News Archive - August 2004

    8-27-04 Weekend Cruise News *** The North American cruise industry continued to grow in 2003, generating a total U.S. economic impact of $25.4 billion and more than 295,000 jobs, this according to the annual study by Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA) commissioned by the International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL). "The cruise industry's total contribution to the U.S. economy has risen, on average, 12 percent each year for the past three years," said ICCL President J. Michael Crye. "And that impact is felt in virtually every economic sector, from agriculture to durable goods, transportation, employment and taxes." The industry's economic impact extended to all 50 states with the top six being Florida, California, New York, Alaska, Texas and Washington. For the complete report see

    *** Master Chef Rudi Sodamin is Holland America Line's new culinary consultant. Chef Sodamin will develop a new line of signature menu items for HAL and work with the line's new culinary department to elevate the dining experience aboard the fleet. Well known in culinary circles, Chef Sodamin has more than 25 years experience in the cruise and hospitality industries including 12 years at Cunard Line. He has published eight cookbooks during his career.

    *** The new Carnival Valor enters service December 15, 2004. The 110,000-ton, 2,974-passenger ship will sail alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises round-trip from Miami. Valor will offer Carnival's golf program which features a certified golf professional onboard to conduct private lessons, specialty golf clinics, putting contests, accompany golfers on golf excursions, and organize golf tournaments. Featured courses for golf excursions are Mahogany Run (St. Thomas), Cable Beach Golf Course (Nassau, Bahamas), Caye Chapel Golf Resort (Belize City, Belize), Sunrise Family Golf Center (George Town, Grand Cayman), The Links at Safe Haven (Georgetown, Grand Cayman), Cozumel Country Club (Cozumel, Mexico) and Playacar Club de Golf (Playa del Carmen, Mexico). Golf excursions begin at $49 per person. Professional shipboard lessons range in price from $25 for a "swing check" to $80 for a complete one-hour lesson. All golf excursions include early debarkation on the excursion day, golf pro escort, round-trip transportation between ship and course, priority tee times, and all cart and green fees. For more details see

    *** American West Steamboat Company's Empress of the North will offer food and wine cruises on November 21 and December 12, 2004. Cruises sail round-trip from Portland, Oregon and include over 1,000 miles of cruising along the Columbia, Willamette and Snake Rivers. The November 21 cruise features Cory Schreiber, recipient of the James Beard Award for Best Chef Pacific Northwest and chef/owner of Portland's Wildwood Restaurant & Bar. Three special Winemaker's Dinners will feature food and wine pairings designed by Chef Schreiber showcasing the Pacific Northwest and he will also "step-onboard" the Empress of the North for three days to share his expertise through a cooking demonstration and informal discussions. Each passenger will receive a copy of his recent cookbook, Wildwood: Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon winemakers David Paige from Adelsheim Vineyard and Stephen Cary from Yamhill Valley Vineyards, plus winery representative Colleen Lewis from King Estate, will be onboard. On shore, passengers tour three wineries in the Walla Walla Valley - Three Rivers, Canoe Ridge, and L'Ecole No. 41 - as well as The Walla Walla Institute for Enology and Viticulture, for a unique window into the winemaking process from vine to bottle. A similar program is offered on the December 12 sailing which features Christina Orchid, chef and owner of Christina's, located on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands, Washington. For more details visit

    *** Costa has released its Best Value Collection brochure for Mediterranean and Canary Islands cruising next Fall and Winter. The new Costa Magica will sail in the region along with sister ship Costa Fortuna and the Costa Europa. Itineraries range from seven to 11 nights and sail round-trip from Savona, near Genoa, Italy on a variety of Eastern Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean and Canary Islands routes. The Best Value collection fares start at $869 for a seven-night cruise to $1,149 for an 11-night cruise. Pre or post-cruise stays in Rome, Nice/Monte Carlo or Genoa are available with a two-night package starting at $219 per person.

