News Archive - December 2005

| Tuesday, 05 Mar. 2013

12-30-05 Weekend Cruise News *** Princess Cruises has announced the winners of the "Help Someone Escape Completely" contest. Launched along with a national consumer survey in May, the contest asked U.S. adult consumers their opinions about people's need to "escape." Topics covered in the survey ranged from ways people like to escape to the celebrity they'd like to accompany them on an escape. More than 12,000 people took time to nominate someone they felt deserved a well-earned vacation. "The contest gave us an opportunity to recognize some truly remarkable individuals and mark our anniversary in a compelling and memorable way," said Jan Swartz, senior vice president of customer service and sales, who devised the contest. The 40 winners came from around the U.S. in professions ranging from law and law enforcement to medicine and social work. Winners are posted at www.princess.com and site visitors can view video footage of Gavin MacLeod surprising several of the winners with their awards at their homes and offices. Winners received a seven-night cruise vacation for two to the Caribbean or Mexican Rivera.

*** Crystal Cruises has two Golf Theme Cruises planned for 2006 which will explore courses in the British Isles and Mediterranean. On May 25, 2006, Crystal Serenity departs London for a 10-day round-trip journey with opportunities to play at Gleneagles King's Course (Edinburgh); Dornoch (Invergordon); Royal County Down (Belfast); Royal Dublin (Dublin); Mount Juliet (Waterford); and St. Mellion (Plymouth). On August 19, Crystal Symphony travels from Rome to London on a 12-day cruise with golf offered at Golf Club Dell'Ugolino (Florence); Monte Carlo Golf Club (Monte Carlo); Ste. Maxime Golf Club (St. Tropez); Réal Club de Golf el Prat (Barcelona); and Penha Longa Golf Course (Lisbon). At each course, golfers will play 18-holes of championship golf in organized foursomes, a 45-minute warm-up session on driving range or putting green. Gold excursions include a caddy or motorized cart, 9th hole refreshments, use of locker room facilities, and transfers to and from the ship. On board, participating golfers attend special parties and private clinics hosted by the visiting PGA instructor, and enjoy complimentary club and golf shoe cleaning after each course, as well as complimentary club storage. Golfers playing all courses during either cruise are eligible to receive awards for competitions including: Best Overall Score for Putting Contest (team and individual); Best Overall Average Score (team and individual); Longest Drive; Closest to the Pin; and the ultimate: a Hole-in-One, which rewards the winner with a free Crystal cruise for two. Golfers may confirm their participation at each desired course in advance of their trip by reserving online at www.crystalcruises.com . Participants can ship their golf clubs from the U.S. through Virtual Bellhop for $100 each way. Crystal recommends that golfers bring their own clubs, as their rental at the courses is based on availability.

*** Three European cruise ships are scheduled to arrive soon in New Orleans. The German ship Delphin Renaissance will dock tomorrow at the Thalia Street Wharf, the first cruise ship to call with passengers since Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans is a port of call on the vessel's World Cruise. Passengers will visit New Orleans and take part in New Year's Eve celebrations. P&O Cruises' Arcadia will arrive February 9 and Swan Hellenic Cruises' Minerva is scheduled to call from February 22 to 24, 2006. Construction is continuing at New Orleans' Erato Street cruise terminal and parking garage. The $37 million project is expected to be completed in late 2006. It includes a 90,000-square-foot terminal and a 1,000 vehicle parking garage. Ships returning to homeport in New Orleans this year include Sensation on October 26, 2006; Norwegian Sun on November 12, 2006 and Grandeur of the Seas on December 2, 2006.

*** Plans for a new cruise terminal in San Diego are progressing. The new facility on San Diego's North Embarcadero will replace the existing terminal and add hotels, parking and more amenities. Consideration is being given to designs which include either a bridge or tunnel from the terminal so the movement of baggage and passengers does not interfere with traffic and pedestrians along North Harbor Drive. San Diego's cruise passenger numbers increased in 2005 to 630,000 from 500,000 in 2004.

