- Weekend Cruise News 8-30-02
- Carnival Sets 2003 Bermuda Schedule
- HAL Adds Restaurants to Two Ships
- Carnival Legend Christened
- Weekend Cruise News 8-23-02
- NCL Takes Over Shipbuilding Project
- Weekend Cruise News 8-16-02
- Weekend Cruise News 8-9-02
- Princess Buys Renaissance Ships
- Fire On HAL Ship
- Weekend Cruise News 8-2-02
- Virus on Alaska Cruise
- Back to CruiseMates News Archive
8-30-02 Weekend Cruise News *** The QE2 has set a world record becoming the first ship in history to sail five million nautical miles. This is the equivalent of sailing around the world 230 times. QE2 has called at New York 680 times and Southampton 598 times in her 33 years of service. Captain Paul Wright presented the passengers and crew on this week's transatlantic voyage with special certificates to honor the occasion.
*** The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation released a report Wednesday on the progress of cruise ship pollution in the State. Smoke emissions have been greatly reduced with no violations reported this season compared with 11 in 2001. Holland America Line was praised for its wastewater treatment with the company investing $12.5 million on an advanced system now aboard five of the six HAL ships that sail in Alaska. The bioreactors use bacteria and ultraviolet light to treat black water, making it almost drinking level in quality. The Department would like to see more ships fitted with similar systems so they can meet the new wastewater standards set by the state and the International Council of Cruise Lines in 2001. The 18 large ships which presently cannot meet the high standards must discharge wastewater 12 miles off shore, well away from Alaska waters. For the 2003 season, all ships sailing in Alaska are expected to employ more environmentally sound technology enabling them to meet the standards set last year.
*** The historic riverboat Delta Queen is back in service. Delta Queen sailed Monday from New Orleans for the first time since the reformation of Delta Queen Steamboat Co. this year. The vessel was built in 1927 and is a National Historic landmark. The Mississippi Queen re-entered service earlier this year while the newest and largest of the company's riverboats, American Queen, is scheduled to sail from New Orleans January 18, 2003. Delta Queen offers steamboatin' vacations on the Upper and Lower Mississippi and Wilderness Rivers as far as Minneapolis St. Paul and Pittsburgh.
*** Windstar Cruises has released its 2003 voyage planner for its fleet of sailing yachts: Wind Star, Wind Song, Wind Surf and Wind Spirit. New homeports for 2003 include Copenhagen, Denmark; Dover, England; Marseille, France; and Malaga, Spain. In addition, Wind Surf returns to its popular homeport of Bridgetown, Barbados. New itineraries are featured in the Baltic and Northern Europe and between Venice, Italy and Athens, Greece. Combine Windstar's Advanced Savings Advantage Program with early booking discounts for 25 to 60 percent off brochure rates. This special is available on bookings made by October 15, 2002. Free round-trip airfare from 78 North American gateways is included on all Tahiti cruises January through March, 2003. To receive the 2003 brochure or for more information contact 1-87-STAR-SAIL (1-877-827- 7245.) Online visit www.windstarcruises.com.
*** Crystal Symphony sails to Antarctica on an 18-night cruise from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso, February 7, 2003. The world cruise segment will feature special guest lecturers who are experts on the "White Continent". The noted scientists include Dr. Harm deBlij, Geography Editor on ABC's "Good Morning America" for seven years; conservationist and zoologist Peter Carey, Ph.D., one of New Zealand's premier research scientists in Antarctica; part adventurer, part scientist, Malcolm Macfarlane and conservationist Bill Toone of the Zoological Society of San Diego who won international acclaim for his efforts to restore the critically endangered California condor.
*** Peter Deilmann Cruises has released its 2003 brochure. The line is offering free and low-cost air transportation in 2003 on the sailings of the Deutschland on her worldwide cruises. Air fares start as low as $49 from up to 37 U.S. gateways on 2003 sailings to northern and southern European destinations. Free air is available on the 136-night inaugural world cruise from Las Palmas, Grand Canary, Dec. 18, 2002 to Venice, Italy, May 4, 2003; the 40-night European Voyage from Kiel to Barcelona, Aug. 27-Oct. 6, 2003; the 32-night Odyssey cruise from Italy to the Fjords of Norway, May 12-June 1, 2003, and on European sailings from Venice, Lisbon, Bordeaux, Barcelona, Genoa and other ports. For further information and the Grand Hotel Voyages 2002-2003 brochure, contact a travel agent or Peter Deilmann Cruises at 1-800-348-8287. Online, visit www.deilmann-cruises.com.
