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News from the world of cruising ~
July 23-31, 2001

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MIAMI (07/31/01) - Carnival Cruise Lines' 102,000-ton Carnival Triumph will operate a series of special two- to seven-day sailings from four eastern U.S. ports - Charleston, S.C., Norfolk, Va., New York and Miami - in 2002. 

According to Carnival President Bob Dickinson, the sailings are part of the line's efforts at diversifying its cruise offerings by providing guests with a greater variety of "Fun Ship" departures from ports closer to home.

"Today's consumers are busier and more budget conscious than ever and  these Carnival Triumph voyages provide residents of the eastern U.S. with a relaxing, convenient and affordable cruise vacation option - departing right from their own backyards," he said.

Bermuda and Bahamas Cruises from Charleston From Charleston
The Carnival Triumph will operate a six-day Bermuda cruise departing May 29, 2002, and a five-day Bahamas voyage departing Oct. 27, 2002.   Prices for the six-day Bermuda cruise, which will dock at King's Wharf, begin at $999 per person, while rates for the five-day Bahamas cruise, featuring a visit to Nassau, start at $599 per person.

Bermuda and Bahamas Voyages, Cruises-to-Nowhere from Norfolk 
The Carnival Triumph will operate two seven-day Bermuda cruises departing Norfolk June 5 and 12, 2002, a six-day Bahamas cruise departing Oct. 6, 2002, and a pair of two-day cruises-to-nowhere departing Oct. 12 and 24, 2002. Prices for the seven-day Bermuda voyages, which dock at King's Wharf, begin at $1,199 per person, while the six-day Bahamas voyage calling at Nassau are available starting at $799 per person.  The two-day cruises-to-nowhere are available starting at $299 per person (price includes gratuities).

Two-Day Cruises-to-Nowhere from New York

From New York, the Carnival Triumph will operate a pair of two-day cruises-to-nowhere departing June 20 and June 22, 2002.  Prices for these voyages begin at $349 per person (rate includes gratuities). 

Special Memorial Day Bahamas Cruise from Miami
The Carnival Triumph will operate a special three-day sailing from Miami over Memorial Day weekend departing Saturday, May 25, 2002, and returning Tuesday, May 28, 2002.  The voyage, which will feature an overnight stay in Nassau, is available beginning at $499 per person. 

Among the largest cruise ships in the world, the 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph offers a variety of signature "Fun Ship" amenities and facilities, including 18 "themed" bars and lounges whose dramatic interiors are inspired by some of the world's most famous cities. Venues include the New Orleans-inspired Big Easy piano bar, the elegant multi-level Rome Lounge, and the refined Oxford Bar, modeled after a cozy British sitting room. 

The ship also features a 15,000-square-foot "Nautica Spa," a duty-free shopping mall, full casino gambling, an Internet café, and a 2,400-square-foot children's play area - part of the line's top-rated "Camp Carnival" program. Four swimming pools - one featuring a 214-foot-long water slide and another a retractable dome in the event of inclement weather - are included, as well. 

As part of Carnival's Total Choice Dining(SM), cruising's most comprehensive dining program offering the widest variety of formal and casual options at sea, the Carnival Triumph houses the two-level London and Paris formal restaurants and the  two-deck-high poolside eatery South Beach Club.  This casual eatery offers full breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets, extensive salad and dessert bars, a New York-style deli, a 24-hour pizzeria, and Asian and American specialty areas. Other dining options include a patisserie serving specialty coffees and sweets, and complimentary 24-hour room service and self-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt. 

Of the ship's 1,379 staterooms, 60 percent offer an ocean view with 60 percent of those featuring private balconies. Carnival is currently accepting reservations on all of the Carnival Triumph's eastern U.S. departures for 2002. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom are also available. Round-trip air transportation from a variety of North American gateways can be purchased in combination with the five-, six- and seven-day sailings from Charleston and Norfolk. All Carnival Triumph sailings can be purchased through Carnival's new "Fun Finance Plan (SM)," which enables consumers to fund a "Fun Ship" cruise vacation via fixed monthly payments over 24 months. Sample prices range from $16 per month for the Carnival Triumph's two-day cruises-to-nowhere to $56 per month for the ship's seven-day Bermuda sailings. 

For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent or call 1-800-CARNIVAL. Information and reservations are also available on-line at SOURCE: Carnival Cruise Line

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LONG BEACH, CA (07/30/01) - Carnival Corporation broke ground today on a new cruise ship terminal and docking facility adjacent to the Queen Mary attraction and hotel in Long Beach. The $40 million project, which is scheduled for completion in early 2003, will result in the first cruise ships to be homeported year-round at the Port of Long Beach.

"The Long Beach Cruise Terminal at the Queen Mary" includes a single cruise berth capable of handling vessels with a draft of up to 28 feet and a length of up to 1,000 feet, parking garage able to accommodate approximately 1,250 vehicles, and an embarkation/debarkation facility to be constructed within a section of the existing Geodesic Dome, which formerly housed the Spruce Goose museum and attraction.

The project is the result of an agreement between Carnival Corporation and Queen's Seaport Development, Inc., which holds a long-term sub-lease on the Queen Mary and surrounding property.

Two ships operated by Carnival Cruise Lines, the largest of Carnival Corp.'s six cruise brands, will be based at the new facility - the 2,052-passenger sister ships Elation and Ecstasy, which are both currently operating from the Port of Los Angeles. The Elation sails every Sunday on seven-day cruises to the Mexican Riviera and the Ecstasy offers three-day cruises departing Fridays to Ensenada and four-day cruises departing Mondays to Catalina and Ensenada.

Carnival Corporation will manage and operate the new facility which may eventually be utilized by other vessels within the corporation's brands.

Embarking and debarking passengers will have the option of exploring the Queen Mary attraction and various dining, shopping and entertainment venues on board and in the surrounding area, as well as stay in one of the historic vessel's 365 restored staterooms, prior to or following their cruise vacation. Other nearby attractions include the Aquarium of the Pacific, Shoreline Village and Rainbow Harbor.

"We are extremely enthused about the new Long Beach cruise ship facility because it will offer an ideal experience for our guests, enabling them to arrive and depart at their convenience and have a wide variety of activity and entertainment options within easy access before and after their cruise," said Bob Dickinson, president of Carnival Cruise Lines.

"This groundbreaking represents a natural next step in our partnership with Carnival Corp. We have been working together in every stage of planning, and are very proud of the results so far and what this means for the future of Long Beach. We anticipate more than 500,000 annual departures and arrivals," said Joseph Prevratil, president and CEO of Queen's Seaport Development, Inc.

