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Cruise News
November  1-30, 2010

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

Cruise Diva


Kids Sail Free on Select Crystal Symphony Pacific Coast Voyages

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 29: With the continued trend in multi-generational family travel, Crystal Cruises invites kids 17 and under to cruise for free on three Crystal Symphony Pacific Coast voyages next spring and fall. The new offer, valid for children sailing in a third berth with two full-fare adults, is available for the 7-day sailings between Los Angeles and Vancouver: April 10 and 17, plus a 7-day Thanksgiving cruise sailing round-trip from Los Angeles Nov 20. The April 17 voyage - ending on Easter Sunday - and the Thanksgiving itinerary are ideal options for families with children on Spring Break and seeking to spend the holiday together at sea.

Crystal's April Pacific Coast cruises explore the northern Golden Coast of California and British Columbia with visits to Santa Barbara, San Francisco, California; Astoria, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and Victoria, British Columbia. The November itinerary features Crystal's first-ever overnight in San Francisco, plus stops in Santa Barbara, San Diego and Ensenada, Mexico. A fourth seven-day southern Pacific Coast cruise sails round-trip from Los Angeles Dec 4.

Also ideal for families, Crystal's Family Memories program offers two savings options: $500 credit toward a Crystal Private Adventure, kids under 17 sail free in third berth, plus other perks for six full-fare bookings; all of this, plus one complimentary berth for 10 full-fare bookings. Promotional, Two-for-One cruise fares start at $2,650 per person, double occupancy, and include $500 per couple 'All Inclusive - As You Wish' shipboard credits, complimentary air transportation. The credits and air transportation apply only to full-fare bookings.

Crystal Cruises has long been a leader in luxury cruising for families, with purpose-built Fantasia and Waves children's and teens' facilities feature events and top video games and toys. For more information or Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

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Holland America’s View & Verandah Sale Features Up To 50 Percent Savings

Seattle, Wash., Nov 29: Holland America Line is offering special savings for consumers and special incentives and sales support for travel sellers during its View & Verandah sale on select cruises. The View & Verandah Sale runs Dec. 1, 2010 through Feb. 28, 2011, with ocean-view and verandah accommodations at up to 50 percent off the cruise fare, plus free or reduced rates for third and fourth guests. As an added incentive, every sale enters travel sellers in a contest for fabulous Holland America cruises and a variety of other prizes that can be found on the View & Verandah website at www.hollandamerica.com/vandv. Every deposited booking made during the official contest period is automatically entered to win with no registration required.

Contest grand prizes include one seven-day Alaska cruise for two sailing roundtrip Seattle, one 10- to 12-day Northern Europe cruise for two and one 7-day Bermuda cruise for two. Prizes will be awarded in a random drawing to be held in March 2011. The sale will be supported with special View & Verandah consumer marketing communications including direct mail and email, as well as an array of online travel seller promotional and sales tools. These include customizable “Build Your Own” e-mails, as well as downloadable videos and web banner ads.

Cruise destinations featured in the View & Verandah sale include Alaska cruises and cruisetours, Europe, Caribbean, Bermuda, Mexico, Canada/New England, Panama Canal, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, Hawaii/Tahiti and South America. For more information on the promotions and sweepstakes, or to access the online sales tools, visit the View & Verandah website at www.hollandamerica.com/vandv or call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425).

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P&O Cruises To Show Royal Wedding At Sea

Passengers on board any of the seven ships in the P&O Cruises fleet on Friday April 29, 2011 need not worry about missing out on the Royal wedding as the ceremony from Westminster Abbey will be shown live on board.

Managing director, Carol Marlow, said: "The whole nation will be gripped on April 29th as the Royal wedding takes place at Westminster Abbey. As Britain's favorite cruise line it is only fitting that our passengers should have a front row seat from unique locations around the globe. It will certainly be a grand celebration with almost 14,000 passengers sailing with us at this time."

Arcadia: 2,000 passengers watching as they finish their transit of the Panama Canal and head towards Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Aurora: 1,800 passengers watching as they cross the Atlantic heading home from Barbados, next stop Madeira
Azura: 3,100 passengers watching on the giant SeaScreen by the pool, from Palma
Oceana: 2,000 passengers watching from the open sea en route to Southampton from Gibraltar
Ventura: potentially 3,100 passengers watching from Southampton (turnaround day)
Oriana: 1,800 passengers watching from Palma

Up to three lucky couples can share their wedding day with the Royals, and be married by the ships Captain on board Aurora as they sail across the Atlantic from the Caribbean. The P&O Cruises Weddings at Sea program provides an affordable and stress free way to get married and wedding certificates feature the nautical coordinates of their wedding location.

As Ventura is in her home port, Southampton, passengers sailing on this date will be able to join in with a special Royal sailaway party, with flag waving, champagne and a celebratory atmosphere.

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Royal Wedding at Sea

Nov 24: Guests on board Cunard’s three ships–Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth-on April 29, 2011, the day of the Royal Wedding, need have no fear of missing one second of the historic union of the future King and Kate Middleton. Each of the three ships feature Royal Court Theatres–West End in style and West End in size–where the wedding ceremony will be broadcast live.

Queen Mary 2’s Royal Court Theatre seats over 1,000 guests, who will be able to watch events unfold in plush cinema comfort as the ship sails between New York and Southampton, on a 7-night Transatlantic Crossing (April 26–May 2).

“If demand for seats exceeds supply we are able to use our Planetarium and lecture room, Illuminations, which seats a further 450 passengers,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard.

The Royal Court Theatres on the smaller Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria seat over 800 passengers, and they too will be used to screen the Royal nuptials live. At the time Queen Elizabeth will be at sea heading for Southampton, and Queen Victoria will be at sea in the Mediterranean.

“Cunard is a company with an enviable heritage and unparalleled links to the Royal family – our ships were named either by Her Majesty The Queen or by her apparent successor, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall,” Shanks continued. “It follows then that our passengers are likely to have an above average interest in the pageantry of a Royal wedding. We intend to cater for that and ensure they do not miss one minute. Royal weddings don’t happen that often and with our impeccable Royal connections we intend to ensure that our red ensign ships lead the British merchant marine in marking this momentous day.”

The day will also be one of celebration on all ships, with that evening’s dinner featuring a commemorative menu and a champagne toast. For more information and to book a voyage, contact your travel agent, call toll free 1-800-7-CUNARD (1-800-728-6273) or go to www.cunard.com.

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South American Culinary Stars Bring Authentic Sizzle to Crystal Wine & Food Cruise

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 24: Guests on Crystal Symphony's February 7 cruise will be treated to distinctly South American flavors, both on and off the ship. Sailing from Buenos Aires to Miami, Brazilian and Argentinean culinary and wine experts will spice up Crystal Cruises' South American and Caribbean Wine & Food Experiences of Discovery itinerary with tastings, demos, and specially crafted menus. Crystal's expert chefs will lead hands-on instruction and guests can opt for hands-on cooking lessons at a local Brazilian restaurant.

Setting the perfect scene for Latin cuisine are:

Neriton Vasconcelos - Owner and head chef of The Galley, one of the most exclusive restaurants in Sao Paulo,
Matias Kyriazis & Estefania di Benedetto - Owners and chefs at Paraje Arevalo in Buenos Aires, whose cuisine Travel + Leisure called "decadent" and "artful;" and
Eugenio Jardim - A Brazilian native and wine expert, now the wine director at San Francisco's Jardiniere with a reputation for seeking out unique and exciting vintages.
C elebrated "Modern Mixologist" Tony Abou-Ganim mixes it up with onboard cocktail making sessions and tips and techniques on creating local concoctions.

"South America has such rich culinary history and culture, and we are thrilled to showcase the region with the techniques and specialties of these culinary talents," says Toni Neumeister, vice president, food and beverage.

In 2011, Crystal Cruises' expands the culinary scene in its Crystal Dining Room with Perfect Choice Dining and flexible Open Dining by Reservation, enabling guests to dine when and where they choose, in addition to the line's classic main and late seating options. Warm and attentive service adds friendly sophistication, while regionally inspired cuisine turns a simple meal into an unforgettable event. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

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Seabourn Announces Changes in Q1 2012 Asia Deployment

MIAMI, Nov 22: Responding to increasingly strong demand for some of its more exotic itineraries, The Yachts of Seabourn has announced some changes in the published itineraries of two of its intimate, award-winning yachts during the first quarter of 2012.

The 208-guest Seabourn Pride, which had been scheduled to sail 12-day cruises of Vietnam and Thailand between Hong Kong and Bangkok, will instead sail between Hong Kong and Singapore on five 14-day voyages that will each include a call at the up-and-coming beach resort community of Sihanoukville in Cambodia. Departure dates are scheduled between Jan 4 and March 14, 2012. The revised schedule also includes one 14-day voyage departing Feb 15, 2012, and sailing round trip from Singapore to Penang, Phuket, Langkawi, Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, the Malaysian metropolis of Kuala Lumpur and more.

The intimate Seabourn Legend will start 2012 sailing among the myriad islands of the Indonesian Archipelago, on 10- and 12-day itineraries between Singapore and Bali that include hard-to-reach places such as Komodo, Sumba, Flores, Gili Sudak and Kura Kura. Five departures are scheduled between Jan 3 and Feb 16, 2012.

“Southeast Asia has been a perennial favorite of our guests for many years, because our yachts can take them places that are difficult to visit otherwise,” noted Seabourn President & CEO Pamela Conover. “And as we have added new destinations within the region in the past two years,” she continued, “our guests have responded with increasing enthusiasm, and so we are adjusting our schedule in order to satisfy their desire for more of these exotic and unforgettable experiences.”

Following the additional Southeast Asian voyages, each of the two Seabourn yachts will reposition to Europe on a pair of longer voyages, the Jewels of India & Arabia sailing from Singapore to Dubai in 18 days and then the Wonders of Arabia & Egypt from Dubai into Athens in another 18 days.

Special Seabourn Value Fares offer savings up to 65 percent. For more information, or to reserve a suite at these special rates, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit www.seabourn.com.

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Hurtigruten’s Roster of 2011 Theme Cruises Immerses Guests in Holiday Celebrations, Music, Culture, Photography, Birding & More

New York, NY, Nov: With the demand for unusual and educational experiences on the rise, Hurtigruten has created an expanded roster of fascinating theme cruises for 2011 – and with eight unique itineraries ranging from classical opera and photography to astronomy and New Year’s celebrations to birding and polar explorers, there is an option for everyone. Early-booking prices on reservations made by Dec. 31, 2010, available on most voyages, offer savings of up to 20%.

“Astronomy Voyage” gives guests the chance to see (without the interference of city lights) and learn about the Arctic night sky as well as the Aurora Borealis, with renowned guest lecturers and a visit to the Northern Lights Planetarium in Tromso; high demand means there are now three departure dates available: Jan. 29, Feb. 20 & Mar. 25.
“Winter Digital Photography Voyage” offers photographers with varying degrees of experience the opportunity to capture a diverse range of subject matter, from wheeling sea eagles to brightly painted fisherman’s boats, in the company of a seasoned photographer – Beginners Level, Jan. 11; Intermediate Level, March 8.
"Celebrations in the Arctic" – ringing in the New Year as no one else can - with the countdown held on the North Cape, Europe's most northern point, departing Dec. 26, 2011.
"Opera Voyage" is an opera-lover's dream trip - daily concerts on board and a Norwegian New Year's Concert at Oslo's Concert Hall with a tour of the Opera House the next day; Jan. 6, 2011.
"Birds of the Nordic Coast" takes place as millions of migrating birds return to the Arctic for nesting and shows guests why Norway can justifiably be called “Nature’s Wonderland” - a true ornithological event with lectures and stellar bird-watching opportunities; May 20, 2011.
“Norway’s Big Day Out” celebrates Norway’s Constitution Day and gives guests a deeper understanding of the Norwegian culture that Hurtigruten has been a part of for more than 100 years ; departs daily May 6-16, 2011.
“Hall of the Mountain King” is a classic voyage that immerses passengers in the music and background of Edvard Grieg, Norway’s best-known classical composer, and a program of captivating on board lectures and piano recitals; Oct. 9 & 15, 2011.
“The Ice-Breakers” delves deep into the history of the polar explorers, their voyages and the culture and inhabitants of the Polar Regions; lectures and optional excursions ranging from a Viking feast to the Polaria Centre enrich the experience; Oct. 14, 2011.

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

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In Recognition of Recent Veterans & Remembrance Day Holidays, Cunard Line Honors Military Personnel with On Board Credit Program

Nov 19: In recognition of those who have served and continue to serve in the military, Cunard Line is promoting its military on board credit program for active and retired military personnel. The credit, which ranges from $50 to $250 per stateroom depending on the length of the voyage, is available to members of the United States and Canadian armed forces with appropriate service identification.

“In honor of the recent Veterans and Remembrance Day holidays, we commemorate and thank those who have fought around the globe to bring peace and freedom worldwide,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “Throughout our 170 year history, we have supported military forces during wartime; today we recognize their dedicated service and hope that this programme provides a small token of our gratitude.”

The Line’s military personnel on board credit program is available to active military personnel plus retired and disabled military veterans with proper verification as follows:

Active personnel currently serving in the following service divisions: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, Reserves, Canadian National Defense (military verification certificate).

Retired Personnel defined as: Enlisted personnel or officers with a minimum of 20 years of service, medically retired or 100-percent disabled (blue or tan uniformed ID card/Canadian white N.D. 21 ID card).

Veterans with an Honorable Discharge serving a minimum of two years or six months in an active war zone in any of the United States service divisions listed above or Canadian National Defense (DD 214 plus current photo ID).

