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Cruise News
September 1-30, 2011

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

Princess Cruises 2012 Europe Program is Company’s Largest Ever

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Sept 29: Whether it’s the timeless cities of the Mediterranean, the splendor of Scandinavia and Russia or the intriguing ports of the continent’s northern reaches, Princess Cruises passengers may have a hard time choosing from among next summer’s array of Europe sailings. In 2012, the line will offer more itineraries and capacity than ever before. The season features seven ships sailing on 57 itineraries to 116 destinations, with more than 125 departures between April and December. Highlights of the program include the European debut of Caribbean Princess, which brings additional capacity to the region, and a new 14-day Baltic Heritage itinerary offering more time to explore the fascinating ports of Scandinavia and Russia.

In addition, Princess sailings continue to give passengers extra time in fascinating ports throughout Europe, with 2-day experiences in Istanbul, St. Petersburg, Egypt, and Israel. Especially popular are the overnight stays in one of the continent’s most sought-after destinations, Venice, on all 12-day Mediterranean and Greek Isles cruises. Two new ports will debut during the season – the beautiful island of Korcula, Croatia, the reputed birthplace of explorer Marco Polo; and Nessebar, Bulgaria, a UNESCO World Heritage Site because its ancient city is a unique example of a synthesis of numerous civilizations with important Greek and Byzantine ruins.

“The vast diversity of attractions in Europe, from the ancient ruins of Rome, to the imperial splendor of Russia, fascinating modern cities and a variety of important UNESCO World Heritage sites, has inspired our growing collection of intriguing cruise options,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “And our passengers have the opportunity to choose from a variety of ships, from our intimate small ships to the largest amenity-filled vessels.”

The 2012 Europe program features:
-- Ruby Princess returns to again offer the line’s signature 12-day Grand Mediterranean itinerary and Greek Isles routes.
-- Crown Princess also cruises the Mediterranean, taking over the 12-day Egypt, Greek Isles and Mediterranean itineraries.
-- Emerald Princess again offers the best of Scandinavia and Russia including Princess’ signature two-day experience in St. Petersburg.
-- Caribbean Princess takes over British Isles sailings, as well as voyages to Norway and Iceland.
-- Grand Princess sails from London to the Mediterranean, as well as on Northern Europe voyages.
The intimate Ocean Princess offers a variety of 7-day Interlude itineraries that can be combined into 14-day or longer voyages, giving passengers the opportunity to explore boutique ports.
-- Small ship Pacific Princess sails to the Holy Land and Black Sea, and offers experiences in classic destinations such as Egypt, Israel, Ukraine, Greece, and Turkey.

Mediterranean, Greek Isles & Holy Land – Five ships will sail throughout the sunny waters of the Mediterranean, offering voyages from seven to 30 days to historic cities, Greek islands, the Holy Land and Egypt. Both Ruby Princess and Crown Princess will offer the line’s signature Grand Mediterranean and Greek Isles itineraries, as well as Egypt & Aegean sailings, and Grand Princess sails to the region from London, giving passengers more than 25 different itinerary options to choose from in the Mediterranean. A variety of itineraries aboard Ocean Princess and Pacific Princess will provide small-ship sailing options in the region as well.

Scandinavia, Russia & Norway – Emerald Princess returns to the Baltic region for the line’s popular 11-day sailings from Copenhagen. In addition, Grand Princess debuts a new Baltic Heritage route sailing roundtrip from London and including calls at Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Gdansk and Oslo. Together with sailings to the spectacular Norwegian Fjords, four Princess ships offer eight itineraries options in the region.

British Isles, Iceland & Canary Islands – The British Isles, the northern reaches of Iceland, Norway and Greenland, and even the Canary Islands round out Princess’ Europe itinerary options. The lineup includes sailings from London ports aboard Caribbean Princess, Grand Princess and Ocean Princess, as well as adventurous ocean crossings, for a choice of more than 10 itinerary options ranging from 8- to 1- days.

Europe is one of the most popular regions featured on the Princess Cruises blog, “50 Essential Experiences: The Travel Bucket List.” Travel stories from Princess destination experts include inspiring stories about Prague, Amsterdam, Athens, Belgium, London, Ireland, Berlin, Paris, St. Petersburg, Istanbul, Normandy, Santiago de Compostella, Venice, Israel, the Grand Tour of the Mediterranean, Iceland, Scotland, Petra, and Santorini. 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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Oceania Cruises’ New ‘Riviera’ to Feature GLamorouse Suites & Staterooms

Miami, Sept 28: Oceania Cruises’ new Riviera – launching in April 2012 – will offer custom-crafted accommodations that are reminiscent of an elegantly appointed private residence. The ship’s 625 staterooms and suites are among the most spacious at sea. A spacious 282 square feet, Veranda and Concierge-level staterooms on Riviera feature a sitting area and balcony furnished with a chaise lounge, armchair, and occasional table.

“Riviera and her sister ship Marina have been designed specifically for the upper-premium market,” stated Bruce J. Himelstein, Oceania Cruises’ president. “The attention to detail is evident from the moment guests embark. Nothing has been overlooked. Quite simply, from a design perspective, these ships are without peer in the industry.”

Spacious and Stunning Suites
Penthouse Suites measure a class-leading 420 square feet with living/dining room separate from the sleeping area, walk-in closet and bathrooms with a double vanity.

Oceania Suites are 1,030 square feet of luxurious living area. The layout is comprised of a large living and dining area, media room and separate bedroom. As a highlight, the large veranda features a hot tub and flat-panel TV.

Vista Suites range in size from 1,200 to 1,500 square feet and offer the same features as Oceania Suites but with the added benefit of floor-to-ceiling windows affording sweeping views over the ship’s bow.

Owner’s Suites offer 2,000+ square feet of luxury unlike any suites at sea. The suites are completely appointed from furniture and fabrics to lighting and bedding using the acclaimed Ralph Lauren Home collection.

“The Owner’s Suites on Riviera and Marina can best be described as glamorous,” according to Himelstein. “Guests universally say ‘wow’ upon entering the foyer, with its baby grand piano, wet bar, domed ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows.”

In addition to the standard stateroom amenities, suite guests enjoy the added luxury of Champagne upon arrival, 1,000-thread-count linens, 42” plasma TV, Hermès and Clarins bath amenities, butler service, and in-suite delivery from any of the ship’s restaurants.

Other stateroom amenities include a flat-panel TV, lap-top computer with wireless access, refrigerated mini bar, security safe, writing desk, plush terry robes, bed slippers, and an oversized marble and granite bathroom. In fact, most staterooms feature a separate tub and shower, a rarity among upper-premium cruise ships.

Casual Elegance Meets High Style
Oceania Cruises’ 1,250-guest Riviera has been designed for epicureans and features 10 dining venues, six of which are open-seating, gourmet restaurants, including a French bistro by Master Chef Jacques Pépin. Facilities also include a Canyon Ranch SpaClub® and Bon Appétit Culinary Center and Artist Loft enrichment center. Interior design highlights include a Lalique-designed grand staircase, elegant public rooms, Owner’s Suites furnished exclusively in Ralph Lauren Home and luxury suites by design icon Dakota Jackson. For more information, visit, contact a professional travel agent or call toll-free 800-531-5658.

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Cunard Celebrates Heritage & Legacy of Founder in Halifax

Sept 26: On the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s maiden call to Halifax, Nova Scotia on Sept 25, Cunard Line celebrated the legacy of Sir Samuel Cunard, who hailed from Halifax and established the iconic ocean liner company bearing his name more than 171 years ago. In honor of the maiden visit of Cunard’s newest ocean liner and the recent revitalization of the Halifax Seaport and waterfront, The Halifax Foundation re-dedicated the majestic statue yesterday which had been re-located last year to a more prominent position, adjacent to the Cunard Centre, overlooking the harbor and Georges Island.

On hand to join the festivities were many members of the Paton Family, direct descendants of Samuel Cunard, whose younger members, Geoffrey, age 7; Ben, age 11; and Sam, age 13 cut the commemorative ribbon during the re-dedication. At that moment, Queen Elizabeth sounded her whistle in acknowledgement of the historic occasion. Captain Christopher Wells, master of Queen Elizabeth, and members of the ship’s company joined the re-dedication ceremony on the waterfront. In his remarks Wells said, “The city of Halifax holds unique significance to Cunard Line, and we are proud to join Samuel Cunard’s descendants as we celebrate this special occasion. It is truly gratifying to see this majestic symbol of Samuel Cunard’s legacy take such a prominent position on the waterfront; it stands as a beacon to visitors from all over the globe, which is fitting since Samuel Cunard made far-reaching travel possible for untold millions.”

“Today marks another noteworthy moment for the city of Halifax and the Cunard legacy,” said Alan R. Abraham, vice chairman of The Halifax Foundation. “Five years ago, we celebrated one of Halifax’s finest with a bronze statue of his likeness. We recognize his contributions to the city of Halifax again today and honor him with the re-dedication of his statue.”

In 2006, The Honorable Alan R. Abraham of The Halifax Foundation, along with John Langley, chairman of the Cunard Steamship Society, spearheaded the initiative to create a bronze statue of Sir Samuel Cunard, which was dedicated in October of that year and has presided over Halifax’s waterfront to recognize one of the city’s most famous and influential individuals. The statue depicts Cunard standing beside a ship’s telegraph, symbolic of steamship travel and the company he established.

"Cunard history and heritage is widespread as one might expect after 171 years, and counting. It was here that founder Samuel Cunard was born, later establishing a company which has no equal in the annals of ocean liner history. Today in Halifax was a great day for celebrating the man and his legacy," said John Langley, who is considered to be the foremost expert on the life of Samuel Cunard and who authored his biography, “Steam Lion.”

Prior to her maiden call to Halifax, Queen Elizabeth made her inaugural visit to Boston, before continuing up the eastern seaboard through Maine. She completes her maiden New England & Canadian Adventure voyage with a maiden call to Québec City, Quebec and Cornerbrook, Newfoundland before returning to Southampton, England.

Upon her debut in October 2010, Queen Elizabeth became the third Cunard liner to bear the illustrious “Elizabeth” name. Art Deco features throughout the ship pay homage to the original Queen Elizabeth, reflecting The New Golden Age of Ocean Travel. On board, guests savor the sense of occasion by dressing up for glamorous evenings at Royal Nights themed balls, and enjoy countless offerings and amenities from Champagne Afternoon Tea in the Garden Lounge to an extraordinary dining experience in The Verandah, a contemporary French restaurant that pays tribute to the legendary Verandah Grills aboard the original Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary. For more information about Queen Elizabeth or to book a voyage, consult your travel agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Crystal Guests Get Up Close With Kangaroos, Koalas & Culinary Arts
With New Australian Overland Adventures

LOS ANGELES, Sept 26: Ultra-luxe Crystal Cruises is offering two new four-day overland adventures that intimately explore the unique natural beauty and history of South Australia's picturesque outback and 170 year-old wine country. During Crystal Serenity's February 7 Sydney to Singapore voyage, guests can venture to Kangaroo Island, considered the Galapagos of Australia, or delve into the Flinders Ranges National Park & Barossa Valley wine country. Departing from Adelaide and concluding in Perth, both overland trips allow plenty of time to sightsee in both cities, as well as enjoy the region's indigenous wildlife. Highlights include:

-- Kangaroo Island: An eco-friendly, luxury cliffside lodge serving organic cuisine, plus scouting the bush for wallabies, koalas, fur seals, and sea lions. Prices start at $3,861 per person, double occupancy.
-- The Flinders Ranges & Barossa Valley: Winery tours/tasting in Clare and Barossa Valleys, a traditional Aussie barbeque, and emus, eagles, and kangaroos with Australia's largest mountain range as backdrop. Prices start at $4,029 per person, double occupancy.

The complete itinerary sails from Sydney to Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth/Fremantle, Bali, Semarang, and Singapore, giving a grand tour of major Australian cities and less-visited Crystal ports, with other new excursions offered en route.

Guests who book a verandah stateroom by Oct 31 receive $600 per couple additional savings. 2-for-1 fares include free air from 24 North American cities (or air credit), airport transfers, and $1,000/person "As You Wish" shipboard credit. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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American Safari Cruises’ Safari Endeavour Sails New Baja’s Bounty Itinerary
in Sea of Cortés in 2012/2013

Seattle, WA, Sept 26: The newest addition to the American Safari Cruises fleet, the 86-guest Safari Endeavour, embarks on a new Baja’s Bounty adventure cruise from November 2012 through April 2013. Weeklong expedition cruises sail roundtrip from La Paz, Mexico to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site & Biosphere Reserve. In true expedition style, the itinerary is flexible to ensure maximum opportunities to view the array of wildlife found on land and sea. The cruise explores Isla Espíritu Santo, Isla Partida, Isla San Francisco, Loreto, Isla Coyote and Isla San José. Snorkeling with playful, young sea lions at Los Islotes is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

The region’s culture comes alive on included excursions. A port call in the centuries-old mission town of Loreto includes a guided walking tour exploring the town’s plazas, historical buildings and mission. In Bahia Agua Verde, guided hikes explore the mainland’s canyons and scenic vistas before joining a local ranchero and his family for a shoreside BBQ dinner enlivened with local music and stories. An excursion to the remote island of Isla Coyote visits the twenty members of the Cuevas family who inhabit the island and make their living as fishermen.

“The Sea of Cortés remains a secret oasis perfect for small group exploration by boat,” said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “The intimate size of the Safari Endeavour allows us privileged access to small bays and coves, and combined with our philosophy to be guided by nature, it’s an ideal way to explore the area.”

