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Cruise News
November 1-30, 2008

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Attempted Act of Piracy

Miami, FL, Nov 30 – On November 30, 2008, at approximately 0928 local time, 0528 GMT, M/S NAUTICA was transiting through the Gulf of Aden within the prescribed Maritime Safety Protection Area which is patrolled by international anti-piracy task forces. As the vessel sailed past several groups of non-hostile fishing vessels, two small skiffs were sighted by the Officer on Duty and deemed potentially hostile. The skiffs, approaching from a range of approximately 1000 meters, attempted to intercept the vessel’s course. Captain Jurica Brajcic and his officers immediately began evasive maneuvers and took all prescribed precautions. NAUTICA was immediately brought to flank speed and was able to out run the two skiffs. One of the skiffs did manage to close the range to approximately 300 yards and fired eight rifle shots in the direction of the vessel before trailing off. No one aboard NAUTICA was harmed and no damage was sustained.

All guests and crew onboard are safe and there were no injuries. All requisite international authorities have been notified and all anti-piracy precautions were in place prior to the event and all necessary measures were taken during the event.

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Celebrity Cruises Evolves Website, Launches “Starring You Network”

MIAMI, Nov 25 – Known for bringing its promise to put guests at the center of attention to life, Celebrity Cruises is bringing its service-oriented style to its website, This week, Celebrity launched the first phase of its retooled site; enhancements include a richer home page experience and the “Starring You Network,” a series of web episodes that directly link users to various actions on the site.

“Just as we’ve redefined the Celebrity Cruises brand with the recent launch of our new Solstice class of ships, our hope is that the new and distinct style of our revitalized website will redefine the premium cruise category in the virtual world,” said Wayne Wielgus, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Celebrity Cruises. “We offer our guests outstanding service while sailing on our ships, and to mirror that online, we’ve given our site a new face by delivering a site that has been designed with our guests in mind, in design, navigation and breathtaking visuals. The changes to our home page will help to position our site as a cruise programming channel where guests and potential guests will see our cruises in a way that has not been done before on a cruise line’s website,” Wielgus said. “We are breaking down traditional visual barriers, all with the intention of bringing the Celebrity experience to life in a uniquely compelling way.”  

The new homepage design features a nontraditional layout that lacks the standard panes that line the edges of most sites. Instead, a seamlessly panoramic approach to the homepage design creates the sense of a wide, boundless vista, much like the expansiveness one experiences while gazing at the sky from the deck of a ship at sea. The design also features a new footer section that makes it faster for users to manage their existing reservation, learn more about Celebrity's ships and destinations, and find important news and announcements.

The site’s relaunch includes the introduction of the “Starring You Network,” which will feature stories about Celebrity’s guests’ experiences while onboard its ships. The Starring You Network will appear in a screen area near the top of the homepage. The stories, which will illustrate all the ways that Celebrity delivers “Star Treatment” to guests, are aimed at converting users’ emotional responses into immediate action, such as booking a cruise. The programming in this “network” is filmed in television broadcast quality and is visually stunning, often featuring destinations that Celebrity visits, but also reflective of Celebrity’s signature service with style. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Back by Popular Demand: Celebrity Cruises Returns to Bermuda in 2010

MIAMI, Nov 24 – During preview cruises this month on its new Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Cruises revealed plans to resume cruises to Bermuda in 2010.

“Celebrity has a long and positive history with the beautiful island of Bermuda, and we’re thrilled to respond to demand that we return, from our longtime guests and travel agent partners alike,” said Celebrity’s President & CEO Dan Hanrahan.

On April 17, 2010, Celebrity Summit will reposition from San Juan to Cape Liberty (Bayonne), New Jersey, to present a series of 7-night roundtrip Bermuda itineraries. The ship will dock at King’s Wharf, also known as the Royal Naval Dockyard.

“Travelers and travel agents have spoken, and they say they want Bermuda and Celebrity reunited," said Bermuda Premier Dr. Ewart F. Brown, also Minister of Tourism and Transport. "I am pleased to say that we have delivered. Guests on the Bermuda-bound Celebrity Summit are in for a spectacular vacation experience both on land and at sea come April 2010.”

In July 2010, Celebrity Summit’s new Bermuda sailings will alternate with 7-night Canada/New England cruises. Full deployment details for both destinations will be announced when bookings open in 2009.

Celebrity Cruises’ most recent season in Bermuda ended in October 2006, with the line’s former Celebrity Zenith. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Reveals Prime 7 Details

FORT LAUDERDALE, Nov 24 – Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC) today announced further details of the new alternative dining venue, Prime 7, that will be added to the Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner as part of the previously-announced $40 million fleet-wide refurbishment program of its all-suite ships. The work will be completed during the upcoming scheduled dry-docks of the two 700-guest vessels which will take place in December 2008 for Seven Seas Voyager and in January 2009 for Seven Seas Mariner.

“We are very excited about our new restaurant concept,” said Mark Conroy, President of RSSC. “Based on feedback from our loyal past customers, Prime 7 will prove to be an extremely popular venue aboard both ships as it provides cuisine with universal appeal in a beautiful, intimate setting to create a very special luxury dining experience for our guests,” he added.

A glamorous, contemporary interpretation of a classic American steakhouse, Prime 7 will feature a fresh, distinctive décor and an innovative menu of the finest prime-aged steak and chops along with fresh seafood and poultry specialties. Rivaling the most elegant of restaurants ashore, a rich palette of green and golden hues creates an ambiance of luxury and intimacy. Supple leather furniture, polished granite and burnished woods set an impressive culinary stage that is accented by a stunning table setting of custom Prime 7 china, gleaming silver and shimmering crystal.

Standing shoulder to shoulder with the most prestigious steakhouses on land, Prime 7 features an array of avant-garde appetizers such as a trio of steak tartares and foie gras sliders with rhubarb chutney along with traditional favorites that include oysters Rockefeller and jumbo lump crab cake to name but a few. Of course, a tantalizing selection of savory soups, colorful salads and innovative vegetable dishes is always offered.

The stars of the evening are the main courses with eight USDA Prime, dry-aged steaks to choose from plus an enticing selection of lamb, pork, poultry and seafood specialties. Mouthwatering choices include a 32-ounce Porterhouse that is carved tableside, an 18-ounce “Cote de Boeuf” bone-in rib steak, a 12-ounce New York strip, slow-roasted prime rib, 6- and 10-ounce filet mignons and the signature surf & turf – a 6-ounce filet mignon accompanied by a Canadian cold water lobster tail or Alaskan king crab legs. Scintillating non-beef specialties include New Zealand double cut lamb chops, double cut Kurobuta Berkshire pork chops, center cut milk-fed veal chop, an oven-roasted organic half chicken, Alaskan king crab legs, Maine lobster with drawn butter and grilled branzino with lemon and capers.

No fine steakhouse experience would be complete without the temptations of irresistible desserts to round out the evening. Palate-pleasing sweets include Chicago-style cheesecake with sweet raspberry sauce, a monumental 14-layer Valrhona chocolate cake with roasted pistachio sauce, banana cream pie with peanut butter crust and apricot-caramel glaze, key lime pie with vanilla mousse and that all-American favorite, warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream. Each meal is accompanied by complimentary pairings of the finest California white and red wines, and there is an extensive list of extraordinary American wines available for purchase by the glass. As with all alternative dining venues on RSSC, there is no supplemental charge to dine in
Prime 7. Reservations are required to ensure a leisurely, unhurried gastronomic experience.

For more information, visit

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Crystal Mixes It Up With Cocktails, Classes & Competitions on 2009 Wine & Food Cruises

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 24 -- Luxury specialist Crystal Cruises is expanding its 2009 Wine & Food Experiences of Discovery to include cocktail and mixology curriculum in addition to its wine and food focus. More than two dozen of the world's most intriguing and topical names on the culinary, wine and cocktail scenes will offer insights and instruction. The co-proprietor of the renowned Grgich Hills Estate, famed Hawaiian restaurateur Sam Choy, Master Sommelier Robert Bath and Tim Hollingsworth of The French Laundry are among the impressive lineup scheduled on board to share their tasty talents, plus added expertise from Crystal's own creative chefs, sommeliers and bartenders. The 2009 sailings mark the 13th annual series of the line's popular Wine & Food cruises.

"One of the hallmarks of a Crystal vacation is the extraordinary onboard culinary experience," said Toni Neumeister, Crystal's vice president, food and beverage operations. "We're excited to pair our chefs -- the cruise industry's best -- with the highest caliber of experts, to offer guests an unparalleled wine and food vacation."

Highlights of the Wine & Food cruises include:
-- Brand-new mixology/cocktail demonstrations, including "Making Great Cocktails at Home" and an "Iron Bar Competition;"
-- Brand-new pastry classes;
-- Wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and Iron Chef-style cooking competitions with guest wine lecturers, wine and cookbook authors;
-- Specially designed dinner menus featuring guest chefs' signature dishes, and
-- Crystal Adventures ashore focusing on destinations' wine and culinary specialties.

The line's newly introduced cheese sommeliers will also offer insight to more than 50 varieties from around the world and give pairing suggestions.

In 2008, all Crystal wine sommeliers were certified through the Court of Master Sommeliers. Intimate Vintage Room experiences are available on all cruises for approximately $210 per person. In 2009, two ultra-exclusive Ultimate Vintage Room experiences are planned; whereby some of the world's rarest wine selections are paired with a multi-course meal for upwards of $1,000 per person.

The wine and food focus Experiences of Discovery voyages will be available on itineraries through the Panama Canal, Asia, Northern and Western Europe and the Caribbean aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the line's website,

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Yachts of Seabourn Introduces Newest Ultra-Luxury Yacht: Seabourn Sojourn

MIAMI, Nov. 24 -- The Yachts of Seabourn has announced its next highly anticipated ultra-luxury yacht will be named Seabourn Sojourn in a glittering ceremony in London in June 2010, before sailing on its 14-day Maiden Voyage. The sleek new vessel is being built in Italy, and will position from Genoa to London before its inauguration.

"London has always been a great destination for our Seabourn yachts," noted Seabourn president and CEO Pamela Conover. "We have earned a large and loyal following of repeat cruise guests from the UK, and we are proud to debut our beautiful new vessel in London".

Sailing from Greenwich, ports of call on its Maiden Voyage include the Faroe Islands, Iceland and the Norwegian Fjords. Sojourn's Maiden Season in the northern waters offers the most luxurious and spacious cruise experience in the region, although the yacht is still small enough to reach destinations larger vessels simply cannot reach. Fares and detailed itineraries will be announced in February 2009.

Like its sister Seabourn Odyssey, debuting in June 2009, Seabourn Sojourn provides the most exclusive all-suite accommodation available at sea, with 225 suites in total, 90 percent of which have private verandas. Top of the range suites include Wintergarden Suites with private solarium and veranda, and Signature Suites with sweeping verandas and unrivalled views facing forward. All suites feature separate living areas and bedrooms, writing desks with personalized stationery, iPod and MP3 connections and spacious granite bathrooms with separate bath and shower and twin sinks.

The two-deck, state of the art Spa at Seabourn features Spa Villas which can be reserved for hours of pure indulgence and relaxation. The new vessels will offer four dining venues, including a spacious open-seating Restaurant capable of seating all guests. Six bars and lounges will serve a full range of beverages including fine wines and spirits with Seabourn's compliments.

Seabourn Sojourn is the second of three 450-guest vessels being added to The Yachts of Seabourn's fleet of intimate, yacht-like cruisers, which have won numerous awards and consistent acclaim for highly personalized service, sumptuous, all-suite accommodation, superb cuisine and exceptional delivery of the most desirable destinations worldwide, resulting in exceptional value for money. The first, Seabourn Odyssey, will debut at Venice in June of 2009, and a third, as yet un-named, is due in 2011.

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MSC Fantasia ‘The Most Beautiful Ship of the World’ Arrives in One Month

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Nov 24 – The final countdown for MSC Fantasia has officially started. There are less than 30 days to go to the christening ceremony of MSC Cruises‘ flagship in Naples on December 18. The most beautiful ship in the world will be christened by Sophia Loren, the icon of Italian style in the world, who has already christened five other elegant MSC Cruises’ ships.

MSC Fantasia, at 133,500 gross registered tons, measures 1,092 feet long, 196 feet high and 124 feet wide. It can cruise at a maximum speed of 23 knots, carrying 3,274 guests (double occupancy) in its 1,637 cabins.

The 290,000 square feet of common areas include:
-- 5 swimming pools, including “I Tropici,” with a retractable roof
-- 12 whirlpool baths and 1 Acqua Park with 150 fountains
-- 5 restaurants, including “La Cantina Toscana,” with the finest Italian wines; “El Sombrero Tex Mex” to enjoy the taste of tacos and margaritas; and even a very elegant “Belle époque” style a la carte French restaurant.

Guests will have the opportunity to choose among 19 bars, such as the Manhattan Jazz Bar, with a perfect New York style, and the Sports Bar, where guests can support their team together with friends. MSC Aurea Spa’s 17,384 square feet will ensure total relaxation of body and mind.

And fun is also guaranteed onboard, from “L’Avanguardia” theater with 1,650 seats, the casino, the disco and to the virtual area with a Formula 1 simulator and a 4D cinema. There is a children's playroom dedicated to a North Pole theme.

For the first time onboard, guests will find the new MSC Yacht Club: 99 suites, between 247 and 570 square feet, furnished as a luxurious yacht; a large lounge with a breathtaking view of the sea; a Conciergerie with Swarovski crystal stairs; and other reserved spaces. Personal butlers will provide the most exclusive services such as taking care of the luggage, booking excursions, in-suite dining, choice of cigars, liquors and champagne.

Elegance and class are the elements which distinguish all the new spaces on the flagship, which, as always, have been designed by the studio De Jorio Design International. The most important contemporary design styles dominate all the ship's spaces and reveal the great attention given to detail, and the quality of the materials.

MSC Fantasia is also an entirely ecological ship with environmentally friendly paint, modern technology for the treatment of black and grey waters and a system of energy saving in cabins and common areas.

MSC Fantasia is the tenth ship of the MSC Cruises fleet. After the inaugural ceremony, it will call at Genoa from where it will leave on Dec. 20 for its maiden voyage 9-day Mediterranean cruise, calling at Rhodes, Alexandria of Egypt, Messina and Naples. Twelve-day Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean cruises will be available all through winter 2009.

For more information about MSC Fantasia, visit the special website,

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Royal Caribbean Announces Enhanced Process for Departing Guests & Consecutive Cruisers Fleetwide

MIAMI, Nov 24, 2008 – Royal Caribbean International has made significant enhancements to its award-winning Gold Anchor Service by introducing new procedures fleet wide to further ease the departure process on all ships, as well as provide seamless transition for consecutive cruisers – guests who are immediately continuing on the following voyage aboard the same ship. Guests can take advantage of the cruise line’s revamped departure program, while those staying over multiple sailings can enjoy new special programming.

“We listened to our guests’ feedback regarding the opportunity to transform the departure experience and responded with the launch of a refreshed process fleet wide,” said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “Early testing aboard Freedom of the Seas has yielded very positive guest feedback, with the enhanced communications cited as one of the most helpful tools for our guests on departure day. We also continue to see an increase in guests sailing with us for multiple cruises and our focus on special communications and programming for these guests will also greatly enhance their overall cruise experience.”