The on board credit amount is $50 for voyages six days in length or less, $100 for voyages of seven to 13 days, or $250 for voyages of 14 days or longer, offered on a per stateroom basis.

To request the military personnel on board credit, eligible persons should apply no later than one week prior to the voyage departure date. Guest and sailing information should be accompanied by proof of eligibility and provided to either the guest’s travel agent or to Cunard Line. For more details about how to submit information, contact 1-800-7-CUNARD (1-800-728-6273). For more information and to book a voyage aboard a Cunard ocean liner, contact your travel agent, call toll free 1-800-7-CUNARD (1-800-728-6273) or go to www.cunard.com.

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Celebrity Cruises Expands 'Celebrity Life' Onboard Activities Program

MIAMI, Nov. 18: Celebrity Cruises is expanding Celebrity Life, its popular onboard activities program. Enrichment activities will grow in 2011 to include Smithsonian Journeys speakers on a total of 99 cruises in six popular destinations. Celebrity also is evolving the Celebrity Life platform to include, for the first time, a range of fun games and activities such as pool games, outdoor evening DJ and dancing events, trivia and karaoke. Celebrity also is building on the success of its existing culinary and wellness offerings.

"We created Celebrity Life as a way for our guests to enjoy authentic, fun activities that deepen the value of their vacation experience, particularly in the areas that they enjoy most, such as food and wine, wellness, enrichment, or just plain pleasure," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Senior Vice President, Celebrity Cruises. "Now, one year later, we have taken feedback from our guests and built on the success of the original program, which now has an even greater emphasis on activities that deliver some of the most unique, fun and memorable vacation moments."

Smithsonian Journeys expands presence on Celebrity's itinerary line-up
In 2011, a Smithsonian Journeys speaker will present enrichment lectures on every Bermuda, "Holy Land," Mediterranean, Panama Canal, Antarctica and Transatlantic cruise, for a total of 99 sailings. Each speaker immerses participating guests in various aspects of their upcoming ports of call. For example, during sailings in the Mediterranean, presentations may be delivered by Smithsonian historians, archaeologists or art history experts who will focus on the art, architecture or history of the region. During sailings in Bermuda, Smithsonian marine biologists, naturalists, astronomers or aviation historians may present topics about "the mysteries of the sea and sky." Panama Canal cruises may include presentations focused on the marine biology, geology, or anthropology of the tropics.

"As a partner of our Celebrity Life Beyond the Podium speaker series since 2009, Smithsonian Journeys' speaker program has brought depth and expertise on a wide range of topics to guests on our ships, and the feedback has been tremendous," Lutoff-Perlo said. "We want even more guests around the world to experience the comprehensive array of compelling topics on which these special-interest speakers are experts."

Celebrity offers many ways to learn while having fun
Celebrity Life will continue to include a broad range of activities designed to give vacationers a way to learn something new while relaxing and having fun at sea.

-- Celebrity's partnership with Rosetta Stone® gives guests a chance to learn a new language, either through individual, computer-based sessions, or in group classes.
-- Celebrity's "Oceans Ahead" program, which launched earlier this year, offers sessions with interesting facts on topics including energy generation, ship navigation, onboard recycling and carbon footprints, presented by the ship's environmental officer.
-- A "Let's Dance" series teaches guests popular dances such as salsa, jive, and hip-hop.
-- On Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Eclipse, the Hot Glass Show(SM) presented in collaboration with the highly respected Corning Museum of Glass dazzles guests with live demonstrations of the ancient art of glassblowing.
-- Celebrity iLearn, presented in the Apple®-focused Celebrity iLounge on Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Summit, and Celebrity Eclipse, aims to teach guests how to turn vacation photos into artistic expression through its iPhoto® class, which is one of 18 classes featuring MacBook Pro®, iPods® and iLife® software.

Celebrity Life evolves to include games, trivia
The Celebrity Life platform is expanding from fun activities focused on enrichment, culinary and wellness interests, to also include an array of group trivia competitions and other games. These include game-show-format and tournament-style trivia contests, karaoke, casino tournaments and lessons, sports like basketball and ping-pong, interactive video games such as bowling and tennis and an assortment of games using the Nintendo Wii and the new motion gaming device, Microsoft XBox Kinect. On Celebrity's Solstice Class ships, which feature a lawn of real, growing grass, guests also can take part in pick-up games of croquet, bocce and beanbag toss. Some bocce games will offer guests a chance to compete against the Solstice Class ships' officers. That same friendly competition will carry over into pool volleyball matches between guests and officers, and will be offered on the Solstice, Century and Millennium Class ships.

Next year, Celebrity will expand its use of the iPad™ mobile device to present onboard scavenger hunts. More pool games will be introduced, an electronic audience response system will become available for certain game-show-style and trivia competitions, and evening music festivals led by fun, engaging DJs will offer an opportunity for guests to let loose.

Popular culinary & wellness activities to continue
The activities that were developed when Celebrity Life debuted in 2009 will continue to be available. Guests who have a passion for food, wine and spirits have expressed great delight with Celebrity Life's culinary activities, which include:

-- The Riedel® Comparative Wine Crystal Workshop, where guests discover the difference that the shape and quality of a Riedel glass makes to the enjoyment of fine wine
-- "Molecular Mixology" created by Chef Junior Merino, also known as "The Liquid Chef," known for his use of traditionally culinary ingredients in the creation of cocktails that fuse unexpected ingredients
-- A "Star Chefs" cooking competition that pits two Celebrity Cruises chefs against one another, each assisted by one cruise guest, to showcase their culinary acumen as they contend for top honors
-- A course called "The Art of Food and Wine Pairing," where the Cellarmaster offers tips on how to match food and wine for the ultimate taste experience
-- A total of 13 "Savor Your Destination" chef-hosted cruises will be offered on Celebrity's Solstice Class ships, allowing travelers the opportunity to enjoy memorable experiences through food-and-wine-focused activities, among others
-- Celebrity will offer five "Savor Your Destination" winemaker-hosted cruises in 2011, where experts from the world of winemaking will join guests for a meet-and-greet cocktail hour; wine, champagne, sparkling wine, and port tastings; wine education sessions; and a "Connoisseur Wine Dinner" hosted by the winemaker; these cruises also will feature the Riedel Wine Glass Comparative Workshop, explaining how a wine glass' shape affects the palate and flavors.

Wellness and self-renewal activities have been a popular part of Celebrity Life since the program was introduced. Vacationers seeking the opportunity to focus on these can continue to enjoy programs designed to enhance serenity and increase vigor. These include an introduction to acupuncture, yoga classes, anti-aging seminars, presentations on how to boost one's metabolism and more.

An additional charge applies for participants in certain Celebrity Life activities such as wine tastings, some computer classes, some language lessons and others. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit www.celebritycruises.com.

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Holland America Line's ms Rotterdam to Make Two Nostalgic Trans-Atlantic
Crossings in 2011

SEATTLE, Nov. 17: To commemorate Holland America Line's 40th anniversary of its evolution from traditional trans-Atlantic voyages to becoming entirely dedicated to vacation cruising, the premium line's ms Rotterdam is sailing two classic crossings in July 2011. Rotterdam's 9-day trans-Atlantic sailing departs Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on July 3, 2011, and calls at the traditional crossing departure port of Southampton, England, before heading to New York. The July 12th trans-Atlantic departure returns to Rotterdam from New York over nine leisurely days with a call at Cobh (Cork), Ireland, another time-honored stop on crossings of the past.

"Trans-Atlantic cruises were the foundation of Holland America Line for several decades, and there's still a strong desire from today's travelers who want to step back in time and relive the celebrated days of an elegant crossing or follow in the footsteps of their ancestors," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "We're proud to honor our heritage with these two special itineraries, replete with nostalgia-themed menus, entertainment and a host of surprises and keepsakes."

The trans-Atlantic journeys will offer enriching activities, guest lecturers and chefs, complimentary mementos and opportunities to celebrate the line's 138-year heritage. In addition, a bon voyage sail away party, captain's gala party, special entertainers and events ensure that both itineraries will create recollections to last a lifetime. For novices and enthusiasts, Bridge and dance instructors as well as hosts will be onboard. The celebrated Pasadena Roof Orchestra is scheduled to provide the authentic, big-band dancing sounds of yesteryear for both itineraries. Popular Dutch singing sensation "Frank in Person" plans to dazzle guests with his Frank Sinatra looks, singing style and repertoire from Rotterdam to New York.

Guests seeking to discover more about the company's history can visit the Crow's Nest, which will be set up as a "Museum at Sea" during both crossings, or attend a lecture by a renowned maritime historian. Bill Miller, considered an international authority on the subject of ocean liners and cruise ships, will be on board both sailings as a guest lecturer. Called "Mr. Ocean Liner," he has written more than 65 books on the subject, from early steamers and immigrant ships to liners at war.

Maritime artist Captain Stephen J. Card also will be on both crossings to discuss his work and his knowledge of Holland America Line vessels. Card is the official chronicler of the Holland America fleet and his paintings, which are showcased on every ship in the fleet, have achieved wide acclaim for their technical accuracy as well as their artistic expression. Royal Designer of Industry Stephen Payne, OBE, vice president chief naval architect for Carnival Corporate Shipbuilding, will share his nautical knowledge on the July 12 voyage. The immediate past president of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, Payne was lead designer of Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2. He has been involved with Carnival Corporation ships since January 1985, and in July 2010 he was awarded the title of "Amazing Person 2010" by Solent Education Business Partnership for his work in promoting engineering careers to young people.

Guests looking to sharpen their skills in the line's Culinary Arts Center will have the opportunity to learn from master chefs on both cruises. Dutch Chef Cas Spijkers is scheduled to sail on the July 3 crossing. The author of 10 cookbooks and culinary educator has prepared lavish dinners for the Dutch Royal Family, starred in his own television series, "Cooking with the Stars," and was named as the Netherlands' "Masterchef of the Century" in 1991. Daniel Orr, chef and owner of FARMbloomington, is scheduled to sail on the July 12 departure. Orr draws from a lifelong curiosity about individual ingredients combined with extensive training in the art of finding food's true essence and flavor. He calls his cuisine "real food for real people."

For more information and cruise fares, contact a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.

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New Silversea Mid-Voyage Land Adventures Bring The World Closer To You

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Nov 17: Seven new land adventures are among dozens of extended mid-voyage excursions Silversea Cruises is offering in 2011. Unlike a partial-day shore tour, these single- or multiple-day inland adventures offer travelers a more intimate, in-depth and personal encounter with the local people, history, wildlife and natural attractions that lie just beyond the ports of call.

"We continue to develop new programs that will allow our guests to enjoy authentic onshore experiences," said Darius Mehta, Silversea's associate vice president of air and land programs. "These mid-voyage adventures are carefully designed to take guests further into a specific region, giving them plenty of time to actively engage in its scenery, activities and cultural heritage."

Following is a small sampling of the mid-voyage land adventures offered in 2011:

** NEW FOR 2011: "Kangaroo Island Luxury Eco Expedition": Widely regarded as Australia's Galapagos, Kangaroo Island is brimming with diverse wildlife and natural beauty. Enjoy luxurious accommodations at the Southern Ocean Lodge and a staff of naturalist guides to lead your exploration of the island's unique attractions. Memorable sightings might include kangaroos, rare Cape Barron Geese, koalas and sea lions. To join this three-day adventure, guests disembark Silver Shadow in Adelaide and rejoin the ship in Melbourne. Priced at $4,799 per guest, the program is offered on Silver Shadow's Jan 19 voyage, sailing roundtrip from Sydney.

** NEW FOR 2011: "Australian Frontiers & Train Journey": Discover the heart of the Australian outback by rail aboard the glamorous Indian Pacific train as you watch unique landscapes unfold. Visit the opal-mining town of Coober Pedy, then travel to Adelaide to enjoy a culinary and wine adventure that takes in the famous Barossa Valley. To join this six-day adventure, guests disembark Silver Shadow in Fremantle and rejoin the ship in Adelaide. Priced at $7,799 per guest, the program is offered on Silver Shadow's Jan 19 voyage, sailing roundtrip from Sydney.

** NEW FOR 2011: "The Great Ocean Road": Discover one of Australia's great scenic coastline drives. The road was built by some 3000 returning servicemen and dedicated as a memorial to those killed in World War I. The Great Ocean Road passes through diverse and dramatic scenery with breathtaking mountain ranges, rainforests, national parks, historic ports and the famous Twelve Apostles, the craggy limestone stacks that rise from the Southern Ocean. This 12-hour program, priced at $269 per guest, is offered on Silver Shadow's Jan 19 sailing and Silver Spirit's voyage of Feb 12. Guests depart from Geelong and rejoin the ship in Melbourne.

** NEW FOR 2011: "Principality of Andorra": Venture into the eastern Pyrenees and visit the tiny, landlocked Principality of Andorra. Although only about half the size of New York City, Andorra comprises a region of seven narrow valleys and is hemmed in by mountain peaks reaching more than 8,800 feet (2,700 meters). This one-and-a-half-day package, priced at $999 per guest, is offered on Silver Spirit's May 3 sailing from Athens to Southampton. Guests depart from and rejoin the ship in Barcelona.

** NEW FOR 2011: "Inverlochy Castle & Scottish Highlands": Enjoy a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the legends and lore of the Scottish Highlands and discover what is considered by many to be Scotland's most stunning scenery and important historic sites. A visit to a well-known distillery offers a taste of Scotland's best-known national spirit, malt whisky. This 2-day package, priced at $1,899 per guest, is offered on Silver Cloud voyages of June 25 and Aug 26 . Participants will depart and rejoin the ship in two different ports, Edinburgh (Leith) and Invergordon, as determined by the voyage itinerary.

