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Cruise News
December 1-31, 2007

Click the following links to the cruise news stories...

Berth of A Queen With only a few days to go before her Naming Ceremony, follow the progress during the building of Queen Victoria.

Return to's Cruise News Weekly Index & Archive

CDC Inspection Scores for all ships inspected.

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

For an insider's look at the cruise industry, follow 
Cruise News Daily's CruiseBlogger

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Dec 31 - Captain Giuseppe Romano, a 31-year veteran of Princess and Sitmar Cruises, has been named commodore of the company's 16-ship fleet. He becomes the senior master of the fleet and will represent the interests of all ships and their captains. The title of commodore is an honor that is traditionally bestowed upon the most senior captain of a fleet of ships, and the position represents the highest rank attainable to a Princess mariner.

"We're delighted that Giuseppe Romano will serve as commodore of the Princess fleet," said Alan Buckelew, Princess' chief executive officer. "This honor is a well-deserved recognition of his long career of service and contributions to Princess over the years."

Romano, age 56, who hails from Sorrento, Italy, studied at the Nautical Institute "Nino Bixio," Piano di Sorrento, one of the oldest Maritime Schools in Italy. He began his career at sea in 1970 as a cadet with Lauro Lines. After serving for two years in the Italian Navy, Romano sailed on various types of cargo ships, including oil tankers and bulk carriers. He joined Sitmar Cruises as a second officer in the summer of 1976. His first appointment as captain was aboard the former Dawn Princess in December 1990. Throughout his 17-year career as a captain, Commodore Romano has commanded many of the Princess ships.

According to Commodore Romano, one of the most memorable events in his career was in the summer of 1998, when as captain of Grand Princess, he was able to sail the new vessel
then the largest cruise ship in the world, along the coast of his hometown, Sorrento, with family and friends watching from ashore.

When not at sea, Romano lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with his wife, Sabina, and two sons, Luca and Marco. Commodore Romano is presently serving aboard Caribbean Princess where he has been master since 2004.

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Cunard Line Queens Plan a Royal Rendezvous
 in New York Harbor on January 13, 2008

Valencia, CA,  Dec 27 - On Sunday, Jan 13, 2008, Cunard Line, operator of The Most Famous Ocean Liners in the World, for the first and only time will sail their three luxury liner Queens, flagship Queen Mary 2, famed Queen Elizabeth 2 and the new Queen Victoria, together out of New York harbor.  The regal fleet is scheduled to depart at 6:30 p.m.  Queen Mary 2 will depart from her home port, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal while QE2 will depart from Pier 92 and Queen Victoria will depart from Pier 88 both at the Westside Cruise Terminal.  Then, the three Queens will rendezvous and sail past the Statue of Liberty during a spectacular fireworks celebration at approximately 7:00 p.m.

"This is an historic occasion for Cunard and New York, marking the only time that the three ships will be together...ever," said Carol Marlow, president of Cunard Line.  "More history will be made as our grand dame QE2 departs on her 26th and final World Cruise and Queen Victoria will depart on her maiden World Cruise," added Marlow.

This is the first-time in Cunard's 168-year history that three "Queens" have been in service at the same time and with QE2 retiring in November 2008 will be the only time they will be together, offering a maritime history-making moment. Thousands of well-wishers are expected to gather at ideal viewing locations to wish the majestic fleet of Queens "Bon Voyage" and see the fireworks celebration.  They include:   

  • Battery Park: On the southern shoreline of Manhattan,
  • Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park: Overlooking the Hudson River with great views of the Statue of Liberty, just south of the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
  • The Esplanade: Running the entire length of Battery Park City, along the Hudson River from Stuyvesant High School on the north end all the way south to Battery Park
  • Hudson River Park: The 550 acre park extends for five miles along the Manhattan shoreline from Battery Place to West 59th Street.

For the most current information on the day's events, visit

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Costa Continues Its Eastern Expansion With
 Mauritius Debut & Cruises From Dubai

MIAMI, FL, Dec 21 – Costa Marina called in Mauritius for her first time today, marking the beginning of the 2007-08 winter cruise season in which the ship will sail 14-night Indian Ocean routes. The ship’s first call marks the debut of Mauritius as an international cruise destination, and is a global first for the cruise industry.

“Over the last few years we have established ourselves as the first big cruise company to operate worldwide, offering itineraries that no other operator had ever marketed including China, the Far East, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, and Mauritius,” commented Pier Luigi Foschi, Costa Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. “We have been rewarded for these highly innovative choices by our customers, who have made our new cruise routes a success and stimulated us to further consolidate our presence in the East and Far East as demonstrated by the doubling of our ships in China and the Far East starting from 2009. Even Mauritius is experiencing a great success in our main reference countries in Europe, and also in Asia and North America.” 

The 25,600-ton Costa Marina will sail the Indian Ocean from Mauritius from Dec 22, 2007 through Feb 29, 2008. Costa Marina will set sail from Mauritius every Saturday on six 14-night cruises. The itinerary includes two-day stopovers in Mauritius and Mahè (Seychelles), and one-day calls at Mombasa (Kenya), Mayotte, Nosy Be (Madagascar), Toamasina (Madagascar) and Reunion. Costa Marina will return to the Mediterranean on a spectacular 27-night positioning cruise with departures on March 15, 2008 and visiting Reunion, Madagascar, Mayotte, Kenya, the Seychelles, Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, the Suez Canal and Savona.

Cruises from Mauritius on Costa Marina feature guided shore excursions in each port of call, with the opportunity for guests to visit local highlights. One of the main attractions is undoubtedly the superb beaches in Mauritius, Mahè in the Seychelles, Mayotte and Reunion. Additionally, there are exciting sightseeing excursion options including the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens, which first opened in 1735, Tsavo East National Park, safaris in Kenya--in one of the world’s largest game sanctuaries, daytrips to see the wildlife at Parc Ivoloina in Madagascar, and a tour of Mombasa Old Town with a spectacular “son et lumièrere” presentation portraying the historical struggles between the Arabs and the Portuguese for control of the city. The routes will offer dolphin-watching trips in Mayotte or the blue safari in Mauritius, exploring the superb barrier reef and coral gardens.

Additionally, on Dec 22, the winter cruise season in Dubai will be launched. For the 2007-08 winter cruise season, Costa will position two ships in Dubai, doubling capacity compared to last season, when the company began their unique routes in the region. This season, the 53,000-ton Costa Romantica and the 55,00-ton Costa Europa will sail from Dubai for a total 25 cruises (15 on Costa Romantica, 10 on Costa Europa). The two ships will operate a seven-night cruise itinerary with two nights in Dubai and stopovers in the ports of Muscat (Oman), Fujairah (United Arab Emirates), Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) and Bahrain. Costa Romantica will sail every Saturday from Dec 22, 2007 through March 29, 2008 while Costa Europa will depart on Sundays from Dec 23, 2007 through Feb 24, 2008. 

All of Costa’s cruises from Dubai offer guided excursions in each port of call, which l give guests the opportunity to visit some of the most historical, cultural and natural landmarks in the area. The program includes excursions to the desert, visits to some of the most exclusive beaches of the Gulf region, visits to beautiful mosques, historical buildings and museums, tours of the city and their typical markets, and excursions at sea for dolphin sighting.

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Stroll Through Queen Victoria's Royal Arcade to Shop

Valencia, CA, Dec 20 - One stroll along London's exclusive High Street is all one needs to appreciate the quality and exclusivity of the Royal Arcade aboard Cunard's newest ocean liner, Queen Victoria. Moving seamlessly from one fashionable space to another, the Royal Arcade unfolds as a series of seven luxurious shopping boutiques, each showcasing the most celebrated names in British luxury, including Harrods, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton. Tax and duty free, the shopping aboard Queen Victoria will include high-end fashion jewelry, fine watches, fragrances and cosmetics. Within the shops, guests will also find Queen Victoria branded formal and everyday wear and a range of sundries.

The Cunardia Museum Shop features a full assortment of exclusive limited edition fine gifts crafted especially for Queen Victoria by many of the world's best-known luxury brands, including Waterford, Swarovski, Faberge and Staffordshire. Among the keepsake pieces for collectors are Waterford Crystal decanters, Faberge Rose Quartz gemstone dishes, Swarovski paperweights and a selection of Staffordshire enamel pill boxes, all featuring the image of Cunard's newest ocean liner. In addition, there are limited edition ship models of Queen Victoria by Maritime Replicas, crystal ship models by Crystal Galleria, and a selection of etched glassware and decanters by Glencairn Crystal. Aft of the Royal Arcade, the Bookshop will offer an array of maritime-related books, maps and luxury stationary goods, as well as a wide variety of Cunard-specific keepsakes.

Modeled after London's Burlington Arcade, the double-height Royal Arcade features a dramatic staircase with intricate wrought-iron detailing. Shades of deep green, gold and cream create the atmosphere of a traditional Victoria shopping arcade and, lest shoppers loose track of time, the focal point of the space is a classically designed freestanding clock by Dent & Co., the clockmaker to HRH Queen Victoria and the makers of London's famed Big Ben. 

For more information about Cunard Line and Queen Victoria, contact your travel professional, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to

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Costa Offers Travelers 60% Savings On Sailings in 2008 
During' “Diamond Jubilee Sale”

MIAMI, FL, Dec 20 – Wave season is rolling in, and with Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, it comes complete with rates of 60% off, as well as the opportunity for travel agents to win a cruise for two to Dubai with round trip airfare included from Emirates Airlines. The “Diamond Jubilee” promotion, in honor of Costa’s “60th Diamond Anniversary” in 2008, will be offered for 60 days from January 1 through February 29, giving travelers the opportunity to save up to 60% off most of Costa’s 2008 cruises.

