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News from the world of cruise travel ~
June 1-15, 2004

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

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Seabourn's New Excursions Are an Antidote for 'Been There, Done That' Vacations
Custom-Tailored Tours Offer 'Trophy Experiences' to Those Who Seek the Unique

MIAMI, June 15 -- Ultra luxury cruise pioneer Seabourn Cruise Line has announced more than 75 newly created, optional shore excursions that provide exceptional "trophy experiences" available only to guests sailing aboard the company's three intimate, all-suite ships: Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend.

"Seabourn has always offered its guests unique experiences in our cruise destinations," according to Richard D. Meadows, senior vice president of sales and marketing. "Seabourn's ground-breaking Signature Series excursions have been admired and routinely appropriated by others in the industry for years," Meadows continued, "and now we are raising the bar again."

The new excursions were custom designed by Seabourn, working with local experts in many of the line's 250 ports of call worldwide, and will be offered exclusively to Seabourn guests. Tours in some ports will debut in the autumn of 2004 and all will be operational in 2005. Featured elements of the tours encompass exclusive entries to sites of interest, privileged meetings with famous personalities and a wide variety of special-interest pursuits including flightseeing, racecar and off-road driving, yacht racing, rowing, gourmet cooking classes, photography, art history and river rafting.

Unforgettable, one-of-a-kind adventures and experiences include:

  • A unique German navigation simulator that makes you a virtual Master and Commander of a full-sized ship, in a mind-boggling, 360-degree panoramic sea.

  • A behind-the-scenes introduction to Hong Kong's Cantonese Opera including a backstage visit to watch the artists apply their intricate and spectacular makeup.

  • A private meal with Mrs. Gihan Sadat, renowned social activist and widow of the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, in her Nile-side home in Cairo.

Seabourn's New Excursions

  • Travel by limousine to a Danish countryside inn, where chef Jan Petersen will prepare and serve the elaborate menu he created for the film "Babette's Feast."

  • A scenic tour of vineyards and classical chateaux of the Margaux section of Medoc in a horse-drawn carriage, climaxing with a luncheon in Chateau Giscours.

  • The exhilaration of sailing aboard the new, high-performance V.O. 60 Volvo ocean-racing yacht in the Baltic Sea near Warnemunde.

  • Touring the mountain villages of France's Pais Basque in a classic Citroen CV2, the beloved (and berated) "Deux Chevaux."

  • Game viewing in Ngorongoro Crater and touring the Olduvai Gorge, discovery site of mankind's earliest ancestors, escorted by a member of the Leakey family.

  • Putting a fully race-equipped Ferrari through its paces on a professional circuit auto-racing course near Venice.

  • Shopping for ingredients in a local Florence market and then attending an exclusive culinary class at the Italian Cordon Bleu Cooking School.

  • A privileged guided tour of the impressive, ultra modern Volvo automobile manufacturing plant in Ghent, Belgium, the largest outside Sweden.

  • A tour, with Egypt's Secretary General of Antiquities Dr. Zahi Hawass, of the recently discovered Tombs of the Pyramid Builders, still closed to the public.

Prices for the excursions are expected to range from over a hundred to several thousand dollars, depending upon content and duration. These and other new tours will be offered on 134 cruises in 76 countries during 2005 and 2006 aboard the 208-guest Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend. With Early Booking Savings of up to 50 percent available on all cruises, fares start from $2,298 per person, based on double occupancy of a 277-square foot ocean-view suite. For more information on The Yachts of Seabourn, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Sophia Loren to be Godmother of New MSC Opera

NAPLES, Italy, June 15 -- MSC Opera, the new flagship of MSC Cruises, will be christened June 26 in Genoa, Italy, with Sophia Loren as its godmother. MSC Opera is the sixth cruise ship of the MSC fleet, joining MSC Melody, MSC Monterey, MSC Rhapsody, MSC Lirica and MSC Armonia. It is also the second MSC Cruises' ship for which Ms. Loren is serving as godmother; she also is godmother of MSC Lirica, which debuted last year. She was chosen by Gianluigi Aponte, owner of Mediterranean Shipping Cruises, parent company to MSC Crociere and MSC Cruises, to once again represent MSC. Like Ms. Loren, MSC Opera represents a beauty, elegance and style that is distinctively Italian.

Constructed in France, MSC Opera left Chantiers de l'Antlantique of St. Nazaire on June 9 and arrives in Italy after stops in Barcelona and Marseilles. The ship will spend three days in Naples, where it will serve as the site of a June 21 gala hosted by MSC Crociere to benefit the Italian Association Cancer Research. The festivities continue on June 22 and 23 in Civitavecchia (Rome). Genoa will be the host city for the official inauguration of the new MSC Cruises flagship. MSC Opera will arrive in Genoa on June 24. The official christening takes place June 26.

"MSC Opera is the new symbol of the distinctive Italian style which makes an MSC cruise a unique experience," says Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises. "It is a style that is reflected in the atmosphere, design, service, cuisine and character of all MSC cruise ships."

MSC Opera departs Genoa June 27 on its inaugural season of Mediterranean sailings. It begins its first transatlantic journey Nov. 15, a 17-night journey to Fort Lauderdale, its North American homeport.

"We are planning a special welcome for MSC Opera in Florida as well," says Sasso. "This is an exciting time for MSC Cruises. The arrival of MSC Opera in early December and the return of MSC Lirica a few weeks later will mark the first time the line will have two ships sailing Caribbean itineraries out of Fort Lauderdale."

MSC Opera is the second newbuild in the line's fleet, joining its sistership, the MSC Lirica. They are part of the line's $3 billion expansion plan introduced in 2003 and brings to six the number of ships in the line's fleet. Two more Panamax vessels are on order for delivery in 2006 and 2007 and additional newbuilds are under consideration. The 58,600-ton MSC Opera has 848 cabins, three restaurants, a grill and pizzeria, two pools, two hydro-massages, beauty center, Internet cafe with 16 virtual reality terminals, pub and piano bar, casino and disco, and a theater. MSC Opera will host as many as 1,900 guests in the height of design and comfort. For further information and brochures, call 1-800-666-9333 or visit the company's website at

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Family Cruise Vacations Grow in Popularity
Five Tips for a Fun Family Summer Cruise 

NORWALK, Conn., June 15 -- Travelers Advantage® has unveiled five tips for finding the perfect family cruise this summer. "Fun, value and safety are three of the top reasons your family should go on a cruise together this summer," said Julia Ryan, vice president of

"More and more families are sailing together, making this the fastest growing segment of the cruise industry," she continued. "More than a million children cruised in 2002, twice as many as 1998, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). Family cruising has become so popular that even luxury lines now offer programs for younger travelers, something unheard of a generation ago. Families looking for convenient, fun, stress-free and economical vacations are heading out to sea, and discovering more than a memorable cruise. Our family cruising tips will help you pick the right cruise for your family." 

Parents planning a 2004 vacation should consider these five tips for fun family cruising:

Value: Cruises are easy on the budget. One price covers meals, transportation, lodging, kids' programs, numerous shipboard activities, live entertainment and more. Look for a line that offers special "Kids Cruise Free" promotions or ones that give half off for the third and fourth person in a cabin if they are children.

