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   Cruise Travel - Cruise News

Cruise Club is a free service, and when you join, you will begin receiving weekly updates including the latest cruise news and cruise specialsWelcome to this week's edition of Cruise News, the best place on the Web to find up-to-date information about cruises. To automatically receive Cruise News via email each week, join our Cruise Club.

For up to the minute news, stop by Cruise Talk anytime to post a message or find out what your fellow passengers and industry insiders are saying about a particular ship, cruise line or destination.

Cruise News 3/12/01

RCI Welcomes Radiance of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International accepted delivery today of Radiance of the Seas, the first of its Radiance-class of ships. The 90,090-ton vessel will depart this Sunday from Amsterdam, en route to the Port of Miami. Her arrival is scheduled for 9 a.m. on March 21, 2001.

"This class of ship represents an evolution in design and creativity, which has always been a hallmark of our brand," said Jack Williams, president, Royal Caribbean International.

The 2,100-guest Radiance of the Seas has the first ultra high-tech, self-leveling pool tables on a cruise ship and boasts more glass than any other Royal Caribbean ship. A new generation world cruiser, Radiance of the Seas is designed to sail world itineraries to Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, Pacific Northwest and the Caribbean.

On board amenities include a bookstore and coffee shop, an African-themed Solarium with 15-foot elephant waterfalls, and a futuristic disco with a revolving bar. Many dining options include a Chops Grill steakhouse and Portofino, an Italian restaurant. The ship is powered by an azipod propulsion system, and smokeless, vibration-free GE gas turbine engines, which the cruise line claims represent the industry's newest technology for protecting the environment.

A preview cruise will introduce travel agents, media and cruise industry professionals to the new ship on March 24 to March 26 at the Port of Miami. This event will be followed by a series of one-, two- and three-night revenue cruises, which will be offered to the general public between March 26 and April 4.

The naming ceremony will take place on April 6, at 5:30 p.m. at Port Everglades, with the ship's godmother, Margot Pritzker, wife of Thomas J. Pritzker, chairman of the Hyatt Corporation and member of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Board of Directors. The 14-night maiden voyage, a Panama Canal cruise, will depart on April 7, from Port Everglades.

Rescue Attempt at Sea Damages P&O Aurora
P&O Aurora's interrupted her maiden world voyage to participate in a dramatic rescue in the South China Sea. The liner was off the coast of Tiawan heading for Hong Kong when she picked up the emergency distress calls of a Cambodian registered cargo ship that was taking on water in rough seas.

By the time the Aurora arrived, the ship had sank and the crewmen were in the water. Passengers on board the liner were asked to line the deck and help look for survivors. The Aurora launched her rescue boats in an attempt to reach the struggling crew and was successful in picking up three men, unfortunately one of which could not be revived. A total of eleven crewmen were pulled from the water by the Aurora and other ships in the area but a total of six sailors died after spending several hours in the rough chilly seas. Two sailors were reported missing.

According to one of our readers who was on the Aurora at the time of the incident (see below), debris from the Cambodian registered ship, the Pamela Dream, which had been carrying lumber, caused significant damage to the 76,000 ton Aurora's starboard propeller. Repairs are scheduled to be made in Singapore and the Aurora is expected to continue her world cruise.

World Cruise Update - Live from P&O's Aurora
The following is the latest in a series of updates being filed by Mary Kerr, one of TravelPage.com's readers currently on board P&O's Aurora during her maiden World Voyage.

Hello All

Yes Aurora did divert to a distress call off the coast of Taiwan. It was the day before we arrived in Hong Kong, and it was a very sad scene, not something I ever want to witness again. It was reported there were 19 souls in the water, by the time we got there the ship had sunk, three of our young seamen went out in the fast rescue craft, who all I can say were heroes considering the conditions at the time, they rescued 3 people, but sadly one soul was dead even after all resuscitation was tried for some time.

Unfortunately the debris and the ships cargo got caught up in our Starboard propeller and has damaged 3 of the 5 blades, and we are now on one prop only. It is to be fixed under water in Singapore, but the vibration of running on one engine in the aft section of the ship can be felt. It was really a very sombre scene, but trying to get the rescue craft and the survivors back on board was a very hard job. The young men were baling out all the time as the sea was coming in the craft, it was windy and high seas. They really did so very well.

Bi for now

HAL Introduces New Kids Facilities
Holland America recently built a new and larger Club HAL kids area and a separate teen center aboard the ms Maasdam, which will become the premium company's year-round Caribbean cruising ship. Called KidZone and Waverunner respectively, the Club HAL kids area and teen area were built on the upper Sports Deck around the funnel of the Maasdam - this is the location of the Club HAL Skyroom on the ms Rotterdam and subsequent ships. Each new room on the Maasdam features seven computers with software and games, a large screen TV and viewing area, VCR, DVD player and audio system. The KidZone also has a game area with tables and chairs, while the WaveRunner boasts a dance floor with accompanying lighting and fog system, four stand-alone video games, and a pantry with juice and coffee machines.

"As Holland America expands its fleet and puts more emphasis on seven-day and year-round summer Caribbean cruises, more families are drawn to our premium ships," said David Giersdorf, senior vice president, marketing and sales. "Club HAL is evolving to meet the needs of its young guests. Our numbers vary with the season and product, but we see upwards of 150 to 200 children on board during the summer months and on shorter cruises." Holland America Line established Club HAL several years ago to meet the growing demand for cruise activities aimed at all ages. Club HAL is an activity program for children ages 5 to 17 and operates on every ship with a Club HAL youth director. Holland America maintains a 30 children to one counselor ratio. Each evening, children receive a program detailing the next day's activities and times, which fall into age-appropriate categories of 5-8, 9-12 and teens.

Among the activities kids can enjoy on board are an ice-cream party for 5-12 year-olds with the entertainers backstage, youth sports tournaments, the ever-popular pajama party, movies and videos, scavenger hunts, teen disco, arts and crafts, games, tours of the bridge, and, in areas such as Alaska, one-on-one time to learn with Holland America's on-board naturalists and Native American artists. Also in Alaska, the on-board Junior Ranger Program gives children the opportunity to become a Glacier Bay National Park Junior Ranger. On Half Moon Cay, Holland America's private island, the Club HAL director organizes sand castle building, supervises activities at the island playground and picnic area, runs a treasure hunt, provides ice cream treats, and organizes a teen beach party with water sports. Volleyball and Frisbee are always popular activities.

In Alaska, Holland America adds to its youth program with kids-only shore excursions such as light hiking, sea kayaking, a float plane adventure and horseback riding.

Rolls-Royce on Queen Mary 2
Rolls-Royce has been selected to provide its Brown Brothers stabilisers for the Queen Mary 2, the new luxury cruise liner to be built for Cunard Line Ltd at Alstom Chantiers de l'Atlantique in France.

The QM2 will be built to the highest technical specifications, with four folding fin stabilisers, each with a fin area of 15.63 sq m. The QM2 will be a companion to the smaller QE2 which was built in 1968 and also has four Brown Brothers folding fin stabilisers, each with a fin area of 6.5 sq m.

The choice of Rolls-Royce equipment is based on Cunard's extensive experience and knowledge of the product and its application. Cunard's chose the same range of equipment for QM2's sister ships, the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mary and the QE2.

Brown Brothers stabilisers are already installed on many vessels using the North Atlantic route, one of the most arduous journeys for any cruise ship.

Saul Lanyado, President - Marine for Rolls-Royce plc, said: "We have had a long and happy working relationship with Cunard and are delighted that our stabilisers have been selected for the Queen Mary 2."

Star Fleet Shuffle - Again
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has revised its plans for ship deployment in the Hawaii cruise market, announcing today that the new $400 million, 91,000-ton super-ship formerly slated for NCL's parent company Star Cruises, will now join NCL's fleet in December 2001 for year- round deployment in Hawaii. The new ship, which is under construction in Germany and was to be called SuperStar Libra, will now be outfitted to NCL specifications and named Norwegian Star, signifying the increasingly strong linkage between parent Star Cruises and daughter company Norwegian Cruise Line. It will be one of two sister ships, the second of which will be named Norwegian Dawn to be delivered to NCL at the end of 2002.

NCL and parent company Star Cruises had previously announced the transfer of the two-year-old, 76,000-ton SuperStar Leo to the NCL brand for the purpose of servicing the Hawaii market under a new name, Norwegian Leo. However, according to Colin Veitch, NCL's president and chief executive officer, two things happened to persuade Star to move Libra over to NCL instead. First, the booking response to Leo's maiden Hawaiian season indicated a strongly positive reception from both cruisers and travel agents. Second, the projected costs involved in stripping out Leo's casino to comply with recently enacted federal legislation became so high that the lower cost alternative of tailoring the construction of Libra to exclude a casino from the outset became increasingly attractive.

Leo will now remain with the Star Cruises fleet under its present name of SuperStar Leo.

"We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to bring to the Hawaii market the type of modern cruise experience it truly deserves," said Veitch. "In looking at the potential demand for this market, we made the decision to utilize a larger and absolutely brand new ship. It is purpose-built to present NCL's exclusive Freestyle Cruising experience, an experience more akin to a top-end landside resort than a traditional cruise ship, and it is certainly light years ahead of anything else in the year-round Hawaii cruise market. Those who have cruised in Hawaii before are now offered a radically different experience," continued Veitch. "And those who haven't should find the combination of Norwegian Star, Freestyle Cruising and the magic of the Hawaiian Islands irresistibly compelling."

Norwegian Star will be NCL's largest ship, accommodating 2,200 passengers and 1,100 crew, and is being built at the maximum size to fit through the Panama Canal. The ship will be fitted with pod drives, which substantially improve maneuverability, and will be NCL's fastest ship -- cruising at a maximum speed of 25 knots.

Brand Name Stone Crabs Today, McDonals by the Pool Tomorrow?
One of Florida's most renowned delicacies, stone crabs, from Miami Beach's oldest restaurant -- legendary Joe's Stone Crab -- will be featured for the first time on a cruise ship menu when the new Carnival Spirit enters service in late April. The announcement was made yesterday at the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention in Miami Beach.

Carnival Cruise Lines President Bob Dickinson and Steve Sawitz, president of Joe's, revealed that the succulent claws will be served in the Carnival Spirit's specialty restaurant, the Nouveau Supper Club.

"We're very excited at being the first cruise line to offer our guests the world-famous stone crabs from Joe's," Dickinson said. "We are creating a world-class dining venue in the Carnival Spirit's Nouveau Supper Club, and through this association with Joe's, we will offer our guests a truly one-of- a-kind culinary experience not available on any other cruise ship," he added.

The Carnival Spirit, first in a new class of 88,500-ton ships accommodating 2,124 passengers, is expected to make its maiden cruise from the Port of Miami April 29, 2001.

The 156-seat Nouveau Supper Club -- Carnival's first reservations-only specialty restaurant -- is located at the top of a soaring nine-deck-high atrium and housed under a red tinted glass dome that forms the front portion of the ship's funnel. Hearkening back to the great supper clubs of the past, the circular, two-level room has a bandstand and a stage for entertainers, as well as a dance floor.

The Carnival Spirit is scheduled to begin its inaugural season April 29 with a 16-day Panama Canal cruise, a series of weeklong Glacier Bay and Glacier Route Alaska cruises through the summer, two 12-day Hawaii cruises, and a 14-day Panama Canal sailing from San Diego to Miami. From Miami, Spirit is slated to sail a unique eight-day program to "exotic" Caribbean ports of call beginning Nov. 3

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing Price Change (since last week)
American Classic Voyages (NasdaqNM:AMCV) 10 7/8 - 25.64%
Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) 27.42 - 10.07%
P&O Princess Cruises plc (NYSE:POC) 19.95 - .9959
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 23.90 - 10.62%
ROYAL OLYMPIC (NasdaqNM:ROCLF) 2 1/8 - 5.56

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which passenger/cruise ships had, at one time, a glass bottom to view marine life? Hint: The ships are still in service today.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise@travelpage.com.

Last Week's Question - When the former American Export liner Constitution returned to service for American Hawaii cruises in 1982 she was rechristened by one of her famous former passengers. Who was given this honor?

Answer - Princess Grace of Monaco (Grace Kelly). courtesy of WJC Diver

Cruise News 3/05/01

Don't forget to check out CruiseServer, the Internet's largest cruise database at http://www.cruiseserver.net/. With over 11,000 cruise itineraries and over 300 ship profiles, CruiseServer is the perfect tool to help you find the perfect cruise.

Cunard Announces New Senior Citizen Discount
Cunard Line is making a unique invitation to anyone who sailed aboard the Cunard liner RMS Queen Mary on her maiden voyage in 1936. The company is inviting them to join either of two special RMS Queen Mary 65th Anniversary Celebration cruises aboard Queen Elizabeth 2 for the cruise-only fare they paid to cross on RMS Queen Mary 65 years ago: starting at US $100 per person. The grandeur of Cunard's original Queen Mary and the anticipated arrival of her heir, Queen Mary 2, will be celebrated during the Southampton-to-New York crossings from May 3 - 10, 2001, and June 6 - 12, 2001.

"We are bringing a lot of historians, ex-Captains and even musicians back aboard to join these cruises," said Deborah Natansohn, Senior VP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing for Cunard Line. "But we thought it would be even more fun to have some of the original guests who made Queen Mary's maiden voyage come aboard, too. So we're making it very attractive for these extremely loyal Cunard past guests!"

These once-in-a-lifetime voyages are sure to be an anthology of transatlantic travel of the past, present and future. Former Cunard Captains, maritime historians as well as executives and key personnel involved with the design and building of Queen Mary 2 are highlights of the cruises. Daily activities during the crossings will include illustrated lectures, quizzes on maritime history, round-table discussions, and even entertainment by a performer who sailed on the Queen Mary maiden voyage. There will also be a special Queen Mary Dinner featuring vintage menus and a "Black & White Queen Mary Celebration Ball" on one evening of each crossing during which guests are invited to wear vintage dress from the 1930s.

"Cunard has always defined transatlantic ocean travel, and for more than 160 years we have been the most-celebrated line afloat," said Natansohn. "We are uniquely suited to offer our guests a theme combining so much maritime history with a glimpse into the future of ocean travel. No other cruise line can present such an opportunity."

The cruises and their confirmed highlights are:

May 3 - 10, 2001, Southampton - New York, seven days including Cherbourg, France: Historian and author John Maxtone-Graham will present maritime lectures and sign copies of his books. Naval architect Steven Payne and Deputy Project Manager Frederik Johansson of Tillberg Design will host round- table discussions. A representative from Alstom Chantiers de l'Atlantique (the shipyard building QM2) will speak on board during the call at Cherbourg. Former Cunard Captains Robin Woodall and Keith Stanley will talk about their experiences as Captains of the great liners as well as participate in a question-and-answer session.

