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Cruise News
September  1-30, 2010

Click the following links to the cruise news stories...

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

What's on Cruise Diva's mind? A bit of editorializing, news, announcements, and travel tips--find that and more in Cruise Diva's Blog. Recent headlines appear below.

Cruise Diva

MSC Cruises Introduces New Winter Routes For 2011-2012

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Sept 30: MSC Cruises is adding the United Arab Emirates to its 2011-12 winter cruise destinations. The elegant MSC Lirica will be based in Abu Dhabi for the 2011-2012 winter season. The season includes a full schedule of 19 7-night cruises from Abu Dhabi, with departures every Sunday from Oct 30, 2011 through March 4, 2012, and from Dubai, with departures every Friday, from Oct 28, 2011 to March 9, 2012. MSC Lirica will call at the port of Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman, Al Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, the island Kingdom of Bahrain and include two unforgettable and unprecedented nights in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The 59,000-ton MSC Lirica, which can host as many as 2,069 guests in 780 cabins, features a sophisticated and elegant decor, superb attention to details in all areas, the finest Italian and international cuisine and a dazzling array of entertainment and activities. The ship includes shops, a casino, a card room and the 713-seat Broadway Theater. Guests can choose from four different restaurants, soak up the atmosphere of the Lord Nelson Pub, chill to a variety of musical styles in The Beverly Hills Bar or dance their hearts out in the Blue Club Discotheque.

On Oct 14, 2011 MSC Lirica will depart from Genoa, Italy, for a 16-night cruise to Abu Dhabi to start her first cruise season in the United Arab Emirates. Her southbound course will take her from the Mediterranean Sea with calls in Naples, Italy, and Port Said, Egypt, through the Suez Canal to Aqaba in Jordan, Salalah and Muscat in Oman and, finally, to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Arabia will say farewell to MSC Lirica five months later, on March 11, 2012, when she starts her 17-night northbound return cruise from Abu Dhabi to Genoa in Italy. Scheduled stops are Al Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, Muscat and Salalah in Oman, Safaga in Egypt, Aqaba in Jordan, Port Sokhna in Egypt and through the Suez Canal to Port Said before calling in Naples and Genoa.

Ports of call during the Arabian itinerary include:

· Abu Dhabi is a cosmopolitan metropolis rich in splendor, from the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the largest in the world with its 800 domes and 1,000 columns, to the Heritage Village, Emirates Palace and Al Ain archaeological site with its palace museum. Guests can head into the desert to enjoy the thrill of a roller coaster-like ride through sand dunes or stay in the city for some of the finest, most sophisticated shopping in the world.

· Dubai is an ultramodern city steeped in tradition, flanking the coast with a natural creek on the edge of the Arabian Desert. Guests will delight in its worlds within worlds, discovering Ajman’s famous museum and souk, taking a leisurely tour of the city in a traditional Dhow after dinner, traversing the desert’s golden dunes in a 4x4 or bathing in the natural pools at Hatta.

· Bahrain means “two seas” in Arabic, referring to the freshwater springs of this magically unique archipelago of 32 islands, famed for its pearls since the Persian Empire. Guests can prepare themselves to be inspired by the prehistoric Royal Tombs and pottery at A’ali, alongside modern achievements that include the International Motor Racing Circuit and the 15-mile King Fahd Causeway to Saudi Arabia.

· Al Fujairah is a jewel of history and nature, set in majestic hillsides and wadis inhabited since the Iron Age. Visitors will marvel at its atmospheric old city and 17th Century fortress, Al Bithna Oasis, with its prehistoric tomb, and the exquisite village of Masafi in the Hajar Mountains. Sun-seekers will find paradise in its scenic secluded beaches.

· Muscat has been renowned as one of the world’s greatest ports since Ancient Rome. Guests can journey through time in the breathtaking Al Jalali and Al Mirani forts, the bustling souk, the magnificent Sultan Qaboos Mosque and the Beit Al Zubair museum. Then they can treat themselves to the timeless natural fragrances of the exclusive Amouage perfumery.

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit us online at, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

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Art & Memorabilia Aboard Queen Elizabeth Reflect Cunard’s British Heritage

Sept 30: When Cunard Line’s new Queen Elizabeth debuts on Oct 11, the art and memorabilia on board will captivate guests with a unique mix of contemporary art, items from QE2 and the original Queen Elizabeth along with signature art deco pieces. In addition, Queen Elizabeth’s fine art program will depart from the art auction format with Cunard’s introduction of a partnership with Clarendon Fine Art, one of the most celebrated new galleries in London’s tony Mayfair district.

“Queen Elizabeth’s artwork reflects Cunard’s distinctive heritage and style with art deco pieces, maritime paintings, and works reflecting our ties to the Royal Family,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “And our partnership with London’s Clarendon Gallery provides an exciting new retail offering for our guests who enjoy contemporary art.”

Art deco flourishes, wood paneling, intricate mosaics, chandeliers and cool marbles will combine to give Queen Elizabeth a design and personality of her own, but with overtones of the late 1930s when her predecessor, the first Queen Elizabeth, was built.

Highlights include:

· An 18.5-foot marquetry panel depicting the port bow of the original Queen Elizabeth, created by David Linley, son of the late Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon, and Her Majesty The Queen’s only nephew

· A 30-inch antique 1930s art deco globe by Phillips & Sons situated on a large carved walnut stand in the library

· An art deco mural at the Reception Desk by Academy-Award® winner, author and art deco expert Arnold Schwartzman

Art throughout Queen Elizabeth also celebrates the ship’s predecessors. Examples include the art deco plaques on display at the Tour Desk, listing all the masters of the first Queen Elizabeth and QE2; the murals in The Verandah, inspired by the original Queen Mary Verandah Grill artwork; a tribute to QE2 in the Yacht Club, with striking photos and – from QE2 herself – a silver ship model and a builder’s plaque and bell; and the Midships Bar mural painted by Hollywood scenic artist Marian Westall. Artifacts from the first Queen Elizabeth will also be on display in the Midships Bar.

“Displaying the famous silver QE2 model created by Asprey’s in the early 1970s and displayed for many years on QE2, shows the enduring history of that famous ship,” said Peter Shanks.

Cunard Place, located on Deck 2 near the Queens Room, will feature memorabilia highlighting the relationship between the three Queen Elizabeth liners and Great Britain’s Royal Family, as well as murals based on the Queen Elizabeth and QE2 launch ceremonies painted by Italian artist Diego Bormida.

Housed in the Queens Room are three significant pieces: a bust of Her Majesty The Queen by Oscar Nemon; a replica of the Cunard-commissioned portrait of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh that was originally on display in Caronia’s main lounge and then was moved to QE2; and a second replica painting of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth by Sir Oswald Birley, commissioned for the original Queen Elizabeth and subsequently displayed on QE2.

Queen Elizabeth will also display paintings paying tribute to Cunard’s history.

Robert Lloyd is one of Europe’s most sought after marine artists, producing visually stunning paintings. His oil mural of three Queens meeting in Southampton, Queen Elizabeth in Sydney Harbour, and printed porthole murals of maritime scenes will all be on display in the Commodore Club, with other works in the forward stairwells.

Known for painting in oils using a palette knife, artist Harley Crossley had seven of his large original paintings of Cunard and White Star ships displayed on one of the stairways on board QE2. His most recent work of art, depicting Queen Elizabeth leaving Southampton, will be on display in the Grand Lobby.

Clarendon on Cunard will ensure that the most collectable contemporary art is available on board to view and to purchase, featuring a superior range of original paintings, limited editions, sculpture and collectors' art books. Rolf Harris originals and limited edition prints are expected to be popular. The gallery will host events that provide a unique opportunity to meet some of the artists who will bring their work to life on board. There will also be an area dedicated to collectable artwork surrounding Cunard itself, the Cunarders Gallery. Within this less formal setting, Clarendon will show collections of historical images, vintage travel posters and celebrity photographs, which will be exclusively available to guests of Queen Elizabeth.

For more information and to book a Cunard voyage aboard Queen Elizabeth, consult your Travel Agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD (1-800-728-6273) or go to

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New Low Business Class Air for Crystal's Summer 2011 European Cruises

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 30: Luxury specialist Crystal Cruises announces reduced Business Class air add-ons for nine 2011 Mediterranean, Baltic and North Cape voyages aboard Crystal Serenity. Guests booking verandah and deluxe staterooms can upgrade their complimentary coach air transportation to Business Class for only $999 each way from more than 20 North American gateway cities. While Business Class air transportation is included with Crystal's penthouse accommodations for Europe, the new promotional add-on fares for all other accommodations are available on the following voyages:

-- May 22, June 2 and June 27 - Baltic Sea voyages with double overnights in St. Petersburg, departing from Stockholm, Copenhagen and Hamburg;
-- June 13 and July 8 - North Cape cruises exploring Norway and the Polar Ice Cap, departing from Copenhagen;
-- July 22 - British Isles voyage round-trip from London; and
-- August 2, August 14 and August 26 - Western Europe/Mediterranean cruises, including Black Sea ports, departing from London, Rome and Barcelona.

"With Business Class air to Europe typically starting around $3,500 round-trip, such significant air savings adds luxury and value to our already rich value propositions for 2011, and offers travelers an ideal opportunity to cruise with the World's Best," says Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales and marketing.

Included with all 2011 voyages are 'All Inclusive - As You Wish' shipboard spending credits of up to $1,000 per person, and a host of family and group perks with the Crystal Family Memories program. Guests booking verandah or penthouse accommodations on the May 22, June 13 or August 26 cruises by December 31 will receive up to $3,000 per couple in additional savings. The Business Class air promotion is capacity controlled and subject to space availability. Per person, promotional, Two-for-One cruise fares for the above voyages are available. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Windstar Cruises Unveils 2011 Signature Collection Host Series

SEATTLE, Sept. 30: Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most sought-after destinations, announces its 2011 Signature Collection Host Series which offers guests the unique opportunity to cruise and learn from distinguished experts in the fields of culinary arts, wine, photography, gardening and wealth management.

Guests can taste and learn about wines from top winemakers Daniel Baron of Silver Oak Cellars; Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellar and Figgins Family Wine Estates; Tor and Susan Kenward of Tor Kenward Family Wines; Bob Iantosca of Gloria Ferrer and Julia Iantosca of Lasseter Family Winery; and David Gianulias and Todd Rustman of Levendi Winery. Chef Fabio Viviani of Firenze Osteria and fan favorite of "Top Chef" season five will delight food connoisseurs with his culinary arts. Guests will discover the art of photography with celebrity and travel photographer John Russo. Garden designer Anthea Guthrie will share her passion for gardening and design tips. And, Todd Rustman will discuss the principles of wealth management.

Anthea Guthrie - Garden Designer
British garden designer Guthrie, hosts Wind Surf's Barbados to Barbados sailing which departs Jan 9, 2011, and visits the ports of Bequia, The Grenadines; St. George's, Grenada; Mayreau, The Grenadines; Portsmouth, Dominica; and Pigeon Island, St. Lucia. Guthrie has been awarded 13 Royal Horticultural Society medals, including four gold medals, and two for best creative garden and one for best small garden. Her love of history combined with a passion for gardening, led to the creation of a garden based on the story of Ann Boleyn, a theatre garden at the world famous Chelsea Flower Show for the wife of Charles I, and a Shakespearean garden based on the play "As You Like It" at Hampton Court Palace. Guthrie has also been a guest on the BBC "A Passion for Plants," series and on various radio shows, has been a panelist for Gardeners' Question Time at Hampton Court Palace and is a well-known speaker at various garden clubs. During a lecture, Guthrie will share her extensive gardening experiences and tips.

Tor & Susan Kenward - Founders of Tor Kenward Family Wines
Tor and Susan Kenward, founders of Tor Kenward Family Wines, host Wind Surf's Barbados to Barbados sailing which departs Jan 16, 2011, and visits St. Kitts, F.W.I.; St. Martin, F.W.I.; St. Barts, F.W.I.; Iles des Saintes, F.W.I; and Pigeon Island, St. Lucia. Tor Kenward's exceptional Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays come from his 30-plus years studying the vineyards of Napa Valley. Susan Kenward has written six cookbooks including one James Beard Award winner and her recipes have also appeared in The Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. She also developed her own skin care line, Olivina Napa Valley. During the voyage the Kenward's will lecture on wines, conduct a wine tasting and Susan Kenward will give a cooking demonstration.

John Russo - Celebrity and Travel Photographer
Photographer Russo hosts Wind Surf's Lisbon to Barcelona sailing, departing April 17, 2011, which visits the ports of Tangier, Morocco; Malaga, Spain; Almeria, Spain; Cartagena, Spain; and Ibiza, Spain. Russo, a top celebrity photographer, has photographed Kevin Costner, Eva Longoria, John Travolta, Sophia Loren and many other top celebrities. Russo's work has also been featured on the covers of Vogue, Elle, GQ and Esquire. In addition to photographing celebrities, he has traveled around the world photographing destinations. Russo also teaches classes on celebrity portraiture at the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography. He just released his book "About Face" which is a collection of portraits of today's hottest male actors. During the sailing, he will conduct two lectures focusing on celebrity portraiture and travel photography and provide insight on how to take the best photos possible.

Bob Iantosca of Gloria Ferrer & Julia Iantosca of Lasseter Family Winery
Winemakers Bob Iantosca and Julia Iantosca host Wind Surf's Barcelona to Rome sailing departing April 24, 2011. Ports of call include Palma de Mallorca, Spain; St. Tropez, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Portofino, Italy; and Livorno, Italy. Since joining Gloria Ferrer in 1984, winemaker Bob Iantosca has created more award-winning California sparkling wines than any other single winemaker. Julia Iantosca, winemaker for Lasseter Family Winery, has developed outstanding reds and signature blends for the premium winery. Both Bob Iantosca and Julia Iantosca are passionate in creating unique wines and will share their winemaking experiences during lectures and wine tastings.

David Gianulias & Todd Rustman - Founders of Levendi Winery
David Gianulias and Todd Rustman, founders of Levendi Winery, host Wind Surf's Barcelona to Rome sailing departing May 8, 2011, visiting the ports of Palma de Mallorca; St. Tropez, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Portofino, Italy; and Livorno, Italy. Levendi is a family-owned, boutique winery located in Napa Valley. The Gianulias family has a strong Greek tradition of private winemaking dating back centuries. Since 1926, Levendi has developed ultra-premium vintages. In addition to wine making, Rustman is co-founder of GR Capital Asset Management. David Gianulias and Todd Rustman will discuss their winemaking process during a lecture and conduct wine tastings. Rustman will also do a separate lecture on wealth management.

Daniel Baron - Winemaker for Silver Oak Cellars
Winemaker Daniel Baron of acclaimed Silver Oak Cellars will host Wind Surf's Athens to Istanbul sailing departing July 16, 2011. Ports of call include Mykonos, Greece; Santorini, Greece; Rhodes, Greece; Bodrum, Turkey; and Kusadasi, Turkey. Baron began his winemaking career in the vineyards of Sonoma County before traveling to France and working for legendary Chateau Petrus - an experience that shaped his approach to making wine. "In the old world, wine was an integral part of daily life, and the pursuit of excellence was the driving force behind every decision made in the vineyard or winery," which is what Baron strives for as a winemaker. In 1982, he returned to Napa Valley and became the winemaker for Silver Oak's celebrated wines. Baron will lecture on the philosophy behind Silver Oak wines and conduct a wine tasting during the sailing.

Fabio Viviani - Owner of Firenze Osteria Italian Restaurant & "Top Chef" Season 5 Fan Favorite
Chef Fabio Viviani hosts Wind Surf's Athens to Rome voyage departing Oct 22, 2011. The cruise visits Milos, Greece; Monemvassia, Greece; Messina, Italy; Amalfi, Italy; and Ischia, Italy. Fabio is the owner of Firenze Osteria and was the "Top Chef" Season 5 Fan Favorite. Viviani began his culinary career at age 12 and then attended Italy's Instituto Professionale per I Servizi Alberghieri in Florence, focusing on advanced Tuscan and regional cooking as well as a wide variety of specialization courses. He spent months at regional restaurants and aboard to learn the secrets of master chefs and eventually co-owned and managed several high-volume Florentine restaurants. As owner and executive chef of Firenze Osteria, Viviani brings his Tuscan dishes and Florentine flair to Southern California. Viviani is also the official spokesperson for Bertolli Olive Oil and Santa Margherita wines. During the sailing, Viviani will conduct a lecture and cooking demonstration.

Chris Figgins - Winemaker for Leonetti Cellar & Figgins Family Wine Estates
Winemaker Chris Figgins hosts Wind Surf's St. Martin to Barbados sailing, departing Febr 18, 2012, which visits St. Martin, F.W.I.; Virgin Gorda, B.V.I.; lles des Saintes, F.W.I.; Pigeon Island, St. Lucia; Bequia, The Grenadines; and Mayreau, The Grenadines. Figgins' parents founded Walla Walla, Washington's acclaimed Leonetti Cellar in 1977. Figgins continues the winery's tradition of producing some the world's most sought-after reds in small, limited productions. He recently launched FIGGINS, an estate-grown, single-vineyard wine, and Lostine Cattle Company, grass-fed beef, to extend the Figgins Family Wine Estates experience. Figgins will lecture on transforming Leonetti into an estate grown winery and is know industry-wide for constantly pushing the envelope viticulturally in his vineyards and for his intense passion for sustainable farming. During a lecture, Figgins will discuss winemaking and conduct a wine tasting.

