News Archive - June 2012

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6-26-12 Tauck Drops 2013 Single Supplement

Tauck Drops Category 1 Single SupplementFrom All 2013 European River Cruises. Solo Traveler Savings Up To $4,676; Two New Itineraries On Tap For 2013

NORWALK, CT (June 26, 2012) Good news is at hand for solo travelers frustrated by paying a higher per-person cabin rate than cruisers sharing a stateroom with a spouse or friend. Tauck, named the "World's Best River Cruise Line" by Travel + Leisure magazine, is dropping the "single supplement" for Category 1 cabins on each of its 2013 European river cruises. The savings apply to every departure on all 14 of Tauck's European river cruise itineraries.

"The fact that we've waived the Category 1 single supplement on over 100 Tauck river cruise sailings will be welcome news to solo travelers everywhere," said Tauck CEO Dan Mahar. "What's more, the savings they'll enjoy are substantial." According to Mahar, the savings are as high as $4,676 (on Tauck's 24-day, trans-European cruise), and the average savings is over $2,400. Tauck is also offering savings of $1,000 off the normal single supplement on Category 3 cabins on selected sailings of eight different European river cruise itineraries. The $1,000 Category 3 savings represent an average reduction in the single supplement of nearly 40%.

Tauck river cruises were already a smart option for solo travelers heading to Europe, noted Mahar, who added that the single supplement savings now make them an even better choice. "For solo travelers organizing their own trip to Europe, all the work of planning and executing the itinerary falls entirely on their own shoulders, but with a Tauck river cruise, everything is taken care of for them," said Mahar. "And of course, there's a camaraderie and connection with their fellow travelers, plus a great sense of security, that solo travelers don't get to enjoy on their own. Finally, because our riverboats hold just 118 guests, they offer a refined, club-like atmosphere that's very intimate and welcoming for anyone traveling on their own."

NEW CRUISE ITINERARIES FOR FAMILIES AND ART LOVERS

Along with the solo traveler savings, Tauck's 2013 river cruise plans include the launch of two new itineraries on the Rhone, "Bon Voyage: France Family River Cruise" (part of the Tauck Bridges collection of family-specific trips), and "Artistic Impressions: Monte-Carlo to Paris" which highlights art culture and history. The 10-day Tauck Bridges family cruise begins with an included two-night hotel stay with guided sightseeing in Paris that includes the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and a special dinner at Fouquet's. Guests then travel on the high-speed TGV train to Lyon, where they'll board Tauck's MS Swiss Emerald for a seven-night cruise on the Rhone.

A number of special activities in Paris and during the river cruise add to the fun, including a scavenger hunt in the Louvre, the opportunity to play petanque in Viviers, a hayride in the Camargue, kayaking in the shadow of Pont du Gard, and the chance to sample local chocolates and prepare simple French dishes in Tournon. Tauck is offering three departures of "Bon Voyage: France Family River Cruise," on July 11, July 25 and August 1, 2013. The cruise is priced from $4,690 per person, plus air.

Tauck's art-inspired "Artistic Impressions: Monte-Carlo to Paris" itinerary begins with guided sightseeing and an included two-night stay at the Fairmont Monte Carlo in Monaco before guests board the MS Swiss Emerald in Arles. Special art-themed activities during the subsequent nine-night Rhone cruise include guided tours of the Chagall and Matisse museums in Nice, as well as the Jean Cocteau Museum in Menton. Guests will also trace van Gogh's footsteps in Arles, and explore the works of Cezanne in the Granet Museum in Aix-en-Provence.

In addition, guests will view Roman antiquities at Vienne's Musees Gallo-Romains and enjoy tours of Beaux Arts museums in both Dijon and Lyon. The itinerary ends with an included two-night stay at the Hilton Arc de Triomphe in Paris, where guests will get a behind-the-scenes tour of an artist's studio and choose between guided tours of the Louvre or the Musee de Rodin. Departures for "Artistic Impressions: Monte-Carlo to Paris" are May 17 and September 18, 2013, and the 14-day itinerary is priced from $7,190 per-person, double occupancy, plus air.

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6-23-12 O3b Networks to Provide Ultra-Fast Internet Aboard Oasis of the Seas

O3b Networks today announced a milestone multi-year, multi-million dollar agreement with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. to provide high-speed satellite-delivered broadband service aboard the world's largest cruise ship. By summer 2013, more than 8,000 guests, staff and crew members aboard the cruise industry leader's flagship Oasis of the Seas – under the Royal Caribbean International brand – will be the first to enjoy O3b's enhanced connectivity at sea as if connected to fiber at home or in the office.

