Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: July 1, 2008

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE introduced the 86,700-gross-ton Eurodam to travel agents and members of the press over the weekend, ahead of its scheduled naming here July 1 by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. The 2,014-passenger vessel held a series of inaugural events for U.K.- and Netherlands-based agents and potential passengers on overnight sailings out of Southampton, England, and Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The Eurodam introduces private cabanas on the vessel's upper decks and spa cabins that offer access to the Greenhouse spa. Eateries introduced on the Eurodam include Tamarind, a pan-Asian restaurant; Canaletto, a casual, Italian venue; and Slice, a pool-deck pizza parlor. The Eurodam's maiden voyage, a 10-day sailing from Copenhagen, Denmark, departs on July 5.

ORIENT LINES may be revived. Origin Cruise Group, an entity headed by Wayne Heller, founder of Orlando-based retailer Cruises Only, bought the brand from Star Cruises. Heller said that Orient, which currently has no fleet, would make an announcement about a new flagship, inaugural cruise itineraries and senior management in the coming weeks. Beyond that, the new owner said he planned to acquire 600- to 800-passenger vessels that are "rich in history and character" and to offer an onboard product similar to what Orient offered.

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE unveiled Ultimate Touring, a collection of high-end, private tours for small groups of two to 18 people. Options include an archipelago speedboat adventure in Helsinki, Finland; a guided walk along the rooftops of buildings in Stockholm, Sweden; a four-wheel-drive adventure on a Tuscan mountain course in Livorno, Italy; a floatplane tour of Valletta, Malta; and a six-course tasting menu prepared by a chef in Ketchikan, Alaska. NCL also offers four- and nine-hour tours in a private vehicle for up to seven people. Guests on these excursions can maximize their time by exploring only the places that interest them, NCL said.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-Mass.) said that "changing legal jurisdictions in international waters are no longer an excuse for failing to report and prosecute serious crimes" as he introduced the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2008 to the U.S. Senate. Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), meanwhile, introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. The bill would require that a U.S.- licensed medical practitioner be on every ship with the equipment to perform a medical examination to determine if an assault victim has been raped. The bill would also mandate 52-inch guard rails on cruise ships, peepholes on cabins doors and technology to detect when a passenger falls overboard. On July 23, meanwhile, the California State Assembly's Public Safety Committee defeated a bill that would have required cruise lines operating from California ports to staff ships with ocean rangers acting as peace officers.

COLIN VEITCH resigned as an executive director of Star Cruises and will receive $10 million as part of a five-year, noncompete agreement. According to a filing Star Cruises made with the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, where the Malaysia-based company is listed, Veitch resigned in order to focus more on his role as president and CEO of NCL Corp. Star owns 50% of NCL.

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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