The remote beauty of Baja, Mexico’s desert landscape amidst a sea teaming with marine life sets the stage for the inclusive cruise full of water sports activities and opportunities to view marine life such as pods of dolphins; sea lions; blue, fin, sei, orca and sperm whales; flying manta rays; blue-footed boobies; brown pelicans and cormorants. A swim step and kayak launch platform on the stern of the ship serves as the hub for guests embarking on water-borne adventures—kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, sailing, snorkeling and small boat adventures. Exhilarating skiff rides to shore transport guests to spectacular desert islands for guided hikes and beachcombing walks led by expert on board expedition leaders. Hikes may traverse a forest of Cardón cactuses or on top of a desert ridge for sweeping views of the Sea of Cortés.

Families with children under 12 can travel together on March 9 and 23 Kids in Nature cruises. Selected to coincide with many spring break dates, families will enjoy activities geared toward kids with varying levels of activity. The emphasis remains on outdoor adventure with on-location learning woven into the day’s activities.

The Safari Endeavour is undergoing extensive renovation to add American Safari Cruises’ exceptional comfort and refined atmosphere on board. Five stateroom categories include three Master, 21 Commander, 12 Captain, three Admiral and four Commodore Suites with step-out balconies. All staterooms have one or two outside view windows. Other new amenities include two massage rooms, two hot tubs, sauna, exercise equipment, a wine bar and a library. An all-American crew of 34 will ensure attentive service with a guest-crew ratio of 2.5 to 1.

For travelers who want to explore the Sea of Cortés this winter, the Safari Quest will sail weeklong Aquarium of the World cruises from Nov 26, 2011 through April 14, 2012. The line’s other yachts include the 12-guest Safari Spirit, 22-guest Safari Quest and 36-guest Safari Explorer. Specializing in active, adventure cruises with flexible itineraries, destinations include Southeast Alaska, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Columbia and Snake Rivers, the Hawaiian Islands and Washington and British Columbia. The Safari Endeavour also sails in Southeast Alaska.

The inclusive cruises include all from-the-yacht activities and equipment; transfers; exquisite meals; fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews; a massage (Safari Endeavour) and all port charges, taxes and fees. To book a yachting adventure or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or American Safari Cruises at 888-862-8881 or email .

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 Queen Elizabeth's Maiden Call to Boston Celebrates Historic Relationship between
Cunard Line & the Port City

Sept 23: Continuing on her maiden New England & Canadian Adventure voyage, Cunard Line’s newest ship, Queen Elizabeth, made her first visit to Boston, Massachusetts yesterday. Welcoming Queen Elizabeth to the historic port were David Mackey, Interim CEO of the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), along with local dignitaries, and port and local tourism officials. As part of the traditional maiden call plaque ceremony, Mackey and Captain Christopher Wells, Master of Queen Elizabeth, presented plaques to each other to commemorate the special day. The city of Boston also holds great historical significance for Cunard Line, being the first U.S. city that the company’s first passenger ship, Britannia, called on at the conclusion of her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England in 1840.

“The Port of Boston is honored to welcome Queen Elizabeth. The cruising industry continues to generate significant economic impact for our region, with more than 7,000 jobs and $429 million in income for Massachusetts in 2010,” said David Mackey. “Cunard Line’s historic ties with the Port of Boston have certainly contributed to these activities, and we look forward to welcoming Queen Elizabeth again on her future voyages.”

Joining the celebration to welcome Cunard’s newest ocean liner was Nancy Haas of Shreve, Crump & Low, America’s oldest and finest jeweler, who presented an exclusive Boston Harbor Bowl to Captain Wells in tribute to Queen Elizabeth’s maiden visit. The jeweler’s historic ties with Cunard date back to 1840 when Shreve, Crump & Low created a 2.5 foot silver cup that was to be presented to Sir Samuel Cunard. The “Boston Cup” went missing and was found in 1967 in an antique store in Maryland. Cunard purchased the cup and later displayed it on board Queen Elizabeth 2, and it now occupies a place of honor on board the line’s flagship Queen Mary 2.

“We are pleased to celebrate our relationship and strong longtime Boston ties with valued port officials, the Coast Guard, the British Consulate and Shreve, Crump & Low, as well as other Bostonians here today. We appreciate their passion about our history and also our future as the youngest fleet at sea,” said Captain Christopher Wells, Master of Queen Elizabeth.

Bostonians share an affinity for Cunard’s hallmark of dressing up. A recent online survey commissioned by Cunard measuring the attitudes of 1,500 U.S. residents revealed that more than half of them enjoy dressing up five times or more each year. Bostonians enjoy the elegance and glamour of getting decked out more than residents of Washington, DC and San Francisco. In addition, respondents said they preferred to dress up on a cruise vacation, rather than during a land-based holiday. Prior to her maiden call to Boston, Queen Elizabeth visited New York for a rare overnight call to Manhattan. She continues her maiden New England & Canadian Adventure voyage up the eastern seaboard through Maine to the Canadian ports of Halifax, Nova Scotia and Québec City, Québec.

Debuting in October 2010, Queen Elizabeth captured the world’s stage with her Royal Naming Ceremony by Her Majesty The Queen, in Southampton, England. Art Deco features throughout the ship pay homage to the original Queen Elizabeth, reflecting The New Golden Age of Ocean Travel. On board, guests savor the sense of occasion by dressing up for glamorous evenings at Royal Nights themed balls, and enjoy countless offerings and amenities from Champagne Afternoon Tea in the Garden Lounge to an extraordinary dining experience in The Verandah, a French restaurant that pays tribute to the legendary Verandah Grills aboard the original Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary. For more information about Queen Elizabeth or to book a voyage, consult your Travel Agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Norwegian Cruise Line Partners With GroundLink

MIAMI, Sept 23: Norwegian Cruise Line has announced a new partnership with GroundLink, the first online and mobile private car service, to provide an exclusive and luxurious transportation experience to and from its cruise ships. Guests now have the freedom and flexibility to book a variety of transfer options online from airport or home to pier and vice versa, as part of the cruise booking process. Services can be booked up to an hour before departure. GroundLink’s fleet includes thousands of luxury vehicles from town cars and SUVs to stretch limousines available for private transfers at Norwegian’s embarkation ports around the world including Miami, New York, Barcelona and Venice.

For those flying into port cities, GroundLink will track the flight and itinerary to make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the trip begins worry-free. Upon booking, guests will receive a confirmation email and will be continuously updated throughout the pick-up process, either a message that the driver is in route or a text containing the vehicle information. GroundLink transfers can be booked by visiting and going to “Get Ready for Your Cruise – Getting to the Pier” or by calling 877-564-6146.

To book a cruise vacation with Norwegian, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit

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Disney Cruise Line Doubles the “Aloha” with Second Hawaiian Cruise, Disney Wonder Bound for the West Coast in 2012

CELEBRATION, FL, Sept. 23: Based on an overwhelming response to its first Hawaiian itinerary, Disney Cruise Line is adding a second Hawaii cruise to its 2012 schedule. The addition of a second Hawaiian voyage complements a diverse array of Disney Cruise Line itineraries departing from the West Coast, including cruises to the Mexican Riviera, Pacific Coast, and Alaska. With a majority of its West Coast sailings originating from the Port of Los Angeles or the Port of Seattle, a Disney family cruise vacation is more accessible to guests from the western United States.

“We listen to our guests, and shortly after we announced our first Hawaiian voyage it was clear our guests wanted more options to visit Hawaii,” said Disney Cruise Line President Karl Holz. “This second sailing to Hawaii is part of a wide variety of Disney Cruise Line vacation options for families in 2012 including new itineraries, regional homeports and the debut of our newest ship, the Disney Fantasy.”

2012 Los Angeles Schedule

Two Hawaiian Sailings…

For the first time, Disney Cruise Line will offer two special voyages to Hawaii from Los Angeles, calling on Kahului, Maui; Nawiliwili, Kauai; Honolulu, Oahu; and Hilo plus Ensenada, Mexico. The 15-night Hawaiian itinerary, which includes nine days at sea, departs April 29, 2012. The newly-added 14-night Hawaiian itinerary, with eight days at sea, departs Oct. 14, 2012.

Disney Wonder will sail through the breathtaking beauty of the Hawaiian Islands, where guests can experience the famous beaches of Waikiki on Oahu, see the views from high atop the summit of Haleakala Crater on Maui, take in the lush tropical gardens and waterfalls of Kauai and, on the Big Island, explore the natural wonders of the world’s most active volcano.

Mexican Riviera & Pacific Coast

Disney Wonder is scheduled to sail 7-night Mexican Riviera cruises from the Port of Los Angeles for the majority of the year–throughout winter, spring and fall.

Disney Wonder will also sail four 7-night Pacific Coast cruises from Los Angeles (on Sept. 16, Sept. 23, Sept. 30, and Oct. 7), calling on San Francisco, San Diego and Ensenada, Mexico.

2012 Seattle Schedule

Beginning May 28, 2012, the Disney Wonder will sail a total of 14 seven-night cruises from the Port of Seattle to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska, and Victoria, British Columbia. These cruises will combine the natural wonder and adventurous spirit of Alaska with the unparalleled, family-friendly experience found on a Disney Cruise Line ship. Disney Cruise Line works closely with Alaskan tour operators to create exclusive-to-Disney family-friendly Port Adventures that allow guests to best experience Alaska’s natural beauty and rich history.

On their Alaskan adventure, guests can explore magnificent glaciers and fjords in Juneau. In Ketchikan, they can fish for salmon and learn about local culture through hand-carved totem poles. In Skagway, Disney Cruise Line guests can traverse panoramic landscapes by railway, or pan for gold like miners from the famous Klondike gold rush. Sailings depart May 28, June 4, 11, 18, 25, July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27.

2012 Galveston Schedule

Beginning Sept. 22, 2012, Disney Magic will sail 12 seven-night cruises from the Port of Galveston to the Western Caribbean, calling on Grand Cayman and Mexico’s Costa Maya and Cozumel. A Caribbean cruise on the Disney Magic offers families a tropical getaway with world-class entertainment and impeccable guest service found only on a Disney Cruise Line vacation. Guests will enjoy three magical days at sea to explore all of the fun aboard the Disney Magic and three days in port to lounge on warm, golden beaches, to swim and snorkel in azure waters or to shop in exotic marketplaces. Sailings depart Sept. 22, 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 24, Dec. 1, 8.

2012 East Coast Schedule

Sailing from New York …

Beginning May 25, 2012, the Disney Magic will sail a total of 20 cruises from New York, including 8-night cruises to the Bahamas that will include a day at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay; Nassau, Bahamas; and Port Canaveral, Fla., with an opportunity to visit the nearby Walt Disney World Resort;
5-night cruises up the New England coast to Canada that will call at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick; and three 2-night cruises (June 15, July 13, Aug. 10) that are perfect for a quick weekend getaway and give a sampling of the Disney Cruise Line experience over a weekend.

Sailing from Port Canaveral…

The Disney Fantasy will depart on her maiden voyage March 31, 2012, and will sail out of Port Canaveral on 7-night Caribbean itineraries, with a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

The Disney Dream will sail 3-, 4- and 5-night cruises from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can visit, call Disney Cruise Line at 888-325-2500 or contact their travel agent.

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Princess Passenger Runs First-Ever Marathon at Sea to Aid Help for Heroes

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Sept 23: Cruise passenger Steve Eaton completed the world’s first-ever marathon at sea aboard Princess Cruises’ ship Grand Princess with a time of 5 hours, 16 minutes and 45 seconds. Eaton, 57, who is from Tamworth, UK has run 33 marathons in the past but this was a totally new experience which stemmed from his wish to raise money for Help for Heroes, a charity that provides support to those wounded, sick or injured in the line of duty since 9/11.

The race was inspired by Eaton’s family friend, Staff Sgt Christopher Chacksfield, who was murdered in June 2010 in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Chris, 31, had come through tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia unscathed but was killed in an unprovoked attack as he waited for a taxi with his wife, who had just returned herself from duty in Afghanistan. He left behind his wife and young daughter. Because Chacksfield had expressed a wish in his lifetime to raise funds for Help for Heroes, Eaton decided to do so on his behalf. As an avid runner, Eaton chose a marathon and asked Princess Cruises for help in an effort to run the first ever marathon at sea.

Eaton started his marathon on Sept 22nd at 9 a.m. on a course of just over 600 meters (.37 miles) around the Promenade Deck of Grand Princess, while the ship was sailing near the coast of Portugal. He had to run 70 laps to cover the total distance of 26.2 miles.

Eaton said: “This has probably been my hardest marathon to date but it was for a very special cause and I’m grateful for all the support of the passengers and crew onboard to keep me going. Tonight I’ll have a big steak, for the protein to help my body recover, and a glass of wine to celebrate together with my wife, Margaret.”

“Everyone at Princess Cruises is very proud that Grand Princess could host the first marathon at sea,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “Our passengers and crew were really behind Steve’s attempt and it was wonderful that so many of them came out on deck to cheer him on. Help for Heroes does fantastic work and we hope that Steve’s efforts have raised lots of money for this worthwhile charity.”

To support Eaton and Help for Heroes please visit

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Two Freestyle Cruise Ships to Receive Multi-Million Dollar Enhancements

MIAMI, Sept 22: Continuing the company’s commitment to continually enhance its fleet, Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that both Norwegian Spirit and Norwegian Jade will enter dry docks this fall for multi-million dollar enhancements. Norwegian Spirit enters a 13-day dry dock on Sept 25, 2011 in Mobile, Alabama. The 2,018-passenger ship is receiving renovations including outfitting the entire ship for WiFi; laying new carpet; installing flat screen televisions; and upgrading the Stardust Theater and the ship’s action station restaurant Raffles. Norwegian Jade will undergo enhancements, including the addition of Norwegian’s signature restaurant Moderno Churrascaria; new carpet and tile throughout the ship; painting the hull; and other maintenance updates during an 11-day dry dock in Marseille, France.

“While we have the youngest fleet in the industry, we still want to continuously enhance our ships,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “With the dry docks of Norwegian Spirit and Norwegian Jade, we will have completed enhancements on four ships this year, a major investment for the company.”