June 6 - 12, 2001, Southampton - New York, six days: Ocean Liner Historian and author Theodore Scull will present lectures. Gerry Ellis, Manager of New Builds and Special Projects for Cunard Line, will participate in round-table discussions along with Andrew Collier, the lead designer for QM2 from Tillberg Design. Former QE2 Captain Roland Hasell will be on board to talk about his 33-year career with Cunard Line and his service on vessels, including Andria and Carmania. Watercolor artist and UK television personality Ashley Jackson will demonstrate the art of watercolor as it was taught on the Queen Mary and other classic ocean liners.

World Cruise Update - Live from P&O's Aurora
The following is the latest in a series of updates being filed by Mary Kerr, one of TravelPage.com's readers currently on board P&O's Aurora during her maiden World Voyage.

Hello Folks

Well after such a spectacular send off from Sydney, I do not think I will ever see the likes of it again, everywhere you looked there were people waving, even on top of the Harbour Bridge the people who were doing the climb were waving down to us, it really was a sight to behold, all sorts of craft followed us out right to the Heads, good for Australia they sure know how to give a send off.

I thought that nothing else could be such a thrill but believe me on the Catamaran back from the great Barrier reef was the most thrilling ride its was totally unbelievable. Once in your seat there was no moving, so if you were on the outside and at the edges you were soaked through. It was like someone was throwing buckets of water over you, and the feeling was like the big dipper. We were talking to the crew prior to the journey back who told us the best place was to sit outside and on the back, inside and down below it was carnage, people were being sick all over the place, but it was an experience I will never want to repeat but one I would not have given up for the life of me. We then stayed on the Cat and went to Hamilton Island for the last hour, it was such a beautiful spot and although we were worried about not getting back to the ship on time we did manage to get the very last Cat back and once again it was such a thrill, there were just a handful on board, the security crew, and some of the officers, and me with my table mates and as the sun was setting we rounded an island and there was Aurora sitting in the sunset with her lights ablaze, what a sight and such a party atmosphere.

Yesterday it was Guam and it was very hot, so being from the Northern Hemisphere I will welcome a little cold weather for a while as we reach Japan and China within the next few days. We are not going to Israel for obvious reasons which is sad, but instead going to Athens, I have not been to Athens, so it should be interesting.

Hope all are enjoying their cruises, and it really tickles me to experience this world cruise, as the gossip on board is just so amusing. Ha Ha you would not believe the things that happen on a world cruise.


2000 - Record Year For Cruise Industry
Nearly 6.9 million North Americans enjoyed cruising in 2000, an increase of 992,000 cruisers -- or 16.8 percent -- over the previous year, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). The increase is the largest single jump in passengers carried since the industry began reporting numbers in 1980. It more than doubles the previous high water mark set in 1986, when some 472,000 additional cruisers set sail.

The increase in passengers also outstripped the capacity growth during last year, with 11 percent new berths added to the North American cruise fleet. According to CLIA, the industry capacity utilization was in excess of 90 percent.

"This impressive growth can be attributed to several factors," said Rick Sasso, chairman of CLIA. "Fourteen new vessels joined the North American fleet last year. They were safer, more spacious, more environmentally friendly, and more exciting than ever. The public caught the fever as these news ships were heavily promoted and great word-of-mouth circulated the vacation marketplace."

Sasso, who is president of Celebrity Cruises, added: "The industry has always offered great vacation value, and this message is being heard -- and acted upon -- by vacationers everywhere. In addition, access to information through the Internet sites of cruise companies and travel sellers has made it easier for consumers to learn about cruises and more comfortable about booking. People are going to their travel agents better informed and ready to purchase."

According to CLIA, cruises of about a week in length continue to make up more than half of cruise vacations and showed a 14.3 percent increase in 2000. Short cruises of one to five days in length make up more than a third of sailings, and grew at a rate of 18.5 percent last year.

The Caribbean and the Bahamas, taken together, continue to be the most popular cruise destination, accounting for more than half of all cruises. Europe and the Mediterranean were the fastest growing areas in 2000, and together accounted for about 15 percent of cruises.

Looking at 2001, CLIA estimates an increase in berths of about 8.5 percent, and passenger growth tracking at that rate as well. "Since 1980, the average annual growth in the industry has been about 8 percent," said James G. Godsman, president of CLIA, "and a conservative estimate would place increases for this year at the industry average."

In research done last year, CLIA reported that more than 68 million Americans are cruise prospects, with a stated intention to cruise in the near future.

The industry plans to tap into this group through continued investment in new ships and new cruise vacation options, including new cruising destinations and ports of call, new on board alternatives in dining, entertainment and facilities, and aggressive promotion that appeals to a new type of cruiser. Compared with 15 years ago, when the average cruiser was 56 years old, today's new cruiser is 46, and current cruise prospects average 43 years of age, the research notes.

Star Cruises Announces Fleet Changes - Again
Star Cruises announced last week that they are planning to deploy their 2300 passenger SuperStar Libra to Hawaii. This replaces the line's previously announced plan to deploy SuperStar Leo to Hawaii. Libra is a brand new ship and purposed built for freestyle cruising in the North American market. In addition with planned delivery of SuperStar Scorpio in the fall of 2002, NCL will have both Libra class ships operating in North America under the Norwegian Cruise Line brand.

According to Colin Veitch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line "Together with the Norwegian Sky and the Norwegian Sun (due for delivery in August 2001), this redeployment will dramatically change the profile of NCL fleet and at the same time continue to maintain our competitive edge."

Feds Subpoena HAL Documents
Carnival Corp. (NYSE:CCL - news) revealed this week that its Holland America Line Inc. unit has received a subpoena from a U.S. federal court requesting documents involving air emissions from its ships in Alaska. According to the Company's annual report, "The subpoena requests that HAL Inc. produce documents and records relating to the air emissions from Holland America ships in Alaska. Carnival said that Holland America will respond to the subpeona. Carnival said its unit received the subpoena on Feb. 23 from a grand jury sitting in the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska.

Financial News - AMCV - STAR - NCL
American Classic Voyages Co. (Nasdaq: AMCV - news), announced results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2000. Revenues for the fourth quarter were $61.9 million, an increase of $6.4 million, or 11.5%, more than the fourth quarter of 1999. Net loss for the fourth quarter was $6.0 million, or $0.28 per share, as compared to a net loss of $33,000 in the fourth quarter of 1999. Revenues for the full year 2000 were $221.6 million, an increase of $12.9 million, or 6.2%, more than the prior year. The net loss for 2000 was $10.1 million, or $0.49 per share, as compared to a net loss of $1.8 million, or $0.10 per share, in 1999.

AMCV Chief Executive Officer Phil Calian said, "While we feel positive about our year-over-year revenue increase, the real progress at AMCV lies in the continued execution of our expansion plans. We plan to put in service Delta Queen Coastal Voyages' Cape May Light on May 5 for its inaugural cruise. This ship will be the third new AMCV vessel introduced in the past 12 months, representing an 85% increase in capacity. With these new vessels, and the strengthening of our shore-based infrastructure, we continue to prepare the way for our two new United States Lines' 1,900 passenger cruise ships scheduled to enter service in 2003 and 2004." The Company reported that it is having a record "wave" period compared to prior years, although it is discounting its Hawaii cruises as it absorbs a year-over-year capacity increase of more than 140% in the Hawaii market. Gross fare per diems on its Hawaii cruises in the first half of 2001 are $172 per passenger night, a 24% decline from the per diem in the prior year.

Star Cruises (excluding NCL) announced a 28% increase in revenue for the year ended December 31, 2000. Revenue for the period was $500.5 million compared to $391.7 million in 1999. Operating income (before adjusting for impairment loss of $37.7 million) for the same period increased by 1%.

Available capacity days increased by 48% from 2,022,404 to 2,997,349 due to the full year operation of SuperStar Virgo and SuperStar Aries, added capacity with the purchase of 2 megastar ships and the introduction SuperStar Taurus and Norwegian Star in Japan and Taiwan respectively.

Star Cruises (excluding NCL) recorded an occupancy of 91% for the full year ended December 31, 2000 compared to 101% in 1999. The lower load factor in 2000 was largely due to the low occupancy experienced in the new markets of Japan and Thailand. Total operating costs and selling, general and administrative costs for the year on a per capacity day basis is 3.4% and 15.4% lower compared to the same period in 1999, due to economies of scale and cost control measures implemented during the year.

For the fourth quarter of 2000, Star Cruises (excluding NCL) recorded an operating income (before adjusting for impairment loss) of $17.2 million on revenue of $117.4 million compared to $33.6 million on revenue of $114.4 million in the same period in 1999. The lower operating margin experienced in the fourth quarter was due to the lower than expected load and revenue yields, and the high cost of operation in the new markets of Kobe and Fukuoka. The adverse weather conditions during the winter months in the fourth quarter also contributed to the lower occupancy during that period.

For the twelve months ended December 31, 2000, NCL revenue increased by 15% to $970.7 million compared to $844.2 million in 1999, due to higher yield, added capacity, all ships in service and consolidation of Capricorn operation in Australia. Available capacity days increased by 21% from 3,865,753 to 4,669,892. Occupancy increased 1.9% to 100.2%, net per diem were up 2.8%, resulting in yields increasing 5.6% year on year.

Operating expenses and selling, general and administrative expenses for the full year ended December 31, 2000 reduced by 8% and 13% respectively on a per capacity day basis.

For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2000, NCL recorded an operating income of $11.9 million on revenue of $227.9 million as compared to operating income of US$5.0 million on revenue of US$215.8 million in the same period in 1999. Available capacity days increased by 15% from 1,045,880 to 1,206,834 for the fourth quarter in 2000 compared to the same period in 1999. Occupancy for the fourth quarter increased by 5.6% from 93.2% to 98.8% for the same period year-on-year.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing Price Change (since last week)
American Classic Voyages (NasdaqNM:AMCV) 14 5/8 - 11.36%
Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) 30.49 - 1.33%
P&O Princess Cruises plc (NYSE:POC) 20.15 - 3.59
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 26.74 - 3.12%
ROYAL OLYMPIC (NasdaqNM:ROCLF) 2 1/4 - 10.00

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When the former American Export liner Constitution returned to service for American Hawaii cruises in 1982 she was rechristened by one of her famous former passengers. Who was given this honor?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise@travelpage.com.

Last Week's Question - Name the two ships that were involved in the only war-time battle between oceanliners? The battle occurred off the coast of Trinidad and one of the liners was sunk.

Answer - The names of the two liners were Carmania and cap Trafalgar. courtesy of Terence Bird

Cruise News 2/26/01

To Infinity and Beyond
Celebrity Cruises has accepted delivery of Infinity, the newest addition to the cruise line's fleet. The 1,950-guest Infinity arrived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, last night on the heels of its transatlantic crossing from shipyard Chantiers de l'Atlantique in St. Nazaire, France.

"Infinity continues Celebrity Cruises' tradition of presenting sleek, sophisticated ships that provide our guests with extraordinary cruise vacation experiences," said Celebrity Cruises President Rick Sasso. "Like her sister ship, Millennium, which launched last year, Infinity presents a variety of new and distinctive features."

Among the compelling elements of Celebrity's Infinity is the industry's first full conservatory at sea, created for Celebrity Cruises by prominent Paris-based floral designer Emilio Robba.

"The Infinity Conservatory is a secret garden of the seas," said Robba. "It was designed to emphasize Infinity's magnificent surroundings and to present nature in a harmonious blend of sea and sky."

Another hallmark of Celebrity's Infinity is an exclusive, historic maritime treasure. Accenting the interior of the ship's "SS United States" specialty restaurant are actual glass panels from the SS United States cruise ship, which launched in 1952 and gained fame for clocking the fastest transatlantic crossing from New York.

The SS United States restaurant is Celebrity's second specialty restaurant to recapture the atmosphere of its namesake. Celebrity's Millennium, the first in Celebrity's Millennium-class fleet, features "The Olympic" restaurant, the design of which stemmed from a rare collection of wood paneling that once graced the first-class dining room on board the glamorous R.M.S. Olympic.

"Infinity's SS United States restaurant presents another enticing alternative dining environment for guests seeking a casually elegant dining venue," said Sasso. "Under the direction of world-renowned Master Chef Michel Roux, the SS United States restaurant reinforces the benchmark we set with Millennium, in offering the only tableside cooking, carving and flambe at sea, and a dine-in wine cellar featuring more than 175 labels from around the world."

Also unique to Infinity's specialty restaurant is Chef Roux's recreation of an entree first served in the dining room on board the original SS United States cruise ship during the 1950s: Roast Long Island Duckling a l'Orange Stuffed with Fruit, one of a host of intriguing selections of entrees, appetizers, wines and desserts selected exclusively for Infinity's SS United States restaurant by Chef Roux.

Celebrity's Infinity this week will take on provisions in Fort Lauderdale and complete a series of U.S. Coast Guard inspection activities before embarking on its maiden voyage, a 14-night trans-canal cruise departing Fort Lauderdale on March 3, concluding in San Diego, California.

On March 17 and April 7, Infinity embarks on an 11-night Westbound Hawaii cruise, from Ensenada, Mexico, to Honolulu, Hawaii, and on March 28, the ship sails another 10-night Eastbound Hawaii voyage from Honolulu to Ensenada. On March 28, Infinity sails a 10-night Eastbound Hawaii itinerary, from Honolulu to Ensenada.

Celebrity has planned Infinity inaugural activities on April 28 and 29, in San Diego and Los Angeles, respectively. Celebrity's festivities in Los Angeles will include the ship's formal naming ceremony.

Infinity begins its Alaskan season with a 10-night Northbound Pacific Coast cruise on May 1, from San Francisco to Vancouver, British Columbia, then presents a series of seven-night Inside Passage cruises in Alaska, with departures from Vancouver every Friday from May 11 through September 14.

Queen Mary 2 Survives Hurricane
Tank tests conducted on a scale model of Cunard's newbuilding, Queen Mary 2, resulted in a triumph for the new hull and propulsion design. The 15-foot, self-propelled model weathered simulated hurricane conditions with her raked prow splitting the waves perfectly and her wake straight astern. Designers, engineers and executives are all extremely pleased with the results of the testing, which was undertaken last week at facilities of the Dutch firm MARIN.

"We are delighted that the design performed as well as we had hoped it would," said Pamela Conover, Cunard Line president and COO. "It's always a big step to actually put a model in the water and see the design become real. Transatlantic service calls for speed, safety, reliability and comfort. We designed a hybrid vessel with classic lines above the water and very modern and innovative features below, and the design met or exceeded all our expectations," said Conover.

The design for QM2 is the first vessel to be propelled by four podded propellers extending beneath the hull. The two forward pods are fixed and the two aft pods are steerable. Utilizing this steering system, the model performed maneuvers in compliance with standards for similar vessels using different propulsion and steering systems. Two sets of stabilizers likewise performed perfectly, smoothing the model's motion to create an enviable standard of comfort on board.

