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Cruise News
November 1-30, 2005

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Celebrity Cruises Offers Tempting Taste of the Islands With Third Annual 
'Savor the Caribbean' Series

MIAMI, Nov. 28 -- Celebrity Cruises will tempt travelers' taste buds once again with its "Savor the Caribbean" series. For the third year, the line known for fine dining is pairing some of the hottest chefs with one of the industry's highest rated ships, Celebrity's Infinity. The "Savor the Caribbean" series will take place onboard Infinity's seven- night Eastern Caribbean sailings from January 15 through March 12, 2006, with a host of celebrated chefs.

  • Allen Susser, whose namesake restaurant "Chef Allen's" has been hailed as "the best restaurant south of New York," will be featured on Infinity's March 12th itinerary. Susser was also recently named "Best Chef in the Southeast" by the renowned James Beard Foundation. 

  • Headlining the February 26 cruise, Wilo Benet will illustrate his passion for mixing art and food. His restaurant, "Pikayo," in Puerto Rico's Museum of Art, has been named "San Juan's best eating place" by The New York Times, and selected by Conde Nast Traveler as "one of the 100 most exciting new restaurants in the world." 

  • Giancarla Bodini, chef de cuisine at "Escopazzo" since its debut in 1993, will be the star chef on the January 29 itinerary. Known for mixing her Latin roots with her love of Italian culture, Bodoni has created an eclectic mix of flavors earning her and "Escoppazo" a "Critics' Choice" rating by Food and Wine magazine. 

  • Brian Katz, chef at St. Thomas' "Old Stone Farmhouse," has been twice voted "Best Chef" in St. Thomas. The restaurant also has been honored as "Best Gourmet Restaurant" in St. Thomas, and in 2003, was awarded the "Award of Excellence" by Wine Spectator. Katz will be star "Savor" chef on Infinity's February 12 itinerary.

  • Edgar Leal developed his culinary style while working in restaurants in his native country of Venezuela, as well as in Spain, Chile, Monaco, New York and Miami. Leal will be the star chef onboard Infinity's January 15 cruise. His new restaurant, "Cacao," was recently named one of the best new restaurants in Miami by the Miami Herald and Florida Trend magazine.

Additionally, guests can book shore excursions that blend the island's culture with its food. For example, in St. Thomas, guests can participate in an intimate cooking class hosted by Chef Brian Katz at the 215-year-old plantation-turned-restaurant, the Old Stone Farmhouse. While in San Juan, guests can enjoy a tour of Puerto Rico's Museum of Art, followed by a four-course "taste of Puerto Rico" meal specially prepared by Chef Benet. Upon return to Fort Lauderdale, they can book an excursion combining both a brunch and learning experience with Chef Allen Susser at his namesake restaurant, Chef Allen's. Shore excursions can be purchased online up to 10 days prior to sailing, as well as onboard, if space remains available.

Meanwhile, onboard Infinity, guests can enjoy cooking demonstrations by the featured chef, a Bacardi Caribbean-themed party, wine and rum tastings, and lectures. Departing Fort Lauderdale on alternating Sundays, Infinity will call on Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas and Nassau, Bahamas. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111, or visit the Celebrity web site at

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SeaDream Announces South America Riviera Yachting Adventures for Winter 2006-2007

SeaDream Yacht Club will introduce a series of ten sailings in South America between Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires in the winter of 2006-2007. Five of the nine-night, ten-day sailings will commence in Rio and end in Buenos Aires. These include an overnight in Rio with the SeaDream yacht as the guests’ hotel, and a day trip to famed Iguaçu Falls. The other five commence in Buenos Aires and end in Rio. These will include an overnight and extra day in Buenos Aires with the yacht serving as the guests’ hotel. South American ports of call from Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires will be Buzios, Parati, Ilhabela, Porto Belo, all in Brazil and Punta del Este, Uruguay. (Please see attached Ports of Call Glossary.) There will also be a call on Itajai in Brazil to position guests for a private jet charter to spectacular Iguaçu Falls, which will included in the price of these Rio-Buenos Aires voyages.

The ports of call from Buenos Aires to Rio will be Punta del Este, Uruguay; Porto Belo, Ilhabela, Ilha da Gipoi, Parati and Buzios, in Brazil. One of these South America sailings from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro will include Rio’s famed Carnaval (February 17-20). Christmas Eve SeaDream I will be sailing off Porto Belo, Brazil. While for the New Year’s holiday SeaDream I will be in Rio. SeaDream stated these special holiday voyages are expected to fill quickly and is urging those interested to book early to assure good air transportation.

In commenting on the news, Larry Pimentel, CTC, President and CEO of SeaDream, said “All of us at SeaDream are excited about these new South America sailings. We are confident they will offer upscale travelers a new and spectacular SeaDream-style experience. They will offer a wide range of holiday pleasures: sophisticated cities like Rio and Buenos Aires and all of the cosmopolitan excitement that makes them so attractive, as well as a series of small yachting ports with great natural beauty---wonderful un-crowded beaches, water sports, mountain biking, magical rainforests, eco-tourism, chic resorts and historic colonial villages. 

“The SeaDream yachts are the first ultra vessels to establish a sailing pattern in this area. As stated, when we relocate SeaDream I to South America for our first season there SeaDream II will remain in the Caribbean. I would like to make it clear that the Caribbean continues as a fine region for SeaDream. Our guests constantly praise our Caribbean voyages where we are able to provide the intimate yachting ambience that we have become well known for. Nevertheless, there is too much passenger ship inventory in the Caribbean and the area has poor yields. South America has beckoned us. It is hot, sexy and exotic. SeaDream guests have suggested we introduce voyages there as an alternative. And we have had frequent suggestions from travel professionals, meeting planners and yacht brokers who have told us their clients have considerable interest in South America.

“We have had a strong team from SeaDream working on this South American concept for months. We also consulted with several independent organizations on weather and sea conditions. Both are highly favorable in Northern hemisphere winter months which is summer in the Southern hemisphere. I am also pleased to report that air transport to Rio and Buenos Aires where our voyages will commence, is exceedingly good. Major North American and European carriers serve these cities with high frequency. Also Australia has good air service there as well. Initially we expect more FIT (single passenger bookings) than charters for which our yachts are ideal. This is especially true during the year-end holidays (Christmas, New Year’s and Carnaval). The nine-night-ten-day sailings are more FIT-oriented rather than charter-oriented. Having stated this, we fully expect to find private families who will want to take our vessel on a charter basis. My guess is that the corporate world will be enticed as well and we will likely see a few incentive charters, possibly for seven days.

“As I said, we are excited about South America,” Pimentel concluded.

SeaDream’s 2006-2007, nine-night, ten day South American voyages are:

  • Nov 23, Rio-Buenos Aires (U.S. Thanksgiving Holiday)

  • Dec 2, Buenos Aires-Rio

  • Dec 11, Rio-Buenos Aires 

  • Dec 20, Buenos Aires-Rio (Christmas Holiday Sailing) 

  • Dec 29, Rio-Buenos Aires (In Rio New Year’s Eve)

  • Jan 7, Buenos Aires-Rio 

  • Jan 16, Rio-Buenos Aires

  • Jan 25, Buenos Aires-Rio

  • Feb 3, Rio-Buenos Aires

  • Feb12 Buenos Aires-Rio (Carnaval in Rio Feb 17-20) 

The South American sailings are open for bookings now. Prices for individual bookings for the nine-night, ten-day sailings based on double occupancy of staterooms are from $3,999.00 per person, based on SeaDream’s “Book Now and Save Plan.” Similarly, prices for the individual bookings for the December 20 Christmas voyage are from $4,599.00. Prices for individual bookings for the December 29 New Year’s voyage are $5,999.00 and include a day trip to Iguaçu Falls. Prices for the Rio Carnaval voyage are from $5,499.00. Solo travelers pay 150 percent for single occupancy. In addition government and port charges, document issuance, fuel surcharges, handling and service fees of $585.00 per person are extra. Following this series of South America sailings SeaDream I will sail back to the Caribbean. The plan is for SeaDream II to do the South American itineraries the following year.

Since it commenced service in the fall of 2001, SeaDream Yacht Club has had both of its twin yachts SeaDream I and II sailing in and out of small yachting ports in the Caribbean during winter months. In summer both yachts are in Europe. The new South American itineraries will be operated by SeaDream I. SeaDream II will continue to sail in the Caribbean for the winter months. With the absence of her SeaDream I twin yacht; SeaDream II is expected to sell briskly. Complete details of these South American voyages, including schedules, itineraries and pricing are available on SeaDream’s website at

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MSC Cruises Confirms Largest Ship Order

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Nov 21, 2005 -- It’s official. Italy-based MSC Cruises will add two 133,500-ton vessels to its fleet, with delivery slated for 2008 and 2009, making the company the world’s largest European cruise line. The announcement came in Paris last week as Pierfrancesco Vago, CEO of MSC Cruises, and Patrick Boisser, president of Alstom Marine, signed a nearly $1.2 billion contract for construction of the innovative new MSC Cruises ships. The two newbuilds will increase the MSC Cruises fleet to 11 ships by 2009. Vago said, “With the arrival of MSC Fantasia and MSC Serenata we will carry more than 900,000 passengers worldwide by the year 2010. Our latest generation of ships offer a unique style of elegance and design with a level of quality and service incomparable across the seven seas.”

The first of the new ships, to be named MSC Fantasia, will join the MSC Cruises fleet in June 2008, and the second vessel, MSC Serenata, will be delivered in March 2009. In addition to the ships sailing Mediterranean itineraries, the line is considering bringing one of the new ships to North American waters in the winter months.

“This bold move significantly expands the presence MSC Cruises has in the Mediterranean and solidifies its position as the top European cruise company,” said Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises USA. “We are making the necessary investments to guide MSC Cruises into the next decades and beyond. Just in the past two years we have confirmed more than $4 billion of expansion investment, making MSC Cruises the industry’s fastest-growing cruise line. “There is no doubt that MSC Cruises will dominate the European cruise market and continue to grow our presence in North America and around the world. These new ships will also appeal to the most sophisticated and discriminating travelers looking for a premium European cruise experience in the Mediterranean.”

Each of the two new ships will be 1,092 feet long, 124 feet wide, and accommodate 3,300 passengers in 1,650 staterooms, of which 1,260 will have private balconies. With a crew of 1,313, the ships will boast a higher passenger-to-crew ratio and more favorable space ratio than competitive European lines. 
The innovative design of the next generation of MSC Cruises’ ships allows the vessels to cruise at a speed of 23 knots and provides a groundbreaking utilization concept for lounges and other public areas. The ships will feature several restaurants, more than 21,000 square feet of spa facilities, and a magrodome for all-weather deck activities. A special two-deck section of VIP suites with butler service will feature an exclusive restaurant, pool and sun deck, as well as other amenities.

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit

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Carnival's Training Program Recognized for Excellence

MIAMI, Nov. 21, 2005 – Carnival Cruise Lines’ corporate training efforts have been recognized for excellence at the Human Resources IQ/IQPC Corporate University Best in Class (CUBIC) Awards presented at the organization’s annual conference in Orlando, Fla., earlier this month. Carnival was awarded first place for “Best Mature Corporate University” and first runner-up for “Most Innovative Industry Resource.” The awards were voted on by a panel of judges comprised of corporate university experts and leaders. 