    *** Peter Deilmann Cruises 513-passenger Deutschland will host a classical music cruise next April. The 12-night Mediterranean cruise sails April 1 to 13, 2005 from Lisbon to Venice with calls at Seville, Barcelona, Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples and Palermo. Onboard will be the W�rttemberg Chamber Orchestra, British soprano Lynne Dawson, tenor Siegfried Jerusalem, Welsh bass-baritone Nicholas Folwell, Danish cellist Troels Svane and clarinetist Sabine Meyer who will perform concerts at sea. An opera performance at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples will be among the special events on the cruise program. The music program will include discussions about the composers and the works being performed. Theme nights will include dinner "a la Rossini" and "Mediterranean Melodies" and a "Grand Finale" with a fireworks extravaganza will take place. The musical gala performances on the ship and the performance at the San Carlo opera house in Naples are included at no additional cost to the cruise fares which start at $3,354 per person. Air supplements from the U.S. are available from 50 U.S. gateways and start at $349 from New York and 15 other cities. The cruise also offers free airport/ship transfers plus a 50 percent reduction on pre-purchased English-language shore excursions. Passengers arranging their own air can deduct $750 from the cruise fare. More details are online at

    *** Holland America's 2005 Alaska season is very similar to this year's program. From Seattle, Oosterdam will sail Saturdays and Amsterdam on Sundays from May 7 to September 17, 2005. The Inside Passage cruises include a call at Hubbard Glacier (Oosterdam) and Glacier Bay (Amsterdam). From Vancouver, Volendam and Zaandam will sail Inside Passage cruises departing Wednesdays and Saturdays respectively from May 11 to September 21, 2005. Both itineraries include calls at Tracy Arm for the twin Sawyer Glaciers and Glacier Bay National Park. Sailing between Vancouver and Seward, for Anchorage, will be Ryndam and Veendam, departing Sundays from May 20 to September 18, 2005 and Statendam on Fridays from May 20 to August 26, 2005. All one-way cruises include calls at College Fjord and Glacier Bay. Additional Inside Passage cruises will be made round-trip from Vancouver by Ryndam on May 8, 2005 and Statendam on May 13, and September 9, 2005.

    *** Carnival Corporation is making a $1 million donation to aid victims of Hurricane Charley. Half the monies will be directed to the disaster relief fund recently announced by Florida Governor Jeb Bush that has been established by the Volunteer Florida Foundation and the other half to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Back to Top

    8-20-04 Weekend Cruise News *** NCL America is responding to service complaints aboard the new Pride of Aloha. The company issued a statement late Thursday announcing it will refund 50% of the onboard service charge to passengers who have sailed aboard the ship since June 7. In addition, passengers will receive a cruise credit certificate for future sailings in the amount of 20% of their Pride of Aloha cruise-only fare. The certificates are good for any sailing to the end of 2005 aboard Pride of Aloha or Pride of America (entering service next summer). Those booking by the end of 2004 will be offered a reduced rate, equivalent to the initial publicly available rates released in 2003. Cruises can be booked with a travel agent or by calling 1-888-NCL-HAWAII.

    *** Repairs to Clipper Odyssey are underway but will not be completed in time for the August 26 cruise which has been canceled. Clipper Odyssey was carrying 126 passengers and 70 crew on a 12-day cruise from Nome to Homer, Alaska, when she ran aground in the Aleutian Islands on July 31. There were no injuries and the vessel was freed by the tide. The incident ruptured a freshwater tank, a gray-water tank (shower-drain water), and the port-side fuel tank.

    *** Royal Caribbean has extended its option on a second Ultra Voyager vessel by one month, from August 31 to September 30, 2004. The first Ultra Voyager is scheduled for delivery in May 2006, with the second to follow in 2007. Ultra Voyager will be roughly 160,000 tons - 15 percent larger than RCI's Voyager-class ships. It will stand 18 stories high, cruise at 22 knots and carry 3,600 passengers.