Windstar Cruises operates three sailing yachts known for their pampering without pretense and their ability to visit the hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations. Carrying just 148 to 312 guests, the luxurious ships of Windstar cruise to nearly 50 nations, calling at 100 ports throughout Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. For more information including 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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SeaDream Yacht Club Introduces Smartphone Apps

SeaDream Yacht Club has released two smartphone applications (apps), one for the iPhone and one for the Android, to help those in the travel industry as well as the general public to keep abreast of the latest news, innovations, services, special offers and schedules of the ultra-luxury operator. A Blackberry app is planned as well.

The applications showcase videos, photos, blogs, FaceBook entries and Tweets about activities in the rarified world of high-end cruising, or as defined by SeaDream, the “the mega-yacht cruising concept.”

The application’s opening screen shows viewers what’s new since the last time they launched the app and provides links straight through to the latest SeaDream blog posts, photos, and high-definition videos. Stepping though various menus, users have separate areas where they can post their own photos, chat, or initiate discussions about yacht-cruising. There are also links to the company’s own Twitter, FaceBook, and website pages as well as an option to sign up for the SeaDream mailings.

Commenting on the applications, SeaDream President Bob Lepisto said “As well as keeping our loyal guests in the loop, the apps allow anyone to enter competitions which we plan from time to time and to post comments and upload their photos to an online map. Of particular interest is that our apps will soon allow users to make SeaDream voyage bookings directly from their smartphones. There is more in our tech pipeline too. We plan to add the ability to review complete itineraries and even to read about SeaDream’s onboard staffers--profiles of our Captains, Hotel Managers, Pursers, Activities Directors, Chefs and Spa therapists. This new program, which we believe to be an industry first with no other operator with a comparable application at present, is all about SeaDream’s philosophy of pampering its guests. Industry observers recognize SeaDream’s casual-but-elegant service as a unique attribute. Our smartphone apps reinforce and add to this concept.

User comments and photos posted to the application will update personal social media. They can also utilize an “I’m Going” link which will connect to their FaceBook and Twitter pages.

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Lynyrd Skynyrd, Elvis, & BNL Add Artists to Sixthman Cruises

New artists have been added to Barenaked Ladies' Ships and Dip 4, Lynyrd Skynyrd's Simple Man Cruise, and The Elvis Cruise!

Ben Kweller, Angel Taylor, Jason Plumb, and Mike Evin have been added to Ships and Dip 4 with Barenaked Ladies! Texas born and bred, singer-songwriter Ben Kweller has been sweeping the nation alongside Barenaked Ladies on their latest tour. Angel Taylor has also been bringing her beautiful songs to the Barenaked Ladies tour; she was noticed early and became one of VH1's You Outta Know artists as her career was kicking off. Jason Plumb has been called a "soulful...pop maestro," and this Saskatchewan-based singer-songwriter has a wealth of musical masterpieces that he will be performing on the cruise. Mike Evin is a lover of classic pop music, old folk and blues music, and his wide array of listening habits has influenced his writing; he and his piano create vibrant tunes that will delight the Ships and Dippers.

Brantley Gilbert and Black Stone Cherry have been added to Simple Man Cruise 2011. Brantley Gilbert is from the small town of Jefferson, GA; it doesn't get more southern, or more rock than Brantley, and his country-tinged sound is the perfect fit for the cruise. Black Stone Cherry will join us for their first Simple Man Cruise & bring such intense rock & roll vibes, guests will be up all night long.

Performing as part of Elvis' Imperials during The Elvis Cruise 2010, we're so happy to have Bill Baize on board this year. Elvis Presley once said of Bill "He has one of the most splendid voices in the world." Bill, an ordained minister, has performed with gospel quartets like the Echoes of Calvary, The Illinoisans, The Trailsmen Quartet, and the Smitty Gatlin Singers. Also, one of Elvis' favorite jewelers, Lowell Hayes will be joining us on The Elvis Cruise. Lowell will be in the Elvis Store on the ship to share his stories about Elvis along with some of his latest creations. Elvis fans can catch Jody McDowell late night, and see 2010 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest winner Justin Shandor shaking his hips on the Lido Deck.

There are LESS THAN 100 cabins left on Cayamo! Cayamo is a one-of-a-kind Americana and singer-songwriter festival that will feature performances by such folk legends and favorites as John Prine, Steve Earle and The Dukes, Indigo Girls, Patty Griffin, Brandi Carlile, Buddy Miller, Richard Thompson, Loudon Wainwright III, Colin Hay, Allison Moorer, and many more! The cruise on Norwegian Pearl sails from Miami to Tortola, St. Croix, and Great Stirrup Cay from Feb 13-20, 2011. Check out information on all of Sixthman's upcoming cruises at today.

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Oceania Cruises’ New Marina Completes Successful Sea Trials

Miami, Sept 27: Oceania Cruises’ 1,250-guest Marina, scheduled to launch in January 2011, successfully completed sea trials on Sept. 26, which included three days of sailing the Mediterranean for the first time. During the sea trials, technicians and engineers from the Fincantieri shipyard along with Oceania Cruises’ marine and technical teams evaluated the vessel’s speed, maneuverability, hydrodynamics and propulsion, among many other aspects of the ship’s performance.

“She is a beautiful ship. Marina was extremely maneuverable with virtually no vibration to be felt, even at high speeds,” stated Captain Dimitrios Flokos, the ship’s master. “Marina exceeded all expectations. In fact, shipyard representatives commented this was the most successful sea trial in recent history for technical performance.”

A second and final round of trials will be run just prior to the ship’s delivery. The 65,000-ton ship – being built at Fincantieri in Sestre Ponente, Italy – is scheduled for delivery Jan. 17, 2011. Photos from the sea trials and new construction photos can be seen at

“Her first foray at sea was a resounding success. Marina exhibited exceptional sea-keeping abilities, is amazingly agile and cruised at more than 22 knots with plenty of power in reserve,” said Robin Lindsay, the line’s executive vice president of vessel operations, who was on board during the sea trials. “Now that sea trials were successfully concluded, we will focus on finishing her magnificent interiors.”

The ship’s inaugural schedule includes a 13-day Maiden Voyage Jan. 22 from Barcelona to Miami, where inaugural activities are planned. On Feb. 8, Marina departs on the first of two 18-day Panama Canal transits that visit San Francisco or San Diego, both new ports for Oceania Cruises. Marina operates a 12-day Caribbean cruise, round-trip from Miami, departing March 16, before sailing along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and on to Europe to begin her inaugural Mediterranean season. To learn more about Marina, contact a travel professional, visit or call toll-free at 800-531-5658.

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Return to Alaska Brings Enriching New Experiences for Crystal Guests

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 27: With its return to cruising Alaska for the first time since 2005, luxury specialist Crystal Cruises announces Experiences of Discovery options designed to entertain and inspire. In addition to wellness programming for the mind and body, and creative culinary offerings, seven 12-day itineraries sailing round-trip from San Francisco will feature a performing arts focus, with an expanded series of Emerging Artists cruises.

Emerging Artists: Through Crystal's exclusive partnership with The Music Center, Los Angeles, the brightest upcoming stars and finalists in the center's annual Spotlight Awards will perform in various musical realms including classical voice, piano, dance and others. (May 21; June 2, 14, 26; July 8, 20; and Aug 1)

Mind, Body & Spirit: Guest fitness experts explore wellness through presentation on general health and complimentary classes in Tai Chi, Pilates, yoga and other specialties. (May 9)

Wine & Food: Crystal's popular culinary-themed voyage features cooking demos and hands-on instruction from guest chefs, wine tasting with sommeliers and guest experts, plus specially prepared menus. (Aug 13)

"In addition to the spectacular itineraries and destinations, Crystal's 2011 Alaska cruises offer guests stimulating, enriching presentations and performances from top talents in their respective fields," says Bret Bullock, vice president, entertainment.

The 12-day Alaska voyages visit Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia; Sitka, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, Alaska, with eight itineraries cruising Glacier Bay (the June 2 voyage visits Hubbard Glacier). For bookings by September 30, Two-for-One cruise fares begin at $4,650 per person, double occupancy, with $500 per person 'All Inclusive-As You Wish' shipboard credits, and complimentary air transportation from more than 20 North American gateways.

Sailing on worldwide itineraries of 7- to 100+ days, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity are consistently distinguished as the highest rated ships in the world. As an innovator in the luxury travel realm, Crystal continues to offer its guests sophisticated options, including its recently announced Priority Check-in and Planning Center, streamlining the pre-cruise process, and Perfect Choice Dining(TM) with Open Dining by Reservation(TM) - a complement to the line's classic main and late seating options. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Silversea Unveils Redesigned Website With Enhanced Functionality

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Sept 27: Silversea Cruises has launched their dramatically redesigned website at With special effects designed to capture the essence of luxury travel, the site opens to a muted-silver seascape that comes alive when colorful animated photography fades in and out -- as if being revealed by a curtain drawing across a stage. From there, images by award-winning photographer Dana Neibert further reinforce the Silversea brand image by creating an ambiance of style and sophistication that is carried throughout the site.

"We've gone beyond our goal of making the new website more intuitive and user-friendly," said Linda Schultes, Silversea's vice president of worldwide marketing. "Travel often lets us live out our dreams, so we added a few dramatic touches to the website experience. The new design provides an elegant stage where you can indulge your imagination, while enjoying easy access to detailed information that will help in planning your journey."

Visitors can readily navigate the new site by clicking on tabs that offer information on destinations, ships, services, programs, special offers and more. New animated itinerary maps are complemented by up-to-date port descriptions supplied by Fodor's Travel, one of the world's leading providers of travel information. And a new interactive deck plan tool enables visitors to view ship details, images, three-dimensional suite diagrams and 360-degree virtual tours.

Additionally, a new Google custom search feature has been added to improve accuracy of keyword searches on the site, plus social media share options now appear on each page, enabling visitors to share content on Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other popular sites.

The redesigned Silversea Expeditions microsite at at displays a distinct look and feel unique to the expedition brand. Exciting new images and videos of the Prince Albert II in Antarctica, the Arctic, Central and South America offer visitors a glimpse into the amazing world of expedition cruising. Other improvements include an enhanced Voyage Journal section located on the home page, expanded Expedition Team section with profiles and schedules, and the debut of the Silversea Expeditions Blog, providing regularly updated news, commentary and expedition highlights.

Reflecting Silversea's global appeal, the new website displays the appropriate country-specific version of the site based on the currency of the visitor's geographic location. In the coming months, the site will also launch content written in German and Spanish.

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MSC Cruises Offers ‘The More the Merrier’ Rates On
MSC Poesia’s Caribbean Christmas Sailing

FORT LAUDERDALE, SEPT 24: Because MSC Cruises believes holidays are meant to be shared with families and friends, the cruise line is offering a special “The More the Merrier” rate with significant savings on the Christmas sailing of MSC Poesia in the Caribbean. The special rate is available on MSC Poesia’s Dec 19, 7-night Western Caribbean itinerary from Fort Lauderdale, which includes calls at Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico; and a Christmas celebration at sea.

With “The More the Merrier” rates, guests in the first stateroom pay the early booking rate while guests in the second stateroom pay 50% off the early booking rate. For those booking an inside stateroom, for example, rates start as low as $649 per person for the first stateroom and $324.50 per person for the second stateroom. Rates for a balcony stateroom begin at $949 per person for the first stateroom and $474.50 per person for the second. The cruise-only rate is applicable when four guests book two staterooms at the same time. Government fees and taxes are additional. Offer expires on Oct 15.

MSC Poesia features sophisticated and elegant decor, attention to detail, the finest in international entertainment and Italian hospitality and an eco-friendly design. Of the 1,275 staterooms, of which 80 percent are outside staterooms and 65 percent have a balcony. The ship has a generous 236,000 square feet of public spaces, two pools and four hot tubs, plus a 13,000-square-foot Balinese spa. Guests can select from four restaurants, including a Sushi Bar alternative dining restaurant. For more information about MSC Cruises, visit, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

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Three New “Legends In Concert” To Debut On Norwegian Epic

MIAMI, SEPT 24: Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that three new "legends" will perform as part of the Legends in Concert show on Norwegian Epic beginning Saturday, Sept 25, 2010. The three are some of the world's most recognized entertainers – Britney Spears, Rod Stewart, and Michael Jackson. A staple on the Las Vegas' center strip for over 25 years, Legends in Concert is known as the pioneer of live tribute shows and has assembled the greatest collection of live tribute artists and celebrity look-alikes in show business.

"The Legends in Concert shows in both the Manhattan Room and in the Epic Theater are extremely well received by our guests,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer. "With the arrival of these three new legendary entertainers, we are offering Norwegian Epic guests fresh and exciting performances from some very talented and well known performers."

Portraying a pop princess is no easy feat, but Katy Draper, originally from Utah, dreamed about it from a young age and was also told that she bore a striking resemblance to Britney Spears. She joined the world famous Legends in Concert show in 2006 at the young age of 22, and has gone on to perform as a "Legend" on the Ellen Degeneres show and has toured with Legends in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Branson, Missouri.

John Anthony is an accomplished performer, musician and popular entertainer who continues to captivate audiences around the world with his tribute to Rod Stewart. While covering a few Rod Stewart songs with his Boston-based band, Anthony discovered the ability to emulate Stewart’s voice and mannerisms. Anthony has been performing as Stewart with Legends in Concert for the past 14 years. He has toured America, Canada and Japan and is well known as one of the best and unmatched celebrity tribute artists in the world.

William Hall always knew he would be an entertainer. This San Antonio, Texas native has been performing since he was three years old. Hall attributes his love for music and dancing, along with the influence of his family and friends, as contributing to his decision to perform his tribute to Michael Jackson. Noteworthy career highlights include performing with Diana Ross and for much of the Jackson family in 2004 at father Joe Jackson’s birthday party. He is looking forward to performing on Norwegian Epic and sharing his love and respect for Jackson with his many adoring fans.

Legends in Concert is a live musical celebration featuring the world's greatest celebrity tribute artists. Legends in Concert on Norwegian Epic features three celebrity tribute performers taking the stage in the Epic Theater for six 45-minute shows over three days during a seven-day cruise. In addition, a Legends “Unplugged” show is performed on three additional nights in the Manhattan Room, the ship's New York-inspired supper club, providing an unprecedented dining and entertainment experience. The celebrity performers change every four months, keeping the show fresh and exciting. The initial performers were Madonna, Tina Turner and Elvis Presley. For more information on Norwegian Epic and to book a cruise, please call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), visit, or contact a travel professional.

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Year-End Holiday Opportunities With SeaDream Yacht Club

SeaDream Yacht Club still has some limited space available on the upcoming year-end holiday voyages in the Caribbean and a few other sailings in Nov and Dec. Bookings made through Sept 30 will receive a $200 spa credit per stateroom.

“These memorable holiday voyages are ideal for the Christmas, New Year’s or Hanukkah celebrations,” said Bob Lepisto, SeaDream’s President. He added, “These year-end specials are an incredibly good value and won’t last long.”

The three available holiday voyages are on SeaDream I or SeaDream II, the company’s twin luxury mega-yacht cruisers. These 7-day holiday sailings are between San Juan and St. Thomas and San Juan St. Maarten. All three cruises feature a overnight stays at St. Bart’s, the exclusive and highly-popular island destination in the French West Indies. Late evening stays in several other ports of call allow for holiday shore side activities.

SeaDream fares include all meals, wine with lunch and dinner, open bar with selected premium brands, plus use of “water toys” from the vessel’s Marina and gratuities. Limited space is available and is capacity controlled and these offerings may be withdrawn at any time. Certain restrictions apply. Contact SeaDream Yacht Club at 1 800 707-4911, or a travel agent.

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Carnival Offers Best Available Upgrades Fleetwide & Onboard Credits for Europe Cruises During World's Largest Cruise Night On Oct. 13

MIAMI, Sept 24: The World’s Largest Cruise Night (WLCN) is Wednesday, Oct. 13, and Carnival is helping travel agents entice new and existing clients with cruise upgrades available on virtually all “Fun Ship” departures through December 2011. To sweeten the deal, Carnival will offer not only best available upgrades, but up to a $200 onboard credit per stateroom for all Carnival Magic Europe voyages booked on Oct. 13.

“We wanted to find a way to help our travel agent partners create some big excitement this World’s Largest Cruise Night with offers that would spark a real incentive for clients to book,” said Joni Rein, Carnival’s vice president of worldwide sales. “Since we’re returning to Europe next spring with the Carnival Magic, we sweetened the deal for these sailings with a generous onboard credit offer on top of the best available upgrades.”

The WLCN best available upgrade offer applies to new individual bookings for stateroom categories 4A and higher. Upgrades are available within specific stateroom accommodation types (interior to interior, ocean view to ocean view, balcony to balcony). The Carnival Magic Europe offer includes best available upgrades and a $100 onboard credit per stateroom for 7-day Europe sailings and a $200 onboard credit per stateroom for 9- and 12-day sailings. The upgrade and shipboard credit promotions are available in conjunction with the line’s Fun Select rates which allow guests to select the stateroom of their choice based on deck, location and accommodation category.

The 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic is set to debut in Europe May 1, 2011. The ship will offer a variety of unique features designed for an unforgettable “Fun Ship” experience. Following an inaugural 9-day sailing from Venice May 1-10, 2011, Carnival Magic will sail from Barcelona with a series of 7- to 12-day Mediterranean cruises operating May 10 – Oct 16, 2011. The ship will then sail on a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing followed by the launch of 7-day Caribbean service from Galveston, Texas, Nov. 14, 2011, becoming the port’s largest year-round cruise ship.

