News Archive - August 2001

back to archive listing

08-31-01 Weekend Cruise News ***Major developments are taking place at Norwegian Cruise Line this Saturday:

  • The Norway sails her final voyage for NCL when she embarks on her 400th transatlantic crossing. The gala farewell voyage will be a nostalgia cruise with many special events planned. Most of the Atlantic crossings were made when the ship was the liner, ss France but more than 2 million passengers have sailed aboard Norway since she joined Norwegian Cruise Line in 1979. Following a refit in Europe, the vessel will sail in Asia for Star Cruises.
  • NCL will take delivery of the new 77,000-ton, 2000 passenger Norwegian Sun on Saturday, at Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven Germany. The new vessel, a modified version of Norwegian Sky, is specially built for freestyle cruising. There are nine restaurants on board, currently the highest number of any cruise ship afloat. Norwegian Sun sails September 10 on her maiden voyage, a 16-day transatlantic crossing from Southampton to New York.
  • Keel laying ceremonies for the Norwegian Dawn at Meyer Werft shipyard are also scheduled for this weekend. The 76,000-ton, 2,300 passengers vessel was originally designed for parent company, Star Cruises but will now join NCL, in late 2002.

*** Costa Cruises has announced new non-smoking policies to take effect in December 2001. Costa's eight ships will be completely smoke-free in the main dining rooms and show lounges. Smoking will be permitted in designated areas in lounges, specialty restaurants and casual dining areas. The change coincides with the start of Costa's winter Caribbean program for CostaAtlantica and CostaVictoria.

***R8 of Renaissance cruises will sail from the luxury, Casa de Campo resort at La Romana, Dominican Republic commencing October 27. The unique cruise itinerary gives passengers a chance to experience the resort while living aboard the ship. Instead of calling at the resort during the cruise, Casa de Campo is actually the home port for R8. Days one and seven of the cruise are spent at the resort. Port calls during the cruise will be Catalina Island, Dominican Republic; Tortola, Antigua, St. Lucia and St. Barts. R8 sails Saturdays from Casa de Campo, October 27, 2001 through March 16, 2002.

*** Royal Celebrity Tours is expanding to Europe. Following a highly successful first season of cruise-tours in Alaska, RCI and Celebrity have announced they will offer land tours in conjunction with European cruises from April through November, 2002. The three to six-day, pre or post-cruise tours will be offered in Spain, Italy, Denmark, France, Ireland and England. Royal Celebrity tours has partnered with a division of leading tour operator, Abercrombie & Kent to offer the new land tours. Ships sailing in Europe next summer are Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas, and Rhapsody of the Seas, and Celebrity Cruises' Millennium, Mercury and Constellation.

*** Renowned chef-restaurateur Charlie Palmer is designing over 200 signature recipes for Seabourn Cruise Line. Over the next three year, Palmer will create hot and cold appetizers, hot and cold soups and entrees, as well as vegetarian entrees, low-fat, low-calorie options for the line's celebrated Simplicity offerings and desserts for the Seabourn yachts, Pride, Spirit and Legend. The first new menu will appear early in 2002. Charlie Palmer's restaurants include the Aureole; Alva; and Metrazur in New York City; Aureole at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and Charlie Palmer Steak at The Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas; and Dry Creek Kitchen located in the Palmer-owned boutique Hotel Healdsburg in Sonoma, California.

*** Enjoy Carnaval in Rio with prime seats at the grand parade through Crystal Cruises. Crystal Harmony is scheduled to be in Rio for three days during the world-famous event. Passengers will have the opportunity to purchase Rio Carnival parade tickets prior to sailing. The excursion includes grandstand seating at Rio's Sombodromo to experience the samba school parade with thousands of elaborately costumed dancers and musicians, laser cannons, fireworks, and high tech sound, light and art direction. Crystal is in the final stages of making arrangements. Tickets are expected to cost $350 per person. The Rio Carnaval is part of Crystal Harmony's 17-night cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Buenos Aires which sails January 29, 2002. Other ports of call are St. Thomas, Fortaleza and Salvador Brazil.

