Monday, August 31, 2009

Holland America Announces 2010 World Cruise and Extended Holidays

July 28, 2009 — Holland America Line ’s flagship ms Amsterdam will usher in 2010 with a 128-day round-trip Los Angeles, Grand Holiday-and-World Voyage featuring 13 overnight calls — the most ever offered by the line. Forty-five ports of call showcase some of the world’s most remote and exotic regions including South America, Africa, India the Far East and scenic cruising in Antarctica .

An optional 14-day holiday cruise, when combined with the 114-day Grand World Voyage, creates the 128-day roundtrip sailing from Los Angeles , departing Dec. 23, 2009. The voyage begins with calls in Mexico and Central America, including a transit of the Panama Canal .

“Guests on Grand World Voyages seek an immersive experience, and the 2010 itinerary creates an enriching voyage,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, Holland America Line. “By adding the 14-day holiday roundtrip Los Angeles sailing to the Grand World Voyage, guests can enjoy a relaxing holiday and festive start of their Grand World Voyage.”

Guests wishing to sail after the holidays can embark Jan. 6, 2010, at Fort Lauderdale , Fla. , on a 114-day World Voyage. Amsterdam will sail the Panama Canal for a daylight transit of the man-made wonder before beginning its southbound exploration of Central and South America . Three overnight stays enable guests to explore Fuerte Amador ( Panama City ), Panama ; Callao ( Lima ), Peru , and Buenos Aires , Argentina . Other southbound calls include Manta , Ecuador ; Callao Peru ; Arica , Coquimbo, Valparaiso , Isla Robinson Crusoe and Puerto Montt, Chile .

As Amsterdam approaches the tip of South America, guests will enjoy scenic cruising past Darwin Channel, Chilean Fjords, Amalia Glacier, Canal Sarmiento and Strait of Magellan before calling at Punta Arenas , Chile . More scenic cruising follows of Cockburn and Beagle channels, a series of glaciers and Ushuaia , Argentina , before the actual rounding of Cape Horn .

The itinerary then takes a turn toward the ultimate southern destination — Antarctica, which includes the Wilhelm Archipelago, South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Sound. After the three-day Antarctic experience, Amsterdam sails to Stanley , Falkland Islands; Buenos Aires , Argentina ; and Montevideo , Uruguay , where it departs on the trans-Atlantic leg of the cruise.

Amsterdam crosses to Africa to call at Walvis Bay and Lüderitz , Namibia , before heading to South Africa for an overnight at Cape Town and calls at Port Elizabeth and Durban .

Upon reaching the Indian Ocean, guests will overnight at Victoria, Mahé , Seychelles , then head to India for overnights in Mumbai and Marmagoa before setting off to Port Kelang, Malaysia .

Next, an intense exploration of the Far East begins, including overnight calls in Singapore, Republic of Singapore; Hong Kong; Xingang (Beijing), China; and Kobe (Osaka) and Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan. Additional calls include Sihanoukville (Kampong Som), Cambodia ; Phu My (Ho Chi Min City) and Halong Bay, Vietnam ; Shanghai , China ; Cheju City , South Korea ; and Kagoshima and Hakodate , Japan . Before heading back to North America, guests will experience Petropavlovsk , Russian Federation , and gain a day when they cross the International Date Line.

Guests then have the option of disembarking in Vancouver , B.C., April 25, or Seattle , Wash. , April 26, or continuing on to Los Angeles .

The Grand World Voyage features three special celebrity-guest speakers — former television news anchor Sam Donaldson (March 28 through April 1), biographer Kitty Kelley (Jan. 28 through Feb. 7) and Grammy Award–winning musician Doc Severinsen and El Ritmo de la Vida (Jan. 6 through 11).

Reservations are now open for all four 2010 Holland America Line Grand Voyages, with a variety of early-booking bonus amenities offered to full-cruise guests. Depending upon the category booked, guests who book by Sept. 30, 2009, may enjoy shipboard credits up to $1,000 per person, an exclusive shore event, liquor service, complimentary luggage delivery service to and from gateways, pre-paid service charges and welcome-aboard champagne. Cruise fares begin at $17,999 per person for the full 128-day Grand World Voyage.

New holiday segments of Grand World Voyage, a 47-day Los Angeles to Buenos Aires and a 61-day Los Angeles to Cape Town , also are available for booking and include airfare from select West Coast gateways and select East Coast and Central cities for $200 more. The special cruise-and-air fares for the 47-day segment begin at $7,299 and for the 61-day segment at $9,299.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Luxury Operator Crystal Cruises Announces Fall Discounts

July 27, 2009 – From up to $3,000 off per couple and up to $2,000 per couple in shipboard credits to group and family incentives, Crystal Cruises is providing exceptional value and variety, as well as luxury, for discriminating travelers.

“A Crystal vacation, along with consistently being voted ‘World’s Best’ by savvy travelers, is an inherently great value. Every detail of the Crystal experience is attended to with special care,” says Bill Smith, Crystal’s senior vice president. “When travelers realize the amount and scope of these offers, they will find the savings are extraordinary.”

Celebration Savings
To celebrate of an unprecedented 15 years as “Best Large-Ship Cruise Line,” up to $1,500 per person savings off most fall Mediterranean, South America, Amazon, New England/Canada, Caribbean and Transatlantic voyages.

All Inclusive – As You Wish
Up to $1,000 per person spending credit on most cruises to customize one’s vacation with experiences that are personally meaningful – from fine wines to Crystal Adventures ashore.

Crystal Family Memories Program – Two Savings Options
For six full-fare berths: $500 credit toward a Crystal Private Adventure, kids under 17 sail free, plus other perks

For 10 full-fare berths: One complimentary berth, plus all of the above perks.

Round-trip Miami Panama Canal Combo
Save more than $1,000 and enjoy a $1,000 per person ‘All Inclusive – As You Wish” shipboard credit for the 22-day combination of two Panama Canal transit sailings.

Big Savings on Thanksgiving Voyages
Save 50% or more off Crystal Symphony’s wine and food focuses, Amazon journey, or Crystal Serenity’s jazz cruise through the Caribbean, both departing November 22.

Value Collection Sailings
Save up to 50% on seven sailings through the Panama Canal, South America, New England and Canada, Caribbean and the Amazon, and a transatlantic crossing.

