury Midnight Sun Express Ultra DomeSM rail cars, which include 360-degree panoramic views, meals prepared to order and outdoor viewing platforms.

All Alaska ships feature Princess' trademark Personal Choice Cruising, an unstructured, individualized approach to cruising that offers passengers a wide variety of dining, entertainment and activity options, including Personal Choice Dining, the only program in the cruise industry where passengers have a choice between traditional assigned-seating dining or restaurant-style seating. Another Princess Personal Choice exclusive allows passengers to customize their own Alaska land tours by adding or changing virtually any aspect of their cruisetour itinerary.

Special rates are offered on Princess Alaska cruises and cruisetours until February 14, 2002, through the company's Love Boat Savers program. These early booking cruise-only fares begin at $999 for a seven-day voyage. In addition, special rates beginning at $799 are available for groups booked prior to October 31, 2001.

More information about Princess' Alaska schedules and fares is available through a professional travel agent. Brochures are available by calling 1-800-PRINCESS.

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Cruisetour Leader Continues Innovation with New Itineraries

Princess' 2002 Alaska cruisetour lineup will feature a new starring attraction with the premiere of the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge, located at the gateway to America's largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias. The lodge adds to the company's extensive lineup of Alaska land/sea vacation packages, which also include new options for passengers who wish to spend more time in Denali National Park with the debut of additional two- and three-night stays near this favorite Alaskan destination.

In conjunction with the Copper River lodge, 11 new land tours will be offered in 2002, taking passengers to this dramatic part of the 49th state - often referred to as the "mountain kingdom of North America." A total of 56 cruisetour choices will be available throughout the season, combining the best of Princess' Personal Choice Cruising with the line's more than 30 years of experience in "the land of the midnight sun."

"Our new wilderness lodge at Copper River adds a stunning new destination to our cruisetour program, offering premier accommodations in one of Alaska's most beautiful, and, until now, overlooked areas," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service. "This new addition reaffirms our commitment to providing the greatest choice and variety in giving our passengers the most complete Alaska experience."

Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge Tours - Princess' newest riverside lodge is the featured attraction on 11 new cruisetour itineraries. These three- to seven-night land tours take passengers into the majestic Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the U.S.'s largest national park. Only Princess offers cruisetours to this dramatic destination, which is six times the size of Yellowstone and is home to four of North America's 10 tallest mountains.

Most tours feature two nights at the 85-room property, which is set among 200 acres of pristine wilderness. The new itineraries combine Copper River with visits to other major Alaskan locales, including Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Prince William Sound and Dawson City in the Yukon Territory.

As with all Princess' tours, passengers will travel in style from the cruise to the lodge. Most Copper River itineraries feature a two-hour catamaran ride between Whittier and Valdez through Prince William Sound - famous for Columbia Glacier and its abundant wildlife - followed by a motorcoach journey over Thompson Pass, with a view of Worthington Glacier and the awesome Chugach Mountain range.

More McKinley - In addition to the new Copper River tours, Princess cruisetours in 2002 will also feature more opportunities to spend time in Alaska's number one destination, Denali National Park. Many tours have been expanded to include multi-night stays in the area, including eight new itineraries with two nights at Denali and four new "Maximum McKinley" tours with three nights here.

Cruisetour Experience - These new tours are just part of Princess' extensive wilderness experience, which includes four purpose-built wilderness lodges in addition to Copper River: Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge and Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge, each of which offers premier accommodations in a stunning riverside location. Passengers will also travel in style aboard the company's exclusive Midnight Sun Express Ultra DomeSM railcars. All tours include Princess' emphasis on an authentic Alaskan experience, as lodges and railcars serve up the company's signature Alaskan cuisine. In addition, each Princess destination features Alaska Outfitters - local guides who can give passengers an insider's look at America's last frontier.

Personal Choice Touring - For those who want to go beyond Princess' tour offerings, the company has expanded its trademark Personal Choice Cruising to its land packages with Personal Choice Touring. This innovative program enables passengers to design the Alaska experience they want most by customizing their own itinerary if the established tours don't meet their needs.

Princess' land programs are designed to flow seamlessly with the line's seven-day Gulf of Alaska cruise itineraries, which take in the beauty of the Inside Passage and some of the state's most popular ports, while offering stunning glacier cruising through the Gulf.

Fares for Princess' Alaska cruisetours begin at $1,699, including port and land charges. These early booking rates are available for reservations made by February 14, 2002. Special rates beginning at $1,499 are available for groups booked prior to October 31, 2001.

For more information about Princess' cruisetours, contact the company's cruisetour number, 1-800-426-0442.

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MIAMI (05/21/01) - Carnival Corporation today announced plans to sell its 25 percent interest in Airtours plc, a leading European tour operator. Proceeds from the sale are to be used for general corporate purposes.  Although no assurance can be given that a sale will be completed, or that all of its interest will be sold, the sale is expected to close in early June 2001.

Carnival Corporation, which acquired a minority stake in Airtours in 1996, has decided to sell its holdings following a shift in Airtours' corporate strategy resulting from the purchase of U.S. cruise retailer Travel Services International (TSI) last year. In addition, last September Carnival purchased Airtours' 50 percent stake in Costa Cruises, which had been a joint venture between the two companies. 

"The strategic reasons for Carnival's continued minority ownership in Airtours are no longer compelling, and we now believe that it is the appropriate time to consider exiting this relationship," said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation chairman and CEO.  "We truly value and appreciate our association with Airtours, which has been an excellent investment for Carnival and provided our management with valuable insight into the European marketplace," he added. "We look forward to working closely with TSI, a top seller of Carnival Corporation's six cruise brands, in the future," Arison noted.

The sale of Carnival's 123.3 million shares of Airtours common stock is expected to result in a one-time gain to Carnival in its third fiscal quarter of 2001.  Additionally, commencing with the sale of its Airtours shares, Carnival will no longer record in its earnings any interest in Airtours' operating results.  On an annual basis, the sale of Carnival's interest in Airtours is not expected to be dilutive to Carnival's earnings and thus, is not expected be dilutive to Carnival's 2002 earnings per share. However, because of the seasonality of Airtours profitability, this is expected to reduce Carnival's second half of 2001 net earnings by approximately $.07 to $.08 per share, excluding the one-time gain from the sale.

Carnival has also refocused its European strategy with emphasis primarily on its Costa and Cunard brands, both of which have a strong European presence and have diminished the strategic reasons for the Airtours investment. Carnival plans to build upon its leadership position in Europe through an aggressive newbuilding program that includes a sister ship to the highly successful Costa Atlantica and two 105,000-ton vessels for Costa Cruises, and Cunard Line's 150,000-ton Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger vessel ever constructed. 

Costa will also expand its fleet with the transfer of Carnival Cruise Lines' Tropicale, scheduled to begin sailing from Venice in June as the Costa Tropicale, and Holland America's Westerdam, slated to begin sailing under the Costa banner next spring.  Additionally, just last week Costa announced that it will launch a new cruise product catering exclusively to the German market beginning in Spring 2002. 

"We believe the European cruise market has significant growth potential and will continue to explore ways to increase our presence in this important cruise region," Arison said. Carnival Corporation is comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, the world's largest cruise line based on passengers carried, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Seabourn Cruise Line and Windstar Cruises.  Carnival Corporation's various brands operate 45 ships in the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, Mexican Riviera, South America and other worldwide destinations. 

The Airtours shares will not be registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements. Airtours plc is a leading European-based leisure travel group.

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