*** MSC is offering a number of specials aboard the 1,756-passenger MSC Opera and 1,590-passenger MSC Lirica this winter in the Caribbean. Pricing starts at $395 per person for four in a cabin on the Family Special, February 11 and 25. The seven-night cruises aboard MSC Opera sails round-trip Ft. Lauderdale, calling at San Juan, St. Maarten, La Romana and Cayo Levantado, the line's private island off the Dominican Republic. MSC Lirica's 11-night, Southern Caribbean cruise is priced from $895 per person, January 13 to April 22, 2006. These cruises include a call at Panama with excursions to the Canal available and a call at the rarely visited San Blas Islands. Back to Top

12-29-05 RCI & Celebrity Offer Airport Check-In Service *** Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises are doing airline passengers a big service. With the new "Onboard Check-in and Luggage Valet" program passengers can now complete the dreaded airline and luggage check-in process for their flights home before they step off the ship. With the new service, passengers no longer have to locate their luggage, transport it to the airport or stand in long lines, saving up to two hours of waiting time. RCI and Celebrity's fee for the service ranges from $10 to $20 per person, depending on the port and service offering.

The service is being rolled out at ports across the United States, based on approval by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, Customs and Border Patrol, as well as seaport, airport and airline security personnel. The "Onboard Check-in and Luggage Valet," is now available to Celebrity Cruises' passengers whose cruises conclude in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Miami; San Diego; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Seattle. The service is available for Royal Caribbean passengers whose cruises end in San Juan and Seattle. Both brands also offer the service for arrivals in Vancouver, British Columbia. To qualify, guests must fly to a U.S. city on an expanding list of airlines on the same day their cruise ends.

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12-23-05 Weekend Cruise News *** Several cruise ships were delayed leaving Miami last Monday following the tragic seaplane crash off South Beach near Government Cut which forced closure of the port. Carnival's Fascination and Imagination and Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas remained in Miami until the port reopened Tuesday evening. Passengers were able to go ashore and visit Miami on Tuesday. Cruise itineraries were revised to accommodate the shortened schedule. Passengers were compensated with a $100 shipboard credit. Those who decided to cancel their cruise because of the incident received a full refund.

*** Ocho Rios is expecting 170,000 cruise ship visitors in December and January. The severe hurricane season this year cause disruption with cruise calls in the fall but Ocho Rios is back to normal with cruise ship arrivals for October and November surpassing last year's numbers. 50,000 passengers visited in October and 75,000 in November.

*** Crystal Symphony will welcome the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra aboard the April 29, 2006 transatlantic crossing. The nine-night Big Band sailing will include afternoon dances, trivia contests, swing lessons, special lectures and presentations. The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra was a leading band in the '40s. Today the orchestra is led by Buddy Morrow. The repertoire embraces classic Dorsey hits as well as Dixieland, rhythm and blues, progressive jazz and contemporary music. Special guest lecturer Loren Shoenberg will be onboard to give presentations on the Big Band era. Schoenberg is the Executive Director of the Jazz Museum in Harlem. The April 29 crossing sails from Miami to Lisbon. Passengers can extend their cruise to Athens by adding the 10-night Mediterranean cruise on May 8, 2006.

*** Radisson Seven Seas will feature Spotlight Theme Cruises again in 2006. Twenty-eight voyages will feature complimentary Spotlight theme programming, onboard and ashore. Topics include Music, Antiques, Photography, Yoga, Food & Wine, Films and Chocolate. The seven- to 18-night Spotlight voyages sail around Western Europe, the Baltic, British Isles, the Mediterranean, Alaska, Asia, Australasia, and Caribbean, in addition to transatlantic and transpacific crossings. Some of next year's highlights are the "Antiques Boatshow" with experts from the popular BBC program Antiques Roadshow; Spotlight on Cooking from Asia to Australia featuring Australian TV's Dining Down Under team and regional vintners; Big Band/Dance, and Jazz sailings will have artists onboard including the Cary Richards Band, guitarist Larry Coryell, saxophonist David Sanchez, pianist Junior Mance, the Fine Arts Quartet and students and faculty from the Juilliard School of Music; "Film Festival at Sea" features film experts from Hollywood and New Zealand, while the ship's chefs will recreate classic film meals including Babette's Feast and the towering timpano from Big Night, plus exotic dishes from Like Water for Chocolate. Spotlights on Food & Wine feature celebrity chefs including Philippe Marc of the Alain Ducasse restaurant Relais du Plaza in the Plaza Athenée hotel in Paris, Fredrik Hald, Norway's Chef of the Year, and from New York, Stephen Lewandowski of Tribeca Grill, and Toni Robertson of the Mandarin Oriental. Cooking classes, market visits, special signature menus and wine tastings are part of the Food & Wine sailings. For a complete list of spotlight cruises visit CruiseMates' Theme Cruise Page.

