- Weekend Cruise News 7-29-05
- RCI, Celebrity Start Online Check-ins
- Weekend Cruise News 7-22-05
- Weekend Cruise News 7-15-05
- Celebrity Orders 117,000-ton Ship
- Hurricane Dennis Port Updates
- Weekend Cruise News 7-8-05
- Weekend Cruise News 7-1-05
- Back to CruiseMates News Archive
7-29-05 Weekend Cruise News *** Silversea Cruises is transforming the Terrace Cafe into an Italian restaurant called La Terrazza which will be open most evenings for dinner, offering an a la carte menu. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited but there is no service charge. The Terrace Cafe will remain the casual alternative restaurant for breakfast and lunch. Silver Shadow is the first vessel to receive La Terrazza followed by Silver Wind in September, and Silver Cloud and Silver Whisper later this year. The menu for La Terrazza is inspired by the Slow Food Movement, which began in Italy 19 years ago and is dedicated to preserving gastronomic traditions through the use of fresh, not processed, traditional foods. Highlighting the menu are an arugula and parmigiano salad; risotto with asparagus and shrimp; grilled swordfish with Pantelleria caper pesto sauce; and grilled beef tenderloin with aromatic herb butter and sauteed baby spinach.
*** Royal Caribbean is redeploying a number of ships to new homeports in 2006. Voyager of the Seas will make her European debut in May sailing round-trip from Barcelona through September 2, 2006. From May 27 to July 8, 2006, and from September 9 through November 11, 2006 ports of call are 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. Sister ship Explorer of the Seas will take over Voyager's five-night Bermuda sailings from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J. next year. These sailings alternate with new nine-night cruises to St. Thomas, St. Maarten, San Juan, and Royal Caribbean's private destination of Labadee, Hispaniola. Starting April 29, 2006, Empress of the Seas will begin a series of seven-night Bermuda sailings from Philadelphia, marking the first time Royal Caribbean will sail a full season from the city. Empress of the Seas' new cruises will call on St. George's and Hamilton, Bermuda, until Oct. 28, 2006, when she repositions to San Juan for the winter. Freedom of the Seas enters service on June 4, 2006 sailing seven-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami. The 3,600-passenger Freedom of the Seas will hold the record as the largest cruise ship in the world. The Alaska season will see the move of Vision of the Seas to Seattle, sailing round-trip Inside Passage sailings on Fridays. Radiance of the Seas will take over the seven-night, one-way sailings between Seward, Alaska, and Vancouver, British Columbia which can be combined with land tours to see more of Alaska's interior.
*** Crystal Cruises has reduced fares on two eight-day Health & Fitness-themed Caribbean cruises departing December 6 and 14, 2005 on Crystal Symphony. A deluxe outside stateroom is now $1,795 per person, double occupancy for the eight-night, round-trip Ft. Lauderdale sailings which include complimentary specialized fitness instruction and life-enhancing lectures by special guest speakers. Pilates is the main focus of the December 6 sailing while Yoga is featured on the December 14. Onboard ship there is a Feng Shui-designed spa and fitness facility, PGA golf instruction, 360 degree teak promenade deck for walking and jogging, healthful menus, including low-carb and low-fat selections, and Crystal Cruises' exclusive Walk on Water program, featuring The WALKVEST Training System which revolutionizes walking simply by adding resistance (added weight) to your walk. Active adventures ashore, include a biking adventure and eco hike from St. Thomas, a bike, hike and swim experience from Belize and an exploration of St. Barts by horseback. Ports of call on the December 6 sailing are Belize City, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and a maiden call to Roatan Island, Honduras. Ports of call on the December 14 cruise, also round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale, include St. Maarten, St. Barts, and St. Thomas.
*** Clipper Cruise Line is offering in-depth look at life "Down Under" on sailings aboard Clipper Odyssey. From November through February the 128-passenger vessel will sail the Coral and Tasman Seas to New Caledonia, New Zealand, and Australia. A fleet of onboard Zodiac landing craft takes passengers ashore in areas where no infrastructure exists and a glass-bottom boat offers a look into the undersea world for those who are not interested in joining the planned snorkeling and swimming excursions. Onboard lecturers and guided shore excursions provide further information on the region and are presented by naturalists and historians chosen for their expertise in the region. The 17-night cruise November 1, 2005 sails from New Caledonia to Melbourne, Australia via the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney; six 13-night New Zealand cruises depart from November 2005 through February 2006 and December 2006 sailing between Auckland and Queenstown, New Zealand calling at Milford Sound (Embark), Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound, Dunedin, Akaroa, Lyttelton, Queen Charlotte Sound, Motuara Island, Picton, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga.; the 18-night cruise, February 22, 2006 sails from Queenstown, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia. Fares for these luxury-adventure cruises start at $4,770 per person, double occupancy.
