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July 1-31, 2005

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Radisson Seven Seas Cruises Promotes 
Responsible Ecological Practices

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL - Advocating for responsible ecological practices - and taking a stand against the wanton capture and use of marine mammals for the amusement of travelers - Radisson Seven Seas Cruises® announced it will no longer offer dolphin encounter programs in any of its ports of call. The luxury cruise line supports the World Society for the Protection of Animals' worldwide campaign to halt dolphin encounter operations, and, through its onboard environmental education programs in partnership with Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society, encourages guests to become responsible environmental citizens.

"Sadly, under the guise of communing with nature or advancing our scientific understanding, dolphin encounter programs too often overlook the way dolphins actually exist and interact with each other in the wild, rather than respecting their natural place in the marine ecosystem," said Darius Mehta, director of land programs for Radisson Seven Seas. "While some parks may obtain dolphins legally, many use illegal and cruel means to capture these magnificent animals. While we will continue to employ programs that allow our guests the wonderful experience of observing dolphins in the wild, we're opposed to those that interfere with dolphins' natural behavior."

Radisson Seven Seas and its partner the Ocean Futures Society have a shared commitment to inspire deeper knowledge of the world's oceans and to work to end cruelty to marine life with its adverse impact on the environment. 

"We should enjoy the abundant variety of marine life as it moves about and inhabits its own environment - without imposing artificial means on sea creatures to make them interact or 'perform' for people," Cousteau said. "Capturing marine mammals for the purpose of orchestrating structured encounters with humans or to display them in unnatural circumstances is unethical, puts them at risk and interferes with their natural and appropriate life cycles." Cousteau said he supports and commends Radisson Seven Seas for "making a vital and forceful statement to the travel and tourism industry that these encounter programs should be avoided at all costs."

The mission of Ocean Futures Society ( is to explore the global ocean, inspiring and educating people throughout the world to act responsibly for its protection, documenting the critical connection between humanity and nature, and celebrating the ocean's vital importance to the survival of all life. In French Polynesia, Radisson Seven Sea's ambitious "Ambassadors of the Environment' program with the Ocean Futures Society promotes ocean responsibility and engages youngsters aboard the Paul Gauguin® with fun learning activities. The partnership is enhanced with an engaging, fleet-wide lecture series featuring Ocean Futures Society experts, personal appearances by Jean-Michel Cousteau on select sailings, original in-suite TV programming, plus live TV uplinks from dives conducted by Cousteau and his team during select Radisson Seven Seas cruises.

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Holland America Line Features Two Coastal Cruises Highlighting Culinary Arts and Wine-Tasting in September 

SEATTLE, July 27 -- Holland America Line is featuring two special coastal cruises this September in conjunction with its recently enhanced, onboard Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine. Both cruises depart Sept. 25, 2005 from Vancouver, BC:

  • ms Ryndam showcases Mike Davis, chef and owner of 26 brix Restaurant in Walla Walla, Washington, on its three-day cruise to San Diego

  • ms Veendam highlights wine-tasting with Susan and Alison Sokol Blosser of Oregon's acclaimed Sokol Blosser Winery on its four-day sailing to Los Angeles

Chef Mike Davis of 26 brix Restaurant on ms Ryndam
The first Holland America Line ship to receive Signature of Excellence enhancements, the ms Ryndam features the new Culinary Arts Center, where guests can watch and learn from acclaimed Chef Mike Davis as he demonstrates his cooking techniques in this state-of-the-art facility. Chef Davis is known for the synergistic style he calls "neoclassical," combining Northwest cuisine with classical European techniques and is an enthusiastic supporter of turning the Walla Walla culinary scene into the "Napa of the Northwest."

Guests can learn from Chef Davis during the Ryndam's three-day cruise from Vancouver to San Diego, plus experience truly premium cruising during two relaxing days at sea. They can enjoy the ship's Greenhouse Spa and Salon, fully-equipped Fitness Center, award-winning entertainment ranging from Las Vegas-style production shows to comedians, superb Northwest cuisine at the reservations-only Pinnacle Grill, and elegant dishes and service in the main Dining Room.

Sokol Blosser Wine-Tasting Cruise on ms Veendam
Guests on this four-day coastal cruise, also departing Sept. 25 from Vancouver, can enjoy Sokol Blosser's world-class Pinot Noir in particular during informative wine tastings with the famed mother-daughter team. Guests will also learn what is really involved in producing premium, handcrafted wine. Sokol Blosser wines include Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Evolution, a unique blend of nine white varietals, and Meditrina, a red blend named for the Roman goddess of wine and health.

Sokol Blosser is the first winery in Oregon to introduce a Pinot Noir with the new Dundee Hills appellation, which was designated an American Viticultural Area in January 2005. The family-owned winery has been growing grapes in Dundee Hills since 1971 and has won many awards for its sustainably produced wines, especially Pinot Noir. Susan Sokol Blosser is owner and president of the winery; daughter Alison is director of marketing.

In addition to this special wine-tasting cruise opportunity, guests on the Veendam's Vancouver-Los Angeles sailing will enjoy a full day in Seattle and two relaxing days at sea before arriving in Los Angles Sept. 29.

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New Port for Outdoor Adventure Added to Holland America 2006 Canada/New England Cruises

Seattle, July 28, 2005 – In 2006 Holland America Line will: debut a fresh itinerary that calls at the new port of Saguenay, Quebec; offer more Eastern Canada/New England cruises; and add a second ship to the fall foliage cruise season. The ms Amsterdam joins the ms Maasdam to feature four 10-day cruises that highlight this new port in the spectacular Saguenay Fjord. Together, the two ships will sail a total of 22 cruises from April 28 to October 7, 2006. The Maasdam will again sail mainly cruises between Boston and Montreal, plus offer a spring Ft. Lauderdale-Montreal sailing and a fall Montreal-Norfolk cruise. Flagship Amsterdam will sail between New York and Montreal.

“The Canada/New England cruising region is really an up and comer for our industry, especially among families seeking summer cruises,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. “The region is perennially famous for its fall color, but the cruise guest base has grown because of the area’s historic seaports, international cities, stunning scenery and sea life make spring and summer attractive for family vacations. We’re especially excited to add the new port of Saguenay in 2006. Saguenay is surrounded by three national parks, including a marine preserve, so the opportunities for wildlife and marine viewing, kayaking, fishing and flightseeing are exceptional. We’re currently developing shore excursions around these activities, plus cultural, culinary and tree-top canopy tours.”

Meadows also noted that Canada/New England cruises are port-intensive and include a full day in Quebec City, consistently rated the most popular port on the itinerary. Holland America Line’s Medallion Shore Excursions let guests enjoy a wide range of experiences from elegant tea at Quebec City’s famed Chateau Frontenac to biking in Acadia National Park.

Holland America Line begins its 2006 Canada/New England season with the Maasdam’s 15-day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Montreal departing Apr. 28. The ship calls at Charleston, South Carolina; Norfolk, Virginia; New York City; New London, Conn.; Newport, Rhode Island; Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; and Quebec City, the “heart of French Canada.” The Maasdam then sails a series of seven-day cruises between Montreal and Boston from May 13 to Sept. 30. The ship cruises the Saguenay Fjord and calls at Quebec City; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (Anne of Green Gables tour option); Halifax and Sydney (Cabot Trail and 18th century French fortress of Louisbourg tour options); and Bar Harbor (Acadia National Park tour option). The Maasdam also sails a Canada/New England cruise on Oct. 7, concluding the season with a relaxing 10-day sailing from Montreal. It calls at all the same ports as the seven-day cruises and continues on to Norfolk.

In 2006, the Amsterdam offers four 10-day cruises between New York and Montreal departing Sept. 7 to Oct. 7 for prime fall color viewing. These leisurely sailings call at Newport, Rhode Island; Gloucester, Mass.; Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, Saguenay and Quebec City. They also include scenic cruising of the St. Lawrence River and Saguenay Fjord. Cruise fares start at US$1,699 [CAN $2,099] per person, double occupancy. 

Seven-day cruises are ideal for multi-generational family travel, and Holland America Line now offers a Friends and Family Program that provides extra amenities to families who cruise together. The program rewards families booking five or more staterooms with special group pricing, cabin upgrades, beverage and dinner packages, and a family photo per stateroom.

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Lower Fares and Health & Fitness Program Offers Value & Wellbeing on Crystal's Caribbean Cruises

LOS ANGELES, July 26 -- Crystal Cruises has reduced fares on two eight-day Health & Fitness-themed Caribbean cruises departing December 6 and 14 on the award-winning Crystal Symphony. Guests can now book a deluxe outside stateroom for just $1,795 per person, representing a savings of $200 and the lowest rates available for Crystal Cruises' Caribbean season. Additionally, both voyages offer complimentary specialized fitness instruction and life-enhancing lectures by distinguished guest speakers and institutions.

Round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale, Crystal Symphony's December 6 cruise will visit Belize City, Belize; Grand Cayman, British West Indies; Cozumel, Mexico; with a maiden call to Roatan Island, Honduras. Ports of call on the December 14 cruise, also round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale, include St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles; St. Barts, French West Indies; and St. Thomas, USVI.

The Health & Fitness collection features a specialty on Pilates or yoga depending on the sailing:

December 6 -- Health & Fitness: Pilates
* Pilates classes and lectures will be led by Darcie Osborn, Pilates studio manager for the Nevada Ballet Theatre Academy in Las Vegas.

* Award-winning medical journalist, Dr. Ruth Jacobowitz, will share her knowledge and insight on the human aging process and offer tips on longevity.

December 14 -- Health & Fitness: Yoga
* With 22 years experience and instruction from over 19 yoga masters worldwide, Pat McFrederick will share her knowledge in a series of yoga classes and lectures.

* Dr. Barbara Udell, director of the Health and Wellness Program at the CuisinArt Resort and Spa in Anguilla, British West Indies and director of lifestyle education at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Aventura, Florida, will expound on her experience as a keynote speaker for Weight Watchers and Diet Centers of America.

* This cruise is also host to The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Seminars, featuring leading-edge information, Q&A periods, and "Meet the Doctor" sessions on topics ranging from cardiology and spine to nutrition and dermatology.

Crystal Cruises also offers an extensive lineup of Health & Fitness-related Crystal Adventures ashore, including a biking adventure and eco hike from St. Thomas, a bike, hike and swim experience from Belize and an exploration of St. Barts by horseback. The Heath & Fitness Theme Cruises are complemented by Crystal Cruises' state-of-the-art Feng Shui-designed spa and fitness facility, PGA golf instruction using Taylormade(R) golf clubs, 360 degree teak promenade deck for walking and jogging, healthful menus, including low-carb and low-fat selections, and Crystal Cruises' exclusive Walk on Water program, featuring The WALKVEST® Training System which revolutionizes walking simply by adding resistance (added weight) to your walk.

The Crystal Difference
Aboard Crystal Symphony refined elegance meets casual simplicity. With an emphasis on innovative product differentiation, the renowned Crystal experience is distinguished by classic service, abundant space, extensive choices, and quality, providing worldwide vacations that bridge the best of land and sea. Fares quoted are based on per person, double occupancy accommodations and do include port charges. A fuel surcharge of $4.00 per person, per day will be added to the cruise fare. For additional information or reservations, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

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Holland America Dishes Up Sun, Adventure & Culinary Arts Program on 2006 Mexico Cruises

Seattle, July 26, 2005 — From whale watching near Cabo San Lucas to discovering the famous Copper Canyon from Topolobampo, Holland America Line explores the natural wonders of the Mexican Riviera on 32 cruises in 2006. Offering more departures than any other premium line in the region, the Oosterdam and ms Zaandam feature seven- and ten-day cruises traveling roundtrip from the San Diego cruise port, which is just minutes from the city’s airport.

The line’s impressive Mexico collection is anchored by the 1,848-passenger Oosterdam’s 29 seven-day itineraries. The 1,440-passenger Zaandam offers three 10-day journeys allowing for more in-depth exploration. Two seven-day holiday voyages provide an ideal escape for families and friends wishing to spend the holidays at sea. In addition, acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson, of Aquavit and Riingo in New York City, will sail on the October 22, 2006, cruise to conduct recipe demonstrations in the innovative Culinary Arts Center.

“Holland America Line’s Mexico cruises combine our experience in the region, our sporting and eco-adventures ashore, and the refined elegance found aboard each of our ships,” said Rick Meadows, CTC, the line’s senior vice president, marketing and sales. “Guests are rewarded with an enriching vacation at a tremendous value and sailing from a convenient homeport.”

Mexican Riviera: 7-day Cruises 
Departing San Diego every Saturday from January 7 to April 22, 2006; and again from October 7 to December 16, 2006; the Oosterdam’s 29 week-long itineraries feature full days in Cabo San Lucas with snorkeling, sea kayaking and diving; Mazatlán, renowned for its sporting adventures and golden beaches; and, Puerto Vallarta, regarded for its superb shopping and old-world charm. Cruise fares start at US$699 per person, double occupancy.

Sea of Cortez & Mexican Riviera: 10-day Adventures 
Showcasing the soft adventure of the Sea of Cortez or the flair of the Riviera, 10-day journeys aboard the Zaandam allow for greater exploration of Mexico on three longer departures. The vast marine wonders of the Sea of Cortez are revealed on two 10-day adventures aboard the Zaandam on October 22 and December 11. The rich itinerary calls at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, and Toplolobampo – where guests can embark on a day tour of Mexico’s spectacular Copper Canyon. The journey continues to Loreto, site of the first Jesuit mission in 1697, past the scenic Sierra de la Giganta, and on to Pichilingue and Cabo San Lucas. Travelers may also choose to explore the Mexican Riviera on November 16 on a cruise to the ports of Manzanillo, Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas. Cruise fares for 10-day cruises start at US$999 per person, double occupancy.

Acclaimed Chef Sails on October Cruise 
The Culinary Arts Program presented by Food & Wine magazine will host star chef Marcus Samuelsson on the October 22, 2006, Zaandam cruise. Chef Samuelsson is the executive chef at the New York City’s famed Aquavit restaurant. Named the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef New York City, 2003, Samuelsson recently opened trendy Riingo, which offers inventive versions of American and Japanese classics. 