    *** NCL is introducing new technology which will allow passengers to use their cell phones at sea. The service will be available aboard Norwegian Sun as soon as next month and could be available fleet-wide within a year. The offering combines satellite and wireless services, enabling passengers to make and receive calls on their own cell phones with their own phone numbers while in international waters. The service will be available to most passengers with GSM phones that operate at 900 MHz and 1900 MHz, which are common in the U.S. These passengers will be able to make and receive both voice calls and text messages. In addition, passengers with data-capable GSM/GPRS devices will be able to access data services, such as email and picture messaging. Passengers will be billed by the carrier to whom they subscribe at roaming rates set by that carrier. NCL introduced the first Internet café at sea in 1999.

    *** Carnival Cruise Lines is adding new entertainment and spa options to its Camp Carnival program for kids and teens. The new offerings are part of the complimentary program which is available from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The youth spa program, recently introduced on Carnival Miracle, allows kids ages 12-14 and their parents to experience luxurious body and beauty treatments together on port days at discounted rates in the ship's expansive Spa Carnival health and fitness center. Packages, which are available in mother/daughter and father/son combinations, include hair and nail treatments, health evaluations, and foot and scalp massages. Following the trial run on Carnival Miracle, the program is expected to be expanded to the rest of the fleet " by the end of the summer. Also new is "ExerSeas," a recreational fitness program designed to encourage kids to "get out and play" through intense physical activity; "A-B-Seas", a new reading and writing program and H2Ocean, a science program which features a wide variety of fun, hands-on science projects. The line's popular EduCruise program has also been expanded to include even more interactive projects focusing on the cultures, landmarks, history and geography of the destinations to which Carnival sails. Also in the works is a new art program.

    *** Holland America has also announced improvements to its children's program to debut aboard Ryndam on its October 10 Mexican Riviera cruise and extend fleetwide by 2006. Club HAL will offer activities for kids ages 3 to 12, instead of the previous age range of 5 to 12. State-of-the-art facilities will serve as the hub of the children's program. A new teen area called The Oasis will be added to all ships. Designed by the architectural firm of Peter Yran and Bjorn Storbraaten of Oslo, Norway, Holland America's new children's facilities will be themed by art and are billed as the most elaborate at sea. Each area will be tailored to a specific age group and provide a variety of activities. Board, electronic and arcade games and family activities will be part of the new program. Club HAL facilities will have extended hours, open from 10 p.m. to midnight at a charge of $5 per child per hour.

    *** The "Sing-A-Long Wizard of Oz" has become the most popular feature shown on Caribbean Princess' giant Times Square-style LED screen. The 300-square-foot screen can be viewed day and night. Seven movies or events are shown daily, including family films and first run hits - "Shrek 2" debuts this month - as well as concert footage and other special programming. In the evenings, lounge chairs are covered with special cushions and blankets. Complimentary popcorn is available plus a variety of drink specials and movie nibbles. "Movies Under the Stars" screens are scheduled to be added to additional Princess vessels sailing the Caribbean. First up will be Grand Princess when the ship makes her debut Galveston sailing in November.

    *** Royal Caribbean has stepped up its entertainment program aboard its ships in Europe to reflect the region's culture. In Barcelona, performers from Las Ramblas entertain in the terminal during embarkation. Once onboard Splendour or Brilliance of the Seas, guests can explore regional languages, music and dances through complimentary Italian and Spanish classes, as well as rumba, cha-cha and meringue lessons. Game shows and trivia contests reflecting the ports of call are held, as well as screenings of "Gladiator" and "The Italian Job." A toga party will be held when the ships depart Rome. In the evening, flamenco music is played in the sports bars which are transformed into tapas bars. Aboard Brilliance of the Seas a pizza-tossing demonstration takes place poolside with samples of the final product. Those going on to Greece will be invited to participate in the "syrtos," or circle dance, to traditional Greek folk music when Brilliance of the Seas docks in Santorini and Mykonos. A recording of Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti will be broadcast as the ship enters Venice and traditional Venetian masks can be created to wear during a masquerade ball. In Northern Europe on Jewel of the Seas passengers enjoy street performances in the British tradition as they embark in Harwich. Onboard, they can participate in a British murder-mystery game; compete in regionally inspired trivia challenges; throw back a pint during pub-themed nights; and enjoy movies reflecting their destinations, "Sense and Sensibility," "Notting Hill" and "Dr. Zhivago." Ship musicians also will treat guests to a classical concert on formal night.