*** Oosterdam and Zaandam will sail seven- and 10-night cruises to the Mexican Riviera in 2006 sailing round-trip from San Diego. Departing every Saturday from January 7 to April 22, 2006 and again from October 7 to December 16, 2006 the Oosterdam's week-long itineraries feature full days in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. Zaandam's 10-night adventures on October 22 and December 11 visit the Sea of Cortez and call at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, and Toplolobampo, where passengers can embark on a day tour of Mexico's Copper Canyon. The voyage continues to Loreto, site of the first Jesuit mission in 1697, past the scenic Sierra de la Giganta, and on to Pichilingue and Cabo San Lucas. The November 16 cruise calls at Manzanillo, Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas. The onboard Culinary Arts Program presented by Food & Wine magazine will host star chef Marcus Samuelsson on the October 22, 2006, Zaandam cruise. Chef Samuelsson is the executive chef at Aquavit restaurant in New York, named the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef New York City, 2003.
*** Peter Deilmann Cruises will begin accepting reservations on August 8, two months earlier than in past years, for its 2006 European river cruises that will offer more than 270 departures of seven to 14 nights. Deilmann's nine deluxe river ships operate on the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, Rhône, Saône, Seine, Elbe, Vltava, Oder and other rivers from late March through mid-November. The line is introducing fully escorted tours for the first time with five itineraries including one marking the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt's death. Among new independent cruise-tours are a Cezanne Centenary celebrating the 100th anniversary of the artist's birth and one that operates from Saxony to Copenhagen. Following the successful introduction of Special interest cruises this year, Deilmann will offer more in 2006 with new music, golf and gardens itineraries and introduce new equestrian riding programs. The 2006 music cruise aboard the MV Mozart, set for April 2 to 9, will pay tribute to the composer's 250th birthday. For copies of Great Rivers of Europe 2006, contact Peter Deilmann Cruises at 1-800-348-8287. Back to Top
7-25-05 RCI, Celebrity Start Online Check-ins *** Royal Caribbean Cruises announced that passengers on both of its subsidiaries - Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises - can now take advantage of an on-line check-in procedure at the lines' web sites (www.celebrity.com and www.royalcaribbean.com). Passengers of either line can go to the web site, click on "Before You Cruise" (Celebrity) or "Before You Board" (RCI), and go into "Online Documentation." There you provide your booking number, ship's name and sailing date, and follow the instructions. You'll get an e-mail confirmation saying your documents have been processed. Print out a copy of the confirmation and show it, with ID, to a special express check-in counter at the pier. With the online pre-check-in, "We're reducing the time involved at the pier from an average of three to four minutes to an average of 30 seconds per guest," a company official said. Back to Top
7-22-05 Weekend Cruise News *** NCL's new U.S. registered and U.S. crewed vessel, Pride of America, has arrived in Hawaii and will commence year-round, seven-night inter-island cruises tomorrow. Sailing every Saturday from Honolulu, Pride of America calls at Hilo and Kona, Hawaii and features overnight stays in Nawililwili, Kauai and Kahului, Maui. Evening cruising past Mt. Kilauea on the island of Hawaii, gives passengers a chance to observe the ongoing volcanic eruption which destroyed the road between Hilo an Kona and continues to change the size and shape of the island. Pride of America has been warmly received by travel agents over the last few weeks during her inaugural sailings from New York to Honolulu.
*** Meanwhile, NCL's Norwegian Sea sails today on her final cruise for the line. The 15-night Panama Canal sailing from Houston ends in Los Angeles on August 6. Norwegian Sea will then be transferred to parent company Star Cruises to sail as SuperStar Libra. Commencing this September she will inaugurate India cruises for Star, sailing from her new homeport of Mumbai (Bombay). The 42,000-ton, 1,510-passenger vessel originally entered service as the Seaward in May, 1988.
*** Cruise ships are calling at Cozumel once again, but most are departing earlier than scheduled due to the power outage caused by Hurricane Emily. Calls at the port were halted while the Emily crossed the island earlier this week. Elsewhere in the Yucatan Peninsula, The Port of Progreso in the north and Costa Maya in the south were unharmed by Hurricane Emily. Cancun International airport is fully operational, Playa del Carmen is open and the road to the Mayan ruins in Tulum is passable.
*** Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises have launched online check-in, designed to reduce the check-in process at the pier from minutes to seconds. Called "SetSail" for Royal Caribbean International and "Xpress Pass" for Celebrity Cruises, online check-in is now available for passengers booked on Navigator of the Seas and Zenith. The company expects the program will expand fleetwide by September. The new online check-in process allows passengers to complete all pertinent cruise documents before arriving at the pier - boarding documents, immigration forms, onboard accounts and ticket contracts. To check in online, visit the line's web site (www.celebrity.com or www.royalcaribbean.com), then click "Before you Cruise" on Celebrity's site, and "Before You Board" on Royal Caribbean's site, followed by "Online Documentation." Provide the booking number, ship and sail date, then follow four easy steps to complete the process. An e-mail confirmation is sent to confirm the documents have been processed. Print the confirmation and provide it, along with identification, to agents at a special express counter at the pier.
*** Seabourn Pride will visit Mount Vernon, the plantation home of George and Martha Washington, on October 21, 2005. The 208-passenger vessel will anchor across the river from the mansion for an overnight stay. The Mount Vernon call is part of a 14-day cruise departing October 16 from New York to Nassau, which calls at Newport, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Yorktown, Charleston, Savannah, Amelia Island and Port Canaveral. The cruise is also the occasion for Seabourn's Third Annual Great American Food & Wine Festival, featuring celebrity guest chefs, onboard cooking demonstrations, tastings and exclusive culinary excursions in many of the ports. Chefs appearing on board will be Charlie Palmer, one of only three chefs included in Forbes' annual "Celebrity 100 List," Sue Torres, the acclaimed chef/owner of New York's Mexican- inspired Sueños, and famous New World Cuisine maven Alan Susser of Chef Allen's in Aventura, Florida. Special culinary events include, in Philadelphia, a comparative tasting of Philly Cheese Steaks on site at the rival Geno's and Pat's and a morning Shopping with the Chef tour in the Italian Market section, and in Savannah, a walking tour of the town's historic squares followed by a family-style lunch of Southern specialties at the famous Mrs. Wilkes' Boardinghouse.
*** There is still space available for The Apprentice Legend Cruise September 26, 2005 aboard Carnival Legend. Chairman Donald Trump will be onboard for a bon voyage celebration in New York, prior to the ship sailing for San Juan, St. Thomas and Tortola on the eight-night cruise. Expedia and Trump World magazine will present a series of career development sessions with special guest speakers including cast members of the Apprentice TV series, executives from the Trump organization and successful entrepreneurs. At least 15 cast members from the TV series will be onboard and there will be a VIP meet-the-cast reception. Participate in the Apprentice Legend Cruise Challenge for a chance to win $15,000 cash and be CEO for a day at Expedia.com. Other contests and competitions will take place during the cruise. For more details see Apprentice Legend Cruise.
*** Silversea's Silver Shadow embarks on 11 Asia and South Pacific voyages on December 6, 2005. Highlights of the season include inaugural calls at Eden, Exmouth and Kangaroo Island, Australia. A complimentary "Silversea Experience" features sailing on red-sailed junks through Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, a World Heritage Site also known as the Bay of Dragons. Sailings are currently available with 30% savings. Optional pre- and post-cruise land programs featuring deluxe accommodations, all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing and some meals start at $1,425 per passenger. These include the Eastern & Oriental Express train from Bangkok or Singapore; the five- or six-night "Siam Sojourn" from Bangkok; the six-night "Cambodia and the Mysteries of Angkor Wat" from Singapore; the six- or seven-night "The Roof of the World: Exploring Tibet" from Hong Kong; and the four-night "Outback Discovery" from Sydney.
