Travel Weekly's Cruise E-Letter: August 28, 2001

ROYAL CARIBBEAN Cruises Ltd. is partnering with tour operator Abercrombie & Kent to offer cruise-tour packages in Spain, Italy, Denmark, France, Ireland and England in conjunction with Royal Caribbean Intl. and Celebrity Cruises ships deployed on selective roundtrip European cruises. Under the agreement, A&K will organize pre- and post-cruise land tours for Royal Caribbean and Celebrity passengers seeking to extend their shipboard vacations. Three- to six- night packages will be offered in conjunction with Europe cruises of Celebrity's Constellation (scheduled to debut in April 2002), Mercury and Millennium, and Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas (set to debut in July 2002), Grandeur of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas. Royal Celebrity Tours, RCCL's land-tour division, will manage the tour operations, according to company officials. "This partnership is an opportunity to expand into Europe and allows us to build our momentum in the land-tour market," said Craig Milan, Royal Celebrity Tours' president.

MEANWHILE, RCCL subsidiary Royal Caribbean Int'l announced it would place a third ship in the Gulf of Mexico the winter after next. The company said the 1,600-passenger Nordic Empress will sail from Tampa on a Gulf of Mexico itinerary in 2002-2003, joining two other Royal Caribbean vessels previously scheduled to sail the western Caribbean and Mexico via the Gulf during that span. They are the 1,950- passenger Grandeur of the Seas, which will sail from New Orleans beginning Nov. 2, 2002, and the 2,000-passenger Rhapsody of the Seas, which will cruise from Galveston beginning Dec. 8, 2002. The Rhapsody of the Seas currently is offering 25 Gulf cruises from all three ports; the new deployments will enable the company to offer 67 Gulf cruises from three ports over a six-month period.

THE BROWARD COUNTY Board of County Commissioners is proposing construction of a "people-mover"--you know, an automated tram system--to move cruise vacationers directly from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Int'l airport to Port Everglades as part of a 20-year master plan for the 2,190-acre seaport. "The new breed of megaship...is requiring us to become more creative with the way we plan for the future," said Phillip Allen, interim port director. "The ships are getting larger, carrying more passengers who require convenient air/sea transfer and swift processing by U.S. Customs." Passenger totals at Port Everglades, one of the world's busiest cruise ports, grew by 14.4% from 2.4 million in 1999 to 2.7 million in 2000. Port officials estimate the number of passengers will exceed 3.1 million by the end of the current year and climb to 3.6 million in 2002. Allen said cruise revenues at the port increased 7% to $16.8 million in 2000. Port Everglades already is preparing to dedicate two new cruise passenger terminals equipped to service contemporary megaships.

PERSONNEL FILE
• Renaissance Cruises named Hans Rood vp-marketing. Rood most recently was regional vp-Europe, Middle East and Africa for Cunard Line and Seabourn Cruise Line. Renaissance also announced that Derek Correia, previously vp-marketing, left the company.
• World Explorer Cruises named Bonnie Berg MacLaird vp-marketing and revenue management and Dennis Myrick senior vp-sales. MacLaird was previously World Explorer's vp-strategic planning and revenue management. She joined World Explorer in March 2000 after 10 years at Seabourn Cruise Line as director of marketing and revenue management. Myrick has been with World Explorer since 1984; previously he served as vp-marketing and sales.

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