News Archive - August 2005

8-31-05 Royal Caribbean Surf Machine on Newest Ship *** Royal Caribbean's newest ship features a "FlowRider Surf Park," a continuous wave machine that reportedly simulates the experience of surfing a 10-foot wave at 20 mph. The rider stands in place atop a 42-inch surfboard with no fins while the machine sends a steady stream of water over a canvas-like material beneath him. Though Royal Caribbean has been showing many features of their newest ship, Freedom of the Seas, the largest cruise ship ever built, to the public during the last month, it kept this new feature a secret from us, long promising that "the best secret was yet to be revealed." They showed off the feature at a press conference at Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J. yesterday. There is no charge for passengers to use the Flowrider. It is anticipated that, like the rock wall, the device will be featured heavily in future Royal Caribbean advertising. A television commercial has already been created that boasts, "Long board. Short board. Boogie board. Onboard." There are reports that the Flowrider will eventually be added to all Royal Caribbean ships. Back to Top

8-26-05 Weekend Cruise News RCI's Freedom o/t Seas Freedom of the Seas. Click for full size *** Royal Caribbean International's Freedom of the Seas was successfully "floated out" from the dry dock to the wet dock at the Aker Finnyards in Turku, Finland last Saturday. The 158,000-ton, 3,634-passenger vessel is now the largest passenger ship afloat. Freedom will be delivered next May and enters service on June 4, 2006, sailing seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami calling at Cozumel; Grand Cayman; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Royal Caribbean's private resort, Labadee. Freedom of the Seas will feature the largest shipboard rock-climbing wall and the line's longest Royal Promenade to date, at 427 feet long. For accommodations, Freedom's 1,817 staterooms will include six different family-focused stateroom categories specially designed for larger families and groups of friends. The largest will be the 1,215-square-foot Presidential Suite, which will sleep 14 and will feature four bedrooms, four baths and a 810-square-foot outdoor living area with whirlpool, wet bar and al fresco dining table. More details of Freedom's onboard design will be announced shortly. Captain William S. Wright, a 13-year veteran of Royal Caribbean and one of the few American captains in international cruising has been named Master of the new ship. Having spent most of his adult life at sea, Capt. Wright currently serves as the senior vice president of Marine Operations for Royal Caribbean.

*** Hurricane/Tropical Storm Katrina has disrupted cruise travel. The ports of Ft. Lauderdale and Miami were closed Thursday and are expected to re-open Saturday. Empress of the Seas was forced to turn around in Tampa, Thursday and is currently on a modified itinerary from Tampa to Ft. Lauderdale. Majesty of the Seas, Imagination and Fascination are spending today at sea and will return to Miami on Saturday, one day late. Their next cruises have been shortened by a day in order for the ships to return to their usual schedule. Cruise lines are closely monitoring Katrina as the storm heads across the Gulf of Mexico. Passengers on upcoming sailings should check with their travel agents regarding changes in service and watch for notices on their cruise line's web site.

*** Silversea Cruises has announced its "Silver Sailing" savings program for 2006 which offers up to 50% off the line's cruise-only fares. Cruises to Alaska, the Caribbean, Mediterranean, South America, and the Far East are included. A sample of the cruises included in the Silver Sailings collection are listed below. Starting fares on these cruises range from $2,937 per person for eight nights in Asia to $5,037 for a 17-night Panama Canal cruise. (Fares include suite accommodations, gratuities aboard ship and beverages aboard ship including select wines, champagnes and spirits, port and handling fees plus a shore event on select sailings):

  • Silver Cloud: January 17, 2006, 12 nights "Images of South America" round-trip from Buenos Aires; April 8, 2006, 14 nights, "Tropical Passage," from Barbados to Lisbon; August 13, 2006, nine nights, "Norway's Grandeur" from Copenhagen to London.
  • Silver Whisper: March 8, 2006, 10 nights, "Pacific Coast Passage" San Diego to Costa Rica; May 4, 2006, 10 nights, "From the Canaries to the Casbah", from Las Palmas, Canary Islands to Barcelona; December 10, 2006, 12 nights, "South China Sea Sunsets", from Bangkok to Singapore
  • Silver Shadow, April 9, 2006, eight nights, "Accent on Vietnam", from Hong Kong to Bangkok; September 26, 2006, 17 nights, "Panama Canal Explorer", from Los Angeles to Miami.
  • Silver Wind, June 21, 2006, 10 nights, "Images of Libya and Spain", from Athens to Barcelona; October 17, 2006, seven nights, Mediterranean Moments", from Rome to Monte Carlo.

