Make the most of your cruise vacation with 
information from

Discover the world of cruising

Get ready to cruise with Cruise Wear, Accessories, Luggage & More from
The Cruise Shop

 Cruising by the Book ~ Top Picks in 
Cruise Guidebooks

The favorite of serious cruise travelers:

 Cruise Travel
Cruise Travel

Have a question or a review to submit?

Copyright © 1995-2001 
Linda Coffman

News from the world of cruising ~
July 9-15, 2001

Back to Cruise News Weekly Index & Archive

Seabourn Goddesses Sold to Former Seabourn Owner Atle Brynestad 

MIAMI July 13, 2001 Former Seabourn Cruise Line owner, Norwegian industrialist Atle Brynestad, has purchased the two boutique cruise ships, Seabourn Goddess I and II, from Cunard Line Limited, operator of Seabourn Cruise Line. Brynestad, founder and original owner of Seabourn, a consistent award-winner under his chairmanship, will take delivery on September 1, 2001. Brynestad also previously served as Chairman of Cunard Line Limited and was a Carnival Corporation board member. Terms of the sale were not announced. 

Brynestad said he planned to continue to operate the two, 4,260-ton, 116 guest ships on their schedules as published by their previous owner, through the spring of 2002. The luxury super yachts will then undergo major refurbishment.

Several Brynestad associates who originally started Seabourn Cruise Line are expected to participate in the future of the two boutique vessels. The small twin cruisers were introduced in 1984 and 1985 as Sea Goddess I and II and are widely recognized as the prototypes of the intimate, ultra-luxury yachting experience. 

No further announcements from Brynestad will be made at this time.

Back to the top of the news list


Ultra Luxury Fleet Consolidated to Original Seabourn "Sisters."

Miami, July 13, 2001--Ultra-luxury cruise pioneer Seabourn Cruise Line today announced the sale of its 50-couple cruise ships Seabourn Goddess I & II to a Norwegian investment group. The contract for purchase has been completed, calling for the new owners to take delivery of the ships on August 31st, 2001.

Originally launched in 1984 and 1985 as Sea Goddess I & II, the 4,260-ton identical twins were later acquired by Cunard Line and came to Seabourn following the purchase of Cunard by Carnival Corporation. Their departure will return Seabourn's operating base to a uniform fleet of three identical yacht-like ships, consisting of the 100-couple, 10,000 ton Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend, which entered service in 1988, 1989 and 1996 respectively.

"The sale of Seabourn Goddess I & II completes a distillation of the Seabourn fleet back to the original Seabourn 'Sisters,' which are the yachts that put Seabourn at the top of the market," said Richard Meadows, Seabourn's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "There are no other intimate, all-suite ships like these in ultra-luxury cruising today, and with the product enhancements and added value features we are introducing, they will continue to secure Seabourn's place as the most exclusive and desirable cruise vacation available at any price."

The three Seabourn sisters recently received extensive refurbishments at a cost of $25 million, including addition of innovative French Balconies to 36 suites on each ship.

In addition to the balconies, all three ships were completely redecorated and the spa facilities, computer centers and other public areas were substantially upgraded.

Guests booked on cruises aboard Seabourn Goddess I or II departing on or after September 1st are being offered generous incentives to sail aboard one of Seabourn's other ships. In 2001 and 2002 Seabourn Goddess I & II had been deployed on itineraries of four to seven days in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, with a few seasonal ten-day positioning cruises between those regions. Anyone holding reservations on 2001 departures on Seabourn Goddess I or II may choose any other Seabourn cruise in the same sailing region up to 14 days in length (excluding holiday sailings) in 2001 at no additional fare. Likewise, guests booked in 2002 may exchange their shorter Seabourn Goddess I or II cruises for any Seabourn cruise up to 14 days in length sailing in the same region next year at no additional charge. Anyone holding reservations on a Seabourn Goddess Holiday cruise may choose to sail on the holiday cruise of Seabourn Pride, Legend or Sun at no additional charge. Air transportation arranged through Seabourn will be re-arranged at no additional cost. In addition, all guests who rebook with Seabourn will receive a $300 per suite shipboard credit.

Guests who prefer to simply cancel their current cruises will have their fares refunded. In addition, canceling guests will receive credits of $500 per person toward fares on future Seabourn cruises.

The yachts of Seabourn provide the ultimate in small-ship, ultra-luxury cruise vacations to the most desirable destinations on earth. The Seabourn fleet includes Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend. Seabourn Cruise Line is a member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance, which also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises and Windstar Cruises. Together, these member lines share a commitment to quality and value, offering cruise vacations that appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets and sail to some of the world's most exciting destinations.
SOURCE: Seabourn Cruise Line

Back to the top of the news list

Carnival Cruise Lines Donates $100,000 to American Red Cross for Tropical Storm Allison Relief Efforts

MIAMI, July 12 -- Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines has donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross for disaster relief efforts associated with Tropical Storm Allison, which has caused millions of dollars in property damage and affected more than 20,000 Texas families.

"Carnival is based in South Florida, an area that has experienced its share of severe tropical weather, so we well understand what Texas residents are going through and are hopeful this donation will help the American Red Cross provide much-needed assistance to the state's storm-ravaged communities,'' said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president. "With Carnival's continued growth in Galveston, carrying 100,000 passengers since inaugurating 'Fun Ship' cruising from that port last September and doubling capacity with the deployment of the Jubilee next summer, we're happy to support this vital relief effort,'' he added.

Carnival's $100,000 donation will bolster the American Red Cross' wide-ranging storm relief initiatives, which provide food, shelter, clothing and other essential items for thousands of Texas residents, many of whom have been left homeless as a result of the storm.

