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News from the world of cruise travel ~
May 16-31, 2004

Important Travel Safety Information letter from Jack Williams, President and Chief Operating Officer, Royal Caribbean International

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World's Two Largest Sapphires Come Together in the Emerald City
New Sapphire Princess to Showcase Biggest Sapphire During Historic Cruise Ship Naming Celebration in Seattle 

The 61,500 Carat 'Millennium Sapphire' Will Make West Coast Debut Onboard Newest Princess Ship as Vessel Becomes First Cruise Ship to Be Named in Seattle

SANTA CLARITA, Calif., May 28 -- The largest natural blue sapphire will be showcased in Seattle as part of the festivities surrounding the launch of Princess Cruises' newest ship, Sapphire Princess. The 28-pound, football-sized Millennium Sapphire, which has only been seen by a select few since its 1995 discovery in Madagascar, will be displayed on the ship for guests aboard Sapphire Princess' June 10th naming celebration. The 116,000-ton vessel, the first-ever cruise ship to be christened in Seattle, is the last in an unprecedented series of three ships launched by the line since February, and will be home-ported in Seattle for the summer.

"What more fitting way of welcoming our new Sapphire Princess than by paying tribute to its name with the west coast debut of this incredible gemstone," said Alan Buckelew, president of Princess Cruises. "After we learned of its existence we were delighted we could present the Millennium Sapphire in our celebrations, which include the historic naming of a cruise ship in Seattle."

The 61,500-carat Millennium Sapphire holds the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest carved sapphire. The sapphire, which was discovered a decade ago on the island off the African southeastern coast, originally tipped the scales at 89,850 carats, making worldwide gem news when it was certified. The sapphire's consortium of owners decided not to break up the remarkable gemstone, but rather to commission master gem carvers to create and pay tribute to humanity's greatest examples of ingenuity and accomplishment, through a series of 134 elaborate surface carvings. Award-winning Italian artist Alessio Boschi was commissioned to design the artwork and oversee the carving process. Among the intricate carvings on the Millennium Sapphire are images of human achievement ranging from ancient wonders like the pyramids of Giza to modern day accomplishments such as Neil Armstrong landing on the moon. The carving was completed in 2000 and the resulting piece, aptly known as the Millennium Sapphire, has made only a handful of public appearances. A hybrid of gemstone and incredible work of art, worth tens of millions of dollars, the Millennium Sapphire is considered by both art and gem experts as a unique and invaluable "one of a kind" historical and international treasure.

The Millennium Sapphire will be displayed for guests invited to Sapphire Princess during pre-inaugural cruise celebrations. The ship will be named on June 10th by Nancy Gore Murkowski, the First Lady of Alaska, paying tribute to Princess' long relationship with the 49th state.

The 2,670-passenger Sapphire Princess will join sister vessel Diamond Princess in Seattle for a summer season of seven day round trip Inside Passage sailings with calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and glacier cruising in Tracy Arm, plus a stop in Victoria, B.C. Sapphire Princess combines signature Princess features, such as abundant balcony cabins (a total of 750), intimate public rooms, and a plethora of entertainment venues, with unique, new concepts, including four themed personal choice dining room options, a new Princess Concierge Service, the largest Internet Café at sea, and a brand-new Princess-operated Lotus Spa. Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Queen Mary 2 Earns Top Honors from Consumers & Industry Experts

MIAMI, May 28, 2004 - The world's grandest luxury liner, Queen Mary 2, has recently been recognized by the Robb Report, London's Observer newspaper and ShipPax Information, a leading trade publication. The new flagship of Cunard Line is the largest (151,400 tons), longest (1,132 feet), tallest (236 feet), widest (135 feet) and most expensive ($800 million) passenger ship ever built. Queen Mary 2 (QM2) is also the first transatlantic liner to have been built since the line's famous Queen Elizabeth 2 entered service in May 1969. In its 16th annual 'Best of the Best,' which provides an expert's view of the luxury world's most exceptional products and services, the Robb Report named QM2 as The Best of the Best Ocean Liners and Cruise Ships. 

According to the magazine QM2 takes top honors, triumphantly carrying "the tradition of the ocean liner into the 21st century." Lauded are the liner's "seemingly endless list of comforts and activities... with five pools, 10 restaurants, a casino, theater, library and nightclub, the QM2 leaves no room for boredom." The survey features six primary departments covering 47 separate categories judged by Robb Report editorial staff and a team of seasoned contributing writers.

"Winning these accolades from such respected organizations is a terrific endorsement of our product," said Deborah Natansohn, Cunard Line's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "It proves that traditional elegance, high service standards and a host of modern comforts and amenities are a formula for success."

Last week in London, Cunard Line was recognized Best Cruise Line at the annual Observer and Guardian travel awards gala. The respected UK newspaper claims their awards are the best measure of attitudes to the travel industry because they are a direct result of the experiences of thousands of well-informed consumers. "In a year when cruising occasionally hit the headlines for the wrong reasons, our winner Cunard has maintained their score and taken top spot." 

Two additional awards were bestowed by the Sweden-based ShipPax Information, publishers of Cruise & Ferry Info magazine, which annually acknowledges "trendsetters in the passenger shipping industry." ShipPax's award for Outstanding Cruise Concept of 2003 went to Cunard Line "for the development of a modern ocean-liner-themed product... retaining many traditional and legendary liner features... though rendered in an entirely contemporary fashion to support a commercially viable modern cruise lifestyle experience." ShipPax's award for Outstanding Cruise Lounges of 2003 was awarded to Queen Mary 2 "for the Illuminations Theatre, created as the world's first-ever planetarium, with a retractable hemispheric projection dome, the capability to also show other special virtual reality and iMax-type productions, whose versatility extends equally to its alternative uses as a full-production cinema, broadcasting studio, recital and lecture hall. Albeit added as a 'pursuit of wow' feature, Illuminations adds real value to the on-board experience." 

QM2 officially entered service on January 12 with her Maiden Voyage from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale, FL, followed by a series of Caribbean cruises and a voyage to Rio de Janeiro and back, timed for Carnival. In her inaugural year, she will sail 13 crossings between England and New York. In between offering April to October transatlantic crossings, the ship will operate five European itineraries; two fall foliage cruises to ports of call in New England and Canada, and serve as the flagship of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. 

