Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: July 3, 2007

SEABOURN CRUISE LINE will name its new ship the Seabourn Odyssey and debut the $250 million new-build in Venice in mid-2009. The 225-suite ship is currently under construction at Italy's T. Mariotti shipyard; it will be the first addition to Seabourn's fleet in close to 20 years. The line said that plans for the vessel's maiden voyages are expected to be released by the end of this year. Seabourn President Pamela Conover said that out of hundreds of names the line considered, it wanted a name that would reflect the ship's primary purpose: "to wander the globe, carrying our guests to the world's most exciting ... destinations."

COSTA CRUISES will this winter operate Indian Ocean cruises that depart from Mauritius. The line said it would become the first major cruise line to homeport a ship on Mauritius, an island nation east of Madagascar. Between Dec. 22 and March 1, the 1,000-passenger Costa Marina will run six 14-day cruises departing on Saturdays and calling in Kenya and nearby islands, including Madagascar and Reunion. Costa CEO Pier Luigi Foschi said that judging from the itinerary's advance bookings, it will be a popular itinerary.

AZAMARA CRUISES launched an online sales tool to help agents promote the not-quite-two-month-old deluxe cruise line. The "eSales Kit" is an online feature that contains educational, informational and promotional tools and resources, the line said, including Web-based training sessions, PowerPoint presentations, streaming audio files and informational and promotional flyers. The kit also has downloadable graphics, Web banners and lifestyle, shipboard and destination photography of the Azamara Journey. The line plans to periodically add content to the kit, which is on the line's travel agent site at www.cruisingpower.com/azamarasaleskit.

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE launched a Culinary Arts Center program for kids and teens, using the same million-dollar kitchens from the Culinary Arts Center it has on its ships. Starting this summer, the line will offer complimentary, 45-minute classes that will incorporate dishes from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Richard Meadows, HAL executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs, said, "Learning about the culinary arts and cooking isn't just for adults." Recipes include: Bear Tracks (Alaska-themed cookies), ice cream sandwiches, soft pretzels, granola bars and saltwater taffy.

THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY is requesting proposals for a study to be conducted on the effect the cruise industry on its islands. Citing the huge growth of the international and domestic cruise ship market in its waters, the HTA wants a study that will assess the cumulative impacts and benefits the cruise industry has had on each island as well as on the state overall. The study will be funded by the HTA and the State of Hawaii Department of Transportation and will look at issues such as economic welfare, physical environment, historical and cultural assets and practices, social welfare, harbor facilities, safety and security measures, environment and infrastructure, tax revenue and fees and traffic.

Cruise E-Letter Editor: Johanna Jainchill

Phone: (201) 902-2065

[email protected]

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

Comments
JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI