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

Return to's Cruise News Weekly Index & Archive features thoughts & insights on things seen & heard around the internet & the cruise industry.

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Caribbean Tropical Storm Itinerary Adjustments

Updated Hurricane Charley - August 13, 2004

Royal Caribbean International is closely monitoring the path and progress of Hurricane Charley to ensure our guests enjoy a safe and comfortable cruise and to ensure our ships steer clear of the storm. The safety and comfort of our guests is always the foremost concern of Royal Caribbean International. Given Hurricane Charley's current and projected path, we are altering the itineraries of these Royal Caribbean International ships:

  • Sovereign of the Seas will depart Port Canaveral at 3:00 p.m. Friday, two hours earlier than its normal 5:00 p.m. departure. All guests on this sailing are strongly encouraged to arrive at Port Canaveral no later than 2:30 p.m. Friday. 

  • Majesty of the Seas will not make its normal port call at Key West, Florida, on Thursday. Instead, the ship will make a port call at Freeport, Bahamas. 

  • Grandeur of the Seas will not make its normal port call at Port Canaveral, Florida, on Friday. Instead, the ship will spend the day at sea. 

  • Enchantment of the Seas, which departed Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, will not make its normal port calls at Key West, Florida, on Friday, and Cozumel, Mexico, on Saturday. Instead, the ship will make port calls at Coco Cay, Bahamas, on Friday, and Nassau, Bahamas, on Saturday and Sunday. 

At this time, all other Royal Caribbean International ships are sailing their normal itineraries. We will continue to closely monitor the storm and update this information as needed.

Carnival Cruise Lines is continually monitoring the most up-to-date information available on Charley and will make any necessary itinerary changes to ensure the safety and comfort o f passengers and crew. As a result, the itineraries for three ships have been adjusted this week:

  • Carnival Triumph – The scheduled call in Ocho Rios has been cancelled and the ship will visit Nassau on Friday.

  • Carnival Conquest – The scheduled call in Montego Bay has been cancelled. The ship will visit Grand Cayman on Wednesday, Cozumel on Thursday and Progreso on Friday. 

  • Paradise – The scheduled call in Grand Cayman has been cancelled and the ship will visit Nassau on Friday

  • Imagination - The scheduled call in Cozumel has been cancelled and the ship will visit Nassau on Friday and Freeport on Saturday.

Based on the most current information available, we do not anticipate making additional itinerary changes to any of our other ships. We also do not expect the storm to impact departures from any Florida ports (Miami, Tampa, Port Canaveral or Jacksonville) for cruises departing this Thursday through Sunday.

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Silversea Enhances 2005 Africa Schedule with 
"World's Best" Cruise & Land Programs

Six Cruises Offer Optional Pre- and Post-Cruise Land Extensions Designed by Award-Winning Micato Safaris, Plus Exclusive Complimentary Shore Experiences

Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Aug 13, 2004 - Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises, recently recognized as the "World's Best" Small Ship Cruise Line by the discerning readers of Travel + Leisure magazine, is partnering with Micato Safaris, also voted the highest-rated Tour Operator and Safari Outfitter by Travel + Leisure, to bring its guests the "World's Best" cruise and land programs in Africa. Next year the intimate 296-guest Silver Wind offers six distinctive cruises that call in beautiful and sophisticated Cape Town, South Africa, plus 15 other colorful and fascinating ports, on voyages ranging from eleven to 18 days. In addition to award-winning optional land programs by Micato, on each sailing guests will be treated to a complimentary Silversea ExperienceÒ, the line's exclusive shoreside cultural event, offered in Walvis Bay, Namibia, and East London, South Africa.

"By partnering with Micato Safaris, which has been ranked 'World's Best' by Travel +Leisure for the past two years, we're able to offer our guests a selection of land programs that are among the finest and most exclusive in Africa," said David Morris, Silversea's Senior Vice President, North America Sales. "Ranging from three to five nights, these optional pre- and post-cruise land extensions are the perfect complement to a luxurious cruise aboard Silver Wind."

Listed below are the 2005 land programs designed by Micato and departing from Cape Town:

  • The Good Life - Relais & Châteaux: An engaging three-night program designed for discerning travelers, it features accommodations at luxurious Relais & Châteaux boutique lodgings - one night at the Marine Hermanus, overlooking Walker Bay, plus two nights in Paarl at the Grand Roche Estate. This restored 18th-century Dutch manor house is also a Travel + Leisure "World's Best" hotel. Other highlights include world-class cuisine, exclusive tours of premier wineries, and a demonstration of the art of "sabrage" (opening a bottle with a saber). Wine tastings, most meals, transportation and transfers are also included. Available as both a pre- and post-cruise option, the program ranges from $1,645 to $2,545 per person, based on double occupancy.

  • Wildlife of Londolozi: Guests on this four-night package embark on an expedition into Africa's safari lands to witness a dazzling array of animal life - lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and Cape buffalo. Highlights include one night at the Michelangelo Hotel, two nights at the renowned Londolozi Private Game Reserve (a Relais & Châteaux property and Travel + Leisure "World's Best" hotel), and one night at the acclaimed Cape Grace Hotel, plus escorted safaris. Most meals, inter-African airfare, transportation and transfers are also included. Available as both a pre- and post-cruise option, the program ranges from $3,970 to $5,335 per person, based on double occupancy.

  • Victoria Falls & Chobe Game Reserve: This five-night program journeys to Botswana's Chobe National Park and Zimbabwe's magnificent Victoria Falls. Guests visit a local craft village, take a leisurely sunset river cruise, and experience thrilling open-vehicle safaris, offering unforgettable close-up views of African wildlife. The package features one night at the Michelangelo Hotel, two nights at Botswana's exclusive Chobe Game Lodge, one night at the Victoria Falls Hotel, and one night at the Cape Grace Hotel, frequently lauded as one of the world's best hotels by respected travel publications. Most meals, inter-African airfare, transportation and transfers are also included. Available as both a pre- and post-cruise option, the program ranges from $4,265 to $5,190 per person, based on double occupancy.

Complimentary Silversea Experiences
Each Africa voyage features one of the line's signature Silversea Experiences at no extra cost. In Walvis Bay, guests embark on an adventure through the Namibian Desert, where they are treated to an unforgettable evening of music, fine dining, and champagne by campfire, as they witness the majesty of windswept sand dunes and the grand expanse of the desert sky. From East London, Silversea has arranged an exclusive journey through the homeland of the Xhosa people. In Mdantsane township, guests are entertained by a children's choir and traditional Xhosa tribal dancing. At a local shebeen, an informal tavern, guests have an opportunity to meet and socialize with local residents. 

Following are Silver Wind's 2005 Africa voyages:

  • 15-day cruise (Feb. 15) from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town, calling in Vitoria, St. Helena and Walvis Bay. Advance Payment Bonus cruise fares start at $4,626 per person (35% savings)

  • 11-day cruise (March 2) from Cape Town to Port Louis, calling in East London, Durban, Richards Bay and Reunion Island. Advance Payment Bonus cruise fares start at $4,696 per person (20% savings)

  • 11-day cruise (March 13) from Port Louis to Cape Town, calling in Reunion Island, Richards Bay, Durban and East London. Advance Payment Bonus cruise fares start at $4,696 per person (20% savings)

  • 18-day cruise (March 24) from Cape Town to Las Palmas, calling in Walvis Bay, Bombom Island, Dakar, Porto Praia, Porto Grande and Tenerife. Advance Payment Bonus cruise fares start at $7,015 per person (25% savings)

  • 11-day cruise (Dec. 10) from Port Louis to Cape Town, calling in Reunion Island, Richards Bay, Durban and East London. Advance Payment Bonus cruise fares start at $4,696 per person (20% savings)

  • 14-day cruise (Dec. 21) from Cape Town to Cape Town, calling in Walvis Bay, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Richards Bay. Advance Payment Bonus cruise fares start at $6,682 per person (15% savings)

Silversea's new mini-brochure "Exotic Adventures in Africa & the Indian Ocean" provides complete details and can be obtained by calling toll-free (877) 215-9986. Information is also available online at

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msy Wind Star Embarks on Final Sailings in Tahiti & Marquesas

Seattle, WA, August 12, 2004 - Space is filling up fast on Windstar Cruises' final sailings aboard the 148-passenger msy Wind Star in Tahiti and the Marquesas this fall. The company's flagship motor sailing yacht will redeploy to Costa Rica in January. Seven-day voyages are available on September 3 and 10; November 19 and 26; and December 10. A 14-day voyage deep into the South Pacific to the remote and fascinating Marquesas Islands will depart on September 17. The final two Tahiti sailings of the year are holiday cruises departing from Papeete on December 17 (for 11 days) and December 28 (for 10 days). 

