Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: November 29, 2005

OCEANIA CRUISES is planning to take on a fourth ship, and it's already picked the name: the Marina; and the launch date: July 7, 2007. Oceania CEO Frank Del Rio made the announcement during the christening of the line's third ship, the Nautica, in Istanbul, Turkey; the Nautica's godmother Fana Holtz, a Miami-based philanthropist and civic leader, did the christening honors.

SEADREAM I WILL RELOCATE TO SOUTH AMERICA NEXT WINTER with a program of nine-night patterned itineraries between Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires in an effort to boost yields and with an unexpected, hip itinerary, according to President and CEO Larry Pimentel of SeaDream Yacht Club. Larry Pimentel, SeaDream Yacht Club's CEO, called South America "hot, sexy and exotic" and said past guests had suggested the region as an alternative. The SeaDream I will begin sailings from Buenos Aires on Nov. 23. Five of the nine-night sailings will commence in Rio and end in Buenos Aires. These trips include an overnight in Rio aboard the ship and a day trip to Iguazu Falls via private jet charter. The northbound cruises substitute a call at Ilha da Gipoi for Iguazu Falls. The SeaDream II will remain in the Caribbean.

ITALIAN SHIPBUILDING POWERHOUSE FINCANTIERI expanded its reach into the U.S. with a newly formed company, Fincantieri Marine Systems North America (FMSNA). The company said it plans to expand its range of services to the cruise industry by offering refurbishment and repairs in the Caribbean and northern Europe.

FDGM, the U.S.-based subsidiary of Fincantieri, will be absorbed by the newly formed company. Fincantieri aims to create a "net of yards" strategically positioned in the Caribbean -- the company is finalizing a deal with Grand Bahamas Shipyard -- and northern Europe, in addition to the Mediterranean through the company's Palermo shipyard to offer a "range of services to the cruise industry," among them refurbishments and repairs, according to company spokesman Gianfranco Gulli. A dedicated business unit has been created to this end, and negotiations are underway with a shipyard in the Caribbean and one in northern Europe, he said.

CRUISE SPECIALISTS, which is a part of Carlson Travel Group's Carlson Vacation and Business Travel Division, opened its second cruise/tour agency, in San Francisco, and appointed industry veteran Greg Nacco to run the new location. Nacco is the former vice president of Golden Bear Travel in San Francisco and in his new role will expand the range of hosted luxury cruises and tours offered by the company. Cruise Specialists, which is based in Seattle, was founded by Janet Lanterman, the wife of former Holland America Line CEO Kirk Lanterman.

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