** NEW FOR 2011: "Solovki -- Pearl of the Russian North": Take advantage of this rare opportunity to visit Big Solovetsky Island, once a former Soviet gulag and today known as the "Pearl of the Russian North." Visit the famous Solovetsky Kremlin and learn the history of the monastery complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 12-hour adventure, priced at $1,299 per guest, is offered on Silver Cloud's July 30 voyage, sailing roundtrip from Copenhagen. Guests depart from and rejoin the ship in Archangel.

** NEW FOR 2011: "Arequipa & Colca Valley": The great Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa called it the "Valley of Wonders," a land of imposing, snow-capped volcanoes, deep gorges, agricultural terraces, remote traditional villages and some of Peru's most celebrated wildlife -- llamas, vicuñas, alpacas and the rare Andean condor. This 3-day package, priced at $1,829 per guest, is offered on Silver Whisper's Dec 20 sailing from Santiago to Fort Lauderdale. Guests depart from Matarani and rejoin the ship in Callao.

** "Expedition Antarctica": For most globe trekkers, this is the ultimate destination. Fly by chartered aircraft to King George Island on the Antarctic Peninsula and discover the many natural wonders of the world's last pristine wilderness. Memorable sightings might include penguins, seals and whales. This 13-hour adventure, priced from $6,899 to $6,959, is offered from Punta Arenas, Chile on Silver Whisper voyages of Jan 20 and Dec 4.

** "Camp Jabulani": Indulge your senses in this tailor-made adventure trip to Camp Jabulani, set within the Kapama Private Game Reserve of Kruger National Park. Highlights include a ride through the bush atop an elephant's back and an open-vehicle game drive through prime big-game territory that supports elephant, buffalo, rhino, giraffe, zebra and other species. This 3-day package, priced at $4,999, is offered on Silver Wind voyages of Feb 10, 20 and March 2. Guests depart from Richards Bay and rejoin the ship in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

** "Futuristic Brasilia": Visit Brazil's capital and you'll discover a fascinating city designed for the twenty-first century, a masterpiece of modernist architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Brazil's finest designers, architects and artists were commissioned to create Brasilia's monuments and buildings, which attract architecture aficionados worldwide. This three-day adventure, priced at $1,699, is offered on Silver Whisper's Nov 8 sailing from Fort Lauderdale to Rio de Janeiro. Guests depart from Fortaleza and rejoin the ship in Salvador.

The prices listed above are per person, based on double occupancy. The optional mid-voyage land programs feature deluxe accommodations (if overnight stays are required), all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing and some meals.For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent; for a complimentary brochure, please call toll-free (877) 215-9986 or visit www.silversea.com.

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Carnival Splendor To Be Out Of Service For Repairs Until January 16, 2011

MIAMI, Nov 16: Carnival Cruise Lines has cancelled voyages of the Carnival Splendor through the departure of Jan 9, 2011, to allow time for repairs following an engine room fire last week. The ship is scheduled to re-enter service on Jan 16, 2011.

Guests who were scheduled to sail on these voyages will receive a full refund of their cruise fare and air transportation costs, along with a 25 percent discount on a future cruise.

Carnival Splendor was towed to San Diego following the fire which occurred off the Mexican coast on November 8. A team from the U.S. Coast Guard, NTSB and flag authorities, along with Carnival’s engineers and technicians, is currently on board investigating the cause of the fire. Carnival personnel are being assisted by representatives of the shipyard that built the vessel and other manufacturers of engine room components in assessing damage and necessary repairs.

“We realize how much guests look forward to their vacations and know that they are very disappointed by this news. We too are disheartened that we are not able to fulfill the dreams of those who have entrusted us with their important vacation plans. We sincerely apologize to everyone who was scheduled to sail on these cancelled voyages and look forward to welcoming them aboard in the future. Now that we have a full technical team engaged in the assessment, we wanted to provide this information as quickly as possible,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO.

Carnival is contacting travel agents and guests on the affected sailings and providing assistance in finding alternate cruises. Travel agent commissions on the cancelled sailings will be protected.

In addition, Carnival Corporation estimates that the total impact from voyage disruptions and related repair costs will result in an approximate $0.07 reduction in the company's 2010 fourth quarter earnings per share. The impact of voyage disruptions in the first quarter of 2011 is not expected to be material to the company's 2011 earnings.

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Holland America Line Launches ‘Win the Key to Half Moon Cay’ Facebook Contest

Seattle, Nov. 15: Holland America Line has just launched a fan-friendly Facebook contest called “Win the Key to Half Moon Cay.” Named for the line’s private Bahamian island, the contest runs through Jan. 3, 2011. To enter, registered Facebook users must “like” Holland America Line’s Facebook page and then upload a favorite vacation photograph of themselves to the page at www.facebook.com/halcruises. The photo should depict what the entrant feels captures the essence of “living the good life on vacation” and does not have to be from a cruise.

“Facebook is a vital way for us to interact with our fans, and this contest not only thanks our past guests for their loyalty, but it also is the ideal way to welcome new fans to our social media community,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Holland America Line is in the business of creating lifetime memories, and there’s no better way to capture and share a memory than with a photo. We’re excited to see the photos from our well-traveled fans and see which is selected to win one of our biggest prize giveaways ever.”

Visitors to Holland America Line’s Facebook site will vote on their favorite submissions from Dec. 6 through Dec. 26, and the entries will be narrowed down to the top 10 finalists. Fans will then vote again to select the winning photo that best reflects “living the good life on vacation.” The winner will be announced Jan. 4, 2011. The exclusive prize includes a 7-night Holland America Line cruise in a suite for the winner and a guest, plus a verandah stateroom for two more friends on an itinerary calling at Half Moon Cay. Roundtrip airfare also is included for four. The winner can choose among select eastern Caribbean cruises aboard ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam or ms Westerdam departing Feb 2011 through April 2011, subject to availability.

Once on Half Moon Cay, the winner will be presented a key to the idyllic island in a “Key to Half Moon Cay” ceremony presided over by the captain of the ship or another senior officer. In addition, the winner’s party will have a butler to help with the transfer from the ship to the island and to serve them ashore, as well as use of a private cabana for the day, unlimited beverage service, a picnic lunch, and a shore excursion for four. Shipboard prize amenities for the winner include a $500 shipboard credit (for shore excursions, etc.), $150 spa credit, Pinnacle Grill dinner for four, Tamarind dinner for four (available on Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam only) and 250 minutes of Internet access. The total prize package is worth approximately $13,367.

Half Moon Cay, the line’s award-winning private Bahamian island, provides a quintessential Caribbean experience in an authentic, natural setting to guests on Caribbean and Panama Canal itineraries. The pristine port offers everything for a day of play in paradise: a two-mile crescent of perfect beach, an interior lagoon, private beachside cabanas with butler service, showers and misters, and all manner of water sports and activities, including a children's aqua park, swim with the stingrays lagoon and a buoyed personal watercraft course.

To enter the contest and for the complete Official Rules and details, visit www.facebook.com/halcruises. No purchase is necessary and some restrictions apply. The contest is open only to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 years of age or older. The contest is void in Puerto Rico, Quebec and where prohibited. For more information and cruise fares, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.

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You Care, We Care: Guests & Crystal to Give Back With New Initiative

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 15: Recognizing that even one day of assistance can make a difference, Crystal Cruises introduces a complimentary, participatory shore excursion program that enables its guests and crew to assist with charitable projects in destinations they visit during their cruise. Beginning in 2011, the line's "You Care, We Care" initiative is designed to assist a local project and educate participants on local community needs, as well as enhance travelers' personal growth and their intimate connection with a destination. On every 2011 itinerary, Crystal has planned one "You Care, We Care" Crystal Adventure in which a limited number of guests and crew can donate their time, with Crystal covering all logistical arrangements and costs.

Voluntourism experiences to date with Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity voyages include:

-- Lima, Peru - Brightening the environment of the children at the ANQUIEM Burn rehabilitation center with arts & crafts;
-- Cartagena, Colombia - Creating crafts with the elderly, playing soccer with the children, or urban farming with an emphasis on organic agriculture at the Granitos de Paz Foundation;
-- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Assisting the PEACE organization in beach and neighborhood cleanup, and perhaps helping in light construction at a local green space.

Crystal challenged its worldwide tour operators to craft excursions that contribute to meaningful local causes. "Initially, some of our Ground Operators questioned whether these experiences would have enough of our typical Six-Star tour amenities. We reminded them that we understood that these opportunities would be less refined. The contribution is selfless - yet the wonderful byproduct is that these experiences will surely be authentically enriching and rewarding," says John Stoll, vice president, land and port operations.

The complete roster of excursions and projects is in development and availability will be limited. "You Care, We Care" precedes another new program the line is developing to promote awareness, preservation and support of the world's most significant historical sites.

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

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Celebrity Cruises to Significantly Expand “Solsticizing” on Celebrity Infinity

MIAMI, Nov 15: Celebrity Cruises coined the word “Solsticized” earlier this year, and brought its meaning to life for guests who set sail on Celebrity Constellation following an ambitious 15-day revitalization in April. During that time, Celebrity complemented the ship’s already award-winning style and design with some of the most popular venues on the line’s widely-heralded Solstice Class ships, including:

• the tantalizing Tuscan Grille steakhouse
the vibrant creperie, Bistro on Five
a “cool” new ice-topped Martini Bar
the inviting Café al Bacio and Gelateria
Cellarmasters wine bar, complete with the “Enomatic” state-of-the-art wine serving system allowing guests to select wines by the glass, at the touch of a button
more sumptuous suites, with all new furniture, flat-screen TVs, upholstery, bedding and carpeting
restyled staterooms, with entirely new carpeting, flat-screen TVs, upholstery and bedding
new color schemes, carpeting and upholstery reflective of the Solstice Class’ stylish, modern design in every public venue

Today, Celebrity announced plans to add all these features on Celebrity Infinity, in addition to its industry-first, spa-inspired “AquaClass” accommodations and the Mediterranean-themed “Blu” specialty restaurant, when the ship becomes the second in the Millennium Class fleet to be “Solsticized.”

“Everything we’ve introduced on our award-winning Solstice Class fleet, and everything we’re adding to our popular Millennium Class ships, is inspired by extensive research into what is most important to guests on vacation,” said Celebrity’s President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. “All of our new venues and attributes – paired with the spectacular service of our highly dedicated crew – are designed to enhance that all-important feeling of getting away and fully enjoying every aspect of Celebrity’s upscale onboard experience.”

After emerging from scheduled drydock Dec 3, 2011, in addition to all the new venues and features introduced this year on Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Infinity also will present:

• AquaClass accommodations – marking a Millennium-Class ‘first’ – allowing guests on Celebrity Infinity to experience the brand’s popular spa-inspired accommodations and amenities
the intimate, Mediterranean-themed specialty restaurant, “Blu,” offered exclusively for AquaClass guests
more private luxury havens with entirely new verandas added to the ship’s spacious, sumptuous Celebrity Suites
the hip Celebrity iLounge, which debuted on Celebrity Eclipse and made Celebrity Cruises the industry’s first Authorized Apple Reseller
additional new oceanview and inside staterooms

Celebrity currently plans to similarly refurbish Celebrity Summit in Jan 2012, followed by Celebrity Millennium in April 2012. Bookings for the newly refurbished Celebrity Infinity open Monday, Nov 22, 2010. For more information, call your travel agent, dial 1-800-437-3111 or visit www.celebritycruises.com.

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Noted Cruise Ship Historian to Appear Aboard Princess Cruises Ships in 2011

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 15: Princess Cruises passengers will have a variety of opportunities to sail with best-selling maritime author and popular public speaker John Maxtone-Graham as he makes appearances on a number of sailings to South America and Europe in 2011. Maxtone-Graham is well-known to cruise enthusiasts as he has chronicled the full history of ocean travel from the early days of passenger shipping to today's modern cruise vacation. Among his many books are The Only Way to Cross, a bible for ship buffs that has been in print for more than 35 years; and Titanic Survivor. His most recent book is about the famed SS Normandie.

“John Maxtone-Graham nearly always commands a full house when he speaks on board,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “His incredible knowledge of the history and lore of cruising is always fascinating.”

Among his presentations on board, passengers can enjoy stories of famous ocean liners, a dramatic recreation of the Titanic’s fateful final night, and tales from the historic explorations of the North and South Poles.

Princess passengers can enjoy Maxtone-Graham’s appearances on the following 2011 sailings:

• Jan. 26-March 9, Star Princess: 14-day Cape Horn Route to Rio (three cruises); These sailings travel between Santiago and Rio de Janeiro around the fabled Cape Horn and Tierra del Fuego.
March 9-24, Star Princess: 15-day Brazilian Adventure; Cruising from Rio de Janeiro to Fort Lauderdale this adventure includes calls in two other Brazilian ports plus visits to several Caribbean islands.
May 7-22, Crown Princess: 15-day Western Europe Passage; Sailing from Fort Lauderdale to Southampton this Atlantic crossing includes calls in Portugal, France, Belgium and Holland.
July 2-20, Ocean Princess: 18-day Land of the Midnight Sun; A roundtrip Dover sailing visiting the remote northern coast of Norway and Russia.
July 20-Aug. 7, Ocean Princess: 18-day Top of the World; A Dover to New York sailing by way of Iceland and Greenland, featuring passage close to the site of the Titanic's sinking.
Aug. 7-25, Ocean Princess: 18-day Fire and Ice Explorer; This New York to Dover sailing features Iceland, Greenland and Scotland, plus the Titanic sinking site.
Oct. 19-Nov. 6, Ruby Princess: 18-day Venetian Passage; A Venice to Fort Lauderdale Atlantic crossing including Italy, France, Spain and Portugal.