"Anyone who has been dreaming of a luxurious and romantic vacation in the beautiful Society Islands should take advantage of our last few sailings offered at Sail and Save rates," says Tom Russell, vice president of marketing and sales for Windstar Cruises. "Every day is a new adventure as the ship slips into some of the most striking harbors in the world, with a full range of recreational and comfort amenities on board and a staff that looks after every need." 

Select sailings of 7- to 14-days offer prices as low as $2,895 per person based on double occupancy, and include air from 78 North American gateway cities. Guests wishing to extend their adventure by booking consecutive sailings in September will enjoy substantial savings with rates starting at just $795 per person for the second week.

Ideal for Tahiti's warm, tropical waters, the ship's aft water sports platform lowers into the water when the ship is at anchor opening up a floating dock for access to complimentary water sports equipment. Guests may swim off the platform, go kayaking, wind surfing, sailing and water skiing, or hop on the banana boat with new friends for an exciting ride. Snorkeling equipment is complimentary and may be checked out for the week. Diving excursions are available for both novice and experienced divers and are led by PADI-certified dive masters.

Sailings depart roundtrip on Fridays from Tahiti's capital, Papeete. Port calls include Raiatea, an important island historically that has been called the birthplace of the Polynesian culture by archaeologists; Huahine, with her fragrant vanilla plantations, welcoming people and pristine beaches; and extended calls at Bora Bora with a picture-perfect lagoon studded with "motu" islands under the watchful shadows of Mt. Otemanu, and lovely Moorea for swimming, hiking and adventures like snorkeling, scuba-diving and parasailing. Voyages conclude in Papeete, where an international airport whisks guests away.

Holiday cruises of 10 and 11 days depart December 10 and 17 and visit the islands of Tahiti as well as the magnificent atoll of Rangiroa, whose narrow coral islands enclose the largest natural lagoon in the world. Chefs prepare special holiday menus with traditional fare, such as roasted turkey with chestnut dressing, rack of lamb and plum pudding, as well as perennial favorites such as surf and turf, caviar and baked Alaska. 

After dinner, the benefits of cruising during the holiday season become clear: no dishes, no cleanup, just more time to spend relaxing and celebrating with travel companions. Holiday festivities onboard blend traditional decorations, such as beautifully decorated Christmas trees in the lounge and wreaths on stateroom doors, with cultural activities. Catch a glimpse of another culture as the talented crew performs native and local carols at a festive holiday show. Rates, including air from 78 North American gateway cities, begin at $4,795 per person, double occupancy.

The Marquesas cruise on September 17th is the last opportunity of the year to visit some of the most remote and fascinating islands of Polynesia aboard the Wind Star. Departing from Papeete, the ship will visit the Marquesan islands of Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa, Ua Pou, and Nuku Hiva, travel to Rangiroa in Tuamotu, and then on to Tahiti's Bora Bora and Moorea before returning to Papeete. Six full days are spent at sea during the voyage for guests to enjoy the casual comforts and romance of their beautifully appointed motor sailing yacht. Windstar's 2004 "Sail & Save" rates include air from 78 North American gateways and begin at $5,595 per person, double occupancy.

About Windstar Cruises
Seattle-based Windstar Cruises operates three motor sailing yachts known for their casually elegant atmosphere. A high-percentage of return guests attests to the appeal of Windstar's casual ambiance of resort-style attire, innovative cuisine and wine selections, open restaurant-style seating, attentive service, exotic destinations and complimentary water sports. Rates are quoted per person, double occupancy including non-discountable amounts. Windstar offers optional trip cancellation protection that provides cash back when you cancel for any reason prior to 24-hours before departure. 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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Holland America Enhances Youth Programs
Club HAL®, The Loft and The Oasis Provide More Onboard Activities for Kids and Teens

SEATTLE, August 2004 -- Holland America Line announced it is further enhancing its onboard experience for kids with an upgraded Youth Program, complete with expanded facilities for kids of all ages. Club HAL®, offering fun and creative activities for kids ages 3 to 12, will be improved to include state-of-the-art facilities and will serve as the hub of the children's program. In addition, Holland America Line is also introducing new areas on all its ships that will provide teens with a unique environment to get away and have fun. The expansion is part of the premium cruise line's $225 million Signature of Excellence initiative and is helping to ensure that guests of all ages experience the best of classic ocean voyaging. Designed by the world-renowned architectural firm of Peter Yran and Bjorn Storbraaten of Oslo, Norway, Holland America's new children's facilities are themed by art and will be the most elaborate of any cruise line at sea. Each area is tailored to a specific age group and provides great activities to fulfill every interest.

"Every guest on board a Holland America cruise is unique, and we believe it is important to provide activities that cater to every interest and age group," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales for Holland America Line. "The expanded new facilities are exciting additions to our fleet. No matter their interests, the entire family can now personalize their experience and enjoy the ultimate vacation at sea."

Club HAL, previously serving children 5 and older will now cater to kids 3 years and up. A streaming array of colors swirl on the ceiling, paint brushes serve as pillars and enormous pencils adorn the back wall. Kids will be delighted by the opportunities available in Club HAL. Art tables, a big screen television and a tape dispenser styled slide in the middle of the room inspire creativity and fun, giving children a great sanctuary where they can escape into a world all their own.

Through a partnership with Cranium, Holland America Line will expand its board game offerings, providing kids with a wide variety of games to choose from. Foosball, Internet access and state-of-the-art electronic games are also available. Club HAL activities are supervised by permanent, full-time directors and staff. Directors hold degrees in education, childhood development, recreation, leisure studies and related fields, giving parents peace of mind that their kids are enjoying safe, supervised fun.

An area for older kids ages 8 to 12 features arcade games, air hockey, foosball, Karaoke, Internet access and Sony Playstations, providing everything they look for in land-based activities and more. This getaway provides kids in this age group an area to relax, surf the internet, and play games in a cool, modern atmosphere.

Teens ages 13 to 17 will find a perfect getaway from family and siblings in The Loft. Specially designed to resemble a New York artist's loft, this lounge area has a contemporary feel with bright colors and funky patterns. One of the most exciting features of this area is the special passageway to a secluded teen deck called The Oasis. An exclusive hideaway for teens, The Oasis provides guests with plenty of space to relax and socialize with people their age. Featuring a private entrance, the deck is a perfect place for teens to soak up rays then cool off in a one-of-a-kind waterfall and cave. Located toward the stern of the ship, the sundeck is an exciting addition to Holland America's already extensive activities. Unmatched anywhere in the cruise industry, The Oasis provides teenage guests with a secluded area they can call their own.

Several other unique onboard activities also have been added, including the Little Artist program, "Luau at the Oasis," "Teen Superstar" and "Dance Dance Revolution" (DDR) contests, Campin' under the Stars and Wacky Olympics. Families can take advantage of expanded offerings such as Cranium Family Game time, Family Olympics and Karaoke.

The kids program will also offer a new service, Club HAL After Hours. This program features extended hours so parents can enjoy an evening alone while their children are enjoying themselves in another area of the ship. Available for $5 per child per hour, the service extends from 10 p.m. to midnight. All of these additions provide more ways than ever to enjoy cruising as a family while providing opportunities for everyone to customize the voyage to suit their interests.

The innovative facilities and Youth Program will be fully implemented across Holland America's fleet by 2006. In addition to debuting the new areas and Youth Program, the ms Ryndam will be the first ship to showcase all enhancements associated with the Signature of Excellence on its October 10 sailing to the Mexican Riviera.

