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News from the world of cruising ~
December 1-15, 2001

For schedule changes & departure information on a specific cruise line or port of call, please select Latest Updates by Cruise Line

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Fincantieri to construct new 85,000-GRT liner for British market

Cunard Line's parent company, Carnival Corporation, has signed a letter of intent with Italian shipyard Fincantieri for the construction of a new 1,968-passenger liner to serve the British market. The ship, which will cost approximately $400 million, will be delivered to Cunard in January 2005, just one year after the launch of the line's much anticipated Queen Mary 2. 

The order solidifies Cunard's strategic initiative, announced earlier this year, to play a more significant role in the growing British cruise market. The yet-unnamed vessel will be based in Southampton, and will be built to Panamax standards so it can be deployed on a variety of worldwide itineraries. Britain is the world's second-largest cruise market, with over one million passengers expected to sail in 2002.

"We are thoroughly committed to expanding our presence in the UK," said Pamela Conover, Cunard's president and chief operating officer. "The announcement of this exciting new-building project, following on the heels of our re-positioning of Caronia to Southampton as of May 2002, confirms Cunard's determination to maintain our position as the choice British brand."

In the tradition of her Cunard forbearers, the new ship will boast a covered promenade deck encircling its entire exterior, a forward-facing observation lounge and a large Lido pool with a retractable magra-dome for inclement weather. Innovative "exterior elevators" with glass walls will uniquely tower 10 decks high on both sides of the vessel. A wide range of accommodations will be available, with 67 percent of outside staterooms and suites offering private balconies.

The on-board entertainment and lecture program will be designed for UK passengers and the on-board currency will be Sterling. Like Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2, plans call for the liner to have a Queens Grill, which offers single-seating, gourmet dining for passengers in upper-level staterooms.

The ship's powerplant will feature low-emission, diesel-electric motors, and the ship also will employ the Azipod™ propulsion system for greater manoeuvrability, enhanced operating efficiencies and environmental benefits. The latest waste-treatment technology will be utilized.

Cunard Line currently operates the 1,791-passenger Queen Elizabeth 2 and 668-passenger Caronia on award-winning cruise vacations worldwide. The 2,620-passenger Queen Mary 2 is scheduled to join the fleet in late December 2003. With the addition of the 1,968-passenger new build, Cunard's capacity will increase by almost 40 percent.

"This is great news for the UK travel agent community who have long supported Cunard and are anxiously anticipating another grand Cunarder," said Conover. "This new liner will also satisfy the demand of our loyal past passengers for a greater choice of itineraries departing from Southampton." 

This is the first ship for Cunard Line by the Italian shipyard Fincantieri, one of the most technically advanced shipbuilders in the world who have built more than 7,000 vessels.

Micky Arison, chairman and chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation, said: "Over the years Carnival Corporation has awarded Fincantieri with many new-building projects and we have every confidence that they will deliver an outstanding new luxury liner for Cunard."

Corrado Antonini, chairman of Fincantieri, said: "We enjoy a very close and long-standing relationship with the Carnival Corporation and are honored to be able to build a luxury liner for the respected Cunard brand."

Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, chief executive officer of Fincantieri, added, "This new vessel will exemplify the pinnacle of Italian shipbuilding today. We're confident Fincantieri's craftsmen will deliver a truly splendid new Cunarder."

The new liner's inaugural voyage will be in early 2005, approximately one year after the launch of Queen Mary 2. Cruise schedules and pricing have not yet been determined.

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Holland America Line Details Delivery of New Ships

SEATTLE, Dec 14 - Holland America Line (HAL) today announced a revised delivery schedule of ships from Fincantieri-Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A. 

As previously announced, the first of the vessels, Holland America Line's 1,848 passenger ms Zuiderdam will be delivered Nov. 15, 2002 and sail on her maiden voyage Dec. 14, 2002, on a seven-day Caribbean cruise from Ft. Lauderdale.

