News Archive - May 2002

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5-31-02 Weekend Cruise News *** Brilliance of the Seas will float out of the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany this evening. The 90,090-ton vessel will be fitted out at the pier until June 8 when Brilliance will sail down the River Ems to the Dutch port of Eemshaven, arriving June 12 to begin sea trials. The gas turbine driven GTV Brilliance of the Seas is sister ship to Radiance of the Seas. The focal point of both vessels is the nine-storey atrium with glass walled elevators looking out to sea. A nine-hole mini golf course and climbing wall on the side of the funnel are some of the numerous sports activities on board. The self adjusting billiards tables were a first at sea when introduced on Radiance of the Seas last year. Brilliance of the Seas' maiden voyage sails round trip from Harwich for 7 nights, July 15, 2002, to the Norwegian ports of Bergen, Geiranger, Hellesylt and Flaam as well as Amsterdam.

*** Holland America Line's Prinsendam, sets sail on her gala maiden voyage from New York to Southampton on Monday. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has issued an official proclamation naming Monday, June 3, 2002, "Prinsendam Day," to commemorate the official dedication of the Prinsendam as a ship of Holland America Line. The former Seabourn Sun and Royal Viking Sun is to be officially renamed in a pierside ceremony with the company bestowing on all of its more than 10,000 employees around the world the honor of serving as godparents of the Prinsendam. The 38,000-ton, 794-passenger vessel has undergone a 35-day refit and is now ready to sail extended voyages, worldwide for Holland America line.

*** Navigator of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's fourth Voyager-class ship, will be delivered six weeks early on November 18, 2002. RCI had requested the early delivery from Finnish shipyard Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc. in order to take advantage of December Holiday sailings. An agreement was reached this week which confirms the early delivery. The 142,000-ton Navigator of the Seas was originally scheduled to sail roundtrip from Miami on Saturdays calling at Nassau, St. Thomas, San Juan and Labadee from January 18 through April 26, 2003.

*** Princess Cruises has announced that Star Princess and Diamond Princess will sail Inside Passage cruises from Seattle for the 2003 Alaska season. Both ships will call at Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Victoria, plus cruise through Tracy Arm and to the twin Sawyer Glaciers. The 2,600-passenger Star Princess will offer 18 voyages on this itinerary departing on Saturdays between May 17 and September 13, while the new 2,670-passenger Diamond Princess will offer 14 voyages departing on Sundays, beginning June 15 and continuing through September 14. The 109,000-ton Star Princess entered service in February 2002 and is currently sailing her first season of Alaska cruises between Vancouver and Seward. Diamond Princess, the first of Princess' new series of vessels being constructed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan, will just be entering service when she sails to Alaska in 2003. The 113,000-ton ship will become the largest in the Princess fleet. Another two new vessels will sail in Alaska for Princess in 2003. Coral and Island Princess will join Sun and Dawn Princess on Glacier Route cruises between Vancouver and Seward next season.

*** Holland America Line's 2003 Alaska program includes 31 cruisetours featuring 16 new or revised itineraries. Four new tours feature Canada's Kluane National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site offering pristine wilderness and five of the seven highest peaks in North America. Sailing weekly on Inside Passage cruises will be the Amsterdam, based in Seattle and Maasdam, Volendam and Zaandam based in Vancouver. Ships sailing the Glacier Discovery cruises between Vancouver and Seward will be Statendam, Ryndam and Veendam. (The Statendam and Ryndam also will do one Glacier Bay Inside Passage cruise each; the Veendam will offer two.) Two Exclusive On-Board Programs Highlight the Native Heritage of Alaska. The "Artisans in Residence Program" features an Alaskan native on board demonstrating a traditional craft such as ivory or soapstone carving, basket weaving, or mask making. The "Huna Interpretive Program" provides rare cultural insight into Southeast Alaska's spectacular Glacier Bay through the eyes of a Huna Totem member, a tribe that has called the area home for centuries. A National Park Service ranger also joins each sailing in Glacier Bay. In addition, Holland America offers a full-time naturalist aboard every Alaska cruise to discuss and point out wildlife and key natural features.