Norwegian Spirit’s refurbishment includes:

· Installing wireless internet access throughout the entire ship including crew areas;
· New flat screen televisions in guest and crew staterooms;
· Upgrades to accessible guest staterooms and the addition of ramps in various areas of the ship;
· Replacement of 64,000 square feet of carpet throughout the ship;
· Addition of new silk plants throughout the ship;
· Enhancements to the Stardust Theater;
· Updates to Raffles Court, the ship’s buffet restaurant;
· Addition of an aerobics room in the Roman Spa and Fitness Center for spinning, yoga, and various fitness classes.

When the ship returns to New Orleans on Oct 9, 2011, she will sail a series of 7-day Western Caribbean itineraries departing every Sunday calling on Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras and Belize City, Belize; along with two relaxing days at sea through April 8, 2012. The ship will then set off on a 13-day transatlantic cruise to Barcelona on April 15, 2012. She will arrive in Barcelona on April 28, 2012 where she will begin sailing 12-day Grand Mediterranean cruises alternating from Barcelona and Venice through October 13, 2012. Beginning on Nov 6, 2012, Norwegian Spirit will sail 9-day Canary Islands cruises from Barcelona through April 8, 2013.

Norwegian Jade enters dry dock in Marseille, France on Nov 26, 2011 to Dec 8, 2011. During this time, the 2,402-passenger ship will receive the line’s signature Brazilian steakhouse, Moderno Churrascia, replacing Paniolo’s Tapas and Salsa restaurant on Deck 8. The ship will also receive technical enhancements including new propeller and thrust bearings; seals on the Azipod propulsion systems; as well as a new coat of hull paint. After dry dock, Norwegian Jade, which sails year-round from Europe, will cruise a nine-day itinerary departing Barcelona, Spain, calling on Funchal, Madeira; Santa Cruz, Tenerife; Arrecife, Canary Islands and Malaga, Spain.

Both Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Sun received major enhancements earlier this year. For more information or to book a sailing on Norwegian Cruise Line, call a travel professional, go to, or contact Norwegian at 866-234-7350.

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Cunard Line Welcomes Distinguished Visitors Aboard Queen Elizabeth in New York

Sept 22: Cunard Line welcomed UK Minister for the Cabinet Office, Rt Hon Francis Maude MP, and New York’s British HM Consul-General, Danny Lopez, on board Queen Elizabeth at a luncheon on 20 September to celebrate the continued support for business relationships between the United Kingdom and United States.

"Beginning with Samuel Cunard's first British steamship mail contract in 1839, Cunard Line has been a leader in trans-Atlantic trade," said Consul-General Danny Lopez. "It is fitting and symbolic to be on board the splendid Queen Elizabeth for an event that honours our shared goals of facilitating and strengthening trade and investment between the UK and US."

Consul-General Lopez was appointed to his New York post by Her Majesty The Queen in July 2011. He also serves as Director-General of UK Trade & Investment, the economic development arm of the UK Government, leading the operations throughout the United States. Prior to his appointment, Consul-General Lopez worked for the London Development Agency and was responsible for creating London & Partners, the city’s promotional agency for business, visitors and students, and was its inaugural CEO.

Queen Elizabeth visited New York for an overnight call to Manhattan during her maiden 24-day New England & Canadian Adventure voyage. Following her visit to New York, she sailed on to Newport, Rhode Island, then arrived in Boston this morning for her maiden call to the historic port city. She then continues her voyage up the eastern seaboard through Maine to the Canadian ports of Halifax, Nova Scotia and Québec City, Québec before returning to Southampton.

Debuting in October 2010, Queen Elizabeth captured the world’s stage with her Royal Naming Ceremony by Her Majesty The Queen, in Southampton, England. Art Deco features throughout the ship pay homage to the original Queen Elizabeth, reflecting The New Golden Age of Ocean Travel. On board, guests savour the sense of occasion by dressing up for glamorous evenings at Royal Nights themed balls, and enjoy countless offerings and amenities from Champagne Afternoon Tea in the Garden Lounge to an extraordinary dining experience in The Verandah, a French restaurant that pays tribute to the legendary Verandah Grills aboard the original Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary. For more information about Queen Elizabeth or to book a voyage, consult your Travel Agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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American Safari Cruises Offers Travel Savings For Safari Endeavour’s Inaugural Alaska Season

Seattle, WA, Sept 22: To kick off the Safari Endeavour’s first season in Alaska with American Safari Cruises, guests who book a 2012 adventure cruise by November 30, 2011 receive a travel savings of $200 per person. From June through August, the yacht-style ship sails weeklong Discoverers’ Glacier Country cruises roundtrip from Juneau, Alaska. The inclusive cruise aboard the newly renovated ship spends two days exploring inside majestic Glacier Bay National Park. Guided hiking and kayaking trips with park rangers and on board expedition leaders afford guests a view of the park and its wildlife not seen by most visitors. Other areas explored include Icy Strait, Chichagof Island, Baranof Island, Frederick Sound, Thomas Bay, Ford’s Terror and Endicott Arm. The travel credit is also available on the two-week The Famed Inside Passage cruise from Seattle, WA to Juneau, AK on May 27 and Juneau to Seattle on Sept 2. The $200 per person credit is available on new bookings made from now through Nov 30, 2011. The travel savings is for guests sailing aboard the 86-guest Safari Endeavour in Alaska from May through September 2012.

“The travel credit is intended to help guests with airfare,” said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “It’s our gift to guests booking the Safari Endeavour which we’ve recently added to our fleet.”

The Safari Endeavour will be fresh from an extensive renovation project adding American Safari Cruises’ exceptional comfort and refined atmosphere on board. Five stateroom categories include three Master, 21 Commander, 12 Captain, three Admiral and four Commodore Suites. The suites will be created by merging two former staterooms and adding new step-out balconies. All staterooms have one or two outside view windows. Other amenities being added to the ship include two massage rooms, two hot tubs, sauna, exercise equipment, a wine bar and a library. An all-American crew of 34 will ensure attentive service with a guest-crew ratio of 2.5 to 1.

American Safari Cruises’ active, adventure cruises allow freedom to engage in many activities. Kayaks and stand-up paddle boards are available for excursions. Skiff rides will explore shoreline, wildlife and glaciers up close. Expert naturalists and guides lead excursions on land and sea. An enhanced program of educational presentations will be presented in the salon. American Safari Cruises’ meals are a highly anticipated part of each day. Exquisite cuisine is innovative and fresh with seafood and produce purchased locally whenever possible. All meals will be served in the elegant dining room, and the complimentary bar offers premium spirits, fine wines and microbrews.

The inclusive cruises include all from-the-yacht activities and equipment; transfers; hand-crafted meals; fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews; a massage and all port charges, taxes and fees. To book a yachting adventure or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or American Safari Cruises at 888-862-8881 or email .

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Windstar Offers Costa Rica Sail & Stay Packages on Select 2012 Sailings

SEATTLE, Sept. 22: Windstar Cruises, which operates a fleet of three luxury sailing yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, offers 2012 Costa Rica Sail & Stay Packages which include a Naturally Costa Rica voyage on 148-guest Wind Star and two free hotel nights at a Windstar reserved hotel in San Jose, Costa Rica.

On Windstar's Naturally Costa Rica voyage, guests sail the unspoiled Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, enjoying the area's natural beauty and rich mix of marine and exotic wildlife. Windstar's onboard naturalist shares expert knowledge on the history, flora and fauna of Costa Rica. Seven-day sailings on Wind Star roundtrip from Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica visit San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Playas del Coco, Quepos, Bahia Drake, Curu, and Tortuga Island, Costa Rica.

Highlights of the itinerary include the Nicaraguan village of San Juan del Sur which leads to the Masaya Volcano and Granada. Breathtaking views of Playas del Coco. Rainforest adventures that can be had in Quepos. Corcovado National Park, which lies outside Bahia Drake, and is known for scarlet macaws, toucans and four types of monkeys. Curu National Wildlife Refuge featuring a private reserve with primary forest and home to colorful birds, anteaters, sloths, capuchin and howler monkeys. And, Tortuga Island with its palm-fringed beaches--the setting for Windstar's signature beach barbecue.

The Costa Rica Sail & Stay Package includes a Naturally Costa Rica voyage departing March 10 or March 17, 2012, and two nights accommodations at a Windstar reserved hotel in San Jose pre- or post-cruise. Two night complimentary hotel offer is only applicable on designated sailings included in the 2012 Costa Rica Sail & Stay promotion. Promotional code: HotSpcl. Offer is subject to availability, is not combinable with any other pricing or promotional offers, is capacity controlled and may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice. Rates shown are for Category B stateroom. Government fees and taxes additional. Hotel in Costa Rica in offer is selected by Windstar Cruises. Offer valid on new bookings made now through Oct 15, 2011. 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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First Steel Cut For Norwegian Breakaway

PAPENBURG, GERMANY, Sept 21: The first piece of steel was cut today at MEYER WERFT in Papenburg, Germany for the construction of Norwegian Breakaway, the first of two new Freestyle Cruising® ships for Norwegian Cruise Line, set for delivery in April 2013. The first plate of steel took four minutes to cut by a plasma torch in the yard’s state of the art facility. This plate will become a supporting part of the double bottom in the middle of the new ship.

“Today’s steel cutting marks the start of construction for Norwegian Breakaway, our next generation Freestyle Cruising ship, that will captivate and amaze our guests,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer. “We are extremely pleased with the progress we have made so far in planning this incredible vessel. We now look to the capable and talented team at MEYER WERFT to bring this ship to life.”

The Breakaway class ships, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, will each be 144,017 gross tons and will have approximately 4,000 passenger berths. These ships represent an opportunity for the Norwegian guest to “break away” from the routine of work, school, and daily stress, and find a true respite at sea. The new ships will take the best of the best from all of Norwegian’s existing ships, drawing on the line’s experience of having launched 10 ships in the past 10 years – starting with Norwegian Star and Sun in 2001 and culminating with the launch of Norwegian Epic in 2010. The ships’ names were chosen from 230,000 entries received in “Norwegian’s Cruising for Names” contest.

The shipyard's managing directors Bernard Meyer and Lambert Kruse, as well as Aloys Meemann, project manager, attended the steel cutting ceremony in the laser center. "We are very happy to build these innovative ships for Norwegian and to continue our long lasting relationship," said Meyer. "We can guarantee to deliver a cruise vessel with an exceptional interior design, extremely comfortable staterooms and the highest technical standards.”

To date, the company has revealed details on all of the ships’ staterooms which combine the form and function of the line’s Jewel class ships’ staterooms with the modern and contemporary design touches of Norwegian Epic. A rich mix of stateroom options will be available including the innovative Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers, the re-introduction of Oceanview staterooms, Balcony and Mini-Suites, along with Spa Balcony, Mini-Suites and Suites in close proximity to the spa. The ship also features The Haven by Norwegian, comprised of 42 suites at the top of the ship and 18 additional suites located throughout the ship.

The company expects to release details on Norwegian Breakaway’s inaugural itinerary in the near future. Further information on Norwegian Breakaway can be found at

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Seven Seas Voyager Emerges From Drydock With Refurbished Suites & Public Areas

Fort Lauderdale, Sept 21: Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 700-guest Seven Seas Voyager has emerged from dry dock with elegantly renovated suites and public areas, completing the third phase of the ultra-luxury line’s multi-phase, fleet-wide Seven Seas Signature initiative. The ship is currently on a 10-night cruise from Piraeus to Venice.

As part of the ship’s makeover, new ultra-plush carpeting was installed throughout the entire interior of the ship; 26 top suites were refreshed with new wallpaper, fabrics, curtains, décor and art pieces. In addition, Penthouse and higher-category suites have been equipped with iPads and selected suites also received new upgraded balcony furniture. Several enhancements were also made to the ship’s elegant public rooms. The popular pre-dinner cocktail spot, Voyager Lounge, features new drapery and furniture, including sofas, armchairs, stools and tables, while new Turkish carpets bring added elegance to the Conoisseur Club. On Deck 11, refurbishments to the pool area include an updated Pool Bar and expanded Pool Grill, and marble-edged corridors that now lead guests to new wood flooring in the Observation Lounge. The ship’s popular La Veranda restaurant has new chairs and wallpaper and the coffee bar on Deck 5 has been expanded to accommodate demand.

As announced previously, enhancing the culinary experience was also a key element of Phase Three. Menus in Compass Rose were expanded with select items from the Signatures and Prime 7 specialty restaurants, as well as a greater emphasis on dishes from the regions visited.

“Seven Seas Voyager is emerging as a fresh new product with thoughtful touches that will enhance our guests’ overall experience,” stated Mark Conroy, president of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “Through our Seven Seas Signature program we are continuing to evolve our brand and look forward to announcing additional updates in 2012-13.”

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is widely recognized as the world’s most inclusive ultra-luxury cruise line with round-trip air, all-suite accommodations, gourmet cuisine, premium spirits and fine wines, live entertainment, shore excursions, gratuities, and a pre-cruise luxury hotel stay included in cruise fares. To receive a brochure or for more information on Regent Seven Seas Cruises, see a professional travel agent, visit or call toll-free 800-285-1835.

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Stage & Screen Legends Slated for Crystal's 2012 Film & Theatre Cruise

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 21: With Crystal Cruises' 2011 "Film & Theatre Festival" recently wrapping to rave reviews, the ultra-luxe cruise line announces a rousing program for 2012's theme sailing. Tippi Hedren, Kate Burton, members of the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, and "Edith Head" are among the talented "cast" scheduled for perform, present, and mingle with guests during Crystal Serenity's April 21 LA-NY voyage.

