News Archive - July 2002

| Tuesday, 05 Mar. 2013
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7-26-02 Weekend Cruise News *** The Panama Canal Authority held public hearings last Friday regarding the proposed 13 percent rate increase. The 46 participants included a delegation from the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, Canal customers, representatives from shipping companies, governments and private citizens. While recent improvements in safety and efficiency were applauded, many participants said the percentage increase is too high and poorly timed. While the cruise industry supplies only two percent of the Canal's business, it provides four percent of its revenues. Each cruise ship pays a hefty surcharge in order to transit the Canal on a pre-arranged schedule. Comments from Friday's hearings will now be taken into consideration. If approved, the new pricing structure is expected to go into effect in October, 2002.

*** Costa Cruises has announced its lineup for Fall and Winter 'Best Value Collection' cruises in Europe. CostaAllegra and CostaEuropa (the former Westerdam) will sail a variety of Mediterranean, Canary Islands and Cape Verde cruises from Genoa, Italy and nearby Savona. Sailings range from eight to 16 nights in length and are available from November 3, 2002 through April 16, 2003. Per person double occupancy fares start from $699 for the eight-night Spain/Morocco cruise, $999 for 11-night Canary Islands and Western Mediterranean sailings and $1,899 for the 16 and 17-night Dakar/Cape Verde cruises. Sample air add-ons are $549 (U.S. East Coast) and $649 (Los Angeles/San Francisco). Two-night pre or Post-cruise packages in Rome and Nice/Monte Carlo are offered which include hotel, transfers and a half-day sightseeing tour.

*** Princess Cruises is developing shore excursions for those in wheel chairs or with limited mobility. The first tour has been developed in conjunction with Accessible Adventures in St. Thomas. The two-hour island tour visits accessible points of interest and is conducted aboard a special trolley. The excursion cost is $32 for adults and $22 for children. Currently offered on Grand Princess, the excursion will be extended to Golden, Sea and Dawn Princess in 2002 and 2003.

*** New activities are available on NCL's Caribbean cruises. The line has added Parasail Adventure to its Dive-In program offered on the company's private Bahamian Island, Great Stirrup Cay. S/S Norway and Norwegian Sea currently call at Great Stirrup Cay with Norwegian Dawn making regular visits starting in January 2003. As well, snorkel equipment is available for rent to passengers who do not wish to participate on a structured snorkeling excursion. The snorkel gear is offered on all of NCL's ships at all ports of call where an organized snorkel trip is scheduled.

*** Carnival's Inspiration has a new, state-of-the-art golf simulator on board. The new golf simulator is located in the Inspiration's former card room, which has been reconfigured to resemble a "pro shop" with the latest golf equipment, apparel and accessories. Featured courses available on the simulator include Scotland's legendary St. Andrews; England's Belfry Country Club, home of the 2001 Ryder Cup; Ohio's Firestone Country Club, home of the World Golf Championships; North Carolina's Pinehurst Country Club, site of the 1999 U.S. Open; and Florida's Bay Hill Club and Lodge, home of the Bay Hill Invitational. Carnival's fleetwide golf program also offers golfers the opportunity to play spectacular courses while the ships are in port in the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and Europe. Professional instruction is available during shoreside golf excursions, which also include golf pro escort, priority tee times, round-trip transportation between ship and course, and all cart and green fees. On board the ships are netted and lighted "driving ranges," for shipboard lessons, golf clinics and putting contests. Shipboard lessons incorporate the latest "V1" teaching technology featuring split-screen, side-by-side comparisons with top tour players. The 2,052-passenger Inspiration sails on Sundays to the Western Caribbean from New Orleans through November 17, 2002 and from Tampa commencing December 7, 2002. For more on Carnival's golf program visit www.carnivalgolf.com

*** Radisson is offering free air from 83 North American gateways on the Tahiti sailings of Paul Gauguin from January to March 2003. Paul Gauguin's seven-night voyages sail from Papeete, Tahiti to Raiatea, Tahaa, including a stop at Radisson's private isle of Motu Mahana, Bora Bora and Moorea. The 18,800-ton vessel carries 320 passengers. A special feature is the retractable water sports platform which allows the Paul Gauguin to offer complimentary kayaking, water-skiing and windsurfing right from the ship. An optional full scuba dive program for all levels of expertise is also available. Fares start at $2,835 per person, including free round-trip economy airfare from 83 North American gateways, all shipboard gratuities, wine with lunch and dinner, soft drinks throughout and an in-stateroom bar set-up. Port/handling and security charges of $207 per person are additional.

