News Archive - June 2000

back to archive listing

6-30-00 Weekend Cruise News New Orleans jazz will rock the Delta Queen on five- and seven-night Mississippi River cruises next February and March. During the Feb. 15, 22, March 1 and 6, 2001 cruises jazz performers such as clarinetist Pete Fountain will entertain aboard the Delta Queen; speakers on the history of jazz, live performances of gospel, blues and ragtime will also be featured during these river voyages.

  • Author David Guterson will join CruiseWest's Spirit of Columbia to give an exclusive reading of his book "Snow Falling on Cedars", which was the basis of the movie of the same name. The 7-day cruise sails October 7, round-trip from Seattle to the islands, mountains and fjords of British Columbia. Mr. Guterson will join the ship at the charming port of La Conner, Washington on October 8.

  • Congratulations to the staffs of Carnival Cruise Line's Elation and Crystal Cruises' Crystal Symphony. Both ships received perfect scores of 100 during recent sanitation inspections conducted by the Centers for Disease Control. The only other ships achieving a score in the top five percent are Carnival Triumph (98), Carnival's Imagination (98), Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas (98), Princess Cruises' Ocean Princess, Regal Princess and Sea Princess (98), Silversea's Silver Cloud and Silver Wind (98)and Celebrity's Galaxy (97). Ships with scores of 86 and below are considered "not satisfactory" by CDC.

  • Holland America has announced its 2001 Alaska season. It will be Zaandam �s inaugural season in Alaska, sailing 7-day Inside Passage cruises every Saturday from Vancouver to Juneau, Skagway/Haines, Ketchikan and Glacier Bay. Volendam and Westerdam will sail the same route on Mondays and Thursdays respectively. Two Glacier Discovery itineraries will be offered between Vancouver and Seward. Northbound cruises call at Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, College Fjord and either Hubbard Glacier and Valdez or Glacier Bay. Southbound cruises call at the same ports and Glacier Bay instead of Hubbard Glacier. Veendam and Statendam will sail the Glacier Discovery cruises on Sundays and Ryndam , on Fridays.

  • Carnival Victory, scheduled to debut in August, has an impressive list of dining options. Whether it's a formal sit-down dinner in the Pacific or Atlantic main dining rooms, a buffet breakfast in the Mediterranean Restaurant or a late-night snack at the Pizzeria Arno, there is something for everyone. Recently expanded lunch and dinner menus and an upgraded wine list add to the varied selections.

  • When Grand Princess commences its summer 2001 Western Caribbean schedule, she will call at Costa Maya, Mexico along with Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Princess Cays, the line's private beach in the Bahamas. Docking at the new cruise port of Mahahual on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula south of Cancun, passengers will be able to visit no less than five ancient Mayan cities in the Costa Maya region. Snorkelers and divers will also be able to visit Chincorro, a coral reef the size of Cozumel Island, which is offshore from Mahahual. Grand Princess will be sailing the new itinerary, alternating with Eastern Caribbean cruises form Ft. Lauderdale commencing May 6, 2001.

  • Crystal Harmony's post Olympic cruises will feature special onboard enrichment programs. John Naber, Dwight Stones and Louis Zamperini will be on board the October 3, 12-day, Sydney to Auckland cruise sharing their experiences and inspiring passengers with their personal insights and experiences. The October 26, 22-day sailing from Sydney to Caldera, Costa Rica will feature bandleader Les Brown and his 20-piece Band of Renown will play the Big Band hits for dancing at teatime, cocktail hour and under the stars. Crystal's Ambassador Hosts will be on hand as dance partners. Astronomer Micahel Chirss, historian Dr. Ellie Baker, anthropologist Dieter Galler and horticulturist Tom Christopher and are just some of the enrichment lecturers who will be onboard the transpacific voyage.

  • Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas, scheduled to debut in October, will have a science lab on board. Research will be conducted by the University of Miami and other academic and governmental researchers at the on board oceanographic and atmospheric laboratories. Scientific teams will rotate every two weeks. Two kiosks with interactive displays will be available for passengers to observe the scientists at work.

  • Nostalgia buffs will enjoy the "Four Seasons" sculptures onboard Holland America's new ship, ms Amsterdam. The gold-plated pieces were originally created for the stunning ss Nieuw Amsterdam of 1938. Purchased from a private collector, they will be displayed near the Crow's News Lounge. The centerpiece of the three-deck atrium will be an Astrolabe clock tower featuring a carillon in its base and four different faces: an astrolabe, world clock, planetary clock and astrological clock. An Astrolabe is an instrument formerly used to measure the altitude of the stars.