Guests will be able to choose from 423 sailings, 141 ports, 109 itineraries, 68 countries and 12 ships! From China, Dubai, South America, Kenya, Iceland and all other points in between, including Northern Europe, the Mediterranean and Caribbean. As an added bonus, guests who sail in the Caribbean for the 2007-2008 season will have the opportunity to win a six-stone diamond necklace from Diamonds International once onboard.

“There’s simply never been a better time for travelers to experience Costa—from our new routes in Mauritius to our legendary European cruises or closer to home with our Caribbean sailings from Ft. Lauderdale—we’re bringing the world to our guests with 60% savings,” said Joni L. Rein, Vice President of Sales Development for Costa Cruise Lines—North America. For reservations or more information, contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit

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Holland America Line Offers Attractive Savings for 2008 Cruises

SEATTLE, WA, Dec 19 -- Cruisers who book Holland America Line through the end of February will be rewarded with exceptional savings on select sailings across all Holland America Line cruise destinations. With the View and Verandah promotion, clients can upgrade from an inside stateroom to an outside for as little as $100 depending on the sailing.

"These are great values for cruise travelers," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest relations. "View and Verandah savings apply to most sailings in 2008 and help make this time of year the best time to plan a vacation."

View and Verandah promotion fares on Alaska cruises and tours offer a savings up to $450 per person off brochure fares depending on sailing date. With eight ships sailing Alaska itineraries and 29 different cruise tours, Holland America Line offers numerous adventures exploring Alaska's great frontier, from the Inside Passage to the Arctic Circle, and through the expansive wilderness of the Yukon Territory. The View and Verandah promotion runs through February 28, 2007. Space is limited to a first come first serve basis. For more information, contact a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (1-877-724-5425) or visit

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New Premium Air Options With Crystal's 2008 Europe Cruises 

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19 -- Getting there can be almost as good as being there. For its 2008 Western and Northern Europe cruises, Crystal Cruises is expanding its air/sea program with two new air upgrade options. A partnership with Eos Airlines provides a corporate jet-like experience, while Premium Economy service through British Airways and Scandinavian Airways offers more legroom and comfort than coach. The services are available from specific U.S. gateways in addition to Crystal's coach air/sea fares.

Eos Airlines
Eos' air service utilizes Boeing 757 aircraft configured for only 48 guests, offering an experience more akin to flying on a corporate jet than usual business class sections. With 12 square feet of personal space per guest, its laundry list of luxury amenities includes down pillows, cashmere blankets, personally delivered gourmet meals and the comforts of a six-foot, six-inch fully flat bed. This special air upgrade is available to Crystal guests for travel between New York's JFK International Airport and London's Stansted International Airport in conjunction with nine April through August 2008 European and Baltic cruises beginning or ending in London; as well as the line's September Trans-Atlantic crossing from London to New York.

Premium Economy
For Crystal guests seeking more legroom and comfort than traditional coach without the price tag of business class, Crystal is offering Premium Economy service with all eight of its Baltic, North Cape and British Isles cruises departing June through August 2008, as well as the September Trans-Atlantic voyage from London to New York. The service is available on round-trip flights to London, Copenhagen and Stockholm via British Airways or Scandinavian Airlines, depending on the U.S. gateway.

  • Crystal's 2008 Northern European cruises aboard Crystal Symphony range from seven to 14 days.

  • Crystal's 11-, 12- and 13-day Western Europe itineraries are available aboard Crystal Serenity or Crystal Symphony.

For additional information on Western European and Baltic itineraries, or Crystal's special air/sea upgrades, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

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Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Onboard Enhancements 
As Part of Its Freestyle 2.0 Initiative

MIAMI, Dec 19—As the transaction between Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Apollo Management, LP (“Apollo”) nears completion and the infusion of $1 billion comes into the company, NCL announced today its Freestyle 2.0 fleetwide initiative featuring significant enhancements in its onboard product that will further improve the guest experience. The enhancements include a major investment in the total dining experience; upgrading the stateroom experience across the ship; new wide ranging onboard activities for guests all of ages; additional recognition, service and amenities for balcony, suite and villa guests; and a re-launch of a tiered Latitudes past guest recognition program. The initiative has been driven by feedback from both guests and travel partners and has been enabled by Apollo’s billion dollar investment in NCL and Star Cruises continued commitment and vision.

“Our innovative Freestyle Cruising and exciting, dynamic fleet of new ships have combined to make NCL a truly unique and exciting cruise vacation,” said Colin Veitch, NCL’s president and CEO. “We have achieved the milestone of offering the youngest fleet in the cruise industry, and will now focus our attention on delivering the next generation of freestyle cruising—Freestyle 2.0—a significant enhancement to the guest experience fleet wide.” 

NCL will immediately begin to roll out Freestyle 2.0 fleet wide. Highlights of the different onboard initiatives include:

Freestyle Dining:

  • An increased investment in food of $50 million before we deliver our first F3, equating to a 20 percent increased investment in food per passenger per day plus major fleetwide capital investments; 

  • Lobster Galore—Lobster in the main restaurant on multiple days and in one restaurant every night of the cruise;

  • A signature specialty dish in every restaurant (ie 48oz Porterhouse in the steak house, chocolate fondue tower in the action station restaurant)

  • An enhanced nighttime dining/ambience in the action station restaurant with table cloths, muted lighting and enhanced service;

  • One or two alternative restaurants open for lunch on sea days;

  • A new and expanded room service menu;

  • A “bubbly welcome”—a welcome aboard glass of bubbly for everyone;

  • A Taste of Freestyle on embarkation day—samplings from all of the specialty restaurants;

  • A major hardware investment to bring all buffets to Norwegian Gem/Norwegian Pearl “action station restaurant” standard;

  • An investment in back of house to refine the reservations process and system.

Stateroom Experience:

  • Upgraded bedding and sheets, pillows, duvets;

  • Upgraded in towels and bathrobes;

  • Upgraded in-room amenities including coffee maker and expanded TV offerings;

  • Addition of sofa beds to suite categories.

Balcony and mini suites:

  • A distinctive colored key card for ship wide recognition;

  • An “at your service” hotline;

  • A separate check-in for balcony and mini suite guests;

  • A personal escort to stateroom;

  • Priority disembarkation.

Suites and Villas:

  • All suites and villas to have concierge and butler service;

  • Welcome champagne in suite/villa;

  • Upgraded canapés every day;

  • Private breakfast/lunch in Cagney’s Restaurant; 

  • An exclusive concierge lounge;

  • Priority disembarkation;

  • Priority restaurant reservations;

  • Dedicated Butler presence in the Courtyard*;

  • Private breakfast/lunch in the Courtyard*.

*Available to Villa and Owner’s Suite guests.

Onboard activities:

  • An enhanced educational, entertainment and lifestyle programNCL “U”: A range of new classes such as Improv, organic cooking, bartending, sommelier, etc.;

  • An enhanced Health and Wellness program;

  • An enhanced Pool Deck experience: Entertainment taken upscale; Drink flags on all deck chairs; Pool of indulgenceEvian spritz, cold towels, etc.; Quiet zones and times

Past Guest Latitudes program:

  • A new program with various tiers rewarding both spend and frequency;

  • A new range of tangible, meaningful and deliverable benefits; 

  • A staffed concierge lounge for Latitudes members.

Freestyle 2.0 enhancements will begin rolling out immediately and will be largely implemented by summer of 2008.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Christens New "It" Girl, Norwegian Gem

New York, Dec 19 -- Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) named Cindy Cardella of Fairfield, NJ, the Godmother of its new "It" Girl, Norwegian Gem, during the ship's Christening ceremony held today in New York. Cindy was chosen by NCL and the public among five finalists vying for the Godmother crown following an online video contest hosted on In addition to being named Norwegian Gem's Godmother, a position steeped in maritime tradition, she will receive a seven-day cruise in the ultra-luxurious 5,000-square-foot Garden Villa for her and five of her entourage.

"With this contest, we sought to reward our past guests with a once in a lifetime opportunity. Cindy received close to 10,000 votes from the public and was selected based on her ability to show how she embodies the attributes of NCL's hottest, hippest new ship, as well as the free spirit of NCL's Freestyle Cruising," said Colin Veitch, NCL Corporation's president and CEO.

The hour-long Christening ceremony held on board Norwegian Gem featured performances by Dem Boyz Step Team and the New York-based Luminescence Choir. In addition to comments from Star Cruises Chairman Tan Sri KT Lim, NCL Corporation President and CEO Colin Veitch, all five finalist video entries were shown, along with the premiere of Norwegian Gem's movie-sode, "License to Thrill." Cindy was also given the honor of officially naming the ship and pulling the lever that released the bottle of champagne to christen the ship. The ceremony and movie-sode can be viewed online at For a photo of the new godmother at the christening, see Cruise Diva's Blog.

In her video, entitled "Cindy will let you in on a secret," Cindy, 31, explains how she has cruised on NCL since childhood and highlights all of the places she has visited. Cindy has sailed with NCL on more than 30 cruises and is a stay at home mom in Fairfield, NJ, with three boys, ages five, three and five months. Her husband, David, joined her at the Christening ceremony. "Freestyle Cruising on Norwegian Cruise Line is the only way to cruise and I am honored NCL and the public chose me as Godmother for this stunning new ship," said Cindy. "As Godmother of Norwegian Gem, I will continue living the 'It' Girl lifestyle of sophistication, independence, confidence, eagerness to explore new destinations and learn new things, glamour, style, and culture."