About Signature of Excellence
As the premium cruise leader, Holland America Line is investing $225 million in the Signature of Excellence initiative to provide unparalleled product and service enhancements to its fleet of five-star ships. Signature of Excellence will build on Holland America Line's renowned tradition of excellence by significantly raising the standard in premium cruising. The comprehensive enhancements will focus on five areas central to the Holland America guest experience: spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; sophisticated five-star dining; gracious, unobtrusive service; extensive enrichment programs and activities; and compelling worldwide itineraries. Enhancements have been started and are expected to be completed by the end of 2006. Holland America Line excels in service, amenities and special programs. Known for consistent and attentive service, its ships have one of the highest staff members to guest ratio. Spacious staterooms average 25 percent larger and verandahs twice as large as those on other lines' ships. Dining choices include extensive menus with formal elegance, specialty dining in the Pacific Northwest-themed Pinnacle Grill, casual fare and complimentary 24-hour room service. For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Celebrity Cruises Into Philadelphia for 17 Sailings in 2005 
Cruise Line Adds Four Bermuda Sailings And Extends Season Into Fall

PHILADELPHIA, August 12, 2004 - Riding the tide of a successful 2004 summer season, Celebrity Cruises and the Port of Philadelphia and Camden (PPC) have announced that the cruise line will add four additional Bermuda sailings to its 2005 schedule, up to 17 from 13 cruises in 2004. Celebrity will also spread out its season from July 2 through October 22, giving travelers the option of a spring, summer or fall cruise to Bermuda. The increase in sailings is due to strong bookings for 2003 and 2004 and positive customer response. With the four new Celebrity sailings, the PPC will have 26 sailings to Bermuda in 2005, up from 20 in 2003. This makes the port one of the largest departure points for Bermuda in the U.S. It also represents a significant economic investment for the Philadelphia region. An increase of four sailings will give nearly 11,000 additional passengers the opportunity to visit the region.

"The people, port facilities and attractions in Philadelphia have combined to create a wonderful embarkation market for our guests sailing to Bermuda," said Celebrity's Senior Vice President of Fleet Operations Dietmar Wertanzl. "We look forward to another successful season of cruising from Philadelphia next year."

Celebrity Cruises is the industry's highest rated premium cruise brand with a taste of luxury. The cruise line has 10 ships in its fleet, which is the youngest of any major line. Celebrity sails in Alaska, Bermuda, California, the Caribbean, Europe, the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal and South America. For more information, travelers can contact their travel agent at 1 (800) 437-3111 or visit the Celebrity Web site at The 46,811-ton, 1,354-guest Celebrity Horizon was built in 1990 and refurbished in 1998. The ship will offer seven-night cruises to Bermuda departing Saturdays from July 2 through October 22, 2005.

For more information about cruising from Philadelphia, contact the PPC at (856) 968-2052 or visit For information about travel to Philadelphia, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Independence National Historical Park, at (800) 537-7676 or visit The Philadelphia Cruise Terminal at Pier 1 is operated by The Port of Philadelphia and Camden, a department of the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA).

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Camp Carnival’ Activities Expanded to Include Youth Spa Program, ‘Exerseas’ Fitness Activities, ‘A-B Seas’ Reading Club
New Activities Expected to Further Bolster Fun Ships’ Distinction As Number One Family Cruise Line, Carrying An Estimated 450,000 Kids Annually 

MIAMI, Aug 11, 2004 – From a family reading club to a recreational fitness program and even youth spa treatments, a host of new activities have been added to Carnival Cruise Lines’ fleetwide children’s program, “Camp Carnival.” The new activities complement the wide variety of family-friendly amenities available on Carnival’s 20 “Fun Ships,” which are expected to host a record 450,000 kids this year – roughly half of all children carried by the North American cruise industry (CLIA member lines). 

“‘Camp Carnival’ is already number one in the cruise industry and we’ve made this popular kids program even better, with more fun-filled activities and hands-on projects than ever before,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. “Children have their own unique vacation expectations and these new activities, combined with a huge diversity of family-friendly amenities, should further bolster our position as the leader in family cruising,” he added.

Included among the new activities is a youth spa program, recently introduced on Carnival Miracle, which allows kids ages 12-14 and their parents to experience luxurious body and beauty treatments together on port days at discounted rates in the ship’s expansive Spa Carnival health and fitness center. Packages, which are available in mother/daughter and father/son combinations, include hair and nail treatments, health evaluations, and foot and scalp massages. Following the trial run on Carnival Miracle, the program is expected to be expanded to other “Fun Ships” by the end of the summer.

Also new is “ExerSeas,” a recreational fitness program designed to encourage kids to “get out and play” through intense physical activity. The program encompasses a diversity of fun, supervised outdoor activities, everything from obstacle courses and basketball to popular games such as “steal the bacon” and “capture the flag.”

There’s also “A-B-Seas,” a new reading program in which the youth counselors read popular children’s books aloud to parents and kids in the ships’ libraries. The program also includes nightly bedtime stories in the children’s play rooms. Following the readings, parents and kids, with the aid of the youth counselors, present their own creative interpretations of the stories through puppet shows, skits and other group activities. Also planned for this program are writing workshops where kids can hone their writing skills and express their creativity while penning short stories and essays. 

A new science program, H2Ocean, features a wide variety of fun, hands-on science projects. Conducted under the watchful eyes of the youth counselors, the program allows kids to partake in such activities as making their own ice cream and creating custom-made helicopters and miniature hovercrafts. 

The line’s popular EduCruise program has also been expanded to include even more interactive projects focusing on the cultures, landmarks, history and geography of the destinations to which the “Fun Ships” sail. Through this program, kids can make their own “dream catchers” popularized by various Native American cultures and create colorful maps of various Caribbean nations.

Also in the works is a new art program that goes beyond typical arts and crafts, enabling kids to create their own artistic masterpieces – paper mache, oil paintings, and watercolors, for example – while learning the techniques employed by professional artists. 

All of these new activities are included in the complimentary “Camp Carnival” program, which is available from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Every “Fun Ship” also features an indoor play area, many of which house arts and crafts centers, computer labs and video walls showing movies and cartoons. Outdoor play areas feature jungle gyms, mini-basketball hoops and other playground equipment. 

Kid-friendly dining options, including special children’s menus in the main dining rooms and a program in which kids can dine with the youth counselors on Lido Deck, are also available on every Carnival ship. Other fleetwide dining options include 24-hour pizzerias and ice cream stations and the “Fountain Fun Card,” which for a one-time fee, provides kids with unlimited soft drinks during their cruise.

Carnival ships also feature at least three swimming pools, including a children’s wading pool, and a corkscrew water slide. Babysitting services, stroller and “bouncy chair” rentals are also available fleetwide. Recently the line has been increasing its emphasis on teens, with new teen shore excursions and “Action Alley” teen clubs on its 110,000-ton “Conquest-class” ships. 

For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, or visit

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Discovery World Cruises to Offer Health & Wellness Lecture Series

FORT LAUDERDALE, Aug, 11, 2004 – Discovery World Cruises has expanded its Mayo Clinic-sponsored lecture series, introduced last season, to include a comprehensive team of distinguished medical professionals aboard eight select cruises. Discovery, which specializes in exploring faraway places in comfort and style, operates the 650-passenger MV Discovery on cruise-tour vacations to Antarctica, South America, the South Pacific and New Zealand.

The line’s Mayo Clinic-sponsored lecture series will feature seminars that focus on today’s most talked about health issues, including issues pertaining to cholesterol, heart disease, healthy eating, dealing with “economy class syndrome” and keeping fit while traveling. Passengers will learn life-altering lessons that they can apply to their daily routines to improve their health and quality of life. The new series enhances the world-class enrichment program already featured onboard MV Discovery.

“We are delighted to offer the Mayo Clinic -sponsored lecture series again," said Tim Davey, the line's vice president of sales, marketing and passenger services. "The series was very well received by passengers during our inaugural year and we received many requests to feature it during our 2004/2005 season.” 

Among the featured guest speakers will be Dr. Dennis Robertson, an ophthalmologist specializing in disorders of the retina and vitreous and ocular oncology. Dr. Robertson began his career working with the United States Public Health Service and later completed a residency in Ophthalmology at the Mayo Clinic where he has been a consultant for the past 37 years. He will be featured during the Christmas Voyage to South America, a 25-night journey from Lisbon to Buenos Aires, departing December 5. 

Passengers traveling on the 20-night Antarctica & Chilean Fjords itinerary from Buenos Aires to Santiago – departing January 18 – will have the opportunity to hear from seasoned guest lecturer and director of the Mayo Clinic-sponsored lecture series, Dr. John McMichan. A native of Australia, Dr. McMichan began his career as a ship’s surgeon on the SS Francis Drake and later specialized in Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and Medical Education at Mayo Clinic. 

Dr. Paul Schnur will lecture aboard MV Discovery during her In the Wake of the Bounty itinerary, departing January 29 from Santiago. A descendent of a long line of medical practitioners, Dr. Schnur naturally took to medicine as his occupation of choice. After studying family medicine and practicing with his father for a short stint, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a general medical officer in Germany. Dr. Schnur completed his residencies in general surgery and plastic surgery at Mayo Clinic where he also served as Chair of the Division of Plastic Surgery.

