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The Intl Council of Cruise Lines releases Cruise Industry Crime Statistics. Here's what they mean to you.

Cruise News
May 1-31, 2006

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Celebrity Cruises Celebrates 'New' Century

MIAMI, May 30 -- Today marks the beginning of a new century for Celebrity Cruises, as the line's Century sets sail following a $55-million makeover that began just five weeks ago. Designed to incorporate a variety of Celebrity's most popular Millennium- class attributes, the revitalization of Century is the line's most extensive refurbishment to-date, and the largest cruise ship modification completed by Fincantieri's Palermo, Italy, shipyard. A total of 314 new verandas have been added to the ship, a first, for an existing cruise ship, along with 14 new suites, 10 new staterooms ranging from inside to veranda categories, an expanded number of ConciergeClass category staterooms, a new specialty restaurant, an expanded AquaSpa, and a series of features and amenities that typify the line's acclaimed Millennium- class fleet.

"This initiative is nothing short of miraculous, technically and otherwise, particularly the veranda program," said Celebrity's President Dan Hanrahan. "Think of what it takes to thoroughly renovate a home, then consider what it took to do what we did onboard a 70,000-ton ship... in just five weeks. It's extraordinary."

New Culinary Delights
Among Century's multiple new attributes is a specialty restaurant, quite literally, featuring a heart of glass. The new "Murano" specialty restaurant in the center of the ship sparkles with magnificent chandeliers handcrafted of Murano glass, named for the island of Murano near Venice, Italy, where glass- blowing has been a fine art and tradition since the 13th century. Celebrity's longtime culinary and wine consultant, renowned Master Chef Michel Roux, designed the menu for Murano, with the cuisine and service following the celebrated style of Celebrity's Millennium-class specialty restaurants, which presented the industry's first tableside cooking, carving and flambé.

  • Century's dramatic, two-level "Grand Restaurant" has been entirely refurbished, retaining the glamour and sophistication that made it so popular prior to the revitalization, and maintaining the quality of service and impeccable culinary standards that have won the line extensive praise every year under the deft direction of Chef Roux and Celebrity's culinary team.

  • Among the many other dining options onboard Century is a 76-seat Sushi Bar, Celebrity's first designed specifically to reflect the popular regional cuisine, with a casual Asian atmosphere, and a collection of thematic artifacts and artwork.

  • Surrounded by glass walls offering magnificent ocean views, Century's Ocean Grill offers an alternative dining area with an upscale ambience, where guests can select cuisine ranging from steaks, chops, salads, antipastos and desserts from a fixed menu.

  • Opposite the Ocean Grill, guests will find fresh, made-to-order omelettes and crepes each morning, and an endless array of pizzas and made-to-order pastas every afternoon and evening. For the sweet tooth in everyone, just around the corner, there is a station offering a tantalizing array of homemade ice creams and sorbets.

  • Pairing refreshing sea air with panoramic views, Century's outdoor Sunset Bar features a full-service bar where guests can enjoy an assortment of fresh tapas and appetizers with cocktails and other beverages.

  • A Celebrity favorite across the fleet, Cova Cafe, the seagoing version of the stylish coffeehouse in the fashion district of Milan, Italy, serves fresh pastries and cookies to complement its coffees, teas, and other beverages every day, while at night, the space transforms to a romantic, lamp-lit wine bar, with live music.

Ample Opportunities to Exercise Mind, Body and Soul
Celebrity's award-winning AquaSpa onboard Century now welcomes guests within a new reception area featuring a 42-inch LCD TV highlighting spa services; 10 new sea-view treatment rooms; new locker rooms with lounge seating; a new beauty salon with enhanced manicure and pedicure bars; a dedicated teeth-whitening station; a new Persian Garden with Turkish steam room; three tropical showers; both infrared and Finnish saunas; Celebrity's first barber shop, complete with a 42-inch LCD TV, and a new, 54-set Spa Cafe serving light, healthy cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  • Adjacent to the AquaSpa, Celebrity's Acupuncture at Sea, the only such program in the industry, offers guests acupuncture treatments, therapies and enrichment lectures by licensed doctors of Oriental Medicine.

  • The fitness center within the AquaSpa area features new equipment throughout, including treadmills and cardio machines with personal LCD TVs, and a variety of strength-training equipment.

  • To exercise the mind, "High Seas Computing" offers computer training courses ranging from basic program use to web site creation to digital photography, within a newly dedicated space.

  • An art gallery joins a new array of trendy boutiques in "The Boulevard," allowing art aficionados the opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind works, and avid shoppers to purchase designer beauty products and fashions, leather goods, premium gifts, rare gems, and designer accessories, including watches and sunglasses.

"Cool" Clubs and Lounges
Century boasts the first "ice bar" concept at sea within its Martini Bar, featuring a liquid wall that freezes to form a sparkling crystalline appearance, and a bar counter that freezes into ice-cold stone, while a solid block of ice will creatively display bottles of liquor behind the bar, creating a very "cool" way to serve Celebrity's famed menu of more than 30 versions of martinis.

  • All other clubs and lounges onboard have been entirely refurbished, including the Crystal Lounge, Michael's Club jazz/piano bar, Rendezvous Lounge, and Hemispheres observation lounge and disco.

  • Teen travelers also have a lounge all their own -- Century's new "X-Treme" teen lounge and video arcade. The dedicated space includes a dance floor, video arcade, juice bar, jukebox, and karaoke, along with computers offering Internet access.

Stylish Staterooms, Suites and Sweet Dreams
Century promises sweet dreams, as the first ship in the Celebrity fleet to present Celebrity's new bedding program, which will be introduced onboard Galaxy and Millennium later this year, and across the balance of the fleet in 2007. The program features new premium mattresses, 100 percent Egyptian cotton linens, duvets, Euro pillows, colorful bed throws and pillow shams. Every ocean-view and inside stateroom onboard Century is now equipped with new flat-screen TVs, wireless Internet access, new carpet, textiles, windows, lighting fixtures, and art. The bathrooms have new vanities and enhanced lighting, stylish surface-mounted sink basins and fixtures, curved-rod shower curtains, and renewed architectural surfaces.

Century's suites are now that much sweeter, with new carpeting, wall covering, windows and textiles, luxurious new bedding and new light fixtures. Each suite also is equipped with new phones, 26-inch LCD TVs, DVD players, wireless Internet access, new accessories, and new veranda furniture.

Enticing Itineraries
Celebrity's "new" Century sets sail today on a 9-night "Best of Europe" cruise, followed by a series of 12-night Baltic and 10- and 11-night Mediterranean sailings, a 13-night "Best of Europe" voyage, and a seven-night Norwegian Fjords cruise.

Century also will be one of the first Celebrity ships to offer short cruises from the cruise capital of the world, the Port of Miami, beginning in November 2006. The ship will present four- and five-night roundtrip Caribbean cruises through April 2007, offering travelers with more limited vacation time the opportunity to experience what the award-winning Celebrity brand has to offer.

"When Century returns to the Caribbean this fall, Celebrity will have the best short-cruise product in the industry," said Hanrahan.

For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111, or visit the Celebrity web site at

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Carnival Glory Launches New Four-Port, 7-Day Western Caribbean Itinerary From Port Canaveral

MIAMI, May 2006 – Carnival Cruise Lines’ 110,000-ton Carnival Glory recently began a new four-port, seven-day itinerary, part of the ship’s alternating week-long eastern and western Caribbean cruise schedule from Port Canaveral, FL. Carnival Glory’s new western Caribbean cruises feature extended day-long visits to four tropical destinations – Cozumel, Belize, Costa Maya and Nassau. Carnival Glory’s new four-port, seven-day western Caribbean cruises from Port Canaveral began May 20, 2006, and alternate each week with the ship's seven-day eastern Caribbean cruises to Nassau, St. Thomas/St. John and St. Maarten.

"Glory’s new seven-day Caribbean itinerary combines two of cruising’s most popular destinations – Cozumel and Nassau – with two of the newest – Belize and Costa Maya. Ports included on this one-of-a-kind program not only feature excellent shopping, dining and watersports but archeological ruins and eco-tourism opportunities, not to mention some of the world’s best beaches," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

  • Ports on the Carnival Glory’s new itinerary include Nassau, which, in addition to friendly Bahamian hospitality, offers beautiful white-sand beaches and outstanding duty-free bargains. 

  • An island located near Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, Cozumel offers magnificent beaches and crystal-clear waters popular with fishing and diving enthusiasts the world over.

  • Belize is an unspoiled Central American paradise offering a diversity of eco-tourism opportunities -- from barrier reef scuba diving and snorkeling with sharks and stingrays to Mayan ruins excursions and an unforgettable cave tubing expedition/rain forest tour. 

  • The unique Mexican destination of Costa Maya was created specially for cruise guests and is home to gorgeous beaches, myriad watersports, excellent shopping, and a variety of exciting shore excursions.

Carnival Glory entered service in 2002 and features 22 lounges and bars, four swimming pools, a 214-foot-long water slide, a 14,500-square-foot health club, an Internet café, jogging track and an on-board duty-free shopping mall. A comprehensive golf program offering instruction both aboard ship and during golf excursions is also featured. In addition to a 1,400-seat poolside eatery with a 24-hour pizzeria, the ship includes twin two-level formal restaurants and a reservations-only supper club offering U.S.D.A. dry-aged beef and other gourmet cuisine. All dining venues feature "Georges Blanc Signature Selections" created by the world-renowned French master chef who has maintained the coveted three stars from the Michelin guide for the past 25 years.

Sixty percent of Carnival Glory’s 1,487 spacious staterooms offer either an ocean view or private balcony. All staterooms feature the new "Carnival Comfort Bed" sleep system with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high quality pillows and linens. Carnival Glory also offers "Camp Carnival" and "Club 02" with expansive facilities and fun-filled activities for children and teens, respectively.

Carnival is currently accepting reservations on Carnival Glory’s week-long cruises from Port Canaveral. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Oceania Cruises’ New “Roman Revelations” Voyage to Libya & Tunisia

Miami, FL, May 2006 – Oceania Cruises is pleased to announce a very special voyage that visits some of the most magnificent historical and cultural destinations in the Mediterranean – Tripoli and Benghazi in Libya, La Goulette in Tunisia, and Monemvasia in Greece. Sailing from Barcelona on April 17, 2007 aboard its award-winning flagship Regatta, this extraordinary voyage offers sophisticated travelers an exceptional opportunity to discover the rich cultural diversity and historical treasures of Benghazi and Tripoli in Libya while transporting guests through centuries of history and ancient civilizations. Brimming with intriguing ports of call, this exceptional itinerary is perfectly tailored to appeal to those savvy travelers seeking exotic destinations and far-flung adventures. Having been off-limits to Americans for over two decades, Libya once again welcomes American travelers to explore some of the finest ancient sites found anywhere in the western world. Guests will have the opportunity to explore lands settled by the Romans, Phoenicians, Greeks and other great civilizations and discover the region’s wealth of incomparable archaeological treasures. 

  • Tripoli abounds with opportunities for exploration. Magnificently preserved Leptis Magna which was founded in the 1st millennium BC and contains the largest bath house built outside Rome. Or the ancient Roman city of Sabratha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which served as a Phoenician trading-post. Sabratha was part of the short-lived Numidian Kingdom of Massinissa before being Romanized and rebuilt in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. 

  • Benghazi is Libya’s second largest city, situated on the eastern edge of the Gulf of Sirt. Benghazi saw good times and bad during the Greek, Roman and Byzantine eras before the Arabs conquered the city at the beginning of the 7th century. A short distance outside of the city lie many historic sites including the ancient Greek city of Cyrene. 

  • La Goulette offers an opportunity to visit Tunis, Carthage and the picturesque village of Sidi Bou Said. 

  • The ancient walled city of Monemvasia serves as your introduction to Greece and gateway to Mystra, the ancient “city of ruins,” and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Epidaurus. 

Commenting on this historic voyage to Libya, Frank Del Rio, President & CEO of Oceania Cruises stated, “We are elated to be able to introduce travelers to Libya’s wealth of archaeological treasures. We are always seeking enticing new destinations which offer our guests an enriching and enthralling exploration experience and I’m confident that guests on this one of a kind voyage to Libya will be thrilled with the historical and cultural offerings.” 

Regatta’s 10-night Roman Revelations voyage sails from Barcelona to Athens on April 17, 2007. Ports of Call include Mahon, Spain; Cagliari, Italy; La Goulette, Tunisia; Tripoli, Libya; Benghazi, Libya; Monemvasia, Greece; and Santorini, Greece. For a limited time, guests may take advantage of FREE airfare and 2-for-1 cruise fares.

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Seabourn 2007 Cruises Highlight 'Hot List' Destinations

MIAMI, May 30, 2006 -- The 10th Annual Condé Nast Traveler 'Hot List' singles out the southern Italian region of Puglia as its up-and-coming "Hot Europe" destination for travelers. Not surprisingly, it's already on the radar of the intimate, ultra luxury Yachts of Seabourn.

"Seabourn's guests are well-traveled and well-informed," said Seabourn president Deborah L. Natansohn. "They expect us to be ahead of the curve and to discover hidden gems like Puglia for their cruising pleasure. Year in and year out, that's what we do."

A lavishly illustrated article in the magazine's May, 2006 issue praises Puglia's unspoiled authenticity, beautiful beaches and rich cultural history, along with its appealing culinary traditions and a small, but high-quality hospitality community. Those are the very qualities that make it an ideal candidate for a Seabourn port of call. Located halfway between Bari and Brindisi on the Adriatic coast of Italy's "heel," the port of Monopoli is in the heart of the Puglia region. Seabourn Pride will initiate Seabourn's Puglia presence with a full-day maiden call at Monopoli in May of 2007, during a 10-day cruise from Athens to Rome. Seabourn Spirit will call at the port three times during 7-day cruises between Athens and Venice in July, August and September. Called "Greece and Dalmatian Delights," the voyages also include visits to Corfu, and to Kotor, Montenegro and Split and Rovinj, Croatia, along the Dalmatian coast, a region that has already generated considerable buzz as one of Europe's most desirable destinations. 

The Mediterranean provides a myriad of intriguing ports accessible to the yacht-sized Seabourn Spirit and Legend. The volcanic Aeolian island of Lipari is new in 2007, as is Tarragona in Spain. More ports along Turkey's Turquoise Coast include Fethiye and Alanya, with a return to the popular seaside resort Marmaris. Also added in Europe is lovely Belle-Ile-en-Mer off the Atlantic coast of Brittany.

For more information, consult your travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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NCV Waives Single Supplement on Select Antarctica Expeditions

New York, May 2006 -- Norwegian Coastal Voyage has announced a waiver of the single supplement on air-inclusive Antarctica Expedition Voyages reducing rates to normal double rates, saving solo travelers $1,115 to $1,580, on nine departures from October 16 to January 31, 2007. The waiver can be combined with an AARP member savings of $150 per cabin on all departures and a $300 early-booking discount on five October - December sailings (new bookings made by July 31), so that singles and travelers who prefer not sharing a cabin with family or friends can save up to $1,965 or 22% off normal single rates.

Five sailings -- 21-day “Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands,” departing Oct. 16, and 19-day “Antarctica and the Chilean Fjords,” with Nov. 1, Nov. 29, Dec. 6 and Dec. 13 departures -- eligible for the waived single supplement, early-booking and AARP discounts, and normally priced at $6,595 to $8,910, are reduced to $5,030 to $6,945. Four other 19-day departures -- Dec. 27, Jan. 3, Jan. 24 and Jan. 31 -- eligible for the eliminated single supplement and AARP discounts, and originally $7,200 to $9,105, are lowered to $5,845 to $7,375. 

The promotional offer applies to inside and outside cabins and includes round-trip flights between New York, Buenos Aires and Santiago, five-star hotels and breakfast in the lively capital cities, Buenos Aires-Ushuaia and Santiago-Punta Arenas flights, selected cabin category, all meals aboard ship, naturalist guides, all Antarctica landings, gratuities, port charges, air taxes and transfers. 

November and early December, late spring and early summer in the Southern Hemisphere, are an ideal time to see penguins making nests, laying and hatching eggs, fur seals on ice floes, untouched white snow at landing sites and on mountains, and in South Georgia and the Falklands, wildflowers. The soft-adventure cruises on modern ships, MS Nordnorge and MS Nordkapp, feature naturalist guides, noted guest lecturers and PolarCirkel boat landings, explore the pristine polar region of glaciers, huge icebergs, pack ice and abundant wildlife including King, gentoo and chinstrap penguin colonies, seabirds, humpback and killer whales, elephant and fur seals. 

Norwegian Coastal Voyage is at (800) 323-7436 or (212) 319-1300; for brochures, (800) 666-2374, 24 hours a day; and

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NCL Announces Sale of Norwegian Crown to Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines

MIAMI, May 25, 2006 – NCL Corporation (“NCL”) today announced that its parent company, Star Cruises, has agreed to sell Norwegian Crown to Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Pte. Ltd., Singapore effective August 2006. Star Cruises will concurrently charter the vessel back from Fred. Olsen and NCL will continue her announced deployment through to November 2007. 

Norwegian Crown is presently owned by Star Cruises along with four other mid-sized vessels also operated by NCL and Orient Lines. These vessels are on inter-company charter between Star and NCL. Last week, NCL announced that Norwegian Wind will be transferred in late April 2007 to Star Cruises to become SuperStar Aquarius, based in Hong Kong. 