    *** Celebrity Cruises' theme cruises focusing on photography depart from New York for Bermuda on September 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2004. The seven-night sailings aboard Zenith feature the 15th Anniversary Exhibition by Condé Nast photographers and photography lectures by Fuji. Beginning February 6, 2005, the 'Savor the Caribbean' culinary cruise series gets underway. Eight sailings aboard Millennium will feature guest chefs and culinary experts. Rum tastings sponsored by Bacardi will be held and each participant will receive a Savor the Caribbean cookbook. The seven-night culinary cruises sail round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale and call at Casa de Campo (Dominican Republic), San Juan, St. Thomas, and Nassau. Here's a roundup of departures and guest chefs: February 6 - February 13, 2005 Carmen Gonzalez; February 13 - February 20, 2005 Jessica B. Harris; February 20 - February 27, 2005 To be announced; February 27 - March 6, 2005 Robbin Haas; March 6 - March 13, 2005 Allen Susser.

    *** Silversea will return to Africa in 2005 with six sailings of 11 to 18 nights aboard Silver Wind. Sailings include a South Atlantic crossing from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town, February 15; between Cape Town and Port Louis, Mauritius, March 2 and reverse, March 13 and December 10; Cape Town to Las Palmas, Canary Islands, March 24 and a 14-night Holiday sailing, round-trip from Cape Town on December 21, 2005. Three land extensions of three, four and five-nights are available from Cape Town. Operated by Micato Safaris they give passengers the opportunity to visit the Victoria Falls and Botswana's Chobe National Park, the South African wine country at Paarl and Londolozi Private Game Reserve. Cruise fares start at $4,626 per person while the pre and post-cruise safaris range from $1,645 to $5,190 per person, including most meals, inter-African airfare, transportation and transfers.

    *** Carnival Triumph will sail a Rock N' Roll cruise for Thanksgiving. Departing Miami on November 27 the week-long rock concert will call at Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios. Featured bands are Journey, REO Speedwagon and Styx and the package cruise package includes private concerts, Q&A session with band members, cocktail parties and limited edition band memorabilia. Journey, REO Speedwagon and Styx are three of rock's biggest bands. Between them, they've sold more than 100 million records around the world, and they've filled stadiums and arenas. Now, the three come together, for a week-long trip that defines rock fantasy. Journey, REO Speedwagon and Styx are three of rock's biggest bands. Between them, they have sold more than 100 million records around the world. Prices begin at $1,299 per person based on double occupancy. Back to Top

    8-13-04 Weekend Cruise News *** Holland America Line is offering two sailings to the Amazon in 2005. Both cruises feature calls at four port in Brazil along the Amazon River. The 1,258-passenger Veendam repositions from the West Coast to Florida via the Panama Canal and Amazon River in September. The cruise to Tampa, Florida can be taken from Vancouver for 34 days on September 25, from Seattle for 33 days September 26, or from Los Angeles for 30 days on September 29, 2005. Ports of call are Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco and Santa Cruz Huatulco, Mexico; Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica; transit the Panama Canal; Aruba; Grenada; Santarem, Boca da Valeria, Manaus (overnight onboard) and Parintins, Brazil; Barbados and Half Moon Cay, the line's private island in the Bahamas. The 793-passenger Prinsendam will sail a 26-night cruise, round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale on November 24, 2005. In Manaus, an optional city tour features a performance at the Teatro Amazonas Opera House. Ports of call are Mayaguez and Ponce, Puerto Rico; St. Kitts; Grenada; Santarem, Boca da Valeria, Manaus (overnight onboard) and Parintins, Brazil; Devil's Island; Barbados; Guadeloupe; St. Maarten; Tortola and Half Moon Cay, the line's private island in the Bahamas.