Carnival will offer pre- and post-cruise package options encompassing area hotels for guests who want to come in prior to their cruise departure or remain in the area afterwards.

"We anticipate a very positive economic impact to the Long Beach community based on our cruise operations, including guest and crew spending in the area," Dickinson added.

Carnival Corporation is comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, the world's largest cruise line based on passengers carried.

Queen's Seaport Development, Inc., headed by President & CEO Joseph F. Prevratil, holds the long-term lease to operate and develop the Queen Mary and surrounding 45 acres. The Queen Mary boasts a 365-room hotel and three restaurants. While at the Queen Mary, guests can visit the Russian, Foxtrot-class submarine, code name: "Scorpion," experience the "Ghosts & Legends of the Queen Mary" show, and through September 30th, "The World of Reggae featuring Bob Marley" exhibit. A behind-the-scenes guided tour of the Queen Mary or the new World War II Guided Tour is also available. For additional information, call (562) 435-3511 or visit
SOURCE: Carnival Cruise Line

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Renaissance Cruises Announces Nearly Four-Fold Expansion of US and Canadian Air Gateways 

Enhanced Air/Sea Program Simplifies Booking for Travel Agents and Guests 

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, July 30, 2001 - Renaissance Cruises has announced today a significantly enhanced air/sea program that will greatly expand its air gateways from a current offering of 28 airports to over 100 throughout the United States and Canada. 

“Convenience for our guests and travel agency partners is a priority for us,” said Jim Henwood, Renaissance Cruises’ Vice President of Sales. “Thanks to these new gateways, Renaissance Cruises’ guests will find it even easier to depart from and return to their hometowns.  The expanded air/sea program will make it simpler for travel agents and customers to take full advantage of our award winning cruises.” 

The Company’s new air/sea program is initially being offered on select destinations and will eventually include all itineraries offered by Renaissance Cruises.  Guests are encouraged to check with Renaissance Cruises or their professional travel agent for gateway availability and pricing on particular cruise vacations.  

“The expansion of the air/sea program is a very positive step towards realizing Renaissance Cruises' goal of becoming the pre-eminent leader in cruise vacations.  These enhancements to the air/sea program reflect the many recommendations and requests made by the agency community and our guests over the past few months,” added Henwood. 

Renaissance Cruises distinguishes itself from other cruise lines with its extraordinary destinations and Five Star service, on the youngest fleet in the cruise industry. For two consecutive years, the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine have named Renaissance Cruises one of the top three large cruise lines in the world. The Company's R-Class ships have also received top marks in CruiseReports’ annual "Top of the Class" rankings. Renaissance Cruises offers year-round itineraries to the Greek Isles, Tahiti and her Islands, Africa, Asia, Northern Europe and Scandinavia, South America, New Zealand and Australia, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean on eight brand new 684/698-passenger R-Class ships and two 114-passenger Renaissance-Class ships. The recent launch of the latest R-Class ship, R8, brings Renaissance Cruises’ total capacity to 5,742 berths and secures the company's place as the fifth largest cruise line company in the world. For further information about Renaissance Cruises, please visit our web site at  

To book a Renaissance Cruises’ vacation, travelers should see their Professional Travel Agent or call 1-800-525-5350. Source: Renaissance Cruises

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MIAMI (07/27/01) - Carnival Cruise Lines' new 88,500-ton Carnival Spirit will operate two special Mexico cruises round-trip from San Diego in October 2002 - a six-day Baja California voyage departing Oct. 19 and an eight-day Mexican Riviera voyage departing Oct. 25.

The special one-time voyages follow the Carnival Spirit's 2002 Alaska and Hawaii sailings which will operate from May through October 2002. "These two departures from San Diego offer consumers an opportunity to experience some of Mexico's most exciting resort destinations and quaint coastal towns, while the Carnival Spirit, with its huge percentage of oceanview and balconied staterooms and indoor and outdoor promenades, provides an exceptional environment for scenic cruising," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president.

The six-day Baja voyage will sail from San Diego Oct. 19, 2002, and call at Cabo San Lucas, one of Mexico's most popular resort destinations whose gorgeous white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters attract sun worshippers and watersport enthusiasts the world over; and La Paz, Baja California's historic capital featuring a variety of centuries-old landmarks and sightseeing destinations.

The eight-day Acapulco cruise will depart San Diego Oct. 25, 2002, and feature ports typically offered only on longer length voyages. Stops include Acapulco, famous for its outstanding beaches and death-defying cliff divers; Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, offering miles of magnificent beaches and a diversity of shopping, sightseeing and sportfishing opportunities; and Manzanillo, a quiet fishing village known for its stunning coastline, excellent white-sand beaches, and perpetually laid-back atmosphere. The first in a new series of "Fun Ships," the 2,124-passenger Carnival Spirit offers a variety of innovative amenities and facilities, including a reservations-only supper club serving prime aged beef, along with stone crab claws from Miami Beach's legendary Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant, the line's first wedding chapel and a spectacular wrap-around outdoor promenade.

Other features include four swimming pools, a 13,700-square-foot health spa, an expansive children's play area, part of the line's top-rated "Camp Carnival" program, an on-board duty-free shopping mall, 16 bars, lounges and nightspots, and an Internet café. 

In addition to the supper club, Carnival Spirit houses a two-level formal dining room, the Empire Restaurant, and a two-deck-high casual eatery, La Playa Grille, featuring full breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets, extensive salad and dessert bars, Asian and American specialty areas, a New York-style deli and a 24-hour pizzeria. Other dining options include a patisserie serving specialty coffees and sweets and 24-hour stateroom service and self-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt. 

Additionally, 80 percent of the ship's 1,062 staterooms offer an ocean view with 80 percent of those featuring private balconies. Prices for the six-day Baja California voyage begin at $649 per person, while the eight-day Mexican Riviera sailing is available starting at $799 per person. If purchased via Carnival's new "Fun Finance Plan(SM)," the six-day cruise is available starting at $30 per month and $56 per month for the seven-day voyage (based on a 24-month payment term at the lowest annual percentage rate available). Actual monthly payment and terms may vary according to the applicant's credit qualifications. Valid for U.S. individual bookings only;  certain other restrictions apply. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom, along with round-trip air transportation from a variety of North American gateways, are also available. 