Holland America Line's new ms Oosterdam, is scheduled for delivery in June 2003. Two other vessels, currently unnamed, are scheduled for delivery to Holland America Line in April 2004 and October 2005. The fifth ship, a new build option, if exercised, will be delivered in May 2006.

A vessel delivery time previously planned for HAL in January 2005 will be assigned to a sister company, Cunard Line. The ship building slot with the yard has been transferred to Cunard. Both Holland America Line and Cunard are units of Carnival Corporation. 

"Assigning this building slot to Cunard allows our sister company to quickly expand its presence in the lucrative British cruising market, and does not dramatically impact HAL's plans for new vessels," said A. Kirk Lanterman, chairman and CEO, Holland America Line.

At 85,000 tons, HAL's "Project Vista" series of premium ships are the largest ever built for the company, they also will boast the highest passenger space ratio of its fleet at 46, keeping the company firmly placed as the leader in premium cruising.

The Vista-class ships feature innovative "exterior elevators," located on both sides of the vessel and vertically transversing 10 decks, providing guests with panoramic sea views. The ships also include a wide range of spacious accommodation categories. About 85 percent of the staterooms feature an ocean view, with approximately 80 percent of those offering private verandahs.

The 951-foot-long ships build upon the hallmarks of the Holland America brand, displaying extensive multi-million-dollar art collections and a signature Waterford Crystal installation in the ship's atrium. The vessels feature numerous dining options, from elegant full-service meals to casual Lido Restaurant service. The ships also will continue other trademark features of Holland America ships, including the Explorers Lounge, Ocean Bar, an exterior covered promenade deck encircling the entire ship, a large Lido pool with a retractable dome, and Holland America's signature "Crow's Nest" observation lounge.

The ship also will offer a new "cabaret-style" show lounge complementing a new three-deck main show lounge. Other new features include a sophisticated nightclub, the casual "round-the-clock" Windstar cafe, an Internet cafe, the largest spa facilities in the fleet, Internet/e-mail data ports in all staterooms, an extensive Club HAL children's facility with inside and outside play areas, a concierge lounge for the exclusive use of Penthouse and Deluxe Verandah Suite guests and two interior promenade decks.

The new vessels' propulsion system includes a full-scale diesel-electric power plant, backed up by a gas turbine as an additional power source, giving the vessel the capability to operate on either diesel or gas turbine power. The ships also will use the Azipod propulsion system, allowing for greater maneuverability, enhanced operating efficiencies and environmental benefits.

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Holland America Line Wins "Best Overall Cruise Value" Award for 10th
Consecutive Year

Seattle, Dec 13, 2001 - Holland America Line has been awarded the prestigious "Best Overall Cruise Value" for the 10th consecutive year by the World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society (WOCLS). The Seattle-based company also won the "Best Cruise Value" award in the High Deluxe 5-Star+ Large Ship category. 

"We are extremely proud that Holland America has been the only recipient of these two WOCLS awards since the society began its recognition program 10 years ago," said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "Holland America competes with more than 30 cruise lines around the world for these awards, and we are honored to have our top-value cruise experience consistently recognized by the WOCLS." 

Giersdorf emphasized Holland America's primary objective is to consistently deliver great value to its guests. "All of Holland America's cruises provide value from the beginning," he said.  "Plus we offer added benefits in the form of larger-than-average staterooms, better quality food and higher service standards. All this, combined with the widest range of destinations and itineraries, makes Holland America a top-notch value for our guests - and an award-winner with the WOCLS."

WOCLS is a  21-year-old organization comprised of approximately 8,000 travel agents and experienced cruisers. The society reviews all cruise lines annually and has consistently determined Holland America's value to be superb in terms of providing "more than is expected" to its passengers. "Holland America consistently garners this annual award because it puts forth an extra effort to offer a number of features that other cruise lines either believe are not necessary or are too costly to provide," said George Devol, editor of Ocean & Cruise News, a publication by WOCLS. "Its passengers receive extraordinary value for the money they spend." 