A true technology innovator, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is the first to utilize O3b's new maritime offering O3b Maritime, which delivers the reach of satellite and the speed and latency of fiber at a fraction of the cost of conventional providers. O3b is enabling maritime service providers to offer affordable fiber-like capacity across the Caribbean and ocean regions around the world. Providing unparalleled bandwidth, O3b's steerable satellite beams will provide cruise industry passengers ultra-fast Internet communications throughout their voyage.

"Royal Caribbean is committed to delivering the most contemporary vacation to our guests, and that includes pushing ahead for onboard technological advances that offer the modern conveniences that guests enjoy on land," said Adam M. Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "This milestone agreement with O3b Networks enables us to provide our guests with unprecedented Internet service at sea aboard Oasis of the Seas and potentially in the future aboard other ships in our fleet.

"From the moment we met the Royal Caribbean team we were struck by an intense customer focus and a determination to provide an unrivalled cruise experience to their guests on board" said Steve Collar, Chief Executive Officer, O3b Networks. "With O3b Maritime, Oasis of the Seas will experience connection speeds that are an order of magnitude higher and latency that is four times lower than offered in the market today. At O3b, we believe that affordable, high speed broadband should always be within reach – wherever you are in the world, on land and at sea - and we are delighted to showcase the unrivalled performance of O3b Maritime together with Royal Caribbean."

Oasis of the Seas shares the title of the world's largest and most innovative cruise ship with sister-ship Allure of the Seas. With a cache of distinct onboard activities and amenities, Oasis of the Seas offers one-of-a-kind entertainment performances, culinary concepts, retail venues and technology innovations. An architectural marvel at sea, Oasis of the Seas is divided into seven distinct themed neighborhoods, which include Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. The ship spans 16 decks, encompasses 225,282 gross registered tons, carries 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,700 staterooms. Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas alternates a Western Caribbean with an Eastern Caribbean seven-night itinerary from her homeport of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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6-18-12 InnerSea Discoveries Adds an Expedition Vessel to Hawaii in 2013

Wilderness Explorer to sail active adventure cruises between Oahu and Hawaii, the Big Island November 2013-April 2014

Seattle, WA, June 19, 2012 – InnerSea Discoveries' 76-guest expedition vessel Wilderness Explorer begins active adventure cruising among the Hawaiian Islands in fall 2013. The boat joins the line's 36-guest upscale yacht Safari Explorer offering island explorations from the sea.

From November 2013 through April 2014, the Wilderness Explorer will sail seven-night AdventureBound Hawaii cruises between Oahu and the Big Island and reverse. The itinerary visits Ka'ena Point State Park, Wai'anae Harbor, Maui, Lana'i, Honomalino Bay, Opihihali and Kailua-Kona. Guests will also enjoy scenic cruising and searching for whales and dolphins in the wildlife-rich Humpback National Marine Sanctuary.

"We are sending the Wilderness Explorer to Hawaii to add another option for travelers seeking an active island adventure at a moderate price." said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. "It's a tremendous value when you add in all the included activities and the ability to explore multiple scenic islands."

Highlights of the new itinerary include snorkeling at Molokini's undersea volcanic crater, a night snorkel with Giant Pacific Manta Rays, watching whales and dolphins and guided hikes exploring scenic areas on all four islands. Expert naturalists provide interpretation on guided excursions ashore and at sea.

The Wilderness Explorer has a swim platform for easy access to water sports equipment and entry into the water. A specially built kayak launch platform comfortably launches four kayaks at once. Guests enjoy included water sports activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, skiff explorations and swimming. Guests may also take a spin on the innovative human-powered watercraft powered by two peddlers and up to six paddlers.

On board, innovative meals are served buffet style to accommodate a flexible schedule of adventure activities. A wellness program includes a sauna, fitness equipment, complimentary yoga on deck and massages for a fee. Cabins feature a flatscreen TV/DVD player, iPod dock and eco-friendly bath amenities. In the lounge, guests will find a selection of games and a library of books and DVDs.

For luxury adventures in the Hawaiian Islands, the line's 36-guest Safari Explorer sails seven-night cruises between Hawaii, the Big Island and Lana'i with two days of activities on Moloka'i. Guests making a new reservation on the yacht by September 30, 2012 receive a $500 travel credit per couple for cruises November 2012-April 2013.

Cruise fares on the Wilderness Explorer start at $2,495 based on double occupancy. To book an un-cruise adventure or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or InnerSea Discoveries at 888-862-8881 or email sales@innerseadiscoveries.com.