Safety: Cruise ships provide a safe place for kids to relax while parents enjoy piece of mind. Seek a line that offers two-way walkie-talkies or beepers to your kids during the cruise.

Broad Appeal: With such a wide range of activities, restaurants and entertainment, there's something for children of all ages. Consider lines that offer shipboard and onshore activities matching the interests and ages of your family. Plan to enjoy a romantic dinner or evening out with your spouse while your children participate in special programs that can last until 10 p.m. or later on most lines.

Experienced Staff: Ships are setting sail with highly qualified youth counselors. Look for a line with experts in child development, education and recreation.

Schedule Flexibility: School breaks can vary from district to district and state to state. As school schedules can prompt high demand for family cruises, look early for a line that fits your children's school vacation schedule. No matter when your vacation time falls, the high seas are always open, and there's a cruise ship waiting to take the family on an amazing holiday adventure.

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Pride of Aloha's Kumu Cultural Center Celebrates 
Hawaiian Artists, Artisans

Three themes -- Everyday life in Ancient Hawai`i, the Hawaiian Kingdom and Contemporary Hawai'i -- are prevalent in the Kumu Cultural Center (Kumu is Hawaiian for source of learning). In addition, the center will have three separate meeting rooms - the Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop Room, the Princess Kèelikolani Room and the Queen Emma Naea Room - and a business center.

The Pride of Aloha design team worked closely with Mary Philpotts, a well-respected designer from Hawai`i whose vision was instrumental in the recent remodeling of the ship, to create the center. Philpotts enlisted the efforts of a team of local historians, photographers, artisans and resource people to present this multi-faceted view of life in Hawai'i. More than 40 Hawaiian artists and artisans provided the art, crafts, carvings, quilts, memorabilia and reproductions of artifacts that the center displays. According to Philpotts, many of the pieces displayed are associated with individuals, many of whom are Native Hawaiian, who have a willingness to share Hawaiian cultural knowledge and history with Pride of Aloha passengers.

"The Kumu Cultural Center represents a major undertaking by Mary and her colleagues who have created a truly unique place of history and culture," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL America. "A place that we hope not only our guests will enjoy but that will be meaningful to the Hawai`i community as well."

"We want to bring a viable experience to Hawai`i's visitors by utilizing and embracing the artistry and legacy of the Hawaiian people," Philpotts said. "Our artists and artisans have used their expertise to make this center a source of knowledge, a tool for an exchange of learning. I am extremely proud of this effort and of the artists and artisans from all the islands. With the Kumu Cultural Center we took a fresh, real approach," Philpotts adds. "We produced exhibits that represent the history and culture of Hawai`i, and involved Hawaiians and local people in the telling of their story. The Hawaiian culture is alive and well today-we have so much to learn from each other, this center helps make this kind of exchange possible."

In The 'Everyday Life in Ancient Hawai`i' area, guests will learn about the first Polynesians who settled Hawai'i 1,500 years before Captain Cook came to the Islands. A reproduction of daily life includes kapa beaters, poi pounders, games, food vessels, fishing hooks and hula implements. Extraordinary canoe models, as well as historic photographs and informative text, describe the experience of ka po'e kahiko, the people of old.

In the Hawaiian Kingdom segment, guests will learn about the Islands' rich history through text and images of the reigning Hawaiian monarchs, or ali'i. Also included, are reproductions of hand kahili--a feather decorated staff that acknowledged the presence of royalty, and a lei niho palaua- hair necklace worn only by ali'i giving them authority to speak for their people. Four ki'i-wooden carvings representing the four principal Hawaiian gods, are also on display.

The 30s and 40s, the time period that created the worldview of an exotic and romantic Hawai'i, is represented in Contemporary Hawai`i. This area describes the Waikiki culture and the steamship era when visitors came by sea from the mainland. Waikiki, previously the playground for royalty, became everyone's home, including visitors who would sometimes spend a month with the "locals." Display cases showcase the romance of the period with original "hapa-haole" sheet music (a mixing of musical cultures with Hawaiian music and English words); etched glass; jewelry; hula dolls; post cards; and photographs.

NCL America's Pride of Aloha is the first modern U.S.-flag cruise ship in almost 50 years. Beginning July 4, 2004, the ship will sail seven-day, round-trip Hawai'i itineraries, visiting all four main islands and giving passengers up to 96 hours in port. Ports of call include: Honolulu, O`ahu; an overnight in Nawiliwili, Kaua`i; Hilo, Hawai`i; Kona, Hawai`i; and an overnight in Kahului, Maui. For further information on NCL America, agents in the U.S. and Canada may contact NCL at (800) 327-7030; visit NCL's website at

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New Carnival Liberty to Operate First-Ever Program of 'Fun Ship' Mediterranean Voyages in Summer 2005
New 12-Day 'Grand Mediterranean' Cruises on the Newest and Largest Ship 
Operating in Europe 

MIAMI, June 14 -- For the first time, Carnival Cruise Lines will offer a series of Mediterranean voyages featuring extended visits to some of Europe's most charming and historic ports of call beginning in summer 2005. The program will be offered on the new 110,000-ton Carnival Liberty, which will be the newest and largest ship operating in Europe. It will encompass eight 12-day cruises operating roundtrip from Rome (Civitavecchia) July 20 - Oct. 12, 2005. Featured ports include: Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy (two-day call); Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy.

According to Carnival President and CEO Bob Dickinson, the new seven-port, 12-day Mediterranean cruises are designed to provide consumers with a comprehensive European vacation experience and feature a wide diversity of shoreside experiences, all while enjoying the many "resort-style" amenities and facilities of Carnival's newest and largest class of "Fun Ship."

"For our first-ever Mediterranean cruises, we've assembled a terrific itinerary with extended port calls that offer guests excellent tour opportunities to experience the rich history and outstanding sites at some of Europe's most popular destinations, including Capri, Taormina, Monte Carlo and Florence, to name just a few," Dickinson said. He noted that the 12-day voyages also include a two-day stay in Venice so that guests can explore everything this great city has to offer. "With its mega-sized features, huge number of balconied staterooms and acres of open deck space, Carnival Liberty is ideally suited to scenic cruising, and we expect our new 'Fun Ship' Mediterranean voyages will attract both experienced and first-time Carnival guests," Dickinson added.

Following the 12-day Mediterranean cruises, Carnival Liberty will operate a 16-day transatlantic voyage departing Rome (Civitavecchia) Oct. 24, and arriving in Fort Lauderdale Nov. 9, 2005. Ports of call include Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, and Malaga, Spain; Funchal (Madeira), Portugal; and St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles. Numerous shore excursion opportunities, as well as pre- and post-cruise hotel packages, will be available in conjunction with all of these departures.

Signature 'Fun Ship' Amenities
Currently under construction in Monfalcone, Italy, the 2,974-passenger Carnival Liberty will offer a host of dining, activity and entertainment venues. Its 13 passenger decks will house 22 lounges, bars and nightspots, along with a 14,500-square-foot health and fitness facility, a full gambling casino, duty-free shopping mall, and four swimming pools - one with Carnival's famous 214-foot-long water slide. A comprehensive golf program offering professional instruction and opportunities to play at top golf courses will also be available.