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 www.princess.com.

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Gray Line of Alaska Features Exciting 2011 Tours in Alaska and the Yukon Territory

SEATTLE, Nov. 12: Gray Line of Alaska's new 2011 Alaska and the Yukon brochure is now available, and the company is taking reservations for next year. A leader in Alaska and Yukon tourism with more than 60 years experience, Gray Line of Alaska offers pre-planned and customized tours as well as day trips from key cities. In 2011 these include 3- to 11-day tours throughout Alaska and the Yukon that range from Denali packages and escorted tours to self-drive trips, highway tours, adventure tours and post-cruise connection packages.

"Gray Line specializes in planning tours to suit individual travelers' schedules and desired routes," said Mark Mumm, director of sales and marketing for Gray Line of Alaska. "We are proud of the expertise and personal attention we dedicate to each guest or group to create their ideal travel itinerary."

In 2011 Gray Line is featuring a total of 26 customizable tours and many day trips ranging from Anchorage sightseeing to Arctic flightseeing. "Because we have extensive experience operating in Alaska and the Yukon, we have prime access to all forms of transportation from deluxe motor coaches to luxurious McKinley Explorer rail cars on the Alaska Railroad and day cruise boats," added Mumm.

Denali Tours Showcase Highlight of Alaska
A visit to Denali National Park offers the opportunity to see Alaska's famed wildlife, wilderness and spectacular Mt. McKinley. The popular 3-day Denali Sampler provides overnight accommodations in Anchorage or Fairbanks before taking guests via a deluxe motor coach or the luxurious McKinley Explorer rail cars on the Alaska Railroad to Denali for a second night's stay. An additional night in Denali may be added to the package, and all transfers are included.

Other Denali tours range from 6- and 7-day tours to day trips within the park. Guests can opt for the seven-day Denali-Kenai Explorer - Gray Line's "Best of Alaska" tour that combines Denali with Seward's highlights, including a cruise through the Kenai Fjords National Park. With other packages, travelers can combine Denali with a cruise on Prince William Sound or experience the remote Denali Backcountry Lodge. Day trips in and around Denali include hiking excursions, wildlife tours, fly fishing, river rafting, flightseeing, glacier landing by helicopter and more.

Escorted Group Tours Bring Like-Minded Travelers Together
For travelers who prefer to explore Alaska while enjoying the camaraderie of a group, Gray Line offers two eight-day escorted itineraries. Guests enjoy the convenience of an accompanying tour guide to handle logistics and provide information while traveling by luxury glass-domed rail car, boat and deluxe motor coach. The Escorted Great Land Explorer takes guests from Fairbanks to Anchorage, visiting Denali, Talkeetna and Cooper Landing on the Kenai Peninsula. The Escorted Alaska Explorer is a roundtrip tour from Anchorage that includes Talkeetna, Denali, Alyeska and Cooper Landing.

Self-Drive Tours for the Adventurer
For the true independent explorer, Gray Line also offers two pre-planned, self-drive tours, which include a rental car, set itinerary, hotel reservations and select tours along the way. The 8-day Alaska by Car with McKinley Explorer rail car features a drive from Anchorage to Seward, Talkeetna and Fairbanks, then a scenic train ride on the Alaska Railroad to Denali and Anchorage. Valdez by Car is a nine-day tour roundtrip from Anchorage with stops in Valdez, Glennallen, Fairbanks and Denali National Park.

Day Tours Provide Select Options to Customize a Vacation
Besides Denali, Gray Line offers a wide range of day tours and adventures in many destinations: Anchorage, Alyeska, Seward, Talkeetna, Fairbanks, Skagway, and Juneau, Alaska; and in Dawson City, Yukon Territory. Excursions include city tours, flightseeing, rafting, jeep tours, wildlife sightseeing tours, museums and hiking. These can be booked at Gray Line offices in Alaska and the Yukon as well as online at http://www.graylinealaska.com or with a travel agent.

Custom Group Tours Cater to Specific Needs
Gray Line plans custom tours for groups as well as individual travelers. A group may wish to add a trip to Denali following their cruise or do an extensive tour of interior Alaska and the Yukon. Gray Line can customize their trip with the addition of sightseeing tours, meals and beverages, parties, private shuttles and more. Itineraries can be tailored to fit group needs and preferences, including flexible departure times and routes.

A division of Holland America Line, Inc., Gray Line of Alaska has been the premier tour operator in Alaska for more than 60 years and, in 2010, received the Gray Line Worldwide award for innovation. For 2011, the company offers multiple-day package tours and a la carte touring options for independent travelers, as well as sightseeing tours in Fairbanks, Juneau, Skagway, Anchorage, Denali, and Dawson City, Yukon Territory.Arrangements and reservations for custom group tour packages can be made with your travel agent, via the Gray Line web site at www.graylinealaska.com or by calling 1-800-544-2206.

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Voyages to Antiquity Uncovers Ancient Secrets & Civilizations of the Mediterranean, Aegean, Adriatic, & Black Sea in 2011

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Nov. 12: Guests aboard Voyages to Antiquity's Aegean Odyssey will discover the art, history and culture of the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean, Aegean, Adriatic, and the Black Seas in 2011. A fascinating array of meticulously planned, unique Cruise-Tour itineraries and a unique cruising experience reveal the wealth of natural beauty and classical history the Mediterranean region has to offer. Voyages to Antiquity's 2011 calendar adds even more historical destinations to the roster following its inaugural year and itineraries are redesigned into Cruise-Tours including pre-and/or post-cruise hotel stays in legendary cities throughout the Mediterranean, Greece, and Turkey.

"Many experienced cruisers who have sailed the waters of the Mediterranean have only scratched the surface of this beautiful, historically-rich region with brief visits to Sicily, Dalmatia and Greece," said Mitchell J. Schlesinger, vice president of marketing and sales for Voyages to Antiquity. "We bring a new approach to cruisers' experience and highlight the development of the ancient Roman, Greek, Phoenician and Byzantine Empires. All our itineraries are designed to reveal the mysteries of the ancient world throughout the Mediterranean region."

An In Depth Exploration of Italy & Sicily
Sicily is both geographically and historically the center of the Mediterranean and has been coveted, fought over and colonized for thousands of years. Sicily is a celebration of the greatest achievements of western civilization: the superbly well-preserved Greek temples of Segesta and the Valle dei Templi; the fortifications of Syracuse; the Norman Royal Palace and Palatine Chapel in Palermo and Monreale Cathedral. Guests can experience these highlights on the following itineraries "Shores of Mediterranean" (April 15, May 31 and Sept 6) and "Sicily is the Key to Everything" (May 19, Aug 25 and Oct 10).

Greece & Turkey
Ancient Greece revolutionized every aspect of civilized life from art, literature and architecture to politics, philosophy and mathematics. The technological and scientific achievements were no less remarkable, including the creation and development of the first maps, the screw, plumbing and even a vending machine. Voyages to Antiquity uncovers who these fascinating people were and how they lived in an intellectually and educationally compelling way for its guests by visiting Mycenae, the home of Agamemnon; the ruins of Delos, the birthplace of Achilles; Ephesus, one of the most famous Greco-Roman sites in the Mediterranean and the scant remains of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Since its first incarnation as the 7th century BC Greek colony of Byzantium, no other city has played a more important role in the forums of the Black Sea than Istanbul. During these journeys guests explore not only Turkey but also key port cities in Georgia, Russia, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Highlights of these destinations include St. Sophia; the Greek trading colony of Batumi; the 8th Century Byzantine church of St. John the Baptist and the Livadia Palace, built as a summer home for Nicholas the Great and the site of the 1945 conference between President Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Stalin. These destinations are highlighted on itineraries "The Light of Greece" (May 7 and Sept 28), "Isles of Greece" (July 1 and Aug 11) and "All Things Begin with the Greeks" June 23 and Aug 17.

The Dalmatian Coast
The dramatic beauty of the Adriatic coast has long inspired writers, poets and artists. With its numerous hidden coves and uninhabited islands, the Dalmatian coast was a haven for pirates preying on the busy Venetian sea routes. The Kornati Islands, with lofty mountains plunging into the sea, create magnificent bays only accessible by small ship, which makes for yet another spectacular itinerary and vacation experience for guests. Dubrovnik has been called "The Pearl of the Adriatic" and the itineraries along the Dalmatian Coast include important historical highlights including the magnificent Palace of Diocletian; the Baroque Church of St. Blaise, the cathedral that boasts Titian's Assumption; Corfu, home of the famous Battle of Lepanto; and Delphi, before sailing through the Corinth Canal. The above are highlighted on itineraries "Venice--My Dream Became My Address" (June 14), "The Holy City of Byzantium" (July 20) and "Those Who Seek Paradise on Earth", (April 29, Aug 3 and Septr 20th).

Enhancing these fascinating historical journeys is an in depth onboard guest lecture program. In 2011 the lecture program will be augmented by lecturers from the renown Archaeological Institute of America on 14 departures. For information about the itineraries and to make reservations, call (877) 398-1460 or visit www.voyagestoantiquity.com. Guests who book for 2011 by February 28, 2011 are eligible for FREE Air from more than 60 North American gateways and a one category upgrade (double occupancy only) on sailings between March 25 and Aug 25, 2011. Extraordinary value is a hallmark with cruise fares including shore excursions with complimentary bottled water, gratuities to shipboard staff, wine, beer, and soft drinks at dinner. After the Early Booking Deadline expires, air is FREE from select East coast gateways and $99 & $199 add-ons apply from the Midwest and Western Regions, including transfers and porterage. Inspired by The Middle Sea, authoredby Lord John Julius Norwich, Voyages to Antiquity was created to offer sophisticated travelers an unparalleled destination immersion and educational experience combining the very best in cultural travel in a tranquil, informal atmosphere.

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Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas Arrives at Port Everglades to Great Fanfare

MIAMI, Nov. 11: Royal Caribbean International's newest cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, the world's largest and most revolutionary cruise ship, arrived at her homeport of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., today, U.S. Veterans Day. Eagerly awaiting and celebrating the ship's arrival amidst thousands of U.S. flags were hundreds of onlookers, including Royal Caribbean executives and employees, community organizations and residents, as well as a flotilla of maritime escorts made up of fireboats and private watercrafts. The second of the cruise lines Oasis-class ships made her U.S. debut following a 13-day transatlantic journey from Turku, Finland.

The Oasis-class ships will make history once again when Allure of the Seas is joined by famed sister-ship Oasis of the Seas for a one-of-a-kind visual of the world's two largest ships together for the first time, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, at 5:30 p.m. ET. They will meet off the Florida coast, where Oasis of the Seas guests will flank the top decks to wave at the crew onboard Allure and get an up close and personal peek at the world's newest cruise ship.

In the upcoming week, the ship will be buzzing with activity first with hundreds of landscapers boarding the ship to add more than 12,000 live plants to the ship's Central Park neighborhood as well as other final preparations. NBC's TODAY broadcasts the fourth hour of their show live from Allure on Friday, Nov. 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. ET. Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb will unveil the diverse line-up of entertainment and innovative onboard amenities that differentiate Allure from Oasis of the Seas. The inaugural activities and events can be followed via webisodes at www.allureoftheseas.com.

Royal Caribbean, known for building the largest cruise ships in the world and introducing never before seen innovations like the Royal Promenade of shop and dining venues, rock walls, ice skating rinks and surf simulators, launches Allure of the Seas witha refreshing new array of features and onboard amenities. In addition to the signature Oasis-class neighborhood design with seven unique spaces like Central Park and the Coney Island-style Boardwalk, complete with a hand-carved carousel and an AquaTheater, her distinct personality takes center stage presenting new features such as:

-- New entertainment offerings including the launch of a partnership with DreamWorks Animation and the Broadway hit, Chicago: The Musical
-- 26 dining options including the first Starbucks at sea, a new spin on fine dining at 150 Central Park conceptualized by The Culinary Institute of America alumna Molly Brandt, who was recently named Chef de Cuisine as the winner of the "Allure of the Seas Culinary Challenge," as well as the Samba Grill Brazilian steakhouse, Rita's Cantina Mexican cuisine and The Boardwalk Dog House
-- A wide array of retail options including a BRITTO Gallery fashioned by pop artist Romero Britto and GUESS Accessory boutique
-- Innovative technology features such as a 3-D movie theater, iPod docks in suites, self service kiosks and digital way finding signage for guests

The official naming ceremony for Allure of the Seas will take place on Nov 28 during a one-night inaugural celebration fundraiser to benefit the United Way chapters of Miami-Dade and Broward counties and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Haiti Fund, among other charities. The godmother of Allure of the Seas will be unveiled during the special ceremony which will be streamed live at 4:30 pm on allureoftheseas.com. Tickets for the momentous event begin at $750 per person. For reservations to this exclusive one-night sailing, contact the United Way of Miami-Dade at 305-646-7000 or the United Way of Broward at 954-462-4850 or visit unitedwaycharitycruise.org. A special four-night sailing on December 1 will call at the cruise line's private beach destination of Labadee, along the north coast of Haiti, and Allure of the Seas' inaugural seven-night Western Caribbean itinerary will depart on Dec 5.