***Holland America will send three ships to Europe for 2002. Noordam, Amsterdam and the new Prinsendam (the former Seabourn Sun/Royal Viking Sun) will sail 33 itineraries of 10 to 17 days in length, between April 14 and December 10. Rotterdam will be absent from Europe next year, as she inaugurates summer New England/Canada sailings for the line. Rotterdam will also sail two mid-summer transatlantic crossings in August. The 16-day cruise from Boston to London calls at Qaqortoq, Greenland; Reykjavik and Akureyri, Iceland; and T�rshavn, Faroe Islands while the 17-day from London to New York calls at France, Channel Islands, Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Hebrides, Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland. See CruiseMates' Holland America Itineraries page for more details on the 2002 European cruises. Back to Top

08-24-01 Weekend Cruise News ***Cruise West is changing its motto, in keeping with the company's expansion to exotic destinations including, Costa Rica, the South Pacific and Asia. �Small Ships Discovering the World: Up Close, Casual and Personal' will be the new marketing slogan for the soft adventure specialists. Cruise West's passengers continue to be predominantly American, mainly in their 50's but ranging from 30 to 80 years of age, who are looking for relaxation and discovery on their vacations.

***Royal Caribbean's new Adventure of the Seas is scheduled to set sail November 18 from San Juan. The 142,000-ton, 3,114 passenger ship is a sister to Explorer and Voyager of the Seas and will be the largest cruse ship sailing in the Southern Caribbean. Adventure of the Seas will sail round trip from San Juan on Sundays to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Thomas from November 18, 2001 through March 31, 2002. This itinerary will alternate with one calling at St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados, Sundays from April 14 through October 27, 2002.

***Princess Cruises' new Copper River Wilderness Lodge is under construction at the gateway to America's largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias. The park is six times the size of Yellowstone and home to four of North America's 10 tallest mountains. Copper River Wilderness Lodge will be ready for the 2002 Alaska season. Princess is offering 56 cruisetours next season, 11 of which will include the new, 85-room lodge. A highlight of the Copper River tours, is a two-hour catamaran ride between Whittier and Valdez through Prince William sound, famous for Columbia Glacier and a motor coach journey over Thompson pass, with a view of Worthington Glacier and the Chugach Mountain range.

***Disney Cruise Line is planning to construct two 100,000-ton vessels which will have more passenger space than the existing ships, Disney Magic and Disney Wonder. The line is in discussion with four European shipyards regarding the newbuilds. With the arrival of the new ships, Disney will expand its routes to include the Mediterranean, Southern California, Alaska and further into the Caribbean. Plans call for the first ship to launch in 2005.

***Celebrity's 2002 Caribbean cruises will introduce a number of new itineraries and ship deployments. Highlights include the new Summit, sister ship of Millennium and Infinity, sailing alternating 10 and 11-day Southern Caribbean cruises from Ft. Lauderdale from October 1, 2001 through April 8, 2002 and again from October 18, 2002 through March 24, 2003. She will be joined in the Southern Caribbean by sister ship Constellation, sailing her inaugural season from San Juan commencing November 15, 2002. Constellation will sail round trip from San Juan at 11pm on Fridays, to St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Barbados and Aruba.

Galaxy will sail year-round in the Caribbean commencing April 27, 2002. Following next winter's season of Southern Caribbean cruises from San Juan, Galaxy will sail year-round from San Juan every Saturday, to St. Croix, St. Lucia, Barbados, Antigua, and St. Thomas. Galaxy joins Century in offering year-round Caribbean service. Century will continue to offer alternating Eastern and Western cruises round trip form Ft. Lauderdale in 2002.