“Training has played a critical role in Carnival achieving its leadership position in the cruise industry. Considering the tremendous emphasis that we place on training – and its resulting impact on guests’ vacation experience -- receiving these prestigious CUBIC awards is extremely gratifying,” said Roberta Jacoby, Carnival’s senior vice president – air/sea operations and corporate training. 

Carnival earned first place in the “Best Mature Corporate University” category for its wide-ranging employee training initiatives, which include a variety of custom-designed, in-house programs and videos delivered to a diversified global workforce of 36,500 aboard 21 cruise ships and within the company’s shoreside corporate offices. The department also produces Carnival’s in-house employee magazine and hosts comprehensive orientation programs for shipboard and shoreside employees and team-building events company-wide. Under the direction of its corporate training department, Carnival’s training efforts run the gamut from hospitality, English as a Second Language (ESOL) programs, management and leadership training and government-mandated safety and environmental training designed to help employees enrich their professional and personal lives. Most recently, the company’s corporate training efforts were expanded to include the new “Carnival Corporate University” where business and other organizations can tap into the vast knowledge and expertise of the world’s largest cruise operator through a wide range of fun, interactive workshops and seminars. 

The “Most Innovative Industry Resource” award acknowledged Carnival’s fleetwide Crew Training Centers (CTC), which provide a wide variety of facilitator-led and self-study courses for shipboard personnel. In addition to serving as the venue for a broad range of industry specific seminars, the CTCs offer more than 500 different computer-based training programs, language courses, books and other resources fleetwide. All shipboard and shoreside training sessions are facilitated by Carnival’s corporate trainers who conduct energetic, thought-provoking seminars utilizing inventive, often unconventional instructional methods that encourage participation – all in an atmosphere conducive to learning and team building. 

Additional information and reservations on Carnival’s “Fun Ship” cruises is available by contacting any travel agent, calling 1-800-CARNIVAL or visiting

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Low Business Class Air Upgrade Provides More Value and Luxury With All Crystal Cruises' European Cruises 

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 21-- While spring and summer 2006 air bargains to Europe are hard to find, luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises is introducing reduced business class air upgrade fares with all 2006 European cruises booked by March 31, 2006. The special business class air upgrade fares of $1,099 to $1,299 are one way and in addition to Crystal Cruises' published coach class add-on fares. Available from selected major gateways in the U.S., the upgraded airfares are approximately 50% lower than unrestricted business class airfares to Europe. The promotion is available with all of Crystal's 2006 Mediterranean, Baltic, Northern Europe and Trans-Atlantic cruises -- a total of 32 voyages between April 29 and November 15 aboard the ultra-luxurious Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. Cruises begin in Monte Carlo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Venice, Rome, Athens, London, Lisbon or Miami with fares starting at just $1,995, per person, double occupancy.

"By combining Crystal's reduced business class air upgrade with the luxurious amenities and rich itineraries of a Crystal cruise, discriminating travelers to Europe can realize exceptional value," says Bill Smith, Crystal's senior vice president, sales and marketing.

The business class upgrade promotion is available at only $1,099 from the Northeast, $1,199 from the Central and Southeast, and $1,299 from the West, one way. The Northeastern gateways are New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. (Dulles); the Central and Southeastern cities are Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Detroit and Miami; the Western cities are Los Angeles, Denver, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, Phoenix and Seattle. The offer is capacity controlled and subject to space availability.

For additional information, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

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Travel Agents Name Star Clippers Top Specialty Operator

MIAMI, Nov 21 -- For the eighth consecutive year, Star Clippers was named World's Leading Specialist Cruise Operator at the 12th annual World Travel Awards in London. The awards are voted on by travel agents. More than 2 million voting forms were broadcast to over 156,000 travel agencies and professionals in 140 countries worldwide. The World Travel Awards were developed in 1993 to celebrate excellence and achievement in the world's travel and tourism industry, and the winners comprise a "who's who" of the travel community.

"It is extremely rewarding to know that Star Clippers has such high brand recognition among travel agents around the world," said Jack Chatham, vice president of sales and marketing. "Travel agents remain at the core of our business, and to be recognized by them as having a superior product is a true honor."

Star Clippers combines the pampered luxury of mega-yacht cruising with the exhilarating thrill of sailing aboard an authentic clipper ship. Guests rediscover what sailing was like during the glorious age of the tall ships while visiting intimate ports of call untouched by larger cruise ships. The four- and five-masted clipper ships feature a relaxed yet elegant atmosphere. Passengers dress in resort-casual attire and dine in one unhurried, open seating. Whether unwinding in the bowsprit net while gazing at the sea below or climbing the mast for a panoramic view of the horizon, a unique sailing adventure awaits. For more information or to make a reservation, contact a travel professional, call Star Clippers at (800) 442-0551 or visit To request a brochure, call (800) 442-0556.

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Crystal Cruises' 2006 Theme Cruises Bridge Best of Land and Sea 

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18 -- Luxury specialist Crystal Cruises will showcase 10 different theme cruise topics on more than half of its worldwide itineraries next year. Naturalists from The Smithsonian Associates, experts from Sotheby's Institute, PGA golf pros, celebrated chefs, jazz artists, fitness gurus and more, will present lectures on board with many hosting excursions ashore. Focusing on destination enrichment, or taking advantage of days at sea, the line's rich collection of themed voyages is designed to reveal the archaeological, natural, cultural, or culinary wonders of the world.

From Crystal's renowned Wine & Food Festival to Golf-themed cruises, 34 of the award-winning cruise line's 63 global itineraries feature dedicated theme programming. Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity host an impressive roster of themed voyages that also includes its Distinguished Speaker Series; Film & Theater Festival; a Health & Fitness series; Golf cruises; a Jazz journey; and the annual President's Cruise hosted by company President Gregg Michel.

"Today's sophisticated traveler is looking to collect more than postcard memories of a destination. They want greater immersion and authentic experiences of their travels," says Kristin Turner, the line's manager of enrichment programming. "By partnering professionals on a variety of contemporary interests with destinations relevant to their expertise, our savvy clientele is rewarded with deeper perspectives and insights into the world's most intriguing regions."

For example, popular and respected naturalist Patricia Hostiuck will host a Smithsonian Associates cruise aboard Crystal Symphony, a 14-day exploration from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso rounding Cape Horn, March 16-30, 2006. Hostiuck's work has taken her nearly 'pole-to-pole' with an emphasis on Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. Well-versed on polar ecosystems, she will share her expertise during seminars on board, followed by personally hosted excursions ashore. Careful consideration is given to the development and timing of each theme cruise and its destinations. Highlights of the 2006 program include:

  • Destination-specific lectures from the cultural and educational arm of the Smithsonian Institution are featured on eight itineraries dedicated to The Smithsonian Associates, showcasing the Panama Canal, the Amazon, South America and Antarctica, and New England. 

  • Experts from the world-renowned Sotheby's Institute continue the cultural enrichment by illuminating the secrets of art history on three voyages to the Amazon, the Mediterranean, and the Mexican Riviera.

  • The easy-going rhythms of the Caribbean and Panama Canal provide a soothing backdrop for two Health & Fitness cruises with specialized instruction in yoga, as well as tai chi provided by the founders of the Tai Chi Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California. The line's state-of-the-art spa facilities (including a Pilates Reformer), wide jogging and walking decks, and healthful menus, including low-carb and low-fat selections add to the allure of a rejuvenating journey.

  • Golf enthusiasts will appreciate the attention from PGA pros and golf celebrities aboard two Golf cruises, affording exclusive opportunities to tee-off at some of the world's legendary courses in the British Isles and Western Europe. 

  • Crystal's theme cruise programming takes advantage of extended days at sea with Big Band and Jazz cruises featuring marquee names and hot new talent on Trans-Atlantic crossings; and two Film Festival cruises spotlight lectures and film authorities saluting American films.

  • The line's Distinguished Speaker Series is showcased on two Mediterranean voyages with informative lectures from some of the world's most noted personalities, including former Carter White House Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan.

  • Crystal's annual President's Cruise aboard Crystal Serenity travels the British Isles round-trip from London on August 30, with company President Gregg Michel.

  • The cornerstone of Crystal's theme programming -- the highly regarded Crystal Wine & Food Festival -- will celebrate its tenth year on 12 different sailings in 2006. Some of the most established names in cuisine and wine share the spotlight with the cutting-edge stars of the culinary world, providing guests with an experience that is both enriching to the mind and pleasing to the palate.

Crystal's theme cruises are a vital component of the Crystal Visions® Enrichment Program of renowned speakers and celebrity guest lecturers offered on every Crystal cruise.

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Royal Caribbean Changes Direction: Jewel of the Seas 2006 Itinerary Changes 

MIAMI, Nov 17, 2005 – Royal Caribbean International has revised Jewel of the Seas’ 2006 itinerary to include a series of seven-night Canada/New England sailings roundtrip from Boston, Massachusetts. The 2,100-guest Jewel of the Seas, previously scheduled to sail 10-night Bermuda/Caribbean itineraries, will be the only Royal Caribbean ship offering Canada/New England itineraries in the fall of 2006. 

“Our guests’ response to our Canada/New England itineraries last year was tremendous,” said Adam Goldstein, president of Royal Caribbean International. “We felt it was important to offer our guests the opportunity to see the beauty of this area while at the same time enjoying the wonderful amenities and service onboard Jewel.” 

Following a 12-night transatlantic cruise departing from Harwich, England, on September 11, 2006, Jewel of the Seas will sail roundtrip from Boston, with calls to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.; Portland and Bar Harbor, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick; and Halifax, Nova Scotia. With nearly three acres of exterior glass, Jewel offers an ideal way to view fall foliage along the New England and Canadian coastline. Jewel also sparkles with ocean-facing glass elevators and floor-to-ceiling windows in most public areas, and has the highest percentage of balcony staterooms in Royal Caribbean’s fleet. Throughout the ship, guests will discover the ship also shines in its entertainment, dining, activities and art offerings. 

On October 31, 2006, Jewel will sail her scheduled 12-night repositioning cruise from Boston to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where she will embark on a series of eight- and six-night Eastern/Western Caribbean itineraries.  

Guests who have been affected by the change in itineraries should contact their travel agent or call 1-888-837-5676. Additional information can be found on the company’s web site at or by calling 800-327-6700.

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Windstar Caribbean Cruises Combine World Class Diving With Luxury Cruising

Seattle, WA, Nov 16 –– With two motor sailing yachts exploring the far reaches of the Caribbean this winter, Windstar Cruises’ PADI-certified (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) dive program provides ample opportunities to discover underwater sites teeming with marine life. Dive instructors lead a range of programs from Discover Scuba Diving for novices to advanced specialty courses for certified divers. Between December and April, the msy Wind Surf is positioned in the heart of the southern Caribbean, where dive adventures await in places like Moon Hole near Bequia, famous for its deep crevices and abundant marine life. At Devil’s Tabletop divers will enjoy a colorful display of pink and red corals, purple sea fans, parrotfish as well as turtles, grey nurse sharks and other marine life. In Mayreau, the Purini Wreck, a gunship sunk during WWI, is home to nurse sharks, stingrays, squirrel fish and other marine life.