Carnival is currently accepting reservations on both of the Carnival Spirit's special 2002 Mexico voyages from San Diego. Additional information and reservations can be obtained by contacting any travel agent, calling 1-800-CARNIVAL or visiting SOURCE: Carnival Cruise Line

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There's a Renaissance in the Caribbean

It's the Caribbean as you've never experienced it.  New adventures, no crowds. Sun-splashed days, secluded hideaways.  Hospitality without the hassles. Come sail with us on one of our new Caribbean Adventures.

Now, we've made it even easier to experience your next Caribbean Adventure aboard an R-Class vessel.  You can cruise from only $699 per person on the January 4, 2002 Aruba to Barbados 7-day sailing!  That's a great itinerary at a great price... Isn't that more your style?

Uncover the natural beauty that lies nestled between the warm turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Tropical gardens?powdery white-sand beaches?dramatic landscapes?and azure inlets.  It's all yours and so much more during your memorable Caribbean escapade.  Experience the Caribbean in a way you never have before; take an Off-Road Adventure in Aruba; explore beautiful Bonaire while kayaking in Kralendijk; roam through a photographer's dream during a Rain Forest & Gardens Safari in Basseterre, St. Kitts; or enjoy a Calypso party in Martinique. Contact your travel agent today. SOURCE: Renaissance Cruises

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United States Lines Distributes All-New 'Magazine Style' Hawaii Brochure For 2002-2003

Groundbreaking Design Captures the Spirit
 of The Brand & Destination

MIAMI, July 26 -- United States Lines, a subsidiary of American Classic Voyages Co., announced today that its all-new 2002-2003 Hawaii brochure is now available.

Designed to promote the line's weeklong cruises offered year-round aboard the Patriot, the new brochure contains in-depth destination features and has an innovative "magazine style'' cover and inside format that is unlike anything in the travel industry. The entire first half of the 50-page brochure focuses exclusively on the five ports of call on the ship's itinerary: Honolulu, Oahu; Nawiliwili, Kauai; Kahului, Maui; and both Hilo and Kona on The Big Island of Hawaii.

According to Maria Isabel Molina, the line's vice president of marketing, the destination emphasis of the new brochure mirrors United States Lines' cruise product, which features more time ashore in Hawaii than any other weeklong Hawaii cruise, nearly three times as much as competing lines, including overnight stays on Kauai and Maui.

"From kayaking through a rainforest to viewing the world's most active volcano from the seat of a helicopter, Hawaii offers an incredible array of things for passengers to see and do,'' said Molina. "Our new brochure highlights the major sights on each island, all of which are more accessible to our passengers because of the Patriot's extended stays in port.''

Each destination layout in the brochure is four pages long and includes an island introduction, general facts, a map, destination photos, island trivia presented in a tickertape format, the "island at a glance'' and a detailed list of the more than 80 island adventures that passengers can choose from during their cruise.

"Because the information in this Hawaii brochure is both comprehensive and fun to read, it easily could double as a 'travel guidebook' for our passengers,'' said Molina.

In 2002, the 1,212-passenger Patriot will continue to offer a whopping 87 hours ashore with the following seven-night itinerary throughout the Hawaiian Islands:

          Day        Ports of Call   Arrive  Depart

          Sat           Honolulu, Oahu      --          9:15 pm
          Sun           Nawiliwili, Kauai       4:00 pm overnight
          Mon           Nawiliwili, Kauai       --              5:00 pm
          Tues          Kahului, Maui           7:30 am overnight
          Wed           Kahului, Maui           --              5:30 pm
          Thurs         Hilo, Hawaii            7:30 am 5:30 pm
          Fri           Kona, Hawaii    7:30 am 5:30 pm
          Sat           Honolulu, Oahu  7:30 am

In addition to showcasing the Patriot's public rooms, on-board activities, dining and entertainment, the new brochure provides information about upcoming theme cruises, pre- and post-cruise vacation extensions and premium gift options. Due to increasing popularity, there is also an enhanced section on the line's wedding packages.

The new brochure also simplifies choosing a cabin aboard the Patriot, thanks to a redesigned fold-out deck plan complete with photographs and descriptions of all stateroom categories. The line's three-tiered pricing--value, peak and holiday--is enhanced in 2002 with a new early booking discount program which offers passengers that book six months in advance a choice of savings: airfare as low as $95 roundtrip from the West Coast, or $300 off the cruise fare.

For a complimentary copy of United States Lines' new 2002-2003 brochure, contact your travel agent, or call toll-free 888-404-5524. Brochures can also be ordered online at

United States Lines, which operates the U.S.-flag Patriot year-round from Honolulu on seven-night cruises visiting ports on Kauai, Maui and both Hilo and Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, offers a vacation with a relaxed resort- style Hawaiian ambiance and nearly triple the amount of time ashore as other lines offering week-long Hawaii cruises, including overnight stays in Kauai and Maui. Two additional 1,900-passenger U.S.-flag ships are under construction for scheduled delivery in 2003 and 2004. United States Lines is a subsidiary of American Classic Voyages Co., the world's largest U.S.-flag cruise company with a fleet of seven U.S.-crewed vessels. For more information, visit SOURCE: American Classic Voyages Co.

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Experience a Mediterranean Autumn Odyssey & Discover Ancient Empires Aboard the Seven Seas Navigator

Experience an Autumn Odyssey in the Mediterranean.  The crowds have gone and it is the perfect time to enjoy beautiful, slightly crisp days discovering delightful cities and their ancient monuments, wonderful museums and charming towns - all from the comfort and serenity of the exquisite  490-guest, all-suite Seven Seas Navigator.  Embark on a voyage across time as she wends her way across the Mediterranean from Nice to Alexandria, gateway to Egypt's treasures, and back to Barcelona, a city founded by the original Mediterranean seafarers - the Phoenicians.

We're looking forward to welcoming you aboard Seven Seas Navigator during her awe-inspiring voyages around the Mediterranean and we hope you can join us on either the October or the November voyages.  As always, it will give us great pleasure to renew old acquaintances and meet new friends as we visit these ancient and fascinating ports together.