Horizon will change home ports, from Aruba to Miami, next season and inaugurate late-night sailings when she sails at 10p.m. on Fridays, from Miami to Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Progreso (for Merida and Chichen Itza), Mexico, November 9, 2001 through April 5, 2002. Mercury will take over this itinerary for the 2002-2003 season, commencing November 29, 2002. For a full listing of Celebrity's Caribbean sailings see CruiseMates Celebrity Itineraries page.    Back to Top

08-21-01 Third RCI Ship To Gulf Royal Caribbean international has announced that it will sail a third vessel from the Gulf of Mexico during the 2002/03 season. Tampa, New Orleans and Galveston will each have a separate vessel dedicated to each port.The third ship, Nordic Empress, will now sail from Tampa from November 2, 2002, through April 12, 2003, on 25 sailings.

Nordic Empress joins two other Royal Caribbean ships previously scheduled to sail in the Gulf for the 2002-2003 season. Grandeur of the Seas will now sail from New Orleans from November 2, 2002, through April 12, 2003, on 25 sailings, and Rhapsody of the Seas will now sail from Galveston from December 8, 2002, through March 16, 2003. Back to Top

08-21-01 Chantal: Ship Deviations The threat of Hurricane Chantal has caused several cruise lines to alter their itineraries this week. Carnival Celebration dropped Cozumel and Calica; instead, the ship was in port at Veracruz Monday and will spend Tuesday and Wednesday at Sea, arriving back at Galveston on Thursday. Carnival cancelled Sensation's visit to Grand Cayman and calling in Key West today. Sensation will visit Cozumel on Wednesday and New Orleans on Friday. Celebrity's Century has altered its one-week Western Caribbean itinerrary, sailing on an Eastern route instead to San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau. Back to Top

08-20-01 RCI Enhances Kids Programs Royal Caribbean International has expanded its programs for children aboard RCI vessels. The cruise line has added a fifth age group for guests from ages 15-17 and developed a new group for children ages 12 - 14, Navigators, separate from the Voyagers, ages 9 - 11 years. The cruise company has created the Adventure Ocean Computer Center, with age-appropriate software and staff-guided tutorials on all current and pending Voyager-class and Radiance-class ships. The $4 charge for child services has been eliminated while ships are in port.

Additional enhancements include the extension of the teen program hours past 2:00 a.m. And, the company will provide an Adventure Ocean Potion card, which allows children up to 18 years of age to enjoy 12 of their favorite non-alcoholic drinks, including "mocktails," which are available in the teen nightclubs, at a cost of $24.95, affording a considerable savings. Back to Top

08-17-01 Weekend Cruise News ***Carnival has shortened the option period for passengers booking a cruise from four to three days. During this option period, a booking is held without a deposit being made. If the required deposit is not received prior to the expiration of the option period, the booking automatically cancels. Carnival first began reducing its option period in the spring of last year, switching from seven days to five and then last fall from five to four. Carnival would like to eventually eliminate the option period all together since having cabins tied up under option keeps them from being sold by other agents. It also eliminates the chance of passengers shopping around during the option period and finding a better deal through another agency.

***Princess Cruises and Holland America Line are replacing Glacier Bay with Hubbard Glacier on those voyages where Glacier Bay permits have been cancelled. Norwegian Cruise Lines has announced that the Norwegian Wind's August 24 cruise will call at Sawyer Glacier in place of Glacier Bay. (See Weekend Cruise News August 10 for full story on the Glacier Bay cancellations.)

***Crystal Symphony will circumnavigate the African continent this Fall, sailing from Rome to Lisbon on a route through the Suez Canal and around the Cape of Good Hope. The 46-day cruise is available in segments from Rome to Cape Town for 24 days with calls in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa and from Cape Town to Lisbon for 22 days Lisbon with calling at Namibia, Principe, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Senegal, Cape Verde, and Canary Islands. Crystal Cruises has arranged 50 exotic shore excursions for the cruise including a game drive through Amboseli National Park in the shadows of Mt. Kilimanjaro, a hot air balloon ride over Luxor, a four-wheel drive exploration to Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater, and a twilight pan-African banquet at the remote Phinda Rock Lodge in Kwazulu. Full details are available in the 2001 Africa highlights brochure, available by calling 800.820.6663.