*** QE2 will sail to the Caribbean, Bermuda, Mediterranean and Northern Europe on cruises interspersed between transatlantic crossings in 2003. Sailing round-trip from New York, QE2's itineraries include an 11-night Caribbean cruise April 23 followed by a six-night Bermuda cruise on May 3, a 12-night New England/Canada cruise October 7 and Holiday Caribbean cruise December 21. Sailings round-trip from Southampton include a nine-night Mediterranean/Canary Islands cruise, May 17; 12-night Norwegian Fjords, June 7; 15-night Mediterranean, July 28; 3-night Channel Islands, August 23; 12-night Mediterranean, September 7; and a 20-night Caribbean cruise on Nov. 25. The sixteen scheduled transatlantic crossings include a 31-night, three continents cruise on October 25, round-trip from Southampton to ports in the Canary Islands, Brazil, Uruguay, Falkland Islands, Senegal and Madeira. The 2003 crossings will be the liner's final sailings between Southampton and New York as the new Queen Mary 2 will take over the transatlantic crossings in 2004. QE2 will continue to sail the annual world cruise for Cunard and homeport in Southampton for the remainder of the year.

*** Crystal Cruises has confirmed two of the country's highest-rated chefs, Sherry Yard and Angelo Auriana, will be on board Crystal Harmony's 11-day Nov. 18 Panama Canal/ Caribbean voyage. As part of the line's ongoing Wine & Food Festival, the James Beard Foundation's 2002 Outstanding Pastry Chef Sherry Yard of Spago, Beverly Hills will present her award-winning desserts virtually every evening. She will be joined by Angelo Auriana, executive chef of Valentino, Santa Monica, who will prepare multi-course dinners in Prego, the ship's intimate Italian specialty restaurant. Both will share recipes and tips at daytime demonstrations. Master Sommelier Bob Bath will also be aboard to conduct complimentary wine tastings and suggest pairings from the luxury line's extensive cellar. The "Panama Serenade" cruise departs Costa Rica for Ft. Lauderdale, and calls in Cura�ao, St. Lucia, St. Barts, St. John and St. Thomas.

Royal Olympic Cruises' winter 2002/2003 itineraries will feature Olympia Explorer and Olympia Voyager sailing from Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, Port Canaveral and Los Angeles including the line's first sailing to Hawaii. On November 27, 2002 Olympia Explorer will begin a series of Caribbean, Panama Canal and Amazon River cruises from Port Canaveral and Ft. Lauderdale. Olympia Explorer will sail through the Panama Canal en route to Los Angeles for 12 nights, January 12, 2003. The 14-night "Aloha Odyssey Cruise" follows, sailing round-trip from Los Angeles to Ensenada and the Hawaiian ports of Hilo, Kahului, Nawiliwili and Honolulu. Olympia Explorer then embarks on a 55-night circle South America cruise on February 7, 2003. The South America cruise is available in three segments from Los Angeles to Callao, Peru (15-nights), Callao to Buenos Aires (21-nights) and Buenos Aires to Ft. Lauderdale (19-nights). Sister-ship Olympia Voyager will sail Amazon, Orinoco and Panama Canal cruises from Ft. Lauderdale commencing December 22, 2002. Voyager returns to Houston for Orinoco, Amazon and Mayaribbean cruises from January 18 through April 12, 2003.

*** A special exhibit devoted to the development of Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 (QM2) opened Tuesday at the Musee de la Marine in Paris. On display are the contract signed between Carnival Corporation and ALSTOM Marine along with designs and samples of fabrics and color schemes chosen for public rooms. Visitors experience a virtual tour of the ship. Photos, films and more details of the interior will be added as the ship is constructed at the French shipyard, Chantiers de l'Atlantique. Back to Top

5-24-02 Weekend Cruise News *** Carnival Destiny lost power for a couple of hours yesterday morning due to a glitch in the computer-automated system. Emergency generators provided power while engineers reprogrammed the system. The main generators were restored one by one and Destiny was operating normally by mid-afternoon. Destiny is spending today in St. Lucia instead of Aruba and is expected to return to her homeport of San Juan on Sunday as scheduled.

*** Grandeur of the Seas is now sailing from San Diego on weekly Mexican Riviera cruises departing Sundays through September 8. Ports of call on Grandeur's itinerary are Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. On September 15, an unusual six-night coastal sailing with stops at San Francisco, Monterey and Catalina Island in California plus Ensenada, Mexico. RCI's Legend of the Seas will take over the Mexican Riviera cruises from September 29 through November 10, 2002.