After the maneuvering tests, a series of "sea-keeping" tests were performed to discern the hull's performance in different sea conditions. Once again, the model brought smiles to the faces of the architects and designers, as it breasted a simulated 12-meter swell at a forward speed of 18 knots with almost no water over the bow.

"That's a hurricane condition," enthused Gerry Ellis, Manager of Newbuildings and Special Projects for Cunard Line. "She parted the sea perfectly. Absolutely brilliant!" stated Ellis.

Serge Toxopeus, Consultant Manoeuvring at MARIN, was no less enthusiastic, though perhaps a bit more clinical in his analysis: "Overall, it can be concluded that after completion of the hydrodynamic studies, a reliable and feasible design was obtained," he said.

It was not immediately known whether any soup was spilled from any of the miniature soup bowls on the tables in the miniature dining room during the test.

Bremen is Not So Lucky
Hapag-Lloyd's 6,752 GT cruise ship Bremen was damaged during a storm while carrying 137 passengers and 106 crew. According to Hapag-Lloyd, several of the wheelhouse windows were broken and water had entered the bridge during heavy seas while the ship was fighting through a storm off the South American coast.

No-one was injured and the windows were reported to have been patched up. Bremen was sailing from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego and was due to arrive in Rio de Janeiro on February 26, instead she will put in to Montevideo for repairs.

Neither is Mistral
Festival Cruises Mistral ran aground this week off the Caribbean island of Nevis. The 47,900 ton cruise ship with 1,130 passengers and 530 cruise became stuck on a 900 foot sand bar around 3:00 am Tuesday morning. None of the passengers was injured as a result of the grounding and divers were able to complete emergency repairs while the ship was grounded.

Following the emergency work, the ship's ballast was emptied and the ship was pulled from the sand bar by tugs. The ship continued with the final portion of her original itinerary and returned to Guadeloupe on Friday where final repairs were scheduled to be made.

Trouble in Paradise
Problems continued to follow United States Lines' ms Patriot (former ms Nieuw Amsterdam) when the cruise line announced this week that the 1,212-passenger ship had been forced to return to its home port of Honolulu, Hawaii, on Tuesday, February 20, so that a thrust bearing in the vessel's generator drive train could be replaced. The Patriot had departed Honolulu on Saturday, February 17, for its weekly 7-night cruise of the Hawaiian Islands, and passengers visited Nawiliwili, Kauai, on Sunday night and Monday as scheduled. Port calls at Kahului, Maui, and Hilo and Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii were canceled.

"While safety was never in question, our on board management team responded properly and returned the vessel to its home port of Honolulu," said Roderick K. McLeod, president and chief operating officer for AMCV. "Over the past two days, our crew and contractors worked diligently to repair the vessel. We apologize for the inconvenience this caused to our passengers."

The Company notified passengers that they would receive a full refund of their cruise fare and port charges. In addition, the Company will issue to all passengers on the cruise a voucher for a 50 percent credit toward the purchase of any cruise operated by United States Lines' parent company, American Classic Voyages Co. The Company stated that the refunds are expected to total approximately $1.4 million.

Passengers have been notified that they are welcome to remain aboard the ship until Saturday morning, the scheduled debarkation date, and that the vessel's normal hotel and dining services, as well as on board activities and entertainment, will continue to be available.

Repairs to the vessel have been completed and the ms Patriot departed on its regularly scheduled 7-night cruise from Honolulu on Saturday, February 24.

I Want to Party With These Guys
The Italian government announced last week that they plan to use three cruise ships as floating hotels during this summer's G-8 summit of the major industrialized democracies. The summit, which will be held in Genoa, Italy from July 20-22 will be attended by the leaders of Italy, France, Britain, Germany, Japan, Canada, the United States, and Russia.

According to Italian Minister Vinci Giacchi, the government is planning to spend approximately $3 million to lease the European Vision and Azur from Festival Cruises and the Costa Allegra from Costa Cruises. The three ships will provide an additional 1,500 rooms for the meeting.

I Don't Want to Party With These Guys
Police in St. Maarten seized 43 pounds of cocaine found in the laundry room of Airtours Sunbird while the cruise ship was docked in St. Kitts last Saturday. The drugs, valued at $1.2 million were found by a police drug squad and customs officers. No arrests were made but three crewmen suspected of being involved were removed from the ship by officials and returned to their home islands. The ship left for Barbados as scheduled on Friday.

...or This Guy
Customs officials in Miami arrested a crewman on board Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas after security officers found a a laundry bag with 38.7 pounds of cocaine in the 27-year-old's possession. An additional 18.7 pounds of cocaine plus 3,000 tablets of "ecstasy" was found hidden near the ship's beauty salon during the cruise and 132 pounds of cocain was discovered while the ship was being searched after it returned to Miami. The crewman, Peter Westman Campbell of Jamaica was detained on board the ship and turned over to officials in Miami where he is facing smuggling charges.

If It Sounds Too Good To Be True
Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher announced this week that a consent agreement has been reached with two Florida travel companies accused of using deceptive vacation advertising and sales tactics to lure consumers to Florida for the purpose of purchasing time shares at various Florida resorts.

"Consumers were promised "first class" or "world class" quality vacations," Fisher said. "In reality, the unsuspecting travelers ended up paying for less-than-luxurious trips that were designed solely for selling time shares."

Fisher and Attorneys General from 14 states reached a consent agreement resolving their lawsuit against Cape Canaveral Cruise Line Tour and Travel Inc., and Promotional Travel Inc., both of Florida. Fisher accused the defendants of violating the state's Consumer Protection Law and Telemarketing Registration Act.

According to the lawsuit, the defendants, through telemarketers and mass mailings, falsely led consumers to believe that they had won or were specially selected for a luxury Florida vacation and cruise to the Bahamas. The suit also claimed that consumers were not told about the various travel and other costs associated with the trips, and the requirement to attend what amounted to lengthy, high-pressure timeshare presentations.

According to consumer complaints, the cruise was actually a shuttle boat ride; the accommodations were not "first class," and the vacation packages did not include the cost of travel to Florida. Consumers said the vacation they thought they had won turned out to be a costly experience that was drastically different from what they were promised.

Fisher said the consent agreement requires the defendants to fully refund any consumers who purchased a vacation package since January 1, 1997, and have not taken the trip. Consumers eligible for a refund should contact Fisher's Office by April 16, 2001, by calling the Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555.

People in the News
Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line has tapped Richard Meadows, CTC, as Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing. As a part of a reorganization plan, Seabourn Cruise Line and Cunard Line will be divided into individual operating units with different management teams responsible for each brand. Some shared services will support both companies, which will include one field sales force representing both lines to the travel agency community.

A 20-year travel industry veteran, Meadows began his cruise industry career in 1984 when he joined Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines as Missouri regional sales manager. He then worked his way up through the sales ranks to director of sales for Carnival's Central region before leaving to join the line's sister company, Seattle-based Windstar Cruises, as vice president of sales and marketing six years later.

Financial News
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. filed Thursday with U.S. regulators to sell on occasion up to $1 billion in debt securities and preferred and common stock. The world's No. 2 cruise group said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it plans to use the proceeds from the shelf offering for capital spending, debt repayment, working capital and general corporate purposes.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing Price Change (since last week)
American Classic Voyages (NasdaqNM:AMCV) 16 1/2 - 5.38%
Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) 30.90 - 4.72%
P&O Princess Cruises plc (NYSE:POC) 20.90 + 5.03
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 27.60 - 3.53%
ROYAL OLYMPIC (NasdaqNM:ROCLF) 2 1/2 - 9.09

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the two ships that were involved in the only war-time battle between oceanliners? The battle occurred off the coast of Trinidad and one of the liners was sunk.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise@travelpage.com.

Last Week's Question - October 25, 1986 was the end of an era for Cunard Line. What was the significance of that date?

Answer - The end of the steam era for Cunard was signalled on this date (25 Oct 86 (or 27 Oct depending upon sources)) when the QE2 entered Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven for her 179 day conversion from steam to diesel. courtesy of Timothy Edgecombe.

Cruise News 2/19/01

Is This The End for Those 'Dam Ships?
After 128 years Holland America is seriously considering dropping the distinctive 'dam suffix from the names of the new ships entering the fleet. Since 1873 the names of almost all of the ships sailing for Holland America have ended in either 'dam or 'dyk. The move to drop the 'dam, which is sure to be controversial with HAL old timers, is being considered to help strengthen the lines brand identity. One alternative to the 'dam names of old is to follow sister company Carnival's lead and have the names of the new ships begin with the cruise line name ala Carnival Victory and Carnival Destiny.

Holland America Spirit anyone?

Celebrity Goes South
Celebrity Cruises has announced new deployment for three Celebrity Voyages in South America, based on feedback from the new ports of call in Celebrity's current inaugural season of sailings to South America.

Mercury's new 14-night Panama Canal itinerary departs Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on December 9, 2001, (replacing the previously scheduled "Southbound Exotic Caribbean" cruise on the same date), with ports of call in Oranjestad, Aruba; Manta, Ecuador; Callao (for Lima), Peru; Arica, Chile; and concluding in Valparaiso, Chile. Among the highlights of this itinerary is a mid-voyage cruise through the historic Panama Canal, and Celebrity's first calls on Manta, Ecuador; Lima, Peru; and Arica, Chile.

Celebrity Voyages' Valparaiso to Rio de Janeiro cruise onboard Mercury departs Valparaiso on December 23, 2001, (holiday cruise; replacing the previously scheduled "Best of Brazil Southbound" cruise) and March 3, 2002. Ports of call include Puerto Montt, Chile; Punta Arenas, Chile; Ushuaia, Argentina; Puerto Madryn, Argentina; and Buenos Aires, Argentina; concluding in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Among the highlights of this itinerary are cruises through the Straits of Magellan and around Cape Horn, at the southernmost tip of the continent.

On the new 14-night Celebrity Voyage on March 17 (replacing the previously scheduled "Best of Brazil Northbound" itinerary), Mercury departs Rio de Janeiro, with ports of call in Santos (for Sao Paulo), Brazil; Buenos Aires; Montevideo, Uruguay; Buzios, Brazil; Salvador, Brazil; Porto Seguro, Brazil; and Ilhabela, Brazil. Highlighting this itinerary are Celebrity's first calls on Salvador and Porto Seguro, Brazil.

Good Bye Victoria, Hello Oceana
P&O announced this week that they have sold the veteran Victoria (former Kungsholm of 1966) and that the Ocean Princess, will transfer to the P&O fleet late next year. The Victoria will be leased back to P&O from the as yet unnamed owners until the ship leaves the fleet in November 2002.

The Ocean Princess is being transferred to P&O to help the line attract a more contemporary crowd and better compete with the likes of Costa, Royal Caribbean and Festival. The newest of sister company Princess Cruises' Grand Class vessels, the 77,000 ton / 1950-passenger Ocean Princess, will transfer to P&O Cruises from November 2002, becoming the largest ship in the fleet. She will be renamed Oceana.

Oceana will join Aurora, Oriana and Arcadia, maintaining a four-ship fleet for P&O Cruises. With Oceana in service, P&O Cruises will increase total berths to 7,094 across the four ships, a 21 per cent increase. Almost 70 per cent of Oceana's outside cabins have a private balcony.

"The decision to add Oceana to the P&O Cruises' fleet demonstrates the global flexibility within P&O Princess Cruises plc to switch ships between cruise brands to meet demand in particular markets," said David Dingle, Managing Director of P&O Cruises.

"Like P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises is embarked on a period of sustained growth. Golden Princess joins the Princess fleet in May after which another five vessels are on order for delivery by May 2004. "In Oceana, P&O Cruises gains an imaginatively-styled ship, full of innovation and with a glamour and sense of fun all of her own. She will be a natural complement to the contemporary Aurora, classic Oriana and friendly Arcadia.

"There is no doubt that the 2000-built Oceana will enhance further the quality of the fleet. Like Aurora she offers a higher ratio of balcony cabins for added passenger privacy while flexible 24-hour dining is just one of a wider range of passenger facilities. "She will receive a P&O Cruises make over to ensure that in ambience and customer service she meets the unique requirements of British passengers. In her new guise she is certain of an enthusiastic and warm welcome into the P&O Cruises family."

Following her adaptation to P&O Cruises' requirements Oceana will begin with a winter cruise season (2002-2003) in the Caribbean.

Good Bye Regent Sea
It was a bad week for the former Swedish American liners Kungsholm (1966) and Gripsholm (1957). First P&O announced that the former Kungsholm (now the Victoria) had been sold and would be leaving the fleet next year. At least she will continue to sail. Her fleet mate the former Gripsholm was not so lucky. After being laid up for the past 5 years, she was sold for $1.08 million and will soon begin a sad one-way voyage to the ship-breakers in India or Pakistan. Most recently she had sailed as the Regent Sea for Regent Cruise Lines and had been the subject of numerous attempts to return her to service. Unfortunately, the right combination or money and strategy never came together.

World Cruise Update - Live from P&O's Aurora
The following is the latest in a series of updates being filed by Mary Kerr, one of TravelPage.com's readers currently onboard P&O's Aurora during her maiden World Voyage

Hello All

The Captain has just made an announcement that Princess Cruises Ocean Princess shall transfer to P&O UK around Nov 2002 when the Victoria will be retired. The VIC has been sold but will be leased until Nov 2002. Who she has been sold too has not been mentioned.

All is going well and we have now passed the half way mark and I cannot believe how quick the time has gone. Had some fantastic Ports of Call, including Pago Pago in American Samoa, totally unspoiled, no commercialism and the people themselves made it such a welcome that many passengers had to be coaxed back on board. A stage was set up on the quay and a group had danced for 1 hr in the morning and about 1.30 mins before we left, the music was so addictive that the passengers joined in the dancing, and security were packing up shop looking along the quay wondering when the big rush would take place and everyone would eventually get back on the ship. It rained in the afternoon there, but it still did not dampen the spirits of many on board, the scenery more than made up for the rain, very mountainous and lush.

Auckland was extremely hot and humid but another wonderful port although we did arrive in the dark, but the skyline was quite a picture as we docked, especially the Sky Tower.

Tomorrow is Sydney and we are told that there will be quite a welcome from all including the media, as Aurora is the largest ship to dock in Sydney, the fireboats will be out and a welcome from many small craft is expected.

The gollies will disembark in Sydney, all 6 of them, last night was photo call with the waiters and the 6 gollies, and I have just seen them in the picture gallery too, so they have been well photographed. Bmajor has contacted me and thanked me for giving these updates, which I thought was extremely nice of him.

From Sydney its on to Brisbane then the Whitsundays for the Great Barrier Reef which I am sure will be another highlight. 1000 passengers are disembarking in Sydney and from then on the ship will be operating at full capacity so I gather there will be a lot of Aussies getting on board, which will be nice for the 90 day club as we get some new blood on board.