***Carnival Pride's alternative restaurant will feature stone crab claws made famous by Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant in Miami Beach. Following the success of the delicacy on board sister ship Carnival Spirit, Carnival has made arrangements with the famous eatery for Joe's stone crabs to be available on board Carnival Pride, which enters service January 12, 2002. Carnival Pride's "steakhouse-style" supper club, called David's, will also serve U.S.D.A. prime aged beef, seafood and other upscale cuisine in a refined atmosphere. David's will carry a $20 per person reservations fee.

***Holland America Line is completing a $3.2 million renovation and addition to its Westmark Hotel in Dawson City in the Yukon. The 44 new guest rooms are located directly across the street from the main hotel on newly purchased property. The decor of the new guest rooms will reflect an 1890s gold rush theme with red and gold accents, cornice molding and brass bathroom fixtures. The hotel courtyard has been expanded to include a large new garden with Klondike Gold Rush memorabilia. A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer will ride into the courtyard at 11:30 a.m. daily to answer guests' questions and pose for photos. The refurbished hotel will be open for cruise tour passengers in May, 2002.

***Construction of the Project America vessels for United States Lines is well behind schedule. Discussions to resolve a number of issues concerning the construction of the new ships are in progress between American Classic Voyages (AMCV), parent company of United States Lines, and the shipyard, Northrup Gruman/Ingalls Shipbuilding. AMCV will seek to implement binding arbitration should the talks fail. At 72,000-tons, the two Project America vessels will be the largest cruise ships ever built in the United States. They are designed for cruising in Hawaii for United States Lines which currently operates the ms Patriot on seven-night cruises from Honolulu.

***Silversea is offering a $150 per suite shore excursion credit on several cruises in Asia and the South Pacific. Four Silver Cloud sailings in Asia and five Silver Shadow voyages to Australia, New Zealand and southeast Asia are included in the offer. To receive the credit, ask your travel agent to request the Silversea Shore Excursion promotion (code SH-EX) through the Silversea Reservation Department when making your cruise booking.

*** The National Transportation Safety Board has published its report on the fire aboard Nieuw Amsterdam in Glacier Bay which took place in May 23, 2000. Recommendations have been made regarding the crew's use of unauthorized electrical equipment, smoke control and management responsibilities during a fire, procedures for controlling the spread of smoke on board ship and practice drills that test the crew response to varying smoke conditions. The report M-0-18 (August 8, 2001) can be found online at the NTSB web site:

***The Port of Dover, England has a new cruise terminal. While the old Terminal 1 is the converted and restored Marine Railway Station with an abundance of Edwardian charm, the new Terminal 2 is ultra-sleek and modern. Minister for Shipping, David Jamieson officially opened the new terminal August 9 with 150 guests and dignitaries in attendance. Lunch was served on board Renaissance Cruises R8 and Fred. Olsen Cruise Line's newly-inaugurated Braemar, the former Crown Dynasty. Braemar sailed last Saturday on her inaugural cruise to Scandinavia and Scotland from the new terminal. Back to Top

08-15-01 First Fun Ship To Europe The first Carnival Cruise Lines "Fun Ship" will sail in Europe in the Summer of 2002. The new 2,214-passenger Carnival Legend (sister ship to Carnival Spirit), will operate a 12-day Northern Europe itinerary, followed by a 15-transatlantic crossing from London.

The August 24-Sept. 5, 2002, 12-Day Northern Europe voyage, sailing round-trip from London visits Copenhagen, Denmark; Warnem�nde, Germany (optional shore excursion to Berlin available); and Helsinki, Finland; followed by a two-day stay in St. Petersburg, Russia; and visits to Tallinn, Estonia; and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In conjunction with this sailing, Carnival will offer an optional two-night pre- or post-cruise land stay in London.

Following its 12-day Northern Europe cruise, Carnival Legend will sail on Carnival's first regularly scheduled "Fun Ship" transatlantic cruise -- a 15-day voyage departing London (Harwich) Sept. 5 and arriving New York Sept. 20, 2002. Ports on this voyage include Le Havre, France (optional shore excursion to Paris available); Cobh (Cork), Ireland; Greenock, Scotland (optional shore excursion to Glasgow available); Reykjavik, Iceland; and St. John's, Newfoundland. Carnival will offer an optional two-night pre-cruise land stay in London with this sailing, as well.