“Although a beautiful and well-maintained vessel, Norwegian Crown’s smaller size is less suitable for Star Cruises’ ambitions in Asia,” said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL Corporation. “Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines specializes in operating smaller and mid-sized upscale vessels and this ship should fit perfectly in their fleet.”

This summer and fall, Norwegian Crown is sailing seven-day Bermuda cruises from Philadelphia and New York and will sail her popular 14-night South American cruises throughout the winter season of 2006/2007. In summer 2007, she will again offer a full season of Bermuda cruises from New York and Philadelphia and will end her deployment as an NCL ship at the close of the Bermuda season at the end of October 2007. 

The departures of Norwegian Wind and Norwegian Crown from the NCL fleet are designed to occur within the same period as the scheduled delivery and entry into service of two new purpose built NCL Freestyle Cruising ships of approximately 2,380 lower berth capacity each, Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Gem. For further information, please contact NCL in the U.S. and Canada at (800) 327-7030; visit NCL’s website at

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Princess Cruises Holds Passengers Spellbound With 'The Bee at Sea'

SANTA CLARITA, CA, May 25 -- When Princess Cruises' newest ship, Crown Princess, sets sail on June 14, she'll offer passengers the opportunity to compete in one of the nation's hottest "new" reality competitions: the spelling bee. This scholarly sport has seen a dramatic rise in fame in recent months, thanks to such popular movies as Akeelah and the Bee (which opened this month at theaters nationwide) and Bee Season (based on the best selling novel by Myla Goldberg), as well as the Tony-award-winning Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. And, America's fascination with reality television will give this time-honored competition its moment in the spotlight on June 1 when, for the first time in its 79-year history, the Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship Rounds will be broadcasted live on ABC-TV during primetime.

Passengers aboard the new Crown Princess can try their hand at this increasingly popular pursuit with "The Bee at Sea." This two-day challenge from Princess Cruises will test passengers' skills and nerve with intense drama, escalating word difficulty, and suspense-filled elimination rounds. Featured in the Princess Theater on each sailing, The Bee at Sea will feature both an adult and kids version, and the winners will receive a special dictionary signed by the ship's captain. Finalists will enjoy a larger audience for their 15 minutes of fame when the final rounds of competition are shown in the ship's dramatic Movies Under the Stars outdoor film venue, which features a 300-square-foot LED screen, set amidst comfortable chaise lounges, a swimming pool, hot tub, and poolside bar.

Cruise vacations have long been known for offering passengers the opportunity to try out new activities that may have piqued their interest on land, but had neither the time nor the facilities to pursue. "While on our ships, our passengers love to try their hand at everything from pottery and scrapbooking to cooking, ballroom dancing, web design, photography, golf and more," says Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "And the best part about our new 'Bee at Sea' competition is ... if not aboard Princess, then where will they try it? Spelling bees for entertainment and enjoyment are not offered in many places."

Princess tested the competitions last month aboard sister ship Caribbean Princess, and the feedback was extremely positive. Says Swartz, "Our passengers loved the drama of the competition, and it provided a more scholarly complement to our popular 'Princess Pop Star' talent competition." The Bee at Sea competitions will be rolled out among the Princess fleet starting in July. Crown Princess will be the first ship to offer this program when it sets sail on its inaugural voyage on June 14. Additional information about Crown Princess is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Crystal Cruises Becomes First Cruise Line to Offer Kilimanjaro Excursion

LOS ANGELES, May 23 -- In an industry first, luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises is offering a new overland adventure to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. From an equatorial jungle through a dense cloud forest to the perpetually ice- and snow-capped summit, thrill-seekers will revel at the rare chance to climb 19,340 feet to Uhuru Peak, the highest peak in Africa. The nine-night extended land program debuts in March 2007, and is available pre- or post-cruise in conjunction with two Crystal Serenity itineraries beginning or ending in Cape Town, South Africa. The fascinating trek to the top of the highest free-standing mountain on earth is offered through the line's partnership with Micato Safaris, a family-owned company renowned for its expertise in showcasing the beauty and wilds of Africa.

"This new excursion is quite literally the pinnacle of adventure, reserved for only the fittest adventure-seekers who have always dreamt of conquering Kilimanjaro," says John Stoll, Crystal's director of land programs. "Under the expert guidance of Micato Safaris -- a company that shares Crystal's passion for excellence -- a handful of Crystal guests will be able embark on this once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Hiking an average of four to six hours each day with overnight accommodations at the mountain's most comfortable huts, climbers traverse tropical rain forests, alpine grasslands, moorlands, lunar-like alpine desert, volcanic scree, ultimately reaching the ice fields and walls of Africa's only glacier. The "Conquering Kilimanjaro" excursion requires an extreme commitment in terms of advance training and planning. To accommodate the necessary personal preparation, the program must be reserved at least four months in advance. Participating guests will receive an extensive pre-climb package including a recommended eight-week fitness conditioning program, personal equipment suggestions and checklists for feet, head/face, upper body, legs, sleeping and, for personal health and comfort, commonly asked questions and answers, and medical requirements. 

The program includes flights between Cape Town and Nairobi/Arusha/Mombasa; transfers to Marangu where the climb begins; all accommodations and meals; and, services of expert guides and porters. Pricing is being finalized at this writing. Availability for this tour is extremely limited. Crystal Cruises' itineraries to and from Cape Town are scheduled as part of the line's 2007 World Cruise. Segment III departs on February 14 from Buenos Aires to Cape Town, while the Cape Town to Dubai cruise (Segment IV) begins on March 3.

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Cruise West Launches New Website & Marketing Campaign

SEATTLE, WA, May 23, 2006 – Cruise West, the largest American-owned cruise line and leader in small-ship cruising, has partnered with Marqui, Inc. to launch an integrated marketing campaign and technologically sophisticated website to match current trends and customer demands, including blog postings, “webinars,” and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds.

Cruise West’s new, simple-to-navigate website and partnership with Marqui provides great advantages to current and potential consumers and travel agents. The website is more interactive and offers a heightened level of enrichment through the blog postings and RSS feeds, a method of syndicating information. The blogs feature firsthand descriptions from trips and allow visitors to the site to post their own feedback. This entity creates a greater sense of community with previous Cruise West guests and provides a more intimate tool for potential guests. Visitors to the site can directly request updates and news with the enhanced email campaign and RSS feeds, alerting them when new information has been added to the website. 

“Today’s technology has created a variety of means to communicate a single message,” said Cruise West’s Vice President of Marketing and Sales Warren Sukernek. “Now, with Marqui’s software, we can customize interactions with our customers to meet each individual’s interests on whether he or she desires print brochures, blogs or email updates.”

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Costa Crociere to Add Interactive Television System on Newest Vessel

PITTSBURGH, May 23 -- Allin Corporation announced that it has contracted with Costa Crociere to implement an interactive television system on the new 112,000-ton Costa Concordia, which is scheduled to sail in July 2006. Costa Crociere is part of Carnival Corporation & plc, a multi-line cruise conglomerate. The contracted implementation for the Costa Concordia, coupled with other existing interactive television systems for Carnival-affiliated companies, will take the number of Carnival Corporation & plc vessels installed with Allin interactive television solutions to fifteen. Across all cruise lines, Allin has a total of thirty-four shipboard interactive television systems in operation or under contract. This order was previously disclosed in the Company's year-end earnings release.

The interactive television solutions will use the latest in Web technology to provide Costa's guests the convenience of using their in-stateroom TV sets to access a variety of electronic commerce services such as previewing shore excursions, watching on-demand movies and informational videos, ordering room service, and reviewing their folio accounts and shipboard activities. The Allin solution will interface with the vessel's hotel management system to allow direct billing to guest accounts for E-commerce transactions processed through the interactive television system.

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Princess Increases Canada & New England Capacity for 2007 Season

SANTA CLARITA, CA, May 23, 2006 - More passengers than ever will have the opportunity to view the stunning autumn colors from a Princess ship next year as the line will offer nearly 20 percent more berths on this popular annual route. Crown Princess makes her Canada/New England debut in the region and will be joined by Grand Princess, marking the first time that two of the line's largest, amenity-filled vessels will sail the northeast coast. In total, the two ships will offer nine departures on three different itineraries. Crown Princess will sail on seven-day roundtrip cruises from New York, while Grand Princess departs on 10-day sailings between New York City and Québec City. Grand Princess will also sail one Canada & Colonial America voyage along the full length of the Atlantic coast. The Canada & New England season will run from September 15 through October 18, 2007.

"These scenic Canada and New England cruises are always in great demand," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "So we are pleased to be able to offer more passengers the opportunity to experience the breathtaking views, incredible dining and historic ports of the eastern seaboard. And there's no better place to view the region's beautiful scenery than on one of our more than 1,500 private balconies on these two ships."

  • The 3,080-passenger Crown Princess' debut in the region features a seven-day roundtrip itinerary featuring the best of the northeast. With convenient New York departures from Brooklyn, the itinerary features visits to Halifax (Nova Scotia), Saint John (New Brunswick), Bar Harbor (Maine), Boston and Newport (Rhode Island). The ship sails on five voyages between September 15 and October 13, 2007.

  • Meanwhile, the 2,600-passenger Grand Princess takes over the line's classic 10-day Canada & New England voyage between New York City and Québec City. The route, which visits Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John, Halifax Sydney (Nova Scotia) and Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island), also features an overnight stay in the quaint Québec City. Grand Princess' three sailings depart between September 18 and October 8, 2007.

  • In addition, Grand Princess will also offer a special 12-day Canada & Colonial America voyage between Québec City and Ft. Lauderdale. This journey departs on October 18 and features calls at Sydney, Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport, New York City, Norfolk (Virginia) and Charleston (South Carolina).

For those who would like to extend their Canada & New England vacation, Princess offers escorted pre- or post-cruise land tours in conjunction with these sailings, in which passengers can travel back through historic America or spend further time in Canada with a complete cruisetour. 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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Oceania Cruises Unveils the Perfect Table

Miami, FL, May 22, 2006 – Oceania Cruises, already renowned for servings the finest cuisine at sea, has created The Perfect Table for it to be served upon. As the first in a series of corporate initiatives that underscore Oceania Cruises’ position as an industry leader in the field of culinary excellence, the line is set to unveil the ultimate in supreme dining experiences. Adorned with chic Versace china, glimmering Christofle silver and delicate Riedel crystal, The Perfect Table sets the stage upon which Oceania Cruises’ culinary masters showcase their talent and creativity each evening. A multi-million dollar undertaking, The Perfect Table is more than table settings, it blends the line’s Signature Service with all of the key elements necessary for the ultimate dining experience. The finest cuisine, complementing vintages, deft service, a dazzling display of china, crystal, silver, and a sophisticated ambiance all combine to elevate the dining experience from extraordinary to one that is nothing short of a culinary chef d'oeuvre. 

More Than a Meal, an Incomparable Culinary Experience
Renowned for their celebrated cuisine, Oceania Cruises’ menus are the artful craft of world renowned Master Chef, Jacques Pépin and the menus have been adroitly refined with an infusion of new creations, classic dishes and time-honored favorites. Of course, variety is the key to extraordinary dining and our menus are the most extensive at sea. Our four open seating gourmet restaurants offer almost 200 different items every day that change on a daily basis to offer you an astounding number of choices at every meal. From ingenious fusion dishes and nouvelle cuisine to the simplicity of our Jacques Pepin Signature Dishes, new dining adventures await each and every day. Guests may savor succulent Maine Lobster or a tender Grilled Veal Chop every night when they dine in Polo Grill or Toscana. In the Grand Dining Room, we’re heralding the return of such timeless classics as Veal Oscar, Steak au Poivre and Lobster Thermidor. 

“Fine dining is more than sitting down to eat a good meal, it’s an experience that encompasses many different elements that combine to make every meal a truly memorable occasion,” stated Frank Del Rio, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises. Recognized as a standard bearer in culinary excellence in the hospitality industry, Oceania Cruises continues its legacy of innovation with The Perfect Table. “The Perfect Table is more than a dramatic place setting. Every work of art deserves a truly great setting in which to be showcased and the stunning beauty of our new Versace china, Christolfe silver and Riedel stemware forms an exquisite frame around our gastronomic works of art,” Del Rio added. 

Select Culinary Highlights

Polo Grill

  • Chesapeake Bay Lump Meat Crab Cake with Pommery Mustard Sauce 

  • Grilled Veal Chop 

  • Whole Maine Lobster Tail

  • Grilled Colorado Rack of Lamb 


  • Scaloppini of Veal Tenderloin “Your World. Your Way.® ” 

  • Grilled Veal Chop 

  • Aragosta Fra Diavolo, prepared with a fresh, Whole Maine Lobster 

  • Braised Double Cut Colorado Lamb Chops 

Grand Dining Room

  • Veal Oscar 

  • Steamed Maine Lobster with Saffron Rice and Drawn Butter 

  • Classic Beef Tartare 

  • Steak au Poivre 

  • Lobster Thermidor 

Man Can Live On Bread Alone
Executive Corporate Chef Franck Garanger is also a baker at heart and he set out to create the finest French breads at sea. We’re happy to report that he has succeeded admirably and guests aboard Regatta, Insignia and Nautica are now indulging in the only authentic Baguettes to be found at sea. Using only the finest Viron flour and baked in special ovens, freshly baked Baguettes and Poulichette, Normandy Bread, Brioche Rolls, Raisin Rolls, Bacon Bread, Crispy Swedish Rolls, Chestnut Rolls and Olive Bread are prepared fresh every day for the ships’ four restaurants. “Star boulangers know that the quality of your bread is dictated by your flour and ovens,” stated Garanger. The Beauce region of France is renowned for the quality of its wheat and it is from this region that Oceania Cruises procures this very rare baker’s delicacy. Milled from the highest quality wheat, Viron flour is renowned for producing the perfect Baguette and breads rich in texture, color and flavor. 

Debut Schedule
The Perfect Table debuted aboard Nautica on May 21, 2006 and is scheduled to debut aboard Regatta on June 6, 2006 and aboard Insignia on June 14, 2006.

For additional information or reservations, please contact your Travel Agent or Oceania Cruises at 800-531-5658. Visit us at

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Baked Alaska Dessert Becomes a Nightly Favorite on All Holland America Line Alaska Cruises in 2006 & 'Going Wild for Salmon' Continues 

SEATTLE, May 22 -- Holland America Line has elevated the timeless cruising dessert, Baked Alaska, to a new art form -- for the eye as well as the palate. Gold Rush Baked Alaska, complete with a dusting of real edible gold, is the star of the dessert menu on every Alaska cruise this season. It is offered each night with a revolving variety of tempting toppings, including fresh berries and other delicious products from the Great State. 

Baked Alaska has long been a classic dessert on cruises, dating back to the days of legendary ocean liners, and Holland America Line has turned the spotlight brightly on this classic with its new rendering of the old favorite. "Offering the most innovative dining choices is another way we are solidifying our leadership position," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. The Gold Rush version of Baked Alaska starts with quality ingredients of French vanilla ice cream crusted with a double chocolate fudge brownie and a meringue. That concoction is topped with such delights as fresh Alaskan berries, hot fudge, blueberry confit, crushed macaroons, warm caramel toffee, brandied cranberries or bing cherries, Yukon whiskey butterscotch, strawberries Romanoff, Alaskan huckleberries, white chocolate fudge, or a host of other similar treats. A different combination of toppings is on the menu on each night of a seven-day cruise. Over the top of each individual dessert is a dusting of edible 24-karat gold. All desserts are prepared daily by Holland America Line's pastry chefs.

Going Wild for Salmon Continues
In 2005, the Holland America Line culinary team developed 50 distinctive recipes to showcase on dinner menus, which already offer poached, sauteed or baked salmon as an alternative to featured menu choices. The "Going Wild for Salmon" menu additions continue to be available seven nights a week in the Main Dining Rooms, the casual Lido Restaurants and exclusive Pinnacle Grills on all Alaska cruise ships in 2006. The program also includes special on-board culinary events, cooking demonstrations, and seminars.

Recipes are the creation of Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, who serves as culinary consultant for Holland America Line's fleet of five-star ships. Sodamin is the driving force behind the enhancement of Holland America Line's already superb dining offerings and has developed a fresh line of full-concept dining "experiences" for Holland America Line guests. One of the hospitality industry's most accomplished chefs, Sodamin brings excitement, innovation and unparalleled quality standards to menus at sea. Together with the Holland America Line Culinary Team, Sodamin continues to whip up more cruise line and food industry firsts, such as Gold Rush Baked Alaska and Salmon 50 ways.

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

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An Ocean of Calm: Introducing "The Sanctuary" on Crown Princess

SANTA CLARITA, CA, May 22, 2006 - When Crown Princess sets sail for the first time on June 14, those onboard will not only experience a plethora of non-stop onboard activities, but also Princess' newest "pocket of tranquility" called The Sanctuary. An adults-only retreat on the uppermost forward deck of the ship, The Sanctuary offers a relaxing alternative to the myriad outdoor activities and entertainment available elsewhere throughout the ship. Solitude seekers will be able to escape completely to this plush, outdoor spa-inspired setting with signature beverages, light meals, massages, attentive service and relaxing personal entertainment.

"Serenity Stewards" Attend To Every Need
The presence of Serenity Stewards in The Sanctuary underscores the atmosphere of tranquility and service, offering a respite for relaxation. These stewards are on hand to provide passengers with everything from a chilled face towel and Evian water atomizers, to a menu of healthy beverages and fare. Serenity Stewards will also have personal MP3 players with noise canceling headphones available for rent, loaded with themed playlists focused on relaxation for those who want to escape with music.