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Celebrity Cruises Celebrates Autumnal Equinox by Naming Fifth Ship In
Widely Heralded Solstice Class Fleet

MIAMI, Sept. 23: In light of the images of sun and shadow conveyed in the names of Celebrity Cruises' stylish Solstice Class ships, the world's top-rated premium brand is marking autumnal equinox by announcing the name of the fifth in its 'Xceptional' series: Celebrity Reflection.

"Selecting the name of the fifth ship in the class led us to reflect back on the significant impact the Solstice Class has had on the cruise industry," said Celebrity's President and CEO Dan Hanrahan. "Our Solstice Class ships offer the finest in premium cruising, with service provided by the best men and women in the hospitality business, as evidenced by the tremendous response from our guests, travel partners and the press, and a continuously expanding series of prestigious awards. There is no question that Celebrity Reflection will deliver an equally outstanding vacation experience for our guests."

Following delivery in Nov 2012, Celebrity Reflection will join Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Silhouette, rounding out the $3.7-billion class. Celebrity Reflection will present vacationers with some new features, yet to be announced, along with many of the hallmarks found on some or all of her sister ships, including:

-- The hip "Celebrity iLounge" that made Celebrity Cruises the industry's first Authorized Apple Reseller
-- Uniquely unordinary "Qsine," the first seagoing restaurant to feature a menu and wine list on an iPad®, and an engaging food-as-theater dining experience
-- Celebrity's iconic half-acre Lawn Club, with real, growing grass
-- Ten unrivaled dining venues, including Qsine
-- Modern, stylish interiors designed by some of the world's best architects and designers
-- Hip, cool nightclubs and lounges, including CellarMasters, complete with the industry's first installation of the innovative Enomatic by-the-glass wine serving system
-- One of the broadest and best wine offerings in the industry, served by one of the world's largest staffs of certified sommeliers
-- One of the world's largest permanent collections of original contemporary art, and the industry's first self-guided art tours to be presented on an iPad®
-- Widely varied entertainment, including custom aerial production shows and live music
-- The extensive array of entertaining and enriching onboard programming offered through "Celebrity Life," including instruction on the latest iPods®, MacBooks® and iLife® classes; language learning through Rosetta Stone®; comparative wine tastings with Riedel Crystal, and enrichment presentations with Smithsonian Journeys

Celebrity Cruises is designed for discerning cruisers, with modern, sophisticated environments, impeccable service, enriching and inspiring onboard programs, and award-winning cuisine. The ultimate in premium cruising, Celebrity sails in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, California, Canada/New England, Europe, Hawaii, the Pacific Coast, Panama Canal, South America, and year-round in the Caribbean and the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity also offers immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Canada, Europe and South America. Celebrity's fleet currently consists of 10 ships. Its $3.7-billion investment in building five stylish Solstice Class ships between 2008-2012 represents the largest five-year investment in premium cruising. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Cunard's New Web Videos Showcase A Grand Celebration at Sea

Sept 2010: Cunard Line recently launched its web video series highlighting the brand’s rich travel legacy and luxury cruise vacation experience with a focus on some of its signature offerings, such as world-class entertainment, Cunard Insights enrichment programme and its award-winning Queens Grill and Princess Grill accommodations aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and the Line’s newest ship, Queen Elizabeth.

The new video series dynamically presents the grand celebration at sea that defines a Cunard voyage. From the moment guests are greeted on board by the customary white-gloved welcome, to nights filled with show-stopping entertainment and Royal Nights themed balls, guests experience an unparalleled sense of occasion throughout their voyage. The series of web videos can be viewed at and showcases the best of what guests can expect while sailing on a luxury cruise vacation with Cunard. Each installment allows guests to view video of Cunard’s fully modern fleet, as well as commentary from guests on board and Cunard staff, including Entertainment Director Alastair Greener and President Peter Shanks.

The first video in the series highlights Cunard’s world-class entertainment, ranging from West End-style musical productions in the Royal Court Theatre to a resident string quartet in the Grand Lobby, and dancing to a live orchestra in the Queens Room, the largest ballroom at sea on Queen Mary 2.

Additional videos in the series include:

· Queens Grill & Princess Grill Suites : a showcase of the elegant and exclusive Grills accommodations, from butler service to private terraces
· Royal Nights Themed Balls: a celebration at sea where guests dress to the nines and dance the night away to a live orchestra
· Cunard Insights: an overview of Cunard’s award-winning enrichment programme and daytime activities
· White Star Service: highlights the Line’s signature level of service reflected in every area of each ship
· Canyon Ranch SpaClub: a look at the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea on board flagship Queen Mary 2
· Todd English: featuring special guest, celebrity Chef Todd English, talking about his only restaurants at sea
· Queen Elizabeth Culinary: featuring Cunard Global Culinary Ambassador and Executive Chef Jean-Marie Zimmermann, who expands upon the recent announcement of The Verandah restaurant aboard the Line’s newest ship

“Our web video series showcases Cunard's on board hallmarks, giving viewers a detailed look at what distinguishes the Cunard ocean travel experience," said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “As with our loyal guests who enjoy sharing their voyage experiences with others, we hope that these videos will entice cruise enthusiasts to share their virtual exploration with like-minded travellers.”

Additionally, Cunard has launched its Grand Celebration Sweepstakes, which invites guests to enter for a chance to win a luxury cruise vacation on Queen Mary 2 and watch the new web videos to see for themselves why every voyage aboard Cunard is a grand celebration. Viewers also can increase their chances of winning by referring up to ten friends via e-mail. One grand prize of a 7-day Transatlantic Crossing cruise aboard Queen Mary 2 will be awarded by random drawing. The sweepstakes runs until the end of November, and is available on

About Cunard’s Legendary Ocean Liners
The grandest ocean liner at sea, Queen Mary 2 carries 2,500 guests in varying degrees of comfort and style ranging from pampered elegance to almost unimaginable luxury. Queen Mary 2 offers possibly the smoothest ride of any ship, with noise and vibration levels minimal even at her extraordinary speed, making it a perfect way to travel for the more than 20 transatlantic voyages sailed by the ship each year. Guests enjoy this leisurely time to explore the extensive on board offerings, including stargazing in the only planetarium at sea – Illuminations; afternoon tea served in the Queens Room; nightly jazz in the Chart Room or a spin around the dance floor to a live orchestra during a Royal Nights themed ball in the largest ballroom at sea; wellness and relaxation in the first Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea; and perusing the 8,000 volumes in the largest library at sea.

Having debuted in Dec 2007, Queen Victoria was designed in grand Cunard tradition and captured the world stage in a way few ships ever do – becoming one of the most fêted ships to be introduced in recent years and quickly establishing herself in the Cunard fleet. Every inch of the 2,000 passenger liner is infused with a sense of luxury and tradition – from the Royal Court Theatre, which includes the first private viewing boxes at sea, to the signature two-storey library with a spiral staircase and nearly 6,000 volumes.

Queen Elizabeth will be the second largest Cunarder ever built and will join her sisters, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, as part of the youngest fleet in the world. The first Queen Elizabeth was one of Cunard’s greatest ships, and the new Queen Elizabeth will reflect her predecessor in interior grandeur, décor and style, but with a modern twist. After a grand Inaugural Ceremony where Her Majesty The Queen names the ship, Queen Elizabeth will depart on her Maiden Voyage on Tuesday, Oct 12, 2010. This 13-night celebration will leave from the company’s home port, Southampton, and will call at Vigo, Lisbon, Cadiz, Las Palmas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife (overnight call) and Funchal. She will then embark on five celebratory maiden voyages to the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Caribbean.

For more information and to book a Cunard voyage aboard Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth, consult your Travel Agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD (1-800-728-6273) or go to

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Celebrate The Holidays With Family & Friends Aboard The m/s Paul Gauguin

BELLEVUE, WA, Sept 23: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, provides families with a number of ways to celebrate the December holidays within the magical setting of French Polynesia. Culinary education, complimentary access to Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program and a variety of captivating cultural experiences await families aboard The Gauguin.

Legendary Chef Stephan Pyles joins guests of The Gauguin during the Dec 18, 2010, departure sailing to Tahiti, Society Islands and Tuamotus. Chef Pyles will lead a number of cooking demonstrations, and the French and Polynesian inspired restaurant L’Etoile will also feature the chef’s signature dishes on the menu throughout the sailing. Recognized as a world-class chef, Pyles is one of the founding fathers of Southwestern cuisine and spent more than 25 years in the Dallas restaurant circuit. For the past 26 years Pyles has created 15 restaurants and was the first person in the Southwest to win the coveted James Beard Award for “Best Chef.”

Also available on the Dec 18th and Dec 27th sailings, Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering children FREE access to the revolutionary Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program, usually available for a fee of $269 per child. Explorer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau created this unique, groundbreaking program to introduce travelers to the extraordinary natural wonders of French Polynesia. The program provides young participants ages 9 to 17 with hands-on, interactive experience with marine and island ecosystems. Young ambassadors will explore coral reefs, hike rainforest trails and visit marae (ancient Polynesian temples). Participants will learn how black pearls and vanilla are cultivated, how volcanic islands become coral atolls, and how to paddle an outrigger canoe. Parents are encouraged to join children on eco-excursions and other activities aboard and ashore, making the program a great activity for families.

Additionally, a variety of programs, entertainment and experiences are available to families sailing aboard The Gauguin. Each sailing boasts a number of unique shore excursions, allowing guests to experience each destination in an authentic way. Excursions include hiking to beautiful waterfalls, snorkeling for pearl oysters, river kayaking, star gazing and more. The Gauguin offers a specially designed retractable watersports marina, giving guests direct access into the picturesque blue waters of the South Pacific to enjoy activities such as windsurfing, kayaking, waterskiing and diving.

Families are invited to experience Paul Gauguin Cruises’ private white-sand beach on Bora Bora, as well as a private island, Motu Mahana, which is a separate experience available exclusively to guests aboard The Gauguin and is host to an authentic barbecue with gracious Polynesian hospitality. The ship is also home to the beloved Les Gauguines – a local Tahitian dance group serving as cruise staff, entertainers and storytellers – adding the unique personality of Tahiti to every cruise. For rates and reservations for Paul Gauguin Cruises, contact a Professional Travel Agent, call 800-848-6172, or visit

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Malt Shop Memories Cruise 2011: A Special Message from Time Life

Time Life, the folks behind the Malt Shop Memories Cruise, are dedicated to making next year's version the absolute best music vacation experience possible. Unfortunately, the original dates they announced for Malt Shop Memories 2011 were a challenge for many of the artists who want to share the experience with fans and passenger alumni as well.

To make sure they could attract the very best line-up of artists possible, they decided to move the date for Malt Shop Cruise 2011 from May 8-12, 2011 to Sept 15-19, 2011. The cruise will depart from Tampa, Florida on the Carnival Inspiration and will sail to Freeport, Grand Bahamas.

The good news is that the cruise has simply been postponed and not canceled. Time Life is working diligently on the line-up and expects to announce it by mid-October, when a new web site will also be launched.

The bad news is that booked passengers will have to change their travel plans and Cruise Diva has already received feedback from readers about the new date being "in hurricane season." Yes, September is indeed in hurricane season, which lasts a full six months of the year; however, course alterations are routinely made as necessary to avoid storms on those relatively rare occasions that they occur.

Now, more good news. There's plenty of time to change your schedule if you've already booked and plenty of time to get onboard if you haven't. Time Life wants you to know, "We apologize to you for changing the dates and departure point for the cruise but we truly felt that we could not bring you the line-up you deserved with our original sailing date. We are looking forward to you rebooking with us for September, and those of you who do will enjoy a special status on the cruise." Additionally, they are working on a new, robust alumni program to honor all of their past guests.

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Celebrity Cruises Raises Another Glass To Its Guests’ Love Of Wine

MIAMI, Sept 21: Premium vacation brand Celebrity Cruises, employer of one of the world’s largest staff of sommeliers, will illuminate its extensive onboard wine program later this year when it launches its second annual “Wine Harvest Celebration.” Guests on Celebrity’s cruises departing Nov 1 to Dec 11, 2010–the time of year just after the seasonal harvesting of grapes used to produce wine–will have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of exclusive wine-related events, including those offered year-round through the cruise line’s “Celebrity Life” onboard programming series.

“We see a Celebrity cruise and a wine celebration as ‘the perfect pairing,’” said Jacques Van Staden, Celebrity’s Vice President of Culinary Operations. “A high percentage of our guests are wine enthusiasts, which is why year-round, we offer up to 480 wines per sailing and a number of wine-focused Celebrity Life activities. Our fleetwide Wine Harvest Celebration is a seasonal event that gives guests yet another way to celebrate their passion as we find even more ways to celebrate wine and its role in modern society.”

Among the highlights of Celebrity’s Wine Harvest Celebration will be an emphasis on French food, wine and spirits, presented in partnership with the French Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, available to guests onboard Celebrity’s ships from Nov 1-19, 2010.

Celebrity will reprise its 2009 industry-first unveiling of Beaujolais Nouveau simultaneously across the fleet, on Nov 18 (Nov 19 on Celebrity Century). Hosted by a guest speaker and Celebrity’s own Cellar Master, the event will offer guests the opportunity to sip the eagerly-anticipated light wine from oak casks and commemorative bottles, while enjoying live music and dancing, canapés, a gourmet French cheese pairing and a roast carving station.

Guests with a passion for cool music and rich chocolate are likely to be “seduced” by Celebrity’s “Jazz, Port and Chocolate Tasting Seduction,” with a complimentary glass of port wine and a deluxe chocolate buffet and fountain, all set against a backdrop of light jazz music.

Throughout the course of the celebration, a “CelebrityWine Harvest Exposition” will be open to all guests on embarkation day. Hosted by Celebrity’s certified sommeliers, the event features a complimentary glass of house wine, canapés and hors d’oeuvres, and an overview of the varied wine experiences and packages available for guests, paired with the opportunity to make reservations for limited-capacity events.

Additionally, among the wine-focused experiences offered year-round through Celebrity Life are:

“Wine Appreciation 101” presents tastings of six different varietals and wine appreciation tips offered by Celebrity’s certified cellarmasters.
“The Art of Food and Wine Pairing” explores how certain flavor components, such as acids in food, can impact the flavor of wines.
“Celebrity’s World Wine Tour and Silent Auction” allows guests to taste wines from each of the regions represented in Celebrity’s global wine program, including South Africa, France, Germany/Austria, Italy, Spain, the U.S. and South America. The tastings are paired with canapés, fruits and cheeses, and highlighted by a silent auction of premium wines packaged at special prices.
“The Riedel Comparative Wine Crystal Workshop” is a one-hour seminar Celebrity has offered since becoming the first cruise line endorsed by Riedel to offer it in 2007. Participants learn and experience how dramatically the shape of a wine glass can affect the outcome of flavors on the palate, and hear the interesting tale of how the Riedel family has influenced the crystal industry.
Complimentary wine tastings.

Every sailing will feature presentations by Celebrity's certified Cellar Master, a guest winemaker, or a guest speaker. Only the Riedel workshop requires pre-registration; guests can sign up once onboard, at the CelebrityWine Harvest Exposition or at the guest relations desk. Some of Celebrity’s wine-focused activities require guests to pay a participation fee.

Celebrity’s Wine Harvest Celebration will be offered on nine of its ten ships; Celebrity Xpedition, the 92-guest mega-yacht sailing year-round in the Galapagos Islands, will not offer these activities. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Enter A Delicious Competition; Carnival Magic’s ‘Name the Dish’ Contest Begins Today!

Miami, Spet 21: Here’s a delicious way for consumers to have their name associated with an exciting new dining venue aboard the Carnival Magic when it debuts next spring. Dubbed “The Yummiest Contest Around,” Carnival’s “Name the Dish” contest challenges participants to put on their thinking cap–or in this case, their chef’s hat–to come up with a creative moniker for a new mouth-watering menu item to be served at Cucina del Capitano, the ship’s Italian family-style restaurant.

What’s in the dish, you ask? A delectable combination of spaghetti, clams, garlic, white wine, olive oil, vermouth, pesto, brioche bread crumbs, cherry tomatoes and arugula, all topped with shaved Parmesan cheese, of course.

The palate-pleasing menu item was developed by Carnival’s master chefs based on a recipe taken directly from Carnival Magic Captain Giovanni Cutugno’s home kitchen. Actually, Captain Cutugno secretly “borrowed” his wife’s treasured recipeso we need help in renaming the dish so she doesn’t find out!

Entries must be 50 characters or less and can be submitted via a special web site,, from Sept. 21 to Oct. 1. Five finalists will be selected by a panel of judges with consumer voting beginning Oct. 6. The grand prize winner will be announced on Oct. 15.

And, as part of its ongoing support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Carnival will donate $1 for each contest entry and $1 per vote. Carnival will also donate $1 for every Facebook fan who “likes” the contest on the site.

In addition to bragging rights and having their entry listed on Cucina del Capitano’s menu, the winner will receive a prize pack containing a pasta pot, Carnival recipe book, apron and a bottle of wine.

The newly named dish will be among the extensive menu offerings within the 117-seat eatery, which brings the heritage of Carnival’s Italian captains to the table with a décor evocative of a cozy Italian home with wood-beam ceilings, ornate wrought ironwork, and framed archival photographs – many from the Carnival captains’ personal collections. Additional information and complete contest rules are available at

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New Official Portrait of Her Majesty The Queen Unveiled

Sept 20: In line with the Cunard tradition of commissioning appropriate sculpture or portraits for display on board each ship named by a member of the Royal Family, the company has commissioned an official portrait of The Queen for the new Queen Elizabeth, due to be named by Her Majesty next month. This new official portrait will be unveiled by the artist today at a private event at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

The portrait, which shows The Queen in the Yellow Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, was painted by 31-year-old, Lancashire-born Isobel Peachey. Although an accomplished award-winning portrait artist, she had never before been commissioned to paint a royal portrait.