Will try and keep the updates coming.


Happy Birthday Columbia Queen
The Delta Queen Steamboat Co.'s newest riverboat, the Columbia Queen, will launch its second year of operation in the Pacific Northwest with cruise vacations starting on March 30 through Dec. 28, 2001.

The 161-passenger vessel was christened into service in mid-2000 and sailed at near full capacity throughout its inaugural season. For 2001, the nightly onboard entertainment lineup has been enhanced with two new shows: "Curtain Up," a Broadway tribute, and "Sh-Boom," a nostalgic look at the lighter side of the music of the '50s and '60s. In addition, nine optional "Extra Special Adventures" -- including helicoptering over Mount St. Helens and a canoe trip accompanied by a Native American guide and storyteller -- are available in addition to the 18 shore experiences included with every cruise.

Columbia Queen 8-night vacations feature a 7-night, 1,000-mile journey on the Columbia, Snake and Willamette rivers from Portland, Ore., including all onboard meals and activities, and an overnight stay, welcome reception, entertainment and breakfast at the Embassy Suites Downtown (Historic Multnomah Hotel) in Portland.

Royal Caribbean Enhances CruiseCare
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced improvements to its CruiseCare guest protection program. The additions involve expanded guest cancellation coverage and enhanced commission protection for travel agents. The changes are being made at no additional cost to guests or travel agents.

Under the new CruiseCare coverage, which takes effect on April 3, 2001, if guests who purchase CruiseCare cancel their cruise for any reason not covered by the insurance provisions of CruiseCare, Royal Caribbean International or Celebrity Cruises will provide a credit to the guest, equal to 75 percent of the cancellation penalty amount paid on the booking, which guests must use within one year toward a future cruise on Royal Caribbean International or Celebrity Cruises.

Also, under the new coverage, should guests with CruiseCare cancel their cruise for any reason, Royal Caribbean International or Celebrity Cruises will protect the travel agent's commission, up to a maximum of the cancellation penalty paid on the booking.

More Itineraries Than Ever
If this is the year you plan to make good on that promise to see the world, or at least some part of it, you're in luck as the major cruise lines are are serving up an array of exciting new itineraries in traditional and up-and- coming cruise destinations.

"This year, we'll see new cruise opportunities in Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as some destinations farther from home, such as Australia, Africa, Antarctica, South America and the Far East," said James G. Godsman, president of CLIA, the non-profit marketing organization representing the major North American cruise lines.

"Whatever corner of the world you're hoping to explore, you're sure to find a cruise line offering the ideal getaway," said Godsman.

In 2001 cruise lines have scheduled more than 7,000 cruises -- a record. The most popular destination continues to be the Caribbean, which together with the Bahamas, represents a 44 percent share of market. Rapidly gaining on the Caribbean is Europe, with a 21 percent share. Also popular, but with much smaller shares, are Alaska at 8 percent, Panama Canal cruises at 4 percent, West Coast itineraries at 3 percent, Hawaii at 2.6 percent and South America at 2.4 percent.

The Caribbean and Mexico have long enticed North American vacationers seeking sun and relaxation close to home. And a number of CLIA-member cruise lines will up the ante this year with new or expanded itineraries, some little more than weekend getaways, others lengthy explorations. They are Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, First European Cruises, Holland America Line, Regal Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.

Also anticipating a healthy cruise boost in 2001 are U.S. ports and destinations, such as Hawaii and the southern U.S. For example, Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line are positioning new ships in Hawaii, American Hawaii Cruises adopts a new home port, and American Cruise Lines unveils a new itinerary showcasing the U.S. antebellum South.

Alaska will provide a step back into frontier living for guests of Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.

Overseas, ports in Europe and the Mediterranean will see their fair share of growth, as Mediterranean Shipping Cruises, Orient Lines and Norwegian Coastal Voyage Inc./Bergen Line Services expand their itineraries.

And, for those travelers willing to cross the globe, the cruise industry will not disappoint. Silversea Cruises and Windstar Cruises will take passengers "Down Under," with new itineraries in Australia and New Zealand. Passengers sailing with Crystal Cruises and Princess Cruises will explore Africa on a number of sailings, and Radisson Seven Seas Cruises will take its guests to Antarctica. Royal Olympic Cruises will sail the Amazon, Cunard Line shines the spotlight on South America and the Chilean Fjords, and Seabourn Cruise Line takes passengers to Thailand and Malaysia.

Financial Results
Princess announced this week that profits dropped by 11% last year. Total operating profit for the year was $373.6 million versus $388.3 million for 1999. The decline was attributed mostly to lower yields as a result of higher fuel prices and increased competition in the Caribbean and Transcanal markets. After interest and tax, profits were $276.7 million compared with $310.8 million for 1999. Earnings per share/ADS were 40.1c/$1.60 against 45.5c/$1.82 for 1999.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing Price Change (since last week)
American Classic Voyages (NasdaqNM:AMCV) 17 7/16 - 3.46%
Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) 32.43 - .61%
P&O Princess Cruises plc (NYSE:POC) 19.90 - 7.23
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 28.61 - 3.34%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
October 25, 1986 was the end of an era for Cunard Line. What was the significance of that date?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise@travelpage.com.

Last Week's Question - Which famous liner featured a lounge called the "The Boat 'n' Bottle Bar"? Hint: there is a clue in today's Cruise News.

Answer - The liner with the "The Boat 'n' Bottle Bar" was American Export's Constitution courtesy of Holly Burns (hburns@doghause.com)

Cruise News 2/12/01

QE2 Redeployed to the Pacific?
According to Cunard, the cruise line is contemplating repositioning their current flagship Queen Elizabeth 2 to the Pacific once the new Queen Mary 2 enters service in late 2003. Queen Elizabeth 2 is the only remaining liner to offer regularly scheduled trans-Atlantic service throughout the year and Cunard does not believe that the route can support two vessels.

Since the Queen Mary 2 project was first announced, Cunard has made it clear that they intended to operate the new $780 million ship on the trans-Atlantic route for at least part of each year. She is likely to operate an extended world cruise during the first three months of each year as well. At 150,000 tons she will be the largest cruise ship afloat when she enters service although she will carry only 2,600 passengers - significantly less than some of the cruise ships in operating today.

According to Cunard a final decision has not been made yet about QE2's fate once QM2 enters service but the cruise line expects to make a decision about redeployment within the next 18 months. In any event, even with a move to the Pacific region, the famous ship is expected to continue to offer trans-ocean and extended voyages.

Larry Pimentel, the former chief executive of the 160-year-old Cunard and sister line Seabourn, who resigned on Tuesday, last week met with travel agents in Australia about the possibility of launching service by the Queen Elizabeth 2 between America's west coast and Sydney.

QM2 Update
Cunard will share additional details about their plans for QE2 and QM2 on two special cruises scheduled for early summer. The two sailings will also commemorate the 65th anniversary of Queen Mary's maiden voyage. Both cruises will feature presentations from key players of the Queen Mary project and passengers will be invited to attend a series of round table discussions where details of the project will be discussed.

The first cruise will leave Southampton on May 3rd and and will feature Stephen Payne, Frederik Johannson from Tillbergs as well as maritime historian John Maxtone-Graham. During the Cherbourg call on this crossing, one of the senior naval architects from the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard will be on board. The second sailing will depart from Southampton on 6th June and will include Gerry Ellis from Cunard, Andy Collier from Tillberg, as well as writer Ted Scull. Additionally, there will also be a number of ex-QE2 captains on board for the sailing.

Industry First or Delayed Departure?
Celebrity Cruises has announced what President Rick Sasso calls the perfect antidote to the work week: the industry's first Friday night, seven-night Caribbean cruises from the Dante P. Fascell Port of Miami, the cruise capital of the world.

Every Friday at 10 p.m., from November 9, 2001, through April 12, 2002, Celebrity's Horizon will sail seven-night Western Caribbean cruises round-trip from Miami. Ports of call include Key West, Florida; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; and Celebrity's first call on Progreso, Mexico, a port on the northern Yucatan that offers access to the famous archaeological sites, Chichen Itza and Uxmal, as well as the city of Merida.

"These Friday night sailings represent the perfect way to celebrate the end of the work week and the beginning of a fabulous cruise vacation," said Celebrity Cruises President Rick Sasso. "With departure at 10 p.m., our guests have time to visit Miami's lively South Beach for a uniquely festive start to their vacation. And when they return, they have an entire weekend to ease back into the work world."

SS Independence turns 50
Fifty years ago this week, on Feb. 10, 1951, the S.S. Independence sailed from New York Harbor on her 53-day maiden voyage. It was the start of a glorious career for the ocean liner. Today, the Independence sails throughout the Hawaiian Islands for American Hawaii Cruises.

The Independence and her sister ship, the Constitution, traveled the "Sun Lane" route to the Mediterranean in the 1950s and 1960s. The voyages were generally three-week round trip voyages from New York that stopped in Spain, Italy, France and various North African ports. Occasionally, the Independence also visited ports further into the Mediterranean, such as Haifa, Istanbul, Cyprus and Alexandria. The Independence was the first new transatlantic liner for that route since the 1930s and had novel features such as air conditioning, aluminum deck chairs and adjustable polaroid portholes. She hosted 295 passengers in first class, 375 in cabin class and 330 in tourist class.

Besides becoming the ship of choice among celebrities traveling to and from Europe, the Independence also hosted numerous Italian and Greek nationals immigrating to America for a better life. The ship also served as a transatlantic shuttle for United States military officers and State Department workers in the process of stabilizing and rebuilding Europe in the aftermath of the war. This led to unique problems for the vessel's pursers: who got a better cabin -- a returning ambassador or a general? Rounding out the passenger list were increasing numbers of American tourists visiting Europe with their newfound 1950s wealth, and contingents of Roman Catholic clergy on their way to and from the Vatican.

As the jet age took off in the early 1960s, transatlantic ship travel declined. By 1969, the Independence was mothballed in Baltimore and eventually made its way to Hong Kong under new owners, where she sat idle for most of the 1970s. The Independence, owing to its strong construction and design, was resurrected in 1980 for Hawaiian Island cruising.

The longevity of the Independence can be traced to its original design. Since the vessel was built with national defense requirements in mind, the Independence had two separate engine rooms, could be converted to a troop transport ship and utilized the latest improvements in safety and construction. The interiors, too, were unique, as conceived by the noted industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss. Building on his extensive transportation experience with the design of the 20th Century Limited railroad in the 1930s and various projects for the military during WWII, Dreyfuss incorporated the then novel use of aluminum; called for extensive open deck space; sturdy, highly adaptable passenger cabins; and well laid-out public rooms. The interior fittings were outfitted with the idea of "Modern American Living Goes to Sea," which wowed the Europeans in the 1950s. The Independence symbolized America's post-war rise.

Fifty years later, she is an icon of mid-century industrial design, her graceful lines and beautiful profile holding the best open deck space on the ocean. For more about the Independence and her history visit our TravelPage.com review.

Changes at Cunard
Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL) today announced the resignation of Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of its Cunard Line Limited unit. Pamela Conover, COO of Cunard, has been given the additional title of president and will replace Pimentel as head of the luxury cruise operator. Both management changes are effective immediately.

Pimentel has served at the helm of Cunard Line Limited, which is comprised of the upscale Cunard and Seabourn cruise brands, since 1998, when the Miami-based combined entity was formed, following Carnival Corp.'s acquisition of Cunard. Prior to that he spent six years as president and COO of Seabourn Cruise Line, formerly based in San Francisco. Pimentel resigned for personal reasons, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.

Pamela Conover, who has served as COO of Cunard Line Limited since 1998, will replace Pimentel as president, while also retaining her COO title. Prior to 1998, Conover was vice president of strategic planning for Carnival Corporation and played a key role in the acquisition of Cunard by Carnival Corp., as well as Carnival's 1997 acquisition of Costa Cruises.

Cruise Safety Standards Improve
The International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL) announced last week that its members have unanimously agreed to set mandatory policies for cruise ship passenger and crew safety, security, environment, operational procedures, health safety, and sanitation. These new policies mark the first time an association of international maritime operators has adopted mandatory standards on such a wide-ranging set of topics. Adherence to the policies now will be required for continuation of membership in the association.

"This major step for the cruise line industry establishes standards in areas that go above and beyond both U.S. and international requirements," said Michael Crye, ICCL president. "Since 1980, more than 60 million passengers have safely traveled on cruise lines. The industry wants to ensure that this excellent and enviable safety record continues."

Existing U.S. and international regulations require compliance on a broad range of safety, environmental and health issues. These regulatory regimes however, differ in some respects. The new ICCL mandatory standards will meet or exceed U.S. or international standards in those areas addressed. For example, existing regulations require cruise ships to have smoke detectors sounding only on the bridge. New mandatory industry standards will require each ICCL member vessel to have smoke alarms that sound in all passenger and crew state rooms and adjacent corridors as well as on the bridge.

"Mandatory standards are another proactive step in maintaining the cruise industry's position as the safest and most environmentally friendly form of maritime transportation available," said ICCL Chairman, Richard Fain. "We take our commitment to our passengers and the environment very seriously."

For most of the existing guidelines, each member line will integrate these industry standards into its Safety Management System (SMS), which will ensure compliance through internal audits and external audits conducted by independent third-party auditors. These audits are part of the SMS, which is mandated by the International Safety Management (ISM) code. The ISM Code is a requirement that became applicable to internationally operating passenger ships in 1998.

Examples of current ICCL policy guidelines, which will become mandatory industry standards as a result of this decision, include the following areas:
  - Safety (i.e. Lifejackets, Helicopter pick-up area, Infant Personal Flotation Devices)
  - Locally-Sounding Fire Alarms
  - Security (i.e. Zero Tolerance for Crime, Passenger Safety)
  - Environment (i.e. Waste Management Practices and Procedures)
  - Medical (i.e. Facilities, Equipment, and Staff Qualifications)

Each of the existing guidelines will be reviewed within an ICCL working group and updated as necessary. When appropriate, the guideline will then become a mandatory industry standard. Compliance with the standard will become a condition of membership in ICCL.

Stock Watch
The following are the closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing Price Change (since last week)
American Classic Voyages (NasdaqNM:AMCV) 18 1/16 + 3.21%
Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) 32.63 - .21%
P&O Princess Cruises plc (NYSE:POC) 21.45 + 3.62
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 29.60 + 9.47%
ROYAL OLYMPIC (NasdaqNM:ROCLF) 2 3/4 + 29.41%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which famous liner featured a lounge called the "The Boat 'n' Bottle Bar"? Hint: there is a clue in today's Cruise News.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise@travelpage.com.

Last Week's Question - Here's one from a 1967 booklet put out by the Trans-Atlantic Passenger Steamship Conference - What is the name of the small rope, tied to the end of a hawser on a ship. The rope is is thrown ashore, and by it one end of the hawser is hauled to the pier.