Crystal Assurance Plan
Crystal’s price guarantee protects guests if the fare for their stateroom is later reduced, plus offers reduced cruise fare deposits, deadlines and cancellation periods.

Combo Cruise Savings
Guests booking two or more fall cruises back-to-back can save up to 5% on the fare for each voyage.

Onboard Booking Savings
Guests booking a future cruise on board receive up to 4.5% off their next cruise.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Celebrity Equinox Named in Formal Ceremonies

July 29, 2009 – In formal ceremonies today in the historic port of Southampton, England, before an audience of press, travel agents, and other special guests, Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship – Celebrity Equinox – was officially named.
After buglers and a bagpipe and drum corps opened the ceremony, followed by a piano rendition of the Beatles’ classic “Here Comes the Sun,” Richard D. Fain, Chairman of Celebrity Cruises and Chairman and CEO of parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., delivered the ceremony address. Fain praised the ship’s Godmother Nina Barough, CBE (Commander of the British Empire), and founder of the breast cancer charity “Walk the Walk.”

“Her story, her outspoken devotion to breast cancer causes, and her day-to-day life is a compelling example of the need to take our health and well-being seriously,” said Fain. “And all this paints a lovely picture of why we are so honored to have her as our Godmother.”

Celebrity selected Barough in recognition of her fervent devotion to raising awareness of breast cancer and her tremendous success in raising funds for the cause – $85-million to-date – through her organization’s “SunWalks” and “MoonWalks.” The four annual marathon walks in London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Newcastle attract thousands of people typically clad in decorated bras – the signature apparel for most participants.

“As with our Godmother of Celebrity Solstice, we knew that for Celebrity Equinox, too, nothing less than someone genuinely devoted to the cause would do. And Nina exemplifies that exceptionally,” said Celebrity Cruises President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. “Her tireless efforts have benefited countless women battling breast cancer, and her personal triumph over it has inspired thousands of women, men and families in the UK and beyond.”

In addition to defeating breast cancer herself, Barough’s numerous other life achievements include receiving a CBE for her contributions to health care through the British “New Year Honours” in December 2006. More recently, she was recognized at the “Pride of Britain Awards” (September 2008), where she was named “Fundraiser of the Year.” And in October 2008, Barough was honored once again; this time, with the “Woman of the Year – Outstanding Achievement Award” in recognition of her willpower, spirit and courage.

At today’s naming ceremony on Celebrity Equinox, in what is believed to be an industry first, Celebrity invited sister ship Celebrity Solstice’s Godmother Sharon Smith to participate. Smith took the stage by surprise to Barough, and both joined Fain to cut the ribbon – symbolically, pink, in recognition of breast cancer causes. The ribbon threaded through the ship, ultimately releasing a large bottle of champagne that crashed against the stack atop the ship, signifying the official naming of the vessel. The bottle, too, was symbolic, as it was created by The Corning Museum of Glass, with whom Celebrity struck an alliance in 2008 to create the industry’s first glassblowing show and demonstration at sea. Celebrity Equinox now joins Celebrity Solstice in presenting the typically standing-room-only Hot Glass Show onboard.

Celebrity Equinox enters service July 31 from Southampton on an eight-night Norwegian Fjords cruise, then returns to Southampton to embark on the ship’s official maiden voyage departing August 8 for the Mediterranean. The ship will present a series of Mediterranean sailings from Rome (Civitavecchia) through the fall and will offer Caribbean sailings from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., beginning this winter.

CruiseWest Announces 2010 Itineraries

August 3, 2009 - Explore new destinations and new itineraries with Cruise West (, the world’s leading provider of small-ship explorations. The line has announced 38 worldwide itineraries, of which 29 are new for the 2010 season, with stops in 75 countries and more than 300 ports worldwide. The voyages will include 175 departures throughout all seven continents with visits to 92 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Cruise West’s small ships (with capacities ranging from 78-148 guests) allow for the company’s trademark “up-close, casual and personal” style of cruising. Cruises range from four nights/five-days to 19-nights/20-days, and start from $1,199 per person.

“Two thousand ten is truly an exciting year for Cruise West given all the new itineraries that we have very thoughtfully designed that include numerous new destinations,” said President & CEO Dietmar Wertanzl. “We’re making history by introducing an industry first – the Voyages of the Great Explorers, an epic worldwide cruise offered in 24 distinct voyages, each of which can be purchased separately. This exciting itinerary takes full advantage of what the Spirit of Oceanus does best, which is to really explore small ports and narrow waterways where few ships go. We get you closer to the really extraordinary sites.”

· Voyages of the Great Explorers will circumnavigate the world in 335-days traveling westward from Singapore on March 5, 2010. The kick-off inaugural cruise is also a Chairman’s cruise hosted by Dick & Leslie West. Offered in 24 distinct voyages, true adventurers will be wowed by the included “Ultimate Explorers Experiences,” that take shore excursions to a new level. The action takes place on the 120-guest all-suite Spirit of Oceanus. Voyages may be purchased individually, in multiple segments, or all together as an entire circumnavigation of the globe.

· The six-night Cocos Island adventure onboard the 100-guest Pacific Explorer offers a rare visit to the tropical UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its large population of hammerhead sharks, 90 species of birds and outstanding kayaking and snorkeling opportunities. Offered January 24 and April 12, 2010, the cruise can be combined with the January 15, January 30 or April 3, 2010, departures of the popular Between Two Seas cruise that includes a transit through the Panama Canal.

· The 18-night ultimate Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands itinerary departs February 7, 2010, during the prime season for visiting Antarctica, and includes the Orkney Islands, a panoply of penguins including King and Rockhopper, and a rare visit to the Palmer Research Station. The 114-guest Corinthian II, sister ship to the Spirit of Oceanus, offers gracious accommodations and welcoming comforts.

· A new seven-night Alaska’s Inside Passage itinerary highlights more wilderness and Zodiac experiences and authentic ports of call including Sitka, Wrangell and Petersburg. Twenty-five weeklong departures, roundtrip Juneau, will operate May - August 2010 onboard the 138-guest Spirit of Yorktown and the 102-guest Spirit of Endeavour.

