Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: April 24, 2007

COSTA CRUISES and Air France announced a partnership that Costa said would "boost commercial synergies" between the two companies. The companies said they would coordinate schedules and capacity to provide their customers with additional benefits and services, including greater flexibility for Costa passengers on Air France flights in terms of bookings and flight availability and the ability for customers of both companies to benefit from each other's loyalty programs and online marketing campaigns. Costa is currently Air France's main customer in terms of fly/cruise packages, while Air France is Costa's main airline with regard both to revenue and the number of passengers carried.

CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES rolled back the changes it recently made to its onboard beverage policy and decided to allow passengers to bring limited quantities of nonalcoholic beverages onboard. Earlier this month Carnival had said it instituted a policy that would ban passengers from bringing any nonalcoholic beverages onboard after "so many people were abusing our leniency in terms of the quantity they were bringing on board." The line reconsidered its program and "in the end it was decided to continue to allow limited quantities but to monitor the situation."

RESULTS OF A MARCH SURVEY of travel agents indicated that demand for Alaska cruises this year might be weakening when compared with last year, Bank of America analyst Michael Savner wrote in a recent research note. According to the Bank of America survey of travel agents nationwide, 39% of agents said Alaska demand was stable, 23% said it was stronger than last year and 38% said it was slowing. When asked which cruise region was strongest during this year's Wave season, compared with last year's Wave, 16% of agents chose Alaska, down from 33% in February. "Partially offsetting a potential softening in Alaska is continued strength in Europe," Savner wrote.

PRINCESS CRUISES said it altered the time and place of its upcoming christening ceremonies for the Emerald Princess and the Royal Princess, which were to take place in Santorini, Greece, out of respect for the sinking of Louis Cruises' Sea Diamond. A dual naming ceremony was to take place in Santorini, Greece, on May 12. Princess said the Emerald Princess will be named on May 13 in Athens, and a new date and location for the Royal Princess christening would be announced shortly. "Out of the respect for those affected, we have decided that it would not be appropriate to continue with the celebrations we had planned in Santorini," said Alan Buckelew, Princess' president.

Cruise E-Letter Editor: Johanna Jainchill

Phone: (201) 902-2065

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].

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