THE PATRIOT GAMES are over as Holland America
Line's former Nieuw Amsterdam is heading back into service in the
U.K. HAL signed a long-term agreement to charter the ship to
Cyprus-based Louis Cruises, which in turn subchartered the ship to
Thomson Holidays. The U.K. operator will market the ship as the
Thomson Spirit. The ship had sailed as the Patriot for the
now-defunct American Classic Voyages line and was repurchased at
auction by HAL in February.
DELAWARE NORTH COS. is making its first voyage
into the cruise industry with its winning bid for American Classic
Voyages' steamboats Mississippi Queen, American Queen and Delta
Queen. The Buffalo, N.Y.-based holding company paid $80 million for
the three ships at an auction in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in
Delaware on May 6; regulatory approval is expected within 21 days.
According to the company, the steamboat operation will be managed
for DNC by Dennis Szefel, president of its Hospitality and
Entertainment Group. The company said it plans to keep the
operation in New Orleans, where American Classic Voyages has its
reservations and sales center, and intends to retain most of the
CELEBRITY'S Constellation set sail Sunday on
her maiden voyage. The ship's May 5 charter voyage was canceled
after the line discovered a leak in the ship's starboard propulsion
pod during sea trials.
DISNEY CRUISE LINES kicked off its new
seven-day western Caribbean voyages on the Disney Magic Saturday.
The Magic sails every other week to Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
and Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas.
WANDERING STAR: Norwegian Star settled on
Kahului on Maui for its permanent port on the island. The Star
previously called at Lahaina on Maui, where it had to anchor and
use tenders to ferry passengers ashore. Kahului, on the opposite
side of Maui from Lahaina, offers a dock where the Star can pull
along side, a more convenient arrangement. In March, NCL changed
its port call on the Big Island from Kona to Hilo for the same
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES made a slew of
repositioning announcements for September 2003:
• Carnival Cruise Lines said its Jubilee will move from Galveston
to operate a series of "unique" cruises: Seven ports in seven days.
Usually, ships make three or four calls during a weeklong sailing.
The Jubilee will depart from San Juan every Saturday and call in
St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts and
• The Elation, now based in Los Angeles, will fill the Galveston
slot for the line's first seven-day western Caribbean cruises from
that port. The line decided to offer longer cruises from Galveston
because of the popularity of the port city, said Bob Dickinson,
• Meanwhile, the line's 2,124-passenger Pride, now based in Port
Canaveral, Fla., will be moved to the new cruise terminal in Long
Beach, Calif., for seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises.
SEADREAM Yacht Club teamed with Buddy Bombard's
European Balloon Adventures to introduce Flights of Fancy, a
program that adds a hot-air balloon package to SeaDream's seven-day
Mediterranean cruises. The balloon trips are available either pre-
or post- cruise, depending on the sailing date, and will float over
France's Burgandy, Tuscany or Loire Valley regions. Prices for the
combined program start at $9,190 per person, double, and the trips
range from 11 to 14 days, depending on the length of the balloon
program. Air fare is not included.
• Norwegian Cruise Lines introduced a "Freestyle National Holiday"
promotion. For agents who book an NCL cruise before July 4, the
line is offering agents a variety of gifts based on the number of
cruises they sell, plus a chance to win one of five NCL cruises
(grand prize is Independence Day weekend in New York in 2003,
followed by a seven-day Bahamas/Florida cruise on the Norwegian
Dawn). Plus, 40 agents will receive barbecue "party packs" with
enough grub to feed 10 people, delivered right to their door. God
• Radisson Seven Seas Cruises is offering free roundtrip economy
airfare from select gateways for Tahiti cruises on the Paul Gaugin
Sept. 7 and 14 and Dec. 14. Guests also receive $500 per person
bonus savings and extended Early Booking Savings.
• Silversea, meanwhile, launched an aggressive price and incentive
deal: Under its new Simplicity Pricing promotion, the line set a
pre-assigned savings amount to particular voyages between June 29
and Dec. 22; depending on the voyage selected, guests can save up
to 50% on a Vista or Veranda cabin. An accompanying Profit Sharing
program for agents gives retailers a flat cash award based on the
number of suites confirmed under the Simplicity Pricing
• SeaDream linked with Air France to offer discounts of up to 46%
on the airline's Concorde flights to and from the Continent for the
cruise line's Mediterranean series.