should know in the next "30 or 40
days" if it will be able to expand in New York by building two
cruise berths in Brooklyn, a company executive said. Giora Israel,
Carnival vice president of strategic planning and executive
director of the Carnival-led New York Cruise Alliance, said
creating two cruise berths in Brooklyn would alleviate congestion
at the Passenger Ship Terminal in Manhattan as well as provide more
space to dock Cunard Line's mammoth Queen Mary 2. City agencies are
considering a new cruise terminal as part of a possible
transformation of some Brooklyn piers, which are owned by the Port
Authority of New York and New Jersey, from a commercial port to a
mixed-use waterfront. In addition, the city's Economic Development
Corp. expects in three to four months to finish a study on whether
to upgrade the current cruise ship facilities at the Passenger Ship
Terminal, as well.
VACATION.COM AND OCEANIA CRUISES teamed up to
offer two-for-one fares on 12-day Caribbean voyages aboard
Oceania's Regatta departing Dec. 9 and March 3. The Caribbean
Hideaways sailings depart from Miami and will call at Nevis,
Dominica, St. Barts and Antigua. In addition to the two-for-one
fares, which start at $1,295 per person for an interior cabin,
$1,695 per person for an oceanview stateroom or $2,395 per person
for a stateroom with veranda, the fares also include a $200
shipboard credit per cabin. To receive the two-fer fares and
shipboard credit, the promotion must be booked by Sept. 20. To
book, call (800) 876-4581.
IN OTHER V.COM NEWS, Vacation.com said its
member agencies sold all but six of the 300 cabins it secured
earlier this year from Norwegian Cruise Line for sailings on the
Norwegian Dawn from New York this summer. The agency group called
its first, $1 million foray into the risk inventory business "a
major success." Vacation.com president Dick Knodt said the
consortium's first risk-inventory installment, in which member
agencies resold the space and could earn 20% commissions, was "just
a test run." Vacation.com said it plans to work with NCL again --
but next time it will buy a larger chunk of cabins and the space
won't be limited to a single ship and itinerary.
VIKING RIVER CRUISES, a floating fixture in the
Europe river-cruising market, will make its first foray into China
next year. The line will offer five itineraries along the Yangtze
River beginning in March 2004; each one will include a seven-day
cruise on the Century Star, a 186-passenger river ship that is
being built specifically for the China cruises.
BIG FIVE TOURS introduced a new river cruise on
the Rio Napo in the Ecuadorian Amazon using a 30-passenger vessel,
the Manatee Explorer. Big Five's director of marketing and product
development, Raj Sanghrajka, said the tour offers "the real Amazon
experience, not the Mickey Mouse version one tends to find in
Brazil and Peru." Big Five offers four- and five-day cruises that
can be combined with other tour programs.
MEANWHILE, AMERICAN WEST STEAMBOAT CO.
introduced its second ship, the sternwheeler Empress of the North,
in Alaska Aug. 10. The 235-passenger Empress kicked off with an
11-day Inside Passage cruise from Seattle to Juneau, marking not
only American West's first Alaska cruise, but also the first
overnight sternwheeler cruise in Alaska in more than a century. The
ship will sail a series of one-way cruises between Juneau and
Seattle before joining sister ship the Queen of the West on the
Columbia, Willamette, and Snake rivers. The Empress returns to
Alaska next year with a series of roundtrip cruises from Sitka.
ONE CRUISE LINE is inviting guests to be
stowaways. Seattle-based Cruise West said it will take 25% off the
cruise ticket if passengers allow the cruise line to select their
departure date within a 30-day window. So-called "stowaway
passengers" select a 30-day period for departure on cruises in 2003
and 2004 and make a deposit; Cruise West then tells the "stowaway"
at least 30 days in advance when they'll be sailing. Yes, stowaways
do get their own cabins, and they're allowed to select a stateroom
category in advance.