She's So "It" 
The hippest ship to hit the seas, the 2,400 passenger Norwegian Gem boasts luxurious accommodations, decadent dining at 10 restaurants, and exciting entertainment and activity options that even the most discriminating "It" Girl will adore. A "ship within a ship" Villa complex positioned high atop the vessel offers two posh Garden Villas with their own private gardens and sundecks; 10 expansive Courtyard Villas sharing a private courtyard, pool and sundeck; and two fabulous top-of-the-ship Deluxe Owner's Suites.

One of several entertainment options on board, the Bliss Ultra Lounge and Nightclub, gives the "It" Girl a hot spot to party like a star. The 24-hour, high-energy entertainment and nightlife complex boasts the second four-lane, ten-pin bowling alley at sea, an NCL exclusive first offered on Norwegian Pearl. Guests looking for a physical challenge will find a 30-foot rock climbing wall with five different climbing routes, each with varying degrees of difficulty. Norwegian Gem also features the red-hot Wii™ video game system by Nintendo. Wii tournaments are held in Norwegian Gem's atrium on a two-story LED screen allowing guests to gather and play against each other.

Norwegian Gem will sail 7-, 10- and 11-day itineraries from her home port of New York to the Bahamas, Florida and the Caribbean from December 2007 until April 2008. In April 2008, she repositions to Europe where she will pick up her series of 28 seven-day Western Mediterranean itineraries roundtrip from Barcelona. Norwegian Gem will return to the Big Apple in November and December 2008 to sail seven-day Bahamas and Florida itineraries

NCL plans to build two new third generation Freestyle Cruising ships for delivery in 2010. NCL today has the youngest fleet in the industry, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea, and has recently added its latest new ship, the 2,400 passenger Norwegian Gem.

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Four Costa Ships Receive A 15-Million Euro Restyling

MIAMI, FL, Dec 18 – Between November and December 2007, Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, carried out restyling operations and technical maintenance on four ships while in dry dock, totaling an investment of 15 million euros. The works were carried out in the dry-docks of the ports of Genoa and Palermo. From November 13-23, the Costa Victoria was at the Mariotti shipyards in Genoa; from November 13-25, the Costa Marina was placed in dry-dock number five at the port of Genoa; from December 4-14, the Costa Concordia was at the Fincantieri dry-dock in Palermo, where the Costa Classica was also dry-docked from November 20 to December 1. The main objective of these operations, which for Costa’s ships are carried out an average of every two and a half years, is to perform routine and extraordinary maintenance on the ship’s technical systems and its furnishings. The main purpose of all the various operations is to ensure that the quality and safety of Costa’s ships remains at the highest levels, in both crew and guest areas.

Hull maintenance is one of the most important operations carried out during this kind of ship “check-up.” During these operations, the hull, whose length on these vessels ranges from 174 meters (Costa Marina) to 290 meters (Costa Concordia), is completely cleaned and painted to prevent it from eroding due to the effect of atmospheric agents and the sea and to improve its performance at sailing speeds. For the hotel areas, the layout of the public spaces and the cabins was completely restyled, replacing furnishings, carpeting, curtains, fabrics, wall linings and, this time, also replacing the cathode ray television sets in the suites with new and modern LCD screens. On the outer decks, the flooring was replaced with teak. 

After completing the dry-dock operations, the four ships departed for the 2007-2008 winter cruise season: 

  • Costa Marina departed from Savona on a 26-night cruise to Mauritius. This winter, the ship will offer a new and exclusive itinerary to the Indian Ocean, departing from the famous tropical island with calls to Madagascar, Kenya, the Seychelles, and Reunion. 

  • Costa Victoria and Costa Classica are being positioned in South America for cruises to the southern tip of the world, Tierra del Fuego. 

  • Costa Concordia will offer 10 and 11-night cruises to Egypt, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, where guests will be able to enjoy a mild climate while visiting some of the world’s most fascinating destinations. 

The Ships

Costa Concordia – This 114,500-ton ship entered service in 2005. She measures in at 290 meters and carries 3,780 guests. The ship boasts innovative and unique features, including the Samsara Spa, an exclusive 23,000 square-foot spa with cabins featuring direct access via private stairway and elevator to the spa facilities. The ship also features four swimming pools, two with a retractable glass roof, allowing guests to enjoy poolside activities throughout the year. Additionally, she features a Grand Prix race car simulator, the most accurate representation of Formula One driving available. The interiors of the ship are inspired by all of Europe’s architectural styles up to the 1900s. This same theme is also part of the numerous works of art on board (around 6,000 in all, including originals and reproductions) created by 35 international artists such as Omar Galliani, Aldo Spoldi, Nicola Salvatore, Wal, and Javier Garcerà. 

Costa Victoria – This 76,000-ton ship, which entered service in 1996, is 252 meters long and carries a total of 2,394 guests. In January 2004, private balconies were installed in 242 cabins and four mini-suites. Elegant and refined, the Costa Victoria has a distinctive and modern design, premium furnishings and valuable works of art. Particularly impressive is the Concorde Plaza, a bow saloon surrounded by glass offering a view over the sea, and the Wellness Center, with a beautiful indoor swimming pool. The ship displays original works by numerous artists, including Gianfranco Pardi and Emilio Tadini. 

Costa Classica - Built by Fincantieri in Marghera in 1991, the Costa Classica’s public areas underwent a major restyling in 2001. This 52,900-ton ship is 221 meters long and carries a total of 1,680 guests. This elegant cruiser has numerous valuable works of art including the unique Sfera by Pomodoro in the main hall. She has a linear and uniform architecture, constant symmetry and some “traditional” shipboard elements, such as circular portholes in the hull and tall, elliptical funnels. 

Costa Marina – This classic and elegant ship, which entered service in 1990, weighs in at 25,600 tons, is 174 meters long and carries a total of 1,000 guests. From January to March 2002, she underwent a major restyling. She is noted for the originality of her exterior shape, which features wide windows and a stern transom, as well as a glass wall facing the restaurant hall and the ballroom, while the superstructure features a glass dome and hosts an elegant lounge and bar.

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

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Hurtigruten Heads North From Antarctica to the Arctic on 
Its Second World Cruise

New York, NY, Dec 2007 -- Hurtigruten is heading north on its second world cruise, beginning in Ushuaia, Argentina on February 27, 2008, visiting Antarctica, the eastern ports of South America, Europe, the Baltic nations and Russia, and ending on May 21in Reykjavik, Iceland. The 85-day adventure, aboard the world’s newest expedition ship, the 318-passenger MS Fram, is being offered in 11 to 18-night segments, giving guests the opportunity of doing those parts of the voyage that most interest them. A special two-for-one offer allows a companion sharing the same cabin to sail at no charge on the two South American/Antarctica segments.

Each geographic segment offers its own custom focus – the diversity and stunning beauty of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia; Brazil’s hidden treasures with five stops; Europe from A to Z – Portugal, Spain, France, UK, Netherlands and Germany; the Baltic Sea - Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia and Gotland; and the North Sea path from the UK to Iceland. Port calls range from six to 12 hours and the smaller size of the ship and modern facilities allows for easy transfers to and from ports so guests can maximize their time ashore.

  • The 18-day Ushuaia-Uruguay segment shows off the diversity of the cruise’s most southern destinations: Antarctica’s incredible vista, icebergs, penguins and other wildlife; isolated South Georgia and Falklands Islands, breeding grounds for millions of seabirds and home to King and other penguin species; and Montevideo, Uruguay, with its beautiful beaches and many museums.

  • From Montevideo, the MS Fram heads to Brazil on an 11-day segment, stopping first at Parati, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1966 and home to lush green parks. Two days are spent in Rio de Janeiro, where guests can enjoy the beat of samba, visit the giant statue of Jesus that stands over the city or take in the exciting nightlife; followed by Salvador de Bahia, one of Brazil’s oldest cities; and Recife, often called the Venice of Brazil because of its many canals, bridges and tiny streets.

  • Departing Hamburg, Germany on April 28, 2008, the MS Fram makes port stops in Copenhagen, Ronne (Bornholm), Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallin, and Visby (Gotland), spends two days in Stockholm, and makes a transit of the Kiel Channel, one of the world’s busiest waterways for seagoing vessels, before returning to Hamburg.

  • The final segment of Hamburg to Reykjavik is 12 nights, departing on May 10, 2008. Beginning with England’s Dover, famous for its White Cliffs, and small village of Falmouth, known for its deep port and fine Georgian homes, the MS Fram next stops in Ireland’s Cork, where passengers may wish to visit the medieval Red Abbey or wander along pedestrian-friendly St. Patrick’s Street. After passing the UNESCO World Heritage island of Great Skellig, and the small village of Sneem, passengers can explore Galway, the Aran Islands and Killbegs during port calls. A stop in Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides is the last port before disembarkation in Reykjavik.

Included are all meals on board and lectures by experts and naturalist guides. The 12,700-ton eight-deck ship, the first cruise ship built exclusively for sailing in the challenging maritime environment of Greenland, makes significant use of that country’s culture as inspiration for design while incorporating a striking Scandinavian feel with the extensive use of wool, leather and oak. Cabins are stylish and comfortable; a variety of suites and junior suites offer queen-size beds and TVs. The ship also boasts excellent conference and meeting facilities, an Internet café, a large glass-enclosed observation salon offering panoramic views of the outside scenery, restaurant with ocean views, wellness center with saunas, work-out room and two glass-screened heated outdoor whirlpools. A fuel surcharge of $6 per day is additional. Brochures, information and reservations can be obtained from Hurtigruten (formerly known as Norwegian Coastal Voyage), (800) 323-7436 or (212) 319-1300; fax (212) 319-1390; for brochures, (800) 666-2374;

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Crystal Sets Worldwide Itineraries to Seven Continents for 2009

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 17 -- From Antarctica to the Polar Ice Cap, in 2009 Crystal Cruises is venturing to all seven continents, circling the Pacific, and featuring new itineraries in South America, Europe and the Middle East for its ultra-luxurious Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. Sailing to 185 ports in 57 countries on 57 voyages, Crystal Cruises' 2009 program focuses on more port intensive itineraries with overnight port stays on most cruises. Itineraries range from seven to 106 days, from the exotic to convenient North American departures.