*** The newest addition to Crystal Cruises' Computer University@Sea program is a digital video editing course. Passengers learn how to edit their own video, add footage from other sources and create special effects. The new course is one of approximately 20 hands-on courses presented in the state-of-the-art Computer University@Sea labs. In addition, Crystal offers technology themed auditorium-style lectures on varied contemporary topics ranging from computer security and online privacy to shopping online. On any given cruise, instructors teach an average of ten classes, ranging from novice to expert levels. On longer cruises, such as the luxury line's 106-day World Cruise, a progressive series of courses is available. All of the classes are complimentary; private instruction is available for a fee.

*** Small ship adventure specialist, Cruise West, is once again offering several longer voyages to Alaska and the Russian Far East in 2006. The "Ring of Fire" itinerary, offered September 22, 2006, is a 13-night voyage from Anchorage to Tokyo which calls at Petropavlosk in the Russian Far East, Kamchatka Peninsula, Atlasova Island and Ptichi Islands, the Kuril Islands (home to more than 100 volcanoes, 35 currently active), and the northern islands of Japan - Kushiro, Tomakomai, Niigata. A four-day Japan land tour, exploring temples and shrines in Kyoto and Nara is available. The 12-night "Coastal Odyssey" is a comprehensive Alaska cruise, sailing between Vancouver and Anchorage, 12 nights, from May 6 to August 28, 2006 which calls at Prince Rupert, Misty Fjords, Petersburg, Juneau, Tracy Arm and Sawyer Glaciers, Glacier Bay, Sitka, Prince William Sound and the Kenai Fjords. "Voyage to the Bering Sea", 14 nights, sails from Anchorage, crossing the Arctic Circle, to Nome with departures June 7 & 19, July 23, and August 4, 2006. Ports of call include Kodiak, Katmai National Park, Shumagin Islands, Dutch Harbor, Pribliof Islands plus exploration of the Bering Sea, Russia's Chukotka Peninsula and sailing across the Arctic Circle. "In Harriman's Wake" combines Coastal Odyssey and Bering Sea itineraries, sailing from Vancouver on a 25-day voyage of almost 3,600 miles. The voyage traces the route of E.H. Harriman, the 19th century American businessman who embarked on the ultimate "vacation" to Alaska accompanied by some of the world's most prominent people of that time. The voyage produced major new scientific discoveries and provided an invaluable assessment and survey of the Alaskan environment. Fares for the longer itineraries start at $4,999 per person. For more see the Cruise West web site at

*** Reservations are now open for Peter Deilmann Cruises'2006 European river cruises that will offer more than 270 departures of seven to 14 nights. Deilmann's nine deluxe river ships operate on the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Rh�ne, Sa�ne, Seine, Elbe, Vltava, Oder and other rivers from late March through mid-November. The line is introducing fully escorted tours for the first time with five itineraries including one marking the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt's death. Among new independent cruise-tours are a Cezanne Centenary celebrating the 100th anniversary of the artist's birth and one that operates from Saxony to Copenhagen. Following the successful introduction of Special interest cruises this year, Deilmann will offer more in 2006 with new music, golf and gardens itineraries and introduce new equestrian riding programs. The 2006 music cruise aboard the MV Mozart, set for April 2 to 9, will pay tribute to the composer's 250th birthday. For copies of Great Rivers of Europe 2006, contact Peter Deilmann Cruises at 1-800-348-8287. Back to Top

8-19-05 Weekend Cruise News *** NCL America raised $250,000 during a charity cruise on July 22 aboard Pride of America in Hawaii. The money raised benefits three local not-for-profit organizations: Child & Family Service, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, and Kapi'olani Children's Miracle Network. Almost 1,200 people sailed on the overnight charity cruise. NCL America donated the use of the ship and all operational, food and beverage services and amenities for the cruise. NCL America has given away thousands of red, white and blue wristbands to commemorate the Pride of America's inaugural voyage in Hawaii. The ship is the largest U.S.-flagged ship ever built and the first in half a century. As part of the giveaway, NCL America donated $5,000 to support the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fund, a campaign undertaken by the Arizona Memorial Museum Association, the National Park Service and Pearl Harbor survivors to raise funds to construct a new Pearl Harbor Memorial Museum and Visitor Center shore side of the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor.