*** Carnival Legend entered service just last week and already there is news about the next "fun ship". The 110,000-ton 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest begins weekly sailings, year-round from New Orleans to the Western Caribbean in December. An enlarged version of the Destiny-class ships, Conquest will be the largest ship in Carnival's fleet. Carnival's ship architect, Joe Farcus, has based the onboard theme on the works of great Impressionist and post-Impressionist painters. Farcus pointed out that this is the first Carnival vessel whose interior design is directly tied to its intended home-port. "When I learned the ship was to sail from New Orleans, I was inspired to use the Impressionists as a jumping-off point for the interior design," said Farcus. "Edgar Degas actually lived in New Orleans for a time, so there is definitely a connection between the city, which is an artist's city with a definite French influence, and the Impressionist painters." Public rooms named in honor of the Impressionist movement include the Toulouse-Lautrec Show Lounge, Restaurant Cezanne, The Point supper club (named after the pointillism technique of Seurat), Gauguin's Bar, Henri's Dance Club (after Henri Rousseau), Vincent's Piano Bar and Degas Lounge.
*** Monaco is improving its port facilities by 2005 with the hope of attracting more cruise ships and becoming a home port. A major part of the project is the installation of a new giant break on the outer edge of the harbor, which will be used as a pier for larger cruise ships. The 160,000-ton structure is the first of its kind. It houses a cruise terminal as well as a four-level parking lot. The new breakwater-pier has been installed and should be ready for operation by 2004. Currently, megaships dock at Cannes or Villefranche for passengers to visit Nice and Monaco.
*** Turkey is back on cruise itineraries for 2003 with 16 cruise lines calling at the Turkish ports of Antalya, Bodrum, Canakkale, Dikili, Istanbul and Kusadasi. Notable ships calling at Turkey next year are the new Crystal Serenity and Seven Seas Voyager which enter service in 2003. Also scheduled to call are Orient Lines, Arcalia Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruise Line, Cunard Line, First European Cruises, Golden Sun Cruises, MSC Italian Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Royal Olympic Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Silversea Cruises, Swan Hellenic Cruises and Windstar Cruises. Back to Top
8-28-02 Carnival Sets 2003 Bermuda Schedule Carnival Cruise Lines said it plans to operate its first New York-to-Bermuda cruises in 2003 with the Carnival Pride. The ship will sail a series of seven week-long Bermuda voyages out of New York from July 16 to August 27, including four days docked at Bermuda's King's Wharf. Prices start at $1,149 per person, double. Meanwhile, the line's brand-new Carnival Legend will operate six-day sailings to Bermuda from Baltimore on April 29 and October 28, 2003; and from Philadelphia May 6 and October 21, with rates starting at $749.
8-28-02 HAL Adds Restaurants to Two Ships Holland America Line reportedly plans to enhance the dining options on its Ryndam and Statendam during the ships' October drydock. Plans call for construction of a new alternative dining venue, the Pinnacle Grill, on both vessels. The restaurants will carry a surcharge and will specialize in Pacific Northwest cuisine. Both ships will also be fitted out with new private lounges for persons traveling in their top-category accommodations.
8-23-02 Carnival Legend Christened British actress Dame Judy Dench this week presided over the official naming ceremony of Carnival Cruise Lines' newest ship, the 88,500-ton Carnival Legend, the 17th vessel in the Carnival fleet. After two unsuccessful tries at breaking the bottle of champagne on the bow, Ms. Dench succeeded in christening not only the ship, but herself as well (see picture).
Built at Finland's Kvaerner-Masa Yards, the ship was named at a ceremony in Harwich, England. The 2,124-passenger Legend is on a three-day inaugural cruise to Amsterdam, to be followed by a 12-day northern Europe sailing and a 15-day Atlantic crossing arriving in New York September 20. From there, it will operate short cruises to nowhere and a series of 11-day New England-Canada trips through October.