Highlights of the 20+ special events include a Tippi-themed cocktail party with photo ops, an intimate Vintage Room dinner hosted by Tippi and "Edith," celebrity Q&A sessions, behind-the-scenes presentations, hosted cinema screenings, theme trivia games, and special in-stateroom TV programming. Performance/presentations include:

-- Tippi Hedren: A directors' favorite, from Alfred Hitchcock to David O. Russell and Alexander Payne, the screen legend will speak about her work as both an actress and animal rights activist.
-- Susan Claassen as Edith Head: Costume designer-to-the-stars Edith Head comes back to life in Susan's stunning biographical performance and off-stage appearances.
-- Kate Burton: Emmy-nominated for playing Ellis Grey on "Grey's Anatomy," the distinguished Broadway and TV actress will host a Q&A session.
-- Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles: Members of this 220-person choir will perform musical hits in matinee shows designed exclusively for Crystal Cruises.

Additional speakers include Michael Ritchie, artistic director for LA's renowned Center Theatre Group; USC film historian Drew Casper; prolific TV producer Chuck Fries; and Greg Schreiner, owner of one of the world's largest private Hollywood costume collections, many of which will be worn during "Hollywood Revisited--A Tribute in Costume and Song."

Crystal Serenity will sail through the Panama Canal via Cabo San Lucas; Caldera, Costa Rica; Cartagena; Grand Cayman; Ft. Lauderdale; and Charleston. Fares include complimentary air from 24 North American gateways (or air credit), transfers to/from airports, and $500/person "All Inclusive--As You Wish" on-board spending credit.

Crystal Cruise's award-winning entertainment offerings include a range of venues and performances, from cabaret nightclub to piano bar saloon; acclaimed productions to headline entertainers; and sophisticated enrichment activities to in-room Blu-ray(TM)-viewing, for all world travelers. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Celebrity Cruises Taps Top Chef to Join Culinary Team

MIAMI, Sept. 21: Known for its culinary leadership and commitment to offering guests a modern, luxurious experience during their precious vacation time, Celebrity Cruises has expanded its already robust culinary talent by naming 2010 James Beard Foundation "Rising Star Chef" nominee and 2007 "Rising Star Chef of American Cuisine" John Suley as its director of Culinary Operations.

Tapped by Celebrity's charismatic Vice President of Culinary Operations Jacques Van Staden - himself a James Beard-nominated Master Chef - Suley is widely regarded as one of the country's top "up and coming" chefs. Prior to joining Celebrity, he worked in the star-studded, international dining scene as executive chef at the South Florida incarnation of three-time James Beard honoree Alfred Portale's famed "Gotham Bar & Grill" (New York), "Gotham Steak" at the chic Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami. Suley's wealth of experience also includes work at the Ritz Carlton-South Beach, the Waldorf Astoria and St. Regis hotels, and with many of the world's most accomplished chefs, including Daniel Boulud, and Celebrity's Van Staden himself, at some of the finest restaurants in the dining mecca of Las Vegas. Suley is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

At Celebrity, Suley joins Van Staden in leading the line's continuing quest to achieve the highest levels of consistency, quality and innovation in the culinary experience.

"John Suley is known for his edgy and innovative cooking style, and is a genuinely unique chef," said Van Staden, "Having known him for 12 years, and observing the amazing contributions he made during the recent debut of our newest Solstice Class ship, Celebrity Silhouette, I am confident he will be an inspirational and creative leader within Celebrity's innovative culinary team, and will make tremendous contributions as we continue to prove to vacationers around the world that we can treat them to a dining experience that is easily comparable to the best on land."

For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111, visit or call your travel agent.

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American Cruise Lines to Feature Expanded Entertainment Aboard Queen of the Mississippi

GUILFORD, CT – Sept 21: American Cruise Lines, the leader in small ship cruising, today announced plans for an extensive entertainment program for its 2012 Mississippi River itineraries aboard the brand new authentic sternwheeler, Queen of the Mississippi, currently being built in Salisbury, Maryland. The program will feature entertainment reminiscent of America’s legendary steamboating era. The grandest riverboat to ever grace the Mississippi, the sternwheeler will be a floating palace filled with luxuries and pleasures, and will certainly accommodate passengers who enjoy dancing and live entertainment and have a passion for the deep history of the mighty Mississippi and its river towns.

One of the seven lounges planned for Queen of the Mississippi, guests will enjoy getting together in the Paddlewheel Lounge, a festive, comfortable and luxurious sitting area where they will enjoy the sultry sounds of solo acts or live music of Dixieland bands, and dancing and laughing with new friends. Passengers will be able to play the calliope or enjoy a drink in the Calliope Lounge; step back in time with a Mark Twain impersonator or share stories with onboard experts and lecturers who will educate, captivate and entertain Queen of the Mississippi’s passengers.

“The entertainment on Queen of the Mississippi will be substantial,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President, American Cruise Lines. “It’s an important element of our Mississippi cruises and we look forward to offering passengers the best entertainment program; one that will truly take them back in time and have them talking about for years to come.”

Dependent on itinerary, Queen of the Mississippi will feature shows featuring spectacular costumes and entertainers as talented as they come. Specific details of the entertainment program will be available in the near future such as entertainers, lecturers, music programs and more.

The Queen of the Mississippi will boast 75 staterooms larger than those on any former Mississippi riverboat, spacious private balconies and all of the amenities today’s travelers expect, while maintaining the elegance and traditional Victorian luxury of classic turn of the century Mississippi riverboats. American Cruise Lines will operate the authentic sternwheeler over the entire Mississippi River System, with the option of cruising at significantly higher speeds than any past Mississippi riverboat to make more itineraries possible than ever before on the Mississippi River, with longer visits to the river towns and less night traveling, especially on upriver itineraries. A number of unique 7-, 10-, and 14-day cruises are planned that take passengers as far north as St. Paul, MN on the Mississippi River and as far east as Pittsburgh, PA on the Ohio River. To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit our Website at or call (800) 814-6880.

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Windstar Cruises Launches Multi-Million Dollar Fleet Refurbishment Plan

Seattle, Sept 20: Windstar Cruises, which operates a fleet of three luxury sailing yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, is launching a multi-million dollar fleet refurbishment plan to be completed in multiple phases beginning this fall. Total investment for the refurbishment is $18 million and it is one of several major projects within Windstar's "Full Sail Ahead" strategic initiative encompassing refurbishment, branding, technology investments and product upgrades over the next 18 months.

"This is a significant investment in our luxurious sailing yachts and will enable us to provide an unparalleled guest experience," said Hans Birkholz, President and CEO of Windstar Cruises. "Our new owners, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, are committed to Windstar's growth for the long term. Previously, there have been enhancements and refurbishment projects throughout the years to keep our yachts beautiful; however this is the most extensive fleet-wide refurbishment project in Windstar's history."

Work begins this November on the first phase of Wind Surf's refurbishment, emerging Dec 10, 2011, for the start of the Caribbean season, with renovated and luxurious staterooms, suites, bridge suites, corridors, and a 'timber boardwalk' throughout the main deck in keeping with her elegant yacht style. The second phase of Wind Surf's refurbishment will take place in the fall of 2012 and focuses on the yacht's public spaces including the Lounge, The Restaurant, Degrees, Veranda, Compass Rose, WindSpa, Yacht Club and Pool Bar.

Wind Star and Wind Spirit will undergo complete refurbishments of staterooms, owner's suite, and corridors along with public spaces including The Restaurant, Veranda, Lounge, WindSpa, Library, Reception, and Pool Bar following their respective Costa Rica and Caribbean seasons. After the completion of work, both yachts begin their Mediterranean seasons with Wind Spirit starting April 15, 2012, and Wind Star beginning April 29, 2012.

The vision for the refurbishment is classic, stylish yacht luxury that dramatizes Windstar's brand position of a "boutique yacht vacation" that is "180 Degrees from Ordinary." The yachts will receive new furniture, upholstery, art, lighting, wall coverings, carpeting, ceiling finishes, window treatments, and floor coverings. New furnishings will complete the look in keeping with the chic, private yacht scheme. The design palette combines sand and marine colors contrasting elegantly with the warmth of wood finishes, elevating the look and feel to ultimate luxury at sea.

Windstar's chosen design and build partner for the project is U.K. based Trimline Interiors incorporating MCVITTY Interior Consultants. Trimline is a refurbishment company well known to the industry specializing in cruise ship and superyacht "turn-key" interiors and has completed projects all over the world for many leading luxury cruise lines and yacht owners. Established in 1965, Trimline has its own in-house services including joinery, soft furnishings, upholstery, decoration and all types of flooring. Alan McVitty, lead designer and director of MCVITTY Interior Consultants, has a career that spans 24 years in the interiors sector. McVitty's areas of expertise include both leisure and residential assignments along with projects for luxury cruise lines and private yachts.

"Our focus was to provide Windstar with something completely different from what currently exists in the luxury cruise market," said McVitty. "Every corner of our design was carefully confectioned with details and solutions to make guests find themselves not on another commercial cruise but experience a stylish, floating boutique yacht created with a vision to offer a uniquely different, cruise experience. The refurbishment will give Windstar clients a truly stunning and unique experience to explore destinations in perfect splendor, ultra luxury, and comfort."

Staterooms & Suites:
· Staterooms on all three yachts will be transformed with new leather headboards, stately arm chairs, linen wall coverings, new lighting features, elegant window coverings, plush wool carpeting, art work, stylish bed cushions, and luxurious bed throws.
· Suites will additionally be outfitted with new furniture that is easily convertible to lounging, dining, or accommodating a third occupant.

Wind Surf Public Spaces:
· The Restaurant will be completed with a new seating layout, all new soft goods, and state-of-the art wine display and storage.
· Degrees Restaurant will be transformed into a Mediterranean bistro, anchored by a central wine bar for counter dining as well as an inviting area to relax before and after dinner. Wine tastings and cooking demonstrations will also be conducted here.
· The Compass Rose will be reconfigured to open up expansively to the adjoining outdoor deck, and its interior completely renovated to reflect the sophisticated elegance of a private club.
· The Veranda's outdoor seating will be significantly expanded, creating an ideal mid-ship area for enjoying breakfast and lunch alfresco. The interior will include a new buffet, new lighting, and epicurean style display counters.
· In the Lounge, wall-to-wall carpeting will be replaced with hard flooring accented with inset rugs, a contemporary mix of furniture, lighter color palette and improved sound insulation around the casino.
· Corridors will be completely renovated from floor to ceiling with all new wall coverings, carpeting, ceiling finishes, lighting and art work.
· The Pool Bar will sport new awnings for additional shade, new deck furniture, and improved outdoor dining layout for Candles Grill.

Wind Spirit & Wind Star Public Spaces:
· The Restaurant will receive a complete makeover to create the excitement and drama of an exclusive destination restaurant with luxurious neutral tones and curved design elements.
· The Veranda will be renewed with new lighting, fresh "market-style" buffet arrangements and reconfigured indoor/outdoor seating.
· The Lounge will be contemporized with new furniture, soft goods, seating arrangements, window treatments and AV system, creating an ideal, welcoming space for evening entertainment.
· The Pool Bar will be redesigned to offer a more engaging and upscale social experience and to create additional alfresco seating for sunset dining at Candles Grill.
· The renovations to the Library space will create an intimate, luxurious cocoon for more contemplative pursuits.
· WindSpa will also receive an interior soft goods update, to reflect the sophistication and elegance of relaxing with spa treatments at sea.

Refurbishment updates and behind-the-scenes coverage will be provided throughout the duration of the project on Windstar's blog:

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Sun-Drenched Islands, Colorful Ports & Fascinating Marvels Take Center Stage for
Princess Cruises' 2012-2013 Caribbean & Panama Canal Sailings

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Sept 19: Princess Cruises ships will sail to the balmy waters of the Caribbean from both Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and Galveston, Texas during the fall 2012 to spring 2013 cruise season, plus will offer a variety of ways to cruise through one of the world’s engineering wonders, the Panama Canal. Princess’ upcoming Caribbean schedule will feature five ships sailing to the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean, including a Western Caribbean route aboard Crown Princess that will mark the line’s return to sailing from Galveston. During the fall to spring season, passengers can choose from 115 voyages sailing to 22 destinations on 10 itineraries, ranging from seven-day island getaways to relaxing 20-day sojourns.

Additionally, Princess continues to be the leader in Panama Canal cruising with two ships – Coral Princess and Island Princess – sailing in the region on eight itinerary options, including both full and partial Canal transits. The vessels, built especially for sailing through this marvel of engineering, together will offer 40 cruise departures for an up-close look at the fascinating process of moving up and down through the famous locks.

“Whether they want beautiful beaches, natural wonders, colorful culture or intriguing history, passengers will find the ports of our Caribbean and Panama Canal sailings are the perfect way to escape from the cold of winter, the stress of work or everyday routine,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.

Princess Cruises’ 2012-13 Caribbean season includes:

Ruby Princess/Eastern Caribbean: Ruby Princess sails to the Eastern Caribbean, with roundtrip 7-day cruises from Ft. Lauderdale on Sundays. The itinerary features calls at the line’s own Princess Cays, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk. Ruby Princess sails between Oct 28, 2012 and Apr 28, 2013.

Crown Princess/Western Caribbean from Galveston: Crown Princess makes Princess’ return to Galveston, Texas for 7-day sailings to Costa Maya, Roatán, Belize and Cozumel. Cruises depart between Dec 22, 2012 and Apr 27, 2013.

Caribbean Princess/Southern Caribbean: Caribbean Princess sails from Ft. Lauderdale on a 7-day roundtrip voyage to Princess Cays, Curaçao and Aruba. Departures run from Nov 10, 2012 to Apr 27, 2013. Caribbean Princess will also offer a special 4-day Bermuda Sampler voyage to Bermuda on a roundtrip sailing from New York, departing on Oct 27, 2012; and a 10-day Caribbean Islander voyage from New York to Ft. Lauderdale, calling at San Juan, St. Thomas, Antigua and Aruba, departing on Oct 31, 2012.

Grand Princess/Eastern & Southern Caribbean: Grand Princess sails on alternating 7-day voyages from Ft. Lauderdale. The ship sails to San Juan, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Princess Cays in the Eastern Caribbean; and Princess Cays, Curaçao, and Aruba in the Southern Caribbean. Grand Princess sails between Nov 17, 2012 and Jan 19, 2013. Voyages can be combined for a longer 14-day cruise among the islands.