“At my interview with Cunard, I answered many questions about how I would approach an important commission,” said Peachey. “But it was only at the end of the interview that the subject was revealed as The Queen. This was both a shock and a marvellous surprise.”

Commenting on how the artist was chosen, Cunard’s President and Managing Director, Peter Shanks, said, “Apart from being impressed by the quality of Isobel’s work, which we originally saw on display in the National Portrait Gallery, we were keen to offer the commission to a young artist who had never before had such an opportunity. Isobel is, in fact, the youngest female artist ever to paint the monarch, and the quality of the finished work is such that our confidence has been greatly rewarded.” He added, “It is a truly wonderful picture of Her Majesty. It is even more remarkable when you consider that, lacking a private studio, Isobel executed this magnificent painting in her mum’s attic!”

The Queen granted three sittings for the portrait, a three-quarter length painting which shows her dressed in blue and wearing Queen Victoria’s collet necklace and earrings, which she also wore for her Coronation in 1953.

The Queen will see the finished portrait for the first time on Oct 11 when she visits Southampton to name the new liner Queen Elizabeth. The portrait will hang in a prominent position in the ship’s Grand Lobby. For more information and to book a Cunard voyage aboard Queen Elizabeth, consult your Travel Agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD (1-800-728-6273) or go to

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New Seabourn Quest To Be Delivered In May 2011

MIAMI, Sept 20: Construction of The Yachts of Seabourn’s third new ultra-luxury yacht, Seabourn Quest, is progressing well, and the company expects to take delivery of the vessel several weeks earlier than anticipated in May 2011. Following the delivery, Seabourn will operate two pre-inaugural cruises: a 3-day round trip voyage from Monte Carlo and an 8-day cruise from Monte Carlo to Barcelona. Both voyages can be combined for an 11-day sailing.

The two sailings will offer travelers opportunities to have a “sneak peek” at the company’s newest yacht prior to its Maiden Voyage. The 3-day pre-inaugural voyage will sail June 9-12, and call at Livorno, Italy, the port for Florence, Pisa, Lucca and other Tuscan highlights, as well as the picturesque port of Bonifacio, on the French island of Corsica. That will be followed by an 8-day cruise, June 12-20, visiting Portofino, Italy; Cannes, Ile de Porquerolles and Port-Vendres, France; and Valencia, Spain.

Seabourn Quest’s official debut will be June 20, with a gala naming ceremony featuring fireworks over the city of Barcelona, and a 14-day Maiden Voyage to Athens. Maiden Voyage guests will participate in the festive ceremony, and their names will be engraved on the commemorative onboard Maiden Voyage plaque to honor them. They will also mingle with Seabourn’s President and CEO Pamela C. Conover, who will be onboard and joining guests in a number of special gala events and activities throughout the cruise.

“It’s impossible to predict at the start whether everything will go perfectly in a complicated construction project,“ noted Conover. “Of course we had to plan our 2011 schedule at that point, too, but we are delighted that the building has gone beautifully and that we will have the chance to welcome guests aboard Quest earlier than we had thought. In addition, our guests who are booked on the Maiden Voyage will enjoy the naming ceremony and many special amenities and events we are planning especially for them,” she added.

Seabourn Quest will be the third iteration of the sleek and widely admired design that first appeared on Seabourn Odyssey in June 2009, which has been hailed as a “game-changer for the luxury segment.” The second sister ship, Seabourn Sojourn, entered service the following year in June of 2010. Together, the three new vessels represent a capacity 216 percent increase for the line in a three-year period, allowing the line to offer more departures in more destinations than ever before.

Seabourn Quest’s maiden season will include 7-day Eastern Mediterranean cruises, operating alternately between Athens and Istanbul, and Venice and Athens, as well as a 7-day Black Sea voyage. On Jan 5, 2012, Seabourn Quest begins a 109-day World Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Venice on a unique eastbound course via South America, South Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. For more information or reservations, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Cruise West Ceases Operations

SEATTLE, Sept. 17: Cruise West today announced that they will cease operations on Saturday, September 18th. For the last year, Cruise West has aggressively pursued a number of options with interested parties to maintain operations, including investment, selling assets, and selling the company. In part because of the most recent dip in the markets and the continued lack of economic confidence, these options have not come to fruition.

"I have never given up hope that we might be able to find a way to survive by working with the various interested parties. I am absolutely heartbroken that this family legacy has come to an end," shared Dick West, Cruise West's Chairman and Managing Director. "We have a product that appeals to the type of traveler who wants to experience the destination, not the inside of a ship. We have a passionate following of repeat guests and I am particularly distressed that our most loyal guests who have booked with us will now not be able to travel. We have done absolutely everything to maintain operations, but with limited resources and the current tight financial market, we simply cannot continue."

With the exception of the September 22 Danube Cruise, Cruise West has canceled all future cruises in 2010 and beyond and Cruise West has taken steps to notify booked guests via phone, email, and through media outlets. "It is with a heavy heart that we close our doors, knowing that guests, travel agents, and partners will not receive the personal attention that they have grown to expect from us," said Dick West. "I want to extend my most sincere thanks to our loyal employees, many of which have been here for decades. I am devastated that, though they have given abundantly of their time and energy, we will be unable to continue delivering memorable experiences," continued West. Last week, Cruise West commenced layoffs of their staff, with a very small staff staying on to help with shutdown efforts.

Our Galapagos partner, Canodros, operator of the Galapagos Explorer II, is working with us to provide an alternate program to our guests already booked. Guests who have booked our Galapagos program for dates in 2011 may contact the operator by e-mail at .

For booked guests who have not yet traveled, Cruise West recommends the following steps:

1. If third-party travel insurance was obtained, a claim should be placed immediately with the insurer.
2. If payment was made by credit card, a claim should be placed immediately with the card issuer.
3. If the payment was made by cash or check, and you have no travel insurance, and the cruise departs from a U.S. port, you may file a claim with Cruise Claims c/o Wells Fargo Disability Management, PO Box 1567, Abingdon, Virginia 24212; phone: 877-371-9700, extension 6059; faxed to: 276-6760152; or sent as an e-mail attachment to: . The e-mail should specify the claim is for cruise fare reimbursement.
4. If the payment was made by cash or check, and you have no travel
insurance, and the cruise departs from a foreign, non-U.S. port you may
file a claim with USTOA, visit their web site at

For travel partners with booked guests, Cruise West recommends that you contact your clients and relay the information above regarding claims.

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Holland America Line Offers Exceptional Value on Holiday Cruises for Families

SEATTLE, Sept. 17: This holiday season Holland America Line is providing the ultimate getaway gift for the entire family with 22 signature holiday cruises ranging from seven to 17 days. Whether basking in a Caribbean sunset or reveling in the ultimate Antarctic white Christmas, guests aboard the premium line can leave the hustle and bustle behind and enjoy up to 50 percent savings, plus special reduced rates for third and fourth guests sharing staterooms, on select sailings. Special rates are geared toward families on several holiday cruises, with six dates offering free or $199 rates for the third or fourth guest in a stateroom.

"With cruise values starting at $1,598 plus tax for a family of four sharing the same stateroom, 'tis the season to travel," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "Plus, holiday cruises allow guests to celebrate and relax in style with five-star dining, award-winning service and their favorite traditions observed with none of the hassle - letting guests truly enjoy their time with their family."

On-board festivities include holiday decorations, sumptuous traditional meals, seasonal movies, culinary classes and demonstrations featuring tasty holiday treats, a visit from Santa for the kids, activities and crafts, strolling carolers, a tree-lighting ceremony, eggnog in the Atrium, Christmas brunch, Santa's milk and cookie late-night snack, and a holiday show by the crew on Christmas Eve.

Those sailing on any ship over Dec. 31 will enjoy a traditional New Year's Eve Gala Ball with live music, dancing, festive attire and a midnight toast. Select college bowl games also will be broadcast on board. Each holiday voyage features clergy to conduct Catholic, Protestant and Jewish services (for cruises during Hanukkah).

Sail the Caribbean on 7- to 14-day Cruises
Thirteen Caribbean holiday cruise options are available between Dec. 17 and Dec. 31 aboard seven ships - ms Westerdam, ms Maasdam, ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Ryndam, ms Prinsendam and ms Noordam - departing from Fort Lauderdale or Tampa, Fla., over one or both holidays.

Itineraries include a 7-day southern Caribbean cruise with stops at such exotic ports as Aruba and Curacao. Or try seven days exploring the rich waters of the eastern Caribbean and legendary ports of call such as Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Finally, holiday cruisers can choose among western Caribbean options with stops that might include Belize, Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Costa Maya, Mexico, and Key West, Fla. Travelers with more time can opt for 10- to 14-day Caribbean cruises and usher in the New Year in St. Thomas or St. George's while sampling the ports of Barbados and Grand Turk.

Most itineraries feature a visit to Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line's award-winning exclusive private island experience with white sand beaches, aqua waters and shore activities ranging from horseback riding to a stingray adventure.

Sunny Mexican Riviera & Panama Canal for a Festive Occasion
Departing from Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, or Los Angeles, Calif., in mid to late December, five cruises feature distinct itineraries that visit different collections of warm-water ports along the Mexican Riviera, Central America, Panama Canal and Caribbean.

The Sunfarer Caribbean Holiday cruise is a 10-day trip from Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 23 aboard ms Zuiderdam in the southern Caribbean with Christmas Eve at Half Moon Cay, a partial transit of the Panama Canal and New Year's Eve at sea, returning Jan. 2, 2011. Two more cruises visit the Panama Canal beginning with a 14-day cruise that departs Los Angeles Dec. 22 aboard ms Amsterdam in time for Christmas Day at sea and stops in Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica before traversing the Canal en route to Fort Lauderdale. Or guests can opt for the 14-day Panama Canal Holiday Cruise on ms Statendam departing San Diego on Christmas Eve. Stops in Mexico include Puerto Vallarta and Puerto Chiapas before crossing the canal to reach Fort Lauderdale.

Christmas and New Years holidays along the Mexican Riviera can be particularly memorable on an 8-day cruise from San Diego aboard ms Oosterdam departing Dec. 18, or a 7-day sailing Dec. 26 that visits Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Or guests can opt for a 12-day cruise departing Dec. 22 on ms Rotterdam that features Christmas Eve in Cabo San Lucas, Christmas Day at sea and New Year's Eve in Mazatlan.

Longer Voyages Sail the Pacific
The warm waters of the far Pacific offer memorable holiday adventures as well. A 14-day Circle Hawaii sailing aboard ms Zaandam departs San Diego Dec. 19 with Christmas Eve in Hilo, Christmas Day in Nawiliwili and New Year's Day in Ensenada, Mexico. Departing Dec. 17 and with limited space, the 16-day Australia-New Zealand Holiday Cruise aboard ms Volendam explores the southern coast of Australia from Sydney before an extensive tour of New Zealand ports such as Milford Sound and Auckland, and celebrating Christmas Eve in Wellington.

White Christmas in the Antarctic
Guests who want their holidays adorned with snow and ice will see a white Christmas on the 17-day South America and Antarctica Explorer journey. Departing Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile, Dec. 20, ms Veendam steers south amid the glaciers to spend Christmas Eve cruising Darwin Channel and the Chilean Fjords, Christmas Day sailing Amalia Glacier Canal and New Year's Eve in the Antarctic Sound.

Onboard Activities for Everyone
When choosing a Holland America cruise for a family vacation, there's always something for everyone, from kids to grandparents, with a wide variety of exciting activities and venues for the entire family to enjoy the cruise vacation of their dreams. Younger children 3-7 can play games, enjoy arts and crafts and join other supervised activities in Club HAL. Tweens 8-12 have an area featuring arcade games, air hockey, foosball and Sony PlayStations. Older kids 13-17 can often be found at The Loft, a teen-only venue, enjoying karaoke, video games, movies and a teen disco or hanging out at The Oasis, a teens-only sun deck. And daily menus feature kid-friendly choices. While the kids are busy, adults can enjoy diverse activities and facilities from the Greenhouse Spa & Salon to a lively shipboard casino, wine tasting, cooking classes, afternoon tea, an internet café/library, party-planning classes and complimentary interactive Digital Workshops powered by Windows to learn more about using digital media.

For more information, contact a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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Orion Expedition Cruises Offers Options For Cruise West Passengers

SYDNEY, Sept 17: In an effort to minimize disrupted travel plans and assist voyagers currently booked on suspended or terminated Cruise West sailings, Orion Expedition Cruises announced that the company will assist by offering reduced-price expedition voyages as an alternative. In a spirit of cooperation and goodwill, Orion is working with their industry partners to provide an alternate expedition travel solution by offering savings from 20–50 percent on a wide range of 2010 and 2011 Orion Expedition voyages.

“As the founder and managing director of a small-ship expedition cruise line, I completely understand how difficult these times are for Cruise West passengers, the travel industry and all associated with Cruise West during their current challenges,” said Sarina Bratton, founder and managing director of Orion Expedition Cruises. “There will be a significant amount of stress for passengers whose travel plans have been disrupted, which can have an effect across the whole small-ship expedition sector. Therefore, if Orion can provide a viable alternative in lieu of their original voyage, at the very least, passengers will see that the industry hasn’t deserted them.”

Passengers who provide Cruise West documentation can take advantage of the following reduced rates:

-- 50% reduction on any Orion sailing between now and March 7, 2011 (not including Antarctica)
-- 25% reduction on Papua New Guinea 2010 and 2011 sailings
-- 25% reduction on Antarctica sailings December 2010/January 2011
-- 20% reduction on Kimberley sailings 2011
-- 20% reduction on any Orion II destination in 2011

All transfer bookings must be made by Oct 31, 2010. Reduced fares are not combinable with any other offer. Travelers who wish to discuss their plans can contact their travel advisor or contact Orion Expeditions at 1.877.674.6687 for further information.

About Orion Expedition Cruises
Founded in early 2004, Orion Expedition Cruises is the only world-class expedition cruise line operating from Australia to pristine wilderness areas in Antarctica, the Kimberley, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia and Asia. Orion is known worldwide for its new and diverse itineraries and sustainable operations. Orion is designed to fulfill the desire of the sophisticated traveler for experience driven, cultural and nature based tourism that allow for a more informed and in-depth interpretation of, and interaction with, destinations and their people. Providing the comfort and luxuries that today’s travelers expect in a specially designed vessel that provides access to areas otherwise largely unreachable through conventional means, Orion truly provides a path less traveled.

New in 2011, Orion and second ship Orion II will sail to a wider array of unique destinations, including the Antipodes islands, West Papua and Maluku, Borneo, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Inland Sea of Japan and the Russian Far East.

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Majestic Fjords, Polar Bears, A Remote Arctic Destination, And Now Hurtigruten Offers Early Booking Rates On Several Spitsbergen Itineraries

New York, NY, Sept 2010: Hurtigruten is offering 20% savings on six Spitsbergen cruise itineraries, the largest island in the Arctic’s Svalbard archipelago. Each unique sailing explores the far-flung reaches of the remote islands, where Spitsbergen’s stunning scenery of jagged peaks and impressive tundra is second only to its population of 4,500 polar bears roaming freely on the ice-laden landscape – a sight that many Hurtigruten guests have enjoyed. Reduced rates are available for the 5- to 13-day itineraries, most of which take place aboard the deluxe exploration ship, MS Fram. This amounts to savings on 27 summer departures between June 9 and Sept 7, 2011, for bookings made by Dec 31, 2010 on the following voyages:

· The 11-day “Climate Voyage” follows in the traditions of explorer Fridtjof Nansen and makes an inaugural stop in Jan Mayen, one of the world’s most isolated islands. Focusing on the effect of climate changes on wildlife means visits to research stations, wildlife tracking, participating in field studies and meeting with some of the field’s top research scientists. Highlights include Norway’s Tromsø; Honningsvag, Europe’s northernmost city; and a stop in Gjesvaerstappen, a unique birding cliff and site of seabird studies. Departs July 21.

· “Polar Encounters” is a 5-day voyage along the historically rich north coast of Spitsbergen, where rare wildlife roam a landscape of breathtaking fjords, gigantic glaciers and staggering mountain peaks. The trip includes unparalleled views of “The Seven Glaciers,” the piercing towers of the “Three Crowns” and the large walrus colonies of Moffen Island, with stops at North West Spitsbergen National Park and Ny-Alesund. There are eight summer departures.

· The “Svalbard Explorer” is a 9-day adventure that takes in the entire west coast of Spitsbergen up to the 80th parallel. The route allows guests rare glimpses of beautiful fjords such as Hornsund Fjord, Magdalenefjord and Krossfjord; Bear Island with its famous cliff Stappen; guided walks in Ny-Alesund, the world’s northernmost settlement; and time at the fringe of the North Pole ice edge. There are two August departures.

· The new 13-day “Polar Bears, Islands and Fjords” itinerary encompasses some of the most impressive sights in Norway and Svalbard, from the ice blue fjords and dramatic peaks of the Lyngen Alps to the colorful coastal town of Alesund, renowned for its Art Nouveau architecture. Guests can enjoy a folklore show in Barentsburg, visit the former mining town of Ny-Alesund and experience Norway’s bustling capital of Bergen. The trip departs Sept. 7.

· The 11-day “Classic Norway and Spitsbergen” provides a unique combination of two spectacular Hurtigruten itineraries: the classic Coastal Voyage between Bergen and Kirkenes and a round-trip voyage to the frozen landscapes of Spitsbergen. Available optional excursions include a Glacier Adventure or Saltstraumen Safari in the modern town of Bodø, and visits to the medieval Nidaros Cathedral or Ringve Music Museum in Trondheim. There are four summer departures.