Mexican Holiday Cruises 
Mexico’s sunny and spirited personality provides the ideal backdrop for a holiday voyage with family and friends, and the line’s Friends and Family Program offers generous amenities and special group pricing. The Oosterdam offers two 7-day holiday cruises on December 23 and 30. Each holiday voyage features clergy to conduct Catholic, Protestant and Jewish services. Holland America Line’s on-board festivities for the entire family include special movie showings and entertainment, traditional dinner and decorations, a visit for the kids from Santa, and Club HAL kids program activities. The line also holds a New Year’s Eve Gala and arranges to broadcast some college bowl games on board the ship.

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Star Clippers Releases New Fall 2005 through Spring 2007 Brochure

MIAMI, July 26, 2005 -- Star Clippers' new Fall 2005-Spring 2007 brochure, covering the line's Caribbean, Far East, Mediterranean and Transatlantic itineraries, has just been released. The brochure describes new itineraries for the line's three tall ships. Ten- and 11-night sailings from Cannes to Dubrovnik, Croatia, and debut calls at the ports of Kotor, Montenegro, and Palermos Bay, Albania, will highlight the itineraries of flagship Royal Clipper and Star Clipper next summer. Star Clipper also will sail an additional 10-night departure between Cannes and Lisbon featuring calls in the Balearic Islands, Spain, Morocco and Portugal. Star Flyer's five- and seven-night summertime eastern Mediterranean cruises are described as well, including previously unannounced 10- and 11-night Greece and Croatia itineraries. During spring and winter, the ships sail the Caribbean and Far East.

"This is our biggest brochure ever," said Jack Chatham, vice president of marketing and sales for Star Clippers. "That underscores our commitment to continually expanding our itineraries, land tours and offering special-interest cruises like the Antigua Regatta sailing."  

Experienced cruisers also will appreciate the longer ocean crossings. Star Flyer's 37-night sailings between Athens, Greece, and Phuket, Thailand, sold out early in 2005 due to the exotic itinerary and excellent value. Similarly, the transatlantic sailings of Star Clipper and Royal Clipper have proven to be very popular with past guests and sailors, who look for the ultimate sailing adventure -- crossing the Atlantic Ocean under full sail.

New land tours are highlighted in the brochure including a six-night Vietnam and Thailand tour, which is combined with the seven-night sailings between Phuket and Singapore exploring Malaysia or the round-trip cruises from Phuket, Thailand, which sail to the pristine islands of the Andaman Sea. Star Clippers is pleased to return Star Flyer to its winter homeport of Phuket, which has fully recovered from the impact of the tsunami last year. New land tours also are offered in Lisbon and Dubrovnik, allowing guests to explore these exciting cities before or following the new 10- and 11- night sailings. 

The annual Antigua Regatta sailing also is included in the new brochure. The nine-night cruise explores the southern Caribbean before dropping anchor at Antigua for two days of sailing maneuvers and viewing classic yacht races. 

The four- and five-masted clipper ships feature a relaxed yet elegant atmosphere. Passengers dress in resort-casual attire and dine in one unhurried, open seating. Whether unwinding in the bowsprit net while gazing at the sea below or climbing the mast for a panoramic view of the horizon, a unique sailing adventure awaits. To make a reservation, contact a travel professional, for information call Star Clippers at 1-800-442-0551 or visit To request a brochure, call 1-800-442-0556.

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Royal Caribbean Intl Announces New Adventures in 2006

MIAMI, July 25 -- From a Voyager-class ship in Europe to new options in Alaska to new departures from Philadelphia, Royal Caribbean International is offering an unparalleled mix of ships and destinations in 2006.

Voyager of the Seas to Make European Debut
In May 2006, the ship that revolutionized cruising will depart Miami for Barcelona, Spain, marking the 3,114-guest Voyager of the Seas' European debut. From May 27 to July 8, 2006, and again Sept. 9 through Nov. 11, 2006, Voyager of the Seas will offer seven-night Mediterranean sailings roundtrip from Barcelona, calling on Marseille and Villefranche (Nice), France, and Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Civitavecchia (Rome) and Naples, Italy. Voyager of the Seas also will sail seven-night Mediterranean-Malta sailings July 15 through Sept. 2, 2006, making stops in Villefranche (Nice); Civitavecchia (Rome); Palermo (Sicily), Italy; Valletta, Malta; and Palma De Mallorca, Spain. In addition, guests on either itinerary have the option of extending their vacation with one of two cruisetour packages - a three-night tour to Madrid and Barcelona or a five-night tour to Seville, Madrid and Barcelona.

Voyager of the Seas remains one of the most innovative ships at sea. Introduced in 1999, Voyager was the first cruise ship to feature a rock- climbing wall, an ice-skating rink, an in-line skating track and the Royal Promenade, a horizontal atrium featuring shopping, dining and entertainment venues. Voyager of the Seas offers guests six restaurants and more than a dozen lounges and bars from which to choose, as well as a state-of-the-art theater, the Las Vegas-style Casino Royale, and the outstanding Adventure Ocean youth program.

Explorer of the Seas Adds Options from Cape Liberty Cruise Port
When Voyager of the Seas heads to Europe, Explorer of the Seas will take her place from May to November at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., to offer new, nine-night Eastern Caribbean itineraries, as well as the five- night Bermuda sailings first introduced by Voyager in 2005. Explorer of the Seas' Eastern Caribbean cruises will take guests to explore Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee, Hispaniola.

Empress of the Seas is Bermuda-Bound from Philadelphia
Starting April 29, 2006, Empress of the Seas will begin a series of seven- night Bermuda sailings from Philadelphia, marking the first time Royal Caribbean will sail a full season from the historic Pennsylvania city. Empress of the Seas' new cruises will call on St. George's and Hamilton, Bermuda, until Oct. 28, 2006, when Empress repositions to San Juan for the winter.

Vision of the Seas Embarks on Alaskan Adventures
Vision of the Seas moves to Seattle in May 2006 to offer a series of seven-night roundtrip Alaska Fjord sailings until Sept. 1, 2006. Vision's Alaska cruises call in Juneau, Skagway and Icy Strait Point, Alaska, and Victoria, British Columbia, in addition to cruising through the breathtaking Tracy Arm Fjord and the Inside Passage.

Radiance of the Seas to "Cruisetour" Alaska
On May 27, 2006, Radiance of the Seas will begin sailing alternating, seven-night, one-way northbound and southbound sailings between Seward, Alaska, and Vancouver, British Columbia. The northbound itinerary includes calls in Juneau, Skagway, Sitka and Icy Strait Point, Alaska, in addition to cruising the Inside Passage and Hubbard Glacier. Southbound sailings replace time in Sitka with a call in Ketchikan, Alaska. Radiance guests looking for additional adventures can book one of Royal Caribbean's 20 Alaska cruisetour packages - exploring Alaska's natural wonders by deluxe motorcoach and the Wilderness Express luxurious, glass-domed railcars. Add-on land excursions include unforgettable experiences such as white-water rafting, glacier flight-seeing and heli-hiking.

Freedom of the Seas Sets Sail
Bookings opened in March for Royal Caribbean's newest ship, the 3,600-passenger Freedom of the Seas. Set to debut in the United States in May 2006 and enter service on June 4, 2006, Freedom of the Seas will be the most innovative and forward-looking ship the line has introduced to date. Featuring an interactive water park called H2O Zone, a dedicated sports pool, and cantilevered whirlpools extending 12 feet over the sides of the ship in the adults-only Solarium, Freedom of the Seas will offer a wide range of unique activities for guests of all ages. Freedom of the Seas will sail seven-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami.

Full itineraries for each of Royal Caribbean's 19 ships are available at For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site call 800-327-6700. 

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Silversea Introduces La Terrazza With An Italian Accent For Dinner

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, July 25, 2005 -- Starting this month, Silversea guests sailing aboard ultra-luxury Silver Shadow will be the first to experience the transformation of the Terrace Café into La Terrazza, an innovative Italian restaurant that will be open exclusively for dinner. The new dining concept and menu for La Terrazza, created under the guidance of Marco Betti, owner of the award-winning Antica Posta restaurants in Atlanta, Georgia, and Florence, Italy, are a further product enhancement designed to reflect the line's unique concept of luxury -- one that arises from, and is shaped by, its Italian heritage. And it is only fitting that an Italian-owned company would offer a new dining experience that reflects one of the world's most luxurious culinary trends, the Slow Food Movement, launched in Italy 19 years ago and dedicated to preserving gastronomic traditions through the use of fresh, not processed, traditional foods.

"For several years, Marco and his two chef brothers, Gianni and Alessandro, have been dazzling and delighting sophisticated diners in Atlanta and Florence with a taste of the Old World in their innovative Tuscan-style and regional Italian cuisine," said Erling Frydenberg, Silversea's chief operations officer. "We're extremely excited to be able to bring their culinary vision and creativity aboard our ships for the enjoyment of our guests. This is a further step in our ongoing program of enhancements designed to give our concept of luxury a distinctly Italian touch." 

Open most evenings for dinner, La Terrazza will offer an innovative à la carte menu designed exclusively for Silversea to showcase the finest elements of Italian cooking, melding together fresh and flavorful ingredients from classic Italian and rustic Tuscan culinary traditions. Highlighting the menu are such tempting delicacies as arugula and parmigiano salad; risotto with asparagus and shrimp; grilled swordfish with Pantelleria caper pesto sauce; and grilled beef tenderloin with aromatic herb butter and sautéed baby spinach. There is no additional charge to dine in the restaurant, but reservations are recommended as seating is limited in order to maintain an intimate atmosphere.

"I'm delighted to be affiliated with Silversea, a company renowned for its culinary excellence and innovative spirit," said Marco Betti. "It's a great opportunity and privilege to be able to bring the taste of the Italian countryside to Silversea's guests, giving them a chance to explore a variety of delicate blends of meat, fish, vegetables and spices, and experience the quality and authenticity that have made classic Italian cooking among the most widely appreciated cuisines in the world."

La Terrazza will be rolled out aboard Silver Wind in September, while the line's other two ships, Silver Cloud and Silver Whisper, are set to offer the new dining venue later in the year. The Terrace Café will remain each ship's casual alternative restaurant for breakfast and lunch during daytime hours.

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Hapag-Lloyd Adds One More Bilingual Cruise to MS C. Columbus Great Lakes Schedule

Hamburg, GERMANY, July 2005 – Due to the high interest in sailing the Great Lakes on a luxury cruise ship, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has added another bilingual trip to its schedule of four bilingual trips this fall on MS C. Columbus. The number of U.S. passengers booked on C. Columbus has tripled since 2004. In 2004, Hapag-Lloyd offered three bilingual Great Lakes trips out of five trips, and in 2005, there are four bilingual trips out of four. Not only is C.Columbus appropriately engineered for the challenges of the Great Lakes, but as part of the legendary Hapag-Lloyd fleet of cruise ships, it is the largest and most luxurious full ship that travels along the world’s largest body of fresh water.

“Word of mouth has spread about the special qualities of C. Columbus. As part of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, it enjoys a reputation for providing the highest quality of accommodations, food and services,” says Sebastian Ahrens, Managing Director, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. “C. Columbus provides the high quality food, accommodations and services that Hapag-Lloyd is famous for on its 5-star ships – with only a few minor differences. Therefore, it is surely one of the best values for a cruise vacation available today and the growing interest in the ship and its unique Great Lakes trips shows it.”

C. Columbus’ first Great Lakes Cruise, is September 2 – 12, 2005 for 10 cruise nights, and is fully sold out. 

The following cruises are still available and are bilingual: 

  • Great Lakes cruise COL 0522, 9 cruise nights September 12 – 21, 2005 from Chicago, USA to Sarnia/Ontario, Canada including Milwaukee, Mackinac Island, Duluth, Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie

  • Great Lakes cruise COL 0523 (currently partial bilingual), 10 cruise nights September 21 – October 1, 2005 from Sarnia/Ontario, Canada to Chicago, USA including Midland, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and Duluth, Lock Soo and Mackinac Island

  • Great Lakes cruise COL 0524, October 1-12, 2005 from Chicago to Toronto, including Mackinac Island, Sault Ste Marie and other Ontario ports, Detroit, and Cleveland

Since 80% of Americans have expressed a desire to explore domestic vacations, a cruise ship navigating the Great Lakes with visits to home own turf is safe and exhilarating at the same time. Visit for details and booking information.

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Holland America Line Adds New Chefs and Experts to Its Culinary Arts Center Presented by Food & Wine Magazine

SEATTLE, July 22 -- Cat Cora, the first American woman Iron Chef and host of the Food Network's Cat Cora Show, and Mark Bittman, New York Times food writer and cookbook author, headline an impressive list of celebrated culinary experts added to Holland America Line's growing palate of names for its new Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine. The program will feature more than 50 culinary experts on Holland America Line cruises and provides guests with an opportunity to experience demonstrations and seminars conducted by top chefs, wine experts and leading cookbook authors.

"As the program gains momentum, we are joining forces with a diverse and wonderful group of culinary experts from chefs and fromagers to authors and sommeliers," said Rick Meadows, CTC, Holland America Line's senior vice president, marketing and sales. "Guests will learn from and mingle with these renowned chefs and culinary authorities using our state-of-the-art show kitchens. This is an exciting partnership and we are delighted to be working with Food & Wine magazine to bring the culinary experience alive for our guests."

Cora joins the January 7, 2006, cruise to Australia and New Zealand aboard the ms Statendam. Bittman sails aboard the January 11, 2006, ms Rotterdam voyage to South America. The initiative is part of the line's Culinary Arts Center program, which is offered on every sailing. Holland America Line is spending more than $13 million to create and install the Culinary Arts Center facilities, which are already on half of the line's 13-ship fleet and will be in place across the fleet by mid-2006.