Allure of the Seas shares the title of the world's largest and most revolutionary cruise ship with sister-ship Oasis of the Seas. With a cache of distinct onboard activities and amenities, Allure of the Seas offers one-of-a-kind entertainment performances, culinary concepts, retail venues and technology innovations. An architectural marvel at sea, Allure's neighborhoods are divided into 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. She spans 16 decks, encompasses 225,282 gross registered tons, carries 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,700 staterooms. Allure of the Seas alternates a Western Caribbean with an Eastern Caribbean seven-night itinerary from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Additional information is available at AllureoftheSeas.com.

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Seabourn Offers ‘Bucket List’ Experiences in South America in 2011

MIAMI, Nov 11: Communing with the uniquely fearless wildlife of the Galapagos Islands and setting foot on the planet’s last untouched continent are just two of the many unforgettable experiences awaiting guests aboard Seabourn Odyssey during its 73-day South America circumnavigation in 2011. The Yachts of Seabourn is offering a menu of more than 120 optional shore excursions during the journey around South America, providing guests with numerous opportunities to see, hear, touch, taste and feel the amazing diversity of environments, historic and modern cultures, and the breathtaking natural scenery of the continent.

“South America is an amazing destination, with so much variety and beauty. From the driest desert in the world to towering glaciers and unmapped forests, and from remote villages to sophisticated, vibrant cities,” said Pamela C. Conover, Seabourn’s President and CEO. “We have created small-group excursions to provide our guests a wealth of authentic, culturally rich experiences in South America that they will always remember and cherish,” she continued.

Seabourn’s new shore excursions in South America include:

- Galapagos in a Day, Guayaquil, Ecuador: There is no other place on earth like the Galapagos Islands. Since their exploration more than 150 years ago, these remarkable islands have not lost their ability to inspire and are home to many unique, indigenous species. Seabourn guests will fly from Guayaquil, Ecuador, to the islands, visiting the Giant Tortoises Reserve, the Twin Pit Craters, and seeing a stunning variety of native plants and foliage. The tour will stop at the world renowned Charles Darwin Research Station, headquarters of scientific research in Galapagos, and guests will learn about the station’s breeding programs for land iguanas and giant tortoises.

- TransAtacama Train Adventure, Iquique, Chile: A historical adventure not to be missed, this unique day trip explores the sources of Chile’s Nitrate boom of the late 1800s, traveling just over 60 miles in two privately chartered, fully restored TransAtacama train cars built in Belgium in 1930. On board, a private guide will enthrall Seabourn guests with fascinating tales about the haunting ghost towns they pass along the route. At El Tambo, guests will enjoy a bountiful luncheon of the region’s excellent gastronomy in the desert, and view a sacred ritual dedicated to Mother Earth. They will continue to the striking geoglyphs on the Cerros Pintados, viewing more than 400 huge figures depicting humans, animals, birds and abstract shapes. Seabourn guests will also visit the perfectly preserved nitrate ghost town of Humberstone, a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in one of the driest and most hostile areas on earth.

- Antarctic Expedition, Punta Arenas, Chile: From Punta Arenas, Seabourn guests can embark on a once-in-a-lifetime experience amid the soaring beauty and serene isolation of Antarctica. Boarding a chartered airplane, they will fly due south, crossing the Polar Circle, and touch down at Frei Base, maintained by the Chilean Air Force and situated on an ice-free area. Stepping off the plane, guests can explore the base and its surroundings on foot. A mile downhill walk on a dirt road brings them to the base, from where they can board an inflatable boat to visit Ardley Island, a highly protected area occupied by breeding colonies of penguins. Another option is a walk toward a beach usually populated by colonies of huge southern elephant seals and Antarctic fur seals.

- Flight to El Calafate and Perito Moreno Glacier, Punta Arenas, Chile: Perito Moreno Glacier is the most important of the 13 glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This excursion provides a unique opportunity to visit El Calafate and see the Perito Moreno Glacier in one day from Punta Arenas. A chartered flight will carry Seabourn guests to the village, located on the shore of Lake Argentino at the entry to the park. Los Glaciares is part of the largest ice cap outside Antarctica and Greenland and the park is filled with exceptional natural beauty, with rugged, towering mountains and numerous glacial lakes. Perito Moreno creates an unforgettable first impression – its 230-foot wall of ice glowing in a thousand shades of blue. Following signs on the trails and viewpoints, guests can approach the glacier on foot. There they will be immersed in timeless nature, delighting in the primordial silence-- interrupted only by a sudden clamor when the imperceptible movement of the glacier causes immense blocks of ice to shear off and plunge into the Canal de los Témpanos below.

- The Majestic Penguins of Volunteer Point, Port Stanley, Falkland Islands: A new destination for Seabourn, the Falkland Islands is an archipelago comprised of two large islands and about 700 smaller islands spread over approximately 4,700 square miles. A must-see on the islands are its penguin colonies. On this adventurous excursion, guests will drive through the mountains in a 4x4 vehicle, passing sites now associated with the Falklands War of 1982. Arriving at Volunteer Point, guests will view colonies of the three local species of penguins– King, Gentoo and Magellanic. Although Gentoo and Magellanic penguins can be seen at other locations on the island, this is the only place where visitors will encounter a colony of large and impressive King Penguins. Volunteer Point is a bird lover's paradise, and guests will also have the opportunity to view a wide array of sea and shore birds such as oystercatchers, sandpipers, long-tailed meadowlark, as well as the indigenous Falklands thrush, Magellanic snipe, Falkland pipit and dark-faced ground-tyrant.

A tremendous variety of excursions are available at the 31 ports of call during Seabourn Odyssey’s 73-day South America circumnavigation. Capital cities such as Quito, Santiago, Lima, Buenos Aires and Montevideo as well as world class metropolises such as Rio de Janeiro and Salvador de Bahia combine with exotic locations in Patagonia and the Amazon. The voyage departs roundtrip Jan. 4, 2011 from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Guests can reserve space on Seabourn’s optional shore excursions online prior to their cruise by visiting Seabourn’s website at www.seabourn.com. Shorter itineraries are available during the 73-day voyage. For more information, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit www.seabourn.com

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Oceania Cruises to Showcase The Last Frontier with Distinctive
Collection of Shore Excursions

Miami, Nov 11: Alaska’s celebrated sights and wild wilderness will provide the backdrop for four brand-new Oceania Cruises’ summer 2011 itineraries. The line known for exploring off-the-beaten-path ports of call is engaging guests with an “Alaskan Immersion” collection of interactive shore excursions that truly reveal the character and culture of the people of this great land.

“We are delighted to bring the 49th state to our guests in an up-close and personal way,” states Bob Binder, president of Oceania Cruises. “These sightseeing tours and excursions were designed to provide guests an immersive, insightful Alaskan cultural experience.”

A sampling of “Alaskan Immersion” excursions includes:

· Wild Alaska Culinary Extravaganza: this one-of-a-kind culinary class isn’t simply educational and entertaining; it’s immensely satisfying to the palate. Guests will join a local host and culinary expert who will walk them through all of the steps of preparation and grilling Alaskan seafood. The inventive menu includes wild salmon, Dungeness crab, halibut and plenty of other local favorites just plucked from the sea.
· The Bering Sea: Crab Fisherman’s Tour: led by a seasoned Bering Sea captain and crew aboard Aleutian Ballad, the storied crab boat seen on Season 2 of the Discovery Channel series, “Deadliest Catch.” The adventure begins in the calm, protected waters of coastal Ketchikan. Skilled fishermen haul in crab pots and lines from the depths, revealing all manner of sea life, including king crab, shark, octopus, prawns and rock fish. Common tour sights include bald eagles, seals, otters, sea lions and whales.
· Musher’s Camp & Sled Dog Discovery: this enriching activity allows guests to experience a one-mile, round-trip expedition aboard a wheeled sled pulled by a husky team through Southeast Alaska’s temperate rainforest. There will be time to cuddle husky puppies and take a guided walk through the musher’s camp to learn more about this northern pastime and the people who have dedicated their lives to it.
· Kodiak Guided River Fishing: a day of fishing for salmon, trout and halibut followed by an outdoor barbecued salmon bake is a quintessential Alaskan experience. Expert guides will personally scout seven possible fishing sites for a successful day, including rivers, shorelines, ocean bays and inlets. Following the tour, guests can have their fish vacuum-packed to carry on board or have it shipped to a destination of their choice.

Other distinctive excursions for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure-seekers include:

· Golf Prince Rupert: picturesque Prince Rupert Centennial Golf Course is regarded as one of the best in Alaska and the Northern British Columbia coast. This par-71, 5,526-yard, 18-hole course was built in 1967 near the base of Mount Hayes. The layout winds through the coastal rainforest and numerous creeks cross the lush, green fairways.
· Sea Kayaking Adventure: this full-day excursion allows guests to truly experience nature, not just observe it. Paddling at a relaxed pace affords ample time to take in the unspoiled coast within Kachemak Bay State Park, the first state park in all of Alaska.
· ‘Ziprider,’ World’s Largest Zip-Line: super thrills can be had on the world’s largest and longest zip-line over the treetops and down a mountain at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. Guests can zoom along 300 feet above the dense green forest and take in sweeping views of Port Frederick and Icy Strait.

Travelers discover Alaska aboard Oceania Cruises’ 684-guest Regatta – an intimate ship acclaimed for its open-seating gourmet dining (no surcharges), luxurious public rooms and accommodations, and warm, attentive service. Double Bonus Savings offer on 10-day Alaska cruises expires Dec. 31, 2010. For reservations or to order a brochure, contact a travel agent, visit OceaniaCruises.com  or call toll-free at 800-531-5658.

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Princess Cruises Honors Veterans Day with Military Onboard Credit Program

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 11: In recognition of Veterans Day, Princess Cruises is promoting the line’s military onboard credit program for active and retired military personnel. The credit, which ranges from $50 to $250 per stateroom depending on the length of the cruise, is available to members of the United States and Canadian armed forces with appropriate service identification.

“As I discovered when I recently wrote about my own military experience on our company blog, we have a large number of veterans among our passengers,” said Alan Buckelew, Princess Cruises president and CEO. “We want to honor all military personnel this Veterans Day and thank them for their service.”

The line’s military personnel onboard credit program is available to active military personnel plus retired and disabled military veterans with proper verification as follows:

Active personnel currently serving in the following service divisions: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, Reserves, Canadian National Defense (military verification certificate)
Retired personnel defined as: Enlisted personnel or officers with a minimum of 20 years of service, medically retired or 100% disabled (blue or tan uniformed ID card/Canadian white N.D. 21 ID card)
Veterans with an Honorable Discharge serving a minimum of 2 years or 6 months in an active war zone in any of the United States service divisions listed above or Canadian National Defense (DD 214 plus current photo ID)
The onboard credit amount is $50 for cruises 6 days or less, $100 for cruises of 7-13 days, or $250 for cruises of 14 days or longer, offered on a per stateroom basis.

To request the military personnel onboard credit, eligible persons should apply no later than one week prior to the cruise departure date. Passenger and sailing information should be accompanied by proof of eligibility and provided to either the passenger’s travel agent or to Princess Cruises. For more information about how to submit information, contact 1-800-PRINCESS.

Buckelew’s story about his return to Vietnam, “A Soldier Returns … as a Tourist” (along with many comments from veterans) can be found on Princess’ blog: 50EssentialExperiences.com. 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 www.princess.com.

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Buy One, Get One Offers for Thanksgiving & Christmas Cruises
Caribbean Style with MSC Cruises

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Nov 10: MSC is celebrating this season with savings as guests can ring in the holidays on buy one, get one offers on 7-night Caribbean cruises during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Get the second week free with the purchase of a 7-night Caribbean cruise for a 14-night, back-to-back, Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean cruise experience on bookings made by Nov. 30, which includes the Thanksgiving cruise on Nov. 21.

During this buy one, get one free offer, rates are as low as $40 per day on select 14-night, back-to-back Eastern Caribbean cruises and Western Caribbean cruises onboard MSC Poesia and departing from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Cruise itineraries include:

· Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises, call in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands;
Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Nassau Bahamas; Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica;
Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico departs Nov. 14, 28, and Dec. 12, 2010;

· Western and Eastern Caribbean cruises, call in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands;
Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Nassau Bahamas; Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica;
Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico; departs Nov. 21 and Dec. 5, 2010.

A Christmas cruise is another holiday sailing option with “The More the Merrier” offer where guests obtain a second stateroom at 50 percent off when they purchase one at the regular price. Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. Offer expires Dec. 15.

Cruise-only rates are per person based on double occupancy for U.S. and Canadian residents.
All cruises offer just a $100 deposit, and kids 17 and younger sail for just $99 as the third/fourth guest in a stateroom. For more information about MSC Cruises, visit www.MSCCruisesUSA.com, call 877-665-4655, or contact a local travel professional.

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Hurtigruten Celebrates Easter With 11-Day Cruise Along Scenic Norwegian Coast

New York, NY, Nov 2010: Hurtigruten invites guests aboard the MS Fram on the 11-day Norwegian Highlights Cruise, a special holiday itinerary departing April 25, 2011 that focuses on the Easter traditions of northern Europe and gives guests a chance to sample some of the region’s holiday specialties. Two relaxing days at sea and 17 ports of call – including Dover, Alesund, Bergen and Oslo – combine for a historically and culturally rich holiday, while a dozen optional shore excursions, ranging from a private recital to a glacier walking tour, make for everlasting memories.