Al Fresco Massages
The Sanctuary will also feature two outdoor private cabanas where guests can also take advantage of the exclusive Lotus Spa Services at The Sanctuary, including sybaritic favorites such as a Deep Tissue Muscle Massage, a relaxing Swedish Massage or a Full Body Lotus Massage especially for couples. Shorter interludes of massage pampering will also be available as massage therapists will offer back, shoulder, and neck massages using special massage chairs.

When not indulging in spa services, Sanctuary guests lounge amidst lush greenery, with the presence of gentle breezes, ocean waves, and softly piped-in spa music combining to further insulate the area with relaxation sounds. Guests will relax on plush outdoor furniture including double loungers for couples, as well as deluxe chaise lounges and chairs. And for those looking for a relaxing end to their day, sunset yoga sessions offer the opportunity to unwind and tone their muscles accompanied by nature's beauty.

Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales, explains that, "With The Sanctuary, Princess has expanded once again on our concept of choice - we're not only providing an alternative venue for our relaxing spa services, but also offering passengers the opportunity to escape to a tranquil retreat at any time, day or night."

Refreshing Drinks and Healthy Snacks
Guests can also refresh with a variety of special drinks and snacks created exclusively for The Sanctuary. Each day Serenity Stewards will be on hand to offer guests an array of drinks and snacks. Signature Sanctuary beverages include healthy smoothies, energy drinks, iced flavored waters and freshly made lemonade. A menu featuring a selection of light bites such as refreshing fruit skewers, lettuce wrapped spring rolls, and spicy tuna pâté with baked pita wedges will also be available through the Serenity Stewards.

There is no charge to use The Sanctuary, though capacity is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Sanctuary is located on Crown Princess' deck 17, adjacent to the Lotus Spa and the spa's swim-against-the-current lap pool.

In addition to The Sanctuary, the 113,000-ton Crown Princess will introduce a number of new design innovations to the Princess fleet, including a dramatic new piazza-style atrium and new casual dining venues. Within the new street café environment of the atrium, passengers will find an International Café serving up fresh pastries and baked goods in the morning and assorted other offerings throughout the day, as well as a wine and seafood bar. Several signature Princess venues have been further enhanced, including an expanded Sabatini's Italian trattoria with a new piano lounge, and the Crown Grill, a new steak and seafood restaurant with an open, theater-style kitchen where chefs will custom-prepare steamed shellfish and cooked-to-order steaks and chops.

The ship will also feature the many hallmark features that define the Princess experience, including the dramatic Movies Under the Stars poolside movie screen, multiple dining and entertainment options, a Lotus Spa fitness center, an extensive children and teen's center, a wedding chapel and nearly 900 staterooms with private balconies. 

The inaugural 2006 summer season for Crown Princess will feature nine-day roundtrip voyages to both the Eastern and Western Caribbean, and will mark the return of Princess visits to Bermuda, as well as the line's first-ever regular calls to Grand Turk. In the fall the ship will reposition to San Juan for winter Caribbean sailings. Additional information about Crown Princess is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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MSC Cruises Aims to Conquer Northern Europe

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, May 19, 2006 -- MSC Cruises has its sights set on significantly expanding its presence in the Northern Europe cruise market.
Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO for MSC Cruises, detailed the line’s Northern Europe expansion program at a May 18 press conference in Copenhagen. A key element of the program is a continued strong relationship between MSC Cruises and SAS (Scandinavian Airlines). Successful summer seasons have made MSC Cruises a leader in Northern Europe. Due to continued interest and increased demand, MSC has doubled its capacity in the region this summer, with both MSC Lirica and MSC Rhapsody offering new and exclusive itineraries. 

“We believe in the success of our Northern Europe cruise program. MSC Lirica and MSC Rhapsody symbolize the elegance and style of MSC Cruises,” said Vago. “In 2007 MSC Opera will also be positioned to sail in Northern Europe, while in 2008 we will have three ships there -- MSC Melody, MSC Opera and MSC Poesia -- with the potential to carry a total of 126,000 passengers.”

During this expansion program, it is anticipated that: 

  • The total number of Italian cruise passengers in Northern Europe will increase from 8,500 in 2004 to 126,000 in 2008; 

  • The number of port calls in Northern Europe will grow four times, from 12 in 2004 to 44 in 2008.

“These are very significant numbers for our exclusive partner SAS and the local tourist economy,” Vago said. “The number of airline tickets from Italy to Scandinavia for MSC Cruises’ passengers is expected to increase from 1,020 in 2004 to 17,000 for 2008. Plus, thanks to the promotions carried out by MSC Cruises, Scandinavians are booking more Mediterranean cruises, with the 4,900 cruising passengers in 2005 expected to increase 144 percent to more than 12,000 in 2008.”

Research indicates that those joining cruises in Copenhagen spend an average of 120 Euros per person, for a total of 3.8 million Euros. This season, MSC Rhapsody will cruise for the first time from Amsterdam. Beginning on May 20, 2006, she will offer 7-night itineraries to the Norwegian Fjords plus a new route for the discovery of the Shetland Isles and the Scottish coastline. In June, she will also sail from Amsterdam to the North Cape. MSC Lirica will be positioned in Copenhagen, where she will sail every week to the Norwegian Fjords and the Baltic Capitals.

“MSC Cruises is looking for market leadership on all fronts as it continues to expand its fleet. By 2009 there will be 12 ships in the fleet, all offering excellent service, the key to the company’s success,” says Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA). For more information on MSC Cruises, visit

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Cunard Line's Queen Victoria Keel Laying Ceremony Takes Place in Italy

VALENCIA, CA - May 19, 2006 - A ceremony marking the Keel Laying for Cunard Line's Queen Victoria was held today at the Marghera shipyard of Fincantieri near Venice, Italy. The second largest Cunarder ever built, Queen Victoria will enter service on December 11, 2007 and become the third in Cunard's fleet of Queens when she joins Queen Mary 2, the largest liner in the world, and QE2, the most famous ship in the world. 

The keel laying involved the placement in the dry dock of one section of the ship's hull. This section is made up of six pre-manufactured blocks, weighs 325 tons and is fitted with 50 tons of pipes, cables, insulation and other equipment. The ceremony follows an intensive period of design and development. 80 sections will be used in the construction of Queen Victoria and she will take to the water for the first time at her float out in January 2007 before her delivery to Cunard in December 2007.

In a speech prior to the laying of the keel, Carol Marlow, Cunard's president and managing director, said, "Queen Victoria is a very significant ship for Cunard; not only is she the second largest ship we have ever built but she further reinforces Cunard's commitment to our British heritage. This is evident in her reflection of past Cunarders with her traditional livery and elegant and classically-styled interior. When she comes into service next year there will be, for the first time, a trio of Queens in Cunard's fleet."

Queen Victoria will not only be a classic ocean liner, offering the very best of Cunard's heritage and traditions along with all modern luxury facilities, but she will also feature some exciting innovations. These will include the first private boxes at sea, in the Royal Court Theatre; a "Cunardia" museum, housing Cunard artifacts and memorabilia; the first two-story library at sea, with its 6,000 books and splendid spiral staircase; and a grand, British colonial-style conservatory, complete with central fountain, greenery and a retractable glass roof.

With the addition of this new 90,000-ton vessel, the Cunard liner legacy will be upheld, as Queen Victoria will offer all the classic characteristics that have become associated with the company's unique heritage. From the outside, her distinctive black and red livery and strengthened hull will hint at the experience that differentiates a Cunard liner from a modern-day cruise ship. This will be most evident in the ship's adherence to liner traditions of the past, with elegant and classically-styled public rooms, many on a grand scale, luxuriously endowed with rich wood panelling, intricate mosaics, chandeliers, and cool marbles.

The public spaces will be the setting for a host of diversions that also define Cunard's liner heritage, as guests enjoy stylish entertainment and informative talks that suggest a more civilized era of travel. The ship will also feature the line's celebrated luxury Grills accommodation and dining, further enhanced on Queen Victoria with exclusive deck terraces and an al fresco dining option. And, of course, the ship has been constructed with impressive sea keeping qualities that will enable it to travel easily and efficiently through the demanding waters of the world's oceans.

Queen Victoria will depart on her Maiden Voyage on Tuesday December 11, 2007 - a voyage that was full within days of being announced. The world's newest ocean liner will depart New York on January 13, 2008 on her 105-day Pathway to the Explorers maiden world cruise which will call at 36 cities in 23 countries. Every call, with the exception of Lisbon, will be a maiden call for Cunard's new Queen. Queen Victoria will circumnavigate the globe in a westbound direction and, after calling at New York, will transit the Panama Canal before making maiden calls at some of the world's most famous cities including Los Angeles, Auckland, Sydney, Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Dubai, Athens and Barcelona.

For more information about Cunard or Queen Victoria, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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NCL Announces Expanded 2007 Hawaii/Fanning Island Deployment

MIAMI, May 19, 2006 – NCL Corporation (“NCL”) today announced that it has extended its relationship with the Republic of Kiribati enabling it to continue to offer Fanning Island on its long Hawaii cruises through to 2011 and to commit one of its purpose-built new Freestyle Cruising ships to this increasingly popular itinerary. Norwegian Sun, will replace Norwegian Wind sailing 10- and 11-day itineraries from Honolulu with a stop at Fanning Island beginning in September 2007. This newer, larger ship, launched in 2001, will take over and grow NCL’s 10- and 11-day Hawai`i trade when Norwegian Wind is transferred to the Star Cruises fleet in late April 2007. The addition of Norwegian Sun to Hawai`i, following the addition of Pride of Hawai`i in June, completes the Norwegian Cruise Line brand and NCL America’ brand Hawai`i fleets and will bring the total NCL Hawai`i fleet to over 8,500 lower berths.

In 2007, NCL America’s U.S. Flagged fleet--Pride of Hawai`i, Pride of America and Pride of Aloha--will continue their popular seven-day inter-island cruises calling on all four main islands featuring 100 hours in port with overnights in Kauai and Maui.

Passengers wanting to sail an extended itinerary with lots of port time in Hawai`i plus sea days and a call into Fanning Island in Kiribati, NCL’s Pacific Island hideaway just north of the Equator, can now sail on NCL’s first purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Sun. The increase in capacity on these itineraries represents a significant increase in the company’s commitment to the Republic of Kiribati. And by deploying a newer ship into the longer itinerary with more than 2,000 guests, NCL has further increased its capacity in Hawai`i and expects to bring some 450,000 passengers to Hawai`i in 2007.

“The completion of NCL’s fleet in Hawai`i is a major milestone, with our guests having three modern U.S. Flagged ships sailing inter-island in Hawai`i, alongside a big modern international-flagged ship offering longer Hawai`i itineraries,” said Colin Veitch, NCL Corporation’s president and CEO. “In addition, this move enables NCL to continue its plan of renewing its fleet and Star Cruises to expand its Asian fleet with relatively modern medium-capacity vessels, in order to meet growing demand in the region.”

Norwegian Cruise Line’s and NCL America’s 2007 Hawaiian deployment:

  • Pride of Hawai`i – The newest addition to NCL America’s fleet, Pride of Hawai`i, begins her seven-day inter-island cruises from Honolulu on June 5, 2006. She will offer Monday departures calling on Hilo, Hawai`i; an overnight in Kahului; Maui; Kona; Hawai`i; and an overnight in Nāwiliwili, Kaua`i. 

  • Pride of America – Pride of America features Saturday departures from Honolulu and will call on Hilo, Hawai`i; an overnight in Kahului; Maui; Kona, Hawai`i; and an overnight in Nāwiliwili, Kaua`i. 

  • Pride of Aloha – Pride of Aloha will alternate seven-day itineraries from Honolulu, departing on Sundays, and from Kahului, Maui departing on Fridays. When departing from Honolulu, she will overnight in Nāwiliwili, Kaua`i; Hilo, Hawai`i; Kona, Hawai`i; and an overnight in Kahului, Maui. The Maui itinerary features an overnight in Maui; Honolulu, Oahu; an overnight in Nāwiliwili, Kaua`i; Hilo and Kona, Hawai`i.

  • Norwegian Sun – After a summer sailing Alaskan itineraries, Norwegian Sun will be based in Honolulu beginning in September 2007, offering alternating 10- and 11-day itineraries. Norwegian Sun’s 10-day itinerary includes Hilo, Hawai`i; Fanning Island, Republic of Kiribati; Nāwiliwili, Kaua`i; Lahaina, Maui; and Kona, Hawai`i. The 11-day itinerary will call on Kahului, Maui; Hilo, Hawai`i; Lahaina, Maui; Nāwiliwili, Kaua`i; Fanning Island, Republic of Kiribati; and Kona, Hawai`i.

  • Norwegian Wind – Based in Honolulu, Norwegian Wind will continue sailing alternate 10- and 11-day itineraries through April 14, 2007. Ports of call include on the 10-day itinerary include Hilo, Hawai`i; Fanning Island, Republic of Kiribati; Nāwiliwili, Kaua`i; Lahaina, Maui; and Kona, Hawai`i. The 11-day itinerary will call on Hilo, Hawai`i; and an overnight Lahaina, Maui; Nāwiliwili, Kaua`i; Fanning Island, Republic of Kiribati; and Kona, Hawai`i. 

For further information, please contact NCL in the U.S. and Canada at (800) 327-7030; visit NCL’s website at

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Martha Stewart to be "Crowned" Godmother of Princess Cruises' Newest Ship in New York this June

SANTA CLARITA, CA, May 18, 2006 - Martha Stewart has been selected by Princess Cruises to serve as godmother for the line's newest cruise ship, Crown Princess. Ms. Stewart will preside over the vessel's official naming in New York on June 14, 2006, when she breaks the traditional bottle of champagne on the ship marking its debut. The ceremony, which will be the first to occur at the city's new Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, will honor Ms. Stewart and the many accomplishments that have made her America's premier authority on the home. That same evening across from the glittering Manhattan skyline, the 3,080-passenger Crown Princess will depart on her maiden voyage to the Caribbean, the first of a summer season of roundtrip New York voyages.

Princess Cruises President Alan Buckelew says Princess feels privileged that Ms. Stewart has accepted the company's invitation to name Crown Princess. "Martha is truly an icon of style and, undoubtedly, has had more influence on how Americans entertain, cook and decorate and design in and around their homes than almost anyone in history," he said. "We wanted to give the honor of christening our new ship to a woman of exceptional achievement, and Ms. Stewart is certainly that. It is also fitting that she has grown her successful company in New York, the ship's home port."

Ms. Stewart stated: "It's a wonderful honor to be invited to christen such a magnificent cruise ship. To be the godmother is an exciting opportunity I'm privileged to accept." From her award-winning magazine, Martha Stewart Living, to her bestselling product lines, Martha Stewart shares the creative principles and practical ideas that have made her America's most trusted guide to stylish living. Millions of consumers rely on Martha Stewart as their arbiter of style and taste and their guide to all aspects of everyday living - from cooking and entertaining to decorating and home renovating, and much more.

The 113,000-ton Crown Princess will introduce a number of new design innovations to the Princess fleet, including a dramatic new piazza-style atrium, new casual dining venues, and a brand new adults-only retreat called The Sanctuary. Within the new street café environment of the atrium, passengers will find an International Café serving up fresh pastries and baked goods in the morning and assorted other offerings throughout the day, as well as a wine and seafood bar. Several signature Princess venues have been further enhanced, including an expanded Sabatini's Italian trattoria with a new piano lounge, and the Crown Grill, a new steak and seafood restaurant with an open, theater-style kitchen where chefs will custom-prepare steamed shellfish and cooked-to-order steaks and chops.

The ship will also feature the many hallmark features that define the Princess experience, including the dramatic Movies Under the Stars poolside movie screen, multiple dining and entertainment options, a Lotus Spa fitness center, an extensive children and teen's center, a wedding chapel and nearly 900 staterooms with private balconies.

The inaugural 2006 summer season for Crown Princess will feature nine-day roundtrip voyages to both the Eastern and Western Caribbean, and will mark the return of Princess visits to Bermuda, as well as the line's first-ever regular calls to Grand Turk. In the fall the ship will reposition to San Juan for winter Caribbean sailings. Additional information about Crown Princess is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Bargains Abound on Carnival Cruise Lines' 'Fun Ships'

MIAMI, May 16 -- Gas prices are rising, interest rates are rising, but Carnival cruises remain one of the best values available in the vacation market. This year even those who have yet to make their summer vacation plans will find some great bargains still available. In fact, there are some incredible values on "Fun Ship" departures, with rates up to 20 percent lower than last year.

"We have more and larger ships in the fleet than ever before, and that provides economies of scale and operating efficiencies that enable us to provide 21st-century cruises at 1980s prices," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. "That provides us an opportunity to expand the market by attracting more first-time cruisers who represent a guaranteed renewable resource for us. Once they try the Carnival product, we know they will come back again and again," he added. Dickinson added that many "Fun Ship" bargains are on some of the cruise industry's newest, most technically advanced mega-liners, further enhancing the already tremendous value that cruising provides. "With a wide variety of all-inclusive dining, activity and entertainment options, cruising is the best value equation in the travel industry hands down," he said.

The Caribbean remains the most popular cruise destination by far and there are some particularly exceptional values on short cruises (five days or less) within the region, with prices starting at just $229 per person. Shorter voyages are the perfect introduction for first-time cruisers who are able to test the waters without investing a lot of time or money. Outstanding bargains are available on week-long Caribbean cruises, as well, with rates starting at just $449 per person.