The third in Carnival's Spirit class of vessels, the Legend has 12 passenger decks; 16 lounges, bars and nightspots; four pools; a water slide; Internet cafe; a 14,500-square-foot health spa and salon, nine-deck-high atrium, an on-board golf program, a duty-free shopping mall, wedding chapel, video arcade, and an 1,800-square-foot children's play area. Back to Top
8-23-02 Weekend Cruise News *** When Carnival Legend was christened in Harwich, England on Wednesday, it was the second time in six weeks that a new ship had been christened in the English Channel port. Naming ceremonies for Brilliance of the Seas were held there on July 13. Harwich has been steadily growing as a cruise port in the last few years with 52 cruise calls scheduled for 2002 and 55 for 2003 including first-time calls by Grandeur of the Seas and Holland America Line's new Oosterdam.
*** Norwegian Dawn, sister ship of Norwegian Star, is scheduled for delivery on December 5, 2002. The 91,740-ton 2,224-passenger Dawn is the third Norwegian Cruise Line vessel specially designed for Freestyle Cruising with its flexible dining options. A total of 10 different restaurants and 11 different menus are featured every night. The three main restaurants and seven alternative restaurants include French, Japanese, Thai, Chinese, South American and Italian cuisine as well as a traditional six-course dining experience, a lighter, more contemporary menu, an indoor/outdoor buffet, a Steak House and a Kids Cafe. Norwegian Dawn commences alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Miami on December 21, 2002 through May 3, 2003. Following a 14-night cruise from Miami to New York, May 3, 2003, Dawn will sail an innovative series of seven-night Bahamas and Florida cruises which can be taken round-trip from either New York or Port Canaveral.
*** Seabourn Cruise Line has announced special guests for its Dress Circle enrichment program in 2002 and 2003. The program provides experts in the history, culture, politics and geography of the ships' destinations as lecturers during the cruises of the luxury yachts, Seabourn Legend, Pride and Spirit. Notable speakers are Theodore K. Rabb, Professor of History at Princeton University, Robin Winks Townsend Professor in History at Yale, Dr. Lawrence Herson is a Professor Emeritus at Ohio State University and Ambassador Richard Tallboys. Famous personalities will also be on board including:
- Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker, Actors, TV's L.A. Law odd-couple; September 7, 2002 Legend
- Paul Theroux , Author; October 5, 2002 Legend
- Rhonda Fleming, Actress, philanthropist; February 15, 2003 Legend
- Alan Arkin, Actor; May 25 and June 1, 2003 Spirit
- Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated Senior Contributing Writer, author and sports commentator; June 15, 2003 Legend
- Joy Philbin, TV host, and her husband, millionaire-maker Regis; June 17, 2003 Pride
- Tom Smothers, comedy icon and winemaker; July 27, 2003 Legend
- Alex Trebek, host of Jeopardy, TV's smartest quiz show; October 12, 2003 Spirit
- Dixie Carter, comedic actress and star of TV's Designing Women; Cruise TBA
- Gregory Hines, multi-talented dancer, singer and actor; Cruise TBA
*** Princess will send new, 88,000-ton sister ships, Coral Princess and Island Princess, to the Panama Canal for the winter of 2003-2004. The new ships enter service December 2002 and May 2003 respectively. They will sail in Alaska for the summer of 2003 before repositioning to Ft. Lauderdale for the 10-night Panama Canal sailings. The round-trip itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale calls at Grand Cayman, Limon (for a full day Costa Rica), Cozumel and Cartagena, plus the cruise highlight of a round-trip Panama Canal transit through the Gatun Locks to Gatun Lake. The new class of ship for Princess features three distinctive show lounges, including the two-story interactive Universe Lounge, as well as a Personal Choice Dining lineup comprised of two main dining rooms, along with several alternative options. Choices include Sabatini's Italian trattoria and the Bayou Cafe, cruising's first New Orleans-style restaurant. New public rooms include the first cigar lounge and 1960s retro martini bar for Princess.
*** Special entertainment for world cruises in 2003 includes language classes aboard the Crystal Symphony and special guests aboard Seven Seas Mariner. Crystal Symphony's journey departs Ft. Lauderdale on January 19, 2003 and visits 37 ports of call in 15 countries. For the first time, passengers can learn French and Spanish on board ship. Beginning courses with emphasis on a working language knowledge for travelers will be available on the 104 night World Cruise and on five segments of 18 to 27 nights. As well, Tommy Tune & The Manhattan Rhythm Kings, Marvin Hamlisch, Jonathan Winters, and Lucie Arnaz headline the playbill of celebrity entertainment confirmed to date. Leading lecturers, diplomats and Olympians are also scheduled to join the world cruise.