    *** Royal Caribbean has opened bookings for a new itinerary on Jewel of the Seas. The 10-night sailings, round-trip from Boston, depart between September 22 and October 22, 2005 to Bermuda and the Caribbean. Ports of call are King's Wharf, Bermuda, St. Maarten, Tortola and Labadee with four days at sea. The 2,501-passenger Jewel of the Seas entered service last May and is a Radiance-class ship, sister ship of Radiance, Brilliance and Serenade of the Seas.

    *** Costa Cruises has organized two music theme cruises for January 2005 aboard Costa Atlantica in the Caribbean. The Jazz Cruise departs January 16 and the Oldies Cruise departs January 30 on seven-night Western Caribbean sailings calling at Key West, Cozumel, Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman. Artists for the Jazz Cruise include Jack Jones, Pete Escovedo, the Paul Tillotson Trio, Chuck Smith Quarter, Cherie Buckner, Billy Mitchell and Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers. Music from the 50's and 60's will be featured on the Oldies Cruise with performances by Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Gary Puckett and a salute to Bill Haley by the original Comets. Dance hosts will be onboard, as well as a jazz historian for the jazz cruise, and during both cruises, autograph and Q&A sessions with the artists and dance classes will be held.

    *** Crystal Cruises has introduced 18 new excursions for Canada/New England sailings aboard Crystal Symphony this fall. Many of the new excursions are active adventures including kayaking through the Porcupine Islands, biking the famous carriage trails of Acadia National Park, walking the historic Freedom Trail and the legendary Brooklyn Bridge or soaring above the Bay of Fundy, Cape Split and Peggy's Cove. Crystal has a total of 50 excursions in the region with an historic walking tour in nearly every port. Crystal Symphony's seven- and 11-day cruises to New York, New York; Newport, Rhode Island; Boston and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts; Bar Harbor, Maine; Sydney and Halifax, Nova Scotia; Quebec City and Montreal, Canada; Norfolk, Virginia; Charleston, South Carolina; and Ft. Lauderdale. Three 11-day cruises between New York and Montreal depart on Sept. 20, Oct. 1 and 19. A seven-day cruise round-trip from New York sails on Oct. 12. An 11-day cruise departing from Montreal on Oct. 30 features New England, eastern Canada and the southeastern coast of the U.S., concluding in Fort Lauderdale.

    *** Silversea is offering an outback tour in conjunction with Silver Cloud's 10-night sailing from Auckland, New Zealand to Cairns, Australia on January 21, 2005. The four-night post-cruise tour spends a night in four places - Cairns, Ayers Rock, Alice Springs, and Sydney - and includes a camel safari and pre-dawn balloon adventure in Alice Springs. Participants will also have a chance to see the famous Ayers Rock sunset. An outback barbecue under the stars at Ayers Rock will feature Aussie dishes and produce and an astronomer will be on hand to point out the star systems. The land tour includes air, hotel, 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners and transfers and costs $3,390 for Air/Sea passengers and $,3905 for cruise-only passengers. Silver Cloud will also sail a 14-night cruise from Sydney to Auckland sailing, January 7, 2005, which is currently sold out, and a 16-night Cairns to Bangkok cruise on January 31, 2005. Silver Shadow heads to the region at the end of the year sailing from Singapore to Sydney for 16 nights, Dec. 6, 2005 and from Sydney to Auckland, 14 nights, Dec. 22, 2005.