Its many family-friendly amenities, available within the top-rated "Camp Carnival" program, will include a 4,200-square-foot "Children's World" play area, and an "Action Alley" teen recreation center with a high-tech video arcade, dance club, and a "mock-tail" lounge offering non-alcoholic specialty drinks.

Of the ship's 1,487 staterooms, 60 percent will offer an ocean view with 60 percent of those featuring private balconies.

Myriad Dining Options
Carnival Liberty will also offer consumers the widest variety of dining options at sea. In addition to two full-service dining rooms with extensive menus, including new low-carb items, the ship will also house a 1,400-seat casual restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner alternatives, as well as 24-hour pizza and ice cream, a deli, a grille, a rotisserie, an upscale seafood station and Asian and American specialty areas.

Also featured is a reservations-only supper club offering prime aged beef and other gourmet cuisine, along with one of the finest wine lists afloat. A patisserie, sushi bar, and complimentary 24-hour room service are also available. All of these options comprise Carnival's Total Choice Dining (SM), cruising's most comprehensive dining program.

Pricing and Reservations
Carnival will begin accepting reservations effective June 22 for the Carnival Liberty's 12-day European cruises and 16-day transatlantic voyage. Prices for the 12-day cruises begin at $1,499 per person, based on double occupancy; the 16-day transatlantic voyage starts at $1,099 per person. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom and optional roundtrip air transportation from a variety of North American gateways are also available. For additional information, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, or visit

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'Celebrity X-Men' Escape Alcatraz With $50,000 Donation
Triathlon Trio of Executives Ranks 12th While Raising Funds for Cystic Fibrosis

MIAMI, June 14  -- Celebrity Cruises President and COO Jack Williams, along with Royal Celebrity Tours President Craig Milan and Assistant Treasurer Carlos Torres de Navarra - collectively known as the "Celebrity X-Men" -- finished 12th in the 24th annual Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon on June 6 in San Francisco, raising nearly $50,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). The grueling 27.5-mile event triathlon combined a 1.5-mile swim through the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay, an 18-mile cycling race through steep hills and winding coastal roads, and an eight-mile run through the Presidio and along Baker Beach.

Milan was the team's starter, plunging into 55-degree waters and braving strong currents. He placed in the top four percent of all competitors in the swim.

Torres de Navarra was the middleman, cycling a course marked by steep ascents and sharp turns. He ranked in the top nine percent of all competitors.

Williams completed the race, running a course through the deep sands of Baker Beach and the Sand Ladder, a 400-step incline up the side of a cliff.

Williams' participation in the triathlon follows his completion of the New York City Marathon last November, when he raised $300,000 for CFF. In January, Williams spearheaded "Shine Miami," a weekend of fundraising activities developed by Celebrity Cruises that netted more than $1 million for the foundation.

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Children Sail Free on MSC Cruises' Mediterranean, Baltic Itineraries

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 14 -- MSC Cruises says bring the kids to Europe this summer and they can sail free with Mom and Dad on the line's Mediterranean and Baltic itineraries. Children under the age of 14 sharing a stateroom with two adults sail free on almost all of the itineraries offered on the line's six vessels, including the inaugural Mediterranean season of the line's new flagship, the MSC Opera, its sister ship the MSC Lirica, as well as MSC's Rhapsody, Monterey, Melody and Armonia.

"One of the Italian signatures that distinguish MSC Cruises as a Premium Class experience is our attention to family values," said Rick E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises USA. "Our Italian officers and staff enjoy creating the environment that will allow our young guests to enjoy a vacation like no other."

Children's play rooms are available on MSC's Rhapsody, Monterey and Melody, while MSC Lirica and MSC Opera each feature a Children's Club recreational facility and video arcade.

"The entire family can enjoy a vacation with a truly Italian flavor while visiting some of Europe's most memorable destinations," says Sasso. "The adults can relax knowing that, while they are working out in the gym, being pampered in the spa or swimming on deck, the youngsters are enjoying themselves, too, participating in activities and facilities designed especially for them under the watchful eye of trained counselors. The friendly Italian staff makes passengers of every age feel like VIPs."

Backed by one of the world's largest container shipping companies, MSC Cruises USA has emerged as a fast-rising star in the European-style premium cruise market. The company launched a $3 billion expansion program in 2003 with the introduction of the new MSC Lirica in 2003. MSC Cruises added the MSC Armonia to its fleet in spring of 2004 and MSC Opera debuts summer, and has two Panamax ships on order for delivery in 2006 and 2007.

Both the MSC Lirica and MSC Opera will be sailing Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale beginning this winter. For further information and brochures, call 1-800-666-9333 or visit the company's website at

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Sapphire Princess Makes Her Debut in the Emerald City
Historic Cruise Ship Christening in Emerald City Sparkles with Help from World's Largest Sapphire and First Lady of Alaska

Sapphire Princess arrives in SeattleSANTA CLARITA, Calif. (June 11, 2004) - Nancy Murkowski, the First Lady of Alaska, became the godmother of the new Sapphire Princess in an elegant ceremony in the port of Seattle - the first ever cruise ship naming held in the Emerald City. With the pull of a lever, Mrs. Murkowski broke the ceremonial bottle of Washington State Mountain Dome Brut sparkling wine to officially name the new 116,000-ton vessel. The traditional ceremony kicked off an evening of festivities celebrating Princess' ties to Alaska and the city of Seattle. The music of hometown favorites HB Radke and the Jet City Swingers set the tone for the black-tie top deck sailaway party, and the dinner that followed featured an array of pacific northwest delicacies, including huckleberries, shellfish, and Copper River salmon. VIP guests were also treated to a private two-day exhibition of the world's largest carved sapphire, The Millennium Sapphire. The 61,500 carat gemstone was showcased on the Sapphire Princess to add extra "sparkle" to the event.

"It's wonderful that Nancy Murkowski could be with us to help us celebrate our long history with the state of Alaska and name our newest Alaska-bound vessel," said Alan Buckelew, president of Princess Cruises. "And, as this ship significantly expands our use of Seattle as a homeport, we're also delighted to christen Sapphire Princess in the Emerald City."  

The 2,670-passenger Sapphire Princess follows in the wake of sister ship Diamond Princess, also summer based in Seattle, which launched a new ship design for Princess when it debuted earlier this year. The vessel incorporates Princess' trademark design philosophy, including an abundance of balcony cabins, flexibility in dining and entertainment options, Princess' renowned service and a variety of intimate spaces, giving the ship all of the choice of a large ship with the feel of a much smaller vessel. The ship offers passengers a unique dining program with four themed dining rooms, complimenting the main dining room and Sabatini's trattoria--Princess' trademark alternative restaurant; a new Princess Concierge Service; a new Princess-operated Lotus Spa; the fleet's largest Internet Café, and Club Fusion, a new high-tech entertainment lounge. 