During the South Pacific I cruise-tour, departing February 14 from Papeete, Dr. Keith Kelly, a well-respected surgeon and veteran of the U.S. Air Force, will be the featured Mayo Clinic lecturer. Dr. Kelly joined Mayo Clinic as a consultant in Surgery and Surgical Research, before serving as a Roberts Professor of Surgery at the Mayo College of Medicine and Chair of the Departments of Surgery at Mayo Clinic, in both the Rochester and Scottsdale locations. 

In the late spring, Drs. Michael Brennan and Rebecca Bahn will co-lecture during Discovery’s South Pacific II itinerary, departing March 16 from Auckland. This husband and wife endocrinologist team each completed postgraduate training in internal medicine and endocrinology at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine and are members of the consulting staff of Mayo Clinic. Dr. Brennan is Associate Chair of the Department of Medicine of Mayo Clinic and has received several accolades for his work including the Mayo Distinguished Clinician Award. Dr. Bahn is an accomplished physician specializing in thyroid diseases, as well as a professor at the Mayo Medical School and director of the American Thyroid Association. 

Dr. Suzanne Connolly will be the featured Mayo Clinic lecturer on one of Discovery’s most exciting voyages of the season, South Pacific Eclipse, departing April 2 from Papeete. Trained in the specialty of Dermatology at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Connolly was the first woman appointed on staff in the department. She has a special interest in patient education and the effects of the sun on the skin. 

During Inca, Maya & Panama Canal, a 15-night itinerary departing April 17 from Lima, the featured Mayo Clinic guest lecturer will be Dr. David Dines. A World War II veteran serving in the Marine Corps’ in Guam and Iwo Jima, Dr. Dines has practiced medicine for more than 30 years and currently participates in weekly Pulmonary Conferences at Mayo Clinic. 

Dr. David Sanderson will wrap up the series during the Springtime Journey to Europe transatlantic cruise, departing Fort Lauderdale May 2. After his residency training at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Dr. Sanderson served as a medical officer in the U.S. Air Force. He later joined the teaching staff at Mayo Clinic where he became Chair of the Division of Thoracic Diseases.

Passengers cruise the world aboard MV Discovery. The handsome liner has a classic exterior profile and after undergoing an extensive, multi-million dollar refit in 2003, features every modern safety feature. Comforts and amenities include 351 cabins and suites, equipped with televisions and built-in hairdryers; three restaurants; five elegant lounges; a well-stocked library; casino; modern health club and beauty center; two swimming pools, including one with a retractable dome; two Jacuzzis; and a duty-free boutique. 

Discovery World Cruises was founded in 2002 by Gerry Herrod, a noted travel industry entrepreneur and former chairman of Orient Lines, Ocean Cruise Lines and Pearl Cruises. The line is based in Fort Lauderdale with an operations center in London. For more information and to make a reservation, see a travel professional or contact 
Discovery World Cruises toll-free at 866-623-2689.

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Viking River Cruises Becomes Member of USTOA 

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 11 - Viking River Cruises, the world's leading river cruise line, announced today that it is the newest member of the United States Tour Operator Association (USTOA). A milestone for Viking River Cruises, this recognition marks a new chapter in the cruise line's growth, both as a company and brand, placing it among the top names in the travel industry.

After undergoing the selection process, Viking River Cruises became an active member of the USTOA, the most respected travel association in the United States. USTOA candidates for membership are selected upon their demonstration of the highest standards of professionalism and service, as well as the utmost integrity.

"This new membership is a giant leap forward for us, and we are honored by the USTOA's acknowledgement of the quality of our vacation packages and overall service," said Viking River Cruises President Jeff Dash. "As we continue our successful growth, we are committed to providing our passengers with the best travel experience possible by upholding our high standards as well as those of the USTOA."

For additional information, contact Viking River Cruises toll-free at 1-877-66VIKING (1-877-668-4546) or visit the company online at 

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MS Europa, Known as the Most Beautiful Yacht in the World, Becomes "Fitness Friendly" With 3-Level Fitness Area

Hamburg, GERMANY, August 2004 – Just when you thought the 5-Star-Plus cruise ship Europa couldn’t get any better, it did! Between August 31 and September 14, 2004, the ship will dock at Blohm and Voss in Hamburg, Germany for refurbishment that will include a fitness space that will triple in size. In the future, fitness enthusiasts on the Europa will find refuge in a state-of-the-art fitness center expanded over three levels, all with breathtaking views of the ocean. Top-of-the-line equipment for optimal cardiovascular training and various other exercise options will be available, and a personal trainer will be on hand to attend to the wishes and personal needs of the guests.

Guests will also be welcomed, starting September 14, to an equally spectacular view of the ocean in the new Sansibar, located on the stern of the Europa. A casual, welcoming atmosphere pervades this exciting new bar that has been designed in cooperation with the creators of the Sansibar on the island of Sylt. Tapas and finger food are offered along with the refreshing sea breeze on the bar terrace, which also features performances by live artists and DJs.

Directly below the new Sansibar, in the Lido Café, an extensive culinary selection is available: an open kitchen with grill stations offers individualized meals in a relaxed atmosphere. The Lido Café serves as an alternative to the Europa Restaurant and Europa’s two specialty restaurants, Oriental and Venezia.

Europa is also catering to little guests, with two children’s areas – for little and older children. This concept was created with the aid of child educators. Children can lounge in hammocks lazily, or gather at tables for communal crafts projects, storytelling or playing with experienced caretakers.

The first journey after the ship leaves the dock from Hamburg is to Norway, Iceland, Greenland, and ultimately to Montreal, where Indian Summer promises foliage in its most colorful fall splendor. With resident Michelin Three-Star Chef Jean-Claude Bourgueil, and wine expert Rene Lambert. (From September 14 to October 3, 2004).

• Julia Ann Liantonio or Regina Higgins, Euro Lloyd Travel Group, 1640 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY 11554; Tel: 516-228-4970, 800-334-0284; Fax: 516-228-8258; Website:; E-mail: 
• Annemarie Victory, Annemarie Victory Organization, Inc., 136 East 64th Street, New York, N.Y. 10021; Tel.: (212) 486-0353 / Fax: (212) 751-3149
• Mary Dailey, Dailey-Thorp Travel, P.O. Box 670, Big Horn, WY 82833; Tel.: (307) 673-1555 / FAX: (307) 674-7474
• Chuck Cross, Expeditions, Inc., 20525 SE Dorchester Rd., Bend, OR 97702; Tel.: (541) 330-2454
• Lisa Wilson-Schmitt, Nonstop Travel, Alpine Village, 833 W. Torrance Blvd., Suite 111, Torrance, CA 90502, Tel. (310) 324-5500 / Fax: (310) 324-7623

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A Seabourn Cruise From the St. Lawrence to the Potomac
Unique Voyage Combines Canada, Colonial America with a Food and Wine Festival

MIAMI, August 10, 2004 -- The ultra luxury cruise ship Seabourn Pride will sail a 13-day voyage along the eastern seaboard that combines the highlights of a fall foliage cruise in Canada and New England with a survey of some of America's most historic ports from the nation's colonial era. The last six days of the voyage, from New York to Alexandria, Virginia, also features a Great American Food & Wine Festival on board, with celebrity guest chef Charlie Palmer, tastings of American foods and wines and optional culinary excursions in the ports of call.

The voyage starts in Quebec on October 10th, and includes calls at Halifax, Boston, Newport, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore before ending at Alexandria, for Washington, D.C. on October 23rd.

Aside from the shamelessly indulgent array of amenities and services that Seabourn describes as its "Signature Delights," all 208 guests on board will be invited to an Exclusively Seabourn shoreside experience at Halifax, where they can gain a privileged, behind-the-scenes glimpse of 19th century military life with members of the Highland Regiment and the Royal Artillery at the city's hilltop Citadel.

Chef Palmer, whose Progressive American cuisine delights diners with bold flavors, a focus on fresh seasonal ingredients and playful presentations, will conduct a cooking demonstration and create a special Harvest Market dinner one evening in the ship's open-seating Restaurant.

Guarantee Fares for the voyage are just $3,695 per person, based on double occupancy of a 277-square foot ocean-view Seabourn suite. For more information, or to reserve a suite on this unique, ultra luxury voyage, contact a professional travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Come Sail Away on the "Rock 'n Roll Holiday Cruise" through the Caribbean with Journey, REO Speedwagon, and Styx
Spend An Intimate Week With the Bands, Enjoy Private Concerts, Q&A Sessions And More Aboard the ‘Fun Ship’ Carnival Triumph

MIAMI (August 10, 2004) – There’s nothing better than a great rock ‘n roll show. And the “Rock N’ Roll Holiday Cruise” combines thrilling live performances by three pantheons of rock – Journey, REO Speedwagon and Styx – with all the fun and excitement of a Carnival cruise, to offer music fans a one-of-a-kind vacation experience. 

