Travel Weeklys Cruise E-letter: January 10, 2006

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL addressed allegations of wrongdoing in the disappearance of George Smith IV, the honeymooner who vanished during a cruise of the Brilliance of the Seas in July. In a strongly worded 11-page document, the line outlined events leading up to and following Smiths disappearance, including an extensive rebuttal of coverup allegations raised by Smiths wife, Jennifer Hagel Smith, who claimed she was treated harshly and abandoned in Turkey by the cruise ships staff following an investigation by local officials.

THE RCCL REPORT STATES that Hagel Smith was found sleeping in a corridor shortly after 4:30 a.m. on the night of the disappearance. The cruise line said she was taken back to her cabin in a wheelchair by two security guards and a female supervisor. Her husband was not in the room, and nothing appeared amiss, the report states. The report also says that Hagel Smith told ship officers that her husband may have slept elsewhere and had done so at least one other night during the cruise.

NORWAY-BASED SHIPBUILDER AKER YARDS and French conglomerate Alstom announced a proposed merger between Aker and Alstoms marine division that would create one of the worlds largest cruise shipbuilding companies. The deal would create a new company out of Alstoms France-based shipyards in Saint-Nazaire, where its Chantiers de lAtlantique yard is based, and Lorient, and give Aker a 75% stake.

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE nearly doubled capacity on its Seattle-to-Alaska sailings this year. A third ship, the 1,432-passenger Zaandam, joins the Oosterdam and the Westerdam on the route and brings HAL to 61 Seattle departures between May 5 and Sept. 22. Last year the line served the route with 37 seven-day cruises.

NCL CORP. NAMED the Norwegian Pearl and the Norwegian Gem, two ships under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. The ships will be Norwegian Jewel-style vessels and are slated for delivery in February 2007 and October 2007, respectively.


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