*** Reports indicate that the State Department may revise the deadline requiring passports for travel to the Caribbean. Pressure from the Caribbean Hotel Association, cruise lines and other travel groups has caused the State Department to reconsider the deadline which is currently December 31, 2005. This early deadline is said to be causing hardship for the Caribbean tourism industry. The deadline for having a passport to travel to Mexico and Canada is currently December 31, 2006. The State Department is expected to release details of new guidelines in the next few weeks.

*** Radisson Seven Seas Cruises is offering new pre and post-cruise hotel packages and tours as part of its 'Travel Concierge' program. "Hotels a la Carte" features five-star properties including London's Savoy and Claridge's, Rome's Bernini Bristol and De La Villeand, Athens' Atheneum InterContinental and the Four Seasons and Regent hotels in Berlin, Budapest and Prague. The "Concierge Collection" features two- to six-night pre/post-cruise and overland packages with stays at boutique hotels. The program in Paris, includes two nights at the Plaza Athenee, a personal shopper and dinner by two-star Michelin chef Jean-Pierre Vigato on the Yachts de Paris. In London, spend two nights at the Goring Hotel with theater tickets and chauffeured transfers to a show; or two nights at Hong Kong's renowned Peninsula Hotel with helicopter tours and a cooking class. Additional programs include "Journey of the Maharajas by Private Jet" with a Taj Mahal view room at the Amarvilas Hotel in Agra and luxury tents at the Raj Vilas in Jaipur; "Lake Titicaca" with five nights traveling the world's highest navigable lake; "Agatha Christie's Egypt," featuring a trip to the Abu Simbel Temple and stay at the historic Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan and the Winter Palace in Luxor. All hotel programs must be pre-booked with cruise reservations. Passengers can create their own pre or post-cruise land and/or hotel programs in any of the cruise line's 300 ports of call using the "Concierge a La Carte" service for a service charge of $100.

*** Holland America Line's 2006 Caribbean program offers more 10-day cruises, four homeport departure cities and 22 different itineraries. HAL is deploying 10 ships in the Caribbean next year including the new Noordam which joins the HAL fleet in February as the fourth 81,769-ton Vista-class ship. The vessels will homeport in New York, Norfolk, Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale. Cruises range from 5 to 14 nights with 28 cruises calling at a new port for HAL, Grand Turk on the Turks & Caicos Islands. Most visit the line's private island, Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. As part of the line's Culinary Arts Program presented by Food & Wine magazine, special guests will be onboard some sailings. Marko Karakasevic, vodka maker of the Domaine Charbay Winery and Distillery in St. Helena, CA will be aboard Volendam's January 22, 2006 departure; Johnny Iuzzuni, executive pastry chef at New York's Restaurant Jean Georges joins Noordam's April 5, 2006, cruise; and Anthony Giglio, wine expert and sommelier, will sail on the November 25, 2006, Noordam cruise. For a listing of HAL's 2006 cruises see CruiseMates' Holland America Line Itineraries page.