· Two new cruise itineraries join the European river line-up. Venture down the Danube and Rhine Rivers on October 3, 2010, traveling for 10-nights from Vienna to Cologne; and, departing on October 13, 2010, cruise from Cologne to Basel for 10-nights on the Rhine, Main & Mosel Rivers. All European river cruises take place on the elegant 148-guest Amadeus Diamond.

· Alaska: The four-night Glaciers of Prince William Sound and Glacier Bay Highlights itineraries that include one port call will become the standard; the three-night cruises have been discontinued. The 10-night Gold Rush Inside Passage itinerary has been revised to include Misty Fiords and the authentic Tsimshian community, Metlakatla.

· Galapagos: During the 2010 season, the nine-night itinerary will journey throughout Darwin’s inspiring islands on the elegant, 100-guest Galápagos Explorer II, sister ship to Cruise West’s Spirit of Oceanus.

· Columbia & Snake Rivers: The seven-night River Voyage of Discovery itinerary will include a stop at historic Pendleton, Oregon, along the route used by the Oregon Trail Pioneers. The cruise will operate April through October on the Spirit of ‘98 and also the Spirit of Discovery in the fall only.

Favorite itineraries including the seven-night Sea of Cortes Whales & Wildlife operating weekly December-March; the nine-night Panama & Costa Rica’s Between Two Seas operating November-April; the seven-night San Juan Islands and British Columbia Pacific Northwest Coastal Escape operating spring and fall; and the 11-night Danube River Bucharest to Vienna departing September 23, 2010 return status quo. As with all Cruise West voyages, through the lines’ Spirit of Distinction program there is an included excursion at every port, engaging topical lectures designed to entertain and educate and an enhanced array of delicious food and wine choices.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Luxury Operator Crystal Cruises' Crystal Symphony Undergoes a Major Refit

August 3, 2009 – This September, following a $25+ million makeover, luxury cruise specialist Crystal Cruises is unveiling dramatic new interiors and deck spaces for its sophisticated and stylish Crystal Symphony. The 922-guest, 50,000-ton ultra-luxury ship will boast redesigned Penthouses (including its uber-plush Crystal Penthouses), pool areas, Prego Italian restaurant, Lido Café as well as guest elevators and numerous of behind-the-scenes upgrades.


Crystal Symphony’s two 982-square-foot Crystal Penthouses with large verandahs will be stripped and completely transformed into the feel of elegant residential apartments with luxurious fabrics, details and finishes. Internal space will be extended to enlarge the living spaces and bedroom. While both the master and guest bathrooms will feature rare marbles and designer fittings, the master bathrooms will boast a sunken Philippe Stark Duravit Jacuzzi bathtub with 90-degree ocean views, glass mosaics and recessed televisions, among other features. The suites also offer an entrance lobby, his and her walk-in closets, private study area, living room, state-of-the-art audio-visual system, and dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Crystal Symphony’s 61 butler-serviced Penthouses and Penthouse Suites will be redesigned in soothing taupe and sand tones, accented by citrus or icy blue, one of two color schemes. New custom cabinetry will sport stone countertops and flat screen televisions, while new bedding, stone-topped end tables and bedside reading lights will be framed by new headboards, carpeting and window treatments. All bathrooms will feature new tile with mosaic accents, glass showers, contemporary hardware and lighting, and a fresh white and neutral color palette.

Lido Café

This popular breakfast and lunch cafe will be transformed into an upscale dining spot with a completely new Crystal dining experience, designed to showcase Crystal’s freshly cooked fare as well as add intimate seating and improve flow. Inspired by the endless skies, surf and sand dunes of the Hamptons seashore, the room will be infused with light through a new glazed indoor/outdoor extension and expansive floor-to-ceiling windows. Natural tones of seashell, sand and weathered timber provide a soothing backdrop for sparkling polished metal accents and sea grass screens. New food and drink service islands, each with different choices, will enable guests to enjoy what they want in their order of preference. New bread oven, grill, woks and other culinary equipment will provide an even greater array of freshly cooked to order choices.

Seahorse and Neptune Pool Areas

Befitting an upscale chic resort, Crystal Symphony’s pool areas will be redefined with new spaces, water features and furniture providing more indoor and al fresco dining, plush conversational seating and varied sunbathing options. Sophisticated limestone tile will offset the azure pool and the new, larger whirlpool, while deck furniture offers a harmonious combination of antique white and neutral taupe accented with colors of sunshine and tropical fruit. In the retractable roof-covered, mid-ship area of the Lido Deck, the Neptune Pool will be removed and replaced with teak decking and al fresco dining and lounging options around the Trident Bar. While the calming neutrals of the Lido Café open to brighter outdoor colors, the unifying theme is natural and relaxed.


Since its debut, this critically-acclaimed, intimate Italian specialty restaurant has been inspired by Venice. Open only for dinner, the new design will be moody and dramatic, retaining elements of traditional Venetian architecture and portraiture presented in a fresh and modern way. Luxuriously padded, dark chocolate fabric walls frame delicate chandeliers, art by famed Venetian artists and richly upholstered seating.

All Crystal staterooms, all of which were redecorated in late 2007 and feature sitting areas, will receive new sofas to provide more seating and add third berths for families. This year, all accommodations on Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity received new plush Simmons’ mattresses with healthful sanitary protectors.

During the September drydock, Crystal is also investing in upgraded elevators, a new crew restaurant, new lighting systems and other behind-the-scenes projects. Medical center improvements include digital x-ray equipment, enabling doctors to efficiently share x-rays with guests’ personal physicians and other specialists. A major upgrade of the ship's onboard broadcast production studio will enhance Crystal's extensive television programming with added clarity and brilliance.

Crystal’s drydock is scheduled for September 17-October 1 in Boston at the Atlantic Marine Boston shipyard. Adfecto will design the Crystal Penthouses, Lido Café, Seahorse Pool and Neptune Deck areas, guest elevators and crew mess. Kurt Nix will design Prego and II X IV will design the Penthouses and Penthouse Suites.

The Crystal Difference

The ‘Crystal Difference’ starts with the company’s unwavering mission: to be the best in the luxury service business, not just the luxury cruise industry. This uncompromising commitment to unparalleled service, abundant space, superior quality, and limitless choices is appreciated by valued guests who return again and again.
Crystal has also won an unprecedented number of the travel industry’s most distinguished hospitality awards. In 2009, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony were again voted the best medium-sized cruise ships in the world (ranking #1 and #2, respectively) by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler, and the line was voted “World’s Best Large-Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for a record 14th consecutive year. In all, the line has been voted “World’s Best” by the readers of Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler more than any other cruise line, hotel or resort in history.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hurtigruten Offer Greenland Savings.