"This gift from Carnival Cruise Lines is a perfect example of corporate commitment to the communities it serves,'' said Maurice Levite, vice president, field operations for the American Red Cross. "By supporting Red Cross relief efforts, Carnival is playing a big part in helping its neighbors recover from this devastating storm,'' he added.

Carnival is the largest and most popular cruise line in the world, with 15 ships operating voyages ranging from three to 17 days in length to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, New England and the Canadian Maritimes from homeports throughout North America. SOURCE: Carnival Cruise Lines

Back to the top of the news list


MIAMI - July 12, 2001 - Celebrity Cruises today became the first cruise line to receive the International Standards Organization (ISO) 9002 certificate from Lloyd's Register for the cruise line's excellence in establishing a management system that ensures a high-quality cruise experience for guests. The ISO is an international organization that promotes the development of standardization to facilitate the international exchange of goods and services.

The certification was achieved through extensive and ongoing internal and external auditing of Celebrity's quality management system and its implementation of that system.  Celebrity's certification efforts began in July 1999.  In December 2000, Lloyd's Register, a leading international ship classification society, completed its assessment of the company's quality management system and recommended the issuance of Celebrity's certificate.  Today the certificate was presented to Rick Sasso, president of Celebrity Cruises.

"Our employees put tremendous amounts of time and effort into providing our guests with the best cruise experience possible," Sasso said.  "We can all be very proud of this certification, it is a great accomplishment.  It shows that the quality of the cruise experience on Celebrity is among the very best in the world."

The certificate was presented by Carlo Pacquee, Lloyd's Register vice president for Passenger Ships - Americas, in a brief ceremony at Celebrity's corporate offices in Miami.  Numerous employees who play key roles in implementing and overseeing the company's Quality Management Systems  attended the event.

The certification recognizes the efforts of Celebrity's shoreside management team and its shipboard deck, engine and hotel departments for their work to institutionalize and consistently deliver a high-quality cruise experience to their guests. The certification process looked at policies and procedures covering numerous areas of the company's operations and how it approaches each area in terms of planning, training, implementation, management, evaluation and modification.

The certification process involved audits of an entire spectrum of activities within Celebrity's shipboard and shoreside operations, from customer relations to purchasing and contract management.  Reviews were conducted in areas as diverse as embarkation and debarkation, entertainment, food and beverage, guest relations, housekeeping, marine and technical operations.

Routine verification visits will be conducted throughout the certification period to ensure the company's ongoing compliance with the ISO standards.

Celebrity previously received fleet-wide certifications for its Environmental Management System through compliance with the ISO 14001 standards.  Last year, Lloyd's Register presented Celebrity with Lloyd's first-ever Environmental Protection Certificates.

Celebrity Cruises is the highest-rated premium cruise line in the industry, with the youngest fleet of any major cruise line.  Summit is scheduled to enter service in October, and Constellation is scheduled to make its maiden voyage in 2002, bringing the Celebrity fleet to nine ships.  For more information, visit the Celebrity web site at 
SOURCE: Celebrity Cruises

Back to the top of the news list


For Fifth Time, Crystal Outscores 
All Other Large And Small Ship Cruise Lines

LOS ANGELES, July 12, 2001 - For the sixth consecutive year, luxury
cruise specialist Crystal Cruises has been named the "World's Best Large
Cruise Line" in Travel + Leisure's annual readers' survey.  Based on
travelers' evaluations of the 940-guest Crystal Harmony and Crystal
Symphony, Crystal Cruises not only tops the "World's Best Large Cruise Line" category but also outscores all other cruise lines, both large and small
ship, for the fifth time in the awards' six-year history.  The complete list
of awards will be published in the magazine's August 2001 issue.

For the "World's Best" awards, tens of thousands of Travel + Leisure
subscribers judged cruise lines on their cabins, food, service,
itineraries/destinations, entertainment and value to determine a winner.
While Crystal Cruises' overall score was higher than the scores of all other
large and small ship lines, it also ranked above all others in the
individual categories of service, food, cabins, and entertainment.  The
line's score for service, its highest-rated category, is nearly fifteen
points above the average for all other cruise lines.

According to Nancy Novogrod, editor in chief, Travel + Leisure,  "The readers of Travel + Leisure have agreed once again that Crystal Cruises sets the standard in luxury for large ships.  Crystal has shown that big ships can provide impeccable service; they've figured out how to recreate the luxury of the yacht experience on a larger scale.  For six years in a row, Crystal has dominated the field by receiving top scores for cabin, food, service, entertainment & activities."

"We know these awards don't come easy.  They're based on the tremendous efforts of Crystal Cruises' shoreside and shipboard team to create and deliver a vacation experience that exemplifies the highest standards of hospitality and one that discerning travelers consider the best.  Not only does this unprecedented number of awards attest to the consistency of our product, but each year--as the competition intensifies and our guests' expectations increase--the award is remarkable in itself as an outstanding measure of achievement," says Gregg L. Michel, president, Crystal Cruises. 

For the sixth annual readers' survey, a questionnaire developed by Travel +
Leisure in association with the research firm Harris Interactive/Yankelovich
Partners Inc., was sent to subscribers, asking their opinions of worldwide
resorts, hotels, spas, airlines, cities, islands, cruise lines, rental-car
companies, and tour organizers.

This latest honor reflects the stellar guest ratings for both Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony, as measured by Crystal Cruises' Quality Assurance Program which is designed to provide feedback on guest satisfaction and the success of staff training.  A key component of this appraisal is the evaluation/comment form that is completed by guests at the end of every cruise. This detailed questionnaire monitors every aspect of the hotel operation, from overall service to dining and entertainment, as well as meet-and-greet transfer services, shore excursions, gift shop, onboard hosts, concessions (spa, salon, photographer, Caesars Palace at Sea), medical facilities and tender service.  Every item on the form is rated for both friendliness and service, the hallmarks of the Crystal cruise experience.

Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony provide the ideal environment from which to explore the world in contemporary comfort and style.  The elegant 50,000-ton vessels feature private verandahs on more than half of their exquisitely-appointed staterooms.  They also boast expansive decks, a wide variety of lounges for award-winning entertainment and innovative onboard enrichment programs, including Computer with 24-hour e-mail and internet access, full-service fitness facility and salon and the only Caesars Palace at Sea casino.  Crystal pioneered the concept of alternative dining venues, offering intimate Italian and Asian restaurants, in addition to the Crystal Dining Room.  The line also boasts an alliance with the famed Valentino restaurants of Los Angeles and Las Vegas to offer signature selections prepared by Crystal's own Valentino-trained chefs in Prego, the ships' Italian specialty restaurant.

In 2002, Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony will embark on 55 sailings, from eight to 100 days, to worldwide ports in Europe, South America, Alaska, the Orient, Panama Canal/Caribbean, Mexico and sail the "Grand Circle Pacific" World Cruise round-trip from Los Angeles.  The line is constructing a third ship, scheduled for delivery in summer 2003. Crystal Cruises is booked exclusively through professional travel agents.  For a free brochure, please call 800.820.6663.  More information is available on Crystal Cruises' web site at Source: Crystal Cruises

Back to the top of the news list


Seattle, July 11, 2001 -- Holland America Line has launched a Seven Continents booking promotion targeting the premium line's longer 2002 cruise itineraries, which provide greater commission opportunities for travel agents. Groups registered by August 31, 2001, on select 2002 itineraries will receive from 46 to 60 percent off the cruise fares, an increased discount of 10 to 23 percent from standard group policies. Also, for each group and individual booking received by the same deadline, the travel agent will be entered into a drawing for one of seven free cruises. The special group rates apply to more than 50 cruise dates from among the worldwide itineraries that have defined Holland America Line as the leader in premium cruising. These are South America featuring Antarctica, Hawaii, Mexico, Panama Canal, 10- and 14-day Caribbean. 

"With these group rates, agents should find they have a great price point to attract more business for higher yielding transactions," said David Giersdorf, senior vice president of marketing and sales. "Holland America is the only major cruise line to visit all seven continents next year and operates more cruises in the 10-day or greater market than any other company. We know how to deliver the on-board environment, develop the proper in-depth itineraries and provide a ship designed for this premium experience with extensive shore excursions, enrichment programs, and fabulous pre- and post-extensions." 

Travel agents that make group or individual bookings by the deadline of August 31 will be entered into a drawing for one of seven free cruises. Plus, all group passengers deposited in outside cabins by October 30, 2001, will receive a bonus two category upgrade, excluding all Verandah and Suite categories. 

To help with promoting the group, travel agents also enjoy tour conductor policies of 1 complimentary berth per 15 passengers booked, direct mail postcards, and marketing assistance from Holland America's experienced sales force. Among the featured destinations travel agents should note that Holland America's South America Cruises have sold out early the past two seasons, according to Giersdorf. "With Antarctica as a bonus highlight on two January 2002 South America sailings, we expect similar results this year," said Giersdorf. SOURCE: Holland America Line

Back to the top of the news list


Seattle, July 11, 2001 -- Holland America Line's ms Westerdam will sail a full slate of 26 cruises in Alaska and the Caribbean before its transfer to Costa Cruise Lines effective March 10, 2002. A favorite among families and long-time Holland America alumni, the classic ship offers some of the best values in premium cruising today and still offers space on many sailings. "We will all miss the Westerdam, as will the million or more passengers who have sailed with her," said David Giersdorf, senior vice president. "As she sails her final season as a Holland America ship, travel agents have a grand opportunity to suggest one more memorable cruise aboard the Westerdam to all those highly satisfied past guests, their friends and families." 

The Westerdam currently plies the waters of Alaska's Inside passage on seven-day cruises from Vancouver, British Columbia. The itinerary features Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and a day of scenic cruising in Glacier Bay. Limited cabins are available for some sailings, with best availability on August 30 and September 13. Prices start at US$899 per person, double occupancy, including port charges. Heading south after its final Alaska season, the ship will transit the Panama Canal one last time on a charter cruise before beginning its popular five and eight-day Caribbean cruises in October. On five-day options, the ship departs Fort Lauderdale to visit Key West, Florida, and Nassau and Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. Prices start at US$479 per person, double occupancy, including port charges. 

Eight-day eastern Caribbean cruises also depart Fort Lauderdale and include stops at Nassau, Bahamas; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Half Moon Cay. Prices start at $639 per person, double occupancy, including port charges. As a crowning touch on its distinguished service in the Holland America Line fleet, the Westerdam sails March 2, 2002 on its final voyage, concluding in Fort Lauderdale eight days later on March 10. In 1988, the addition of the Westerdam represented the beginning of a new era of growth for Holland America Line through the 1990s. In 1989, the vessel underwent an $84 million renovation and refit during which it was "stretched" by a then-cruise industry record 130 feet, increasing its capacity to 1,494 and tonnage to 53,872. Since its first cruise under the Holland America banner in 1988, the Westerdam has sailed close to 600 voyages, carrying nearly a million satisfied guests. Today Holland America has a fleet of 10 cruise ships with six due by 2005.

Holland America's premium cruises feature spacious staterooms, superb dining, renowned service, casino, first-rate entertainment, duty-free on-board shops, internet centers, the Club HAL children's program, the "Passport to Fitness" activity program and complete fitness center, coupled with popular "tipping not required" and "cashless" ship policies.