On departure day, guests will have extended access to their staterooms, as well as continued in-stateroom TV entertainment. Guests also will receive an “As You Depart” notice, which communicates the new enhancements and the location of departure lounges offering refreshments and light entertainment. Among the departure lounges will be a dedicated Family Zone, which will include refreshments, toys and games geared toward younger cruisers. Guests in suite category staterooms will be treated to an exclusive continental breakfast hosted by guest services or the concierge. Additionally, there will be a minimal amount of ship-wide public announcements all morning to maintain a relaxing atmosphere, with nearly all departure updates limited to the departure lounges and through the in-stateroom TV programming.

Guests may also take advantage of Royal Caribbean’s Express Departure option, a window of time when guests can elect to hand carry their own luggage. Express Departure allows guests to disembark the ship first and as soon as the gangway is opened and cleared by local authorities.

Guests sailing with Royal Caribbean over multiple consecutive cruises will receive a “sneak peek” Compass, a variation of the popular daily Cruise Compass program schedule. The special Compass will offer an overview that includes the following sailing’s itinerary highlights – such as entertainment and dining events throughout the guests’ stay – as well as special events exclusively for consecutive cruises guests. Consecutive cruises guests will receive special attention, activities, and dining options, such as personalized services, a letter from the Hotel Director, calls from Guest Services, and assistance to ensure main dining room seating requests are made in advance of the following cruise.

For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Southampton to be Home Port for Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Eclipse in 2010

MIAMI – Nov 22 – During one of its preview cruises for travel partners, press and other dignitaries on its new Celebrity Solstice this week, Celebrity Cruises announced that sister ship Celebrity Eclipse – the third in the five-ship Solstice class series – will be based in Southampton, England, in summer 2010, offering cruises to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. The ship also will also hold its launch celebrations in Southampton, where the trend-setting new vessel will be showcased extensively to UK and Ireland consumers and trade partners during a week-long event.

“Celebrity Cruises has enjoyed a strong relationship with the UK and Ireland market and experienced steadily increasing guest numbers in recent years,” said Celebrity’s President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. “Investing in the future of that relationship with Celebrity Eclipse homeporting in Southampton is an exciting development for our business. In 2009, we have an enormous opportunity with our two newest ships – Celebrity Solstice and Celebrity Equinox – both based in Europe. Our presence will significantly increase in 2010, as Celebrity Eclipse leads the charge to further maximize the potential of the UK and Ireland market.”

Among the ground-breaking features guests can anticipate onboard each 2,850-guest Solstice-class ship include:

  • The Lawn Club, a half-acre recreation area featuring real, growing grass.
  • A Hot Glass Show in partnership with The Corning Museum of Glass, offering live glassblowing demonstrations.
  • Ten widely varied restaurants, including the main “Grand Epernay” dining room, inspired by old Hollywood glamour, and several specialty venues whose unique ambience is expressly designed to complement the first-class cuisine.
  • A new category of accommodations, AquaClass, presenting a range of spa-inspired amenities, including dream-enhancing TV programming, a welcome kit with teeth whitening sample, exclusive access to the Mediterranean-influenced specialty restaurant, Blu, and complimentary access to the Persian Garden within the extensive AquaSpa facilities onboard.
  • Veranda-category staterooms whose design was inspired by five women selected for their unique travel and hospitality insights.
  • Like its sister ships, more than 90 percent of the accommodations onboard Celebrity Eclipse will be outside staterooms, and 85 percent will have a veranda.
  • A wide variety of boutiques and shops, such as the by-appointment-only “Boutique C,” featuring the 86-facet Solstice Diamond, available only on Celebrity’s Solstice-class ships.

Bookings for Celebrity Eclipse will open in March 2009. Itineraries for the new ship are expected to offer traditional Mediterranean favorite destinations, popular northern European cities, and shorter cruise options. Celebrity’s fleet – including the new Celebrity Solstice – will be joined by Celebrity Equinox in 2009, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011, and a fifth in 2012. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Royal Caribbean International 'Floats Out' Oasis of the Seas

MIAMI, Nov. 21 -- In just over one year, Royal Caribbean Intl's Oasis of the Seas will make her long awaited debut. The ship, under construction at STX Europe in Turku, Finland, reached an important maritime milestone today when she was "floated out"--moved from dry dock to wet dock--to begin the final stages of interior work. At official ceremonies held at the shipyard, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. executives turned the valve releasing 87 million gallons of water into the wet dock area.

"This is a historic day for our company. After more than three years of intense planning and collaboration and with 65 percent of the ship already complete, it's exciting to see Oasis entering its final stages," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "Oasis of the Seas truly represents the innovative spirit that our company is known for and to see that come to fruition is wonderful."

The line chose this important milestone to announce that Oasis of the Seas will enter service under the command of Captain William S. Wright and Captain Tor Olsen. Wright, a 15-year veteran of Royal Caribbean Intl, was also the start up Captain for Freedom of the Seas, currently the largest ship in the world with sister-ships Liberty of the Seas and Independence of the Seas, and 40 percent smaller than Oasis of the Seas. Wright also is one of the few American captains in international cruising and currently serves as the senior vice president of Marine Operations for the cruise line. Born in Norway, Captain Tor Olsen has been on the high seas since the age of 16. He joined Royal Caribbean International in 1987 working on Song of America and has served as Captain on five Royal Caribbean ships from the Voyager-class to the Vision-class.

When Oasis launches in Dec 2009, she will feature the unique neighborhood concept that will provide guests with the opportunity to seek out relevant experiences based on their personal style, preference or mood in seven distinct areas of the ship. This unique concept, which also creates a vast array of accommodation choices for guests never before found at sea, is the result of a quantum leap forward in revolutionary cruise ship design. An architectural marvel at sea, Oasis of the Seas will span 16 decks, encompass 220,000 gross registered tons (GRT), carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. She will be the first ship to tout the cruise line's new neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which include Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. The ship will sail from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

For information about Royal Caribbean cruises or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit, or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Additional information about Oasis of the Seas is available at

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Carnival Cruise Lines to Increase Capacity on 2010 New York Departures

MIAMI, Nov 21 – Carnival Cruise Lines will increase capacity on its seasonal cruise program from New York in 2010 with the 2,978-passenger Carnival Glory scheduled to operate a variety of 4 and 5-day Atlantic Canada voyages from June to Sept, followed by a series of five week-long fall foliage cruises. It marks the first time that Carnival has deployed one of its largest ships on the highly popular program. The 110,000-ton Carnival Glory features a wide variety of exceptional facilities, amenities and stateroom accommodation categories. Additionally, departing from New York makes these cruises extremely convenient and attractive for the huge population base within driving distance of Manhattan, as well as for those in the larger eastern U.S. region who can take a short-haul flight to one of the area’s three major airports.

Four-day cruises departing Thursdays feature a call at Saint John, New Brunswick and scenic cruising in the Bay of Fundy, while 5-day cruises departing on Mondays and Saturdays include stops at Saint John and Halifax, Nova Scotia. The program commences with a four-day voyage departing June 6, 2010 (a one-time Sunday departure).

Week-long fall foliage itineraries beginning Saturday, Sept 11, 2010, feature four different ports of call, including Boston, Mass., Portland, Maine, Saint John and Halifax, offering a variety of opportunities to view stunning fall colors and explore these charming coastal cities.

“These itineraries have proven exceptionally popular among consumers seeking a summer or fall getaway that combines the history and beauty of these scenic ports with the excitement, value and spirited fun of a Carnival vacation,” said Lynn Torrent, Carnival’s senior vice president of sales and guest services. “By operating this program in 2010 on one of our newest and largest ships, we anticipate that both past guests and new cruisers alike will be enticed by these refreshing itineraries coupled with the huge array of facilities and amenities offered on the Carnival Glory.”

The $500 million Carnival Glory features 22 lounges and bars, four swimming pools, a 214-foot-long water slide, a 14,500-square-foot health club, an Internet café, jogging track and extensive duty free shopping options. A comprehensive golf program offering instruction both aboard ship and during golf excursions is also featured.
In addition to a 1,400-seat poolside eatery with a 24-hour pizzeria, the ship includes twin two-level formal restaurants and a reservations-only supper club offering U.S.D.A. prime dry-aged beef and other gourmet cuisine.

Sixty percent of Carnival Glory’s 1,489 spacious staterooms offer either an ocean view or private balcony. All staterooms feature the “Carnival Comfort Bed” sleep system with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high quality pillows and linens.
Carnival Glory also offers expansive facilities and complimentary activities for children and teens, with its “Camp Carnival,” “Circle C” and “Club O2” programs catering to different age groups.

The cruise line is currently accepting reservations for both its 2009 and 2010 departures from New York (2009 voyages will operate on the Carnival Triumph). For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501.

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Holland America Line Debuts New Winemakers & Wedding Group Advantage Programs

Seattle, WA, Nov 19 – Holland America Line is introducing two creative new tools to help travel professionals capitalize on more cruise business and benefit their clients by booking groups. The Winemakers GAP Package and the Wedding GAP Package expand Holland America Line’s Group Advantage Program (GAP), the most comprehensive group amenities program in the cruise industry.

“These packages offer travel agents two more opportunities to book groups and ensure those groups enjoy exciting onboard experiences,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Groups are one of the most effective ways for agents to increase revenue, and now they can sell the new Winemakers and Wedding GAP Packages in addition to Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center, Family Reunion and Charity Group programs.”

The Winemakers GAP Package is designed for groups of wine enthusiasts and those who simply want to learn more about the complex world of wine, often in conjunction with the cruise destination. Travel professionals can organize a group around a winemaker, sommelier or local restaurant. Groups can bring their own wine on board for the tasting and Winemakers Lunch—ideal for winemakers wishing to showcase their wines—or opt to focus on the fine wines that Holland America Line serves on board with special wine tastings conducted by Holland America Line Cellar Masters.

With the Winemakers GAP Package, each group receives two one-hour wine tastings in either the main dining room or the Pinnacle Grill restaurant, a Winemakers Lunch with a pairing of three wines in the Pinnacle Grill, and a choice of either chocolate-dipped strawberries or Holland America Line commemorative bottle of wine per stateroom. The package requires a minimum of 25 guests.

The Wedding GAP Package lets couples create their own special, on-board celebration shared by their family and friends. The wedding couple enjoys a free stateroom upgrade with a minimum of eight staterooms booked and free wedding cake for up to 16 guests. The wedding group enjoys a Pinnacle Grill lunch, private wine tasting and chocolate-covered strawberries and bottle of Chase Limogere Brut in their staterooms. Groups larger than 16 guests are accommodated for the wedding cake reception with a nominal charge per additional guest.

“Holland America Line is adding these new group programs because we’re seeing a strong, increasing trend toward affinity groups and celebration travel,” said Meadows. “These groups can come from service organizations, reunions, charities, etc., or people who share a common interest such as gourmet cooking, dancing or financial planning. It also includes what we call celebration group travel—or families cruising together for a wedding, anniversary or multi-generational reunion. “Holland America Line is especially ideal for these family groups because we offer something for all ages – from on-board programs, including our award-winning Club HAL® for children and teens, to popular ports of call with extraordinary shore excursions.”

Meadows said Holland America Line also provides incentive GAP amenities based on GAP points earned and length of cruise. Travel professionals can then select amenities that best customize and enhance the cruise for each particular group to make its cruising experience exceptional. Such amenities include private wine tastings, coffee cards and water sports equipment rentals on Half Moon Cay, Holland America Line’s award-winning private Caribbean island.

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Telemedicine to Debut Aboard Costa Concordia

MIAMI, FL, Nov 19 – Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, will debut telemedicine aboard the Costa Concordia beginning in early 2009. A broadband satellite system has been installed, final touches are being made on a telemedicine suite and training is being completed for staff involved in the project. The telemedicine project is the result of a collaboration between Costa Cruises, TELESAL – Telecomunicazioni per la salute (Telecommunication for Health), Genoa’s Galliera Hospital, the Genoese engineering company D’Appolonia and C.I.R.M. (Centro Internazionale Radio Medico, or International Radio Medical Center).

TELESAL is creating a telemedicine suite onboard the Costa Concordia, which will enable enhanced health care with advanced medical technology around the clock in the sea-going environment. Testing of the system will commence in the early months of 2009 on the Costa Concordia (114,500 tons, 3,000 double occupancy capacity) when the ship is deployed on 10- and 11-night cruises to Greece, Turkey, Egypt and Cyprus.

The assistance provided onboard by the new service will allow for diagnosis and consultation at a distance for first aid, toxicology, cardiology, radiology, dermatology and ophthalmology with the collaboration of Genoa’s Galliera Hospital. This will involve coordination of the hospital’s general medicine, surgery and emergency department, headed by Dr. Paolo Cremonesi, with the support of its IT and Telecommunications Services, and under the direction of the Galliera Health Authority. The innovative new service will consist of the exchange of medical data (experimentation will include dermatological, ophthalmologic and radiological images, electrocardiograms, scans), which can be shared via videoconferencing in order to enable real-time consultation between shipboard medical personnel and the Galliera health professionals.

“It is part of our mission to be at the forefront in all aspects of our activity, so we can’t help feeling proud to contribute to the first experiment in telemedicine at sea in Europe,” announced Costa Cruises President Gianni Onorato. “This is a highly innovative and extremely important project; the aim of this European first is to further enhance the quality of the service for our guests and crew. For this reason we’ve decided to launch the experimentation on our flagship Costa Concordia. We hope in the future to be able to extend the telemedicine installation project with fleetwide deployment and the involvement of hospitals around the world.

For reservations or more information, contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit

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Orient Lines Delays Launch

Celebration, FL, Nov 19 – Orient Lines has announced that due to the current world economic climate, it shall delay the launch of its cruises currently scheduled to commence in April 2009.

Orient Lines’ President and CEO Wayne Heller stated that, “All guests that have booked a cruise with Orient Lines shall be given a full and prompt refund and, if requested, we will endeavor to offer them assistance with making alternate cruise vacation arrangements.” Heller added, “Even though the launch of Orient Lines is delayed, we are exploring possible options to re-launch our cruise program at a more favorable time in the near future.”

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Royal Caribbean's Newest Freedom-Class Ship Arrives in the US: Independence of the Seas Sails Into Port Everglades

MIAMI, Nov. 19 -- Royal Caribbean International's newest Freedom-class ship, Independence of the Seas, made her US debut today at Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. Sharing the title of world's largest cruise ship with her sister-ships, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, Independence will be the line's first Freedom-class ship to sail from Port Everglades.

At 160,000 GRT and a capacity of 3,634 guests, Independence of the Seas features all of the industry-first amenities which are trademarks of the Freedom-class ships: a FlowRider surf simulator; the H20 Zone water park with its interactive sculpture garden for families and toddler pool; cantilevered whirlpools suspended 112 ft. above the ocean in the adults-only Solarium; a full-size boxing ring and a 14-person family suite.