Resembling the elaborate show kitchens used by celebrity chefs on television cooking programs, each Culinary Arts Center features an innovative theater-style venue. The state-of-the-art "show kitchen at sea" has large plasma video screens to display overhead and close-up video views of the food preparation, and a large cooking display counter where guests can learn new cooking techniques and dishes.

The Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine will bring the pages of the epicurean magazine alive on dozens of sailings of the world's leading premium cruise line. Guests will learn tricks-of-the-trade from top professionals and can try their hand at preparing dishes and tasting wines representative of specific ports-of-call. Food & Wine also will design and provide recipe cards and wine-tasting notes that guests can take home along with copies of the magazine. Other opportunities might include book signings, question-and-answer sessions, market tours in ports of call, specially designed on-board menus and more.

Culinary experts joining the Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine magazine are:

  • Michelle Bernstein, executive chef/owner of MB Restaurant, Co-host of
    "Melting Pot," sailing on the September 9, 2005, Alaska cruise aboard
    the ms Statendam.

  • Jimmy Bradley, chef/owner, Beanstalk Restaurants, sailing on the
    September 10, 2005, Alaska cruise aboard the ms Zaandam.

  • Greg Atkinson, director at Culinary Consulting, sailing on the
    September 11, 2005, Alaska cruise aboard the ms Ryndam.

  • Paulette Mitchell, author of 11 cookbooks, sailing on the September 18,
    2005, Europe cruise aboard the ms Westerdam.

  • Charles Dale, founder, Range and Rustique, sailing on the September 24,
    2005, Panama Canal cruise aboard the ms Zaandam.

  • Mike H. Davis, chef/owner, 26 Brix, sailing on the September 25, 2005,
    Pacific Coastal cruise aboard the ms Ryndam.

  • Susan and Alison Sokol Blosser, owners, Sokol Blosser Winery (Oregon),
    sailing on the September 25, 2005, Pacific Coastal cruise aboard the ms

  • Ying Chang Compestine, chef and cookbook author, sailing on the October
    6, 2005, Asia/Pacific cruise aboard the ms Amsterdam; and the December
    22, 2005, Hawaii cruise aboard the ms Amsterdam.

  • Three Divas: Vicky McCaffree, chef; Cameon Orel, chef; and Jessica
    Campbell, pastry chef, sailing on the October 14, 2005, Europe cruise
    aboard the ms Rotterdam.

  • Dean Max, chef, 3030 Ocean, sailing on the November 2, 2005, Hawaii
    cruise aboard the ms Statendam.

  • Fran Bigelow, chocolate expert, founder of Fran's Chocolates, sailing
    on the November 7, 2005, Mexico cruise aboard the ms Ryndam.

  • Cornelius Gallagher, executive chef, Oceana, sailing on the November
    13, 2005, Caribbean cruise aboard the ms Westerdam.

  • Cat Cora, Iron Chef America and host of "The Cat Cora Show," sailing on
    the January 7, 2006, Australia/New Zealand cruise aboard the ms

  • Mark Bittman, New York Times food writer, chef and cookbook author,
    sailing on the January 11, 2006, South America cruise aboard the ms

  • Laura Werlin, cheese expert, sailing on the January 21, 2006,
    Australia/New Zealand cruise aboard the ms Statendam.

  • Marko Karakasevic, artisan vodka maker of Charbay Vodka, sailing on the
    January 22, 2006, Caribbean cruise aboard the ms Volendam.

  • Brad Farmerie, chef of Public Restaurant in New York City, sailing on
    the March 20, 2006, Asia/Pacific cruise aboard the ms Statendam.

  • Bradford Thompson, chef, Mary Elaine's, sailing on the April 3, 2006,
    Asia/Pacific cruise aboard the ms Statendam.

  • Johnny Iuzzini, executive pastry chef, Restaurant Jean Georges, sailing
    on the April 5, 2006, Caribbean cruise aboard the ms Noordam.

  • Hsiao-Ching Chou, Seattle Post-Intelligencer food writer and food
    historian, sailing on the April 17, 2006, Asia/Pacific cruise aboard
    the ms Statendam.

  • Max McCalman, Maitre Fromager and dean of curriculum at the Artisanal
    Cheese Center, sailing on the April 22, 2006, Hawaii cruise aboard the
    ms Statendam.

  • Jacques Torres, chocolatier extraordinaire and creator of his own
    confectionery shops in New York City, sailing on the May 7, 2006,
    Alaska cruise aboard the ms Ryndam.

  • Patricia Yeo, chef of Sapa in New York City, sailing on the May 14,
    2006, Alaska cruise aboard the ms Veendam.

  • Robert Kinkead, chef/owner, Kinkead, sailing on the May 26, 2006,
    Europe cruise aboard the ms Rotterdam.

  • Michael Lomonaco, chef, professor, author and co-host of Epicurious on
    the Discovery Channel, sailing on the July 28, 2006, Europe cruise
    aboard the ms Rotterdam.

  • John Howie, chef/owner, Sport and SeaStar, sailing on the July 30,
    2006, Europe cruise aboard the ms Noordam.

  • Mark Fiorentino, master bread baker at the renowned Daniel Boulud
    Restaurants in New York City, sailing on the August 11, 2006, Europe
    cruise aboard the ms Amsterdam.

  • John Besh, executive chef, Restaurant August, sailing on the September
    8, 2006, Alaska cruise aboard the ms Statendam.

  • Aaron Sanchez, chef, Paladar, and regular on TV Food Network, sailing
    aboard the September 17, 2006, Alaska cruise aboard the ms Westerdam.

  • Charles Dale, founder, Range and Rustique, sailing on the September 18,
    2006, Europe cruise aboard the ms Noordam.

  • James Mazzio, executive chef, The Studio of Long Grove, sailing on the
    September 20, 2006, Panama Canal cruise aboard the ms Zuiderdam.

  • Marcus Samuelsson, chef/owner, Aquavit and Riingo, sailing on the
    October 22, 2006, Mexico cruise aboard the ms Zaandam.

  • Anthony Giglio, wine expert, sailing on the November 25, 2006, Mexico
    cruise aboard the ms Oosterdam.

  • Jose Andres, chef/owner, Jaleo, Cafe Atlantico, sailing aboard the
    December 8, 2006, Australia/New Zealand cruise aboard the ms Statendam.

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Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruises Introduce Online Check-In

MIAMI, July 20 -- Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises have established another industry first: Both lines are simultaneously launching online check-in for their guests, reducing the check- in process at the pier from minutes to seconds. Titled "SetSail" for Royal Caribbean International and "Xpress Pass" for Celebrity Cruises, online check-in is now available for guests booked on Royal Caribbean's "Navigator of the Seas" and for those on Celebrity's "Zenith." The company expects online check-in to be available for both brands' entire fleets by September. The new online check-in process allows guests to fill out all pertinent cruise documents before arriving at the pier. Boarding documents, immigration forms, onboard accounts and ticket contracts can be completed with just a click of the mouse.

"This is a truly innovative development, basically making the web our 'virtual check-in agent,'" said Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Associate Vice President Guest Port Services Juan Trescastro. "By averting the need to complete paperwork at the pier or while in line, we're reducing the time involved at the pier from an average of three to four minutes to an average of 30 seconds per guest."

To check in online, guests are asked to visit the pertinent line's web site, or, then click "Before You Cruise" on Celebrity's site, and "Before You Board" on Royal Caribbean's site, followed by "Online Documentation." There, guests will be asked to provide their booking number, ship and sail date, and to follow four easy steps to complete the process. Guests then will receive an e-mail confirmation stating that their documents have been processed. They can print the confirmation and provide it, along with identification, to agents at a special express counter at the pier.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, with a combined total of 29 ships in service, two under construction and one on firm order. The company also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe through its cruisetour division.

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Silversea's Silver Shadow to Set Sail to the Far East & South Pacific on Eleven Incomparable Voyages

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, July 20, 2005 -- On December 6, 2005, Silversea's ultra-luxury Silver Shadow will embark on an exciting schedule of 11 voyages visiting the most intriguing corners of the Far East and South Pacific, including brand-new ports such as Eden, Exmouth and Kangaroo Island, Australia. From the g'days and golden beaches of the "Land Down Under", to Bangkok's dazzling temples and palaces, to Beijing's world-famous Tiananmen Square, it's every hour better than the one before for the privileged guests sailing in the pampering luxury of the intimate, six-star Silver Shadow.

In addition to savings of up to 30%, guests will enjoy spacious, ocean-view accommodations, most with private veranda, award-winning gourmet cuisine, personalized service, warm Italian hospitality, and Silversea's unmatched selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, wines and spirits served throughout the ship, 24-hour room service, stocked in-suite beverage cabinet and all gratuities. Plus, complimentary Butler Service is now available in the Grand, Royal, Rossellini and Owner's Suites.

"World travel is an art, and these cruises promise the most discerning world traveler an unforgettable journey to a gallery of exotic destinations throughout the Far East and South Pacific," said David Morris, Silversea's senior vice president, North America sales. "Each voyage offers world-class adventure cradled in the award-winning luxury, comfort and pampering of Silversea. It's what ultra-luxury cruising is all about."

Destination specialists known for unlocking doors that would be closed to the casual traveler, Silversea offers guests a selection of carefully tailored, optional shore excursions to enhance their time in the Far East and South Pacific. And a special complimentary Silversea Experience® in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, on voyages 3607 and 3612, will take guests aboard traditional red-sailed junks for a relaxing voyage through the scenic wonders of this famous waterway and World Heritage Site -- also known as the legendary Bay of Dragons. 

Guests can extend their voyage with optional pre- and post-cruise land programs featuring deluxe accommodations, all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing and some meals. Prices start from $1,425 per guest. Highlights include: 

  • From Bangkok or Singapore, the legendary Eastern & Oriental Express train offers four-, five- or seven-night explorations of the Far East's bustling cities, timeless temples and colorful cultures in classic style. Amid an elegant oriental ambiance, guests savor Western and Asian gourmet delicacies and experience the countryside firsthand on the open deck of the Observation Car. 

  • From Bangkok, the five- or six-night "Siam Sojourn" offers cultural riches and exotic sights with a gracious hospitality. Guests visit an elephant training camp, orchid and butterfly farm and savor traditional Khan Toke Thai cuisine. Other highlights include the famous Golden Triangle in Chiang Rai and a tour of Bangkok's Grand Palace. 

  • From Singapore, the six-night "Cambodia and the Mysteries of Angkor Wat" program takes guests to one of the world's most exotic destinations for a tour of ancient history with visits to temple sites in Phnom Penh, including the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, before journeying to the mysterious ruins of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, located in the lush jungle of Siem Reap, once the site of the ancient Khmer culture. 

  • From Hong Kong, the six- or seven-night "The Roof of the World: Exploring Tibet" program takes guests to one of the world's most exotic destinations where they can discover the mysterious city of Lhasa and explore Potala, the former Winter Palace of the Dalai Lama; the Jokhang Temple; the Barkor, Lhasa's bustling market; and Drepung, the largest monastic university.

  • From Sydney, the four-night "Outback Discovery" combines the spectacle of Sydney with the myths and magnificence of Australia's famed Outback. Guests witness the ever-changing colors of Ayers Rock as they enjoy an elegant dinner of local delicacies under the wide desert sky. From Alice Springs, guests explore the heart of the country on a camel safari, then rise early for a pre-dawn balloon adventure. 

Detailed information and complete itineraries are available at A colorful self-mailer describing the Far East and South Pacific voyages, plus several optional land programs, is also available to travel agents and can be ordered online at Silversea's Web site.

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Princess Connoisseur Voyages Feature In-Depth Exploration of Africa and India in 2006-07

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (July 20, 2005) - Adventurous cruisers wanting to sail between continents and to visit some of the globe's most intriguing destinations, will delight in Princess' extended Connoisseur Voyages to Africa and India in 2006-07. The intimate, 670-passenger Pacific Princess will offer several unique journeys of 25 days or longer to ports on multiple continents, offering travelers the opportunity to go on safari in Kenya, meet the Xhosa people in South Africa, experience the unique cultures of West Africa, or enjoy the beauty of Indian Ocean islands such as Réunion and Mauritius.

"These special Connoisseur Cruises truly do offer our passengers adventures they'll remember for a lifetime," said Jan Swartz, senior vice president of customer service and sales for Princess. "India and Africa are on many people's travel wish lists, and we have years of experience taking passengers to these exotic destinations complete with the comfort of Princess' famed service, multiple dining options and private balconies." 

The four upcoming Africa and India voyages on Pacific Princess include: 

  • Africa/India/Southeast Asia - A 27-day journey combining the intrigue of Asia with the adventure of Africa. Pacific Princess sails from Bangkok to Cape Town on September 16, 2006 for a cruise to Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Chennai (India), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Seychelles Islands, Mombasa, Zanzibar and Durban. In Kenya's Mombassa passengers can choose an optional overnight safari to the famed Tsavo National Park to view the local wildlife. 

  • Indian Ocean & Australia - Returning by popular demand, this 28-day voyage from Cape Town to Sydney takes passengers to East London (South Africa), Durban, Nosy Bé (Madagascar), Réunion Island, Mauritius, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Tasmania. The cruise departs on October 13, 2006.

  • West Africa & South America - Combining the Caribbean, South America and West Africa in one 28-day journey, Pacific Princess sets sail from Ft. Lauderdale to Cape Town on March 9, 2007. Passengers will enjoy ports of call at St. Kitts, Dominica, Trinidad, Devil's Island, Fortaleza (Brazil), Dakar (Senegal), Tema (Ghana), Lomé (Togo), and Walvis Bay and Lüderitz in Namibia. 

  • Africa/India/Southeast Asia - Similar to the September sailing, this 25-day version from Cape Town to Singapore featuring calls at Durban, Zanibar, Mombassa, the Seychelles Islands, Colombo, Chennai and Kuala Lumpur. Passengers on this cruise may also opt to view the lions, zebras, giraffes, elephants and other wildlife in Kenya's Tsavo National Park with an overnight safari. The cruise departs on April 6, 2007.