The week-long excursion aboard the “Fun Ship” Carnival Triumph departs Miami on November 27 and returns December 4, 2004. More than a week-long rock concert and more than a vacation at sea, it is set to be an unforgettable rock n’ roll voyage through the tropics. Featured ports include Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. 

The Rock N’ Roll Holiday Cruise provides fans of Journey, REO Speedwagon and Styx an intimate experience never before offered with these legendary acts.

Each package includes:

  • Private concerts

  • Q&A session with band members

  • Exclusive Rock N’ Roll cocktail parties

  • Special limited edition band memorabilia

This is the first time these bands have participated in such an event. Aboard the Carnival Triumph, Rock N’ Roll Holiday Cruise participants will enjoy a week of delicious formal and casual meals, spacious accommodations, a diversity of lounges, bars and entertainment venues, a 15,000-square-foot health club, a full gambling casino, a duty-free shopping mall, four swimming pools, and a 214-foot-long water slide.

Journey, REO Speedwagon and Styx are three of rock’s biggest bands. Between them, they’ve sold more than 100 million records around the world, and they’ve filled stadiums and arenas. Now, the three come together, for a week-long trip that defines rock fantasy. 

Prices begin at $1,299 per person based on double occupancy. Special rates for third and fourth guests sailing in the same stateroom are also available. For additional information and reservations, call the “Rock n’ Roll Holiday Escape” hotline at 1-866-236-6696 or visit The cruise can also be booked through any travel agent who must request fare code CSCH when making the reservation. 

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Norwegian Coastal Voyage Combines Off-Season Bargains & Promotional Incentives for Single & Mature Travelers

NEW YORK – Norwegian Coastal Voyage offers its best bargains in the off-season when the tourists are gone and cruise, hotel and airline prices drop. Cabin rates, ranging from $688 to $2,237 per person, double occupancy, for six- to 12-day sailings, are reduced up to 39% below peak summer prices. Three promotional offers for solo and senior travelers can be combined to maximize savings. Eleven ships sail daily year-round, calling at 34 ports along Norway's 1,250-mile fjord-indented coast between Bergen and Kirkenes, high above the Arctic Circle.

No single supplement applies to nine cabin categories on seven contemporary and mid-generation ships from October 1 to March 3, 2005. Singles and travelers who would rather not share a cabin with family or friends can save $188 to $903 on inside, standard and large outside cabins.

AARP members receive a discount of $70 per cabin on one-way and $100 on round-trip sailings and $100 to $150 on air-inclusive NCV Independent and No Frills Vacations. Senior savings for passengers age 67 and older are $95 per person on six-day, $115 on seven-day and $170 on 12-day voyages. An AARP membership number and proof of age must be submitted to obtain these savings.

A traveler who is eligible for both mature traveler discounts and books a cabin category with no single supplement could reduce the off-season cost of a six-day cruise in a single inside cabin from $960 to $607, a savings of $353, and in a large outside cabin from $1,491 to $829, a $662 discount.

Seasonal rate reductions range from $123 to $957 per person, double, on one-way and $209 to $1,427 on round-trip voyages below peak June and July prices. Double cabin rates are $688 to $1,239 on six-day sailings from Kirkenes, $838 to $1,505 on seven-day cruises from Bergen and $1,250 to $2,237 on the 12-day round-trip voyage from October 1 to March 31, 2005. The 39% reductions are on large outside cabins. Suites are also available.

Highlights of winter-season cruises are the Northern Lights dancing across the sky when atmospheric conditions are right and traditional Norwegian Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations aboard the ships. Presentations on Norway are given aboard the newer ships. Among the shore excursions are city tours, museum visits, a North Cape excursion and a snowmobile safari. Average temperatures along the coastal route, which is warmed by the Gulf Stream, range from 24° to 50° from October through March.

An alternative to a traditional cruise, the Norwegian Coastal Voyage is a unique combination of a first-class cruise ship, a working ship that carries local passengers and cargo between ports, and a lifeline to remote coastal towns and villages. The ships, which carry 171 to 674 passengers, are stylish, comfortable, convivial and display works by contemporary Norwegian artists in the public areas. Information and reservations can be obtained from Norwegian Coastal Voyage, (800) 323-7436 or (212) 319-1300; fax (212) 319-1390; for brochures, (800) 666-2374, 24 hours a day;

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Viking River Cruises Honored With Travel + Leisure's Prestigious 2004 'World's Best' Award

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 9 -- Viking River Cruises, the world leader in river cruising, announced today that it debuted on Travel & Leisure magazine's "Top 10 Small Ship Cruise Lines" in the August 2004 "World's Best" Awards issue.

"World's Best" Awards are compiled from nearly 450,000 Travel & Leisure subscribers who rated recent travel experiences based on value, food, service, accommodations, destinations and activities. Viking River Cruises debuted on the awards list as the highest-ranked river cruise line.

"Travel & Leisure readers are some of the most experienced consumers in the travel industry and we're thrilled to by this honor," said Viking River Cruises President Jeff Dash. "We strive to create a high-quality, culturally focused experience for our passengers -- and to receive this kind of response from the readers of Travel & Leisure is extremely gratifying."

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Princess Announces 2005 Canada/New England Program
Sea Princess Makes Debut in the Region with Revised Itinerary

SANTA CLARITA, CA, August 6, 2004 - Princess' Canada/New England will see a few changes in 2005, including the debut in the region of Sea Princess with a new New York/Quebec City itinerary. In addition, Golden Princess returns to offer round-trip cruises from New York. Together these two ships offer itineraries perfect for viewing the breathtaking fall foliage of the Eastern seaboard. The two ships will offer 11 voyages, including seven Golden Princess seven-day sailings roundtrip from New York, and three Sea Princess offerings of a 10-day route between New York and Quebec City. Sea Princess will also sail one Canada/Colonial America voyage along the full length of the Atlantic coast. The Canada/New England season will run from September 3 through October 24, 2005.

"These sailings are perfect for travelers in search of fall colors, as nearly every port offers prime opportunities for viewing the dramatic fall foliage of the east," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "With Sea Princess returning to the fleet, we can offer more capacity than ever on these popular routes."

Golden Princess' seven-day itinerary features stunning scenery of brilliant fall colors combined with one of the line's amenity-filled vessels. A convenient round-trip cruise from New York City, this itinerary features visits to Halifax (Nova Scotia), Saint John (New Brunswick), Bar Harbor (Maine), Boston and Newport (Rhode Island). The ship offers seven voyages from September 3 to October 15.

Sea Princess sails on a classic 10-day Canada/New England voyage between New York and Quebec City. The itinerary features new ports of call in Sydney (Nova Scotia) and Corner Brook (Newfoundland), as well as visits to Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John and Halifax, plus cruising on Canada's scenic Saguenay River. Sea Princess offers three sailings, departing between September 24 and October 14, 2004. In addition, Sea Princess will also offer a special 12-day Canada/Colonial America voyage between Quebec City and Ft. Lauderdale on October 24. This extended journey features calls at Sydney, Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport, New York City, Norfolk (Virginia) and Charleston - visiting five of the U.S.'s 13 original colonies.

For those who would like to extend their Canada/New England vacation, Princess offers escorted pre- or post-cruise land tours in conjunction with these sailings, in which passengers can travel back through historic America or spend further time in Canada. Golden Princess passengers can add a Historic America tour to their vacation, which will take them to Washington, D.C., Mt. Vernon, Jamestown, Williamsburg, Monticello, Charlottesville, Gettysburg, and the Amish country of Lancaster. Sea Princess passengers can opt for a Maple Explorer tour, featuring some of Canada's most popular landmarks, including two nights in Toronto with a day at Niagara Falls, one night in the capital city of Ottawa, and two nights in Montreal.

Early booking fares for Princess' Canada/New England sailings begin at $895 for Golden Princess' seven-day voyages and $1,495 for Sea Princess' 10-day cruises. 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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Royal Caribbean Brings European Experience Onboard
New Activities & Entertainment Highlight Culture & Customs of Historic Ports of Call

MIAMI, Aug. 5 -- From learning to cha-cha and meringue to creating a traditional mask for a Venetian masquerade ball, Royal Caribbean guests cruising the Mediterranean and Northern Europe will find that their European experience doesn't stop at the gangway. New activities, amenities and entertainment designed to bring the culture and customs of Europe onboard await guests sailing on Brilliance of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas this fall and throughout the 2005 European season.