The Wind Surf’s Caribbean itineraries are specially designed to give guests the option of combining two back to back cruises into a 14-day cruise with no repeating ports of call. The ship’s northbound Caribbean itinerary features Nevis, St. Martin, St. Barts, Guadaloupe, Iles des Saintes and Pigeon Island (St. Lucia). The southbound itinerary calls on Tobago, Grenada, Bequia, Roseau and Cabrits (Dominica), and Mayreau (Grenadines). 

Aboard the Wind Spirit, guests on a seven-day Caribbean cruise round trip from St. Thomas may enjoy amazing dives near St. John at Mingo Cay, for an incredible show of tropical fish. Wreck diving enthusiasts will enjoy the dive to the famed RMS Rhone in Tortola. The Royal Mail Steam Ship ran aground during a hurricane in 1867 and broke into two parts. It’s now known as one of the world’s best wreck dives. Scenes from the movie “The Deep” were filmed here. The Wind Spirit sails roundtrip from St. Thomas between December and April visiting St. John, St. Martin, St. Barts, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda.

For certified divers, Windstar’s Adventures in Diving program offers guests the opportunity to improve their diving skills while diving with PADI instructors on more challenging excursions. By completing three adventure dives, guests will earn a PADI Adventure Diver certificate. Courses to choose from include wreck diving, deep diving, navigation diving and more. For beginners, Windstar’s Discover Scuba Diving program starts with a pool dive, graduating to 30- to 40-foot dives with an instructor. A number of specialty courses are available. The Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course teaches divers to fine-tune their buoyancy to extend time spent underwater by reducing air consumption. A fish identification course teaches basic fish identification and characteristics of local fish families and species during two dives. Dive programs start at $80 for a one tank dive or avid divers can sign up for the “Dive the Five” package which includes any five dives for $350. An Advanced Open Water course includes five dives, instruction and certification for $495. The five dives include a Deep Adventure Dive, Underwater Navigation Adventure Dive and three other Adventure Dives.

The very design of Windstar’s casually elegant sailing yachts lends itself perfectly to warm water activities. Once anchored in a secluded cove, the ships’ water sports platform is lowered from an aft deck to create a private marina for sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and water-skiing. Complimentary snorkeling gear may be checked out for the week. Windstar sports coordinators are on hand to help guests with the complimentary equipment, recommend good swimming and snorkeling spots, or take guests for boat rides. 

After enjoying water sports, guests return to the ship’s luxurious accommodations to enjoy the hospitality and cuisine that have earned Windstar Cruises its award-winning reputation for sophisticated yet casual elegance. At the full-service WindSpa, guests will relish relaxing treatments ranging from a traditional Swedish Massage to a more contemporary AromaSpa Ocean Wrap. Swimming pools and Jacuzzis (two each aboard Wind Surf, one each aboard Wind Star and Wind Spirit), open teak decks and comfortable lounge chairs invite travelers to relax and rejuvenate as they explore the world. Complementing the active lifestyles of Windstar’s clientele, the line features Jeanne Jones’ “Sail Lite” and Vegetarian menus. Heartier appetites will enjoy the line’s Signature Cuisine created together with acclaimed celebrity chef Joachim Splichal. Evenings aboard Windstar are relaxed and convivial, with guests gathering at the Terrace Bar to share stories of the day’s adventures.

Seattle-based Windstar Cruises operates three sailing yachts known for their pampering without pretense and their ability to visit the hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world’s most treasured destinations. Carrying just 148 to 308 guests, the luxurious ships of Windstar cruise to nearly 50 nations, calling at 100 ports throughout Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. Windstar’s trademark “casual elegance” delivers a sophisticated yet relaxed experience with all-view staterooms and suites, innovative cuisine and wine selections, open dining, pleasant and pampering service, enchanting ports of call, complimentary water sports and resort-style dress. 

Launched in 2005, Windstar’s Degrees of Difference initiative will add new luxury amenities and enhancements to the five areas that anchor the line’s overall guest experience—dining, accommodations, service, destinations and activities. Additions include new Signature Cuisine menus from Chef Joachim Splichal, Apple iPod Nanos and Bose SoundDock speakers, Riedel stemware, luxury linens and mattresses, L’Occitane bathroom amenities and more. The initiative will be completed in stages and finished in 2006. Windstar offers optional trip cancellation protection that provides cash back when you cancel for any reason prior to 24-hours before departure. For more information including brochures, rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at

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Silversea Ships Set Sail to Showcase Collection of Works by Master Sculptor Francesco Messina

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Nov 16, 2005 - The all-suite, ultra-luxury ships of Silversea Cruises will soon feature a collection of 38 bronze statues, figurines, and sculptural reliefs by the acclaimed Italian sculptor Francesco Messina. The line has just completed the first installation of 12 pieces aboard Silver Shadow. Silver Whisper will unveil its collection in mid-December, and the balance of the artwork will be rolled out aboard the rest of the fleet by mid-2006. 

"We feel very privileged to be able to display these beautiful works of art aboard our ships," said Lillo Mazzetti, Silversea's director of brand management and global marketing. "Messina's sculptures represent the cultural and artistic spirit of Italy. We are pleased to offer our guests a chance to experience this artist's personal vision and perspective, and provide a further product enhancement that gives our guests a deeper appreciation of our company's Italian heritage." 

Francesco Messina was born in Sicily in 1900, but spent most of his life in northern Italy. Described as a classicist and realist, his works rarely deviated from the natural human form. His sculpture is exhibited throughout the world. Among his more famous private commissions are the bust of Giacomo Puccini for La Scala Opera House and the statue of Pius XII in St. Peter's Basilica. His commitment and passion for his art kept him working into his nineties. Messina died in 1995. The Messina Foundation was recently established to promote and protect the artist's works. The foundation, based in Milan, maintains a complete archive of his sculptures, as well as a collection of letters and writings, and has created the International Award for Young Sculptors, as Messina wanted. 

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Jewel of the Seas & Constellation Receive Stockholm Environmental Lifebuoy Certificate

MIAMI, Nov. 16 -- Representatives of the Ports of Stockholm awarded Royal Caribbean International's Jewel of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises' Constellation Environmental Life-Buoy Certificates at a ceremony at the cruise lines' headquarters in Miami. The ships were acknowledged for their maritime environmental initiatives, especially the use of low-sulphur-content fuel and advanced technology to reduce atmospheric emissions. Receiving the awards were Capt. Ziffis Koskinaf, director nautical/fleet captain for Celebrity; Craig Milan, senior vice president port services, shore excursions, explorations and destination services for Royal Caribbean International; and Diana J. Block, associate vice president deployment and itinerary planning for RCI. Niklas Oscarsson, deputy harbormaster for Ports of Stockholm, bestowed the awards.

In 2004, Jewel of the Seas was the first international cruise vessel to receive the Sjöfartsverket's (the Swedish Maritime Administration) certificate, which qualifies the ship for reduced harbour fees when it calls at Stockholm. Since the mid-1980s, Ports of Stockholm has implemented measures aimed at reducing emissions of sulphur and nitrogen oxide, and improving vessel waste handling. As much as 93 percent of all ferry and cruise calls to Stockholm are made by vessels that satisfy one or more of the port's conditions for reduced emissions. Cruise traffic in the 2005 season was 21 percent higher than in 2004, with some 65 international cruise ships making 259 calls in the ports of Stockholm and carrying more than 228,000 passengers.

Ports of Stockholm is a member of the Stockholm Cruising Capital network, which was created to enhance awareness of Stockholm as a cruise port and tourist destination among U.S. travel agents, consumers and cruise lines. Members include the Stockholm Visitors Board and an extensive local network that includes Scandinavian Airlines System, Stockholm Arlanda International Airport and numerous port agents, ground operators, local transportation companies, hotels and shops.

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Exciting Golf Opportunities During Carnival Liberty 6- and 8-Night Caribbean Sailings

MIAMI – Carnival Liberty’s new six- and eight-day voyages from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., offer a variety of exciting golfing opportunities featuring some of the most beautiful and challenging courses in the Caribbean and The Bahamas. On its one-of-a-kind itinerary, which debuted Nov. 12, 2005, Carnival Liberty departs Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades Sundays on six-day cruises to Freeport, The Bahamas; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico, and Saturdays on eight-day voyages to the eastern and western Caribbean and The Bahamas. Eight-day eastern Caribbean voyages feature San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas/St. John, U.S.V.I.; Antigua, Lesser Antilles; Tortola/Virgin Gorda, B.V.I.; and Nassau, The Bahamas, while the western route includes Limon, Costa Rica; Colon, Panama and Cozumel, Mexico. 

“Carnival Liberty’s new six- and eight-day cruises from Fort Lauderdale not only feature a variety of spectacular Caribbean destinations but some of the most magnificent golf courses in the world,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. 

Golf courses on the Carnival Liberty’s six- and eight-day cruises from Fort Lauderdale include:  

  • Lucayan Golf Club (Bahamas, six-day Caribbean/Bahamas) – Perched on the shores of Grand Bahama Island, this par-72, 6,824-yard course is known for its tight fairways, elevated greens, and sharp doglegs. Designed by Dick Wilson, whose course offerings include Doral’s legendary “Blue Monster” in Miami and Orlando’s Bay Hill, the Lucayan Golf Club does not disappoint, offering a test of precision and strength.

  • Hyatt Britannia Golf Club (Grand Cayman, six-day Caribbean/Bahamas) – The Caribbean’s first signature golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, the Hyatt Britannia is actually three courses in one -- a nine-hole championship course and an 18-hole par-57 executive course. Combining features of classic courses such as Royal Troon and Turnberry with magnificent sea vistas, these links-style courses reward players who keep the ball in play.

  • Wyndham el Conquistador (San Juan, eight-day eastern Caribbean/Bahamas) – Designed by renowned course architect Arthur Hills, this 6,662-yard beauty is known for its rugged contours and excellent layout, with 12 of 18 holes offering magnificent Atlantic and Caribbean vistas. The final few holes feature 200 feet of dramatic elevation changes, adding to the day’s challenge. 

  • Mahogany Run (St. Thomas, eight-day eastern Caribbean/Bahamas) – Highlighting this Tom and George Fazio-designed course is the aptly named “Devil’s Triangle” featuring three of the most challenging holes in the Caribbean. Recent renovations, including expanded fairways and refurbished greens, make this 6,022-yard, par-70 course one of the most popular in the Caribbean. 

  • Cable Beach Golf Course (Nassau, eight-day eastern Caribbean/Bahamas) – Recently redesigned, this 6,500-yard course offers spacious fairways surrounded by majestic lakes. This challenging yet “resort-friendly” course appeals to golfers of all skill levels. Greens are surrounded by a series of mounds, protecting those who hit the occasional stray shot.

  • Cozumel Country Club (Cozumel, eight-day western Caribbean, six-day Caribbean/Bahamas) – Cozumel’s first and only world-class golf course, this Jack Nicklaus-designed gem incorporates the island’s habitat, with native trees, red mangroves, and natural wetlands. Famous for its peaceful and tranquil setting, this 6,724-yard, par 72-course provides appeals to novice and experienced golfers alike. 

  • Summit Golf & Resort (Panama, eight-day western Caribbean) – This spectacular course offers 18 holes of world-championship golf. Designed by talented course architect Jeffrey Myers and built by Gregori International, Summit Golf & Resort features a breathtaking layout, wide-open fairways and well-placed hazards and sand traps. 