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

Back to the top of the news list

Letter of Response from Celebrity Cruises V.P.,
Total Guest Satisfaction, Robert Keesler

Having exchanged a number of e-mails with Celebrity Cruises guests and others this week about a fee associated with use of the Thalassotherapy pools on our Millennium-class vessels, I invite you to read the response below, which we are sending to all guests who have contacted us about that issue. Thank you.

July 11, 2001

Dear Guests,

As has always been true of Celebrity Cruises, we place enormous value on the opinions of our guests and our travel agent partners. That feedback has helped us shape what is today the fastest-growing, highest-rated premium cruise line in the industry, and we're very proud of what we've achieved with your support and communication.

During the past week, your dialogue with us has been focused primarily on our decision to introduce a fee for use of the Thalassotherapy pools on our Millennium-class ships (currently, Millennium and Infinity). And your feedback has led us to conclude that our decision was wrong. We made a mistake. As a result, we are reversing that decision. Effective immediately, there will be no charge for use of the Thalassotherapy pools on our Millennium-class fleet of ships.

For those of you who haven’t personally experienced these pools: The Thalassotherapy pools were designed to be an integral part of Celebrity’s award-winning AquaSpa
(SM) environment. Unlike the typical public pool, Thalassotherapy pools are revitalizing, therapeutic pools, filled with heated sea water intended to help infuse the body with minerals. Celebrity’s Thalassotherapy pools include such features as massaging water jets, bubbling air beds, and even a reverse current for resistance swimming. Recognizing these pools as integral components of the AquaSpa(SM), in consultation with our longtime spa operator, Steiner Leisure Ltd., we mutually agreed at that time that there should be a fee for use of this therapeutic product.

Although the fee has been discontinued, we will continue to maintain the integrity of the AquaSpa
(SM) environment in which these pools are located, to ensure that our guests continue to enjoy the serene and relaxing atmosphere that is essential to a truly fulfilling spa experience.

We thank you for your continued communication and your loyalty.
SOURCE: Celebrity Cruises

Back to the top of the news list

Lili Marleen Joins Quasar Nautica’s Galapagos Fleet  

Quasar Nautica, owner and operator of upscale yachts in the Galapagos Islands for over 16 years, is pleased to announce the newest addition to its fleet, the Lili Marleen; a joint venture between Quasar Nautica and Peter Deilmann.  

In December 2001, Lili Marleen will begin to sail the waters of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, on year-round 8-day/7-night itineraries. This 250-foot long, three masted, barquentine motor/sail yacht has 25 well-appointed outside cabins in three categories. Accommodating 48 passengers, the Lili Marleen features air conditioning throughout, al fresco dining area, beautifully appointed lounge, private marble baths, sundeck, library, boutique and an infirmary. The vessel will be available for FIT as well as charter cruises. 

Eduardo Diez, President of Quasar Nautica, stated; “We are very excited with the addition of the Lili Marleen to our fleet; she is a unique vessel sailing in a unique destination. For her size, there is no other yacht with her style and character in the Galapagos Islands.”

The Lili Marleen joins the other vessels of the Quasar Nautica fleet; the 48-passenger expedition vessel Eclipse, the luxurious 16-passenger yachts Alta, Parranda and Lammer Law and the 12-passenger prestige yachts Diamante and Mistral. With the addition of the Lili Marleen, the 10-passenger Nortada and 8-passenger Rachel will be repositioned to Belize.

The Lili Marleen and Quasar Nautica make a perfect team in bringing the best of the Galapagos Islands to travelers. Quality and service have been the hallmark of Quasar Nautica’s long success; and the Lili Marleen continues this proud tradition.  

For more information see Quasar Nautica’s website, SOURCE: Quasar Nautica

Back to the top of the news list


MIAMI (07/11/01) - The naturalist program aboard the new 88,500-ton Carnival Spirit, featuring the cruise industry's only full-time shipboard marine biologists and Alaska wildlife specialists, is proving to be quite popular with guests sailing the pristine waters of the 49th state. 

According to Carnival President Bob Dickinson, the Carnival Spirit's naturalist program differs from other cruise lines' offerings as it features leading experts in their field whose only responsibility on board is to conduct lectures and point out the magnificent scenery and native marine, plant and animal life throughout the duration of the voyage.

"Our naturalist program, combined with Carnival Spirit's huge percentage of balconied staterooms and indoor and outdoor promenades, provides guests with a truly unique Alaska cruise vacation experience," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president.  "Guests enjoy myriad sightseeing opportunities with commentary by top wildlife and marine biologists, a feature typically associated with small tour boats, along with a spectacular array of dining, activity and entertainment options that only a large ship like the Carnival Spirit can provide," he added.

The naturalists are often on the Carnival Spirit's bridge, providing a birds-eye view for describing the passing scenery and pointing out wildlife such as moose, elk, caribou, orcas, sea lions, otters, dolphins, humpback whales and other creatures, and natural attractions such as glaciers, mountain ranges, ice fields, and fjords, over the ship's public address system.

Whenever possible, the naturalists will also advise the captain to decrease the ship's speed or even deviate the vessel's course to maximize  guests'  viewing opportunities. The naturalists carry beepers and are on call should shipboard personnel spot any flora or fauna that may be of interest to guests.  "As far as I know, Carnival is the only contemporary cruise operator to make this extra effort so that guests can fully enjoy Alaska's natural beauty and splendor," Dickinson said.