July 2009 -- As interest in Greenland grows, especially as regards its ongoing significance in the global warming debate, Hurtigruten is making it easier and more affordable for North Americans to get a first-hand look at the changing landscape and learn about its history, geography, culture, wildlife and environment from onboard experts during lectures and land excursions. Whether the consumer is interested in a "25% Off + 2 Hotel Nights" deal with savings of 25% and free hotel nights in Copenhagen; traveling solo at nearly the same rate as those traveling on a double occupancy basis, saving up to 47%; or wanting to embark on an air-included trip in Greenland and disembark at the harbor edge of New York City's skyline, while saving up to 67%; there is an offer made to fit. All sailings include cabin category selected, three meals daily aboard ship, services of naturalist guides, specified land excursions and PolarCirkel excursions, ship transfers, government fees, cruise taxes and port charges. New bookings must be made by August 31 and availability is capacity-controlled.

Guests aboard the world's newest expedition ship, Hurtigruten’s deluxe 318-berth MS Fram, take in sights and scenery little changed in 5,000 years while moving from village to village, and spend time ashore, meeting and sharing time with the local population. Scenic highlights include Eqip Sermia Glacier, a huge wall of ice that calves directly into the sea; towering icebergs in Disko Bay and at the mouth of Jakobshavn Ice Fjord, a World Heritage Site; and Jakobshavn Glacier, the world’s most active glacier. Guided walking tours take in Inuit villages and towns, with tongue-twisting names – Qeqertarsuaq, Ukkusissat, Itelleq and Ilulissat – and illustrate how the friendly local populations flourish in one of the harshest climates on Earth.

"Three Countries - One Deluxe Ship" -- besides saving 64% to 67% on the voyage ($8,667 to $13,117 in savings), and beginning the voyage on the MS Fram in a European country and ending it in New York (by way of Canada), and exploring one of the world's most remote destinations (Greenland), guests on the 18-day voyage are treated to a unique historical perspective as they are joined by Benedicte Ingstad, the daughter of the famed explorer Helge Ingstad. Ms. Ingstad was with her parents, Anne Stine and Helge, on their groundbreaking historical 1960 expedition to L'anse Aux Meadows in Newfoundland, where they discovered and excavated what is considered to be the “Vinland settlement” of Leif Eriksson from circa AD 1000, or 500 years earlier than Christopher Columbus’ “discovery” of North America. She will share memories of her family's adventures and the story of her father's life as well as show photographic material and unique films. Other highlights include visits to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: L’anse Aux Meadows, Red Bay (provisional World Heritage list) and Gros Morne National Park. The September 22 departure has fares of $4,249 to $7,249 per person, double, include flights from New York/Newark, one night hotel in Copenhagen, as well as the aforementioned inclusions.

"25% Off + 2 Hotel Nights" -- the 25% savings, amounting to a reduction of $1,990 to $5,745 per person, has the added bonus of including two hotel nights in the Denmark's capital city of Copenhagen, where guests will have time to explore this medieval city at a leisurely pace, taking in its abundance of attractions. The discounted prices for the 8- and 15-day Greenland sailings (10 and 17 days with the two hotel nights) in August and September range from $4,597 to $15,862 per person, double.

"Go Solo And Save" -- single travelers will pay the normal brochure rates -- as if they were traveling with a partner and paying the double occupancy rate - saving upwards of 47%, or $3,065 to $19,034. The no supplement savings, offered on the 8- and 15-day August and September departures, result in single passenger prices of $6,129 to $21,149. And the friendly crew and fellow guests are always around so no solo traveler ever really travels alone.

Air is offered by Hurtigruten; air add-ons rates for the Greenland-NY sailing (where air from NY is included) is available from dozens of North American gateways for $100 to $300.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Anounces Celebrity Performers on Select Cruises

August 4, 2009 – Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC) today announced that two star performers have been engaged to perform exclusive “Dinner and a Show” entertainment for Regent guests during upcoming long winter cruises. Florence Henderson, beloved star of TV and Broadway, will be aboard the first leg of Seven Seas Mariner’s Circle South America cruise in January, while Clint Holmes, award-winning singer and entertainer and Las Vegas icon, will be aboard the Hong Kong to Cape Town segment of Seven Seas Voyager’s World Cruise in March.

“This is yet another element of our all-inclusive luxury product,” said Kari Tarnowski, Vice President of Marketing for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “By adding this additional and complimentary dimension to our onboard entertainment we are reinforcing the tremendous value and depth of the Regent experience. These popular and dynamic stars are used to performing in much larger venues, so for our guests to be able to interact with them in our intimate and exclusive venue is truly special,” he added.

The unique “Dinner and a Show” concept was introduced aboard RSSC ships in early 2009 to instant acclaim, featuring acts such as the Tony-winning production of “Forbidden Broadway”, The Unexpected Boys, and Australian star Rhonda Burchmore. The evening begins with cocktails, followed by a specially-created music-themed menu in the exclusive Signatures restaurant, culminating in the show itself in the intimate Horizon Lounge. This event is limited to around 90 guests per evening, and the show is repeated several evenings. As with all RSSC onboard entertainment there is no charge, although reservations are necessary.

The 700-guest, all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Mariner embarks on a 65-night Circle South America cruise departing from Fort Lauderdale on January 10, 2010 visiting ports in Central America, transiting the Panama Canal to Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil (including the Amazon River) and the Caribbean.

The 700-guest, all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Voyager embarks on a 119-night Grand Circumnavigation World Cruise departing from San Diego on January 14, 2010 visiting the South Pacific, Australia, the capitals of Asia, India, the Seychelles, East, South and West Africa, and the Caribbean.