  • Vancouver's cruise ship terminal, Canada Place, will be the scene of celebrations for Canada's 133rd birthday on Saturday. Five cruise ships will be in port, Sky Princess, Sea Princess, Westerdam, Norwegian Sky and Rhapsody of the Seas. The RCMP's patrol vessel St. Roch II is scheduled to sail from Canada Place at 4:00 p.m. on its 22,000 mile, 6 month circumnavigation of North America. The historic "Voyage of Rediscovery" will take the vessel through the Northwest Passage, following in the wake of its predecessor the St. Roch I, the first ship to successfully transit the Northwest Passage during a two year voyage from 1940-42.

    6-29-00 It's the Shrimp! The Centers for Disease Control have issued a preliminary report stating that contaminated shrimp was the cause of 200 passengers developing gastroenteritis on the June 2, 2000 cruise of Disney Magic. The shrimp was served during Magic's embarkation lunch on the cruise, which sailed from Port Canaveral. More labratory results are still pending. Back to Top

    6-27-00 Big Red Boat II Cancels Again The Big Red Boat II cancelled this week's cruise upon arrival in Boston Monday. Passengers were taken by bus to New York, where the cruise began on Saturday. It is the latest in a series of mishaps which have plagued the ship, the ex Edinburgh Castle and Eugenio Costa, which is on charter to Premier Cruises from Low Line of Great Britain. The ship has experienced ongoing technical problems over the last few years. The latest problems center around malfunctioning air conditioning and toilets. Back to Top

    6-27-00 World Discoverer a Total Loss The World Discoverer has been declared a constructive total loss. Since striking an uncharted coral reef in the Solomon Islands in late April and being beached to avoid sinking, efforts to survey the ship have been hampered by political unrest in the Solomons. In one incident, on June 6, a militia group of 120 armed men boarded the vessel and chased away the salvage personnel. Society Expeditions is negotiating to buy a replacement for the expedition-style ship by November 30. Back to Top

    6-26-00 Newbuilds for NCL and Star Cruises Star Cruises' new SuperStar Libra is now under construction at Meyer Werft Shipyard at Papenburg, Germany, following keel laying ceremonies on Friday. Colin Veitch, Presdent and CEO of NCL laid the traditional "lucky penny" before the first block was lowered onto the keel blocks. the 91,000 grt ship will carry 2,256 passengers and is being built to panamax dimensions in order to transit the Panama Canal. Libra will enter service at the end of 2001. Sister ship, currently named SuperStar Scorpio, is scheduled to join the NCL fleet, rather than Star Cruises, in late 2002. Meanwhile, NCL's Norwegian Sun, sister ship to the Norwegian Sky, is on schedule for delivery in September 2001. The 77,00 grt, 2000 passenger vessel is being modified to suit the Freestyle Cruising product recently launched by NCL. Norwegian Sun will have nine distinctive restaurants, featuring more dining options than any other ship in the North American market. Back to Top

    6-23-00 Weekend Cruise News Celebrity Cruises took possession of its newest ship, Millennium, on Thursday in a ceremony at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France. In Southampton on Monday, Millennium will be christened by Mrs. Robyn Roux, wife of Celebrity Cruises' longtime culinary advisor, Master Chef Michel Roux. The 14-night maiden voyage sails July 1 from Amsterdam to Russia and the Baltic. The largest ship ever built in France, Millennium is 91,000 grt and carries 1,950 passengers. She is the first of four Millennium-class ships Celebrity will bring into service over the next two years.

    Royal Olympic's new Olympic Voyager was Christened
    Click for larger pic
    Olympic Voyager along side Olympic ExplorerClick for Larger Pic
    Thursday by Greek presdent, His Excellency Konstantinos Stefanopoulos at ceremonies in Piraeus. Greek shipping minister Christos Papoutsis spoke at the ceremonies, Thursday to welcome the first new cruise vessel in the past decade to fly the Greek flag. Built by Blohm + Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, the 25,000 grt vessel carries 836 passengers. Technologically innovative, Olympic Voyager has a fast monohull design, which makes it the fastest cruise ship of its class, capable of speeds up to 27 knots. The high speed allows for itineraries with an increased number of port calls. The inaugural season begins Saturday with seven-day, three continent cruises from Piraeus (Athens) to the Greek Isles, Egypt, Israel, and Turkey.