Courses featured within the Carnival Liberty’s program are among the nearly 50 different golf options available within the line’s comprehensive fleetwide onboard Golf Academy Program managed by Sunrise, Fla.-based Elite Golf Cruises. The program is available on every Carnival “Fun Ship” and includes courses throughout the Caribbean, The Bahamas, Hawaii, Mexico, Canada, New England, Bermuda and Europe. Shipboard lessons are conducted on deck in lighted “lesson cages” offering expansive ocean views as a backdrop. Instructors employ state-of-the-art “V1” teaching computers providing split-screen, side-by-side comparisons to some of golf’s best players to help golfers improve their swing and ultimately lower their handicap. A home version of the “V1” software can also be purchased for use on golfers’ home computers. 

Golf enthusiasts can leave their gear at home and take advantage of the complete line of Nike Golf products and apparel available for rent, demonstration, or purchase. Guests can also have their equipment custom-fitted on board and have the products shipped free to their home or office. Advanced reservations are advised and itinerary, course descriptions and pricing information are available on-line at, or by calling 1-800-324-1106. Requests can also be faxed to 1-954-382-5398 or guests can stop by the shore excursion desk once on board. 

Following its six- and eight-day cruises from Fort Lauderdale, Carnival Liberty will reposition to Europe to operate a series of 12-day Mediterranean voyages May 7 – Oct. 22, 2006, offering many exciting golf options as well. For additional information on Carnival’s “Fun Ship” vacations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, or visit

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Royal Caribbean Intl Certifies More Than 7,000 Guests in Diving Programs

MIAMI, Nov. 16 -- Royal Caribbean International, the cruise line known for active onboard amenities such as surfing simulators, rock-climbing walls, ice skating rinks and bungee trampolines, today announced more than 7,050 guests have received Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Scuba Diver certification while on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

"Offering diving certification is another fantastic way Royal Caribbean appeals to people who want to try something new on their cruise vacation. Clearly, these results show there are a lot of guests who fall into this category," said Craig Milan, senior vice president of Land Operations. "To have certified more than 7,000 guests in 6 years is an incredible accomplishment."

PADI Scuba Diver certification is available through the SeaTrek dive shops on all Voyager-class ships (Adventure of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas) and will be offered on Freedom of the Seas, which will debut in May 2006. In just seven days, guests over the age of 12 can complete the program by attending a combination of classroom instruction and pool sessions along with two open water dives at select ports of call. Guests who receive this certification are limited to dive in certain depths of water only and must dive with a dive master or instructor. A second type of certification, PADI Open Water Diver, allows guests to dive with a certified dive buddy -- instead of a professional only, with fewer depth restrictions than PADI Scuba Diver certification. PADI Open Water Diver certification is valid for life and available to guests over the age of 12 sailing on a Voyager-class ship.

For guests who are already certified scuba divers, the cruise line offers a variety of scuba diving excursions year round in more than 14 destinations. Excursions can be purchased onboard or in advance at In addition to offering certification, all Voyager-class ships have a variety of accessories and equipment available for purchase at the SeaTrek dive shop. Items range from snorkels, masks and fins, to regulators, gauges and dive computers.

For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's Web site at or call 800-327-6700. 

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From the Sun-lit Shores of the World's Most Romantic Sea, to the Land of the Midnight Sun, Cunard Line's 2006 Legendary Voyages to Europe Prove Popular 

VALENCIA, CA, Nov. 16 -- The Mediterranean, the world's most romantic sea, mythical Norwegian landscapes, ancient homes of the Greek and Egyptian gods, pre-historic natural wonders, the stylish French Riviera and the breathtaking masterpieces of Florence. These are just some of the storied attractions that are creating great interest in Cunard Line's 2006 voyages to Europe. Continuing Cunard's longstanding tradition of sailing legendary voyages, flagship Queen Mary 2, and QE2, the longest serving Cunarder, will traverse the continent on numerous cruises in 2006, ranging from five to 18 days, sailing roundtrip from Southampton, England to Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands. Guests sailing on Queen Mary 2's Mediterranean Explorer voyage and those traveling on QE2's Mediterranean Splendours cruise will have the rare opportunity to see the ships together in Barcelona on May 9.

"The line's European itineraries continue to be one of the company's hallmarks, and extremely popular with Cunarders," says Carol Marlow, president and managing director of Cunard Line. "With the anticipation of high demand for Cunard's legendary voyages in the Mediterranean, for example, the fleet's capacity will increase there more than 75% in 2006."

Highlights of 2006 Voyages to Europe

Queen Mary 2
Capitalizing on its distinction of being the only ocean liner providing regularly scheduled service between New York and Southampton, Queen Mary 2 offers guests the tempting option of combining an east and westbound transatlantic voyage with a12-day Mediterranean Explorer cruise, sailing in May, June, July and September, for a leisurely 24-day journey. Guests will have even more transatlantic options next year when Queen Mary 2 incorporates four roundtrip voyages from Hamburg, Germany.

Queen Mary 2's 12-day Mediterranean Explorer cruise is highlighted by some of the most compelling cities in Europe. From the port of Civitavecchia, it is but a short drive to Rome and the legends of the ages: the Vatican and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Catacombs. And a stroll down the Via Veneto, or sipping cappuccino in the Piazza di Spagna are unmissable! The truly magical city of Florence, with its red tiled roofs, tiny shops and magnificent art and architecture, makes this Italy's most romantic capital. And always full of life, Barcelona treats guests to its uniquely charming streets, Gaudi's whimsical architecture, tapas extraordinaire, Las Ramblas street performers and the eclectic Gothic Quarter.

Queen Elizabeth 2
The grande dame of ocean liners and the longest-sailing Cunarder, Queen Elizabeth 2 continues her rich heritage in Europe with a significant presence in the Mediterranean, her voyages there equally renowned as her world cruises. From May through October, QE2 will sail seven Mediterranean voyages featuring lengths from 10-18 days, to many of the best-loved ports in the Eastern and Western Mediterranean including Athens, Alexandria, Egypt, Naples, Civitavecchia (port for Rome) and Gibraltar.

Guests sailing on the 14-day Mediterranean Magic cruise will be captivated by visits to such iconic destinations as Athens, The "Birthplace of Modern Democracy" and a city whose architectural, art and political triumphs are a universal legacy; Naples, or "Napoli," as it's known to Italians, with a little bit of everything that Italy is best known for -- ancient churches and universities, stunning parks, and wonderful restaurants; and Gibraltar, where visitors can stand atop the rock, and journey on cable cars up to the ancient Pillar of Hercules for unforgettable views with a stop to meet those famous Barbary apes.

Also on tap for 2006 are QE2's several visits to the ever-enchanting Norwegian Fjords, Northern Europe and even Iceland. From May through July, the ship voyages to Northern Europe's mysterious terrain with four cruises ranging in length from seven to 14 days. Calls include the dreamlike Norwegian Fjords, the ruggedly beautiful landscapes of Iceland and the "top of the world" in Spitsbergen.

Long considered by many to be Mother Nature's masterpieces, the Norwegian Fjords along Norway's west coast are showcased during the 14-day Land of the Midnight Sun voyage. Sailing the entire length of Norway -- from charming Stavanger in the South to the remote city of Longyerben on the island of Spitsbergen -- this voyage is sure to dazzle even the most well-seasoned travelers. The 13-day Glaciers and Geysers cruise calls on the Icelandic metropolises of Reykjavik and Akureyri where guests will have the chance to tour these Northern cities as well as experience the region's renowned hot springs, waterfalls, volcanoes and centuries-old geological wonders.

And for those wishing to sail a shorter European itinerary, QE2's five-day Taste of Europe delights guests with visits to Bilbao, Spain; La Rochelle, France and Guernsey in the Channel Islands, departing May 26. Other exotic adventures await when QE2 will glide across the Atlantic Ocean to the Canary Islands, Spain and Portugal on the 12-day Canary Islands Splendours cruise departing on October 16. The 16-day Festive Islands and Africa voyage, departing December 17, will enthrall guests with visits to Senegal, Morocco and Madeira.

Cunard Line caters to sophisticated travelers who enjoy the classic ocean liner experience combined with 21st century luxuries and amenities. Aboard the famous ships, like-minded travelers will enjoy the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star Service(SM), fine dining, sumptuous surroundings, civilized adventure and the legacy of historic voyages and transatlantic travel. For more information, about Cunard Line's 2006 voyages to Europe, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or visit Cunard Line has operated the most famous ocean liners in the world since 1840. Cunard vessels have a classic British heritage and include the legendary Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2. Queen Victoria joins the fleet in 2007.

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Norwegian Coastal Voyages Offers 20% Price Reduction to Repeat Passengers

New York, Nov 2005 -- Norwegian Coastal Voyage has announced a special offer to its loyal clients -- a 20% reduction in the cruise-only prices for passengers who previously sailed (since January 1, 2000) on the company’s Coastal Odyssey itinerary along the fjord-indented coast of Norway between Bergen and Kirkenes, above the Arctic Circle. The special pricing is available on six-, seven- and 12-day sailings, departing daily between January 1 and May 31, 2006, excepting May 30. The cabin savings amount to $174 to $456 per person, double occupancy on one-way and $316 to $680 on round-trip voyages and apply to new bookings in all cabins except suites. These lower fares can be combined with senior savings of $85 to $155 for travelers age 67 and up; and can also be used by singles who pay no single supplement on select cabins between January and April.

An alternative to a traditional cruise, NCV vessels are a unique combination of first-class cruise ship, working ship carrying local passengers and cargo to 34 ports, and a lifeline to remote coastal towns and villages, and appeal to travelers who enjoy dramatic scenery, getting off the beaten track, meeting local people and savoring daily life in a foreign country. Highlights are Bergen, a Viking and Hanseatic city; the Art Nouveau architecture of Alesund; the spectacular Trollfjord; 1000-year old Trondheim; fishing villages in the rugged Lofoten Islands; Tromso, the lively capital of Arctic Norway; and Hammerfest, the world's northernmost town.

The 312- to 674-berth ships are stylish, comfortable, convivial and floating art galleries of works by leading Norwegian artists in the public areas. They are equipped with glass-enclosed non-smoking and smoking lounges, a dining room, children’s playroom, conference facilities, shop, Laundromat, Internet cafés on the three Millennium ships, and, except on the Narvik, saunas and a fitness room as well as elevators and cabins for disabled passengers. 

Previous bookings must be confirmed by NCV. Rates include cabin category selected, meals, taxes, port charges and gratuities. For cruise information and reservations contact Norwegian Coastal Voyage at (800) 323-7436 or (212) 319-1300; for brochures, (800) 666-2374, 24 hours a day; web site,

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Silversea Cruises Announces Success of "Silver Sailings" Savings Program

Ft. Lauderdale, FL,  Nov 15, 2005 - Silversea Cruises has announced that its "Silver Sailings" savings program has been more successful than anticipated. With a number of voyages close to selling out and limited suite availability on others, the line is reducing the discount amount on several departures. The company is also strongly encouraging its travel partners to confirm their clients' travel plans while space is still available.