He added that the announcements are particularly beneficial to those guests in the Carnival Spirit's multitude of balconied staterooms, which provide a wonderful, private vantage point for viewing Alaska's magnificent beauty. When they're not pointing out Alaska's wildlife and natural attractions from the Carnival Spirit's bridge, the naturalists are often found on Lido deck, interacting with guests and answering questions about the region's unique animals, sea life and ports of call. The naturalists also host on-board lectures about Alaska's wildlife, marine mammals and glaciers, along with special "kids only" lectures that detail the region's spectacular beauty in a fun, informative way.  The lectures complement the wide range of fun, "Alaska-themed" activities, including whale watching and arts and crafts sessions, available in the top-rated "Camp Carnival" program.

The Carnival Spirit's 2001 Alaska season consists of seven-day Glacier Route voyages either northbound from Vancouver or southbound from Seward/Anchorage through Sept. 5. Cruises in both directions feature Prince William Sound, College Fjord, Lynn Canal, Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and the Inside Passage.  Southbound cruises also visit Valdez, Yakutat Bay and Hubbard Glacier while northbound cruises feature a stop at Sitka. Two Glacier Bay cruises will also depart round-trip from Vancouver Sept. 12 and 19 and  feature full  days cruising  Glacier  Bay National  Park  and the Inside Passage, as well as visits to Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan.

Following its Alaska cruises, Carnival Spirit will operate two 12-day Hawaii cruises Sept. 26 and Oct. 8 and a 14-day Panama Canal cruise from San Diego to Miami Oct. 20.  From Miami, the ship will launch an innovative eight-day "exotic" Caribbean program beginning Nov. 3. For additional information, brochures or reservations, contact any travel agent or call 1-800-CARNIVAL. Information and reservations are also available via the line's Web site at  Source: Carnival Cruise Lines

Back to the top of the news list


Premium Cruise Line Introduces New Ships, New Ports of Call in Legendary

MIAMI - July 10, 2001 - Celebrity Cruises will offer travelers an even
broader array of vacation options in Europe next year, when the line
deploys three vessels in that historic region.  Celebrity's Millennium,
Mercury and Constellation will sail to both classic and non-traditional
Mediterranean and Northern Europe locales in 2002, while also introducing
Celebrity's first cruises to the British Isles and Norwegian Fjords.

"As the Celebrity fleet expands, so does our series of exceptional itineraries, along with the incredible variety within those itineraries," said Celebrity Cruises President Rick Sasso.  "In 2002, we'll celebrate our fourth fabulous year in Europe, where we know our guests appreciate the extraordinary history and culture of the traditional favorite ports of call, but where a growing number of travelers also want to experience more unusual destinations."

Bookings are open for Celebrity's entire 2002 season in Europe, which
includes such new ports of call as Cobh (for Cork), Ireland; Geiranger and
Hellesylt, Norway; Tenerife, Canary Islands, and Ceuta, Spanish Morocco.

Celebrity's newest ship in 2002, Constellation, the fourth in the line's Millennium-class, will sail a variety of seven- to 11-night sailings in the Eastern and Western Mediterranean from Rome and Barcelona, with prices starting at $1099, per person, double occupancy.

Millennium's 2002 European season will consist of 12-night open-jaw sailings between Barcelona and Istanbul beginning May 12 and ending October 15. Fares begin at $1899, per person, double occupancy.

Mercury's 2002 European season will include a variety of 10- and 11-night voyages in both the Mediterranean and Northern Europe from April 14 through October 18.  Rates begin at $1399, per person, double occupancy.

Celebrity Constellation 2002 Europe Itineraries
Celebrity's 1,950-guest Constellation will embark on a series of 10-night Western Mediterranean sailings roundtrip from Civitavecchia (for Rome) on June 7 and 28, July 19 and August 9, 2002, calling on Livorno (for Florence and Pisa) and Naples, Italy; Valletta, Malta; Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain, and Marseille and Villefranche (for Monte Carlo and Nice), France.

On August 30, 2002, Constellation embarks on a nine-night Western Mediterranean cruise from Rome, with ports of call in Livorno (for Florence/Pisa), Naples, Valletta, Palma de Mallorca, Villefranche (for Monaco/Nice) and Marseille, concluding in Barcelona. 

Constellation will sail a series of seven-night Mediterranean cruises departing Barcelona on Sundays, September 8 through October 13, 2002. Ports of call include Villefranche; Ajaccio, Corsica; Civitavecchia (for Rome) and Naples, and Valletta, Malta.

On October 20, 2002, Constellation sails a 14-night transatlantic voyage from Barcelona, with ports of call in Malaga, Spain; Gibraltar, UK; Funchal, Madeira; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., and Nassau, Bahamas, concluding in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Celebrity Millennium 2002 Europe Itineraries
The 1,950-guest Millennium will embark on a 14-night transatlantic cruise from Fort Lauderdale on April 21, 2002, with ports of call in King's Wharf, Bermuda; Funchal, Madeira; Lisbon, Portugal; Gibraltar, UK; Malaga, Spain,
and concluding in Barcelona, Spain.

Millennium presents a 12-night "Classical Mediterranean" cruise from Barcelona to Istanbul, Turkey, on May 12, June 5 and 29, July 23, August 16, September 9, and October 3, 2002.  Ports of call include Villefranche (for Monaco and Nice), France; Civitavecchia (for Rome), Naples and Venice, Italy; Katakolon and Piraeus (for Athens), Greece, and Kusadasi, Turkey.

Millennium sails a series of 12-night "Mediterranean Legacies" cruises from Istanbul to Barcelona on May 24, June 17, July 11, August 4 and 28, September 21, and October 15, 2002.  The cruise begins with an overnight stay in Istanbul, followed by ports of call in Kusadasi, Piraeus (for Athens), Katakolon, Naples, Civitavecchia (for Rome), Villefranche (for Monaco and Nice), and including an overnight stay in Venice.