    The keel laying ceremony for Festival Cruises new build, European Vision, was held on Tuesday at Chantiers de L'Atlantique. The 50,000 grt ship will carry 1,500 passengers and will debut in 2001. Sister ship, European Dream, will follow in 2002. An order was firmed up for two additional ships of 80,000 grt , carrying 2000 passengers, to be delivered in 2003 and 2004. The expansion of Festival Cruises, marketed in America as First European Cruises, is worth $1.5 billion and is designed to position the line as the leader in Europe. Festival was recently acquired by P&O Princess, the cruise interest division of P&O Group, which is being de-merged to function as a separate company. P&O Princess should be listed on the New York and London Stock Exchanges by October. It is expected that Festival will acquire one of the Grand Class ships from the Princess fleet as part of the expansion plan.

    The QE2 answered a request from the Royal Canadian Coast Guard last Friday June 16 to investigate the status of a single-handed yacht damaged by rough weather during the 1 Man Star Transatlantic yacht race. Captain Paul Wright turned the QE2 from her New York-bound course to search for the lone yachtsman. Pieter Adriaans in his 40-foot yacht, Syllogc, was spotted at 4:18 a.m. The mainsail was damaged and his life raft lost but Adriaans did not require assistance. QE2 resumed its crossing and arrived on schedule in New York. Sixty competitors in the 40 year old yacht race left Plymouth, June 4. Many sustained damage in rough weather during the crossing. Ellen MacArthur in Kingfisher became the youngest winner of the event, when she arrived in St. John's Newfoundland 14 hours ahead of her closest rival.

    The Fair Princess will leave Sydney in December to become a gambling ship in the South China Sea. P&O had indicated earlier, that the ship would be repositioned to homeport in Auckland when the Pacific Sky (ex Sky Princess) takes over the P&O Holidays sailings from Sydney in October. The ship has now been sold and will undergo a refurbishment in Hong Kong before commencing short and medium haul gambling cruises. The Canadian Gaming Corporation will manage the casino and entertainment operations on board.

    In the wake of recent technical problems which have seen numerous cruise cancellations, Premier Cruse Lines has announced it is reorganizing its management. The changes are designed to streamline operations and prepare for the line's transition to a single brand, Big Red Boat , family cruising fleet.

    The Center for Disease Control has concluded that shrimp served at the bon voyage buffet caused the illness on board Disney Magic. Two hundred passengers, on the June 2 cruise, were effected by the contaminated shrimp.

    Robin Leach, host of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" has settled a lawsuit with Washington and 11 other states. Leach was spokesperson for National Travel Services, a Florida travel company which led consumers to believe they had won or were entitled to a luxury Florida vacation and bonus cruise. In reality, they were just buying a seven-day vacation. The Bahamas cruise turned out to be a one-day ferry ride.

    The number of expected hurricanes this year has been raised to 12 with four major storms expected. Following these predictions, Travel Guard International has established StormGuard, a 24-hour, toll-free hurricane hot line at (800) 826-1300 and StormGuard Online, a page on its web site at The phone line and Web page provide answers regarding insurance coverage for trips canceled or interrupted because of severe weather. The Web page also contains links to weather and storm sites on the Internet.

    The Enchanted Isle sets sail August 5-12 with the leading female musicians of New Orleans on board for the "Jazz Divas" Cruise. Entertainment will feature the vocal talent of Wanda Rouzan, Leah Chase and Germaine Bazzle as the ship sails to Playa del Carmen/Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Montego Bay on the seven day cruise.

    Silversea has launched a new spa program employing Mandara Spa to provide a customized and comprehensive program of fitness, beauty and spa treatments on board the Silversea fleet. The word "Mandara" comes from the ancient Sanskit Legend about the Gods' quest to find the elixir of immortality and eternal youth. The company, which originated in Bali, now has over 30 locations around the world. Naturally blended treatments and Balinese techniques are featured at Mandara Spas.