And with Carnival's "Fun Ships" departing from 18 different North American homeports, consumers have a host of "close to home" bargains, including eight- day Caribbean voyages from New York aboard the Carnival Legend starting at $599 per person, and four- or five-day cruises to Mexico aboard the Ecstasy from Galveston beginning at $329 per person.

For vacationers wishing to experience the Caribbean's newest destination, Grand Turk, a magnificent 10-square-mile island of the Turks & Caicos Islands chain offering beautiful beaches, watersports and some of the world's best diving, bargains abound. Rates for five-day Fantasy cruises from Port Canaveral, FL, and seven-day Elation cruises from Miami, both of which feature visits to this spectacular island paradise, along with calls at the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay, begin at $349 and $449 per person, respectively.

Regardless of what ship or itinerary consumers select, with these low prices there's never been a better time to "choose to choose." For additional information and reservations on these outstanding "Fun Ship" bargains, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Celebrity Cruises & Royal Caribbean Resume Port Calls
 in Cartagena, Colombia 

MIAMI, May 16 -- Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain have announced that Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International will resume port calls to Cartagena, Colombia, starting in April 2007. At a meeting in Cartagena, the two executives were highly enthusiastic about the cruise line's return and the partnership that made it possible. The company last called in Cartagena in 2002.

"We are delighted to be returning to Cartagena and to be able to showcase its rich history and vibrant culture for our guests," Fain said. "We are grateful to President Uribe and his administration for the lengths to which they have gone to provide a safe and satisfying experience for our guests."

Celebrity Cruises will make 24 visits to Cartagena: 11 on Zenith, seven on Constellation, six on Infinity and four on Summit. Royal Caribbean will make eight calls at Cartagena over the 2007-2008 season: five on Brilliance of the Seas, two on Radiance of the Seas and one on Serenade of the Seas.

Additional information can be found on and

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Princess Website Debuts Unique "My Portfolio" Cruise Planning Tool

SANTA CLARITA, CAm May 16, 2006 - Starting today, visitors to Princess' website,, will find it easier than ever to choose and prepare for a cruise with a new My Portfolio feature. This new vacation planning tool enables anyone organizing a cruise with friends or family to conduct an invitation-based dialog to help coordinate choices and aid in the decision-making process about their Princess sailing.

A completely new feature on the site, My Portfolio is a simple way for users to save cruise itineraries of interest and share these sailings with others to facilitate vacation planning. Integrated with's innovative Searchlight feature, My Portfolio enables users to save multiple itineraries, compare and view them at their convenience and then e-mail private invitations to other travel companions. Users organizing a vacation with others can take advantage of this "share" feature to e-mail saved cruises to anyone they wish, and the recipients can post comments to a blog-like feature that will help everyone determine the perfect cruise and keep up-to-date on details as they prepare for the sailing. As a result, My Portfolio makes cruise planning easier by offering a secure method to communicate with travel companions quickly. The new My Portfolio tool can be found on each user's new personalized My Princess page, a new feature, also debuting today, that gathers all of a customer's Princess account information in one convenient desktop dashboard.

"So many of us have had the experience of planning a cruise with friends and family, and have discovered that gathering information and responding to the many differing opinions and questions to be a daunting task for the organizer," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "My Portfolio really offers consumers a great way to easily gather and share cruise information, and then take the final details to their travel agent to make the booking."

With My Portfolio customers can save itinerary information on up to three cruises to revisit at their convenience. These itineraries can be shared with up to 20 people that the user designates on their private invite list of friends and family. Group members can then respond and conduct a regular dialog through the site, making it easier than ever to make sure everyone has the same updated information. My Portfolio is one of several online features now gathered onto a new My Princess home page. This convenient new portal debuts an easy-to-use dashboard that gathers, presents and saves information about a user's cruise preferences, account status and upcoming booking information in one place. My Princess contains information about the user's Captain's Circle account status, Circle Savings Account balance, and a direct Cruise Personalizer link for upcoming bookings. If a user has a cruise booked, they will see a variety of information about the sailing, including links to the itinerary and ship features.

In addition, users with upcoming cruises will no longer need to remember their booking number to check their Cruise Personalizer. Simply logging into My Princess will provide a direct link to the Personalizer, instantly retrieving the passenger's booking information and enabling them to check on their reservation and add extra touches to their cruise, such as reserving shore excursions in port or planning a relaxing massage at the Lotus Spa. Each user's My Princess home page also features boxes that include at-a-glance access to the traveler's Captain's Circle status and account number. Users will instantly see if they have available cruise or onboard credits in their Circle Savings account, and can easily sign up friends through the club's Referral Rewards Program.

My Portfolio and My Princess are available to anyone registered with Current site users can log on immediately with their existing account information. New users can set up an account quickly and easily on the site. The new feature is just one of the dynamic features available on Princess Cruises website, Among the site's innovations is Searchlight, a custom-designed search tool that can instantly show users exactly which ships travel where, when and for how long. The feature-rich site is designed to intuitively follow how users seek out information, and offers a plethora of cruise planning information.

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Cunard Announces Queen Victoria's Maiden World Cruise in 2008

VALENCIA, CA, May 15, 2006 - Cunard Line, the company that pioneered world cruising in 1922 with the first-ever world cruise aboard the Laconia, will make further maritime history on January 13, 2008, as its newest ocean liner, Queen Victoria, departs New York simultaneously with Cunard's esteemed ocean liner, QE2, for their world cruise voyages. Sailing roundtrip from New York, the concurrent world cruise departures mark the start of Queen Victoria's 105-day Pathway to the Explorers maiden world cruise and QE2's 90-day South America, Pacific and Far East Odyssey, her first foray into South America in more than a decade. Following a full day of festivities to mark the historic occasion, both ships will depart for Ft. Lauderdale, where similar celebrations are planned. From there, the ships will part, each sailing different epic itineraries before reuniting in Sydney on February 24.

"Continuing Cunard's legacy of noteworthy firsts in maritime history, we are delighted to announce the simultaneous grand ocean voyages for our newest liner Queen Victoria and our 'grand dame' QE2. Cunard's World Cruises are widely considered the 'gold standard' in voyages around the world. QE2 has undertaken more long voyages than any other ship afloat and we are delighted that Queen Victoria will continue this fine tradition - offering a 21st century ocean liner experience as she makes her own circumnavigation of the globe in renowned Cunard style," said Carol Marlow, Cunard Line's president and managing director.

Queen Victoria's Pathway to the Explorers maiden world cruise to call on 36 cities: Cunard's third Queen will depart New York on January 13, 2008 on her Pathway to the Explorers maiden world cruise, calling on 36 cities in 23 countries. Every call, with the exception of Lisbon, will be a maiden call for Cunard's new Queen. She will circumnavigate the globe in a westbound direction and, after her New York call, will transit the Panama Canal before making maiden calls to some of the world's most famous cities, including Los Angeles, Auckland, Sydney, Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Dubai, Athens and Barcelona. Queen Victoria will transit the other of the great canals, the Suez, before arriving into Southampton on April 22. Guests returning to New York will enjoy sailing aboard Cunard's flagship vessel, Queen Mary 2, on one of her legendary six-day transatlantic crossings, arriving into the city on April 28. Shorter Liner Voyages are also available and include the 41-day New York to Sydney voyage.

QE2 Journeys to South America, the Pacific and the Orient: The most experienced world voyager afloat, QE2 will, for the first time in more than a decade, tour South America and the Pacific in a 90-day odyssey that will leave New York on January 13 and make stops in 17 countries - a mix of exciting cities and interesting ports. After departing New York, QE2 will head around South America calling in Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, the Falkland Islands and Valparaiso. Cruising into the Pacific, she will then circle the world's largest ocean before arriving in Los Angeles on March 30. Port calls will include Easter Island, Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Honolulu. After transiting the Panama Canal, the ship will return home to New York on April 12. Shorter Liner Voyages are also available and include the 42-day New York to Sydney voyage.

The voyages are on sale from June 5, 2006 and Early Booking Fares for these voyages represent a 15 percent per person savings off brochure rates. As an extra bonus, guests will save an additional 5 percent when bookings are made by January 31, 2007. A special amenity package will be offered to guests booking a Full World Cruise or Liner Voyage including complimentary shore events for Grill guests. For more information about Cunard or 2008 World Cruises on Queen Victoria and QE2, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Princess Unveils a Record 81 New Adventures Ashore® in Europe 
This Summer

SANTA CLARITA, CA, May 15, 2006 - Whether seeking to unlock the secrets of the Da Vinci Code, learning to blend their own Cognac, cooking paella in Spain or following the footsteps of Rembrandt, Princess passengers will have a record 81 intriguing new ways to explore Europe this season. These new Adventures Ashore® range from cultural explorations to active adventures, whether dining with the locals in Istanbul, exploring Soviet Life in Estonia or cycling through Edinburgh.

The new tours bring Princess' total European excursion offerings to more than 590 different options throughout Europe. In addition to these new excursions, Princess also has significantly increased available capacity for the extremely popular Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a yearly spectacle that is already sold out for the season through regular ticket venues. Princess has arranged special tickets available to passengers on Golden Princess' August 10 sailing, making for an unforgettable Scottish experience.

"Adventures Ashore offer passengers a convenient way to make the most of their day in port, while enjoying the levels of service they've come to expect from Princess," noted Jan Swartz, senior vice president of customer service and sales for Princess. "We've never before added so many new choices for passengers - they may even have trouble choosing just one." Just some of the new European tour options this season include:

New and Newsworthy

  • Rosslyn Chapel & the Da Vinci Code (South Queensferry) - Made famous by the best-selling book (and film) the Da Vince Code, the mysterious Rosslyn Chapel has become a place of pilgrimage for visitors to Edinburgh. Visitors can join in the speculation as to whether the chapel's undisturbed vaults contain legendary holy relics and can search for hidden codes in the multitude of intricate carvings that adorn the pillars, walls and roof of the chapel -- perhaps claiming the £5,000 reward offered for breaking the code!

  • In the Footsteps of Rembrandt (Amsterdam) - In celebration of the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt's birth, Princess offers an opportunity to explore the major city sites associated with the artist's life - including Rembrandt House, where he lived and worked for more than 20 years; Oude Kerk, the oldest stone building in Amsterdam where Rembrandt's first wife Saskia is buried beneath the church floor; and Westerkerk, a magnificent 17th century Baroque church where Rembrandt was buried in 1669.

  • Celebrating Rembrandt (Amsterdam) - Passengers can join the Rijksmuseum as they celebrate the 400th birthday of Rembrandt van Rijn. The tour offers the opportunity to view the largest collection of works by Rembrandt with a special 400th anniversary exhibit of masterpieces highlighting his golden age. The tour also includes a leisurely motor launch cruise through many of the city's 60 miles of waterways.

Liquid Libations

  • Schiedam, World's Capital of Gin (Rotterdam) - Schiedam, world famous for its many gin distilleries, is home to the first gin distillery dating back to the early 17th century. Visitors will visit the national distillery museum where they will be give an explanation of the distilling process and can sample two types of "Genever" (gin in Dutch) and a liquor.

  • Liquor & Leith! (South Queensferry) -- Leith has been a thriving centre of trade for centuries, importing wine and exporting whisky. On this excursion participants will visit the Scottish Malt whisky society to learn about the production process of Scotland's greatest export. Passengers will enjoy an informative and fully tutored whisky tasting to include three whiskies at cask strength.

  • Belgian Beer & Bruges (Zeebrugge) - An excursion offering the opportunity to explore one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Northern Europe, plus indulge in a special beer tasting with a local expert. The experience includes tasting four different Belgium beers each in its unique glass.

  • The Cognac Experience - Elite Collection (La Rochelle) -- This exclusive tour is ideal for travelers who have dreamt of becoming a master blender. Participants visit one of France's few family-owned producers of fine cognac where they can try their hand at producing their own cognac blend. The result will be bottled and a record of its composition will be filed should passengers wish to order it again in the future.

Local Color (and Flavors)

  • Life in Soviet Estonia (Tallinn) - An opportunity to experience what life was like during the Soviet occupation of Estonia. Passengers will see the notorious KGB House in Tallinn, Forest Cemetery, Museum of Occupation, Seaplane Harbor and a TV tower that was the site of demonstrations during the "Moscow Uprisings" that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and freedom for the Baltic Republics.

  • Cooking Paella (Palma) - An opportunity for passengers to show their off culinary skills while gathering ingredients at the market, preparing and savoring their own paella.

  • Grand Istanbul with Lunch in an Ottoman Home (Princess Exclusive) - The opportunity to experience Istanbul on a full day of exploration, including sampling traditional Turkish cuisine at lunch served at a local home.

  • Tapas in Palma - A day of gastronomic exploration as participants visit three tapas bars, the traditional Spanish sustenance between meals.

Digging on Archaeology

  • The Archaeology of the Ancient Celts of Anglesey (Holyhead) - The island of Anglesey is rich in ancient celtic Archaeology, making for a fascinating tour of two local sites - Bryn Celli Ddu, the best preserved burial chamber in Wales, and Din Lligwy, an ancient hut site.

  • Cornwall's Mysteries Unveiled (Falmouth) - A unique look back in time with the opportunity to explore Chysauster, an Iron Age village occupied at the time of the Roman invasion, and the climb Mulfra Quoit to visit a burial chamber with its circle of standing stones.

  • Newhailes House and Landscape Archaeology (South Queensferry) - Ideal for both archaeology enthusiast as well as lover of country estates, this private guided tour of Newhailes House - a 17th Century National Trust property -- and estate to describe how archaeological research is being used to restore some of the original features of the landscape.

  • Portmahomack & Tarbat Discovery Centre (Invergordon) - An opportunity to discover the workings of archaeologists at Scotland's first Pictish monastery - dating from the region's conversion to Christianity between the 6th and 9th centuries.

Antique Hunting

  • Portmeirion - Architecture & Tomorrow's Antiques (Holyhead) - The opportunity to tour a fantasy Italianate village designed by Welsh architect Sir Clough-Williams Ellis as a demonstration of how an architectural site could be developed in harmony with its natural surroundings. Considered one of the most successful British architectural projects of the 20th century, Portmeirion offers stunning views of the sea and Snowdonia. The village is also noted for its fine ceramics.

  • Lanhydrock House & the Antiques 'Capital' of Cornwall (Falmouth) - Passengers can visit Lanhydrock House for an "upstairs, downstairs" tour of a late Victorian country home. The excursion also features time to explore the historic village of Lostwithiel, the antiques capital of Cornwall.

  • Perthshire Antiques Hunt! (South Queensferry) - An opportunity to explore antique dealers in Abernyte and then visit St. Andrews, famed as the home of golf.

Wildlife and the Outdoors

  • Photographic Expedition in the Scottish Highlands (Invergordon) - An opportunity to join noted photographer Keith Hart on a special 4WD photo expedition to the Scottish Highlands.

  • Sealife Ecoventure (Invergordon) - The chance to hunt for bottle-nosed dolphins, Minke whales and Grey seals from a high-speed, rigid inflatable boat.

  • Tromso Whale Watching - Passengers can set sail to the site of a unique under water crevice where sperm whales gather to feed. Not only is there is a good chance of spotting some of these huge creatures but also humpback, finback, minke and killer whales as well.

Elite Collection - Princess' unique series of intimate tours feature smaller groups and exclusive visits to more restricted local attractions. Six new Elite Collection tours join the lineup, giving passengers more opportunities to experience less traveled parts of Europe:

  • Private Visit to Dalmeny House & Edinburgh Shopping (Greenock & South Queensferry) - A private tour of Dalmeny House, long home to the Earls of Roseberry, and filled with a superb art collection.

  • River Fal, Treslissick Garden & Copeland China Collection (Falmouth) - An intimate tour to a diversity of Cornwall attractions. First, participants will take a river steamer along the Fal, then they will view the Copeland China Collection, dedicated to works from the Spode Factory, and finally the group will have the opportunity to explore the scenic Trelissick Garden.

  • Discover Istanbul & Lunch at Ciragan Palace - A more personal tour of Istanbul exploring cultural, historical and local sites, plus lunch at the luxury, five-star Ciragan Palace Hotel situated on the European shores of the Bosphorus.

  • Ephesus & Private Lunch - The opportunity to explore the ruins of the Roman provincial capital as well as the House of the Virgin Mary and the Basilica of St John. As an Elite exclusive, passengers will have cocktails and lunch at the Council Church in the heart of Ephesus.

  • The Essence of Provence (Marseille) - A chance to explore one of the most beautiful natural sites in Provence, the Luberon range. Visits include the Chateau D' Ansouis, originally a classic fortress; village of Roussillon and the Fontaine du Vaucluse, one of the most powerful resurgent springs in the world.

  • Istanbul by Mercedes Van (private van) - A unique opportunity to travel through Istanbul in style as passengers tour the city in the luxury of a private Mercedes van.

Active Adventures - Europe offers a variety of opportunities to get some activity in while touring some of the continent's most fascinating places. Options include:

  • Paddling Away - The ideal way to explore harbor and countryside areas, passengers can pick up a paddle and kayak or canoe their way through spectacular scenery with two new tours: A Kayak Adventure in Copenhagen and a Hamburg Canoe Adventure.

  • Cycle Around Town - Five new cities offer passengers the opportunity to explore from the seat of a bicycle, including Palma on Wheels, Guernsey Guided Bicycle Tour (St. Peter Port), Feudal Sark & Cycle Exploration (St. Peter Port), Edinburgh Bicycle Tour (Greenock & South Queensferry) and Tallinn by Bicycle & Walking Tour (Tallinn).