Seven Seas Mariner's first world cruise features special guests Conservative commentator William F. Buckley, Jr., business innovator John Sculley, former national security advisor Robert C. McFarlane and Academy Award-winning actress Eva Marie Saint who will share anecdotes and their perspectives on the political and cultural events that have shaped our times. They will be on board for three 21 to 34-night segments of the 108-night voyage. Mariner's world cruise will call at the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia, the islands of the Coral Sea, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, India, South Africa, South America and the Caribbean Islands from January 21 - May 9, 2003.
*** The World of ResidenSea, the first-ever resort community at sea continuously navigating the globe, has unveiled a new rental program for 2003. Guests may book studio residences on a daily basis for a minimum of three nights, embarking and disembarking as they choose. World has five categories of luxurious studio residences. Daily fares for 2003 range from $1,150 to $2,810, per studio, double occupancy, based on a three-night minimum cruise. Fares include accommodations, onboard meals and beverages, onboard gratuities, and port charges. In 2003 The World sails from Honolulu, to Polynesia, New Zealand Australia, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, China, Korea, Japan, Alaska, U.S. West Coast, Mexico, Peru, the Panama Canal, the Southern Caribbean, Brazil; and across the Atlantic to Africa. Back to Top
8-22-02 NCL Takes Over American Classic Shipbuilding Project Norwegian Cruise Line has contracted with Northrop Grumman to take over the company's passenger ship construction project, which had been building two 1,900-passenger vessels for American Classic Voyages. The project was suspended when American Classic went bankrupt. The hull of the first ship is essentially completed, and will be transported to a European shipyard for conversion into a ship specifically designed to accommodate NCL's "Freestyle Cruising" concept. It is expected to be completed by spring of 2004 and delivered to NCL for the summer season. NCL said that its third newly built "Freestyle Cruising" ship, the Norwegian Dawn, is on schedule for delivery in December 2002. The 91,740-ton Norwegian Dawn, now under construction at the Meyer Werft Shipyard in Germany, will sail from Southampton, England on December 7, and is due to arrive in New York on December 14. Back to Top
8-16-02 Weekend Cruise News *** Ryndam lost power for about 20 minutes, Monday while sailing towards Glacier Bay, Alaska. The vessel was diverted to Auke Bay where it was cleared to sail following a Coast Guard inspection. Ryndam was on its first cruise after illness on board forced the cancellation of the August 1 sailing from Vancouver. Sister ship Statendam is due to sail again Sunday from Vancouver. The vessel has been undergoing generator repairs which forced the cancellation of the last two sailings.
*** A rare geological event caused the U.S. Coast Guard in Alaska to issue an advisory this week. On Wednesday, cruise ships were notified to stay miles away from Hubbard Glacier in Disenchantment Bay due to dangerous conditions. Since late June, Hubbard had formed an ice dam, blocking the entrance to adjacent Russell Fjord. Russell Lake was formed as the water could no longer escape into Disenchantment Bay. On Wednesday, the lake had risen to 61 feet when it suddenly burst through the ice and debris of Hubbard forming a dangerous torrent of water containing large chunks of ice. The last time Hubbard Glacier advanced and sealed off the fjord was in 1986. In that instance the ice dam collapsed after the lake rose to 80 feet above sea level.
*** Flooding in Europe halted river cruises on the Danube and Elbe this week. Rhine River cruises were able to continue on schedule. The cities of Vienna, Dresden, Salzburg and Prague are the hardest hit by the flooding. Riverboats are expected to return to service in the next few days as weather conditions improve and water levels return to normal.
*** Carnival has taken delivery of Carnival Legend from Kvaerner Masa shipyards in Helsinki, Finland. The 88,500-ton sister ship of Carnival Spirit and Carnival Pride is en route to Harwich, England where christening ceremonies will take place on Wednesday. Oscar-winning Actress Dame Judi Dench will act as Godmother. A three-night cruise to Amsterdam for the industry follows before Legend's maiden voyage, a 12-night Baltic sailing, August 24, the first European sailing for a Carnival ship.
