for the safety of its passengers
and lack of demand for the destination, Carnival Cruise Lines said
it will pull out of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, after the
Carnival Triumph visits the island May 11. The Carnival Victory
made its last call there April 24. The concerns about crime were
"ongoing" and "well-documented," the spokeswoman said. She added it
was rare for a cruise line to switch itineraries midseason. A
spokeswoman said Victory, which is alternating eastern and western
Caribbean itineraries, will shift to St. Maarten. Triumph is on its
way to New York for a scheduled series of Bermuda cruises, but when
it returns to the Caribbean this fall, it also will call in St.
SMALL-SHIP LINE Cruise West canceled 17 of its
new Central America sailings this year, saying a typically slow
inaugural season was coupled with a general downturn in
international travel, making it difficult to predict 2002 sales.
The line said guests on the canceled voyages were switched to other
sailings and offered cabin upgrades and/or shipboard credits; agent
commissions were protected. Despite the slower performance this
year, Cruise West said the line will have 29 sailings in Central
America in 2003, including a new call in Portobelo, Panama.
THE WESTERDAM will return to the Holland
America Line fleet -- at least, the name will return. The line
picked the name Westerdam for its third Vista class ship, which is
scheduled to be delivered in spring 2004. The name hardly was
picked out of a hat: The new Westerdam will be the third vessel to
bear the title.
A NEW VISTA: Holland America, meanwhile,
exercised an option with Italy's Fincantieri-Cantieri Navali
Italiani shipyard to build an 1,848-passenger vessel for delivery
in spring 2006. The 85,000-ton ship, which will cost roughly $400
million, will be the fifth built on HAL's Vista platform. The first
of the Vista-class ships, the Zuiderdam, is expected to be
delivered Nov. 15, followed by the Oosterdam in 2003, the Westerdam
in 2004 and another unnamed vessel in 2005.
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES next year will offer a
brand-new roundtrip Caribbean cruise schedule from New York. The
series--eight-day voyages aboard the new 2,124-passenger Carnival
Legend--will operate May 13 to Oct. 12. The program will feature
three different tropical destinations: San Juan, St. Thomas/St.
John and Tortola/Virgin Gorda.
RADISSON SEVEN SEAS, meanwhile, will enter the
Bermuda market from New York with its Seven Seas Navigator in 2003.
The 490-passenger ship will operate seven-night voyages from New
York to Bermuda April through September, with a break in July and
August, when the ship will be in Europe.
THE NORWEGIAN SUN will be Norwegian Cruise
Line's third Alaska ship next year when the line repositions that
ship to Seattle from the Caribbean in May 2003. The Norwegian Sky
already calls Seattle home, and the Norwegian Wind is offering
Alaska cruises this year and next from Vancouver, B.C.
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE tweaked its rebooking
policy again, this time formalizing a price protection program for
clients on both Holland America and Windstar Cruises. Beginning
July 1, passengers can request a fare adjustment after the final
payment due date if the gross cruise-only fare dips to at least 10%
less than the original fare booked. Rebooking fares had been
handled on a case-by-case basis until this February, when HAL
formalized its rebooking policies and ended close-in fare
adjustments altogether. A HAL spokeswoman said the change was made
because the line wanted to "give consumers confidence to book
CARNIVAL CORP. pled guilty to federal criminal
charges of falsifying records about illegal oil dumping in Florida
waters by the Tropicale, Sensation, Fantasy, Ecstasy, Paradise and
Imagination. In a statement filed with the Southern District Court
of Florida, the company admitted to discharging oily waste into the
sea in violation of health and safety regulations over a period of
five years. Carnival agreed to pay a $9 million fine and an
additional $9 million earmarked for community service to fund
environmental projects. As a condition of a five-year probation,
Carnival must implement an environmental compliance program that
includes hiring personnel whose responsibility it will be to ensure
the company's compliance with environmental regulations. For its
part, Carnival issued a statement saying, among other things, that
it is "committed to environmental compliance."
• Royal Caribbean Cruises' first-quarter revenue was up 10% from
first-quarter 2001, $800 million compared with $727 million last
year, but net income after expenses was essentially flat at $52
million. Company executives attributed the higher revenue to a 23%
increase in capacity but said that was offset by reduced yields
because of discounting. Although prices have returned to pre-Sept.
11 levels, the company said, yields are expected to be down 5% to
7% from 2001 levels in the second and third quarters.
• P&O Princess Cruises posted an operating profit of $42.2
million in the quarter ended March 31, up 29% over last year's
$32.7 million. Gross revenue for the period was $512.1 million
compared with $542.1 in 2001, down 6%. Peter Ratcliffe, CEO of
P&O Princess, said in a statement accompanying the report,
"Bookings in North America have maintained a pace well ahead of
2001, and current pricing is now close to levels at this time last