Millennium returns to the United States on a 14-night transatlantic voyage departing Barcelona on October 27, 2002, with ports of call in Gibraltar, UK; Funchal, Madeira; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., and concluding in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where the ship will begin its 2002 Caribbean season.

Celebrity Mercury 2002 Europe Itineraries
Celebrity's 1,870-guest Mercury begins its 2002 European season with a 14-night transatlantic crossing from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Lisbon, Portugal, departing Rio on March 31.  Ports of call include Salvador and Recife, Brazil; Tenerife, Canary Islands, and Funchal, Madeira. 

On April 14, Mercury presents a 10-night Western Mediterranean cruise from Lisbon, with ports of call in Ceuta, Spanish Morocco; Malaga, Spain; Ajaccio, Corsica; Naples, Civitavecchia (for Rome) and Livorno (for Florence and Pisa), Italy; Villefranche (for Monaco and Nice), France, and concluding in Barcelona, Spain.

Mercury sails a 12-night "Best of Europe" cruise on April 24, from Barcelona to Copenhagen, Denmark, with ports of call in Lisbon, Portugal; Vigo, Spain; Le Havre (for Paris), France; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Hamburg, Germany; Oslo, Norway, and Aarhus, Denmark.

Three 11-night, round-trip Northern Europe and Scandinavia cruises from Copenhagen will be offered onboard Mercury on May 6 and 27, and August 5, 2002, with ports of call in Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; Tallinn, Estonia; Gdynia (for Gdansk), Poland; Rostock (for Berlin), Germany, and an overnight stay in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Mercury sets sail on a series of six 10-night Northern Europe and Scandinavia cruises roundtrip from Copenhagen on May 17, June 7 and 28, July 26, August 16, and September 6, 2002.  Ports of call include Stockholm, Helsinki, Gdynia (for Gdansk), Rostock (for Berlin), and an overnight stay in St. Petersburg. 

On June 17 and August 26, 2002, Mercury presents two new, 11-night itineraries, roundtrip from Copenhagen, combining the British Isles and Norwegian Fjords.  Ports of call include Le Havre (for Paris); Southampton, England; Cobh (for Cork) and Dublin, Ireland; Greenock (for Glasgow), Scotland, and Geiranger, Hellesylt, and Bergen, Norway.

Mercury sails an 11-night cruise from Copenhagen to Stockholm on July 8, 2002, with ports of call in Oslo, Aarhus, Rostock (for Berlin), Gdynia (for Gdansk), Tallinn, Helsinki, and including overnight stays in both Stockholm and St. Petersburg.

On September 16, 2002, Mercury departs Copenhagen on an 11-night "Best of Europe" itinerary, with ports of call in Amsterdam; Zeebrugge (for Brussels), Belgium; Dover, England; Le Havre (for Paris); Gibraltar; Malaga, and concluding in Barcelona.

Mercury's two 10-night cruises roundtrip from Barcelona set sail on September 27 and October 18, 2002, with ports of call in Villefranche (for Monaco and Nice); Livorno (for Florence and Pisa); Civitavecchia (for Rome); Santorini, Greece; Kusadasi (for Ephesus), and Piraeus (for Athens). 

On October 7, 2002, Mercury departs round-trip from Barcelona on an 11-night Western Mediterranean cruise, with ports of call in Villefranche (for Monaco and Nice); Livorno (for Florence and Pisa); Civitavecchia (for Rome); Santorini; Kusadasi (for Ephesus); Piraeus (for Athens), and Naples. 

Mercury sails an 11-night Western Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona to Lisbon on October 28, with ports of call in Villefranche (for Monaco and Nice); Livorno (for Florence and Pisa); Civitavecchia (for Rome); Naples; Ajaccio; Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and Ceuta, Spanish Morocco.

Mercury concludes its 2002 European season with a 14-night transatlantic voyage from Lisbon, Portugal, on November 15, with ports of call in Funchal; Tenerife, Canary Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Nassau, Bahamas, and concluding in Miami, Florida, where the vessel becomes the second Celebrity ship (after Horizon) to offer Caribbean sailings from the cruise capitol of the world.

Celebrity Cruises is the highest-rated premium cruise line in the industry, with the youngest fleet of any major cruise line.  Summit enters service in October, and Constellation will make its maiden voyage in 2002, bringing the Celebrity fleet to nine ships.  For more information, visit the Celebrity web site at 
SOURCE: Celebrity Cruises

Back to the top of the news list

Costa Welcomes Its Eighth Ship, The CostaTropicale 

HOLLYWOOD, Fla., July 10 - Costa, Europe's #1 cruise line, christened its eighth ship, the CostaTropicale, at the Stazione Marittima, on the Ponte Andrea Doria pier in Genoa, Italy. The CostaTropicale is the first of five ships that will enter service for Costa over the next three years. 

Originally a member of the Carnival Cruise Line fleet, the CostaTropicale was transferred to Costa Cruise Lines this past February. Since then, the vessel has been in the Mariotti shipyard in Genoa, Italy, where it has undergone a $25-million refurbishment which included the complete updating of all public areas, from floor to ceiling, in addition to completely new staterooms. Also included in the renovation was the widening of some decks, the addition of a new pizzeria and restaurant, as well as the replacement of the ship's funnel with Costa's signature yellow smokestack.

Appropriately chosen for the traditional dedication was the ship's original godmother, Madeleine Arison, wife of Carnival Corporation Chairman and CEO Micky Arison. The celebration then continued with a show titled "Tropicalia,'' created and directed by Valerio Festi, followed by a spectacular fireworks display. 