Prices for the Carnival Legend's 12-day Northern Europe voyage begin at $1,999 per person, while the 15-day transatlantic crossing is available starting at $1,099 per person. Reservations and additional information may be obtained by contacting your travel agent. Back to Top

08-14-01 New Luxury Cruise Line A new luxury cruise line -- SeaDream Yacht Club -- is being launched by two industry pros. Atle Brynestad, Norwegian industrialist who founded the former Seabourn Cruise Line, sold it to Cunard, and recently repurchased two of its luxury Yachts, announced that Larry Pimentel, former president of Seabourn Cruise Line and CEO of Cunard Line, will be co-owner, chairman and CEO of the new venture.

The yachts will be known as SeaDream I and SeaDream II. They are the former Sea Goddess I and II, recently purchased from Cunard/Seabourn. The two vessels will remain on their existing itineraries through April, 2002, priced at "value rates." In May, 2002, the ships will undergo a complete refurbishment.

For information schedules and fares, contact SeaDream Yacht Club's temporary general sales agent: North Star Tours, 239 Commercial Boulevard, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, tel: (800) 431-1511 or (954) 351-7133. Back to Top

08-10-01 Weekend Cruise News ***Cuts in the number of ships allowed to enter Glacier Bay this summer have not been as drastic as first expected. The plan released by the National Park Service cuts nine cruise ship visits to Glacier Bay, instead of a possible 32. Holland America will be allowed to visit Glacier Bay 18 instead of 23 times for the remainder of the season. Princess has been reduced from seven to five calls, Norwegian Cruise Lines from six to five and World Explorer from two to one. Cruise lines are arranging to send ships to other glaciers to replace the call at Glacier Bay. Sawyer and Hubbard Glaciers are two of the possible substitutes.

Crystal Cruises has already completed its Glacier Bay visits for 2001. Celebrity and Royal Caribbean visit Hubbard Glacier instead of Glacier Bay all season and so are unaffected by the ruling.

The reduction in the number of cruise ships calling at Glacier Bay is in response to the injunction issued by the 9th U.S. Circuit court of Appeals. It calls for an examination of the affect of cruise vessels on Glacier Bay's marine environment. The Park Service has increased the number of cruise ship calls to Glacier Bay by 72 percent since 1997 without undertaking an environmental investigation. Last Fridays ruling by District Judge James K. Singleton came as a surprise as it had been expected that any cutbacks in Glacier Bay visits would be ordered to take place in 2002 rather than the remainder of this season.

***Carnival Triumph will sail from Eastern U.S. ports on nine cruises to Bermuda, the Bahamas and to nowhere in 2002. The cruises will take place in May, June and October, 2002, before and after Carnival Triumph's season of New England/Canada cruises from New York. The 102,000-ton, 2,578 passenger ship sails to the Bahamas on three itineraries: round trip from Miami for a three-night Memorial Day cruise, May 25, 2002 with overnight on board in Nassau, round trip from Norfolk, VA for six nights, October 6, 2002 and round trip from Charleston, SC for five nights October 27 2002. The Bermuda itineraries call at Kings Wharf and include a six-night cruise from Charleston, SC, May 29, 2002, followed by two seven-night sailings from Norfolk, VA, June 5 and 12, 2002. Two-night cruises to nowhere sail from New York, June 20, 2002 and from Norfolk VA, October 12 and 24, 2002.