  • Walk This Way - One of the best ways to truly see a new place is to absorb the sites and sounds by joining the locals on the street. Six new walking tours join the Princess line-up this season, giving passengers to the opportunity for leisurely exploration of the most southerly point in England (Falmouth's Costal Trek & Pub Lunch), one of Paris' most romantic neighborhoods (Charming Montmartre Walking Tour from Le Havre), a Greek islands (Historic Walking Tour of Mykonos), the sites of Guernsey (St. Peter Port Walking Tour & Castle Cornet), Elba Island (Portoferraio Walking Tour) and one of Italy's most prominent seaports (A Walking Tour of Genoa).

Four Princess ships offer Princess' largest ever Europe deployment in 2006, providing the cruise industry's greatest variety of ships, destinations and itineraries. The program offers several new and enhanced itineraries - including a return to Egypt - a variety of new ports, and the largest number of balconies of any fleet in Europe. In total, Princess offers 61 departures of 25 itineraries which feature more than 93 different ports of call or destinations. 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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Silversea's New Culinary Excursions Add Spice to 
This Summer's European Cruises

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, May 15, 2006 -- From a culinary demonstration at a 17th-century Italian villa overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, to a hands-on lesson in the art of preparing paella in Valencia, to a French cooking class at a Michelin two-star restaurant, Silversea is rolling out a tantalizing new selection of optional shore excursions designed to showcase the culture and culinary traditions of select destinations in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe this summer. 

"Our newest culinary excursions are a great way for guests to interact with local residents and learn what is truly special and unique about a destination," said David Morris, Silversea's senior vice president of sales for North America. "These exclusive tours are designed for savvy and sophisticated travelers looking for an in-depth cultural experience that will take them into the heart and soul of a region." 

The following new optional culinary tours range in price from $105 to $425: 

  • From Sorrento, learn how to cook the Italian way at the Sorrento Cooking School within the Giardino delle Esperidi resort in the picturesque town of Sant' Angelo. Located a short distance from the sea and surrounded by a field of lemon and orange trees, it offers the perfect venue for a hands-on lesson in traditional southern-style Italian cooking. Highlighting the experience is a delicious lunch featuring your own culinary creations. 

  • From Rome, drive through beautiful landscapes to La Posta Vecchia, a 17th-century villa overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. This elegant retreat, once the Italian home of oil magnate J. Paul Getty, is now a Relais & Châteaux boutique hotel and restaurant. In this idyllic setting, you'll enjoy a cooking demonstration with a chef who reveals the intricacies of preparing classic Italian cuisine. The experience is topped off with a three-course lunch perfectly paired with wine from the villa's cellars. 

  • From Valencia, you can immerse yourself in the local culture with an exclusive excursion to the former 17th-century royal palace, now the home of the Valencia Cooking School. Learn about the importance of rice as a staple of the local diet as your culinary instructor reveals the secrets of preparing traditional Valencian paella. You'll get hands-on experience in helping to prepare this delicious meal. 

  • From Bordeaux, set off on a culinary journey through the most prestigious wine-producing region in the world to discover the fine art of French cuisine at the Michelin two-star Château Cordeillan-Bages, a former 17th-century monastery in Pauillac that is now a Relais and Châteaux lodging and restaurant. In the harvest kitchen of nearby winery Château Lynch-Bages, the sous chef of Cordeillan-Bages will reveal the simplicity and secrets of award-winning French cuisine, followed by a luncheon in the restaurant's private dining room. 

  • From Helsinki, this vibrant harbor city and its picturesque islands are revealed as you travel along the coastal road to explore the historic heart of this fascinating land where East meets West. Your exploration culminates with a cooking demonstration hosted by the chef of the Tervasaari Restaurant, where you'll have a chance to savor local delicacies and desserts after you learn some of the intricacies of preparing Finnish cuisine. 

  • From Bergen, enjoy a scenic cruise through the Bergen archipelago and the surrounding Norwegian fjords until you reach the tiny island of Bjorøy. Here you'll discover the Cornelius Restaurant, a unique dining establishment that can only be reached by boat and only opens its doors for exclusive arrangements. Indulge in an aperitif while learning about the preparation of local seafood delicacies, which you'll have a chance to sample during a delicious three-course lunch.

Following is a sampling of voyages offering these exclusive culinary excursions where guests can enjoy cruise savings of up to 40%:


  • Silver Whisper departs September 29 on a 7-day "Mediterranean Treasures" voyage (#4634) from Barcelona to Villefranche with calls in Tunis, Sicily, Naples, Rome and Livorno. Highlights include an optional culinary excursion to La Posta Vecchia from Rome.

  • Silver Cloud departs October 3 on a 10-day "Treasures of Spain" voyage (#1628) from Lisbon to Villefranche with calls in Cádiz, Málaga, Valencia, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and St. Tropez. Highlights include an optional tour to the Valencia Cooking School, plus Spanish wine expert Gerry Dawes will be on board to host enlightening wine presentations and tastings. 

  • Silver Whisper departs October 6 on a 12-day "Mediterranean Odyssey" (Voyage #4635) from Villefranche to Cairo with calls in Sorrento, Sicily, Malta, Rhodes, Lattakia and Tartous, Syria, and Beirut. Highlights include an optional tour to the Sorrento Cooking School. 


  • Silver Whisper departs July 17 on a 12-day "Vintage Europe" voyage (#4626) from Monte Carlo to London with calls in St. Tropez, Málaga, Cádiz, Lisbon, Bilbao, Bordeaux and St. Malo. Highlights include a two-day, one night stay in Bordeaux, offering an optional culinary excursion to Michelin two-star Château Cordeillan-Bages. 

  • Silver Cloud and Silver Whisper offer a pair of 7-day "Baltic Interlude" voyages from Copenhagen to Stockholm with calls in Tallinn and Helsinki, plus a 3-day, 2-night visit in St. Petersburg. Silver Cloud departs July 30 (Voyage #1621) and Silver Whisper August 9 (Voyage #4628). On August 30, Silver Whisper offers the same itinerary in reverse with its 7-day "Baltic Discoveries" voyage (#4631) from Stockholm to Copenhagen. Highlights include an optional cooking demonstration at Tervasaari Restaurant in Helsinki. 

  • Silver Cloud departs August 22 on a 15-day "Jewels of the Norwegian Sea" voyage (#1624) from London to Copenhagen with calls in Invergordon, Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands, plus Reykjavik, Isafjordur and Akureyri, Iceland, and Alesund, Bergen, Stavanger and Oslo, Norway. Highlights include an optional culinary excursion from Bergen to the Cornelius Restaurant on the tiny island of Bjorøy.

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Holland America Line Announces Extensive 2007 Caribbean Season
 With 22 Diverse Itineraries

SEATTLE, May 15 -- A rich palate of 22 diverse itineraries distinguishes Holland America Line's 2007 Caribbean season, the most extensive program of cruises offered by any premium cruise line in the region next year. With itineraries appealing to a wide variety of tastes and schedules, travelers may choose from 125 departures -- including 12 Holiday voyages, four short Bahamian jaunts, and sailings from new Caribbean homeport, New York City.

Nearly half of the line's Caribbean cruises, 59 in all, are 10 days or longer, allowing savvy travelers more time to experience the culture, wildlife and natural beauty of each destination. From January through April and again from October through December, Holland America Line will explore all corners of the southern, western and eastern Caribbean as well as the Panama Canal on cruises ranging from three to 14 days. Aboard eight ships departing from Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa and New York City, guests will enjoy the hospitality and destination expertise that has earned Holland America Line its reputation for excellence and innovation.

"Our ships offer the full Signature of Excellence amenities and enhancements, carry fewer guests than any other major cruise line, and in 2007 will offer an unprecedented variety of Caribbean itineraries," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "Making a Caribbean vacation with Holland America Line even more enriching are the Signature of Excellence enhancements now featured on all of our ships, including the new Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine, the Explorations Cafe -- powered by The New York Times, and stateroom amenities from ultra-comfortable beds to flat screen TVs."

Holland America Line Will Focus on Longer Cruises in Southern Caribbean
With an emphasis on choice and variety, the Southern Caribbean is explored with the easy luxury of longer voyages, most ranging from 10 to 14 days. Five ships journey to 18 different ports of call on 36 cruises:

  • The ms Maasdam offers the line's popular 10-day Seafarer and new Wayfarer itineraries on 18 different departures round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale;

  • The ms Veendam departs Tampa on five 14-day cruises;

  • Traveling from Ft. Lauderdale, the ms Amsterdam offers a 10-day cruise as well as a 12-day journey into the deep southern Caribbean;

  • An 11-day cruise is offered aboard the ms Noordam; and,

  • The ms Westerdam hosts four 7-day escapes from Ft. Lauderdale that sail as far south as Aruba and Curacao from a drive-up homeport in Florida instead of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Depending on the itinerary selected, southern Caribbean ports of call may include Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries and Soufriere, St. Lucia; George Town, Grand Cayman; Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; El Buamache, Isla de Margarita, Venezuela; Kralendijk, Bonaire; scenic cruise near Mount Pelee; Oranjestad, Aruba; Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; Pointe-a-Piedre, Guadeloupe; Port-of-Spain, Trinadad; Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Roseau, Dominica; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. George's, Grenada; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Willemstad, Curacao.

Eastern and Western Caribbean - 7 to 10 Days From Ft. Lauderdale
Featuring Saturday and Sunday departures, Ft. Lauderdale serves as Holland America Line's main gateway to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Aboard the new Vista-class sister ships the ms Zuiderdam, Westerdam, and Noordam, as well as the ms Volendam, the waters of the Caribbean are explored on 39 itineraries that balance enriching port calls with rejuvenating sea days. The Noordam also offers seven 10-day cruises through the Eastern Caribbean from New York City, the newest of the line's Caribbean homeports.

To the east, itineraries feature the following port calls: Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands; Nassau, Bahamas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and, St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands. All feature a visit to Half Moon Cay.

To the west, cruises may include stops at Belize City, Belize; Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands; Key West, Florida; Roatan, Honduras; and, Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala. All feature a visit to Half Moon Cay.

7- and 8-day Western Caribbean - From Tampa
The Veendam travels from Tampa on 10 week-long cruises and an 8-day journey that feature port calls in Belize City, Belize; Cozumel, Mexico; Key West, Florida; Roaton, Honduras, and Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala.

10-day 'Sunfarer' Panama Canal
A must-see on many world traveler lists, Holland America Line's history in exploring the Panama Canal is without peer among premium cruise lines. The Volendam travels round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale on 16 Southern Caribbean itineraries showcasing the marvels of the canal. With visits to Half Moon Cay, Oranjestad, Aruba, and Willemstad, Curacao, the ship enters at Cristobal to transit the canal and cruise Gatun Lake with a stop in Colon, Panama, before sailing on to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.

Getaways to The Bahamas
For a quick rejuvenating escape, the Westerdam offers four short getaways to The Bahamas with four 4-day departures and four 3-day cruises. Ports of call include Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands; Half Moon Cay and Nassau, Bahamas.

Caribbean Holiday Cruises
Twelve Holiday cruises ranging from seven to 14 days are offered throughout the Caribbean aboard eight different ships. Itineraries are carefully planned to ensure the Christmas and New Year's holidays are spent at sea, allowing ample time for festive celebrations.

Caribbean Highlights: Newest Port Call & Holland America's Private Island
Several Caribbean cruises feature visits to the newest port in the Caribbean, Grand Turk, where swimming and snorkeling beaches with complimentary chairs and a large swimming pool and lounge area are near the cruise terminal. Nearly every itinerary also plans a day at Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's acclaimed private island. With its horseback riding and swimming excursion, guided AquaTrax watercraft tour, stingray adventure, and fun-filled family aqua park, Half Moon Cay continues as the line's highest rated Caribbean port of call.

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

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Oceania Cruises' Insignia Undergoes Dramatic Refurbishment

Miami, FL, May 12, 2006 – Oceania Cruises’ Insignia has recently emerged from a multi-million dollar refurbishment. Carried out during a ten-day period in a French shipyard, Insignia gleams like a freshly polished jewel, resplendent with stylish new furnishings and sporting an abundance of new amenities. Several hundred shipyard workers were joined by Insignia’ s 400+ staff members to undertake the refurbishment project which consumed thousands of meters of new upholstery, custom-milled carpeting and special flooring, thousands of gallons of paint and refinished acres of teak.

Under careful adherence to the line’s commitment to quality, this refurbishment project was undertaken with the ship only in service less than two years and was planned to coincide with the beginning of her 2006 European season. Sparkling like new, Insignia will soon host Oceania Club members who are sailing on the line’s second annual Oceania Club Reunion Cruise. Repeat guests, and those sailing for the first time alike, will be equally impressed with the luxurious new appointments. 

  • Several thousand meters of new, custom-milled woolen carpets replaced all existing carpeting and were laid throughout the public areas and accommodations. 

  • All of her staterooms and suites received the new third generation Tranquility Beds with new Imperial Mattresses. 

  • The Owner’s and Vista Suites have been completely rebuilt and have been lavishly furnished with custom Empire-style furnishings, 42”plasma screen televisions and Bose® surround sound audio systems. 

  • Deck 11 is now home to a top-of-ship oasis with eight luxury cabanas and rich teak decking. 

  • New state of the art communication equipment was installed to facilitate greater internet speeds and the use of cell phones at sea. 

At the shipyard, the refurbishment work was overseen by members of Oceania Cruises’ executive team. Insignia also underwent a thorough mechanical and technical upgrade. Invisible to guests, many behind-the-scenes systems were upgraded and enhanced such as new fresh-water plumbing throughout the vessel, new fresh-water evaporators with increased capacity, all tiled surfaces were refaced and finished and all of the galleys received new flooring and upgraded equipment.

Insignia Emerges as a “New Ship”
Virtually identical to that of her slightly younger sister ship, Nautica, Insignia’ s extensive multi-million dollar upgrade and refurnishing left no area of the ship untouched. Thousands of square meters of custom carpeting was installed throughout the public areas, corridors and accommodations. In fact, every square inch of carpeting and upholstery aboard Insignia is now brand new. All of the teak decking and railings were stripped and reconditioned and all stateroom/suite doors and hardware were removed, stripped and French-polished. 

All of the rich wood paneling was restored to “better than new” condition and the ship’s team of professional upholsterers worked around the clock to reupholster more than 300 sofas, hundreds of chairs, and reconditioned hundreds of tables and fittings. Horizons, the ship’s observation lounge and nightclub received an extensive roster of upgrades which included new upholstery and carpeting, a new sound and light system and a magnificent new inlaid dance floor. The most dramatic enhancement of all is the addition of a new bar with an exquisite, hand-crafted granite top and a bar front composed of crackled, backlit Murano glass. Insignia is also the first of the line’s ships to receive a museum quality nautical art collection comprised of antique paintings and ship models that have been acquired from private collections around the world. 

Dramatic New Owner’s and Vista Suites
Stripped to the bare steel and rebuilt under the direction of renowned shipboard architect Petter Yran, principal of the legendary firm of Yran & Storbratten, each of the Owner’s and Vista Suites has been fitted with luxurious new Empire-style furnishings and couture fabrics, a wide-screen plasma television, a Bose® surround sound audio system and wide-screen laptop computers. All ten of the suites have been furnished with custom made pieces and museum quality artwork that were selected by Oceania Cruises’ President and CEO, Frank Del Rio, and Executive Vice President, Bob Binder. Owner’s Suites are resplendent in a new color scheme of rich claret and gold that exudes an air of nobility while the Vista Suites, with their soothing yet luminous palette of gold, meadow and sage project an ambiance of relaxation and understated elegance. 

Sophisticated Resort-Style Relaxation Areas
With the addition of eight new private cabanas aboard Insignia, Oceania Cruises now boasts the only fleet to feature luxury private cabanas at sea. Located atop the ship on Deck 11, the new cabanas are a haven of solace and relaxation. Featuring sweeping views of the sea and scenery through walls of glass, each is furnished with a custom made teak Balinese Daybed for two, chic white privacy drapes and a roll-back Roman-shade roof which affords guests the optimum amount of sun, shade and refreshing sea breezes. Cabanas may be reserved on a full-cruise or daily basis and feature the services of a dedicated attendant who will provide drink service, morning and afternoon snacks and chilled towels. Guests may also avail themselves of meal service in their cabana and special wellness treatments performed by the staff of the Oceania Spa. 

Adjacent to the pool on Deck 9, The Patio is a chic and luxurious on-deck lounge area. Featuring plush sofas and chairs, sheer draperies and daybeds with spectacular sea views, this lounge offers the perfect respite from the sun while allowing guests to remain part of the pool deck social scene. In the afternoon and evenings, the lounge area takes on a unique ambiance with mood lighting and live music from the band stand where guests may enjoy a refreshing cocktail and dance to the strains big band and jazz performed by the ship’s renowned orchestra.

Elegant New Stateroom and Penthouse Furnishings
In addition to the new carpeting and Tranquility Beds, all accommodations onboard have been redecorated with new draperies, valances, fabrics and soft furnishings. All sofas and chairs have been re-upholstered and new draperies and accent furnishings in warm jewel tones of gold and deep sapphire. Sleek, new glass-topped cocktail tables that were custom made in Italy lend a chic yet functional element to the staterooms and suites, and all Concierge Level Veranda Staterooms and Penthouse Suites feature new flat-panel televisions. 