Independence also features some of the other distinctive offerings the global cruise line is known for including, an ice-skating rink; a rock- climbing wall; an award-winning youth program; fine to casual dining venues; Broadway-style entertainment and the Royal Promenade - an entertainment boulevard stretching the length of the ship with shops, restaurants, bars and lounges, which provides guests with an endless variety of choices and experiences to suit their taste and preference.

Independence will sail from Ft. Lauderdale and alternate between 8-night Eastern Caribbean and 6-night Western Caribbean itineraries. Independence's Eastern Caribbean itinerary will call at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Phillipsburg, St. Maarten and Labadee, Royal Caribbean's private beach destination in Haiti. The Western Caribbean itinerary will call at Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya, Mexico and Cozumel, Mexico.

For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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NCL Offers Concert Cruises With Top Musical Acts Barenaked Ladies, Indigo Girls

Norwegian Cruise Line joins with Sixthman, the leaders in affinity travel, to offer unique concert cruises with the opportunity to hear top musical acts in an exclusive, interactive and intimate environment onboard Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Dawn.

Norwegian Jewel hosts Ships and Dip V from Feb 1-7, 2009 featuring the Barenaked Ladies, Great Big Sea, The New Odds, Boothby Graffoe, and The Weakerthans on a five-day Western Caribbean itinerary sailing round-trip from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico and Great Stirrup Cay, NCL’s private island. For more information, log on to

Norwegian Dawn hosts Cayamo: A Journey Through Song from Feb 28-March 7, 2009 featuring Indigo Girls, Lyle Lovett, Patty Griffin, John Hiatt, Shawn Colvin, Brandi Carlile, and a full lineup of other amazing performers on a seven-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary sailing round-trip from Miami to Samana, Dominica Republic; St. Thomas and Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Great Stirrup Cay. For more information, log on to

For further information on NCL or to book these cruises call (866) 531-9605.

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For Thanksgiving, Cunard’s Liner Notes Talks Turkey

Nov 18 – Liner Notes, the literary travel series presented by Cunard Line, marks Thanksgiving with a generous serving of food for thought on the all-American holiday. In this Talking Turkey episode, Paul Holdengräber and his accomplished guests take listeners on a journey exploring Thanksgiving traditions, menus, guests and gratitude. Gourmet magazine Executive Chef Sara Moulton teaches Holdengräber how to cook a special Thanksgiving dish, food historian Betty Fussell explores the holiday’s history, and New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik explains how authors use food as metaphor.

In the tradition of the legendary Algonquin Roundtable, the group explores heritage turkeys, why we eat pumpkin pies, turkey hunting in Montana, Thanksgiving in Paris, favorite cookbooks and why we eat too much. Liner Notes is taped over lunch at the Captain’s Table aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and, in this episode, features the insight of six notable guests as well as input from Commodore Bernard Warner, Master of Queen Mary 2, and some of the ocean liner’s crew members.

“In this episode, we delve into the shared traditions that define Thanksgiving," said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line. “From turkey to pumpkin pie to the all-important leftovers, I can think of no other holiday so inextricably linked to food - and not just any food. The Thanksgiving menu is an institution.”

Holdengräber’s guests for Talking Turkey include:

· Wendell Berry – the famed Kentucky poet, farmer and philosopher will read a poem and talk about food and the things for which he is thankful
· Sara Moulton – the longtime executive chef of Gourmet magazine and host of PBS’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” will teach Holdengräber how to cook a special Thanksgiving meal and reflect on cooking with Julia Child
· Adam Gopnik – the essayist and New Yorker staff writer will explain how authors such as Trollope, Proust and Ian Fleming used food for metaphor, and why it’s the leftovers that matter most
· Betty Fussell – the food historian and author of The Story of Corn will explore where we all stand in the history of Thanksgiving
· Ilan Hall – the rising chef who won the Top Chef TV competition weighs in from a macaroni & cheese cook-off in Portland, Oregon
· Maira Kalman – regular roundtable guest, writer and artist recalls her Thanksgivings at Howard Johnson’s
· Cunard Commodore Bernard Warner and Queen Mary 2 crew members describe the hometown dishes they miss most when they are at sea

Liner Notes explores fascinating destinations and thought-provoking ways that travel can be experienced and enjoyed. Hosted by cultural wunderkind Paul Holdengräber and recorded with notable and knowledgeable guests over lunch at the Captain's Table aboard Queen Mary 2, the series of themed, one-hour shows takes listeners on a journey of wit, wisdom and wanderlust, exploring destinations as they have been imagined and as they exist in literature, painting, film, music and myth. The conversations raise themes related to travel – for example, "falling in love with a place," "the benefits of wandering," "lost in translation" and "ex-patriot dreams." Interviews with travelers and locals deepen the exploration of a place in fact and in fantasy.

Holdengräber is the cultural all-star whose literary happenings have turned the New York Public Library into a popular hot spot, and whose public events at the Institute for Art and Cultures in Los Angeles are renowned. Created by veteran public radio producers Jon Kalish and Marty Goldensohn, Liner Notes boasts a distinguished production team. With a multitude of locations and multitudinous perspectives, and a changing roster of brilliant and accomplished guests, Liner Notes is a unique and welcome addition to the public radio tradition of travel shows, providing eight memorable monthly journeys of its own.

For information and to book a voyage on Cunard, contact your travel professional, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or visit The Liner Notes programming schedule is available online at

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Disney Cruise Line Premieres First-Ever 3-D Cinematic Experience at Sea

CELEBRATION, FL, Nov. 17 -- Disney Cruise Line is revolutionizing movie entertainment at sea with the debut of Disney Digital 3-D, a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience premiering exclusively onboard the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder. Guests will delight as first-run Disney films leap off the silver screen and take on a whole new dimension thanks to Disney Digital 3-D technology being added to both the Walt Disney Theatre and Buena Vista Theatre. Disney Cruise Line is the first cruise line to introduce 3-D entertainment onboard its ships. Disney Digital 3-D will premiere onboard the Disney Wonder during the Nov. 20 sailing and on the Disney Magic during the Dec. 6 sailing.

Leveraging this new technology, Disney Cruise Line will take 3-D into uncharted waters in early 2009 with the debut of an exciting new cinematic experience that combines full-length Disney Digital 3-D films with in-theater effects. Tridimensional images will combine with lasers, fog, streamers and special lighting effects to create an immersive movie-going experience like no other at sea. During these once-a-cruise special engagements, guests will feel the rush of being part of the hottest show in town as in-theater effects enhance 3-D films featuring popular Disney pop stars in concert.

"With Disney Digital 3-D, we can provide extraordinary cinematic experiences for our guests that no other cruise line can offer," said Tom McAlpin, president of Disney Cruise Line. "Innovation and high-quality family entertainment are Disney Cruise Line hallmarks, and the addition of Disney Digital 3-D perfectly complements our industry-leading collection of entertainment options already onboard our ships."

Disney Cruise Line will celebrate the debut of Disney Digital 3-D by hosting a special screening event for Walt Disney Animation Studios' newest animated feature, "Bolt," onboard the Nov. 20 three-night Disney Wonder cruise. As the calendar turns from Nov. 20 to Nov. 21, guests will be invited to a special midnight screening of "Bolt" at the Walt Disney Theatre - complete with meet-and-greet opportunities with lovable walk-around characters from the film.

The film features super-dog Bolt (voice of John Travolta), whose every day is filled with adventure, danger and intrigue - at least until the cameras stop rolling. When the star of a hit TV show is accidentally shipped from his Hollywood soundstage to New York City, he begins his biggest adventure yet - a cross-country journey through the real world to get back to his owner and co-star, Penny (voice of Miley Cyrus). Armed only with the delusions that all his amazing feats and powers are real, and the help of two unlikely traveling companions - a jaded, abandoned housecat named Mittens (voice of Susie Essman) and a TV-obsessed hamster named Rhino (voice of Mark Walton) - Bolt discovers he doesn't need superpowers to be a hero.

"Disney Cruise Line picked the perfect time to introduce Disney Digital 3-D to its guests," said Mark Zoradi, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Group. "'Bolt' kicks off an extraordinary lineup of 3-D movies debuting over the course of the next year, including 'Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience,' Disney-Pixar's 'Up,' 'G-Force,' Disney-Pixar's 'Toy Story' and 'Disney's A Christmas Carol.' The 3-D immersive experience is better than ever."

Disney Digital 3-D is the latest enhancement to join the robust menu of premium guest experiences and amenities included with a Disney Cruise Line vacation. Dazzling Broadway-style musical spectaculars, over-the-top deck parties with the only fireworks display at sea, a unique rotational dining concept, first-run movie releases and fantastic kids programming are just some of the advantages of cruising with Disney.

A leader in the family cruise segment, Disney Cruise Line delivers a cruise experience that every member of the family feels was created for their own individual vacation wants and needs. Departing from Port Canaveral, FL, Disney Cruise Line offers three-, four- and seven-night itineraries to the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Land/sea vacation packages that include a stay at Walt Disney World Resort are also available.
To learn more about Disney Cruise Line or to book a vacation, guests can contact their travel agent, visit or call Disney Cruise Line at 888/DCL-2500.

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Staying in Touch is Now Even Easier Aboard Queen Mary 2

Nov 17 - Following Queen Mary 2’s recently completed refurbishment, there is now increased connectivity throughout the ship. In these days of instant communication, guests can now access their emails or websites while aboard the ship as easily as in the comfort of their own home. This makes a voyage on Queen Mary 2, and especially a Transatlantic Crossing, a real opportunity for those who want to get away from it all and still be able to get in touch whenever they want to for personal or business reasons. Guests have the convenience of using their laptop computers in the privacy and comfort of their staterooms with the addition of in-room wireless connectivity. In addition, mobile phone and handheld service while the ship is at sea is now available. The upgrades enhance the ship’s already existing high technology services, which include WiFi accessibility found in public rooms throughout the ship. Sister ship Queen Victoria already offers these services.

“Whether enjoying sea days on our legendary Transatlantic Crossings or World Cruises, or visiting ports around the world, our guests will appreciate the ability to stay in touch with home or work,” said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line.

To use mobile phones at sea, guests must have a device capable of roaming internationally and their service provider must have a roaming agreement with Maritime Communications Partner AS, as does AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint. Cunard encourages guests to contact their mobile phone/handheld service provider in advance of the voyage’s departure date to verify their plan for pricing and international roaming capabilities. All mobile phone/handheld data charges will be conveniently billed by the service provider. Charges generated by guests using their laptop computers who register onboard for wireless access packages will be billed to their stateroom folios - standard shipboard Internet charges apply.

This is available in most areas around the ship; however, similar to fine restaurants and theatres on land, mobile phone service will not be accessible in the Royal Court Theatre, Illuminations, the Queens Room or in the ship’s dining rooms.

Queen Mary 2’s dry dock has allowed Cunard to ensure the ship is looking pristine for her fifth anniversary year with a new refurbishment of the nautically themed Chart Room, featuring a new color scheme and layout, carpet, drapes and furniture; the installation of a canopy providing a wonderful al fresco dining option for our Todd English Restaurant guests; and the replacement of some stateroom corridor carpets as well as French polishing and upholstery work in the Britannia restaurant, Royal Court Theatre and Canyon Ranch SpaClub®.

Queen Mary 2 is now sailing westbound, en route to New York, arriving on November 21. She will then commence her Caribbean season, followed in January by her second World Cruise. Cunard’s flagship will celebrate her fifth anniversary that month, having been christened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Jan 2004. For information and to book a voyage aboard Queen Mary 2, contact your travel professional, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or visit

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MSC Cruises Ends Fuel Surcharge Beginning With April 2009 Sailings

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Nov. 17 -- MSC Cruises has eliminated the fuel surcharge for all its cruises departing on or after April 1, 2009. The surcharge will not be levied on any new bookings for cruises sailing from that date on, and the accounts of guests already booked on these cruises will be adjusted to remove the surcharge from their balances. The line also has announced that it plans to drop the fuel surcharge for new bookings on sailings departing from January 1 through March 31, 2009, if fuel prices remain stable going into the new year. Guests booked on these cruises will receive a refund of the fuel surcharge in the form of an onboard credit if the price of West Texas Intermediate fuel is at or below $65 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on December 18, 2008.

"I said a year ago when we were compelled to implement the fuel surcharge on our cruise fares that we looked forward to the day when fuel prices would stabilize at a level that would allow us to eliminate this supplement. I am delighted to announce that that day has arrived," says Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA), Inc. "At MSC Cruises, we believe our guests should not have to wait another year to benefit from the recent drop in oil prices," Sasso adds. "That's why we are making this new policy effective starting in April of next year and will apply it earlier if possible."

Although MSC Cruises can not rule out the possibility that a future substantial increase in fuel costs might require re-implementing the fuel surcharge at a later date, the company reiterated its commitment that all reservations booked with a deposit prior to such a decision would be protected from any additional charge.

"That price protection policy makes this the ideal time for anyone planning a Caribbean or European vacation to book a cruise with MSC Cruises now," Sasso said. "They can take advantage of our best current promotions and know that the price they're quoted is the price they will pay, no matter what happens with the cost of fuel in the months ahead."

For more information about MSC Cruises, visit or a local travel professional.

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Silversea's Prince Albert II Set to Return to the Arctic With Revised Spring & Summer 2009 Schedule

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Nov 17 -- Silversea's latest addition to the fleet, the Prince Albert II, which was originally scheduled to reposition from Antarctica to French Polynesia for the 2009 spring and summer seasons, will now sail back to its inaugural destination – the Arctic – on June 1. The ship will operate nine expeditions in the Arctic before heading south to spend fall and winter exploring Antarctica as well as the remote islands of South Georgia and the Falklands.

"We believe there is a strong market demand for this type of product and we are encouraged by the extremely positive response of our guests who visited the region this past summer during the Prince Albert II's inaugural season," said Amerigo Perasso, Silversea's president and CEO. "With an ice-strengthened hull, the ship is well-suited for polar explorations. Operating our vessel in close reach of our three leading markets (United States, United Kingdom and Continental Europe) is all the more justified given the present economic environment."

The Arctic region, which comprises parts of Canada, Norway, Greenland and Iceland, has become a very sought-after destination. It is the untouched beauty of the terrain, its remoteness and indigenous flora and fauna, which have awakened travelers' sense of wonder. Guests aboard the Prince Albert II will not only travel to the Arctic, but see, feel and experience up-close all it has to offer. With a veteran expedition team, as well as a panel of lecturers and naturalists, including geologists, ornithologists, biologists, and historians, to accompany and guide them on their travels, every day will bring new adventures, such as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spot a polar bear in its natural ice-floe habitat, puffins bathing in the sea, or a family of walruses soaking up the sun.

In fact, with its wide spectrum of Arctic voyages, Silversea should attract all aspiring explorers. Seven-day voyages to either Svalbard or Greenland will provide a great overview of their far-off treasures, be it the early ice of the season or the awakening polar bears, whereas a 10- to 16-day exploration may take you to the farthest corners of the world. On its "Far Side of Svalbard" expedition, the Prince Albert II is set to circumnavigate the archipelago; on its "Frozen Worlds" expedition, plans call for a return visit to the volcanic island of Jan Mayen, whose access was granted to just three vessels in 2008, including Silversea's.