*** Holland America is offering 30 Panama Canal cruises in 2006 ranging from 10 to 34 nights in length. A Panama Canal historian travels as part of the Exploration Speaker Series on every sailing, providing insight and answering questions. The Zaandam and Amsterdam travel round trip from Ft. Lauderdale on 10-night Sunfarer cruises with a partial transit of the Canal to Gatun Lake and calls at Colón, Panama; Puerto Limón or Puerto Moin, Costa Rica; Aruba; Curaçao and the line's private island Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. Cruises sail January 4 through April 4, 2006 and between October 30 and December 9, 2006. Amsterdam's December 19, 2006 holiday cruise round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale will also make a partial transit of the Canal. Complete Panama Canal transits take place in January aboard Ryndam, seven ships positioning to Vancouver and Seattle in April and four ships from the West coast in September. These transits range from 10 to 22 nights. Combine the Panama Canal and the Amazon on a 34-night sailing aboard Veendam from Vancouver to Tampa on September 24, 2006 with options to join the ship in Seattle, Los Angeles or Acapulco. The September 30, 2006 departure of the Zuiderdam from Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale will feature James Mazzio, executive chef of The Studio at Long Grove in Chicago and a 1999 Food and Wine magazine Best New Chef. Complimentary culinary demonstrations as well as private optional cooking classes with Chef Mazzio will take place during the cruise. Back to Top
7-15-05 Weekend Cruise News *** Carnival Cruise Lines today took delivery of Carnival Liberty in ceremonies at Monfalcone, Italy. The vessel will be christened during a gala event in Rome next Tuesday evening by Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino. Liberty will sail the first Mediterranean cruises for Carnival, a series of eight 12-night Grand Mediterranean cruises, from July 20, 2005 through October 12, 2005. A 16-night Transatlantic voyage from Rome to Ft. Lauderdale follows on October 24. Carnival Liberty will spend the next two winters sailing round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale on six and eight-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. The fourth Conquest Class ship, Carnival Liberty is 110,000 tons, 952 feet in length and carries 2,974 passengers. It houses 22 lounges and bars, including a sports bar, piano bar, wine bar, dance club, and a 1,500-seat theater for Vegas-style productions.
*** Hurricane Emily is disrupting cruise ship itineraries. Explorer of the Seas is spending Friday and Saturday in Nassau and will miss her call at St. Thomas while Mariner of the Seas is in Cozumel today instead of at sea in the Eastern Caribbean. Both vessels are expected to return to their homeports of Miami and Port Canaveral respectively on schedule this weekend. Emily is currently southeast of Jamaica and is projected to cross Jamaica, the Yucatan Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico in the coming days. Passengers booked to sail should watch for tropical storm updates on their cruise line's web site or contact their travel agent. Public advisories are updated regularly on the National Hurricane Center web site at www.nhc.noaa.gov.
*** Radisson Seven Seas is discontinuing dolphin encounter programs in its ports of call. The luxury cruise line supports the World Society for the Protection of Animals' worldwide campaign to halt dolphin encounter operations, and, through its onboard environmental education programs in partnership with Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Futures Society, encourages passengers to become responsible environmental citizens. Darius Mehta, director of land programs for Radisson Seven Seas said "Sadly, under the guise of communing with nature or advancing our scientific understanding, dolphin encounter programs too often overlook the way dolphins actually exist and interact with each other in the wild, rather than respecting their natural place in the marine ecosystem. While some parks may obtain dolphins legally, many use illegal and cruel means to capture these magnificent animals. While we will continue to employ programs that allow our guests the wonderful experience of observing dolphins in the wild, we're opposed to those that interfere with dolphins' natural behavior."
*** Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 is scheduled to make two epic Cape Horn voyages from New York to Los Angeles and reverse in 2006. The vessel will become the largest passenger ship to ever round Cape Horn on her 36 and 38-night, eastbound and westbound South America Odysseys. The itinerary rounds Cape Horn via the Drake Passage, sails the Beagle Channel and the Strait of Magellan, and calls at 15 ports in 12 countries. The 3eight-day voyages depart New York on January 15 and Los Angeles on March 8. The 3six-day voyages depart Ft. Lauderdale on January 17 and Los Angeles on March 8. Six segments are available from 11 to 14 days in length. Fares for the Path of Magellan sailings begin at $2,759 per person, double occupancy.
Special guests joining Queen Mary 2's enrichment program for the South American sailings are: John Chatterton, co-host on the History Channel's Deep Sea Detectives (New York to Rio, January 15-27); Sir Chris Bonington, world-renowned climber and expedition leader who led the first ascent of the south face of Annapurna, as well as the first ascent of Mount Everest's southwest face. He brings personal experience to the voyage, having made the first ascent of the Central Tower of Paine (near Punta Arenas) in 1962. (Rio to Valparaiso: January 27-February 8); John Hare, Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and the Explorers Club (Valparaiso to Los Angeles, February 8-22); David Hempleman-Adams, the first person to reach both North and South Magnetic Poles in one year, the first person to ski solo to the Geomagnetic North Pole, and balloon solo in an open wicker basket across the Atlantic from Canada to the UK. (Los Angeles to Valparaiso, March 8-22); Dr. Kathy Sullivan, former NASA astronaut and the first American woman to walk in space. (Valparaiso to Rio, March 22-April 3); Yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has made three voyages to the Arctic and 20 crossings of the Atlantic. (Rio to New York: April 3-15).