Through summer the ship will sail on a seven-day Inside Passage itinerary roundtrip from Seattle visiting the ports of Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway and Victoria, BC, plus glacier cruising through the dramatic scenery of Tracy Arm. Starting September 22, the ship will move to San Francisco for a series of 10-day Mexican Riviera cruises. In November the ship begins a season of Exotics voyages to Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific and Asia. 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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New Concierge Level Staterooms Introduced by Oceania Cruises
A New Level Of Affordable Luxury Debuts In April, 2005

Miami, FL, June 11, 2004 – Oceania Cruises is proud to present the new standard of luxury and pampering in staterooms, our new A1 and A2 Concierge Level staterooms aboard Regatta and Insignia, commencing with their first 2005 European voyages. With over 100 each aboard Regatta and Insignia, we’ve raised our already lofty standards of comfort and convenience to new heights. A tasteful example of understated elegance, our Concierge Level Staterooms represent a new standard in luxury and pampering. With a preferred location on Decks 7 and 8, each boasts a private teak veranda and raises our lofty standards of comfort and convenience to new heights. You’ll travel in extraordinary comfort and style to Europe’s most alluring destinations while enjoying these exclusive amenities.

  • Welcome Bottle of Champagne

  • Refrigerated Mini-Bar 

  • DVD Player 

  • Cashmere Throw Blanket 

  • Complimentary Tote Bag 

  • Hand-held Hair Dryer 

  • Upgraded Bathroom Amenities and Toiletries 

In addition to the stateroom amenities, Concierge Level guests will also enjoy these special service enhancements: 

  • Priority Embarkation and Dedicated Check-in Desk 

  • Priority Luggage Delivery 

  • Priority Restaurant Reservations 

  • Complimentary Shoeshine Service 

  • Complimentary Pressing of Two Garments Upon Embarkation 

Concierge Level staterooms are yet another example of Oceania Cruises’ commitment to provide the ultimate Upper Premium Cruise Experience.

The Oceania Cruises Experience
Regatta, Insignia and Nautica are mid-size ships where every whim is graciously indulged. You will savor the finest cuisine at sea, a testament to Oceania Cruises’ Executive Culinary Director, Jacques Pépin, who crafted the extraordinary menus. As the perfect complement, there are four, open-seating gourmet restaurants. Our 400 attentive European staff members are at your beck and call, as you set sail for Europe’s most intriguing destinations, with a ready smile, unfailing attention to detail, and an instinctive anticipation of your next request. It’s more than presentation; it’s nothing short of flawless. Your stateroom or suite is the epitome of comfort and elegance where you’ll retire each evening to our exclusive Tranquility Bed, the most comfortable bedding at sea. And all suites and 60% of staterooms boast private teak verandas. Yet, despite this level of sophistication, the ambiance remains wonderfully casual, like that of a country club.

About Oceania Cruises 
Oceania Cruises features three intimate and luxurious 684-guest ships, Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. Oceania Cruises is setting a new, worldwide standard for luxury cruising with the finest cuisine at sea, exceptional personalized service, grand style, and luxurious accommodations coupled with extraordinary value.

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Oceania Cruises Announces the 2005 European Collection
Free Airfare and 2-for-1 Cruise Fares On All Voyages

Miami, FL, June 10, 2004 – Europe is even more compelling with free airfare and 2-for-1 cruise fares on all 32 Oceania Cruises’ European voyages in 2005. Sailing to virtually every region of Europe, Regatta and Insignia head eastward to Athens, Rhodes, Olympia, Kusadasi and Istanbul, and to the picturesque Greek islands -- Mykonos, Corfu, dramatic Santorini. Westward to ancient and inspiring Dubrovnik, Seville, fabled Monte Carlo and the romantic yacht harbor of Portofino. Northward to the Baltic capitals -- Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and the grandeur of St. Petersburg, spending three full days and two enchanted evenings. Regatta will sail the Mediterranean, Western Europe and Scandinavia; Insignia will sail to the Eastern & Western Mediterranean, Greek Isles and the Black Sea and Nautica, the newest member of the Oceania Cruises fleet, has proven phenomenally popular among European guests, and thus, will remain dedicated to the European charter market for 2005. 

Ancient Lands, Myths and Legends
As dawn breaks over the eastern bow, you will wake to greet the ancient lands that mark the birthplace of western civilization -- Greece, Italy, Turkey and the Black Sea. From the marble pillars of the Greek temples in ancient Athens, where one can still hear the rumbling thunder that marked Zeus' roar; to the enchanting Isle of Mykonos, immortalized by the elusive oral historian and poet, Homer; the mystical and exotic city of Istanbul which bridges two continents; and the splendor and pageantry of the Black Sea. Insignia’s voyages to the Greek Isles and Black Sea will awaken your spirit of adventure. 

Treasures of the Mediterranean
Venice will captivate you with its charm as you literally float through the charming Italian "streets" on gondolas, enjoying warm breezes and moonlit nights. If chic city life is more your tempo, Regatta sails to Honfleur, your gateway to the cosmopolitan boulevards of Paris. The “City of Lights” is where the best of fashion, art and a joie de vivré join with contemporary charm and storied history. The French, Italian and Spanish Rivieras are also splendid destinations for romance, where sun-drenched beaches and cliff-top resorts dazzle the spirit and rejuvenate the soul. 

Of Castles, Kings and Midnight Suns
Big, bold and beautiful, Scandinavia and Russia have always attracted spirited adventurers. Centuries ago, hearty Vikings ruled the seas. Explorers pushed the very edges of civilization. And with fierce determination, the visionary Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg, Russia’s most European city.

These voyages highlight the region’s key capitals, such as energetic Amsterdam, gracious Copenhagen, seafaring Helsinki, historic Stockholm, and Tallinn, a proud UNESCO World Heritage site in Estonia. Meander down the narrow, cobblestone streets of Belgium’s medieval Zeebrugge. See Poland’s famed Gdansk Shipyard, where the charismatic Lech Walesa organized the Solidarity trade union in defiance of Poland’s then-communist government. And watch a classical Russian ballet or explore the wonders of Moscow during your 3-day stay in St. Petersburg.

Extraordinary Value With 2-For-1 Cruise Fares and Free Airfare To Europe
10- to 16-night European voyages with free round-trip economy airfare and 2-for-1 cruise fares begin at just $1,999 per guest. Air-inclusive 2-for-1 cruise fares for sumptuous Concierge Level staterooms, with private teak veranda and bounty of creature comforts, begin at $3,399 per guest. Of course, suites are the most popular accommodations and thus, sell out quickly. You may wish to take advantage of these privileged accommodations, which are the best value in luxury cruising, with air-inclusive, 2-for-1 cruise fares beginning at just $4,499 per guest. For additional information on Oceania Cruises or to make a reservation, please contact your Travel Agent. To request a brochure or a copy of ‘The Oceania Cruises Experience” DVD or VHS, please visit or call 800-531-5658.

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Carnival Corporation Caps Historic Ship Building Period With
Seven Ships in Seven Months

MIAMI, June 9 -- With the naming of Princess Cruises' new 2,674-passenger Sapphire Princess in Seattle on June 10, 2004, Carnival Corporation & plc will complete an unprecedented period in which the company introduced seven ships in less than seven months. The marathon new ship parade began when the company's Italian brand, Costa Cruises, introduced the 2,720-passenger Costa Fortuna from its new cruise terminal in Savona, Italy, in late November 2003.

