A "PRELIMINARY REVIEW" of a P&O Princess
shareholder circular released Dec. 27 "confirms" Carnival Corp.'s
contention that P&O Princess' board entered into "poison pill"
arrangements with Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd., said Carnival
officials in a Dec. 28 statement. The shareholder circular
officially convenes a Feb. 14 extraordinary meeting of P&O
Princess shareholders and includes financial details of P&O's
Princess' proposed $5.9 billion merger with Royal Caribbean.
Carnival's statement reiterates the company's contention that its
$4.6 billion hostile offer for P&O Princess is "clearly
superior to the Royal Caribbean proposal." Carnival also promised
to release "a full response in due course" to the circular.
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE inked preferred marketing
agreements with the Virtuoso and Leisure Travel Group agency
networks. Andy Stuart, NCL's senior vice president of sales and
marketing, called the agreements "an opportunity to expand [NCL's]
reach through two extremely efficient distribution networks."
Stuart said both partnerships will feature "innovative" direct
OFFICIALS AT BOTH Virtuoso and Leisure Travel
Group cited NCL's Hawaii cruises featuring the Norwegian Star as
key to the agreements. "We were very attracted by being able to
build vacation packages in Hawaii combining the Norwegian Star and
our partner hotels," said Ignacio Maza, executive vice president of
partner relations at Virtuoso.
SPEAKING OF Hawaii cruising, that state's Dept.
of Business Economic Development & Tourism, in it's first
regular cruise industry report, said the number of visitors to
Hawaii on foreign cruise ships jumped 58% in the September through
November period of 2001 compared with the same period in 2000, from
26,149 passengers to 41,310. "Hawaii has experienced exceptional
growth in the cruise industry in the last few years," said Seiji
Naya, director of the DBEDT. "It is very encouraging that despite
the events of Sept. 11, we experienced strong growth in the number
of cruise passengers over the last several months." The number of
ships visiting Hawaii waters in the three-month period jumped by
only one, from nine to 10.
RADISSON SEVEN SEAS CRUISES' newest ship,
700-passenger Seven Seas Voyager, will debut in March 2003 with
inaugural sailings in western Europe and the Baltic. Bookings will
open in the summer of 2002. The Voyager will be cruising's second
all-balcony, all-suite ship; the company introduced the first such
vessel, Seven Seas Mariner, in the spring of 2001. The Voyager will
feature Mediterranean ports in June, September, October and
November and Baltic ports in July and August.
IN OTHER COMPANY NEWS, Radisson's 320-passenger
Paul Gauguin and 350-passenger Radisson Diamond will each offer
butler service in the four highest suite categories beginning in
2002. Butler service already is available aboard Radisson's Mariner