Answer - The line attatched to the mooring line is called a heaving line courtesy of Jim Warsinskee

Cruise News 2/5/01

Unscheduled Drydock for Independence
American Classic Voyages Co. (Nasdaq: AMCV) announced this week that it has scheduled a one-week dry-dock, beginning Saturday, March 24th, for American Hawaii Cruises' S.S. Independence to repair the 860-passenger cruise liner's bow thruster. The ship's March 24th sailing has been canceled and the vessel will return to year-round 7-night Hawaii cruise service from Maui on Saturday, March 31, 2001. The work will be done at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Honolulu, Hawaii.

"We apologize for the inconvenience this causes our customers and the travel agents involved; however, it is appropriate that we address this repair promptly," commented Rod McLeod, president and chief operating officer for AMCV. Until the bow thruster is repaired, the S.S.Independence will be assisted by tugboats when entering and leaving port.

Passengers on the canceled sailing are being contacted through their travel agent and offered to move to another sailing of the S.S. Independence. Passengers who elect to transfer will be given a two-category cabin upgrade and a $25 per person onboard credit. Passengers who choose to cancel their Hawaii cruise vacation will receive a full refund and 50 percent off a future seven-night cruise on the S.S. Independence. Travel agency commissions are protected; and, if a passenger elects to transfer to another sailing of the S.S. Independence, a rebooking fee of $50 per cabin will be paid to the travel agency.

AMCV is also advising affected passengers and travel agents that United States Lines, which is also owned by AMCV and offers year-round 7-night Hawaii cruise vacations, is unable to accommodate the affected S.S. Independence passengers. USL's 1,212-passenger ship, the ms Patriot, is currently sold to capacity for its March 24th voyage.

A Courtesy Service Desk has been opened for passengers and travel agents affected by the cancellation. The CSD is staffed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST, Monday - Friday and can be reached at (800)-880-4707.

Haifa Port Calls Canceled
Seabourn and Celebrity Cruises announced plans today to bypass the port of Haifa, Israel during a number of cruises scheduled for this summer. The moves comes in response to the continuing violence in the area and is meant to ease passenger fears.

Celebrity Cruises has modified its 12-night "Mediterranean Legacies" cruise on Millennium, substituting Limassol, Cyprus, for Haifa, Israel. The change also will add two hours to the next port stop, Alexandria, Egypt. Seabourn's Seabourn Spirit will instead call at Alexandria, Egypt, on spring and autumn cruises in the region.

Cruise the Chesapeake Bay
Cruise passengers will discover the beauty and heritage of the Chesapeake Bay when Delta Queen Coastal Voyages' first ship, the cv Cape May Light, sets sail on a series of 7-night journeys into America's yachtsmen's paradise starting May 5, 2001. The voyages between Norfolk, Va., and Philadelphia, Pa., are among nine inaugural itineraries announced thus far for the 226-passenger coastal ship and its sister vessel, the cv Cape Cod Light, also debuting in 2001.

As the Charms of the Chesapeake Bay voyage unfolds, passengers can walk in the footsteps of historic patriots in cities such as Jamestown, Williamsburg, Alexandria and Mt. Vernon, Va.; visit the current seat of political power in Washington, D.C.; explore famous attractions in Cambridge, St. Michaels and Annapolis, Md.; and succumb to the contemporary pleasures of Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The vacation includes numerous shore adventures and ample time to explore on one's own.

World Cruise Update - Live from P&O's Aurora
The following is the latest in a series of updates being filed by Mary Kerr, one of TravelPage.com's readers currently onboard P&O's Aurora during her maiden World Voyage.

Hi Folks,

Well we had a fantastic sail away from San Francisco, it was freezing as it was midnight, but we had a wonderful two days there the weather was clear, sunny and just cold at night, there were a lot of us braved the cold, and went up on sun Deck. I had my coat, gloves, hat on , it was eerie as we were approaching the Golden Gate Bridge, thought we were not going to make it under it, it was so dark and not until we were right upon it you seen the little lights at each side that obviously they were following, the lights twinkled in the distance and I left my Heart in San Francisco was playing over the tannoy, as we went under the bridge everyone let out a great big cheer. It was a magic moment.

Thought I would try my hand a shuffleboard yesterday morning, (I had never played in my life), but believe me on P&O they take every game very seriously, everywhere is packed, Bridge, Whist, Deck Quoits, quizzes, so I was drawn with an old guy from Victoria, BC, said he had never played for 30 years. I said well I hadn't played at all, well did we not get through to the final, and the other pair were winning and on my very last puck I scored a high score, and won – I thought they were going to throw me overboard, Ha Ha, but really everyone was shaking every one else’s hand in congratulations (I thought its only a game ha Ha) Then I tried my hand at the bingo and won £57, the women I was with said what a lucky bug*** you are.

Hooked, it all depends on the type of cabin you have, can range from anything like £4000 sharing 4 in a cabin to top of the range Piano Suite…..

Now to the Gollies, well I do not want to say too much, but believe me its deadly serious, all dressed in same clothes, with a change every night including formal with their own watches, go everywhere, even sunbathing on deck in swimsuits. They leave in Sydney, thank goodness, its wearing a bit thin being so near to them in the dining room. They get nursed at the table, all got names, even have their own seat on the plane home, the stories go on and on, even the comedian on board brings it into his act, the people are rolling in the aisles, but it is deadly serious for them.

Better go now – roll on Hawaii

"Costa Tropicale" Update
Sources tell us that Carnival's former Tropicale will undergo significant changes before she returns to service later this year sailing for Costa. Some of the planned changes include the following: The funnel will be cut off at deck level and replaced. The pool aft on Promenade deck will be replaced with hot tubs. The exterior deck out side aft on Lido deck will be extended. Many public rooms will be gutted down to bare metal for reconfiguring, including the Boiler Room lido restaurant. The decor will be changed to a more European style. This will be made easier as there is already vast areas of marble floor and wall coverings.

The former Tropicale (...her new name has not been officially announced yet) is scheduled to return to service in June with a series of 7-day cruises departing from Venice on Saturday's. The Western Mediterranean itinerary includes call at Bari, Katakolon, Santorini, Myconos, Kusadasi and Dubovnik.The itineraries for the winter season have not yet been announced but we have heard that she may continue the extended Caribbean cruise itineraries that she sailed from San Juan and Fort Lauderdale as part of the Carnival fleet.

Princess Introduces FlightChoice
Princess has introduced a new program designed to help travelers customize the air portion of their trip. The program, FlightChoice, gives passengers on Princess cruises details of their air schedules 60 days prior to departure - about a month earlier than most other cruise lines. If the flight itinerary reserved by Princess does not meet their needs, passengers will have the option of choosing a customized schedule. The service, which will add at least $35 to your cruise price, consists of two air options - Seabird Air, which automatically assigns a flight to correspond with the line's cruise itineraries, and Seabird Gold, which allows passenger to tailor their flights or opt for first- or business-class seating.

Cammell Laird vs Costa - The Saga Continues
Carnival Corporation, parent of Costa Cruise, has accused troubled UK shipyard, Cammell Laird, of failing to respond to an initiative to rescue the ill-fated contract to lengthen the cruise ship Costa Classica according to Lloyds List's David Mott. Carnival spokesman Tim Gallagher claimed the shipyard’s only response to the Costa initiative was to try to sell the newly built mid-section to the Italian company at retail value plus extra money to cover cost overruns.

“We even agreed to that if performance guarantees were forthcoming. They were given every possible chance to finish the job, but did not want to. “They are using Costa as an excuse for their present financial troubles,” alleged Mr Gallagher.

But Cammell Laird, deputy managing director, Brett Martin, dismissed the claim. “The new contract terms offered were very onerous and totally unacceptable. No commercial organisation could have accepted them,” he claimed.

Wave Period Cresting at New High
The North American cruise industry is well on the way to another record-setting year, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Bookings during what is traditionally known as the Wave Period are up over the same period last year, CLIA-member lines indicate. In fact, several lines report record-setting booking numbers during the first three full weeks after the New Year holiday, which is traditionally a barometer of booking activity for the remainder of the year.

"The Wave Period numbers put CLIA on track to surpass last year's record of nearly 6.9 million cruise passengers," says James G. Godsman, CLIA president. "With a net capacity increase of 8 percent in 2001, we would expect passenger growth to rise accordingly."

"The strong numbers can be attributed to several factors, including the cruise lines' aggressive promotions in the fourth quarter of 2000, nasty weather throughout much of the country in the beginning of 2001 and the widespread perception that cruises offer a great deal of value. It is clear that more and more consumers are understanding the value of cruising."

A sampling of CLIA-member lines reveals the following Wave Period activity:
- Carnival Cruise Lines experienced two consecutive weeks of record reservations, with both weeks surpassing last year's one-week high. During the period Jan. 8-14, Carnival booked 52,334 individual guests on a net basis, a 25 percent increase over the previous 2000 one-week record.
- Bookings for First European Cruises are up substantially during Wave Period, reflecting a 50 percent increase over the same time next year.
- Holland America Lines reports that Wave Period bookings are strong and steady, with overall averages higher than last year and ahead of anticipated pace.
- Norwegian Cruise Line officials say they are pleased with the Wave Period booking activity and the positive response to the line's Freestyle Cruising concept.

Celebrity's Introduces New Ad Campaign
Celebrity Cruises has launched a new multi-million-dollar integrated television, print, direct mail and trade advertising campaign, created with WestWayne/Tampa and Miami. The television ads will air in major markets during prime time shows including Friends, E.R., and Law & Order, as well as on national cable networks.

Six different commercials will showcase Celebrity Cruises' premium, contemporary personality using imagery from exotic travel destinations such as South America, Alaska and the Caribbean. Other visuals highlight Celebrity's signature elements, such as the revitalizing AquaSpa(SM), five-star cuisine by Master Chef Michel Roux, and Celebrity's renowned attention to detail.

Each ad closes with the audio advisement, "See the world revolving around you, only on Celebrity." The print ads allude to sailing to destinations which offer the perfect environment for relaxation. Three versions of the four-color ads will run in magazines such as Conde' Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure and Bon Appetit.

"Naturally, our goal is to compel travelers to book a Celebrity cruise immediately," said Jim Lomonosoff, Celebrity's senior vice president of marketing. "But more importantly, we want to communicate that we offer the finest choice for sophisticated consumers who desire a truly memorable, luxurious vacation experience."

Financial News
The Board of Directors of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL; Oslo) has declared a quarterly dividend of 13 cents per share for shareholders of record at the close of business on March 1, 2001, payable on March 29, 2001. This is the 30th consecutive quarter Royal Caribbean's Board of Directors has voted to declare a dividend to shareholders.

Stock Watch
The following are the closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing Price Change (since last week)
American Classic Voyages (NasdaqNM:AMCV) 17 1/2 + 5.26%
Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) 32.70 - 1.95%
P&O Princess Cruises plc (NYSE:POC) 20.70 + 2.73
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 27.04 + 5.4%
ROYAL OLYMPIC (NasdaqNM:ROCLF) 2 1/8 - 22.73%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Here's one from a 1967 booklet put out by the Trans-Atlantic Passenger Steamship Conference - What is the name of the small rope, tied to the end of a hawser on a ship. The rope is is thrown ashore, and by it one end of the hawser is hauled to the pier.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise@travelpage.com.

Last Week's Question - What was the name of the first new build for Carnival Cruise Lines and what year did she enter service? Bonus: What is she doing today?

Answer - The first new build for Carnival Cruise Line was the Tropicale in January 1982 (ordered in 1980) - today she is on the verge of being remodeled for a debut in the Costa fleet this summer. courtesy of Timothy Edgecombe

Cruise News 1/28/01

Millennium to Dry Dock - Again!
Celebrity Cruises has announced that they will place their flagship Millennium in dry dock for two weeks to repair an under-performing electric motor that operates one of the ship's two propulsion units. The dry dock will necessitate the cancellation of two one-week Caribbean cruises, scheduled to depart Fort Lauderdale on April 1 and 8. Guests booked on these two cruises will receive a full refund and a 50 percent discount on a future seven-night Celebrity cruise in the Caribbean.

Millennium entered service last summer and since then has suffered through a series of mechanical difficulties including engine and plumbing problems on the maiden voyage and a dry docking last November to eliminate vibration that has been detected in certain areas of the ship under certain sea conditions.

"We deeply regret the inconvenience these cancellations will cause our guests," said Richard Sasso, president of Celebrity Cruises. "Although the under-performing motor has no impact on our guests' safety or comfort, it has reduced Millennium's maximum cruising speed of 24 knots, to 20.5 knots, and has the potential to affect arrival times in certain ports of call. We want to regain that power as soon as possible and the only way to accomplish this is to undertake this repair."

The electric motor in question is housed within one of the ship's two propulsion pods, located below the surface of the water in the stern of the ship. The motor is responsible for turning one of the ship's two propellers. The motor's under-performance is comparable to an automobile that might have a 14-cylinder motor -- operating without two cylinders. The motor can still function, but not at its optimum performance.

Celebrity Cruises expects the repair costs to be covered under normal warranty provisions. The company is reviewing the issue of lost revenue with the manufacturer.

A special help desk has been set up to assist guests and travel agents affected by the cancellations. Guests and travel agents needing assistance with individual bookings may call 1-877-200-2897. Those needing assistance with group bookings may call 1-877-200-3235. Travel agents with clients on these sailings will have their commissions protected and will receive a $50 rebooking fee. Full details will be provided directly to these agents.

Millennium is currently sailing seven-night cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. In late April, Millennium will reposition to Europe for Mediterranean sailings, and return to the Caribbean in late September.

Cammell Laird Cancels Major Costa Contract
British shipyard Cammell Laird has decided to cancel a $72 million cruise ship conversion contract with Italian ship owner Costa Crociere after Cammell Laird management concluded there was no chance that the shipyard would be able to complete the contract to Costa's satisfaction.

Cammel Laird and Costa Crociere had been in discussions since November when Costa Crociere first announced that they were having second thoughts about moving forward with the conversion. The ship to be expanded, Costa Classica was recalled enroute to the shipyard. Costa Crociere, which is a unit of Carnival Corporation had contracted with the shipyard to have a 146 foot section of newbuild added to the middle of the 53,700 ton ship which would have increased the vessels overall length to 864 feet.

The $72 million cruise ship conversion contract was the largest individual contract for the Liverpool shipyard and the company said the loss of the contract would have a "significant impact" on the year's financial results. The company also announced that Chief Executive John Stafford had resigned and that a number of other management changes had been implemented to "to ensure the optimum development and focus of our expanded international operations."

HAL visits New York City in January
Holland America followed Disney's lead by unveiling an attention grabbing marketing stunt in New York this past week. As part of its "60 Second Vacation." promotion, the cruise line took over part of the PATH station at New York's World Trade Center.