*** Small ship operator, Cruise West, has two new Alaska itineraries for 2006 that feature Glacier Bay National Park. Cruise West was recently awarded a permit from the National Park Service allowing the most entries into the Park of any cruise line for the next 10 years. The three or four-night 'Glacier Bay Highlights' cruise aboard the Spirit of Alaska, sails round-trip from Juneau from May through August 2006. Skagway and Haines are ports of call in addition to Glacier Bay where a National Park Service Ranger boards to offer information on the flora and fauna of the region. More than 200 species of fish are found in the Park waters as well as 220 species of bird and large populations of land mammals. A set of binoculars is provided for each cabin to help passengers spot brown and black bears, coyote, moose, harbor seals and more. The 'Best of Both Worlds' cruises are 8 or 13-night voyages that combine the Glacier Bay Highlights cruise with daylight yachting aboard Sheltered Seas from Juneau to Ketchikan or round-trip from Juneau. Sheltered Seas visits Tracy Arm fjord, Frederick Sound (which has a large concentration of humpback whales), Le Conte Bay, Wrangell, Petersburg and Ketchikan. Passengers spend nights on land at two hotels, Petersburg's Tides Inn and Ketchikan's Westcoast Cape Fox Hotel. To order a brochure visit the line's web site at

*** Princess has announced that a full season of Southeast Asia cruises aboard Pacific Sky, operated by sister company P&O Cruises Australia, will be marketed in North America. The February through November 2006 sailings will feature a more casual Australian-style cruise experience, on two seven-night itineraries round-trip from Singapore. The Eastern Sunsets route visits the island of Ko Samui (Thailand), Kuantan (Malaysia); and includes an overnight stay in Bangkok. The Western Tropics itinerary features historic Melaka (Malaysia), Malaysia's capital of Kuala Lumpur, the island of Langkawi (Malaysia), the resort of Phuket (Thailand), and the colonial outpost of Penang (Malaysia). The alternating itineraries can be combined for a full 14-night voyage. Prior to joining P&O Australia, the 1,200-passenger Pacific Sky sailed as the Sky Princess. (The 46,000-ton vessel was built in 1984 as the Fairsky for Sitmar Cruises.) Early booking fares begin at US$1,995 for seven-day sailings and US$2,690 for 14-day cruises and include air transportation from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver or Honolulu. Low air add-on rates are available from other gateway cities.

*** Sail aboard Windjammer Barefoot Cruises' Yankee Clipper or Polynesia during the company's 'Scallywagging Month' this September. Special events include a Toga party, No Talent Night, beach parties, bon fires and boat races. Two-for-one fares on the six night cruises are offered on the September 4, 12, 19 and 26 sailings. Singles sail for $499. Polynesia sails the ABC islands visiting Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and Klein Curacao while Yankee Clipper sails from Grenada to Carraicou, Bequia, Mayreau, St. Vincent and Tobago Cays. Back to Top

8-16-05 Regal To Remain In Princess Fleet *** Princess Cruises' Regal Princess, scheduled to transfer to a European company, will remain with the Princess Cruises fleet instead. After her 2005 Alaska season, Regal will spend a long season in South America and the Amazon River in 2006 followed by a Panama Canal transit and return to her summer cruising region, Alaska. Additional information may be claimed by visiting Back to Top

8-16-05 Crystal and Caesars Palace Separate *** Crystal cruises has announced that has ended it's long partnership with Caesar's Palace, which oversaw the ships' gambling operations. The cruise line will, however, continue to abide by Nevada gaming laws while it searches for a new partnership with a land-based casino. Back to Top

8-12-05 Weekend Cruise News *** Norwegian Jewel entered service on Wednesday sailing her first European cruise, a 13-night Mediterranean cruise round-trip from Dover, England. NCL's new vessel will be christened in New York during inaugural celebrations on September 14. Canada/New England sailings follow then Jewel will reposition to Miami for Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises next winter. Norwegian Jewel has 10 restaurants including passenger Cagney's Steak House and NCL's signature restaurant, Le Bistro. New features onboard, which make Jewel different to her sister ships Norwegian Star and Norwegian Dawn, include the new restaurant management system which debuted aboard Pride of America last month which uses flat screens throughout the ship to display the availability of tables in all restaurants; 'Bar Central' which features interconnecting lounges - a martini bar, a champagne and wine bar and a beer and whisky pub; and a new class of accommodation, the Courtyard Villas, 10 penthouse suites sharing a private courtyard with swimming pool, Jacuzzi and a small gym. Family-friendly features are the increased number of interconnecting staterooms plus the Splashdown Kid's Club, Sapphire Kid's Pool and Underground Teen's Club as venues for the Kid's Crew program.

