SARS UPDATE: Asia operator Star Cruises said two of its
crew members were hospitalized after displaying symptoms, such as
fever and coughing, that are consistent with severe acute
respiratory syndrome (SARS). The line quarantined 13 crew who may
have been in contact with the two hospitalized workers. No
passenger illnesses were reported.
• Asia operator Star Cruises said two of its crew members were
hospitalized after displaying symptoms, such as fever and coughing,
that are consistent with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
The line quarantined 13 crew who may have been in contact with the
two hospitalized workers. No passenger illnesses were reported.
• Crystal Cruises canceled its April 15 Crystal Harmony cruise from
Yokohama, Japan, to Beijing, citing a high rate of passenger
cancellations for that itinerary. The cruise had previously been
modified to avoid a Hong Kong embarkation.
• ResidenSea canceled the remainder of the World's Asia season and
will bring the ship to Hawaii, Mexico and the western U.S. after
its revised Australian season finishes April 24. The ship resumes
its published schedule on July 11 in Anchorage, Alaska.
• China river cruise operators are taking a hit. A spokesman for
Victoria Cruises reported "loads of cancellations" and said the
line was operating only four ships. A China Regal Cruises
representative said business was down by at least 60% to 70%.
• Several cruise lines stepped up efforts to prevent SARS from
appearing on board their ships. For example, passengers checking in
on all Carnival Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises ships are now
required to fill out a SARS-related questionnaire on
embarkation--passengers will be denied boarding if they have
visited or passed through China, Singapore or Vietnam in the past
CARNIVAL CORP. shareholders approved the merger
between P&O Princess at a special meeting in New York. Now all
eyes turn to the P&O Princess shareholder vote, which will take
place Wednesday in London.
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE purchased the ocean liner
the United States, a classic vessel built in 1950 that had been
dormant in Philadelphia for the last several years. NCL plans to
refurbish the ship for cruise operations as the fourth ship in the
line's U.S.-flagged fleet. NCL also purchased the Independence at a
U.S. Maritime Administration auction. The Independence sailed in
the Hawaii market until October 2001, when its former owner
American Classic Voyages Co. went bankrupt. NCL is evaluating
whether the Independence will be used as the fifth vessel in its
U.S. flag operation.
ARE CRUISE BOOKINGS ON THE REBOUND? A few
cruise lines reported a slight increase in business last week, but
Mark Conroy, CEO of Radisson Seven Seas Cruises cautioned it's
still too early to tell if cruise travel was bouncing back--this
week will be the one to tell, he said. "Everything that's moving
positively is domestic stuff," he noted. Travel agent Roland
Largay, with Largay Travel in Southbury, Conn., agreed: "I'm an
eternal optimist," he said. "But I'm also realistic ... I think
it's going to be a few weeks before we see a real increase in
SILVERSEA CRUISES is looking to improve its
onboard entertainment. The line hired Jim D'Amico away from
Celebrity Cruises to head up Silversea's entertainment department,
and the line said it "will be moving away from production shows ...
pursue live music of quality and take a fresh and innovative look
at entertainment." Look for that fresh feel on the Silver Shadow in
September and the Silver Whisper in April 2004.
• Cunard Line picked its china pattern for its blushing bride, the
Queen Mary 2. To be more precise, Wedgwood designed a signature
pattern exclusively for the ship, which will be used in its
exclusive Queens Grill and Princess Grill restaurants.
• Oceania Cruises upped the ante on its inaugural sailings of its
ship the Regatta by offering free economy-class air on its first
six sailings, as well as two-for-one pricing. Fares start at $2,995
per person, air-inclusive, for the Regatta's 15-day Europe
• Kosher-only cruises will begin in December on board Windstar
Cruises' Wind Surf. The cruises, slated for December and January,
will be offered under charter by Chosen Voyage, a new enterprise,
and will be the first kosher-only cruises, the company said. Wind
Surf's galleys will be rendered into kosher facilities, with new
utensils and dishes brought in for the charters in the Eastern
Caribbean. The spokesman said Jewish-oriented activities will be an
• Carnival Cruise Lines added a new teen shore-excursions program
to its cruises. Kids ages 12 through 15 vote on the tours of their
choice and the excursion with the highest number of votes is then
selected as the group's chosen activity for that port.