Travel Weeklys Cruise E-letter: March 21, 2006

MSC CRUISES AND AMERICAN CRUISE LINES revealed plans for newbuilds at last weeks Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention:

" MSC Cruises ordered a fifth ship from the Chantiers de lAtlantique shipyard. Scheduled for a 2008 delivery, the sister ship to the MSC Musica and the upcoming MSC Orchestra will be 89,600 tons and carry 2,500 passengers.

" Small-ship line American Cruise Lines said it expected to sign a contract for two 130-passenger ships in the next month, and a 300-passenger ship next year.

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE will host 5K fitness walks onboard all of its sailings this year to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Starting April 1, passengers who donate $15 to the Holland America Foundation can participate in each cruises scheduled walk. Depending on the vessel, the 5K will be about 9-12 laps around the ships deck. HAL pledged to raise a minimum of $250,000 for research, education, screening and treatment programs by doing 500 walks aboard 13 ships.

CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL and the International Council of Cruise Lines announced a joint initiative to integrate a map of sensitive marine areas into cruise line navigational charts. Wastewater discharge should not be discharged into these areas, which are mostly coral reefs and shellfish beds.

CRYSTAL CRUISES will homeport three ships in New York this autumn to service an extended menu of fall foliage cruises. Roundtrip 11- and 7-day cruises from New York will visit New England and the Quebec coast. The line will make its maiden call in the port of La Baie des Ha! Ha!, Canada.

COMMEMORATIVE EVENTS: Peter Deilmann Cruises introduced four 12-day cruise tours marking the 400th anniversary of Dutch artists Rembrandts death. Rembrandt and his World river cruises will sail between May 1 and Sept. 11. The itinerary includes an excursion to Leiden, Rembrandts birthplace, a lecture on the painters life and work and a private tour of Amsterdams Rijksmuseum Rembrandt 400 exhibit.

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