For example, Holland America offers many on-board enhancements such as Internet centers, ESPN programming in ships' sports bars, the Club HAL children's activity program, an array of late-night entertainment options including lavish new production shows each year, Signature Cuisine dishes in the dining rooms and alternative dining options including casual Lido Deck dinners and 24-hour room service.  

Holland America delights guests with "little touches" which carry no extra charge while making their cruise  memorable: make-your-own ice cream sundae buffet featuring many toppings and liqueurs; espresso coffee drinks; hot hors d'oeuvres in all lounges during the pre-dinner cocktail hour; freshly-made popcorn served during movie times; shoe-shine service; and a Holland America Line signature canvas tote bag for shopping or beach-going. 

About Holland America Line
Holland America Line has 11 luxury ships sailing to more than 280 ports of call and scenic cruising destinations on all seven continents, including Antarctica. 

In 2002, Holland America Line will offer 360 sailings within a half-day's drive of 40 percent of North American households and departing from 15 North American home ports. Affordable air arrangements are available through the Home City Air program. Holland America offers the only trip cancellation program in the industry that offers cash back for canceling for any reason prior to 24 hours before departure. Holland America Line is the highest-rated premium cruise line in the world in the 2001 "Travel & Leisure" magazine "World's Best" Awards and is among the top three cruise lines in "Conde Nast Traveler" 2001 Readers' Choice Awards. For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Crystal Cruises Offers New Insurance for Last-Minute Cancellations

"Cruise Protection Program-PLUS" Guarantees 90% Future Cruise Credit

LOS ANGELES, Dec 12, 2001 - Luxury line Crystal Cruises is launching "Cruise Protection Program-PLUS," an optional new insurance upgrade allowing travelers to cancel their cruise for absolutely any reason up until three days before departure, and receive a 90% cruise credit of the cancellation fee valid for any sailing within 12 months.

Cruise Protection Program-PLUS is available on all cruises aboard Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony departing between April 1 and December 31, 2002. The new program is available as an upgrade to the line's standard Cruise Protection Program which covers trip cancellation and interruption for medical reasons and a range of other emergency assistance services. The cost to upgrade to the Cruise Protection Program-PLUS from Crystal's standard insurance plan for cruise fares under $8,000 per person is an additional $200 per person, or 3% of the cruise fare for voyages over $8,000 per person.

Crystal Cruises operates the 50,000-ton, 940-guest sister ships Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony, considered two of the most spacious and luxurious floating resorts. In 2002, the luxury vessels offer 55 sailings, ranging in length from eight to 100 days, in Asia, Europe, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, South America, Alaska and the Panama Canal/Caribbean. The line's third ship, Crystal Serenity, is on schedule for delivery in June 2003. For more information on the Cruise Protection Program-PLUS and to make reservations, contact your professional travel agent. For a complimentary brochure, call 800.820.6663. The luxury line's web site is located at

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Carnival Takes Delivery of New 88,500-ton Carnival Pride and 'Floats Out' New 88,500-ton Carnival Legend

MIAMI (12/12/01) - In a traditional maritime hand-over ceremony at Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Helsinki, Carnival Cruise Lines today took delivery of the new 88,500-ton Carnival Pride, the 16th vessel in the line's "Fun Ship" fleet.

Following the hand-over ceremony, Carnival Pride's sister ship, the 88,500-ton Carnival Legend, was floated out of her building dock.  Now in the final stages of construction, Carnival Legend will inaugurate the line's first-ever European sailings in August 2002. 

"For these two events - the delivery of the Carnival Pride and the float-out of the Carnival Legend - to take place on the same day is truly special and marks a significant milestone in the continued growth of Carnival Cruise Lines," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president. 