    Golden Sun Cruises' 16,500 grt Aegean Spirit suffered a fuel leak at Iraklion, Crete, which caused the ship to list. The 542 passengers on board have been taken ashore and put up in hotels. The 16,500 grt ship was on a seven day Greek Islands cruise. Back to Top

    6-22-00 Freak Wave Damages Crown Odyssey Passengers aboard Orient Lines' Crown Odyssey got a sneak preview of the upcoming movie, the "Perfect Storm", when a freak 26 foot high wave struck the ship off France's Cote D'Azur on June 12. Accompanied by 40 to 70 knot winds, the massive wave hit at 1:15 a.m. and blew out windows in ten passenger cabins. While 15 people visited Crown Odyssey's doctor, no serious injuries were reported. A port call in Palma de Mallorca was cancelled and the ship sailed to Barcelona for repairs. Back to Top

    6-21-00 New Princess Alaska Lodge Princess Cruises has announced building plans for a fourth lodge for its Alaska cruise-tour passengers: the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge, scheduled to open in the Summer of 2002. The $10 million, 200 person resort will be built in an area unfrequented by tourists, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park located in the Glennallan and Copper River area of south central Alaska. Situated at the junction of the Klutina River and the Copper River (of Copper River King Salmon fame), it will have views of Mt. Wrangell, Mt. Drum and Mt. Blackburn. The national park includes North America's largest assemblage of glaciers and the greatest number of mountain peaks above 16,000 feet. With the opening of the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge, future cruise-tour passengers will be able to visit three of the U.S.'s largest national parks -- Glacier Bay, Denali and Wrangell-St. Elias all in one tour.Back to Top

    6-20-00 New Carnival Spirit Itineraries A 16-day Panama Canal crossing will be the inaugural cruise of Carnival Cruise Line's new 84,000-ton Carnival Spirit. Sailing from Miami to Los Angeles April 29, 2001, Spirit will visit Cartagena, Colombia; followed by a transit of the Panama Canal; and visits to Puntarenas, Costa Rica; and Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Following the inaugural cruise, Carnival Spirit will make a three-day Pacific coastal voyage sailing May 20, 2000 from San Francisco to Vancouver. (rates begin at $365 for the special itinerary). Following its May to September season of Alaska voyages, the ship will make two 12-day Hawaii voyages (Sept. 26 Vancouver to Honolulu, Oct. 8 Honolulu to Ensenada). After another 14-day Panama cruise from San Diego to Miami, departing Oct. 20, Carnival Spirit will sail on eight day Caribbean voyages from Miami. For additional information, consult your travel agent or visit Carnival's web site. Back to Top

    6-17-00 Big Red Boat II -- Strike III Strike three for Premier, according to CruiseMates Consumer Affairs Editor, Tim Rubacky, who was at the NY pier today (Saturday, June 17) where Premier Big Red Boat II was scheduled to sail on its maiden voyage. Premier has cancelled today's voyage, the third cruise cancelled to date.

    "Premier has officially stated the reason for cancellation as faulty air conditioning," according to Rubacky, "but several crew members informed me that the propulsion system was still experiencing problems along with the plumbing system, more specifically, non-functioning or malfunctioning toilets."

    The mood at the pier was far from upbeat but the Premier personnel seemed to be handling the situation with aplomb despite the abject heat and humidity, not to mention surly passengers.

    Premier is giving affected passengers multiple options including full refunds, partial refunds and a 7 night cruise on the Rembrandt, or a 14 night cruise on the Rembrandt and 50% future cruise credits. Back to Top

    6-16-00 Anne Campbell's Weekend Cruise News Voyager of the Seas broke its own cruise industry passenger record on the May 28, Memorial Day cruise, when it carried 3,608 passengers. The 142,000-ton vessel is the largest cruise ship built to date. Sister ship, Explorer of the Seas debuts in October.

    The first phase of NCL's new "Freestyle Cruising" concept has been ushered in on board the Norwegian Sky. Initial response from passengers and crew has been extremely favorable to the many changes designed to create a more flexible cruise experience. Dinner is now served, open seating, between 5:30 p.m. and midnight. Resort casual is the dress code throughout the cruise with an option formal night offered in one dining room, alternative restaurant and lounge for those wanting to participate. Norwegian Sky's crew is being increased by 100 to improve the crew-to-guest ratio. Gratuities are now automatically added to each guest's on board account with the option of increasing or decreasing the gratuity available. Freestyle Cruising will be introduced to all NCL's Caribbean ships by the fall and to the rest of the fleet by the end of the year.