*** Celebrity Cruises has announced it will introduce its first ever European cruisetours in 2003 in conjunction with sailings by Constellation, Millennium and Century. The organized tours give passengers the opportunity to visit Paris, London, Madrid, Seville, Barcelona, Rome, Florence, Siena, Venice and the Italian Lakes. Celebrity's cruisetour packages are available pre- or post-cruise and include local tour directors, all transfers, flights and train tickets (if applicable), along with breakfasts and some lunches and/or dinners. Cruisetour packages range from 11 to 17 nights, with fares beginning at $2,210 per person, double occupancy. Constellation will sail in Northern Europe, Western Europe as well as the Mediterranean next year while Century and Millennium will sail in the Mediterranean.*** Holland America Line-Westours is expanding its property in Fairbanks, Alaska. The Westmark Fairbanks Hotel & Conference Center will gain a new eight-story tower and 265 new rooms. Work begins August 16 on the $34 million project with completion scheduled for May, 2004. As the first step, demolition is slated for an original section of the hotel dating back to the 1950s-era Travelers Inn. Holland America Line-Westours Inc., Westmark's parent company, bought the hotel in 1982. It became the Westmark Fairbanks in 1987. The hotel's 136-room, four-story hotel tower, as well as the hotel's convention center, and food and beverage facilities will remain open during the construction project.
*** Norwegian Cruise Line is lobbying for exemption to the Passenger Services Act in Hawaii. The line currently operates the only year-round Hawaii cruise service aboard Norwegian Star with Norwegian Wind spending part of the year there. Both vessels have to make a call at a non-U.S. port during each cruise. To meet this restriction, they currently call at Fanning Island, Republic of Kiribati or sail between Honolulu and the mainland calling at Ensenada or Vancouver. NCL wants to introduce sailings to Hawaiian islands only, similar to those offered by now defunct America Hawaii Cruises and United States Lines. NCL is also in discussion to take over United States Lines' Project America newbuilds and have them operate in Hawaii.
*** Swan Hellenic Cruises has announced more details of its new ship, Minerva II which replaces the existing Minerva next April in Europe. The former R8 of Renaissance Cruises, Minerva II will be adapted to provide the Swan Hellenic country house style, with elegant, comfortable and spacious surroundings. 93 percent of cabins will have outside views, 73 percent of those will have a private balcony, and there will be a wide range of cabins for solo travelers. Open seating dining will continue to be offered on Minerva II, which has a wider choice of restaurants. Entertainment on board features classical music recitals, Guest Speakers' talks, art classes, Tai chi and local performances of music and dance. The new ship will also have excellent spa facilities and outdoor swimming pool with Jacuzzi. Minerva II sails in the Mediterranean, Western and Northern Europe before sailing across the Atlantic for Caribbean and Panama Canal cruises in late 2003 and January 2004. For a complimentary brochure call 1- 877-219-4239.
*** Carnival Pride is the venue for the "Second Annual Chicago Culinary Cruise" February 1-8, 2003. Chefs from three popular Chicago area eateries - Salpic�n! Don Juan on Halsted, and Bittersweet Pastryshop & Cafe - will display their wide-ranging culinary talents during the seven-day voyage, which is being organized by Carnival and Chicago-based Travel Duet, Inc. Also scheduled are cooking classes and demonstrations and question-and-answer sessions. The cruise will operate round-trip from Port Canaveral calling at Key West, Belize City, Playa del Carmen and Progreso/Merida.
*** Health Canada is investigating 30 cases of salmonella poisoning reported aboard the July 28 and August 4 Alaska voyages of Celebrity's Mercury. Several cases of the same bacteria were reported in Vancouver during the same period. The vessel discarded its supplies of chicken and eggs following an inspection in Alaska last Sunday. There have been no reports of the illness on the current sailing. About 6,000 passengers and crew were aboard the two sailings where the illness was discovered. Back to Top
8-9-02 Weekend Cruise News *** Holland America's Statendam will not sail from Seward on Sunday. The ship is still undergoing repairs after returning to Vancouver last Sunday only hours into its Alaska cruise. A generator breaker panel overheated and melted resulting in the shutdown of three other generators and the two main propulsion motors. Passengers on the two canceled sailings are receiving a full refund plus a 25 percent discount on a future cruise or a 150 percent credit towards future travel with HAL. Statendam is expected to return to service in Vancouver, August 18 for a Gulf of Alaska sailing to Seward.