Among her impressive facilities are 10 dining venues, including a Mediterranean speciality restaurant operated by celebrity chef Todd English. QM2 also has the only spa at sea operated by Canyon Ranch, the world's first planetarium at sea, the largest ballroom at sea, the largest library at sea, and the largest wine collection at sea, as well as a Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar, a two-story theatre, a casino, five indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs, boutiques and children's facilities complete with British nannies. For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or visit the website at

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Silversea Enhances 2005 Schedule with Distinctive Collection of Nine "Silver Odyssey" Cruises
Silver Shadow to Sail from San Diego to Venice on Grand 100-Day Voyage to 60 Intriguing Cities, Offering Generous Savings Incentives, Shipboard Credits, Private-Car Transfers & Complimentary Business Class Air Upgrades Highlight Program

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, May 26, 2004 -- Silversea Cruises unveiled its unique collection of nine Silver Odyssey cruises for 2005. On January 12, 2005, the ultra-luxury 382-guest Silver Shadow departs San Diego on a 100-day epic journey visiting 60 of the world's most exciting destinations in 20 countries before the adventure concludes in Venice on April 22, 2005. Highlighting the Silver Odyssey program are generous savings incentives, shipboard credits, and private-car transfers. Complimentary Business Class air upgrades are also available with purchase of optional air and hotel program.

"This spectacular Silver Odyssey collection features the best of Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Mediterranean, plus new exotic destinations like Robinson Crusoe Island and Dakar," said David Morris, Silversea's Senior Vice President, North America Sales. The Silver Odyssey collection appeals to the different lifestyles and time constraints of today's affluent travelers. It's perfectly suited to those guests who have the time and sense of adventure to go exploring on a grand scale. It can also be enjoyed in smaller segments and is ideal for guests who need greater flexibility and prefer to customize their journey." Added Morris, "Depending on the number of days reserved, our Silver Odyssey guests will enjoy generous savings incentives and exclusive services and amenities designed to create the ultimate luxury-travel adventure - packed with exceptional opportunities for in-depth cultural exploration and personal enrichment."

Silver Shadow's nine consecutive Silver Odyssey voyages begin on January 12, 2005, as the all-suite, all-inclusive elite ship sails south from San Diego, visiting ports along Mexico's beautiful Costa de Oro, before continuing on a course that will give guests a chance to explore ancient Mayan ruins in Guatemala and witness the spectacular scenery and unspoiled nature of Costa Rica. 

After crossing the equator, Silver Shadow's journey is highlighted with calls in Callao (Lima), Peru, where guests can examine the legendary ruins of Machu Picchu during an optional two-and-a-half-day overland shore excursion, and the new port of Robinson Crusoe Island, an isolated and pristine botanical paradise situated off the coast of Chile, where Alexander Selkirk was marooned, providing the inspiration for Daniel Defoe's famous novel. 

Silver Shadow will circumnavigate South America and transit the Atlantic Ocean en route to West Africa's Dakar, another brand-new port for Silver Odyssey guests to discover. The ship then heads north to wrap up its incredible journey cruising the aquamarine waters of the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas, visiting some of the most popular and exciting ports in Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Yugoslavia and Croatia. Finally, Silver Shadow visits the romantic city of Venice for two full days before guests disembark from their unforgettable voyage on April 22, 2005

Savings Incentives, Shipboard Credits & Complimentary Business Class Air Upgrades
Besides enjoying savings opportunities of up to 30% off the published fare, Silver Odyssey guests can take advantage of the following amenities:

Sail 71-100 days and receive: 
$1,000 per guest shipboard credit; 
Complimentary private-car transfer between home, airport and the ship (available for guests who purchase Silversea's optional Air and Hotel Program).

Sail 50-70 days and receive: 
$800 per guest shipboard credit. 

Sail 30-49 days and receive: 
$500 per guest shipboard credit. 

Silver Odyssey guests who sail at least 50 consecutive days and purchase Silversea's optional Air and Hotel Program, receive a complimentary Business Class air upgrade.

In addition to Silversea's customary Early Booking Incentive and Advance Payment Bonus savings, Silver Odyssey voyages feature a 5% Venetian Society savings, plus a 5% combination-cruise savings. Best-available cruise-only fares start at $40,135 per guest for a Vista Suite for the full 100-day voyage. Smaller segments, such as the 30-day Lisbon to Venice voyage departing on March 23, 2005, offer best-available cruise-only fares starting at $12,693 per guest for a Vista Suite. Best-available fares include Early Booking Incentive fares, which are offered for a limited time, and Advance Payment Bonus savings, which require full payment of the cruise six months prior to sailing. To request a complimentary Silver Odyssey brochure, please call toll-free (877) 215-9986. Detailed information on Silver Odyssey voyages is also available at

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Carnival's Charity Golf Classic Teeing Off on Monday, June 7
Annual Charity Golf Tournament Benefiting United Way of Miami-Dade To Feature More Than 20 Miami Dolphins Players and Coaches

MIAMI, May 27, 2004 – More than 20 Miami Dolphins players and coaches, including head coach Dave Wannstedt, All-Pro defensive end Jason Taylor, quarterback A.J. Feeley and general manager Rick Spielman, are expected to participate in the sixth annual “Carnival Charity Golf Classic” held this year on Monday, June 7, 2004, at the Weston Hills Country Club. In addition to a day of unforgettable golf at one of South Florida’s premier courses, the 45-team event will include live and silent auctions for a variety of items, including sports memorabilia, golf packages and equipment, cruises, and fine wine and jewelry. Complimentary breakfast and lunch, as well as an awards ceremony/cocktail reception, are included in the entry fee. 

The event is expected to generate more than $50,000 toward Carnival’s annual United Way of Miami-Dade campaign. Last year, Carnival raised a record $1.6 million for its United Way campaign which placed the company among the top five corporate contributors in South Florida. 

“Our annual golf tournament is by far our most popular United Way fundraising event and we’re delighted to again partner with the Miami Dolphins to raise money for the United Way’s wide-ranging health and social service programs which impact one in three South Floridians,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the tournament begins at 10 a.m. (shotgun start). An awards ceremony/cocktail reception will follow at 3 p.m. with prizes for the first, second and third place, straightest and longest drives, and closest to the pin. Participants can also win a new car lease from Martell Buick/GMC or $1,000 for making a hole in one.

The cost for the “Carnival Charity Golf Classic” is $2,000 per foursome. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For additional information and registration on the “Carnival Charity Golf Classic,” contact the tournament organizer, Florida Team Golf, via phone at 305/255-3500, fax at 305/255-3532 or e-mail at .

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Record Number of Cruise Ships to visit Copenhagen in 2004

The number of cruise ships arriving in Copenhagen during the 2004 season is already shaping up to be a new record, with 280 so far registered to visit in the Danish capital this year. Wonderful Copenhagen expects that cruise ships will bring a turnover of around USD100m this year. When the first cruise ship arrived in Copenhagen on April 6, it marked the beginning of what is likely to be a record season. That was the small three-masted barque called Lili Marleen which, with its 50 passengers, gave little hint of the massive floating hotels that will line the quay on Langelinie during the summer season. 

The ships due to dock this year will bring more than 280,000 passengers and, according to Wonderful Copenhagen’s calculations, this equates to a tourist turnover of USD 65m. On top of this the ships represent a further USD35m for the city in terms of refuelling and water, harbour taxes, ships provisions, repairs, the purchase of spares etc. In total the turnover to Copenhagen represented by the cruise ship season this year will amount to approximately USD100m.