The 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride will depart Helsinki tomorrow, Dec. 13, on a 13-day transatlantic crossing, arriving in Miami Dec. 26. Carnival Pride will sail on its inaugural cruise, a six-day western Caribbean voyage from Miami, Dec. 30, then serve as the venue for an overnight fundraising gala benefiting the United Way of Miami-Dade.

Carnival Pride will then reposition to its permanent homeport of Port Canaveral, Fla., from where it will operate a two-day preview cruise for the travel trade Jan. 7-9 and a three-day Bahamas cruise Jan. 9-12. On Jan. 12, Carnival Pride will launch seven-day eastern and western Caribbean service, becoming the newest and largest cruise ship to operate year-round from Port Canaveral. 

Carnival Pride offers a variety of "resort-style" amenities and facilities, including 16 themed bars and lounges with dramatic interiors celebrating "icons of beauty" that exist in art, architecture, sculpture and décor. Other features include a 13,700-square-foot health spa, a duty-free shopping mall, an Internet café, four swimming pools, and a high-tech children's play area, part of the line's top-rated "Camp Carnival" program. A wedding chapel and conference center are included, as well.

Dining options range from Mermaids' Grille, a poolside eatery with casual alternatives and 24-hour pizzeria, to the Normandie, a two-deck-high formal dining room, and David's, an intimate "steakhouse-style" supper club offering prime aged beef, along with a Carnival exclusive--crab claws from Miami Beach's world famous Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant.  All of these options comprise Carnival's Total Choice Dining (SM), cruising's most comprehensive dining program offering the widest variety of formal and casual choices at sea.

Additionally, 80 percent of the ship's 1,062 staterooms offer an ocean view with 80 percent of those featuring private balconies. In addition to the Carnival Pride and Carnival Legend, the line has four other vessels scheduled for delivery between now and 2004 -- the 88,500-ton Carnival Miracle and the 110,000-ton Carnival Conquest, Carnival Glory and Carnival Valor.

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Holland America Line Offers Eight 3- & 4-Day Cruises Featuring Sights & Cities of the Great Pacific Northwest in 2002

Seattle, Dec 10, 2001 - Holland America Line offers travelers eight opportunities in 2002 to take a three- or four-day cruise among mystical islands, by rustic towns perched upon forested shores and into bustling harbors to sample the sights and delights of three of the Pacific Northwest's most intriguing cities: Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria.

In Seattle, the "Emerald City," guests may visit the world-renowned Pike Place Farmers Market and historic Pioneer Square, shop 'til they drop in a downtown located only minutes from the cruise terminal and view the skyline and Puget Sound from the top of the 605-foot [184-meter] Space Needle.

Vancouver, British Columbia, offers expansive Stanley Park, historic Gastown and the second-largest Chinatown on the West Coast, wrapped up in a cosmopolitan and friendly cityscape. 

Victoria, B.C., lives up to its British heritage with its double-decker buses, stores filled with English china, tweeds and woolens, and proper afternoon tea in numerous spots, including the Edwardian-era Empress Hotel. Also on the must-see list: the botanical attractions of world-famous Butchart Gardens.

The 1,440-passenger ms Zaandam and the 1,266-passenger ms Veendam will offer eight short cruises, perfect for the busy professional in need of a relaxing respite or a family vacation featuring fun for everyone, in the spring and fall, with roundtrip sailings from Seattle or Vancouver, B.C. In the spring, the Zaandam will sail roundtrip from Seattle May 3 on a three-day cruise featuring day-long visits to Vancouver and Victoria, plus scenic cruising of Puget Sound. Cruise fares start at just $499 [CAN$719] per person, including port charges and Early Savings discount.  