    *** As part of Clipper Cruises' "Close-to-Home-Cruising" program, the 100-passenger Nantucket Clipper sails the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway, Canada's Maritime provinces, New England, the Hudson River, Chesapeake Bay, the Colonial coast, Intracoastal Waterway and Florida. The seven-night Florida Family Cruises over the Holidays, are seven night sailings from Port Canaveral to Miami, December 19 and reverse December 26, 2004. Cruises feature two days in both Miami and Port Canaveral - with time to visit Disney World - and calls at Key West and Key Largo. Two golf cruises are offered on the December 5 and 12 sailings, on the same itinerary but with visits to four golf courses during the week - Grand Cypress Golf Resort and Disney's Magnolia Golf Course while in Port Canaveral, the Key West Golf Club and from Miami, the "Blue Monster" Course at Doral. PGA professional Billy Kratzert will conduct golf clinics at Grand Cypress and Disney's Magnolia and sail on board to give informal lectures and helpful hints to improve your game. Per person fares start at $2,720 for golf cruises with an $850 discount for non-golfers, and $1,870 for the family cruise with the third guest in the stateroom paying $940. Back to Top

    8-12-04 Royal Caribbean Ends Discounting by Agents Royal Caribbean International has created a new policy set to go into effect on Monday, August 16th, that eliminates rebating by travel agents - restricting agents to selling Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruises at the retail price set by the company. The discounting of travel agent commissions to compete for business for these cruise lines is no longer allowed at any level of contact with the customer. Agents who violate the mandate by discounting Royal Caribbean or Celebrity cruises will be subject to penalties such as loss of advertising money and/or commission cuts. Repeat violators will not be allowed to sell Royal Caribbean or Celebrity cruise products. Carnival Corp. also stated that it plans to implement a new policy concerning rebates for its Carnival Cruise Lines cruises beginning January1, 2005, but the Carnival policy will only affect the advertising of "rebated" discounts. It does not restrict cruise agents from selling cruises at a discount price once the customer makes contact with the cruise agency. The Carnival policy will only apply to Carnival Cruise Lines, not the other companies under the Carnival Corp. umbrella; Princess, Holland America, Costa, Seabourn and Cunard. Back to Top

    8-06-04 Weekend Cruise News *** Clipper Cruises canceled Clipper Odyssey's August 4 sailing of Alaska's Glaciers, Fjords, and Wildlife. The company expects the ship to be repaired in Alaska on time for the August 16 itinerary departing from Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The Coast Guard reported Sunday that there was no fuel from the ruptured tank remaining at the site where Clipper Odyssey ran aground. An oil-spill-response team was dispatched from Seattle to ensure there will be no environmental impact from the ruptured tanks. Clipper Odyssey was carrying 126 passengers and 70 crew on a 12-day cruise from Nome to Homer. There were no injuries and the vessel was freed early Sunday morning by the tide. Two certified Alaskan pilots were onboard at the time of the incident which ruptured a freshwater tank, a gray-water tank (shower-drain water), and the port-side fuel tank. The vessel sailed under its own power to Dutch Harbor on Sunday where marine engineers assessed the damage. The 5,200-ton Clipper Odyssey was built in 1989, and acquired by Clipper in 1999. She measures 338 feet long by 51 feet wide, has a draft of 15 feet and is registered in the Bahamas.