*** Cruise West's Alaska lineup for 2006 includes new "Glacier Bay Highlights" itineraries, 4- or 5-days round-trip from Juneau. Cruise West is the longest operating line to sail Glacier Bay National Park and was recently awarded a permit from the National Park Service (NPS) allowing 92 entries, the most entries into the Park allowed for one line over the next 10 years. Fares on the new itinerary start at $1,349 per person, double-occupancy. Also new next year is the "Best of Both Worlds" which combines time aboard the Sheltered Seas day yacht with the Spirit of Alaska small ship from Juneau to Ketchikan, or reverse. Cruises start at $3,349 per person, double-occupancy. Cruise West's fares include gratuities, taxes, port charges, fees, fuel surcharges and onboard services. A whale sighting guarantee is offered on three of their cruises with passengers receiving a $250 refund if they leave without enjoying a whale sighting. Cruise West's other destinations in Alaska are the Inside Passage, Prince William Sound, Bering Sea and a grand voyage between Vancouver and Anchorage.
*** Princess Cruises will send eight ships to the Caribbean for the 2006-2007 season. The seven to 14-night sailings will depart from Ft. Lauderdale, San Juan, Galveston and a new homeport for Princess, New Orleans. The new Crown Princess enters service next spring and will sail from San Juan for her first Caribbean season on seven-night Southern Caribbean routes. Caribbean Princess shifts to Sunday departures from Ft. Lauderdale on October 29, 2006 through April 29, 2007. Grand Princess will return to her Galveston homeport to sail on a series of seven-day Western Caribbean cruises. Star Princess will again offer a seven-day Western Caribbean itineraries from Ft. Lauderdale on Saturdays. Sun Princess will sail alternating 10-day sailings round-trip from Ft. Lauderdale to the Southern and Eastern Caribbean. Sea Princess again sails 14-night Caribbean cruises from Ft. Lauderdale. Golden Princess will sail from New Orleans on December 16, 23 and 30, 2006 to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Coral Princess will join the Caribbean fleet for a seven-night holiday sailing to the Eastern Caribbean on December 22, 2006.
*** Holland America Line has lined up several Big Band cruises. The Harry James Orchestra will be aboard Volendam for the 10-night Eastern Caribbean sailing from Ft. Lauderdale on October 26, 2005. The Sammy Kaye Orchestra entertains aboard Maasdam, sailing from Norfolk on a 10-night Eastern Caribbean cruise December 7, 2005. Big Bands are also scheduled aboard two transatlantic crossings, Westerdam, Rome to Ft. Lauderdale, 15 nights, October 22, 2005 and Noordam, New York to Rome, 16 nights, April 15, 2006. Back to Top
7-12-05 Celebrity Orders 117,000-ton Ship *** Celebrity Cruises has announced it will build the first in a series of 117,000-ton vessels slated to carry 2,850 passengers and 1,250 crew. The ship will be Celebrity's first widebody vessel, too large to transit the Panama Canal. The unnamed ship is scheduled for delivery in Fall, 2008 and Celebrity has an option to build a second sister ship. More than 90% of all cabins will be outside and 90% of these will have private balconies. According to the cruise line, the average standard stateroom will be 215 sq. ft., at present the largest in the cruise industry. Back to Top
7-9-05 Hurricane Dennis Port Updates *** Hurricane Dennis, which has threatening both the ports of Tampa and New Orleans, has caused disruption in cruise ship schedules. Carnival Cruise Lines has issued the following modifications for its ships based in these ports, effective July 9 at 2:30 pm. If you are scheduled to sail to or from Tampa or New Orleans on any ship, we advise visiting that cruise line's web site for the latest in information.
TAMPA: Minor adjustments to the arrival and departure schedules for Carnival Cruise Lines' Inspiration and Carnival Miracle this weekend at Port of Tampa are as follows, based on the current projected path of Hurricane Dennis:
INSPIRATION: The ship's July 4 voyage ended this morning, July 9, as scheduled. Guests sailing on the next Inspiration voyage, originally scheduled to depart Sat., July 9, will be able to board the ship during the normal embarkation period of 1:30-3:30 pm. However, the ship will remain docked until the storm has moved north of Tampa. The ship's exact departure time is subject to weather and sea conditions, as well as clearance from local authorities.