Seven fall cruises are scheduled roundtrip from Vancouver, with three-day cruises departing on the Zaandam Sept. 21, Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 and on the Veendam Sept. 29. The Zaandam sails on four-day cruises departing Sept. 24, Oct. 1 and Oct. 8. The three-day cruise features day-long visits to Seattle and Victoria, plus scenic cruising of Puget Sound. Cruise fares start at just $499 [CAN$729] per person, including port charges and Early Savings discount.  The four-day cruise offers a day's visit in Seattle and Victoria, then a day of scenic cruising through the scenic Strait of Georgia, Seymour Narrows and Johnstone Strait. Cruise fares start at just $629 [CAN$899] per person, including port charges and Early Savings discount. 

Cruise vacations may be extended with pre- and post-cruise tour packages in Seattle or Vancouver. Affordable air arrangements are available through the Home City Air program and Holland America offers the only trip cancellation program in the industry that offers cash back for canceling for any reason prior to 24 hours before departure.

About Holland America
Holland America excels in service, amenities and special programs. Its ships have more staff members per guest than any other major cruise line, and its popular "tipping not required" policy ensures consistent, attentive service. Spacious staterooms average 25 percent larger and verandahs twice as large as those on other lines' ships. Menus, highlighted by Northwest specialties like salmon, halibut and King crab, are among the most extensive at sea. Dining choices include formal elegance, casual fare and 24-hour room service. A wide range of shore excursions is offered in each port of call. Onboard, guests may take advantage of a complete fitness center. 

In 2002 Holland America Line will offer 360 sailings within a half-day's drive of 40 percent of North American households and departing from 15 North American home ports. Holland America Line is the highest-rated premium cruise line in the world in the 2001 "Travel & Leisure" magazine "World's Best" Awards and the 2000 "Conde Nast Traveler" Readers' Choice Awards. The company also has won its ninth consecutive "Best Overall Cruise Value" award from the World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society (WOCLS). For more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Sail Now and Save Later: Luxury Cruise Line Pays 'Crystal Dividends'

LOS ANGELES, Dec 10 - Crystal Cruises has targeted two of its most exciting destinations in 2002 -- the Orient and Scandinavia/Russia -- with a special future savings plan, "Crystal Dividends." Travelers who book any of the ten designated 2002 sailings, in any stateroom category, will receive a 2-for-1 savings certificate applicable to almost every cruise aboard Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony in 2003, in every stateroom category except Crystal Penthouse.

"We designed this promotion for the traveler who is planning next year's vacation, and also wants to find ways to save on future travel," says Adam Leavitt, senior vice president, marketing. "This is the type of special that may appeal to new, as well as seasoned, Crystal cruisers. Veteran Crystal Society members will recognize this offer as a tremendous opportunity for 2003 sailings, as will any consumer looking to reap a strong return on a 2002 vacation." 

Crystal Cruises has designated ten sailings in the Orient, Baltic Sea, and the Pacific from March through July 2002 as "Crystal Dividends" cruises. On board these sailings, guests will receive a certificate redeemable for 50% savings off brochure fares -- from minimum category through penthouse suite accommodations -- for nearly 50 cruises aboard Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony in 2003. Applicable 2003 cruise destinations include the Panama Canal/Caribbean, the Orient, Alaska/Canada, Europe, the Mediterranean, South America, and New England/Canada. 

The rich collection of 2002 "Crystal Dividends" cruises includes: 

China and Japan 
Each 14- and 15-day sailing between Yokohama or Hong Kong and Beijing aboard Crystal Harmony features a complimentary inclusive three-night pre- or post-cruise Beijing program showcasing the Forbidden City, Tian An Men Square, the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, Sacred Alley, and concludes with a private dinner at the Great Hall of the People. 

-- Mysteries of the Orient: April 17, Yokohama to Beijing 
-- Ancient Dynasties: April 25, Beijing to Hong Kong 
-- Kingdoms of Jade & Gold: May 10, Hong Kong to Beijing 
-- Treasures of Ancient Empires: May 19, Beijing to Yokohama 

Each cruise features an overnight stay aboard Crystal Harmony in Shanghai, China and either Kobe, Japan or Hong Kong, depending on the itinerary. 

