Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: Jan. 2, 2007

CARNIVAL CRUISES will put its newest ship, the Carnival Freedom, on the Carnival Liberty's six- and eight-day Caribbean cruise route from Fort Lauderdale in November 2008. The Liberty will launch a seven-day Caribbean cruise schedule from Miami beginning in May 2008 and sail year-round, alternating seven-day eastern and western Caribbean cruises. The Freedom is under construction at Italy's Fincantieri shipyard and is slated to debut in Europe on March 5. 


THE CARNIVAL FREEDOM will be in the Mediterranean from March until November and then will operate seven-day cruises from Miami from November until April 2008, followed by a return to Europe for another Mediterranean/Greek isles season from May 2008 to October 2008. At the end of that season, the Freedom will reposition to Fort Lauderdale via a transatlantic crossing and assume the six- and eight-day cruises beginning Nov. 22, 2008.  

THE COSTA CLASSICA became the first international cruise ship to homeport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, when it sailed from the port on Dec. 23. Costa CEO Pier Luigi Foschi said that the move "establishes our place as a truly international operator on the world stage"; Costa already owned the distinction of being the first international cruise line to homeport a ship in Shanghai. The 53,000-ton Costa Classica will sail seven-day itineraries starting with two nights in Dubai and making one-day stopovers in Muscat, Oman; Abu Dhabi and Fujairah, United Arab Emirates; and Bahrain. The sailings will be marketed to Europeans, North Americans and the local population. Thanks to a strong response, Costa will homeport two ships in Dubai in the 2007-08 season.  

THE PORT OF MOMBASA will not get a multimillion-dollar cruise terminal as the Kenya Ports Authority had hoped, due to a failure to attract a strategic partner to invest about $30 million in the project. The Kenyan government scrapped the plan and said it will instead improve the existing cruise terminal, at a cost of about $3 million, and will refurbish the landing facilities and upgrade the road from the port to the town, according to a report in the East African, a Nairobi newspaper. Eight cruise ships called in Mombasa last year, the Kenya Ports Authority said, far below the 18 annual calls the port received six years ago.  

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE will offer 15 10-day cruises in Mexico's Sea of Cortes in 2008, four more than in 2007. The 1,258-passenger Ryndam will operate the itineraries from San Diego in the spring and fall of 2008 and will visit Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Topolobampo, Loreto, La Paz and Cabo San Lucas. The Ryndam will also sail three Mexican Riviera cruises in 2008, and the Oosterdam will continue running seven-day Mexican Riviera voyages, sailing a total of 28 in 2008. In total, HAL said it will offer 46 Mexico cruises from San Diego in 2008.

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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