"One of the main attractions of European cruising is the chance to explore many different countries and cultures in a single vacation," said Maria Sastre, vice president, Hotel Operations, for Royal Caribbean International. "Now, we are able to elevate this to a new level by offering guests authentic European experiences onboard, allowing them to further immerse themselves in the destinations visited."

Savoring the Mediterranean aboard 
Brilliance of the Seas & Splendour of the Seas
In the Mediterranean, Royal Caribbean offers three cruise itinerary options. Brilliance of the Seas offers 12-night Mediterranean/Venice and 12- night Mediterranean/Greek Isles cruises through Oct. 29, while Splendour of the Seas sails seven-night Mediterranean itineraries until Nov. 13. Guests on both ships will begin to enjoy the new enhancements before they board; performers from Barcelona's famed Las Ramblas have been engaged to entertain in the terminal during embarkation. Once onboard, guests can explore regional languages, music and dances through complimentary Italian and Spanish classes, as well as rumba, cha-cha and meringue lessons. Other activities include game shows and trivia contests reflecting the ports of call, as well as movie nights featuring box-office hits, such as "Gladiator" and "The Italian Job." In addition, on the evenings when the ships depart Rome, guests will be invited to create their own costumes for a festive toga party.

In the evening, both ships' sports bars are transformed into cozy tapas bars, where diners can enjoy live flamenco music as they sample authentic Spanish fare. Flavorful chorizo, Serrano ham and saucisson, tangy cheeses, olives, roasted garlic and flaky breads are served with fine Spanish olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

Guests on Brilliance of the Seas will enjoy a taste of Italy with pizza- tossing demonstrations at poolside, including a chance to sample the final product. Those going on to Greece will be invited to participate in the "syrtos," or circle dance, to traditional Greek folk music when Brilliance of the Seas docks in Santorini and Mykonos.

Guests on the Venice itineraries will share an unforgettable moment when the music of famed Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti is broadcast over the ship's audio system as Brilliance sails into the captivating city of canals. They will learn how to make traditional Venetian masks at a complimentary class and be encouraged to wear their creations during a masquerade ball.

Exploring Northern Europe on Jewel of the Seas
In Northern Europe, Royal Caribbean's third ship in the region, Jewel of the Seas, sails 12-night British Isles/Norwegian Fjords itineraries and 12- night Scandinavia/Russia cruises from Harwich, England, through Sept. 1. Jewel's guests also are treated to street performances in the British tradition as they embark in Harwich. Onboard, they can participate in a British murder-mystery game; compete in regionally inspired trivia challenges; throw back a pint during pub-themed nights; and enjoy movies reflecting their destinations, such as "Sense and Sensibility," "Notting Hill" and "Dr. Zhivago." Ship musicians also will treat guests to a classical concert on formal night.

The staff aboard all three ships also are getting into the European spirit. Each day, they will greet guests in the language of that day's port of call, play regional music in bars and venues throughout the ship, and send guests off to explore ashore--and welcome them back--with special gangway events including local flags, music and attire.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand currently with 19 ships in service and one more under construction. The company also offers unique cruisetour vacations in Alaska, Canada and Europe. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's web site at or call 800-327-6700.

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Winemaker Gary Eberle to Join Seabourn Spirit in Asia
Award-Winning California Vintner Highlights December Cruise from Singapore

MIAMI, August 4, 2004 - Award-winning California winemaker Gary Eberle will join Seabourn Spirit as a special Dress Circle guest expert on a 12-day cruise of Thailand & Temples of Burma, sailing roundtrip from Singapore December 7-19, 2004. 

In 2004, Eberle Winery celebrated 25 years of making ultra premium wines in Paso Robles, California. A former Penn State defensive lineman, Eberle developed a fascination with fine wines during graduate studies in cellular genetics at Louisiana State University. Later, while enrolled in the doctoral program in oenology at University of California, Davis, Eberle became convinced of the untapped potential in Paso Robles and moved there in 1973. His first vintage, a 1979 Cabernet Sauvignon, was released in 1982. Since then, Eberle wines have won a veritable treasure trove of gold and silver medals in domestic and international competitions for varietals including cabernet, chardonnay, zinfandel, syrah and viognier, and earned the Paso Robles Appellation a reputation as lustrous as that of its California neighbors to the north.

"We are delighted to have Gary back on a Seabourn yacht," said Deborah Natansohn, Seabourn's president. "He has not only created a sterling reputation as a brilliant winemaker, I hear he's also fiendishly clever at 'Liar's Club!'" she continued.

Aside from Eberle's fine wines and jovial company, guests aboard the intimate, 208-guest Seabourn Spirit can enjoy visits to Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi Island, Malaysia; the Thai islands of Phuket and Ko Hong and a multi-day stay at Yangon, formerly called Rangoon, for visits of the colorful Burmese capital and the astounding wealth of temples and pagodas at Bagan. A complimentary Exclusively Seabourn shoreside experience comprises a lavish cocktail reception at the famous Strand Hotel, home-away-from-home to world travelers and dignitaries for generations.

With Early Booking Savings of up to 30 percent, fares start from $5,597 per person, based on double occupancy of a 277-square foot ocean-view suite. For more information, contact a professional travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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April 2005 Mediterranean Cruise of Luxurious Deutschland to Present International Classical Music Gala at Sea

NEW YORK, August 4, 2004 – Distinguished classical music artists will perform concerts and recitals with the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra on board the April 1-13 sailing of the luxury liner MS Deutschland on a two-week Mediterranean cruise that embarks from Lisbon, ends in Venice and visits Seville, Barcelona, Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples and Palermo. 

An opera performance at the San Carlo opera house in Naples will be among the special events on the cruise program. On board the five-star luxury liner, internationally known singers and instrumentalists will appear in concerts at sea accompanied by the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra from Heilbronn, Germany, under the direction of Ruben Gazarian, a rising star and one the youngest principal conductors in Germany. 

Among the soloists performing on the 513-passenger Deutschland are the British soprano Lynne Dawson, tenor Siegfried Jerusalem, Welsh bass-baritone Nicholas Folwell, Danish cellist Troels Svane and clarinetist Sabine Meyer. In addition to the concerts during the three days of the cruise at sea, the music program will include discussions about the composers and the works being performed. The cruise will offer theme nights such as dinner “a la Rossini’ and “Mediterranean Melodies.” The musical gala, which is included at no additional cost to the cruise fare, will have a “Grand Finale” with a fireworks extravaganza.

Classic Elegance at Sea
The MS Deutschland, launched in 1998, is elegantly decorated in art nouveau and art deco styles, reminiscent of the Golden Age of ocean travel. Dining on board rates highly with passengers and the prestigious organization Chaine des Rotisseurs that has recognized the level of excellence of the fine cuisine prepared by the ship's chef de cuisine and his experienced team. All three of the ship's attractively designed restaurants serve multi-course gourmet cuisine and an outdoor dining terrace with tables under festive umbrellas, intimate salons with music and friendly cafes each offer a different ambience.

An outdoor pool with poolside bar, indoor pool with spa and sauna, three sun decks, an open-air promenade deck, fitness center, Turkish bath, beautifully designed theater for film screenings and other events, boutique and beauty salon with massage therapy are among other features of the nine-deck ship, which also has an infirmary and medical doctor on board. 

For details on this April 2005 music cruise on the Mediterranean, contact Peter Deilmann Cruises at 1-800-348-8287 or e-mail . Details are online at

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Rainforests, Rivers & Reserves: Windstar Returns to 
Costa Rica in 2005
Windstar Mixes Luxury with Soft Adventure Aboard 10 Cruises

Seattle, WA, August 3, 2004 -- Renowned for its worldwide exotic itineraries, Windstar Cruises will return to Costa Rica in 2005 after a two-year hiatus, offering savvy travelers the opportunity to experience paradise from ship to shore on 10 new 7-day cruises that are truly 180 degrees from ordinary. From January 29 - March 26, and again in December, the motor sailing yacht Wind Star will explore Costa Rica on roundtrip itineraries from Puerto Caldera. The hidden harbors of Central America's Pacific coast are revealed with port calls at San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Playa Flamingo, Quepos, Bahia Paraiso (Drake Bay), Curu Reserve, and Tortuga Island, Costa Rica. 