Prior to this Arctic deployment, the Prince Albert II will explore British waters with two equally enticing voyages: an exclusive journey across the Channel Islands, with select stopovers in Cornwall, Brittany and Normandy; next onto secluded parts of Scotland and Ireland, taking in the wonderful sights of "Britain in Bloom" and enabling budding botanists and ornithologists to live their passion to the full. Likewise, the Central and South American expeditions scheduled in autumn, some of which may be combined, will provide yet another opportunity to experience firsthand jungle-scapes, ancient cultures and indigenous sea and wildlife.

With these new itineraries, Silversea is extending a-hard-to-resist travel invitation: some of the world's most secluded and pristine destinations, and a journey both enriching and memorable with all the comfort, amenities and excellent cuisine that are the hallmarks of Silversea. The complete new itineraries of Prince Albert II will be made available shortly at

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Celebrity Solstice Named in Sparkling Celebration

MIAMI, Nov 14 – Celebrity Cruises announced the Godmother of the most widely-heralded cruise ship to enter the market this year, Celebrity Solstice. Atypically, she’s not a star of stage and screen; instead, she ‘stars’ in a field of enormous importance to Celebrity Cruises: the world’s oceans. Professor Sharon L. Smith, the first ocean scientist ever to serve as Godmother of a cruise ship, will join Celebrity executives today to name the brand’s sleek, 2,850-guest ship in formal ceremonies at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“We are genuinely privileged to have such a remarkable woman serve as Godmother of this remarkable ship,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman of Celebrity Cruises and Chairman and CEO of parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “Sharon Smith is exceptional in ways well beyond her academic achievements.”

A magna cum laude graduate of Colorado College, Smith earned a Ph.D. in Zoology from Duke University, holds two additional honorary doctorate degrees, and a master’s degree from the University of Auckland, where she also was a Fulbright fellow. A biological oceanographer, Smith has traveled the world in research expeditions from Polar Regions to the Arabian Sea. She has devoted her career to studying some of the smallest components of food webs, with a particular focus on zooplankton and how their life cycles are tuned to physical forces, such as daylength in the Arctic or summer monsoons in the Arabian Sea. These tiny, two-millimeter-long animals are the biggest source of protein in the oceans, and all oceanic animals, from seabirds to small fish to whales, are ultimately dependent on them for food. Smith investigates ecosystems by looking at how ocean physics shape the availability of the food supply, and the effects of global warming on food for birds, fish, and baleen whales, among other animals. Smith served 15 years at the prestigious Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, New York, studying coastal ocean environments and the impact of nuclear energy projects. In 1993, she joined the faculty of the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science as a Professor of Marine Biology and Fisheries. Recently, she was named Dean of the Undergraduate Program in Marine Science, and also co-directs the university’s Oceans and Human Health Center.

“If it is possible to eclipse our Godmother’s professional achievements, she has done it in a way that deeply inspires all who know her, as she has conquered cancer…twice,” said Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Dan Hanrahan.

Due in equal parts to her courage and her instincts as a scientist, Smith overcame cancer in 1993, and again in 1996. Her annual mammogram in 1993 turned up a two-millimeter cancerous lesion, about the size of a pencil point. She opted for a mastectomy, and emerged victorious over the malicious disease. And in 1996, she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. But she won that battle, too. “Women should not feel secure just because there is no family history of the disease,” said Smith. “You have to be your own best advocate and insist on what’s right for you, because you have to live with the possibility of the disease forever.”

Smith’s story is a powerful example of the critical need for basic breast-cancer screenings – and the reason why Celebrity Solstice, in partnership with United Way on November 16, will raise $100,000 for breast cancer programs to assist lower-income women who otherwise couldn’t afford this simple measure that ultimately could save their lives. This is a disease that affects mothers and daughters, sisters and spouses, and has deep meaning to an unfortunately high percentage of Celebrity Cruises’ employees, guests and travel agent partners,” said Hanrahan. “With our Celebrity brand devoted to offering an entirely genuine experience since its founding, we knew nothing less than someone authentic – a survivor and devoted, outspoken advocate of early detection and research – would do, and we found that in Sharon Smith.”

Celebrity Solstice will embark on its inaugural season November 23, on a series of seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. In spring 2009, the stunning new ship will introduce a series of romantic 10- and 11-night Mediterranean sailings roundtrip from Rome. Celebrity’s fleet – including the new Celebrity Solstice – will be joined by Celebrity Equinox in 2009, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011, and a fifth in 2012. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Carnival Splendor Has Arrived At Fort Lauderdale

MIAMI, Nov 14 – Carnival Cruise Lines’ 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor – the line’s newest and largest “Fun Ship” – made its U.S. debut Friday, Nov. 14, 2008, when it arrived at Port Everglades this morning following a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Europe. Carnival Splendor will kick off its Fort Lauderdale–based program with a series of three one-time voyages — a two-day cruise to Nassau Nov. 15-17, a four-day Bahamas/Turks & Caicos cruise Nov. 17-21 and an eight-day eastern Caribbean voyage Nov. 21-29.Then, beginning Nov. 29, the ship will embark on a series of 10 seven-day eastern Caribbean voyages featuring four highly popular ports of call, including Casa de Campo/La Romana, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas/St. John, U.S.V.I.; San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Nassau, The Bahamas.

“Carnival Splendor features an exceptional number of innovative, guest-driven amenities that represent the continuing evolution of the ‘Fun Ship’ vacation experience,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO. “We’re delighted to bring this spectacular new ship to Port Everglades, a valued business partner that provides a convenient, close-to-home departure point for our guests.” Cahill noted that, including Fort Lauderdale, Carnival sails from 14 U.S. homeports – the most in cruising.

As the largest “Fun Ship” ever constructed, Carnival Splendor offers a host of on-board facilities and features, highlighted by a 21,000-square-foot “Cloud 9 Spa” — the largest in the fleet. The expansive two-level health club includes a thalassotherapy pool, a thermal suite and 17 private treatment rooms. Surrounding the facility are 68 exclusive staterooms and suites – a first for the line.

Dining options include two two-level formal dining rooms, a 1,400-seat poolside eatery with a 24-hour pizzeria and an elegant reservations-only supper club.

Further bolstering Carnival’s distinction as the family cruise leader carrying 600,000 children annually, Carnival Splendor offers a wide range of kid-friendly amenities, including a 5,500-square-foot play area – the largest in the fleet — part of the top-rated “Camp Carnival” program. Older kids can enjoy “Circle C” for 12- to 14-year-olds and “Club O2,” for ages 15-17, with programming and facilities for each age group.
Carnival Splendor also houses 1,503 staterooms, including hundreds of balcony cabins and several levels of suites. All Carnival Splendor accommodations feature the Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high-quality linens and pillows.

Carnival Splendor originally debuted in Europe in July, and following its Fort Lauderdale–based program, will operate a series of 14- to 18-day South America cruises – a first for Carnival. The ship will then launch year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach, Calif., beginning in March 2009.
For additional information and reservations on Carnival Splendor or any other vessel in the “Fun Ship” fleet, call 1-800-327-9501.

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Windstar Adds Cell Phone Service on Wind Star & Wind Spirit

SEATTLE, Nov. 13 -- Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore the hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, is offering cell phone service at sea on Wind Star and Wind Spirit. Wind Surf already offers this service. Wind Star will have the service available on the Nov. 29, 2008, 14-day Panama Canal cruise from Barbados to Puerto Caldera. The network will be installed on Wind Spirit during an upcoming dry dock and be ready on the April 18, 2009, 7-day cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona.

"We are pleased to provide this service to our guests," said Diane Moore, President of Windstar Cruises. "It allows them the convenience of staying in touch with family, friends and business associates while enjoying their cruise."

Windstar has contracted with On-Waves Ehf for a roaming network which supports GSM and CDMA technology on board the ships. Guests will be able to make and receive calls while at sea using their own mobile phone. Text messaging, GPRS and EDGE data service is also available. Guests will need to check that their phone is enabled for International roaming with their cellular carrier, and that their carrier is one of the 200 carriers that have roaming agreements with On-Waves Ehf. Charges will be determined by the guest's cellular service carrier and will appear on their regular monthly cell phone bill.

In order to maintain Windstar's atmosphere of casual elegance, guests will be advised of cell phone courtesy guidelines. Cell phone service is intended primarily for guest use in the privacy of their stateroom. Talking on cell phones will not be permitted in public areas such as dining areas or lounges, and guests will be asked to set their phone's ringer to vibrate when in public areas.

A leader in defining the small ship luxury cruise experience for more than 20 years, Windstar has won the allegiance of a new generation of contemporary travelers who appreciate the line's luxurious accommodations, alternative dining venues, diversity of shore excursions, complimentary water sports program and deluxe spa facilities. The completed multi-million dollar Degrees of Difference enhancements on all three ships focused on structural and technical operations along with upgrades to guest areas, remodeled bathrooms in staterooms and an expanded beauty salon and spa. Other enhancements include Bose SoundDock speakers for Apple iPod Nanos, wireless Internet, flat screen televisions, luxury linens and mattresses as well as L'Occitane amenities.

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TUI Cruises Commissions Lloyd Shipyards Bremerhaven With Conversion of First Cruise Ship

Hamburg, Nov 13 -- TUI Cruises has awarded the Lloyd Shipyards in Bremerhaven, Germany, with the contract to refit the first ship of its new cruise brand. In March 2009, the ship that is currently operating for Celebrity Cruises as the Galaxy, will undergo a thorough conversion. The total conversion investment will be €50 million. The ship will dock in Bremerhaven in mid-March and be christened in Hamburg on May 15, 2009.

“In Lloyd Shipyards we have found a partner that has amassed a great deal of experience particularly in converting ships,” said Richard J. Vogel, chief executive of TUI Cruises.

A greater number of outside cabins with balconies, new restaurants and a modern SPA area: The four-star-plus ship will be converted to better suit the needs of German guests. At the same time the conversion will significantly raise the quality of the ship. Upon completion of the work, the ship will have a total of 974 staterooms. Of the 653 outside staterooms, some 430 of them will have a veranda or balcony. The pool deck and casino will undergo renovations and the fitness center will be expanded. A special highlight will be the Blue World Bar, which will spread over three levels of the ship. The bar will have alternating projections on large, wall sized screens that will convey a marine feeling to the guests.

The Galaxy was built by the Meyer Shipyards and was commissioned in 1996. It is 263 meters long and 77,713 gross registered tons. It is presently operated by Celebrity Cruises, which is owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. TUI Cruises is a joint venture between TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Following its christening, the ship will make its maiden voyage for TUI Cruises when it departs from Kiel, Germany, on May 23, on a sailing to the Baltic.

TUI Cruises is a joint venture of TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd. The newly formed company based in Hamburg will be offering from May 2009 premium cruises in German-speaking areas aimed above all at couples and families who value in a cruise ship room to move, generous surroundings and high quality. The first ship of the fleet is a four-star-plus ship. In its first season TUI Cruises is offering Nordic and Baltic cruises from May to September. From September to the beginning of November the ship will head for the western Mediterranean. Caribbean cruises are on the agenda from Nov 2009 through to March 2010.

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Cunard Line’s Legendary Grills Claim Top Rankings

Nov 13 – Cunard Line’s legendary Grills accommodations aboard flagship Queen Mary 2 and newest ship Queen Victoria were ranked #1 and #2, respectively, among the Top Ten large cruise ships in Douglas Ward’s recently published 2009 Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships. Cunard once again also received top honours for Best Overall Food and Best Overall Service in the much-anticipated annual guide, and Queen Mary 2’s Canyon Ranch SpaClub® also ranked among the Top Ten Spas. Now in its 24th year, the well-researched book is widely considered the definitive guide to cruising. Renowned cruise authority Douglas Ward spends an average of ten months per year at sea, rating dozens of ships around the world.

Queen Mary 2’s Grills category received a five-star Berlitz rating and Queen Victoria’s Grills received a four-star+ rating. “Travelers can expect a truly excellent and memorable experience,” Ward noted in the guide.

“It is hard to imagine a more qualified reviewer of ships than Mr. Ward,” said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line, citing Ward’s broad experience working for and, later, writing about the cruise industry. Ward is president of Maritime Evaluations Group, an independent agency that rates cruise lines worldwide. “We are committed to delivering a legendary and memorable experience and in the categories that matter most to travelers, such as food and service, Cunard continues to earn top marks. This is a rewarding testament to our staff’s commitment and dedication to providing exemplary White Star Service,” Marlow added.

Cunard’s Grills accommodations originate from 1936 when the “Verandah Grills” were introduced aboard Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth and in later years evolved into the Princess Grill and Queens Grill. Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria continue the renowned Grills tradition providing guests expansive suite accommodations, exclusive dedicated dining rooms, sun terrace, cocktails lounge and concierge, as well as many sumptuous amenities. For information and to book a voyage on Cunard, contact your travel professional, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or visit

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MSC Announces Theme Cruises for Caribbean 2009-10 Season Which Will Also Feature the Line’s Newest Ship

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL Nove 13 – In addition to having two state-of-the-art ships sailing Caribbean itineraries for the first time– the new MSC Magnifica, fresh from her inaugural, and MSC Poesia – MSC Cruises’ 2009-10 Caribbean season will feature several already popular theme cruises and the line’s first Polka Cruise.

Baseball Theme Cruises: Because MSC Cruises has received such strong response from previous seasons to guests who have had the opportunity to mingle and learn from some of the greats of the game, five baseball theme cruises are slated for the 2009-10 Caribbean season:

MSC Magnifica: Jan. 2 & Feb. 6, 2010: 7-night “Island Treasures & Ancient Temples” Western Cribbean; and March 6 & April 3, 2010 “Eastern Caribbean Enchantment”.

MSC Poesia: Nov. 20 10-night “Dazzling Dutch Caribbean and Panama Southwestern Caribbean”.

Big Band Cruise: MSC Poesia’s 10-night “Remarkable Rainforests and the Panama Canal” Deep Western itineraries departing Dec. 10 & Feb. 27 will feature the 15-piece Les DeMerle Big Band with vocalist Bonnie Eisele. Featuring the sounds of Ellington, Basie, James and Miller, plus Broadway hits, rock ‘n’ roll classics, hot Latin grooves and show-stoppers from the ‘40s through today. The band will also perform a Big Band Jazz Concert and conduct a lecture on the Big Band era.

Polka Cruise: A new additon to the Caribbean season theme cruise lineup is a Polka Cruises. Guests will be able to kick up their heels to the sounds of two polka bands on MSC Poesia’s Jan. 8 10-night “Tropical Splendor and European Charm” Southeast Caribbean sailing.

Children ages 17 and younger staying in the same stateroom with two full-fare paying adults cruise for free (government taxes and fees are additional, per person) on all MSC Cruises’ sailings. For more information about MSC Cruises and its lineup of theme cruises for both the 2008-09 and 2009-10 Caribbean seasons, visit  r a local travel professional.