Nice to Alexandria  October 13, 2001
Fares from $3,295 per person

Alexandria to Barcelona  November 11, 2001
Fares from $2,995 per person

· These fares reflect a special $1,000 BONUS SAVINGS per guest
· ROUNDTRIP BUSINESS CLASS AIR UPGRADE of $1,995 per guest in addition to the Economy Class air add-ons
· Enjoy EARLY BOOKING SAVINGS of $300 to $1,000  per person, which have been extended to sailing date and are reflected in these special fares
· IMMEDIATE DEPOSIT REWARD - BOOK AND DEPOSIT with a credit card on the same day and receive a $200 shipboard   credit ($100 per person)
· Seven Seas Society Members SAVE AN ADDITIONAL 10%
· Sail with Radisson Seven Seas Cruises President Mark Conroy

For in-depth information on these cruises, visit our web site at  Our Cruise Planner section can help you plan your next trip and our Special Offers section will keep you updated with all of the latest promotions.

Contact your travel professional for reservations or call (800)285-1835 for more information.  We'd love to welcome you aboard the Seven Seas Navigator this Autumn in the Mediterranean.

Business Class upgrade is limited and applies to long-haul international flights only. Some restrictions may apply. 
Source: Radisson Seven Seas Cruises

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MIAMI (07/26/01) - When a new restaurant opens with fantastic food, impeccable service and low prices with spectacular surroundings to match, the inevitable has to happen - an increase in price to keep pace with demand.

Such is the case with the Carnival Spirit's Nouveau Supper Club, an upscale "steakhouse-style" restaurant whose reservations fee was recently increased to $20 per person. According to Carnival President Bob Dickinson, since the Carnival Spirit's debut April 29, response to the supper club has been outstanding, as each week nearly 700 guests enjoy the restaurant's diverse, wide-ranging cuisine, which includes a choice of nine different starters and salads, prime aged beef and stone crab claws from Miami Beach's legendary Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant - the first time the delicacies have been featured on a cruise ship menu.

"We expected that our guests would appreciate an upscale alternative restaurant offering an opportunity to dine when and with whom they please and our instincts proved correct, as response to the Nouveau Supper Club has exceeded even our wildest expectations," said Dickinson.  "At $20, which includes gratuity, a meal in the Nouveau Supper Club is still a tremendous value, given the restaurant's unmatched combination of high quality cuisine, top-notch service and distinctive decor," he added.

Dickinson noted that reservations for the supper club often fill up rather quickly and recommends that guests reserve their spot early to ensure an opportunity to enjoy this unforgettable dining experience.

Natko Nincevic, Carnival's senior vice president of hotel operations, added that while guests enjoy the supper club's understated elegance and attentive, leisurely paced service, the quality of the cuisine is what really sets the restaurant apart.  "Obviously,  we have a huge hit on our hands.  Our team of chefs and wait staff have created one of the cruise industry's finest restaurants, offering a tantalizing array of steaks, seafood, side dishes, appetizers and desserts, all of which are enjoyed in an environment that is as memorable as the food itself," he said.

In addition to serving upwards of 300 pounds of stone crab claws per week, the supper club's hand-cut USDA prime steaks, including the 18-ounce porterhouse, 14-ounce New York strip and nine-ounce filet mignon, are equally popular.  Steaks, which are cooked to guests' exact specifications, are complemented by traditional side dishes such as creamed spinach, golden skillet potatoes and sautéed mushrooms.  Other popular entrees, according to Nincevic, include Grilled Lamb Chops, Broiled South African Lobster Tail with Citrus Butter and Whole Dover Sole Meuniere. Many guests begin their meal with mouth-watering appetizers such as New England Crab Cakes, Baked Onion Soup "Les Halles," or Marinated Maple Leaf Duck Breast, while favorite desserts include the classic Trio of Crème Brulee and Tarte Tatin, a warm apple tart served with homemade truffle ice cream. 

An extensive wine list, hand-selected by Carnival's chefs to match the diverse cuisine, along with a variety of aged cognacs, ports and other after-dinner drinks, are available, as well. Meals are enjoyed in intimate, spacious surroundings of the two-level restaurant, which is located at the top of a soaring nine-deck-high atrium and housed under a red-tinted glass dome that forms the forward portion of the ship's funnel. 

Evocative of the classic dining venues of yesteryear, the supper club offers a dramatic décor inspired by Brussels' magnificent Hotel Tassel - often cited as one of the finest examples of art nouveau design - along with nightly entertainment, and a dance floor.  Versace china, crystal stemware and leather-bound menus add to the refined atmosphere. The Nouveau Supper Club is just one of several dining options available aboard the 88,500-ton Carnival Spirit, which also houses a two-level formal dining room, the Empire Restaurant, and a casual poolside eatery, La Playa Grille, featuring Asian and American specialty areas, a New York-style deli, and a 24-hour pizzeria.  Complimentary 24-hour room service and self-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt stations are also available.

All of these options comprise Carnival's Total Choice Dining(SM), cruising's most comprehensive dining program offering the widest variety of formal and casual options at sea. 

The 2,124-passenger Carnival Spirit will operate seven-day Alaska cruises through Sept. 19 followed by two 12-day Hawaii cruises departing Sept. 26 and Oct. 8, and a 14-day Panama Canal cruise sailing from San Diego to Miami Oct. 20. From Miami, the ship will operate an innovative eight-day "exotic" Caribbean program beginning Nov. 3. For additional information, brochures and reservations, contact any travel agent or call 1-800-CARNIVAL. Information and reservations are also available on-line at Source: Carnival Cruise Line

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P&O Princess Cruises PLC Results for the Second Quarter 
Ended 30 June 2001

LONDON--July 26, 2001--P&O Princess Cruises

Key points for the quarter

  • Earnings per share/ADS of 12.9c/$0.52, an increase of 7% over Q2 2000
  • Pre-tax profit increased by 6% before a one-off relocation cost of $7 million
  • Passenger cruise days increased by 6%, including 19% growth in Europe and Australia
  • Like-for-like net revenue yields 3% lower than Q2 2000, as forecast in our previous trading update
  • Unit cost reductions of 5%, giving an average reduction for the year to date of 3%, ahead of our annual 2% target
  • Successful introduction of Golden Princess and launch of a new premium destination brand, A'ROSA, in Germany

Outlook for the remainder of 2001

  • Pricing environment remains competitive in North America, whilst trading conditions for our businesses in Europe and Australia remain positive
  • Pace of bookings in line with 2000
  • Overall like-for-like yield reduction for the year forecast at 3%
  • Continued focus on cost efficiency
  • Our expectations for 2001 full year earnings remain within the range of current market forecasts

Peter Ratcliffe, Chief Executive Officer of P&O Princess Cruises, commented: "We are pleased to report increased earnings per share this quarter, notwithstanding lower yields due to the competitive trading conditions in North America, and the absorption of one-off relocation costs. We successfully grew the business, increasing passenger carryings by 6%, reduced our unit costs, and benefited from a lower tax rate. We see this pattern continuing, and expect that cost reductions and the lower tax rate will allow us to achieve increased earnings for the year as a whole, despite the lower yields in North America.