*** Carnival has ordered a fourth Conquest-class vessel to enter service in Fall 2005. The first of the the class, Carnival Conquest joins the line November 15 followed by Carnival Glory on July 19, 20023 and Carnival Valor in the Fall of 2004. The latest stats on the news ships indicate they are 110,000-tons, 952 feet long and 116 feet at beam. Passenger capacity is 2,974 (lower berths). The 13 passenger decks feature 22 lounges, nightspots and bars, dance clubs and three-deck-high, 1,500-seat theaters, piano bars, jazz clubs, sports bars, wine and caviar bars, cigar bars and a host of live music venues. Of the vessels' 1,487 spacious staterooms, 917 will offer an ocean view with 556 of those featuring private balconies.
*** Norwegian Cruise Line has agreed to pay a fine of $1 million for failing to maintain an accurate Oil Record Book aboard the S.S. Norway prior to May 2000. The irregularity was discovered during an independent audit undertaken after Star Cruises gained control of the company in February 2000. NCL immediately reported the problems to the authorities and took steps to stop further violations. In addition to the fine, NCL has agreed to be placed under probation and to maintain a comprehensive environmental compliance program.
*** Royal Celebrity Tours is offering a special Harry Potter tour of England. The "Magical Tour of England" cruisetour is a four-night post-cruise package for families sailing on Grandeur of the Seas' 12-night Northern Europe cruise. The tour visits the London Zoo reptile house where Harry came face-to-face with a talking snake, Alnwick Castle in Northumberland where the broomstick lesson scenes were shot and includes a steam train ride through North York Moors National Park, stopping at historic Goathland Station where Harry is seen in the movie arriving for school. Local tour directors escort all cruisetours. Grandeur will sail 12-night voyages to the Baltic and Northern Europe round-trip from Harwich, England, from May 19, 2003, through August 23, 2003. The cruise and tour price starts at $3,669 per person, double occupancy.
*** Carnival Legend sets sail August 24 on a 12-day Northern European voyage round-trip from Harwich, England. The 88,500-ton ship will house a 14,500-square-foot Fountain of Youth Spa featuring the latest exercise equipment and spinning and aerobics classes, along with "European-style" treatments. Menus in the Carnival Legend's formal dining room, Truffles, will feature a selection of Spa Carnival dishes lower in fat, calories, and sodium and cholesterol. Vegetarian meals will also be available on all dining room menus. The expansive two-level Unicorn Cafe poolside restaurant will include an extensive salad bar and a 24-hour frozen yogurt station.
Carnival Legend also features a wedding chapel with stained-glass windows and Old Testament scenes, along with a central aisle leading to the stage and a private dressing area for the bride. The Gothic-style facility will serve as the venue for weddings taking place during embarkation day while the ship is docked at Ft. Lauderdale. Eight-night Caribbean cruises from Ft. Lauderdale commence November 10.
*** Seabourn Cruise Line has opened an online 'Signature Boutique' selling casual clothing for men and women, embroidered with the company's distinctive logo. Prices range from $17.00 to $69.00 plus shipping. All items are shipped with satisfaction fully guaranteed. The clothing line is available only by ordering from the secure site, www.seabournboutique.com or through a link on the company's web site at www.seabourn.com.
*** Holland America has revised its Pacific Northwest schedule for this Fall. A new sailing aboard the Amsterdam has been added. Amsterdam will sail Sept. 28, round-trip from Seattle calling at Vancouver and Victoria with scenic cruising of Puget Sound. Three additional sampler, Fall cruises are scheduled round-trip from Vancouver, calling at Victoria and Seattle. Three-day cruises depart aboard the 1,440-passenger Zaandam on Oct. 5 and aboard the 1,266-passenger Veendam on Sept. 29. The Zaandam sails on a four-day cruise departing Oct. 8.