    Holland America has opened bookings for the 2001 Alaska season and there are quite a few changes in ship deployment. The Zaandam will sail for the first time from Vancouver on 7-day Inside Passage cruises on Saturdays. Volendam and Westerdam will sail the Inside Passage on Mondays and Thursdays respectively. Statendam and Veendam will depart Sundays on the Glacier Discovery route between Vancouver and Seward (for Anchorage) with Ryndam departing on the same itinerary on Fridays.

    The new cruise line, Delta Queen Coastal Voyages, saw the successful launch of its first hull on June 2. The Cape May Light is one of two 226-passenger ships that will sail nine itineraries along the U.S. East Coast in spring 2001. Inspired by the historic coastal ships of the Fall River Line, Cape May Light and Cape Cod Light will offer an educational and cultural cruise experience.

    United States Lines, a division of Delta Queen Steamboat Company, cut of steel of its first U.S. built cruise ship This will be the first time in more than 40 years that a passenger ship will be built in the United States (and it will be the largest cruise ship ever built in this country). The 1,900-passenger vessel will sail Hawaii in 2003. United States Lines' first vessel to enter service will be the Patriot (formerly Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam) on year-round one week Hawaii cruises.

    In Europe, two new ships will enter service soon. Renaissance Cruises' newest vessel, R6, was introduced last week. In Greece, Royal Olympic's new Olympic Voyager is currently undergoing sea trials. Both ships enter service this summer; R6 in Northern Europe and Olympic Voyager in the Mediterranean.

    Cunard is taking reservations for the inaugural sailing of the Queen Mary 2 inaugural sailing (date to be determined). The superliner is expected to sail in 2003. At over 150,000 tons, carrying 2,500 passengers, this will be the largest liner every built. Cunard is finalizing negotiations with shipbuilder Chantiers de l'atlantique on their superliner which will look back in time, featuring an empire style and art deco interior design.

    RCI and Celebrity are installing a state-of-the-art photo identification security system on all their ships. In August, Grandeur of the Seas will be the first vessel to implement the new system. Prior to boarding the ship the first time, passengers insert their boarding card at a pier-side kiosk, which triggers a built-in camera to take their photograph and store it in the ship's database. The security system can then keep track of crew and passengers as they board and disembark the vessel.

    It is not only cruise ships that are growing in size. In the near future, passengers will be flying to their cruise ships on board giant planes carrying 965 passengers. Airbus of Europe is designing the A3XX, a commercial transport that will be 40 feet shorter than a football field. So far Singapore Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Air France have shown interest in the giant planes which will dwarf today's jumbo jets.Back to Top

    6-16-00 Premier Cruises' Problems Continue Premier Cruises' troubles continued this week as the Big Red Boat II (ex Eugenio Costa) finally sailed two weeks late from New York but dragged an anchor and took out underwater power cables off Rhode Island, cutting out power to Jamestown, RI. Power was restored after emergency generators were brought in, however, both the main cable and backup will have to be replaced.

    Meanwhile, on board the Big Red Boat III, (ex. IslandBreeze) a Colombian crew member was airlifted to hospital in Galveston and a Jamaican crew member had to be restrained following a stabbing incident as the ship headed for Mobile, Alabama. There were no passengers on board. BBB III is being repaired in Mobile, following a collision with a tug in Houston this week which badly damaged one of the two propellers. Air conditioning problems which have plagued the vessel, should be repaired at the same time. BRB III should be back in service on June 17.Back to Top

    6-14-00 Renaissance Cruises Sings a New Tune Renaissance Cruises has suddenly decided to drastically change many of its policies. Though it sells a cruise product that passengers often rave about, it gets a bad rap from many travel agents because of its past policy of marketing directly to the consumer and paying relatively small commission fees to agents who book its cruises.

    Renaissance is rapidly expanding its fleet with six new ships coming on line 1998-2001. Though currently scorned by travel agents, it appears the company is changing its policies in order to befriend the agent community once again.

    The former chairman and CEO of Renaissance Cruises, Edward B. Rudner, has resigned as "to pursue other interests." Mr. Rudner is said to have been responsible for many of the policies that have alienated agents in the past, he now assumes the title of honorary chairman and founder. Richard L. Kirby, president and COO, and Frank Del Rio, executive vice president - marketing, were named co-chief executive officers (CEOs) for the company yesterday. Fred Kleisner, president and CEO of Wyndham International and a Renaissance board member, was named non-executive chairman.