We continue to make progress across the business towards our strategic objectives. Golden Princess had a highly successful introduction to the fleet in May. Pacific Princess, for which we have entered into a contract for sale, will leave the fleet in 2002. With this and the other planned changes we are making, we believe that we will have one of the most competitive fleets in the industry in terms of both revenue generation and cost structure. We have just launched our new premium brand, A'ROSA, in the German market. We have taken further steps to reduce our overall cost structure, including the recent announcement of our plan to consolidate the management of the P&O Cruises division into Southampton.

Whilst the industry is likely to continue to see competitive pricing conditions as it absorbs the current new build programs of the major operators, we are confident that our strategic moves and cost efficiency program will enable us to compete effectively both in North America and internationally. The prospects for growth remain strong and P&O Princess Cruises, with our leading positions in three of the world's largest vacation markets, is well placed to exploit that growth, delivering superior returns to shareholders as we do so."

Analyst presentation
We are holding a simultaneous conference call and presentation for analysts at 2.00pm BST. An audio webcast of the presentation will be available on our website at

About P&O Princess Cruises plc
P&O Princess Cruises plc is one of the largest international cruise companies with some of the strongest cruising brand names: Princess Cruises in North America; P&O Cruises in the UK and in Australia; AIDA and A'ROSA in Germany and Swan Hellenic also in the UK. It is a leading provider of cruises to Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, the Panama Canal and other Exotic destinations. The current complement of 18 ships offering 27,370 berths is set to grow in the next three years with 8 new ships on order.

P&O Princess Cruises has approximately 19,000 employees worldwide and in 2000 generated revenue of over $2 billion ((pound)1.4 billion). Headquartered in London, P&O Princess Cruises' ordinary shares are quoted on the London Stock Exchange and as ADSs on the New York Stock Exchange (under the symbol ``POC'').

Statements in this report on financials relating to matters that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performances or achievements of P&O Princess Cruises to be materially different from any future results, performances or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include general economic and business conditions, changes in cruise industry capacity and competition, changes in tax and other laws and regulations affecting P&O Princess Cruises and other factors, which are described in further detail in P&O Princess Cruises' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the UK Listing Authority.

Commentary on second quarter results
Passenger cruise days in the quarter were 6% higher than in the same quarter in 2000. In North America, Princess' passenger cruise days were largely unchanged with the introduction of Golden Princess part way through the quarter offsetting the effect of the transfer of Pacific Sky (formerly Sky Princess) to Australia. For Europe and Australia, passenger cruise days grew by 19% due to the inclusion of Aurora (introduced part way through the second quarter of 2000) for the full quarter for P&O Cruises in the UK and the expansion in Australia through the replacement of Fair Princess with the larger Pacific Sky.

As forecast at the time of our last quarterly results, net revenue yields, including on board revenue, were 3% lower on a like-for-like basis than for the second quarter in 2000. This reduction was attributable principally to Princess which experienced competitive trading conditions, particularly in the Alaska trade where this year has seen a significant increase in capacity for the industry. Gross revenues for the quarter increased by 1%, reflecting the increase in passenger carryings, the lower net revenue yields and adverse exchange rates.

Underlying unit costs, after eliminating the effect of currency movements, were around 5% lower than in the second quarter of 2000. Unit cost savings were achieved in both operating costs and overheads. Included in costs is a $7 million charge relating to the costs of relocating the offices of both Princess in Los Angeles, and P&O Cruises in the UK. In the latter case we have recently announced that we will be consolidating the management of the UK division in Southampton, closing our office in London. This follows on from the transfer of the customer service centre to Southampton which we previously announced. These two office relocations in the UK and the US will reduce our cost structure, and put us in a position to grow without significantly increasing premises costs, further reducing unit costs.

Operating profit for the quarter was $111.2 million against $108.3 million last year. We recorded a loss of $1.9 million in respect of the disposal of Pacific Princess, for which we have recently entered into a contract for sale. She will be chartered back until she leaves the fleet in November 2002. Interest costs increased due to the increase in borrowings following delivery of Golden Princess. The tax rate was 5%, against 13% last year, with deferred tax no longer being provided on the profits of P&O Cruises in the UK due to the planned entry into the tonnage tax regime. After interest, tax and minority interests, profits were $89.0 million against $82.4 million in the second quarter of 2000. Earnings per share/ADS were 12.9c/$0.52 compared with 12.1c/$0.48 for 2000.

The dividend for the quarter will be 3.0c per share, payable on 17 September 2001 to shareholders on the register on 17 August 2001. Unless they have elected otherwise, ordinary shareholders will receive their dividend in sterling, converted at the exchange rate on 31 August 2001. Elections to receive dividends in US dollars must be made by 23 August 2001. Holders of ADSs will receive their dividend of $0.12 per ADS in US dollars.

Commentary on results for the year to date
In the first half of 2001, passenger cruise days increased by 9% over those in the first half of 2000. Within this, Princess' passenger cruise days were largely unchanged with the introduction of Golden Princess in May 2001 offsetting the effect of the transfer of Sky Princess to Australia. Europe and Australia grew by 32% due to the inclusion of Aurora (introduced in April 2000) for P&O Cruises in the UK for the full half year, the acquisition of Seetours in April 2000 which added Arkona to the German business, and the expansion in Australia, with the larger vessel Pacific Sky replacing Fair Princess.

Net revenue yields, including on board revenue, were 4% lower than for the first half of 2000. Underlying unit costs, after eliminating the effect of currency movements, were 3% lower with continuing savings in operations costs and overheads.

Operating profit for the first half was $143.9 million against $168.4 million in 2000. Princess' operating profits decreased to $111.2 million due to lower net revenue yields and with the comparison affected by the Millennium benefit in 2000, offset by continued unit cost reductions. Europe and Australia's operating profits decreased to $32.7 million with increasing profits in the UK and Australian operations offset by the inclusion of the first quarter seasonal loss from Seetours (acquired in April 2000), the UK relocation costs charge and adverse exchange rate movements. The interest charge increased following the delivery of Golden Princess and the tax rate was 5% against 13% in 2000. After interest, tax and minority interests, profits were $107.0 million against $127.1 million in the first half of 2000. Earnings per share/ADS were 15.4c/$0.62 compared with 18.6c/$0.74 for 2000.

2001 outlook
Bookings for Princess in the last three months have maintained a good pace, but with pricing remaining lower than for 2000, particularly for cruises in the Alaskan trade. The overall tone of business for our operations in the UK, Germany and Australia remains positive.

Cruises for the third quarter are almost fully booked and we anticipate that the Group's net revenue yields for this quarter will be around 4% lower, on a like-for-like basis, compared with the third quarter of 2000. For the year as a whole, on the basis of current trends, we anticipate a reduction in Group net revenue yields on a like-for-like basis of 3%.

We are achieving lower costs across various areas of the business, ahead of our 2% target reduction for the year, and the results for the second half of 2001 will benefit from this. Our expectation for full year 2001 earnings per share is unchanged and remains within the range of current market forecasts.

Business developments
During the quarter we renegotiated the options we have with Chantiers for two new ships. The options can now be exercised at any time up to July 2002 and are for later deliveries, in the 2005/2006 period. We will continue to monitor demand for all our products with a view to balancing our future capacity increases with demand.

We have recently entered into a contract for the sale of Pacific Princess. She is being chartered back until she leaves the fleet in November 2002. With Arkona and Victoria already scheduled to leave the fleet next year, we have now disposed of all our pre-1984 built ships.

This latest change is a further step in making Princess' fleet one of the most competitive in the North American industry. Next year Star Princess, the first mega-ship in the industry to be positioned on the west coast, and Coral Princess, the first of our innovative new design ships from Chantiers, will join the fleet. Crown Princess and Ocean Princess will move to Germany and the UK respectively. These changes will enhance the overall earning power of Princess' fleet, in terms of both ticket and on board revenue. For example, over the course of 2002 the proportion of cabins with balconies in the Princess fleet will increase from 39% to 48%. They will also improve the cost structure of the fleet, with the average vessel size increasing by 13% to over 2,000 berths.

With significant increases in capacity expected for the industry as a whole next year, we anticipate a continuation of the competitive pricing conditions for the industry in North America. Nevertheless, we expect to be in a good position to counter this as a result of the improvements in the fleet's earning power and Princess' increase in capacity being limited to around 10% for 2002. Economic conditions will be a factor but with anticipated further progress on our cost reduction program, we believe we are well positioned to compete effectively in North America.

At the same time as limiting our North America capacity growth, the transfer of ships to the UK and Germany enables us to reinforce our position in the fast growing European cruise industry. As a further step in this process, last week we launched our new premium, destination oriented product for the German cruise sector, A'ROSA. Operated as part of Seetours, our existing German business, and alongside our highly successful AIDA club product, A'ROSA will be aimed exclusively at the German-speaking market. A'ROSA will offer relaxing vacations with an emphasis on ``wellness'' together with a wide range of dining and entertainment choices.

The A'ROSA fleet will initially comprise one ocean going ship, A'ROSA BLU, and two river cruise vessels, A'ROSA DONNA and A'ROSA BELLA. Currently trading as Crown Princess within the Princess fleet, A'ROSA BLU will be refitted to meet German tastes and will, we believe, be the largest ship dedicated to the German cruise sector. The marketing campaign will start in September this year and the maiden voyages will be in summer 2002.

With the new build AIDAvita joining the existing AIDA vessel in May 2002, we are set for significant expansion in the fast growing German cruise sector next year, with further growth plans in place beyond that. We have made good progress in establishing the shoreside infrastructure to handle this growth. This will have some cost implications for 2002. In addition we anticipate some pressure on yields and promotion costs as we expand, but are well positioned to capitalize fully on our leading position in the German cruise sector.

P&O Cruises, Princess and Swan Hellenic continue to perform well in the United Kingdom. Plans are well advanced for the transfer of Ocean Princess (as Oceana) following Victoria's withdrawal from service in the fourth quarter of 2002. Pacific Sky (formerly Sky Princess) is similarly doing well in Australia and plans are in hand to increase carryings in the premium segment by selling the Princess product in Australia.

We recently announced the appointment of Phil Kleweno as President of Princess Cruises in the United States. Phil was previously a senior partner of the management-consulting firm Bain & Co. and has been closely involved in the strategic and operational development of Princess over the last five years. We believe that Phil's wide business experience and organizational and leadership skills will greatly benefit the company as we move forward with our growth plans in the years ahead. SOURCE: Princess Cruises

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Shore Power Connection Launched for Princess Ships

Innovative Program Demonstrates Company's 
Commitment to Local Concerns

JUNEAU, Alaska--July 25, 2001--The use of shore power by Princess Cruises was officially begun yesterday in Juneau, marked by a special ceremony launching this innovative, first-of-its-kind project.

Demonstrating its commitment to help clear the air of visible smoke emissions, Princess Cruises is turning off the diesel engines of its ships when they dock at the Franklin Street Dock this summer. The first program of its kind in the world, the project required an investment by Princess of $4.5 million, and the coordination of a complex array of technical resources around the world as well as in Juneau.

"This unprecedented program sends a strong message that Princess cares deeply about the local concerns regarding visible haze accumulation in Juneau,'' said Charlie Ball, president of Princess Tours. "Because we want to continue to be welcomed as a responsible summer visitor, we've committed significant financial and technical resources to this complex engineering challenge.''

Ball explained that Princess recognized that Juneau's unique climatic condition and geography help contribute to the accumulation of haze and smoke, and that only extraordinary measures would resolve the problem.

Four of the five Princess ships this summer are using the South Franklin Street Dock, where a sophisticated power distribution system has been built, enabling the ships to connect to local surplus hydroelectric power provided by Alaska Electric Light & Power (AEL&P).

As a complex and successful testing process concludes, the ships' diesel engines will be shut down upon arrival in Juneau, and power from a special transformer installed ashore will be used to supply electric power for the running of all onboard services during the day-long calls.

Each Princess ship has been outfitted with a new hull door, a custom-built state-of-the-art electrical connection cabinet with equipment that automatically connects the ship's electrical network to the local electrical network ashore. The electrical power is transmitted from the transformer ashore to the vessel via four 3 and 1/2-inch diameter flexible electrical cables that hang festooning-style on a special gantry system built on the dock.

The gantry and the festooning equipment have been designed to accommodate the 20 feet rise and fall of the tide and withstand the 100 mph winds during the winter. The actual cable connection on the vessel is a traditional, though quite large, male/female plug and socket, adapted from the American mining industry.