*** Star Cruises' SuperStar Gemini, the former Crown Jewel of defunct Crown Cruises, has completed a drydock in Hong Kong and is now sailing in the Yellow Sea. Prior to the new schedule, SuperStar Gemini was sailing from Singapore to Malaysia on cruises marketed to Australians, Europeans and North Americans. The new one to four-night Korea/China cruises call at Dalian, Qingdao and Pyongtaek with passengers able to join the ship in any of the three ports.
*** Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar will host "Success At Sea," a week-long motivational seminar aboard the 2,758-passenger Carnival Victory on October 27, 2002. The seven-day voyage, round-trip from Miami calls at Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios. During the voyage,Ziglar will host a series of innovative, thought-provoking seminars designed to help participants understand the secrets to success, both in their personal and professional lives. Ziglar's shipboard seminars will be conducted in three six-hour sessions during the Carnival Victory's three sea days. Ziglar has a client list that includes thousands of small and mid-sized businesses, Fortune 500 companies, U.S. government agencies, churches, schools and non-profit organizations. He has also written 17 books emphasizing personal growth, leadership, effective sales strategies, family, faith and success.
*** Norwegian Cruise Line has amended its 2003 Alaska and Bermuda sailings. Norwegian Sea will join Norwegian Majesty in Bermuda next year, sailing seven-night cruises from New York June 8 to September 21, 2003 followed by sailings from Philadelphia, September 29 (six nights) and October 5, 12 and 19, (seven nights). Norwegian Majesty repeats Boston-Bermuda sailings from May 4 to Oct. 19, 2003. NCL has also arranged for freestyle-dining to extend shoreside. For a charge of $5 passengers receive a $25 lunch voucher good for dining at a number of restaurants ashore. Dinner vouchers worth $50 are available for a $10 charge. NCL has expanded its Bermuda excursions for 2003 and a special Bermuda concierge will be aboard both ships.
Meanwhile in Alaska, Norwegian Wind will switch from Monday to Sunday departures for 2003. The vessel will sail from Canada Place which is right downtown in Vancouver instead the further East Ballantyne Pier. Norwegian Wind has also added the Alaskan port of Wrangell, between Juneau and Ketchikan, to its itinerary.
*** Viking River Cruises will be adding its 24th vessel to the European River schedule. The catamaran-riverboat Primadonna will sail on the Danube River for the line. Itineraries have yet to be announced. Back to Top
8-9-02 Princess Buys Renaissance Ships P&O Princess Cruises announced today that two former Renaissance vessels, R3 and R4, will soon be joining the Princess fleet and are slated to sail in Tahiti and the wider Pacific Ocean region. The 688-passenger R3 will premiere as Pacific Princess, while sister ship R4 will debut as Tahitian Princess. Both vessels originally entered service in 1999.
Beginning with a holiday cruise on December 24, 2002, Tahitian Princess will sail year-round in Tahiti and the South Pacific, with 10-day sailings in the region. Three itineraries, with a total of 50 departures roundtrip from Papeete, Tahiti, each include calls at Bora Bora, Moorea and Raiatea. Passengers can choose one of the 34 French Polynesia/Cook Islands sailings that explore ports like mystic Huahine and Raratonga and feature overnight stays in both Papeete and Bora Bora; take one of eight French Polynesia/Samoa cruises to discover Pago Pago and Apia; or travel on one of eight French Polynesia/Marquesas voyages to Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa.
The Pacific Princess will operate on a split deployment, sailing half the year throughout French Polynesia and the wider Pacific region for Princess Cruises, and the other half for the P&O Cruises Australia brand, serving the growing Australian market in the South Pacific region. The specific Princess itineraries for this ship are in the process of being finalized, and are expected to be available soon.Both ships will feature a 24-hour Lido and alternative dining program with an Italian restaurant and American steakhouse. Special promotional pricing for 10-day Tahitian Princess sailings begins at $799 per person, double occupancy. Further information about Princess' French Polynesia and South Pacific sailings is available through a professional travel agent. Brochures are available by calling 1-800-PRINCESS. Back to Top
8-5-02 Fire On HAL Ship This Sunday a minor electrical fire aboard Holland America's Statendam resulted in an interruption of the ship's Alaska cruise as tug boats towed the stricken vessel to Vancouver. While the ship lost power and passengers reported to muster stations, no injuries were reported from the fire which was contained in the control room. Holland America has not yet determined when the ship will return to service. Back to Top
8-2-02 Weekend Cruise News **** Crystal Cruises' Crystal Harmony will undergo a major refurbishment during the ship's 2002 fall drydock. New features will include a Feng Shui-designed spa and fitness center, a Connoisseur Club for after dinner cognacs and cigars. In addition, the Galaxy Lounge show lounge and Palm Court will be refurbished. The refurbishment will be completed at Victoria Drydock in Victoria, British Colombia, Canada. The 14-day drydock for the 50,000-ton, 940-guest Crystal Harmony will begin on Sept. 25, 2002. Immediately following, she will depart San Francisco on Oct. 8 for a rare eight-day Mexican Riviera cruise.