*** Norwegian Dream is sailing under reduced power which is causing her to miss ports of call on her 10 and 11-night Alaska sailings. Yesterday, the vessel arrived seven hours late in Seattle causing many passengers to miss flights home and spend the night in Seattle. Passengers sailing on Dream yesterday were taken to the Sheraton Hotel and Towers for the day and informed that they would miss two of the six ports of call due to the technical problem. Norwegian Dream's departure from Seattle was delayed to 9:00 p.m. The Coast Guard cleared the vessel to sail as the engine trouble effects speed but not safety.

*** Carnival's 1,452-passenger Holiday will continue to operate year-round four- and five-day cruises from the Alabama Cruise Terminal in Mobile. Carnival originally signed a one-year contract with the City of Mobile to launch the first year-round cruise program from Mobile in October 2004. Due to the success of the program, Carnival has extended the contract for another year. The 46,052-ton Holiday departs from the Alabama Cruise Terminal Thursdays on four-day cruises to Cozumel, and on Mondays and Saturdays on five-day cruises to Cozumel and Calica/Playa del Carmen or Costa Maya. The Holiday typically sails in excess of 100 percent capacity (based on two guests per cabin). Over the past 10 months, the ship has carried nearly 100,000 passengers from Mobile.

*** Crystal Cruises will position both Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity on 2006 South America voyages with visits to small Brazilian towns, optional extensive sightseeing excursions and the Amazon River. From January through April, 2006, both ships sail the southern hemisphere on voyages ranging from 11 to 16 days, departing from Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; Manaus, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Valparaiso, Chile. Maiden calls to the Brazilian ports of Alter do Chao and Boca de Valeria spotlight Crystal Symphony's two Amazon cruises, a region regarded as one of the most diverse ecosystem on the planet. Optional excursions include a three-night journey to Machu Picchu ; a five-night excursion to Iguazu Falls and a four-night visit to the Galapagos Islands. Overnight stays are scheduled in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Punta Arenas, Chile; Lima, Peru; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Rio de Janeiro and Manaus, Brazil.

*** Delta Queen Steamboat Company has released its 'This is Our America' brochure, outlining next year's routes and special theme sailings aboard Delta Queen, Mississippi Queen and American Queen. Among the many topics covered by theme cruises are Civil War, fall foliage, quilting, gardens, bluegrass, Big Band, steam boat racing, Old Fashioned Holidays and in 2006, July and August sailings will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Mississippi Queen. The New Orleans & Riverboat Adventure Week which combines a stay in New Orleans with a cruise aboard the American Queen has been expanded. New 'Adventure America Vacations' combine a short cruise with visits to either the Cajun Country or Gulf Coast. The Golf, Gaming & Riverboat Adventure Week, beginning this November, is a golf vacation in Alabama which includes a rental car and a stay at the Radisson of Mobile which houses the Isle of Capri Casino.

*** Cruises to Bermuda in 2006 are available from New York City, Cape Liberty at Bayonne, NJ, Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Norfolk, Virginia will see a decline in Bermuda service as Celebrity's Horizon is being transferred to Island Cruises of the U.K. and Radisson's Seven Seas Navigator will be re-deployed to the Mediterranean in 2006. Norfolk officials are promoting the city in the hope of becoming a homeport for Bermuda sailings again in 2007.

*** Costa Cruises' new brochure is an annual showing all departures from November 2005 to December 2006. The Mediterranean continues to be Costa's major sailing region with cruises offered year-round with ships homeporting in 10 centers, Savona, Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples, Palermo, Catania, Messina, Bari, Ancona, Venice and Trieste. Next winter, Costa Mediterranean and Costa Magica will sail from Ft. Lauderdale on Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. Several Bahamas and Bermuda cruises also sail from Ft. Lauderdale between December 16, 2005 and April 28, 2006. The line is increasing its Northern European sailings next summer with Costa Magica, Costa Classica and Costa Atlantica sailing in the region. Back to Top

