Early-bird prices set for '03's world cruises

NEW YORK -- Departures for 2003 world cruises are barely on the horizon, but cruise lines are gearing up for next year's round-the-world extravaganzas with early bird deals.

Prices on world cruises soar as high as $50,000 per person, depending on the line, prompting a Crystal spokeswoman to note these bookings are "very lucrative for agents."

Some early bird rates follow:

• Cunard's Queen Elizabeth II sails from New York Jan. 5.
The early-bird price on the 107-day voyage is $19,499 per person.

• Holland America Line's 2003 Grand World Voyage will depart from Fort Lauderdale on the Amsterdam Jan. 4.
Cruise prices start at $34,539, and guests who book by April 30 will receive a 20% discount off that price.

• Crystal Cruises will depart on its world cruise from the East Coast for the first time when the Crystal Symphony departs Fort Lauderdale Jan. 19.
Crystal's early booking World Value Fares start at $41,4555 per person.

• Prices on Radisson Seven Seas Cruises' world cruise on the Seven Seas Mariner start at $49,795.
Early booking savings of 10% for the full cruise are offered until July 1.

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