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QE2's Final Farewell to Home Port Southampton Marked by Festivities Fit for the Legendary Ocean Liner

Nov 12 – QE2’s Final Farewell to Southampton yesterday was marked by festivities, fireworks and moving tributes. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh made his seventh and final visit to the most famous ship in the world. While onboard, His Royal Highness observed two minutes of silence at 11:00am prior to meeting crew members who served on the ship to the Falklands. His Royal Highness then toured the vessel, including the Wardroom, Bridge, Engine Control Room and Hospital, before attending a reception in the Queens Room.

One million poppies were dropped over the ship from Tiger Moth aircrafts to commemorate Remembrance Day, mark QE2's role in the Falklands and note the ship’s final farewell. This was followed by a flypast of a Harrier jet which hovered and bowed to QE2 approximately 500-feet off her stern.

After leaving her berth, QE2 sailed to Mayflower Park where she remained for a period while a message from her Master, Captain Ian McNaught, was broadcast on a specially-erected screen in the park. McNaught’s remarks featured a tribute to Southampton and he said that QE2 had strived to serve the city and her country with flair and fortitude for 40 years. Following a spectacular firework display, QE2 made her way downriver with her whistle blasting, accompanied by a large flotilla of well-wishers.

During QE2’s many years in service to Cunard, the iconic ocean liner has sailed 5.9 million nautical miles, completed 806 transatlantic crossings, carried over 2.5 million guests, undertaken 25 World Cruises and answered her country's call during the Falklands Campaign. Her new home will be in Dubai where she will become a first class hotel and entertainment centre.

As QE2 leaves the Cunard fleet, the company's flagship Queen Mary 2 - the largest and grandest ocean liner in the world - spearheads the revival of the Golden Age of Ocean Travel by continuing to offer the regular transatlantic service started by Cunard in 1840. In addition, Queen Victoria, which entered service in December 2007, has redefined “style” on the high seas and offers Cunard's historic European routes. Along with Queen Mary 2, she also continues the tradition of World Cruises that Cunard began in1922. Cunard wil now become the youngest fleet in the cruise industry and is poised to continue this distinction upon the debut of the company’s new ship, Queen Elizabeth, in 2010. For information and to book a voyage on Cunard, contact your travel professional, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or visit

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Asia Wellness Cruise Offers Crystal Guests Peace of 'Mind, Body & Spirit'

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 12 -- In keeping with the traditions of a region steeped in spirituality and ancient wellness practices, Crystal Cruises is announcing a "Mind, Body & Spirit" focus on its March 27 Asia cruise. Complementing the destination's heritage, the Experience of Discovery sailing will feature guest experts for yoga, Pilates, stress management and general physical and mental health classes. Departing from Hong Kong, the 15-day itinerary to Japan and China offers a 12-day cruise and includes a three-night post-cruise land program in Beijing. Noted wellness and health magazine writers, yoga and Pilates specialists, and hiking and adventure author Rick Deutsch will provide nourishing insights on board Crystal Symphony, while inspirational Crystal Adventures ashore take guests to sacred monasteries, monuments and temples.

"Asia is a natural setting for a wellness-related theme, since the connection between mind, body and spirit is so integral to the history and culture," says John Stoll, director land programs. "Additionally, the onboard programming offers guests the chance to learn about physical health and general wellness from top experts."

Guests can also take advantage of Crystal Symphony's Feng Shui-inspired Spa & Fitness Center, 360-degree Promenade deck ideal for walking or jogging, and newly introduced Tour de Spin indoor cycling classes, Kinesis equipment and acupuncture treatments. With an abundance of fresh fruit and fish, creative and healthful salads, low-calorie and low-carb meals and trans fat-free dining experiences, Crystal offers a host of culinary options. Even the cocktail menus include only the freshest fruit purees and juices.

Crystal Symphony's "Far East Focus" cruise calls at Hiroshima, Japan; Dailan, China; as well as overnight stays in Kobe, Japan; Shanghai and Hong Kong, China. Fares for the land/sea package start at $5,995 per person, double occupancy, plus a complimentary two-category stateroom upgrade for all deluxe staterooms. Guests can also save $2,000 per person on Penthouse accommodations. The March 27 itinerary is one of several 2009 cruises Crystal is offering to China, Japan, Southeast Asia and India. Crystal is also offering a Mind, Body & Spirit Experience of Discovery with its May 7 Panama Canal cruise. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website,

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Silversea Expands Free Air Program to 16 New Europe & Mediterranean Sailings in 2009

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Nov 12-- Silversea Cruises is offering North American travelers complimentary roundtrip economy air transportation from Montreal, New York, Miami and 24 additional eastern cities on 16 new voyages to Europe and the Mediterranean next summer. In total, 28 voyages in 2009 offer the special free airfare incentive. Generously discounted economy roundtrip airfare is also available from select central and western gateway cities.
The special air incentives are being offered for a limited time on new bookings made on or before March 31, 2009.

"We've expanded our free air program in response to the challenging economic environment," said Marilyn Conroy, Silversea's senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Americas. "With this new booking incentive, we're making it as attractive as possible for guests to move ahead with their travel plans for 2009 regardless of spiraling air costs."

Included in the complimentary air program are Silver Shadow's June 26, July 8, and July 20 Alaska voyages, featuring free roundtrip air transportation to San Francisco from over 70 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Silversea is also offering discounted air travel on three voyages to the Caribbean and five in South America.

Following below is a sampling of 2009 voyages offering free air transportation from select cities:


-- Silver Wind departs May 14 on a 7-day voyage (#2915) from Barcelona to Nice with calls in Valencia, Corsica, Livorno and Antibes.
-- Silver Whisper departs July 4 on a 7-day voyage (#4918) from Venice to Athens with calls in Split, Kotor, Corfu and Itea.

  Northern Europe and Baltic

-- Silver Cloud departs August 2 on a 7-day voyage (#1918) from Stockholm to Copenhagen with calls in Helsinki and Tallinn, plus a three-day, two night stopover in St. Petersburg.
-- Silver Cloud departs September 5 on a 14-day roundtrip voyage (#1922) from London with calls in Tallinn, Gdansk, Copenhagen and Zeebrugge, plus a three-day, two night stopover in St. Petersburg.

  Alaska and Pacific Coast

-- Silver Shadow departs June 26 on a 12-day roundtrip voyage (#3915) from San Francisco with calls in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Juneau, Sitka and Victoria (British Columbia).

For complete details and the latest information on these special capacity-controlled air programs, please visit

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Sail Away to a Magical Winter Holiday with Disney Cruise Line

CELEBRATION, FL, Nov. 11 -- This holiday season, give a gift that's both nautical and nice: a cruise on the Disney Magic or the Disney Wonder, both decked to the "raft-ers" with holiday cheer. From Thanksgiving and continuing through to the new year, Disney Cruise Line adds sparkle to both ships, from traditional "turkey day" fanfare to Christmas feasts, "snow flurries" and New Year's Eve galas. But the best part might just be relaxing on deck instead of shoveling snow.

The spirit of the season surrounds guests the moment they arrive at Port Canaveral, FL, with Disney characters in their finest holiday attire welcoming guests to the beautifully decorated private Disney Cruise Line terminal. Special stem-to-stern holiday events on both ships, beginning Nov. 22, include:

-- Nightly "King Triton's Tree Lighting" in the atrium lobby, where a young guest will help Disney characters light the glittering, three-deck-tall tree.
-- An afternoon Tropical Pool Party every day with Santa and Mrs. Claus with fun, food, games and activities. Plenty of Disney characters join the celebration, including Lilo and Stitch, Chip 'n Dale, Mickey and Minnie, Goofy and Pluto. Be sure not to miss the "Winter-Sunnyland" conga line around the pool.
-- Special family time with holiday crafts such as decorating stockings, making holiday cards and creating holiday animation cells.
-- Holiday storytellers sharing tales of diverse holiday traditions, from Hanukkah and Kwaanza to the Bahamian Junkanoo. Plus, an all-new story just for Disney Cruise Line guests about the magical feeling of the holidays on a ship.
-- Traditional holiday feasts in Disney's three themed dining rooms.
-- "'Til We Meet Again," a special holiday edition of Disney Cruise Line's cheerful farewell on the final night of each cruise with beloved Disney characters and the ship's crew in an engaging musical finale led by Mickey Mouse.

And when cruises during the holiday period put in at Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas, the celebration continues:

-- Guests will delight with "snow flurries," decked-out Christmas trees, Disney character meet-and-greets and holiday carolers.
-- Youngsters will be busy with holiday-themed activities such as making candy cane reindeer, paper plate angels and snowflake mobiles.

Disney Cruise Line will kick off the holiday cheer with special Thanksgiving voyages setting sail Nov. 22 with a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise on the Disney Magic and Nov. 26 with a 4-night Bahamian cruise onboard the Disney Wonder. Guests will enjoy a sumptuous Thanksgiving Day feast, with Mickey, Minnie and friends dressed in traditional Thanksgiving attire. Activities throughout the day include holiday crafts for youngsters and the big NFL football games broadcast live on Ariel View Television, the 24-by-14-foot screen located above the Goofy Family Pool on deck 9.

The Disney Magic will host a 7-Night Holiday Caribbean Cruise departing Dec. 20, with visits to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and, as a special holiday treat, two stops at Castaway Cay. The Disney Wonder 4-night Christmas cruise departs Dec. 24, with visits to Nassau and Castaway Cay. On Christmas morning at the lobby tree, Santa Claus and his elves will have surprises for all the kids, along with cookies and milk. Guests can attend sunset Hanukkah services and Christmas services, including midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

To celebrate the new year, Disney Magic departs on its 7-night Western Caribbean itinerary Dec. 27; Disney Wonder departs Dec. 31 for its 4-night cruise. These voyages will feature a special New Year's Eve party to ring in 2009, complete with DJ music, sparkling wine in commemorative flutes, confetti and balloon drop, and a midnight countdown.

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

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Holland America Line Announces Four Grand Voyage in 2010

SEATTLE, Nov. 11, 2008 — Holland America Line unveiled its 2010 Grand Voyage itineraries, giving cruisers the opportunity to choose either the full, 114-day Grand World Voyage or one of the Grand Voyages, ranging from 51- to 70-days. The four globe-spanning odysseys encompass the savannah of South Africa, the treasures of ancient China, the mysteries of Antarctica and South America, the warm, azure waters of the Great Barrier Reef and the marvels of the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

“The Grand Voyage itineraries for 2010 are among the most exciting ever offered,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, Holland America Line. “Regardless of whether guests wish to cruise a 114-day Grand World Voyage or one of our 51- or 70-day Grand Voyages, Holland America offers the best value for extended travel to the world’s most captivating and heralded countries in the world.”

114-day Grand World Voyage Features 12 Overnight Ports of Call, Antarctica
Amsterdam returns to world cruising in 2010 with a 114-day Grand World Voyage departing January 6 from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The line’s flagship, ms Amsterdam, sails an eastbound route, but first moves west through the Panama Canal and sails down the coast of South America before rounding Cape Horn and exploring Antarctica. Amsterdam will then cross the Atlantic to Africa, sail around the southern tip of the continent to the Indian Ocean and on to Asia and Canada en route to Los Angeles, Calif. Guests are able to shorten their voyage by disembarking in Vancouver, B.C., April 25 or Seattle, Wash., April 26, making the voyage 109 or 110 days, respectively. Segments ranging from 17 to 47 days are available for those who wish to sample some of the world’s most fascinating countries.

The itinerary, which takes the ship to 40 ports on six continents, features 12 overnight calls—the most ever included on a Holland America Line world cruise. With the overnights, guests will have two full days to explore the heritage and culture of Panama City, Panama; Callo (Lima), Peru; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cape Town, South Africa; Victoria (Seychelles); Mumbai, India; Singapore; Hong Kong, Shanghai and Xingang (Beijing), China; Kobe (Osaka) and Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan.

Port collectors will be able to add to their list a maiden call at Isla Robinson Crusoe, Chile, where Alexander Selkirk was marooned in 1704, thus inspiring the classic novel, “Robinson Crusoe.” Hundreds of optional shore excursions, an array of overland tours and the opportunity to visit 14 UNESCO World Heritage sites add color to this epic voyage.

Grand South America & Antarctica Voyage features spectacular scenery
Prinsendam, Holland America Line’s Elegant Explorer, will sail two back-to-back Grand Voyages in 2010. The 793-guest ship first departs January 13 on a 70-day, Grand South America and Antarctica cruise round-trip from Fort Lauderdale. During the voyage, Prinsendam will circumnavigate South America and spend seven days exploring the Amazon River. On the other end of the continent, the ship spends three days cruising in Antarctica, a rare journey for many travelers.

This Grand Voyage aboard Prinsendam also will feature opportunities to visit Machu Picchu and Iguaçu Falls, passage through the Panama Canal, four equatorial crossings and an impressive total of nine different ports in Brazil. Guests will enjoy maiden calls at Iquique and Isla Robinson Crusoe, Chile, as well as overnight stays in Manaus and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Buenos Aires; Callao (Lima), Peru; and Fuerte Amador, Panama.

Turkish Bazaars and Greek Gods on the Grand Mediterranean & Black Sea Voyage
Guests who always have wanted to explore Europe without flying overseas are able to do so when Prinsendam departs Fort Lauderdale March 24 on a 54-day round-trip cruise to the Mediterranean and Black Sea. The ship sails a leisurely eastbound course across the Atlantic where the history, art and culture of Europe await. The extensive Mediterranean exploration calls at ports in more than 10 countries, including Morocco, Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Russia, Georgia, Greece and Turkey.

Overnight stays in Barcelona, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal and Istanbul, Turkey, as well as late-night departures in Athens and Santorini, Greece, and Lisbon, Portugal, allow ample time for shopping and discovering some of the world’s most renowned and historic ports. After sailing westward back across the Atlantic and calling at Bermuda, the cruise ends in either New York—shortening the voyage to 51 days—or Fort Lauderdale.

For guests wishing to explore both sides of the Atlantic without taking an international flight, the Grand South America and Grand Mediterranean and Black Sea voyages aboard Prinsendam can be combined to form a 124-day epic journey that sails round-trip Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 13, 2010.

Explore the Great Barrier Reef on the Grand Australia and Asia Voyage
In the fall, Amsterdam departs Sept. 24 on a 69-day voyage from Seattle that follows a westward route toward Asia. After visiting myriad mystical Asian ports such as Tokyo, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, China; Saigon, Vietnam; Bankok, Thailand; and Kampong Saom, Cambodia, Amsterdam continues on to Darwin, Australia, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The ship will spend three full days exploring the world’s largest coral reef system, with cruising through both major regions: the Far North and Ribbon Reef. Following calls throughout Australia, the ship heads east through the South Pacific and visits Honolulu, Hawaii, before ending at San Diego, Dec. 2, 2010.

Overnight stays in Sydney, Australia; Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand, and Xingang (Beijing), Shanghai and Hong Kong, enhance the itinerary. Additional highlights include the opportunity to visit the Great Wall of China, the famed Sydney Opera House and Pearl Harbor.

