SEVEN SEAS CRUISES (RSSC) canceled all voyages of the Radisson Diamond beginning with
its June 4 cruise on the news that the ship's new owners will take
possession of the 350-passenger vessel earlier than expected.
Originally, RSSC had hoped the new owners, a Hong Kong-based
company called Asia Cruises, would allow RSSC to continue its
charter of the Diamond through the end of its published
Mediterranean season in October. Last week, RSSC canceled the
Diamonds Oct. 22 sailing and beyond. The Diamond will reposition to
Hong Kong and be used as a gaming vessel, Conroy said.
DIAMOND: The unique
twin-hulled Diamond is one of RSSC's original vessels, and the line
has operated the ship on a long-term charter from a consortium of
Finnish banks. In a letter to travel agents, Conroy said the
Diamond has been operating virtually at full capacity for the past
year with excellent levels of guest satisfaction, so it is with
great regret that we bring you this news. The line is offering full
refunds and a $700 per-person cruise credit to passengers booked on
cruises between June 4 and Oct. 15, which can be applied to any
RSSC sailing in 2005. Agents will receive a $100 check per canceled
booking and a $100 per-passenger bonus commission for rebooking
clients on 2005 cruises.
NOROVIRUS was back in
the news last week. Five cruise ships have reported an increased
number of gastrointestinal virus cases to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) and since Jan. 1. Cruise lines said
they are prepared for increased incidents of gastrointestinal
virus, or norovirus, and in a statement released Jan. 25 from the
International Council of Cruise Lines, David Forney, chief of the
Vessel Sanitation Program of the CDC, noted an increase of
land-based, norovirus-related incidents, as well.
SEA: The former Olympia
Explorer, which now operates the Semester at Sea program under the
name Explorer, ran into heavy weather off Alaskas Aleutian Islands
chain. A reported 50-foot wave broke bridge windows and damaged
bridge controls, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a report. The vessel
last week was en route to Honolulu for any needed repairs. Semester
at Sea said the ship remains completely seaworthy and
CORP. family donated more than
$3.2 million to tsunami relief. The funds will be distributed to
several international organizations, Carnival said. Carnival Corp. donated $2.4 million, and another
$800,000 was raised by the companys 12 cruise brands.