THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION is opening an in-depth
regulatory review of Carnival Corp.'s proposed acquisition of
P&O Princess Cruises, saying in a statement that preliminary
indications indicate the deal raises "serious concerns regarding
the market for oceanic cruises in the U.K. and Germany." The
extended review could take up to four months to complete. The EC
also denied a request by the U.K. Dept. of Trade and Industry that
it be allowed to review elements of the merger for competitive
concerns. The rival offer for P&O Princess by Royal Caribbean
Cruises Ltd. already is under review in the U.K., with a decision
expected in mid-May. Both bids are undergoing antitrust review in
the U.S. by the Federal Trade Commission.
AMERICAN CLASSIC VOYAGES has a buyer for the
Mississippi Queen and the venerable Delta Queen steamboats:
Waveland Investments, a Chicago-based investment firm. Waveland has
agreed to bid $3.75 million for the two ships at auction May 2.
Assuming Waveland is the highest bidder, vp-operations David
Simmons said, it'll be full-steam ahead: The Delta Queen Steamboat
Co. division will continue to be headquartered in New Orleans, and
both the Mississippi and Delta Queens are set to begin their 2002
itineraries on May 7 and Aug. 26, respectively. Waveland also
expressed interest in buying other AMCV ships, such as the Cape May
Light and the American Queen, but those ships are still tied up in
BUT IS THE CHAMPAGNE KORBEL?
• Royal Olympic Cruises' long-awaited ship, the Olympia Explorer,
will begin its regularly scheduled service May 3 from Piraeus,
• Society Expeditions' new ship, the World Discoverer, debuts April
26 with a voyage from Darwin, Australia.
• The World of Residensea set a new christening ceremony date and
location: Venice, Italy, on May 17.
WHO'S ON FIRST? Princess Cruises, which is
introducing five ships over the next three years, will add another
to its lineup in 2004 by transferring a vessel that is on order for
sister line P&O Cruises. The new Grand Princess-class ship will
be christened the Crown Princess, replacing the current Crown
Princess, which is being shifted this month to P&O Princess'
German-based line, A'Rosa Cruises. Meanwhile, in another transfer,
Princess' Sea Princess will move to P&O Cruises in spring 2003.
The ship will be renamed the Adonia and will replace the Arcadia.
For its part, the Arcadia will move to a new U.K. cruise line,
Ocean Village. P&O Princess is developing Ocean Village as an
informal cruise product for the U.K. market. Get all that?
ROYAL CARIBBEAN INT'L signed a five-year
contract to sail from Galveston, Texas. The deal comes on the heels
of the Rhapsody of the Sea's successful three-month run there last
fall. The Rhapsody returned to Galveston Sunday, where it will be
based for the "extended future."
PESKY PODS: Radisson Seven Seas Cruises
canceled three cruises on the 700-passenger Seven Seas Mariner and
will send the ship to dry-dock this month for repairs to the
bearings in one of its propulsion pods. Passengers booked on April
22, 26 and May 9 cruises will receive a full refund, plus either a
discount or a credit on future cruises.
SEABOURN will upgrade its spa packages when
next month the line introduces the Spa at Seabourn, a new menu of
onboard treatments and services, and Ceremonies, which are
combinations of spa treatments for "spa enthusiasts." Seabourn will
offer discounts to guests, and free treatments for frequent
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES is deploying its VIP
check-in service, called the "Skipper's Club," in six additional
cities: Los Angeles, Tampa, New Orleans, San Juan, Galveston and
New York. The perk, which had been available only in Miami and Port
Canaveral, Fla., enables passengers booked in suites to bypass the
regular check-in lines.
SEADREAM Yacht Club named David Vass director,
yacht adventures & land activities. Vass will work to develop
shoreside programs for the upscale line.
CLIENTS booked on some Europe cruises with
Windstar can take advantage of a deal offering a $95 two-night pre-
or post-cruise hotel stay in Athens; Barcelona, Spain; Istanbul,
Turkey, or Nice, France. The package is priced per person and
features accommodations at one of four "deluxe" properties:
Athenaeum Inter-Continental Hotel in Athens, Barcelona Hilton,
Istanbul Hilton or Le Meridien Hotel in Nice.