*** The North West CruiseShip Association reports that cruise line members have spent more than $1.4 million during the past two years to purchase eight oil-spill response barges. The latest deployment is two oil-spill response vessels guarding the waters of Yakutat Bay, where cruise ships visit Hubbard Glacier. The response barges are stationed throughout Southeast Alaska to respond to oil spills from any source. While the NWCA purchased the vessels, they were donated to the Southeast Alaska Petroleum Resource Organization (SEAPRO), which maintains and operates oil-response barges in Glacier Bay, Haines, Juneau, Ketchikan and now Yakutat.

*** Carnival received unconditional approval from the European Union this week for its bid for P&O Princess. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is still investigating both the Carnival and Royal Caribbean proposals to take over P&O Princess. Its decision is expected to be announced in mid-September. If both bids are approved, the final decision will be made by P&O Princess shareholders at a meeting in the Fall. Back to Top

7-25-02 A-La-Carte Silversea Cruising You have the money -- but not the time -- to take a 12-night cruise aboard a luxury vessel. Now a new program launched by Silversea Cruises, "Personalized Voyages," gives you the option of custom designing your own itinerary and vacation experience. The new program enables passengers to decide when they want to embark and debark, instead of being tied to an existing itinerary. "Personalized Voyages" will debut on Silver Cloud in 2003. There is a minimum of five consecutive nights aboard the ship required to take part in the program. In the 2003 Silver Cloud schedule, there are some 200 possible ports of embarkation and disembarkation. Silversea will assist in making hotel arrangements, but passengers are responsible for their own air transportation. Silversea Cruises also offers discounts of up to 50% off 2002 departures. For reservations or additional information, contact your travel agent or Silversea Cruises at www.silversea.com. Back to Top

7-24-02 New Celebrity Bermuda Cruise Starting Sept. 21, 2003, Celebrity Cruises' Horizon will sail on four one week Bermuda cruises round-trip from Philadelphia. Prior to this, the ship will be positioned in New York and make seven-day round-trip voyages to Bermuda, staying overnight in the port of St. George's and two nights in Hamilton. Back to Top

7-19-02 Weekend Cruise News *** Radisson Seven Seas Cruises has released more details about its newest ship, Seven Seas Voyager, scheduled to debut next April. Captain Dag Dvergastein, master of the Song of Flower since 1993 has been appointed Master of the new vessel. The 49,000-ton 700-passenger Voyager will be the second all suite, all balcony vessel to be built, the first being sister ship Seven Seas Mariner which entered service in March, 2001. Aboard Voyager, 88 suites will have butler service, a record for the industry. Suites are a minimum of 356 square, feet including balcony. The four main dining venues include the 110-seat Signatures which operates under the direction of chefs trained by the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu of Paris. Le Cordon Bleu culinary classes will operate on five of Voyager's 2003 cruises, including the 12-night maiden voyage from Monte Carlo to Venice, on April 1, 2003.

*** Two brand new Las Vegas style shows have been created for Carnival Legend, which enters service August 24. "Jazz Hot" and "Take II" will be performed in Follies, the three-deck showlounge which seats 1,500. "Jazz Hot" includes a range of numbers from torch songs such as "Birth of the Blues" to the upbeat "Ain't Necessarily So" and "It Don't Mean a Thing." Big band-era numbers and interpretations of songs by Miles Davis and other contemporary jazz artists are also showcased. "Take II" is a tribute to Hollywood with adaptations of some of Tinseltown's most famous movie scenes. A third show, a tribute to Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Junior will also take place in Follies during each cruise. Follies showlounge features the latest entertainment technology, including a multi-million-dollar computerized sound and lighting system, two high-watt laser banks, a revolving stage and retractable orchestra pit. As reported in weekend cruise news 7-12-02, the 88,500-ton, 2,124-passenger Legend will be christened by Dame Judi Dench in Harwich, England, August 21.