Reservations can be made now for all four Holland America Line 2010 Grand Voyages, and early-booking bonus amenities for full-cruise guests include airfare, prepaid hotel service charges, shipboard credit, luggage delivery service and limousine transfers when booking select stateroom categories; amenities vary by cruise and booking date. The four Grand Voyages are available to book for the full cruise or in segments as short as 17 days. For a cruise brochure or for more information on Holland America Line’s Grand Voyages, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-800-522-3399 or visit

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Get the Skinny on Seabourn Odyssey With New Blog

Miami, Nov 11 – We could go on and on about the luxury that awaits guests aboard Seabourn Odyssey, the hotly anticipated addition to The Yachts of Seabourn – but why take our word for it? Let the designers, shipbuilders and crew tell you about it themselves at, a new blog dedicated to the progress of Seabourn’s newest vessel. With regular postings of status reports, creative features, interactive reader forums, gorgeous photographs, video interviews with captain and crew, and even a countdown of “Days Till Launch,” the Seabourn blog is the first and best place to get the inside scoop on the new yacht.

“The focus at Seabourn has always been on our guests, and this new blog about Seabourn Odyssey assures they can keep up-to-date on each development of the exciting new addition to our fleet,” said Pamela C. Conover, President and CEO of The Yachts of Seabourn. “With so many more of our guests researching their cruises online, it made sense to create a blog about Odyssey so that guests can stay informed and share their feedback and comments every step of the way.”

The first luxury vessel to be launched in six years, Seabourn Odyssey is the first of three “new builds” to be introduced by Seabourn over the next three years. The 32,000-ton yacht will accommodate 450 guests in luxurious all-suite accommodations measuring from 290 to over 1,600 square feet, more than 90 percent of them outfitted with private verandas. The yacht will offer guests five dining alternatives, five lounges and bars, an expansive pool and sunbathing area, a spectacular two-deck, indoor/outdoor spa facility of more than 11,400 square feet and watersports from the vessel’s unique on-board marina. The vessel’s maiden season will include voyages from the grand cities and romantic isles of the Mediterranean to the sparkling waters of the Caribbean, before embarking on Seabourn’s first-ever World Cruise in January 2010. For more information or to make a reservation aboard Odyssey or any of three existing Yachts of Seabourn, please contact Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit

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Norwegian Spirit to Receive Multi-Million Dollar Renovation

MIAMI, FL, Nov 11 – Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that Norwegian Spirit is undergoing a multi-million dollar refurbishment focused on enhancing the total guest experience. The 2,376 passenger Freestyle Cruising ship is receiving a total renovation to its public areas, staterooms and suites. These refurbishments are in addition to the enhancements already made as part of Freestyle 2.0, the company’s fleet-wide initiative to further improve the guest experience across all guest touch points from food and beverage to staterooms.

“Norwegian Spirit’s multi-million dollar renovation will enrich the overall guest experience by making significant enhancements to the ship overall,” said Andy Stuart, NCL’s executive vice president and chief product officer. “With the combination of our recent Freestyle 2.0 enhancements and all of the refurbishments being made, Norwegian Spirit will emerge refreshed and revitalized for her winter season sailing seven-day Exotic Western Caribbean cruises from New Orleans.”

Norwegian Spirit’s total refurbishment includes:

§ 11 new staterooms are being added, eight of which are balconies;
§ one diesel engine is being replaced;
§ the Stardust Theater, with a capacity of approximately 700, is receiving all new seating and chairs;
§ seating throughout the ship is being reupholstered;
§ more than 21,000 sq meters of carpet is being replaced in public areas, stairwells, suites and staterooms;
§ new wallpaper is being installed in suites, corridors and public areas;
§ new curtains are being added to all suites;
§ tile in 300 bathrooms throughout the ship is being replaced;
§ all open decks including the main pool, kid’s pool and four hot tubs are undergoing refurbishment;
§ the Roman Spa & Fitness Center is being upgraded with new doors, panels and seats;
§ more than 60 windows are being replaced;
§ the onboard phone system is being upgraded to a state of the art wireless system.

Following the completion of the refurbishment, Norwegian Spirit will re-enter service on Nov 23, 2008 and begin a series of twenty-one 7-day Exotic Western Caribbean cruises from New Orleans, her homeport for the winter season, with calls in Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala; and Belize City, Belize.

Norwegian Spirit offers Freestyle Cruising with the flexibility of 11 restaurants, seven bars and lounges, multiple entertainment venues, two pools, extensive children’s facilities, a sports deck, casino, spa, and a variety of spacious public rooms. The ship joined the NCL fleet in 2004 and underwent a previous dry dock in 2005. For more information or to book a sailing on Norwegian Spirit, call your travel professional, go to or contact NCL at 866-234-0292.

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Cruise West Offers Early Booking Promotions on 2009 Itineraries

SEATTLE, Nov 10 – Cruise West, the global leader in small-ship exploration voyages and the largest American-owned cruise line, is offering savings of up to $1,100 when passengers book an excursion and pay in full by assigned dates. For instance, by booking Cruise West’s Japan Itinerary by January 16, 2009, guests can save $600 on the Sept and Oct 2009 sailings. Guests who pay in full by this date will save an additional $200. Other Cruise West itineraries offering Early Booking Discounts include:

· Alaska’s Coastal Odyssey or Voyage to the Bering Sea, savings of up to $1,100 on departures after June 15, 2009 when booked and paid in full by Dec 12, 2008.
· Ring of Fire, savings of up to $800 when the 21-day voyage along the Kamchatka coast is booked and paid in full by Dec 12, 2008.
· Europe’s Danube River, savings of up to $550 when you book and pay in full by Dec 19, 2008 for any 2009 departure.
· Grand Asia, savings of up to $900 when booked and paid in full by Feb 6, 2009.
· Vietnam, savings of up to $500 when booked and paid in full by Feb 6, 2009.
· Columbia & Snake Rivers, savings of up to $450 when booked and paid in full by Dec 12, 2008.

“Our Early Booking Discount program has been a popular feature for our guests,” stated Dietmar R. Wertanzl, president and CEO of Cruise West. “Given the current economic climate, it makes more sense than ever for guests to take advantage of this value and better enjoy our distinctive brand of up-close, casual and personal cruises.”

For additional information or to book a Cruise West cruise, call 1-800-296-8307, contact your Travel Professional or visit

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Royal Caribbean Launches New Brand Campaign Empowering Vacationers to Ask, “Why Not?”

MIAMI, Nov 10 – In an unprecedented move, Royal Caribbean Intl has officially seceded from land and declared itself The Nation of Why Not, in the first new integrated advertising campaign for the global cruise line in nearly ten years. The campaign is set to roll out today in North America and globally in 2009 and includes print and online advertising, television commercials, collateral, as well as a new social networking website –

The Nation of Why Not kicks off with two television commercials (30-second and 60-second versions) inviting vacationers to secede from land and become citizens of “the nation.” The tongue-in-cheek spots – a combination of live action and animation – begin November 10, during morning show programming on ABC and NBC television networks, and during primetime programming on ABC and CBS. The commercials highlight Royal Caribbean’s global destinations and innovative onboard amenities, challenging viewers to do things at sea that they could not do on land, such as “Why not ice skate on the equator and climb mountains at sea?” Additionally, print ads will launch in forty newspapers nationwide on Sunday, Nov 16, 2008. Breaking with convention, travel and cruise industry professionals will be introduced to The Nation of Why Not on Monday, Nov 17, with the first edition of “The Why Not Herald,” an insert in key travel trade publications across the United States and Canada. Subsequent editions will feature the new brand campaign’s print advertisements.

“The Nation of Why Not is a place where innovation and imagination rule supreme,” stated Adam Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “The founding of The Nation of Why Not is not a revolution, but an evolution of Royal Caribbean’s legacy of presenting guests with a variety of unexpected possibilities onboard, such as rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, and surf simulators, which have always prompted the idea of ‘why not?’”

The citizens of The Nation of Why Not – from guests, cruise and shore-side staff to travel agents, architects, designers and builders – bring the concept of “Why Not?” to life by participating in, delivering and conceptualizing the global cruise line’s award-winning Gold Anchor service and signature onboard innovations. The new brand campaign not only resonates with Royal Caribbean cruisers, but is a natural fit within the existing company culture, which fosters creativity and dedication to developing the most innovative cruise ships in the world. Nine years ago the “Get Out There” campaign successfully redefined society’s perceptions about cruising and propelled Royal Caribbean to become the leader of the active cruise vacation market; today the Why Not? campaign connects the world to The Nation of Why Not’s “anything is possible” state-of-mind.

The cruise line has evolved into a global company over the last decade, expanding its fleet and setting records by introducing many ‘firsts’ at sea. The line’s newest ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas launching in December 2009 and late 2010, respectively, are the embodiment of these ongoing ideals. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. To learn more or join The Nation of Why Not, visit

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Costa Cruises Offers Glimpse Into Extraordinary Israel

MIAMI, FL, Nov 10 – Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, is offering an extraordinary glimpse into Israel at exceptional values during its Summer 2009 European cruise season. These select 11-night sailings aboard the intimate Costa Marina (25,600-tons, 776 double occupancy capacity) depart from Savona, Italy on June 29; July 10, 21; and Aug 1, 12 and 23. Ports of call featured include Argostoli, Greece; Heraklion, Crete; Ashdod, Israel; Port Said, Egypt; Nauplia, Greece and Naples, Italy. This is the first time Costa is offering routes with a port of call in Israel since 2001.

“We all know very well that travelers these days want to embark on vacations that are more meaningful and more valuable than ever before,” said Maurice Zarmati, President and CEO of Costa Cruise Lines—North America. “Our guests have long told us how much they would like for us to return to Israel on our Eastern Mediterranean voyages and we’re thrilled to do just that on this outstanding 11-night sailing at an unbeatable price.”

Guests will begin and end their journey with Italy’s charms before venturing deep into the natural beauty of Greece’s landscapes and cultures. From there, they’ll reach Ashdod, Israel, a modern city from which they may visit centuries-old historical destinations including Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Also included in this incredible itinerary is a stop in Port Said, Egypt, where travelers may visit Cairo and the Pyramids of Giza.

The Costa Marina is one of the most intimate ships in the Costa fleet. Design features include wide windows, skylights and glass atriums that combine to create a stunning contemporary design and infuse the ambience of the ship with an unexplainable energetic character. Interiors are nautically inspired, creating a crisp, continental feel. For reservations or more information, contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit

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Carnival Dream Floated Out In Italy

Nov 6 -- The 130,000-ton Carnival Dream achieved a significant construction milestone when it was “floated out” from its outfitting quay at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. The 3,646-passenger SuperLiner – the largest “Fun Ship” ever constructed – is set to debut in September 2009.

The initial stages of a cruise ship’s construction take place in a dry dock facility. Once exterior outfitting is completed, the dry dock is filled with water and the ship is “floated out” and moved to a wet dock facility where construction continues.

Carnival Dream will usher in an exciting new era in cruising, offering a host of innovative facilities and features. These will include a new concept in dining and entertainment called the Piazza; the most elaborate children’s facilities at sea, including expansive play areas and a huge Carnival WaterWorks aqua park; “scenic whirlpools” that extend out over the ship’s beam; and a variety of new stateroom categories that should hold particular appeal to families.

Other features include an expansive 23,750-square-foot Cloud 9 Spa – Carnival’s largest and most elaborate health and wellness center to date – along with expansive open deck areas that will house a tropical, resort-style main pool with a Seaside Theatre LED screen, a Serenity adults-only retreat, and numerous other features.

Carnival Dream is scheduled to enter service Sept. 21, 2009, with the first of three 12-day Mediterranean voyages from Rome (Civitavecchia) followed by a 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Civitavecchia to New York Oct. 27 – Nov. 12, 2009. The ship will then operate two eight-day voyages from New York before repositioning to Port Canaveral, Fla., to launch year-round seven-day Caribbean service Dec. 5, 2009.

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Live Entertainment “STEPS” It Up A Notch On Celebrity Cruises

MIAMI, Nov 6 – Intricate dance steps, powerful vocals, finely tuned acting and sheer musical talent are soon to be the stars of the shows on some of Celebrity Cruises’ ships by the end of this year. Three new shows on Celebrity Millennium, one new show on Celebrity Century and three previously announced new shows on Celebrity Solstice, have each been created specifically for the tastes of Celebrity’s guests.

Celebrity Millennium’s new shows began running earlier this month. Celebrity Cruises partnered with Qdos Productions, an entertainment production company based in England, to create them. “Simply Ballroom” is a Las Vegas-inspired dance sensation that capitalizes on the popularity of current television dance competitions. The passion of the tango, the majesty of the waltz and sizzling Latin rhythms are presented in fabulous costumes by our world-class ballroom dancers. “Boogie Wonderland” is based on the original 1970s musical from London’s West End that has entertained audiences worldwide by recalling the glittery nuances of disco from that decade. The third new show to play on Celebrity Millennium, “iBroadway,” brings to life some of the greatest Broadway hits in a spectacular new format featuring a large replication of an MP3 player.

Beginning with the Nov 10, 2008 sailing on Celebrity Century. “Liverpool Knights” will take to the stage. Created in partnership with Mike Moloney Entertainment, an entertainment production company based in Las Vegas, the show offers a mix of a bit of the Beatles, a dash of Monty Python and a touch of Austin Powers. Set in 1964 and staged around a premise that a romance is flourishing between youngsters doing their best to impress one another with song and dance, the show is peppered with classic British humor.

When the brand-new Celebrity Solstice sets sail later this month, three original shows designed exclusively for the ship will dazzle guests. Created in partnership with POET Theatricals, which is led by Michael McPherson and Patrice Marques. McPherson and Marques come from backgrounds that include both performance and production with Franco Dragone, Circo Luci, FOUR: Spirit of the Elements, and the creation and production of the first worldwide touring show of the Lido de Paris. “Solstice” is a European-style theatrical circus built around the clash of day and night. It includes vocalists, physical comedy, breathtaking group acrobatic and aerial performances and other specialty acts, in a celestial celebration. “Ghost Light” depicts the eve of an old Broadway theater’s closing. The cast performing the venue’s final show reminisces about all the productions the theater has hosted, leading to the venue to illuminate once again, in celebration of Broadway favorites past and present. When “Pulse” is onstage, guests aren’t likely to sit still when this show’s central character, “Rhythm Man,” ignites a motion and vocal spectacular driven by the widely varied music and instruments that create the beat.

Celebrity’s fleet – including the new Celebrity Solstice – will be joined by Celebrity Equinox in 2009, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011, and a fifth in 2012. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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Royal Caribbean Intl Celebrates 2nd Annual First-Time Cruisers Month

MIAMI, Nov 6 – In the cruise line’s continuous efforts to help its travel agent partners sell cruises and grow their businesses, Royal Caribbean Intl has unveiled a month of enticing offers for first-time cruisers, as well as for veteran cruisers, throughout November. Travel agents and vacationers will enjoy savings and benefits throughout First-Time Cruisers Month, from reduced thresholds for complimentary tour conductor’s staterooms and bonus GAP points, to dollars off and onboard credit for customers booking a cruise or cruisetour.

“Now is the best time to book a cruise vacation to anywhere in the world aboard a Royal Caribbean ship,” said Vicki Freed, senior vice president of Sales, Trade Support and Services, Royal Caribbean International. “Whether for short-cruise getaways or extended cruisetours, our research shows that first-time cruisers with Royal Caribbean have the highest satisfaction rate compared to any other segment. Travel agent partners can take advantage of the offers during the second annual First-Time Cruisers Month to grow their customer base, add value to their customers’ vacations, and help ensure repeat business.”