Since then, Carnival has launched six more ships. In January 2004, Cunard Line introduced the widely acclaimed 151,000-ton Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger vessel ever constructed. Carnival Cruise Lines launched the 2,124- passenger Carnival Miracle in February, followed by Princess Cruises' 2,674- passenger Diamond Princess in March. Princess Cruises' 3,114-passenger Caribbean Princess and Holland America Line's 1,848-passenger Westerdam entered service in April. Finally, the Sapphire Princess will sail on its inaugural voyage June 13, 2004. Together, these ships represent nearly 18,000 total lower berths.

This record new ship introduction schedule, at a rate of approximately one ship a month, was brought about by last year's merger by Carnival with P&O Princess Cruises to create Carnival Corporation & plc, the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.

"The new ship schedule is certainly unprecedented in our company and, I believe, in the history of the cruise industry, as well," said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc chairman and CEO. "Despite the torrid pace, all seven ship deliveries and start-ups were extremely smooth, with all of these ships enjoying great success in their respective markets," he added.

While Carnival will now have a short lull in its new ship introductions, it is not finished for the year. Still to come are Costa's 2,702-passenger Costa Magica in November and Carnival Cruise Lines' 2,974-passenger Carnival Valor in December.

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Pride of Aloha Becomes First Modern Oceangoing US-Flag Cruise Ship in Nearly 50 Years

Pride of Aloha

Coast Guardsmen and maritimers salute as Old Glory flies proudly over Pride of Aloha. (PRNewsFoto)

MIAMI, June 7 -- For the first time in nearly half a century, a modern, 2000-passenger cruise ship will fly a U.S. Flag. Today, on board the vessel in San Francisco, Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL America and dignitaries from the Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard raised the Stars and Stripes on Pride of Aloha, the brand's first U.S. Flag vessel.

Formerly Bahamian-flagged Norwegian Sky, Pride of Aloha just completed a multi-million dollar refurbishment in San Francisco. As a U.S.-flagged ship, Pride of Aloha is crewed by nearly 800 seafarers and will offer a truly unique experience for cruise passengers. With its distinctive Hawai'i decor and the gracious, friendly crew, mostly hailing from the Hawai'i Islands, the "Spirit of Aloha" is felt throughout the ship.

"Today marks a milestone not only in the cruise industry, but also in our nation's maritime history," Veitch said. "We are proud to be the first cruise company in recent memory to offer travelers an unparalleled combination of interisland Hawai'i cruising and a modern U.S.-flagged, U.S.-crewed megaship."

"Reflagging this ship is far more than symbolic," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta. "Raising the Stars and Stripes over more ships raises our maritime strength and raises jobs."

"We worked in cooperation with NCL America to ensure that the vessel met all international standards for a passenger ship," said Lieutenant Tony Guild, U.S. Coast Guard. "This entailed a complete inspection of the vessel and its safety and security systems from life jackets, lifeboats, complex firefighting systems, complex automation systems that manage the ships power and propulsion plants, to various security plans and equipment. In addition, the Coast Guard ensured that the ship's crew met all required U.S. standards for Merchant Mariners certification."

Pride of Aloha will complete a series of Pacific Coastal cruises in June before setting sail for her new homeport of Honolulu. Following an inaugural celebration and a christening on July 4th, she will begin her regular seven-day, year-round Hawai'i cruise schedule. Visiting all four main islands and offering passengers up to 96 hours in port, Pride of Aloha features two overnight stays in Kaua'i and Maui while also making full day calls in Kona and Hilo on the Big Island of Hawai'i.

Pride of Aloha features NCL's signature Freestyle Cruising, offering a diverse choice of six restaurants, resort casual dress code and relaxed disembarkation. She also has 13 bars and lounges, two swimming pools, a spa and fitness center and conference facilities among its many amenities. In addition, the ship features a Hawaiian cultural center called the Kumu Cultural Center (Kumu is Hawaiian for source of learning). NCL America also offers spectacular shore excursions, including: Circle of Fire helicopter rides, NCL exclusive Hoku Nui Luau, Maui downhill bicycling, visits to the Polynesian Cultural Center, and Waimea Canyon trips.

The 77,000-ton Pride of Aloha is a 2,000-passenger ship built in 1999 as Norwegian Sky. The ship is projected to annually generate more than $275 million in expenditures, $199 million in direct and indirect wages and salaries, $42 million in federal tax revenues, and nearly 7,000 jobs. Once NCL America's plans are fully implemented, their U.S.-flag ships are expected to generate more than $828 million in U.S. economic activity and 20,400 jobs, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers study. For further information on NCL, agents in the U.S. and Canada may contact NCL at (800) 327-7030; visit NCL's website at

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Silversea Cruises Rolls Out Enticing
"Solo Traveler Savings" Incentives

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, June 8, 2004 -- Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises today rolled out special new reduced supplements that make traveling solo easier and more affordable. Recognizing that a growing number of men and women are traveling alone today, either by choice or necessity, the luxury cruise line is offering a special "Solo Traveler Savings" option on a limited number of suites on many 2004 and 2005 voyages. For a limited time, single supplements are available from just 110% to 125% of the published per-person, double-occupancy fare.

"These special rates make it easier for independent travelers to make vacation plans without having to worry about finding a travel companion to keep the costs down," said David Morris, Silversea's Senior Vice President, North America Sales. "What makes our new solo fares most attractive is Silversea's unrivaled all-inclusive value. We're combining exceptional savings opportunities for single travelers with our award-winning, all-inclusive shipboard environment - the most comprehensive in the industry - where all beverages are complimentary throughout the ship, including select wines, champagnes and spirits. Gratuities are also included." Added Morris, "With a crew-to-guest ratio that is almost one-to-one, our single guests also enjoy highly personalized service, warm hospitality, and an ambiance that makes them feel right at home. Also, on many voyages, Gentlemen Hosts will be on board, which is a real plus for single female guests looking for a dining companion or a dance partner."

Listed below is a small sampling of the 2004 and 2005 voyages featuring reduced single supplements of 110% and 125% of the published fares for Vista and Veranda Suites, respectively. The following best-available fares are offered for a limited time and may also include Advance Payment Bonus (APB) savings, which require full payment of the cruise six months prior to sailing. All of the voyages listed below feature Gentlemen Hosts:

Silver Wind's "In the Wake of Columbus" 14-day transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to Barbados, calling in Cadiz (Spain), Casablanca (Morocco), Canary Islands (Spain) and Cape Verde Islands; October 20 - November 3, 2004 (Voyage 2429). Best available cruise-only fares for single travelers start at $6,045.

Silver Shadow's "Mexico's Riviera" 10-day cruise from Costa Rica to San Diego, calling in Puerto Quetzal (Guatemala), Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta (Mexico); December 4 - 14, 2004 (Voyage 3434). Best available cruise-only fares for single travelers start at $5,275.

Silver Whisper's "Caribbean Reflections" 9-day cruise from Aruba to Ft. Lauderdale, calling in Grenada, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Bart's and Tortola; December 13 - 22, 2004 (Voyage 4437). Best available cruise-only fares for single travelers start at $3,663, including APB savings.