*** Isla Culebra, off Puerto Rico has been added to Wind Surf's St. Thomas to Barbados cruses commencing January 2003. Windstar Cruises has been looking at adding Culebra to its Caribbean itineraries for some time and has now replaced St. Croix with Culebra. The tiny island measures 7.5 miles long and 3.5 miles wide. Together with 23 surrounding islands, Culebra is protected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a nature preserve. It is one of only two nesting sites for giant sea turtles in the U.S. and home to a a major bird sanctuary. The coral reefs and white sand beaches are amongst the best in the Caribbean. On the St. Thomas-Barbados sailings, Wind Surf calls at Isla Culebra, St. Martin, Isles des Saints, St. Lucia and Granada. The cruises alternate with Barbados-St. Thomas sailings on Sundays from January 12 to April 6, 2003 and again in December 2003. The alternate Barbados- St. Thomas itinerary calls at Bequia, Mayreau, two ports in Dominica (Roseau and Cabrits), St. Barts and Virgin Gorda.

*** Celebrity Cruises will send Summit, Infinity and Mercury to Alaska again in 2003. In conjunction with Summit's seven-night cruises between Vancouver and Seward, Royal Celebrity tours has increased its Alaska cruisetours from 13 to 20 for next season. Four packages offer two full nights in Denali National Park and the popular seven-hour Tundra Wildlife Search. A new package includes three nights in Denali and an all-inclusive, full-day Kantishna Wilderness Trails Excursion, which takes participants through 95 miles of Denali's prime wildlife habitat to the Kantishna Roadhouse near Wonder Lake on the banks of Moose Creek. Cruisetours to the Kenai Peninsula are also available, visiting Seward, Homer and the Kenai Fjords National Park.

*** Seabourn Cruise Line in conjunction with Longitude online booksellers is providing passengers with a customized list of recommended books and maps for their cruise aboard Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend. The recommended books focus on the history, culture and nature of the ports of call to be visited on the voyage. Seabourn's web site contains icon links to the recommended reading lists in each cruising region under the main menu Destinations heading. The books can be ordered online from links on www.seabourn.com, or by email, fax, mail or by calling 1-800-342-2164.

*** Holland America Line's 2003 Panama Canal cruises will be highlighted by a special 21-day Panamerica cruise round-trip from San Diego. On October 6, 2003, the Amsterdam embarks on the route from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco and Santa Cruz Huatulco, Mexico; Costa Rica; Amador (Panama City); a day and night of cruising in the Panama Canal; San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Zihuatenejo/Ixtapa and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. From January through April, and again from October through December, the 1,316-passenger Rotterdam will sail 10-day Southern Caribbean and Panama Canal cruises round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale. The Sunfarer cruises call at Half Moon Cay, Holland America's private island paradise in the Bahamas; Curacao; Aruba; Cartagena, Colombia; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica plus a full day in the Panama Canal and Gatun Lake. Additional Panama Canal sailings are offered by Volendam, Veendam, Zaandam, Maasdam and Amsterdam when they reposition before and after the Alaska season. Back to Top

7-17-02 Stop Smoking Cruises

Now that the price of cigarettes has soared through the stratosphere, it may be a good investment to take one of Carnival Cruise Lines' "Stop Smoking Caribbean Cruises." The company has added six additional programs aboard the 2,052-passenger smoke-free Paradise in conjunction with the American Lung Association of Connecticut. The seven-day Caribbean voyages, which follow the initial series of "Stop Smoking Caribbean Cruises" taking place this fall, will sail round-trip from Miami once per month from January - June 2003. Included as part of the ALAC's seven-session Freedom From Smoking program, the "Stop Smoking Caribbean Cruises" feature clinics and workshops by smoking cessation experts who utilize behavior modification strategies to help smokers develop a "quitting plan," adjust to recovery symptoms, manage stress through effective relaxation techniques and fight the urge to resume smoking.