In the future, to ensure that visible emissions are minimized, Princess will also be shutting down each ship's oil-fired steam boiler even though the amount of emissions from these are quite small. The steam will be produced by a shoreside electric boiler, currently being installed.

The City and Borough of Juneau has allocated $300,000 from the 2001 Cruise Passenger Fees as a contribution to the cost of the shore power installation.

"That makes the community of Juneau a partner in this effort,'' said Ball.

As part of the agreement with Princess, AEL&P was not required to pay the capital cost of the service connection, and the amount Princess pays AEL&P for the surplus hydroelectric power will go into a special fund that would contribute to deferring the cost of diesel-generated power required during the winter months.

"This was an incredibly challenging project because it was the first of a kind and there was no existing blueprint we could use. Thanks to the efforts of a worldwide team of technical contractors, suppliers and consultants, including many here in Juneau, we now have a program in place that we believe will make a difference here, and will show the residents we care about the environmental issues that are important to all of us,'' said Ball.

Next summer, all five of Princess' ships will connect to shore power at the Franklin Street Dock, including the company's new Star Princess, which is in the final phase of construction and is being outfitted with the special connection equipment. SOURCE: Princess Cruises

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Holland America Line Top-Rated Premium Cruise Line in 
2001 Travel + Leisure 'World's Best' Awards

SEATTLE, July 25 -- Holland America Line has garnered top honors for the second consecutive years as the highest-rated premium cruise line in the sixth annual "World's Best'' Awards, as voted by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine.

Holland America received an overall score of 77.4 in the annual survey, nearly three points higher than its nearest major competitor, and finishing as the second-highest scorer among all large cruise brands. The results of the survey are featured in the August issue of the magazine.

To determine the "World's Best,'' thousands of Travel + Leisure subscribers judged cruise lines in the categories of food/accommodations, activities/destinations, and value to determine an overall winner. For the survey, a questionnaire developed by the magazine 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.

"It is an honor to again be regarded as one of the 'World's Best' in cruising. This award is especially meaningful since it has been bestowed by some of the most knowledgeable travelers in the world -- the discerning readers of Travel + Leisure,'' said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president, marketing and sales, Holland America Line.

"Holland America takes great care to provide our guests with the best possible vacation, both in terms of the on-board and the shoreside experience. This award is a credit to the employees of Holland America, who do their utmost to achieve the ultimate in guest satisfaction. It's what sets Holland America 'oceans apart' from our competition.

"Holland America sails to all seven continents, including Antarctica, and calls at more than 250 ports worldwide. We offer cruises ranging in length from 5 to 100 days, including our annual Grand World Voyage. Our broad range of premium cruises provides choices to suit every desire in the Caribbean, Alaska/Pacific Northwest, Europe, Panama Canal, South America, Canada/New England, Asia and the South Pacific, Hawaii and Mexico. In addition, our comprehensive land tour program adds an extra dimension to the Alaska vacation experience, with an in-depth look at the Great Land.''

About Holland America Line
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, with 10 luxury ships sailing worldwide. Holland America Line is the highest-rated premium cruise line in the world in both the 2001 Travel + Leisure magazine "World's Best'' Awards and the 2000 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).

For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call +1-877-SAIL-HAL (+1-877-724-5425) or visit SOURCE: Holland America Line

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Royal Caribbean Reports Second Quarter Results

MIAMI--July 25, 2001--Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced that second quarter earnings amounted to $81.7 million or $0.42 per share. This compares to $108.3 million or $0.56 per share for the second quarter of 2000. The second quarter includes a number of unusual items, which reduced earnings by $12.0 million or $0.06 per share. Excluding the impact of these items, earnings were $93.7 million, or $0.49 per share, down 13.5% from the year 2000. The earnings reduction was primarily attributable to a decrease in net revenue yields for the period. This decrease was offset by the success of the company's cost containment measures.

Commenting on the results, Chairman & CEO Richard D. Fain said, "While we are disappointed at today's pricing levels and the recent unusual cruiseship incidents, we are encouraged by the company's ability to manage these pressures successfully. We are clearly feeling the challenge of a significant softening in the economy, coinciding with a capacity increase in excess of 30%. Despite this double challenge, we are encouraged that our operating cash flows are up 13% with EBITDA margin only dropping from 27.3% to 25.6%. We are determined to continue our efforts to return to our previous trend of increasing margins.''

Fain also commented that, "It was also a productive quarter from the standpoint of creating demand -- the true key to future growth. Specifically, our focus on technological advancements, product innovations and the overall vacation experience attracted guests both in the United States and in the global marketplace, and we believe our ability to create demand will continue to draw guests from the large, potential market of first timers.''

The company achieved three milestones during the quarter: the launching of cruise itineraries aimed at the European market on Royal Caribbean International's Splendour of the Seas; the introduction of on-line booking for shore excursions; and the start up of its Alaskan tour business.

Unusual Events
During the quarter, the company had to cancel a total of eight weeks of sailings due to incidents on four ships. Historically, the cancellation of a Royal Caribbean cruise due to technical or mechanical reasons has been extremely rare. The convergence of all these incidents in one quarter appears to be simply an unusual run of bad luck. Two of these incidents related to design defects in the new podded propulsion system; one related to striking a submerged object while under the direction of a port pilot in Amsterdam; and one involved an engine room fire. Thus, it does not appear that these incidents reflect any systemic issues with the ships or their operations. The manufacturer of the propulsion system believes it has now identified the problems with this new technology. While the technology experienced a number of problems in its introductory period, the company believes that the dramatic technological advantages of these systems (including improved fuel efficiency, passenger comfort and increased maneuverability and safety) will prove highly beneficial.

One of the reasons the cost of these incidents was so high is that the company chose to generously compensate the guests affected by the service outages. The company realizes that these passengers have had a significant inconvenience. However, by compensating them generously and dealing openly and honestly with the problems, the company believes it has generated a great deal of goodwill with its guests and travel agent partners. The financial impact to the quarter includes the cost of future cruise certificates. Also included in the second quarter's results is the receipt of insurance proceeds relating to claims in prior years amounting to approximately $14.0 million. The second quarter's combined financial impact of all these items was a net cost of $12.0 million.

Yields (net revenue per available cruise day) for the quarter, as adjusted, were down 8.8% over 2000. This reduction in yields appears to be caused by two principal factors: a general softness in the U.S. economy and a period of unusual capacity growth for the company. During the quarter, the company's capacity increased by 30.5%. Furthermore, the company experienced a good pricing environment in last year's second quarter, during which yields rose 2.4%. This improvement in yields was notably better than what most of the competition experienced during the same period.