Wonderful Copenhagen’s Sales and Marketing Director, Ole Andersen, comments, "The Europeans have taken the leading position and now make up nearly half of the passengers, and they are typically younger than the Americans and use the city more actively. A large proportion of the Americans overnighting in Copenhagen during the summer are cruise ship passengers who have decided to stay an extra day in the city, they sometimes stay for more than one day which they might use for instance to visit Odense to see Hans Christian Andersen’s birthplace."

Traditionally a cruise has been the holiday of choice for American retirees, but these days other nationalities and age groups are choosing this type of holiday, according to the statistics on cruise ship passengers coming to Copenhagen. In fact, in 2003 Americans constituted only 43 per cent of passengers.

According to the World Tourism Organisation the cruise ship industry is the fastest growing holiday sector of all, something Copenhagen can vouch for: In 1998 the city recorded 157 dockings, which means that with this year’s total of 280 ships already registered, this represents a 75 per cent increase in just six years. The 2004 cruise ship season has also produced another new record, namely the number of turnarounds - 90 in total this year. A turnaround means that passengers begin and end their cruise in Copenhagen, very likely flying in and out via Copenhagen Airport. This means there is often an extra day or a hotel overnight which in itself represents extra revenue for the city. Furthermore, Copenhagen’s turnarounds are positive news for the rest of Denmark because the ships visit more Danish harbours when the journey starts in Copenhagen. Ronne, for example, has over 50 dockings this year; Skagen Harbour will have nine ships visiting; Elsinore will have ten – all of which are record numbers. Also Svendborg, AArhus and AAlborg will receive cruise ship visits this year. 

Cruise Copenhagen Network (CCN) is the organisation charged with marketing Copenhagen internationally as a cruise ship destination. CCN has 45 members all working to strengthen Copenhagen’s position as a turnaround port for cruise ships in Scandinavia and the Baltic.

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Afloat in France: Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises to Acquire Luxury Canal & River Cruise Company

PROVIDENCE, RI - May 27, 2004. Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises announced it has entered into an agreement with an established luxury canal and river cruising company Afloat in France, to acquire its existing business of five deluxe canal barges in France. Afloat in France operates tailored cruises by 'péniche' with a fleet of five of these deluxe barges, on some of France's most beautiful inland waterways. Each péniche is individual in design and lavishly appointed. Able to accommodate six to 12 guests, each offers superior dining and customized itineraries.

Nick Varian, Vice President of Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises, said that the company had been interested in the opportunities and special experiences afforded by the French rural waterways for some time. "During the course of 2003 we became aware of the luxurious quality of Afloat in France's barges and product. We feel that the Orient-Express philosophy of creating unique travel experiences in five-star surroundings fits very well with the niche that the Afloat in France team has developed," added Mr. Varian. 

"We are delighted that our special fleet is joining the renowned Orient-Express portfolio of luxury travel experiences," said Maureen Maguire, founder of Afloat of France. "The joy of barging can now be introduced to Orient-Express' global and dedicated base of luxury travel customers," she added.

Each péniche is available for private charter between April and October, affording the opportunity for travelers to have their own floating house party. Individual cabins can also be booked on some vessels, and all have an atmosphere conducive to complete relaxation. All itineraries are tailor-made to explore the heart of rural France, including Burgundy, Provence, the Loire, the Rhône Vallée, and Languedoc-Roussillon. All feature extensive itineraries and a full crew, and are fully inclusive, six-night holidays. Additionally, as gastronomy and culture are among the hallmarks of the Afloat in France experience, the company offers five special opera cruises during the summer on the Napoleon. Packages include tickets and transfers to the Theatre Antique d'Orange, one of the best preserved structures of the entire Roman Empire, which hosts an annual festival of opera, drama and ballet. Rates for special opera cruises begin at US $54,900 for 12 people for the six-night program.

With crews who are predominately British, each péniche has a captain, tour director, hostess and chef. Onboard tour directors arrange specially tailored land programs for each party, from private vineyard and chateau visits to biking or ballooning. Each péniche has bicycles on board, while chauffeured air-conditioned mini-buses allow guests to explore the rural French countryside, including local cultural attractions. Transfers to and from Paris are by means of TGV. 

Fleur de Lys and Amaryllis are the ultimate in French péniches, and sleep six and eight respectively. Featuring large staterooms and rich teak sundecks, these barges are the only two péniches on the French inland water ways to have outdoor heated pools. Both are for private hire and can be booked together to travel in tandem for a larger group.

Alouette and Hirondelle sleep six and eight respectively and are ideal for family holidays. Cabins can also be booked on an individual basis. Each has a sundeck and spacious salon and dining room, with an abundance of books and games to keep guests entertained while on board. These vessels can also be booked together to travel in tandem for larger groups. The river barge Napoleon accommodates up to 12, and can be booked on a per cabin basis or as a private charter. It too features a grand sundeck with Jacuzzi, and an area on the upper deck for alfresco dining.

"Péniche cruising with Orient-Express is a great alternative to a staffed villa holiday as well as a great opportunity to learn about and experience a more traditional French lifestyle," said Mr. Varian. "The barges accommodate six to 12 passengers in the same space as other operators put 18 to 24, giving our guests rather more spacious surroundings in which to enjoy a cruise that is as relaxing or as structured as they desire."

Fleur de Lys can be chartered for a six-night fully inclusive cruise through Burgundy for six passengers at a rate of US$39,200, including transfers, meals and drinks on board, use of air-conditioned mini-bus, and all off-barge excursions featured in a personalized itinerary. Alouette can be hired for a fully inclusive six-night cruise on the Canal du Midi through the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region from US$4,000 per person, based on double occupancy. Charters begin at US$22,500 for six persons sharing. Orient-Express also offers the ability for Aloutte passengers to combine stays at the company's luxurious Hôtel de la Cité in Carcassonne on selected routes. The Amaryllis can be chartered for a six-night fully inclusive cruise throughout several wine regions for eight passengers at a rate of US$48,600, including transfers, meals and drinks on board, use of air-conditioned mini-bus, and all off-barge excursions featured in a personalized itinerary. The Hirondelle can be hired for a fully inclusive six-night cruise through Burgundy from US$4,000 per person, based on double occupancy. Charters begin at US$30,000 for eight persons sharing. A six-night, fully inclusive cruise on board Napoleon on the Rhône/Saône rivers ranges from US$4,600 per person based on two adults sharing a double cabin. Charters for 12 passengers are also available at a rate of $54,900. Prices include First Class TGV train connections to join the péniche, all meals and drinks on board, and all off-barge excursions outlined in the itinerary. 