*** Silversea has started lining up a prestigious list of special guests for Silver Shadow's 2007 World Cruise. Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass is slated to host a series of presentations on the segment from Dubai to Alexandria from April 12 to 27, 2007. Hawass is Egypt's Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and the man most responsible for bringing the King Tut exhibition to the United States this year. For over 30 years, Hawass has dedicated himself to the excavation and conservation of many of Egypt's most important monuments and antiquities. Included among his many discoveries are the tombs of the pyramid builders found at the Giza Plateau, in the shadow of the great pyramids, and the Valley of the Golden Mummies at Bahariya Oasis. He has received numerous international awards for his work, including a First Class Award of Art and Science, one of Egypt's highest awards, presented to Hawass by President Hosni Mubarak to honor the archaeologist's work on the Sphinx restoration project. Departing January 15, 2007 from Ft Lauderdale, Silver Shadow's World Cruise will cross three oceans, seven seas and six continents, visiting 61 different ports, concluding in New York City, on May 22. Additional guest lecturers will be announced in the coming weeks Back to Top

12-22-05 Celebrity Upgrades Century *** Celebrity Cruises 77,713-ton Century will get a $55 million makeover to bring popular Millennium-class features to the ship. The refurbishment, scheduled in 2006, will include 314 new balcony cabins, 14 new suites and 10 staterooms in assorted categories plus an expanded number of ConciergeClass cabins. Additional enhancements include an elegant specialty restaurant, Sushi Cafe, and made-to-order Pasta and Pizza Bar. The new Martini Bar will offer 30 versions of the libation and a tapas cart will be found on deck during sailaways. A teen room will be added to the "Fun Factory" children's area and the "Acupuncture at Sea" program will be featured on Century. The refurbished Century will return to service June 2, 2006 to a series of 12-night Baltic and 10- and 11-night Mediterranean sailings and a seven-night Norwegian Fjord cruise. Back to Top

12-16-05 Weekend Cruise News *** Holland America and Princess have new additions for online shopping in time for the Holiday Season. Princess' cookbook, 'Courses, A Culinary Journey', is a 224-page coffee-table cookbook with a collection of recipes by 20 of the line's chefs. More than 100,000 copies have been sold onboard ship and it is now available online for $49.95 at www.amazon.com.

Holland America's new online store is now open at www.shophollandamerica.com. Readers can purchase a variety of items from the Stateroom, Dining Room, Wine Cellar or Galleria sections, including teak deck chairs and deck furniture, single bottles and gift sets of wine and champagne, flowers, gift baskets, the Mariner Dream bed, luggage, art reproductions and a range of telescopes. An extensive collection of Riedel stemware is listed however, the Bulgari china from the Pinnacle Grill is 'Coming Soon' along with spices, tea, coffee, cabin amenities and sheets. Shoppers need to register online in order to purchase.

*** Seabourn Cruise Line is offering two port intensive Baltic cruises in the summer of 2006. The all-suite Seabourn Pride will sail the 12-night "Scandinavia & Russia" and nine-night "Norwegian Fjords" itineraries with departure between June 17 and August 19, 2006. "Scandinavia & Russia" calls at Tallinn, Estonia and spends three full days at St. Petersburg, then continues to Helsinki, overnight in Stockholm and calls at Warnemunde, Germany, with tours available to Berlin, Prague or Krakow and Auschwitz in Poland. New this year is a call at the Danish isle of Bornholm, where passengers visit a traditional glass works and create their own glass then enjoy wine served in it during a complimentary 'Exclusively Seabourn' excursion. "Norwegian Fjords" calls at Gudvangen and Flaam, Aalesund, Bergen, Ulvik, Eidfjord and Oslo, plus an Exclusively Seabourn visit to Skagen, where the Baltic and North Seas meet, on the northern tip of Denmark. With Early Booking savings from 25%, fares start from $7,969 per person for 12 nights and $5,996 per person for the nine night cruise based on double occupancy of a 277-square foot ocean-view suite. The two cruise itineraries can be booked back-to-back for a 21-night Grand Voyage with fares starting from $9,310 per person, double.