CARNIVAL MIRACLE: The ship, which would normally dock in Tampa on Sunday, July 10 at approximately 7 am, is expected to arrive later in the day instead with exact arrival time subject to weather and sea conditions, and permission from local authorities. Guests sailing on the Carnival Miracle cruise scheduled to depart Sunday afternoon are asked to delay their arrival at the cruise terminal until between 6-9 pm. The ship is expected to sail later that night.
NEW ORLEANS: Adjustments to the arrival and departure schedules for Carnival Cruise Lines' Carnival Conquest and Sensation at the Port of New Orleans over the next few days are as follows, based on the current projected path of Hurricane Dennis:
CARNIVAL CONQUEST: The ship's July 3 voyage, originally scheduled to end in New Orleans on Sunday, July 10 will arrive instead on Monday morning, July 11. The next Conquest voyage, scheduled to depart the afternoon of Sunday, July 10, will instead be converted to a six-day cruise departing Monday, July 11 at approximately 2 pm. Guests scheduled to sail on that voyage are asked to arrive at the Julia Street Cruise Terminal between 10 am and 1:30 pm. on Mon. Guests who opt to sail on the modified six-day cruise will receive a 15% refund of their cruise fare and $50 per person shipboard credit.
SENSATION: The current five-day cruise is scheduled to end in New Orleans on Monday, July 11, as scheduled, however, the vessel is expected to dock several hours late - at approximately 4pm. Individuals scheduled to sail on the next five-day Sensation cruise departing on Mon., July 11, should not arrive at the Julia Street Cruise Terminal until between 7-10 pm. The ship is expected to sail later that evening. Guests will receive a $15 per person shipboard credit to cover lunch as a result of the later than normal embarkation.NOTE: Updates to Carnival cruise itinerary adjustments are available at www.carnival.com Back to Top
7-8-05 Weekend Cruise News *** Holland America's Maasdam was delayed from leaving Sydney, Nova Scotia on Wednesday as about a dozen fishing boats surrounded the vessel. The snow crab fisherman wanted to pressure federal Fisheries Minister Geoff Regan to meet with them to discuss cuts to their fishing quota. Rotating protests have been taking place in the Maritimes over the issue. Maasdam was able to sail from the Sydney Marine Terminal after the Coast Guard intervened.
*** Several Caribbean cruise itineraries were altered late this week in order for ships to avoid Hurricane Dennis. There was concern that the storm could effect ship departures from Florida this weekend, however, Dennis is now expected to move over Cuba today then into the Gulf toward Alabama and Florida. The storm may make landfall in the Florida panhandle by July 11. Royal Caribbean's Tropical Weather Update currently indicates no disruptions this weekend for Navigator of the Seas leaving the Port of Miami and Empress of the Seas leaving Port Everglades on Saturday, and Mariner of the Seas leaving Port Canaveral on Sunday. Hurricane Dennis is the first Category 4 storm ever recorded off Florida in the month of July and only the fourth July hurricane to hit Cuba in 205 years.
*** Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas is back in service following her two month drydock during which time a 73-foot midsection was added to the vessel. Changes onboard include the addition of 151 new cabins, a new specialty restaurant, Boleros Latin lounge and Latte'tudes coffee shop. The ship's pool deck was expanded by 50 percent and now has overhanging sides. A bungee trampoline and children's Splash Deck are also new onboard. The main dining room, shopping area, casino, jogging track, fitness facility, day spa and art gallery have been expanded and revitalized. From now to October 2, Enchantment will Canada/New England cruises from Port Liberty (Bayonne, NJ), Philadelphia and Boston.
*** Alaska travel writer Mike Miller has updated his Alaska Cruising Report web site for 2006. The comprehensive site includes details of the small ships sailing within Alaskan waters. So far, 50 vessels from 17 cruise lines have announced they will sail in Alaska next year, the same number as in 2005. The site also provides sections on the "ABCs of Alaska Cruising," cruisetours, ports of call, glacier cruising areas, shore excursions, recommended reading, federal cruise ship sanitation inspections, internet links, phone contacts, and other information. Visit Miller's site at www.AlaskaCruisingReport.com.