Transfers from London or Venice by the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to Paris, can also be arranged as an optional add on. Abercrombie & Kent, Frontiers, The Barge Lady and other selected contracted tour operators market the Afloat in France product line. For information on péniche cruises with Afloat in France, contact the World of Distinction office at Orient-Express; 10 Weybosset Street, Ste 500, Providence, RI 02903; tel: 800-524-2420 or . Additional details are available at 

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Holland America Line Introduces Customized Shore Excursion Program Providing a New Way to Experience Fascinating Ports of Call Around the World
Signature Collection Tours Give Guests the Opportunity to Tour 46 European Ports in Luxury Vehicles With Driver and English-Speaking Guide

SEATTLE, May 26 -- Holland America Line announced today that as part of its Signature of Excellence initiative, guests will have a new way to explore many of the premium cruise line's 280 fascinating ports of call with the new Signature Collection touring option. As part of the exclusive Medallion Collection of shore excursions, Signature Collection tours provide Holland America's seasoned travelers with the flexibility to customize their time ashore in the comfort of a private, luxury vehicle with the personalized attention of their own driver and a highly skilled English-speaking guide. Holland America Line currently offers the service in 46 European ports of call and will be rolling it out to destinations worldwide.

"Holland America's comprehensive selection of shore excursions lead the industry, allowing our guests the opportunity to truly immerse themselves in every port of call," said David A. Giersdorf, executive vice president, marketing and sales. "The Signature Collection is a great example of how, under the Signature of Excellence initiative, we continue to push ourselves to find new ways to enhance these experiences and raise the bar even higher for the premium cruise category."

The premium cruise line developed the Signature Collection for guests who are interested in the flexibility and independence of designing their personal itinerary while ashore according to their individual interests and at their own pace. The Signature Collection allows them to maximize their time in port and visit destinations more in-depth according to their own timetable.

The service is available for groups of two to eight guests. Most tours are available in four- and eight-hour segments, including unlimited mileage and utilizing the highest-grade vehicles available ashore. Also included are motorway tolls, parking fees and bottled water. Signature Collection tours start at $300 and prices vary per group up to $3,000 depending on the location, duration and type of vehicle. Pricing and reservation information for Signature Collection tours is available at Advance booking via the Web site allows guests to secure their opportunity to experience these limited excursions.

About Signature of Excellence
As the premium cruise leader, Holland America Line is investing $225 million in the Signature of Excellence initiative to provide unparalleled product and service enhancements to its fleet of five-star ships. Signature of Excellence will build on Holland America Line's renowned tradition of excellence by significantly raising the standard in premium cruising. The comprehensive enhancements will focus on five areas central to the Holland America guest experience: spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; sophisticated five-star dining; gracious, unobtrusive service; extensive enrichment programs and activities; and compelling worldwide itineraries. Enhancements have been started and are expected to be completed by the end of 2006.

In 2004, Holland America Line's fleet of 13, five-star, premium ships will offer nearly 500 sailings from 15 North American home ports, including new departures from Norfolk, VA; Baltimore, MD; and Boston, Mass. Recent additions to the fleet include the 1,848-passenger Vista ships ms Zuiderdam, ms Oosterdam, and ms Westerdam. The fleet will visit all seven continents in 2004, while increasing cruises to popular areas like Alaska (139 cruises), the Caribbean (191), Europe (58) and Canada/New England (26).

As a part of its renowned Tradition of Excellence, Holland America Line is investing $225 million in the Signature of Excellence initiative to provide unparalleled product and service enhancements to its fleet. The comprehensive enhancements will focus on five areas central to the Holland America Line guest experience: spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; sophisticated five-star dining; gracious, unobtrusive service; extensive enrichment programs and activities; and compelling worldwide itineraries. Enhancements have been started on all ships and will be completed by the end of 2006.

Holland America Line excels in service, amenities and special programs. Known for consistent and attentive service, its ships have one of the highest staff members to guest ratio. Spacious staterooms average 25 percent larger and verandahs twice as large as those on other lines' ships. Dining choices include extensive menus with formal elegance, specialty dining in the Pacific Northwest-themed Pinnacle Grill, casual fare and complimentary 24-hour room service. For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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New Pre- and Post-Cruise Mobile Hotel Packages Now Available From Carnival Cruise Lines
Two- and Three-Night Hotel Packages Can Be Partnered With New Four- and Five-Day Mexico Cruises Aboard ‘Fun Ship’ Holiday Set To Begin Oct. 16, 2004

MIAMI (May 26, 2004) – In conjunction with the launch of the first year-round cruise program from Mobile, Ala., in October, Carnival Cruise Lines is offering pre- and post-cruise land packages at the luxurious Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in nearby Point Clear, Alabama. The new two- or three-night hotel packages can be combined with four- or five-day Mexico cruises aboard the “Fun Ship” Holiday which are set to begin Oct. 16, 2004. On its new schedule, the 46,052-ton Holiday will depart the Port of Mobile Thursdays on four-day cruises to Cozumel, and Mondays and Saturdays on five-day voyages to Cozumel and Calica/Playa del Carmen or Costa Maya.

“Response to our new year-round cruises from Mobile has been exceptional and we’re delighted to partner with the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa to offer these value-packed cruise/land packages that combine all the fun and excitement of a Carnival cruise with a stay at one of Gulf Coast’s premier resort hotels,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

Overlooking Mobile Bay, the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa epitomizes Southern hospitality, offering a unique combination of friendly, attentive service and top-notch amenities. Encompassing 550 acres, the historic property features 405 guest rooms and 30 suites boasting tremendous views. The hotel also offers four restaurants serving a wide range of cuisines, two lounges, 36 holes of championship golf, eight tennis courts, horseback riding, a 20,000-square-foot spa, three swimming pools, a private beach, children’s programs, a jogging track, and picnic areas. Various watersports and boating opportunities are also available. 

Carnival is currently accepting reservations for both the new Mobile land packages, as well as the four- and five-day Holiday cruises from Mobile. Prices for the two- and three-night pre-or post-cruise packages begin at $160 and $240 per person, respectively, based on double occupancy, and include rental car. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, or visit Additional information on the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa is available on-line at

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Icy Strait Point Hosted First Cruise Ship Call
New port's inaugural season opens to accolades from cruise ship guests

MIAMI -- Celebrity Cruises' Mercury was the first cruise ship ever to call at Icy Strait Point on Sunday, May 23, and based on passenger comments, the new purpose-built port made good on its promise to deliver the real Alaska. As the ship entered Port Frederick Bay, it was met by a flotilla of native Tlingit canoes and townspeople from nearby Hoonah, Alaska, in recreational craft and workboats. Approximately 1,300 of the Mercury's more than 1,800 passengers came ashore to be greeted on the dock by a large troupe of Tlingit dancers and singers dressed in traditional native garb. 