*** Crystal Cruises' fall series of Wine & Food Festival sailings on board Crystal Harmony will feature special guest chefs and wine experts. All passengers will enjoy a special four-course dinner prepared by the guest chef, featuring his signature dishes, matched with wine pairings by the guest wine expert. The visiting chef will also demonstrate cooking techniques, share recipes and tips, and participate in question and answer sessions during the cruise. Crystal Harmony's Wine & Food Festival Panama Canal cruises are set to sail Sept. 1 (17 nights, Acapulco to New York), Nov. 1 (11 nights, Caldera, Costa Rica to New Orleans), Nov. 12 (11 nights, New Orleans to Acapulco) and Nov. 23 (10 nights, Acapulco to San Juan). Scheduled guests are: Guillermo Pernot, named "Chef of the Year" by Esquire magazine for Philadelphia's new �Pasion! Restaurant featuring nuevo Latino cuisine; Joseph Wrede, chef/proprietor, Joseph's Table in New Mexico, and named one of Food & Wine magazine's "Best New Chefs in America;" Karl Edelbauer, corporate executive chef, Peabody Hotel Group, including its flagship properties in Memphis and Orlando; and Alain Sailhac, master chef and director, French Culinary Institute, New York. Wine experts on board will include Robin Kelley O'Connor, U.S. liaison for the Bordeaux Wine Bureau; Karen King, wine director, New York's Union Square Cafe; Master Sommelier Jay Fletcher from Syzygy in Aspen; and, Master Sommelier Ken Fredrickson, director/proprietor Terroir, Jackson Hole.

***First European/Festival Cruises' newest ship, European Vision, will be back in service in Marseille, France, this Saturday. The electrical problem in the system controlling one of the propellers has been repaired in the San Giorgio shipyard in Genoa. The electrical fault cut short last week's cruise. Passengers left the vessel in Genoa after only two days of their seven-day vacation. European Vision was christened June 22 in Genoa and was used as a hotel during the G8 summit in Genoa last month.

***Carnival Cruise Lines' Inspiration collided with a line of 13 barges on the Mississippi River last Sunday. There were no injuries and damage to the ship and barges was minimal. Inspiration was returning to New Orleans from her weekly Western Caribbean cruise which calls at Montego Bay, Jamaica; Grand Cayman and Playa del Carmen/Cozumel. The incident occurred at 4:45am Sunday, at a bend in the Mississippi near Algiers Point. The line of barges was being pushed by the tugboat W.O. Watson. The incident is under investigation by the Coast Guard.

***Delta Queen Coastal Voyages has announced itineraries for next Summer which feature 32 cruises on the Great Lakes. The Cape May Light will be joined by the Cape Cod Light when it enters service April 20, 2002. Both 224-passenger vessels will sail the U.S. East Coast, Canada and New England before and after cruising the Great Lakes in 2002. Cape May Light will sail from Chicago, June 8 to September 14, 2002, on three, four and seven-night cruises to Great Lakes ports. Cape Cod Light sails between Buffalo and Quebec City, for seven nights every Saturday, July 6 to August 24, 2002, calling at Montreal, Quebec; Clayton, New York, Toronto, Prescott, and Port Weller, Ontario and transiting the Welland Canal. For a complete outline of cruises see CruiseMates' Delta Queen Coastal Voyages itineraries page.

***Cruise West has announced the addition of three wilderness lodges to its program of 13-19 night, backcountry land packages in Alaska for 2002. Accessible only by bush plane, the wilderness lodges are available in conjunction with small-ship cruises on Prince William Sound, the Inside Passage or the Bering Sea. The three new lodges for 2002 are Winterlake Lodge west of Denali Park, one of the official checkpoints for Alaska's annual Iditarod Sled Dog Race; Chelatna Lake Lodge in the Alaska Range southwest of Mt. McKinley and Redoubt Bay Lodge at the entrance to Lake Clark Pass in the Chigmit Mountains of the Aleutian Range, a 50 minute floatplane flight from Anchorage.