Emerald Princess/10-Day Eastern & Southern Caribbean: For a more in-depth island vacation with the convenience of roundtrip travel from Ft. Lauderdale, Emerald Princess offers alternating 10-day roundtrip itineraries; one to the Southern Caribbean and the other to the Eastern Caribbean. The Southern Caribbean Medley itinerary calls at Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Dominica, St. Thomas, and Princess Cays. The Eastern Caribbean Voyager itinerary offers calls at Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, and Princess Cays. Emerald Princess sails between Nov 7, 2012 and Apr 26, 2013. Voyages can be combined into a 20-day Caribbean Grand Adventure.

Panama Canal itineraries include:

Roundtrip Panama Canal Cruises: Coral Princess and Island Princess again sail the classic 10-day roundtrip itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale, which offers a partial Panama Canal transit to Gatun Lake followed by an evening a call in Colón, plus calls in the Caribbean ports of Aruba, Cartagena, Limón (Costa Rica), and Grand Cayman or Ocho Rios. The ships sail between Oct 13, 2012 and Apr 15, 2013.

Full Panama Canal Transit Sailings: This 14-day itinerary between Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles offers a full Panama Canal transit plus visits to Aruba, Cartagena, Puntarenas (Costa Rica), San Juan del Sur (Nicaragua), and Cabo San Lucas. Island Princess offers four sailings on this route, with departures on Nov 12 & 26, 2012, plus Mar 8 & 22, 2013.

Panama Canal 2-Day Experience Cruises: Coral Princess and Island Princess will feature three itineraries offering Princess’ 2-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 2-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 Sep 20, 2012 and May 4, 2013. Coral Princess and Island Princess also offer longer Grand Adventures of 17, 18 and 19 days, sailing to and from Vancouver.

The Panama Canal and Caribbean have been featured on the Princess Cruises blog, “50 Essential Experiences: The Travel Bucket List.” Travel stories from Princess destination experts include inspiring stories about sailing through the Canal, bobsledding in Jamaica, and exploring Tulum in Mexico. 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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Norwegian Cruise Line “Rolls” Out New Sushi Menu

MIAMI, Sept 18: Norwegian Cruise Line (“Norwegian”) announced it will now offer its popular sushi a la carte menu, currently available on Norwegian Epic, throughout its fleet (with the exception of Norwegian Sky). The extensive menu, which features sushi, sashimi, light appetizers and desserts, will now also be offered as a lunch option on embarkation and sea days.

The new menu gives guests the freedom and flexibility to customize their dining experience by providing pricing per item with dishes averaging four dollars. Guests can select from a number of different appetizers such as edamame, miso soup or sesame seaweed salad. Sushi selections include such favorites as the Godzilla Roll, a tasty roll with sweet shrimp, mango, avocado, caramelized cashews and coconut; and the Dynamite Roll with yellowtail, salmon, green onion, and maki tempura style. Different variations of sushi and sashimi like yellow fin tuna, octopus and salmon are also offered. Guests can complete their meal with a dessert like green tea cake or fruit sashimi.

The sushi a la carte menu is rolling out to the fleet this weekend, starting with Norwegian Dawn on Sept 16; Norwegian Jade, Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Star and Pride of America on Sept 17; Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Pearl, and Norwegian Spirit on Sept 18 and Norwegian Sun on Oct 5.

To book a Norwegian cruise contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit

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Carnival Splendor Earns Unprecedented Fifth Perfect 100 USPH Score

MIAMI, Sept. 18: The 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor earned a perfect 100 on its United States Public Health Service inspection conducted earlier this week. Since entering service in 2008, Carnival Splendor has achieved five 100 scores, as well as a near-perfect mark of 99, an unprecedented accomplishment in the cruise industry.

Carnival Splendor, which operates year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach, Calif., received perfect marks on all 42 items that comprise the U.S. Public Health Service’s comprehensive Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) checklist.

The unannounced inspections, which are conducted twice a year and required for any cruise ship with an international itinerary calling at a U.S. port, evaluate vessels in a variety of areas, including adherence to proper food handling, preparation and storage procedures, and overall galley cleanliness. Ships’ potable water supplies used in spas and pools are also evaluated.

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Auto Enthusiasts & Jet Setters Join SeaDream I for the F1 Monaco Grand Prix 2012

Miami, FL, Sept 18: Enjoy luxurious accommodations aboard the 112 guest mega-yacht, SeaDream I and take in the one of the most important and prestigious automobile races in the world. Now less than 250 days before the departure of the 70th Grand Prix of Monaco 2012. Taking place May 24-27, 2012 the race is held on a narrow course laid out in the streets of Monaco, with many elevation changes, tight corners and a tunnel, making it one of the most demanding tracks in Formula One. In spite of the relatively low average speeds, it is a dangerous place to race.

Auto enthusiasts and jet setters flock to Monte Carlo for the race, the warm climate, the famous casino and the chance to rub elbows with a Prince or movie star. Although it has a reputation for being a glitzy tax haven for millionaires, the Principality offers an array of exceptional cultural attractions including the Princess Grace Rose Garden and the Oceanographic Museum.

Sail with SeaDream I, voyage #11221 embarking in Nice, France on May 26 then spend May 27 in Monte Carlo followed by five more days of heavenly Mediterranean yachting. After Monte Carlo this itinerary calls on St. Tropez, France; Portovenere, Italy; Viareggio (gateway to Florence), Italy; Portoferraio, Elba, Italy; Portofino, Italy with disembarkation on June 2 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. For further details visit or phone 800 707-4911.

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Weezer Announces Festival Show Schedule, Band Activities, Show Sets &
Special Pricing For The Weezer Cruise

The Weezer Cruise, curated by Grammy® Award-winning group Weezer sets sail this Jan 19-23, 2012 from Miami to an "island in the sun," Cozumel, Mexico. The music festival-at-sea, which features Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, Gene Ween and Dave Dreiwitz, Wavves, The Antlers, Yuck, Free Energy, Boom Bip, J. Mascis, Lou Barlow, Keepaway, Ozma, The Nervous Wreckords, The Knocks, Sleeper Agent, and Yacht Rock Revue, has announced the first batch of onboard activities and more special pricing options. To celebrate the upcoming Cruise, Weezer created this Love Boat parody video.

Besides checking out the performances on four stages through the day and night aboard the Carnival Destiny, cruisers will also get a rare chance to see their favorite musicians off-stage as well. Weezer's Rivers Cuomo is set to do a reading from the Pinkerton Diaries. Brian Bell will host p.j.s and robes "Movie Night," Pat Wilson will host a shuffleboard tournament, and Scott Shriner will lead couples through wedding vow renewals. Attendees can also participate in fun themed activities such as an "Ugly Sweater Night," "Weezer Karaoke," and more. For those feeling a little more competitive, there will be bingo, "Weezer Team Trivia," a cannonball and belly-flop contest, plus a flip cup tournament. Weezer will also hold a Q&A session. A continually updated list of cruise activities can be found at

Between the many shows taking place on the four stages around the ship, Weezer fans will have the opportunity to see the band play both The Blue Album and Pinkerton in their entirety. If that's not enough, attendees will be able to vote on songs they will hear. Already appearing in the rarities set, Weezer will for the first time ever play the song "Tragic Girl" and, for the first time since 1997, play "Mykel and Carli." As a thank you for all those onboard for coming, all attendees will get their photos taken with Weezer during the cruise.

When not rocking out, enjoying one of the myriad of themed events, or going on "pub crawls," fans can take in the ship's amenities like a massage in the spa, riding the water slide, or ordering from the 24-hour free room service menu. After a day-and-a-half at sea, guests have the option of spending their Saturday soaking up the sun on Cozumel's beaches before returning to sailing the Caribbean for more music and fun.

Based on fan feedback, Weezer and their cruise partner, Sixthman, have set up special 4-pack pricing. Now, fans and their three closest friends (or family members) can jump onboard. Click here for more detailed pricing information. All that is needed is $299, at the time of booking, to join the biggest Weezer party the seven seas have ever seen. Due to popular demand for single rooms, Sixthman has introduced the "Independent Traveler Program." For more details, visit

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Paul Gauguin Cruises Announces Multimillion-Dollar Renovations

BELLEVUE, WA, Sept 18: Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, is pleased to announce the largest renovations in the ship’s 14-year history. Scheduled for completion in Jan 2012, the $7 million renovation will feature extensive enhancements to both interiors and exteriors of the ship. The renovations will take place in January during the ship’s 10-night crossing from Tahiti to Brisbane and 11-night drydock in Brisbane. When joining the South Pacific Discovery sailing departing Ja 26, 2012, guests will be aboard a vessel that has been thoroughly updated and redecorated for even greater comfort.

Following the renovations, all suites and staterooms will feature new carpeting, refinished furniture with new fabrics, new teak railings on the balconies, decorative side panels around the windows, and new bathroom flooring. Renovations throughout the ship will include new flooring and replaced carpeting, elegant new furniture, new window treatments and decorative wall panels, and new signage, providing a lighter, brighter feel.

La Veranda will offer guests a redesigned entrance, refinished indoor and outdoor furniture and solar shades throughout. Le Grill will boast new decorative partitions and divider walls, as well as a new buffet area and new lighting. L’Etoile will also feature a redesigned entrance in addition to video equipment for conferences.

Promenade Deck 5 will boast a new built-in banquette and expanded casino in Le Casino, and Deck 6 will receive a new integrated display case for books and art. La Palette will feature a decorative stone band along the front of the bar and an updated lighting system, as well as new outdoor furniture. Le Grand Salon will offer a refurbished dance floor to provide the perfect venue to dance the night away under the South Pacific sky.

The Gauguin’s previous renovation, totaling $6 million, was completed in Jan 2009. The upcoming refurbishments show Paul Gauguin Cruises’ level of commitment to the vessel and the importance of the overall product and guest experience. For rates and reservations for Paul Gauguin Cruises, contact a travel professional, call 800-848-6172, or visit

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Celebrity Cruises Collaborates With "NERDEL" & The Nerdel Company to Make
 Wellness Education Fun for Young Vacationers

MIAMI, Sept. 18: With theircool, contemporary design with warm spaces, inviting staterooms and personalized service, Celebrity Cruises' ships offer modern luxury, an ideal backdrop for wellness-themed experiences that help guests rejuvenate, relax and recharge. With a playful twist, Celebrity is now bringing children into its wellness lineup by collaborating with The Nerdel Company to offer a new, interactive program featuring activities themed around healthy choices and starring a puppet named NERDEL, known for his endearing, lovable "personality."

"We know our guests' vacation time is precious, which is why we focus on delivering a luxurious, relaxing and fun experience onboard," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Senior Vice President, Hotel Operations. "From the sumptuous, spa-inspired AquaClass staterooms to the healthy gourmet cuisine in our AquaSpa Cafes, from our rejuvenation seminars to our fitness classes, we offer our adult guests a number of ways to include wellness in their vacation experience, and now we're looking to do the same for our younger guests, in a truly enjoyable way. By teaming with NERDEL and The Nerdel Company to offer unique and engaging games and activities, we are hoping to play a part in instilling wellness-focused values in children by empowering them with the knowledge that they need to make better nutritional choices and take charge of their physical fitness, from an early age."

Live puppet performances, puppet workshops, children's puppet performances and lessons on the art of puppeteering will be at the core of Celebrity's onboard NERDEL activities for "Shipmates" (children from ages three to five) and "Cadets" (children from ages six to eight) spending time in Celebrity's Fun Factory. Children also will have the opportunity to explore The World of NERDEL, which includes a custom-designed Celebrity Cruises activity book with crossword puzzles, word searches, matching games, coloring and more. The World of NERDEL also offers Celebrity's young guests the opportunity to explore their musical side through custom-designed and standard sing-along songs.

Celebrity's emphasis on culinary exploration also has been integrated into its Fun Factory activities, and the NERDEL activities onboard will also include a video by the "Chef Mangel" (pronounced Mahn-gell) puppet, followed by a healthy pizza-making class. Developed by a team that has included doctors, nutritionists, chefs, fitness professionals, educators and entertainment experts, The Nerdel Company aims to address the issues of children's obesity, hunger, fitness and health in an educational and entertaining way.

The World of NERDEL also has a land-based component that children can continue to enjoy after their vacation. From iPad applications, an interactive website (, and animated presentations, NERDEL can continue to play a positive part in Celebrity's youngest guests' continued learning about how to make healthy choices. "We are truly honored to be working with Celebrity Cruises," Dr. Marc Kesselman, Chairman and CEO, The Nerdel Company, said. "It's a wonderful match to join forces with a vacation company that leads the industry in engaging onboard experiences, to bring the highest quality of children's programming and edutainment to Celebrity's upscale brand."

Celebrity introduced its NERDEL program on the brand-new Celebrity Silhouette, which debuted in Europe this summer, and plans to launch the program on its other ships by Oct 15, 2011, with the exception of Celebrity Xpedition, the 92-guest mega-yacht sailing year-round in the Galapagos Islands.

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Oceania Cruises Reveals 2012-2013 Winter Schedule

MIAMI, Sept 15: Oceania Cruises’ Winter Collection, featuring voyages from September 2012 through May 2013 is on sale. The exotic cruise schedule includes 21 all-new Grand Voyages ranging from 23 to 71 days, as well as Caribbean and Panama Canal cruises onboard the line’s new 1,250-guest Riviera. With advance booking savings, 7-day cruises finclud round-trip air.

“Our loyal repeaters and first-time guests alike will appreciate the depth and diversity of our 2012-2013 Winter Collection,” stated Bruce J. Himelstein, Oceania Cruises’ president. “With the addition of Riviera to our fleet, Oceania Cruises will expand its presence in every region of the world offering new and intriguing destinations to delight discriminating travelers.”