Hundreds of guests participated in the various shore excursions offered at the destination. On the brown bear search tour, guests were treated to the sight of a mother grizzly with her two cubs, deer, bald eagles and other wildlife. Every one of the whale-watching excursions spotted humpback whales breaching and fanning their tails. On one of the salmon charter boats, two Californians caught king salmon weighing more than 20 pounds. Many guests enjoyed the free cannery tour where they were shown how fish were processed in the 1930s, and the Hoonah city tour also was very popular. 

"Icy Strait Point, which has been years in planning and construction, delivered the true Alaska wilderness experience that people expected," said Michael Greve, president of Global Destinations Development, the company that markets the port. "The weather was perfect -- warm and clear -- and everybody, from the guests to the people of Hoonah and our 85 employees, all enjoyed a great day in our new destination."

Besides touring the Hoonah Packing Company Cannery, guests also learned about the ancient Tlingit culture at the Native Heritage Center. Others enjoyed the Salmon Bake luncheon overlooking the panoramic view of the mountains across Icy Strait. Unique among Alaskan ports of call, Icy Strait is designed to accommodate only one cruise ship per day. On June 2 Royal Caribbean International's Vision of the Seas is scheduled to make its first call at Icy Strait. On June 8, the Mercury returns. And on June 9 Celebrity's Summit is to make its inaugural stop. For information on Icy Strait Point, visit the Web site at 

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SeaDream Yacht Club's 2005 Dream Schedule
Caribbean January Through April Europe May Through September

2005 European Highlights: Croatia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Romania With Adriatic and Black Sea, Mediterranean and Greek Islands Ports-of-Call

2005 Florida Coast and Caribbean Highlights: West Palm Beach, Bahamas, French West Indies, Netherlands Antilles, British Virgin Islands

2005 Year-End Holiday Highlights: Christmas St. Barts; New Year’s Eve Marigot and St. Barts

SeaDream Yacht Club, operator of the twin, ultra-luxury, mega yachts SeaDream I and II, will offer unusual 2005 sailing schedules and itineraries that include: 

New, highly touted Adriatic and Black Sea ports-of-call in Croatia, the Ukraine, Bulgaria and Romania in addition to many in the Mediterranean and the Greek Islands. The Bahamas, French West Indies, Netherlands Antilles and the British Virgin Islands. SeaDream I and II will be in the Caribbean from January through April 2005 and from October through the end of 2005 and onward. The SeaDream twin mega yachts will sail in European waters May through September, 2005.

Included for 2005 are classic cities and resort destinations as turnarounds and intriguing, small and exclusive yachting ports. Most sailings are seven-days but the schedule also features many shorter sailings ideal for those with time constraints or for the incentive market. 

Home ports with turnarounds in the Florida and the Caribbean include West Palm Beach (four sailings) St, Thomas, San Juan and Marigot. Home ports with turnarounds in Europe include Nice, Monaco, Barcelona, Rome, Venice, Dubrovnik and Istanbul.

“We believe our Croatian sailings will be a hot item in 2005,” said Larry Pimentel, CTC, President and CEO of SeaDream. “Many travel industry observers have expressed that Croatia with interesting ports along the Adriatic Sea is on its way to becoming the new Mediterranean. The ports are mostly small and fascinating and the economy of the area is user-friendly for visitors,” Pimentel said.

SeaDream will feature several sailings in and out of Dubrovnik in Croatia. Among Ports-of-call in Croatia (many of them little known) are:

  • Dubrovnik---Dubrovnik gives visitors the feeling that they are stepping back in time into a pedestrian-only walled city. It is easy to become lost in the history and medieval architecture while enjoying world-class shopping.

  • Korcula---A green, forested island on the Adriatic coast with an ancient walled city at its center. Korcula is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves.

  • Hvar---In central Dalmatia, the small island of Hvar enjoys a mild, sunny climate that makes it an attractive resort area.

  • Rab---Along Kvarner Bay in the Northern Adriatic, Rab is a tiny town whose inhabitants live by agriculture, fishing and shipbuilding.

  • Trogir---Trogir is a small town and harbor on Kastelanski Bay near Split. It has a fine museum of antiquity, old libraries and art galleries.

  • Rovinj---An ancient settlement of great beauty. It has attracted visitors as far back as the 8th century. Known for its truffle fields, it is a favorite upscale port for yachts in the Adriatic.

  • SeaDream will also call on Black Sea ports of Odessa and Sevastopol in the Ukraine, Nessebar, a 3000-year-old Bulgarian town, and Constanta, the vibrant, largest city in Romania.

Added to the 2005 schedule also are four sailings from West Palm Beach, Florida. Three of these are four-night sailings and a fifth is seven-nights. Both SeaDream I and II will make these sailings which will call at Rose Island and Nassau in the Bahamas and in the Turks and Caicos. Both SeaDream yachts will then re-position to the Caribbean for the season.

In 2005 year-end holiday sailings of SeaDream I will include Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in St. Barts. SeaDream I will spend New Year’s Eve in Marigot and will depart at midnight. SeaDream II will overnight December 31, 2005 at St. Barts.

In both the Caribbean and in Europe SeaDream has many late evening port departures or overnights. “It’s a shame to force guests back aboard and depart in the early evening hours when in many ports the action doesn’t get started until quite late,” Pimentel said. He called the 2005 schedule and itineraries “The most ambitious we have mounted since our founding in 2001.”

SeaDream’s complete 2005 schedules may be found on its website at SeaDream Yacht Club is the yachting venture by Norwegian entrepreneur Atle Brynestad who founded Seabourn Cruise Line, and Larry Pimentel who was president of Seabourn under Brynestad and later president and CEO of the merged Cunard and Seabourn. Pimentel is President and CEO of the Coconut Grove, Florida-headquartered SeaDream Yacht Club and a co-owner. Brynestad is Chairman. The company operates SeaDream I and SeaDream II, twin, ultra luxury, mega yachts that operate on seven-day sailings in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. The yachts are not only ideal for discerning travelers seeking an unstructured and casual holiday experience but also for small meetings and incentive groups or individual private family gatherings. They are available for full charter. SeaDream I and II shared the top Five-Star Club award in the Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships 2003 guidebook and recently in the 2004 guidebook. For the 2004 guidebook, author Douglas Ward created a special category “Utterly Exclusive” for only three vessels he said to be above luxury. Of the three, two were SeaDream I and II. In the Americas the SeaDream Yacht Club reservations number is 1 800 707-4911. In Europe it is +47 23 28 96 60.