*** SeaDream Yacht Club's SeaDream I is out of drydock and has joined her identical sister, SeaDream II for their inaugural season of Mediterranean cruises. Both vessels have been redesigned and refitted at Lloyd Werft Shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany. The most dramatic redesign feature was to extend outdoor Deck Six aft to accommodate a series of Balinese double sunbeds, captain's chairs with, mounted binoculars and the Top of the Yacht Bar. Just below, on Deck Five, the extension allows for a new outdoor dining area called the Topside Restaurant, an alternative to the main Dining Salon below. This work has completely changed the silhouette of the two mega yachts so they appear more sleek and racy. On the inside, all public areas have been redesigned with new yachting furniture, carpeting and wall coverings. Additions and updates include a new Asian Spa and Health Club, an indoor dining Salon with an adjacent small private dining area for small groups, dramatic Main Lounge and Bar fitted with a 61 inch flat screen viewer and an array of high tech audio-visual equipment, intimate Piano Bar and Casino, a Library and Day Lounge with books, games and PC's. The ultra luxury mega yachts sailed originally as the Sea Goddess I & II and most recently as the Seabourn Goddess I & II. They joined the newly formed SeaDream Yacht Club last September. Both vessels sail in the Med for the summer with winters spent in the Caribbean.

*** Three ships named Spirit docked at the newly extended Canada Place pier in downtown Vancouver on Wednesday. Cruise West's Spirit of Oceanus and Seabourn Cruise Line's Seabourn Spirit docked on the west side of the facility, dwarfed by the 88,500-ton Carnival Spirit on the East side. The cruise terminal continues to welcome ships sailing to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest as the season gets underway. Public areas, shops and restaurants are still under construction and will be open by May 2003. The Port of Vancouver has posted the 2002 cruise calendar on its web site at

*** The World of ResidenSea was christened in Venice last Friday. The gala event celebrated the debut of the first resort community at sea continuously circumnavigating the globe. Norwegian shipping entrepreneur, Knut Kloster Jr, who conceived the idea or ResidenSea, was on hand for the festivities which were held fittingly on Norway's national day. World's 88 guest suites are available for individual cruise segments while around 40 of the 110 condominiums are still for sale. For more details see

*** Holland America Line's flagship, Rotterdam, will begin offering custom tailor services by Royal Far East Tailors this month. Garments include hand-made shirts, suits, blouses, as well as casual and formal apparel for the entire family. Passengers' measurements are taken on board. Each personalized garment is then hand-crafted in Bangkok, Thailand, and shipped to the passenger's home in a few weeks. Satisfaction is guaranteed and prices will be comparable to those charged by other Asian tailors. Holland America Line expects the rest of its fleet to have tailors on board by this fall.

*** Speakers from Sotheby's Institute of Art in London will discuss Realism, decorative arts and jewelry on board Crystal Symphony this summer. Speakers include James Malpas, BBC broadcaster and one of the world's leading Realism experts, Raymond Notley, lecturer emeritus who specializes in 19th and 20th century decorative arts and Daniela Mascetti, director of Sotheby's London jewelry department. The lectures are part of the Crystal Visions enrichment series on Symphony's July 7 Baltic cruise and August 25 and October 1 Mediterranean cruises. As well, Serena Sutcliffe, master of wine, author, lecturer, and head of Sotheby's International wine department, will be the featured speaker on Crystal Harmony's July 16, Alaska cruise.

*** Micato Safaris will operate pre- and post-cruise "Seabourn Journeys" in East Africa and India for Seabourn Spirit passengers in 2003:

  • A five-night Seabourn India Journey operates April 5 -10, 2003, prior to Seabourn Spirit's 17-day Red Sea voyage from Mumbai (Bombay), India to Alexandria, Egypt. The Journey includes sightseeing in Old and New Delhi, visits to the Taj Mahal and other attractions in Agra, the elaborate palaces of the "Pink City" of Jaipur and in Mumbai itself.
  • Seabourn's Africa Journey will operate for six nights November 30 to December 6, 2003, prior to Seabourn Spirit's 16-day voyage from Mombasa to Singapore. The Journey includes sightseeing in and around Nairobi, as well as safaris in the Maasai Mara and Amboseli National Park, two of Kenya's premier game parks. Safaris include morning and afternoon game drives each day with accommodation in deluxe tented camps and luxurious game lodges. Special highlights include visits to Out of Africa author Karen Blixen's home, Daphne Sheldrick's famous animal orphanage and a meeting with Masai Elder Ben Kipeno.