Among the 2009 highlights:

  • 106-day Pacific Circle Celebration World Cruise round-trip from Los Angeles, including the inaugural ports of Rangiroa, French Polynesia; Komodo, Indonesia; Napier, New Zealand; Sihanoukville, Cambodia; and Petropavlosk, Russia. Also featured is the 150th birthday of the Port of Yokohama and a return to Alaska.

  • Return to cruising the Amazon for the first time since 2006.

  • New fall cruise to Israel and Egypt.

  • Dubai overnight stays on two cruises.

  • European maiden calls to Kotor, Montenegro; Lipari, Italy; Patmos, Greece; Sinop, Turkey; Alesund, Norway and Kiel, Germany.

  • Virtually all Mediterranean cruises feature overnight calls in cities including Barcelona, Istanbul, Monte Carlo, Venice and/or Sorrento.

  • Two ships cruising Asia, including cruises in China/Japan, Southeast Asia and India with overnight stays in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Osaka, Kobe, Bangkok, among many others.

  • Baltic cruises of seven and 11 days with overnight calls in Copenhagen and Stockholm, plus double overnights in St. Petersburg.

  • North Cape cruise to Spitsbergen and the Polar Ice Cap.

  • British Isles cruise featuring the Military Tattoo in Edinburgh.

  • Black Sea cruise with a new overnight stay in Odessa and maiden call in Turkey.

  • Spring and fall Panama Canal cruises, Caribbean and Mexican Riviera departing from North American cities.

  • Choice of exotic and tropical holiday voyages: South America and Antarctica or Caribbean.

  • More than a dozen "career-friendly" voyages beginning or ending on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Reservations are open for Crystal's first quarter of 2009. Pricing and reservations for the remainder of 2009 will be available in early 2008. For complete day-by-day itinerary information, visit the luxury line's website at For all reservations contact a professional travel agent or call 888-799-4625.

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Costa’s New Flagships to Feature Engines Powerful Enough to Light Up a City of Over 100,000 People

MIAMI, FL, Dec 17 – Costa’s newest flagships, the 92,700-ton Costa Luminosa and the 114,500-ton Costa Pacifica, will feature diesel engine generator sets with enough power to light up a city of over 100,000 people. The Italian company, which is Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, will inaugurate both ships in June 2009. The installation of the diesel engine generator sets feature six engines for each ship, both capable of producing power of almost 140 Mw, equivalent to the electricity consumption of a city with a population of over 100,000. Each engine on the Costa Pacifica weighs 166,000 kg, features 12 cylinders and can generate power of 12,600 kW. The Costa Luminosa features two types of engines—four 170,000 kg, 12-cylinder, 12,000 kW generating sets as well as two 120,000 kg, 8-cylinder, 8,000 kW engines.

The Costa Luminosa will be a one-of-a-kind ship, combining the very best of the Costa product in wellness, entertainment, exclusive itineraries, art, as well as fine food and wine. She will feature accommodations for 2,260 guests in dual occupancy cabins. Moreover, she will feature 772 veranda cabins from a total of 1,130 staterooms, which is the highest percentage of veranda cabins in the Costa fleet (68%). Facilities onboard will include the best of the latest innovations offered by Costa, including the Samsara Spa, which at 23,000 square feet is one of the largest and most exclusive spas at sea, featuring cabins with direct access to the spa facilities via private elevator and stairway. It will also feature a large pool deck extending over two decks and fitted with a sliding glass magrodome, as well as a Grand Prix race car driving simulator and 18-hole championship golf course simulator. 

The Costa Pacifica, sister ship to the present flagships Costa Concordia and Costa Serena, will be 114,500 gross tons and able to accommodate up to 3,780 guests. She will feature all of the main innovations that have proven so popular on her two sister ships, notably the Samsara Spa, the covered swimming pool area extending over two decks, and the Grand Prix driving simulator. 

Costa currently has five ships on order, more than any other cruise line in the world, which will make the Costa fleet 17-strong by 2012 with total guest capacity of 36,800 in dual occupancy cabins. In addition to the Costa Luminosa and the Costa Pacifica, Costa has commissioned another three new builds from Fincantieri’s Marghera yard – one 114,500-ton ship and two 92,700-ton ships. Costa’s fleet expansion program, which began in 2000, entails a total investment of 5.5 billion euros with the addition of 13 new fleet members from 2000 to 2012. 

Costa, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line, is the leading Italian cruise company and for 60 years has offered the best in Italian hospitality, cuisine and entertainment on cruises throughout the world. For reservations or more information, contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit

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Carnival Pride to Kick Off Schedule of 7-Day Caribbean Cruises
 from Miami in Spring 2009

MIAMI, Dec 14 – Carnival Cruise Lines’ 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride will operate a series of seven-day eastern and western Caribbean cruises from Miami beginning in April 2009. Three different week-long itineraries will be offered on this unique program, which will run through August 2009.

  • Carnival Pride’s seven-day program from Miami kicks off April 11, 2009, with a week-long cruise to the popular eastern Caribbean destinations of San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas/St. John, USVI; and St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles. 

  • Carnival Pride will then operate a series of seven-day western Caribbean cruises from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Ocho Rios, Jamaica departing April 18, May 2, 16, and 30, June 13 and 27, July 11 and 25 and Aug. 8 and 22, 2009.

  • Also included in the program is a series of seven-day eastern Caribbean cruises calling at the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay; St. Thomas, USVI; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands. Departure dates include April 25, May 9 and 23, June 6 and 20, July 4 and 18, and Aug. 1, 15, and 29, 2009.

14-Day Panama Canal Cruise, Special One-Time Six-Day Voyage 
Prior to these voyages, Carnival Pride will operate a special 14-day Panama Canal cruise departing Long Beach, Calif., March 22 and arriving Miami April 5, 2009. Featured ports include Manzanillo, Mexico; and Puntarenas, Costa Rica; prior to the Panama Canal transit; followed by Cartagena, Colombia; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; and George Town, Grand Cayman. Carnival Pride will then operate a special one-time six-day cruise from Miami April 5-11, 2009, calling at Key West, Fla., George Town Grand Cayman; and Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

Innovative Design, Wide-Ranging Amenities and Facilities
Carnival Pride, which entered service in 2002, is the second in the line’s highly successful “Spirit-class” and offers features such as an intimate reservations-only supper club at the top level of a soaring 10-deck-high atrium, indoor and outdoor promenades, a winter garden, a wedding chapel and a sleek hull design and interior layout that leads guests from one public area to the next in a seamless flow. The ship also offers 16 lounges and bars, including a wine bar, sports bar, piano bar, two-level dance club and a 1,200-set theater showcasing lavish revues. Extensive facilities for children and teens, part of the line’s popular “Camp Carnival” and “Club O2” programs, respectively, are also available. 

Also featured is a 14,500-square-foot Spa Carnival health and fitness center with dedicated exercise space, sophisticated equipment, private treatment rooms, and more. An Internet café, Wi-Fi access and cell phone service are available, as well. Eighty percent of the vessel’s staterooms have an ocean view, and 80 percent of those have verandahs -- providing an intimate and private venue for enjoying views of spectacular Caribbean destinations. All staterooms feature the Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high quality linens and pillows.

Reservations are currently being accepted for the Carnival Pride’s 2009 seven-day cruises from Miami, as well as the 14-day Panama Canal cruise. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit

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Princess to Offer More Sailings From "The City by the Bay" Than Any Other Cruise Line in 2008

SANTA CLARITA, CA, Dec 2007 - Nearly 40 years after Princess Italia set off from San Francisco on its first Alaska cruise, Princess is marking its long history of sailing from the city with more than 20 departures in 2008. In addition to yearly favorites such as the breathtaking beauty of Alaska and the fun and sun of the Mexican Riviera, Princess has a number of "exotic" sailings on tap from San Francisco, including several luxurious month-long Pacific crossings to (or from) Sydney, a special voyage to Central and South America, and the opportunity to travel "Aussie style" to Asia. The latter option is part of Princess' new Australia-based cruise program on Sun Princess, which will bring that ship to town as part of a Pacific Circle voyage, with segments ending and beginning in San Francisco. 

"San Francisco has long been an important port for us, and we're continuing to offer more departures from 'The City by the Bay' than any other cruise line next year," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "I think many travelers might be surprised by the variety available, with these unique sailings to South America, across the Pacific and even to Asia." 

Cruises departing from or arriving in San Francisco include: 

  • Alaska - Dawn Princess will return for a series of popular Inside Passage cruises. The 10-day roundtrip sailings run between May 7 and September 14. The ship will offer 14 San Francisco departures on varying itineraries that include calls at Victoria, Juneau, Ketchikan, and either Skagway, Sitka, Haines or Icy Strait Point, plus the premiere glacier viewing of Tracy Arm. 

  • Mexican Riviera - Star Princess offers an in-depth exploration of the Mexican Riviera with 10-day sailings from San Francisco featuring calls at Acapulco, Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. The ship will offer six roundtrip sailings between Oct. 11, 2008 and April 27, 2009. 