Ports of call on the Jan. 19, Feb 2, March 2, and April 27, 2003, eastern Caribbean cruises include Nassau, San Juan and St. Thomas/St. John, while the May 4 and June 1, 2003, western Caribbean voyages feature Playa del Carmen/Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios. Per person, double occupancy rates for the one-week cruises start at $579, including seminars and stop-smoking workshops. For information on the stop-smoking program, contact Dr. William Levy of Manchester Community College at (866) 512-2777. For reservations, contact your travel agent. Back to Top

7-15-02 New Carnival Itinerary Carnival Cruise Lines' Imagination will begin operating new five-day cruises from Miami on September 2, 2002 calling at Key West and Belize. The new itinerary will operate alternate Mondays, replacing the current Monday sailings which call at Grand Cayman and Calica/Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Carnival is making the change in response to the popularity of Belize with passengers visiting the port aboard Carnival Spirit and Carnival Pride. Known worldwide for eco-tourism, Belize is famous for its snorkeling and scuba diving sites, proximity to ancient Mayan ruins, lush rainforests and tropical wildlife. The 2,052-passenger Imagination offers a year-round schedule of four and five-day cruises from Miami. In addition to the Monday sailings, four-day long-weekend cruises depart Thursdays for Key West and Cozumel. Five-day cruises depart alternate Saturdays calling at Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios. Back to Top

7-12-02 Weekend Cruise News *** The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reports 1.7 million North Americans cruised in the first quarter of 2002. This marks a 1.6 percent increase over the same period in 2001. More families are discovering that cruising makes an ideal vacation. Over 700,000 children cruised in 2001. The number of junior cruisers has grown 40 percent since 1998.

*** Brilliance of the Seas will be christened at 6 p.m.tomorrow at ceremonies in Harwich, England. Godmother Marilyn Ofer, wife of RCI board member Eyal Ofer, will break the traditional champagne bottle on the bow of the 2,100-passenger ship. Brilliance embarks on her maiden voyage on Monday - a 12-night cruise to the Norwegian Fjords. See 7-5-02 news for more on Brilliance of the Seas and her delivery to RCI.

*** A second new vessel will be christened in Harwich this summer. Naming ceremonies for Carnival Legend will take place in the English port on August 21. Dame Judi Dench, one of England's most renowned stage and screen actresses, is to serve as Godmother. A long-time member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Dench has been a star of the British stage since the late 1950s, appearing in dozens of Shakespearean and contemporary productions. She is equally well-known for her work in television and film, and currently is starring in the film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's play, "The Importance of Being Earnest." In recent James Bond movies starring Pierce Brosnan, she has played the role of M, Bond's boss. The 88,500-ton, 2,124-passenger Legend is the first Carnival Cruise Lines' vessel to sail a European itinerary.

*** Crystal Harmony's children's playroom is being refurbished. During this summer's Alaska season, Fantasia will be outfitted with new "kid-size" tables and chairs in assorted antiqued colors, and a complementary carpet in primary colors. Custom designed built-in kiosks for Sony Playstation® video games, complete with entertainment and educational software, will also be installed. Aboard each Alaska cruise, qualified Junior Activities directors are joined by a guest naturalist for activities geared toward the Last Frontier. "Surf Runner," the children's newsletter details scheduled activities and is delivered to each child's stateroom in the evening. Crystal's Junior Activities Program also includes galley tours and "stretchercize" in the gym, paddle tennis and water polo. The program is offered on summer and holiday sailings aboard both Crystal Harmony and Crystal Symphony.

*** Seabourn Cruise Line has arranged a luggage shipping service in conjunction with DHL Worldwide Express. Named Personal Valet, the optional service allows passengers to ship their personal luggage from their homes directly to the Seabourn Pride, Spirit or Legend. Included in the service are the preparation of all shipping and customs paperwork; conveniently scheduled DHL luggage pickup; 24-hour online tracking; Shipment Value Protection and delivery directly to the suite on board. Rates are available for both one-way and roundtrip shipping. Personal Valet service will be available on sailings from August 15th, 2002.

*** Carnival has responded to the popularity of its Stop Smoking cruises by adding one a month from January to June 2003 aboard the smoke-free Paradise. The smoking cessation cruises are conducted in association with the American Lung Association of Connecticut (ALAC) and Manchester Community College. Included as part of the ALAC's seven-session Freedom From Smoking program, the "Stop Smoking Caribbean Cruises" feature helpful clinics and workshops by leading smoking cessation experts who utilize proven behavior modification strategies to help smokers develop a "quitting plan," adjust to recovery symptoms, manage stress through effective relaxation techniques and fight the urge to resume smoking. Participants must first enroll in the ALAC's Freedom from Smoking program and attend sessions one and two in their hometowns before taking the cruise. Sessions three and four - the sessions in which smokers actually quit - will be held during the seven-day Paradise Caribbean cruise with the remaining sessions taking place in participants' hometowns following the voyage. Ports of call on the Jan. 19, Feb 2, March 2, and April 27, 2003, Eastern Caribbean cruises include Nassau, San Juan and St. Thomas/St. John, while the May 4 and June 1, 2003, Western Caribbean voyages feature Playa del Carmen/Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios. Additional information and reservations for the "Quit Smoking Caribbean Cruises" can be obtained by contacting Dr. William Levy of Manchester Community College at 1-866-512-2777.