Passengers will travel on the line's popular Pacific Princess, offering a the line's trademark "big ship choice" in a smaller, more intimate cruise environment providing many of the onboard options that have become Princess trademarks. Passengers will find a wide variety of dining experiences including alternative dining options that include Princess' renowned Sabatini's trattoria and the premium Sterling Steakhouse. And, with 92 percent outside staterooms - with over two-thirds of these including a private balcony - the vessel provides the perfect venues for enjoying the scenery of these exotic ports. 

Early booking fares for Africa & India Connoisseur Cruises begin at $3,745 per person, based on double occupancy, for a 25-day sailing. Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Seabourn Pride Comes to Call at George Washington's Home

MIAMI, July 19, 2005 -- Mount Vernon, the stately plantation home of George and Martha Washington, has received many distinguished visitors in its time, from European royalty to the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Today, the beautifully-restored estate receives over a million visitors a year, most of whom arrive by car, bus and, in a few cases, by boat. But on October 21st, the sleek, white cruise ship Seabourn Pride will glide up the Potomac and drop anchor across the river from the picturesque mansion, giving its 208 fortunate guests a privileged overnight visit.

Maintained and operated by the private nonprofit Mount Vernon Ladies' Association since 1853, the 500-acre riverside property is located about 16 miles from Washington, D.C. and consists of some 20 structures and 50 acres of gardens, faithfully restored to working condition as they were in 1799. Aside from the mansion itself, Seabourn guests can visit a working farm demonstrating many pioneering agricultural achievements including a 16-sided treading barn and a water-powered grist mill.

Festival of American Food & Wine on Board
The cruise is also the occasion for Seabourn's Third Annual Great American Food & Wine Festival, featuring celebrity guest chefs, onboard cooking demonstrations, tastings and exclusive culinary excursions in many of the ports. Chefs appearing on board will be Charlie Palmer, one of only three chefs included in Forbes' annual "Celebrity 100 List," Sue Torres, the acclaimed chef/owner of New York's Mexican- inspired Sueños, and famous New World Cuisine maven Alan Susser of Chef Allen's in Aventura, Florida. 

The yacht-like ship will call at Mount Vernon during a 14-day cruise departing October 16 from New York to Nassau, calling at many of America' s most important colonial cities. Other ports of call include Newport, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Yorktown, Charleston, Savannah, Amelia Island and Port Canaveral.

Many ports of call will feature specially-created culinary excursions, such as:

  • Philadelphia: a comparative tasting of Philly Cheese Steaks on site at the rival Geno's and Pat's and a morning Shopping with the Chef tour in the Italian Market section. 

  • Baltimore, a classic luncheon feast of steamed blue crabs at Bo Brooks' crab shack and, afterward, explore the historic 220-year old Lexington Marketplace. 

  • Charleston: Amanda Dew Manning leads a tour of' "Lowcountry" culinary heritage including a demonstration and luncheon. Our free Exclusively Seabourn experience is a ride by horsedrawn carriage to a traditional Southern tea in a 19th century home.

  • Savannah: A walking tour of the town's stately squares and a family-style lunch of Southern specialties at the famous Mrs. Wilkes' Boardinghouse.

  • Amelia Island: a luncheon at The Florida House Inn, Florida's oldest surviving hotel, in the Victorian-era Fernandina Beach Historic District. 

  • Port Canaveral: "Follow the Wild Ocean Shrimp"--a boat tour of the Indian River Lagoon, a shrimp processor and feast on local shrimp at the famous Dixie Crossroads.

With Early Booking Savings of up to 39%, fares start from $6,948 per person, based on double occupancy of a 277-square foot ocean-view suite. Past guests of Seabourn or any member line of World's Leading cruise Lines (Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line or Windstar Cruises) qualify for Signature Value Savings of 50%, and fares from $5,695 per person, double. For information or to reserve a suite, contact your travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Archaeological Mysteries, Cliff Divers & Peerless Coastal Vistas Highlight Queen Mary 2's 2006 Andes & the Americas Itinerary

VALENCIA, Calif., July 19 -- Queen Mary 2's captivating 2006 Path of Magellan Historic Passages delve deeply into South America's rich cultural traditions in two 36- or 38-day Liner Voyages sailing around the bottom of the world. As the iconic ship makes her maiden foray into the region, segments of the longer journeys will showcase the region's unique history and magnificent beauty in a shorter amount of time. The 14-day Andes & the Americas itinerary is the last segment of the westbound South American Odyssey, departing Valparaiso, Chile on February 8, calling on five fascinating ports in Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico. The reverse eastbound journey with the same calls departs March 8 from Los Angeles.

"Whether their interests lie in archaeological wonders or eco-tourism, history or hiking, "modern-day explorers" aboard Queen Mary 2 will enjoy a legendary adventure on this spell-binding South American voyage," says Jan Swartz, senior vice president of customer service and sales for Cunard Line.

QM2 begins her journey from Valparaiso, Chile, a picturesque port city in close proximity to Santiago, the country's capital and largest city. Wine lovers may want to arrive a day or two in advance of departure, as this destination affords the opportunity to sip and shop for some of Chile's world-renowned wines. Historians will enjoy Santiago's teeming Plaza de Armas, marked by a magnificent Cathedral, fountains and gardens. From Chile, QM2 traces a path along the Central Coast, arriving in Callao, Peru, near Lima. Perhaps best known as the gateway to Machu Picchu, the "lost city of the Incas," this majestic 100-acre stone city is considered one of the world's most captivating artifacts. Another intriguing excursion is the Nazca Lines, which predate the Incas by centuries. One of the world's greatest archeological mysteries, the line drawings stretch up to a half-mile across the desert floor and are best seen from the air.

Following a day at sea, the ship docks in Esmeraldes, Ecuador. The equator runs through Ecuador, allowing stargazers to see stars in both hemispheres. Here, the must-see excursion is the capital city of Quito and its Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hailed as the best preserved in South America, colonial mansions, cathedrals and museums line the cobblestone streets of the Old City. From Ecuador, the ship makes the short trip to Fuerte Amador, Panama, gateway to the Panama Canal. This recently developed port lies in close proximity to Panama City and Casco Antiguo, where old churches, plazas and colonial buildings reveal the city's rich history.

Following another day at sea, QM2 reaches Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, on the Pacific Central Coast. The country's renowned unspoiled natural beauty commands the attention of cruising nature lovers. A short drive from Puerto Caldera brings visitors to a trio of spectacular national parks and nature reserves: the Manuel Antonio National Park, Chirripo National Park and Carara Biological Reserve. From Costa Rica, QM2 journeys to Acapulco, Mexico, a former fishing village and now one of the world's most glamorous cities. Here, visitors may enjoy an excursion to La Quebrada, where the renowned cliff divers plunge into the Pacific Ocean. From there, the ship cruises along the Mexican Rivera and Southern California coastline for two days before making its final stop in Los Angeles on February 22.

Cunard Line's 2006 Path of Magellan South American Liner Voyages feature two 38-day (36 days if embarking in Ft. Lauderdale) eastbound and westbound "South American Odysseys," bringing guests around Cape Horn via the Drake Passage, Beagle Channel and the Straits of Magellan, calling on 15 ports in 12 countries in total. The 38-day westbound voyage departs New York on January 15 and the 36-day voyage departs Ft. Lauderdale on January 17. The eastbound journey reverses the itinerary and concludes in Ft. Lauderdale on April 13 and New York on April 15.

For more information about Cunard or Queen Mary 2's South America itineraries, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Carnival Cruise Lines Takes Delivery of New 
110,000-ton Carnival Liberty

MIAMI (July 15, 2005) – In ceremonies in Monfalcone, Italy, Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival Corp, took delivery of the its newest cruise ship, the 110,000-ton Carnival Liberty, which launches the line’s first-ever Mediterranean cruise program July 20. The 2,974-passenger SuperLiner is the 21st vessel in Carnival’s “Fun Ship” fleet. Prior to the launch of its Mediterranean schedule, Carnival Liberty will operate a special three-day introductory cruise July 16-19 followed by a pierside overnight gala in Civitavecchia, Italy, July 19. That same evening, the ship will be “officially” named, with Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino serving as godmother. 

“Carnival Liberty is a spectacular addition to the ‘Fun Ship’ fleet and we’re looking forward to the exciting inaugural festivities, as well as the start-up of our first-ever Mediterranean cruise program which features some of the region’s most charming and historic ports of call,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

Carnival Liberty’s seven-port, 12-day Med cruises will operate round-trip from Civitavecchia July 20 - Oct. 12, 2005, and include visits to Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy; Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy. Following this program, Carnival Liberty will depart Civitavecchia on a 16-day transatlantic crossing Oct. 24 and arrive in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Nov. 9, 2005, positioning the vessel for a one-of-a-kind program of six- and eight-day Bahamas/Caribbean voyages beginning Nov. 12. She will return to Europe in May 2006 for another season of 12-day Mediterranean cruises.

Among the largest passenger vessels at sea, Carnival Liberty houses 22 lounges and bars, including a sports bar, piano bar, wine bar, dance club, and a 1,500-seat theater showcasing lavish Vegas-style productions. Its 13 passenger decks also house a 13,500-square-foot health club, four swimming pools, a cascading water slide, a 4,200-square-foot children’s play area, and a 1,800-square-foot teen club. Dining options include twin two-level main dining rooms, a spacious poolside eatery and an intimate reservations-only supper club serving U.S.D.A. prime beef and other gourmet cuisine.

Of the ship’s 1,487 staterooms, 60 percent offer either an ocean view or private balcony. Reservations are being accepted for all of Carnival Liberty’s 2005-2006 Mediterranean and Caribbean departures. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Holland America Line Offers Most Extensive 
Panama Canal Program in 2006

Seattle, July 18, 2005 – With 30 different Panama Canal cruises offered in 2006, Holland America Line showcases the eighth wonder of the modern world with more experience and more choices than before. Building on its rich maritime tradition, the premium cruise leader offers 15 diverse itineraries, including roundtrip sailings and full transit voyages ranging from 10 to 34 days, aboard the newest five-star fleet in the Panama Canal.

“Holland America Line was among the first to explore this spectacle of engineering, and we continue to lead the way today with more departures and more time than others in the actual canal itself,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. 

From Pacific rain forests to Atlantic reefs, seven Holland America Line ships offer epic adventures with intriguing explorations of the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Mexico, as well as the spectacular locks of the Panama Canal. The line’s popular 10-day Panama Canal Sunfarer itinerary travels roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, while longer full transit cruises feature the added convenience of customizing cruise length with flexible embark and debark options in major east and west coast cities.

10- to 22-day Panama Canal Transits: Winter, Spring & Fall 
The year begins with a 16-day winter canal transit aboard the ms Ryndam that departs San Diego on January 6 en route to Tampa, Florida. April features seven departures of 14 to 22 days aboard seven different ships sailing from Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa or San Diego to gateways from Los Angeles to Vancouver. Four September cruises offer 14- to 21-day flexible itineraries from Vancouver or Seattle.

With rates starting at just US$1,749 per person, double occupancy, ports of call may include: Victoria, British Columbia; Astoria, Oregon; San Diego and San Francisco, California; New York City; Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Mazatlán, Zihuatanejo, Santa Cruz Huatulco and Cozumel, Mexico; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Panama Canal; Cartegena, Colombia; George Town, Grand Cayman; La Romana, Dominican Republic; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Oranjestad, Aruba; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

10- and 13-day Panama Canal Sunfarer 
The ms Zaandam and ms Amsterdam travel round trip from Ft. Lauderdale showcasing the Canal on 17 ten-day Southern Caribbean itineraries, cruising to Gatun Lake with a stop in Colón, Panama, and then sailing to Puerto Limón or Puerto Moin, Costa Rica. Additional ports of call include the line’s private island Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; Oranjestad, Aruba; and Willemstad, Curaçao. With rates from US$1,149 per person, double occupancy, cruises sail January 4 through April 4, 2006 and again between October 30 and December 9, 2006. A 13-day itinerary departs New York City on October 17, 2006, returning to Ft. Lauderdale.

30- to 34-day Transcanal & Amazon River 
The ms Veendam sets off from Vancouver on the ultimate voyage on September 24, 2006 – with options to join the ship in Seattle, Los Angeles or Acapulco — on a transcanal cruise highlighted by a journey into the spellbinding Amazon River. Travelers will also discover the Mexican Riviera, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean. Per person, double occupancy rates for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure begin at US$4,399.

14-day Panama Canal Holiday 
Perfectly timed to encompass Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s 2006, the ms Amsterdam’s December 19, 2006 holiday cruise travels roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale visiting the Panama Canal; the ABC Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao; Puerto Limón, Costa Rica; George Town, Grand Cayman, Roatán, Honduras; Cozumel, Mexico; and, Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

Culinary and Historic Enrichment 
A Panama Canal historian travels as part of the Exploration Speaker Series on every sailing, providing insight and answering questions. In addition, James Mazzio, executive chef of The Studio at Long Grove in Chicago and a 1999 Food and Wine magazine Best New Chef, will sail on the Sept. 30, 2006, departure of the ms Zuiderdam from Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale. On board, Chef Mazzio will provide complimentary culinary demonstrations as well as teach private optional cooking classes.

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Gauchos, Patagonian Penguins & Snow-Capped Volcanoes Await Cunard Adventurers on 2006 Cape Horn & Chilean Fjords Voyage

VALENCIA, Calif., July 13 -- Queen Mary 2's anticipated 2006 Path of Magellan Historic Passage itineraries will offer adventurers an eclectic taste of South America as the ship rounds Cape Horn for the first time and becomes the largest ocean liner in history to do so. The 12-day Cape Horn and Chilean Fjords cruise sailing from Rio de Janeiro on January 27, 2006 and arriving in Valparaiso on February 8, is the second segment of the famous ship's 36 or 38 day South American maiden voyages, sailing around the bottom of the world and to the magnificently picturesque regions of Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile. The eastbound reverse itinerary embarks from Valparaiso on March 22 and arrives in Rio on April 3. Guests will follow in the intrepid footsteps of such explorers as Columbus, who in 1492 set sail in search of a western route to the Orient and discovered a "new world," and Ferdinand Magellan who forged his own way through these territories in 1520 and named the Straits of Magellan after himself.