*** Holland America Line is offering more than 2,500 shore excursions in 296 ports of call in 60 countries, including active, exotic, cultural, historic, nature and adventure tours. Mingling with the Hussars at an exclusive evening at the historic Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia; trying high-speed Formula One racing in Barcelona; becoming a "Soldier for a Day" in Halifax's 1870 Citadel in Nova Scotia; traversing a rain forest canopy suspended by cables in Montego Bay, Jamaica; and flying over Antarctica's awesome scenery are among the more unusual options. The 106 Medallion excursions feature unique adventures for a limited number of participants. On a 9½-hour excursion from Helsinki, Finland, passengers fly across the Arctic Circle to Rovaniemi, Lapland. There they board a riverboat for Kemijoki North to visit a Lapp family's reindeer farm, learn about the region's culture and get a lesson in Lappish lasso-throwing. They also visit Santa Claus Village right at the Arctic Circle. HAL's Signature Collection excursions are for guests who want personalized tours. They feature a private luxury vehicle, professional driver and English-speaking guide.
*** Award-winning chef/restaurateur Charlie Palmer, one of only three chefs to earn a spot on Forbes' annual Celebrity 100 list this year, has designed over 50 new gourmet dishes for the open-seating Restaurant aboard Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend. The new dishes, will be rotated into the line's 2eight-day menu cycle through the end of 2005. Among the new recipes, a traditional hot appetizer of Sauteed Escalope of Foie Gras receives an exotic accent with a Peppered Mango Tatin and basil oil, while a Double Consomme of Beef is enlivened with tiny duck confit cannelloni and roasted shallot petals. In a Mediterranean-inflected fish entree, Pan Seared Halibut arrives Studded with Anchovies, adorned with a warm, Nicoise-style salad, crisp giant capers and black olives. For those in a meat-and-potatoes mood, a Grilled Hanger Steak is paired with a Guinness Braised Short Rib and complemented by grain mustard mashed potatoes and tomato compote.
*** Discovery World Cruises is heading to the Galapagos next year on two unusual itineraries aboard the 610-passenger, MV Discovery (the former Island Princess). "Polynesia, Peru & Galapagos" is a 26-night adventure departing the U.S. on April 7, 2006 from Tahiti to the Galapagos. Highlights include Pitcairn Island - home of legendary Fletcher Christian of Mutiny on the Bounty fame - ; Easter Island; Lima, Peru (with an optional excursion to Machu Picchu); and two days exploring the Galapagos Islands wildlife refuge. "Galapagos & Panama Canal" is a 16-night cruise-tour, departing April 27, 2006 from the Galapagos and ending in Nassau. It starts with a three-night hotel stay in Quito, before joining MV Discovery in the Galapagos Islands. After two days of exploration, the ship sails for Panama's San Jose Island, the Panama Canal, the San Blas Islands, Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Belize City and Nassau. Fares start from #3,795 for the 16-night cruise and $5,650 per person for the 26-night based on double occupancy. This includes a three-night hotel stay in Ecuador's capital of Quito, pre or post cruise. For more, see www.discoveryworldcruises.com.
*** Radisson Seven Seas has increased its customizable land options with the launch of its "Travel Concierge" program fleetwide. Comprising "Concierge Choice," "Concierge a La Carte," "Concierge Collection" and "Hotels a La Carte", the program enables passengers to experience a selection of unique land excursions and specially designed pre and post cruise land packages. Or, passengers can create their own customized excursions and pre- or post-cruise land and/or hotel programs in any of Radisson Seven Seas' 300 ports of call. Landmark hotels in major cities are included in the options, including London's Savoy, and Claridge's. The dedicated phone number to make arrangements in conjunction with a Radisson Seven Seas cruise is 1-888-TOUR-321.
*** Clipper Cruise Line will return to Antarctica late this year. The 122-passenger luxury expedition vessel, Clipper Adventurer, has an ice-strengthened hull and advanced satellite navigational equipment, ideal for the region. Onboard naturalists have spotted more than 70 different species during previous cruises in the region as well as marine mammals (sea lions, sea otters, dolphins, and a host of whale species), land mammals, and an abundance of reptiles and fish. From October, 2005 through February, 2006, Clipper Adventurer will sail 13 and 16-night itineraries, an a route from the Panama Canal to Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Antarctica, the Falkland Islands and Argentina. The Antarctica cruise-tours include hotel stays in Buenos Aires, and Santiago. All sailings include shore excursions, gratuities and prot charges with per person fares starting at $4,870. Back to Top
7-1-05 Weekend Cruise News *** Sitka is the latest Alaskan port to consider a head tax on cruise passengers. The fee of $4 to $5 would raise over a $1 million a year based on last year's numbers. 230,000 cruise ship passengers visited Sitka in 2004. The city is also in discussion with cruise lines and developers to build a dock near town. Residents are opposed to a downtown cruise dock so the development of the old timber mill, seven miles from town is under consideration. Cruise ships currently tender passengers ashore at Sitka.