Canada, New England & South America
Oceania Cruises’ 684-guest Regatta will again offer her popular foliage cruises in September and October before cruising to the Caribbean and South America. New ports include Boston and Portland, Maine. After a 25-day Enchanted Amazon (departing Nov. 2, 2012) cruise from New York, Regatta offers a seven-day Caribbean Interlude (departing Nov. 27, 2012) cruise before operating Panama Canal cruises between Miami and Los Angeles (beginning Dec. 4, 2012). A 30-day South American Explorer (departing Jan. 23, 2013) itinerary from Lima to Rio de Janeiro showcases the very best of South America. From Rio, Regatta reprises her 12-day Radiant Rhythms (beginning Feb. 22, 2012) cruises between Rio and Buenos Aires before heading to Europe for summer 2013.

Caribbean & Panama Canal Onboard ‘Riviera’
Riviera, a sister ship to the widely acclaimed Marina, will make her North American debut with a winter season of Caribbean and Panama Canal cruises beginning with Idyllic Isles (departing Nov. 29, 2012). The new itineraries venture deeper into the Caribbean; a 14-day Island Holiday (departing Dec. 20, 2012), for example, will include stops at Kingstown, St. Vincent and Philipsburg, all new ports for Oceania Cruises.

‘Marina’ to Cruise Wonders Down Under
Oceania Cruises’ maiden season sailing the South Seas was a success, so Marina will replace the smaller Regatta on cruises to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. The 20-day Ancient Legends (departing Dec. 27, 2012) journey to Polynesia via South America will visit such exotic outposts as Robinson Crusoe, Easter and Pitcairn islands and Fakarava in French Polynesia. Following her Down Under cruises, Regatta sails a 20-day Grand Panama Canal (departing May 6, 2013) cruise from Lima to New York. She then heads to Southampton on a 16-day Viking Passage (departing May 26, 2013) via New England, Canada and Ireland.

‘Nautica’ Returns to Africa & Asia
The 684-guest Nautica will return to the mysterious and magical continents of Africa and Asia. For example, the 17-day Asian Treasures itinerary (departing Feb. 4, 2013) sails from Singapore to Hong Kong followed by the 17-day Empires & Dynasties (departing Feb. 21, 2013) sailing from Hong Kong to Beijing. Sands & Safaris (departing Jan. 5, 2013), is a 30-day cruise from Cape Town to Singapore via the Seychelles, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

New ‘Grand Voyages’
For the first time ever, Oceania Cruises has introduced an exciting series of 23- to 71-day Grand Voyages. By booking back-to-back cruises, guests can save 5 percent plus enjoy free prepaid gratuities and a $250 shipboard credit–a savings of up to $1,300 per guest, depending on the length of the voyage and suite or stateroom category reserved. Some examples include Ultimate South America onboard Regatta (departing Jan. 5, 2012), which starts in Miami, transits the Panama Canal and follows the samba rhythms south to Rio de Janeiro. On Marina’s 48-day Rendezvous to the Pacific sailing (departing Dec. 10, 2012), guests cruise from Rio across the Pacific to a bevy of Polynesian paradises. For the most intrepid of explorers, the 49-day Ultimate Odyssey (departing April 7, 2013) is a voyage aboard Marina from Tahiti all the way to New York.

For more information on the 2012-2013 Winter Collection, see a professional travel agent, visit or call 800-531-5658.

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American Cruise Lines’ American Spirit to Operate in Alaska

GUILFORD, CT, Sept 15: American Cruise Lines, the leader in small ship cruising, announced that its 100-passenger American Spirit will operate its recently introduced Alaskan itineraries debuting in June of 2012. Built in 2005, The American Spirit will be the newest vessel operating in Alaska, offering a full range of onboard amenities, including an elevator to all decks, numerous glass-enclosed lounges and the largest staterooms by far, the majority of which have private balconies and all with extra-large opening picture windows to maximize each passenger’s personal view of the Alaskan scenery; towering glaciers, verdant forests, floating ice castles and islands and waters teeming with wildlife.

“Our passengers are going to experience Alaska like they never have before in the comfort of the American Spirit,” said Paul Taiclet, Vice President of Hotel Operations, American Cruise Lines. “The oversized staterooms, spacious public areas and multitude of modern-day amenities make this ship by far the most comfortable and accommodating.”

American Cruise Lines’ unique approach to small ship cruising will introduce passengers to secluded and seemingly untouched waterways and in the company of expert naturalist guides and local experts. The American Spirit is specially designed to navigate these narrow inland waterways, while the intimate atmosphere onboard is perfect for onboard camaraderie as guests often find themselves amongst others who seek enriching travels and share their passion for exploration, adventure and discovery. See a deck plan of the American Spirit here.

Beginning in June of 2012, American Cruise Lines will offer several different 7- and 11-night Alaskan itineraries, including round trip cruises departing from Juneau, Alaska, and one-way cruises between Juneau and Seattle, Washington. Offering a unique pampered adventure to experience Alaska, American Cruise Lines passengers will experience breathtaking views of the Alaskan wild in the premier vessel available, while having up close and intimate access to wildlife, inside passages and glaciers in the comfort of the American Spirit launch or for the more adventure –inclined passengers, by kayak.

American Cruise Lines, the largest U.S. cruise line, operates the newest fleet of small luxury ships in the industry. Seven ships, each carrying no more than 150 passengers, offer more than 30 unique itineraries along the inland waterways and rivers of the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, the Mississippi River System and East Coast of the United States, from New England to Florida. To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit our Website at or call (800) 814-6880.

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Seabourn Announces Seabourn Quest's 2013 World Cruise

SEATTLE, Sept 15: The new Seabourn Quest will embark on a 116-day World Cruise in 2013, visiting an array of exotic destinations in the South Pacific, Australia, Indonesia and Southeast Asia, India, Arabia and the Mediterranean. The ship will depart Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Jan 6, 2013, and traverse the globe westbound, arriving in Venice, Italy on May 3, 2013.

"Seabourn Quest's 2013 World Cruise is an extraordinary journey, offering guests a unique opportunity to become well-traveled in a single voyage," said John Delaney, Seabourn's Senior Vice President of marketing & sales. "This voyage will bring together adventurous travelers, inviting them to gather a lifetime of memories and shared experiences they will cherish forever."

Seabourn Quest's 2013 World Cruise will call at 51 ports in 27 countries on six continents, featuring a combination of visits to world famous marquee ports and hidden gems, as well as overnight stays in some of the world's greatest cities. The itinerary also includes a number of destinations that are either maiden calls or ports that the line has not visited in years, such as Lautoka, Viti Levu, Fiji; Kuto, Ile des Pins and Nouméa, Grande Terre in New Caledonia and Townsville, Queensland, Australia.

Fares for the full 116-day voyage include a value-packed menu of complimentary benefits and amenities, including:

-- A pre-cruise Gala Bon Voyage event and luxury overnight stay in Ft. Lauderdale
-- Special shoreside events and exclusive complimentary shore excursions
-- Personal Valet luggage shipping service of up to 150 pounds
-- Shipboard credits of $2,500 per guest
-- Private car transfers, including door-to-door from the guests' homes
-- Complimentary round-trip business class air or $2,500 air credit
-- Onboard gala celebrations
-- A variety of special gifts

For guests who cannot sail on the entire 116-day voyage, shorter segments ranging from 21 to 90 days are available that also include certain complimentary amenities.

In addition to the 2013 World Cruise, Seabourn Quest will also set sail on its 109-day Maiden World Cruise, departing Jan 5, 2012, 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. Rates for the full 2012 World Cruise include complimentary World Cruise amenities and shorter segments are also available.

Introduced on June 20, 2011, Seabourn Quest is the third iteration of the sleek and widely admired design that first appeared as Seabourn Odyssey in June 2009, and has been hailed as "a game-changer for the luxury segment." Seabourn Quest's 225 luxurious and spacious suites, 90 percent of which offer private verandas, feature separate living areas and bedrooms, writing desks with personalized stationery, and generously sized granite bathrooms with separate bath and shower and twin sinks. Suites are outfitted with walk-in closets, an interactive flat-screen TV with a wide selection of music and movies, and iPod and MP3 connections. Personal bars and refrigerators are stocked according to guest preferences.

For foodies everywhere, Seabourn Quest offers gourmet dining experiences in four dining venues that rival the finest restaurants anywhere, all at no extra charge. All dining venues, as well as six bars and lounges, serve a full range of beverages, including Champagne, fine wines and spirits, with Seabourn's compliments. Like its sister ships, Seabourn Quest also houses an 11,400-square foot Spa at Seabourn, the largest spa on any luxury vessel, providing the ultimate pampering experience at sea. Seabourn Quest offers a host of other amenities and features, including two swimming pools, six whirlpools, and a unique marina with a variety of watersport activities. One of the most popular spots is Seabourn Square, an innovative concierge lounge with a "club room" ambiance, making guests feel at home during their cruises.

For more information or reservations about both the 2012 and 2013 World Cruises, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Explore History, Wine & Autumn Scenery Along the Columbia & Snake Rivers
 on a Luxury Yacht Cruise

Seattle, WA, Sept 14: Intermingling history of the west, the fall crush in Washington wine country, spectacular autumn scenery and exhilarating river explorations, American Safari Cruises offers six departures along the Columbia and Snake Rivers in October and November 2011. The weeklong Rivers of the West itinerary sails one-way between Portland, Oregon and Lewiston, Idaho (and reverse) aboard the exclusive 12-guest Safari Spirit. Available for individual travel or charter, departure dates include October 8; November 12, 19 and 26; and special Culinary and Wine Discovery theme cruises on Oct 29 and Nov 5.

“Our small group travel philosophy shines on this itinerary along the rivers,” said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “Guests will enjoy private tours and wine tastings along with expert interpretation of the area’s history by our on board naturalist.”

The itinerary transits eight locks, three states and cuts through the dramatic Columbia River Gorge on its route between Portland, Oregon and Lewiston, Idaho. In Oregon, guests will explore the Multnomah Falls, Bonneville Dam and dock for the evening in the picturesque town of Hood River—the wind surfing capital of the world. A guest speaker joins guests after dinner in Hood River to discuss the area’s history. Cruising the Columbia, the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region, offers a close-up look at the workings of the rivers’ locks and dams.

On the Washington side, highlights include private tours to two local wineries for wine tastings, a guest speaker in Richland knowledgeable about the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, cruising through a wildlife region rich with migratory birds, entering the Snake River and kayaking or skiff explorations up the Palouse River. An exhilarating jet boat ride into Hells Canyon in Idaho takes guests into North America’s deepest canyon for incredible scenery and opportunities to view 7,000-year-old petroglyphs and bighorn sheep.

On board the Safari Spirit, elegant décor and a casual atmosphere combine into a welcome sense of luxury. The inclusive cruises include all from-the-yacht activities and equipment; transfers; exquisite meals; fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews; and all port charges, taxes and fees. The Safari Spirit features a hot tub, sauna, library, open bridge, Tempur-pedic mattresses, Jacuzzi tub and shower and heated tile floors in all bathrooms, and upper category balconies. An all-American crew has a guest-crew ratio of 2 to 1. Yachts can be booked as a private charter or by individual stateroom. To book a yachting adventure or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or American Safari Cruises at 888-862-8881 or email .

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Holland America Line Launches Alaska Cruise Sweepstakes on Facebook

SEATTLE, Aug. 14: Holland America Line recently launched a contest on Facebook that will award one fan a seven-day Alaska cruise for four including two verandah staterooms. The sweepstakes runs through Nov. 30, 2011 and the winner will be selected in December 2011. To enter the contest, new visitors to Holland America Line's Facebook page must become fans and answer a few questions to be entered. Existing Holland America Line fans simply fill out the form for their chance to win the cruise. (The sweepstakes is limited to legal residents 18 years of age or older from the United States, District of Columbia, Canada--except Quebec--and the United Kingdom.)

"With a rapidly growing fan base, Holland America Line's Facebook page has become an engaging way for cruise enthusiasts to interact with the company," said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "Fans are able to connect with each other, explore our worldwide cruise offerings, and enter to win a fantastic Alaska cruise."

The contest is just one of the cruise line's latest Facebook initiatives. To further enhance its interactivity, three new Facebook tabs, Connect, Plan a Cruise and Roll Call, enable Holland America Facebook fans to access the line's other social media platforms, plan a cruise vacation and find fellow guests sailing on the same cruise.

Using the Connect tab, fans can view Holland America Line videos on YouTube, check the latest Twitter and Holland America Blog posts, and flip through numerous photo albums--all without leaving Facebook. The Connect tab also lets fans create a pre-cruise message to post on their wall, while the Roll Call tab enables fellow travelers on the same upcoming cruise to connect with each other. The Plan a Cruise tab has all the tools to plan a Holland America vacation, including a cruise finder, featured destinations and shore excursions, and the ability to sign up to receive special offers. Fans can also post reviews of shore excursions and cruises.

For more information on Holland America Line's cruises and cruisetours, consult a professional travel seller, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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Celebrity Cruises & Meyer Werft Celebrate Keel-Laying of Celebrity Reflection

MIAMI, Sept 13: Celebrity Cruises today celebrated the keel-laying of the fifth in its stylish, five-ship Solstice Class series, Celebrity Reflection, at shipbuilder Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. The 500-ton block measuring 66-ft by 118-ft was lifted into the building dock with an 800-ton crane, and commemoratively placed on a collection of coins, consistent with tradition.

Celebrity Reflection is the 10th ship to be built for Celebrity Cruises by Meyer Werft. The two organizations’ collaboration began in 1988, with the building of the former Celebrity Horizon. And in a unique twist, Celebrity Reflection shares the same trio of numbers as designated by Meyer Werft to the first Celebrity ship built at the yard: The former Celebrity Horizon’s shipyard number was S-619; Celebrity Reflection’s is S-691. For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111, visit or call your travel agent.