· The 9-day “Kingdom of the Polar Bear” is focused on these rarely seen Arctic animals. Guests explore the main siting regions of northern and eastern Spitsbergen. Aside from a day in Longyearbyen, the itinerary also takes in Ny-Alesund; several fjords, including Magdalenefjord, Smeerenburgfjord, Woodfjord and Icrfjord; Hinlopen Strait; and the bird cliffs of Alkefjelle; and makes numerous exploration landings along the way. There are eleven summer departures.

All Spitsbergen itineraries include daily lectures from onboard naturalist guides, expedition leaders and Zodiac landings, all meals aboard and some on land, cabin category selected, transfers and port charges. Round-trip flights from New York via Oslo are available as are add-on airfares from dozens of other North American cities; optional excursions, gratuities, and fuel surcharges and taxes are additional.

Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen as well as year round along Norway's coast and Europe in the Spring. Additional information on all of these adventures, as well as brochures and reservations, can be obtained from travel agents or Hurtigruten's visitor-friendly web site,; or by phone: (800) 323-7436; fax (888)-524-2145; for brochures (800) 582-0835, 24 hours a day.

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South Pacific Highlights Oceania Cruises’ 2011-12 Winter Collection

Miami, Sept 15: Oceania Cruises today announced its 2011-12 winter line-up of 27 exotic itineraries in Asia, South America and the Caribbean, including new sailings to ports in Hawaii, the South Pacific and Australia/New Zealand. The line’s Winter Collection includes two-for-one fares and include free air transportation from 20 major U.S. and Canadian gateway cities.

“Oceania Cruises attracts travelers with a true wanderlust and passion for discovery,” stated James Rodriguez, Oceania Cruises’ senior vice president of marketing. “Our 2011-12 line-up is our most comprehensive and features many of the world’s most desirable destinations.”

Winter Collection Highlights

-- 27 unique itineraries, 16 of which are all new
-- 33 new ports of call 
-- A return to Australia and New Zealand
-- Diverse and distinctive voyages in Asia
-- Grand 35-day Hong Kong to Athens adventure via the Suez Canal
-- New Dubai to Cape Town cruise showcasing Arabia and Africa
-- New Marina debuts on her first full season of voyages to the Caribbean
-- Popular Amazon River cruise to depart from New York City
-- New 16-day South America cruise roundtrip from Valparaiso offers opportunity to discover rarely visited Nazca Lines, plus Machu Picchu
-- New Hawaii and South Pacific voyages, including Tahiti, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Tonga, American Samoa

For information or to request a brochure, see a travel professional, visit or call toll-free at 800-531-5658.

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Holland America Line's Cancellation Plan Allows Guests to Cancel for Any Reason

SEATTLE, Sept. 14: Holland America Line guests who purchase the line's Cancellation Protection Plan (CPP) can cancel their cruise or CruiseTour for any reason and receive a refund of up to 90 percent of the cruise fare paid.Holland America Line now also permits CPP coverage to be added any time after booking, as long as it is purchased before the date cancellation fees begin, or 75 days prior to the departure date for most sailings.

"Many of our guests book several months before their cruise and we understand that things happen," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "With Holland America Line's Cancellation Protection Plans, guests can rest assured they don't have to have specific reasons to be protected. It provides added peace of mind for our guests to know that whatever might be affecting them, they can receive nearly a full refund, if needed."

Two Levels of CPP
CPP Standard reimburses 80 percent of eligible amounts paid for cancellations for any reason up to 24 hours prior to the cruise or CruiseTour departure. Plus, the plan provides an additional $500 (for a total of $600) for lost, damaged or delayed baggage.

CPP Platinum features a 90 percent refund upon cancellation for any reason prior to departure. Other benefits under the expanded plan include increased baggage protection for lost or damaged luggage up to $1,600 total, delayed baggage coverage up to $1,100, trip-interruption protection if a guest must return home unexpectedly and trip-delay coverage.

Medical coverage under the CPP Platinum plan covers emergency medical expenses for illness or injury occurring during the voyage, emergency medical evacuation and 24-hour emergency hotline assistance for legal, passport, cash transfer, medical and documentation assistance.

CPP Standard and CPP Platinum are available to U.S. and Canadian residents, and must be purchased prior to the date cancellation fees begin. The cost varies by cruise fare and is nonrefundable. For example, CPP coverage for a guest paying up to $1,000 for a 7-day Caribbean cruise is $79 for CPP Standard and $99 for CPP Platinum per person.

For more information and specific plan details, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Celebrity Fitness Experts Set for Crystal's Mexican Riviera Cruise

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 14: To jump start New Year's resolutions, best-selling fitness author and head trainer for "Dr. Phil's Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge," Robert Reames, along with guest specialists in Pilates, yoga, Tai Chi and even paddle tennis, will headline Crystal Symphony's December 5 ultra-luxury Mind, Body & Spirit voyage. The Experience of Discovery cruise, with comprehensive wellness programming and complimentary instruction throughout, departs round-trip from Los Angeles for Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan.

Robert Reames, who has also appeared as a guest expert on various major television networks, including CBS's Early Show and Fox Morning News, will lead informative presentations, as well as more intimate question-and-answer sessions for guests to address specific issues. Other experts include:

-- Anita Sanci - A certified, professional Kripalu Yoga teacher and Yoga Teachers' Alliance facilitator, Sanci will teach classes for all levels;
-- Tracey Mallett - The internationally renowned Pilates and fitness coach will teach Pilates mat and Reformer group classes;
-- Dr. Martin Lee - Lee, founder of the Tai Chi Cultural Institute will teach classes and lecture on youthful longevity;
-- Anand Amritraj - Amritraj, among the first Indian members of the international tennis team and, with his brother, a semi-finalist in men's doubles at Wimbledon, will give lessons on Crystal's paddle tennis courts.

"The caliber of these instructors allows travelers to maintain their wellness practices while on vacation, or learn something new from extremely knowledgeable teachers," says Chris Corrigall, manager, entertainment. "The convenience of domestic air travel reduces stress for North American guests, and the seven-day itinerary is an ideal opportunity for new guests to sample Crystal."

Along with special guests and theme-related programs, Crystal boasts numerous complimentary options for guests seeking health and wellness on vacation, including the line's Exclusive Walk on Water program; State-of-the-Art Kinesis(TM) Equipment; Tour de Spin Indoor Cycling Classes; and acupuncture treatments, as well as low-fat, low-carb and sugar-free options on virtually every menu.

Per person, promotional Two-for-one cruise fares include $500 per person 'All Inclusive - As You Wish' shipboard credit. Guests booking by Sept 30 save an additional $500 per person on verandah staterooms or penthouses. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Royal Caribbean Introduces Innovative Chefmakers At Sea Program Aboard
Freedom of the Seas & Liberty of the Seas

MIAMI, September 14, 2010 – Vacationing foodies can now choose from a range of culinary experiences aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise. Royal Caribbean International is partnering with renowned Chefmakers Cooking Academy, a cooking school dedicated to aspiring home cooks of all ages, to bring unique cooking programs to guests, who can share in fond family vacation memories and learn practical skills that can be applied day-to-day. Available now aboard Liberty of the Seas and beginning in the fall aboard Freedom of the Seas, guests, at an additional cost, can choose from over a dozen Chefmakers at Sea classes that are taught in the actual galleys of the ship.

Chefmakers at Sea’s hands-on classes range from $40 to $125 and are ideal for both kitchen newbies and the experienced home cook alike. With several essential programs like Knife Skills, Quick & Easy Fish, and All About Chicken, to highly social and interactive cooking parties like Asian Persuasion, New American Cuisine, and Surf & Turf, there is an appetizing class for every palate. Successfully piloted aboard Mariner of the Seas, the three-hour programs are open to guests 18 and over, who can try their hand at a series of exciting recipes and new skills under the careful guidance of the Chefmakers culinary team.

“At Chefmakers, we teach Royal Caribbean guests the tricks of the trade, in turn providing a feeling of mastery and confidence that will last long after their cruise,” said Richard H. Klein, founder and CEO of Chefmakers Cooking Academy, LLC.

Other classes include: Small Bites; Quick & Easy Pasta; Tamales; Lazy Day Brunch; California Cuisine; and Cooking Around the World. In addition, Chefmakers at Sea offers a series of festive holiday classes, such as: Pumpkin Carving; Gingerbread House Decorating; Ultimate Thanksgiving; and Entertaining for New Years. Participants will receive their very own Chefmakers apron and recipe cards for all menu items prepared, as well as complimentary wine based on class selection. Guests will also have the opportunity to purchase the high quality kitchenware and utensils that they learn to use in the classes.

Little ones, from four to 11 years of age, can kick-start their culinary careers with a one-hour “Kids with Kids Baking” class. The future chefs will have fun preparing homemade sweet treats, like mini-puff pastry turnovers, learning lessons in chemistry and kitchen hygiene along the way.

Guests may register and learn about the specific classes being offered online using the Chefmakers pre-board reservation system. Private Chefmakers at Sea programs also will soon be available for various corporate groups that offer a very unique team building experience as well as for families looking for another memorable way to enjoy their cruise vacation. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Cunard’s Queen Victoria Bids “Aloha” to Hawaiian Voyages in 2011

Sept 13: In late January 2011, as part of Queen Victoria’s debut Americas Season, Cunard Line will offer guests the opportunity to experience The New Golden Age of Ocean Travel with luxury cruise vacations to the tranquil islands of Hawaii. Additionally, guests sailing on the Feb 17 voyage will enjoy a very special Cunard Insights program presented by Rona Barrett, recognized as the “first lady of entertainment news.” The Hawaiian Adventure cruises depart round-trip from Los Angeles for two relaxing weeks sailing the Hawaiian Islands; starting Jan 30 and again on Feb 17, guests aboard Queen Victoria will visit Hilo (Hawaii), Honolulu (Oahu), Nawiliwili (Kauai) and Lahaina (Maui), as well as a quick visit to Ensenada (Mexico).

“Enjoying the tropical paradise of the Hawaii Islands is one of the many ways guests can create memorable experiences aboard Queen Victoria,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “We look forward to welcoming Rona Barrett as part of our Cunard Insights enrichment programme and know our guests are eager to hear her up close and personal stories about some of Hollywood’s most intriguing celebrities.”

Barrett is one of the pioneers and innovators in entertainment news reporting and publishing in the United States. She developed the first in-depth personal TV specials about the celebrities of film, television, music, sports and politics, and published a series of magazines on the entertainment industry for consumers and for industry insiders, including Rona Barrett’s Hollywood. She was also one of the original reporters for “Good Morning America” on ABC. Barrett recently returned to the spotlight, now appearing in a one-woman show, “Rona Barrett: Nothing But the Truth,” which premiered at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills in June. Elements of this stage show will be performed for guests on board Queen Victoria as part of her enrichment program. Barrett created the show to tour and raise funds in support of The Rona Barrett Foundation on behalf of senior citizens in need. Proceeds from Barrett’s show appearances will support her foundation’s project of building The Golden Inn and Cottages, a pilot facility that can be constructed in communities throughout the U.S. to provide affordable housing and care, among many other elderly needs.

Delving deeply into a variety of compelling and relevant topics, Cunard Insights introduces guests to stimulating experts and accomplished visionaries who reflect the Line's heritage of adventure and prestige. Through a series of lectures, Q&A's, social gatherings and workshops, guests connect with personalities who have achieved notable distinction in areas including history, world affairs, science, arts and literature. The award-winning Insights program underscores Cunard’s longstanding view that on board entertainment should afford guests a provocative and rewarding cerebral experience. Barrett joins Cunard's illustrious legacy of welcoming world-famous guests, experts and intriguing presenters including Winston Churchill, President Nelson Mandela, Jean Chatzky, Tina Brown & Sir Harold Evans, Lady Margaret Thatcher, Elizabeth Taylor, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Rod Stewart, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Buzz Aldrin.

Queen Victoria will spend more time on the west coast in winter 2011 as she comes off Cunard’s historic Royal Rendezvous in New York, where all three Queens will be docked on 13 January. Continuing to sail her Americas voyages, she will make three visits to the Panama Canal – including two transits, multiple visits to the port of Los Angeles, and her first short Getaway voyage to Mexico. For more information about Queen Victoria or to book a voyage, consult your travel professional, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Princess Family Cruisetours to Alaska Return for Second Season

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Sept10: After a popular debut last year, Princess Cruises is once again offering special Alaska cruisetours designed just for families. These unique tours incorporate a variety of features not usually included in a cruisetour package, such as the opportunity to learn about dog mushing at the Iditarod Headquarters, pan for gold, take an interactive tour of Denali National Park, and enjoy a fun campfire experience. The 12-night family cruisetours include a 7-night Voyage of the Glaciers cruise plus a 5-night land tour. The land segment also features such family-friendly extras as daily breakfasts, a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, and a dinner theater performance. At sea, families can also take advantage of Princess' many onboard programs especially for children, including a special Junior Ranger program in Glacier Bay National Park.

"Alaska is the perfect place for a family vacation," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "There are amazing wildlife viewing opportunities, awesome scenery and lots of active adventures. With this in mind, we wanted to make it easier for family groups to plan the perfect Alaska experience with activities that will appeal to many ages and interests."

Passengers can choose to sail aboard Diamond Princess or Coral Princess, and the cruisetour land itinerary includes stays at three of Princess' own wilderness lodges--one night at Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, two nights at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and two nights at Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge. The tours are offered on 34 departures with both northbound (#FUN) and southbound (#WOW) itinerary options.

The following special extras are included in the 2011 season tours:

Daily Breakfast: Everyone in the family can start their morning off with the most important meal of the day.
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center: Wildlife appeals to all ages, and families will be able to see a variety of animals such as bears, elk, bison, moose, caribou, musk ox, coyotes and eagles with a visit to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. This non-profit organization takes in injured and orphaned animals and gives a permanent home to those that can't be returned to the wild.
Iditarod Headquarters with Dog Sled Ride: En route to Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, family members will enjoy a stop at the Iditarod Headquarters in Wasilla. Here travelers can learn about mushing and its importance in Alaskan culture. The center offers the opportunity to meet sled dogs and see them at work with wheeled cart rides.
Evening Campfire Experience (Mt. McKinley): An evening campfire near the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge is the perfect way for families to end the day, complete with treats such as s'mores and hot chocolate, plus unique Alaska stories and songs. Music of Denali Dinner Theater (Denali) -- This rollicking musical comedy tells the legend of the first expedition to the summit of Mt. McKinley, accompanied by a hearty, family-style meal featuring smokehouse ribs and Alaska salmon.
Experience Denali with Alaska Geographic Tour (Denali): A more intimate tour of Denali National Park, this special excursion includes a variety of interactive experiences, including an enhanced view of the Denali ecosystem and current research taking place. The narrated bus tour takes guests 15 miles into the park to a beautiful river valley where they embark on a short walk to the historic Savage River Camp, where they can participate in a number of hands-on activities.
Sourdough Expedition Breakfast (Denali): While fueling up for the day with an Alaskan roadhouse-style breakfast, guests experience an unforgettable journey up Denali through breathtaking images in Laurent Dick's Climb Denali. Participants have the opportunity to meet this real mountain climber and ask questions about mountain climbing.
Riverboat Cruise and El Dorado Goldmine Tour (Fairbanks): Families can enjoy traveling on an authentic sternwheeler for a fully-narrated cruise along the Chena River and try their hands at gold panning at the El Dorado Gold Mine, where they will learn about Alaska's gold mining history.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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World-Renowned French-American Artist Guy Buffet Shares His Expertise
Aboard The M/S Paul Gauguin to Tahiti & New Zealand

BELLEVUE, WA, Sept 10: “I cannot stay in one place for too long,” says legendary artist, Guy Buffet. Fortunately, this made him the perfect fit for an artistic education program aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin. Buffet will accompany President and CEO Richard Bailey on both of the upcoming Nov 2010, 14-day President’s Cruises (departing Nov 6th and 21st). On these sailings to French Polynesia’s Society Islands, as well as Tonga, the Cook Islands, and New Zealand, Buffet will educate Paul Gauguin guests on his artistic visions, hosting art demonstrations and a reception. While guests immerse themselves in the lively harbor of Auckland, the French sophistication of Tahiti, and the rugged terrain of Rarotonga on the 2-week cruises that beautifully showcase the paradise of the South Pacific, they have the opportunity to watch and learn from artistic master Buffet, and are even able to purchase artwork signed by the artist while onboard.

“We are so honored to have Guy Buffet aboard The Gauguin. Our enduring goal is to continuously enlighten our guests in new and exciting ways, and to have such a celebrated artist with a worldwide following onboard to showcase his talent is truly a privilege,” comments Richard Bailey.

Many who love food and wine are likely to own at least one of his many licensed products, ranging from shoes, ties, shirts, kitchenware, books, calendars, and prints to wine – the “Guy Buffet Wine Cellars.” Some of his most famous products were items produced for the culinary store Williams-Sonoma.

Buffet’s purpose onboard runs in tandem with the theme of much of his artwork. For the 20 years prior to developing his signature culinary themes, his art was inspired by Hawaii and French Polynesia. “I am very much looking forward to sailing on the m/s Paul Gauguin,” said Buffet. “The ship combines many of the elements I have been inspired by for so many years – culinary excellence, service, and the unmatched beauty of French Polynesia. It’s a natural fit for me.” Buffet has been drawing and painting since childhood and grew up in a family who owned a restaurant in France. After beginning art school, he held several jobs in the kitchen and the dining room. He later joined the French Navy, where his artistic talent was officially recognized. He eventually began working with special events, traveling with many commissions related to food and wine, which ultimately led to his being named the official artist of famed Champagne house Perrier Jouet. Buffet’s restaurant jobs, combined with naval experiences abroad in Hawaii and French Polynesia, provided inspiration for his famous whimsical portraits of chefs, waiters, and restaurant scenes loved by so many.