To further extend the guest's Asia experience, a choice of several optional pre- and post-cruise land programs and hotel stays are available -- in addition to the complimentary Beijing package. Guests can delve deeper into the continent on a five-night journey including Beijing, the riverfront city of Chongqing and a Yangtze River cruise through the dramatic Three Gorges. A comprehensive five-night land program to Xi'an and Guilin from Hong Kong features the terra cotta warriors and Red Flute Cave. Optional pre-and post-cruise hotel stays are available at Tokyo's Four Seasons at Chinzan-so and Hotel Inter-Continental Hong Kong. 

Scandinavia, Russia & The Baltic Sea 
Crystal Symphony's 12-day itineraries visit seven countries among England, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Sweden, depending on the itinerary. Each voyage features two full days in St. Petersburg. 

-- Treasures of the Tsars: June 1, Copenhagen to London 
-- Scandinavian Sunsets: June 13, London to Copenhagen 
-- Northern Kingdoms: June 25, Copenhagen to London 
-- Scandinavian Splendor: July 7, London to Stockholm 

Crystal Harmony's Pacific voyages call in the various Hawaiian Islands and the April itinerary offers maiden calls in Wake Island and Sendai, Japan. An optional post-cruise hotel program is available in Tokyo with the value-priced trans-Pacific repositioning cruise. 

-- Passage to Paradise: March 24; 10 days; Acapulco, Mexico to Oahu, Hawaii 
-- Seashells & Shogun: April 3; 13 days; Oahu to Yokohama, Japan 

Onboard Programming 
As part of the Crystal Visions Enrichment Program, Crystal Cruises is enhancing its 2002 "Crystal Dividends" cruises with celebrated guests from the worlds of science, psychology, academia and the arts. Scheduled are Matt Golombek, chief scientist of the Mars Pathfinder mission; Distinguished Professor of Literature Michael Mendelsohn; Professor Emeritus of Geography Roger Barnett; Sonya Friedman, former CNN host of "Sonya Live" and ABC radio psychologist; best-selling author and motivational speaker Frances Weaver; Beverly Jackson, internationally-known collector of antique Chinese textiles, lecturer, author and columnist; Kazumi Masada, widely-published travel writer and expert on Japanese culture and traditions; art historian and lecturer from the Metropolitan Museum Marlene Barasch Strauss; and certified gemologist Deborah Lundin. 

In addition to the Crystal Visions Enrichment program and the line's unique Computer University@Sea, several of the 2002 "Crystal Dividends" sailings are part of the popular Wine & Food Festival series which brings aboard guest chefs and wine experts for interactive demonstrations, wine tastings and gala dinners. Scheduled are: Jackie Lau of Roy Yamaguchi's top-rated Hawaiian restaurants; Patrick Callarec, chef/proprietor of Lahaina's Chez Paul; Master Sommelier Keith Goldston; and Gerald Asher, wine editor of "Gourmet" magazine and recent winner of the James Beard Award for Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year. 

Cruise fares for the 2002 sailings in the Orient, Scandinavia/Russia and the Pacific start at $1,995 per person, double occupancy, for the 10-day voyage from Acapulco to Oahu. The Crystal Dividends savings certificate is not redeemable for Crystal Symphony's 2003 World Cruise, or Christmas/New Year's holiday voyages on either ship. 