For more details contact a travel agent, call Seabourn at 1-800- 929-9391 or visit

*** Carnival Corporation has received a list of formal objections to its bid for P&O Princess from the European Commission. Antitrust questions raised by customers, competitors and suppliers form the basis of the objections. Carnival is preparing its defense for the EC which will make its final ruling by August 19. Back to Top

5-21-02 "> Princess' New 88,000-ton Ships After building three of the largest vessels in the industry -- the 108,000-ton Grand class series -- Princess Cruises has announced that the next collection of ship will be smaller in size. The 88,000-ton Coral Princess and Island Princess, entering service in December, 2002 and May 31, 2003 respectively, will carry 1,950-passengers. Distinctive features will include the Universe Lounge featuring the "Scholarship at Sea" enrichment program. As part of the Personal Choices dining program, there will be two main dining rooms plus several alternative restaurants, including the Bayou Cafe, with New Orleans-style cuisine. Some 90% of all cabins are outside and the majority will have private verandas. Both ships will sail on 2003 Alaska itineraries. For additional information, go to or call (800) PRINCESS for a brochure. Back to Top

5-17-02 Weekend Cruise News *** The new Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge officially opened this week with the arrival of the first cruise passengers on Thursday. The company's fifth custom-built property in Alaska, the 85-room Copper River lodge is the only hotel of its kind bordering on the nation's largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias, considered one of the most spectacular destinations in the state. Princess offers 11 cruisetours to the new lodge which is located on more than 200 acres in the Glennallen and Copper River area of south central Alaska, near the park's visitors center. Situated at the junction of the Klutina River and the Copper River, of Copper River King Salmon fame, it features breathtaking views of Mt. Wrangell, Mt. Drum and Mt. Blackburn.

*** Wind Song arrived in Papeete, Tahiti last Monday to begin sailing year-round in French Polynesia. A ceremony onboard the 148-passenger sailing yacht to celebrate the occasion was attended by Gaston Flosse, President of the Government of French Polynesia, as well as local dignitaries, government officials and tourism representatives. Wind Song is currently sailing on a 10-day cruise of French Polynesia. Weekley sailings roundtrip from Papeete to Raiatea, Huahine, Bora Bora, and Moorea commence May 24 with special Christmas and New Year sailings, December 20 and 27, 2002. The program continues throughout 2003 with seven, eight and fourteen night sailings planned.

*** Norwegian Star has permanently replaced Lahaina, Maui with the port of Kahului, Maui on its weekly Hawaiian cruises. It was expected that Star would return to Lahaina after the delivery of larger tenders earlier this month. However Norwegian Cruise Line has decided Norwegian Star will continue to dock at the commercial port Kahului. A shuttle service is offered to Lahaina and shore excursions operate from Kahului. A similar decision was made for calls at the island of Hawaii where Star now docks at Hilo in place of tendering passengers ashore at Kailua, Kona.

*** The $30 head tax on cruise passengers proposed by Governor Tony Knowles in February has not moved ahead. The Alaska legislature, scheduled to recess May 15, is still in session as heated discussions continue on a billion dollar revenue package. The cruise passenger tax is not part of the package as it still requires approval from two Senate committees before it can move ahead. The cruise passenger tax was proposed to raise $20 million towards the State's budget deficit.

*** Seabourn Cruise Line's 2003 brochure is now available. During 2003 the yachts of Seabourn will sail in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe; Asia, India & Africa; South America; Costa Rica, Belize & Panama, the Caribbean and the Eastern Seaboard of North America. Early booking savings of 20 to 50 percent are available on sailngs of Seabourn Pride, Spirit and Legend. A copy of the new brochure can be ordered online at

*** The new Carnival Legend will sail from Ft. Lauderdale in place of Miami on its winter program commencing this November. Carnival Legend will now sail from Ft. Lauderdale on alternating eight-day "exotic" cruises from Nov. 10, 2002 through April 19, 2003, calling at either St. Maarten, Barbados and Martinique or Belize City, Belize; Limon, Costa Rica; and Colon, Panama (optional Panama Canal and Gatun Lake excursions available). A similar program will operate from November 2003 through April 2004. The two-night cruise to nowhere on November 8 will also operate from Ft. Lauderdale instead of Miami as originally announced.