*** Royal Caribbean's 138,000-ton Voyager of the Seas will leave the Caribbean for Europe in 2006 sailing weekly from Barcelona on two itineraries. From May 27 to July 8, 2006, and from September 9 through November 11, 2006, Voyager calls at Marseille and Villefranche (Nice), France, and Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Civitavecchia (Rome) and Naples, Italy. From July 15 through Sept. 2, 2006, ports of call are Villefranche; Civitavecchia (Rome); Palermo, Sicily; Malta and Palma De Mallorca. Cruises can be extended by adding escorted, pre-cruise land tours for three or five nights to Madrid (two nights) and Barcelona (one night) plus two nights in Seville on the five-night tour. Positioning transatlantic crossings sail from Miami to Barcelona for 13 nights, May 6, 2006 and from Barcelona back to Miami for 11 nights on November 14, 2006.

*** Seven Seas Voyager's 108-night, six-segment World Cruise will feature a full roster of shipboard programming including celebrity guests, Smithsonian Institute and Ocean Futures Society lecturers, a wide array of musical entertainment, guest chefs, Le Cordon Bleu cooking workshops and culinary events, in addition to exclusive shore side events and unique land programs. The cruise departs Los Angeles on January 10, 2006 and visits 45 ports in 28 countries. A major highlight of each 14- to 23-night 2006 World Cruise segment is an exclusive complimentary shore side event. One- to five-day overland tours are also available, with some allowing guests to rejoin the ship at a later port. Examples are an Indian Pacific train journey from Adelaide to Perth in Australia; a "Journey of Maharajahs" private jet from Cochin to Jaipur for an overnight at the Raj Villas tented hotel, followed by a visit to Agra and the Taj Mahal; and a stay at the new Four Seasons Hotel in Langkawi. Among the many special guests aboard World Cruise segments are Robert McFarlane, architect of the "Star Wars" initiative and former national security advisor to President Reagan; Dr. Robert Tilling, Smithsonian volcanologist; Dr. Oscar Fitzgerald, Smithsonian Naval war historian; Daniel Schorr, Watergate journalist and foreign correspondent and Bill Miller, ocean liners expert. Per person fares for segments start at $5,298 (15-night segment, Rome to Ft. Lauderdale) and include shipboard gratuities, wine, liquor and soft drinks throughout the voyage. Over 300 passengers are booked to sail the complete World Cruise.

*** RiverBarge Excursion Lines has re-opened its offices in New Orleans after being temporarily located in Houston following Hurricane Katrina. The 198-passenger R/B River Explorer, the only hotel barge traveling America's inland waterways, will commence its New Orleans trips beginning with the traditional Christmas Bonfires on the Levee excursion from December 19-27, 2005. The New Year in the Big Easy excursion from December 30, 2005 to January 2, 2006, features a free, open bar, including premium liquor, beer and RiverBarge Cellars wine. Both Christmas and New Year excursions offer a decreased single supplement (from 50 percent to 25 percent) and complimentary parking in New Orleans (space is limited). Excursion fares start at $2,745 for Christmas and $865 for New Year, per person, based on double occupancy. The vessel will also continue its destination landings along the Texas Gulf Coast, including Galveston and Port Isabel, which were both spared from Hurricane Rita. River Explorer offers a relaxed, family atmosphere, home style cooking, regional entertainment, shore activities and all- inclusive pricing. For further information call a travel professional or 1-888-462-2743, ext. 1 or visit www.riverbarge.com. Back to Top

12-14-05 Carnival To Build Four Ships *** Carnival Corporation & plc has announced it will build four new cruise ships worth more than $2 billion for Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Costa Crociere and Holland America Line. The four new vessels will add 11,756 lower beds to Carnival Corp's fleet. The ships include a 2,044-passenger ship which will be the largest ever built for Holland America, scheduled to debut in the spring of 2010; a 116,000-ton vessel slated to enter the Princess Cruises fleet in fall, 2008; a 3,608-passenger ship entering Carnival's fleet in fall 2009 and a 3,004-passenger, 112,000-ton ship for Costa Crociere entering service in 2009. Including the four new vessels, Carnival Corporation & plc's capacity growth for 2008 and 2009 is now expected to be 8.2 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively. The company's order book now includes 16 new ships, 13 of which are being constructed by Fincantieri in Italy. Back to Top