Departing from the bustling U.K. port of Dover, travelers spend a day at sea – where they can enjoy onboard lectures or relax on deck – before arriving in Stavanger, an eclectic mix of old and new that is home to Norway’s oldest cathedral. The famous 1,982-foot high walls of Preikestolen provide a breathtaking backdrop as the MS Fram sails through the Lysefjord and into the charming town of Rosendal. The ship makes an early morning stop in the quaint settlement of Ulvik and continues on to Eidfjord, famed for its cascading Voringfossen Falls. In Flam, visitors have a chance to experience the hugely popular Flamsbana railway, one of the steepest railway tracks in the world, before sailing to the tip of the Naeroyfjord and the village of Gudvangen. After a stop in the colorful coastal town of Ålesund, the ship sails through the stunning Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and into Nordfjord. Passengers spend Good Friday in Olden before heading to Bergen, Norway’s cultural capital, where charming streets and a vibrant nightlife await. Easter Sunday is spent at sea, where guests are free to enjoy the last of the breathtaking vistas and onboard lectures before arriving bright and early in Oslo.

Hurtigruten also offers an exciting roster of optional shore excursions that allow each guest to create their own tailor-made holiday. Excursions include a city tour of Alesund and visit to the Sunmore Open Air Museum, which includes a large collection of old houses and maritime artifacts; the Briksdal Glacier Walking Tour, an awe-inspiring trek that cuts its way inland to the mighty ice fields of the Jostedals Glacier, Europe’s largest – and takes in the beautiful lakes of Floren and Olden, two picturesque churches and gorgeous valleys along the way; and the Fantoft Stave Church & Edvard Grieg with Recital option, which combines a tour of the church and famed composer Edvard Grieg’s home with a private recital of Grieg’s work in the Troldsalen Concert Hall. A comprehensive list of options is available at www.hurtigruten.us.

In addition to the Easter cruise, Hurtigruten is offering two other European itineraries in April. The 9-day “Spring in Western Europe” departs from Lisbon, Portugal, on April 7 and travels north, visiting eight ports in four countries. Departing April 25 from Oslo, the 11-day “Pearls of the Baltic Sea” takes guests to the most captivating destinations in the Baltic, including beautiful Copenhagen, modern Helsinki and the architecturally magnificent St. Petersburg.

Onboard Expedition teams educate and guide the guests with lectures, activities and daily programs, as well as Easter specials. The cruises include all meals aboard ship, taxes, port charges and round-trip transfers between the airports and ports. Some restrictions apply; international flights, travel insurance, luggage handling and optional excursions and gratuities are not included.

MS Fram, the world’s newest expedition ship, accommodates 318 guests in suites and staterooms and features a restaurant, two bars, panoramic lounges library, and Internet café and conference rooms. Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen as well as year round along Norway's coast and Europe in the spring. Additional information on all of these adventures, as well as brochures and reservations, can be obtained from travel agents or Hurtigruten's visitor-friendly web site, www.hurtigruten.us; or by phone: (800) 323-7436; fax (888)-524-2145; for brochures (800) 582-0835, 24 hours a day.

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Two Voyages Into the Midnight Sun for Crystal In 2011

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 8: With lush forested fjords, quaint coastal architecture, and expansive glaciers bathed in an almost mystical light, it's no wonder that the Crystal Cruises' North Cape cruises have been among the first to sell out each year. In 2011, Crystal Cruises is doubling its summer North Cape cruises with two departures cruising Norway's western coast, to the Polar Ice Cap and across the Arctic Circle.

The June 13th Wine & Food-themed cruise celebrates the summer solstice on June 21, officially the longest day of the year, when the sun stays above the horizon. Crystal Serenity's balconies, decks, and 360-degree promenade provide perfect locations from which to absorb each day's vistas. From Copenhagen to Stockholm, calls in Hellysylt/Geiranger, Honningsvag, North Cape, Longyearbyen/Svalbard, Alesund and Bergen offer Crystal Adventures ashore that take guests off any beaten path, including a trek across Longyearbyen Glacier, helicopter flight over "Queen of the Fjords" Hardangerfjord, and hike to Plateau Mountain (followed by much deserved refreshments at the 23-degree Artico Ice Bar).

A second North Cape cruise departing July 8 also makes a maiden call to Skjolden, Norway, en route to London.

"Our guests' overwhelming positive feedback led us to add a second cruise in 2011," says Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales and marketing. "The stunning scenery, peaceful remoteness, the magical quality of light and the inherent adventure of crossing the Arctic Circle, make for and onboard experience that takes on different dimensions 24 hours a day. The Norwegian landscape is truly that compelling."

Voted World's Best more than any other cruise line, hotel or resort in history, special values for Crystal's 14-day North Cape cruises include:

-- Per person promotional Two-for-One fares
-- Up to $2,000 per couple Verandah and Penthouse savings
-- Free round-trip air transportation from many U.S./Canadian cities
-- $1,000 per person 'All Inclusive - As You Wish' shipboard spending credits
-- Free Business Class with Penthouse accommodations
-- Low Business Class air upgrades with Verandah and Deluxe Staterooms
-- Crystal Family Memories bonus savings
-- New Perfect Choice Dining with Open Dining by Reservation, and Crystal's classic main and late seating options.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

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Food Network's Keegan Gerhard to Sail on Holland America Line's
ms Nieuw Amsterdam

Seattle, Nov 10: Keegan Gerhard, current host of the top-rated Food Network Challenge series and owner of D Bar Desserts in Denver, Colo., is scheduled to sail as part of the guest-enrichment program on the Feb. 20, 2011 Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard Holland America Line’s ms Nieuw Amsterdam. The 7-day cruise sails round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and calls at Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. The ship also calls at the line’s private island of Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas before returning to Fort Lauderdale. During the Eastern Caribbean voyage, Gerhard will perform baking demonstrations for guests in the ship’s state-of-the-art show kitchen, conduct tastings of decadent desserts and participate in question-and-answer sessions.

Named as one of the nation’s top-10 pastry chefs, Gerhard began his career in the culinary industry to earn extra income and support his Olympic dreams of becoming a star cyclist. He discovered his true passion for baking while working as an assistant pastry chef for master pastry chef and founder of the French Pastry School in Chicago, Jacquy Pfeiffer. Prior to opening D Bar Desserts in Denver, the celebrated pâtissier held positions in many of America’s top kitchens including Charlie Trotter’s Restaurant, Waldorf Astoria, Ritz-Carlton Naples, Four Seasons Chicago, Dean and DeLuca, and the luxury resort Wynn Las Vegas.

In 2001 at the Pastry World Cup Gerhard served as technical advisor to Team USA, which brought home the gold medal. He also was recognized as a Distinguished Visiting Pastry Chef by Johnson & Wales University and has been twice named a top-10 pastry chef by “Pastry Art and Design” magazine. In addition to serving as host of the Food Network Challenge Series, Gerhard is a regularly featured guest on television programs including the Discovery Channel’s “Great Chefs of America,” the Travel Channel and CNN.

Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center
Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center is featured on each of the line’s 15 ships. A first-class “show kitchen at sea,” the Culinary Arts Centers presented by “Food & Wine“ magazine resembles the elaborate show kitchens used by celebrity chefs on television cooking programs. The facilities are used for demonstrations, tastings and hands-on cooking classes during every Holland America Line sailing.

Each facility features a theater-style venue with two large plasma video screens and a large cooking display counter. In partnership with “Food & Wine” magazine, Holland America Line will schedule approximately 65 celebrated chefs and wine experts to sail in 2011. On cruises that do not have a celebrity chef on board, classes and demonstrations are conducted by Holland America Line’s own expert chefs.

Holland America Line also offers a youth Culinary Arts Center activity program to teach kids and teens how to cook. The program incorporates dishes from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in complimentary 45-minute-long classes. Kids under 8 years old learn to make theme cookies, fruit roll-ups, ice cream sandwiches, salad people art and scones. Kids 8 and over make soft pretzels, granola bars, pita chips and hummus, and saltwater taffy. Teens also can attend adult culinary demonstrations.

The Culinary Arts Center and guest enrichment program are part of Holland America Line’s innovative and leading culinary initiatives, which also include a partnership with Le Cirque to present “An Evening at Le Cirque in the Pinnacle Grill” and a Culinary Council comprised of renowned international chefs Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Marcus Samuelsson, Jacques Torres, Charlie Trotter and the line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin.

For a full schedule of Holland America Line’s culinary guest program, visit hollandamerica.com/cruise-vacation-onboard/Enrichment.action and click on the Culinary Arts Center tab.For cruise brochures or for more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit www.hollandamerica.com.

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Princess Cruises Offers “South of the Border” Getaways in 2011-12

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 10: The spicy culture, bright colors, dramatic coastline and spirit of fiesta throughout the Mexican Riviera have long made it a preferred getaway for the rich and famous … and Princess Cruises passengers. In 2011-12 Princess will once again sail “South of the Border,” taking travelers to sun-drenched beaches and charming towns. Passenger will enjoy the relaxed comfort of Sapphire Princess on these voyages, offering passengers a rejuvenating retreat as they explore these favorite destinations. The Mexican Riviera season includes 11 departures between Nov 19, 2011 and May 5, 2012, on an itinerary calling at three picturesque ports: Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.

“Princess history is steeped in the Mexican Riviera as this was our very first cruise destination, and our passengers have enjoyed cruising there for 45 years,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “This is the perfect cruise for a relaxing, warm weather vacation where passengers can truly get away from it all.”

Once a sleepy fishing village, Puerto Vallarta was transformed into an international resort when it became a movie setting in the 1960s. Travelers are drawn by the beauty of Banderas Bay, mild climate and the coastline’s turquoise and emerald waters.

Mazatlan features the flavor of old Mexico in its historic city center plus a dramatic coastline with broad white-sand beaches and world-class sport fishing.

Situated at the very tip of the world's longest peninsula, Cabo San Lucas sits where the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez merge. This popular resort offers crystal-clear waters, wonderful whale watching opportunities, and the distinctively stunning rock formations of “Los Arcos.”

Sapphire Princess offers a 7-day itinerary that cruises roundtrip from the Port of Los Angeles, featuring calls at the festive ports of Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan. Sapphire Princess departs on Nov 19, Dec 10, Dec 31, 2011, Jan 28, Feb 18, 25, March 3, 24, 31, April 7 and May 5, 2012.

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

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Royal Caribbean To Revitalize Radiance of the Seas & Splendour of the Seas

MIAMI, Nov 08: Royal Caribbean International today announced the revitalizations of Radiance of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas in 2011, two more ships in addition to enhancements planned aboard Oasis of the Seas and the already announced drydocks for Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas. The scheduled revitalizations and enhancements of the five ships reflect the Royal Advantage, the cruise line’s commitment to provide guests with the industry’s most innovative cruise ships, exciting destinations and superior Gold Anchor Service to help create an extraordinary cruise vacation.

“The Royal Advantage is our commitment to continuously contemporize and innovate our vacation offering and deliver the highest the standards of guest satisfaction through our Gold Anchor Service,” said Betsy O’Rourke, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “The planned enhancements of five ships in 2011 will help expand some of the most successful programs that we have launched on our incredible Oasis-class ships to deliver these new ‘wows’ to more ships in our fleet. With November 7 marking our 40th anniversary, we are proud to continue to deliver more to see, do, and love than ever before to our guests.”

In mid-2011, Radiance of the Seas will begin its revitalization with the addition of new specialty restaurants, including the Samba Grill Brazilian Steakhouse, Mexican-themed Rita’s Cantina, and the Italian Giovanni’s Table, as well as the Park Café deli-style restaurant and the exclusive Chef’s Table dining experience. Other enhancements to the ship will include a new Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members, as well as the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, interactive flat-panel televisions in all staterooms, and Wi-Fi throughout the ship. Splendour of the Seas will receive two new specialty restaurants, and the Park Café, the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, a Diamond and Concierge Lounge, flat-panel televisions, and Wi-Fi throughout the ship. Additionally, there will be new balcony staterooms added, select stateroom enhancements and upgrades to public areas, including a refreshed Windjammer Marketplace.

Oasis of the Seas also will launch new onboard guest programs starting in the first quarter of 2011. Guests will enjoy the DreamWorks Experience, 3-D movies in the main Opal Theater, and a Starbucks coffee shop to eventually replace Mondo Café on the Royal Promenade. The first-ever Starbucks at sea will launch aboard Allure of the Seas when the sister ship enters service on Dec 1, 2010.

In early 2011, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas will introduce new dining, entertainment, children’s programming and other enhancements made popular on the Oasis-class ships, including the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, The Cupcake Cupboard, the groundbreaking Wayfinding navigation system for guests, and an oversized outdoor video screen in each ship’s main pool area. In addition, the DreamWorks experience, 3-D movies and complimentary guest service kiosks, which will be introduced on Allure of the Seas, also will be implemented onboard Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, as well as sister-ship Oasis of the Seas. Saturday Night Fever: The Musical, Royal Caribbean’s third licensed main-stage musical production, will debut on Liberty of the Seas in the main Platinum Theater. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit www.royalcaribbean.com or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.

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Princess Cruises 2011-12 Caribbean Program Features Variety of Sailings Among Turquoise Waters & Colorful Islands

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 5: The warm and welcoming waters of the Caribbean offer visitors colorful cultures, lush rainforests, scenic vistas and an array of seaside sports opportunities. No wonder it’s the world’s most popular cruise destination. In 2011-12, five Princess Cruises ships will provide passengers with a relaxed style of cruising through this diverse collection of destinations, enjoying sun-drenched beaches or active adventures like climbing a waterfall. Passengers can choose from weeklong getaways or opt for one of Princess’ many longer Caribbean adventures. The line offers one of the largest selections of 10- and 14-day cruise vacations in the region.

Within the comfortable elegance of Princess’ Caribbean vessels passengers will find rejuvenating experience to complement the relaxed and stress-free feeling of the islands. Princess ships travel to a total of 23 ports throughout three distinct regions in the Caribbean.