*** The yacht, Christina O, known as the Christina when it was owned by Aristotle Onassis and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, has been chartered by Tauck World Discovery, for 10-day Rome/Greek Isles cruise tours. The prominent tour and cruise operator is operating cruises in September and October which combine two nights in Rome and one in Athens with a seven-night sailing on the yacht. Prices start at $8,750 per person, double. The Christina O, which recently emerged from a $50 million restoration, carries a maximum of 36 passengers. Back to Top

08-08-01 Royal Olympic Delay Royal Olympic Cruises has announced an additional delay of its newest ship, Olympic Explorer, sister to Olympic Voyager. The vessel was originally scheduled to enter service in mid-May, 2001 but corrections in a vibration problem delayed the launch. A second scheduled date -- September 15, 2001 -- has also been cancelled. At this time, Royal Olympic spokesmen say it "hopes to have the vessel ready to commence operations for the next season." Back to Top

08-6-01 Alaska Environmental Restrictions If you're booked on an Alaska cruise this year, and a visit to Glacier Bay is on the itinerary, there's a good chance you won't visit this scenic spot. This Friday, a U.S. District Court judge decided that as many as 32 cruise ships scheduled to visit the bay could be banned.

The decision is part of Alaska's attempt to control damage to the environment by cruise ships. Earlier this year, a federal appeals court overturned a 1997 National Parks Service decision which permitted more ships to visit Glacier Bay. Cruise lines say they have contingency plans, and that other glaciers can be visited, if necessary. Back to Top

08-03-01 Weekend Cruise News ***Renaissance Cruises is increasing the number of North American gateway cities, in its air/sea program, to 100 from 28. The expansion of the program will be phased in gradually and eventually apply to all Renaissance itineraries. The addition of airports in the United States and Canada will make it easier for air/sea passengers and their travel agents to make vacation arrangements.

***Windstar Cruises is offering over 30 shore excursions during its inaugural New Zealand season aboard Wind Song, commencing December 23, 2001. Both cultural and thrill-seeking excursions are a part of the shore excursion program which showcases the Maori culture, sheep industry, Marlborough wine country, flight-seeing of Milford Sound and swimming with the world's smallest dolphins. Windstar's free water sports program will be a major attraction on the New Zealand cruises giving passengers the opportunity to snorkel with the seals at Abel Tasman National Park as well as sail, windsurf, kayak, water-ski, banana boat and snorkel at most ports of call. Scuba diving excursions for both certified and novice divers will also be available, for a fee.

*** Alaska cruise passengers will be happy to know, the 123-day-old transit strike in Vancouver is about to come to an end. Government legislation, passed Wednesday night, will see busses back on the road next Tuesday August 7. The seabus, which crosses the harbor from downtown to North Vancouver, will sail again this Saturday. As a goodwill gesture, there will be three days of free transit service next Tuesday August 7 through Thursday, August 9.

***Festival Cruises has confirmed that the 1,200-passenger Mistral will cruise this winter from Havana, while the 900-passenger Bolero, operated by Festival's Spanish Cruise division, will sail from Cuba on regular winter itineraries. The announcement follows the signing of a long-term agreement between the Piraeus based cruise line and Cuba's Ministry of Transport. Mistral will homeport at Havana and cruise to Cuba's Isle of Youth, Grand Cayman and the Mexican Yucatan commencing this December.

***Holland America Line is installing new water treatment plants on board its Alaska bound ships which will purify gray and black water to near drinking water quality. The new treatment plants have already been installed on board Statendam and Zaandam. Following U.S. Coast Guard certification of the new treatment plant, Holland America will install the system at a cost of US$2.5 million each on three additional Alaska-bound vessels before May 2002. The new treatment plant was developed by ZENON Environmental Inc. of Oakville, Ontario, Canada. After being processed, the discharge water is pure and would meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking water standards except for a slight saline content.

***The sailing ship Lili Marleen will reposition to the Galapagos Islands this fall for nature cruises throughout 2002. Passengers fly from Quito, Ecuador to Baltra Island, the Lili Marleen's home port. The seven-night cruise includes nature walks on Bartolome, Santiago, Genovesa, Isabela and five other islands. Beginning December 6, 2001, 10 and 14-night cruise tours are available with departures from the U.S. to Quito, Ecuador, hotel stay in Quito and tours in Ecuador in addition to the cruise. The 250 foot long ship is a recreation of a 19th century tall ship. Lili Marleen carries 50 passengers in 25 deluxe outside twin cabins. The vessel is operated by Peter Deilmann Cruises.