*** Princess Cruises will offer the first fully-accessible tour in St. Thomas for passengers in wheelchairs or with limited mobility. The program is presently available on Grand Princess sailings and will be offered on Golden, Sea and Dawn Princess Caribbean departures starting in autumn. Passengers will travel in style aboard a colorful trolley fully equipped with lifting devices and four-point tie-down systems. Each vehicle has flip-up seats accommodating up to three wheelchairs. Accessible restrooms are available at two stops along the route, and St. Thomas' Mountain Top area is equipped with a platform lift to reach the observation area. The charge for the St. Thomas Island tour from Accessible Adventures runs $32 for adults and $22 for children.
*** Star Clippers is inaugurating a new Mayan-Caribbean itinerary in November. The 170-passenger sailing ship, Star Clipper, will sail round-trip from Calica, Mexico every Sunday from December 1, 2002 to March 23, 2003. Ports of call on the new itinerary are Cochino Grande and Roatan Island, Honduras; Dangriga, and Goffs Cay, Belize and Cozumel. Star Clippers is offering an inaugural special on sailings between November 17 and December 15, 2002. These departures will include a $400 discount per person and free round-trip airfare from Miami, Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth and New York (JFK). (Special $95 round-trip fares from Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston are also available.) For more details call Star Clippers at (800) 442- 0551 or visit their web site at www.starclippers.com.
*** Alaska and Pacific Northwest cruises are beginning to add new British Columbia ports to their itineraries. Clipper Odyssey has called at Prince Rupert this summer and Universe Explorer has announced it will call at the port on its May 11 and August 21, 2003 cruises. Prince Rupert has begun construction of a nine million dollar cruise pier which will be able to handle the largest ships on the Alaska route. Work will be completed in time for the 2004 season. Cruise ships sail by the Inside Passage port en route to Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. Campbell River on Vancouver Island is another port actively campaigning for a share of cruise business. In September and October 2003, Radiance of the Seas will call at Campbell River for the first time on four-night Pacific Northwest cruises from Seattle which also call at Vancouver and Victoria.
*** Costa Cruises has three new ships planned for 2003 and 2004. CostaMediterranea, sister ship to CostaAtlantica enters service in June, 2003 sailing Western Mediterranean cruises form Genoa on Sundays. Construction is underway on the line's largest vessels: CostaFortuna and CostaMagica. The 105,000-ton ships will each carry 2,720 passengers. They are scheduled to debut in Fall, 2003 and 2004 sailing summers in Europe and winters in the Caribbean.*** Hong Kong is developing a new tourism center which will include a cruise terminal to handle the increasing number of mega ships calling at the Chinese port. Situated on the Kai Tak airport site on the Kowloon side of the harbour, the new facility will accommodate mega ships while the existing Ocean Terminal will be used for smaller cruise vessels. The project is due for completion in 2008.
*** Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 will sail in tandem from New York to Southampton April 25, 2004. The historic voyage will be QM 2's inaugural eastbound transatlantic crossing while it is expected to be the final eastbound crossing for QE2 which has sailed the route regularly since 1969. It will be the first time since the 1940's that both Cunard Queens will be docked in New York. The original Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth docked in New York together during WWII. Back to Top
8-1-02 Virus on Alaska Cruise An outbreak of Norwark virus on Holland America's Ryndam, cruising in Alaska, has resulted in the cancellation of the Aug. 1 departure. The gastrointestinal illness struck passengers and crew earlier this week during the Ryndam's one week voyage from Vancouver. Passengers booked on the canceled sailing will receive a full refund plus a future HAL cruise discount equal to 20% to 25% of the cruise paid. Back to Top