"The success of Silver Sailings has greatly exceeded our expectations and projections," says David Morris, Silversea's senior vice president of sales for North America. "When we first launched our savings program back in August, we hoped to entice guests to confirm their 2006 travel plans sooner rather than later. Now with the overwhelming success of the program, we want to reiterate to agents how important it is to book early so clients won't lose out on the best savings opportunities available to them." Added Morris, "We're definitely in a new environment where agents have realized it's a good idea to book early if they want to secure their clients' favorite ship, itinerary or suite category. And with many excellent savings opportunities still available more than six months prior to sailing, this is the perfect time to experience the award-winning luxury of Silversea."  

Following is a small sampling of the 2006 voyages featuring Silver Sailing savings (fares listed do not include port charges):

  • Silver Cloud departs March 9, 2006 on a 14-day "South America Explorer" voyage (1606), from Rio de Janeiro to Barbados with calls in Salvador and Fortaleza, Brazil; Devil's Island, French Guiana; Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela; and St. George's, Grenada. Silver Sailing fares start at $4,422 per person (50% savings). 

  • Silver Whisper departs May 4, 2006 on a 10-day "From the Canaries to the Casbah" voyage (4616), sailing from Las Palmas to Barcelona with calls in Arrecife, Canary Islands; Agadir and Casablanca, Morocco; Lisbon, Portugal; Cadiz and Malaga, Spain. Silver Sailing fares start at $3,672 per person (50% savings). 

  • Silver Wind departs May 15, 2006 on a 10-day "Riviera Plus" voyage (2615), from Monte Carlo to Villefranche-sur-Mer with calls in Genoa, Rome and Livorno, Italy; Palma de Mallorca, Valencia and Barcelona, Spain; Marseille and Cannes, France. Silver Sailing fares start at $4,407 per person (40% savings). 

  • Silver Shadow departs September 5, 2006 on a 12-day "Majestic Alaska" voyage (3625), from Vancouver to Los Angeles with calls in Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska; Victoria, British Columbia; San Francisco and Ventura, California. Silver Sailing fares start at $4,257 per person (40% savings). 

  • Silver Cloud departs October 3, 2006 on a 10-day "Accent on Spain" voyage (1628), from Lisbon to Monte Carlo with calls in Cadiz, Malaga, Valencia, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and St. Tropez, France. Silver Sailing fares start at $4,527 per person (40% savings). 

  • Silver Shadow departs October 29, 2006 on "A Taste of the Dutch Caribbean" 7- day voyage (3630), from Barbados to San Juan with calls in St. George's, Grenada; Los Roques, Venezuela; Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles; Oranjestad, Aruba; and La Romana, Dominican Republic. Silver Sailing fares start at $1,797 per person (50% savings). 

  • Silver Wind departs December 3, 2006 on a 10-day "Argentinian Explorer" voyage (2637), from Buenos Aires to Buenos Aires with calls in Montevideo, Uruguay; Puerto Madryn, Argentina; Port Stanley, Falkland Islands; and Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina. Silver Sailing fares start at $3,777 per person (40% savings).

For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent. For a complimentary brochure, please call toll-free (877) 215-9986 or visit

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Far East Sailings Aboard Star Flyer At Far Out Savings

MIAMI, Nov 14 -- Ancient wonders and hidden harbors beckon as Star Flyer island-hops to ports dotting the Andaman Sea on two round-trip Phuket, Thailand, itineraries and two itineraries between Phuket and Singapore - all at a rate of two for the price of one. Star Clippers is offering these savings to U.S. residents on select departures from December 2005 through March 2006. 

  • Ports of call on the seven-night, round-trip Phuket itineraries include Thailand's Batong Group, Surin Islands, Ko Rok Nok, Phi Phi Islands, Ko Lipe, Ko Khai Nok, Phang Nga/Ko Hong and Similan Islands; and Penang and Langkawi, Malaysia. Departure dates are Feb. 11 and 25, and March 4, 2006, and cruise fares at the two-for-one rate begin at $863 per person, double occupancy.

  • Sailing seven-nights from Singapore to Phuket on Dec. 3, 2005, Star Flyer calls at Malacca and Langkawi, Malaysia; and Ko Lipe, Phang Nga/Ko Khai Nok and Ko Miang, Thailand. Cruise fares at the two-for-one rate begin at $798 per person, double occupancy.

  • A special 11-night Phuket to Singapore cruise departs Dec. 17, 2005, and enables guests to celebrate the holidays in warmth while visiting unspoiled beaches and lush landscapes. Calls include Ko Surin, Similan Islands, Phang Nga, Ko Khai Nok, Phi Phi Islands, Ko Rok Nok and Ko Adang, Thailand; and Langkawi, Pangkor Island and Malacca, Malaysia. Holiday cruise fares at the two-for-one rate begin at $1,358 per person, double occupancy.

Star Flyer combines the pampered luxury of mega-yacht cruising with the exhilarating thrill of sailing aboard an authentic clipper ship. Guests rediscover what sailing was like during the glorious age of the tall ships while visiting intimate ports of call untouched by larger cruise ships. The four-masted clipper ship features a relaxed yet elegant atmosphere. Passengers dress in resort-casual attire and dine in one unhurried, open seating. Whether unwinding in the bowsprit net while gazing at the sea below or climbing the mast for a panoramic view of the horizon, a unique sailing adventure awaits. For more information or to make a reservation, contact a travel professional, call Star Clippers at (800) 442-0551 or visit To request a brochure, call (800) 442-0556.

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mv Discovery Adds 25 New & Exotic Maiden Port Calls in 2006

FORT LAUDERDALE – The Galapagos Islands, Lithuania, Ireland, Corsica, Sicily, Israel, and Libya. The sound of these destinations alone evokes excitement among intrepid travelers. The 650-passenger cruise liner, mv Discovery will visit these ports and many more for the first time as part of its upcoming 2006 worldwide cruise program. In total, the ship will be making 25 maiden calls among its 130 scheduled port visits. 

Discovery is the flagship of Discovery World Cruises, which offers affordable cruisetour vacations to Antarctica, South America, New Zealand, the South Pacific, Europe and Scandinavia. All cruises are packaged as complete cruisetour vacations, which include hotel stays before and/or after the voyage. 

  • In South America, passengers will have the opportunity to discover the Galapagos Islands when Discovery calls at San Cristobal for the first time on Polynesia, Peru & Galapagos and Galapagos & Panama Canal, departing April 7 and 27 respectively. 

  • In Norway, Discovery will call at Hellesylt and Geiranger for the first time during Norwegian Fjords, departing May 24. In addition, Kristiansand will be a maiden call during Norwegian Explorer, departing July 18. Baltic Discovery, departing on June 22, will bring mv Discovery to Lithuania for the first time, calling at the port of Klaipeda, and Gdynia, Poland (Gdansk). 

  • Discovery crosses into the Arctic Circle after calling at Lerwick in the Scottish Shetland Islands to reach Isafjordhur, Iceland, on Fjords, Faroes, Fire & Ice, departing July 6. Iceland, Greenland & Ireland, departing August 6, adds visits to Sisimiut, Greenland; and Cobh, Ireland.

  • Discovery will also expand the number of ports for passengers to explore in the Mediterranean and Greek Islands. Mediterranean Odyssey, departing September 23, includes maiden calls at Naples, Sicily and Venice, Italy; Cephalonia, Greece; and the Croatian ports of Dubrovnik and Split. On Adriatic & Aegean Treasures, departing October 4, new ports include Lávrion and Volos in Greece, and Canakkale, Turkey.

  • The ship also ventures to new ports in the Black Sea, Israel and North Africa. On Black Sea Discovery, departing October 17, Discovery will call for the first time at Sochi, Russia; Constanza, Romania; and Nesebur, Bulgaria. On Holy Lands & Pharoahs, departing October 28, Discovery will visit Haifa and Ashdod, historic gateways to the Biblical treasures of Israel. During North African Treasures, departing November 12, Discovery will call for the first time at Al Khums, Libya, a country of guarded treasures which only recently opened its borders to Western tourism.

As a mid-size cruise liner, mv Discovery offers a more intimate and convivial onboard experience. The 20,216-ton vessel comfortably sails through the world’s oceans and offers all the shipboard amenities sophisticated travelers have come to expect, yet her size enables her to call at smaller, out-of-the-way ports, which larger vessels are unable to visit. Discovery is resplendent with 351 cabins and suites, three restaurants, five lounges, a well-stocked library, casino, duty-free boutique, Internet center, modern health club and spa, two Jacuzzis, and two outdoor swimming pools – one beneath a retractable roof. 

For more information about Discovery World Cruises’ year-round cruisetours to some of the most exotic destinations around the world, visit To make a reservation or request the new 2006 year-round cruise brochure, please consult with a travel professional or contact Discovery toll-free at (866) 623-2689.

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Carnival Cruise Lines Returns to Cozumel

MIAMI, Nov. 10, 2005  - Carnival Cruise Lines announced that, based on the extensive clean-up and restoration progress in Cozumel, the company will resume port calls to the island beginning Monday, Nov. 14, with a day-long visit by the Carnival Triumph.

"The progress in Cozumel has been absolutely remarkable and tremendous credit must be given to the local officials and citizens for their extraordinary efforts in readying the island for the return of cruise visitors," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO.

Initially, Carnival plans to re-introduce Cozumel on the itineraries of the following five ships that previously called at the island:

  • Carnival Triumph from Miami - seven-day cruises departing Nov. 12, 26, Dec. 10 and 24

  • Inspiration from Tampa - four-day cruises departing Nov. 17, Dec. 1, 15 and 29, and five-day voyages departing Nov. 21, Dec. 5, 10, 19 and 24 

  • Carnival Conquest from Galveston, Texas - seven-day cruises departing Nov. 13, 20, 27, Dec. 4, 11, 18, and 25 

  • Carnival Miracle from Tampa - seven-day voyages departing Nov. 13, 20, 27, Dec. 4, 11, 18 and 25

  • Carnival Glory from Port Canaveral, Fla. - seven-day voyage departing Nov. 19

For departures beyond Jan. 1, 2006, Carnival is currently evaluating itinerary options for other ships to return to Cozumel and will release this information as soon as it is available. 

Because of damage to the piers at Cozumel, Carnival cruise ships will utilize tender services until further notice. The majority of previously offered shore excursions in Cozumel will operate as scheduled. 

For those Carnival ships that are not immediately returning to Cozumel, the company is substituting the Mexican ports of Calica, Costa Maya, Progreso, and Veracruz for the following departures: 

  • Fascination from Miami - Calica featured on four-day cruises departing Nov. 14, 21, 28, Dec. 5, 12, 19 and 26

  • Imagination from Miami - Calica featured on four-day cruises departing Nov. 17, Dec. 1, 15 and 29

  • Inspiration from Tampa - Costa Maya featured on five-day cruises departing Nov. 12 and 26

  • Elation from Galveston - Calica featured on the four-day cruise departing Nov. 10; Progreso and Veracruz featured on the five-day cruise departing Nov. 14

  • Carnival Valor from Miami - Costa Maya featured on seven-day cruises departing Nov. 13, 27, Dec. 11 and 25

  • Carnival Victory from Miami - Costa Maya featured on seven-day cruises departing Nov. 20, Dec. 4 and 18

  • Carnival Liberty from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. - Costa Maya featured on six-day voyages departing Nov. 20, Dec. 4 and 18, and eight-day voyages departing Nov. 26 and Dec. 24

  • Carnival Glory from Port Canaveral - Costa Maya featured on seven-day cruises departing Dec. 3, 17 and 31

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Discovery Makes Maiden Call at Beirut

A warm Lebanese welcome greeted passengers when the 650-passenger mv Discovery made her maiden call at the port of Beirut on Nov. 1, 2005. The cruise liner is the flagship of destination cruise specialist Discovery World Cruises. Beirut was a featured port on the line’s 12-night “Red Sea Discovery” cruisetour from Larnaca, Cyprus, to Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. During the call at Lebanon’s capital, passengers toured the Phoenician, Egyptian, Roman and Crusader ruins found at Byblos, thought by some archeologists to be the world’s oldest inhabited place; the Great Temple of Jupiter and the “Little Temple” of Bacchus at Baalbeck, site of incomparable architectural treasures; the natural wonders of the Jeita Caves; the palace of Emir Bechir Chehab II at Beiteddine; and Beirut’s famed Corniche Road packed with many of its souks, historical mosques and churches.