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6-18-12 Holland America Introduces "Master Chef's International Dinner"

Seattle, Wash., June 19, 2012 — Holland America Line has unveiled a new Master Chef's International Dinner in the main dining room, a unique experience showcasing signature dishes from around the world. The exotic menu is offered once a cruise and features cuisine from six continents crafted by Holland America Line's award-winning Master Chef Rudi Sodamin in collaboration with several of the line's expert chefs.

Guests can design their international three- or four-course meal by choosing each course from selections that represent a variety of cultures. The exclusive 20-dish menu includes appetizers, entrees and desserts from Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, North and South America, as well as wine pairings from each region. Guests also can choose Chef Rudi's Tour Around the World, a pre-selected three-course meal by the master chef.

"The Master Chef's International Dinner is a special culinary celebration of cultures around the world," said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. "Each dish captures the essence of the region's cuisine with each course complementing the next, making for a truly exquisite dining experience for our guests."

The international menu includes Scandinavian-style Seafood and Potato Chowder, Lebanese Lamb Shank, Argentinean Guiso Soup, Bourbon Glazed Beef with Grilled Portabella Mushrooms and Tofu and Vegetable Korma. Desserts include New York-style Cheesecake, Viennese Mohr im Hemd and Kiwi and Passion Fruit Pavlova, a traditional meringue-based Russian dessert.

The new international dinner adds another distinctive culinary feature to Holland America Line's already-extensive dining offerings. Additional initiatives include award-winning alternative restaurants Tamarind, the Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto; An Evening at Le Cirque in the Pinnacle Grill, which exclusively brings the famed New York City Le Cirque restaurant to guests on board Holland America Line, as well as the Culinary Council comprised of renowned international chefs Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Marcus Samuelsson, Jacques Torres, Charlie Trotter and Sodamin.

For a full listing of Holland America Line's culinary offerings.

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6-7-12 AmaWaterways Introduces New Paris & Normandy Itineraries on the Seine River

River Cruise Line Offers French-Inspired Itineraries for 2013

Celebrating the land of Claude Monet, Victor Hugo and Napoleon Bonaparte, AmaWaterways invites guests to explore the rich history and culture of France with two new 2013 itineraries: Paris & Normandy and The Jewels of France. The Francophile cruises will visit classic French landmarks, enchanting towns and famous wine regions. "These itineraries take our guests through the heart of France," said AmaWaterways Founder Rudi Schreiner. "From the design of the French Balconies onboard our ships to the locally-sourced ingredients, menu selections and wines, AmaWaterways combines old-world French charm with a luxury travel experience." AmaWaterways' French cruises highlight the charm of the Seine and Rhone Rivers with visits to Paris, Vernon, Giverny, Rouen, Les Andelys, Conflans, Barcelona, Perpignan, Arles, Avignon, Viviers, Tournon, Vienne, Tréveux and Lyon. The itineraries include shore excursions through Roman ruins and medieval villages, wine tastings at rustic French vintners, expeditions to the famous Normandy beaches and walking tours through some of Europe's most beautiful cities and picturesque harbors. AmaWaterways' new 2013 French cruise itineraries are as follows: PARIS & NORMANDY – Aboard the AmaLegro, the seven-night Seine River cruise will travel through Europe's enchanting cities of Vernon, Rouen, Les Andelys and Conflans before returning to Paris. Excursions include visits to the village of Giverny, where Monet lived for 43 years and tours of Honfleur, a charming French harbor town made famous from artist's paintings. Passengers will say "Oui" to a stroll through Rouen, the historic capital of Normandy, followed by an unforgettable excursion to the famous Normandy beaches. Visit the charming town of Les Andelys, home of the impressive Château Gaillard. The trip bodes "au revoir" in the magical city of Paris, where guests will spend two nights. North American travelers can book voyages from March 29 - Nov. 8, 2013. JEWELS OF FRANCE – Combining two of France's most beautiful rivers, the seven-night Rhone River cruise and the seven-night Seine River cruise showcase Europe's most charming cities. Starting with 3-nights in Barcelona, passengers will explore Spain's second largest city. In Arles, France, passengers will board the AmaDagio to cruise through France's legendary wine regions. Excursions include wine tastings; exploring Roman ruins at Pont du Gard & Uzes and visits to the Renaissance palace in Grignan. Disembarking in Lyon, France, passengers will travel to Paris aboard the high-speed TGV train to embark on a seven-night Seine River cruise aboard the AmaLegro through historic northern France. Passengers will visit charming villages, the French harbors made famous by many artists, the famous Normandy Beaches and the impressive Château Gaillard before returning to Paris. North American travelers can book voyages from March 26 – Oct. 25, 2013. The AmaLegro and AmaDagio are luxurious cruising experiences featuring spacious staterooms and suites, which range up to 255 sq. feet. Passengers will enjoy Chaîne des Rôtisseurs culinary creations with free-flowing wine, and unforgettable shore excursions that will immerse them in the local culture and history.