The new CostaTropicale is 36,000 grt, 600 ft. long and 100 ft. wide with a cruising speed of 20 knots. There are 511 staterooms (including twelve suites) and eleven passenger decks to accommodate 1,022 guests (double occupancy). She is dedicated to the music, rhythms and ambience of the tropics, resulting in an atmosphere rich in style and color. Onboard, guests will enjoy the Habana Casino, Miami Ballroom, Casablanca Bar and the Tropicana Showroom. The ship also has 3 swimming pools (one dedicated to children), an Internet cafe, a children's room, a Technogym fitness center/spa and Costa's third specialty restaurant, the Brazilian-themed Club Bahia (service charge applies). 

After a series of inaugural events, the ship will enter service on July 14 as part of Costa's Best Value Collection. She will sail every Saturday through November offering 7-night sailings from Venice visiting the Eastern Mediterranean ports of Bari, Italy; Katakolon, Santorini & Mykonos, Greece; Kusadasi, Turkey and Dubrovnik, Croatia. 

Following the CostaTropicale, Costa has four more ships scheduled to enter service in the next 3 years: the 54,000-ton CostaEuropa, formerly Holland America Line's Westerdam, in 2002; the 86,000-ton CostaMediterranea, sister ship to the CostaAtlantica in summer 2003; and two 105,000-ton ships, the CostaFortuna and CostaMagica, in late 2003 and 2004. Following the delivery of the CostaMagica, the fleet will have grown to 12 ships with a total capacity of more than 19,000. 

Costa has an international fleet that spans the globe offering cruises of 7 nights and longer throughout the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America, and Transatlantic. Costa Cruises is a member of the exclusive World's Leading Cruise Lines alliance. SOURCE: Costa Cruises

Back to the top of the news list

Travel + Leisure Announces the World's Best Awards 2001

New York City Voted Best City in North America Florence Wins World's Best City Overall

July 2001 - Nancy Novogrod, Editor in Chief of Travel + Leisure magazine, is pleased to announce the winners of the sixth annual World's Best Awards. The results, featured on page 115 of the August issue, represent the best hotels, cities, islands, tour operators, airlines, car-rental agencies, cruise lines, and spas, as selected by the magazine's readers in the annual survey. As an added benefit, T+L editors have compiled vacation planning guides to the top-rated cities and islands. For easy reference, the World's Best Address Book on page 175 provides essential contact information.

Nancy Novogrod says, " 'America rules' could be the slogan for our sixth annual World's Best Awards survey. Our readers cast their votes overwhelmingly for North American brands - Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt, Fairmont, Marriott, Rosewood, Starwood, Wyndham, Hilton. In fact, more than half the properties in the top 100 hotels worldwide are outposts of those companies. Even more dazzling is that eight of the world's top 10 this year - compared with four last year - are in the United States. This boosterism acknowledges the high standards for hospitality, comfort, and service that have been set in North America and carried abroad."

The World's Best Hotel overall is FOUR SEASONS RESORT BALI AT JIMBARAN BAY. The RITZ-CARLTON, CHICAGO, A FOUR SEASONS HOTEL was selected as the Best Hotel in the Continental U.S. and Canada. HOTEL GRITTI PALACE in Venice has been named the World's Best Small Hotel (hotels with 100 rooms or fewer).

This year's results for Best Cities are groundbreaking. For the first time, FLORENCE ranks #1 in the world, followed by Rome and Paris. NEW YORK CITY ranks #1 in the U.S., beating San Francisco, which has held that spot for the past five years.

The highest-ranking cities in each region are: SYDNEY (Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific); FLORENCE (Europe); HONG KONG (Asia); JERUSALEM (Africa and the Middle East); and BUENOS AIRES (Mexico and Central and South America). For the first time, NEW YORK is the Best City in the U.S. and Canada, followed by San Francisco (last year's winner), Chicago, Washington D.C., and Montreal. In addition, Travel + Leisure editors created a fun and helpful guide that highlights the sights, culture, food, people, shopping, and value quotient in each of the winning cities.

The World's Best Tour Operator and Safari Outfitter is ABERCROMBIE & KENT. The Best Spa in the United States is CANYON RANCH HEALTH RESORT, Tucson. Abroad, the Best Spa is CLINIQUE LA PRAIRIE, in Switzerland. For hotel spas, RITZ-CARLTON, NAPLES, FLORIDA is first in the U.S., and THE ORIENTAL, BANGKOK ranks #1 abroad.

How do you get to the World's Best places? By the World's Best in transportation:

CRYSTAL CRUISES: Best Large Cruise Line
ALASKA AIRLINES: Best Domestic Airline
SINGAPORE AIRLINES: Best Foreign Airline
HERTZ continues to be the Car Rental agency of choice.

The winners of this year's World's Best Awards will be honored at a presentation ceremony on Thursday, July 26th at Gracie Mansion in New York City, the World's Best City in the U.S.

In October, Travel + Leisure Family magazine will announce the World's Best Family Vacations. A list of all the World's Best Winners will be available on the Web site located at

Methodology: A questionnaire developed by the editors of Travel + Leisure, in association with Harris Interactive/Yankelovich Partners Inc., was sent in the winter of 2001 to tens of thousands of subscribers, asking their opinions of hotels, spas and hotel spas, cities, islands, airlines, cruise lines, rental-car companies, and tour operators. All responses were returned to, and kept confidential by, Harris Interactive/Yankelovich Partners. SOURCE: Travel + Leisure

Back to the top of the news list

Orient Lines named "Best" Experience & Value

Orient Lines is pleased to announce that they have been distinguished as the "Best Cultural Cruise Experience" by Porthole magazine for the second year in a row. This joins a long list of awards. For example, both Condé Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure magazines rank us among the world's "Top Ten" cruise lines. AOL's Cruise Critic has voted us "Best in Exotic Cruising" and also "Best European Cruise Experience." And members of the prestigious World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society have designated Orient Lines "Best Cruise Value" - for the past six years in a row! Now's the perfect chance to discover their award-winning style of cruising at special savings.