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Freedom Is … Finding a Guiding Spirit

NEW YORK, Nov 4, 2005 – Royal Caribbean International is putting a new twist on a long-standing maritime tradition by launching a national search for the Godmother of Freedom of the Seas – the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ship scheduled to debut in May 2006. Historically an honor reserved for heads of state, politicians and celebrities, Godmothers officially give ships their names and serve as guiding spirits.

Through an unprecedented partnership with NBC’s “Today,” Royal Caribbean is seeking to honor all adults by searching for an outstanding individual – someone who has demonstrated exceptional spirit, courage and integrity – to serve as the Godmother of Freedom of the Seas. One of the privileges of being a Godmother is that the individual will be allowed to cruise for life on any Royal Caribbean ship or itinerary once a year with the guest of their choice. 

“We have had so many remarkable, well-known women serve as Godmothers of our ships over the years,” said Royal Caribbean Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain. “Recently, we realized that we have the opportunity to bring attention to amazing individuals who are not in the spotlight, but have lessons in courage, dedication and determination that are inspirational to all. We hope that the millions of people who watch the ‘Today’ show will be inspired to look at the adults in their own lives and nominate someone remarkable to be the Godmother of our unparalleled new ship.”

In order to enter, people are encouraged to go to to complete an online application form and write an essay, no more than 500 words in explaining why they (or someone they would like to nominate) would be the perfect Godmother for Freedom of the Seas. All entries must be received by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, December 2, 2005. The winner selected to be Freedom of the Seas’ Godmother will preside over the most exciting and innovative ship at sea. Freedom will feature the first-ever surfing simulator at sea, an interactive water park, two cantilevered whirlpools that extend 12 feet out from the sides of the ship and a pool deck with dedicated sports pool that transforms into an open-air nightclub each night. 

At 160,000 GRT and holding 3,634 guests double-occupancy, Freedom of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship in the world when she debuts in May 2006. The first in Royal Caribbean’s new Freedom class, she will be the most forward-looking and innovative ship the company has built to date. Freedom of the Seas will sail seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami calling in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Royal Caribbean’s private destination, Labadee, Hispaniola. For more information or to make reservations, go to or call 800.327.6700.

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New ‘Carnival Comfort Bed’ Sleep System Available for Purchase

MIAMI, Nov 2, 2005 – Ever since Carnival Cruise Lines introduced its new sleep system earlier this year, guests have been asking how they can purchase their own “Carnival Comfort Bed.” In response, a special web site,, has been created to provide consumers with an easy and convenient means for purchasing the luxurious mattresses and accessories that comprise the new “Carnival Comfort Bed” sleep system. Items available through this interactive site include plush mattresses, soft duvets and duvet covers, two different styles of pillows, and high-quality cotton sheets, pillow shams and pillowcases. 

“When we announced the launch of ‘Carnival Comfort Bed’ in May, we never imagined it would be so popular. Guests are telling us that this is by far the most comfortable bed they’ve ever slept in. We’re very pleased to provide the opportunity for guests to recreate the relaxing night’s sleep they experienced during their ‘Fun Ship’ cruise,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. 

Manufactured exclusively for Carnival Cruise Lines, the “Carnival Comfort Bed” sleep system includes a comfortable eight-inch spring mattress and box spring, a duvet made from 100 percent hypoallergenic down, and high quality cotton blend satin-strip  sheets and pillowcases. Two different styles of pillows are also available, including “New Generation Pillows,” made of non-allergenic micro fiber to create a fluffy, down-like consistency, and the “Soft and Downy,” with feathers surrounded by down for unmatched comfort. 

Currently on the majority of Carnival ships with fleetwide implementation expected by the end of the year, the new “Carnival Comfort Bed” sleep system is just one of several stateroom upgrades the line has instituted in recent years. Other personalized touches include terrycloth bathrobes for guest use in ocean view staterooms fleetwide, in-cabin amenities baskets featuring a variety of brand name products, and upgraded towels and shampoo/soap dispensers in all bathrooms. 

The new web site is being advertised via in-cabin televisions fleetwide, as well as with a full-color brochure and custom-designed pillow card placed in all guest cabins. Complete “Stateroom Bedding Sets,” which include four New Generation pillows, two pillow shams, down duvet, duvet cover, and sheet set, start at $399. Prices for the “Carnival Comfort Bed” mattress/box spring start at $999. Queen and king sizes are also available. Components can be purchased individually, as well. For additional information and reservations on Carnival’s cruises, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Princess Debuts Innovative Web Tool to Make Finding the Perfect Sailing Easy 

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 2 --  Princess Cruises debuts a revolutionary cruise planning tool on the web site, giving users a new and improved way to find just the perfect sailing. Called "Searchlight," the innovative tool is a quick and intuitive way to search for and compare up to three cruises at a time with just a few mouse clicks. The custom-designed proprietary program quickly and easily finds a cruise that meets a consumer's travel parameters using four different criteria - destination, date, ship and duration - and displays the results to help choose the best voyage in seconds.

"This is an exciting, next-generation cruise planning tool," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "We did extensive user studies to find out what consumers really want on a web site and overwhelmingly they told us they'd like the ability to easily find the cruise they want, and to make a comparison with other sailings - we've given them both. No one in the industry is making it as easy as Princess to research and plan a cruise online. Our new web feature gives people exactly what they're looking for - an easy way to identify the perfect cruise that matches their personal vacation criteria. The old way of searching for cruises using pull-down menus and the hunt-and-peck system as you guess about which ships go where, when, is thankfully now obsolete. Users can move through our web site as they would prefer, and not have to follow a flow of information that we prescribe" 

With just a mouse click, users can instantly see what ships go where, when and for how long, eliminating the guesswork that has typically defined the cruise search process. Searchlight also enables users to do a side-by-side comparison of up to three separate cruises, considering such elements as price, cabin category and itinerary. After finding the perfect sailing, booking the cruise online is also easy.  

The feature is part of a new web site re-design for Princess, meant to give the user a cruise planning and booking experience that directly correlates to the actual way people research and plan their vacation. The site is organized to intuitively offer the options that web users look for, and the information-rich site now offers five distinct sections to facilitate the full cruise shopping process. Users can "Learn About Our Cruises," "Find and Compare Cruises," "Book a Cruise," "Prepare for Your Cruise" or access "Customer Care." Additional information about Princess' products and services is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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NCL America Says Aloha to Its Newest US Flagged Vessel

Miami, Nov 2, 2005 – NCL America will welcome the new Pride of Hawai`i to its U.S. Flagged fleet in April 2006. She will be the largest US flagged passenger ship ever built, and will join Pride of Aloha and Pride of America offering seven-day, inter-island cruises visiting the beautiful 50th state’s four main islands. Pride of Hawai`i, will depart Honolulu on Mondays and will feature the line’s extremely popular itinerary with a full day in Hilo, Hawai`i; two days in Kahului, Maui; a day in Kona, Hawai`i and two days in Nāwiliwili, Kaua`i.

Purpose built for NCL’s signature Freestyle Cruising, Pride of Hawai`i will feature a vast array of accommodations including two luxurious Garden Villas with their own private gardens and sun decks, 10 Courtyard Villas sharing a private courtyard, pool and sundeck on deck 14, and a spectacular top-of-the-ship Owner’s Suite. The ship will also feature multiple lively public rooms, 10 restaurants and impressive onboard amenities. 

"Pride of Hawai`i completes our plan of bringing three U.S. Flagged passengers ships to Hawai`i by 2006 and creating 4,000 new seafaring jobs in the US merchant fleet,” said Colin Veitch, NCL America’s president and CEO. “Consumers will now have the choice to sail inter island Freestyle cruises on three different NCL America ships and one NCL international ship (Norwegian Wind), each with its own personality and style but all delivering an incredible Hawai`i experience.” 

At over 93,000 gross tons, and with a passenger capacity of close to 2,400, Pride of Hawai`i will employ over 1,000 crew. Together with Pride of Aloha and Pride of America, Pride of Hawai’i will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefits to Hawai`i and the U.S. To celebrate her name, the ship’s dramatic hull artwork will feature iconic images of Hawai`i with a hula dancer on one side and a conch shell blower on the other. Each design is joined by the quintessential symbol of Hawai`i’s gracious welcome, a flower Lei, made up of yellow, red and orange Hibiscus blooms. On June 19, 2006, Pride of Hawaii will begin sailing her regular schedule of roundtrip seven-day Hawai`i Island voyages from Honolulu. 

From the Aloha Atrium to the Waikiki Pool to the Keiki Kids Club to the comprehensive golf program, Pride of Hawai`i captures the beauty and spirit of Paradise like no other ship in her class. Pride of Hawai`i will feature 10 restaurants including NCL passenger favorites such as Cagney’s Steak House, Blue Lagoon and NCL’s signature restaurant, Le Bistro. In addition, she will also offer:

  • Grand Pacific – A grand restaurant inspired by the first-class designs from the Matson Liner ships that sailed from San Francisco to Honolulu;

  • Alizar – A contemporary restaurant featuring colorful, modern artwork inspired by Mark Rothko inspired by abstract art of the late 20th Century and special, colorful lighting effects which create an exclusive ambiance;

  • Jasmine Garden – A modern Asian restaurant touting Hong Kong and Shanghai-influenced architecture. The restaurant will feature popular Asian dishes, including Shabu Shabu, an entertaining cooking method where thin slices of beef are “Swished” back and forth in a pot of boiling broth; a sushi bar and a Teppanyaki area offering seating for 32;

  • Paniolo – A Spanish-influenced restaurant featuring a Hawaii cowboy-theme and bright colors featuring tapas and Tex-mex cuisine; 

  • Papa’s Italian Kitchen - Dedicated Italian restaurant that resembles a farmhouse kitchen with a long wooden table running through the center of the room to create the feel of traditional home style Italian dining;

  • Aloha Nui Café and Lana`i – An indoor/outdoor buffet-styled eatery with a Hawai`i theme making it bright and cheerful. Aloha Nui means “much Aloha.” Features “food action stations” including prepared-to-order omelets, waffles, fruit, soups, ethnic specialties, and pasta; offers extensive and varied selections.