Royal Caribbean is giving travel agents a wide array of incentives to pass on to their customers every week during First-Time Cruisers Month. Each new offer will feature a different region or destination coupled with savings of up to $200 per stateroom for new bookings. The First-Time Cruisers Month weekly offers are:

- Week 1: $75 off or onboard credit per stateroom on all cruises through 2009 for bookings made on Nov 7 and 8, 2008 only
- Week 2: Up to $200 off per stateroom on select sailings in 2009 for Crown & Anchor Society members – Royal Caribbean’s loyalty rewards program for past guests – which can be extended to a second stateroom for their friends or family for bookings made between Nov 10 and Nov 30
- Week 3: Up to $200 off per stateroom on select Europe or Alaska sailings in 2009 for bookings made between Nov 17 and Nov 23
- Week 4: Up to $100 off per stateroom on select Caribbean or Mexico sailings in 2009 made between Nov 24 and Nov 30
- Throughout November, active and retired members of the U.S. Armed Forces can enjoy savings of up to $200 per stateroom, up to three staterooms, for any sailing (except for Oasis of the Seas) through 2009. The military savings offer may not be combined with other offers or promotions.

First-time and veteran cruisers also can take advantage of some of the industry’s best pricing for a cruise this holiday season. Majesty of the Seas special Christmas short cruise to the Bahamas, departing Miami on Dec 22, starts at $319 per person; Adventure of the Seas’ Dec 21 sailing to the Southern Caribbean over Hanukkah and Christmas starts at $699 per person; or guests can herald in the New Year on the Mexican Riviera aboard Vision of the Seas’ Dec 28 departure, which starts at $949 per person. Guests aboard Royal Caribbean’s holiday sailings feature a breadth of special festive programming that reflects the traditions of each holiday, including traditional religious services for Hanukkah and Christmas, onboard holiday shows, festive decorations and extended New Years parties in every onboard lounge. All prices are based on double occupancy. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Silversea's Silver Cloud to Sail Atlantic Canada & New England in Fall 2009

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Nov 6 -- Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises today announced Silver Cloud will sail to the Atlantic provinces of Canada and America's New England next fall. The ship's revised schedule replaces a London-to-Barbados repositioning voyage and three Caribbean cruises with four new itineraries spanning from London, Reykjavik and Montreal to New York and Bermuda. Towns trimmed in russet red and orange; rugged shores and lonely lighthouses; colonial American ports steeped in history; the Statue of Liberty watching over New York Harbor -- these are some of the amazing spectacles that await guests on Silver Cloud's new autumn itineraries for 2009.

"The last time we offered fall cruises to this region was three years ago and Silver Cloud has not visited since 1999," said David Morris, Silversea's executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. "We offered a couple of expedition cruises in the north Atlantic earlier this year on the Prince Albert II, and they were extremely popular. We think that indicates it's time to start featuring these destinations again on one of the ships in our classic fleet, especially during the spectacular fall foliage season."

Following below are the new Silver Cloud itineraries, starting with a repositioning cruise from London to Reykjavik (rates are per person, double occupancy and do not include port charges):

VOYAGE 1923: Sept 19 - 27, London to Reykjavik, 8 days, calling in Rosyth, Invergordon, Kirkwall, Lerwick and Thorshavn. Ship overnights in London.

VOYAGE 1924: Sept 27 - Oct 9, Reykjavik to Montreal, 12 days, calling in Narsarssuak, L'Anse aux Meadows, St. John's, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Corner Brook and Quebec City. Ship sails the St. Lawrence and Saguenay rivers. 

VOYAGE 1925: Oct 9 - 19, Montreal to New York, 10 days, calling in Quebec City, Gaspe, Sydney, Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston and Newport. Ship overnights in Montreal, navigates the St. Lawrence River and sails through the Cape Cod Canal.

VOYAGE 1926: Oct 19 - 29, New York to Barbados, 10 days, visiting Bermuda, San Juan, St. Bart's, Antigua and Bequia. Ship overnights in Hamilton, Bermuda.

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. With the addition of the regal expedition ship Prince Albert II, the company's itineraries encompass all seven continents. For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent. For a complimentary brochure, please call toll-free (877) 215-9986 or visit

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Princess Cruises Christens Newest Ship, Ruby Princess

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 6 -- In a “ruby red” themed ceremony celebrating romance, Princess Cruises today named its newest ship, Ruby Princess. America’s reigning reality couple, Trista and Ryan Sutter of The Bachelorette did the honors, breaking the traditional bottle of champagne to mark the ship’s launch, and their own fifth anniversary. The new godparents were surrounded by hundreds of guests decked out in ruby red-tie formal attire, and a ruby-haired singer serenaded the crowd. As befitting the most romantic cruise line, and an event celebrating “romantic moments and milestones,” the official naming was followed by the ultimate romantic milestone – a wedding in the midst of the festivities. The California couple joined in matrimony not only had Trista and Ryan as wedding attendants, but the Love Boat captain himself, Gavin MacLeod, gave away the bride.
Tonight the ship hosts a “Ruby Red Tie” gala and sets sail on a two-night cruise for hundreds of VIP guests who will enjoy a special preview of Princess’ newest vessel. During the mini sailing, the ship will host an array of romantic activities, including a massive renewal of vows for all couples tomorrow while the ship is at sea. Ruby Princess then returns to Port Everglades on November 8 for its inaugural seven-day sailing to the Western Caribbean.

“It’s only fitting that as the most romantic cruise line in the industry, we celebrate the naming of our newest ship with a tribute to ‘romantic milestones,’” said Alan Buckelew, Princess Cruises president and chief executive officer. “It was exciting to have Trista and Ryan Sutter serve as godparents of Ruby Princess and of course the wedding during the ceremony added an appropriate touch to the festivities.”

Princess Cruises has long been associated with romance on the high seas, dating back to its days as the setting for the now-iconic TV show The Love Boat. Cementing that connection, Princess was just named the "Best Cruise Line for Romance" and "Best Cruise Line for Weddings" in the 2008 Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards. The Ruby Princess naming ceremony continued the line's tradition of romance with godparents Trista and Ryan, who were introduced to America in 2003 on the television hit The Bachelorette. Trista and Ryan Sutter became America’s reigning romantic couple as millions of viewers followed their courtship and witnessed their nationally televised wedding. To this day they are the only couple from the Bachelor or The Bachelorette shows to actually get married.

The ceremony fulfilled the dream of yet another couple as Kip Hickman and Danielle Vurpillat tied the knot as part of the ship’s naming ceremony. The couple, from Dunsmuir, Calif., met on a blind date and expressed their desire to be married onboard Ruby Princess during a recent contest held with national newspaper, USA Today. The minister who officiated the nuptials, Phil Roberts, is also a member of Princess Cruises’ Department of Romance.
The Ruby Princess naming ceremony will be available for viewing on line at beginning Nov 7.

The 3,080-passenger Ruby Princess includes a dramatic piazza-style atrium featuring small-bite eateries and an ever-changing line-up of street performers. Passengers will also enjoy Princess' other array of dining venues including the signature Sabatini's Italian restaurant and the Crown Grill steak house, plus a relaxing oasis just for adults called The Sanctuary. The new ship will also offer the many other innovations that define the Princess experience, including the popular Movies Under the Stars poolside movie screen, Personal Choice Dining featuring traditional or Anytime seating, multiple entertainment venues, a relaxing Asian-style Lotus Spa with fitness center, an extensive children and teen's center, and a wedding chapel.

During Ruby Princess' inaugural season she will make seven-day weekly sailings from Fort Lauderdale to the Western Caribbean. Calls include Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico and Princess Cays in the Bahamas. Next spring the ship will move to Europe for 12-day sailings in the Mediterranean and Greek Islands. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Award-Winning Photographers to Offer Workshops & Assist Passengers in
Capturing Memories Aboard 5 Hurtigruten Antarctic Cruises

New York, NY, Nov 2008 -- Passengers wishing to learn more about capturing the memories of their once-in-a-lifetime Hurtigruten Antarctica Exploration Cruises will now be assisted by award-winning photographers and videographers. Hurtigruten has signed on with Australian-based Theme Media to provide these professionals, who will offer lectures and guidance on how to photograph these unique environments and develop CD/DVD Travel Journals to document their vacation. Five sailings will offer this no-cost added bonus -- Nov. 26, Dec. 4 and 12, 2008, and Feb. 2 and 22, 2009; all of the sailings save Feb. 2 are 13-day adventures aboard the world’s newest and most deluxe expedition ship, MS Fram. The Feb. 2 sailing, also aboard the MS Fram, is a new 17-day itinerary and heads off to the rarely-visited Marguerite Bay, home to the only known breed of emperor penguins on the west side of Antarctica.

Award-winning photographer Camille Seaman, aboard for the first three sailings, concentrates her work on the fragile environment of the polar regions. Her photos have been exhibited at the National Academy of Sciences and the Peabody Essex Museum, among others, and have been published in most top magazines and newspapers. She also teaches workshops on photography and self-publishing. Fulbright scholar and filmmaker Tori Hogan comes aboard for the February 4, 2009 sailing, offering her 60-country experience on photographing and filming in connection with international aid organizations. Tori is also the CEO of an innovative start-up social enterprise she co-founded named “Beyond Good Intentions.” Sandra Walser, aboard for the Feb. 22 voyage, is a freelance photographer and journalist specializing in the polar regions. Her photographic work, appearing in print and online media throughout the world, was born of a passion she discovered while in kindergarten in Switzerland.

Both Antarctica itineraries are roundtrip from Buenos Aires and offer either five or nine days in Antarctica after embarking in Ushuaia for the crossing of the Drake Passage. These unique voyages explore the vast and mysterious wilderness of the White Continent, the coldest, driest and windiest destination on earth, replete with gleaming icebergs, blue whales and orcas feeding mere feet from the ships, and penguin populations whose individual rookeries number in the tens of thousands. Weather permitting, landings are made at numerous locations including Half Moon and Deception Islands, Ukrainian Vernadsky and Polish Arctowski Bases, Almirante Brown, Port Lockroy, Neko Harbor, Petermann Island, and on the 17-day voyage, several bases in Marguerite Bay.

Passengers will receive a free CD containing the professional photographers/videographers images, maps, logbook, crew names and other important facts about their particular cruise. A DVD Travel Journal, with additional images, interviews, film, etc. we be offered for NOK 500 (@$75). Fares include air between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, Buenos Aires hotel accommodations pre- and post-sailing, transfers, all meals onboard, the services of expert guides, lectures and PolarCirkel boat landings; port charges and cruise taxes. Fuel surcharges of $14 per day are additional. The MS Fram accommodates 318 guests in suites and staterooms and features a restaurant, two bars, panoramic lounges library, and Internet café and conference rooms. A new program aimed at the suites includes two optional excursions for free, beverages, a bottle of champagne on arrival and other amenities. For more information on Hurtigruten, contact the company at (800) 323-7436 or (212) 319-1300; fax (212) 319-1390; for brochures (800) 666-2374, 24 hours a day;

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“Movies Under the Stars” to Make A Splash Across Princess Fleet
Popular Poolside Theater to Be Added to Additional Ships

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 5, – Princess’ signature “Movies Under the Stars” poolside screens have become such a popular feature since debuting in 2004, that the line will add the dramatic 300-square-foot movie screens feature to most of the fleet over the next several years. Princess was the first cruise line to introduce this unique entertainment experience aboard its ships and Movies Under the Stars has subsequently revolutionized movie-watching at sea. Movies Under the Stars, which shows movies, concerts, sporting events and other special programming throughout the day and evening, will be installed aboard Golden Princess (May 2009), Dawn Princess (June 2009), Coral Princess (October 2009), Sun Princess (April 2010), Island Princess (October 2010), Diamond Princess (November 2010), and Sapphire Princess (2011).

“Movies Under the Stars has become such a popular part of the Princess entertainment experience on those ships that have it, that we were inspired to expand it across the fleet,” said Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president. “It’s something the whole family can enjoy.”

The movie screens have been a focal point on Princess ships since first debuting on Caribbean Princess in 2004. They are now featured on Crown Princess, Emerald Princess, Ruby Princess, Grand Princess, Star Princess and Sea Princess. The giant LED (Light Emitting Diode) screen is more than 300 square feet in size with a 69,000-watt sound system and has sufficient lighting power to be seen clearly at mid-day and heard even while the ship is moving at full speed – offering passengers a movie experience comparable to the best shoreside movie theater.

In addition to movies, passengers can enjoy a variety of special program on the giant screen, including sporting events such as the Super Bowl and the college football Bowl Championship Series, Academy Awards, video game contests with Nintendo’s Wii, a variety of event concerts with artists such as Tina Turner and Elton John, and even midnight showings of cult films such as “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

In the evening, the state-of-the-art screen offers a unique way to relax and enjoy current hit films outside on a comfortable poolside lounger with special padded cushions and warm blankets. Princess enhances the viewing experience with signature touches such as complimentary popcorn and a variety of movie-themed cocktail specials and theater-style candy. Nearby eateries also offer a range of casual dining options to round out the ultimate poolside experience. In addition, this month select ships featuring Movies Under the Stars screens will be broadcasting a cruise industry exclusive concert from number-one-selling recording artist Josh Groban. The “Awake Live” performance will join other popular concerts shown on the ships, and will also offer the unique opportunity for those who enjoy the presentation to purchase a DVD/CD of the concert at the ship’s boutiques.

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

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Azamara Cruises to Offer Exotic Excursion Package in Asia

MIAMI, Nov 5 – In celebration of her Asia debut this winter, the deluxe, 694-guest Azamara Quest is offering guests a way to make the most of their experiences in the exotic destinations that she will visit. Two tour packages that each include a well-rounded selection of excursions will be available for seven select sailings during Azamara’s 2008-09 Asia season. The packages are similar to those Azamara Cruises offered in its first Europe season earlier this year, offering guests a 5% savings over the retail value of the tours in each package. The packages opened for sale this week.

The “Omega Collection” is designed for a more experienced traveler who has been to the destination before or is looking for a more specialized excursion experience. The “Alpha Collection” is ideal for first-time visitors to the destination or for those who seek a variety of highlights in the destination. The packages do not include a tour in every port, which gives guests the option to purchase other, individual tours in those locations.

Three of Azamara Quest’s Southeast Asia itineraries will offer the packages: an 18-night sailing from Singapore to Hong Kong, departing on December 16, 2008; a 14-night sailing from Hong Kong to Singapore, departing on January 3, 2009, and a 14-night voyage from Singapore to Hong Kong, departing on January 17, 2009. Sample tours included in each package during these itineraries include:

In the Alpha Collection, a visit to Hue (Danang), Vietnam, called “Imperial Hue.” Hue is known as the Imperial City of the Nguyen Emperors and this tour allows guests to visit the Imperial Citadel, which was built following a plan similar to the one that shaped the Forbidden City in Beijing beginning in 1804. Guests will enjoy a buffet “Imperial Feast” lunch featuring Asian specialties before visiting one of the numerous imperial tombs that dot the countryside.