At 50,000 tons with only 940 guests, the spacious Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony are both the highest-rated large luxury ships afloat. Crystal Cruises is the winner of the travel industry's most prestigious honors, including the unprecedented sixth consecutive designation as world's best large-ship cruise line in reader surveys from Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines. Each offer expansive decks, exquisitely appointed staterooms (most with private verandahs), a wide variety of quality entertainment, lounges, engaging activities, flexible gourmet dining, a full-service spa and fitness center, and the only Caesars Palace at Sea Casino. Reservations are booked exclusively through travel agents. For a complimentary brochure with detailed itineraries call 800.820.6663. For more information, visit Crystal Cruises' web site at

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MIAMI, Dec 6, 2001 - The Board of Directors of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has declared a quarterly dividend of 13 cents per share for shareholders of record at the close of business on December 17, 2001, payable on December 28, 2001. This is the 33rd consecutive quarter Royal Caribbean's Board of Directors has voted to declare a dividend to shareholders.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Celebrity Tours. Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises have a combined total of 23 ships in service and six under construction or on firm order. Royal Celebrity Tours operates land-tour vacations in Alaska utilizing the world's largest glass-domed railcars. Additional information can be found on, or

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Royal Caribbean International's Website Earns Top Honors

Miami, Dec 6, 2001 - Royal Caribbean International received double honors from the Web Marketing Association (WMA,) winning two "Outstanding Web Site" awards in the 2001 WebAwards. The only cruise line honored by WMA, Royal Caribbean introduced two unique site enhancements, or "sitelets," at With the aid of streaming video and built-in flash technology, "Experience the Caribbean" and "Explore Northern Europe," sitelets show prospective cruise guests what awaits them on a Royal Caribbean vacation. Video clips convey the excitement of swimming alongside stingrays in the Cayman Islands; soaring 300 feet above the ocean while harnessed in a parasail, or bicycling on cobblestone streets in Copenhagen.

"A Royal Caribbean cruise vacation delivers unique and memorable experiences for today's active vacationers," said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales, Royal Caribbean International. "We are excited about offering prospective cruise guests a chance to experience the excitement online with a virtual cruise."

The fifth annual WMA competition recognizes corporate web sites in 73 categories, including travel and leisure, real estate, retail, publishing, radio, broadcasting, arts, music, medical, legal, sports, education, automobile, energy and health care. Criteria included design, innovation, content, interactivity, navigation, ease of use and technology. Recognized as one of the best travel sites on the web by Forbes magazine, the Royal Caribbean website was created in partnership with Arnold Worldwide and

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 15 ships in service and five under construction or on firm order. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's Internet web site at

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Holland America Line Embarks Its Millionth Cruise Guest 
at Port of Tampa

SEATTLE, Dec 5 - Holland America Line marked a significant milestone when it embarked its millionth cruise passenger at the Port of Tampa since commencing operations there in 1982. Annette Willett of Myrtle Beach, SC, was lauded with a celebration as she and her husband Ed boarded the ms Noordam for its first cruise of the Caribbean season from Tampa. 

The Willetts operate a motel in Myrtle Beach, where they have lived for 12 years. The 14-day southern Caribbean sailing on the Noordam is their second Holland America cruise. "We have been looking forward to this cruise for a long time, and we're very excited to be sailing on this ship," said Annette Willett. "Being the millionth passenger is a real surprise and will certainly make the cruise even more memorable." 

The couple was greeted with fanfare, confetti and a live band at embarkation, and received a gift basket from the Port of Tampa Authority as well as on-board credit, champagne, and dinner with the captain during the cruise. 

The line will have two ships sailing from the port on Florida's west coast in 2002. The combined total economic impact of the 19 departures in 2002 is estimated at $41.3 million. The 1,214-passenger Noordam is slated to sail 14-day Southern Caribbean cruises from Tampa through March 31, 2002.

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New Royal Caribbean Cookbook Shares Culinary Secrets In Time for Holiday Season

MIAMI, Nov 30 - Royal Caribbean International unveils a tasty stocking stuffer with the launch of The Royal Caribbean International Cookbook. Written by Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, culinary consultant to the cruise brand, the book offers a behind-the-scenes look at the recipes that have earned Royal Caribbean some of the highest ratings for cruise-line cuisine in the industry. The 160-page book combines 86 tantalizing recipes with 90 full-color photographs, and offers instruction from the complex to the most basic dishes.