The 88,500-ton Carnival Legend is being built at a cost of $375 million. The vessel enters service in Europe this August. Like sisterships Carnival Spirit and Carnival Pride, Legend's dining rooms include a reservations-only supper club, featuring prime aged beef and crab claws from Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant in Miami. Named the Golden Fleece its decor is inspired by the Greek legend of Jason and the Argonauts. Gold bas-relief ships, black and gold figures of Jason, Grecian urns and a two-foot-high by four-foot-long sculpture of the Golden Fleece adorn the two-story dining room.

*** Carnival has announced that Jubilee will begin sailing from San Juan on Southern Caribbean cruises in 2003. The 47,262-ton, 1,486-passenger Jubilee will sail from San Juan every Saturday beginning Sept. 27, 2003, calling at St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts and Tortola.

*** SeaDream Yacht Club will use the port of Palm Beach for cruises of SeaDream I and II. Miami was originally to be the homeport for winter 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 sailings from Florida. The ultra-luxury vessels are the former Seabourn Goddesses I and II.

*** The new Minerva II, formerly the R8 for Renaissance Cruises, will replace Minerva at Swan Hellenic next Spring. The present Minerva will move to U.K. vacation company, Saga Holidays, in April 2003 sailing as the Saga Pearl. Swan Hellenic is a division of P&O Princess, which has specialized in educational, destination focused cruises since the 1930's. Minerva II will retain the country house style characteristic of the line. The larger vessel will offer more dining and entertainment options for passengers. Minerva II is 30,277 tons and carries 684 passengers, a dramatic increase over the 12,500-ton 352-passenger Minerva. Back to Top

5-16-02 QE 2 To Halt Atlantic Crossings Cunard Line has announced that it's flagship, the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE 2), will no longer make transatlantic crossings after 2003. QE 2 will instead be based in Southampton, UK, where she will make short cruises. Starting in April, 2004, the Southampton-to-New York crossings will instead be made by Cunard's new Queen Mary 2, presently under construction in St. Nazaire, France. The new 150,000-ton vessel, roughly twice the size of QE 2, will carry 2,400 passengers. Back to Top

5-10-02 Weekend Cruise News *** Celebrity Cruises has confirmed that Constellation will sail on its maiden voyage from Barcelona this Sunday. Repair work to fix a leak in its starboard propulsion pod will be completed in time for the May 12 Western Mediterranean sailing. Constellation is the fourth Millennium-class ship for Celebrity, a sister ship to Millennium, Infinity and Summit. Constellation sails seven-night cruises roundtrip from Barcelona on May 12 and 19, 2002 calling at Villefranche (Nice/Monaco), France; Ajaccio, Corsica; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Naples, Italy; Valletta, Malta. The vessel then positions from Barcelona to Dover for 13 nights on May 26, 2002 followed by Baltic and Norwegian Fjords sailings for the summer.

***Star Princess makes her inaugural call at Vancouver, B.C. on Saturday to commence her first season of Alaska cruises. The 109,000-ton 2,600-passenger vessel is the largest cruise ship to ever sail in Alaska. She will dock at the newly expanded Canada Place pier in downtown Vancouver. Construction work on the pier has been completed a year ahead of schedule allowing three mega-ships to dock at the facility at one time this season. Star Princess sails the "Voyage of the Glaciers" route between Vancouver and Seward (Anchorage) on Saturdays calling at College Fjord, Glacier Bay, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan from May 11 through September 7, 2002. Depending on permit availability, Hubbard Glacier may replace Glacier Bay on some sailings. An Alaska sampler cruise sails roundtrip from Vancouver to Ketchikan for 4 nights, September 14, 2002 before Star heads back to Los Angeles to resume weekly Mexican Riviera sailings.

*** Disney Magic begins sailing a new route to the Western Caribbean this Saturday. The new itinerary, roundtrip from Port Canaveral, calls at Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Castaway Cay, Disney's private Bahamian island. The new western itinerary will alternate with Magic's Eastern Caribbean route which calls at St. Maarten, St. Thomas (with excursions to St. John available), and Castaway Cay. Disney Wonder continues to sail three and four-night Bahamas cruises year round from Port Canaveral.