To give New York and New Jersey commuters a realistic cruise vacation experience, Holland America Line has constructed a replica of the deck of an ocean liner, complete with deck chairs and the music of a steel drum band, in the middle of the World Trade Center PATH station. Busy commuters were invited to take a "60 Second Vacation" courtesy of Holland America Line. They were asked to stop, take off their winter coats and hats, don a pair of sunglasses, and dream of escaping on a luxurious Holland America Line cruise. The "60 Second Vacation" was available January 25 and January 26th from 7:00-10:00 a.m. and from 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Radiance of the Seas Update
As the March 9 delivery date approaches, workers in hardhats are putting the finishing touches to the first of the Royal Caribbean Radiance-class of ships, "Radiance of the Seas." According to the cruise line, there are about 25 to 30 inspections daily. The dining room, shopping areas and bookstore/coffee house are completed. The rock-climbing wall is erected. All door signs are up, both in the guest and crew areas. The steam turbine was run at full speed last week and the last of the wiring and painting is underway.

"With her sleek, mega-yacht exterior, an abundance of windows, and all- glass elevators facing the sea, "Radiance of the Seas" gives a remarkable sense of openness, connecting guests to the ocean," said Jack Williams, president, Royal Caribbean International. "With every class of ship, we're able to benefit from what came before. There's continuous improvement and a natural progression of design work and creativity."

In the MeyerWerft shipyard tradition, thousands of residents in Papenburg, Germany, will line both sides of the River Ems today to witness the spectacle of a biggest ship ever made by the shipyard making its 40-mile journey to the North Sea.

Royal Caribbean International commissioned nine architectural design teams, including its in-house design department, to create all the interior and exterior spaces on this vessel. From the red suede sofas in the Books, Books & Coffee bookstore and coffee shop, to the period pieces evoking an old British billiard room in the Bombay Billiard Club, to memorabilia and murals celebrating three Great American ball sports in the Scoreboard Sports Bar, to the dark, rich mahogany booths of the Chops Grill steak house, and the stainless steel and copper accents of the Starquest disco with its revolving bar, each public area has a personality of its own.

"We have a tradition of surprises with each ship we introduce, beginning with the Viking Crown Lounge debut on "Song on Norway" in 1970, and evolving to a rock-climbing wall and ice-skating rink introduced on "Voyager of the Seas" in 1999," explained Williams. "'On Radiance of the Seas,' guests will find more glass than on any Royal Caribbean ship as well as the first ultra high-tech self-leveling pool tables on a cruise ship." Editor's Note: Can bowling alleys at sea be far behind?

Familiar places are back, but with unique designs. The outdoor/indoor Windjammer Cafe provides views of the ocean with floor-to-ceiling windows, a sail-like tent roof, and a yacht theme with beautiful scale models of racing yachts "Sayonara" and "Kialoa" by artist, David Fawcett. Nine freestanding food stations and two outdoor ones will facilitate a smooth flow of guests. A bronze statue of a lion cub dipping its paw into the water at pool's edge, 15-foot elephant waterfalls surrounded by live jungle-like vegetation, and a collage of black rhinos, cheetahs, gorillas and eagles grace the African-themed landscape of the Solarium. Spa treatment rooms feature zipped-canvas and linen net drapes, tribal display shields, and Zulu-style dressers and vanity units. Even the ceramic floor tiles and pads on the chaise lounges carry on the theme with their tribal patterns.

The variety and scope of entertainment, activity and dining options on this vessel include the following: Rock-climbing, inline skating, basketball, volleyball, and miniature golf are available, along with a jogging track, golf simulator and large gym with treadmills facing the sea. Guests can choose to spend time in the Art Nouveau Casino Royale, enjoy colorful Vegas-style shows in the three-story Aurora Theater, or relax in comfortable armchairs in several intimate spaces and lounges with incredible views of the sea such as Jakarta Lounge and Singapore's Sling. Five dining venues allow guests to enjoy Chops Grill steak house, Portofino Italian restaurant, the two-story main dining room, Cascades, or the casual dining options of Windjammer Cafe or Seaview Cafe. Freshly made pizza, cappuccino or pastries can be found in Books Books & Coffee.

"In addition to our 24-hour royal caribbean online Internet center, we also offer Internet ports in every stateroom so guests can use their laptops," continued Williams.

At 88,000 tons and a 2,100 guest capacity (double occupancy), "Radiance of the Seas" is a new generation world cruiser designed to sail world itineraries from Alaska to Hawaii, the Panama Canal, Pacific Northwest and the Caribbean. She is fast, sleek and quiet, powered by an azipod propulsion system, powerful bow thrusters and a dynamic positioning system, and vibration-free GE gas turbine engines, which represent the cruise industry's newest technology for protecting the environment.

World Cruise Update - Live from P&O's Aurora
The following is the latest in a series of updates being filed by Mary Kerr, one of TravelPage.com's readers currently onboard P&O's Aurora during her maiden World Voyage

The cyber study has been down for a few days so please excuse the delay. To keep you posted we had the most wonderful transit of the Panama Canal, a real ONE OFF as we went through the Gatun Locks alongside P&O’s baby of the fleet Victoria, and it made the atmosphere electric, everyone was shouting to each other even the crew and staff, it was very special to me as it was the first time I clapped eyes on Victoria built on the Clyde by John Brown and Co., it’s a memory I will never forget.

Aurora now holds the record for paying the highest fee for passing through the canal, she also was in bad need of a paint job as she was bouncing off the sides several times, however that was done in Costa Rica and she’s looking brand spanking new again.

There also was some excitement as the ropes and pulleys of one of the mules got caught up in her aft section and almost pulled the mule of its track and into the lock, it certainly made a mess of that beautiful fin at the stern of the ship.

We were to refuel in Balboa outside Panama City a stop of four hours, but ended up spending overnight there after there were problems with the refuelling. Of course the rumours were rife the next morning when everybody awoke to find us still there, saying we’d miss our stop in Costa Rica but I knew better. The Captain came on and told us we’d make the time up no problem and the first half of the day we were bombing along at 24.9 knots – lovely!

The actual number of passengers doing the whole world cruise is 569 which is very high, but a number of passengers are sharing cabins. Rumour has it that some of these cabin mates may be having "disagreements" about about a variety of issues ranging from wardrobe space to shower time. I am afraid to say if I did not have my own cabin I would not be here.

This really is a different experience compared to normal cruising, there are a few eccentrics on board and soon the rumours goes all around the ship, its quite like a little village at sea. Of course the biggest topic is the couple with 4 golliewogs, the whole ship is talking about it but as they are at the next table to us in the dining room we know its not just a rumour, you really would not want to hear the whole story but the gollies actually have a cabin to themselves. Need I say more.

I have witnessed some beautiful sunrises already but the other night I saw the most spectacular sunset I have ever seen at sea and to top it off there were loads of dolphins racing along at the bow of the ship it was a moment that made me feel glad to be alive and to be happy that I am able to be on this ship and this whole world cruise., I am sure there will be many more moments like it in the future.

Of course there are the processional moaners on board who complain about everything from the lettuce to “where is the milk”, in the buffet area, I feel like saying it's in the same place it has been every morning for the last 2 weeks, I show him where it was, but he still managed to miss it, and there are the folk who say they can’t find there way around even after two weeks and believe me it’s a very easy ship to get around, instead of just being happy that they are on such a beautiful ship, if I had my way Id round them up and throw them overboard.

We’ve already had some wonderful ports but I am looking forward to sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Oh by the way we were docked alongside the Dawn Princess in Barbados and I just went to the Security and showed my Aurora cruise card and I got on board, was brilliant I had a wonder around (Nice ship – not as nice as Aurora though ? ) and went for my second breakfast of the day.

I am glad the webcam is now working, actually I printed off all the messages that you had put about it (along with some from the IPO) and sent it to the Captain saying that there was a lot of disappointed people all over the world because it was not working, so your direct line to the Captain worked.

Here's your chance to join Larry King - Live in Alaska
CNN's Larry King, renowned chefs Jean-Louis Palladin, Hubert Keller, and a dozen others share the spotlight with the natural beauty of Alaska during Crystal Cruises' 2001 voyages to "The Last Frontier."

Crystal Harmony will be the only cruise ship sailing round-trip from San Francisco to Alaska this summer. The line's eight 12-day cruises call in the Alaskan ports of Sitka, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan; Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia; and features the Inside Passage and, depending on the itinerary, Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier. Departures are available May 21; June 2, 14 and 26; July 8 and 20; Aug. 1 and 13.

Larry King, will be sailing on the Crystal Harmony's August 1 sailing. Joining him is Udo Nechutnys, executive chef of Jordan Winery in Sonoma, Calif., for a dynamic coupling of "greats" in their respective fields. Jacques Pepin, legendary French chef, prolific cookbook author and media personality in his own right, highlights the final summer Alaska cruise on August 13 alongside a leading wine authority and Los Angeles Times opera critic.

Seabourn Sun 2002 World Cruise Update
Seabourn Cruise Line has published a 42-page, full color brochure promoting Seabourn Sun's 2002 World Cruise. Long renowned as Royal Viking Sun, the 758-guest ship has maintained a large and loyal following after her $15 million refit in late 1999. Her first World Cruise following the refit, setting sail in January 2001, is a virtual sellout, as past guests and newly enthusiastic agents with eager clients scramble to be among the fortunate few who secure space on board.

The 2002 sailing leaves from San Francisco on January 9, 2002, and proceeds westward around the world ending at Fort Lauderdale on April 22, 2002. The voyage is being sold in segments from eight to 102 days in length, or guests can select any customized segment they prefer, based on legality, and simply embark and disembark where and when they like.

The Sun's World Cruise itinerary includes stops at such classic world tour ports as Nuku'alofa, Noumea, Nha Trang and Yangon whet the appetites of intrepid explorers, as do Arabian Nights fantasies such as Muscat, Salalah and Dubai. Beirut and Tartous are also sure to enthrall eager world travelers. And even in chestnut destinations like Sydney, Hong Kong, Manila and Singapore. Private visits to museums and galleries, cultural insights revealed through person-to-person meetings, and off-the-beaten-track adventures are Seabourn's stock in trade, and the company is famed for pioneering destination development that is often imitated but never equaled.

Royal Caribbean Earnings
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL; OSE) announced last week a 16% increase in net income to $445 million in 2000, from the prior year's $384 million. Earnings per share were $2.31, up from $2.06 in 1999, on revenues of $2.9 billion versus $2.5 billion the prior year. Results for 1999 include $17.3 million in charges for non-recurring items. Net revenue yields (net revenues per available passenger cruise day) for 2000 were the same as in 1999.

Revenues for the fourth quarter were $642 million, up 10% from $584 million in 1999. The increase in revenues was due primarily to the increase in capacity in the quarter, partially offset by a change in yields. Net revenue yields for the quarter were down 7%, primarily due to the introduction of several new itineraries, and the impact of the Millennium New Year's event, which positively affected both the fourth quarter of 1999 and the first quarter of 2000. Net income for the quarter was $30 million, as compared with $38 million in the fourth quarter of 1999. Earnings per share were $0.16, versus $0.19 the prior year.

The company also announced the completion of a $360 million 5-year term loan with a group of European banks. This facility can be utilized during 2001 and bears interest at LIBOR plus one percent.

Crew Member Killed on board Carnival's Sensation
Tragedy struck on Carnival's Sensation last Friday in Tampa, Florida when a crew member was killed in a freak accident while attempting to repair an elevator. The man Esteban Nahui, 46, of Lima, Peru, was working in the elevator shaft near the ship's bow when the elevator suddenly began rising eventually crushing Naui against the top of the elevator shaft.

Harbor Police said they are still trying to determine why the elevator moved. The accident happened about 5:30 p.m. while the ship was loaded with passengers and preparing to depart from Tampa, Fla., from the Julia Street terminal. Firefighters worked for almost 4 hours before they were able to remove Nahui's body. The ship departed about 10:30 p.m. after a three-hour delay.

Stock Watch
The following are the closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing Price Change (since last week)
American Classic Voyages (NasdaqNM:AMCV) 16 5/8 + 10.83%
Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) 33.35 + 1.06%
P&O Princess Cruises plc (NYSE:POC) 20.15 + 3.0
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 25.65 + 1.34%
ROYAL OLYMPIC (NasdaqNM:ROCLF) 2 3/4 - 4.35%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first new build for Carnival Cruise Lines and what year did she enter service? Bonus: What is she doing today?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise@travelpage.com.

Last Week's Question - In addition to the capture of the "Santa Maria" by revolutionaries in 1961 (see above), another cruise ship was overtaken by terrorists in 1985. What was the name of this ship at the time of the incident and what was her original name?

Answer - The name was Achille Lauro. The original name was Willhelm Ruys. Regards. courtesy of Werner Schnyder

Cruise News 1/21/01

This Day in History - Assault on the "Santa Maria"
Forty years ago today a group of 24 revolutionaries took control of Portuguese ocean liner "Santa Maria" as part of a plan to overthrow the governments of Lisbon and Madrid. The revolutionaries' plan called for the captured Santa Maria to first travel towards the Spanish colony of Fernando Pó, in the Gulf of Guinea. After "conquering" Fernando Pó, the group planned to attack the Luanda, Angola and from Angola, initiate actions aimed at bringing down the governments of Portugal and Spain.

For more about the Assault on the "Santa Maria", check out PauloMestre's excellent article on Cruise Talk at http://www.travelserver.net/travelpage/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000824.html

Stellllaaaaa!!! Stellllaaaaaaa!! Stellllllllllllllllaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!
Industry sources tell us that Royal Olympic's popular Stella Solaris may have sailed her last cruise for the line. The Stella Solaris was pulled from her winter schedule due to engine problems and Airtours' Seawing is is slated to assume her 7 night Golden Fleece cruises. With the new Olympic Voyager and Olympic Explorer scheduled to take over her winter programs, it's unlikely that we will see her return to service.

Royal Caribbean on the Move
Guests on three Royal Caribbean International ships will "get out there" in a new way on expanded or revised itineraries in the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Explorer of the Seas will sail an improved Eastern Caribbean itinerary, round trip from Miami beginning in March 2001. In April, Voyager of the Seas will add Grand Cayman to its itinerary pattern. Enchantment of the Seas will add San Juan to its Eastern Caribbean pattern in January 2002 and Costa Maya to its Western Caribbean pattern in April 2002.

"We always explore new ways to ensure our guests have their best vacation when they sail with us," said Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales, Royal Caribbean International. "Adding new ports of call is just as exciting for us, as it is for our guests."

On March 31, Explorer of the Seas will reverse her itinerary and visit Nassau/Paradise Island, Bahamas; St. Thomas, USVI; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Labadee, before returning to Miami. Guests now can enjoy some of the Caribbean's most popular stops when there are fewer ships in port, allowing a greater opportunity to enjoy shore explorations, shopping and sightseeing. During the call in the Bahamas, they'll be able to experience Atlantis Paradise Island, and enjoy activities such as the America's Cup Challenge, the Historical Harbor Cruise and Discover Atlantis Tour, as well as golf and tennis packages. The new itinerary pattern also allows a day at sea before returning to Miami, providing guests with a relaxing way to end their vacation, or one last day to enjoy their favorite shipboard activity, such as ice-skating or rock-climbing.