"Often, a vacationer's fondest memories are of the new tastes experienced while traveling," said Maria Sastre, vice president, TGS Services, Royal Caribbean International. "For our cruise guests, they remained only memories, until now. The Royal Caribbean International Cookbook allows vacationers to re-create favorite dishes from ports of call around the world." 

Highlights include Caribbean-inspired dishes such as Key West Grouper with Ginger-Orange Sauce and Grilled Island Strip Steak with Caramelized Onion, as well as Mediterranean-accented Filet of Sea Bass with Tarragon and Lemon Butter. Many recipes are drawn from Royal Caribbean's popular "Ship Shape" menu of reduced caloric and cholesterol dishes. These include Stir-fried Chicken with Ginger Sauce and Steamed Vegetables. 

In addition to dishes served aboard the Royal Caribbean fleet, Sodamin includes his own recipes for classic sauces such as Chicken Veloute, and a selection of salad dressings such as Ginger Vinaigrette and delicate Hazelnut Dressing. "Rudi's work is known around the world, and this book allows those who cruise with us, and those who have not yet cruised, to enjoy his remarkable talent," said Sastre. Master Chef Rudi is the author of several international cookbooks, and is the recipient of multiple awards. He has prepared culinary creations for numerous Heads of State. 

The Royal Caribbean International Cookbook is available at bookstores nationwide for $25.00, and can be purchased online at a reduced rate beginning in December by accessing the Royal Caribbean Store at and selecting the Gift Catalog and Royal Caribbean Store merchandise links. Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 15 ships in service and five under construction or on firm order. For additional information about the cruise line, please visit the company's Internet web site at

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Holland America Line Offers Early Booking Incentive on All 400 Sailings In 2002

Cruisers Can Save as Much as 53 Percent Off 2001 Rates 

SEATTLE, Nov 30 - Holland America Line has announced its "Best Cruise for the Best Price" early booking incentive for all 400 of its 2002 sailings, including peak destinations during peak sailing periods. Cruisers can save up to 53 percent off 2001 rates for cruises booked by January 31, 2002. In 2002, Holland America offers 400 sailings to choose from and now has 110 cruises priced at less than $1,000 per person Destinations include Europe, Alaska, Mexico, Caribbean, Panama Canal, Canada/New England, Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, South America and Asia/Pacific. 

Sample prices include a March 7-day Western Caribbean sailing for US$659 (US$1,039 in 2001); a 10-day July Baltic sailing is US$1,399 (US$1,959 in 2001); a 7-day Alaska cruise will cost US$1,299 (US$1,589 in 2001); a 7-day Canada/New England itinerary is priced at US$699 (US$1,479 in 2001); and a 7-day October 2002 sailing to Mexico is available at US$749 (US$1,099 in 2001). 

"We are taking barriers to travel down by adjusting our prices for the whole year," said David A. Giersdorf, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "With hundreds of options from which to choose, travelers can plan to sail anytime and get a great cruise value." 

Cruising with Holland America provides many opportunities for diversified vacation experiences. For example, in Alaska, guest can enjoy catching the "big one" on a salmon fishing excursion in Ketchikan or hiking on a Glacier while in Juneau. In Mexico, Holland America's new Sea of Cortez itineraries will offer whale and bird-watching kayaking exploration in one of the world's greatest nature  habitats. And, in Europe, passengers might select from the many port-intensive itineraries and enjoy a visit to the Waterford Crystal Factory in Ireland, wine-tasting in Tuscany, or a four-wheel drive glacier safari in Iceland.

In 2002, Holland America Line will offer 360 sailings within a half-day's drive of 40 percent of North American households and departing from 15 North American home ports. Affordable air arrangements are available through the Home City Air program and Holland America offers the only trip cancellation program in the industry that offers cash back for canceling for any reason prior to 24 hours before departure.

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