The Eastern Caribbean features classic Caribbean destinations such as St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands with its breathtaking panoramas, the half-French and half-Dutch island of St. Maarten and Princess’ own private retreat, Princess Cays, offering an exclusive beach resort with water sports, barbecues and beautiful views. Grand Turk features a wonderful selection of historic buildings and beautiful beaches, plus offers the diversions of the port’s cruise center.

On Western Caribbean itineraries, passengers can explore ports such as Cozumel, Mexico, a diving favorite and gateway to many of the country’s intriguing Mayan ruins. Also on most Western Caribbean itineraries is Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, offering an unparalleled opportunity to experience undersea life, including the world famous Stingray City. The port of Roatan in Honduras offers more than 60 miles of protected, living reef that provides shelter to thousands of species of fish and marine life.

In the Southern Caribbean passengers can explore a dazzling array of islands, including Aruba with colorful Dutch-influenced culture, and dramatic natural scenery; Grenada and its scenic coastline, lush rainforests and blue waterfalls; and St. Lucia with its striking coastlines, including the ancient twin volcanic peaks of the Pitons.

“There are many ways to travel in the Caribbean, but compared to other alternatives, we offer our passengers a less hectic experience and surround them with a warm, welcoming atmosphere that is distinctly Princess,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “And because so many of our passengers want to spend as much time as possible among these tropical paradises, we offer more 10- and 14-day voyages through the islands than most lines. These are the perfect way to visit further-flung ports and truly have the time to relax and unwind.”

Princess Cruises’ 2011-12 Caribbean season includes:

Ruby Princess/7-Day Eastern Caribbean: Ruby Princess sails to the Eastern Caribbean, with roundtrip cruises from Ft. Lauderdale on Sundays. The itinerary features calls at the line’s own Princess Cays, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk. Ruby Princess sails between Nov 5, 2011 and April 29, 2012. The ship will also offer a special nine-day Southern Caribbean Holiday sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale on Dec 30, 2011, calling at Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, St. Thomas, and Princess Cays.

Crown Princess/7-Day Western & Southern Caribbean (New): Crown Princess sails on two new roundtrip seven-day itineraries this season, departing on Saturdays. To the Western Caribbean, the ship sets out from Ft. Lauderdale, visiting Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. In addition Crown Princess sails on a new Southern Caribbean route to Princess Cays, Curaçao, and Aruba. The ship sails between Nov 5, 2011 and April 28, 2012.

Caribbean Princess/7-Day Southern Caribbean: Caribbean Princess sails from San Juan on two alternating 7-day itineraries on Sundays. The Classic Southern Caribbean route sails to the ports of St. Thomas, Tortola, Antigua, Dominica, and Barbados, while Southern Caribbean Explorer sailings travel to St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Grenada, Bonaire, and Aruba. Caribbean Princess will depart between Nov 20, 2011 and April 29, 2012. The ship starts the season with a 10-day Caribbean Islander sailing from New York to Ft. Lauderdale on Oct 29, 2011, featuring calls at San Juan, St. Thomas, Antigua, and Aruba. Caribbean Princess also offers two special sailings, a 10-day Southern Caribbean Holiday cruise from San Juan calling at St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Grenada, Bonaire, Curaçao, and Aruba on Dec 18, 2011, and a 6-day Classic Southern Caribbean voyage to St. Thomas, Tortola, Antigua, and Barbados roundtrip from San Juan on Jan 2, 2012.

Emerald Princess/10-Day Eastern & Southern Caribbean: For a more in-depth island vacation with the convenience of roundtrip travel from Ft. Lauderdale, Emerald Princess offers alternating 10-day roundtrip itineraries–one to the Southern Caribbean and the other to the Eastern Caribbean. The Southern Caribbean Medley itinerary calls at Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Dominica, St. Thomas, and Princess Cays. The Eastern Caribbean Voyager itinerary offers calls at Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, and Princess Cays. Emerald Princess sails between Sept 29, 2011 and April 26, 2012.

Grand Princess/14-Day Caribbean Collection: Grand Princess offers more islands to explore on a 14-day Caribbean Collection itinerary roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale. The ship sails to Aruba, Curaçao (or Bonaire), Grenada, Barbados, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, Princess Cays (or Grand Turk). Grand Princess sails between Nov 19, 2011 and April 21, 2012.

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

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Windstar's Signature Host Series Features the Winemakers of Tor Kenward Family Wines

SEATTLE, Nov. 4: Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world's most treasured destinations, offers guests the opportunity to learn about wine from winemakers Tor and Susan Kenward of Tor Kenward Family Wines as part of the Signature Collection Host Series on Wind Surf's Jan 16, 2011, Barbados to Barbados voyage.

Exceptional Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays come from Tor's 30-plus years studying the vineyards of Napa Valley. Tor's wife, Susan, has written six cookbooks including one James Beard Award winner and her recipes have also appeared in The Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. Susan has also developed her own skin care line, Olivina Napa Valley. During the voyage, the Kenward's will lecture on winemaking, conduct a wine tasting and Susan will give a cooking demonstration. For more information on Tor Kenward Family Wines and Olivina Napa Valley, visit www.torwines.com and www.olivinanapavalley.com.

Wind Surf's 7-day Barbados to Barbados sailing visits St. Kitts, F.W.I.; St. Martin, F.W.I.; St. Barts, F.W.I.; Iles des Saintes, F.W.I.; and Pigeon Island, St. Lucia. Wind Surf accommodates 312 guests, offering deluxe, oceanview staterooms that include beds with luxury linens and mattresses, flat-screen TV and DVD player, Bose SoundDock speakers for Apple iPods, waffle-weave robes with slippers and sumptuous L'Occitane products. Suites also include an extra bath, TV and sitting area. Wind Surf recently introduced new spa suites which include all the amenities of a suite along with luxurious microfiber linens, spa robes, an orchid flower arrangement, specialty pillow menu, daily fresh fruit platter, O SPA London products, WindSpa spa experiences and events as well as unlimited Pilates and Yoga classes. Bridge Suites offer everything in a suite along with the additional luxury of a spacious private living room and relaxing whirlpool spa. Guests enjoy culinary wonders in Wind Surf's The Restaurant, Degrees, Le Marché and Candles. Wind Surf also features a lounge, Yacht Club, WindSpa, casino, three bars, two pools, two hot tubs, a shop, photo gallery and watersports platform.

Windstar's Signature Collection Host Series adds a fascinating dimension to Windstar voyages and features distinguished guests throughout the 2011 season. For more information including rates and itineraries contact a professional travel agent or call Windstar at 1-800-258-7245. Visit Windstar Cruises online at www.windstarcruises.com.

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The Yachts of Seabourn Posts Best Booking Month Ever

MIAMI, Nov 4: Award-winning, small-ship cruise specialist The Yachts of Seabourn took more bookings in October, 2010 than in any other month in the company’s history. Net bookings exceeded the same month last year by 166 percent. Seabourn President and CEO Pamela Conover said that reviews and reports on the company’s two newest vessels are helping fuel the demand. “Seabourn Odyssey was called ‘a game-changer’ when she was launched in 2009,” said Conover. “And she and Seabourn Sojourn have certainly changed the game for us.”

As a result of the increasing demand, the company has been able to introduce a new pricing strategy for 2011 aimed at restoring the advantage to those who book early. The first step in the initiative was to announce fare increases of between $200 and $800 per couple on nineteen 2011 cruises effective Nov 1st. The company said that additional fare increases will be implemented on Jan 1, 2011.

Seabourn is entering the final months of an assertive expansion of over 200 percent capacity increase in three years. The first two vessels, Seabourn Odyssey and Seabourn Sojourn, are already in service and a third, Seabourn Quest, will debut in June. Throughout the expansion, the company has managed to maintain the exceptional quality of its onboard product, on which its reputation is based.

“In the past two years, our new yachts have attracted the attention of hundreds of new travel agent partners,” explained Conover. “And tens of thousands of their clients have had their first Seabourn experience. Now those guests are coming back,” she continued. “And they are bringing their friends and families with them.”

The Yachts of Seabourn operates cruises worldwide. With the addition of the new yachts, the six-yacht Seabourn fleet will comprise the largest luxury cruise presence in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe in 2011. The expansion likewise allows the company to expand its range of seasonal cruising options in more exotic destinations such as Southeast Asia, South America, India, Arabia, the South Pacific, and even sail extended, round-the-world cruises. For more information on Seabourn’s yachting vacations, contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800-929-9391 or visit www.seabourn.com.

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Princess Cruises Introduces Two New Europe Cruisetour Options for 2011

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Nov 4: Princess Cruises has unveiled two new cruisetour options for passengers on Europe cruises next year, providing them the opportunity to explore the mysteries of ancient Petra in Jordan or to enjoy a cruise up the dramatic Rhine River. The new itineraries join the line’s previously announced cruisetours giving passengers a total of five land/sea vacation choices in the 2011 season.

The 16-night Ancient Petra and the Dead Sea cruisetour steeps travelers in the history of the ancient world with visits to Jerash, Petra and the Dead Sea in Jordan in addition to the wonders of a Holy Land cruise to Israel and Egypt. The new 20-night Timeless Cities of the Rhine River cruisetour offers passengers a week-long cruise up the scenic Rhine River by riverboat combined with a Princess sailing to Scandinavia and Russia. In addition, Princess has added a new Rome and Venice tour combination that enables passengers on itineraries traveling between the two Italian cities to simplify their air travel with roundtrip flights.

“These new cruisetours add two significant new destinations to our Europe lineup,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “The Petra and Dead Sea tour makes a fascinating addition to the wonders already included on our Holy Land sailings such as Jerusalem and the pyramids of Egypt, while the Rhine offers outstanding scenery and history around every bend.

Ancient Petra and the Dead Sea: This 4-night tour combines with 12-night Holy Land cruises on Pacific Princess for a 16-night vacation through some of the most marveled at wonders of the ancient world. The fully escorted tour takes travelers to the ancient city of Jerash, one of the best-preserved Roman provincial towns in the world; Petra, a unique UNESCO World Heritage Site with a vast city carved into a sheer rock face that became a vital trade route junction; Mount Nebo, home to a number of remarkable mosaics; and the extraordinary Dead Sea. The tour features two nights in Amman, one night in Petra and one night at the Dead Sea. Cruisetour departures include May 15, June 20, July 26, Sept 24, Oct 18, and Nov 11, 2011.

Timeless Cities of the Rhine River: This 20-night cruisetour adds a 9-night tour, including a Rhine River cruise, to an 11-night Scandinavia and Russia cruise on Emerald Princess. The 7-night riverboat cruise from Basel to Amsterdam aboard Avalon Felicity, sails by the castles and vineyards of one of Europe’s greatest rivers, and includes guided excursions in Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Mainz, Rüdesheim, Koblenz and Cologne. Passengers will also sail through the captivating Rhine Gorge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, considered the river’s most beautiful stretch. After the river cruise passengers will enjoy overnights in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. The cruisetour departs on July 31, 2011.

Rome and Venice: Because of popular demand, Princess will now offer the opportunity to include extra time in Venice and Rome to cruises that begin in one city and end in the other. These packages give passengers the advantage of booking roundtrip flights from either city for more convenient air travel. Combinable with a variety of Greek Isles and Mediterranean Collection itineraries, the tours offer two nights in storied Rome as well as two nights among the magical canals of Venice, plus first-class rail travel between the cities.

These tours join the line’s three other European cruisetour options: Europe’s Imperial Treasures which visits the enchanting cities of Budapest, Vienna and Prague; Classic Italy, exploring the Eternal City of Rome, the Renaissance masterpiece of Florence and the stunning Tuscan countryside; and Ring of Kerry, a chance to discover the beautiful landscapes and charming villages of Ireland. 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 www.princess.com.

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MSC Cruises Announces Europe 2011 Itineraries, Brochures Now Available

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Nov 3: Experience Europe the European way in 2011 with MSC Cruises. The line’s new cruise itinerary brochures presenting an extensive selection of Mediterranean and Northern European cruises are now available. MSC Cruises’ fleet of 10 ships – including MSC Magnifica, which was christened in March 2010 – will sail a variety of 7-, 8-, 10- and 11-night itineraries to some of Europe’s most historic locales and remarkable landscapes, allowing guests to experience the warmth and beauty of nearly 70 ports of call while enjoying the European and Italian ambiance of MSC Cruises. Each itinerary offers a memorable experience: Visit the hidden treasures of Eastern Mediterranean sites such as Venice, Istanbul, Mykonos, Santorini, and Dubrovnik; the historic landmarks of the Western Mediterranean such as Barcelona, Marseille, Naples, Rome, Toulon (St. Tropez), and Monte Carlo; and the richness of the Scandinavian Fjords, the Baltic and the North Cape of Northern Europe.

MSC Cruises in the Mediterranean
MSC Cruises will have 10 ships sailing the Mediterranean in 2011, including the three sister-ships ships that feature the exclusive MSC Yacht Club – MSC Magnifica, MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida. Plus, many of the itineraries enable guests to visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the ruins of Pompeii and the grand Saidian Tombs of Morocco.