For additional information and reservations, contact a professional travel agent, call 1-800-848-6172 or visit

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'A Taste of Celebration' Cookbook by Holland America Line Master Chef Rudi Sodamin Now Available in Bookstores

SEATTLE, Sept. 9: Holland America Line's Master Chef Rudi Sodamin has written his third cookbook, "A Taste of Celebration," which is now available for purchase in bookstores and aboard the line's ships. The new cookbook completes the Holland America Line Culinary Signature Collections cookbooks, published by Rizzoli. The first two titles are Sodamin's "A Taste of Excellence" and "A Taste of Elegance."

"A Taste of Celebration" is filled with Sodamin's inspired recipes for complete menus - from appetizers to desserts - for 16 celebratory occasions. These include 11 holidays: Valentine's Day, Passover, Easter, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Father's Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's Eve. Also included are recipes for a Captain's Dinner, Master Chef's Dinner (a Holland America Line signature event), Super Bowl Sunday, birthday or anniversary celebration and a cocktail party. All of the menus feature distinctive four-star favorites from Sodamin's extensive recipe collection.

"Once again, Master Chef Rudi Sodamin has produced an original and extraordinary cookbook that will inspire our guests and food lovers to create sumptuous meals on special occasions," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "Rudi's distinctive style and innovative ideas have earned Holland America Line numerous culinary awards and set the standard in premium cruise cuisine."

The new cookbook is designed to motivate readers to create memorable meals to celebrate their own special occasions. It features tantalizing photos of each dish to complement the mouth-watering recipes. Sodamin also offers helpful hints from purchasing ingredients to preparing the dishes.

Sodamin is internationally recognized as a food authority and one of the hospitality industry's most innovative chefs. He continues to direct the evolution of fine dining and unique menu options at Holland America Line, including the introduction of alternative dining venues such as the Italian-themed Canaletto and pan-Asian Tamarind, a highly acclaimed, exclusive dining experience on Signature-class ships ms Eurodam and ms Nieuw Amsterdam. Sodamin's ideas have been instrumental in the development of Holland America Line's onboard culinary program, including the popular Culinary Arts Center presented by "Food & Wine" magazine. The centers enable guests to watch cooking demonstrations conducted by shipboard and celebrated guest chefs, as well as participate in small-group cooking lessons. Each center is equipped with state-of-the art cooking facilities set in a theater with audio-video systems to provide up-close viewing of the demonstrations. Sodamin is a member of the Academy Culinaire de France, Maitres Cuisiners de France and Honoree Member Club des Chefs des Chefs.

"A Taste of Celebration" is available for purchase on Holland America ships, through major retail bookstores, and online at For more information on Holland America Line cruises, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Cruise West Continues Restructuring Efforts

SEATTLE, WA, Sept 8: Cruise West, a global leader in small-ship explorations, today announced that they continue to work towards a restructuring of the company and its operations. The first move in this restructuring is the termination of the Spirit of Oceanus’ Voyage of the Great Explorers. Additional assets may be sold and other steps are being pursued towards a restructure. As part of this process, Cruise West has suspended accepting any new bookings.

The Spirit of Oceanus voyage ended at its scheduled port of disembarkation so as to minimize any negative impact to our guests. Cruise West plans to continue to operate its US flag ships and itineraries through October, 2010; Spirit of Endeavour will sail from Seattle on the British Columbia Cruise and the Spirit of ’98 from Portland, OR along the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Cruise West will also complete cruises or land tours already underway in Alaska.

For those booked Spirit of Oceanus guests who may be affected by this news and who have not yet travelled, we recommend that you take the following steps:

1. If third-party travel insurance was obtained, a claim should be placed immediately with the insurer.
2. If payment was made by credit card, a claim should be placed immediately with the card issuer.
3. If the payment was made by cash or check, and you have no travel insurance, please send an email to .

Cruise West executives will not respond to media inquiries or accept interviews at this time.
About Cruise West

Cruise West believes that small is beautiful. Small-ship explorations allow up-close and personal experiences unmatched by the traditional larger cruise lines. For nearly 64 years, Cruise West has provided authentic travel experiences.

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Allure of the Seas Debuts New Restaurants & Menus

MIAMI, Sept. 8: Showcasing onboard experiences all her own, Royal Caribbean Intl’s Allure of the Seas, the world’s next largest and most innovative cruise ship debuting in Dec 2010, will introduce new culinary concepts and tempting twists to signature Oasis-class restaurants. A Brazilian steakhouse will be a destination restaurant that comes to life for dinner service in the Solarium, featuring authentic Brazilian-style meats and seafood dishes, from Picanha cut sirloin steak to Atlantic salmon marinated with sea salt and garlic, served table-side and sliced straight off the skewer. In Central Park, recently anointed Chef de Cuisine Molly Brandt will present guests with a one-of-a-kind menu and distinct dining experience at Allure of the Seas’ 150 Central Park, a signature fine dining experience.

“As churrascaria concept restaurants gain popularity on land, Royal Caribbean is taking advantage of having a new ship to introduce a Brazilian steakhouse and bring a new dynamic and colorful nightlife ambiance for adults in the Solarium,” says Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “Guests onboard Allure of the Seas will have a new arrangement of dining experiences throughout the ship, from the Adagio Main Dining Room to new venues on the Boardwalk and Royal Promenade.”

Combining the best of classic Mexican beach bars and Southern California’s famed taquerias, Rita’s Cantina will be a vibrant new restaurant in the Boardwalk neighborhood. Adults and kids alike will enjoy some of their favorite Mexican fare, such as shrimp ceviche tostadas, warm tortilla chips with salsa and fiesta guacamole, as well as entrées, such as fajitas, fish tacos, and Chipotle-style flautas. The more casual setting will be a favorite lunch, snack or dinner spot for guests seeking a flavorful fiesta onboard Allure of the Seas. Rita’s Cantina also will boast some of the best and widest selection of margaritas at sea, offering both authentic and signature concoctions mixed with a choice from the extensive list of quality tequilas, served on the rocks or frozen in a variety of fruit-flavor combinations. In addition, the restaurant will introduce new nightlife to Boardwalk with live guitar music, drinks and dancing. Rita Cantina’s design will include large open breezeways and an outdoor seating area complete with high top tables and stools, and will be located in place of Seafood Shack onboard sister-ship Oasis of the Seas.

Also new to Boardwalk’s dynamic and engaging scene will be The Boardwalk Dog House, an outdoor hot-dog specialty counter located where The Donut Shop is on Oasis of the Seas. Guests can choose from traditional hot dogs, wieners, brats, sausages and other delicious linked meats and a variety of toppings to split a long bun. The Donut Shop will remain on Boardwalk in a new location next to the Ice Cream Parlor.

The following includes a variety of other palate-pleasing options available throughout the neighborhoods on Allure:

- Rita’s Cantina: A casual yet vibrant indoor/outdoor restaurant exclusively on Allure’s Boardwalk, caters to families by day, and adults by night; traditional Mexican fare, comprehensive selection of margaritas and live guitar music and dancing for evening entertainment
- Boardwalk Bar: The main bar on the Boardwalk; offering fruit, salads and sandwiches
- Boardwalk Donut Shop: A classic haunt for casual snacks and delicious treats
- Ice Cream Parlor: A variety of ice cream flavors and toppings take center stage against a backdrop of 1950s kitsch
- Johnny Rockets: ‘50’s-style diner with server-entertainers

- 150 Central Park: A trendy, upscale and intimate restaurant with a tasting menu and customized wine pairings created by Molly Brandt, winner of the Allure of the Seas Culinary Challenge co-hosted with The Culinary Institute of America, as well as Food and Wine’s 2006 best student chef
- Giovanni’s Table: An Italian trattoria with both indoor and alfresco seating featuring Italian classics served family-style
- Park Café: An indoor/outdoor gourmet market featuring salads, sandwiches, soups, pastries and to-die-for fudge
- Vintages: A wine bar with pre-dinner tapas and cheeses along with a robust selection of fine wines
- Chops Grille: Royal Caribbean’s signature steakhouse with views of Central Park, and premium cuts or quality meats

- Exclusive to Allure of the Seas, the new churascarria, styled after popular Brazilian steakhouses, is an interactive experience where guests choose from a variety of meats, chicken and seafood brought table-side by servers, ready to slice and serve upon request
- Solarium Bistro: A health-conscious dining option for breakfast and lunch
- The Wipe Out Café: A casual self-service buffet with pizza, hamburgers, sandwiches and fresh salads
- Izumi Asian Cuisine: Featuring mouthwatering flavors and a sushi bar with hot-rock cooking

- Sorrento’s Pizzeria: Featuring New York style pizza, with both made-to-order pies and by the slice
- Café Promenade: Offering Seattle’s Best coffee, fruit shakes, pastries and sandwiches all day
- The Cupcake Cupboard: Featuring fresh-baked gourmet cupcakes as well as parties and design classes

- The Vitality Café: Offering healthy snacks, sandwiches, wraps, fruit and smoothies

THE CLASSICS, Royal Caribbean hasn’t forgotten the classics of its fleet:
- Adagio Dining Room: The ship’s main restaurant features a three-tier venue with a 1920s Art Deco style; flexible My Time Dining and traditional assigned seatings, as well as the highly anticipated DreamWorks Character Breakfast
- Windjammer Marketplace: A casual buffet fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner
- In-Stateroom Service: Order from the complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, or choose an original Johnny Rockets hamburger or Ghirardelli chocolate cookies from the new Dine In Delights menu

Allure of the Seas shares the title of the world’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ship with sister-ship Oasis of the Seas. An architectural marvel at sea, she will span 16 decks, encompass 225,282 gross registered tons, carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. Allure of the Seas will tout Royal Caribbean’s exclusive neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which will include Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. The ship will alternate a Western Caribbean with an Eastern Caribbean seven-night itinerary from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Additional information is available at

Royal Caribbean is a global cruise brand with 21 ships currently in service and one under construction. The line also offers unique cruisetour land packages in Alaska, Dubai, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and South America. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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YouTube Launches New Travel Channel Powered by Norwegian Cruise Line

MIAMI, Sept. 8: Norwegian Cruise Line today announced it is working with YouTube to power the first-ever YouTube Vacationer, a travel-specific channel within the world’s largest online video site providing vacation inspiration with ideas and advice from well-traveled experts, such as Lonely Planet, National Geographic and Travel Channel. The YouTube Vacationer,, is also interactive, offering visitors a first of its kind opportunity to create their own “Vacation You” video experience and share it with others.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s signature Freestyle Cruising approach is at the heart of this site, providing users the freedom, flexibility and choice to interact with more than two million combinations of video content enabling them to create and share their own unique Freestyle vacation experience. When interacting within Norwegian’s “Vacation You” section of the YouTube Vacationer channel, visitors will select from a series of short video clips that tap into their vacation mindset to produce a customized 60-90 second montage of their ideal Freestyle Cruising vacations. Visitors can then share their personalized “Vacation You” video with friends and family through Facebook, Twitter, or email.

“We are pleased to be working with Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovators in cruise travel, on our first branded travel channel,” said Mark Day, Sales Development at YouTube. “The YouTube Vacationer channel brings the best of our partners’ travel videos into a single destination to help users explore, plan and dream about their next vacations, and it gives users a way to see themselves in a customized vacation video with Norwegian’s ‘Vacation You’ application.”

To experience the YouTube Vacationer channel, visit For further information about Norwegian Cruise Line, visit

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Natural Beauty of the South Pacific Shines on Crystal Voyage

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 7: From soaring high over Bora Bora by helicopter to swimming with - or simply viewing - the diverse sea life that inhabit the clear waters of the Blue Lagoon, Crystal Cruises is offering nearly three dozen Crystal Adventures revealing the South Pacific's breathtaking natural beauty. Crystal Serenity's 12-day, January 30 voyage sails from Papeete to Auckland, featuring different perspectives on the region's famous tropical culture.

Visiting the Society and Cook Islands, Fiji, Tonga and Auckland, shoreside adventures highlight the untouched landscapes and lush vegetation, indigenous wildlife and even 3,000-year-old local villages, including:

-- Hike into Rarotonga's Takitumi Rainforest, where conservation efforts continue to preserve the island's native plants and animals like the rare ground orchid and the long-tailed cuckoo;
-- Climb to Bora Bora's Pahonu Hill for panoramic views of the island's reefs and lagoons, or snorkel on the barrier reef past Toopua Point;
-- Experience Auckland's west coast, with forests teeming with native wildlife, one of the world's most awe-inspiring black-sand beaches and cascading waterfalls pouring into a rainforest; and
-- Meet local families and join a traditional kava ceremony at the Viseisei Fijian Village, where the first settlers of Fiji landed 3,000 years ago.

"This itinerary offers so many opportunities for nature lovers," says John Stoll, vice president, land and port operations. "Choices are a key component of the Crystal Experience, and we strive to offer numerous choices ashore to suit most any interest, from spectator activities to the most adventurous."

Guests can also expand their awareness with onboard presentations from acclaimed earth and environmental scientist David J. Drewry. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625 or visit

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MSC Kicks Off Its Inaugural Fall Foliage Cruise Season

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Sept 7: MSC Cruises kicks-off its inaugural fall foliage cruises onboard MSC Poesia from New York on September 22 and Quebec on September 27 with 13 itineraries and nearly 25 ports of call. MSC Poesia departed Kiel, Germany on Sept. 4, 2010 on an 18-night transatlantic journey to New York City. She calls at Copenhagen, Denmark; Southampton, England; Le Havre, France; Vigo, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Ponta Delgada, Azores/Portugal; King’s Wharf, Bermuda; and makes her inaugural arrival in New York on Sept 21, 2010 with an overnight in NYC.

Canada/New England cruises vary from 6- to 19-nights, and can be combined for an extended experience such as the repositioning cruise on October 23 with the Les Merle Big Band.

A 10-night roundtrip, departing from New York City on Sept 22 and calling in Sydney, Charlottetown, Quebec, Halifax and Newport;
A 7-night sailing from New York City to Quebec, departing Oct 2 and calling in Halifax, Charlottetown and Corner Brook with an overnight in Quebec;
A return 7-night cruise from Quebec to New York City, departing Oct 9 and calling in Sydney, Bar Harbor, Boston and Newport;
A second 7-night cruise from New York City to Quebec, departing Oct 16 and calling in Halifax, Sydney and Charlottetown with an overnight in Quebec;
A 6-night cruise from Quebec to New York, departing on Oct 23 and calling in Sydney, Boston, and Newport;
A 9-night voyage from Quebec to Fort Lauderdale, departing Oct 23. and calling in Sydney, Boston, Newport, and New York City.

Upon her arrival in Fort Lauderdale, MSC Poesia will begin a second winter season of Caribbean cruises from Port Everglades. For more information, visit, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

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Florida Lottery Features Royal Caribbean in New 'CRUISE FOR CASH' Game

TALLAHASSEE, FL, Sept. 7: The Florida Lottery has announced an exciting new Royal Caribbean International® themed Scratch-Off game: CRUISE FOR CASH. With ticket sales beginning today, the $5 game offers Lottery players the chance to win up to $200,000 instantly! And, a second chance promotion on the Lottery's Web site offers players the chance to win a 7-night Caribbean cruise vacation for two aboard one of Royal Caribbean's newest, and world's most innovative, cruise ships - Oasis of the Seas® or Allure of the Seas®.* The new game is available at Florida Lottery retailers statewide.

"Tourism is a vital part of Florida's economy, and this partnership between the Florida Lottery and Royal Caribbean International is a unique opportunity to bring together Florida's public and private sectors to promote one of the state's greatest tourist industries - cruising," said Florida Lottery Secretary Leo DiBenigno.

Florida continues to serve as the epicenter of the cruise industry nationwide and is home to the top three cruise ports in the country: Port of Miami, Port Canaveral and Port Everglades. According to the Cruise Lines International Association, the North American cruise industry generated $35.1 billion in 2009, with Florida port embarkations growing by nearly 3 percent - making up 59 percent of the U.S. total.

"We are pleased to be working with the Florida Lottery on the CRUISE FOR CASH game, which helps raise additional funds for education," said Vicki Freed, Senior Vice President Sales and Trade Support & Services, Royal Caribbean International.

"We expect CRUISE FOR CASH to have a wide appeal among Floridians and visitors to our great state, helping us maximize sales for the enhancement of public education," added Secretary DiBenigno.

In addition to four $200,000 top prizes, CRUISE FOR CASH also features more than 1.6 million cash prizes ranging from $5 to $2,500. The game's overall odds of winning are one in 3.87. The game is the latest themed Scratch-Off in the Lottery's game portfolio, offering players instant cash prizes and additional chances to win via a second chance promotion on the Lottery's Web site.

Beginning today, players may enter their non-winning CRUISE FOR CASH tickets in five Royal Caribbean International® Cruise Package Second Chance drawings to be held from October 6 to December 15, 2010. Each cruise packages include seven nights aboard the Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas or another Royal Caribbean cruise ship sailing select itineraries.* Winners of the second chance drawings will tour their respective Caribbean destinations in a beautiful balcony stateroom, with an ocean view for two. Cruise winners also will receive $1,000 in ship credit and premium accommodations for two at a deluxe hotel prior to departure. There will be a total of 112 cruise packages awarded with this game.

