Travel Weeklys Cruise E-letter: May 16, 2006

CELEBRITY CRUISES canceled the May 20 Alaska sailing on the Summit to replace a bearing in the ships propulsion system, the company said last week. Service on the Summit will resume May 27. Guests booked on the seven-day cruise between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska, will receive a full refund and a free Celebrity cruise in North America; travel agents will receive full commissions for the canceled sailings plus a $50 rebooking fee per cabin when clients reschedule a cruise.

CELEBRITY ALSO said last week it will send the Mercury to Australia and New Zealand for the first time in December 2007. At an event in New York last week, Celebrity President Dan Hanrahan said the ship will operate six 15-day sailings between Auckland, New Zealand, and Sydney from December 2007 to March 2008.  The sailings will be preceded by Celebritys first trip to French Polynesia on a 17-day relocation sailing from Honolulu to Auckland departing November 23, 2007.

OCEANIA CRUISES will open a reservations center in Colorado Springs, Colo., in July that will employ up to 70 people. Frank Del Rio, CEO of Oceania Cruises, said the facility will function as a call center and serve as a backup emergency operations center for its main facility in Florida in the event of a hurricane. Tim Rubacky, Oceanias spokesman, said that disruptions from Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma contributed to a loss of more than a week of productivity and bookings for the line. Del Rio said an optimum combination of office space, site location and financial incentives ... combined with the citys solid economic base and friendly business environment, made Colorado Springs the choice for this new facility.

GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL is appealing to Indias Supreme Court to keep the 46-year-old ship that has been called the Blue Lady, the France and most notably the Norway from being sent to an Indian scrap yard. Greenpeace contends that the vessel is filled with 1,000 tons of asbestos and other toxic chemicals and is harmful to workers and the environment. The ship has sailed for Norwegian Cruise Line, but it has been out of service since May 2003, after a boiler room explosion onboard killed eight crewmembers.

CLARIFICATION: In an item in the May 9 Cruise E-letter, Princess and Cunard said they were the first cruise lines to enable travel agents to create online group reservations. But although theyre the largest cruise company to-date to implement such a system, theyre not the first: Oceanias spokesman Tim Rubacky said that Oceania introduced an online group booking system in November 2004.

Cruise E-Letter Editor:

Johanna Jainchill

Phone: (201) 902-7940

[email protected]

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


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