"We pioneered luxury cruising to Costa Rica, and we are thrilled to be returning to such a fascinating destination," says Tom Russell, vice president marketing and sales. "The quiet elegance and unobtrusive style of Windstar puts us in a unique position to explore the wild and natural beauty of Costa Rica with calls at smaller, less-frequented ports typically unavailable to larger cruise ships."

Often described as the jewel of Central America, Costa Rica is an ecotourism haven. Naturalist Carlos Picado, a native of Costa Rica, will be aboard every cruise to share his expert insight into the country's unique history, culture, geography and biodiversity, providing guests with a greater understanding of the delicate balance of nature existing within Costa Rica.

Ports of Call
Guests will find a perfect match of luxury and adventure as the elegant 148-passenger msy Wind Star sails into picturesque harbors and bays on its leisurely cruise down the Pacific Coast.

  • A tranquil Nicaraguan fishing village nestled between volcanic hills with a stretch of white sand beach, San Juan del Sur sits at the head of a horseshoe-shaped bay and is the gateway to Nicaragua's fascinating hinterland.

  • Playa Flamingo, on Guanacaste's Gold Coast, is regarded as one of the finest white sand beaches in Costa Rica making it tops for swimming and sunbathing. The area boasts luxury homes, hotels and resorts. Fishing, surfing, diving and snorkeling are all popular activities here. 

  • Quepos is a convenient base-camp for a day of adventure, whether it be exploring the trails that weave up to waterfalls or a walk through famed Manuel Antonio National Park, with its lovely beaches and abundant wildlife.

  • A remote bay with a beautiful sand beach connecting the lush rain forest to the clear blue ocean, Bahía Paraiso sits on the far western edge of Osa Peninsula between Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park. The Osa Peninsula is described as Costa Rica's "best kept secret."

  • The unique history of the Curu Wildlife Reserve, a privately owned Hacienda on the Nicoya Peninsula, allows agriculture, scientific research, and tourism to thrive together in a sustainable manner. Hiking trails provide access to diverse habitats and an array of wildlife inhabits the reserve including pacas, hawksbill turtles, monkeys and 232 species of birds.

  • Across from Curu is Tortuga Island with a beautiful palm-fringed beach and lush tropical flora. Tortuga is an uninhabited, peaceful island with sheltered areas for swimming and snorkeling.

Adventure and diversity ashore
To fully appreciate the exotic nuances of the land, Windstar has crafted a collection of custom-designed tours showcasing the very best of nature at play. With excursions ranging from easy, informative walks to downright adventurous explorations, guests will witness the true beauty of Costa Rica:

  • Swing from tree to tree in a custom-fitted harness and witness the secrets of the forest during the Congo Trail Canopy Tour in the Province of Guanacaste (from Playa Flamingo); 

  • Enjoy a half-day of sailing and snorkeling on board a beautiful catamaran (from Playa Flamingo); 

  • Hike the Manuel Antonio National Park, famous for its tropical beaches backed by forests and rocky headlands, as a naturalist guide points out unique flora and fauna (from Quepos); 

  • Walk in the footsteps of Spanish Conquistador Hernandez de Cordoba while exploring the ancient city of Granada, founded in 1524 (from San Juan del Sur); and, 

  • Ride horseback into the rainforest to swim in the pool of a tumbling waterfall.
    Aboard the intimate msy Wind Star, the ship becomes a window on the world, with spacious, open decks and a complimentary water sports program ideally suited for cruising the tropics. An aft water sports platform lowers into the water for access to the swimming platform, water-skiing, kayaking, sailing, "banana boating," and windsurfing. Snorkeling gear is also available complimentary. 

After a day of exploration, guests will appreciate Windstar's atmosphere of casual elegance. Guests are free to relax in comfort aboard their own private yacht -no ties, jackets or cocktail dresses required. Elegantly appointed staterooms boast amenities such as a DVD and CD player, LCD flatscreen TV, stocked mini-bar and snacks, white terry bathrobes and room to rest in comfort. Deck space is plentiful on board and comfortable, new lounge chairs beckon you to relax and enjoy the view as if you are on your own private verandah.

Gourmet cuisine by celebrity chef Joachim Splichal and a Sail Light spa menu by author Jeanne Jones tempt the palate at every meal with fresh ingredients combined with culinary creativity and a splash of local flavor. Guests enjoy breakfast and lunch in the Verandah which extends outside on deck for views of the day's destination. In the evening, dinner in the Restaurant is a five-course affair with freedom to choose when and with whom you will dine - all of which combines to create paradise at sea.

Windstar recently invested $6 million to maintain the yacht-like elegance of its award-winning fleet of three sailing ships. Rates for the seven-day Costa Rica itineraries begin at $2,036 per person, based on double occupancy, for cruise-only bookings made by October 31, 2004. Air/sea packages are available from the historic capital of San Jose.

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Cruising Suits Lifestyle & Demands of Today's New Generation of Retirees, Says CLIA

NEW YORK, Aug. 2 -- Today's retirees are more fit, more adventurous and have more time to spare than their predecessors. In their quest for ways to enrich their lives, members of this mature segment of society are discovering that cruises offered by the members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) are ideally suited for this new phase of their lives. Members of this growing segment of society--the Census Bureau projects that by 2007 the number of Americans age 55 and older will grow six times faster than the rest of the population--tend to be vibrant, active adults, many of whom have retired early, are very health- and fitness-conscious, and want to make the most of their retirement years. They have the time, the ability and the desire to do things they have always wanted to do, whether it is visiting a far-off land, learning a new skill or trying something "adventurous."

"Retirees are not merely observers; they are participants, whether they are exploring Alaska by helicopter or taking an in-depth sightseeing tour of the landmarks of ancient Rome," says Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of CLIA, the North American cruise industry's non-profit marketing and training organization which represents 19 cruise lines and 16,000 travel agencies. "The traditional view of retirement has changed and the cruise industry provides numerous exciting options for these new retirees."

"Because many of these individuals have worked many years and saved a lifetime for their retirement, they are very aware of the need to spend their money wisely. That's why a cruise is a great option," adds Dale. "When you compare the cost of a seven-day cruise to a less-inclusive seven-day land option, you likely will find the cruise is less expensive. Many of the items that would be 'extras' on a typical vacation, such as Broadway-style entertainment, meals, snacks, transportation, enrichment classes and other activities, are generally included in the cost of a cruise."

In addition to the value, cruise lines offer options that make a cruise a perfect fit for retirees. The health-conscious traveler will appreciate the healthy dining options and fitness programs that are tailored to individual ability levels. Those who have a "to do" list for their retirement years can accomplish a great deal during one cruise. With more than 1,800 ports of call in the world from which to choose, a cruise provides the thrill of exploring new places. Shore excursions and pre- and post-cruise packages enable guests to do in-depth sightseeing in some of the world's most exciting and interesting locales.

Onboard enrichment programs allow them to expand their knowledge of such subjects as computers, art, music, politics, literature or take an in-depth look at the destinations they are visiting. The cruise lines also offer opportunities for guests to be adventurous - from very active to "soft" adventure and everything in between. They can choose to engage in active pursuits or relax. They can also try something new, whether it's an activity, a fitness program or even a culinary experience.

"With the 19 CLIA-member cruise lines, the CLIA fleet of nearly 150 ships, the more than 1,800 worldwide destinations visited by cruise ships and the ever-expanding list of amenities available to travelers, it is important that travelers find the cruise that is right for them," says Dale. "The easiest way is to contact a travel agency that is a member of CLIA. By matching consumers with the cruise that is best for them, CLIA agents help ensure they don't come home disappointed."

They can also help find the ideal cruise for retirees to share with their grandchildren or the entire family. Since a cruise has activities for all ages and all interests, everyone will come home from their cruise vacation with fond memories of this shared experience. 

"These agents are the recognized experts when it comes to sharing the good word about cruise vacations," says Dale. "They have taken advantage of CLIA's extensive ongoing education program, including personal cruise ship inspections and actual cruising experience." 

To find a cruise expert to help plan your trip, visit CLIA's Web site, By typing in your zip code you can find the nearest CLIA-member agency. The Web site also features a wide range of information on cruises and destinations, as well as numerous links to member cruise lines and other resources.