Special offers for both cruises include 2-for-1 fares, Free Air (or Business Class air for $999 each way), Free Unlimited Shore Excursions, plus an additional $1000 per person savings if booked by September 30, 2009.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Crystal Cruises Offers 100+ Shore Excursions for New England Canada Cruises

August 5, 2009 – For its fall New England and Canada itineraries, Crystal Cruises has set nearly 100 diverse Crystal Adventures ashore. With dozens of options to suit most any interest, and 18 brand new excursions, nature-loving adventurers can ride reversing rapids in St. John; foodies can perfect their preparation of croque-monsieur in Montréal; and history buffs can re-visit immigrants’ tales from Ellis Island in New York City. The seven- and 11-day voyages, aboard the award-winning Crystal Symphony, begin October 1 with a new seven-day cruise from Boston. Most cruises are between New York and Montréal.

"Our guests are well-traveled and eager for experiences that are fresh, intriguing and fun," says John Stoll, Crystal's director, land programs. "New England and Canada ports lend themselves to active and cultural experiences that really highlight the charm and beauty of the region."

Shoreside highlights in 2009 include:

* *NEW* A bird’s eye view of the Big Apple – New York City by helicopter;

* *NEW* UNESCO City of Design – Exploration of Montréal’s rich graphic, fashion, architectural and urban design;

* *NEW* Kayaking adventure down the St. John River in New Brunswick;

* *NEW* An exclusive limousine experience through picturesque Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor;

* America’s Cup sailing experience in Newport; and

* Exploration of Québec’s spectacular Montmorency Falls, Côte de Beaupré, Canyon Ste-Anne and Island of Orléans.

Crystal’s New England/Canada voyages include visits to Boston; New York City; Newport; Bar Harbor; Halifax; St. John; Prince Edward Island; Québec City; and Montréal. The 11-day, October 19 and October 30 cruises offer enhanced Smithsonian and President’s Cruise Experiences of Discovery programming, respectively, and are also available in shorter seven-day segments.

Celebration cruise fares for fall New England/Canada itineraries start at $2,575 per person, double occupancy, and most include up to $500 per person, ‘All Inclusive – As You Wish’ shipboard credits.

Monday, August 24, 2009

MSC Poesia's Holiday Cruise Discounts

(August 10, 2009) – When you ring in the holidays with family, Caribbean style on MSC Poesia’s Dec. 20, 2009 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise, you can celebrate with big savings.

MSC Cruises’ “The More the Merrier” offer on a roundtrip cruise from Fort Lauderdale allows guests to pay the regular early booking rate on the first stateroom and 50 percent off the early booking rate on a second stateroom. The promotion is valid when four guests are booked in two staterooms.

For example, rates for interior staterooms begin at $699 per person for guests in the first stateroom, while the two guests in the second stateroom pay $349.50 each. Rates for an oceanview stateroom begin at $899 per person for the two guests in the first stateroom and $499.50 each for two guests in the second stateroom. Rates for a balcony begin at $1,049 each for the first stateroom and $524.50 each for the second stateroom.

Guests can be booked in the same category or in different categories; if they are booked in different categories, the 50 percent discount applies to the lower category.

“The More the Merrier” offer is valid on new bookings made by Aug. 31, 2009. All rates are cruise-only, per person. Government fees and taxes for all guests are additional. Both staterooms must be booked at the same time and with the same booking number.

This Dec. 20 “Happy Holidays, Caribbean Style” itinerary includes Christmas Day at sea and port calls in San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. John’s, Antigua; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Nassau, Bahamas.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Keriann Von Raesfeld Named Chef fo Signature Restaurant on Oasis of the Seas

Up and Coming Talent Molds a Unique Dining Experience for 150 Central Park

Aug. 11, 2009 – Royal Caribbean International continues to deliver the unexpected for its much-anticipated Oasis of the Seas, including the choice of chef de cuisine for 150 Central Park, the ship’s signature restaurant in the Central Park neighborhood. Keriann Von Raesfeld, an award-winning, internationally acclaimed chef will be heading up the most talked about restaurant aboard the world’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ship, slated to begin sailing in December 2009. After an extensive world wide search for the most up and coming talent, Royal Caribbean discovered Von Raesfeld at the prestigious 2008 World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) Congress in Dubai. Von Raesfeld’s extraordinary talents have earned her high profile accolades, which include being the first American and the first woman to win the honor of ‘Best Young Cook in the World’ at the 2008 WACS Congress. She also led Team USA to a first gold medal at the Scothot Competition in Scotland and was part of Team USA’s regional team that won the first ever gold medal at the Culinary Olympics held in Germany as well as part of the gold winning Team USA.

At the age of 23, Von Raesfeld will realize any chef’s lifetime goal to manage a restaurant of their own, leading a team of the best chefs in the industry. As chef de cuisine, Von Raesfeld will be a fixture in 150 Central Park, present in every aspect of the signature venue, from the day-to-day kitchen operations and the dining experience, to engaging and conversing with guests nightly.

“Keriann Von Raesfeld’s incredible talent and innovative vision for 150 Central Park is the perfect fit within the constellation of culinary offerings aboard Oasis of the Seas,” says Frank Weber, vice president, Food and Beverage Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “Keriann embodies Royal Caribbean’s culture of innovation. Rather than partner with a traditional celebrity chef to lend a name to our signature restaurant, we found one that is a true star in her own right who will focus all of her attention in making the 150 Central Park experience stellar. Royal Caribbean found an authentic, hidden gem with Keriann.”

Von Raesfeld’s modern American epicurean approach, established in formal training from the Professional Culinary Institute and continuously refined through various international competitions, is founded in familiar cuisine and brought to life in original and unique ways. The distinctive style exercises a play on temperatures and textures to create dishes such as a spicy “hot” gazpacho and a Kobe steak entrée served with shitake “bacon” and a celery root purée. Other signature presentations will include Von Raesfeld’s acclaimed banana split, which requires a day-and-a-half of preparation.

“Royal Caribbean has given me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” says Chef Keriann Von Raesfeld. “My experience in international culinary competitions – where time and food constraints are inherent – is a huge advantage in helping to prepare me for what will be one of the best restaurants at sea. 150 Central Park will be a refined and inviting restaurant, offering extreme attention to detail, from the china and stemware to our amazing wait staff and sommeliers.”

Completing the gastronomic experience at 150 Central Park will be the most dynamic wine program of any Royal Caribbean restaurant. The expansive wine list, created by Master Sommelier John Blazon, will feature wine recommendations paired with the evening’s menu and presented in three “tasting tiers” based on the bottles’ price points. Guests will be able to view the ship’s extensive wine collection in a uniquely designed wine cellar, visible from within the restaurant.