On April 1, Voyager of the Seas will add Georgetown, Grand Cayman, known for its pristine blue waters and great shopping, to its roster of ports.

In 2002, guests sailing on Enchantment of the Sea's Western Caribbean pattern will discover beautiful Costa Maya, located 150 miles south of Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula. Costa Maya is home to five of the region's ancient Mayan cities, all of which remain largely unspoiled. The port also has 70,000 square feet of entertainment, beach and retail facilities, an arts & craft market, restaurant, pool bar and a 650-seat open air Amphitheater with hourly shows. On the Eastern Caribbean pattern, guests will be able to enjoy the beautiful city of San Juan.

Here's your Chance to Hit the Links with J. Peterman
Golfers of all ages and handicaps know that a good round is not always measured by the number of strokes, but by the number of laughs. This being the case, what better way to spend a day on the course than listening to the anecdotes of sports announcer Verne Lundquist and actor John O'Hurley? Silversea guests will have that chance aboard two of the line's 2001 Silver Links Golf Cruises and special pre-cruise golf packages featuring Lundquist and O'Hurley as celebrity guest hosts.

Lundquist's years as a play-by-play sports announcer for three Olympic Winter Games, the NFL, the NBA, college basketball, including the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship, and of course, the Masters, will certainly capture any sports fan's attention. Broadway, television and film star John O'Hurley, commonly known for his work as the impeccably groomed mail-order mogul, "J. Peterman," on the hit series, Seinfeld, will make an excellent fourth with stories from his stints as an actor, a golfer and an outdoorsman.

Silver Links golf hosts play each round with the guests, participate in putting and chipping contests, and attend dinner and cocktail parties. Both Lundquist and O'Hurley will entertain other guests traveling on these voyages as well. Lundquist will give a lecture on his coverage of the Masters and his stories about some of the greatest golfers of all time, and O'Hurley will call on his Broadway talents by performing a Cabaret show.

Passenger Dies as a Result of Fall
A 19-year-old man who fell off a Carnival cruise ship in Tampa Bay died from injuries caused by impact with the water, an autopsy revealed. Michael Hepner suffered blunt trauma to his head and neck after he fell from a deck of the Carnival Sensation, a spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office said Monday. The spokeswoman, Amanda Whidden, said the death was ruled an accident.

American Classic Voyages Co. Declares Dividend
American Classic Voyages Co. (Nasdaq: AMCV) last week announced payment of its quarterly cash distribution of $0.875 per unit of its Trust Preferred Securities (Nasdaq: AMCVP) to all holders of record as of February 1, 2001. The distribution will be paid on February 15, 2001.

Leave the Driving - and the Transfers - to Us
Greyhound Travel Services (GTS), a unit of Greyhound Lines, announced its first Shore Services contract with Royal Caribbean (RCI) and Celebrity Cruises. Greyhound Shore Services, a new product from GTS, now handles RCI's "meet and greet" services twice weekly for cruises in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Ensenada, Mexico.

"We expect to handle more than 200,000 passengers a year with this new contract," said Gordon Barr, senior vice president of GTS. Greyhound Shore Services staff provides both "pre and post" cruise assistance to ensure cruise ship passengers have a smooth and seamless experience. Greyhound employees meet vacationers at the airport, transport them to a hotel or cruise terminal, and assist with hotel check-in. After their vacation, Greyhound offers post cruise services. Greyhound anticipates expanding its Shore Services product to additional locations and other cruise lines.

Stock Watch
The following are the closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing Price Change (since last week)
American Classic Voyages (NasdaqNM:AMCV) 15 + 6.2%
Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) 33 + 10.7%
P&O Princess Cruises plc (NYSE:POC) 19 9/16 + 9.0
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 25.31 + 1.97%
ROYAL OLYMPIC (NasdaqNM:ROCLF) 2 7/8 + 4.5%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
In addition to the capture of the "Santa Maria" by revolutionaries in 1961 (see above), another cruise ship was overtaken by terrorists in 1985. What was the name of this ship at the time of the incident and what was her original name?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise@travelpage.com.

Last Week's Question - Which former White Star liner retained her original White Star name (ending in -ic) and funnel colors well after the two lines merged in 1934 until she was retired in late 1960?

Answer - The last White Star Liner to bear the company colors, sailing until 1960 was the motor vessel Britannic, sister of the Georgic and the third White Star vessel to bear that name (her more famous sibling was the Britannic of 1914, sister sip to Titanic and also lost in an untimey maner). courtesy of thadra@webtv.net

Cruise News 1/15/01

Passenger Drowns After Fall From Cruise Ship
A 19 year old passenger on board Carnival's Sensation drowned after falling from the cruise ship as he attempted to climb back over the ship's railing. The passenger, Michael Hepner, 19, of Lowell, Indiana, had reportedly been arguing with his girlfriend before he decided to climb over the railing. He apparently changed his mind and slipped while attempting to climb back aboard the ship.

Police said that Hepner had been drinking prior to the incident which occurred on the Sensation's Lido Deck as the ship was returning to Tampa. A search by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter discovered Hepner floating and unconscious approximately two miles off the coast of Florida early Sunday morning. He was pronounced dead at a Tampa hospital.

Report From Aurora's Maiden World Voyage
Those of you who thought a World Cruise might be too boring might be interested in the following report by one of TravelPage.com's readers who is currently onboard P&O's Aurora during her maiden World Voyage: "We have battled through 2 days of extremely rough and heavy seas, high winds and huge swells in the Bay of Biscay and West of Portugal, but Aurora is one magnificent vessel taking it all in her stride just ploughing through the ocean.

The prom desks have been closed several times but this afternoon they opened up the Starboard side and suitably attired in waterproof jacket I was on it and in my element to get the full extent of the depth of the pitch I stood aft looking along the full length of the deck you could see how far it dipped into the ocean and rose again with the spray going well beyond the height of the deck at times, this is one thrill I thoroughly enjoy and can only sing the praises of how she handles it all. I am sure many will not agree as the "barf bags" are out in force. I am looking forward tonight to seeing the passengers swaying to and fro dressed in their finery for the first formal night, I am sure it will be extremely amusing."

We will keep you posted as the voyage progresses.

In Case You Were Wondering Where Everyone Was
Over the recent Jan. 5 - 8 cruise ship departure period, Carnival Corporation's (NYSE: CCL) brands embarked a record 27,578 guests on 16 voyages from its Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. homeports. Carnival Corporation is the largest user of both ports.

Carnival Corporation Vice President of Marketing Jack Anderson attributed the record passenger count to a variety of factors -- the rapid expansion of Carnival Corporation's brands over the past several months, which has added thousands of new berths to the company's fleet, the increasing popularity of cruise vacations, and an unprecedented number of ships wintering in South Florida.

"Historically, January has always been a very popular month for Caribbean cruising and this record passenger count reflects the growing number of consumers who are opting for a Carnival Corporation brand as their cruise vacation choice," Anderson said. "Last year, Carnival Corporation brands carried a record 2.66 million passengers and hopefully this record weekend is a harbinger for the year to come," he added.

Contributing to the unprecedented weekend were six Carnival Cruise Lines departures from Miami. On Friday, the 2,052-passenger Ecstasy sailed on a three-day Bahamas cruise, while three other "Fun Ships" -- the smoke-free 2,052-passenger Paradise and the 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory departed on week-long voyages to the Caribbean on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, the Ecstasy and Imagination departed on four- and five-day western Caribbean cruises, respectively.

Carnival Corporation's premium brand, Holland America Line, also operated five departures from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., over the weekend. On Saturday, the 1,440-passenger Volendam and Zaandam departed on 10-day Caribbean cruises, the 1,494-passenger Westerdam sailed on an eight-day Caribbean voyage and the 1,266-passenger Ryndam embarked on a 17-day voyage to South America. On Sunday, the 1,214-passenger Noordam returned to Fort Lauderdale from a 10-day Caribbean cruise then repositioned to Tampa to operate a series of voyages from that port.

Additionally, the 1,928-passenger Costa Victoria and 2,114-passenger Costa Atlantica of Carnival's Italian affiliate, Costa Cruises, both departed on week-long Caribbean voyages from Fort Lauderdale on Sunday.

Carnival Corporation's ultra-luxury brands, Cunard and Seabourn, also operated three voyages from Fort Lauderdale over the four-day period. On Saturday, the 208-passenger Seabourn Legend embarked on a 22-day Panama Canal cruise, while on Sunday, Cunard's 1,778-passenger Queen Elizabeth 2 continued her 104-day world cruise and the line's 665-passenger Caronia embarked on an 18-day cruise to South America from the popular South Florida port.

Sometimes It Does Pay To Move
American Classic Voyages Co. (Nasdaq: AMCV), America's largest cruise company, will host a groundbreaking ceremony on Jan. 16, 2001, commemorating the start of construction on the building that will house its new corporate headquarters in Sunrise, Fla.

The cruise company will be the lead tenant in a six-story, 240,000-square- foot-building to be built at the corner of NW 136th Avenue and NW 8th Street in the Sawgrass Commerce Center.

AMCV's decision to move to South Florida followed the offer of an economic incentive package of more than $4.2 million from the State of Florida, Broward County and the City of Sunrise. The relocation of its present New Orleans operational offices and Chicago corporate headquarters will create approximately 725 new jobs in Sunrise.

"I want to welcome the prestigious American Classic Voyages to its new home in Broward County," said Governor Jeb Bush. "Florida is a natural fit for American Classic Voyages. We also welcome the cruise line's creation of 725 new jobs and look forward to the continued growth of our newest corporate resident."

American Classic Voyages' decision to move to Florida was hailed by Vice President Gore's crack legal team who insisted that 725 votes be added to the vice president's November election total.

Bahamas In The Big Apple?
Amid yellow taxis and gray sky scrapers, blustery winds and cold winter temperatures, Disney Cruise Line brought the warmth of its private Bahamian island, Castaway Cay, to Times Square last week.

Complete with bathing-suit clad beach lovers frolicking in some four tons of sand, 20-foot-tall palm trees, a massage cabana overlooking the sea of traffic, a lazy hammock and a playful dig site for kids, a 43rd Street traffic island between Broadway and Seventh Avenue became a tropical oasis.

"A Disney Cruise Line vacation is the perfect cure for the winter blues," said Disney Cruise Line president Matt Ouimet, "we're here to bring a taste of the tropics and a smile to the faces of every New Yorker."

The event celebrated Wave Month, how the cruise industry designates the month of January. When temperatures dip, people start dreaming about warmer climates and cruise bookings heat up.

People In The News
Phil Riley has joined Princess as senior vice president of hotel operations. Riley was formerly managing director of sister company P&O Cruises Australia, where he oversaw all aspects of the cruise operation. In his new role, he will be responsible for all hotel functions across Princess' worldwide fleet including hotel services, food and beverage, passenger programs and entertainment. He is also a member of P&O Princess Cruises' fleet operations coordination committee, which was formed to identify synergies between the company's six global cruise divisions.

Stock Watch
The following are the closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing Price Change (since last week)
American Classic Voyages (NasdaqNM:AMCV) 14 1/8 + 1.8%
Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) 29 13/16 + .2%
P&O Princess Cruises plc (NYSE:POC) 17 15/16 - 2.7
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 25.31 + 1.97%
ROYAL OLYMPIC (NasdaqNM:ROCLF) 2 3/4 unchanged

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former White Star liner retained her original White Star name (ending in -ic) and funnel colors well after the two lines merged in 1934 until she was retired in late 1960?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise@travelpage.com.

Last Week's Question - Which former Swedish-American liner of 1966 is alive and well sailing today as a cruise ship? What is her current name and what was done in 1978 that forever changed her appearance?

Answer - The ship was Kungsholm - then Sea Princess - today Victoria (for P&O) - her forward funnel was removed leaving only the aft one. courtesy of Ted Gecombe

Cruise News 1/08/01

The Times They Are A Changin'
Princess joined the "freestyle cruising" movement this week with the introduction of what they are calling Personal Choice Cruising(SM). The new Princess brand debuts Jan. 8 with a comprehensive marketing campaign, and also includes a long-term commitment to what the line describes as innovative product features that will offer further cruise customization opportunities.

Examples of ways passengers can currently customize their cruise experience include the line's innovative Personal Choice Dining(SM) program, the only one in the industry to offer both the traditional fixed seating along with the option to dine when, where, and with whom passengers want; the Cruise Personalizer(SM), a unique online service that allows passengers to book their shore excursions, special occasion and dietary requirements in advance of the cruise; and the Alaska Outfitters(SM) program which provides passengers with hand-picked local guides who, unlike other cruise lines' non-local employees, can provide expert guidance to customize a passenger's wilderness experience.

"For many years now, personal choice has been a hallmark of the Princess brand," said Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president of marketing, sales and customer service. "This new, formalized personal choice platform is meaningful for us as a company and ultimately for our passengers because we are positioning Princess as not just having more balconies, for example, but rather highlighting the private moments these balconies afford our passengers and the memories created there."

This new positioning is the latest evolution of the company's innovative program -- begun in the mid-90s -- which recognizes the individuality of its cruise passengers by providing the ability to customize the cruise experience. However the new brand focus is not solely on product features, but on the emotional benefits that spontaneity and choice offer to Princess passengers.

A new theme line, Princess...where i belong(SM), also debuts and is designed to communicate that since Princess caters to the individual desires of its passengers, they feel that "they matter" and have a sense of belonging that will bring them back to Princess again and again.

The advertising supporting this new strategy, dubbed the "i" campaign, adeptly captures the singular moments and positive emotional experiences derived from Personal Choice Cruising. The ads focus on Personal Choice product benefits such as "I want to postpone dinner until after the show," in addition to aspirational desires such as "I want to drink from glasses with tiny umbrellas in them" and "I want to take my shoes off for a week straight." The effect of these requests, when paired with beautiful images of a Princess vacation, elicit a response from the viewer of "I want to go back," ultimately highlighting the aspirational brand pay-off: "I belong on a Princess Cruise and I want to return again and again."

"Personal Choice Cruising gives a definitive rudder to where the company is going in the years ahead," said Brown. "It's an exciting platform which talks to our passengers in an emotional and compelling way about what makes Princess different, better and special."

Let us know what you thing about Princess' new strategy and find out how other cruise passengers feel by joining the dialogue at CruiseTalk, the internet's most popular discussion forum dedicated to cruising at - http://www.cruiseserver.net/travelpage/cruisetalk/

When a World Cruise Just Isn't Long Enough
Reservations are now open for the 88 guest suites aboard "The World" of ResidenSea, a revolutionary concept in travel combining an exclusive residential community at sea with a unique new ultra-luxury vacation. At $262 million, this 40,000 grt ultra- luxury vessel soars 12 decks high and features 110 privately owned residences, 88 guest suites, and a host of world-class facilities that make it the premiere resort destination, wherever in the world it travels.