"In the Cunard tradition, these liner voyages offer a fascinating glimpse into the early exploration of some of history's greatest adventurers, while guests revel in a luxurious shipboard experience recalling the bygone era of glamorous ocean travel," says Jan Swartz, senior vice president of customer service and sales for Cunard Line. "Our guests will enjoy 21st century Cunard signature comforts while sailing through some of the most rugged and storied landscapes in the world."

The four-part itinerary begins in Rio de Janeiro. After a day cruising the Atlantic Ocean, guests will arrive in scenic Montevideo, Uruguay, where a myriad of shore adventures await during this overnight stop. Visitors will enjoy such sites as the charm of the old city, the last Spanish-built military bastion in Uruguay, and the impressive Legislative Palace. Other Montevideo excursions include a leisurely tour through the city's parks, plazas, museums, monuments and the Rambla (or waterfront), passing many of the region's beautiful beaches. Beyond the reach of the urban center lies the famed countryside and the seaside resort of Piriapolis. Other land offerings include the Essence of Uruguay, where guests visit a 200 year-old estancia for a taste of gaucho life, folk music and dances, culminating in a traditional gaucho barbeque lunch.

Another two days at sea brings the ship around Cape Horn and the next port of call, Ushuaia, Argentina. The beauty of Tierra Del Fuego's rugged mountains can be experienced in a scenic drive to Lago Escondido, "Hidden Lake," or via a narrow-gauge train, "the southernmost railway in the world," where the locomotive retraces the route used by inmates of the island's penal colonies (the last one closed in 1947). For thrill-seekers with a more extreme appetite for up-close wildlife and adventure, a two-hour trek in the Mayor Natural Reserve to a "Lenga" forest may appeal, as well as drive to the "End of the World" through Tierra del Fuego National Park, bringing visitors to the end of the world's longest stretch of road -- the Pan American Highway.

Just around the other side of Cape Horn, Queen Mary 2 stops in Punta Arenas, Chile, where the beauty and wonder of Patagonia await, amid a wide variety of culture, history, and breathtaking landscapes. Excursions include a visit to Fort Bulnes, the first Chilean settlement in Patagonia founded in 1842 and inhabited by only 21 colonists. The re-creation of this hilltop fort, with sweeping views of the Straits of Magellan, offers a glimpse into those challenging pioneer days. Outdoors enthusiasts will delight in visiting the site of a remote colony of Magellanic penguins on Otway Bay, while others will enjoy a tour of Estancia Fitz Roy, a living museum dedicated to Chile's hearty baqueanos, the sheep ranchers who settled Patagonia.

Cruising through the dramatic Chilean fjords would be enough to take anyone's breath away, but two more ports seek to further impress even the most seasoned travelers. Next stop: Puerto Montt, Chile, where visitors travel past the region's blue-green rivers and majestic lakes to view the snow-capped volcanoes of Chile's Lake District, culminating in a tour of the famed "German Villages." Lake Esmeralda, the Petrohue River and Puerto Varas provide unforgettable backdrops to this richly landscaped region. Boasting a colorful mixture of culture and architecture, a stop in Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile affords visitors an opportunity to experience local arts and crafts at the city's Mercado Central and Paseo Ahumada, along with the grandeur of colonial Santiago. The city is hailed as the tourist capital of Chile with its winding streets, rolling hills and picturesque coastline, and excursions include an authentic Chilean rodeo, a visit to the famed Concha y Toro winery and the resort town of Vina del Mar.

Cunard Line's 2006 Path of Magellan South American Liner Voyages feature two 38-day (36 days if embarking in Ft. Lauderdale) eastbound and westbound "South American Odysseys," bringing guests around Cape Horn via the Drake Passage, Beagle Channel and the Straits of Magellan, calling on 15 ports in 12 countries in total. The 38-day westbound voyage departs New York on January 15 and the 36-day voyage departs Ft. Lauderdale on January 17. The eastbound journey reverses the itinerary, beginning March 8 in Los Angeles and concludes in Ft. Lauderdale on April 13 and in New York on April 15. For more information about Cunard or Queen Mary 2's 2006 Path of Magellan South America itineraries, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Carnival Corp Orders New 68,500-Ton Cruise Ship for 
AIDA Cruises Brand

MIAMI, July 13 -- Carnival Corp. has ordered a 68,500-ton cruise ship for its AIDA Cruises brand, which caters exclusively to the German-speaking market, marking the third new ship order placed for its German cruise line in the past nine months. The 2,030-passenger vessel, which will be constructed by Germany's Meyer Werft shipyard at an all-in cost of euro 315 million, is scheduled to enter service in April 2008. It will be a sister ship to AIDA's two previously announced 68,500-ton cruise ships which will be built at Meyer Werft and are expected to enter service in April 2007 and April 2009. Like its sister ships, the new vessel will operate under AIDA's informal "club resort" cruise concept which is aimed at younger, more active vacationers and offers a host of on-board amenities and facilities.

"With an expected passenger base of approximately one million by 2010, the German market is expanding at a very rapid pace. Ordering a third 68,500-ton 'club resort' newbuild for AIDA continues our European strategy of developing this fast-growing market by offering cruises with the most exciting, modern ships available for German vacationers," said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc chairman and CEO. AIDA Cruises revolutionized the German cruise market with the introduction of its first club ships in 1996. By 2009, a total of seven club ships will be in service, operating voyages to the Mediterranean, the Canaries, North Sea, the Baltic, the Caribbean and Central America.

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Celebrity Cruises Orders New Cruise Ship, 
Launches Innovative New Class

MIAMI, July 12, 2005 – Celebrity Cruises will build a new cruise ship and launch a new class of landmark ships, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and German shipbuilder Meyer Werft announced today after signing a letter of intent. Celebrity also has an option for a second ship. The agreement is subject to customary conditions being satisfactorily met. The new ship, Celebrity’s first wide-body construction, has a volume of 117,000 gross registered tons, and length and width of 1,033 feet by 121 feet, making it a post-Panamax vessel. The 1,425-stateroom ship accommodates 2,850 guests (double occupancy) and 1,250 crew. 

Celebrity incorporates many features typically associated with luxury cruising in its new ship. More than 90 percent of the ship’s staterooms are outside cabins, and more than 90 percent of those rooms have balconies. The standard stateroom on this ship is much larger than the standard stateroom in the cruise industry. The average standard stateroom on Celebrity’s new ship is 215 square feet. Other distinctive features are planned for the new design and will be announced in coming months. Their inclusion on the ship, like the added balconies and larger staterooms, is the result of Celebrity’s close dialogue with its guests and trade partners.

“Today’s announcement clearly demonstrates the company’s continuing commitment to the growth and innovative development of the Celebrity brand, “said Dan Hanrahan, president of Celebrity Cruises. “It also strengthens our hand in delivering the incredible service and amenities and the phenomenal cruise experience Celebrity is known for.” 
“We are excited to be collaborating with Celebrity on this new, breakthrough design and its market-leading innovations,” said Meyer Werft Managing Partner Bernard Meyer. “It has taken us many months to develop a strong, working prototype and this next-generation of ships is truly extraordinary.” 

The company expects delivery of the new ship in Fall 2008. It estimates the all-in cost of the ship to be approximately $225,000 per berth. The exercise date for the second ship is March 15, 2006, subject to certain conditions. 

With today’s new ship and current ship orders, the company predicts fleet capacity to increase by 2.8 percent in 2006, 7.4 percent in 2007, and 7.2 percent in 2008. 
Celebrity Cruises is owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., a global cruise vacation company, which also operates Royal Caribbean International. The company has a combined total of 29 ships in service, two under construction and one on firm order. The company also offers unique land-tour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe through its cruise-tour division. Additional information can be found on

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Celebrate the Holidays the Windstar Way & 
Heat Things Up on a 10- or 11-Day Caribbean Cruise

Seattle, WA, June 12, 2005 – ‘Tis the season to escape for the holidays to the warm waters of the Caribbean aboard a Windstar Cruises luxury motor sailing yacht – the 308-passenger Wind Surf or 148-passenger Wind Spirit – exploring uncommon ports of call on a 10- or 11-day cruise; places like Tobago, Bequia, Roseau, Mayreau and Gaudeloupe. 

“Sailing with Windstar is a relaxing way to make the most of the holiday season,” says Jim McHugh, Windstar’s vice president of sales and marketing. “The Caribbean’s warm breezes and turquoise blue waters combined with the Wind Surf’s sun drenched teak decks and impeccable service make for the ideal winter vacation.”

Aboard the Wind Surf and Wind Spirit, a special holiday menu features traditional fare, such as roast beef tenderloin and roasted turkey with chestnut dressing along with favorites such as grilled duck breast and crispy salmon. Dinner may begin with an appetizer of foie gras with toasted brioche and a lobster and mango salad. Desserts such as plum pudding or a traditional banana split wrap up the holiday menu.

Holiday festivities blend traditional decorations, such as beautifully decorated Christmas trees in the lounge and garlands on the banisters, with added cultural activities based on the ship’s itinerary. Catch a glimpse of another culture as the talented crew performs native and local carols at a festive holiday show. At the New Year’s eve party aboard the Wind Surf, the oldest member of the crew rings out the old year on the ship’s bell, and the youngest rings in the new year.

The Wind Surf’s 10-day holiday cruise departs December 18 round trip from Bridgetown, Barbados, calling on Tobago, West Indies; Mayreau and Bequia, Grenadines; Pigeon Island, St. Lucia; Roseau and Cabrits, Dominica; Basse-Terre, Gaudeloupe, known by locals as "The Pearl of the French West Indies,” and Iles des Saintes, French Antilles. Special holiday cruise rates start at $2,695 per person, double occupancy.

The Wind Surf’s 11-day New Year’s cruise departs December 28 round trip from Bridgetown, Barbados and features Charlestown, Nevis; St. Martin and Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands; St. Barthélemy and Iles des Saintes, French Antilles; Pigeon Island, St. Lucia; and Bequia and Mayreau, Grenadines. Special cruise rates start at $3,095 per person, double occupancy.

Optional shore excursions include hiking one of the oldest rainforests in the Western hemisphere to a three-tiered cascading waterfall from Tobago; horseback riding on the beach at St. Lucia; snorkeling the crystal clear waters of Mayreau; or whale watching at Roseau.

The Wind Spirit also spends the holidays in the Caribbean, with a 10-day cruise departing December 17, 2005 roundtrip from St. Thomas. Ports of call include St. John, Saba, Iles des Saintes, Pigeon Island, Bridgetown, Bequia, Roseau, and Virgin Gorda. Cruise rates start at $2,995 per person, double occupancy.

The Wind Spirit’s 11-day New Year’s cruise departs December 27, 2005, roundtrip from St. Thomas and features St. John, Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Iles des Saintes, Pigeon Island, Mayreau and Virgin Gorda. Cruise rates start at $3,295 per person, double occupancy.

Optional shore excursions include a new Windstar exclusive five star champagne brunch at St. John’s Caneel Bay Resort. Following brunch, guests may relax on one of seven secluded beaches bordering the resort’s 170 lush acres, with opportunities to snorkel and experience marine life up close with a nature guide and snorkeling specialist. 

After the holiday season, the Wind Surf will sail new seven-day roundtrip Barbados itineraries until April. Northbound and southbound itineraries visit different ports making it conducive to back-to-back cruising with no repeating ports of call. Guests aboard the Wind Surf will explore unique ports in the heart of the Southern Caribbean.For more information including brochures, rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Explore the Sights of a Great Lakes Cruise On a New Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Website

Hamburg, GERMANY, July 2005 – When it comes to navigating the locks of the Great Lakes, you need a ship that has been designed for precision steering. C.Columbus is just such a ship, and some of its special abilities can be previewed on a new website: Not only is C.Columbus beautifully engineered, but as part of the legendary Hapag-Lloyd fleet of cruise ships, it is the largest and most luxurious full ship that travels along the world’s largest body of fresh water. During three Great Lakes trips – September 2-12; September 12-21; and September 21-October 1, 2005 – C.Columbus will welcome more than 1,200 passengers who will visit four states and two Canadian provinces, and will have the opportunity to sample Hapag-Lloyd’s world renowned brand of impeccable service and hospitality.

C. Columbus’ trip through the St. Lawrence Waterway showcases an engineering marvel that ranks with the Panama and Suez Canals. Spectators on land cheer the 472-foot vessel as it traverses each lock, while passengers watch from the decks and the glass observation area. Aboard the ship, lectures, menus, announcements, and entertainment are provided in English. Americans and Germans constitute most of the ship’s population.  

Coinciding with the splendor of fall foliage, these Great Lakes trips are part of C.Columbus’ loop around the world. Cities like Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee and Cleveland are visited by C.Columbus. In Ontario, visitors come as close to Paris as it is possible on this side of the Atlantic. Providing excellent value for the price, it is the only passenger vessel on the Lakes that features all amenities of a luxury ship, with international cuisine, lounges, sports, massage, swimming pool, and more. A Great Plus: During the cruise from Chicago to Sarnia, September 12 to 21, guests can enjoy an all-inclusive experience. Drinks and Cocktails at the bar, selected shore excursions and tips are included in the rate. 

Since 80% of Americans have expressed a desire to explore domestic vacations, a cruise ship navigating the Great Lakes with visits to home own turf is safe and exhilarating at the same time. Visit for a preview.

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Crystal Cruises Wins Ten Consecutive Years of Travel + Leisure's Readers' Poll for 'World's Best Large-Ship Cruise Line'

LOS ANGELES, July 11 -- Attesting to the consistent excellence of its luxury travel experience, for a tenth consecutive year, Crystal Cruises has been voted the "World's Best Large-Ship Cruise Line" in Travel + Leisure magazine's annual readers' survey. Crystal Cruises is the only cruise line, and one of only three travel companies, to have won the prestigious award in an overall category each year for the last decade.