  • Panama Canal - Coral Princess also offers a full Grand Canal 15-day transit between Ft. Lauderdale and San Francisco with calls at Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Huatulco, Costa Rica (Puntarenas), Panama Canal, Cartagena and Aruba. Sailing departs on April 25, 2008. 

  • Pacific Crossing - Dawn Princess offers a Pacific crossing to Australia with a 31-day sailing that takes passengers from San Francisco to Sydney on September 24, 2008, including Honolulu, Kona, Christmas Island, Bora Bora, Tahiti, Moorea, Rarotonga, Pago Pago, Fiji, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin, plus cruising through Fiordland National Park. 

  • Pacific Crossing - Sun Princess offers a 28-day itinerary from Sydney to San Francisco departing on July 14, 2008 that visits Auckland, Dravuni Island, Apia (Western Samoa), Pago Pago, Rarotonga, Moorea, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Christmas Island, Honolulu, Maui and Hilo before arriving in San Francisco. 

  • Alaska and Asia Adventure - Sun Princess offers a chance to travel north to Alaska and to the Far East in one 23-day sailing from San Francisco to Beijing. After a dramatic departure under the Golden Gate Bridge, the ship calls at the Canadian ports of Victoria and Vancouver, then showcases Alaska will calls at Ketchikan, Juneau, Glacier Bay, and Kodiak. Russia is next, with a call at Petropavlovsk, followed by Yokohama (for Tokyo), Osaka (for Kyoto), Nagasaki, Pusan, and finally arrival in China at the port for Beijing. This sailing departs on August 10, 2008. 

  • Andes and South America - This 18-day Pacific Ocean sailing between San Francisco and Santiago features a variety of iconic Latin America destinations including the opportunity to visit the famed Machu Picchu. The itinerary includes Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Nicaragua (Puerto Corinto), Costa Rica (Puntarenas), Panama Canal (Puerto Amador), Quito (Manta), Lima (Callao - overnight for visits to Machu Picchu), and La Serena (Coquimbo). Star Princess will offer two departures, on November 20, 2008 and the reverse itinerary on March 30, 2009.

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Crystal's 2008 'How To' World Cruise

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 14 -- From money management and memoir writing to photography and the science of sleep, Crystal Cruises' 108-day 2008 World Cruise features an expanded curriculum of "how to" lectures and instruction. Best-selling biographer and former chief foreign affairs correspondent for Time magazine, Chris Ogden; economist Jane Bryant Quinn, named one of 25 of the World Almanac's most influential women in America; nine-time Tony Award-winner Tommy Tune and his Manhattan Rhythm Kings; and Academy Award-winning actress and History of the World, Part I star Cloris Leachman headline the entertainment and educational lineup of dozens of lecturers for more than 200 classes on board Crystal Cruises' 14th annual World Cruise from Los Angeles to London departing January 19, 2008.

Renowned for its Creative Learning Institute, Crystal is ramping up its lineup for a Comprehensive Creative Learning Institute in keeping with the epic voyage. Led by nationally noted experts and instructors, the complimentary classes offer guests the opportunity to learn how to:

  • Manage their money -- Featuring America's most trusted voices: Jane Bryant Quinn, Newsweek columnist and co-developer of the Quicken Financial Planner; and Dr. Bob Froehlich, chairman of investor strategy for Deutsche Bank.

  • Know more about everything -- Aptly led by the author of A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson.

  • Better Understand Politics -- Guided by political consultant, columnist, author and Fox News commentator, Dick Morris.

  • Make a Hollywood film -- A behind-the-scenes look at the making of Hollywood hits with industry insiders Richard Kahn, former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts; George Englund, writer, producer and director; Rick McKay, award-winning filmmaker.

  • Improve their memories -- With author and memory training guru Scott Bornstein, renowned for his exclusive MemoryPower & Mind-Mapping systems.

  • Capture Southeast Asia on camera -- Led by photojournalist Mason Florence, author/co-author of several Lonely Planet guidebooks on Southeast Asia.

  • Get a better night's sleep -- Featuring Cornell University professor Dr. James B. Maas, author of the New York Times best-seller, Power Sleep.

  • Navigate the night skies -- With astronomer Norman Caisse.

  • Practice yoga -- Taught by acclaimed instructor Patsy McFrederick.

  • Leave a video legacy or write a memoir -- Led by noted author and former Men's Health writer Joe Kita.

  • Ballroom dance and tango -- Taught by Curtis Collins and Beverly Durand.

  • Play the keyboard -- With hands-on instruction by certified Yamaha instructor Elizabeth Woodard for beginning, intermediate and advanced players.

  • Speak Spanish -- Featuring classes through Berlitz for beginning, intermediate and advanced levels.

  • Master the art of the golf swing -- Led by PGA golf pro John Clark and featuring state-of-the-art Taylormade equipment.

  • Digitally edit video -- Via Crystal's renowned Computer University@Sea teachers.

In conjunction with Del Mar College of Corpus Christi, Texas, Crystal's Computer University@Sea is even offering an expanded computer learning curriculum for college credit. On a lighter note, guests can enjoy behind-the-scenes insights on television and the Olympics from industry insiders, including former television host Monty Hall of the popular game show Let's Make a Deal and Olympic swimmer John Naber, the most decorated Olympian at the 1976 Montreal games.

"Our guests are lifetime learners who love travel and trying new things and with this voyage we offer them the world as the ultimate classroom," says Bret Bullock, Crystal's vice president, entertainment. "We will even have an astronomer onboard throughout the entire voyage to teach guests 'how to' view the stars. As the itinerary takes the ship across the Equator and back again guests will have the rare chance to learn and stargaze in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres."

Crystal Serenity's 2008 108-day World Cruise spans the globe, visiting 45 ports of call in 22 countries throughout the South Pacific, Asia, Africa and Europe. Eight distinctive segments range from 11 to 17 days. For additional information, contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

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Carnival Corp Orders Two New 71,000-Ton Cruise Ships
 for AIDA Cruises

MIAMI, Dec 13 - Carnival Corporation & plc has ordered two 71,000-ton cruise ships for its AIDA Cruises brand, which caters exclusively to the German-speaking market. These two newbuilds mark six new ships that the German cruise operator has ordered in just the past three years. The 2,174-passenger vessels, which will be built at Germany’s Meyer Werft shipyard at an all-in cost of €380 million and €385 million, are scheduled to enter service in April 2011 and May 2012, respectively. Additionally, the company announced that it has contracted with Meyer Werft to increase the size of the fourth vessel in the series, set to debut in April 2010, to 71,000 tons with a passenger capacity of 2,174, making it a sister to the two ships ordered today. The all-in cost for that vessel has been increased from €335 million to €350 million. All of these vessels will operate under AIDA Cruises’ informal “club resort” cruise concept which is marketed exclusively to German-speaking clientele and offers a product aimed at younger, more active guests who enjoy a host of on-board amenities and facilities. 

“With the interest in cruise vacations among Europeans continuing to grow significantly, we are committed to investing in our European brands. The addition of these 71,000-ton ‘club resort’ newbuilds and the increase in capacity for the fourth in the series will help to ensure that we have adequate capacity to meet growing demand, while further reinforcing AIDA’s position as the leader in the German cruise industry,” said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc chairman and CEO. 

These vessels will join the 68,500-ton AIDAbella, set to debut in April 2008, and an as-yet-unnamed sister ship in April 2009. The first vessel in the series, AIDAdiva, was introduced earlier this year. AIDA Cruises revolutionized the German cruise market with the introduction of its first “club ships” in 1996. By 2012, a total of nine “club ships” will be in service, operating voyages to the Mediterranean, the Canaries, the North Sea, the Baltic, the Caribbean, the Arabian Gulf, Asia and Central America.

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Holland America Line's ms Eurodam Maiden Voyage to Feature Fjords & Kilts

SEATTLE, Dec. 12  -- Norway's famed fjords and Scotland's Highlands are highlights of the ms Eurodam's 10-day maiden voyage of northern Europe, set for July 5, 2008. The 2,104-guest Eurodam, under construction at Fincantieri's Marghera, Italy, shipyard, will be Holland America Line's newest ship and the first in the Signature Class series. Holland America Line also is offering two short introductory cruises during Eurodam's inaugural season. A three-day prelude cruise will sail July 2 from Rotterdam to Copenhagen, calling at Hamburg, Germany, prior to the maiden voyage. President and chief executive officer Stein Kruse is scheduled to sail aboard the prelude cruise. Prior to the start of its Canada/New England season, the ship also will operate a new three-day round-trip New York City preview cruise, departing on Aug. 29, 2008.

"We are pleased to offer two new opportunities for cruisers to experience Eurodam next year," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "Both can be combined with a 10-day port-intensive cruise in Europe or Canada, or they can be booked separately for an introductory experience aboard our first Signature-class vessel."

The 10-day round-trip maiden sailing departs from Copenhagen, Denmark, and calls at Oslo, Alesund, Vik, Flam and Stavanger, Norway; Newcastle Upon Tyne, England; and Edinburgh (via South Queensbury), the premium line's second highest rated port of call, and Invergordon, Scotland. Newcastle, a maiden call for Holland America Line, offers 2,000 years of history and a picturesque backdrop with its location on the left bank of the River Tyne.

Eurodam Expands Premium Offerings
With one more deck than Holland America Line's 10-deck Vista-class ships, the Signature-class Eurodam will feature three alternative dining venues, including a new pan-Asian restaurant with panoramic views. The Explorations Cafe, powered by The New York Times, will be located on deck 11 on the starboard side of the Crow's Nest. Other additions are an Explorer's Lounge Bar, a new specialty restaurant adjacent to the Lido offering fine Italian food, new atrium bar area, and an enhanced and reconfigured show lounge with theater-style seating.