*** Passengers sailing from Vancouver next week will have a chance to see the Tall Ships which will assemble in the city as part of the Sea Vancouver festival. From July 7 to 10, Sea Vancouver's "Tall Ships Challenge" will be in town, including schooners, brigs and Class A tall ships from around the world. The Lady Washington, which appeared as the HMS Interceptor in the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean", will be among the 16 sailing vessels to arrive next Thursday. North America's first "floating city" will be set up in the waters off English Bay for the ships with masts too high to navigate under the city's bridges. Cruise ships sail past English Bay as they sail to and from Vancouver harbor. For more on the event visit the Sea Vancouver web site at www.seavancouver.ca.
*** Seabourn Cruise Line has published a new, 104-page catalogue outlining 134 cruises from December 2005 through April, 2007. Seabourn's ultra luxury ships, Seabourn Legend, Seabourn Pride and Seabourn Spirit, will visit 257 ports in 73 countries during the 16-month period. Destination highlights include a new series of 12-night Baltic cruises from Copenhagen, the return of the popular Fiji/New Zealand sailings and an array of new ports of call from Libya to China. Early Booking Savings of up to 50 percent vary by cruise and are published in the catalogue. Combining two or more consecutive cruises earns an extra 10 percent savings off the EBS fares. Longer combinations of 18 or more days qualify for Grand Voyage Savings of 50 percent or more off brochure fares. Seabourn's three 208-passenger vessels will undergo drydock maintenance and interior refurbishments by January, 2006. Planned upgrades include the installation of DVD players and flat-screen televisions in all guest suites and improvements in the popular indoor/outdoor Veranda Cafe alternative dining venues. The catalogue may be ordered from the line's website at www.seabourn.com.
*** Golden Princess, Diamond Princess and Island Princess will sail Princess' 2006-07 Mexican Riviera cruise program with departures from Los Angeles and San Francisco. Diamond Princess sails from Los Angeles every Saturday between September 23, 2006 and April 28, 2007, calling at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Island Princess' seven-night holiday sailing, departing December 20, 2006 calls at the same ports. Golden Princess sails from San Francisco for her first West Coast cruises, which include two 10-day round-trip sailings calling at Acapulco, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, departing April 12 and 22, 2007. The ship also sails on a seven-night voyage between Acapulco and San Francisco on April 5, 2007, with calls at Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.
*** Norwegian Majesty will host a variety of theme cruises throughout the Bermuda season. Topics range from Kids Fitness to an Irish Festival at Sea featuring Irish entertainment. Norwegian Majesty sails round-trip from Boston to Bermuda through October 23 spending 3 and a half days in St. George's. Theme cruises planned for this summer are: July 3 and August 14 Fitness for Kids Cruise July 10, Portuguese Festival at Sea Cruise July 17 Kids Star Seeker Extravaganza Cruise (talent competition) July 24, Karate for Kids July 31 and August 7 Bermuda Wildlife Expert Cruise with guests from the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo August 21 "Last Blast Before School" Cruise with lots of activities for kids of all ages August 28 Guest Comedian Cruise featuring David Naster September 4 and 11 Irish Festival at Sea Cruises September 18 Tennis Mixed Doubles Tournament Cruise, a two-day mixed doubles tournament held in Bermuda. A round robin format between two divisions. Pre-Cruise sign up is necessary on the NCL website. September 25 Country Line Dance Class Cruise October 2 Wine and Beer Sampling Cruise October 9 Bingo Bonanza Cruise featuring 35-40 games of Bingo including midnight madness Bingo. $5,000 jackpot will be among the prizes. October 16 Cooking Class Cruise October 23 Bermuda History and Culture Cruise with a Bermuda historian onboard.
*** Carnival Miracle will host the 9th Annual Grand Ole Opry Caribbean Cruise next January. The seven night cruise sails round-trip from Tampa, January 22, calling at Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico as well as Belize. Performers Roy Clarke, Charley Pride and Pam Tillis will be onboard to entertain. A private cocktail party and an Opry members question-and-answer session will take place during the cruise. For more details visit www.opry.com Back to Top