"While each award is very special, we are exceptionally honored to win this tenth year on the tenth anniversary of Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards," says Gregg Michel, president, Crystal Cruises. "Our research indicates that reputation is a key factor in making a travel decision and there is no better validation of Crystal's reputation than to win this award for an unprecedented number of consecutive years from the sophisticated readers of Travel + Leisure. Since our inception, Crystal Cruises has been dedicated to providing an unparalleled travel experience of choices, space, service and quality. We are gratified that our winning formula is so consistently appreciated by the savviest of travelers."

For the tenth annual readers' survey, a questionnaire developed by the editors of Travel + Leisure, in association with Harris Interactive, was made available to Travel + Leisure subscribers during the first quarter of 2005. Respondents reported where they had traveled worldwide and how, and rated only the destinations, properties and companies that were relevant to their recent travel experiences. Readers were asked to rate cruise lines on a variety of criteria including Service, Itineraries/Destinations, Food, Cabin, Entertainment/Activities and Value.

"While we are enjoying an unmatched record of #1 wins in the cruise industry, we have never taken the awards for granted," adds Michel. "Our shoreside and shipboard team are committed to being the best in the luxury service business, not just the luxury cruise industry. An ongoing program of staff training and measurement systems keeps us focused. I'm very proud of our team's creativity, experience, and commitment to innovating product enhancements and services that means something to our guests, not just innovation for innovation sake." Continues Michel, "On our recent seven-day European cruises, more than 50% of the guests were under 50 and the guest ratings were the line's highest ever, which further corroborates the Travel + Leisure survey: Crystal is providing a luxurious and contemporary vacation experience for guests of different generations."

During the past year, Crystal has expanded its dining, shoreside and even bedding choices with such features as Wine Makers dinners in its new Vintage Rooms, exclusive cultural and active Crystal Adventures ashore throughout the world, and a pillow menu for a customized sleep experience. In recent years, in addition to a lavish World Cruise, the line's itinerary choices have offered more seven-day cruises in various destinations. For more information on 2005 and 2006 worldwide cruises, contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

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ms Noordam to Debut With Holland America Line's Signature of Excellence Enhancements in Place

SEATTLE, July 11 -- It may be the fourth ship in the Vista Class series but when the ms Noordam debuts in February 2006 it will be the first of its kind. The 1,848-passenger ms Noordam will showcase all the service and product enhancements of the line's $225 million Signature of Excellence initiative, including the addition of an Explorations Cafe, a cyber-coffee house powered by The New York Times, expanded Pinnacle Grill, and a new Pinnacle Bar.

"We are delighted to introduce the ms Noordam as our first new ship fully equipped with all Signature of Excellence enhancements when she sails from the shipyard early next year," said Rick Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "She'll head into service on our newest Caribbean itinerary providing guests sailing from New York City with the top premium experience in the cruise industry."

Other major Signature of Excellence attributes will include the innovative Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine Magazine; an expanded Greenhouse Spa and Salon; and upgraded youth facility that includes the Teens-only Loft. Also new, and unique to the Noordam, will be the Pinnacle Wine Bar, offering a wide selection of worldwide wines. Special Signature of Excellence amenities add to the welcoming ambience of the Noordam's 924 staterooms, 87 percent of which offer ocean views. All feature plush Euro-top Mariner Beds, deluxe waffle/terry cloth robes, flat panel TVs, dvd players, magnifying make-up mirrors with halo lighting, massage shower heads, professional hair dryers, and complimentary fruit basket.

Holland America Line's new One-Touch Concierge Service will also be in full operation when the Noordam arrives. All guests in verandah suites will enjoy personalized phone concierge service to assist with special requests, spa or dinner reservations, room service and other needs. Offering similar assistance, food, and a place to relax and work, the Neptune Lounge also will continue to offer concierge service to deluxe verandah suite guests with One-Touch Concierge Service available when the Neptune Lounge is closed.

New Culinary Arts Program in Partnership with Food & Wine Magazine
Among the most progressive of the Signature of Excellence enhancements will be Holland America Line's recently announced Culinary Arts Center presented by Food & Wine Magazine. More than 60 celebrated chefs and culinary experts per year will provide cooking demonstrations and intimate classes in the new state-of-the-art onboard show kitchen.

Four acclaimed culinary experts are confirmed during the Noordam's inaugural year: Johnny Iuzzini, executive pastry chef of New York's renowned Jean Georges restaurant (April 5, 10-day Caribbean); John Howie, owner/chef of Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar in Seattle (July 30, 10-day Europe); Charles Dale, founder of Aspen's Range and Rustique restaurants (Sept. 18, 10-day Europe); and Anthony Giglio, wine author and sommelier (Nov. 25, 11-day Caribbean).

The Culinary Arts Center with its state-of-the-art show kitchen will serve as a hub for the interactive gourmet experiences. Guests in the audience can get an up-close view of the cooking action on large, plasma screens, while other guests also may watch these events from the comfort of their staterooms. Each Culinary Arts Center will have portable cooking stations where groups of up to 16 guests can participate in hands-on classes.

New Explorations Cafe powered by The New York Times
The new Explorations Cafe, powered by The New York Times, offers guests an opportunity to sip coffee, browse through one of the most extensive libraries at sea, enjoy a wide selection of music at one of several listening stations or surf the Internet. They also can work The New York Times' crossword puzzles and access "TimesTalks" events and the website.

Youth Program Expands Club HAL®, Adds The Loft for Teens
Younger cruisers now enjoy supervised, age-specific activities in a more comprehensive Youth Program and expanded Club HAL® designed for kids ages 3 to 12. The younger ones can enjoy creative activities at art tables, watch big-screen television and play on a fun slide. Older kids, ages 8 to 12, have an area featuring arcade games, air hockey, foosball, Karaoke, Internet access and Sony Playstations. Teens, ages 13-18, can enjoy their own special place to relax and socialize called The Loft, teens-only lounge designed to resemble a New York artist's loft.

Gourmet Dining and the Greenhouse Spa & Salon
Dining choices aboard the Noordam will include the expanded Pinnacle Grill restaurant featuring Pacific Northwest fare and wines, and four dining times in the main dining room. Guests can also enjoy enhanced Lido dining and complimentary, 24-hour room service menu.

The Greenhouse Spa and Salon will provide guests with a wide range of exotic skin, body and hair treatments. The spa features new treatment rooms, a thermal suite and hydro-pool, as well as access to a spacious, well-appointed fitness facility.

Eleven Caribbean sailings will depart New York, beginning with the maiden voyage of the Noordam on February 22, 2006. Fares start at US $1,199 per person, double occupancy. The award-winning premium cruise leader's fleet of 12 ships offers nearly 500 cruises from 27 homeports and excels at providing gracious and attentive service. It's renowned "Tradition of Excellence" includes Signature of Excellence, a $225 million initiative targeting product and service enhancements in stateroom accommodations, dining, service, enrichment programs and activities, and worldwide itineraries. Six ships are completed with the rest to be finished by the end of 2006. For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Travel + Leisure Readers Agree: Seabourn is the World's Best

MIAMI, July 11 -- The readers of Travel + Leisure magazine have added their acclaim to the growing list of awards and accolades accruing to Seabourn Cruise Line, ranking its three elegant, yacht-like sister-ships the "World's Best Small Ship Cruise Line" in the magazine's 10th annual World's Best Awards. Since the Seabourn yachts also earned the highest score awarded to any cruise line by readers of Departures magazine in its most recent Luxury Survey, the combined honors amount to a Seabourn sweep of readers' polls sponsored by American Express Publishing Corporation's upscale travel and lifestyle publications, which reach a combined circulation of over 1.65 million affluent households.

Seabourn's president, Deborah L. Natansohn, said, "Topping the Travel + Leisure poll is enormously gratifying for all of us. We are extremely proud of the shipboard and shoreside staffs that produce this level of satisfaction on the part of our guests, day after day."

With the addition of the Departures and Travel + Leisure rankings, Seabourn has had a consistent record of praises from prestigious sources over the past months. Seabourn Spirit is once again the highest rated cruise ship in the world in the 2005 Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Poll. Spirit was awarded the same title in the 2003 poll. Identical sisters Seabourn Pride and Seabourn Legend shared the spotlight with admirable scores in their own rights. Pride earned a perfect 100 for "Destinations" and "Crew/Service" and Legend took the top spot in the small ship category for "Food/Dining," barely edging ahead of second-place Spirit by two-tenths of a point.

Seabourn's highly inclusive onboard experience provides a series of thoughtful enhancements to shipboard and shoreside services called Signature Delights that add luxury and value for guests aboard the three 208-guest Yachts of Seabourn: Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend. Signature Delights include complimentary service of spirits and wines including French champagne throughout every cruise; free Massage Moments for guests on deck; gourmet cuisine created by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer; indulgent Pure Pampering therapeutic bathing selections from Molton Brown and an Exclusively Seabourn complimentary shoreside experience on every cruise.

Worldwide cruise itineraries of seven to 72 days or longer explore landmark ports and lesser-known gems where larger ships cannot go. For information, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit Seabourn's award-winning website at

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Princess Launches Largest Ever Caribbean Fleet in 2006-07

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (July 11, 2005) - Eight Princess ships will be sailing through the sunny Caribbean during the 2006-07 season, giving passengers more choice than ever with a selection of 11 itineraries including Southern Caribbean cruises aboard the new Crown Princess and an inaugural season of sailings from the new homeport of New Orleans. 

The cruises will range from seven to 14 days, aboard some of the youngest and most amenity-filled ships in the region. Crown Princes, which will sail on her first full program of Southern Caribbean cruises from San Juan, and Golden Princess, which will inaugurate Princess' first sailings from a new homeport in New Orleans, will be joined by Caribbean Princess in the Eastern Caribbean, Star Princess in the Western Caribbean and Grand Princess sailing the Western Caribbean from Galveston. Sun Princess and Sea Princess will offer longer voyages sailing the length and breadth of the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, with Sun Princess offering 10-day cruises and Sea Princess returning for a second season of 14-day journeys. And Coral Princess will join the Caribbean fleet for a special holiday sailing in the Eastern Caribbean. 

"This deployment represents our largest Caribbean fleet to date," said Jan Swartz, senior vice president of customer service and sales for Princess. "With four different homeports, three choices in cruise length, and a plethora of itineraries that cover the region, we offer Caribbean cruising options to fit just about any preference. Plus, we offer the newest seven-day fleet in the industry (at just under four years old on average) with innovative ships built specifically for Caribbean cruising and loaded with our trademark balconies - the perfect way to enjoy the islands."

Princess' 2006-07 Caribbean season features: 

Crown Princess - The newest addition to the Caribbean fleet, Crown Princess will be based in San Juan for alternating Saturday departures on seven-day cruises to the Southern Caribbean. The ship offers 13 sailings on a Classic Southern Caribbean itinerary featuring calls at Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. The Southern Caribbean Explorer route meanwhile includes 13 departures with visits to St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Grenada, Bonaire and Aruba. In addition, following her previously announced summer season in "The Big Apple," Crown Princess will start her fall run with an eight-day repositioning cruise from New York to San Juan on October 27, 2006 including stops at St. Thomas, Antigua, Dominica and St. Kitts. The ship's Caribbean season runs through April 28, 2007. 

Caribbean Princess - The ship offers her third season sailing Princess' Classic Eastern Caribbean itinerary roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale. The vessel shifts to Sunday departures for 27 sailings of an itinerary that travels to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Princess Cays. Sailings run between October 29, 2006 and April 29, 2007. Caribbean Princess will also offer a complete summer season in 2006 with alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. The May 6 to October 21, 2006 season features both 12 Eastern Caribbean sailings and 13 Western Caribbean sailings to Princess Cays, Ocho Rios (or Montego Bay), Grand Cayman and Cozumel. 

Golden Princess - A new homeport for Princess, New Orleans, will be the base for Golden Princess' Western Caribbean itinerary. The ship will offer three sailings on an itinerary that travels to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Golden Princess sails on December 16, 23 and 30, 2006. 

Grand Princess - Grand Princess returns to her Galveston homeport to sail on a series of seven-day Western Caribbean cruises. The 2,600-passenger vessel departs on Saturdays on a new itinerary that calls in Costa Maya, Roatan (Honduras), Belize and Cozumel. The ship offers 24 sailings on this itinerary between November 18, 2006 and April 28, 2007. 

Star Princess - Star Princess will again offer a series of seven-day Western Caribbean itineraries, departing from Ft. Lauderdale on Saturdays. The ship will offer 25 sailings between November 11, 2006 and April 28, 2007, featuring calls at Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Princess Cays. 

Sun Princess - Sun Princess will offer alternating 10-day sailings roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale - one to the Southern Caribbean and the other to the Eastern Caribbean. The Southern Caribbean Medley itinerary is offered on 10 sailings and includes calls at Curaçao, Isla Margarita, Barbados, Dominica, St. Thomas and Princess Cays. The Eastern Caribbean Voyager itinerary is featured on nine sailings and offers calls at Antigua, St. Lucia, Grenada, Martinique, St. Thomas and Princess Cays. Sun Princess' Caribbean season runs between October 11, 2006 and April 9, 2007. 

Sea Princess - Sea Princess again offers an intriguing a series of 14-day Caribbean adventures, featuring two alternating itineraries sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale. The ship will offer six sailings on the Grand Caribbean Adventurer with calls at Princess Cays, Tortola, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent, Trinidad, Bonaire and Aruba. Six sailings of the Grand Caribbean Islander itinerary feature calls at Princess Cays, Tortola, Antigua, Dominica, Martinique, Barbados, Grenada, Isla Margarita, Curaçao and Montego Bay. Sea Princess sails between November 11, 2006 and April 14, 2007. 

Coral Princess - Coral Princess will join the Caribbean fleet for a special holiday Eastern Caribbean sailing on December 22, 2006. This seven-day escape features visits to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Princess' own Princess Keys. 