Museum Quality, Multi-Million Dollar Art Collection
Renowned and beloved for a rich, warm décor that exudes comfort and elegance yet eschews stuffiness and pretense, Insignia is now home to a new multi-million dollar art collection. Comprised of antique nautical paintings and models along with contemporary and traditional pieces from renowned artists and masters, the collection imparts a new richness to the already sublime interiors. Strolling or relaxing throughout the ship, guests will discover pieces that are not only aesthetically complimentary but ones that provoke thought and inspire discussion. As with any great collection, it will continually grow through new additions and guests will be delighted to find new pieces being continually added throughout the year.

An Enticing Array of Diverse Itineraries
In 2006, Insignia’s itineraries span all of Europe, from the Greek Isles to the British Isles and Iceland. This winter, she returns once again to South America to call upon the quaint colonial trading villages on the Brazilian coast, to the vibrant metropolises of Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro and the dramatic, glacial fjords of Chile. The spring of 2007 sees her return to Europe where she joins Nautica to call upon the most fabled destinations in the Mediterranean and Greek Isles. 

For additional information or reservations, contact your Travel Agent or Oceania Cruises at 800-531-5658. Visit us at 

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Costa Brings 2006 World Cup Soccer to Sea… That's Amore! 

HOLLYWOOD, FL, May 12, 2006 – Soccer fans sailing with Costa during the 2006 World Cup finals won’t have to worry about missing any of the month-long action. World Cup matches will be available for the first time on SKY pay-per-view aboard all of Costa’s fleet. 

The highlight of this “soccer at sea” extravaganza culminates with a special viewing of the World Cup final aboard the Costa Concordia’s massive movie screen on the “Ponte Francia” pool deck. The July 9 final also happens to be the first day of the Costa Concordia’s maiden voyage, which promises to create a festive atmosphere for all guests. The Costa Concordia’s maiden cruise begins on Sunday, July 9 in Rome and sails the Eastern Mediterranean with a return in Rome on July 14 or in Savona on July 15. 

The largest ship in the Costa fleet, the Costa Concordia weighs in at 112,000 tons and boasts innovative features including the largest spa at sea, a Formula One driving simulator and the largest enclosable pool area on any cruise ship. 

The ships of Costa range in size from 30,000-tons to 112,000-tons, and provide an ambience that is distinctly Italian–-from the progressive architecture and stylish design to the unforgettable cuisine and gracious hospitality. The fifth largest cruise line in the world, Costa offers cruises that span the globe on itineraries of three nights and longer throughout the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America, Dubai, Far East and Transatlantic.

For reservations or more information, contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit

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Celebrity Cruises to Take Guests to the Wonder Down Under

MIAMI, May 11 -- Sightings of koala bears, kangaroos and kiwi birds await vacationers sailing with Celebrity Cruises next year. At a special event in New York today, the line's President Dan Hanrahan announced that Celebrity will sail for the first time in Australia and New Zealand beginning in 2007.

"This marks a significant expansion of our product portfolio, and is particularly exciting because it's a market our guests and agency partners have told us they want to experience with Celebrity," said Hanrahan. "Based on that valuable feedback and our extensive research, we're looking forward to a very successful inaugural season there next year."

Celebrity's Mercury will present six 14-night open-jaw sailings between Auckland, New Zealand and Sydney, Australia from December 2007 through March 2008. Among Celebrity's destinations "down under" are Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound, and Milford Sound, New Zealand, along with Melbourne, Newcastle, and Sydney, Australia, and Hobart, Tasmania.

The line's first calls on Papeete, Tahiti; and Moorea and Bora Bora, French Polynesia, will precede Mercury's six Australia/New Zealand sailings on a 16-night voyage departing Honolulu on November 23, 2007, concluding in Auckland.

"Imagine pairing such exotic destinations as these with the extraordinary service and experience we offer onboard every Celebrity ship," said Hanrahan. "It's an unbeatable combination."

Celebrity also has created a new series of Cruisetour packages in the region, complementing the cruise with options including a two-night stay in Sydney, an escorted three-night experience in Sydney and Cairns, or a five- night adventure featuring the best of Sydney, Ayers Rock and Cairns, including visits to the famed Great Barrier Reef. A total of nearly 40 new ports of call have been added to Celebrity's deployment lineup for 2007, including those in Australia and New Zealand. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111, or visit the Celebrity web site at

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NCL Cancels Pride of Aloha Transpacific Crossing

MIAMI, May 11, 2006 – NCL America advised travel agents and consumers today that it has been forced to cancel the May 17 transpacific cruise of Pride of Aloha from San Francisco to Hawai`i. The cancellation is the result of the ship’s late arrival to its scheduled dry dock after a damaged bearing in the starboard side propeller shaft affected the speed of the ship while enroute to the San Francisco shipyard from Hawai`i. The vessel was scheduled to enter dry dock on the morning of May 3, 2006; unfortunately because of the technical issue; the ship was not able to enter the dry dock until late in the evening on May 4, resulting in the loss of two full days of work. The damage to the bearing has required additional work to be carried out on top of the scheduled dry dock work plan.

Pride of Aloha will resume her published schedule from Maui on May 26, 2006 and out of Honolulu on May 28, 2006. NCL America sincerely apologizes to its guests for this unforeseen cancellation but the company will neither compromise the quality of work that is being done to rush the ship out of dry dock, nor will it compromise on the quality of the cruise delivered to guests planning to sail from San Francisco to Hawai`i. 

NCL America is offering one of the following four options for guests booked on the May 17, 2006 cruise: 

  • A full refund and NCL America will cover any reasonable airline change fees.

  • If guests would like to move to Pride of Hawai`i’s transpacific cruise on May 22 out of Los Angeles or May 23 out of San Francisco, NCL America will accommodate a limited number of those guests on its newest ship (there is unfortunately only limited availability on this cruise). NCL America will offer a $200 onboard credit and cover any reasonable airline change fees.

  • A full refund and NCL America will also offer guests a free cruise in the same type of stateroom booked on Pride of Aloha’s transpacific (inside to inside, oceanview to oceanview, balcony to balcony, etc. and subject to availability) on any cruise on Pride of Aloha or Pride of America (departing prior to August 17, 2006); and the company will cover any reasonable airline change fees. 

  • Guests may choose a full refund and receive a 50 percent cruise credit (50 percent of the price paid for the cancelled cruise) for a Hawai`i cruise on any ship in the NCL America fleet, which can be taken in the next 12 months (prior to May 17, 2007); and NCL America will pick up any reasonable airline change fees. 

NCL America has established a special number for travel agents and consumers: 1-800-625-5672.

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New Artisanal Crystal Adventures Showcase New England

LOS ANGELES, May 9, 2006 – Renowned for its authentic shoreside programs, luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises is adding new Crystal Adventures focusing on artisanal experiences in New England and eastern Canada. Offered with cruises during the prime fall foliage season, the new tours explore regional winemakers, yacht-builders, soap-makers, growers and local artisans. Also among the 22 new adventures scheduled for Crystal Symphony’s fall season are ocean trail hiking in Bar Harbor, Maine and bicycle touring in New Brunswick, Canada.

From September through October, Crystal Symphony is offering five seven-and 11-day itineraries, three of which are round-trip from New York and two are between New York and Montréal. Depending on the departure, ports include Newport, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts; Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Québec City, St. John, New Brunswick and Le Baie de Ha! Ha!, Canada.

New tours through the Saguenay Fjord region expose travelers to many of the local tradespeople and craftspeople honing their skills at:

  • A glass-blowing workshop where artists demonstrate sophisticated techniques, 

  • A family-run angora goat farm specializing in spinning mohair wool, 

  • A traditional soapery where aromatherapeutic soaps are crafted from local olive oil, 

  • A leading cultivator of raspberries and blueberries producing honey, jams, vinegars, wines and aperitifs, and, 

  • A unique nursery known for its array of edible flowers. 

Among the other new tours showcasing local talent are:

  • Tastings at several family-run Rhode Island wineries, ranging from a Victorian farm operated for four generations to one of the most modern in the eastern U.S. (from Newport), 

  • A visit to The International Yacht Restoration School, dedicated to preserving and teaching the time-honored artisanship and specific skills required to restore classic and modern yachts (from Newport), and 

  • A blind tasting of eastern Canada’s award-winning wines (from Saint John). 
    Bicycle touring and ocean trail hikes have also been added to the roster of soft adventure experiences.

For additional information, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

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Celebrity Cruises Cancels One Alaska Sailing

MIAMI, May 10, 2006 -- Celebrity Cruises is canceling one sailing on Summit to replace the starboard thrust bearing in the ship’s propulsion system. The ship must enter drydock to replace the bearing, which will result in the cancellation of its May 20 sailing. The ship is expected to return to its scheduled sailings on May 27. The cancelled sailing is a seven-night Alaska cruise from Vancouver to Seward. Summit is currently sailing a 13-night West Coast / Alaska cruise that will end in Vancouver, as scheduled on May 20. 

Guests booked on the cancelled sailing will receive a full refund and a free Celebrity cruise from North America of up to seven nights, departing on or before September 30, 2007, excluding holiday and Celebrity Xpedition sailings. Travel agents will receive full commissions for the cancelled sailing, plus a $50 rebooking fee per stateroom when their clients reschedule their cruise. 

“I sincerely apologize to our guests who are affected by this cancelled cruise,” said Dan Hanrahan, president of Celebrity Cruises. “Although Summit continues to operate safely, this is a matter that must be addressed now. Our business is to provide the best vacations possible and I regret the disruption this will cause our guests. We will do everything we can to assist them onboard other sailings.” 

Celebrity has established a special help desk to assist guests and travel agents with rebooking, air transportation, land tours and other issues. That toll-free number is 1-888-281-9343. Additional information can be found on

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Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas Makes Waves
 on Her Maiden U.S. Arrival

MIAMI, May 10 -- With her energetic FlowRider® surf park, cantilevered whirlpools and colorful H20 Zone silhouetted against the backdrop of The Statue of Liberty, Freedom of the Seas, the most anticipated cruise ship to take to the seas in years, made her spectacular U.S. premiere today. With all of her never-before-seen features, Freedom lives up to the standard Royal Caribbean created with years of envelope-pushing amenities. Not surprisingly, it takes a big leap and a large ship to follow the wake created by the launch of her sister ships -- when measured from the waterline to the top of the funnel, Freedom of the Seas towers 208 feet tall, approximately the same height as two Statues of Liberty, placed head to toe. A few highlights on this mega-ship include:

  • The first FlowRider® surfing simulator at sea, found on the same deck as the multi-hued interactive sculpture garden found in the H20 Zone water park.

  • The first cantilevered whirlpools at sea, suspended 112 feet above the ocean in the adults-only solarium, which also features a pool flanked by hammocks.

  • Studio B the onboard skating rink open for skating lessons and free skating during the day while used to stage the original ice show by night.

  • At 1,215 square feet, the Presidential Suite sleeps 14 people and features an 810-square foot outdoor living area with a Jacuzzi and private bar.

  • The first boxing ring on a cruise ship in the Freedom Fitness Center, the largest-ever cruise ship gym.

  • The Royal Promenade entertainment boulevard, longer than a football field and the hub for dining, shopping, bars and lounges and the midnight parade.

  • Samsung Flat-paneled televisions and the debut of the line's new bedding program in every stateroom.

  • A Sports Deck offering guests the chance to test their skill at a 9-hole miniature golf course, a golf simulator, basketball, paddleball or volleyball.

  • Also found on the Sports Deck, a bigger, enhanced version of the industry revolutionizing rock-climbing wall that first appeared on Voyager of the Seas in 1999.

Freedom of the Seas was making headlines even before she was delivered. In a nationwide search conducted with NBC's "TODAY" show to find an extraordinary "everyday" Godmother, Katherine Louise Calder, foster mother to over 400 children, was crowned in February 2006 during "TODAY's" Olympic broadcast coverage.

At 160,000 GRT and holding 3,634 guests double-occupancy, Freedom of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world. The first in Royal Caribbean's new Freedom class, she sails seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami calling in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Royal Caribbean's private destination, Labadee, Haiti. For additional information or to make reservations, go to or call (800) 327-6700.

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Holland America Line Showcases European Heritage on Cruises From London, Copenhagen and Rotterdam

SEATTLE, May 10 -- Holland America Line, a premier cruise company that originated in Rotterdam, Holland, in the 1870s, explores Northern Europe with itineraries rich in content and diversity thanks to more than 130 years of experience in the region. Two spacious five-star ships offering four different itineraries from three convenient homeports, now including London, reflect increased demand for the line's intriguing Baltic cruises departing May through September, 2006. All cruises spotlight the unique treasury of art and architecture to be found in St. Petersburg, Russia. Two full days in port offer organized excursions to the Hermitage Museum, Peterhof and Catherine's Palaces and many other legendary sites. Unique cultural experiences like a Gala Evening at Yusupov Palace -- one of the line's exclusive Medallion Collection excursions. To complement a Baltic cruise vacation, exciting pre and post hotel packages in London, Copenhagen and Rotterdam offer the opportunity to extend stays in these remarkable cities.

"What differentiates our Baltic sailings from that of other cruise lines is the special insight born of our European heritage," stated Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "Our expertise translates into deeper experiences in classic Northern Capitals plus intriguing adventures in out-of-the-way places. This year we are pleased to offer a special pre-cruise tour celebrating Holland America's history."

New 12-day "Best of the Baltic" voyages travel from London to Copenhagen. Six cities in twelve unforgettable days offer endless possibilities. Guests can spend their first day in St. Petersburg touring the city highlights from the Winter Palace and the Church on the Spilled Blood to the extraordinary Hermitage Museum; then travel to Peter the Great's resplendent Summer Palace, followed by a Russian Folk Show, the next. Also included are the legendary cities of Oslo, Stockholm, Tallinn, and Berlin. Rotterdam sails June 10 and July 28, 2006 during the wonderful "White Nights" of Northern Europe.

10-day "Gems of the Baltic" cruises sail roundtrip from Copenhagen. This fantastic itinerary provides an intoxicating blend of Northern Europe's most desirable ports -- St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, and Warnemuende for Berlin -- with offbeat adventures made possible by the less-visited cities of Visby, for biking through the Swedish countryside and Arhus for a vintage train ride past sparkling Danish lakes. The 1,380-passenger ms Amsterdam departs May 23, June 2, 12, 22; July 2, 12, 22; and August 1 and 11, 2006.

12-day "Vikings & Czars" and "Treasures of Scandinavia & Russia" cruises sail between Rotterdam and Copenhagen. These vacations, featuring in-depth exploration during two days in St. Petersburg, will fill a scrapbook with dramatic fjords, dancing fountains, ornate palaces and timeless cultures. There's Arhus for the island home of Hans Christian Andersen, Warnemuende for the "Jewels of Germany", Tallinn in Estonia for medieval Old Town, Helskini for Porvoo, Finland's famed 12th century village, and Stockholm for a Taste of Ice Cool Sweden. This one-of-kind Medallion Collection Tour visits the Nordic Hotel's "Ice Bar" where the entire interior is made from Torne River ice. Rotterdam sails from Rotterdam to Copenhagen on July 4 and August 21, 2006 and from Copenhagen to Rotterdam on June 22, July 16, August 9 and September 2, 2006.

New tour from Rotterdam celebrates Holland America's history. Guests sailing aboard the 1,316-passenger ms Rotterdam departing on July 4 or August 21, 2006 from Rotterdam are invited to join Holland America and the Port of Rotterdam for a pre-cruise tour of the city the cruise line is proud to call home. This three-night hotel package includes sightseeing in Rotterdam, including Holland America's original headquarters, the Maritime Museum, and historical Delfshaven plus a full day of The Netherlands' popular highlights, including The Hague, and Delft, renowned for its porcelain. For a 2006 Europe cruise brochure or for more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Holland America Line Features More National Parks on Cruise and 
Cruise Tours to Alaska and the Yukon

SEATTLE, May 9 -- Holland America Line makes 13 national parks and preserves easily accessible in the Great Land. Every cruise and CruiseTour features numerous national parks of note and Glacier Bay National Park on all three major cruise itineraries. From world-renowned Denali National Park to remote and stunning Kluane National Park, guests can follow their wilderness quest with Holland America Line.

"Holland America Line embraced Alaska 59 years ago and has taken great strides in developing comprehensive itineraries to take advantage of really getting into the Great Land. Our Klondike Wilderness Adventure CruiseTour for example explores three premier national parks--Glacier Bay, Denali, Kluane--and guests have the option of taking an excursion to another recognized wilderness park at Tombstone, just north of Dawson City," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "Most guests have one opportunity to visit Alaska and the Yukon, and it's our intention to fulfill their dreams."

Park Namedropping
Holland America Line Alaska cruises, CruiseTours and optional excursions feature visits to more National Parks than any other cruise tour company. Guests have the opportunity to explore 13 parks including Denali National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, Kluane National Park, Tombstone Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Klondike National Historical Park at Skagway, Klondike National Historic Site at Dawson City, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park (Hubbard Glacier), Sitka National Historical Park, Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and Misty Fjords National Monument.

The Alaska experience goes beyond visually admiring a national park. Holland America Line brings onboard Park Rangers and local experts to enhance the experience. On all itineraries that include either Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier, located within Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, a local Park Ranger and a Huna Totem Corporation Interpreter (Glacier Bay) or Yakutat Tlingit Interpreter (Hubbard Glacier) speaker will join the ship for the glacier viewing. Guests will learn about the natural history and heritage of the area.

Guests embarking on an Alaskan Explorer cruise from Seattle will enjoy a unique send-off with insights provided by Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park Rangers. Newly introduced, the program will highlight the historical importance of Seattle as a port for the Klondike Gold Rush, point out the significance of the Inside Passage as a historical route to Alaska and give an overview of the National Parks guests have the opportunity to visit on that ship's specific itinerary.