Located in the lush and tropical grounds of the ship’s Central Park neighborhood,150 Central Park will feature décor that will embrace the mellow earth tones, unique textiles and fixtures inspired by nature’s four seasons. Inspired by the simple elegance concept of trend-setting restaurants in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, each detail of 150 Central Park will be dedicated to enhancing the dining ambiance, from the tabletops to the service team uniforms. The restaurant will feature two menus per sailing, each offering a six- and eight-course option, and be open for dinner daily from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. with a cover charge of $35.

When it launches in December 2009, Oasis of the Seas will be the largest and most revolutionary cruise ship in the world. An architectural marvel at sea, it will span 16 decks, encompass 220,000 gross registered tons, carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms. Oasis of the Seas will be the first ship to tout the cruise line’s new neighborhood concept of seven distinct themed areas, which includes Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. The ship will sail from her home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Additional information is available at

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hurtigruten's Offers Christmas, New Years Cruise in Antartica

21-Day Cruise Visits Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, South Orkneys, Antarctica, Drake Passage And More

August 2009 -- Hurtigruten, an industry leader in expedition cruising known for its once-in-a-lifetime voyages, is offering an all-inclusive package with all of the trimmings for the Christmas season. Hurtigruten’s festive 21-Day Christmas and New Years - Antarctica cruise-tour, departing December 19, 2009 celebrates the holiday season with traditional Norwegian Christmas breakfasts and dinners, onboard musicians, Christmas carols and a Santa Claus laden with gifts -- all against a backdrop of stunning Antarctic landscapes. Prices for the trip start at $9,848 per person, double, and include round-trip airfare from JFK or Miami to Buenos Aires, all meals onboard, the services of expert naturalist guides, noted guest lecturers, PolarCirkel boat landings, pre- and post-cruise nights in Buenos Aires and port fees. This offer can be booked using Hurtigruten's interest-free "Layaway Getaway" monthly payment plan.

From the sight of blue whales and orcas feeding mere feet from the world's most deluxe exploration ship, MS Fram, and penguin populations whose individual rookeries number in the tens of thousands, to the sheer magnitude of the gleaming icebergs inhabiting the icy Antarctic waters, guests are given a rare view of the vast and mysterious wilderness of the White Continent.

Travelers depart Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, aboard the 318-berth, ice-rated MS Fram and sail to the Falklands, an archipelago consisting of more than 740 islands and a breeding ground for millions of seabirds, as well as home to King and other penguin species. In South Georgia, passengers disembark at the abandoned whaling station of Grytviken and visit the South Georgia Museum, a treasure trove of the island’s culture; Cooper Bay, known for its Macaroni and Chinstrap penguins; and the cemetery, where young Elephant seal pups, King and Gentoo penguins and timid Pintail ducks are likely to be spotted. The ship then takes guests by the Washington Strait and Coronation Island, the largest of the South Orkney Islands in the Scotia Sea, before setting course towards Elephant Island and Antarctica.

A broad range of landfall opportunities await in Antarctica – Cuverville Island, with the largest known colony of Gentoo penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula; Whaler's Bay with its warm springs and black volcanic sand; Paradise Harbor and its stunning views of snowy peaks, ice cliffs and sculpted bergs; the Antarctic Sound, where mile-long icebergs can be seen; Brown Bluff, frequented by Weddell seals; and just a few. As the MS Fram sails through the Drake Passage, guests can enjoy a view of Cape Horn, South America’s southernmost point, while learning about the region from expert onboard lecturers. The ship disembarks at Ushuaia and guests fly onto Buenos Aires, where they are free to go off on their own or take optional excursions such as the guided city tour, exploring popular areas from the designer boutiques of trendy Palermo to the cobblestone streets and colorful wooden houses of the “Old Town.”

Air add-ons is available from dozens of North American gateways. Airline fuel surcharges and taxes, and gratuities are additional. For those interested in a similar cruise at a later date, Hurtigruten also offers the 22-Day Antarctica/ South Georgia Falklands & Malvinas cruise departing in February.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Smithsonian Journey Experts on CruiseWest Spirit of Oceanus World Cruise


Epic World Cruise Will Feature Smithsonian Journeys Experts
On 10 Select Itineraries and a Cruise Sweepstakes

The Voyages of the Great Explorers – the Cruise West yearlong world cruise that launches in March 2010 -- will feature lectures and presentations by noted travel experts from the Smithsonian Journeys on select segments of the epic world voyage.

Cruise West and Smithsonian Journeys will develop the lecture series for 10 of the 24 distinct itineraries of the yearlong cruise highlighting such exotic locales as Singapore, Rome, Alexandria, Istanbul and Mumbai. Smithsonian Journeys experts will lead in-depth discussions and presentations on each region’s rich history and culture.

The Voyages of the Great Explorers is a collection of distinct voyages that reflects the exploits of the legendary seafarers. Booked separately or as a complete journey, each segment offers historical insights into the sea commanders who first made history along the same routes.

“A world journey deserves world-class lecturers and guides,” said Dietmar Wertanzl, president and CEO of Cruise West. “We recognized early on that a lecture series provided by Smithsonian Journeys would be a perfect complement for our adventure, given their long experience with onboard enrichment augmented by speakers recognized as authorities on our destinations. Working together, we can better achieve our mutual objective -- to educate people in the arts, history, sciences and culture through rich travel experiences.”

Smithsonian Journeys, the Smithsonian Institution’s educational travel program, feature top experts who are passionate about their subjects and delight in sharing their knowledge in lively, informative lectures and informal discussions.