    *** Carnival Valor is scheduled to begin year-round seven-day cruises from Miami December 19, 2004 on alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. Eastern Caribbean cruises call at Nassau, The Bahamas; St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.; and St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles, while Western Caribbean cruises visit Belize City, Belize; Isla Roatan, Honduras; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. The 110,000-ton, 2,974-passenger vessel will feature formal dining in the Washington and Lincoln restaurants. The reservations-only "steakhouse-style" supper club called Scarlett's will carry a $25 per person reservations fee. The 1,250-seat, two-deck poolside restaurant is called Rosie's. It offers casual cuisine including a 24-hour pizzeria and ice cream/frozen yogurt station. Rosie's will also feature an Asian specialty area, a grille serving hot dogs, hamburgers and grilled chicken and steak sandwiches, pasta and meat-carving stations, a "Taste of the Nation" section with a different international cuisine each day, a deli serving freshly made sandwiches and traditional side dishes like potato salad and cole slaw and a rotisserie offering broiled meats and chicken. Located on the upper level of the restaurant will be a specialty seafood venue with shrimp ceviche, oyster fritters and bouillabaisse and other fresh delicacies. Jeanne's, a wine bar with an excellent selection of wine by the bottle or the glass. Other venues onboard are the Java Cafe patisserie and the Togo sushi bar.

    *** Celebrity Xpeditions new Arctic Adventure gets underway next Wednesday August 11 when passengers assemble in Ottawa, Canada. Following a day in Canada's capital city, participants fly to Resolute in the Arctic territory of Nunavut for an overnight stay before boarding the 12,288-ton, polar class icebreaker, Kapitan Khlebnikov. The 10-night expedition aboard ship visits Lancaster Sound, Coburg Island, Smith Sound, Kane Basin, Ellesmere Island, Qaanaaq in Greenland, Cape York, Bylot Island and Beechey Island before returning to Resolute and Ottawa. Celebrity's Arctic Adventure is offered in cooperation with Quark Expeditions which operates the Kapitan Khlebnikov. The ship has all outside cabins and is equipped with a helicopter for reconnaissance and passenger excursions as well as a fleet of Zodiacs for landings in remote areas.

    *** Wireless "hot spots" are available on all Holland America ships for passengers traveling with personal laptop computers with wireless capability. Wireless Internet access aboard Holland America ships was previously only available in the Internet Cafe, along with desktop computers, printers and traditional Internet access. Wireless service is now available at the Lido Deck pool and in the Atrium area, Explorer's Lounge, Card Room, Library, Crow's Nest, Ocean Bar and other locations, depending on the ship. This wireless expansion provides passengers with 24-hour wireless access from the moment they step aboard ship. The same pricing and sign-up procedures as terminals in the Internet Cafe apply - 75 cents per minute or in packages of up to 250 minutes which can reduce the cost to 40 cents per minute. Internet managers on board all ships are available to assist passengers with troubleshooting.

    *** Silversea's 2005 cruises are selling well with several exotic voyages sold out already. A third Beirut, Libya and Syria voyage was added after Silver Wind's May 11 cruise quickly sold out. The new sailing is a 15-night cruise, May 26, 2005 from Istanbul which calls at Kusadasi, Turkey; Rhodes, Greece; Tartous, Syria; Beirut, Lebanon; Alexandria, Egypt; Benghazi and Tripoli, Libya; Valetta, Malta; and Liparti and Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy.

    *** Costa Cruises will send the Costa Tropicale and Costa Victoria to Brazil next winter for cruises to Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, the Falkland Islands and Chile. The Costa Victoria, which had verandas added during her major rebuild last January, offers three to seven-night sailings to Brazil from December 21st through February 28th. Departing from the port of Santos, Brazil, just outside of Sao Paulo, the Costa Victoria will call at Rio de Janeiro, Buzios, Ilhabela and Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. The Costa Tropicale features three- to 21-night itineraries from Santos, December 10th to February 17th including cruises to Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. Highlighting this year's program is the 21-night voyage to Argentina & Chile aboard the Costa Tropicale which calls include a call at the Falkland Islands. Back to Top

    8-2-04 Clipper Accident In Alaska On Saturday, Clipper Cruise Line's Clipper Odyssey suffered major damage when it ran aground in the Aleutian Islands during an Alaska voyage. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, about 5,000 gallons of fuel spilled from the ruptured tank and 122 passengers and 31 crew were transferred to fishing boats and a freighter. Clipper Odyssey hit unchartered rocks near the coastline. Back to Top

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