    According to Kleisner these changes signal an end to past policies and Renaissance is immediately adopting the 10% commission rate, payable on the cruise, air and hotel portions of the cruise. He adds that Renaissance is also revamping its marketing programs.Back to Top

    6-12-00 Two Celebrity Ships To Europe in 2001 Celebrity Cruises has announced that Millennium and Galaxy will cruise in European waters in 2001 with new itineraries. The new Millennium, scheduled to debut July 1, 2000, will sail in the Mediterranean on 12-night voyages originating in either Barcelona, Spain, or Istanbul, Turkey, and featuring Celebrity's first visits to Haifa, Israel, and Alexandria, Egypt.Per person, double occupancy rates for 12-night itineraries begin at $1,999 Galaxy will cruise round-trip from Stockholm on seven night Baltic voyages visiting Helsinki, Finland; St.Petersburg, Russia; Rostock (for Berlin), Germany, and Visby/Gotland, Sweden. Cruise-only fares for the one week sailings start at $1,199 per person, double occupancy. For reservations and additional information, contact your travel agentBack to Top

    6-9-00 More Trouble for Premier: BRB III Premier Cruise Lines suffered yet another mishap on yet another Big Red Boat, this time down in Houston today, albeit one they had little control over.

    As the BRB III (IslandBreeze) was docking in Houston this morning, one of the tugs manouvered too close to the props and had it's hull sliced open by the propeller. The tugboat did massive damage to the ship's propeller necessitating the replacement of the prop and cancellation of today's departure. It is also likely that the 6/17 departure will also be cancelled.

    This comes on top of the BRB III's less than successful debut as all passengers on first cruise were issued full refunds and future cruise credits for the cruise due to malfunctioning A/C. Passengers on the 6/3 sailing were offered a full refund and future cruise credits for their cruise as well.

    This should raise some concerns with the enormous amount of refunds and future cruise credits issued throughout April and now in June for Big Red Boats II and III. Dare I even mention the name, but Regency Cruises made the same mistake back in 1995 and helped bring about the demise of the line. Premier has also been sailing from NYC and Boston with extremely light passengers loads and I once again strongly recommend 3rd Party Insurance that covers supplier default as protection. Back to Top

    6-9-00 Anne Campbell's Weekend Cruise News Premier Cruises' Big Red Boat II (the former Edinburgh Castle) continues to sit in New York harbor due to engine failure. Plumes of black smoke from the ship's funnel are evidence the ship is undergoing repairs. The company has yet to announce when BRB II will commence it's cruise schedule

    A short cruise will be offered on board the 84,000 grt Carnival Spirit, which enters service early next year. As part of its positioning for the Alaska season, a 3-day coastal voyage from San Francisco to Vancouver, calling at Victoria, B.C. will sail on May 20, 2001.

    Renaissance Cruises will add a $5 surcharge for those dining in the two alternative restaurants aboard all its ships. The cruise line says the surcharge is to control traffic -- many passengers book the restaurants repeatedly, making it difficult for all 684 passengers to dine at the 90-person restaurants during their voyage.

    The bankruptcy of the World Cruise Company has left crew members on board the Riviera I in Tahiti, waiting to be paid. Checks to refund passengers for their flights home from Tahiti are said to be in the mail and the company expects to reimburse passengers for days not sailed on the aborted cruise. The Riviera I abruptly ended its world cruise in Tahiti when the World Cruise Company shut down May 26.

    Seven Seas Navigator celebrated her maiden arrival in Vancouver this week. The all-suite vessel is the first of the Radisson Seven Seas luxury fleet to sail in Alaska. Two Japanese cruise ships, the Nippon Maru and Pacific Venus also called at Vancouver this week on Pacific cruises.

    Princess has announced its 2001 Alaska season. Ocean, Sun, Dawn and Sea Princesses will cruise between Vancouver and Seward calling at Glacier Bay on each 7-night sailing while Regal Princess will sail 7-night Inside Passage cruises round trip from Vancouver.

    Pacific Princess will sail a most unusual transatlantic crossing next April 7, 2001. The 29-day cruise between Istanbul and New York spans four continents as Pacific Princess calls at the Holy Land, Egypt, Mediterranean ports, Casablanca and Dakar before crossing the Atlantic to infamous Devil's Island. Then it's on to Barbados followed by Bermuda for an overnight stay and finally, New York.

    Following RCI's trial period of eliminating charges for special activities on Voyager of the Seas, the company has announced that they will be provided free of charge to all guests. This includes activities such as ice-skating, rock-climbing, inline skating, miniature golf and all food items at the Johnny Rockets restaurant on Voyager of the Seas. This will extend to Explorer of the Seas, which is scheduled to sail on her maiden Eastern Caribbean voyage on October 28, 2000.