In addition to her dining offerings, Pride of Hawai`i will also feature NCL’s innovative Freestyle Dining information system. This allows guests to view all restaurants on board and make reservations for the entire cruise or just a specific night and restaurant. Plasma screens will be placed in high-traffic areas around the ship and outside each restaurant that illustrate the status of each restaurant. Indicator bars reflect when each restaurant is “full,” “moderately busy” or “empty.” If a restaurant is full at a specific time, the screens will also indicate to guests an estimated wait time in that restaurant and what table sizes are available. If a restaurant is full and guests would like to wait for an opening, they will be quoted a wait time and issued a pager that works everywhere on the ship, so they can sit down in a bar, enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail, and listen to one of the ship’s many entertainers until their table is ready.

Passengers can relax at one of Pride of Hawai`i’s 12 bars including the Bar Central area, NCL’s popular new entertainment concept first introduced on Norwegian Jewel. Bar Central features a martini bar, a champagne and wine bar, and a beer and whiskey bar all connected but touting three distinct personalities:

  • Mixers Martini and Cocktail Bar, a 1960’s-inspired lounge decorated with silhouettes and artwork reflecting the jet set dressed for the cocktail hour; 

  • Magnum’s Champagne and Wine Bar, an Art Nouveau bar using Charles Rennie Mackintosh inspired design elements and colors;

  • Tankards Beer and Whiskey Bar, a contemporary bar with low seating and tables along with mood lighting that compliments the backlit artwork of whiskey bottles/brands from around the world.

  • Pride of Hawai’i’ will also feature the Corona Cigar Club and the Medusa Cabaret Lounge and Nightclub featuring an underwater, tropical coral reef theme. 

The ship will feature a Kumu Cultural Center designed by Mary Philpotts, a well-respected designer from Hawai`i whose vision and work has been instrumental in the remodeling of Pride of Aloha and the Kumu Cultural Centers on Pride of Aloha and Pride of America.

Pride of Hawai`i will offer an extensive choice of cabins including some of the most luxurious accommodations afloat. Guests will have the opportunity to cruise in style in one of the impressive Garden Villas, each spanning about 4,000 square feet. These extravagant Garden Villas will offer a spacious living room, dining room and three separate bedrooms, each with a private bathroom. Garden Villa guests also enjoy their own private Jacuzzi and steam room in their private garden, plus their own butler and concierge service. A new category of stateroom accommodation to NCL with the introduction of Norwegian Jewel and also featured on Pride of Hawai`i is the Courtyard Villa, 10 of which share a private courtyard, complete with swim-against-the-current lap pool, Jacuzzi, male and female steam rooms and a small gym. These villas will also share a private sundeck with sun beds and hammocks. Positioned high atop the vessel, the villas will tout sweeping views of the ocean and an impressive assortment of amenities typically found at five-star land-based resorts. Together with the Garden Villas, the Courtyard Villas comprise the most luxurious suite complex at sea.

High above everything else is a new Owner’s Suite, with commanding views of the ship and the surrounding ocean and scenery. This suite offers a master bedroom, en-suite bathroom, and dining/living area, together with not one but two private sun terraces, one connected to the living/dining area, and one directly accessible from the master bedroom. Also onboard are NCL’s latest amenities in standard staterooms with rich cherry wood finishing, hair dryers, safes, refrigerators, tea and coffee makers in every room, a larger bathroom unit than many other ships, containing separate WC, shower, and washstand compartments separated by sliding doors in the outside, balcony and suite staterooms. For families of all sizes, Pride of Hawai`i will offer a large number of cabins (including suites and mini-suites) that can interconnect to create a two, three, four or five bedroom area.

Pride of Hawai`i will offer the latest in relaxation and fitness at the contemporary Japanese-themed, tranquil Ying & Yang Health Spa and Beauty Salon. Hawai’i-based Mandara Spa, the world’s leading operator of landside resort spas, operates the spa, pampering NCL America guests with an exotic menu of spa and beauty treatments combining the best of East and West. The ship will also feature The Galleria Shops, offering a wide selection of brand name watches, jewelry and accessories.

As on all NCL America’s Hawai`i based ships, Pride of Hawai`i will feature an NCL Golf Pro Shop and the NCL Golf Hawai`i Program offering golfers an opportunity to indulge their golf fantasies on some of the world's most fabulous courses. Guests will be able to rent equipment, book tee times on all four islands and consequently, can play up to eight rounds of golf on one week-long Pride of Hawai`i itinerary. The Sports Deck will contain a basketball, volleyball and tennis court, while the Body Waves Fitness Center will boast state-of-the-art cardiovascular workout equipment – each with its own flat-screen TV -- aerobic and yoga area with a sprung wooden floor, steam and sauna rooms and a whirlpool and hydrotherapy pool. 

Pride of Hawai`i will also offer a new, advanced Internet Café and Photo Gallery with kiosks to print photos from digital cameras as well as the latest laptops, which guests can rent to use around the ship. Passengers will be able to take advantage of NCL’s signature WiFi capabilities. This family-centric ship will also feature the Keiki (Kids) Club as well as the surf-themed Wipe Out Teen’s Club. 

The U.S. registry of Pride of Aloha, Pride of America and Pride of Hawai`i enables NCL America to offer inter-island itineraries in Hawai`i all year long, with up to 100 hours in port. When she begins her regular service in the summer of 2006, Pride of Hawai`i will sail seven-day, round-trip itineraries from Honolulu, departing on Mondays.

  • Pride of Aloha, which began Hawai’i service in July of 2004, offers seven-day itineraries from Honolulu, departing on Sundays. She also features seven-day voyages roundtrip from Maui, departing on Saturdays.

  • Pride of America, which was christened earlier this summer, started Hawai’i service in June of this year and features year-round, seven-day Saturday to Saturday sailings roundtrip from Honolulu. 

  • Norwegian Wind sails a series of 10- and 11-day cruises around the Hawaii Islands from Honolulu featuring a call at Fanning Island from September to April.

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Norwegian Dawn to Call in Bermuda in 2006-07

MIAMI -- NCL Corporation ("NCL") today announced that its New York year round ship Norwegian Dawn will begin calling into Bermuda for the 2006-2007 summer seasons. Norwegian Dawn's new seven-day itinerary with calls both into Bermuda and the Bahamas is an industry exclusive and will feature a day in Bermuda, a day at NCL's private island Great Stirrup Cay and an overnight in Nassau. The new seven-day itinerary leaves New York on Saturdays beginning May 13, 2006 and runs through the August 26, 2006 cruise. The itinerary is on sale now.

"Bermuda is an extremely popular cruise destination and is a favorite of cruise passengers," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO. "Cruising to Bermuda on one of our state-of-the art Freestyle Cruising vessels, combined with a visit to our private island and Nassau, is an unbeatable cruise vacation for those who want to experience wonderful, pristine beaches and fun in the sun."

After its new Bermuda/Bahamas season, Norwegian Dawn will then commence its previously published Canada/New England cruises. On October 15, the ship sails a new seven-day itinerary featuring Florida and three ports in the Bahamas. The ship will call into Port Canaveral/Orlando; Grand Bahama, Bahamas; Great Stirrup Cay; and overnight in Nassau. NCL is offering this itinerary through the November 26, 2006 cruise. The on-sale date for this itinerary will be announced shortly. The ship then returns to its previously published 10- and 11-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. 

NCL deployed Norwegian Dawn in New York year round in May of 2003. The move has been widely embraced by travel agents and consumers to the extent that NCL will homeport another ship year round in the Big Apple, Norwegian Spirit beginning in November. The company also deploys a seasonal ship, Norwegian Crown, in New York for the past two summer seasons.

Cruise passengers have an unprecedented amount of choice out of New York with NCL, including: 1-day cruises to nowhere-a great way to learn about an NCL ship; six-day cruises to Orlando and the Bahamas-perfect for families; seven-day cruises to Bermuda and the Bahamas; eight-day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean; and 10- and 11-day cruises to the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean. 

For those passengers booked on the previously published Norwegian Dawn seven-day Florida/Bahamas itinerary who want to move to the six-day Florida/Bahamas itinerary on Norwegian Spirit will receive up to a three category upgrade or an onboard credit of $50. Otherwise, bookings will be moved to the new seven-day Bermuda/Bahamas itinerary with NCL protecting the original rate. For those passengers booked on the previously published Norwegian Dawn 10- and 11-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries who want to move to the new Florida/Bahamas seven-day itinerary will receive the seven-day rate and up to a three category upgrade or receive an onboard credit of $50.

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Melania Trump To Serve As Godmother Of Norwegian Cruise Line's Newest Gem

It's huge. It's luxurious. And it costs $400 million. NCL today named Melania Trump as Godmother of the world's largest gem, the 93,502-ton Norwegian Jewel, the largest Panamax cruise ship ever built. Synonymous with fashion and glamour, the former model will christen NCL's newest Freestyle Cruising vessel in a ceremony at the Port of Miami on Thursday, November 3, 2005 at 6 p.m.

"Melania embodies the stunning beauty and refined style of Norwegian Jewel as well as the distinctive spirit of NCL's unique Freestyle Cruising," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL Corporation. "Melania is so much of an icon today and is the perfect Godmother for our newest, most innovative ship."

Born in Slovenia, after obtaining a degree in design and architecture at University of Slovenia, Melania jetsetted between photo shoots in Paris and Milan before settling in New York in 1996. She has graced the covers of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, British GQ, Ocean Drive, Avenue, In Style, New York Magazine and many more. She first met famous billionaire Donald Trump while attending a fashion gala. Melania married Trump on January 22, 2005 in West Palm Beach, Florida and they are now expecting their own little treasure - their first child together. 

Just like Melania, Norwegian Jewel also has ties to New York, South Florida and Europe. In 2005, Norwegian Jewel spent the fall in New York and is moving south to Miami for the winter. When the winter is over, she will head for a summer of fun and relaxation in Europe in from May through October 2006.

Shining from bow to stern, Norwegian Jewel boasts a brand new style of accommodations --10 Courtyard Villas - which along with the ship's two Garden Villas - make up the largest, grandest, most luxurious, most innovative suite complex at sea. The suite complex features a private courtyard and sundeck and both courtyard and garden villa guests have a concierge lounge available to them. Dedicated butlers offer continental breakfast, refreshments all day and canapés and drinks before dinner, and a concierge is available round the clock to take care of all arrangements both on and off the ship. 

Norwegian Jewel also features the most versatile, family-friendly accommodations afloat as well as an array of amenities including 10 restaurants, three swimming pools, a contemporary spa and more. Additionally, Norwegian Jewel features a new concept for NCL - a "Bar Central" - featuring a martini bar, a champagne and wine bar, and a beer and whisky pub all connected but with three distinct personalities, plus 10 other bars and lounges for passengers to enjoy. 

After transitioning from New York to Miami, Norwegian Jewel will begin her regularly scheduled, seven-day itineraries to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Eastern Caribbean sailings call in San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. John's, Antigua; St. Thomas, USVI and NCL's Private Island, Great Stirrup Cay. Western Caribbean itineraries will call at Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Roatan, Honduras. Norwegian Jewel will feature these itineraries each Sunday from November 4, 2005 through April 23, 2006. From there she will position to Europe, sailing Mediterranean and Egypt and Greek Isles itineraries.

NCL Corporation ("NCL") is an innovative cruise company headquartered in Miami, Florida, with a fleet of 15 ships in service and under construction. The company is currently building three ships, including one more for the NCL America brand in Hawai`i - Pride of Hawai`i (delivery in April 2006), and two further Norwegian Jewel class ships are scheduled for delivery in 2007.