12-9-05 Weekend Cruise News *** Cruise West is offering a new itinerary in Alaska next year. The "Glacier Bay Highlights" cruise is a three or four-night getaway which focuses on the National Park. The small ships of Cruise West have sailed into Glacier Bay National Park longer than any other cruise line and the line was recently awarded a permit from the National Park Service (NPS) allowing the most entries into the Park for the next 10 years. Spirit of Alaska will sail round-trip from Juneau from May through August 2006 calling at Skagway, Haines, Glacier Bay plus Icy Strait on four-night sailings. Rates range from $1,349 to $3,049. Extended journeys are also available, with land tours to Denali National Park and Preserve and/or Prince William Sound. Combine "Glacier Bay Highlights" with a Sheltered Seas motor yacht cruise to Ketchikan for the eight-night "Best of Both Worlds", May 16 to August 29, 2006.

*** Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas is now sailing from Tampa. The four and five-night cruises call at Cozumel, plus Costa Maya or Grand Cayman on five-night sailings, to April 22, 2006. Two seven-night cruises are scheduled on April 22, with port calls in Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, and Georgetown, Cayman Islands and on April 29, sailing to San Juan, Puerto Rico, with port calls in Cozumel, Mexico, Georgetown, Cayman Islands, and Oranjestad, Aruba. The vessel will return to Baltimore from May to November on alternating five-night Bermuda itineraries and nine-night Caribbean sailings which call at Freeport, Key West, Port Canaveral, Cozumel and Costa Maya. Grandeur is scheduled to return to New Orleans on December 2, 2006 to resume seven-night sailings to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Costa Maya which were halted after Hurricane Katrina. Grandeur of the Seas is one of the Vision Class vessels. It is 74,140 tons with 11 passenger decks and accommodates 1,950 passengers and 760 crew members. It has a total of 975 staterooms, 576 of which have ocean views, 212 with balconies.

*** Crystal Cruises has confirmed some of the special guests who will host theme cruises in 2006. Naturalist Patricia Hostiuck will host a Smithsonian Associates cruise aboard Crystal Symphony, a 14-night exploration from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso rounding Cape Horn, March 16 to 30, 2006. Hostiuck's work has taken her nearly 'pole-to-pole' with an emphasis on Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego , the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. She will escort excursions ashore as well as give lectures onboard. The annual President's Cruise hosted by President Gregg Michel and his family is a British Isles sailing aboard Crystal Serenity on August 30, 2006. For the 12 Wine and Food Festival sailings, guest chefs, Master Sommeliers and wine experts will lead culinary excursions as well as present cooking demonstrations and wine tastings on each of the special sailings which operate from January 18 to December 6, 2006.

*** Clipper Cruise Line has a new web site at www.clippercruise.com. The site has a new look for detailing the more than 40 cruises Clipper will offer aboard its fleet of luxury, small ships next year. Through easy-to-follow navigational bars, users can search for voyages by date or destination and view photos of ships and destinations. Downloadable brochures are available. The "Trip Preparation" section presents the CLIPPERGEAR store for logo items, equipment and clothing for the upcoming journey as well as bon voyage gift shop. There is also a section for members of Clipper's PINNACLE past-passenger program.

It was announced this week that Clipper Cruise Line's parent company Intrav, Inc. (Intrav), the deluxe-tour and small-ship cruise operator, will be acquired by UK-based First Choice Holidays PLC (First Choice) for $65 million in January 2006. First Choice is a leader in activity adventure holidays.

*** More than 40 American and Caribbean women of Italian ancestry will be special guests onboard MSC Opera's March 11, 2006 sailing as part of the Miss Italia World 2006 competition. During the seven-night cruise, 21 women representing Caribbean nations and 20 candidates from the U.S. will participate in pageant activities and performances, while being filmed by Italian television Rai Uno. They will be competing to represent the United States and the Caribbean in the international Miss Italia World 2006 competition to be held in Italy at the end of June. The competition celebrates the beauty of women of Italian heritage from around the world with participants from 52 countries competing next year. MSC Opera sails round-trip from Fort Lauderdale March 11, calling at San Juan, St. Maarten, La Romana and Cayo Levantado. The itinerary also includes two days at sea. At the end of the cruise, pageant participants will travel to Miami to compete in the March 18 finale. Back to Top

12-1-05 Weekend Cruise News *** MSC Cruises is the latest line to announce year-round sailings from New York City. The 58,600-ton, 1,590-passenger MSC Lirica will homeport in New York year-round from April 2007. Itineraries to Bermuda, Canada/New England and the Caribbean are in development. It will be the first time in several decades that a European-owned cruise line will homeport year-round in the Big Apple. "Homeporting a ship in New York makes MSC Cruises 'True Italian Signature' style of cruising readily accessible to residents of the Northeast. MSC Cruises' Italian/European style will be right at home in this, the crosswords of the world" said Richard Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA).