*** Radisson Seven Seas Cruises will operate the "Club Mariner" children's program this summer on board Seven Seas Mariner in the Baltic and Seven Seas Navigator in Alaska. The increasing number of families cruising on board Radisson prompted the line to introduce the new program for children ages six to 11 and 12 to 17. The superivsed activities will be organized onboard and ashore focusing on the destination's nature, heritage and crafts. Special "Club Mariner" tours will be offered, and a children's menu served in the Compass Rose dining room.

*** Carnival's 88,500-ton, 2,124-passenger Spirit class ships are in the news this week:

  • Carnival Spirit experienced air conditioning problems which shortened an Ensenada-Honolulu cruise and canceled the May 3 Honolulu-Vancouver cruise. Spirit is currently en route to Vancouver with repairs to the air conditioning system underway during the voyage.
  • Carnival Pride will take over weekly Mexican Riviera cruises from Elation on September 21, 2003. Pride's itinerary will feature an extra-long nine-hour stay in Cabo San Lucas, in addition to day-long visits to Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan. Carnival Pride will sail from the new, state of the art, Long Beach cruise terminal which is being built beside the Queen Mary Hotel and attraction. The new facility is scheduled to open early in 2003. The 70,000-ton Elation, will reposition to Galveston for Western Caribbean cruises commencing Sunday, Sept. 28, 2003. The seven-day cruise program features a day-long call at Belize City, Belize; as well as visits to Cozumel and Progreso/Merida, Mexico.
  • Carnival Legend, the third Spirit-class ship, sets sail August 24 from Harwich, England. The interior decor will feature what Joe Farcus, Carnival's ship architect, calls "entertainment architecture" based on legendary figures and locations. The atrium is inspired by ancient Greece. On the towering nine-deck-high atrium wall is a mural of the Colossus of Rhodes, a 150-foot-tall bronze statue that stood in the city's harbor and is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. the Firebird Lounge decor is based on the Russian fairytale while Follies, the main show lounge on Promenade Deck, recalls the magnificent movie palaces of the 1920s. Another example is Satchmo's Club, named after legendary trumpeter Louis Armstrong, which is decorated to resemble an old New Orleans bar, with exposed brick walls, wrought-iron details, cafe curtains, thatched ceiling fans and wood handles.

*** The Universe Explorer has a new children's program. The ship offers educational, destination focused cruises to Alaska from Vancouver for eight, nine or 14 days. It has the largest library afloat as the vessel operates as a university classroom during the school year. The classic, 737-passenger, American-built steamship has sailed under many names including Holland America Line's Volendam, Bermuda Star Line's Canada Star and Commodore Cruises' Enchanted Seas. The new Junior Cruisers Program' is a daily program led by a Youth Coordinator tailored to children ages 5 to 12. Much like its education program for adults, activities focus on learning about the history, culture, geology, biology, arts, and wildlife of the Alaskan ports the ship visits. In addition, Junior Cruisers may also participate in ping-pong tournaments and basketball and volleyball games. Other activities include t-shirt decorating, a costume parade, a special tour of the ship's bridge and a kid's lunch or dinner. For more information call World Explorer Cruises at 1 800 854-3835 or visit their web site

*** Princess Cruises has announced that the new 88,000-ton Coral and Island Princesses will join the 77,000-ton Sun and Dawn Princesses to sail the seven-night "Voyage of the Glaciers" itinerary for the 2003 Alaska season. The 1,950 vessels will sail the route between Vancouver and Seward from May 10 to September 15, 2003 with Coral and Island departing on Saturdays, Sun and Dawn on Mondays. Princess is expanding its cruisetour offerings for 2003 including a new series of fully escorted tours. Cruisetours go on sale May 18 while cruise bookings opened May 6. With early booking savings, cruise fares begin at $799 for a seven-day voyage, with an 11-day cruisetour starting at $1,499. Brochures may be ordered by calling 1-888-478-6732.