All Alaska ships feature seven documentaries provided by the Alaska Natural History Association including Grand Glaciers of Alaska's Inside Passage, and Heartbeats of Denali -- Denali National Park and Preserve. Also featured are five Alaska themed movies that will be rotated into the TV movie schedule.

CruiseTours range from 10- to 20-days and there are three basic CruiseTour patterns to choose from; Great Land Klondike, discovering Alaska and the Yukon through Dawson City with a Yukon River cruise; Great Land Wilderness, featuring Alaska and the Yukon traveling the Alaska Highway; and Glacier Discovery, a collection of itineraries featuring 7-day cruises plus extensive land tours that may include Denali, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Alyeska, the Arctic, and the Kenai Peninsula. Most CruiseTours include luxury rail travel onboard the McKinley Explorer to Denali. Both Great Land Klondike and Great Land Wilderness CruiseTours feature 3- or 4-day cruises plus land tour.

Holland America Line will sail eight ships in Alaska on 159 cruises in 2006. The company's premium ships offer unmatched spaciousness, carry fewer passengers than any other major cruise line and offer the most entries into Glacier Bay National Park. Cruise itineraries include 7-day Alaska Explorer roundtrip from Seattle; Glacier Discovery journeys between Vancouver, B.C., and Seward, Alaska; and Glacier Bay Inside Passage sailings roundtrip from Vancouver. For more information about booking an Alaska cruise or CruiseTour, contact a travel agent or call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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Princess Offers Expanded Capacity to Alaska's Famed
 Inside Passage in 2007

SANTA CLARITA, CA, May 9, 2006 -- Alaska's colorful southeast, from the stunning ice-blue glaciers and deep green forests to brightly hued totem poles and frontier-era gold, has made Inside Passage cruising one of the favorite ways to visit the 49th state. In 2007, Golden Princess will make her Alaska debut with a series of sailings through these crystal waters, adding a new choice and expanding capacity to Princess' popular Inside Passage program. Golden Princess, along with Sun Princess, will sail from Seattle, while Dawn Princess cruises on a variety of 10-day sailings from San Francisco. Dawn Princess' schedule will also include two special sailings that feature daylight cruising of Glacier Bay National Park. Together, the three ships offer 53 departures on three itineraries, each offering the convenience of roundtrip travel.

"Golden Princess represents an exciting addition to our Seattle cruise program," said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. "Her more than 700 balcony staterooms give passengers increased opportunities to choose this popular amenity, the perfect place to watch the stunning Alaskan scenery go by. Combining this affordable feature with the addition of the popular Dawn Princess in San Francisco, we're offering a great level of variety on our Inside Passage program. With our exclusive onboard Alaskan content and convenient departure ports, it's easy to see why our cruises are among the best ways to experience Alaska's famed Inside Passage."

Golden Princess and Sun Princess From Seattle
The 2,600-passenger Golden Princess and 1,950-passenger Sun Princess each offer seven-day roundtrip sailings from Seattle with an itinerary that features Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, plus the opportunity to cruise through the dramatic glaciers, rock walls and waterfalls of Tracy Arm and the twin Sawyer Glaciers. Golden Princess will offer 20 voyages departing on Saturdays between May 5 and September 15, 2007, while Sun Princess sails on 20 cruises with Sunday departures beginning on May 6 and continuing through September 16.

Dawn Princess from San Francisco
The 1,950-passenger Dawn Princess will take over the popular 10-day roundtrips from "The City by the Bay" on 13 departures between May 11 and September 8. The ship's itinerary from San Francisco features calls Juneau and Victoria with two additional ports that rotate between Ketchikan, Skagway, Sitka and Icy Strait Point plus premiere glacier viewing with cruising through Tracy Arm. Two special voyages on May 11 and September 8 feature daylight cruising of Glacier Bay National Park in place of Tracy Arm.

Inside Passage cruises complement Princess' other 2007 Alaska option, the "Voyage of the Glaciers" Gulf of Alaska itinerary, available on five ships, sailing between Vancouver and Whittier, including new Wednesday sailings on the intimate Pacific Princess. 

Cruises will be available for booking on May 20, 2006. 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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Carnival Cruise Lines & Amtrak Re-Introduce “Rail & Cruise” Service From New Orleans in October 2006

NEW ORLEANS, May 8, 2006 – Amtrak and Carnival Cruise Lines will resume their “Rail and Cruise” program out of New Orleans, with the resumption of four- and five-day cruise service from the Port of New Orleans on the cruise ship Fantasy beginning in October. Amtrak is offering discounts up to 25 percent for passengers traveling by rail to and from all Carnival cruises now through December 13, 2007. Passengers may combine their voyage on the Fantasy with travel to and from the ship aboard Amtrak’s City of New Orleans, Crescent and Sunset Limited services. The City of New Orleans departs daily from Chicago, stopping in Memphis and 17 other cities. The Crescent departs daily from New York, with stops in Washington, Atlanta and 30 additional cities. The Sunset Limited departs Los Angeles on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, stopping in Tucson, San Antonio and 19 other cities. 

Fantasy's four-day voyages from New Orleans will depart Thursdays and visit Cozumel, while five-day sailings will depart Mondays and Saturdays and visit Cozumel and either Calica or Costa Maya beginning Oct. 26, 2006.

“Carnival Cruise Lines is thrilled to be returning to New Orleans in October,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. “We’re also delighted to partner once again with Amtrak in offering the ‘Rail & Cruise’ program from New Orleans which provides Fantasy guests with an affordable, hassle-free transportation option,” he added. 

For additional information on the “Rail & Cruise” program out of New Orleans and locations in Florida, contact your travel agent or Amtrak at 1-800-USA-RAIL or visit For additional Carnival cruise information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Cruises of one to five nights offer time-crunched travelers respites at sea

NEW YORK, May 8, 2006 - Time. In today's world, many travelers have trouble finding significant blocks of time to enjoy vacations. To accommodate time-strapped voyagers, the member lines of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) offer short itineraries that range from one to five nights. These short cruises are ideal for people who want a quick getaway. They're also an excellent way for novice cruisers to sample a seagoing vacation without committing to a full week's sailing. Short getaway cruises typically embark from North American home ports and visit a variety of destinations including the Caribbean and the Bahamas, Florida, the Pacific Northwest, and Baja Mexico and California ports. Additionally, travelers in Europe can enjoy short cruises to Mediterranean ports of call.

"Although many cruisers opt for sailings of seven days and longer, there really is no better way to test the cruise waters, so to speak, then to book a short getaway voyage," said Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of CLIA (, the chief marketing organization for 20 premier cruise lines and nearly 17,000 North American travel agencies. "It's a virtual guarantee that most getaway cruise passengers will return to book another cruise."

Travelers with limited time often enjoy pairing short cruises with land programs to create a week-long vacation. Shorter cruises are also less expensive and provide families with affordable opportunities to get away from it all. Surprisingly, short itineraries are also popular with veterans of past cruises, because while frequent cruisers often embark on longer itineraries, they also capitalize on as many opportunities as possible to hit the high seas. In effect, these travelers are looking for short cruise getaways between their longer sailings.

Following is a list of short cruises available aboard CLIA-member cruise lines:

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES: Roughly half of Carnival Cruise Lines' 21-ship fleet is deployed on short-cruise itineraries. The line's short-cruise options include three- and four-day cruises from Miami, Port Canaveral, Fla., and Long Beach, Calif., along with four- and five-day sailings from Miami, Tampa, New Orleans, Galveston, Texas; Mobile, Ala.; Port Canaveral, and Jacksonville, Fla. 

CELEBRITY CRUISES: Celebrity Cruises Century, fresh from a $55 million makeover, offers nine short-cruise getaway options of four and five nights in November and December, roundtrip from Miami to the Western Caribbean. Mercury features four three- and four-night Pacific Northwest itineraries roundtrip from Seattle in September and October that call at ports in British Columbia. 

COSTA CRUISES: Costa Cruises, Europe's largest cruise line, offers a comprehensive selection of four- and five-night Mediterranean getaways. Itineraries on five ships mix and match ports in Italy, Tunisia, Malta, Greece and Croatia. Passengers can choose from 17 departures in April, May, June, July, September and November.  

CUNARD LINE: Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 features a five-day "Independence Sampler," departing July 3 and sailing roundtrip from New York. The ship calls at Boston, Bar Harbor, Maine; and Halifax, Nova Scotia. QM2's four-day "Labor Day Weekend" sojourn, which also sails roundtrip from New York, departs September 2, calling at Halifax. 

DISNEY CRUISE LINE: Disney Cruise Line's Disney Wonder sails on three- and four-night cruises out of Port Canaveral, Fla. that call at Nassau and Castaway Cay, Disney's private island, which features separate beach areas for families, adults and teens. Disney Wonder offers public areas, activities and amenities that appeal to each family member.

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE: In April, May, September and October, Holland America Line features sailings of one to four days that showcase ports from California to Vancouver. These shorter itineraries, which are segments of longer repositioning cruises, enable travelers to sample premium cruising. They depart from Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver. 

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE: Norwegian Cruise Line offers select one-night dinner cruises out of Miami and New York and between Seattle and Vancouver. In 2007, the line features five-day Western Caribbean itineraries in January, February, March and April as well as October, November and December from Miami. An additional five-day Western Caribbean itinerary departs in January from New Orleans.

PRINCESS CRUISES: Princess Cruises' Island Princess sails on a three-day Los Angeles-Vancouver itinerary in September. Dawn Princess offers a one-day sailing between Seattle and Vancouver on September 23 and a three-day San Francisco-Vancouver voyage on September 24. On May 19, the ship sails on a four-day itinerary from Los Angeles to Vancouver.

REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES: Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Seven Seas Voyager departs November 30 on a four-night itinerary roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale with calls at Nassau and Key West, for an overnight. The line typically offers shorter cruises in February and March each year and plans to do so again in 2007.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTL: Five Royal Caribbean International ships sail on three- to five-night Caribbean and the Bahamas sailings from Galveston, Texas; Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Port Canaveral, Fla; and San Juan. Monarch of the Seas operates year-round from Los Angeles on three- and four-night Baja Mexico sailings, with two- and five-night sailings available in December and January.

SILVERSEA CRUISES: Through its Personalized Voyages program, Silversea Cruises lets guests customize their itineraries by selecting ports of embarkation and disembarkation - in effect offering the same flexibility as travelers find in a hotel. The minimum number of days required is five and the program is available on all Silversea itineraries. 

The best way to learn more about these exciting itineraries and ports is to seek the professional counsel of a CLIA travel agent. To locate a CLIA-member travel agency near you, use the Travel Agent Locator on CLIA's website at

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Carnival Freedom Interior Design Celebrates ‘Decades Through the Centuries’ From Ancient China to Art Nouveau

MIAMI, May 4, 2006 — When the 110,000-ton Carnival Freedom debuts in Europe in March 2007 it will feature an interior design theme that takes guests on a journey through the centuries by decade. From ancient Babylonia to the heyday of disco, from the 19th-century Victorian era to the contemporary style of the 1990s, the public rooms of Carnival Freedom celebrate many periods in time. Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, the 2,974-passenger Carnival Freedom is scheduled to enter service with a series of 12-day Mediterranean cruises —including the line’s first-ever visit to the Greek Isles and Turkey — beginning March 14, 2007. 

“I thought it would be interesting to go back in time to find inspiration for the various public rooms,” said Joe Farcus, Carnival’s ship architect. “As always, I tried to use the function of the room to suggest how the room will reflect the central design idea.”

  • When guests step into Freedom’s Millennium atrium, they will be transported into the near-future decade of the 2010s represented by cylindrical forms painted in iridescent lacquers that take on red or gold tones — depending on the angle — and cutouts of wood veneer that have been dyed to look like tiger skin, lined with polished copper. Curved railings are done in blue glass, and the theme is carried on to the elevator lobbies where stainless steel elevator doors are decorated with applied copper designs. Glass and copper chandeliers hang from the ceiling amid columns and beams accented with special iridescent glass tiles. Smaller versions of the chandeliers are used as wall lights with color-changing internal lighting.

  • The Victoriana show lounge is named after Britain’s Queen Victoria, whose name also is associated with the fashion style that peaked in the 1880s. The room’s design evokes theaters in London’s West End with ornate moldings, fancy marble and gold leaf. The walls adjacent to the stage feature scattered giant curlicues with twinkling lights, and arches between the windows contain pre-Raphaelite paintings from the era. The eye-catching centerpiece of the theater is a mural-decorated dome with a crystal chandelier.

  • The 1990s were all about style, and that is reflected in the forward and aft restaurants — the Chic and Posh Dining Rooms, respectively. The walls feature a combination of striking polished marbles and a special wood veneer laminated in a fashionable python skin pattern. Marble and antique gold grillwork with fruit, vines and leaves is mounted between the banquettes. The mood of the restaurants can be changed dramatically through innovative lighting strips containing small color-changing light bulbs that meander around the rooms and create a sparkling effect.

  • Named after Louis XIV, the Sun King Supper Club represents the glory days of the 18th century. A statue of Louis as the Sun King — a nickname given to him from a role he played on stage — greets diners as they enter the restaurant and an impressive period chandelier hangs in the skylight dome with smaller versions suspended throughout the room. Other design features of the era include elaborate tapestries, antique mirrors on the walls and a large mural depicting the court of the King in trompe l’oeil. 

  • The Player’s Sport Bar shines with chrome, sports medallions and memorabilia highlighting the 1950s, often referred to as the “golden era of sports.” The bar features a canopy done in lacquer and adorned with photographs of famous sports teams from the mid-20th century. Giant plasma screen televisions throughout the bar ensure that no one misses a big play.

  • Club 02, the ship’s teen club, pays tribute to the new millennium with a distinctly contemporary design. Plasma screens throughout the room serve as kinetic art, with continuously changing posters, paintings and landscapes. In the adjacent game room, LED digital clocks are positioned along the walls and ceiling with the year constantly changing to highlight the first decade of the 21st century.

  • Guests will feel at home in platform shoes at the Studio 70 dance club which will focus on the 1970s when disco was in its prime. An updated version of the famed Studio 54 disco in New York, Studio 70 will have giant “70s” on the walls done in a colored stainless steel with interior color-changing, pulsating lights, while sofas are done in giant seven and zero shapes with upholstered seats and glass backs. The room’s black interior comes to life with spinning mirror balls hanging from the ceiling, completing the distinct retro atmosphere. 

  • Guests choosing to enjoy a glass of wine on the promenade will step back in time to the 1890s at Bar Nouveau. Designed in art nouveau style with a stained-glass backlit dome and inlaid marble walls and floor, the wine bar features small tiles curved out into coves along the ceiling made of sandblasted mirror for an unusual effect.

  • Representing the earliest epoch featured in the ship’s design—1000 B.C.—the Babylon Casino recalls the Babylonian palace of its most famous king, Hammurabi, and takes its theme from the famed Hanging Gardens of ancient Babylon. A reproduction of the legendary Ishtar Gate is done in blue-glaze brick with applied mythological animals and decorations of flowers and geometric designs, while brick columns with Babylonian winged figures are found throughout the casino. The fabled Hanging Gardens are depicted on polished stainless steel with painted flowers. 

  • Merging the ship’s name with the theme of the interior décor, the poolside Freedom Restaurant incorporates the modern design style of the 1980s. Various replications of the Statue of Liberty are incorporated into the restaurant décor, and copper sunbursts echoing Lady Liberty’s headpiece can be found in the tabletops and on the walls. 

  • Among other decades represented in Carnival Freedom’s public rooms are the 1940s in the Habana Cigar Bar, with barstools and tabletops resembling cigars; the 1770s in the Monticello Library evocative of the American colonial style; the 1910s in Scott’s piano bar, named after ragtime piano master Scott Joplin; the 1930s in Swingtime jazz club, hearkening back to jazz’s early days; and the 900s in the Dynasty Room, an homage to ancient China.

Carnival Freedom is scheduled to debut in March 2007, operating 12-day Grand Mediterranean and 12-day Mediterranean & Greek Isles cruises from Rome (Civitavecchia), through October. The 12-day Mediterranean & Greek Isles cruises depart March 14 and 26, April 7 and 19, June 18, Aug. 5, and Sept. 22, and feature Naples, Italy; Rhodes, Greece; Izmir (Ephesus) and Istanbul, Turkey; Athens (Piraeus) and Katakolon, Greece; and Livorno, Italy, as well as an overnight call in Rome (Civitavecchia). The 12-day “Grand Mediterranean” cruises depart May 1, 13 and 25, June 6 and 30, July 12 and 24, Aug. 17 and 28, Sept. 10, Oct. 4 and 16 and visit Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy (two-day call); Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Golf Legend Corey Pavin Tees Off in Europe With Crystal Cruises

LOS ANGELES - Golf enthusiasts on Crystal Symphony's August 19 cruise from Rome to London can tee off with U.S. Open golf champion Corey Pavin at some of the Mediterranean's most exclusive golf resorts. Pavin will also participate in golf clinics, lectures and a Hole-in-One-Competition for a chance to win a free cruise. Guests participating in the Golf Theme Program will enjoy play at Golf Club Dell'Ugolino (Florence, Italy), Monte Carlo Golf Club (Monte Carlo, Monaco), Ste. Maxime Golf Club (St-Tropez, France) and Réal Club de Golf el Prat (Barcelona, Spain).