Regardless of which itinerary passengers choose, they will enjoy some of the most amenity-filled vessels in the Princess fleet, with such distinctive features as the line's signature Personal Choice Dining, Lotus Spa, extensive children and teen centers, wedding chapels, internet centers, and an extensive array of entertainment options and venues, all in an intimately designed, personalized environment. Crown Princess and her sister ship, Caribbean Princess, both sailing year-round in the Caribbean, sport such features as a poolside "Movies Under the Star" movie screen, a Caribbean-themed alternative restaurant, and nearly 900 cabins with balconies -- more than on any other cruise ships sailing year-round in the Caribbean.  Additional information is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Harry Potter Rewrites History Aboard Queen Mary 2

VALENCIA, CA - July 11, 2005 - It's only appropriate that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the highly-anticipated book that promises to immerse readers even further into the magical realm of Hogwarts, be transported to the U.S. under tight security aboard Queen Mary 2, the world's most famous ocean liner. While accustomed to carrying heads of state, royalty and celebrities, this is the first time in history that an internationally best-selling book has traveled to its international debut aboard an ocean liner.

"The Queen Mary 2 continues Cunard's 165-year tradition of Royal Mail Service by transporting this priceless edition of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the first author-signed U.S. copy by author J.K. Rowling, to New York for Scholastic's U.S. book launch," stated Jan Swartz Senior Vice President of Customer Service and Sales for Cunard Line.  

The book's transatlantic crossing began in Southampton, England, arriving in New York under tight security. Like QM2 passengers, who receive the utmost attention while onboard, the book and its 5' x 7' steamer trunk were placed under lock and key and guarded closely by the ship's security. 

After J.K. Rowling signed the book in her office in Edinburgh, Scotland, a Scholastic executive traveled with the book - under tight security - to Southampton, England where it was placed in a 5 foot by 7 foot steamer trunk which was then locked and loaded by crane onto the Queen Mary 2 for its journey to America. When the ship docked in New York City harbor, the steamer trunk was unloaded and transferred by the ship's White Star Service™ porters to a Dunbar Armored truck and taken to a secure and undisclosed location. It will remain there until Friday, July 15 at 9:30am when Dunbar will deliver the trunk to Scholastic headquarters for a press event where the trunk will be unlocked and the book will be presented to the Grand Prize Winner of Scholastic's nationwide public library sweepstakes. The book will remain on display in a locked case guarded by security personnel at Harry Potter Place in New York City until 12:01 a.m. on July 16 when the winning public library will take possession of it. 

For more information about Cunard and Queen Mary 2, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Royal Caribbean's Newly Lengthened Enchantment of the Seas Re-Enters Service

MIAMI, July 6 -- Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas re-entered service on July 7 following an extreme makeover that included the addition of a new 73-foot midsection and bow-to- stern renovations. The undertaking introduced 151 additional staterooms, several of the line's most popular venues from its newest ships, and first-of- their-kind features unique to Enchantment of the Seas, including suspension bridges, a Splash Deck for kids and bungee trampolines.

"We've committed ourselves to providing innovative, exciting and unexpected experiences for our guests, and we are willing to stretch ourselves and our ships -- literally -- to fulfill that promise," said Royal Caribbean International President Adam Goldstein.

Architectural Innovations
The most visible additions to Enchantment of the Seas are two 75-foot-long suspension bridges, supported by dramatic arches, that run along both sides of the top deck of the ship. The bridges cross over two new areas of the Pool Deck that extend out over the water. On the port side, the overhanging platform features a new island bar, while the starboard side has plenty of room for relaxing and enjoying the pool band. Both overhanging areas include peek-a-boo windows in the floor for glimpses down to the sea.

Extraordinary Activities
The "new" Enchantment of the Seas offers guests numerous ways to enjoy their time onboard at a variety of activity and adventure levels. At the upper end of the adventurous scale, Enchantment offers a new adrenaline rush. In addition to the line's signature rock-climbing wall, the ship has four bungee trampolines on Deck 10 forward. Guests push off from inflatable trampolines, while harnesses connected to bungee cords send them soaring skyward.

Guests who prefer to stay grounded can work up a sweat on the new vitality course, also on Deck 10. Runners and walkers follow the quarter-mile jogging path to four fitness zones that focus on stretching, cardio, agility and toning.

One level below, Enchantment of the Seas features two pools and four whirlpools in its main pool area, which was expanded by nearly 50 percent. The highlight, however, is the new interactive fountain for kids. With 64 water jets on the floor, perimeter and a central dome, the Splash Deck allows kids to spray one another or create their own fountain effects with a touchpad system. At night, the circular area closes down and transforms into a fiber- optic light and water show.

Expanded Entertainment and Dining
Several entertainment and dining concepts from Royal Caribbean's newest ships were added to Enchantment of the Seas during the renovation, including the line's latest hot spot, Boleros Latin lounge. Located in the new midsection on Deck 5, Boleros is the perfect spot to be social while enjoying live Latin jazz and Central and South American drink favorites, such as mojitos, caipirinhas and specialty tequilas. Enchantment's Boleros also features a special surprise -- a spectacular glass ceiling reminiscent of a Mayan sunburst.

On Deck 6, a former pass-through lounge has been transformed into the elegant, 108-seat Chops Grille specialty restaurant. This traditional steakhouse offers everything from succulent filet mignon to delicious salmon. Side dishes like hearty mashed potatoes are served family-style for guests to share, while a selection of decadent desserts like Mississippi Chocolate Mud Pie are offered to complete the meal. Reservations are required and a $20 charge applies.

Enchantment's other dining options also were updated. The My Fair Lady Dining Room was renovated and expanded to accommodate additional guests, while the former Windjammer Cafe is now the Windjammer Marketplace. The self-serve Windjammer Marketplace offers multiple islands, each featuring dishes from a different region of the world, as well as a carving station, deli, extensive salad bar and a cook-to-order pasta station. For quick snacks and sweet treats between meals, Enchantment's new Latte'tudes coffee and ice cream shop serves up espresso drinks from Seattle's Best Coffee® and the creative flavors of Ben & Jerry's®.

Upgrades and Additions Throughout the Ship
Further renovations and additions to Enchantment of the Seas include two family staterooms that sleep six, a new lounge for guests to book future cruises, more space and additional slot machines for the Casino Royale, and a refurbished, 100-seat conference center. The enhanced shopping area includes a Fossil(R) watch store, a fine jewelry store and a photo electronics retail shop, while the nearby, extended photo gallery offers digital photo kiosks from which guests can select their souvenir cruise photos. The Enchantment Day Spa was expanded, now offering five additional treatment rooms, for a total of 13, including two couples' massage rooms. In addition, new accessibility features have been added throughout the ship, including improved thresholds and ramps, pool lifts and access to the Splash Deck.

Enchantment of the Seas officially re-entered service on July 7, 2005, with a four- night cruise to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Enchantment of the Seas then will sail a series of Canada/New England cruises from Cape Liberty (July 7-11), Philadephia (July 19-Aug. 21) and Boston (Sept. 4-25). She returns to Fort Lauderdale in October to resume four- and five-night Caribbean itineraries. Additional information can be found on the company's web site at or by calling 800-327-6700.

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Chef Charlie Palmer Enhances Seabourn Dinner Menus

MIAMI, July 6, 2005 - From a delicate Crab & Asparagus Napoleon appetizer with caviar cream and preserved lemon to a scrumptious Bittersweet Chocolate & Orange Tart with chocolate sauce for dessert, in the months to come, cruise guests aboard the intimate, all-suite Yachts of Seabourn will discover an array of taste-tempting new choices gracing their dinner menus. Award-winning chef/restaurateur Charlie Palmer, one of only three chefs to earn a spot on Forbes' annual Celebrity 100 list this year, has designed over 50 new gourmet culinary indulgences to be added to the award-winning fare served to guests in the open-seating Restaurant aboard Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend. The new dishes, which were developed in collaboration with Seabourn's Corporate Manager of Food & Beverage, Chef Tony Egger, enhance every course of the dinners, and will be rotated into the line's Palmer-designed, 28-day menu cycle through the end of 2005.

"Charlie has always insisted that the dining experience aboard our Seabourn yachts should reflect the best of what's happening in the culinary world shoreside," said Seabourn president Deborah L. Natansohn. "Just as his own fine dining venues in New York, Las Vegas and California continue to innovate and evolve," she said, "Charlie employs the same culinary creativity to updating and enhancing our menus on board."

Seabourn's ongoing collaboration with Chef Palmer has been a dramatic success, pleasing both the line's guests and professional reviewers and experts. In 2003, Palmer's revitalized menus for the line earned it a coveted first-place Diamond Award for outstanding achievement in onboard cuisine from the judges of Onboard Services magazine. In the 2005 Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Poll, Seabourn Legend and Spirit scored the top two spots for Food/Dining in the small ship category. Average scores for cuisine by guests in onboard surveys consistently hover around 9.5 on a scale of 10.

Among the new recipes, thanks to Chef Palmer's imagination, a traditional hot appetizer of Sautéed Escalope of Foie Gras receives an exotic accent with a Peppered Mango Tatin and basil oil, while a Double Consommé of Beef is enlivened with tiny duck confit cannelloni and roasted shallot petals. In a Mediterranean-inflected fish entrée, Pan Seared Halibut arrives Studded with Anchovies, adorned with a warm, Nicoise-style salad, crisp giant capers and black olives. For those in a meat-and-potatoes mood, a Grilled Hanger Steak is paired with a Guinness Braised Short Rib and complemented by grain mustard mashed potatoes and tomato compote.

Chef Palmer's ingenious and flavorful vegetarian entrées are among the most popular on Seabourn's menus, and new variations include Potato Leek Crepes with Gruyere, young vegetables and garlic confit or a Crisp Polenta & Mushroom Cake with creamy leek stew and tomato sauce. Renowned for his sumptuously rich and playfully-presented desserts, Palmer adds ten new fanciful finales for Seabourn feasts, including a Milk Chocolate & Peanut Butter Bombe with bittersweet chocolate sorbet and roasted peanut anglaise, and a fresh take on the comfort-food classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake, smartened up with pineapple coulis and coconut ice cream.

Guests can enjoy Chef Palmer's cuisine aboard The Yachts of Seabourn during ultra luxury cruise vacations of seven to 72 days or more in the Mediterranean; Northern Europe; the Americas and Caribbean; Southeast Asia; Africa, India and Arabia; Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. For information, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Queen Mary 2's Route To Rio Cruise Launches Cunard's 2006 Historic South American Path of Magellan Voyages

VALENCIA, CA, July 7, 2005 - When Queen Mary 2 departs New York on January 15, 2006, her guests will be embarking on an historic voyage to the bottom of the world on the largest ship to ever cruise around Cape Horn. Queen Mary 2's New York to Rio sailing is the first leg of the 38- or 36-day adventure, and will offer guests a colorful blend of the Caribbean and Brazil on the ship's journey southward. Alternatively, guests have the option of departing from this dazzling South America city on the last leg of the 38- or 36-day eastbound reverse itinerary, departing Rio on April 3, and arriving in Ft. Lauderdale on April 13 and in New York on April 15. 

"Cunard's 2006 South American liner voyages are the pinnacle of civilized adventure, offering a mesmerizing glimpse into the experiences of history's greatest explorers, while guests enjoy the Cunard hallmarks of opulent surroundings, fine dining, and renowned White Star Service™," says Jan Swartz, senior vice president of customer service and sales for Cunard Line. "Route to Rio is an exciting kick-off to Queen Mary 2's maiden foray into the rich history and traditions of South America." 

Tracing a two-day path along the Eastern Caribbean, guests arrive in the charming capital city of Basseterre, St. Kitts, considered one of the most picturesque colonial cities in the Caribbean. Here, visitors enjoy Brimstone Hill Fortress, a magnificent 17th century citadel offering panoramic views of the coastline, countryside and neighboring Caribbean islands. One of the best preserved historical forts in the Americas, it is a 300-year-old fortification perched 780 feet above sea level. The second largest fortress of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, Brimstone Hill was the site of more battles between the British and French than any other in history. Other must-see sights include the batik studio in secluded Romney Gardens and, for hikers, a guided tour up St. Kitts highest peak, Mt. Liamuiga, an extinct volcano.

The voyage continues to Bridgetown, Barbados the next day, where the island's rich British history is reflected in its architecture and attitude. Orchid World inspires quiet meandering along fragrant, winding paths while Andromeda Gardens is home to an outstanding collection of tropical plants. Travelers with a penchant for history will enjoy a glimpse of Gun Hill, a former British lookout post, and the 300-year old sugar estate, Sunbury Plantation House. 

From Barbados, Queen Mary 2 cruises the Atlantic for four days before sailing into port in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Designated a world heritage site by UNESCO, Salvador is a historic and fascinating city that is particularly engaging to those who appreciate architecture. A walking tour through the cobblestone streets of Pelourinho, the city's historic district, reveals the highest concentration of Baroque architecture in Latin America. Churches, manor houses and buildings date back to the 17th century, affording a glimpse into the lives of wealthy sugarcane planters. On the Itapagipe Peninsula, the 18th century Bonfim Church draws thousands of visitors each year. Shoppers enjoy Mercado Modelo, featuring shops selling traditional handicrafts such as Brazilian lace, embroidery and hammocks. 

Following another day at sea, Queen Mary 2 reaches Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One of the world's most exciting cities, Rio is also one of the most beautiful. From Carnival to samba, Rio captures the energy and excitement of the Brazilian Rivera at its best. Here, must-see excursions include visits to Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer Statue, two of Rio's most prominent landmarks; the Sambodroma District, home to Rio's legendary Carnival parades; and famed Copacabana Beach. Other Rio excursions include a visit to 19th century Petropolis, the mountain retreat of Brazil's last emperor, and a tour of the historic Imperial Palace.