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Carnival Valor: A Floating Feast Aboard Carnival's Newest ‘Fun Ship’
New 110,000-ton SuperLiner to Launch Seven-Day Caribbean Cruises Dec. 19

MIAMI, August 2, 2004 – From a leisurely paced dinner in an intimate supper club to a casual buffet lunch poolside, Carnival Cruise Lines’ new Carnival Valor will offer an array of palate-pleasing selections to suit every mood or taste. The 110,000-ton “Fun Ship” is set to launch year-round seven-day Caribbean service from Miami Dec. 19. Housed within the 2,974-passenger SuperLiner will be a wide range of formal and casual dining venues, including two two-level main dining rooms, a steakhouse-style supper club with nightly entertainment, a sushi bar, a wine bar, a patisserie, and an expansive poolside eatery offering breakfast, lunch and dinner alternatives and a 24-hour pizzeria. Complimentary 24-hour stateroom service will also be available. 

“Food is considered one of the highlights of any ‘Fun Ship’ cruise and Carnival Valor, with its seemingly endless array of formal and casual dining options, all enjoyed in spectacular surroundings, will provide guests with a truly memorable culinary experience,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

Myriad Formal Dining Options 
Guests dining in Carnival Valor’s Washington and Lincoln restaurants will have a choice of six appetizers, two salads, six entrees and four desserts each night, along with an extensive wine and after-dinner drinks list, all served by friendly and efficient staff. The décor of the restaurants is colonial but done in a contemporary fashion, with bas relief images of Washington and Lincoln, dark wood chandeliers and a gold-leaf dome.

In keeping with the recent trend toward low-carb diets, dinner menus will also feature specially created low-carb items prepared by Carnival’s master chefs. Other healthful selections include nightly vegetarian dishes and Spa Carnival Fare, items that are lower in fat, sodium, calories and cholesterol. Children’s menus will also be available. 

To celebrate a special occasion or simply to enjoy an evening of exquisite dining, there’s Scarlett’s, Carnival Valor’s reservations-only “steakhouse-style” supper club. This intimate restaurant will offer a truly exquisite dining experience with hand-cut dry-aged beef – a 24-ounce porterhouse, 14-ounce strip loin, and nine-ounce filet mignon – along with other gourmet cuisine such as veal chops, lobster tail, Alaskan King Crab, and Chilean sea bass. Scarlett’s will also feature one of the finest wine lists afloat – hand-picked by Carnival’s chefs to match the cuisine. 

Scarlett’s interiors are inspired by the heroine in the classic Civil War film and novel “Gone with the Wind,” employing decorative touches of the era -- wood paneling, white columns, pink shutters in the windows, and arches throughout the room. Nightly entertainment in the form of a talented jazz duo completes the mood of understated elegance. Scarlett’s will carry a $25 per person reservations fee. 

Extensive Casual Options
Those seeking a casual alternative can take advantage of the diversity of offerings at Rosie’s Restaurant, located poolside on Lido deck. Inspired by “Rosie the Riveter” of the World War II era, Rosie’s will feature Art Deco-themed interiors with a tile mural depicting the famous 1940s poster illustration of “Rosie,” as well as banquette separators made of tile and stainless steel.

This expansive 1,250-seat eatery will offer a huge array of options. In addition to self-serve breakfast and lunch buffets with a variety of hot and cold items, Rosie’s will feature an Asian specialty area; a grille serving hot dogs, hamburgers and grilled chicken and steak sandwiches; pasta and meat-carving stations; a “Taste of the Nation” section with a different international cuisine each day; a deli serving freshly made sandwiches and traditional side dishes like potato salad and cole slaw; and a rotisserie offering broiled meats and chicken. 

Located on the upper level of the restaurant will be a specialty seafood venue with shrimp ceviche, oyster fritters and bouillabaisse and other fresh from-the-sea delicacies. Rosie’s will also house a 24-hour pizzeria with seven kinds of pies and calzones and a 24-hour ice cream/frozen yogurt station, along with a 35-item salad bar. The two-level eatery will also serve as the venue for Carnival’s nightly alternative dinner-time service, the Seaview Bistro.

Numerous Other Dining Options
Also featured on Carnival Valor will be Jeanne’s, a wine bar with an excellent selection of wine by the bottle or the glass. There’s also the Java Café, a patisserie where guests can enjoy a decadent selection of cookies, pies, cakes and other confections, along with various specialty coffees – espresso, lattes, cappuccino and the like. At the Togo sushi bar, guests can watch chefs prepare authentic Asian delicacies right before their eyes. Carnival Valor will also offer its own version of Carnival’s legendary midnight gala buffet once each cruise, along with late-night buffets and a Chocolate Extravaganza which, like the name implies, offers a vast assortment of all-chocolate desserts. 

Carnival Valor will also offer the “Fountain Fun Card,” which, for a one-time fee, provides unlimited soft drinks throughout the duration of the voyage. The cards are purchased once on board and are available for both adults and children. 

Guests who want to enjoy a meal in the comfort of their stateroom can take advantage of Carnival Valor’s complimentary 24-hour room service which will offer a variety of freshly made sandwiches, salads, wraps and desserts delivered any time of the day or night.

Carnival Valor is slated to enter service from Miami Dec. 15, 2004 with a special two-day introductory voyage to Nassau, The Bahamas. The ship is scheduled to begin year-round seven-day service from Miami Dec. 19, operating alternating week-long voyages to the eastern and western Caribbean. Eastern Caribbean cruises call at Nassau, The Bahamas; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.; and St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles, while western Caribbean cruises visit Belize City, Belize; Isla Roatan, Honduras; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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    Princess Continues as Panama Canal Cruise Leader in 2005-06
    Line Introduces New 21-day Roundtrip Escape from San Diego

    SANTA CLARITA, CA, August 2, 2004 -- In 2005-06 Princess once again offers travelers a variety of opportunities for a front-row view of one the world's engineering marvels, the Panama Canal. Offering both roundtrip sailings and full transit voyages, Princess' three Canal-bound ships--Coral Princess, Regal Princess, and Sun Princess--will offer a plethora of Canal choices. Among the 28 seasonal sailings, Regal Princess introduces a new 21-day roundtrip sailing from San Diego. This new option gives West Coast passengers a convenient and intriguing itinerary with unusual ports of call such as San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua and Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala, as well as a unique overnight in the Canal. Coral Princess will again offer roundtrip sailings from the East Coast from Ft. Lauderdale, and all three ships also sail on full Canal adventures.

    "Princess continues to innovate the Panama Canal cruise experience with ships and itinerary choices," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "And what better way to enjoy the transit process than from a private balcony -- we'll have more than 1,000 standard balcony staterooms available on Canal cruises this season."

    Roundtrip Panama Canal
    Coral Princess returns to offer 21 departures on its popular 10-day roundtrip voyages from Ft. Lauderdale. The ship, which was designed especially for Canal cruising, takes passengers on a partial transit of the Panama Canal followed by an afternoon visit to the Panamanian port of Colón, plus visits Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Limon in Costa Rica, and Ocho Rios in Jamaica. Sailings depart between October 5, 2005 and April 23, 2006.

    In addition, Regal Princess debuts a new 21-day roundtrip Canal sailing from San Diego. The itinerary includes a rare opportunity to spend the night under the Panamanian stars as the ship stays overnight in the Canal's Gatun Lake with an evening transit back through the locks the next day. In addition, the cruise features port calls in Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Puerto Quetzal (Guatamala), Puerto Corinto (Nicaragua), San Juan del Sur (Nicaragua), Puntarenas (Costa Rica), and Huatulco, Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. This special sailing departs on November 15, 2005.

    Grand Panama Canal
    For those wanting to experience the full ocean-to-ocean Canal transit, Princess will offer several Grand Panama Canal sailings in spring and fall. These repositioning voyages offer the opportunity to sail on a variety of ships, including Sun Princess as well as Coral Princess and Regal Princess. The 15-day or longer itineraries include not only the full transit through the Panama Canal, but also calls at Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Puntarenas, Cartagena and Aruba.
    In Fall 2005 passengers can choose a Vancouver (or Los Angeles) to Ft. Lauderdale sailing on Coral Princess on September 17 (or Sept. 20 from L. A.). Sun Princess offers a similar itinerary via San Francisco on September 12 (or Sept. 14 from San Francisco). In addition, Regal Princess sails from San Diego to Ft. Lauderdale on December 6.

    Spring 2006 options include Coral Princess sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to Vancouver (via San Francisco) on May 3; Regal Princess cruising from Ft. Lauderdale to San Francisco on May 1; and Sun Princess traveling between Ft. Lauderdale and Vancouver (via Los Angeles) on April 27.

    Early booking fares for Princess' Panama Canal voyages begin at $1,199 per person, based on double occupancy. 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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    Unless otherwise noted, all news items are sourced by individual cruise lines, cruise-related industries, and their agents.

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