Here are some highlights of MSC Cruises’ 2011 Mediterranean itineraries:

· MSC Fantasia: 7-night “Mediterranean Fantasy” itinerary roundtrip from Rome, calling in Genoa, Italy; Marseille, France; Barcelona, Spain; La Goulette (Tunis), Tunisia; Valletta, Malta; and Mesina (Taormina), Sicily, Italy; April-Sept.
· MSC Musica: 7-night “Greek Islands in the Sun” itinerary roundtrip from Venice, calling in Bari, Italy; Katakolon (Olympia) Greece; Izmir, Turkey; Istanbul, Turkey: and Dubrovnik, Croatia; April-Nov.
· MSC Magnifica: 7-night “Magnificent Mediterranean” itinerary roundtrip from Venice, calling in Bari, Italy; Corfu, Greece; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Santorini, Greece; Katakolon (Olympia) Greece; and Dubrovnik, Croatia; April-Sept.
· MSC Musica: 8-night “World Heritage Tour” itinerary roundtrip from Venice, calling at Bari, Italy; Rhodes, Greece; Alexandria, Egypt; Katakolon (Olympia), Greece; and Dubrovnik, Croatia; Oct-Nov.

MSC Cruises in Northern Europe
MSC Cruises will have three ships in Northern Europe in 2011. Experience the folklore and tradition from Copenhagen to Kiel (Hamburg), from Stockholm to Helsinki, up to St Petersburg. Enjoy the natural beauty of the fjords, the majesty of the Baltic castles and Russian palaces and the diverse cultures of each country. Or cruise through time on a new itinerary that visits ports reminiscent of Medieval Europe. Itineraries include:

· MSC Opera: 8-night “Majestic Medieval Europe” itinerary from London, United Kingdom or Amsterdam, The Netherlands, calling in La Rochelle, France; Bilbao, Spain; La Coruna, Spain: and Cherbourg, France; July-Sept.
· MSC Orchestra: 7-night “Baltic Castles & Russian Palaces” itinerary sailing from Hamburg, Germany and Stockholm, Sweden, calling in Tallin, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Copenhagen. Denmark; May-Sept.

For the convenience of our guests, MSC Cruises offers alternate departure ports, such as Barcelona, Rome, Venice, Copenhagen, Dover, Amsterdam, Naples, Genoa, Bari, Marseille, and Kiel, on many itineraries, which allows guests to custom-design their European experience.

In addition to experiencing Europe the European way, guests onboard MSC Cruises will also enjoy:

· A family-friendly vacation, with activities, facilities and menus designed with the youngsters in mind. Plus, kids ages 11 and under sail free on all European sailings when sharing a stateroom with two full-fare-paying adults.
· International cuisine with an emphasis on Italian and regional specialties
· Exciting international entertainment
· Superior wellness activities, including the latest spa treatments

For more information about MSC Cruises’ 2011 Europe itineraries, visit www.MSCCruisesUSA.com or contact a local travel professional.

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Oceania Cruises Unveils ‘Pillars of Distinction’ Phase Two

Miami, Nov 2: As part of its ongoing Pillars of Distinction initiative – the most significant product investment in the company’s history – Oceania Cruises has announced the second phase of innovative fleet-wide enhancements. These multi-million-dollar updates are in addition to the previously announced physical enhancements being made during the regularly scheduled dry-docks for Regatta, Insignia and Nautica.

"As the leader in upper-premium cruising, we continually raise the bar to exceed our guests’ expectations and offer unrivaled value," stated Bob Binder, president of Oceania Cruises. “This latest phase of our Pillars of Distinction program reinforces the three hallmarks of the Oceania Cruises experience: cuisine, service and comfort.”

CUISINE
· An expanded menu of “Jacques Pepin Signature Items” in the Grand Dining Rooms, which include Cotes d’Agneau Grillees – grilled lamb chop served with ratatouille and lamb gravy with thyme, and Gambas Sauté Provençal – sautéed shrimp in olive oil from Nice with garlic, parsley and tomatoes
· Evening menus in the Terrace Café will focus on regional specialties from the area the ship is sailings in addition to each evening’s ever changing range of traditional favorites
· Gourmet VIP canapé service for all suite guests now includes a wider array of specialty, gourmand-inspired delicacies which are presented on new, custom designed china
· Espresso and Cappuccino from the famed Illy Coffee of Italy

SERVICE
· Free shuttle service in more than 90 ports worldwide where the ship is docked away from the city center
· Introduction of production shows created by the legendary Gary J. Musik company that feature a full ensemble, original choreography, lavish costuming and rousing musical numbers
· Dramatically faster internet speeds as a result of new partnership with MTN
· Complimentary in-suite newspaper delivery for Owner’s, Vista and Oceania suites

COMFORT
· Upgraded bath amenities and toiletries in all accommodations, including Bulgari for Concierge-level and suite guests.
· Laptops, currently featured in all Owner’s and Vista suites on Regatta, Insignia, and Nautica, will be added to all Penthouse Suites
· iPads for all Owner’s, Vista and Oceania suites

Pillars of Distinction amenities will be featured on Oceania Cruises’ new Marina, scheduled for delivery in January 2011, and sister ship Riviera, which joins the fleet in April 2012 and be introduced aboard Regatta, Insignia, and Nautica in the spring of 2011.  The line’s Pillars of Distinction is an ongoing initiative, with more enhancements and updates to be announced. For reservations or to order a brochure, contact a travel professional, visit OceaniaCruises.com or call toll-free at 800-531-5658.

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New Promotion From Carnival Allows Military Personnel To Book Up to Three ‘Fun Ship’ Staterooms At Discounted Rates

MIAMI, Nov 2: In honor of Veteran’s Day, Carnival Cruise Lines is offering a promotion throughout November that allows active and retired military personnel to book up to three “Fun Ship” staterooms at discounted rates for themselves and their friends and family members. Reservations must be made between Nov 1-30, 2010, to qualify for this special offer, which is available in conjunction with a variety of 3- to 8-day “Fun Ship” departures through April 30, 2012, including voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico and Europe.

Rates start at $219 per person for 3- and 4-day cruises; $279 per person for 5-day voyages; $399 per person for 6-day departures; $449 per person for 7-day voyages; and $649 per person for 8-day sailings. Also included are 7-day Europe voyages starting at $789 per person.

Voyages to the Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico operate from 12 convenient North American homeports along the east and west coasts and Gulf of Mexico. Europe cruises depart from Barcelona, Spain.

“Carnival has a long history of supporting our U.S. military personnel through special pricing and promotions and we are pleased to offer this program throughout November to demonstrate our appreciation to these most deserving individuals,” said Joni Rein, Carnival’s vice president of worldwide sales.

The promotion is valid for individual bookings only. Military personnel must provide proof of service. Eligible military personnel must sail to take advantage of this offer. Certain other restrictions apply. For additional information and reservations, call 1-800-327-9501.

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Crystal Adds Two New Pacific Coast Cruises for Fall 2011

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 2: Due to popular demand, Crystal Cruises is offering luxury travelers more opportunities to explore California's coastal cities with two additional Pacific Coast voyages added to the fall 2011 calendar. Conveniently sailing round-trip from Los Angeles aboard Crystal Symphony, the 7-day "Coastal Escape" and "Pacific Sunsets" cruises feature Crystal's first ever itineraries with 2-day, 2-night overnight stays in San Francisco, plus visits to Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Ensenada, Mexico. Departing Nov 20 and Dec 4, 2011, the voyages both offer $500 per person 'All Inclusive-As You Wish' shipboard credits, in addition to free air transportation from a host of North American gateways and Two-for-One cruise fares. With a new promotion, children under 17 can sail free with two adults in the same stateroom on the Nov 20th Thanksgiving cruise.

"Interest in our new spring Pacific coastal cruises has been very strong," says Bill Smith, senior vice president, sales and marketing. "It made sense to replace a couple of our fall 2011 Mexican Riviera cruises with West Coast cruises that are generating attention from locals, East Coasters and even overseas-based guests." Smith adds, "Whether for a family reunion, a single traveler's vacation, or a couple's getaway, the California coast offers beautiful scenery, charm and diverse cultural experiences. Complementing the destinations is the luxurious, and always inviting, resort that is Crystal Cruises - where every wish is met with unparalleled personalized service, extensive choices, abundant space and superior quality."

Perfect Choice Dining expands Crystal's dining choices in 2011 with new flexible Open Dining by Reservation, enabling guests to dine when and where they choose, in addition to the line's classic main and late seating options. For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises Unveils 2011-12 Cruise Schedule

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Nov 1: Regent Seven Seas Cruises, recently rated world’s best cruise line by Condé Nast Traveler readers, has introduced its “Winter Collection” of cruises from Oct 2011 through May 2012. With bonus savings, guests can save up to $6,000 per suite.* The ultra-luxury ships: Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Navigator spend the fall season cruising in the Mediterranean, Greek Islands and Holy Land before venturing to Egypt, India, Australia, New Zealand, the Far East, South America and the Caribbean.

2-for-1 Fares, Free Air, Tours & More:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises made cruise industry history just last month when they announced that guests will receive free, pre-cruise hotel accommodations beginning in April 2011. Guests enjoy complimentary airport-hotel and hotel-ship ground transfers and breakfast prior to check-out. Today, the company is widely recognized as the world’s most inclusive because airfare, all-suite accommodations, award-winning cuisine, open bars, nightly entertainment, sightseeing excursions, gratuities and taxes, and the above luxury hotel package are included in cruise fares.

“Whether travelers seek a warm-weather escape in the Tropics or choose to explore ancient wonders on a three-week Arabian adventure,” stated Mark Conroy, the cruise line’s president, “There is no ultra-luxury line that can match our destination expertise and all-inclusive value.”

2011-12 Winter Collection Highlights:

Seven Seas Voyager will operate five Mediterranean cruises in Oct and Nov with overnight calls in Jerusalem and Luxor, depending on the departure. In winter, she discovers India, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. As a highlight, select voyages include a free, 3-night land package* in Sydney, Dubai or Singapore.
Seven Seas Mariner offers three Mediterranean itineraries before crossing the Atlantic for the Tropics. Three round-trip Fort Lauderdale cruises showcase the best islands of the Southern Caribbean then the ship explores South America on a grand 71-night circumnavigation. Four shorter segments are available. New ports include Arequipa, Peru; Antofagasta, Chile, and Porto Belo, Brazil.
Seven Seas Navigator features two Canada and New England sailings from New York and Montreal focusing on fall foliage, followed by an 11-night Bermuda cruise, a series of Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises and a three-week South America adventure that includes the Amazon River, operating round-trip from Fort Lauderdale.

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

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Disney Dream Nears Completion with 'Float Out' at Meyer Werft Shipyard

PAPENBURG, GERMANY, Oct 30: After 20 months of construction, the Disney Dream cruise ship floated out of the enclosed building dock at the Meyer Werft shipyard today, completing a major construction milestone. The ship was greeted by thousands of visitors lining the shore to see the newest Disney Cruise Line ship, which features the first water coaster at sea and other cruise industry firsts designed to build upon Disney’s commitment to delivering unparalleled family cruises. The “Float Out” is a special maritime event that celebrates the ship’s final stages of construction, where exteriors become complete and final touches are assigned to interiors. In true Disney-style, the celebration was punctuated with a fireworks display and the appearance of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. The Disney Dream is scheduled to sail its maiden voyage on Jan 26, 2011, from Port Canaveral, Fla.

“Today marks a monumental milestone and begins the first of the finishing touches for the Disney Dream as we prepare to welcome guests aboard our newest ship,” said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. “Our guests are counting down to the maiden voyage, and in just 88 days, they will get to experience all that the Disney Dream has to offer.”

The Disney Dream is the first of two new ships being built by the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. The Disney Fantasy is also currently in production and is scheduled to set sail on its maiden voyage on April 7, 2012. The Disney Dream will remain alongside Meyer Werft’s outfitting pier in the shipyard harbor for about two weeks, while testing is completed on the ship’s stabilizers, rudders and other functional features, and work on the ship’s interior areas continues. The ship is scheduled to leave the Meyer Werft shipyard and be conveyed down the River Ems, the second weekend in November, where its destination is the North Sea at the port of Eemshaven, The Netherlands.

Disney Dream Innovations
Known for establishing the family cruise market when the Disney Magic debuted in 1998, Disney Cruise Line continues to build upon this success with a focus on the legacy and heritage of The Walt Disney Company’s most known assets – master storytelling, world-class entertainment and legendary guest service. In addition to all of the features Disney Cruise Line is known for, the Disney Dream will have several new notable innovations for guests to enjoy.

AquaDuck, a first-of-its-kind water coaster, is an exhilarating, high-speed thrill ride that combines all the ups and downs of a roller coaster with all the twists and turns of a water slide.
■Magical Portholes offer a “virtual window” to the world for inside staterooms, with a real-time view outside the ship where high-definition cameras feed live video to each stateroom.
Enchanted Art immerses guests in Disney storytelling and looks like other hanging art pieces around the ship, but is actually a framed LCD screen with technology that recognizes a guest is present.
Remy, an exquisite top-deck restaurant, only for adults, with incredible ocean views and French-inspired, gourmet cuisine by two award-winning chefs.

New Itineraries
With the addition of two new ships, Disney Cruise Line is able to more formally expand its itineraries to new destinations, including Alaska, while continuing to offer cruises to some of the line’s most popular itineraries.

The Disney Dream will sail 3-, 4- and 5-night cruises to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral, Fla., while sister ship Disney Fantasy, is set to sail 7-night alternating eastern and western Caribbean itineraries, also from Port Canaveral, beginning in 2012. The Disney Magic will continue sailing 7-night eastern and western Caribbean cruises, before returning to the Mediterranean for another summer of cruising in this region in 2011. The Disney Wonder will begin 2011 by repositioning to the West Coast of the U.S., sailing 7-night Mexican Riviera cruises from the Port of Los Angeles, while spending the summer sailing first-ever Alaskan itineraries from Vancouver.

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

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