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For Discerning Travelers, a Transatlantic Crossing Aboard Queen Mary 2 Ranks Among Life's Most Coveted Experiences

VALENCIA, CA, Nov 1, 2005 - The Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, Mt. Everest - these are a handful of sought-after experiences that inspire the world's most sophisticated and adventurous travelers. Crossing the Atlantic aboard Queen Mary 2, the world's grandest ocean liner, is also considered a pinnacle travel event. 

Since 1840, when Cunard introduced the first regularly scheduled transatlantic liner service, the experience has been reserved for those on an unrelenting quest for soul-stirring experiences, inspired by the maritime travels of earlier generations. In the grand Cunard tradition, Queen Mary 2 holds the distinction of being the only ocean liner providing regularly scheduled transatlantic service between New York and Southampton, and in 2006 she will traverse the Atlantic 20 times.

According to Jan Swartz, senior vice president of customer service and sales for Cunard Line, the popularity of transatlantic crossings indicates a growing trend toward luxury adventure travel and nowhere is it better reflected than aboard Queen Mary 2. "Traveling aboard QM2 recalls a bygone era of glamour and sophistication providing the ultimate luxury: time. For a growing number of travelers, it is for these compelling reasons that they wish to forgo the speed of air travel in favor of a true adventure on the open seas," she said.

New for 2006 are streamlined embark/disembark process in brand-new Brooklyn-based terminal and new transatlantic itineraries that include Hamburg and Ft. Lauderdale. On April 15, 2006, Cunard begins sailing from its brand-new terminal facility in Brooklyn, a move designed to streamline the embarkation and disembarkation process, with convenient access and comfortable amenities.

Also new for 2006 are QM2's four eight-day transatlantic crossings to/from Hamburg and one seven-day voyage from Southampton to Ft. Lauderdale. On July 8 and August 17, the ship will depart New York and arrive six days later in Southampton. Guests will have the opportunity to take in the local sights before leaving that evening as the ship makes her two-day journey to Hamburg. Westbound Hamburg sailings to New York depart on July 16 and August 25. On November 11, the 2006 transatlantic season concludes with QM2's only seven-day transatlantic crossing from Southampton to Ft. Lauderdale, arriving on November 18.

On transatlantic voyages, even longtime Cunarders have an opportunity to experience many "firsts" and "largests" at sea. QM2 boasts the world's first and only floating planetarium, the first Canyon Ranch Spa at sea, the first Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar at sea, the largest library at sea, the largest ballroom with the biggest dance floor at sea, the longest jogging track at sea and the largest and most extensive wine cellar at sea.

One of Cunard's signature characteristics that has long set the line apart is its commitment to providing guests with a broad and academically unparalleled range of onboard enrichment opportunities. The Oxford University Discovery Program, for example, touches on a wide range of thought-provoking subjects, including literature, popular culture, theater, poetry, modern art, creative writing, architecture and astronomy. Likewise, London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art has an outpost onboard, featuring superlative performances, as well as acting classes for aspiring thespians. For those captivated by seafaring lore, the Maritime Quest can be viewed throughout the ship, illustrating Cunard's history via a visually compelling, multi-paneled display.

For a truly grand holiday, guests can take advantage of Cunard's "Connoisseur Collection," a variety of luxurious pre- or post-sailing adventures in the United Kingdom and Paris including hotel accommodations, one-way economy airfare and transfers. Not-to-be-missed excursions include a tour of the English countryside, concluding with a train ride on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express to London; the enchanting "Glimpses of Ireland" tour, featuring the best of Dublin, the city of poets and playwrights; a "Royal Scotland" visit showcasing eclectic Edinburgh, Scotland's dreamy Lake District and the silver waters of Loch Lomond; and a dazzling four-night Paris/London journey, transporting guests to the most in-demand sites and sounds of these iconic metropolises. Guests wishing to spend more time experiencing New York can take advantage of special rates with selected city hotels.

Aboard the famous ship, like-minded travelers will enjoy the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star ServiceSM, fine dining, sumptuous surroundings, civilized adventure and the legacy of historic voyages and transatlantic travel. For more information about Cunard or transatlantic crossings on Queen Mary 2, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Destiny Undergoes 
Multi-Million Dollar Refurbishment

MIAMI -– Carnival Cruise Lines’ 2,642-passenger “Fun Ship” Carnival Destiny recently completed a 21-day dry dock that included an expansive new teen club, a renovated Lido restaurant and children’s pool, a redesigned casino, and updated suite accommodations. Following the multi-million-dollar renovation, which took place in Freeport, Bahamas, the 101,353-ton Carnival Destiny resumed its regular schedule of year-round seven-day southern Caribbean cruises from San Juan. On this route, Carnival Destiny departs every Sunday on week-long voyages to St. Thomas/St. John, Dominica, Barbados and Aruba.

“Carnival Destiny, a popular ‘Fun Ship’ vacation option since it entered service in 1996, is even more dazzling following its multi-million-dollar refurbishment with a host of new and updated facilities,” said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president and CEO. 

Highlighting the renovations is a new teen club, part of the line’s recently expanded “Club 02” teen program. Located on Spa Deck 11, the modern facility includes dance floor, high-tech sound/light system, three large-screen plasma TVs displaying the latest movies and music videos, music listening stations, video game pods, and a “mocktail” lounge serving non-alcoholic specialty drinks. 

Other renovations include a revamped Sun & Sea poolside restaurant on Lido deck which now features colorful tile work, updated lighting, new carpeting and chairs, and a new espresso bar. A poolside stage has been relocated to a covered area on Lido Deck, providing guests with more space for sunning and relaxing. Whirlpools have been replaced on Lido Deck, as well. 

New lighting rigs and backdrops were also installed in the 1,400-seat Palladium Theater, which serves as the venue for two elaborate Vegas-style production shows each week. The Millionaire’s Club Casino has been refurbished, as well, with a new poker pit, new lighting and furniture, and various other cosmetic enhancements. In addition, virtually all other public areas, including the Onyx Lounge, Point After Dance Club, and Apollo Piano Bar, were renovated to some extent.

The ship’s 48 suites and penthouse suites were upgraded to include updated lavatories, carpeting and wall coverings. 

The Carnival Destiny entered service in November of 1996 and is the namesake vessel in the line’s popular Destiny-class which also includes Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory. For additional information and reservations on the Carnival Destiny or any other “Fun Ship,” contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Silversea Cruises Launches Redesigned Web Site

Ft. Lauderdale, FL -- Ultra-luxury Silversea has launched its redesigned Web site featuring dynamic graphics and other enhancements that enable visitors to more fully experience the luxury, personalized service and pampering ambiance that await guests who reserve a suite aboard the line's award-winning ships. 

Dynamic graphics allow easier navigation to browse user-friendly new features such as in-depth itinerary descriptions, Virtual Voyage movie downloads, interactive regional maps and deck plans with streaming video views of all suites and public areas, comprehensive descriptions of optional programs and up-to-the-minute enticing offers. 

"The Internet has become an extremely useful business tool and a vital link to our customers and the travel agent community," said David Morris, Silversea's senior vice president of sales for North America. "We're very pleased to unveil a totally redesigned and upgraded site that makes it easier than ever to access information and plan a cruise. This is an important product enhancement that reflects our continuing commitment to excellence and innovation."  

Visitors to the site will find they can now easily and quickly peruse the line's many worldwide itineraries by the port or region they wish to visit or by the date that best fits their travel plans or even by their favorite ship. Each voyage page displays: a day-by-day itinerary with embark/disembark times and voyage map; fact-filled and informative port descriptions; detailed travelogues of optional shore excursions; fares for the line's most popular suites with all applicable savings; Air/Hotel Program fares, Solo Traveler fares and optional extended-land and Silver Sights programs. 

One of the most exciting improvements is the new Virtual Voyage feature, which enables visitors to create their own movie download of the suites and public spaces. Visitors simply choose which ship they want to tour, then select the suites and public spaces they want to view and click the "Play Movie" option for an enticing preview of what ultra-luxury cruising is all about. 

Guests looking to complement their voyage with a pre- or post-cruise Silver Sights or extended land program will find detailed day-by-day land itineraries and hotel descriptions. Or, they can create their own customized itinerary with the Personalized Voyages feature, view a roster of noted speakers and experts hosting entertaining Enrichment Voyages, and find superb savings opportunities on select voyages by clicking on "Enticing Offers."

With the "My Voyage" feature, guests can book shore excursions, salon appointments and spa treatments online as early as 60 days prior to sailing. The cost for these services is subsequently charged to the guest's shipboard account during the voyage.

Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard four intimate vessels, Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, and Silver Whisper, all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent. For a complimentary brochure, please call toll-free (877) 215-9986 or visit

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Image Debuts Custom Photo Kiosks on Royal Caribbean's 
Navigator of the Seas

MIAMI -- Cayman-based Image, Royal Caribbean's exclusive photography concessionaire, has introduced innovative photo kiosks on the Navigator of the Seas. Image is billing the new system as a dramatically different approach to maximizing guest satisfaction. The self-service Image Kiosks were custom-designed for use on board Royal Caribbean ships and were installed in September. The system uses Web-based technology and monitors, stores and reports on every interaction a guest has with an Image Kiosk. Services and sales promotions can be customized during a voyage based on specific guest behavior and preferences.

Currently, guests can access their portraits at any kiosk using their SeaPass card. The card is read before a portrait is taken, then the image is automatically downloaded into the Image Kiosk system. To view their portraits, guests then swipe their SeaPass card at the kiosk and their portraits appear on the screen. Using touch-screen commands, guests can edit each photo. Once editing is complete, the image can be previewed and placed in 'my basket' for purchase.

"The guests are very impressed with the capabilities of the new system and are lining up at the kiosks to view and edit their images," said Neil Harrison, vice president of operations for Image Photo Services. "The software is proving to be a powerful tool that gives guests access to portraits, editing tools and related photo products in a user-friendly interface."

A significant benefit of Image's system is that guests have the security that they have private access to their own photos, unlike other kiosk systems that allow public access to all photos. Guests also have the option of selecting stock photos, folios or albums, and choosing from various sales promotions. A summary of selected items can be viewed in "my basket" and confirmed for purchase when the guest is ready. Once a purchase is confirmed, the order automatically transmits to the photo lab for processing. The Image Kiosk screen reminds guests when their photos will be available for pick-up in the photo gallery (usually later the same day). The guest's folio account is not charged until the order is picked up.

Four Image Kiosks have been installed on board Navigator of the Seas in the photo gallery and Café Promenade. The kiosk system is not meant to replace the traditional gallery display merchandizing method, but is seen as an add-on service to the existing photo gallery. All photos are still displayed in the gallery. Kiosk transactions can be conducted in English, Spanish, German, Italian, French or Portuguese. In the event there is a charter of all Spanish-speaking guests, for example, the system can be programmed to display a single language throughout the cruise.

Image plans to introduce the Image Kiosk gradually on other ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet. Additionally, because the software was designed by Image for the cruise industry, there is potential for these kiosks to be customized to fit the needs of any cruise line. 

Image is the largest, most successful photo concessionaire in the cruise industry, serving over 40 ships carrying more than 80,000 guests per week on worldwide itineraries. The company provides complete shipboard imaging services, including guest photography and portraiture, videography, guest film processing and on-board retail sales of photographic equipment and accessories.

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

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