Silver Cloud's "From the Barrier Reef to Siam" 16-day cruise from Cairns, Australia to Bangkok, calling in Thursday Island (Australia), Darwin (Australia), Semarang (Indonesia) and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam); January 31 - February 16, 2005 (Voyage 1503). Best available cruise-only fares for single travelers start at $7,178, including APB savings.

Silver Whisper's "Caribbean Retreats" 7-day cruise from San Juan to San Juan, calling in Grenada, Bequia (The Grenadines), St. Lucia, Dominica and St. Bart's; February 24 - March 3, 2005 (Voyage 4508). Best available cruise-only fares for single travelers start at $2,952, including APB savings.

Silver Shadow's "Tangos and Sambas" 8-day cruise from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro, calling in Rio Grande, Porto Belo, and Santos (Sao Paulo); February 27 - March 7, 2005 (Voyage 3506). Best available cruise-only fares for single travelers start at $4,357, including APB savings.

For more detailed information on Silversea ships, pricing and worldwide itineraries, visit the line's Web site at

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Princess Suites Get Sweeter With New Amenities
New Extras for Suite Passengers Include Free Laundry and Internet Access, Expedited Embarkation

Passengers who choose to enjoy their Princess cruise from the luxury of its vessels' most exclusive accommodations will find even more value added to their experience as the line introduces new suite amenities. Now suite passengers can take advantage of complimentary internet access, dry cleaning, laundry and shoe polishing. On formal nights they'll receive a complimentary corsage and boutonniere to add some dash to their special attire. They can schedule a private portrait sitting with Princess' onboard photographers or enjoy afternoon tea served in the privacy of their own suite. In addition, suite passengers will enjoy expedited cruise embarkation and early disembarkation in all tender ports, with full privileges in the ship's Platinum disembarkation lounge. 

"These new extras will add an even more luxurious touch to our top-quality suite accommodations," said Rai Caluori, Princess' senior vice president of hotel operations. "Many people don't realize that Princess ships offer more suite accommodations than most luxury lines combined, and that our prices offer spacious suites at the price of a much smaller cabin on many luxury lines -- making Princess a great choice for a top-of-the-line vacation."

These new services and amenities join an array of special features already enjoyed by Princess' suite passengers. In their staterooms they'll find luxurious bathrobes and towels, and complimentary slippers. Exclusive toiletries, fresh flower arrangements, and complimentary fine liquors and soft drinks in the mini-bar are just some of the extras suite passengers enjoy on Princess ships. Deluxe canapés are delivered daily, and passengers can now choose their favorites from a variety of hors d'oeuvres. And they'll find that turndown service includes extra touches on formal evenings. 

Princess service is especially evident in suite accommodations. Passengers don't even need to worry about packing and unpacking, as they can request assistance from their dedicated suite steward. Reservations are a snap with preferred Anytime Dining reservations and personal shore excursion reservations. Guests can also choose from an extended room service menu, with extra options for breakfast and any of the day's dining room selections for lunch and dinner. 

Naturally, suite passengers also enjoy some of the finest accommodations at sea. Newer ships feature an array of special facilities from marbled bathrooms to hot tubs on the balcony. Many suites also include such luxurious features as fireplaces, dining rooms, wet bars and computer stations. 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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Popularity of Baltic Cruises Fueling Record Season for Stockholm

STOCKHOLM -- With Baltic cruises sailing full this summer, the Ports of Stockholm anticipate a record-breaking cruise season. An estimated 220,000 passengers on 219 international cruises and 17 turnaround calls are expected to visit Stockholm between May 12 and Sept. 27. Last year, the Ports of Stockholm had 214 calls carrying 202, 000 passengers, and 20 turnarounds that brought 23,000 cruise vacationers. Americans made up 32 percent of passengers (64,640) and a full 69 percent (15,870) of those were on turnaround cruises. 

"We believe Stockholm is an appealing cruise destination because of the mix of contemporary dynamic culture within a historic setting," said Maria Guggenberger, cruise marketing director for the Ports of Stockholm. "Also, the city is compact and user-friendly and Americans appreciate its attractions as both a port of call or for extended stays before or after their cruise."

This season, Stockholm welcomes two brand new ships, Holland America Line's Westerdam and Princess Cruises' Grand Princess. Additionally, Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas, Costa Cruises' Costa Atlantica, Windstar's Wind Surf, Mediterranean Shipping Cruises' Rhapsody, Phoenix Reisen's Albatros and Van Gogh chartered by Travel Scope are to make premier calls at Stockholm. They will join the other major cruise brands Royal Caribbean, Costa Cruises and Windstar in scheduling Stockholm as a port of call or turnaround port on their Baltic itineraries.

As a destination, Stockholm appeals to American traveler because most Swedes speak English, transportation between the city and the airport is convenient and inexpensive, the city itself is compact so the attractions are within walking distance, and it is safe, clean and boasts Michelin-rated restaurants as well as a grand shopping district. To learn more about Stockholm, log on to Stockholm Cruising Capital Network's redesigned Web site at

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Fascinating Itineraries & Shore Excursions Set For 
Points North on Windstar
Second cabin offered at significant savings

Seattle, WA, June 2, 2004 -- A fascinating summer season is fast approaching of sailing into St. Petersburg, Russia's magnificent harbor with sails unfurled, of touring the great capitals of Scandinavia, or stepping off of a magnificent luxury sailing yacht onto the shores once trod by Vikings and Czars. Guests may reserve cabins on voyages into the heart of northern Europe and the Baltic, with six sailings scheduled on Windstar Cruises' Wind Surf in June, July and August. Windstar is offering a second cabin to guests at $1,000 to $1,500 off "Sail and Save" rates for select Baltic sailings: June 20, 10-day Lisbon to London; June 30, 12-day London to Copenhagen; July 29, 13-day St. Petersburg to Copenhagen; Aug. 21, 12-day Copenhagen to London; Sept. 2, 10-day London to Lisbon. These rates are combinable with current coach and business class upgrade air offers. As an added bonus, currently booked passengers will receive a $500 shipboard credit upon booking a second cabin.

Highlighting the cruises are overnight visits to St. Petersburg and a host of exciting shore excursion options that allow guests to fully explore the magnificent museums, landscapes and historic palaces of czarist Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland and Sweden. Guests can choose between 10-, 12- and 13-day cruises, with rates beginning at $2,995 per person, double occupancy.

"The Baltic states beckon with some of the most exciting museums and historical sites in the world," says Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and sales for Windstar Cruises. "Combined with visits to the friendly ports of Scandinavia, we deliver an unforgettable experience for our guests who wish to explore this scenic and fascinating part of northern Europe."

Windstar's second consecutive summer in northern Europe begins on June 20th when the 308-passenger Wind Surf sails from Lisbon, Portugal to London (Dover), England. On June 30th, the ship departs London, England on an exciting sailing journey of 12 days in the North Sea. Wind Surf will make her entrance into the Scottish harbors of Leith (Edinburgh) and Invergordon; visit the fjordlands of Stavanger, Norway and the capital city of Oslo; cross to the continent for stops at Zeebrugge, Belgium and Amsterdam, Netherlands; and stop at Århus, Denmark before concluding its voyage in Copenhagen. The same itinerary is conducted in reverse on a 12-day voyage that departs Copenhagen on August 21st. 