8-5-05 Weekend Cruise News *** Carnival Corporation has announced that Regal Princess will remain with Princess Cruises instead of being transferred to the company's Ocean Village cruise line next year, as previously announced. Next year's Alaska sailings from San Francisco will no longer be the last for Regal Princess. The vessel is now scheduled to sail Panama Canal cruises for the 2006/2007 season. 10-day Panama Canal Explorer cruises will sail between San Juan and Acapulco and include calls at Aruba, Fuerte Amador, Panama; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; and Huatulco, Mexico. Several other Panama Canal itineraries will also be offered including one round-trip sailing from Los Angeles. Two 12-day Amazon River cruises will depart January 19 and 31, 2007 sailing between San Juan and Manaus, Brazil. Two 12-day Andes/Peru voyages traveling between Lima, Peru and San Juan will sail March 4 and 16. Carnival now plans to transfer the cruise ship AIDAblu in place of Regal Princess to its Ocean Village cruise line in spring 2007. The transfer follows recent orders for three new 68,500-ton cruise ships for the German division, Aida, to be delivered in spring 2007, 2008, and 2009.

*** Mary Tyler Moore will be onboard Crystal Harmony for the October 22 ten-day Mexican Riviera cruise, one of the vessel's last voyages as part of the Crystal Cruises fleet. Seven-time Emmy Award-winner Ms Moore is the godmother of Crystal Harmony which she christened in 1990. In November 2005, Crystal Harmony will leave the Crystal Cruises fleet and will be transferred to Crystal's parent company's Japanese cruise division. From September through October this year, the 940-guest, 50,000-ton Crystal Harmony will spend her final season sailing on seven-day and ten-day Mexican Riviera itineraries round-trip from Los Angeles. The ten-day October 22 cruise features calls in San Diego, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatl�n, Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo.

*** Holland America Line is adding the port of Saguenay, Quebec to Canada/New England itineraries in 2006. Amsterdam and Maasdam will call at the new port on their 10-day cruises between April 28 and October 7, 2006. Maasdam will once again sail mainly between Boston and Montreal, plus a spring Ft. Lauderdale-Montreal sailing and a fall Montreal-Norfolk cruise, while Amsterdam will sail between New York and Montreal. "Saguenay is surrounded by three national parks, including a marine preserve, so the opportunities for wildlife and marine viewing, kayaking, fishing and flightseeing are exceptional. We're currently developing shore excursions around these activities, plus cultural, culinary and tree-top canopy tours" said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, senior vice president, marketing and sales. Meadows also noted that Canada/New England cruises are port-intensive and include a full day in Quebec City, consistently rated the most popular port on the itinerary. Holland America Line's Medallion Shore Excursions let guests enjoy a wide range of experiences from elegant tea at Quebec City's famed Chateau Frontenac to biking in Acadia National Park.

*** "Club O2" is a new teen program aboard Carnival Cruise Lines' ships, aimed at the 15-17 age group. The "Club O2" activities begin shortly after teens arrive onboard as they attend a "Welcome Aboard" party where they receive a complete listing of the voyage's activities, as well as a variety of promotional materials, including a mesh "Club O2" bag. Supervised teen activities start in the early afternoon and run well into the evening including karaoke sessions, nightly themed parties, late-night movies, video game contests, basketball, ping-pong and other sporting events. Following the latest "reality TV" craze, games based on "The Bachelor/Bachelorette," "Fear Factor" and "Survivor" are played daily. Teen centers are currently featured on 12 of 21 Carnival vessels with the majority of the other ships scheduled to be retrofitted by the end of the year. The 1,000- to 1,800-square-foot teen clubs include a dance floor with a DJ, a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system and large-screen plasma TVs displaying the latest movies and music videos. There's also a "Coke-tail" featuring Coca-Cola products and various non-alcoholic specialty drinks. Aboard some ships the clubs also feature a library with teen-oriented books and magazines, video game units, 16-monitor "video walls," and "listening stations" where teens can plug in and hear the latest tunes. Carnival also offers teens the Y-Spa program aimed exclusively at older kids and their parents and teens-only shore excursions on all departures.

