Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: January 24, 2006

THE QUEEN MARY 2 DEPARTED Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 19, one-and-a-half days behind schedule, after one of its four propulsion pods was damaged when it hit the side of the ship channel during an attempt to depart the port on Jan. 17. The line said the ship was safe to sail; with one propulsion pod out of commission the ship will move at slower speeds.

CUNARD CANCELLED the QM2's calls at St. Kitts, Salvador and Barbados, and the ship proceeded directly to Rio de Janeiro. The line gave passengers a 50% refund of the cruise's initial segment, which started in New York or Fort Lauderdale   and ends in Rio de Janeiro. Cunard added it was "continuing to review" the ship's itinerary following its stop in Rio.

CLIPPER CRUISE LINE SOLD TWO OF ITS SHIPS -- half its fleet -- to Cruise West, the small-ship cruise line based here, after U.K. conglomerate First Choice officially closed on its deal for Clipper's parent company, Intrav. The 138-passenger Yorktown Clipper and the 102-passenger Nantucket Clipper will sail their previously announced 2006 itineraries, which include voyages along the Eastern seaboard, the Great Lakes, the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico and Central America. Clipper Cruise Line retains the Clipper Odyssey and the Clipper Adventurer. The acquisition brings Cruise West's fleet to 10.
by one month and added calls in Lebanon, Libya and Syria. Rates for the extended season, with departures from March through mid-November, will be discounted by up to 50% on select dates.

CELEBRITY CRUISES KICKED OFF an ad campaign that represents the line's first foray into network TV advertising in seven years. The ad concept centers on how the line's cruise experience makes guests feel like "celebrities." The campaign includes a mix of network TV ads on high-profile shows like "Desperate Housewives," cable placements and a print campaign in consumer and trade magazines and newspapers.


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