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Princess' 2005 Inside Passage Program Features More Sailings on West Coast's Largest & Most Amenity-filled Vessels
Convenient Roundtrip Voyages Offered from Seattle and San Francisco

SANTA CLARITA, CA (May 24, 2004) – Princess will offer additional Alaska Inside Passage cruising in 2005, with more sailings on its convenient roundtrip itinerary from Seattle on the new Sapphire Princess and sister ship Diamond Princess – the largest and most amenity-filled vessels to sail on the West Coast. They are joined once again by Regal Princess’ popular sailings from San Francisco. In total the line will offer 53 departures on three itineraries, all featuring the convenience of easily accessible home ports. These roundtrip cruises complement Princess’ other 2005 Alaska option, the “Voyage of the Glaciers” Gulf of Alaska itinerary, available on four ships. With the Inside Passage program, passengers enjoy an easily accessible U.S.-based discovery adventure that also offers the opportunity to add a land tour to the Canadian Rockies or take advantage of the many attractions in the ships’ home ports with pre- or post-cruise stays in Seattle or San Francisco.

“The debut of Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess last year really made our Inside Passage cruises a phenomenal addition to our Alaska program,” said Alan Buckelew, president of Princess Cruises. “This year we’ve added even more sailings to make these cruises available for additional passengers who want an easy and carefree way to enjoy the best of the Inside Passage.” 

Diamond Princess & Sapphire Princess Sail From Seattle
Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess return to Seattle to offer a seven-day roundtrip voyages calling at Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria, plus cruise through the dramatic glaciers, rock walls and waterfalls of Tracy Arm and the twin Sawyer Glaciers. Diamond Princess will offer 20 voyages on this itinerary departing on Saturdays between May 7 and September 17, 2005, while Sapphire Princess will offer 19 voyages departing on Sundays, beginning May 15 and continuing through September 18. 

Regal Princess from San Francisco
Regal Princess will offer 14 departures between May 8 and September 15 on a 10-day Inside Passage itinerary roundtrip from “The City by the Bay,” San Francisco. Passengers have a choice of itineraries that feature calls at Victoria, Juneau and two other scenic Alaska ports that rotate between Ketchikan, Sitka, Skagway or Haines. All voyages also offer premiere glacier viewing in Tracy Arm. 

Canadian Rockies Cruisetours 
Passengers who would like to add to their vacation have three Canadian Rockies tour options designed to coordinate with Inside Passage cruises from Seattle. Princess’ escorted itineraries take guests to the heart of these spectacular mountains with visits to Banff, Jasper, Calgary and Kamloops, along with other local highlights. The 12- and 13-night packages feature stays at the area’s premiere Fairmont resort properties such as the Chateau Lake Louise, Banff Springs Hotel and Jasper Park Lodge.

The Seattle-based Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess offer Inside Passage passengers the opportunity to enjoy the Alaskan scenery from the comfort of the West Coast’s largest and most amenity-filled vessels. These “gems” of the Princess fleet feature such innovations at themed main dining rooms – Italian, Asian, Southwestern and steakhouse. Other popular features include the largest Internet Café at sea, multiple show lounges, a wedding chapel, Lotus Spa, a multi-room youth center, and Princess’ trademark balcony staterooms, perfect for enjoying the dramatic glacier views.
Early booking fares for Inside Passage voyages start at $899 for cruises and $2,599 for Canadian Rockies cruisetours.

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

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Holland America Line Continues to Raise the Bar in the Premium Cruise Category Adding Several Signature of Excellence Enhancements to Its Five-Star Fleet
New Product and Service Enhancements Put Cruise Line on Track

SEATTLE, May 20 -- Further strengthening its position as the leader in the premium cruise category, Holland America Line announced today that it is on track with the implementation and timing for the Signature of Excellence initiative, with several product and service enhancements in place on most of its fleet of five-star ships as early as this month. Launched in November 2003, this initiative is an unprecedented, $225 million investment focusing on five areas that are central to Holland America's guest's experience: spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; sophisticated five-star dining; gracious, unobtrusive service; extensive enrichment programs and activities; and compelling worldwide itineraries. In just five months, guests are already benefiting from new enhancements.

"At every level, Holland America employees are working hard to achieve the objectives we set for ourselves with the Signature of Excellence initiative," said David A. Giersdorf, executive vice president, marketing and sales for Holland America Line. "We set an aggressive timeline to provide details and amenities that will ensure our guests' ultimate comfort at sea and the fact that we've already made this significant progress demonstrates our deep commitment to raising the bar in the premium cruise category."

Elegant Five-star Dining with an Ocean View
On every ship, guests can now choose from four dinner seating times in the main dining room: 5:45 p.m., 6:15 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 8:30 p.m. This allows guests greater flexibility to dine early or later in the evening and still have the opportunity to take advantage of Holland America's celebrated evening entertainment. In addition, Holland America Line is now providing one-to-one service in the main dining room, which allows one steward to stay with their assigned tables while an assistant steward delivers each course from the kitchen. This ensures quicker delivery time for the delectable cuisine and provides even fresher meals.

Now all of Holland America's guests are able to enjoy an alternative dining experience in the Pinnacle Grill, an elegant reservations-only restaurant celebrating Northwest cuisine and select fine wines in a romantic, upscale atmosphere. Menus include Sterling Silver premium hand-selected cuts of beef and fresh seafood dishes. Distinctive Bulgari china, elegant Riedel stemware and Frette linens take the Pinnacle Grill to a level of elegant sophistication unmatched anywhere in the premium cruise category.

New Amenities in Every Stateroom
Staterooms now feature elegant touches such as a complimentary fresh fruit basket to welcome every guest and stainless steel ice buckets and serving trays for use with in-cabin beverages. Additionally, guests enjoy deluxe cotton and terry bathrobes and premium massage shower heads in every bathroom.

All staterooms aboard the ms Zaandam and the ms Volendam have been outfitted with premium plush Euro-top mattresses and new, high-quality white cotton bed linens. Holland America Line is on schedule to outfit other ships with the new mattresses and bed linens by fall of 2005.

The Suite Life
Deluxe Verandah and Penthouse Suite guests can now take advantage of personalized concierge service while visiting the Neptune Lounge, a private retreat where they can relax, read and socialize.

By the end of May, Deluxe Verandah and Penthouse Suite guests across the fleet will be further pampered with luxurious new beds. Every suite and penthouse will be outfitted with the premium plush Euro-top mattresses which are triple-sheeted with high-quality white cotton bed linens. To top it off, each bed will have a comfortable duvet and new pillows.

About Signature of Excellence
As the premium cruise leader, Holland America Line is investing $225 million in the Signature of Excellence initiative to provide unparalleled product and service enhancements to its fleet of five-star ships. Signature of Excellence will build on Holland America's renowned tradition of excellence by significantly raising the standard in premium cruising. The comprehensive enhancements will focus on five areas central to the Holland America Line guest experience: spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; sophisticated five-star dining; gracious, unobtrusive service; extensive enrichment programs and activities; and compelling worldwide itineraries. Enhancements have been started and are expected to be completed by the end of 2006. For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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New 110,000-Ton Carnival Valor to Operate Special 2-Day Bahamas Cruise from Miami December 15-17, 2004
Fares For One-Time Inaugural Voyage Begin At $219 Per Person

MIAMI, May 19, 2004 -– Carnival Cruise Lines will offer a special two-day Bahamas cruise from Miami aboard the new 110,000-ton Carnival Valor Dec. 15-17, 2004. Rates for this voyage start at $219 per person, including gratuities, based on double occupancy. Following the two-day introductory voyage, which includes a day-long visit to Nassau, Carnival Valor will launch seven-day Caribbean service from Miami Dec. 19, becoming the largest “Fun Ship” ever based year-round at that port. 