On optional shore excursions for those voyages, passengers are invited to sample the single-malt whiskeys of Scotland, tour the birthplace of golf at St. Andrews, explore the mysterious Loch Ness and enjoy intensive guided tours of Amsterdam's museums, canals, and the famous Heineken brewery. 

Beginning on July 12th, the ship will undertake twin 10-day voyages that round-trip from Copenhagen, sandwiched around a 13-day voyage from St. Petersburg to Copenhagen that departs on July 29th. The ten-day trips call at the ports of Rostock, Germany; Ventspils, Latvia; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia for an extended, overnight visit; Helsinki, Finland and Ronne (Bornholm), Denmark before returning to Copenhagen. The 13-day journey begins with an overnight stay in the great Czarist capital city, and then makes its way to Vyborg, Russia; Helsinki and Tallinn; Mariehamn (Aland), Finland; overnights in downtown Stockholm, Sweden; continues on to the Gotland island of Visby; Ventspils; Klaipeda, Lithuania and Gdynia, Poland before arriving in Copenhagen.

Shore excursion options include a host of guided tours to the great Czarist sites of St. Petersburg, including the palaces of Catherine the Great and Peter the Great, the Amber Room and the magnificent Hermitage museum that houses hundreds of the world's art treasures. In Sweden, guests can enjoy a Nobel Prize-style banquet dinner, visit an Ice Bar or soar high over Stockholm on a Hot Air Balloon adventure. In Ventspils, Latvia, a "Back in the USSR" tour visits a former spy base that is complete with staff dressed in authentic Russian Army uniforms and playing the parts of Cold War military agents.

This is Windstar's final scheduled season in the Baltic. The Wind Surf will be redeployed to the Mediterranean in the summer of 2005.

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Cruise Vacation Offers Something for All the Family

NEW YORK, June 1 -- Recognizing the importance of "family time" and the need for consumers to make the most of their travel dollars, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member lines offers amenities and activities that make cruising the ideal family-friendly vacation. It's no wonder that nearly 1 million children sailed aboard CLIA ships last year.

"Cruises treat both kids and adults like VIPs," says Terry L. Dale, CLIA's president and CEO. "Because a cruise vacation has something for all ages, it is no surprise that multi-generational groups are one of the fastest-growing segments of the cruise market. The all-inclusive nature -- plus special children's pricing that may be available -- make a cruise a great value, particularly as rising gas prices increase the cost of road trips."

To ensure that Mom and Dad enjoy their vacation without worrying about the youngsters, the lines have developed activities tailored to the interests of each age group. Activities, including treasure hunts, crafts, movies and parties, are under the direction of highly trained counselors who ensure the children are in a safe and secure environment. Even teens find plenty to enjoy in their own "clubs." Plus, with more ships departing from ports within driving distance of many North Americans, cruising is more accessible.

Following is a sampling of family-friendly programs available from CLIA member-lines:

Carnival Cruise Lines' ships feature play areas with spin and sand art machines, video walls for movies and cartoons, and at least three swimming pools and a water slide. Dining options include children's menus and 24-hour pizza and ice cream. Babysitting services are available.

Celebrity Cruises' Family Cruising Program for four age groups is available during summer and seasonal sailing periods. Celebrity Science Journeys is a hands-on age-appropriate program that encourages children to learn about science and nature.

Costa Cruises' Costa Kids Club has scavenger hunts, Italian language lessons, "coketail" parties and karaoke. Costa Teens Club has activities for ages 15-17. Caribbean cruises offer "Parents Night(s) Out," where children are in supervised evening activities.

On Crystal Cruises' Crystal Harmony's 12-day Alaska cruises, children under 12 sail free when sharing the stateroom with two adults. The Junior Activities program on holiday and summer cruises offers a playroom, teen video arcade, games and activities. The line's Cotillion program teaches social skills.

Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 has facilities in three age groups. Children's Tea is served in the Kings Court. There is a children-only Minnows Splash Pool, Children's Disco, ball pool and Xboxes in the Zone and Play Zone.

On Disney Cruise Line, adults can enjoy an adults-only pool, nighttime entertainment district, a secluded beach with massage cabanas, and a specialty Italian restaurant. Children's programs in five age groups include a kids-only pool, teen club, and activities on Disney's private island.

Holland America Line is expanding Club HAL facilities on its entire fleet to match those on Vista ships; the project is set to be completed by 2006. Half Moon Cay, the line's private island, has new features including a waterpark area for kids and adults.

MSC Cruises caters to kids with its Mini-Club recreation facility and video arcade on MSC Lirica and MSC Opera. Babysitting service is available.

Norwegian Cruise Line's "Kid's Crew" program has expanded hours and a year-round program for children ages 2-5. Kids 2-17 enjoy a four-tiered lineup of supervised parties, scavenger hunts, wacky cooking classes, T-shirt painting and on-shore activities.

Princess Cruises offers interactive placemats with children's menu choices as well as interactive games and facts about the ship or destination. California Science Center and National Wildlife Federation programming are part of the kids' program.

Radisson Seven Seas Cruises' Club Mariner (6-17) is offered on more voyages, including summer cruises on Seven Seas Voyager in the Baltic, Seven Seas Mariner in Alaska and Seven Seas Navigator in Bermuda, and Caribbean holiday sailings on these ships and Radisson Diamond.

On Royal Caribbean International's Mariner of the Seas, youngsters have more options, including Challenger's Arcade, scavenger hunts, sport tournaments and art/science workshops. Teens have The Fuel nightclub; The Living Room hangout; and The Back Deck private deck.

"The best place to start planning a family vacation is at a CLIA-member travel agency," says Dale. "The staff will answer questions, help find the right cruise for you and make planning your cruise vacation a breeze." The more than 16,000 CLIA-member travel agencies in North America know the 19 CLIA-member cruise lines and CLIA's fleet of nearly 150 ships. To locate an agency staffed with Accredited Cruise Counsellors (ACCs), Master Cruise Counsellors (MCCs) and Elite Cruise Counsellors (ECCs) -- agents with extensive personal cruise experience and who have completed advanced levels of CLIA's training program -- visit CLIA's Web site,

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2004 'World's Best Service' Award Goes to Crystal Cruises

LOS ANGELES, June 1 -- In keeping with its reputation for excellence, Crystal Cruises has won Travel + Leisure magazine's eighth annual service poll for "World's Best Service" for cruise lines. Of the dozens of worldwide luxury hotels and resorts that placed highly in the magazine, Crystal's record score of 96.94 distinguishes the line as having the sixth highest hotel service in the world. Results of the survey are recorded in the June issue.

"Our mission has been to be the best in the luxury service industry and not just the cruise industry," says Gregg L. Michel, Crystal's president. "To be recognized by sophisticated travelers for service excellence is the highest praise to be awarded to any travel company and speaks to the consistency of the experience."

The basic tenet of Crystal's service philosophy is that serving fellow employees is given as much importance as serving guests. To maintain the highest services standards, Crystal Cruises makes a significant investment in staff recruitment and training. Through an intensive educational program, the ladies and gentlemen of Crystal Harmony, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity are taught to implement the Six-Star Crystal Basics, a multipoint credo that addresses attitude, communication, competence, style, safety, environment and execution. Staff members address guests by name from the time they are introduced and quickly identify and focus on their personal preferences. The line boasts a low staff turnover (just 9%) and a high staff-to-guest ratio of at least 1.70 to 1.