In-room furnishings include plush down bedding, a cozy sitting area, flat-panel TV, hair dryer, safe, terry bathrobes, slippers, individually controlled air-conditioning, ample closet space and bottled water replenished daily. The bathroom features a shower with multi-jet shower heads, spa bath and body toiletries and a magnifying mirror. Passengers can stay connected with complimentary Internet & Infotainment System with Hollywood movies. Other amenities include a massage and beauty salon. Special highlights include lectures, themed dinners, cooking demonstrations and onboard music performances. For passengers wanting to explore the serene paths along the rivers, AmaWaterways offers a fleet of bicycles onboard.

To download AmaWaterways' 2012 and 2013 brochures, and for more information, please visit www.amawaterways.com. To book, please contact a local travel agent or visit www.amawaterways.com, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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6-5-12 American Cruise Lines' Queen of the Mississippi Heads for New Orleans

Repositioning cruise follows early completion of riverboat's construction

American Cruise Lines (www.americancruiselines.com) announced today that its brand new authentic paddlewheeler, Queen of the Mississippi, has received its Coast Guard certificates and at six weeks ahead of schedule has left Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland and is en route to New Orleans, from where her first cruises beginning in early August will depart.

"We are pleased with the completion of the Queen of the Mississippi," said Charles A. Robertson, President of American Cruise Lines. "This is the most spectacular riverboat ever built and we are delighted to report that all performance, comfort and environmental parameters have exceeded the design expectations."

The Queen of the Mississippi carries 150 guests in spacious staterooms, many of which are twice the size of those on other Mississippi riverboats. Almost all of the staterooms feature large private balconies with sliding glass doors and all of the amenities today's travelers expect, while maintaining the elegance and Victorian style of classic late 1800s Mississippi riverboats. American Cruise Lines will operate the new authentic paddlewheeler over the entire Mississippi River System, including the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers. The Queen of the Mississippi will also be able to travel at higher speeds than all other Mississippi riverboats, minimizing night travel and making more itineraries possible with longer visits to the river towns. A number of unique riverboat journeys are planned that take guests as far north as St. Paul, MN on the Mississippi River and as far east as Pittsburgh, PA on the Ohio River.

American Cruise Lines is honored to share its anticipation of Queen of the Mississippi's inaugural season with guests, travel partners, industry friends and river cruise enthusiasts around the world, and is confident that it will delight all who experience this grand new riverboat.

About American Cruise Lines American Cruise Lines, the largest U.S. cruise company, operates the newest fleet of small ships in the industry and offers more than 35 unique itineraries along the inland waterways and rivers of the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, the Mississippi River System and the U.S. East Coast, from New England to Florida. To learn more about American Cruise Lines, visit our Website at www.americancruiselines.com or call (800) 814-6880. Also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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6-1-12 Royal Caribbean International's Grandeur of the Seas Completes Revitalization

Royal Caribbean International's Grandeur of the Seas completed its $48 million revitalization today at the Navantia ship yard in Cadiz, Spain. The bow-to-stern revitalization of Grandeur of the Seas included the addition of five new dining venues, technological upgrades, a pool side LED screen, a refresh of all furniture, carpet, upholstery and staterooms as well as new entertainment offering including a spectacular aerial entertainment in its six deck Centrum. In addition, the ship received a new Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty guests, a Concierge Lounge for suite guests and top-tier loyalty guests, a Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, as well as a transformed Viking Crown Lounge that will features a stunning new design, as well as a new menu featuring bite-size delectables.

Grandeur of the Seas will spend the summer offering a variety of Mediterranean itineraries from Venice, Italy and Provence, France. Details on her upcoming itineraries can be found at www.RoyalCaribbean.com.

Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska, Canada, Dubai, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.

Royal Caribbean provides a world-class vacation experience with a wide range of signature onboard amenities, entertainment, and award-winning family programming. The cruise line has a 40-year history of giving guests the Royal Advantage – the most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to popular destinations, and world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service. Royal Caribbean has been voted "Best Cruise Line Overall" for nine consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers' Choice Awards. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow Royal Caribbean on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean or on Twitter, @RoyalCaribbean. Travel professionals should visit www.cruisingpower.com or call (800) 327-2056.

Royal Caribbean International is part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE/OSX: RCL), a global cruise vacation company that also operates Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Pullmantur, CDF Croisieres de France, as well as TUI Cruises through a 50 percent joint venture with TUI AG. The company owns a combined total of 40 ships and has one under construction and two under agreement.

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