Specific voyages featuring the Smithsonian Journeys’ Lecture Series include:

-- Voyage 2, 16-nights Song of India Chennai to Mumbai departing March 20, 2010, starts at $9,995

-- Voyage 4, 18-nights Pharaohs and Prophets Muscat to Alexandria departing April 17, 2010, starts at $10,695

-- Voyage 5, 14-nights Isles of the Turquoise Coast Alexandria to Istanbul departing May 4, 2010, starts at $11,595

-- Voyage 6, 14-nights Echoes of Odysseus Istanbul to Venice departing May 17, 2010, starts at $11,595

-- Voyage 7, 12-nights Pax Romana Venice to Valetta departing May 30, 2010, starts at $9,995

-- Voyage 8, 13-nights, Romans & Carthaginians Valletta to Rome departing June 10, 2010, starts at $9,595

-- Voyage 18, 9-nights Sojourn to Easter Island Guayaquil to Easter Island departing October 24, 2010, starts at $3,895

-- Voyage 22, 17-nights Discovering the Maori Coast Auckland to Sydney, December 15, 2010, starts at $14,395 (also a holiday cruise)

-- Voyage 23, 19-nights, The Land Down Under Sydney to Darwin December 31, 2010, starts at $10,695

-- Voyage 24, 16-nights Dragons and Spice Darwin to Singapore, January 18, 2011, starts at $10,995

Prices per voyage include a hotel night pre-cruise. For maximum savings, guests can book and pay in full by October 15 and save up to 21 percent. Guests who book more than one voyage save an additional five percent. For guests who book the entire voyage starting at $230,295, Cruise West will include first class airfare.

Other features of the partnership include select books and DVD’s provided by Smithsonian Enterprises and a sweepstakes for a cabin for two on the Voyage Three, 14-nights Treasures of Persia traveling from Mumbai to Muscat, April 4-18, 2010. Sweepstakes information is listed in the September issue of Smithsonian magazine and online at

Departing Singapore on March 5, 2010, Cruise West’s flagship -- the 120-guest, all-suite Spirit of Oceanus -- will sail westward to return to Singapore on February 3, 2011.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

CruiseWest Execs Sail on World Cruise.

August 17, 2009 - Underscoring the significance of Cruise West’s series of journeys that combine to form the worldwide exploration concept, Voyages of the Great Explorers, the West family, long recognized as pioneers in small-ship explorations, will host Voyages 1, 10 and 24. In addition, 25-year cruise veteran, President and CEO Dietmar Wertanzl will lead Voyage 13. Guests can anticipate notable hosted special events in addition to the already included excursions. Guests can save as much as 32 percent by booking and paying in full by August 28, 2009, or save up to 21 percent from August 29 - October 15, 2009.

Dick West -- chairman and managing director of Cruise West, and son of Chuck West, Alaska tourism legend and the founder of the Seattle-based cruise line -- and his family will lead three segments of The Voyages of the Great Explorers, including the inaugural 16-night voyage Lands of the Lotus from Singapore to Chennai that kicks off the worldwide adventure on March 5, 2010. The West’s family’s presence will mark a memorable start to the voyage including a themed dinner of Singaporean & Asian cuisine at the world famous and historical Raffles Hotel complete with transportation via rickshaw. In addition, esteemed Captain Reidulf Maalen will be at the helm of this voyage. The voyage also includes a two-day Ultimate Explorers Experience in Rangoon complete with a visit to the Shwedagon Temple and the Kalaywa Monastery.

The Voyages of the Great Explorers -- a collection of 24 individual voyages that combine to form a 335-day circumnavigation of the world along the major routes inspired by history’s great ocean explorers -- begins March 5, 2010, on board Cruise West’s flagship, the 120-guest, all-suite Spirit of Oceanus. Sailing ever westward, this world voyage returns to Singapore on February 3, 2011.

Supporting Cruise West’s emphasis on casual and personal cruising, West and his family will also host Voyage 10 Exploring Iberia and Gaul, which sails on July 4, 2010, from Barcelona to Honfleur in 16-nights. West will host two additional ultimate explorer special excursions, Catalonian Tapas & Flamenco in Barcelona, and a private visit to Château Kirwan in Bordeaux that includes a wine aperitif tasting and an authentic French dinner accompanied by exceptional wines.

On the final 16-night segment, Voyage 24 Dragons and Spice, sailing from Darwin to Singapore on January 18, 2011, West will also host special functions that will be announced soon. The exciting itinerary includes a visit to the spectacular temple complex of Borobudur and Komodo Island.

In addition, Dietmar Wertanzl, president and CEO of Cruise West, will lead the 13-night Voyage 16 In Search of El Dorado, which sails from Palm Beach to Panama via the 50-mile long Panama Canal on October 13, 2010. Guests can anticipate a unique and memorable event hosted by Wertanzl including a pre-cruise party at the historic Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach.

Cruise West explorers can purchase individual voyages, a set of multiple voyages, any of the six Chapters, or the full circumnavigation. Prices per voyage start at $4,995 and include a pre-cruise hotel night. For maximum savings of 32 percent book and pay in full by August 28; or save up to 21 percent by paying in full from August 29-October 15, 2009. Guests who book more than one voyage will save an additional five percent.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sapphire Princess Features Pacific Crossings and Hawaii Cruises in 2010

(August 17, 2009) – Princess Cruises has added seven new sailings to its fall 2010 to spring 2011 schedule aboard Sapphire Princess, including two leisurely Pacific crossings between California and Sydney, plus additional Hawaii cruises.

“Due to the enthusiastic response to our 2009 Trans Pacific sailing we wanted to offer additional opportunities to experience this unique itinerary,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “The two new month-long sailings visiting 13 tropical ports of call will give cruisers a true taste of the idyllic South Pacific.”

Swartz added that increased interest in roundtrip Hawaii sailings prompted Princess to add several more of these sailings to its west coast lineup as well.

The new Sapphire Princess voyages include:

2-day Pacific Coastal (Vancouver to San Francisco) – September 20, 2010
30-day Hawaii, Tahiti & South Pacific (San Francisco to Sydney) – September 22, 2010
29-day Hawaii, Tahiti & South Pacific (Sydney to Los Angeles) – October 23, 2010
10-day Mexican Riviera (roundtrip out of Los Angeles) – January 5, 2011
14-day Hawaiian Islands (roundtrip out of Los Angeles) – January 29, 2011
14-day Hawaiian Islands (roundtrip out of Los Angeles) – February 26, 2011
14-day Hawaiian Islands (roundtrip out of Los Angeles) – March 26, 2011

The new sailings are currently open for sale, with fares starting at $199 per person for the new two-day coastal cruise. Hawaiian Islands sailings begin at $1,995 per person, and Pacific crossings begin at $4,195 per person.