    United States Lines' ms Patriot (ex Nieuw Amsterdam) will feature a destination learning center, a family activities center and conference and meeting facilities. As well as the Manhattan Dining Room, there will be the Outrigger Cafe, serving casual hot breakfasts, including made-to-order egg dishes and omelets. A volcano-themes gala buffet, "Madame Pele's Feast of Fire" will be offered each cruise on the night the ship passes Mt. Kilauea. Patriot begins sailing 7-day Hawaiian islands cruises from Honolulu Decmeber 9, 2000 and will be joined in 2003 and 2004 by the 72,000 grt Project America new builds being built at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

    Crystal Cruises is launching a Signature Collection of shore excursions in conjunction with Crystal Symphony's 2000 Mediterranean sailings, Introduced earlier this year aboard Crystal's World Cruise, the Signature Collection offers travelers a more unusual experience of a port of call through tours that are rare, open only to a limited number of participants, and that frequently incorporate more luxurious private arrangements. The five Signature collection excursions on the Med. are: The Amalfi Coastline by Helicopter and the Isle of Capri; An interactive cooking demonstration of Southern France's Cuisine du Soleil; Highlights of Exploring Corfu by Jeep; Venice Discovery and Cote D'Azure Helicopter Exploration and Monaco.

    Holland America has extended Ocean Spa services to its private Isle Half Moon Cay treating clients to beachside rubdowns under swaying palms with showers nearby. Booked onboard, the massage menu includes a 50-minute full body ($79) and 25-minute back/neck/shoulder ($39), plus chair treatments ($1 per minute, 10-minute minimum).

    Seabourn Cruise Line has expanded its program for cigar aficionados with a new menu of offerings from around the world, and a selection of wines, cognacs and spirits to accompany them. Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend all have special cigar humidor cabinets on board. Cigar tastings are conducted nightly in a selected area of each ship, featuring the finest cigars from Cuba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Florida and Honduras. On the Seabourn Sun, cigars are enjoyed in the plush Oak Room. On the Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend, the area is the forward observation lounge. On the Seabourn Goddess I & II, the cigar area is in the Piano Bar section of the Club Salon.

    At the end of '99, there were 145 cruise ships in operation with a total capacity of 148,000 lower berths, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). Nearly six million passengers sailed last year, and the number's expected to hit 6.3 million this year.Back to Top

    6-9-00 New 2-night Carnival Cruises From New York The 102,000-ton Carnival Victory will be delivered to Carnival Cruise Lines early, enabling the cruise line to offer new two day cruises-to-nowhere from New York. Scheduled between Aug. 18-24, 2000, the special cruises begin at $149 per person, double occupancy and special rates for third/fourth passengers are also available. Carnival Victory will then commence it's scheduled series of three- and four-day Eastern Canada cruises from New York.

    Following the New York sailings, the Carnival Victory will operate a series of one- to five-night voyages from Newport News, Va., and Charleston, S.C., followed by a three-day Bahamas cruise from Miami, which will position the vessel for a program of seven-day Caribbean sailings from that port beginning Oct. 15. Reservations and additional information may be obtained from travel agents.Back to Top

    6-7-00 200 Passengers Ill on Disney Magic Around 200 passengers on the June 2, 2000 Disney Magic cruise became sick during a three-day cruise. Passengers started complaining of stomach aches, vomiting and diarrhea a day after the ship set sail for the Bahamas on Friday, and 100 passengers were treated by ship's doctors. Disney Magic set sail as scheduled on the following Monday.Back to Top

    6-6-00 Millennium Inaugural Delayed Celebrity Cruises' new Millennium will miss its June 17, 2000 inaugural voyage due to ship yard delays. The vessel will instead set sail July 1 on a 14-night voyage. Passengers who are bumped from the Millennium's maiden voyage will receive a complete refund plus a future free cruise aboard any Celebrity ship.Back to Top