The following special offers are available on a limited, first-come, first-served basis. Call your travel professional or 1.800.333.7300 for more details. You can also find the itineraries more fully described by visiting

Grand Amazon
Join this glorious fall voyage aboard the Marco Polo to exciting ports on both sides of the Atlantic. This 31-day CruiseTour sails from Moorish Spain to exotic Casablanca and Tangier. Discover the sun-drenched Canary and remote Cape Verde islands. Call at the Caribbean gems of Martinique, Barbados, St. Lucia, and Grenada. From haunting Devil's Island, sail 1,000 miles up the Amazon River to a world of jungle waterways and colorful wildlife and bring a companion for FREE!
Venetian Odyssey
Trace Marco Polo's historic path from Northern Italy to the Greek Isles and Istanbul on this 11-day odyssey which includes 2 hotel nights and sightseeing in Istanbul. Take a romantic gondola ride. Visit walled medieval towns untouched by centuries. Cruise the Aegean to whitewashed Greek isles. Bargain for treasures at the Grand Bazaar. Departing the US on October 9, 2001, cruise-tour prices start at $1795 per person and airfare starts at just $99 roundtrip.
Spain, France, & Italy
Departing the US on October 29th, stay one night in a first hotel in Barcelona, sail the magical Mediterranean on 5-day luxury cruise, and then enjoy two hotel nights in Rome. Includes sightseeing Barcelona and Rome, all transfers and baggage handling and these fantastic prices...
Best available inside stateroom: FROM $1695 including air!
Best available oceanview stateroom: FROM $1895 including air!
Best available deluxe oceanview: FROM $2095 including air!
Quote promo code NCLGTD to reserve your stateroom.
Latitude members, please remember to give your Latitude number when booking to receive a special shipboard credit. All prices quoted are in US dollars and apply only to vacations commencing in the US.
Source: Orient Lines

Back to the top of the news list

Carnival Adds Two 'Rusty Wallace Cruises' For 2002

MIAMI, July 9 -- Following the highly successful debut of the first "Rusty Wallace Cruise" aboard the 2,052-passenger "Fun Ship" Fascination last month, Carnival Cruise Lines has announced that the NASCAR Winston Cup champion will host two additional "racing-themed" voyages in spring and fall 2002.

The 2002 "Rusty Wallace Cruise" schedule includes a four-day western Caribbean sailing aboard the 2,052-passenger Imagination departing May 9, and a seven-day eastern Caribbean voyage aboard the 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph departing Dec. 7. Another "Rusty Wallace Cruise" departing Dec. 9, 2001, aboard the 2,052-passenger Sensation from Tampa is nearly sold out.

"Consumer response to these cruises has been simply incredible and we're delighted to work with Rusty Wallace in offering racing enthusiasts two more opportunities to sail on these popular 'racing-themed' voyages next year," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president.

On the voyages, participants have the opportunity to interact with Wallace during a "Get Acquainted with Rusty" cocktail reception, as well as during exclusive question and answer and autograph sessions. "Racing-themed" contests and raffles awarding a variety of prizes and memorabilia, including complimentary race passes and authentic racing shirts, along with an opportunity to serve as an honorary member of Wallace's pit crew for an upcoming race, will be held, as well.

Those who are among the first 100 guests to reserve a cabin will also receive a "goodie bag" containing an assortment of racing logo items and merchandise.

Rusty Wallace is one of the most recognizable names in racing, with 54 NASCAR Winston Cup wins in his legendary 28-year career. Wallace is among the top five money-winners in the sport's history, with career earnings of more than $24 million, including at least $200,000 during each of the past 14 seasons and a career-best $3.6 million last year. The current record holder with wins in each of the past 15 consecutive seasons, Wallace's 35 career pole positions and his 517 consecutive races rank eighth and third, respectively, among modern drivers.

In addition to a wide range of on-board "racing-themed" events, participants can enjoy Carnival's signature "Fun Ship" amenities, including a diversity of dining and activity options, as well as entertainment choices ranging from intimate piano bars and jazz clubs to pulsating dance clubs and dazzling Las Vegas-style revues.

Participants also enjoy Carnival's Total Choice Dining(SM), cruising's most comprehensive dining program offering the widest variety of full-service and casual options in cruising. In addition to formal restaurants offering elaborate, multi-course meals, Carnival's "Fun Ships" offer casual poolside eateries with full breakfast and lunch buffets, a Seaview Bistro alternative dinner time service and a 24-hour pizzeria and self-service ice cream and frozen yogurt stations.

Other highlights include expansive spa facilities with the latest workout equipment and soothing body and facial treatments, on-board duty-free shopping malls, full casino gambling, multiple swimming options, and "Camp Carnival," the industry's leading children's program with fun, supervised activities for kids in four age groups.

Prices for the four-day Imagination voyage, which departs Miami May 9, 2002, and includes stops at Key West and Playa del Carmen/Cozumel, begin at $499 per person. Rates for the seven-day Carnival Triumph voyage, which departs Miami Dec. 7, 2002 and calls at San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Croix, start at $699 per person.

Reservations for the "Rusty Wallace Cruises" can be obtained through any travel agent or by calling 1-800-CARNIVAL. Participants must reference fare code CPRW when making a reservation to be eligible for the invitation-only events taking place on these voyages. Information on Carnival's "Fun Ship" cruises can also be obtained on line at

Membership information for the Rusty Wallace Fan Club and details on the upcoming "racing-themed" voyages is available through or by visiting Wallace's souvenir trailers on race days. SOURCE: Carnival Cruise Lines

Back to the top of the news list