***Carnival Cruises has announced additions to its Caribbean schedule for 2002. Carnival Pride will offer the line's first seven-night sailings from Port Canaveral when it enters service January 12, 2002 while Paradise sails two additional 10 and 11-day Southern Caribbean cruises in August 2002.

The 88,500-ton, 2,124 passenger Carnival Pride will be the largest ship sailing from Port Canaveral. She will sail year-round departing Saturdays on seven day Eastern or Western Caribbean routes. The Eastern Caribbean route calls at the private Bahamas islands of either Half Moon Cay or Salt Cay, St. Thomas/St. John, and St. Maarten, with three days at sea. This itinerary marks the first time Carnival has featured a private island on one of its cruise programs. On Western Caribbean sailings, the Carnival Pride calls at Key West, Fla.; Belize City, Belize; Playa del Carmen/Cozumel and Progreso/Merida, Mexico; with two days at sea.

The new schedule for Paradise has the vessel sailing round trip from Miami on 10-day cruises to St. Thomas/St. John; St. Lucia; Barbados; Martinique; St. Maarten on Feb. 21, May 2, August 15 and Oct. 3, 2002 and on 11-day cruises to Curacao; Aruba; Colon, Panama (optional Panama Canal and Gatun Lake shore excursions available); Limon, Costa Rica; and Key West, Feb. 10, April 21, August 4, and Sept. 22, 2002.

***Fred Olsen Cruises has completed the $75 million conversion of its newest vessel, the Braemar, the former Crown Dynasty of now defunct Crown Cruises. The Braemar underwent a complete technical conversion at the Blohm & Voss yard in Germany. There is a new layout of lounges, bars and the shopping area and a new interior design featuring Scandinavian art works, owned by the Olsen family. Braemar sets sail on her maiden voyage next Saturday August 11, to Scotland and Scandinavia. The cruise includes a call at Aberdeen, Scotland with an excursion to the nearby town of Braemar, home of the world-famous Braemar Gathering and Highland Games. Fred Olsen Cruises is marketed in North America by EuroCruises. Back to Top

08-02-01 Celebrity Expands Hawaii Program Celebrity will send Summit and Infinity to Hawaii for an expanded program of Hawaiian cruises in 2002 and 2003. The two ships sail between Ensenada and Honolulu and between Honolulu and Vancouver calling at five ports in the Hawaiian Islands. Summit is scheduled to enter service October 1, 2001 while Infinity inaugurated Hawaii sailings for Celebrity in May this year. The 1,950 passenger sister ships are powered by environmentally friendly, smokeless, gas turbine engines. Both vessels feature a floral conservatory and specialty restaurants honouring the famous liners S.S. United States (Infinity) and the Normandie (Summit).

The 2002/2003 cruises are as follows:

Infinity will sail from Ensenada to Honolulu for 10 nights, May 10, 2002 and and May 11, 2003 with reverse itinerary Nov. 28, 2002, Feb. 13, April 3, 2003. From Ensenada to Honolulu for 11 nights, Nov. 17, 2002, Feb. 2, 2003, March 23, 2003, with reverse itinerary, October 9, 2002. From Honolulu to Vancouver for 11 nights, May 20, 2002 and May 21, 2003. From Vancouver to Honolulu, 12 nights, Sept. 27. 2002. Ports of call are Kailua Kona and Hilo, Hawaii; Lahaina, Maui (2 days); and Nawiliwili, Kauai. Overnight in Honolulu Sept. 27, October 9, Nov. 17, 2002 and Feb. 2, March 23, 2003 sailings.

Summit will sail from Ensenada to Honolulu, 10 nights, May 3, 2002 and reverse September 24, 2002. Honolulu to Vancouver, 11 nights, May 13, 2002 and reverse, September 13, 2002. Ports of call are Kailua Kona and Hilo, Hawaii; Lahaina, Maui (2 days); and Nawiliwili, Kauai. Back to Top

Recommended Articles