CUNARD'S QE2 will make 16 final transatlantic
crossings next year before bequeathing the New York-Southampton
route to the new Queen Mary 2 in 2004. The QE2 will continue to do
its annual World Cruise (which usually includes a transatlantic
crossing as part of the itinerary) and will offer Europe cruises
from its base in Southampton. The QM2 is under construction at the
Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France.
ALASKA GOV. TONY KNOWLES' bill calling for a
$30 head tax on the state's cruise ship passengers "can safely be
pronounced dead, at least for this year," a spokesman said. "The
legislature showed little inclination to deal with any revenue
measures this session and on the final day of the regular session,
the main proponent of the passenger tax announced his intent not to
run for re-election." In addition, a measure calling for emergency
tourism marketing funds "fell off the legislative radar a long time
ago," the spokesman said, "as surveys no longer pointed to a
decline in bookings and, in fact, pointed to a possible record
cruise season ahead."
"BASICALLY WHAT WE'VE DONE is to be sure our
chips are stacked in the right places." That's how Rod McLeod,
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s vp-travel industry relations,
described a move by the firm to increase the number of its key
account managers and consolidate its sales regions in the U.S. from
six to five. Said McLeod: "You look at the changing census of
travel agencies, and that reflects a shift in the volume of
THE TROLLFJORD, Norwegian Coastal Voyages'
newest ship, entered service May 18 after a series of delays at the
Fosen Mek shipyard in Norway pushed back the delivery date by about
two weeks. The ship's original maiden cruise on May 7 was canceled.
The Trollfjord was christened May 14 in Trondheim and then sent on
its way to Bergen, where it will operate NCV's "Hurtigruten"
coastal service, sailing 12-day itineraries.
THE CARNIVAL LEGEND will shift its winter home
to Fort Lauderdale from Miami, making it Carnival's first new ship
to homeport there as well as the line's first long-term cruise
operation from Fort Lauderdale in more than a decade. The Legend
will sail alternating eight-day southern and western Caribbean
NORWEGIAN Cruise Lines' Norwegian Star, which
operates in Hawaii, was diverted from last week's call at Fanning
Island after one of two crew members who suffered steam burns
during a boiler room mishap had to be airlifted to Honolulu. The
ship's itinerary was altered to include a call in Kona as a result
of the accident.
• Holland America Line launched a new travel agent promotion,
creatively named "Summer Caribbean Sail-a-bration," to promote the
Maasdam, which is sailing 13 Caribbean cruises.
• The World of ResidenSea was christened Friday in Venice, Italy,
sandwiched between a masked ball Thursday and a gala celebration
Friday night. Festivities aside, the ship sails next to Cannes for
the Cannes Film Festival; a representative said the ship, as well
as the accompanying Abercrombie & Kent shore tours in Cannes,
are sold out.
• Carnival Cruise Lines implemented Amadeus Cruise into its on-line
reservations system, following a six-week beta test. Travel agents
in the U.S. and Canada with an Amadeus-connected computer can book
Carnival cruises on-line.
• Princess Cruises opened its fifth Alaska property, the Copper
River Princess Wilderness Lodge. The 85-room lodge, situated on the
edge of Alaska's largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias, is
included in Princess' cruise-tour program.
• Windstar will offer free or low-cost upgrades to business class
on Lufthansa for its Europe-bound guests. Prices vary depending on
departure city and cruise itinerary.