    6-6-00 New Radiance of the Seas 2001 Itineraries Royal Caribbean International has announced itineraries of its newest class of ship, Radiance of the Seas, scheduled to debut in April, 2001. Slated for itineraries in Seattle, Alaska, the southern Caribbean, Hawaii and the Panama Canal, the 88,000-ton vessel will have more glass than any RCI ship to date, including exterior glass elevators spanning 12 decks and floor-to-ceiling glass windows in public areas. Some 70 percent of outside staterooms will have balconies. Radiance of the Seas' 2001 itineraries include two-, three- and four-night Pacific Northwest voyages from Seattle visiting Vancouver and Victoria, scheduled in April, May, September and October. A series of seven night Alaska voyages, from May through September, 2001, and Hawaii repositioning cruises is followed a Nov. 17, 2001 to March 30, 2002 schedule of voyages from San Juan to the Southern Caribbean.Back to Top

    6-5-00 Celebrity to Sail from Tampa Celebrity Cruises has announced that Zenith will sail on her western Caribbean cruises from the port of Tampa, beginning Nov. 11, 2001. The ship will make an eight- and five-night western Caribbean cruise, followed by a season of 10 and 11-night "Ultimate Caribbean" voyages to the eastern Caribbean. Sister ship Horizon begins cruises from Aruba this November on seven-night "Deep Caribbean Adventurer" cruises. Back to Top

    6-2-00 Anne Campbell's Weekend Cruise News History will be made on Saturday when Delta Queen Steamboat Co's new Columbia Queen is christened in Portland, Oregon. It marks the first sojourn to the West for the company which has operated steamboats on the Mississippi since 1890. Columbia Queen will offer 8-night cruise/tours on the Columbia, Snake and Willamette Rivers, with 18 shore excursions included in the price. The Godmother, who will christen the ship, is Randy'L He-dow Teton, who is the model for the Sacagawea U.S. Golden Dollar coin.

    Sovereign of the Seas will arrive in Port Canaveral, its new home port, on Saturday. Its new schedule of 3 and 4 day Bahamas schedule, begins Sunday. Sister ship, Majesty of the Seas will take over RCI's Bahamas cruises from Miami. The 73,000 grt Sovereign, entered service in 1988 and was the first megaship. RCI has designed the "Orlando Experience" 7-night package which combines a Bahamas cruise on board Sovereign with a hotel stay and entertainment in Orlando.

    Carnival Destiny continues to have problems with an overheated propeller shaft. Destiny is cruising at 19 knots which necessitates changes in itinerary. Time in port will have to be shortened on the upcoming cruises from New York to Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John, New Brunswick.

    The report on the Norwegian Dream collision last year will urge shipping authorities to review English Channel traffic rules. Congestion in the Dover Strait is said to have played a significant part in the accident. The Department of Environment, Transport and The Regions is reviewing the full report.

    Celebrity's new ship, Millennium will be delivered one week late on June 6, instead of May 31 but this will not effect its sailing schedule. The maiden voyage, a 14-night Baltic cruise from Amsterdam, departs June 17, 2000.

    Crystal Cruises has enhanced its onboard internet system by upgrading the satellite capabilities on its vessels. Crystal Symphony and Harmony carry 22 Compaq laptops and desktops in their Computer University@Sea labs and laptops are available for rental. Computer instruction is also available and each passenger also receives a personal e-mail address, printed on their ticket, which can be given to family, friends and business associates in order to make contact easily during the voyage. Back to Top

    6-1-00 New 2000 Danube River Cruises Viking River Cruises is offering a new Danube River voyage this summer and fall between Vienna and Prague. The nine-night cruise-tours (7-day cruise plus two nights in a Prague Hotel) aboard the new Viking Sky are scheduled July 14, August 11, September 8 and 22, 2000 for the Vienna-to-Prague sailing and August 30, September 13 and 27, 2000 for the Prague-to- Vienna trip. The cruise visits Budapest, Kalocsa, Bratislava, Melk and Passau with two additional nights' accommodations in a first-class hotel in Prague; per person, double occupancy rates are $2,597. The cruises include city tours, visits to local monuments, museums, castles and cathedrals including Schoenbrunn Palace, Buda Castle, Basilica Church, Benedictine Abbey, a working Hungarian farm, the world's only paprika museum, local musical entertainment and wine tasting. The all-inclusive cruise/tour package features round-trip airfare to Europe aboard regularly scheduled flights from select gateways; daily sightseeing tours; all meals, folklore entertainment, lectures and theme dinners.

    Since its purchase of KD River Cruises earlier this year, Viking River Cruises is now the largest company in Europe offering voyages through the inland waterways of the continent. Bookings can be made through travel agents.Back to Top

  • Recommended Articles