“Carnival Valor will be the ultimate ‘floating resort’ offering the facilities and features desired by today’s consumers. This two-day ‘mini-cruise’ is a terrific winter getaway, providing a convenient and affordable way for consumers to experience all this spectacular ‘Fun Ship’ has to offer,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. 

Carnival Valor’s inaugural two-day cruise will depart Miami on Wednesday, Dec. 15, spend Thursday, Dec. 16, in Nassau, and return to Miami on Friday, Dec. 17. During the stay in Nassau, guests can relax at the beach, partake in various watersports, or play a round of championship golf. Myriad dining and shopping opportunities are also available.

Currently undergoing final interior outfitting at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, Carnival Valor encompasses 12 passenger decks and houses 22 lounges, bars and nightspots, including a sports bar, wine bar, piano bar and a multi-level theater showcasing lavish Vegas-style revues. Dining options include a pair of two-level main dining rooms, a sushi bar, a patisserie, a 1,200-seat casual poolside restaurant, and an upscale reservations-only supper club. Expansive children’s facilities, including indoor and outdoor play areas and a teen dance club, along with four swimming pools, and a 214-foot-long water slide will also be featured. Carnival Valor will also house a 14,500-square-foot health club, a full gambling casino, a duty-free shopping mall, and a comprehensive golf program offering professional instruction aboard ship and during golf excursions. 

Sixty percent of Carnival Valor’s 1,487 staterooms will offer an ocean view while 60 percent of those will feature private balconies. Prices for the two-day cruise begin at $219 per person, including gratuities, based on double occupancy. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom are also available. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, or visit

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From Adelaide to Zanzibar, Princess' 2005-05 Exotics Season 
Covers the Globe
Five Ships Offer a Variety of Worldwide Cruise Options

SANTA CLARITA, CA (May 19, 2004) – With an expanded season of sailings to Australia/New Zealand, more capacity in South America, summer and fall Asian adventures and the best of Hawaii, Princess’ 2005-06 Exotics cruise season will take passengers to virtually all corners of the globe, firmly establishing Princess as the leader in destinational cruising. In total five ships, ranging from intimate to innovative and carrying from 670 to 2,670 passengers, (Pacific Princess, Tahitian Princess, Regal Princess, Island Princess and Diamond Princess) will offer 83 sailings on 21 unique itineraries, including a new Brazilian Adventure cruise. Princess’ unique Exotics voyages range from 10 to 30 days, travel to more than 125 worldwide destinations.

“Princess continually leads the way in worldwide cruising,” said Alan Buckelew, president of Princess Cruises. “We offer so many unique itineraries and go places that most major lines don’t. Plus we schedule these sailings on some of our newest vessels, with plenty of balcony cabins – and that’s rare in many of these destinations.” 

Diamond Princess Makes Her First Journey to Australia/Asia
Diamond Princess will take over from Sapphire Princess as the largest and most amenity-filled vessel to ever sail “Down Under,” offering a longer, three-month Australia/New Zealand season. The ship also sails on a variety of Asia itineraries, including a 17-day Alaska/Far East cruise offering a new port of call at Petropavlovsk, Russia. Her itineraries include eight 12-day Australia/New Zealand voyages between January 8 and April 8; a 19-day Australia/Asia cruise between Singapore and Sydney; three 16-day Southeast Asia/China cruise between Beijing and Bangkok or Singapore; an 11-day China/Far East sailing between Osaka and Beijing; and an Alaska/Far East voyage from Seattle to Osaka. 

Pacific Princess’ Asian Summer
In addition to Diamond Princess, Pacific Princess will also offer three sailings on the popular Southeast Asia/China route between Beijing and Bangkok. The ship will offer three sailings of the 16-day itinerary, departing between June 24 and July 26, visiting ports in Korea, Japan, China, Viet Nam, Singapore and Malaysia. 

Regal Princess Takes Over South America Routes
Regal Princess will take over from Royal Princess in South America, offering an expanded capacity on these popular voyages, making them available to more passengers than ever. The ship offers four sailings on the popular Cape Horn/Strait of Magellan itinerary between Santiago and Buenos Aries, now offering the opportunity to round Cape Horn on a 13-day cruise. The ship also debuts a new Brazilian Adventure route, an 18-day voyage from Ft. Lauderdale to Rio de Janeiro that calls at four additional Brazilian ports as well as some of the most interesting islands in the Caribbean. Other itineraries include two sailings on a 12-day Amazon River adventure between Ft. Lauderdale and Manaus as well as a 16-day Andes/South America voyage from Santiago to Ft. Lauderdale.

Island Princess Goes Hawaiian
Island Princess returns for a second season of 15-day round-trip cruises to the tropical paradise of Hawaii from Los Angeles. The series features 15 departures between September 23, 2005 and April 21, 2006 – including a special holiday voyage on December 22, during which the ship will celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s all on one cruise. The itinerary will take passengers to all of Hawaii’s major islands with visits to Hilo, Kona, Honolulu, Nawiliwili (Kauai) and Lahaina (Maui). In addition, passengers can take advantage of the ship’s many options and services during a series of relaxing days at sea between the islands and Los Angeles. 

Year-Round French Polynesia and the South Pacific
Tahitian Princess’ continues to sail the beautiful waters of French Polynesia and will offer two unique 10-day itineraries – Polynesia & the Cook Islands and Polynesia & the Marquesas Islands. Both routes feature scenic cruising along the picturesque island of Tahaa, plus calls in Moorea, Reiatea and Bora Bora; and passengers can choose whether to visit Rarotonga in the Cook Islands or the more remote Marquesas with scenic cruising through the atolls of the Tuamoto Archipelago. Tahitian Princess’ season will run from May 14, 2005 through April 19, 2006. The season begins with an 11-day Hawaii/Tahiti cruise on May 3, 2005.

Pacific Princess also offers a similar Hawaii/Tahiti sailing – 12 days, departing May 7, 2005. Prior to that, Pacific Princess sails from her winter home in Australia with a 15-day Sydney to Papeete voyage. 