Since the company's last investor conference call on April 25th, bookings have continued to keep pace with the capacity increase. The total load factor booked as of the end of the quarter was higher than at the same time last year. However, the pricing environment remains competitive in all markets. In particular, creating demand for the more expensive seasonal markets, including the peak Bermuda season, Alaska and Europe, has been especially challenging. The Celebrity brand has also felt a greater impact than the Royal Caribbean International brand in large part because of the significantly higher increase in capacity the brand experiences this year. At the same time, the company has benefited from its increased efforts in the international sourcing of guests. Non-U.S. passengers are expected to grow by 30% this year, and equal 15% of total bookings.

Looking forward, the company currently forecasts that yields for the second half of the year will be down approximately 2-3% on a year over year basis.

The company has undertaken a number of concrete actions to reduce its expenses and the success of these actions is having an impact. Despite higher fuel costs, operating costs per berth are lower this year than last. Also during the quarter, the company's new tour company (Royal Celebrity Tours) started operations. Initial results have been extremely positive, both from a bookings point of view and from a guest satisfaction standpoint. However, the immediate impact of this operation is to increase operating costs. Despite these items, the current cost containment efforts have succeeded in realizing a net reduction of 2% in operating expenses per potential passenger cruise day (``PPCD''), excluding the one-time events.

The company has also focused on controlling SG&A expenses, which are down 21% for the quarter on a per PPCD basis. Some of this is a function of timing differences and, for the full year, the company anticipates SG&A expenses will improve 12%. This improvement reflects both economies of scale and on-going cost containment efforts. As a result, the company expects total operating costs (i.e. operating expenses plus SG&A) for the full year to drop about 1% per PPCD on a comparable basis.

Net interest expense is expected to benefit from lower interest rates. The company currently estimates that net interest expense for the year will be below $250 million.

Based on all these factors, the company considers the current street consensus for full year earnings to be reasonable.

Other Initiatives
In the second quarter, the company initiated cruise itineraries aimed at the European market. Royal Caribbean International's Splendour of the Seas is now offering a modified onboard product specifically tailored to appeal to the European guest. The modifications include more multi-lingual crew, changes in the food offerings and appropriate changes in the entertainment. First Choice Holidays, the company's strategic marketing partner based in the U.K., has been assisting in developing awareness for this new product.

Also in the second quarter, the company introduced on-line booking for shore excursions for both the Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises brands. Consumer reaction to the on-line shore-excursion booking tool has been positive, with the company now receiving approximately $1 million in on-line bookings each week. Advance booking information is expected to allow the company to respond more effectively to demand. This in turn will assist the company to maximize the revenues associated with these onboard offerings.

The company has scheduled a conference call at 10 a.m. today to discuss its earnings. This call can be listened to, either live or on a delayed basis, on the company's investor relations web site at A slide presentation will accompany the conference call, and is also available for viewing at the web site.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Celebrity Tours. Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises have a combined total of 21 ships in service and eight under construction or on firm order. Royal Celebrity Tours operates cruise-tour vacations in Alaska utilizing the world's largest glass-domed railcars. Additional information can be found on or

Certain statements in this news release are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performances or achievements to differ materially from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Such factors include general economic and business conditions, changes in cruise industry competition, weather, the delivery schedule of new vessels, changes in interest rates or oil prices and other factors described in further detail in Royal Caribbean's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Source: Royal Caribbean International

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Rain Forest Resort Event Marks Another Seabourn First

Complimentary Shoreside Event, Free Air and Two-For-One Fares Add Value to 2002 Seabourn Legend Cruises of Panama, Belize, Costa Rica

MIAMI, July 23 -- Ultra luxury cruise pioneer Seabourn Cruise Line is again breaking new ground with the introduction of Exclusively Seabourn shoreside experiences, offered free of charge to its guests on all cruises aboard its three yacht-like, all suite ships in 2002. The company has announced the first of these events to be revealed--an afternoon idyll at the new, ultra luxury Gamboa Rain Forest Resort located in the heart of the Panamanian Rain Forest Reserve. The ground-breaking excursion will be presented on each of four 14-day cruises of Panama, Belize and Costa Rica aboard the elegant 108-couple Seabourn Legend in January, February and March of 2002, adding further value to promotional savings offering Two-For-One fares and complimentary roundtrip airfare.

"We are delighted to be able to provide such a top-quality destination experience complimentary to all guests aboard Seabourn Legend," said Seabourn's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Richard Meadows, CTC. "The Gamboa resort affords the perfect model for the memorable Exclusively Seabourn experiences we are creating for our guests around the world. It combines colorful local culture, good food, fun and fascinating educational opportunities, all in a beautiful natural setting."

The addition of Exclusively Seabourn experiences is the latest in a continuing series of enhancements to the onboard product aboard Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend that has included a complimentary open bar throughout all cruises, free Massage Moments on deck, upgraded suite amenities and more.

In this case, Seabourn Legend will anchor off the resort during its transit of the Panama Canal. Guests will be transferred from the ship to the resort's marina, where they will be greeted by a marimba band and folkloric dancers. After welcome drinks, guests are free to enjoy exhibits, guided nature walks in the surrounding forest or a swim in the resort's stunning two- level pool, Panama's largest. A grilled luncheon is served poolside. Visits to the butterfly farm, orchid garden and serpentarium are supplemented with a cultural performance by members of the indigenous Embera tribe. A ride through the forest canopy on an aerial tram is sure to be a highlight.

Following the rain forest experience, Seabourn Legend will depart in late afternoon to continue her passage of the canal, giving guests the chance to experience transiting the canal's locks both in daylight and after dark, when floodlights and toiling engines create a different but equally dramatic view of this world landmark.

The two-week cruise also includes calls in Belize and Honduras for nature excursions and explorations of Mayan ruins such as Tikal, colonial Panama City and a variety of Costa Rica's most pristine beaches and national parks. Cruises depart Fort Lauderdale to Caldera (San Jose) on January 27 and February 24, 2001 and from Caldera to Fort Lauderdale on February 10 and March 10, 2001. Promotional Two-For-One fares start from $3,750 per person for double occupancy of a 277 square-foot Seabourn suite, with airfare included from 23 gateway cities across the United States. For information on this or other cruises aboard the Yachts of Seabourn, contact a professional travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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. SOURCE: Seabourn Cruise Line

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