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VIP Box Among New Luxe Options to Samba Through Rio's Carnival With Crystal Cruises

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 13: With two itineraries through Brazil during Carnival in 2012, luxury specialist Crystal Cruises announces four new opportunities for guests to experience the legendary Carnival spectacle during the cruises' overnights in Rio de Janeiro. From grandstand seating and front-row box seats to luxury VIP sky box suites with gourmet goodies, guests have a choice of several fully escorted, reserved seating programs at the Sambadrome. There's even an option to participate firsthand--marching in the parade, dressed in costume, and performing with one of the samba schools.

Crystal Symphony's Miami-Rio and Rio-Buenos Aires voyages on Feb 6 and 20, respectively, end or begin on the parade's two best nights, Sunday and Monday, when 30,000 glamorously-costumed members of the top samba schools thrill crowds with singing, dancing, drumming, and colorful floats.

All excursion participants (even those in the parade) will be accompanied by experienced, secure guides from beginning to end, with several convenient late-night shore-to-ship shuttles. Crystal's Carnival excursions begin at $799/person, with $12,999/person for the VIP box suite package.

The 14-day, Feb 6th "Copacabana & Carnival" voyage calls in Miami, Barbados, Devil's Island, Maceio, Salvador, and Rio. Travelers who reserve this cruise by Oct. 31 receive an additional $1000/person off 2-for-1 fares. The Feb 20th 12-day "Samba Serenade" cruise visits Rio, Buzios, Ilha Grande, Paraty, Santos/Sao Paulo, Itajai, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires. Both voyages include $1,000/couple "All Inclusive. As You Wish" shipboard credit, plus free air and airport/ship transfers to/from 24 North American gateways (or air credit). Family and friend groups of six+ who qualify for Crystal's Family Memories Program also receive additional perks and savings.

Crystal Cruises' passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more "World's Best" awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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Norwegian Breakaway & Norwegian Getaway Selected For Norwegian’s New Ships Names

MIAMI – Sept 13: Norwegian Cruise Line (“Norwegian”) has selected the winning names for its two new Freestyle Cruising® ships: Norwegian Breakaway, launching in April 2013, and Norwegian Getaway, launching in April 2014. The names were selected as the culmination of its “Norwegian’s Cruising for Names” contest. Norwegian felt these names best reflected the innovation of the brand along with the freedom and flexibility of the line’s signature Freestyle Cruising and invoked the feeling that these ships will provide a “break” at sea from the stress of everyday life. Breakaway is defined as “a departure or break from routine or tradition” and Getaway is defined as “a place where one escapes for relaxation, vacation, etc.”

“We felt Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway epitomized both our Freestyle Cruising philosophy and our belief that these ships will offer a true respite, whisking our guests away from their everyday routines and delivering the ultimate cruise vacation,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer.

The contest winners are Kimberly Powell of Lafayette, Louisiana, who first submitted Norwegian Breakaway, and Dennis Hultman of Vienna, Virginia, who first submitted Norwegian Getaway. Powell took her first cruise in August on Norwegian Spirit and loved the experience. Both The contest entry period ran from July 18 to August 14, 2011, during which 230,000 entries were received. Powell and Hultman will receive a trip for two to Norwegian Breakaway’s inaugural festivities, including the Christening Ceremony (date/location yet to be determined). The trip includes round-trip coach airfare for two, ground transportation, balcony stateroom accommodations (double occupancy), on-board meals, as well as government taxes and fees.

The Breakaway class ships will each be 144,017 gross tons and will have approximately 4,000 passenger berths. These ships represent an opportunity for the Norwegian guest to “break away” from the routine of work, school, and daily stress, and find a true respite at sea. These new ships will take the best of the best from all of Norwegian’s existing ships drawing on the line’s experience of having launched 10 ships in the past 10 years – starting with Norwegian Star and Sun in 2001 and culminating with the launch of Norwegian Epic in 2010. To date, the company has revealed all of the ships’ staterooms, which include the innovative Studios, designed and priced for solo travelers, along with The Haven by Norwegian, comprised of 42 suites at the top of the ship.

Further information on Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway can be found at

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Windstar Introduces 2012 Caribbean Sail & Stay Packages

SEATTLE, Sept. 9: Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, introduces 2012 Caribbean Sail & Stay Packages which include a select Windstar voyage and two free hotel nights at Windstar reserved hotels, allowing guests to extend their Caribbean vacations at a tremendous value.

Flavors of the Caribbean Voyage Plus Two Free Hotel Nights in St. Martin
Set sail to a unique collection of islands highlighting diverse countries, styles, landscapes and cultures of the Caribbean. Seven-day sailings on Wind Surf roundtrip from Philipsburg, St. Maarten visit Le Marin, Martinique; Pigeon Island, St. Lucia; Roseau, Dominica; English Harbour, Antigua; and Gustavia, St. Barthelemy. Cruise departures: January 14, 28; February 11, 25, 2012. Includes two nights hotel accommodations in Marigot, St. Martin pre- or post-voyage.

Yachtsman's Caribbean Voyage Plus Two Free Hotel Nights in St. Martin
Experience the glitter and glam of the Caribbean's yachting scene with overnights in Jost van Dyke and Virgin Gorda. Seven-day sailings on Wind Surf roundtrip from Philipsburg, St. Maarten visits Soper's Hole, Tortola; Jost van Dyke, B.V.I.; Virgin Gorda, B.V.I.; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Les Saintes, F.W.I.; and Gustavia, St. Barthelemy. Cruise departures: January 7; February 4, 18, 2012. Includes two nights hotel accommodations in Marigot, St. Martin pre-or post-voyage.

Jewels of the Windward Islands Voyage Plus Two Free Hotel Nights in Barbados
Visit the unspoiled islands of the southern Grenadines and overnight in the beautiful Tobago Keys. Seven-day sailings on Wind Spirit roundtrip from Bridgetown, Barbados visits Pigeon Island, St. Lucia; Bequia, St. Vincent, Grenadines; Tobago Keys (overnight), St. Vincent, Grenadines; and St. George's, Grenada. Cruise departures: January 7, 14, 21; 28; February 4, 11, 18, 25, 2012. Includes two nights hotel accommodations in Barbados pre- or post-voyage.

Two night complimentary hotel offer is only applicable on designated sailings included in the 2012 Caribbean Sail & Stay promotion. Promotional code: HotSpcl. Offer is subject to availability, is not combinable with any other pricing or promotional offers, is capacity controlled and may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice. Rates shown are for Category B stateroom. Government fees and taxes additional. Hotels in St. Martin and Barbados in offer are selected by Windstar Cruises. Offer valid on new bookings made now through October 15, 2011.

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Norwegian Unveils More Project Breakaway Accommodations

MIAMI, Sept 8: Norwegian Cruise Line (“Norwegian”) today unveiled the balance of stateroom designs, including The Studio, Spa Balcony, Spa Mini-Suite, Oceanview, Family Mini-Suite, and Inside staterooms, for Project Breakaway, the company’s two new next generation Freestyle Cruising ships scheduled for delivery in April 2013 and April 2014. Similar to the Balcony and Mini-Suite staterooms revealed this summer, these staterooms combine the form and function of the line’s Jewel class ships’ staterooms with the modern and contemporary design touches of Norwegian Epic.

Norwegian is continuing the popular award-winning Studio staterooms for solo travelers on the Project Breakaway ships. The 59 Studios on each ship are specifically designed and priced for the solo traveler with an innovative bathroom design that includes a separate sink and shower to provide more personal space. The Studios, the majority of which connect, feature a full-size bed with convenient lighted recess above the bed to hold books, magazines, tablet computers or electronic reading devices and have a unique window to the corridor. These rooms also have private keycard access to the Studio complex and exclusive two-story Studio Lounge with a bar.

For those who like to relax, the 28 Spa Balcony and the 20 Spa Mini-Suite staterooms feature tranquil spa décor and have easy access to the adjacent spa and fitness center, as well as complimentary access to the Thermal Spa Suite during operating hours.

On the Project Breakaway ships, Norwegian is re-introducing Oceanview staterooms that feature large picture windows. Of the 158 Oceanview staterooms on each ship, there are approximately 42 Family Oceanviews that sleep up to five guests and have a bathroom similar to the Mini-Suite with a modern double sink, bath tub, and a second wardrobe for added storage. The Family Mini-Suites located on Deck 12 and 13 feature all the attributes of the Mini-Suite and are located in close proximity to the children’s facilities, making it convenient and easy for families. For families with small children, there are a number of staterooms with bath tubs.

Project Breakaway ships include 449 Inside staterooms that feature two lower beds that can be converted to a queen-size bed. Many are connecting and sleep up to four guests. They are located on various decks throughout the ship and some are adjacent to the children’s facilities.

Each of the 144,017 gross ton vessels will have approximately 4,000 passenger berths. Project Breakaway ships represent an opportunity for the Norwegian guest to “break away” from the routine of work, school, and daily stress, and find a true respite at sea. These new ships will take the best of the best from all of Norwegian’s existing ships drawing on the line’s experience of having launched 10 ships in the past 10 years – starting with Norwegian Star and Sun in 2001 and culminating with the launch of Norwegian Epic in 2010.

Norwegian commissioned design group Priestmangoode of the United Kingdom and Tillberg Design of Sweden, to design the staterooms for Project Breakaway. Priestmangoode won accolades and awards for designing the Studios, the first staterooms designed specifically for solo travelers, on Norwegian Epic. Additional information about Project Breakaway can be found at

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Norwegian Cruise Line Selects Finalist Names For Its Two New Ships

MIAMI, Sept 7: Norwegian Cruise Line (“Norwegian”) has selected five finalist names in its “Norwegian’s Cruising for Names” contest held in conjunction with national newspaper USA Today. The contest that sought names for the cruise line’s two new next generation Freestyle Cruising® ships scheduled for delivery in April 2013 and April 2014 received a record-breaking 230,000 entries over the four-week entry period. The finalist names are (in alphabetical order):

· Norwegian Bliss, first submitted by David Menker of Dallas, TX;
· Norwegian Breakaway, first submitted by Kimberly Powell of Lafayette, LA;
· Norwegian Escape, first submitted by Joseph Funigiello of Naples, FL;
· Norwegian Getaway, first submitted by Dennis Hultman of Vienna, VA;
· Norwegian Journey, first submitted by Florence Pflaster of Carolina Shores, NC.

“We received an overwhelmingly positive response to our naming contest, showing the passion and enthusiasm cruisers have for our new ships,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian’s chief executive officer. “We thank everyone who took the time to reflect on a name for our ships. It was very challenging to select just five finalists.”

The finalist names were selected by Norwegian because they reflect the innovation of the brand along with the freedom and flexibility of the line’s signature Freestyle Cruising and invoke the feeling that these ships provide a “break” at sea from the stress of everyday life.

The line will announce the two winning names from the five finalists on Sept 13, 2011. The winners will receive a trip for two to the first ship’s inaugural festivities, including the Christening Ceremony (date/location yet to be determined). The trip includes round-trip coach airfare for two, ground transportation, balcony stateroom accommodations (double occupancy), on-board meals, as well as government taxes and fees.

The contest entry period ran from July 18 to August 14, 2011. According to the official rules, the contestant who was the first in time (according to the date and time stamp on the online submission) to submit a specific name in accordance with the criteria was eligible to be considered as a finalist.

The Project Breakaway ships will each be 144,017 gross tons and will have approximately 4,000 passenger berths. These ships represent an opportunity for the Norwegian guest to “break away” from the routine of work, school, and daily stress, and find a true respite at sea. These new ships will take the best of the best from all of Norwegian’s existing ships drawing on the line’s experience of having launched 10 ships in the past 10 years, starting with Norwegian Star and Sun in 2001 and culminating with the launch of Norwegian Epic in 2010. Further information on Project Breakaway can be found at

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Royal Caribbean Forms a Strategic Relationship With Xiamen Municipal Government
 & China World Cruises

XIAMEN, China, Sept. 7: Royal Caribbean Intl has entered into a strategic relationship with the Xiamen municipal government and China World Cruises (CWC) in China that involves CWC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Beijing-based property and theme park developer Shan-Hai-Shu, chartering Legend of the Seas for a total of four months in 2012. During the four months, Royal Caribbean will operate and market 21, three- to eight-night sailings from Xiamen, as well as Shanghai, Tianjin and Hong Kong, to ports of call in Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan and Korea. The inaugural, five-night charter sailing will depart from Hong Kong on March 20, 2012, while the first departure of guests from Xiamen will be on March 26.

The time charter agreement is fully supported by the Xiamen Municipal Government as part of the government's development of Xiamen as the fourth cruise home port for Royal Caribbean International in China, following Shanghai, Tianjin and Hong Kong. Working with the Xiamen municipal government, Xiamen-based CWC aims to invest around $5 billion in the Xiamen waterfront area and harbor district to develop a "Cruise Homeport City", with a theme park, retail units, luxury hotels, condominiums, as well as a new, four-berth cruise terminal. Xiamen is located between Shanghai and Hong Kong, is less than 200 miles from Taipei, Taiwan, and is one of the most important and fastest growing ports along the Chinese coast.

"This is an incredible opportunity for Royal Caribbean International, the Xiamen municipal government and China World Cruises, and is truly unique to the fast growing cruise industry in Asia," says Dr. Zinan Liu, group managing director for China and Asia, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We are the first cruise brand to bring together the support of the government and local private industry."

Legend of the Seas is an award-winning, 1,804 double occupancy ship that has been operating in Asia, out of Singapore since 2008 and out of Shanghai since 2010. At 63,130 gross registered tons, the ship features:

-- 11 guest decks
-- 902 staterooms
-- An array of entertainment and relaxation choices for families & couples
-- Complimentary and award-winning Adventure Ocean kids & teen programming
-- A nine-meter rock wall and nine-hole miniature golf course
-- Broadway-style musical productions
-- A fitness center, day spa, lounges, & Solarium indoor pool
-- A wide variety of international cuisines, ranging from formal to casual dining styles.