The Florida Lottery offers more than 50 Scratch-Off games at any given time through instant ticket vending machines (ITVMs) or on-counter displays at more than 13,000 retailers statewide. Scratch-Off games are an important part of the Lottery's portfolio of games, making up approximately 53 percent of ticket sales and generating more than $396 million for the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF) in fiscal year 2009-10. For more information regarding the Florida Lottery, its games and its contributions to education, visit

* Cruise winners will have the option of selecting from various Royal Caribbean Intl cruise vacations, subject to availability and the terms of the CRUISE FOR CASH game. Release approved by RCCL and the Florida Lottery.

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Quark Expeditions Makes Arctic Cruise History in 2011

WATERBURY, VT, Sept. 7: When Quark Expeditions 2010 Arctic expedition cruise season comes to an end September 8, preparation for its history-making 20th anniversary season begins. In 1991, the company operated two expeditions, one to the North Pole and the first ever passenger transit of the Northeast Passage. To mark the company's 20th anniversary, Quark returns to the North Pole, June 23 to July 7, 2011. The 20th anniversary vacation cruise through the Northeast Passage is part of a rare circumnavigation of the Arctic - July 10 to Sept 13, 2011.

Quark's first Arctic expedition cruise to the North Pole was aboard the nuclear-powered icebreaker Sovetsky Soyuz. In 2011, 50 Years of Victory will transport travelers to 90 degrees N. Victory, a sister ship, is the most powerful and most advanced nuclear-powered icebreaker on the planet. Capable of producing 75,000 horsepower, on her maiden voyage to the North Pole in 2008, she reduced a 6 day transit to 4.5, breaking all previous records.

Thirty years ago a transit of the Northeast Passage was impossible as foreign visitors were not permitted to sail the freight route through the Russian Arctic. Sailing the northern route from Europe to Asia became possible when the management of Quark Expeditions took advantage of the economic crisis that occurred at the dissolution of the Soviet Union to secure the only vessel capable of navigating to the North Pole and through the Northeast Passage in a timely fashion - Sovetsky Soyuz. The 2011 voyage will be aboard Kapitan Khlebnikov, Quark's flagship and a legendary expedition ship.

The Arctic Circumnavigation: Travelers can sail on one of three segments of this never to be repeated vacation cruise. The full circumnavigation is 66-days long. The segments range from 21 to 28 days in length. The staging point for the circumnavigation and the Northeast Passage is Anchorage, Alaska. The Northeast Passage disembarks in Murmansk, Russia. The full circumnavigation disembarks in Anadyr, Russia. In between, travelers will explore Spitsbergen, Greenland, and the Canadian Arctic's Northwest Passage.

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Costa Cruises’ Fleet Expansion Program Continues

MIAMI, Sept 7: Work is underway at Fincantieri’s Marghera (Venice) yard on the construction of the Costa Fascinosa, the 16th fleet member of Costa Cruises, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, which is due to enter service in spring 2012. The keel-laying of the ship took place last Friday, comprising the first section of the hull, a block 12 meters long and weighing in at 295 tons. The Costa Fascinosa, sister ship of the Costa Favolosa, will be able to accommodate up to 3,780 Guests and will be 114,500 gross tons.

In total, two new Costa cruise ships are currently under construction in the Fincantieri shipyard. In addition to the Costa Fascinosa, work is proceeding on the Costa Favolosa, which was launched by floating out in Marghera on August 6 this year and is set to make her debut in July 2011. The construction of each new building involves the labor of around 3000 people, comprising both Fincantieri’s own employees and those of about 500 contracted suppliers, most of which are Italian firms.

Costa Cruises’ fleet expansion program began in 2000 and provides for the entry into service by 2012 of 13 ships, nine of which were built in Italy by Fincantieri. Three of the new liners were delivered in less than 12 months, between spring 2009 and the start of this year, while the Costa Favolosa will be joining the fleet in summer 2011. In 2012 with the arrival of the Costa Fascinosa, the Costa Cruises fleet will be 16-strong.

Since 2000 the Costa Crociere S.p.A. Group (comprising Costa Cruises as well as the number one brand for the German market AIDA Cruises and Iberocruceros, which operates mainly for the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking markets) has continued to develop its ambitious investment plan for the expansion of the fleet. The most recent new building was announced only a few weeks ago with a total outlay now worth over 9.6 billion Euros. The Group recently commissioned the German shipyard Meyer Werft to build a new ship for the AIDA Cruises brand, a 71,300 gross tonnage liner with 2,192 total guests, which will be ready for service in 2013. By virtue of this further addition and based on the current size of the fleet, in three years’ time the Costa Crociere S.p.A. Group will comprise some 30 ships.

Costa Cruises is Italy’s largest tourism group and Europe’s Number One Cruise Line. For more than 60 years its ships have sailed the seas of the world, offering the best in Italian style, hospitality and cuisine and providing dream vacations filled with fun and relaxation. The company’s 14 fleet members, each with her own distinctive characteristics and unique style, all fly the Italian flag and sail each year to 250 destinations in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Baltic Sea, the Caribbean, Canada/New England, South America, the United Arab Emirates, the Far East and the Indian Ocean. Two more new ships are due to enter service by 2012. For more information on Costa Cruises or to make reservations, please contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit

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Circle Australia Adventure: 30 Amazing Days Aboard Silver Shadow

Outback, Great Barrier Reef, koalas, emus, wombats and wallabies--the places and words that conjure up images of adventure, romance and the exotic are all on the menu for guests sailing aboard Silversea's first-ever voyage to completely circumnavigate Australia. Next year, Silver Shadow will sail on a 30-day, Sydney-to-Sydney voyage. From Jan 19 to Feb 18, the 382-guest, ultra-luxury ship will follow a counterclockwise course around the vast island continent with calls in Brisbane, Whitsunday Islands, Port Douglas, Cooktown, Darwin, Broome, Exmouth, Perth, Albany, Port Lincoln, Adelaide, Geelong, Melbourne, and Hobart (Tasmania).

"It's not often you have the chance to explore an entire continent on one voyage," said Steve Tucker, Silversea's vice president of field sales for North America. "This itinerary will hold great appeal for those who seek unique travel experiences off the beaten path."

Throughout this special voyage, guests will enjoy an exciting enrichment program, headlined by distinguished speakers from the worlds of film, art, nature, academia, winemaking and cuisine:

· Prof. Geoffrey Blainey, one of Australia's best-known historians and commentators, will share his interesting perspectives on the Sydney-to-Darwin segment, Jan 19 to 29;
· Mathew Macartney, executive chef of the Yarra Valley's famed Chateau Yering (a Relais & Châteaux member property), will join the ship Jan 25 to 29, Port Douglas to Darwin, to host culinary presentations;
· Prof. Craig Franklin, professor of zoology at the University of Queensland, will discuss Australian marine wildlife, Jan 29 to Feb 11, Darwin to Adelaide;
· Noel Miller, artist renowned for his landscapes of the Australian outback, will discuss Aboriginal art, Jan 29 to Feb 11, Darwin to Adelaide;
· Lyn Farmer, wine consultant for Silversea and James Beard Foundation Award-winning wine and food writer, will share his expertise, Darwin to Port Lincoln, Jan 29 to Feb 10;
· Jamie Sach, chief spokesperson for the iconic Penfolds Wines, will share his extensive knowledge of the wine industry, Feb 6 to 10, Perth to Port Lincoln;
· Simon Johnson, epicurean expert, will provide insight into Australia's rich abundance of artisan produce, Feb 11 to 14, Adelaide to Melbourne;
· George Francisco, executive chef of Jonah's, one of Australia's oldest and most respected hospitality establishments and a Relais & Châteaux member property, will present cooking demonstrations, Feb 13 to 18, Geelong to Sydney;
· John Stainton, the director and producer who directed all of naturalist Steve Irwin's documentaries, will lecture on Australian film, Feb 14 to 18, Melbourne to Sydney;
· Dr. Mark Elovitz, government advisor, historian and director of the Center for Strategic Geopolitics, will share his insights into world affairs throughout the 30-day voyage;
· Ian Denton, a native Australian and world explorer, will also be on board the entire voyage to host lectures as Silversea's destination consultant.

And to further showcase the region's intriguing cultures, dramatic natural beauty and exotic wildlife, the line is offering two new optional mid-voyage excursions:

** "Kangaroo Island Luxury Eco Expedition": Widely regarded as Australia's Galapagos, Kangaroo Island is brimming with diverse wildlife and natural beauty. Enjoy luxurious accommodation at the South Ocean Lodge and a staff of naturalist guides to lead your exploration of the island's unique attractions. Memorable sightings might include kangaroos, rare Cape Barron Geese, koalas and sea lions. This 3-day adventure is offered from Adelaide. Rejoin ship in Melbourne.
** "Australian Frontiers & Train Journey": Discover the heart of the Australian outback by rail aboard the glamorous Indian Pacific train as you watch unique landscapes unfold. Visit the opal-mining town of Coober Pedy, then travel to Adelaide to enjoy a culinary and wine adventure that takes in the famous Barossa Valley. This 6-day adventure is offered from Fremantle (Perth). Rejoin ship in Adelaide.

Aboard the elegant Silver Shadow, guests will enjoy a crew-to-guest ratio of nearly one to one, an all-inclusive policy that includes a premium assortment of wines and spirits, impeccable service from a courteous and efficient staff, and luxurious onboard amenities. The ship's all-suite accommodations include ocean views, butler service, 24-hour room service; and fine dining features signature dishes by Relais & Châteaux. Silver Savings fares for this special 30-day Australia voyage are available.
The optional mid-voyage land programs feature deluxe accommodations (if overnight stays are required), all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing and some meals.

Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard its intimate, all-suite vessels: Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper and Silver Spirit -- all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. With the inclusion of the regal expedition ship Prince Albert II, the company's itineraries encompass all seven continents. For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent or visit

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Princess Cruises Reveals 2011-12 Panama Canal Season

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Sept 2: Since its debut nearly a century ago, the Panama Canal has been considered one of the world’s most important engineering marvels. This 51-mile passageway between oceans can save a ship more than 7,000 transit miles around South America, and never ceases to amaze cruise passengers. Princess Cruises’ ships have long offered a front-row view of the Panama Canal, and in 2011-12 the line will offer 38 cruises to this signature destination, with five different itinerary options.

The Panama Canal’s history adds to its status as a “must see” destination. The single most expensive construction project in United States history at the time, “big ditch” took more than 30 years to build at a cost of about $375 million. The Canal’s lengthy history included construction efforts by two different nations and the creation of an independent Panama. In total, Canal construction involved as many as 80,000 workers and the excavation of around 268,000,000 cubic yards of earth. Today the Canal offers passage to approximately 14,000 ships a year. Princess passengers sailing the Canal will enjoy the amenities of two vessels specifically built for Panama Canal cruising – Coral Princess and Island Princess. The sides of these ships just clear the massive locks that use an average of 52 million gallons of water in each chamber as they eventually lift and lower vessels a total of 170 feet as they pass from the Caribbean to the Pacific during the nine-hour transit.

“Our ships have been transiting the Panama Canal for more than 40 years and, in fact, we even christened Coral Princess as it moved through the Canal,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “There really is no better way to watch the fascinating process as the ship transits each lock than from the decks of our ships – it’s an exceptional way to experience this wonder of engineering.”

Princess’ unique Two-day Canal Experience, available on many longer sailings, combines a full transit of the Canal, including the Miraflores, Pedro Miguel and Gatun Locks, with a second day in Panama at Fuerte Amador. This extra day gives travelers time to explore Panama further with excursions such as riding the Panama Canal Railway, exploring a rainforest, visiting an authentic Embera Indian village or touring bustling Panama City.

Beyond the Panama Canal, these itineraries offer calls in Caribbean Islands, Mexican Riviera resort towns, and a number of intriguing ports in Central America. In Costa Rica, passengers will discover a land of tropical rain forests, lush coffee plantations and white sand coastlines set against a backdrop of majestic mountains. In San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, this scenic fishing village offers beautiful white-sand beaches and ecological richness, while the nearby city of Granada is the oldest city in Central America.

Panama Canal itineraries include:

Panama Canal Two-Day Experience Cruises – Coral Princess and Island Princess will feature three itineraries offering Princess’ Two-Day Canal Experience – a full Panama Canal transit combined with a full day at Fuerte Amador on the Pacific side of Panama. The 14-day itinerary sails between Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles with calls at Aruba, Cartagena, and Puntarenas (Costa Rica) in addition to the Two-Day Canal Experience. A 15-day option offers an additional call in Puerto Quetzal (Guatemala). And another 15-day option sails from San Francisco to Ft. Lauderdale with calls at Cabo San Lucas, Puntarenas (Costa Rica), Cartagena, and Aruba. Sailings on these itineraries depart between Sept 25, 2011 and April 27, 2012. Coral Princess and Island Princess also offer longer Grand Adventures of 17, 18 and 19 days, sailing to and from Vancouver.

Full Panama Canal Transit Sailings – A new 14-day itinerary between Los Angeles and Ft Lauderdale, offering a full Panama Canal transit plus visits to Cabo San Lucas, San Juan del Sur (Nicaragua), Puntarenas (Costa Rica), Cartagena and Aruba. Coral Princess offers four sailings on this route, with departures on October 25, November 8, 2011, Feb 28, and March 13, 2012.

Roundtrip Panama Canal Cruises – Island Princess will sail on this classic 10-day roundtrip itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale, which offers a partial Panama Canal transit to Gatun Lake followed by a call in Colon, plus calls in the Caribbean ports of Aruba, Cartagena, Limon (Costa Rica), and Grand Cayman or Ocho Rios. The ship offers 20 departures between Oct 10, 2011 and April 17, 2012.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Carnival Inspiration Repositions to Long Beach, Carnival Paradise to Tampa in Fall 2011

MIAMI, Sept 2: Carnival Cruise Lines has announced two exciting year-round homeport deployments for fall 2011, with the 2,052-passenger Carnival Inspiration repositioning to Long Beach, Calif., for 3- and 4-day Baja departures and the 2,052-passenger Carnival Paradise to Tampa, Fla., on 4- and 5-day Caribbean voyages. Carnival Inspiration is currently based in Tampa while Carnival Paradise operates from Long Beach.

To reposition to their new homeports, each ship will offer a 14-day Panama Canal voyage that will provide consumers with a highly attractive longer length “Fun Ship” cruise option, as well as the unforgettable experience of transiting the Panama Canal. Carnival Paradise Panama Canal cruise will sail from Long Beach to Tampa departing Nov. 28, 2011, while Carnival Inspiration Panama Canal voyage will depart Dec. 3, 2011, and operate from Tampa to Long Beach.

These voyages will be highlighted by the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of transiting the Panama Canal, one of the great technological achievements of the 20th century, where ships are raised 85 feet in the air via a series of three locks and then gently lowered back again. The transit also includes the crossing of 163-square-mile Gatun Lake, the world’s largest man-made lake, which is surrounded by a variety of native tropical foliage and interesting sites. Each voyage will also feature visits to five magnificent ports of call: Cabo San Lucas and Acapulco, Mexico; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Cartagena, Colombia; and George Town, Grand Cayman.

Cabo San Lucas is a world-class resort destination distinguished by rugged rock formations, lush landscape and gorgeous beaches. Known for its death-defying cliff divers, Acapulco boasts excellent beaches, and a variety of fine restaurants and shops. Located on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, Puntarenas is a tropical paradise with beautiful beaches and an abundance of wildlife and eco-tourism opportunities. Cartagena features centuries-old architecture and historical sites, including a colonial walled city and fortress designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The capital of the Cayman Islands, George Town offers outstanding duty-free bargains as well as world-renowned Seven Mile Beach.

Carnival Inspiration to Long Beach
Carnival Inspiration will bring an exciting new dimension to West Coast cruising when it launches year-round 3- and 4-day Baja cruises from Long Beach Dec. 19, 2011. On this route, 3-day cruises depart Fridays and visit Ensenada while 4-day voyages depart Mondays and call at both Ensenada and Catalina Island. The ship will operate a special one-time 2-day cruise to Ensenada Dec. 17-19, 2011.

Carnival Inspiration was the first ship to undergo the line’s extensive “Evolutions of Fun” refurbishment and includes a WaterWorks aqua park with a 300-foot-long Twister water slide, a tropical resort-style main pool area, and an exclusive adults-only retreat.

Carnival Paradise to Tampa
In turn, Carnival Paradise will assume Carnival Inspiration’s popular year-round 4- and 5-day western Caribbean cruise schedule from Tampa beginning Dec. 12, 2011. On this route, Carnival Paradise will depart Thursdays on 4-day cruises to Cozumel and on Mondays and Saturdays on 5-day voyages to Cozumel and Grand Cayman.

Carnival Paradise offers a distinctive décor with dramatic public spaces that pay homage to great ocean liners of the past, with memorable venues such as the Queen Mary Lounge, Normandie Theater, and Rotterdam Bar. The ship also offers Serenity, an exclusive adults-only retreat.

Reservations are currently being accepted for the new schedules of the Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Paradise as well as the 14-day Panama Canal cruises. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Oceania Cruises Reveals Recreation Facilities For Their New Marina

Miami, Sept 2: When she debuts in January 2011, Oceania Cruises’ 1,250-guest Marina will feature state-of-the-art recreational offerings designed to appeal to today’s baby boomers and active seniors.

“We excel at providing the finest cuisine, comfort and service at sea,” stated Bob Binder, Oceania Cruises’ president. “Our guests like to strike a balance between fine dining, fascinating ports, health and fitness and put these facilities at the top of their wish lists. Marina has been built with their needs and wants in mind.”