Following its inaugural Europe season, Eurodam will sail its first trans-Atlantic cruise, followed by a series of Canada/New England sailings in the fall before deploying on Caribbean itineraries for the remainder of 2008. For more information, consult a travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit

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Carnival's 2009 Europe Season to be Biggest Yet

MIAMI, Dec. 12 -- Continuing its growth in the rapidly expanding European cruise market, Carnival Cruise Lines will operate an unprecedented number of "Fun Ship" voyages within the region in 2009. The line's 2009 European season will feature two of its newest 110,000-ton ships: Carnival Liberty, which will operate 12-day Northern European and Mediterranean cruises, and Carnival Freedom, sailing 12-day departures to the Mediterranean.

"A Carnival cruise is the ideal way to see Europe, offering consumers the opportunity to experience and explore a diversity of spectacular destinations and then return to the comfort, convenience and amenities of their magnificent 'Fun Ship,'" said Vicki Freed, Carnival's senior vice president of sales and guest services. "Plus, with the exciting itineraries and spectacular features of these two new ships, combined with today's high euro/dollar exchange rate, it's the absolute best way to see the grand sights in Europe," she added.

Carnival Liberty 12-Day Northern Europe, Med Cruises
In response to outstanding advance bookings for its first-ever Northern Europe program next year aboard the Carnival Splendor, the company has announced that the Carnival Liberty will operate the program again in 2009, with twice the number of voyages. Carnival Liberty's 12-day Northern Europe cruises will operate round-trip from London (Dover) from May 9 - Aug. 25, 2009. Featured ports on these voyages include Copenhagen, Denmark; Warnemunde (Berlin), Germany; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia (two-day call); Tallin, Estonia; and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The ship will then operate a special one-time 12-day western Mediterranean voyage from London (Dover) to Rome (Civitavecchia) Sept. 6, 2009, after which it will operate two 12-day Grand Mediterranean voyages departing Sept. 19 and Oct. 25, 2009, and three 12-day Mediterranean & Greece cruises Oct. 1 and 13 and Nov. 6, 2009.

Carnival Freedom 12-Day Cruises to the Med, Greece, Turkey
Carnival Freedom will offer the popular 12-day Grand Mediterranean and Mediterranean & Greece cruises from Rome (Civitavecchia) beginning in May 2009, following a highly successful inaugural season in Europe this year. Carnival Freedom's 12-day "Mediterranean & Greece" cruises include eight ports: Naples, Italy; Rhodes, Greece; Izmir (Ephesus) and Istanbul, Turkey featuring scenic cruising of the Dardanelles; Athens (Piraeus) and Katakolon, Greece; and Livorno, Italy, as well as an overnight call in Rome (Civitavecchia). Voyages depart May 9, Aug. 13, Sept. 18, 2009. The 12-day "Grand Mediterranean" cruises visit seven ports: Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Venice, Italy (two-day call); Messina, Sicily; Barcelona, Spain; Cannes, France; and Livorno, Italy. Departure dates include May 21, June 2, 14 and 26, July 8 and 20, Aug. 1 and 25, Sept. 6 and 30 and Oct. 12 and 24, 2009.

Exciting 'Fun Ship' Amenities
Among Carnival's newest "Fun Ships," the Carnival Liberty and Carnival Freedom, each offer a diversity of dining, entertainment, and activity options, including 22 lounges and bars, four swimming pools, a 214-foot-long water slide, a 14,500-square-foot health and fitness center, an Internet cafe, with bow-to-stern Wi-Fi access, and Carnival's Seaside Theatre, a 270-square- foot massive LED screen displaying movies, concerts and other programming. Cell phone service is available, as well.

The ships' family friendly amenities include a 4,200-square-foot children's play area, part of the top-rated "Camp Carnival" program, and a 1,800-square-foot "Club O2" teen facility featuring a dance floor, DJ and high-tech sound and lighting system. Dining options include twin two-level restaurants with extensive menus and wine lists, a 1,200-seat casual eatery with 24-hour pizza and ice cream, and a reservations-only supper club featuring USDA prime aged beef and other gourmet cuisine. Carnival Freedom and Carnival Liberty also offer a variety of comfortable and spacious accommodations including a wide selection of balcony staterooms and suites. All feature the exclusive Carnival Comfort Bed sleep system with plush mattresses, luxurious duvets and high quality linens and pillows.

Carnival will begin accepting reservations for the Carnival Freedom and Carnival Liberty's 2009 European cruises on Monday, December 17, 2007. Special rates for third and fourth guests staying in the same stateroom and pre- and post-cruise packages in and around London (Dover) and Rome (Civitavecchia) are also available. For additional information and reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL, or visit

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Nobu Brings His Legendary Cuisine to Crystal Symphony

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 11 -- World-class master chef Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa is partnering with Crystal Cruises for two new restaurants aboard the award-winning luxury ship, Crystal Symphony. Silk Road and The Sushi Bar will debut during Crystal Symphony's March 3, 2008 Trans-Pacific cruise from Los Angeles to Hong Kong. Nobu will join the ship in March to personally oversee the launch. Renowned internationally for the innovative blend of classically styled Japanese foods with distinct Peruvian and European influences, Nobu-trained chefs will showcase some of Nobu's most popular specialties at The Sushi Bar, including yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno and tuna tataki with ponzu sauce. Among the more than two dozen menu selections at Silk Road will be Nobu-style lobster with truffle-yuzu sauce, saikyo miso black cod and beef with three distinctive sauces.

Occupying the former Jade Garden space, the restaurants will accommodate a total of 68 guests and will be open most evenings. While there is no additional charge for enjoying Nobu's extraordinary cuisine, reservations are recommended for Silk Road; dining at The Sushi Bar will be on a first come, first served basis. Noted interior design architect Alison Clixby of AdFecto Design, who designed Crystal Symphony's Luxe nightclub and Connoisseur Club, is creating contemporary, Asian-inspired spaces in shades of sage, citrus green and aubergine, accented by golden organza sheers, plum glass tiles, and a dark granite sushi bar. DPA is also designing the mood lighting, which includes custom fabric chandeliers and backlit stone wall treatments. The new restaurants represent an expansion of Nobu's culinary alliance with Crystal Cruises. Since 2003, his cuisine has enjoyed tremendous success aboard Crystal Symphony's fleetmate, Crystal Serenity.

"During the past four years, Crystal has done an incredible job of ensuring the consistent quality and integrity of my cuisine served aboard Crystal Serenity, regardless of wherever the ship may be in the world," comments Nobu. "I am very pleased to build upon my relationship with Crystal Cruises and fully expect the opening of The Sushi Bar and Silk Road to further enhance Crystal Symphony's tradition of culinary excellence."

"As our guests explore the world in search of new adventures and discovery, we look to provide them with access to unique experiences," says Toni Neumeister, vice president, food and beverage operations, Crystal Cruises. "To dine at one of Nobu's restaurants is a treat unto itself, and we look forward to presenting our savvy clientele with yet another new dimension of choice and superior quality aboard Crystal Symphony."

Like Nobu, Crystal Cruises has earned the highest ratings in its industry. Aboard the ultra-luxurious Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, refined elegance meets casual simplicity. With an emphasis on innovative product differentiation, the renowned Crystal experience is distinguished by classic service, abundant space, extensive choices and superior quality, providing worldwide vacations that bridge the best of land and sea. For additional information, please contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625. Visit the luxury line's website at

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Costa Cruises Doubles Presence in Asia

GENOA, Italy, Dec. 11 -- Encouraged by the positive trend of its cruises in Asia, Costa Cruises will increase its presence by positioning a second cruise ship in the region, beginning in March 2009. Costa Cruises, the leading cruise line in Italy and Europe, was the first international company to schedule regular cruises in China and Asia. Its operations began on July 2, 2006 with the Costa Allegra, which flies the Italian flag. A year and a half later, following the success of the product marketed both in China and internationally, Costa has decided to strengthen its presence in Asia from March 2009 onward with the deployment of a second ship - the 53,000 gross tonnage Costa Classica. With accommodations for 1,680 guests and 590 crewmembers, this refined and elegant vessel epitomizes Costa's signature Italian style and ambience for which it is known worldwide. With this second cruise ship in the Asian market, Costa will offer nearly 55,000 additional berths with a total of over 60 cruises, thus bringing its overall capacity in the region to 85,000 berths. Since Costa began operations in the Far East, more than 50,000 guests have sailed on the Costa Allegra on a total of approximately 100 cruises.

The Costa Allegra will offer 30 cruises from November 2008 through November 2009, some of which will be 14-day cruises, with departures from Hong Kong and Singapore on itineraries visiting some of the most exciting ports of call in the region. Meanwhile, the Costa Classica will be deployed from March 27 through November 7, 2009 on 33 cruises lasting between four and 14 days, with departures out of Singapore, Shanghai, Tianjin and Hong Kong on itineraries offering the finest destinations in several Asian countries. As is currently the case, the product will be aimed both at the Chinese clientele, who are responding to Costa's product in ever-increasing numbers, and to international cruisers, including customers from other Asian countries, and Australia, where Far East cruises have a special appeal.

Before being positioned in Asia, the Costa Classica will complete her Mediterranean season on November 30, 2008, setting sail from Savona, Italy for the United Arab Emirates, where she will operate 11 seven-day cruises out of Dubai for the season. She will then depart for Singapore on a 19-day positioning cruise. The 53,000 gross tonnage Costa Classica, which entered service in 1991, was built by Fincantieri at its Marghera shipyard (Venice) and refurbished in 2001. She is one of the most popular liners in the Costa fleet. The ship measures in at 220 meters in length, offers a total guest capacity of 1,680 and features 1,304 lower berths. She has 659 cabins including 10 suites, 2 swimming pools and 4 Jacuzzi. The art collection of the ship includes masterpieces of the worldwide renowned artists Arnaldo Pomodoro and Emilio Tadini.