*** Seven Seas Mariner will welcome special guests onboard for segments of the "Grand Circle Pacific" cruise this fall. The 93-night voyage sails from Whittier, Alaska to Los Angeles via Asia and the South Pacific and is available in seven segments. On October 10, actor Milo O'Shea will sail the 14-night segment from Hong Kong to Singapore. O'Shea will screen some of his films and appear in Q&A sessions. Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe-winning Hall of Fame songwriter Paul Williams will be onboard for the Auckland-Los Angeles segment departing November 21. This Spotlight on Movies cruise will also feature Dave Fantle and Tom Johnson, film historians and authors of the book Reel to Real. Ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau will also join the November 21 voyage while lecturers from Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society will be aboard all seven segments of the voyage. Hands-on Le Cordon Bleu cooking workshops will be featured on both the September 14 Whittier to Tokyo cruise and October 24 Singapore to Sydney sailing. Both the September 14 and November 21 segments feature two-for-one savings, while the October 10 and October 24 sailings offer a choice of free economy air from 86 North American gateways or $1,400 off the cruise fare. All fares include shipboard gratuities, wine with dinner and in-suite bar set-up. Back to Top

8-3-05 NCL Takes Delivery of Norwegian Jewel *** Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) today took delivery of the 93,502-ton Norwegian Jewel from its builder Meyer Werft shipyard. Sister ship of Norwegian Dawn and Star, the new vessel's inaugural voyage will be the Aug. 10, 2005 Mediterranean cruise between Dover, UK and Barcelona. Following a Baltic cruise, the ship will sail to New York, arriving Sept. 14. After a series of New England/Canada cruises, Norwegian Jewel will move to her winter home port of Miami for the Nov. 4 - April 23, 2006 season of alternating eastern and western Caribbean itineraries. NCL will then deploy Norwegian Jewel in Europe to sail Mediterranean, Greek Isles itineraries with stops in Egypt during the summer 2006 season. Back to Top

8-3-05 Pacific NW Riverboat Savings *** American West Steamboat Company makes a fall riverboat cruise in the Pacific Northwest even more attractive by offering new discounts, including 50% savings or free cruises for select river voyages. The company operates two sternwheelers, Empress of the North and Queen of the West.

In October, AWSC is offering free round-trip airfare to Portland from major U.S. gateway cities for select seven-night "Path of the Explorers" and "Three Great Rivers" itineraries. The "Path of the Explorers" itinerary departs on October 16 and 23 aboard the Empress of the North and the "Three Great Rivers" itinerary departs on October 22 aboard the Queen of the West. Both itineraries include 1,000 miles of cruising along the Columbia, Snake and Willamette Rivers, following in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark.

This November, AWSC is offering 50% off per person on select dates, including some theme itineraries. Choose from the "Path of the Explorers" tours aboard the Empress of the North on November 13 and November 20 (Thanksgiving cruise). Or, choose from the "Three Great Rivers" voyages on November 12 and November 19 (Thanksgiving cruise) aboard the Queen of the West. Per person double occupancy rates for "Path of the Explorers" cruises start at $2,269 and rates for the "Three Great Rivers" itinerary start from $1,799*. The promotional code for these offers is CRS.

Per person brochure rates for the October 16 and 23 departures start at $2,629* and rates for the October 22 tour start at $2,149, both per person, double occupancy. In addition to free airfare, passengers will receive a $100 shipboard credit per stateroom which can be used onboard the boat for items such as souvenirs and alcoholic beverages (excluding gratuity). Travelers can also save an additional $400 with the Very Best Buy (VBB) offer on the October 22 "Three Great Rivers" cruise and the October 23 "Path of the Explorers" cruise. The savings code for these offers is CRT.

Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, American West Steamboat Company has operated the 150-passenger sternwheeler Queen of the West year-round on the Columbia, Willamette and Snake Rivers. In 2003, the company launched the newly built, 235-passenger sternwheeler Empress of the North, with cruises featuring Alaska's Inside Passage from May to September and Puget Sound in September. For reservations, more information or to request a free, full-color brochure, call 1-800-434-1232, write to 2101 4th Avenue, Suite 1150, Seattle, WA 98121, or visit Back to Top

8-2-05 Two Queens Circumnavigate The World *** In 2007, Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 will both circumnavigate the globe on world cruises. And, in what promises to be a historic event, the two liners will meet Feb. 20 in Sydney, Australia. Cunard will announce specific itineraries soon. For additional information visit Back to Top

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