In the Omega Collection, a two-night visit to Bangkok (Klong Toey), Thailand, called “Essence of Cambodia.” The highlight of this tour is a visit to Angkor Wat, the largest temple in the world. The temple took 30 years to complete and has been occupied continuously by Buddhist monks. Guests also will have the opportunity to visit Ta Prohm temple, which has been left in near-original condition, as well as Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmers, with its Elephant Terrace, Terrace of the Leper King and the stunning Bayon temple.

Four Northeast Asia sailings will offer the tour packages: a 14-night sailing from Hong Kong to Beijing, departing on January 31 and February 28, 2009; and a 14-night sailing from Beijing to Hong Kong, departing on February 14 and March 14, 2009. Sample tours included in each package during these itineraries include:

In the Alpha Collection, a visit to Shanghai, China, called “Shanghai Famous Acrobats.” This evening activity includes an acrobatic performance that follows a tradition that has been unbroken since 200 BC.

In the Omega Collection, a multi-day overland tour of Hiroshima, Japan, called “Bullet Train Overland Tour.” On the January 31 and February 28 sailings, this tour goes from Hiroshima to Osaka, and on the February 14 and March 14 sailings, it goes in the reverse direction. The tour features time in Kyoto, which was the capital of Japan for 1,100 years. Kyoto has over 1,200 Buddhist temples and more than 400 Shinto shrines, most of which are completely intact. In Kyoto, this tour features visits to several temples and the Nijo Castle. In Hiroshima, the tour includes visits to Peace Memorial Park and the Atomic Bomb dome. The centerpiece of this tour is a ride between Hiroshima and Osaka on the famous “Shinkansen,” or bullet train, which makes the trip in approximately 105 minutes.

Packages are available for purchase online, and must be purchased before ten days prior to the date of sailing. Tours within the package cannot be exchanged or cancelled by the guest. If Azamara Cruises cancels a tour, the guest will receive a refund for the full retail value of the tour.

Azamara Cruises unlocks the hidden corners of the world for those who desire to immerse themselves in the rich details of every voyage. The deluxe ships – Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest – offer an intimate experience, while allowing access to exotic destinations experienced travelers long to reach. For the 694 guests on each Azamara Cruises ship, every moment at sea embodies the pinnacle of luxury, and each footstep on shore accentuates the difference between visiting a place and getting a true sense of place. This year, Azamara Cruises presents the best of enchanting Europe, elite Asia, and the most captivating Caribbean and the Panama Canal. The line also offers unique cruisetours in Asia and Europe. For more information, call 1-877-999-9553, or visit

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Newest Love Boat, Ruby Princess, Sails into Fort Lauderdale

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 4 – A spray of ruby-colored water from two escorting fireboats welcomed Ruby Princess, the newest ship in the Princess Cruises fleet, into Fort Lauderdale today. The ship arrived to begin several days of launch festivities with a distinctly romantic theme, the highlight of which will be its November 6 naming by America’s reigning reality couple, Trista and Ryan Sutter of The Bachelorette in honor of their fifth wedding anniversary. In an industry first, a couple will also be married during the naming ceremony, with Love Boat captain Gavin MacLeod giving away the bride, and Trista and Ryan serving as wedding attendants.

The romantic events continue as Princess hosts a “Ruby Red Tie” gala to celebrate the naming of its new ship, followed by a two-night preview cruise for hundreds of VIP guests. During the sailing, the ship will host an array of “ruby” and romance-themed activities, including a massive renewal of vows for all couples on Nov 7. Ruby Princess returns to Port Everglades on Nov 8 for its inaugural seven-day sailing to the Western Caribbean. The Ruby Princess naming ceremony and wedding will be available for viewing on line at beginning Nov 7.

The 3,080-passenger Ruby Princess includes a dramatic piazza-style atrium featuring small-bite eateries and an ever-changing line-up of street performers. Passengers will also enjoy Princess' other array of dining venues including the signature Sabatini's Italian restaurant and the Crown Grill steak house, plus a relaxing oasis just for adults called The Sanctuary. The new ship will also offer the many other innovations that define the Princess experience, including the popular Movies Under the Stars poolside movie screen, Personal Choice Dining featuring traditional or Anytime seating, multiple entertainment venues, a relaxing Asian-style Lotus Spa with fitness center, an extensive children and teen's center, and a wedding chapel. Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at

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Royal Caribbean Announces Inaugural Dubai Cruises Itinerary

Royal Caribbean Intl has announced a 7-night roundtrip itinerary for its inaugural season from the homeport of Dubai. Vacationers can choose among 13 sailings, from Jan through April 2010, aboard Brilliance of the Seas to some of the most exciting and vibrant destinations in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman. Royal Caribbean's Dubai cruises are now open for booking.

Adam Goldstein, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, said, "Royal Caribbean International is truly excited to offer a vacation option that combines our signature style of cruising with such a compelling homeport as Dubai and the fascinating destinations we will visit throughout the region."

Guests aboard Brilliance of the Seas' cruises from Dubai will have ample time to explore the famed city with overnight stays at the beginning and conclusion of the voyage. The port-intensive itinerary will also include a call at Oman's capital of Muscat, and maiden ports of call at Mina Sulman, Bahrain; and Fujairah and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Cruisers also can choose among two repositioning cruises, both 14-night itineraries, between Barcelona and Dubai via the Suez Canal. The Jan 4, 2010 sailing from Barcelona will call at Aqaba, Jordan and three Egyptian ports: Alexandria, Safaga, and Sharm El Sheikh. The April 19 return voyage will call at Safaga, Sharm El Sheikh, Alexandria and Muscat.

Brilliance of the Seas features an open Centrum with 10-deck high windows and ocean-facing glass elevators, both of which will offer spectacular views of the passing shoreline and sea. Guests will enjoy Royal Caribbean's award-winning Broadway-style revues from Royal Caribbean Productions, multiple onboard bars, lounges and discos throughout the ship, and Vegas-style gaming in the Casino Royale. Throughout their stay, every guest will enjoy Royal Caribbean's Gold Anchor standard of friendly and engaging service from Brilliance's staff and crew.

Guests can choose among five dining options, including Royal Caribbean's specialty restaurants, Chops Grille Steakhouse and Portofino Italian Ristorante. Guests also can choose a more traditional dining experience in the Minstrel Dining Room, and casual dining and light fare in the Windjammer Café and the Seaview Café, respectively.

While aboard, guests can maintain their exercise regimen in the Brilliance Fitness Center; choose among a full range of rejuvenating and invigorating treatments in the Brilliance Day Spa; or relax by the pool in the adults-only Solarium. The entire family can share in nine holes of mini-golf; scale the iconic rock wall, which Royal Caribbean first introduced to cruising; join a basketball game on the sports court; delight in riding the Adventure Beach waterslide; or challenge each other on one of Brilliance's self-leveling pool tables in the Bombay Billiards Club. Or, they can stay in and order room service and catch a popular on-demand movie.

Younger cruisers will laugh and learn in scheduled activities throughout the day in the line's award-winning Adventure Ocean youth program. Teens 12 and older can enjoy spending time with peers in the Optix teen-only hangout and disco, and join enrichment classes such as mixing music like a DJ or learning hip-hop dance moves. Throughout the day, youth program activities are always led and supervised by Royal Caribbean's exceptional, energetic and college educated youth program counselors.

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Fuel Supplement Charges to be Removed From 2010 Voyages for Oceania Cruises & Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Criteria Set for 2009 Adjustments

MIAMI, November 3, 2008 – Prestige Cruise Holdings, parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, has announced that effective Nov 10, 2008, fuel supplement charges will be eliminated from all voyages departing in 2010 and the company has established specific guidelines under which the fuel supplement may be reimbursed to guests sailing on voyages departing in 2009.

For voyages departing in 2010, no fuel supplement will be charged on new reservations. For existing reservations on voyages departing in 2010, the fuel supplement charge will automatically be removed from the guests’ final payment balance. For voyages departing in 2009, the company will continue to apply a $15 per guest per day fuel supplement. Fuel supplement charge adjustments, if any, will be determined on a quarterly basis. Refunds, in the form of shipboard credits, will be applied to all reservations to which a fuel supplement had previously been charged if the quarterly closing price on the New York Mercantile Exchange of West Texas Intermediate fuel is below $65 per barrel two weeks prior to the beginning of the upcoming calendar quarter.

Frank Del Rio, Chairman of Prestige Cruise Holdings, stated that the company was implementing these changes due to the recent decline in fuel prices. “If oil stabilizes below $65 per barrel, we are confident that we can effectively eliminate the need to charge our guests a separate fuel supplement. However, we must see stability in fuel pricing on a mid- to long-term basis as there could still be significant volatility in the marketplace,” stated Del Rio. The dates on which the price of West Texas Intermediate fuel will be measured and the quarters during which refunds may be applied are listed below.

Fuel Price Determination
Quarter of Possible Fuel
    Supplement Refunds
December 18, 2008 First Quarter 2009
March 18, 2009 Second Quarter 2009
June 17, 2009 Third Quarter 2009
September 17, 2009 Fourth Quarter 2009

Prestige Cruise Holdings will continue to monitor the price of fuel and will retain the right to reinstate the fuel supplement charge at any time should market conditions warrant.

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Six New Express Tours Added to Holland America Line's 2009 Alaska Program

SEATTLE, Nov. 3 -- Debuting in 2009, six Holland America Line Express Tours entice travelers to Alaska to add a few more days onto their trip to travel inland and experience more of the great state of Alaska. Express Tours combine a weeklong cruise through the Inside Passage with two or three nights in Anchorage and Talkeetna.

"The Express Tours are for our guests who don't have enough time to do a full CruiseTour but still want to experience Alaska's interior," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "These six tours are an incredible value. Guests will get a taste of the beauty and vastness of the state."

All the Express Tours include a seven-day cruise between Seward (gateway to Anchorage) and Vancouver, British Columbia or reverse. Itineraries vary by ship but all include Inside Passage scenic cruising, a spectacular glacier viewing experience and port calls in Juneau, Ketchikan and either Haines or Skagway. Some itineraries also include a port call in Sitka.

Express Tours #79 (northbound) and #80 (southbound) combine the cruise with two nights in Anchorage, city sightseeing and a tour to the Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC). The ANHC is a cultural center and museum with classes, demonstrations and exhibits exploring the traditional way of life of all the indigenous cultures in Alaska. An outdoor village site includes six life-size authentic Native dwellings along with artifacts used in daily life. Rates start at $899 per person, based on double occupancy.

Express Tours #81 (northbound) and #82 (southbound) combine a seven-day cruise with a trip on the Alaska Railroad to Anchorage for two nights. The scenic train ride to Anchorage passes through the Chugach Mountains and along Turnagin Arm. Guests will stay two nights in Anchorage and enjoy city sightseeing and a tour to the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Rates start at $949 per person based on double occupancy.

Express Tours #83 (northbound) and #84 (southbound) combine a seven-day cruise with two nights in Anchorage, and one in Talkeetna. After spending the first night in Anchorage, guests will enjoy sightseeing on the luxurious McKinley Explorer train from Anchorage to Talkeetna. Spectacular views of Mt. McKinley can be seen from the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. A two-hour Wilderness Jet Boat Adventure in the afternoon takes guests on a thrilling exploration of the area. The McKinley Explorer takes guests back to Anchorage the next day for one last night. Rates start at $1,249 per person based on double occupancy.

Holland America Line has been leading tours in Alaska for more than 60 years and has eight premium ships offering a total of 156 cruises and 29 CruiseTours ranging from 10 to 20 days in length. The new Express Tours are now open for booking. For more information about booking, contact a travel agent or call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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Crystal Announces Its First-Ever Asia Golf Itinerary

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 3 -- Luxury specialist Crystal Cruises is expanding its "Experiences of Discovery" Golf theme cruises into Asia, giving golf enthusiasts the rare opportunity to play at four world-renowned courses in Thailand and Vietnam. Guests will be able to sharpen their skills on board and ashore with instruction from a guest celebrity golfer and PGA golf pro. Crystal Symphony's 11-day itinerary from Hong Kong to Singapore offers a roster of onboard lectures, clinics, contests and events, including the chance to win a free Crystal cruise.

Every detail of the Crystal Golf Program is arranged in six-star fashion, from onboard practice with TaylorMade equipment--the No. 1 driver on the PGA Tour--to cocktails, caddy and cart service on the greens. Complimentary cleaning and storage of golf clubs and golf shoes will be offered after each round.

Courses include:
 * Vietnam Golf & Country Club, Ho Chi Minh City: The country's first 36-hole golf club, widely regarded as the premier club in Vietnam;
 * Burapha Golf, Bangkok: A 36-hole championship course set amid lakes, hills and tropical vegetation;
 * Laem Chabang International Country Club, Bangkok: Three distinct nines: The Lakes, Mountain and Valley courses, each offering its one-of-kind challenges, and
 * Montgomerie Links, Da Nang, Vietnam: Asia's first "Montgomerie" branded golf links set against the Marble Mountains and China Beach coast.

"Whether one is an avid golfer looking to conquer some of the world's finest golf courses, or simply sharpen one's short game with tips from our onboard PGA golf instructors, there is great attention to detail at every level" said John Stoll, director, land programs. "Even non-golfing guests traveling with golfers will have a wide selection of onboard and shoreside activities that suit most interests."

Departing April 20, the Golf Cruise calls at Chan May and Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam; Bangkok/Laem Chabang, Thailand. Crystal also offers golf-themed itineraries in the British Isles and Northern Europe, and Canada/New England in 2009. Crystal recommends that guests bring their own clubs on golf outings. Guests can ship equipment to and from the ship with Luggage Concierge, which offers a special rate to the ultra-luxury line's guests. For more information and Crystal reservation, contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the line's website,

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Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Solstice Makes Stateside Debut November 3

MIAMI, Nov 1 – South Florida residents and visitors interested in seeing the cruise industry’s most eagerly awaited ship of the year will have their chance Monday, November 3, when Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Solstice sails into Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The ship is expected to arrive at the Port Everglades sea buoy at approximately 6 a.m., and will be dockside by approximately 7 a.m. Ideal viewing platforms include Fort Lauderdale Beach and surroundings, while residents with waterfront condominiums can enjoy a bird’s-eye view.

Celebrity Solstice upon arrival will be fully “dressed” with vibrant flags flying above its industry-first half-acre Lawn Club, Hot Glass Show, and one of the highest percentages of verandas in the business, not to mention the wealth of attributes found inside the sleek, 122,000-ton ship.

Soon after its arrival, Celebrity Solstice will serve as the perfect platform for Celebrity Cruises’ first Global Sales Meeting, followed by a series of exclusive, two-night preview cruises for invited travel agents, press and other dignitaries. Celebrity Solstice will be named in formal ceremonies on November 14, and will embark on its inaugural season November 23, on a series of seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. In spring 2009, the stunning new ship will introduce a series of romantic 10- and 11-night Mediterranean sailings roundtrip from Rome.

Celebrity Solstice will be joined by Celebrity Equinox in 2009, Celebrity Eclipse in 2010, a fourth Solstice-class ship in 2011, and a fifth in 2012. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit

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