Cunard Line's 2006 Path of Magellan South American Liner Voyages feature two 38-day (36 days if embarking in Ft. Lauderdale) eastbound and westbound "South American Odysseys," bringing guests around Cape Horn via the Drake Passage, Beagle Channel and the Straits of Magellan, calling on 15 ports in 12 countries in total. The 38-day westbound voyage departs New York on January 15 and the 36-day voyage departs Ft. Lauderdale on January 17. The eastbound journey reverses the itinerary, beginning in Los Angeles on March 8 and concluding in Ft. Lauderdale on April 13 and in New York on April 15. For more information about Cunard or Queen Mary 2's 2006 Path of Magellan South America itineraries, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Discovery World Cruises Ventures to Remote Galapagos in 2006

FORT LAUDERDALE – July 07, 2005 – Intrepid travelers will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin in April 2006 on two new cruise-tour vacations offered by Discovery World Cruises. The line’s MV Discovery has been granted permission to offer expeditions to San Cristobal, the provincial capital of the Galapagos Islands, the archipelago located just 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador on the equator. Discovery World Cruises specializes in exploring faraway places in comfort and style. To venture to the Galapagos Islands, the line worked with the local government to establish guidelines and safeguards to ensure preservation, while allowing more people to understand the importance of the islands’ ecology through first-hand experiences. Expert guides and respected enrichment lecturers will be on board each sailing to provide passengers with stimulating lectures about the region’s flora and fauna, as well as the indigenous wildlife. The lecture series is complimented with performances and crafts from local artisans who are eager to share their culture and heritage.

Best associated with Darwin’s circumnavigation of the world in 1835, the Galapagos have thrived without land predators for millennia. The indigenous wildlife is curious and fearless, and the islands are home to more than 1,900 species of plants and animals that can be found nowhere else on earth. On San Cristobal, passengers can sit and contemplate next to a giant tortoise; see a blue-footed booby plop itself down for a rest in their path; stand “beak-to-knee” with a Galapagos penguin, the smallest and northern-most penguin found in the world; and delight in watching baby sea lions frolicking on the beach.

“It used to be that only smaller yachts could take guests to the Galapagos,” said Mark Flager, vice president of sales, marketing and passenger services for Discovery World Cruises. “For 2006, MV Discovery offers travelers the adventure of the Galapagos with the best creature comforts and most shipboard amenities of any passenger vessel sailing to the islands.”

Polynesia, Peru & Galapagos combines South American treasures with the wonders of the South Pacific. The 26-night adventure – departing the U.S. on April 7, 2006 – begins among the warm, welcoming sands of Tahiti and the surrounding Society Islands. Highlights include Pitcairn Island – home of legendary Fletcher Christian of Mutiny on the Bounty fame – and Easter Island, with its ancient giant Moai faces still standing guard. In Peru, optional sightseeing excursions take passengers to the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, and quaint, yet cosmopolitan Lima. In the Galapagos Islands, passengers will have two days to explore this world-famous wildlife refuge, where marine iguanas sun themselves on prehistoric rocks. Prices start from $5,650 per person, based on double occupancy, including a three-night hotel stay in Ecuador’s capital of Quito, after the voyage.

Galapagos & Panama Canal connects the equatorial Pacific to the familiar hospitality of the Caribbean. The 16-night cruise-tour begins on April 27, 2006, with a three-night hotel stay in Quito, before joining MV Discovery in the Galapagos Islands. After two days of exploration, the ship sails for Panama’s San Jose Island, the Panama Canal, and a visit to the homestead of the Kuna Indians on the San Blas Islands. At Puerto Limon and Belize City, passengers can marvel at the lushness of the rainforest from the sky on a canopy tour, or visit the only jaguar reserve in the world. MV Discovery then cruises through the Gulf of Mexico to Nassau, where passengers disembark. Prices begin at $3,795 per person, double occupancy.

The mid-size MV Discovery comfortably sails throughout the world’s oceans and offers all the onboard amenities sophisticated travelers have come to expect. However, the Discovery is versatile enough to reach exotic and out-of-the-way ports usually restricted to most larger vessels. The ship is resplendent with 351 cabins and suites, three restaurants, five lounges, a well-stocked library, casino, duty-free boutique, Internet center, modern health club and spa, two Jacuzzis, and two outdoor swimming pools – one beneath a retractable roof.

For more information about Discovery World Cruises and the line’s year-round voyages to some of the most exotic destinations around the world, visit To make a reservation, see a travel professional or contact Discovery toll-free at (866) 623-2689.

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New Carnival Promotion Allows Military Personnel to Book Three ‘Fun Ship’ Staterooms at Special Low Rates

MIAMI, July 5, 2005 – Through a new month-long promotion from Carnival Cruise Lines, active and retired military personnel can book up to three “Fun Ship” staterooms at special discounted rates starting at just $209 per person. Reservations must be made during the month of July to qualify for the promotion, which is available in conjunction with a variety of three- to eight-day “Fun Ship” departures between Sept. 15, 2005, and March 31, 2006. Rates for three-day cruises start at $209 per person based on double occupancy; four-day cruises $229 per person; five-day cruises $289 per person; seven-day cruises $349 per person; and eight-day cruises $499 per person. 

“This new promotion offers military personnel an opportunity to enjoy a ‘Fun Ship’ cruise with their friends and families at special discounted rates. It’s Carnival’s way of showing our thanks and appreciation to the men and women of the armed forces who bravely serve our country,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

Promotion is capacity controlled and not applicable with any other discount offer. Valid for individual bookings only. Promotion is based on category 4A (interior) staterooms and does not include government fees or taxes. Military personnel must be a member of the traveling party to qualify for the special rate. Fare code CPM3 must be requested during the reservations process. Proof of active military service required. Certain restrictions apply. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Cruises Are the Number 1 Vacation Choice of Kids

NEW YORK, July 1, 2005 – A cruise was the top vacation choice for the “perfect summer trip” in a National Geographic Kids survey that polled 401 children ages eight to 14 – a point that illustrates the fast-growing trend of family cruising. The survey results come as no surprise to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), whose 19 member lines are carrying unprecedented numbers of children sailings with parents from year to year. In the National Geographic Kids survey, 35% of children said cruises were their most popular choice. Beaches came in second (17%), followed by amusement parks (17%), big cities (5%); lakes (3%); and summer camp (2%).

“More than 1 million children under the age of 18 took cruises with their families in 2004 and there’s a reason why: Cruise vacations appeal to the whole family,” said Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of CLIA, the cruise industry’s chief marketing organization. 

CLIA is witnessing an acceleration of this trend in 2005 and beyond, and to keep up with demand for family travel cruise lines continue to add amenities and activities for the whole family – from toddlers to grandparents. Virtually all lines feature extensive, highly supervised children’s programs where kids are placed in age-appropriate groups. Teen lounges, video arcades, computer learning centers, toddlers’ play areas as even special shore excursions for children are all a part of the mix. For more information on CLIA member lines, contact a CLIA-member travel agency. To locate an agency near you, use the Travel Agent Locator on CLIA’s website at

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Modern Day Explorers to Follow in Footsteps of History's Greatest Adventurers Aboard Queen Mary 2 as She Rounds 
Legendary Cape Horn 

VALENCIA, CA - July 5, 2005 - The first circumnavigation of the globe was led by Ferdinand Magellan, one of the world's greatest explorers, and provides the inspiration for the route of Queen Mary 2's 36- and 38-day South America Odysseys in 2006. Paying tribute to the intrepid adventurers who pioneered this notoriously challenging sea route, Cunard is hosting an illustrious group of "modern day-explorers" on the historic voyage, which can be taken in its entirety, or enjoyed by sailing one or more of six segments. 

Now guests can relive the journeys that redefined the globe as they traverse the storied waters that history's most adventurous explorers traveled in search of new worlds. While sailing around the bottom of the world, they will hear daring tales of adventure recounted by an esteemed group of modern-day explorers - including an astronaut, mountaineer, sailor and scientist - whose character-defining journeys are compelling testament that Magellan's spirit is alive and well. As an ocean liner built in grand Cunard tradition, Queen Mary 2 is specifically designed to easily handle the high seas, transporting guests around the Horn in comfort, luxury and sumptuous style.

"Like our lecturers, Cunard guests share a passion for charting new territory," says Jan Swartz, senior vice president of customer service and sales for Cunard Line. "This lecture series, and the voyages themselves, are truly a reflection of our Cunarders' quest for legendary travel experiences."

Tracing the path of Dutch and Portuguese navigators of yesteryear, QM2 makes stops at some of the world's most fascinating destinations, affording opportunities to walk in the footsteps of centuries-old civilisations. The most memorable part of the journey, however, may well be the modern-day explorers whose lecture programmes will add a new dimension to the voyage. While their experiences are quite diverse, their accomplishments are awe-inspiring and share a common thread: for those who dare, the world offers almost limitless adventure.  

Joining Queen Mary 2 on the South America Odysseys are: 

  • John Chatterton - A co-host on the History Channel's Deep Sea Detectives, Chatterton is an accomplished commercial diver. His passion is researching and diving the historic shipwrecks of the world, including Andrea Doria, HMHS Britannic, RMS Lusitania and Struma. His discovery and subsequent identification of the German submarine U-869 was the subject of several TV documentaries, and a best-selling book. (Route to Rio cruise: New York to Rio: January 15-27) 

  • Sir Chris Bonington - A world-renowned climber and expedition leader, Bonington is the author of 10 books on mountaineering. He led the first ascent of the south face of Annapurna, as well as the first ascent of Mount Everest's southwest face. He brings personal experience to the voyage, having made the first ascent of the Central Tower of Paine (near Punta Arenas) in 1962. (Cape Horn & Chilean Fjords cruise: Rio to Valparaiso: January 27-February 8) 

  • John Hare - Hare is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and the Explorers Club. A frequent lecturer, he has made five expeditions to the Mongolian and Chinese Gobi deserts and is founder of the Wild Camel Protection Fund. (Andes & the Americas cruise: Valparaiso to Los Angeles: February 8-22) 

  • David Hempleman-Adams - Considered one of the world's most eclectic explorers, Hempleman-Adams has climbed the seven highest peaks of the seven continents. He has accomplished numerous "firsts," including being the first person to reach both North and South Magnetic Poles in one year, the first person to ski solo to the Geomagnetic North Pole, and balloon solo in an open wicker basket across the Atlantic from Canada to the UK. (Eastbound Andes & the Americas cruise: Los Angeles to Valparaiso: March 8-22) 

  • Dr. Kathy Sullivan - An illustrious scientist and explorer of sea and space, Sullivan is a former NASA astronaut and the first American woman to walk in space. She is a veteran of three shuttle missions and a 2004 inductee to the Astronaut Hall of Fame. A former Chief Scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Sullivan is now the President and CEO of the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, OH. (Cape Horn & the Chilean Fjords cruise, Valparaiso to Rio: March 22-April 3) 

  • Sir Robin Knox-Johnston - A yachtsman of world-renown, Knox-Johnston has made three voyages to the Arctic and 20 crossings of the Atlantic. He has been the UK's Yachtsman of the Year twice and was also named International Yachtsman of the Year. He has written 14 books. (Route to Rio cruise: Rio to New York: April 3-15) 

  • Additionally, renowned balloonist Brian Jones - another modern explorer - joins Queen Mary 2's 11-day Royal Hawaiian Liner cruise, sailing roundtrip from Los Angeles on February 25. Jones is the celebrated British balloonist who landed the Breiting Orbiter 3 in Egypt on March 21, 1999, with Bertrand Piccard, having flown for twenty days to achieve the first non-stop flight around the world by balloon. Brian is currently involved in an interesting new project called Solar Impulse--to fly around the world in a solar powered airplane with no fuel save for the power of the sun.

Cunard Line's 2006 Path of Magellan South American Liner Voyages feature two 38-day (36 days if embarking in Ft. Lauderdale) eastbound and westbound "South American Odysseys," bringing guests around Cape Horn via the Drake Passage, Beagle Channel and the Straits of Magellan, calling on 15 ports in 12 countries in total. The 38-day westbound voyage departs New York on January 15 and the 36-day voyage departs Ft. Lauderdale on January 17. The eastbound journey reverses the journey, beginning in Los Angeles on March 8 and concluding in Ft. Lauderdale on April 13 and in New York on April 15. The voyages are available in six segments from 11 to 14 days in length.

For more information about Cunard or Queen Mary 2's South America itineraries, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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SeaDream Yacht Club Introduces Stylish New Brochure
Fewer Words & More Photos Let the Images do the Talking

Stylish and top-rated SeaDream Yacht Club is introducing a new brochure this week that will be available on a complimentary basis worldwide to travel professionals and the general public. The full-color compendium features dramatic photos of life aboard SeaDream I and II, the company’s twin, ultra-luxury mega-yachts. Among large format photos are those depicting details of SeaDream’s well-known “It’s Yachting not Cruising” experience--pampering personal service, award-winning cuisine, indoor and outdoor dining and bars, the highly-regarded Thai Spa and Fitness Center, water sports Marina, swimming pool, all-ocean view accommodations, Main Salon, Library, Casino, Piano Bar and Boutique. There are also colorful schematic, deck-by-deck renditions of SeaDream I and II to orient the viewer, as well as a page for Terms and Conditions of sailing with SeaDream. 

Assuring the brochure’s long life and usefulness, it was designed with an insert sheet detailing current Caribbean and European schedules and itineraries. Inserts will be updated regularly and made available to travel agents and the public. It should be noted that the insert sheets do not include pricing--unusual in the travel industry. 

“In the real world prices change, increasing or even decreasing as availability fluctuates,” said Larry Pimentel, CTC, SeaDream’s President and CEO. “The most up-to-date pricing information will always be found on our website and is easily accessed.” Commenting on the brochure, Pimentel said “While we always strive to create materials that are equal in style to our two yachts, I believe this brochure to be our finest yet. It features fewer words and more photos. We want to let the images do the talking,” he added.

At 21 pages (12 inches by 8.5 inches) the new SeaDream brochure is light-weight and compact.

SeaDream I and SeaDream II, twin, ultra luxury, mega yachts operate on seven-day sailings in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Dalmatian Coast and the Black Sea. The yachts are not only ideal for discerning travelers seeking an unstructured and casual holiday experience but also for small meetings and incentive groups or individual private family gatherings. They are available for full charter. In the Americas the SeaDream Yacht Club reservations number is 1 800 707-4911. The website is

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

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