At each course, golfers will enjoy 18-holes of championship golf in organized foursomes, 45-minute warm-up session on driving range or putting green, caddy or motorized cart, 9th hole refreshments, use of locker room facilities, and transfers to and from the ship. On board, participating golfers are invited to exclusive parties and private clinics hosted by Corey Pavin, and enjoy complimentary club and golf shoe cleaning after each course, as well as complimentary club storage. Also leading golf clinics and attending the golf themed events will be LPGA teaching professional and golf writer Shannon Dowdy.

Golfers playing all courses during either cruise are eligible to receive awards for competitions including: Best Overall Score for Putting Contest (team and individual); Best Overall Average Score (team and individual); Longest Drive; Closest to the Pin; and the ultimate: a Hole-in-One, which rewards the winner with a free Crystal cruise for two. Golfers may confirm their participation at each desired course in advance of their trip by reserving online at 

Exclusively with this cruise, guests can ship their golf clubs from the U.S. through Virtual Bellhop for only $100 each way - a savings of 50%. For added convenience, all luggage can be shipped through the service. For more information and arrangements on golf club and luggage shipping, contact Virtual Bellhop at or call 877-Bellhop. Crystal recommends that golfers bring their own clubs, as their rental at the courses is based on availability.

Corey Pavin is the winner of 14 PGA tournaments, 12 international victories and one of only a handful of golfers to win back-to-back Nissan Open championships, including one U.S Open. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Arnold Palmer Award. The 12-day cruise aboard the luxurious Crystal Symphony departs from Rome's port of Civitavecchia for Livorno/Florence, Monte Carlo, St-Tropez, Barcelona, Lisbon, Bordeaux (overnight), Guernsey, and London. For additional information, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

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Carnival Destiny to Offer new 5-Port, 7-Day Itinerary from San Juan Beginning January 2007

MIAMI, May 3, 2006 – Carnival Cruise Lines’ 2,642-passenger “Fun Ship” Carnival Destiny will launch a new seven-day southern Caribbean schedule from San Juan featuring port calls to five different tropical destinations beginning in Jan. 7, 2007. The island-intensive itinerary features extended day-long visits to a variety of magnificent southern Caribbean ports, including St. Lucia, Antigua, Dominica, Barbados, and St. Thomas/St. John, along with a fun-filled day at sea.

“The southern Caribbean is one of the world’s most desirable cruising regions offering a variety of beautiful and breathtaking island destinations. The Carnival Destiny’s new five-port, seven-day itinerary provides consumers with an opportunity to experience a diversity of cultures and historical landmarks, along with some of the world’s most magnificent beaches,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. 

  • Included on the Destiny’s new itinerary is St. Lucia, often referred to as the “crown jewel” of the Windward Islands and distinguished by the Pitons, twin volcanic mountains that overlook a landscape of flowers, fruit trees, cane fields, rain forests and white and black sand beaches.

  • Antigua is known for a multitude of beaches -- some 365 of them, in fact, or “one for every day of the year.” The island also features myriad historical sites including Nelson's Dockyard, the Caribbean's version of Colonial Williamsburg. 

  • The largest of the Windward Islands, Dominica is a 289-square-mile island offering a landscape of rugged mountains, hot springs and volcanoes, as well as gorgeous white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters teeming with tropical fish. 

  • Barbados is a friendly British isle boasting particularly beautiful aqua-blue waters and white sand beaches, along with a diversity of shopping, dining and watersports opportunities. 

  • St. Thomas is one of the Caribbean’s most popular islands boasting excellent duty-free shopping bargains and world-famous beaches. The stop includes an optional shore excursion to St. John, a 20-square-mile island paradise whose Trunk Bay Beach consistently ranks among the world’s best.

The 101,353-ton Carnival Destiny encompasses 12 passenger decks featuring 18 lounges and bars, including a wine bar, sports bar, piano bar, a jazz club, and a 1,500-seat theatre showcasing lavish Vegas-style productions. Also featured are four swimming pools – one with a 214-foot-long water slide –a 14,500-square-foot health club, jogging track, an Internet café, a duty-free shopping mall, and a full gambling casino. A comprehensive golf program offering professional instruction both aboard ship and during Caribbean golf excursions is included, as well. 

Dining options include twin two-level formal restaurants with extensive menus and wine lists and a casual poolside eatery featuring a 24-hour pizzeria and Asian and American specialty areas. Beginning next month, all Carnival Destiny dining venues will feature “Georges Blanc Signature Selections” created by the world’s renowned French master chef. 

Sixty percent of Carnival Destiny’s 1,321 staterooms offer either a balcony or ocean view – perfect for scenic Caribbean cruising. The new “Carnival Comfort Bed” sleep system, with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and duvet covers, and high quality pillows and linens, is featured in all Carnival Destiny accommodations. For additional information and reservations contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Celebrity's Century Presents Truly 'Cool' New Bar 

MIAMI, May 2 -- Talk about cool. The Martini Bar onboard Celebrity's "new" Century will boast the first "ice bar" concept at sea when the ship emerges on May 30 from its $55-million, five-week revitalization. Designed by Celebrity's Fleet Design department, Century's Martini Bar will feature a liquid wall that freezes to form a sparkling crystalline appearance, and a bar counter that freezes into ice-cold stone, while a solid block of ice will creatively display bottles of liquor behind the bar. Century's trendy new Martini Bar will offer Celebrity's famed menu of more than 30 versions of the popular libation.

"To complement the cool design, we're installing kinetic lighting throughout the room, which will regularly change the venue's color and appearance," said Celebrity's Fleet Design Manager Patricia Hayes. "And to enhance the crisp ambience, we've chosen a combination of winter-white walls and polished stainless steel."

Other clubs and lounges will include an updated fleetwide favorite, Cova Cafe, the seagoing version of the stylish coffeehouse in the fashion district of Milan, Italy. There, guests can enjoy fresh pastries and cookies to complement the menu of coffees, teas, and other beverages by day, and at night, the space transforms to a romantic, lamp-lit wine bar, complete with live music. Pairing refreshing sea air with panoramic ocean views, Century's outdoor Sunset Bar on the top deck, all the way aft, will feature a full service bar designed of teak, stone and stainless steel, topped with an arched-glass canopy. There, guests can enjoy an assortment of fresh tapas and appetizers with cocktails and other beverages.

Teen travelers will have a lounge all their own, with Century's new "X-Treme" teen lounge and video arcade. The dedicated space will include a dance floor, video arcade, juice bar, jukebox, and karaoke, along with computers offering Internet access.

All other clubs and lounges onboard the "new" Century will be entirely refurbished, including the Crystal Lounge, Michael's Club jazz/piano bar, Rendezvous Lounge, and Hemispheres observation lounge and disco.

Century will emerge May 30 from an aggressive five-week drydock period with the luxurious "Murano" specialty restaurant, 314 new verandas, 14 new suites, 10 new staterooms ranging from inside to veranda category, an expanded number of ConciergeClass category staterooms, and a series of features and amenities that typify the line's acclaimed Millennium-class fleet. 

Celebrity's "new" Century will set sail on a nine-night "Best of Europe" cruise departing May 30, along with a series of 12-night Baltic and 10- and 11-night Mediterranean sailings, a 13-night "Best of Europe" voyage, and a seven-night Norwegian Fjords cruise. Century also will be one of the first Celebrity ships to offer short cruises from the cruise capital of the world, the Port of Miami, beginning in November 2006. The ship will present four- and five-night roundtrip Caribbean cruises through April 2007, offering travelers with more limited vacation time the opportunity to experience what the award-winning Celebrity brand has to offer. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111, or visit the Celebrity web site at

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Silversea Makes It Easier to Stay Connected with New Cell Phone Service

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, May 2, 2006 -- Silversea Cruises has reached another milestone in its continuing enhancement of onboard communications services with the installation of a new, cutting-edge technology that enables guests to use their own cellular phones and wireless PDAs while at sea, just as they do on land. The new service is now available onboard Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper, and will be expanded to the line's other two ships, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, in the coming months.

The ultra-luxury cruise company has partnered with SeaMobile, a leading global provider of advanced at-sea wireless voice and data communications services, to offer guests the convenience of using their personal cell phones during a cruise -- even as their ship may be sailing many miles away from shore. The new technology works for both GSM and CDMA mobile phones as well as PDA devices such as BlackBerries. GSM is the digital standard in Europe and other parts of the globe, while CDMA is the wireless standard for North America and the Far East. 

"Last year we outfitted our ships with Wi-Fi hot spots so guests could use their own laptops, and now we're taking things a step further and giving them the convenience of being able to use their personal cell phones and PDAs while at sea as well," said Rick Kneale, Silversea's vice president of information technology and chief information officer. "In today's world, we know how important it is to stay connected with family, friends and business associates while on vacation, and so we're doing everything we can to facilitate that." Added Kneale, "Although we're pleased to offer this enhanced service, we realize cell phone use can be disturbing to others, so quiet zones (areas without reception) such as the restaurants, spa, library and other public lounges, have been created thereby ensuring the comfort of all our guests. We will continue to encourage guests to use their cell phones primarily in their suites." 

Rates for the at-sea cellular service will vary, depending on the guest's wireless provider. Generally, the rates can range from $1.99 to $3.99 per minute, based on different roaming zones across the world. Charges appear as roaming calls on the guest's regular wireless bill from their home carrier, which may include additional taxes and fees charged by various carriers. When the ship is in port, guests' cell phones will be switched to the carrier for that geographic area and roaming rates for the country they are visiting will apply. As with all cell carriers, guests' cell phones that work while the ship is at sea may not work in some ports.

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Survey: Cruise Passengers Give Jacksonville High Marks

Jacksonville, FL – A recent survey reveals that more than 88 percent of passengers embarking from the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal originate from outside the Jacksonville area, with passengers coming from 49 of the 50 U.S. states. The survey also reveals that more than 86 percent of out-of-town passengers sailing from JAXPORT would consider returning to Jacksonville for a future vacation.

The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) conducted the recent survey to better understand the demographics of people sailing from Jacksonville aboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ Celebration, a 1,452-passenger ship offering year-round service from JAXPORT to Key West and the Bahamas. Carnival is the only cruise line currently offering year-round service from Jacksonville.

Other survey highlights include:

  • In addition to drawing passengers from 49 states – Montana was the only state without a recorded passenger during the survey period – a small percentage of passengers surveyed came from Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries. Most passengers originate from states in the U.S. Southeast.
  • Nearly one-third of passengers from outside the area planned to spend additional time in Jacksonville either before or after their cruise, with about 20 percent staying overnight in an area hotel. Based on this data, JAXPORT estimates that cruise passengers generate a total of 18,000 room nights annually for local hoteliers, averaging about 1,500 room nights per month.
  • When asked which local sites they intended to visit in Northeast Florida, passengers listed the Jacksonville Zoo, beaches, St. Augustine, the Jacksonville Landing, and local historic areas.
  • A total of 95 percent of surveyed passengers said they would consider choosing Jacksonville again for their next cruise departure. (This point is little surprise, as in 2004 and 2005, Carnival’s Jacksonville embarkation team earned top honors in the company’s annual guest comment card survey, which ranks embarkation personnel from the line’s nine year-round homeports in a variety of service-related categories.)

The JAXPORT survey data was compiled by Orange Park-based Ulrich Research Services, which sorted data on more than 9,000 cruise passengers embarking from the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal between December 2005 and March 2006. JAXPORT plans to share the results with local tourism and hospitality leaders to identify ways to capture additional tourism dollars by encouraging a higher percentage of passengers to spend time in Jacksonville before or after their cruise. More than 138,000 passengers embarked on their cruise vacation from JAXPORT in 2005.

“This data demonstrates that Jacksonville’s cruise business is drawing passengers from around the country and has the ability to contribute significantly to our local tourism industry,” said JAXPORT Executive Director Rick Ferrin. “We are working with local tourism officials to grow this impact as Jacksonville becomes increasingly popular as a starting point for cruise vacations.”

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Silversea Taps Walter Cronkite & William F. Buckley, Jr. to Join Stellar Line-up of World Cruise 2007 Speakers

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, May 1, 2006 -- Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has just signed legendary newsman Walter Cronkite and influential political commentator William F. Buckley, Jr. to join an impressive cast of celebrity lecturers aboard Silver Shadow's 126-day World Cruise, departing Fort Lauderdale on January 15, 2007. Other names set to light up an expansive enrichment program include ABC News correspondent Lynn Sherr, author Richard Reeves, investigative journalist Judith Miller, film critic Rex Reed, champion yachtsman John Bertrand, Egyptologist Zahi Hawass, photojournalist Steve McCurry and Michael Green, wine and spirits consultant for Gourmet magazine. 

Walter Cronkite has covered virtually every news event during his more than 65 years in journalism - the last 54 affiliated with CBS News. He became a special correspondent for CBS News when he stepped down on March 6, 1981 after 19 years as anchorman and managing editor of the CBS Evening News. Affectionately nicknamed "Old Iron Pants" for his unflappability under pressure, Cronkite's accomplishments -- both on-air and off -- have won him acclaim and trust from journalism colleagues and the American public alike. Cronkite is scheduled to host enrichment presentations aboard "The Home Sea" segment of the World Cruise (Voyage 3709), departing April 27 from Alexandria to Lisbon. This segment also features an exciting call in Valencia, Spain, for the Louis Vuitton Cup match races to determine who will race Team Alinghi in the thirty-second America's Cup yachting competition.

William F. Buckley, Jr. will headline the enrichment program aboard "The Sea of Quiet Reflection" (Voyage 3710), departing May 8 from Lisbon to New York City. Buckley is an author, editor, syndicated columnist, public speaker, television host, and adventurer. He founded the conservative journal of opinion National Review in 1955 and was its editor-in-chief until 1990; he served as editor-at-large until 2004, when he formally retired. From 1966 to 1999 he was the host of the Emmy Award–winning Firing Line, the longest-running program in television history with the same host. He is the best-selling author of more than 40 works of nonfiction and fiction.

"World Cruise guests expect a truly exceptional and personally enriching lifestyle experience," said Joseph Proto, Silversea's director of World Cruise and business development. "So we searched the worlds of journalism, politics, literature, sports, film, gourmet living and academia to find just the right personalities to share their insights, passions and perspectives for the enjoyment of our very privileged World Cruise guests. As Silver Shadow journeys across three oceans and seven seas, our guests will be entertained and enlightened with an enhanced enrichment program carefully designed to complement every segment of this extraordinary seafaring adventure." 

Other luminaries set to host enrichment programs include: 

  • LYNN SHERR -- Aboard "The Empires of Time" (Voyage 3702), departing January 15 from Fort Lauderdale to Santiago. An award-winning journalist, Sherr joined ABC News as a correspondent on 20/20 in May 1986. She has covered a wide range of stories, specializing in women's issues and social changes, as well as investigative reports. 
  • RICHARD REEVES -- Aboard "The Empires of Time" (Voyage 3702), departing January 15 from Fort Lauderdale to Santiago. An author and syndicated columnist, Reeves' weekly column has appeared since 1979 in over 100 newspapers, and is read around the world. He has received a number of awards for his work in print, television and film, and for his contributions to journalism. 
  • STEVE McCURRY -- Aboard "The Empires of Time" (Voyage 3702), departing January 15 from Fort Lauderdale to Santiago. Recognized universally as one of today’s finest image-makers, McCurry has won many of photography’s top awards. His haunting photograph of an Afghan refugee girl has been described by many as the most recognizable photograph in the world today. 
  • JUDITH MILLER -- Aboard "Across the Sea of Books" (Voyage 3703), departing January 31 from Santiago to Papeete, Tahiti. An author and a Pulitzer Prize-winning former investigative reporter for The New York Times. Miller left the paper in November 2005 after spending 85 days in jail to defend a reporter's right to protect confidential sources. Since leaving jail, she has been advocating the enactment of a federal shield law to protect the relationship between reporters and their sources and the public's right to know.
  • MICHAEL GREEN -- Aboard "The Land Where the Sun Wakes" (Voyage 3705), departing February 27 from Auckland to Sydney. Green is the wine and spirits consultant to Gourmet magazine. He has worked in the wine trade as educator, importer, writer, consultant and retailer for over 20 years. Green has been a guest on Food Network’s Emeril Live and Cooking Live as well as CBS Marketwatch, CNN, and NPR.
  • REX REED -- Aboard "Sailing in the Dream Time" (Voyage 3706), departing March 12 from Sydney to Singapore. Renowned author, actor, talk show host, film critic and historian, Reed's name is synonymous with Hollywood. His film reviews have appeared in nationally syndicated columns for decades, making him one of the most prolific movie critics in the nation.
  • JOHN BERTRAND -- Aboard "Sailing in the Dream Time" (Voyage 3706), departing March 12 from Sydney to Singapore. Bertrand is the Australian who skippered the winged keel Australia 2 to victory over Dennis Connor’s Liberty to win the 1983 America's Cup, breaking 132 years of American domination and, in the process, breaking the longest-running record in the history of modern sport. 
  • ZAHI HAWASS -- Aboard "Voyage to the Western Lands" (Voyage 3708), departing April 12 from Dubai to Alexandria. World-renowned Egyptian archaeologist, Zahi Hawass currently serves as Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Director of Excavations at Giza, Saqqara and the Bahariya Oasis. He has lectured all over the world, most frequently in Europe, Japan and the United States, on such topics as the pyramids, mummies and his numerous discoveries. 

Departing January 15, 2007 from Fort Lauderdale, Silver Shadow's World Cruise 2007 will cross three oceans, seven seas and six continents, visiting 61 different ports, and conclude on the originating coast, in New York City, on May 22. Additional enrichment programming will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information on the World Cruise, visit

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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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