Guests booking a suite on this global village at sea will take their place in travel history as "The World" embarks on its journey of discovery on January 24, 2002, on a 16-day Transatlantic cruise from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. Throughout 2002, "The World" will continuously navigate the globe with 29 itineraries ranging from five to 17 days and calling for extended stays of two to five days which allow guests to experience all of the sights, sounds and flavors of the world's most exciting port cities.

Central to "The World's" deployment is the inclusion of major world events, including Carnival in Rio, The Cannes Film Festival, The Grand Prix of Monaco, and The British Open in Scotland.

In an innovative business alliance, "The World" of ResidenSea, Ltd., owner of "The World," has partnered with Silversea Cruises to manage the ship's maritime and hotel operations as well as the marketing, sales and reservations of the guest suites. Aboard "The World," guests will enjoy superior service and all-inclusive value, a concept that Silversea perfected.

"'The World' of ResidenSea is pioneering an exciting new experience of lifestyle travel unlike anything ever seen before, and as Silversea has always been an innovator at the forefront of luxury travel, the alliance between our two companies is a perfect fit," said Silversea President and C.O.O. Bill Smith. "ResidenSea's new approach to travel, cultural immersion and global exploration together with Silversea's award-winning combination of personalized service and all-inclusive value equal an unparalleled vacation experience for today's new luxury traveler."

Guests traveling aboard "The World" may choose from five different luxuriously appointed suite types, with all-inclusive fares ranging from $4,995 to $34,895, depending on itinerary and suite selected. The per person, double occupancy fares cover: round trip economy air from select North American gateway cities; all transfers; all suite accommodations (more than 80% featuring private veranda); all onboard meals; all beverages including an extensive list of wines, champagnes, spirits, sodas and bottled water throughout the ship; all onboard gratuities; and all port charges.

Cruise Advertising goes Virtual
Royal Caribbean International launches the second phase of its high-energy "Get Out There" marketing campaign as it invites consumers to see the world with the cruise line. The 2001 campaign gives prospective and past cruisers an inviting look at the onboard and shoreside guest experience with "up close" television commercials, and "virtual" cruise vacations on the royalcaribbean.com website.

"Imagine test-driving a cruise," explains Dan Hanrahan, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales, Royal Caribbean International. "We wanted to put prospective guests in the driver's seat, to let them experience the feeling of a Royal Caribbean vacation before they get onboard."

The national network and cable TV campaign debuts on January 9 on NBC-TV during Dateline with a 30-second spot titled, "Stingray City." Dateline airs from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. The national buy includes additional spots during programs such as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, 20/20, NYPD Blue, Wild Discovery, Law and Order, Will & Grace, ER, and Once and Again. A spot television buy in 20 top markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Dallas/Fort Worth and Boston, will support the national campaign.

The TV commercials direct consumers to log on to royalcaribbean.com to "see more." Once there, they will again experience the high-energy of the 30- second spots and also can take a "virtual" Royal Caribbean vacation. With the click of the mouse, and the aid of streaming video, guests can visit the Caribbean or Europe, and feel like they're parasailing in Grand Cayman or bicycling in Copenhagen from the vantage point of the same vacationers from the TV commercials. They can choose to experience the thrill from their point of view by going underwater with the stingrays, or flying through the sky in a parasail. On each destination-specific mini-site, browsers will also see three web commercials highlighting the various activities they can experience.

Back from the Dead?
Industry sources have confirmed that Commodore Cruse Line - which filed for bankruptcy protection last week - is currently in the midst of preparing their reorganization plan and have set a May target for a return to service with two ships: Enchanted Isle and Crown Dynasty. The reorganization plan apparently calls for an investment in Commodore by Apple Tours which has chartered the Crown Dynasty in the past. According to the plan, Apple would receive an equity stake in the new line.

Stock Watch
The following are the closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing Stock Price 52 Week Range
American Classic Voyages (NasdaqNM:AMCV) 13 7/8 10 5/8 - 34 3
Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) 29 3/4 18 5/16 - 51 1/4
P&O Princess Cruises plc (NYSE:POC) 18 7/16 13 3/4 - 18 3/4
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 25.31 16.1250 - 56.3750
ROYAL OLYMPIC (NasdaqNM:ROCLF) 2 3/4 2 1/8 - 4 1/8

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former Swedish-American liner of 1966 is alive and well sailing today as a cruise ship? What is her current name and what was done in 1978 that forever changed her appearance?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise@travelpage.com.

Last Week's Question - Which classic liner included among her amenities: 20 dog kennels - each carpeted with running water - and a replica New York City fire hydrant for her canine passengers?

Answer - The S.S. France, now known as the Norway. courtesy of Manuela Flynn

Cruise News 1/01/01

The big news this week was the bankruptcy filing by Commodore Holdings Ltd (CCLN), parent company of Commodore Cruise Lines and Crown Cruise Line. As a result of the action, the company suspended operation of its three ships when they returned to port last weekend from their scheduled itineraries. The company which is based in Hollywood, Florida operates the Enchanted Capri and Enchanted Isle out of New Orleans and the Crown Dynasty out of Aruba.

"We deeply regret having to take this action, but we had no other choice," Commodore CEO Fred Mayer said in a news release. According to the company, the filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection was necessary in order to give the company time to develop a plan for reorganization that would include working out debt repayment plans. We understand that the owners of the line are planning to resume services once the reorganization plan is completed and approved.

A statement issued by company said that its financial troubles began in the spring, when logistic problems and changes in California gaming laws hurt bookings aboard its one-day casino cruises out of San Diego, California. It shut down that operation in June, but "the heavy costs associated with the project continued to affect its financial state," Commodore said in its statement.

According to industry sources, Commodore had been in violation of their financial performance covenants with their lenders for some time and the lenders were unwilling to negotiate with Commodore to prevent the line from ceasing operations. One of their primary mortgage holders is Effjohn Int'l/Neptun Maritime which owns the Silja Ferry line and they too have been hard hit with staggering losses; hence they were unwilling or unable to negotiate a more favorable debt agreement with Commodore.

Passengers booked on the Enchanted Capri and Enchanted Isle which operated out of New Orleans will be able to file claims against the $15 million bond placed with the Federal Maritime Commission. The bond is a requirement for all cruise lines operating out of U.S. ports. Passengers who paid for transportation by credit card should immediately contact their credit card issuer.

Those who purchased any third party travel insurance should also immediately contact their insurer to claim reimbursement under their insurance policy if it covers such cancellations. Prior experience has shown that third party insurers and credit card issuers may often provide speedier reimbursement to passengers than the claims process established to handle claims under bonds issued pursuant to Commission requirements.

The 34-year-old company employs 1,300 workers and had 1999 earnings of $4.9 million on sales of $61.5 million. Trading of the company's stock on the NASDAQ exchange was halted last Wednesday after news of the bankruptcy filing was disclosed.

In a bizarre end to HAL's Vendam's Christmas Cruise, passengers returning to Ft. Lauderdale awoke on disembarkation day to learn that all of the teak deck chairs from the upper promenade deck had apparently been thrown overboard sometime during the night. The Coast Guard was notified and the incident was being investigated by HAL and the authorities.

Princess' land-only tour program will offer more variety in 2001, expanding to include not only additional choices in Alaska and the Canadian Rockies, but new itineraries in New England and Historic America, as well.

Tour itineraries debuting next year will give guests even greater options for customizing their vacation to create a truly personalized experience. New tours include visits to both of Princess' two Denali National Park lodges, along with the company's first-ever fly/drive packages that provide a rental car for just that purpose. Passengers will also be able to add a pre- or post-tour package to see one of nature's most spectacular wonders, Glacier Bay. New tours of Historic America will debut as well.

In Alaska, Princess remains the market leader with the popular Magnificent Denali tour series, offering four- and five-day samplers that include visits to such favorite destinations as Denali National Park, Anchorage and Fairbanks. For those passengers looking for a longer stay within Denali National Park, new tours offer overnights at both the custom-built Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge and the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. New fly/drive packages, which include rental cars and overnight accommodations throughout, add another option to Princess' extensive Alaska lineup. Rounding out the new series of offerings is a partnership with Alaska's Glacier Bay Tours and Cruises, which gives passengers the chance to experience Glacier Bay National Park with guaranteed whale sightseeing at the beginning or end of their tour.

On the Canadian front, the Royal Heart of the Rockies tour is back by popular demand in 2001. This six-day tour includes Banff, Lake Louise and the stunning Icefields Parkway. Another favorite is the Royal Canadian Rail Adventure, which spans 11 days and brings passengers endless opportunities to view some of the world's most breathtaking scenery.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member lines will introduce 11 new ships in 2001 -- a glittering fleet of vessels that places a high premium on personal choice and comfort, with more dining and relaxation options than before, and more cabins featuring ocean views and private balconies and state-of-the-art operational equipment.

"In 2000, the industry added 11 percent more berths to its fleet," says James G. Godsman, president of CLIA, the marketing organization for the North American cruise industry. "Naturally, the question asked was 'Will the industry be able to generate enough passengers to fill these new ships?' The answer has been a resounding 'yes'. Through the Third Quarter 2000, the passenger growth was nearly 16 percent."

Godsman predicts that when the final 2000 figures are in, U.S. cruise lines will have hosted some 6.9 million guests.

The news ships of 2001 will produce another 11 percent increase in berths for the industry.

The new ships making their debut seem designed to prove the point that no dream is left unfulfilled on a cruise vacation. A romantic dinner for two, a high-spirited volleyball game, a chance to learn how to surf the Internet, a new restaurant to visit each day of a cruise ... even the opportunity to begin married life with a wedding on board. All these dreams and more can be satisfied in the 2001 array of new ships, which includes:

    - Carnival Cruise Lines' 2,124-passenger Carnival Spirit, first in a new series, features a wedding chapel, reservations supper club and wrap-around outdoor promenade.

    - Eighty percent of the staterooms in Celebrity Cruises' newest Millennium-class vessels, Infinity and Summit, 91,000 tons each, offer ocean views.

    - First European Cruises' 1,500-passenger European Vision features a choice of restaurants, 132 suites with balconies, rock climbing wall and Internet cafe.

    - Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sun, a 1,936-passenger sister ship to Norwegian Sky, and the ultra-modern, 76,000-ton Norwegian Leo (formerly SuperStar Leo).

    - Princess Cruises' Golden Princess, sister ship to 2,600-guest Grand Princess, features a wedding chapel and wedding-at-sea program, current pool and two special restaurants.

    - Radisson Seven Seas Cruises' all balcony-suite ship, the 700-guest Seven Seas Mariner, is home to the first permanent Le Cordon Bleu restaurant-at-sea, "Signatures."

    - Royal Caribbean International's Radiance of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas, with the latter featuring an ice-skating rink, rock-climbing wall and Adventure Ocean children's program.

    - Royal Olympic Cruises' 836-guest Olympic Explorer features the "Mirrors in Time" lecture series with art historians, artists and architectural experts.

    - Silversea Cruises' Silver Whisper, sister vessel to the 382-guest Silver Shadow, offers a Bloomberg Professional Services computer terminal to check stocks and financial news.

For a complete listing of new ships scheduled for delivery over the next five years check out TravelPage.com's New Ship Guide at http://www.cruiseserver.net/travelpage/other/new_build.asp

American Classic Voyages Co. (Nasdaq: AMCV), the largest American cruise company, said today the State of Florida has approved economic incentives of up to $2.2 million to induce AMCV to relocate its New Orleans and Chicago corporate headquarters to Sunrise, Fla., in 2001.

Upon occupancy of the new headquarters facility, AMCV will receive the incentives as an annual tax refund of $543,750 for four years, beginning in fiscal 2002 to 2003, under Florida's Qualified Target Industry Tax (QTI) Refund Program. The tax refunds are part of a total economic incentive package of more than $4.2 million, including state job training funds and cash grants approved earlier by Broward County and the City of Sunrise.

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which classic liner included among her amenities: 20 dog kennels - each carpeted with running water - and a replica New York City fire hydrant for her canine passengers?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise@travelpage.com.

Last Week's Question - During warm weather duty in the 20's and 30's swimming pools suddenly appeared on the decks of transatlantic liners. How were these temporary pools constructed?

Answer - The first pools on ocean liners were made of canvas stretched between poles on the deck. I don't think "swimming" was an issue then. courtesy of Joseph Afonso

Check out these great deals from CruisePage.com

Royal Caribbean - Bahamas Getaway from $129 per person
Description: Experience the beautiful ports of Nassau and Royal Caribbean's private island - CocoCay on a 3-night Weekend Getaway to the Bahamas. Absorb everything island life has to offer as you snorkel with the stingrays, parasail above the serene blue waters and walk the endless white sand beaches. From Miami.
Carnival - 4-Day Bahamas  from $229 per person
Description: Enjoy a wonderful 3 Day cruise to the fun-loving playground of Nassau, Bahamas. Discover Nassau, the capital city as well as the cultural, commercial and financial heart of the Bahamas. Meet the Atlantic Southern Stingrays, the guardians of Blackbeard's treasure.
NCL - Bermuda - 7 Day from $499 per person
Description: What a charming little chain of islands. Walk on pink sand beaches. Swim and snorkel in turquoise seas. Take in the historical sights. They're stoically British and very quaint. Or explore the coral reefs. You can get to them by boat or propelled by fins. You pick. Freestyle Cruising doesn't tell you where to go or what to do. Sure, you can plan ahead, or decide once onboard. After all, it's your vacation. There are no deadlines or must do's.
Holland America - Eastern Caribbean from From $599 per person
Description: White sand, black sand, talcum soft or shell strewn, the beaches of the Eastern Caribbean invite you to swim, snorkel or simply relax. For shoppers, there's duty-free St. Thomas, the Straw Market in Nassau, French perfume and Dutch chocolates on St. Maarten. For history buffs, the fascinating fusion of Caribbean, Latin and European cultures. For everyone, a day spent on HAL's award winning private island Half Moon Cay.
Celebrity - 7-Night Western Mediterranean  from $549 per person
Description: For centuries people have traveled to Europe to see magnificent ruins, art treasures and natural wonders. And the best way to do so is by cruise ship. Think of it - you pack and unpack only once. No wasted time searching for hotels and negotiating train stations. Instead, you arrive at romantic ports of call relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the world.
Holland America - Alaska from From $499 per person
Description: Sail between Vancouver and Seward, departing Sundays on the ms Statendam or ms Volendam and enjoy towering mountains, actively calving glaciers and pristine wildlife habitat. Glacier Bay and College Fjord offer two completely different glacier-viewing experiences.
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