To accommodate the new cruises, which were added as a result of shifting demand in the west coast cruise market, Princess has cancelled 15 previously scheduled Mexican Riviera sailings. An additional 17 Mexican Riviera sailings are still available during this time period.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Luxury Operator SeaDream Announces 2010 Cruises

SeaDream Yacht Club has published its 2010 Caribbean and European schedules and itineraries for those travelers who are planning ahead.

“While we still have limited space on some 2009 voyages which we fully expect to sell, we are already experiencing solid demand for 2010. Our guest repeat business, which is always historically strong, has shown vibrant booking patterns already for next year,” said SeaDream President, Bob Lepisto.

“In fact, our reservations department reported substantial interest in 2010 even before our schedules and itineraries for next year went on our website,” he added.

As in previous years, 2010 will find the small, sleek, 56-couple, mega-yacht cruisers SeaDream I and II sailing in the Caribbean in the winter months and European waters in the summer. They will call not only at vibrant port cities (for pre- and post-voyage visits), but at small and exclusive seaside towns and villages where the big passenger ships can’t go.

Calling at small yachting ports is a specialty of SeaDream.

In the Caribbean the elegant SeaDream twins will sail in the British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico’s Virgin Islands, French West Indies, Netherlands Antilles and the Windward and Leeward Islands. Embarkation and debarkation ports include convenient and accessible air gateways---San Juan, St. Thomas, Antigua, Barbados and St. Maarten and relaxing eastbound transatlantic crossings are available from San Juan and Barbados.

In Europe SeaDream I and II will sail in the Mediterranean, the Aegean Sea and the Adriatic Sea, along the exciting Croatian coast all the way to Venice. Embarkation ports include Malaga, Barcelona, Nice, Monte Carlo, Rome, Venice, Athens, Istanbul, Malta and Dubrovnik.

New ports in 2010 for SeaDream’s Caribbean sailings are: Norman Island, BVI; Mayreau, Grenadines; Portsmouth, Dominica; Bequia, Grenadines; Soufriere and Rodney Bay, St. Lucia; Le Desirade and Marie-Galante, Guadaloupe; St. Croix, USVI; Basseterre, St. Kitts, Falmouth Harbour, Antigua and Coconut Grove, Nevis. Many Caribbean port calls include late evening departures, for example at chic St. Barts where SeaDream guests can enjoy the lively restaurant and nightlife scene.

SeaDream is also offering more active land options in the Caribbean. Examples are: Snorkeling and diving off The Indians & Treasure Island in BVI; Diving off Saba; River rafting in Dominica; a catamaran trip to Mustique and a drive-in volcano on St. Lucia, among others.

New ports for 2010 for SeaDream’s European sailings are: Formentera and Motril, Spain; Sete, France; Sifnos Island, Parga, Greece; Rab, Croatia, Poltu Quatu, Porto Rotondo and Los Maddalena, Sardinia; Syracuse, Marsala and Lipari, Sicily, Italy; Valletta, Malta and La Goulette, Tunisia.

The European schedule includes more calls at what has been termed the “new” Mykonos---Naousa village on the Greek island of Paros and the lovely and unspoiled. Island of Sifnos, Greece.

Carnival Dream Introduces Kids Book of Dreams Contest

August 18, 2009 In celebration of Carnival Cruise Lines’ newest and largest ship, the 130,000-ton Carnival Dream, the company today announced the Virtual Book of Dreams contest, inviting residents in the U.S. and Canada to participate in a call for entries. Children between the ages of 7 to 12 have the opportunity to share their awesome dreams online at for a chance to become the world’s first-ever cruise ship waterslide Godchild, and travel to New York City to christen the spectacular Carnival WaterWorks aqua park on the Carnival Dream. The winning family will also receive a cruise on the Carnival Dream when the ship makes its North American debut in November.

“At Carnival we value dreams and fun, and we know that no one excels at dreaming and having fun more than kids,” said Carnival Cruise Lines Chief Marketing Officer Jim Berra. “The Virtual Book of Dreams is a terrific way to capture and share the fantastic dreams of children as we introduce the Carnival Dream -- our most spectacular ‘Fun Ship’ yet.”

In an effort to remind people why it’s important to dream, Carnival Cruise Lines also announced it will make a $2 donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for every entry received and $1 for each vote on the Virtual Book of Dreams web site, with a maximum contribution of $25,000 donated to St. Jude. St. Jude is one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

“Through the Virtual Book of Dreams, Carnival Cruise Lines has created a wonderfully unique way to support the lifesaving work of St. Jude,” said David L. McKee, chief operating officer and interim CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. “Carnival Cruise Lines is encouraging kids to dream while also inspiring hope in our precious patients and their families in the battle against cancer and other catastrophic diseases.”

Dream Big, Win Big

To enter the Virtual Book of Dreams™ contest, children must complete the thought “I’m always dreaming up fun stuff. Wouldn’t it be awesome if…” in 250 words or less. From August 18, 2009 until September 18, 2009, parents or legal guardians of children between the ages of 7 to 12 can submit their child’s written dream entry and corresponding hand-drawn illustration online at

Dream submissions will be judged upon creativity and originality of the dream, expression and emotional content. In late September 2009, Carnival will announce four finalists chosen by a panel of judges, in addition to one Wild Card finalist who will be selected via public online voting at Each of the finalists will be featured in a final round of public online voting that will run through the beginning of October.

The Virtual Book of Dreams Grand Prize Winner will be chosen via the voting process in mid-October, named the Godchild of the Carnival WaterWorks water slide aboard the Carnival Dream and invited to participate in a ship christening ceremony in New York City in mid-November 2009. The winning family will also receive a two-night cruise aboard Carnival Dream. All other finalists will receive digital cameras and other prizes from Carnival.

About Carnival Dream

Carnival Cruise Lines’ newest and largest ship, the 130,000-ton Carnival Dream, is a new class of vessel for the line and ushers in an exciting new era in “Fun Ship” cruising. The 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream will offer a host of innovations including a stunning indoor/outdoor café and entertainment venue called Ocean Plaza, a two-level Serenity adults-only retreat, a wrap-around promenade encircling the ship, the cruise industry’s largest water park that features the Carnival WaterWorks waterslide, and a 23,750-square-foot health spa – Carnival’s largest to date. Several new accommodation categories, including five-berth, two-bathroom staterooms that will hold particular appeal for families, will also be offered on the Carnival Dream.