*** Carnival Corporation has confirmed the charter of the former Holland America Line Nieuw Amsterdam to Louis Cruises of Cyprus. The vessel sailed most recently as the Patriot for United States Lines which went bankrupt last fall. Carnival reacquired Patriot earlier this year and renamed her Nieuw Amsterdam. The vessel will be sailing from Cyprus to Egypt during this summer's high season for Louis Cruises who will then sub-charter the vessel to Thomson Holidays of the U.K. for three and a half years. Sailing as the Thomson Spirit, the 1,254-passenger ship will be the largest ever operated by Thomson Holidays. The vessel will sail from Palma de Mallorca from the beginning of May, 2003, replacing the Topaz on Western Mediterranean cruises. Back to Top

5-06-02 Delta Queen Company Purchased The three most popular steamboats -- Delta Queen, Mississippi Queen and American Queen -- have been acquired by Delaware North, a privately held firm, for $80 million. The Delta Queen Steamboat Company vessels were on the action block after the demise of parent company American Classic Voyages, which declared bankruptcy October 18, 2001. Delaware North's president says that most of the staff will be retained and the company's base of operations will be in New Orleans. Back to Top

5-3-02 Weekend Cruise News *** Royal Olympic Cruises has decided to send Olympia Voyager back to the Mediterranean this summer due to high demand on its Golden Fleece itinerary. Olympia Voyager was to sail from Houston to the Western Caribbean through Spring 2003. The vessel will now sail from Houston to Piraeus, Greece on June 15. Its �Golden Fleece' itinerary then sails from Piraeus (Athens) to Istanbul, Kusadasi, Patmos, Mykonos, Rhodes, Heraklion and Santorini through October. There has been increased demand for the itinerary since many cruise lines pulled out of the Eastern Mediterranean following 9/11. Passengers booked on the summer 2002 "Mayaribbean" cruises are offered a 25 percent discount off their current fare if they sail on or before June 8th. Alternatively, an additional 25 percent discount is offered on already discounted, advance booking Olympia Voyager winter cruises beginning December 22, 2002. Full refunds are also available. For assistance contact your travel agent or Royal Olympic Cruises at 800-872-6400.

*** Fire broke out last Saturday in the engine room of the 114-passenger expedition ship Terra Australis. The vessel was on the south west coast of Chile, en route from Punta Arenas to Valdivia, Chile for general repairs when the fire broke out. No passengers were on board. Reports indicate that a crewman working in the galley died due to smoke inhalation. Ships in the area launched rescue efforts to evacuate the crew. Terra Australis has now been declared a total loss and the Chilean Navy are assessing any pollution risk from fuel and oil. Santiago-based Cruceros Australis operated the vessel on cruises of the Chilean fjords, Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel. They are debuting a new 132-passenger ship Mares Australis in November in the region.

*** Carnival is replacing St. Croix with St. Maarten on the Eastern Caribbean itineraries of Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory. The line cited concerns for passenger safety on the island as the reason for the switch. Carnival Victory made its last call at St. Croix on April 24. When Carnival Triumph returns to the Caribbean in the fall, it will also call at St. Maarten in place of St. Croix.

*** Cruise West has canceled 17 of its new Central America sailings this year due to a slow inaugural season and slow down in international travel. It is the first season the line has operated the 100 passenger Temptress Explorer on eco-adventure voyages in Costa Rica, Panama and Belize. Passengers on canceled voyages were switched to other sailings and offered cabin upgrades and/or shipboard credits. Cruise West plans to offer 29 sailings in Central America in 2003, including a new call in Portobelo, Panama.

*** The new port of Fort Amador, Panama has opened for business. Several cruise ships have already called at the resort including HAL's Amsterdam and Princess' Ocean and Dawn Princess. A call at the new resort will give passengers a chance to enjoy the many amenities available as well as explore Panama and the Canal. Situated at the Pacific side of the Panama Canal on Flamenco Island within sight of Panama City, the new resort is linked to the mainland by a causeway. The island was previously used for military purposes by the United States and later by General Noriega. Local businessmen have turned the island into the Fort Amador Resort complete with a marina, bars, restaurants and shops catering mainly to yachtsmen and cruise passengers. More facilities are planned including an Internet cafe, casino, IMAX theatre and a hotel. Cruise passengers currently tender to the resort however a cruise pier is in the design stage. Watch for Amador showing up as a new port on Panama Canal itineraries. Holland America's Ryndam will call at Amador when she inaugurates a new itinerary next October 26 roundtrip from San Diego. The 21-night cruise calls at Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Santa Cruz Huatulco, Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Amador, Panama City; Gatun Lake; San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa and Puerto Vallarta. In fall 2003 Ryndam will repeat this itinerary and Veendam will call at Amador on her repositioning cruise from the west coast to Tampa.