Oceania Cruises’ new Marina is being constructed with a variety of innovative options for keeping fit. High atop the ship guests can enjoy a golf-putting course offering a combined 18 holes of play. Golfers can tweak their swing in caged driving ranges, which flank a full-size, enclosed paddle-tennis court that is illuminated for nighttime play. The Portside Green will be home to croquet and bocce tournaments, while a shuffleboard court is situated starboard. A fitness track wraps the Marina funnel, affording panoramic views and refreshing breezes when walking or jogging.

The fitness center onboard Marina is part of the Canyon Ranch SpaClub® and will feature a full circuit of Technogym strength-training machines, cardiovascular equipment with heart-rate monitoring and individual LCD TV screens, and a free-weight area. The SpaClub also offers a designated area for abdominals and stretching, as well as group and private yoga, aerobics, Pilates, spinning and tai chi classes.

The heart of the ship’s recreational offerings is without question the stunning swimming pool which also features two adjoining whirlpool spas. The Patio and Sanctuary are shaded on-deck lounges with walls of glass overlooking the sea and pool deck. Plush seating areas and Balinese day beds create chic, serene environ for relaxation.

Guests in Marina’s highest-category accommodations–Owner’s and Vista suites–enjoy the luxury of en suite fitness rooms so they never have to leave their opulent surroundings.

To learn more about the recreational facilities and amenities onboard Marina, contact a travel professional, visit or call toll-free at 800-531-5658.

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Carnival’s Cruise Ship–Themed Exhibit Sets Sail At Miami Children’s Museum
With A Host Of New Hands-On Activities

MIAMI, Sept 2: In a nod to maritime tradition, Miami Children’s Museum and Carnival Cruise Lines has uncorked a confetti-filled bottle to launch a redesigned cruise ship–shaped exhibit where kids can sail on a sea of discovery and learn the secrets behind one of South Florida’s leading industries. The two-level 1,850-square-foot exhibit, the country’s only cruise-themed children’s museum attraction, has been completely renovated and now offers a host of new hands-on, interactive activities that promise oceans of fun while educating kids about seagoing travel and maritime careers.

New features on the exhibit’s first level include Puppet Ship Theater, where kids can learn about different maritime careers while putting on a puppet show with a cast of miniature captains, engineers, chefs and other shipboard personnel. Young visitors also have their moment in the spotlight dressing up and performing as Carnival entertainers with dazzling, sequin-festooned costumes.

A new “What You Can Do On A Cruise” activity includes spinning and matching games that teach kids about the variety of fun on-board happenings as well as sights they might see along the way. Positioned in the “bow” of the ship-shaped exhibit is a cozy seating area where kids and parents can read a book or enjoy a quiet activity. Also located throughout the first level are hands-on tabletop activities and games, interactive wall bubbles and “fun facts” about the Carnival vacation experience and what shipboard life is like.

The exhibit’s second level, which replicates the equipment and technology found on a cruise ship bridge, is just as engaging. Here, children can plot a course in the Caribbean with authentic maps and charts, and listen to actual recordings of officers, harbor pilots and quartermasters as they bring a vessel into port.

Kids can also see “how low can they go” with a fun limbo exercise, create their own Calypso music with bongos and steel drums that are typically associated with a “fun in the sun” Caribbean cruise or learn about shipbuilding through fun, interactive puzzles. Appropriately, the second level bridge overlooks an adjacent exhibit which replicates the Port of Miami.

Carnival partnered with Atlanta-based Purpose Studios to completely renovate, redesign and re-engineer the exhibit to offer a more nautical feel with teak-like flooring, ship railings, portholes and other design elements. The renovation also includes dramatic lighting effects and a colorful mural that re-creates the vantage point of a cruise ship on the ocean, depicting a sea of aqua-blue waters and a Carnival ship on the horizon. Carnival’s exhibit debuted in conjunction with the Miami Children’s Museum’s Watson Island grand opening in 2003 and over the past seven years thousands of kids have learned about cruising and maritime careers interacting with the ship-shaped attraction.

“This exhibit embodies the museum’s mission of making learning fun by allowing kids to immerse themselves in the world of cruising and discover the important role the maritime industry plays here in South Florida,” said Jim Berra, Carnival’s chief marketing officer. “And on a personal note, the Miami Children’s Museum is one of my family’s favorite places to beat the heat during the summer.”

The updated Carnival exhibit is one of 14 fun-filled galleries at the Miami Children’s Museum, located at 980 MacArthur Causeway on Watson Island in Miami. Entrance to the exhibit is included with each regular admission to the museum. Admission is $15 for adults and children, $12 for Florida residents, free for children under 1 year old and admission for museum members is complimentary. For more information contact the Museum at 305/373-KIDS (5437) or visit

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The ABCs of Hurricane Coverage From

WARWICK, R.I., Sept 2: As Hurricane Earl advances on the U.S. East Coast with Tropical Storm Fiona nipping at its heels, the alphabetical progression of the 2010 Hurricane Season continues to forge ahead one orderly letter at a time. But as Shakespeare once said, 'What's in a name?'

"When it comes to hurricanes, just about everything," says Jim Grace, President and CEO of "Trip cancellation and interruption protection is based on the occurrence of unforeseen events so once a storm has been publicly identified, it can only spell trouble for travelers without insurance protection. You need to purchase travel insurance coverage before a storm is predicted and named, not when it's bearing down on you or your intended destination."

The key is to plan ahead. Will you be traveling through or to a hurricane-prone region? Do you live in a hurricane zone where weather could prevent you from taking a trip to somewhere else? "Travel insurance provides undeniable peace of mind protection," says Grace, "but more importantly when it comes to tropical storms and hurricanes, it is a fundamental necessity."

Not all travel insurance policies are created equally. Coverage for weather-related trip cancellations and interruptions differs by insurance company and plan. The covered cancellation reasons can include:

-- Cancellation due to Weather: when common carriers such as airlines and cruise lines cease service due to weather
-- Cancellation due to Hurricane Warning: cancellation of your trip if your destination is under a NOAA-issued hurricane warning
-- Destination made Uninhabitable: if your hotel, resort, or vacation rental is devastated by a storm
-- Primary Residence made Uninhabitable: if your own home sustains destructive storm damage
-- Cancel For Any Reason- an optional benefit that allows you to choose whether or not to cancel.

To learn more about the protection plans that best suit your travel needs, visit online or call (800) 487-4722 to speak with a licensed travel insurance professional. Whether you simply need one question answered or want step-by-step assistance selecting a travel insurance policy, InsureMyTrip's expert Customer Care representatives are available to help seven days a week, 365 days a year.

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Her Majesty the Queen to Name Queen Elizabeth

Sept 1: Cunard Line is pleased to announce that Her Majesty The Queen will name the company’s new Queen Elizabeth, the third Cunard ship to bear the name, at a ceremony to take place in Southampton, England on Monday, Oct 11, 2010. Queen Elizabeth will set sail on her Maiden Voyage the following day. The naming will be a milestone in British maritime history and will be a major event of worldwide interest.

“The naming of a Cunard Queen is a very special occasion and this will be an historic event in the true sense of the word,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “The Queen launched Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1967 and named our current flagship, Queen Mary 2, in 2004. We are both honored and proud that Her Majesty will name our new liner, Queen Elizabeth,” added Shanks.

Other historic namings of Cunard ships by British royalty over the Line’s 170-year history include the following:

• Her Majesty was present at the age of 12 at the launch of the first Queen Elizabeth on 27 September 1938 when she accompanied her mother, Queen Elizabeth, to Clydebank for the launch.
• Her Majesty The Queen, as Princess Elizabeth, launched Caronia, the ‘Green Goddess,’ in 1947.
Her Majesty Queen Mary, wife of King George V, launched Queen Mary in 1934, and in so doing became the first British Monarch ever to launch a merchant ship. His Majesty King George V accompanied his wife.
The late Queen Mother, as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, launched Queen Elizabeth in 1938. Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret accompanied their mother.
HRH The Princess Margaret launched Carinthia in 1955.
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall named Queen Victoria in Southampton in December 2007. HRH The Prince of Wales was also in attendance.

For more information and to book a voyage aboard Queen Elizabeth, consult your Travel Agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD (1-800-728-6273) or go to

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Azamara Club Cruises to Deliver the Splendor of the British Isles & Norwegian Coast in 2011

MIAMI, Sept 1: Azamara Club Cruises will span the breathtaking Norwegian Coast, diverse Icelandic landscapes, and charming British Isles on two unique voyages in summer 2011. Up-market travelers can choose among two remarkable voyages, departing from Copenhagen on August 17 or from Dublin on August 29, 2011, which sail to compelling destinations and enjoy extraordinary service aboard the European boutique hotel-style ship, Azamara Journey. Travelers also can take advantage of early booking values in 2010 for these two voyages, which offer 2-for-1 cruise fares, included gratuities, 50-percent rates on Azamara Land Discoveries shore excursions, and up to $2,000 savings per couple.

“Up-market travelers are looking for unique destinations and immersive experiences, and Azamara Club Cruises uniquely delivers them on our remarkable voyages,” said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “Onboard, guests enjoy fine dining and more inclusive amenities, while visiting some destinations that larger ships cannot manage. Our voyages offer guests the opportunity for even more immersive experiences at culture-rich destinations, a hallmark of our cruise line, and Azamara Journey will feature overnight stays in Reykjavik, Bordeaux and Lisbon on these itineraries.”

Departing from Copenhagen, Denmark, the intimate, 694-guest Azamara Journey, will sail on a 12-night Iceland and Norwegian Fjords voyage on Aug 17, 2011. The ship will feature an overnight stay in Reykjavik, and include calls at Bergen and Geiranger in Norway; Lerwick/Shetland, Scotland; Akureyri, Iceland; and Torshavn in the Faroe Islands before arriving in Dublin on August 29, 2011. Azamara Journey also will offer a 10-night voyage departing Dublin Port on Aug 29, 2011, featuring two days in Bordeaux, France, and Lisbon, Portugal, as well as call at Holyhead, Wales; Cork/Cobh, Ireland; and Bilbao, Gijon and Vigo in Spain.

Guests aboard Azamara Journey enjoy the cruise line’s extraordinary signature service and more inclusive amenities, such as included gratuities for housekeeping, dining and bar staff; complimentary bottled water, sodas, specialty coffee, and teas, as well as complimentary boutique red and white wines to accompany lunch and dinner; English Butler service for suite guests; and shuttle bus to/from port communities where available. Azamara Club Cruises is a destination-immersive cruise line for up-market travelers who want to not only see the places and cultures they visit, but to live them. Azamara’s two intimate, 694-guest ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, with a combination of 347 suites and staterooms, offer a European boutique-hotel ambience with extraordinary service, fine cuisine and wines from around the world, and wellness and vitality programs, all while sailing to a host of destinations larger ships cannot reach.For more information, consumers can call their travel professional, dial 1-877-999-9553, or visit the Azamara Club Cruises web site at

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New Seabourn Journeys for 2011 Sojourn World Cruise

MIAMI, Sept 1: The Yachts of Seabourn is offering seven new optional Seabourn Journeys to guests aboard Seabourn Sojourn during its 111-day Maiden World Cruise in 2011. The adventurous, multi-day packages will explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites, landmark monuments and more, such as India’s famous Taj Mahal and the magnificent Leshan Gian Buddha in China. These tours will provide an in-depth travel experience of each destination and will enhance guests’ memories as they travel around the world. All Seabourn Journeys packages are fully escorted, and include deluxe hotel accommodations, transportation, some meals and guided tours.

“Seabourn Sojourn will visit 49 ports during her maiden world cruise,” said Pamela C. Conover, Seabourn’s President and CEO. “But there are still other sites that travelers should see when they travel around the world, so we are pleased to offer these exhilarating options to our guests,” she continued. “From Australia’s wine country to one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites in Angkor, our Seabourn Journeys will take guests to seven more inland jewels in seamless Seabourn style.”

Highlights of the 2011 World Cruise Seabourn Journeys include:

-- Spectacular Queenstown & Mt. Cook National Park, Jan 25–28, 2011; Auckland to Akaroa, New Zealand. This 3-night overland adventure introduces guests to the spectacular sights of UNESCO’s Southwest New Zealand World Heritage Site and Mount Cook National Park, where they will discover the scenic wonderland of the majestic Southern Alps, tranquil lakes and imposing glaciers. Guests will fly to the “adventure capital of the world,” Queenstown, and experience an exciting jet boat excursion through the impressive Shotover Gorge.
-- Barossa Vintages & Australia’s Red Center, Feb 10–14, 2011; Adelaide to Freemantle, Australia. Oenophiles who are fans of big, bold, full-bodied shirazes and cabernet sauvignons will enjoy a one-night trip to Barossa Valley, the jewel of Australia's wine country. Then it’s on to the Outback, where guests will spend two nights in a luxury tent at an eco-sensitive wilderness camp and witness the beautiful, vibrant hues of the rising and setting sun reflecting on Uluru (Ayers Rock), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests will also feast on sumptuous outback fare and discover the wonders of the southern night sky.
-- Chengdu’s Giant Panda Discovery, Feb 25–March 1, 2011; Hong Kong, China to Cai Lan, Vietnam. On this exclusive 4-night Seabourn Overland Journey, guests will visit the Chengdu Panda Base to see giant pandas, a Chinese national treasure and beloved worldwide. Chengdu is home to the Leshan Giant Buddha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest stone Buddha in the world. Following Chengdu, guests will spend a day in Hanoi, Vietnam, before re-joining Sojourn in Cai Lan.
-- The Khmer Temples of Angkor, March 5–March 7, 2011; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Sihanoukville, Cambodia. During this 2-night journey, guests will travel to Cambodia to explore the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor, a sprawling, ornately carved complex of temples, towers and Hindu paintings that is unquestionably one of the world's greatest archaeological sites.
-- Chiang Rai & the Hill Tribes of Thailand, March 9-12, 2011; Laem Chabang, Thailand to Singapore. Travelers will explore the Golden Triangle, a picture-perfect vision of verdant Thai rice terraces and orchid-clad hillsides where the borders of Thailand, Burma and Laos meet. The area is ripe with ancient temples, ruins, art and local cultures, and guests will mingle with the local tribes to learn their way of life in this alluring region during this 3-night excursion.
-- Monumental Love: The Taj Mahal, March 19-22, 2011; Cochin to Mumbai, India. Built by Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan as a tribute to his wife, Queen Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is the greatest monument to love the world has ever known. This 2-night excursion will visit Agra, the Red Fort and the exquisite Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
-- Luxor & the Valley of the Kings, April 4–5, 2011; Safaga, Egypt. From the Temple of Luxor in ancient Thebes to the Valley of the Kings, guests will survey most of Egypt’s desert UNESCO World Heritage Site during this overnight tour. The magnificent Luxor and Karnak Temples are explored and guests journey across the Nile River to the Necropolis, where among long-hidden tombs, guests will marvel at the sophisticated sculpture, colorful depictions of everyday life and the pantheon of gods and goddesses worshipped by the early Egyptians.

On Jan. 5, 2011, Seabourn Sojourn will embark on a world cruise from Los Angeles to London, visiting 49 ports via the South Pacific, New Zealand, around Western Australia, Indonesia and Southeast Asia, India, Arabia and the Mediterranean. Fares for the full 111-day world cruise include many valuable bonus benefits and amenities, such as a pre-cruise Bon Voyage event with dinner and luxury overnight in Los Angeles, numerous special shoreside events and exclusive complimentary shore excursions, Personal Valet luggage shipping service, and shipboard credits of $2,500 per guest. Gala onboard celebrations and special gifts will also be offered to guests during the voyage. For travelers who cannot sail on the entire world cruise, shorter segments from 16 to 69 days are available, several of which also offer value-added benefits. For more information, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Jillian Michaels Ultimate Wellness Cruise Announces New Trainers, Comedians,
Music & More Entertainment

ATLANTA, GA: The Jillian Michaels Ultimate Wellness Cruise, sailing October 21-25 on Norwegian Star, will not be "all work, no play." As Jillian says in a video message to fans, it is both a family cruise and a cruise for single travelers: there is something for everyone and anyone. The cruise will feature friendly competitions, workouts, speaking engagements, and entertainment; it is about rebooting, having fun, and learning to live well.

In preparation for the cruise, Jillian handpicked some of the best trainers, experts, and performers to join her. Leading onboard workouts are Jeanette Jenkins, president of The Hollywood Trainer and creator of Bikini Bootcamp; Steve Lee, who has conditioned martial artists, boxers, firefighters, and celebrities; Marco Borges, world-renowned exercise physiologist and author; Heidi Rhoades, Los Angeles yoga instructor; Madelene Karlsson, sports and fitness trainer; and celebrity trainer and fitness expert Basheerah Ahmad. HOPSports and NFL Play 60 are also joining the cruise to provide active entertainment for children, helping them create a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

For information on healthy living, guests will hear from internist and endocrinologist Katja Von Herle, MD, MSPH; psychotherapist Jo Ann McKarus; and aesthetician and green beauty expert Paige Padgett. When guests are ready to kick back, they can enjoy tunes spun by Michigan-based DJ Jenna Brown, Latin-Urban DJ Frankie Needles, Atlanta-based seventies throwback Yacht Rock Revue, and comedian Howard Kremer, whose half-hour special is currently running on Comedy Central.

Guests will have plenty of activities to choose from while on board Jillian Michaels Ultimate Wellness Cruise, and even during their stop at Great Stirrup Cay, guests can join a group workout. Jillian will take a photo with each guest as they board; guests will each get a group workout with Jillian and a seat for one of her speaking engagements.

For information on booking the cruise, check out Prices start at just $699 per person, and solo travelers are welcome.

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