The 28,500 gross tonnage Costa Allegra entered service in 1992 and underwent a substantial refit in March 2006 at an investment worth 12 million euros. The ship's public areas are Italian in design and neoclassical in style. She is known as the "crystal ship" due to her modern, airy architecture and distinctive glass partition astern. The Costa Allegra offers a total guest capacity of 1,000 and features 386 cabins and 13 suites, including 10 with private verandas. Her facilities include three restaurants with Italian, international and Asian specialties, five bars, two pools, a spa, theater, casino, disco and shopping center featuring the best-known Italian designer labels.

Costa Crociere is an Italian cruise company which boasts 60 years of history and is the market leader in Italy and across Europe. In 2007 Costa Crociere carried a total of over 1,100,000 cruise Guests, a record for the European cruise industry. Its fleet, Europe's largest and most advanced, has a total of 12 ships in service and five on order, each with her own distinctive characteristics and unique style. By 2012, the Costa fleet will be 17 strong with total Guest capacity of approximately 36,800. All of the vessels fly the Italian flag and sail to 250 destinations in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Baltic Sea, the Caribbean, South America, the Arabian Gulf, the Far East and the Indian Ocean. Costa Crociere has been certified by RINA (Italian Shipping Register) with the BEST4, an integrated system of voluntary certification of corporate compliance with the highest standards governing social accountability (SA 8000, issued in 2001), environment (UNI EN ISO 14001, 1996), safety (OHSAS 18001, 1999) and quality (UNI EN ISO 9001, 2000). Costa Crociere is also an official partner of the WWF for the protection of the marine ecoregions of the Mediterranean, the Greater Antilles and Brazil.

The Costa Crociere S.p.A. Group also operates the brand AIDA Cruises, which is the number one cruise company for the German market with four ships in service and three on order, and the brand Iberocruceros, which is based in Spain with two ships in service and one on order. All of the vessels of the Costa Crociere Group fly the Italian flag. Crociere S.p.A. was ranked among the top 20 Italian businesses on two special lists in 2007: the Mediobanca sales & profitability ranking, which surveys over 3,600 Italian companies with revenue of at least 50 million euros, and Busacca & Associati's Observatory on competitiveness, covering 1,600 enterprises. Costa Crociere S.p.A. is the Italian subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc, the world's largest cruise operator.

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Her Royal Highness The Duchess Of Cornwall Names
 Cunard's New Queen Victoria

Southampton, England, Dec 10 - Continuing a grand royal tradition, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall officially named Cunard Line's newest ocean liner, Queen Victoria, during a colorful and regal ceremony in front of a VIP audience of more than 2,000 guests, celebrities and dignitaries.

A milestone in Cunard and British maritime history, this historic occasion marks the continuation of a long tradition of senior Royals naming Cunard liners. "Every one of our Cunard Queens has been named by a member of the Royal Family and we are delighted that Queen Victoria follows in this regal tradition," said Carol Marlow, president and managing director of Cunard Line.

Queen Victoria is not only a classic Cunard ocean liner, offering the very best of Cunard heritage and traditions, but is also the second largest Cunarder the company has ever built. Her Maiden Voyage sails on Tuesday December 11, 2007.

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Apollo Management L.P. Acquires Regent Seven Seas Cruises

MIAMI, Dec. 10 -- Minneapolis-based Carlson and Apollo Management L.P. (Apollo) today announced that Apollo has agreed to acquire Carlson's Regent Seven Seas Cruises operations. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2008, subject to normal conditions for a transaction of this type, including regulatory approval. The cruise operations will continue as a key part of the global Regent brand.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises will be placed under the ownership of Prestige Cruise Holdings, Inc. (PCH), a corporation controlled by Apollo which will manage certain cruise portfolio assets of Apollo. NCL Corporation will remain a separate holding outside of PCH. Regent Seven Seas Cruises will remain a wholly independent brand under the guidance of Mark Conroy, president of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and will continue to operate from its Fort Lauderdale, Florida headquarters, and Oceania Cruises will remain in its Miami headquarters, headed by Bob Binder, president of Oceania Cruises. Both Binder and Conroy will report directly to Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO of Prestige Cruise Holdings.

Apollo's acquisition of Regent Seven Seas Cruises strengthens its position in the cruise industry with the addition of an award-winning luxury cruise brand to its cruise portfolio. Regent Seven Seas Cruises will continue to focus on the luxury segment of the marketplace by offering a six-star, all-inclusive experience, and Oceania Cruises will continue to lead the Upper Premium segment.

"Everyone at Regent Seven Seas Cruises is delighted with the formation of this new family of companies. With the tremendous financial resources of Apollo available to us, Regent Seven Seas Cruises will continue to strengthen our position as the leading luxury cruise brand. Our valued guests and travel agent partners will experience a seamless transition as we continue to deliver world-class cruise vacation experiences. We look forward to continued success and the use of the new financial resources available to accelerate our future growth," stated Mark Conroy, president of Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

"Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers an exceptional product, and its superb shipboard and shoreside teams have built an enviable reputation as the foremost luxury cruise brand. The brand awareness and market presence of Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises will offer our discerning travelers and travel agents worldwide the most vibrant and diverse range of cruise experiences, serving the broadest spectrum of spectacular destinations," stated Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO of Prestige Cruise Holdings.

Founded in 1990, Apollo is a leading private equity and capital markets investor with more than 17 years of experience investing across the capital structure of leveraged companies. The firm employs over 140 professionals and has offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Singapore, Frankfurt and Paris. Since its inception, Apollo has managed more than $28 billion of capital across a wide variety of industries both domestically and internationally. The firm's most recent private equity fund and its co-investment affiliate have capital commitments of approximately $11.6 billion. Investments in the leisure and hospitality industries have included Harrah's Entertainment (pending), AMC Entertainment, Sirius Satellite Radio, Wyndham International, and Vail Resorts. Apollo is already active in the cruise industry, having invested in the upper premium Oceania Cruises brand earlier this year, and is scheduled to shortly close on a committed investment in NCL Corporation Ltd ("NCL"), parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line and NCL America . Since investing in Oceana, Apollo has supported the ordering of two new ships worth approximately $1 billion.

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TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Announce Joint Venture to Serve German Cruise Market

HANOVER, Germany & MIAMI, Dec. 10 -- TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced today they will launch a new joint venture serving the German cruise market. The new company, TUI Cruises, will begin service with one ship, in early 2009, and grow quickly with two newbuilds planned for 2011 and 2012. Sales and marketing will commence earlier in Spring 2008. Both partners will hold a 50 percent interest in the joint venture, which is subject to regulatory and board approvals before completion.

The first ship to operate under the TUI Cruises brand will undergo renovations before entering service. Once deployed, it will not only enhance the German cruise market, but also meet the sophisticated needs of German- speaking customers seeking a contemporary/premium cruise experience. The onboard product will be custom-tailored to German tastes, and encompass food, entertainment and amenities. German will be the language used onboard as well.

"We are thrilled to partner with a company as highly regarded as TUI AG," said Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain. "The alliance greatly advances our global strategy. It also aligns us with TUI AG, the most powerful brand in European tourism," he added. Plans call for the new cruise line to be based in Hamburg, Germany. Industry executive Richard Vogel, who has worked extensively on the project, is expected to be named CEO of TUI Cruises after the transaction is approved. 

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise vacation company that operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Cruises and CDF Croisieres de France. The company has a combined total of 35 ships in service and seven under construction. It also offers unique land- tour vacations in Alaska, Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, Latin and South America and New Zealand. Additional information can be found on,, or

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Cunard Line Elevates Jean-Marie Zimmermann To
 Global Culinary Ambassador

Valencia, CA, Dec 6 - As Cunard prepares to launch its newest ocean liner, the highly anticipated Queen Victoria, the Line announces the promotion of Jean-Marie Zimmermann to Global Culinary Ambassador, responsible for overseeing the company's trio of renowned luxury ocean liners. Chef Zimmermann's leadership is already in action planning and preparing the culinary program for Queen Victoria, which includes a multitude of receptions, lunches and dinners for the official naming ceremony that will be attended by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales on December 10. More than 7,000 people are expected to visit the ship over the course of the three-day celebratory debut in Southampton, England including more than 2000 VIP guests, celebrities and dignitaries who will dine throughout every restaurant on the ship during the evening gala celebration.

In his elevated position, Chef Zimmermann defines the culinary standards for excellence aboard flagship Queen Mary 2, QE2 and Queen Victoria. Requiring vision and creativity, Chef Zimmermann has already created and planned diverse menus for the Line's upcoming 90 & 105-day World Cruise itineraries - which requires a keen sense of understanding for the tastes and preferences of an International mix of guests.

Born in Strasbourg, France in a small region of Alsace, Chef Zimmermann discovered his love of cooking at an early age. Under the watchful eye of his grand-mère, he sharpened his culinary skills and quickly rose to a kitchen position in one of the most respected gourmet restaurants in his hometown of Strasbourg. Since then, his culinary career has taken him to Cannes, Juan Les Pins, Monte Carlo and London, each stop affording new opportunities to demonstrate his mastery, earning accolades and awards, including several gold medals at the Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt. For five years he served as Chef and proprietor operating his own fine dining restaurant which earned him a Michelin Red M, an Egon Ronay Star and a Michelin Star. He also served as president of Euro-Toque in the late 1980's under the direction of the creator of the evolutionary culinary movement, Paul Bocuse. In 1998, friend and fellow Three-Star Michelin Chef Michel Roux tapped him to serve as Corporate Chef for Celebrity Cruises launching Chef Zimmermann's career at sea.