*** Holland America Line has announced that the line's employees will be the Godparents of the new Prinsendam. To assist in re-naming the ship, Holland America will invite its past Employees of the Year to New York to participate in the ceremony on June 3 prior to the inaugural transatlantic crossing. "For the ms Prinsendam, I want to honor all of the employees of Holland America Line, by asking them to serve as her godparents..... Since the fall I have repeatedly communicated that our strengths and our opportunities lie in the people we employ -- both land and sea-based. And, much has been accomplished thanks to their dedication, team work and ingenuity," said Chairman and CEO A. Kirk Lanterman in making the announcement. The former Seabourn Sun was delivered to Holland America on April 23 and is undergoing a 35-day refitting in Charleston, SC.

*** Crystal Cruises' newest vessel, Crystal Serenity is on schedule at the French shipyard, Chantiers de l'Atlantique. The christening is set for July 6, 2003 in Dover, England. The July 7 inaugural voyage is sold out. At 68,000-ton and carrying 1,080 passengers, Crystal Serenity will be the largest ship in the Crystal fleet. Spacious staterooms will all have unrestricted ocean views thanks to a new design which insets life boats into the side of the ship on deck 6.

*** Carnival Glory will replace Carnival Pride on sailings from Port Canaveral when it debuts on July 19, 2003. The 100,000-ton vessel carries 2,974 passengers compared to 2,124 on Carnival Pride. Carnival Glory will operate year-round seven-day sailings from Port Canaveral on Saturdays, alternating between eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. The Eastern Caribbean cruises call at Nassau, St. Thomas/St. John, and St. Maarten, while Western Caribbean sailings include Key West; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel and Progreso/Merida, Mexico.

*** One of the whistles of the famous liner Queen Mary, now a hotel and attraction in Long Beach, will be installed on the new Queen Mary 2. The whistle on permanent loan to Cunard is the one on the second (midships) funnel. It is just over seven feet long, two and a half feet wide, nearly three feet high and weighs 1,400 pounds. It originally sounded a Bass A note, two octaves and two notes below middle C. Attuned so as not to disturb the passengers on deck, it could still be heard 10 miles away. The whistle is currently being transported to Southampton on board the QE2. Upon arrival in England it will be inspected by representatives from the original manufacturer, Kockums of Sweden. It will then be sent to the shipyard in France where it will be fitted aboard the QM2 opposite a brand new, identical replica. Originally powered by steam, Cunard plans to convert the whistle to air power. QM2 is scheduled to enter service early in 2004.

*** When Norwegian Star rescued 11 crew members of the stricken Indonesian fuel supply tanker Insiko 1907 on April 2, the Captain's pet terrier was unintentionally left on board. Hokget, a two-year old mixed terrier was given up for dead when a $50,000 rescue search launched by the Hawaiian and United States humane societies failed to locate the vessel. The Coast Guard located the ship with Hokget alive on board April 20, when it went after the ship to prevent it from running aground in an environmentally sensitive area. They towed the ship and Hokget to Honolulu where the pooch received a special welcome by the Humane Society and media. The incident has made Hokget a celebrity with television appearances in the works for the terrier. However Hokget will have to undergo a 120-day quarantine under Hawaii's rabies prevention program before taking on any public engagements.

*** The U.S. Navy will not be taking over the two project America vessels that were being built for defunct American Classic Voyages. The builders, Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, had proposed the vessels be used for either a command center or floating hospital however the Navy claims neither vessel is suitable for these purposes. The two 1,900 passenger 72,000-ton vessels were to be the largest ships ever built in a U.S. shipyard and the first major ocean-going passenger ships to be built in the United States in more than 40 years. They were to be deployed in Hawaii by United States Lines, a division of American Classic Voyages which went bankrupt last fall. Back to Top

5-2-02 Celebrity Delays Constellation Celebrity Cruises had decided to delay the introduction of their new ship Constellation in order to repair the starboard propulsion pod. This will cause the cancellation of at least one cruise, a charter scheduled to cross the Atlantic departing May 5. The the May 12 cruise is still in question and if it needs to be cancelled a full refund and additional compensation will be provided to impacted guests.

The ship is returning to the builders' French shipyard, Chantiers de l'Atlantique, of St. Nazaire, following sea trials, where a leak was discovered in its starboard propulsion pod. Celebrity has established a special help desk to assist guests and travel agents with questions. That toll free number is 1-888-305-4549.Back to Top

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