Connoisseur Adventure Voyages
Princess once again offers a selection of special, longer voyages that travel between continents or major destinations. Pacific Princess will again lead the way with three summer sailings that will take passengers through the South Pacific Islands, Australia, Asia, Hawaii/Tahiti, West Africa, South America and the Indian Ocean. Included in the lineup is Princess’ very popular Islands of the Pacific Theater route, featuring calls at many of WWII’s important battle sites between Honolulu and Beijing. Other options include a 28-day adventure between Cape Town and Sydney and a 30-day voyage from Bangkok to Cape Town. Diamond Princess also joins the Connoisseur cruise lineup with a 29-day Pacific crossing from Sydney to San Francisco.

One of the most noteworthy itineraries in the lineup, Princess’ Antarctica voyage, presents a new itinerary in 2006 aboard a new vessel. Regal Princess takes over the journey of a lifetime, and now sails from Rio de Janeiro to Santiago on January 8. World explorers can add to their Exotic voyages with Princess’ extensive lineup of cruisetours and Cruise Plus hotel stays before or after their ocean voyage. The company offers a variety of complete land/sea vacations in China, Australia and South America, perfect for extended exploration of some of the planet’s most desirable locations. Early booking fares for Exotics voyages begin at $1,245 per person, based on double occupancy. Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting

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Customers May Now Browse Windstar's 2004 Sailing Atlas 
On Web Site
New Online Brochure Offers Detailed Itineraries at the Flip of a Page

Seattle, WA, May 18, 2004 -- Windstar Cruises has launched a new electronic version of its 2004 Sailing Atlas on its Web site, Customers looking for details on the company's itineraries now have the information at their fingertips 24 hours a day through the colorful and easy to navigate brochure. The brochure has been designed to open efficiently in all types of browsers no matter the connection speed. No special software is needed. Animated pages are colorful and easy to navigate with arrows that appear to turn the pages. A table of contents on the right hand side of the page allows users to sort by chapter. A print option at the bottom of each page allows users to print individual pages out of the brochure. To cut down on waiting time, all pages are downloaded in low resolution and a zoom option provides two levels of magnification. 

"Today's technology allows us to place information in the hands of our customers and partners rapidly and efficiently," says Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and sales. "The online brochure is one more step we've taken to proactively use evolving technology to further our business objectives and provide an improved level of information services." 

The online brochure allows customers to easily browse through it in their home at their leisure. The colorful artwork and design of the brochure changes each year. The online version gives customers a feel for Windstar's new outlook and destinations. Windstar is currently working on the electronic version of the 2005 Voyage Planner and Sailing Atlas.

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Cruise on Inn with the Mayflower Park Hotel's Cruise Control Special
Guest Rooms, Shuttle Service and 50% off Parking now offered for Cruise Customers

SEATTLE – The Historic Mayflower Park Hotel now makes cruising in and out of Seattle a snap with the hotel’s new Cruise Control Special. “With so many cruise ships coming and going from Seattle we decided to create an easy way for our guests to put their travel adventure on Cruise Control and let us take care of the details,” said Stacia Williams, Director of Sales and Marketing for the hotel. The Mayflower Park Hotel’s Cruise Control Special includes convenient shuttle transportation from the hotel to Pier 30 or Pier 69, a beautifully renovated classic or deluxe guests room and 50% off extended-stay overnight valet parking for cruise guests.

The Cruise Control Special starts at $159 for a beautifully renovated classic guest room, and $179 for a deluxe room. Extended stay parking is available for $10 per night (a 50% discount) with a seven-day maximum. Reservations: 206-382-6990, 800-426-5100 or e-mail at . Rates are based on a space available basis.

Built in 1927, the beautifully renovated Mayflower Park Hotel is one of the last remaining locally owned and independent hotels in the Seattle area. It is a member of The National Trust Historic Hotels of America® that includes such other notables as The Greenbrier in West Virginia; The Brown Palace in Denver; and The Plaza in New York. The hotel is also home to the award-winning Martini bar, Oliver’s, and Seattle’s Best Mediterranean Restaurant, Andaluca Restaurant. Located at 405 Olive Way in Seattle’s retail core, the Mayflower Park Hotel is operated by local owners Birney and Marie Dempcy and managed by Paul Ishii, General Manager.

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Alaska's First Lady to Christen Sapphire Princess
Nancy Murkowski Will Name Vessel in Seattle Ceremony on June 10

SANTA CLARITA, Calif., May 17 -- Alaska's first lady, Nancy Murkowski, will become the godmother of Princess' newest ship, Sapphire Princess in a special christening ceremony that will celebrate Princess' long relationship with the state of Alaska as well as the line's significantly expanded presence in the homeport of Seattle. The ceremony, which will take place on June 10, will be the first naming to take place in the Emerald City of Seattle. Mrs. Murkowski, wife of Alaska governor Frank Murkowski, will christen the vessel that evening in a ceremony that pays tribute to both Alaska and the city of Seattle. The ship will sail on its inaugural seven-day Alaska voyage on June 13.

"We are honored that Mrs. Murkowski has agreed to become the godmother of our newest Alaska-bound vessel," said Alan Buckelew, president of Princess Cruises. "It seems an especially apt choice as Princess is widely known as a vacation leader and expert in Alaska and we are one of the area's cruising pioneers. Princess has been taking passengers to the 49th state for more than 35 years and we're proud to host more Alaska vacationers each year than anyone else."

Nancy Gore Murkowski, a lifelong Alaskan, was born in Nome and raised in Ketchikan. An active fundraiser, much of the first lady's focus has been centered on cancer awareness. Among her numerous projects in this area, she helped found the Breast Cancer Detection Center of Alaska in Fairbanks. In 1998, she won the sixth annual Action for Cancer Awareness Award from the Cancer Research Foundation of America for her efforts. She also received the 1996 Georgetown University Lombardi Cancer Center's "Symbol of Caring" award.

Mrs. Murkowski joins a list of illustrious women who have christened past Princess and company ships, including Princess Diana; Margaret Thatcher; the President of the Republic of Panama, Her Excellency Mireya Moscoso; the First Lady of Tahiti, Madame Tonita Flosse; Olympians Jamie Salé and David Pelletier; and celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Ali MacGraw and Olivia de Havilland.

The 116,000-ton, 2,670-passenger Sapphire Princess features the enthusiastically received ship design launched earlier this year with sister vessel Diamond Princess. The new ship incorporates Princess' trademark design philosophy -- including an abundance of balcony cabins, flexibility in dining and entertainment options, Princess' renowned service and a variety of intimate spaces -- giving the ship all of the choice of a large ship with the feel of a much smaller vessel. The vessel will offer passengers a unique dining program with four themed main dining rooms, a new Princess Concierge Service, the fleet's largest Internet Café, a brand-new Princess-operated Lotus Spa, and the debut of Club Fusion, a new high-tech dance lounge. Sapphire Princess' summer seven-day cruises will feature the best of Alaska's Inside Passage with calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and glacier cruising in Tracy Arm, plus a stop in picturesque Victoria, B.C.

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

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

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