*** World Explorer Cruises has announced its lineup for Alaska 2003. Once again the line will offer nine and 14-night cruises round-trip from Vancouver aboard the classic liner Universe Explorer. Fares are being held at 2002 rates. Single or double occupancy rates start from $1,525 per person for the nine-night sailings and from $1,995 per person for the fourteen-night sailings, cruise-only, plus government taxes, for an inside Category G cabin. A Second Person Half-Off Fare is offered in all cabin categories on World Explorer's first two Alaska sailings, May 9 and 18, 2003. Universe Explorer cruises feature a lecture series, enhanced educational program and the Alaskan Artists in Residence program. In addition, special interest cruises next season will include Maritime Legacy of the Inside Passage May 9, 2003; True Tales of Alaskan Pioneers, May 18, 2003; Seabirds, Shorebirds and Raptors of Alaska, May 27, 2003; Native Alaskan Crafts, June 10, 2003; Marine Mammal Wildlife of Alaska, June 24, 2003. For more information call World Explorer Cruises at 1- 800-854-3835 or visit their web site at www.wecruise.com. Back to Top

7-8-02 HAL Cancels St. Croix Holland America is the third cruise line to cancel port calls in St. Croix, citing concerns over passenger safety. The cruise line has announced it will cancel 36 port calls of the new Zuiderdam during the 2002/03 Caribbean season. Earlier this year, Carnival cancelled 52 port calls by the Triumph and Victory and Norwegian Cruise Line said it would not return to the island, substituting a visit in Tortola instead. Back to Top

7-5-02 Weekend Cruise News *** Brilliance of the Seas was delivered to Royal Caribbean International today in a ceremony at Eemshaven, Netherlands. The 2,100-passenger ship, the second Radiance-class vessel for RCI, was built at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and has successfully completed sea trials in the North Sea. Like her sister-ship, Radiance of the Seas, Brilliance features environmentally friendly, vibration-free, General Electric gas turbine engines, which reduce emissions by up to 90 percent. These vessels were designed to offer a wide variety of entertainment options on board. Among the unique features are a pair of ultra-high-tech, self-leveling pool tables in the Bombay Billiards Club. Recreational amenities include a rock-climbing wall, jogging track, basketball and volleyball court, golf simulator and nine-hole miniature golf course, and a large gym with treadmills facing the sea. The five dining venues include Chops Grill steakhouse, Portofino Italian restaurant, Minstrels main dining room, and the casual Windjammer Cafe and Seaview Cafe. Fresh pizza, cappuccino or pastries can be found in Books Books & Coffee. Brilliance will be christened in Harwich, England on July 13 then embark July 15 on a seven-night maiden voyage to the Norwegian fjords. That will be followed by a series of four 12-night cruises from Harwich to the British Isles, Norwegian fjords, and Scandinavia and Russia.

*** Keel laying ceremonies for the Queen Mary 2 took place at Chantiers de l'Atlantique in St Nazaire, France, yesterday. Captain Ron Warrick who has been appointed as the QM2's master, issued the order to lay the first section of the 150,000-ton vessel. It was a day steeped in history as Captain Warrick's father served as the first master of the QE2 and it was on July 4, 1840 that Cunard's first ship, Britannia, sailed from Liverpool on the line's first transatlantic crossing to Halifax and Boston. QM2 is expected to be delivered in time for inaugural sailings in January 2004.