"From the faces you see to the faces you don't see, all are working together to exceed our guests' expectations and even surprise the most discerning travelers," adds Michel.

The 940-guest, 50,000-ton Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony, and the 1,080-guest, 68,000-ton Crystal Serenity are three of the most spacious and luxurious vessels cruising the world. In addition to service, the line continues to earn the highest accolades for its spa, entertainment, enrichment, cuisine and overall design from consumers, travel agents and respected critics. For additional information, contact a travel agent or call 866.446.6625. Visit the luxury line's website at

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Discovery Announces New Summer Rates

MIAMI, June 1 -- Discovery Cruise Line, the largest tour operator from South Florida to Grand Bahama Island, has just announced new rates following its recent off-season specials. Effectively immediately, the rate for adults traveling midweek (Monday- Thursday) is $99.99 per person, and the rate for weekends (Friday-Sunday) is only $129.99 per person. These rates are for same day, round-trip travel only and do not include an $18 per person Bahamas departure fee and fuel surcharge and a $10 security and U.S. Immigration User Fee. Rates for a minimum 3-day, 2-night stay begin at $149.99 per person, double occupancy, and Discovery offers accommodations at most of the hotels on island. Kids under 6 sail and stay free at all the resorts on island. The rate for kids from 6 to 11 years is still only $49 per person, and they also stay free at those resorts.

Discovery passengers enjoy lavish breakfast and lunch buffet meals on the cruise over and all the amenities of a traditional cruise. They depart early morning and arrive in the afternoon to enjoy the rest of the day in the Bahamas. On the day of return, they can enjoy a full morning and early afternoon on island before boarding for the return cruise, where they will be treated to a lavish buffet dinner; a Las-Vegas style casino; entertainment; shows; and more.

Discovery sails daily from Port Everglades to Grand Bahama Island, making it easy and convenient to go. Discovery has carried more than 3 million passengers on its cruises, making it one of the most popular vacation options today. Visit for details or call one of Discovery's vacation specialists at 1-800-SHIPS. Ship's registry Bahamas. Certain restrictions apply.
Delta Air Lines Launches SkyMiles Cruises

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Delta SkyMiles® program members now may earn miles when 
booking a cruise

ATLANTA, June 1 -- Delta Air Lines announced the launch of SkyMiles Cruises, a program that enables SkyMiles program members to earn up to 10,000 miles when booking a cruise online at or by calling 1-800-571-4965. The program offers cruise packages from the World's Leading Cruise Lines, including Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, The Yachts of Seabourn and Windstar Cruises.

"By establishing a mileage-earning partnership with many cruise lines, rather than one, we are offering our members more than 4,000 sailings to the most beautiful destinations in the world," said Christine Pierce, Delta's director of Partnership Marketing. "Whether they're looking for a relaxing vacation or an action-packed adventure, members can find the perfect cruise package through SkyMiles Cruises and earn thousands of miles."

To earn miles through SkyMiles Cruises, members must book a cruise at or call 1-800-571-4965. The program offers competitive rates, and the Web site allows members to search for cruise packages by preferred cruise line, destination or date ranges. The site was developed by OurVacationStore, Inc. (OVS), a market leader in technology innovation.

"Our focus is on delivering high-quality cruises at great rates to Delta's SkyMiles program members," said Ted Davault, president of OVS. "This collaboration is another step OVS has taken to deliver unique affinity marketing programs by offering travelers cruise vacation opportunities and rewarding them with frequent flyer miles."

Bonus mileage amounts vary among the cruise packages and cruise lines available through SkyMiles Cruises. Miles earned will post to the SkyMiles program member's account 4-6 weeks after the cruise is taken. To become a SkyMiles program member, visit All SkyMiles program rules apply.

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Seabourn's 2005-2006 Invitation: Chart a New Course
New Cruise Catalogue Features 134 cruises, 250 ports in 76 countries

MIAMI, June 1, 2004---Ultra luxury small-ship specialist Seabourn Cruise Line has published a new 108-page cruise catalogue entitled Chart a New Course, offering an intriguing array of 134 cruise vacations sailing in 2005 and early 2006 aboard the company's three all-suite Yachts of Seabourn. The intimate Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend will sail to 250 ports in 76 countries during the 16-month period, offering exceptional experiences in Asia and the Pacific, Europe, the Americas, India and Africa to their exclusive clientele of discerning travelers.

The richly textured cover, embossed, debossed and graced with gold foil accents, has a tactile feel and appearance more like a coffee-table book than a cruise catalogue. Two innovative double gatefold spreads make the catalogue easy to use for seasoned travel agents and novices alike. Located just inside the front cover, the first spread is a menu of all 134 cruises by departure date, complete with number of days, page number and published Early Booking Savings. Opening the second fold exposes a complete day-by-day calendar for each ship, showing every port of call and day at sea. The second double gatefold, entitled Welcome to our World, introduces the amazing variety of destinations available to Seabourn guests in 2005 and 2006. This gatefold spread leads to the individual cruise itineraries, which are easily located in sections color-coded for each geographic cruising region.

"We don't believe that beauty and brains are mutually exclusive," said Richard Meadows, Seabourn's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "So we wanted to create a book that could romance the essence of The Yachts of Seabourn for newcomers, and also provide a smart, efficient tool for agents who sell Seabourn day in and day out. The new catalogue and our completely retooled website complement each other perfectly," he continued. 

Flexibility, Value Highlighted
Seabourn's 2005 and 2006 itineraries have been created to allow travelers the luxury of flexibility. Cruises of seven to 18 days in length are scheduled from nearly 30 convenient ports of embarkation around the world. Most of these cruises can also be combined for longer voyages at increased savings. All cruises have a published Early Booking Savings offering guests up to 50 percent off the fare for booking well in advance of departure. These savings have no set expiration date, but the percentage of savings may be reduced or the savings eliminated as the cruise departure becomes more fully booked.

For combinations of two or more cruises totaling up to 17 days, guests earn an additional 10 percent Combo Savings in addition to the Early Booking Savings. Virtually all seven-day cruises in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Canada & New England can be booked in this way. Grand Voyages, which are combinations of cruises totaling 18 or more days, qualify for 50 percent savings off the brochure fares of the cruises in the combination. In the Mediterranean, combinations can be created for up to five weeks of cruising with different port content at these 50 percent Grand Voyage savings.

In addition, 38 of the cruises have been designated as Club Signature Value Sailings offering 50 percent savings to past guests of Seabourn or any member line of the World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance, including Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Costa Cruises and Windstar Cruises.

Seabourn's 2005-2006 cruise catalogue can be ordered from the company's website at, by contacting a travel agent or by calling Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391. The Yachts of Seabourn, the highest-rated cruise line by the readers of Departures magazine, provides the ultimate in ultra luxury cruise vacations to the most desirable destinations on earth. The Seabourn fleet comprises Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend. The Yachts of Seabourn is a brand of Carnival Corporation.

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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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