The strategic relationship with the Xiamen municipal government and China World Cruises follows the announcement in June that Royal Caribbean will deploy the 3,114 double occupancy Voyager of the Seas to China in June 2012.Offering a wide variety of itineraries, ranging from four to eight nights, Voyager of the Seas will double the size of any cruise ship operating in China, and in the Asia-Pacific region.

Spanning 14 passenger decks and with 1,556 staterooms, Voyager of the Seas will start its Asia 2012 season with a sailing from Singapore, followed by itineraries out of Shanghai (Baoshan) and Tianjin, to ports including Fukuoka and Kobe in Japan, and Busan and Jeju in Korea until October. Voyager of the Seas will begin 14-night sailings from Sydney, Australia on November 24, 2012 to ports in Australia and New Zealand, while itineraries in early 2013 will include stops in Tasmania and the South Pacific.

Today's announcement and the deployment of Voyager of the Seas to Shanghai in 2012 are part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s strategy for global diversification and growth.

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Crystal Adds Eight New Voluntourism Excursions on Fall Mediterranean
 & Pacific Coast Cruises

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 6: Crystal Cruises' first year of its "You Care, We Care" voluntourism program has added eight more excursions to wrap up 2011. With all Mediterranean and U.S. Pacific Coastal cruises this fall, new hands-on volunteer opportunities will assist people-in-need in Italy, Greece, Croatia, Israel, the Canary Islands, and southern California--plus Mediterranean sea turtles. Participation is free, with Crystal handling all logistics. Both guests and crew members can help the following philanthropic organizations through December:

Luigi Scotto Foundation--Livorno, Italy (six trips through the end of November): Tend to the grounds or create holiday decorations for the residents of this home for the disabled.

Leket Israel--Ashdod, Israel (Oct 27): Gather, pack up, and/or redistribute fruit and vegetables for the country's largest food bank and food rescue network.

The Smile of a Child--Navplion, Greece (Sept 11): Assist with daycare or meal preparation for abused, ill, or abandoned children who are cared for in eight communal homes.

Martha III and II--Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain (Dec 5 & 12): At sister residential centers, help the developmentally-challenged kids and adults celebrate the "Canarian Day" holiday with party preparations, handle daily operational tasks, or create arts and crafts.

Backyard Bounty--Santa Barbara, CA, USA (Nov 21 & Dec 5): Visit the bountiful orchards of Southern California to collect produce that will help feed the hungry.

Sea Turtle Rescue Center--Athens, Greece (Nov 10): Aid the nurturing of injured turtles.

Domus Christi--Dubrovnik, Croatia (Sept 29): Garden with elderly inhabitants of this 660 year-old shelter before accompanying them on a stroll along the Old Port.

In addition to these new opportunities, this autumn, Crystal will also return to help three charitable organizations visited earlier this year, aiding: conservation efforts in Hawaii, barrio residents in Cartagena, and a philanthropic construction project in Puerto Vallarta. The ultra-luxe cruise line will continue its "You Care, We Care" program in 2012, with volunteer excursions offered on every cruise next year.

A cornerstone of Crystal Cruises' culture is its genuine hospitality and service that has been internationally celebrated for two decades. This spirit of generosity extends to its respectful treatment of the environment, oceans and communities in which it travels. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit

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MSC Divina Now Afloat

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Sept 6: MSC Divina, the third and latest addition to the MSC Cruises’ flagship Fantasia class, floated out of dry dock B at the STX Europe ship yard in Saint-Nazaire, France on Saturday, Sept 3, and transferred to dock C for final fitting and furnishing prior to her christening on May 26, 2012. Representing a major milestone in this 140,000 ton ship accommodating up to 4,363 guests, a select group gathered to witness the ship slated to become the 12th ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet.

Named in honor of Sophia Loren, Italian film legend and godmother of several MSC ships, MSC Divina will be appropriately themed as a divine goddess. Announced during the float out, the ship’s 18 decks (13 of which are for guests’ use) are being named after the gods of ancient Greece; among them Urano, Afrodite, Aurora, Giunone, Artemide, Zeus, Mercurio, Cupido, Iride, Minerva, Apollo, Saturno, and Elios. An addition to the ship is the aft Garden Pool purposely designed and decorated as an upscale area for quiet retreat, philosophizing, or simply gazing into the sunset.

“Today marks the start of the final one-million hours of work required to ensure MSC Divina is ready for her debut on May 26, 2012 in Marseille, France,” said Emilio La Scala, general manager of MSC Cruises’ technical department.

Construction of MSC Divina began more than a year ago with a total of 74 mega-blocks each consisting of a set of large pre-fabricated hull components used for assembling the ship. Work on the keel is nearly completed. Already 50 percent of the outfitting has been done including completion of the electrical networking, plumbing, and public areas. Work has also begun on 400 of the 1,751 staterooms, 100 more than her sister ships MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida. Cutting-edge technical changes on MSC Divina include more powerful propulsion motors, rated at 21.8 MW each (compared to 20.2 MW on the MSC Splendida); new alternators, and state-of-the-art HVAC chillers. The ship will feature a new reverse osmosis system for fresh water production that requires 40 percent less power, therefore, providing less of an impact on the environment.

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Royal Caribbean Announces 2012 Asia Schedule for Voyager of the Seas

SHANGHAI, Sept. 6: Executives of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced today Royal Caribbean Intl's 2012 Asia cruises deployment schedule for Voyager of the Seas, the largest and most amenity-filled cruise ship to sail in the region. At 137,276 gross registered tons, Voyager of the Seas ranks among the world's 10 largest and most innovative cruise ships and will offer vacationers unparalleled experiences in the region. The ship's inaugural Asia season will start on May 26, 2012 in Singapore, followed by sailings from Shanghai (Baoshan) and Tianjin in China.

"We have a leading market position in China," explains Dr. Zinan Liu, group managing director of China and Asia for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "Customer demand is strengthening and we're responding by increasing our commitment to the region with an additional, bigger ship, to offer a wider range of itineraries to even more ports."

With Voyager of the Seas and Legend of the Seas, which has been deployed in China since 2010, Royal Caribbean will offer 49 sailings out of the country in 2012, and will add Xiamen as its fourth homeport after Shanghai, Tianjin and Hong Kong.

Voyager of the Seas will offer vacationers a wide range of short cruises. 3-, 4-, 5-, 7- and 8-night itineraries in Asia, to longer 14- to 18-night cruises in the South Pacific to New Zealand and Australia. Chinese guests can also expect to experience a greater variety of products and services tailored to their needs. Cruises will include the 7-night "Pearls of the Orient" and "Jewels of Asia" sailings, calling at various destinations in Japan and South Korea. Vacationers also can choose a repositioning cruise aboard Voyager of the Seas from Singapore to Fremantle, Australia, departing Oct 22, 2012, and returning on March 9, 2013. Voyager of the Seas will reposition to begin its winter season from Sydney on Nov 5, 2012. Bookings for Voyager of the Seas' 2012 Asia itineraries open today.

When she sails into Asia next year, Voyager of the Seas will introduce several unique concepts never before seen at sea in the region, including the following signature onboard amenities:

-- Royal Promenade, an indoor "main street" stretching nearly the full length of the middle of the ship, lined with places to eat, drink, shop and be entertained. Guests can stroll up and down the four-story street and enjoy regular street parades.
-- "Studio B" Ice Rink, an ice skating rink for guests that doubles as a sensational 700-seat venue for ice show productions with world-class figure skaters.
-- Eleven dining venues include specialty restaurant "Portofino" for classic Italian fine dining and 50s inspired American diner "Johnny Rockets". There's also the grand three-story, 1,919-seat main dining room.
-- Unparalleled sports facilities including an inline skating track, Royal Caribbean's signature rock-climbing wall, a nine-hole mini golf course, a golf simulator, a full size sports court with basketball
court, three swimming pools and six whirlpools.

In the evenings, there are award-winning Broadway-style musical revues, or opportunities to recount the day's experiences in multiple onboard bars and lounges over cocktails. For additional information, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Port Canaveral Bound Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship Adds Final Building Block

PAPENBURG, GERMANY, Sept. 6: The final building block for the newest Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Fantasy, was placed last Saturday at the Meyer Werft shipyard signaling completion of a major milestone in the ship’s overall construction. The final block placed was a 265-ton portion of the ship’s bow, complete with the signature Disney Cruise Line golden filigree.

The Disney Fantasy will bring to life many of the innovative features guests love on the recently launched Disney Dream including AquaDuck — the world’s first shipboard water coaster. But new design elements and guest experiences will give the Fantasy an identity all its own. Some of the new highlights found on the Disney Fantasy include:

• Europa – a nighttime entertainment district exclusively for guests 18 and older that features sophisticated bars and trendy lounges inspired by the very best in European travel.

• A new, innovative show for the Animator’s Palate restaurant where diners will serve as guest animators. During the “Animation Magic” show guests are asked to hand-draw a character of their own at the start of dinner. After an entertaining show featuring montages from Disney animated films and shorts, guests prepare for a whimsical finale moment where the guest-drawn characters spring to life and interact with characters from beloved Disney animated classics.

• At Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on the Disney Fantasy, aspiring young princesses and pirates receive the full fairy tale treatment with pixie-dusted and piratical makeovers at this very special salon.

• “Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” will take the stage on the Disney Fantasy. During this Broadway-style production, guests laugh along with the wise-cracking Genie and the cast from the classic animated Disney film, “Aladdin.”

The Disney Fantasy will sail alternating 7-night cruises from Port Canaveral, Fla. to the Eastern and Western Caribbean and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay with the maiden voyage scheduled for March 31, 2012. To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a cruise vacation onboard the Disney Fantasy, guests can visit, call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500, or contact their travel agent.

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises to Move Ships to Miami in 2012

Fort Lauderdale, Sept 2: Regent Seven Seas Cruises has announced that beginning in fall 2012 it will join sister company, Oceania Cruises, at the Port of Miami. The line’s ultra-luxury ships presently sail out of Port Everglades. The combined brands will account for more than 30 ship calls annually.

“We are looking forward to making the Port of Miami headquarters for both our cruise brands,” stated Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO of Prestige Cruise Holdings, the parent company of both Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises.

Regent Seven Seas will operate from Port Everglades for one more year before moving operations to Miami. “We are appreciative to Port Everglades for its many years of excellent service to our valued guests,” said Mark Conroy, president of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “Regent and Oceania will have a dedicated terminal in Miami and the added flexibility of operating itineraries any day of the week.”

Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises ships will berth at the Port of Miami’s newly renovated Cruise Terminal J. The port has invested nearly $3 million on facility renovations and dockside improvements. Additionally, the new tunnel project will greatly improve accessibility to the port.

“With the introduction of Regent, we are looking forward to growing the ultra-luxury market at our port,” said Bill Johnson, director for the Port of Miami. “We are in the process of upgrading Terminal J into a ‘boutique’ facility to cater to the mid-size ships that serve the upscale market.”

To receive a brochure or for more information on Regent Seven Seas Cruises, see a travel professional, visit or call toll-free 800-285-1835.

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SeaDream Yacht Club Celebrates 10 Years of Yachting

Miami, FL, Sept 1: SeaDream Yacht Club and their boutique, twin mega-yachts, SeaDream I and SeaDream II announce this month’s celebration of 10 years in business. Since 2001, SeaDream has been providing unique, intimate yachting holidays with an emphasis on highly personalized service. When the company was founded they brought a refreshing change to the world of ultra-luxury holidays at sea – with the intention of being completely different from any and every other cruise product. "We started out 10 years ago right after the September 11th attack. Travel came to a halt but our team’s energy and dedication wouldn’t be deterred,” said Bob Lepisto, President. "We are all very proud of our accomplishment and grateful to our guests, devoted employees and travel agent partners who collectively drive our success."

SeaDream Yacht Club was founded in 2001 by Norwegian entrepreneur, Atle Brynestad who is the company's Owner and Chairman. Atle Brynestad founded Seabourn Cruise Line in 1987 and was its Chairman for ten years as well as CEO during the initial years. In 1999 two Cunard ships named Sea Goddess I and Sea Goddess II were transferred into the Seabourn Cruise Line fleet and renamed Seabourn Goddess I and Seabourn Goddess II. It was in 2001 that Atle Brynestad purchased these twin vessels from Carnival (Seabourn Cruise Line's parent company). Brynestad then named the two twins, SeaDream I & SeaDream II and put them through an extensive dry dock and refit. Since then, SeaDream has received numerous awards, honors and accolades. The Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships Guide has recognized SeaDream annually and the 2011 Berlitz Guide rated the 112-guest mega yachts, SeaDream I & II as the top two Boutique Ships (50-200 passengers) in the world.

"During September we’ll be celebrating onboard with 10th anniversary themed parties and decadent dessert extravaganzas" said Erling Frydenberg, SeaDream’s Vice President of Hotel Operations. “We also have a few other surprises in store for our guests, all in the spirit of our 10th anniversary.”

Added Bob Lepisto, President, "During our 10-years, our focus on exceptional service and cuisine has never wavered. Our past is the strongest criterion people have to judge our future." Continued Lepisto, "By understanding and responding to our guest’s needs, we have been able to exceed their expectations. Our success, to a great extent, has been driven by word of mouth marketing by highly satisfied guests sharing their yachting experience with friends, relatives and their travel agents. I very much look forward to the next 10 years."

The expression “yachting” is not only a statement about size; it describes a lifestyle aboard the intimate vessels. Chic and stylish, SeaDream’s 56-stateroom twin yachts are favored for their elegant informality, state-of-the-art facilities, personal service provided by a crew of 95, inclusive open bar and gratuities, ocean-view accommodations, luxury spa and world class cuisine. Itineraries include the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Amazon. “It’s yachting, not cruising” Enjoy the difference. For further details visit or phone 800 707-4911.

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