*** MSC also announced this week that Italian film star Sophia Loren will be the centerpiece of their 2006 marketing campaign. Ms. Loren will serve as the line's spokesperson in the new campaign. She has served as godmother to line's two newest ships, MSC Lirica and MSC Opera.

*** The "Savor the Caribbean" culinary cruises will be offered again in 2006 by Celebrity Cruises. The sailings will take place aboard Infinity's seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailings from January 15 through March 12, 2006 which call at Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic; San Juan, St. Thomas and Nassau. Cruises feature cooking demonstrations by the featured chef, a Bacardi Caribbean-themed party, wine and rum tastings, and lectures. More shore excursions in conjunction with the culinary theme have been announced: a cooking class hosted by Chef Brian Katz at the 215-year-old plantation-turned-restaurant, the Old Stone Farmhouse in St. Thomas; a tour of Puerto Rico's Museum of Art, followed by a four-course "taste of Puerto Rico" meal specially prepared by Chef Benet and upon return to Fort Lauderdale, an excursion combining both a brunch and learning experience with Chef Allen Susser at his namesake restaurant, Chef Allen's. Allen Susser will also be the featured chef on the March 12 sailing. Wilo Benet will be aboard the February 26 cruise and Brian Katz on February 12. Other featured chefs are Giancarla Bodini, chef de cuisine at "Escopazzo" since its debut in 1993, on the January 29 departure and Edgar Leal of Miami's "Cacao" on January 15.

*** Celebrity Cruises' "A Taste of Cirque du Soleil" is now operating on both Summit and Constellation. The new 30-minute Cirque-style performances take place in the Celebrity Theatre twice each cruise. There is no charge for the performances. The two ships also house "The Bar at the Edge of the Earth" which was designed for the original Cirque du Soleil program which has been canceled. The lounges have kept the Cirque decor but are used once again as an observation lounge by day and disco at night. Also onboard both ships are the Cirque du Soleil boutiques.

*** QM2 will be on the West Coast this winter for the first time, after sailing around Cape Horn, as the ship is too large to sail through the Panama Canal. Special celebrations are being planned for the arrival of the liner in Los Angeles with details to be announced shortly. QM2 will sail round-trip from Los Angeles on the four-day West Coast Break departing February 22, which calls at Ensenada on Mexico's Baja Peninsula for one day, and the 11-day Royal Hawaiian Liner departing February 25. On March 8 the ship will depart Los Angeles for New York on her 38-day South American Odyssey that again sails around Cape Horn. Those with limited time may book the shorter Andes & the Americas portion of the itinerary, which disembarks in Valparaiso, Chile.

*** Norwegian Cruise Line has added the Officer Snook Water Pollution Program to the youth programs onboard its ships. Officer Snook was launched aboard Norwegian Jewel this week and will expand fleetwide in 2006. The Program is a long term water pollution prevention program, emphasizing youth education and involvement. The mascot for the program is Officer Snook, a cartoon fish symbolizing the program's protection of the water environment worldwide. Elements of the program are incorporated into the NCL Kids Crew and include activities for kids of all ages. Beginning in January 2006, a teen component will allow high school students to earn between one to five community service hours depending on their level of involvement in the program. These hours may be used at the teen's school as part of their community service allotment. The award-winning program has grown nationally since its inception in 1994 and is used by the Coast Guard as part of its national "Sea Partners Campaign".

*** Silversea Cruises is returning to Alaska in 2006 with Silver Shadow scheduled to sail a variety of itineraries from Vancouver, and San Francisco after arriving in the region from Japan next June. Silversea has arranged several land tours in conjunction with the Alaska sailings. These include: From Tokyo, four nights to Kyoto; from San Francisco, three nights in the Napa Valley; from Anchorage, three nights in Denali Park or six nights to Denali and Barrow north of the Arctic Circle; from Vancouver or Calgary, a four- or five-night rail journey to Banff and Jasper National Parks. The tours are priced form $1,395 per person and include deluxe accommodations, all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing and some meals. Back to Top


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