*** Carnival Legend is being readied to debut on August 24 in Harwich, England, offering Carnival's first European cruises. The 88,500-ton 2,124-passenger vessel is the third spirit-class ship for Carnival. Sister-ships Carnival Spirit and Carnival Pride entered service in April and December, 2001 respectively. Carnival Cruise Lines expects to welcome 350,000 children on board its fleet in 2002. Aboard the new Carnival Legend, family-oriented features will include a wide variety of staterooms accommodating up to four people as well as many adjoining staterooms. Children's menus will be available in the Truffles Restaurant however, a new pilot program will be implemented on board Legend giving kids the option of either dining with their parents in the main restaurant or with the youth counselors in the Unicorn Cafe each night. The cafe will feature 24-hour pizza and ice cream and freshly grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. The focal point of Carnival Legend's "Camp Carnival" supervised kids program will be Noah's Ark, an 1,800-square-foot recreation center encompassing three distinct areas - an all-ages play area stocked with a variety of toys and games, a computer center featuring the latest educational and video game software, and an arts-and-crafts lab with spin and sand art and candy-making machines. Teens aged 16-18 will also have their own activities program and facilities. In addition, Carnival Legend will have a babysitting service, stroller rental, soft drink program, wading pool and special turn-down service for kids.

*** Holland America Line will return to Haines, Alaska on 17 northbound Glacier Discovery Cruises between Vancouver and Seward in 2003. The 1,266-passenger Ryndam makes nine calls, while its sister ships Veendam and Statendam make four calls each. A variety of shore excursions will be offered from Haines, most featuring a salmon lunch or dinner. Planned excursions include a float plane adventure through an eagle preserve, a wildlife adventure by jet boat, a wilderness kayaking experience, as well as an historic Haines tour. On the sailings calling at Haines, high speed catamaran ferries will allow passengers to visit Skagway and take excursions from that historic town.

*** Radisson Seven Seas Cruises is gearing up for the arrival of Seven Seas Voyager next March. The line is increasing its sales staff in order to handle the additional sailings. Voyager's inaugural season will be in the Mediterranean, Western Europe and the Baltic. The maiden voyage is a 12-night sailing from Monte Carlo to Venice. The 49,000-ton 700-passenger Voyager will feature four dining venues including Signatures, operated under the direction of Le Cordon Bleu.

*** Crystal Cruises has arranged theme cruises for 2003 on topics ranging from Big Band to Opera, Murder Mystery to Musical Theatre, Wine & Food to a Film Festival. A total of 34 theme cruises are planned aboard Crystal Harmony, Crystal Symphony and the new Crystal Serenity which enters service July 7, 2003. The line announces special guests for themed sailing as they are finalized. For a copy of Crystal's 2003 Cruise Atlas, which includes the 2003 cruise calendar and lists theme cruises, call 1-800-820-6663.

*** Princess will send the Golden Princess and Regal Princess to New York for Canada/New England sailings in 2003. Golden Princess will sail the seven-night itinerary round-trip from New York on Saturdays from September 20 to October 11, 2003. Ports of call are Halifax, nova Scotia; St. John, New Brunswick; Bar Harbor, Maine; Boston and New Port, Rhode Island. Regal Princess will sail the line's traditional 10-night route between New York and Montreal which adds the port of Quebec City and Saguenay River cruising as well as an overnight stay in Montreal. The 10-night cruises depart between September 4 and October 14, 2003. Cruise tours of Historic America and Eastern Canada are offered in conjunction with these sailings.

*** World Explorer Cruises' Universe Explorer has special guest lecturers lined up for the 18-night Panama Canal Holiday sailing from Nassau, to Ensenada, Mexico, December 12, 2002. Highly-respected professor of Mesoamerican Archeoastronomy, Dr. Anthony F. Aveni from Colgate University will lecture during the cruise while Chuck Leavell, an expert in the field of bird-watching in Central America, will lead the ornithological program, including lectures and slide presentations on regional bird life as well as bird-watching nature walks ashore. World Explorer Cruises attracts what it terms the Curiously Adventurous - travelers who are looking for an alternative to the high profile glitz and glamour cruises. The 22,162-ton 737-passenger Universe Explorer was built in the U.S. in 1958 and is one of only a few steam-powered cruise ships still sailing. The historic vessel has sailed under many names including the Volendam, Canada Star, Liberte and Enchanted Seas. The vessel features the largest library afloat (more than 16,000 volumes) but no casino. Universe Explorer sails in Alaska from May to August and in Central America, December-January, operating the Semester at Sea program for the University of Pittsburgh the rest of the year. The December 12 Holiday sailing is available at two-for-one pricing. For more information call World Explorer Cruises at 1- 800-854-3835 or visit their web site at www.wecruise.com. Back to Top

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