Chef Zimmermann finds boundless inspiration in the exotic destinations that dot the "typical" World Cruise itinerary. "I look forward to meeting the local growers to sample and buy some of the world's most intriguing native ingredients to keep the menus fresh and exciting." Interestingly, while Cunard guests do have a very sophisticated culinary palate, the recollection of one particularly grand event always sparks a smile. In preparation for a U.S. Presidential visit, Chef Zimmermann crafted a menu to "appeal to all the senses," however President George Bush, Sr., politely asked the Chef to prepare, just for him, something using freshly made pasta, a lasagna.

When not at sea, Chef Zimmermann searches for fresh, local ingredients, preferably organic or farm-to-plate. "I enjoy the pleasure of exploring rural markets and produce shops, discovering local fish, meats, vegetables and seasonings. Living near the coast in Bordeaux, we can enjoy fresh oysters, fresh Atlantic fish cooked in my own light and healthy combinations. And, being a Frenchman, I also cook typical French specialties such bouillabaisse and many other regional specialties."

For more information about Cunard Line, contact your travel professional, call 1-800-7-CUNARD or visit

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NCL Announces the World Premiere of “License to Thrill”

MIAMI, Dec 5 – Norwegian Cruise Line unveiled a preview of “License to Thrill,” a movie-sode starring its new “It” Girl Norwegian Gem. The trailer can be viewed at, an online site dedicated exclusively to Norwegian Gem. The movie-sode stars Norwegian Gem and features NCL’s president and CEO Colin Veitch as he embarks on a round-the-world journey to find the elusive “It” Girl. The entire crew of Norwegian Gem gets in on the act in the movie-sode’s finale. The trailer gives a sneak preview of the film, which premieres on December 18, 2007, during the Christening Ceremony of Norwegian Gem in New York. Following the Christening ceremony, the movie-sode will be posted on and will be distributed to thousands of travel agents across the country. In addition, guests on the December 13 inaugural sailing in Boston will get a sneak preview of the movie-sode.

Norwegian Gem’s online site provides the 411 on the “It” Girl, along with an avatar creation tool, a bowling game, a blog and a variety of contests, including the Search for the Latitudes “It” Girl video contest, the winner of which will be named Godmother of the ship and win a seven-day cruise on Norwegian Gem in the ultra luxurious Garden Villa. Five finalists were announced on November 16 and the public is invited to help NCL pick the winner by voting for their favorite “It” Girl finalist now through December 7, 2007.

Norwegian Gem is the newest and final vessel in NCL’s series of Jewel-class ships, which have led the industry in innovation and brought NCL’s signature Freestyle Cruising to the next level. From a four-lane ten-pin bowling alley to a rock climbing wall to a variety of high-end accommodations, including Garden Villas, Courtyard Villas and two top-of-the-ship Deluxe Owner’s Suites, Norwegian Gem is the hippest ship to hit the high seas. The ship will home port in New York from December 2007 through April 2008, sailing seven-day Bahamas and Florida itineraries, combined with 10- and 11-day Exotic Southern Caribbean itineraries. She repositions to Europe for the summer, sailing series of 28 seven-day Western Mediterranean itineraries roundtrip from Barcelona and then returns to New York for another winter season in November 2008.

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Disney Cruise Line Adds Two Eastern Caribbean Itineraries Amidst a Wave of New Choices for Guests in 2008 & 2009

CELEBRATION, FL, Dec. 4 -- Disney Cruise Line announced today two new eastern Caribbean itineraries for 2009 - giving guests more choices than ever before to explore the beautiful islands of the Caribbean - and special offerings for 2008. Beginning in 2009, St. Croix will be a featured stop on one new seven- night itinerary, and Tortola will be featured on another seven-night itinerary. Both islands are new to Disney Cruise Line, increasing the seven- night Caribbean choices on the Disney Magic to four itineraries (Disney's traditional eastern and western Caribbean itineraries will continue).

"The Caribbean continues to be an extremely popular destination for our guests," said Tom McAlpin, president of Disney Cruise Line. "Expanding our offerings in the eastern Caribbean provides our first-time cruisers an array of popular destinations to choose from, while also providing seasoned Disney cruisers new destinations to visit and explore with Disney."

McAlpin noted that there are also special offerings during 2008 including a summer season of sailings to the Mexican Riviera, select cruises with multiple stops at Disney's private island paradise, Castaway Cay, and an enhanced seven-night Land and Sea package that combines the adventure of a Disney cruise with the fun and excitement of a stay at Walt Disney World Resort.

2009 ... New Eastern Caribbean Routes
Disney Cruise Line guests have always enjoyed the beautiful turquoise waters and sugar sand beaches of the eastern Caribbean and, on select voyages throughout the 2009 season, guests will be able to explore either St. Croix or Tortola. The largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix offers a wonderful mix of colonial-style architecture, natural wonders, quaint shops and spectacular marine habitats. Tortola, part of the British Virgin Islands, features centuries-old ruins, botanical gardens, sugar mills, sensational bays and beaches. The new eastern Caribbean itineraries will stop at St. Croix or Tortola, St. Thomas and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.

Eastern Caribbean w/St. Croix*
  • Saturday . . . Port Canaveral
  • Sunday. . . . .At Sea 
  • Monday. . . . .At Sea
  • Tuesday . . . .St. Croix
  • Wednesday . .St. Thomas
  • Thursday . . . At Sea
  • Friday . . . . . Castaway Cay
  • Saturday. . . .Port Canaveral
Eastern Caribbean w/Tortola**
  • Saturday . . . .Port Canaveral
  • Sunday. . . . . At Sea
  • Monday. . . . . At Sea
  • Tuesday . . . . Tortola
  • Wednesday . . St. Thomas
  • Thursday . . . .At Sea
  • Friday . . . . . Castaway Cay
  • Saturday. . . . Port Canaveral

*Eastern Caribbean itineraries with St. Croix sail 1/3, 1/31, 2/28, 3/28, 10/10, 11/7 and 12/5/2009

**Eastern Caribbean itineraries with Tortola sail 4/25, 5/23, 6/20, 7/18, 8/15 and 9/12/2009

Disney Cruise Line will continue to offer its current version of the eastern Caribbean cruise with stops at St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Castaway Cay. The traditional eastern Caribbean voyages will sail in-between the special sailings to St. Croix or Tortola.

Double the Castaway Cay in 2008
As a special treat during the summer of 2008, Disney Cruise Line has redesigned the four-night itinerary to offer two stops at Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the tropical waters of the Bahamas. Castaway Cay continues to be one of the highlights of a Disney Cruise vacation, and with this new itinerary, guests will have twice as much time - two full days - to enjoy all the amenities and activities of the tropical oasis. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters, powdery white sand beaches, swaying palm trees and beautiful tropical flowers, Castaway Cay provides the ultimate escape, whether a guest is seeking adventure, relaxation or quality time with the family.

Altering the traditional four-night itinerary, these 16 special sailings will bookend a day in Nassau with two visits to Castaway Cay.

Four-Night Bahamian Cruise with Two Stops at Castaway Cay***

  • Sunday . . . . . . . .Port Canaveral (embarkation)

  • Monday . . . . . . . .Castaway Cay

  • Tuesday . . . . . . . Nassau

  • Wednesday . . . . . Castaway Cay

  • Thursday . . . . . . .Port Canaveral (debarkation)

***All four-night sailings from 5/11/08-8/24/08 will include two stops at Castaway Cay

Enhanced Land and Sea Package
Beginning in 2008, Disney Cruise Line guests will have the option to book an enhanced package for Disney's seven-night Land and Sea Vacation. The new vacation package, Disney's seven-night Land and Sea Package Plus Dining, includes all the perks of the existing seven-night Land and Sea package along with the added benefits of the Disney Dining Plan, which provides guests one sit-down meal, one counter-service meal and one snack per person for each night of their Walt Disney World stay. Disney's seven-night Land and Sea vacation package combines a three- or four-night cruise on the Disney Wonder with three or four nights of accommodations and theme park tickets at Walt Disney World Resort. The addition of the Disney Dining Plan creates a more inclusive vacation experience. Combined with Onboard-Airline Check-in and Disney's Magical Express, this enhanced package is yet another way that Disney helps provide a hassle-free vacation experience.

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

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Star Clippers to Implement Fuel Surcharge

MIAMI, Dec. 3 -- Star Clippers will implement a fuel surcharge on new bookings starting Dec. 17, 2007. The assessment will be $8 per person per day to a maximum of $100 per person on any sailing for guests from the United States, Canada and Latin America. The surcharge will be assessed on all three of the line's tall ships on all sailings through April 2009.

"After discussing the situation of increased fuel costs with our tour operators and travel agent partners, we have concluded the fairest and least disruptive method of assessing the surcharge would be only on new reservations made on or after Dec. 17," said Jack Chatham, Star Clippers' vice president of marketing and sales for North and Latin America.

While Star Clippers' ships operate mostly under sail, they do require high-quality fuel to run generators to supply electricity and provide climate control on board. Despite being some of the most fuel-efficient vessels in the cruise industry, the ships periodically have to supplement their sail power with the engines to fulfill itineraries. For information, call Star Clippers at (800) 442-0551 or visit  o view a video about the line or take a virtual tour of the Star Clippers ships. To make a reservation, contact a travel professional.

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Cruise News Archive - Past cruise news items listed by month

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

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