Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: July 20, 2004

CUNARD LINE'S operations are to be relocated to Princess Cruises' headquarters in Santa Clarita, Calif., by the end of the year. Once the move is finished, Pamela Conover, the president of Cunard Line, will join Carnival's Shared Services department as senior vice president; Cunard executives will report to Peter Ratcliffe, the CEO of Carnival Corp.'s P&O Princess division, which includes Cunard and U.K. brands such as P&O Cruises and Ocean Village. Cunard and Seabourn will continue to share its sales force, which the line said will be left intact and headed by Lee Robinson, Cunard's current vice president-sales.

CUNARD'S MOVE follows a recent decision to combine some of Cunard and Princess Cruises' fleet operations duties. Already in the U.K. Cunard's operations have been combined with Carnival's other British-based cruise brands -- although Ratcliffe told TravelWeekly.com that there are no plans to combine Princess and Cunard's sales forces here in the U.S. The relocation to California is expected to reduce future overhead costs by approximately $20 million on an annual basis, Carnival said.

DEBORAH NATANSOHN, Cunard's senior vice president-marketing, will move to Seabourn and become Seabourn's president, reporting to Carnival Corp. Vice Chairman Howard Frank. Richard Meadows, Seabourn's current senior vice president-sales and marketing, will relocate to Seattle and take the same position at Holland America Line. David Giersdorf, executive vice president-sales and marketing, will leave HAL in July (although he'll stay on as a consultant through November).

SPLIT DECISION: Royal Caribbean Cruises will split its sales force and dedicate sales reps to either its Royal Caribbean International or its Celebrity Cruises brands, effective Oct. 4. The company will hire about 30 new salespeople to accommodate the split, said Dan Hanrahan, RCCL's senior vice president of sales and marketing. The decision is the latest step in a process that began about two years ago when RCCL created brand-specific divisions of sales reps for top accounts. Earlier this year, RCCL split its reservations and group sales departments, revenue planning and guest-sales teams into brand-specific groups.

THE CRUISE LINES INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION (CLIA) is accepting nominations to its new travel agent advisory board through Aug. 1. The advisory board, which was announced during CLIA's first "Direct to Dale" conference call between retailers and CLIA President Terry Dale, will solicit advice from 25 cruise sellers from various retail backgrounds (home-based, Internet-based and brick-and-mortar, for example), who will serve two-year terms.

THE NCL CORP., a newly named company formed directly under Star Cruises that encompases all of Star's North American-based brands (Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America and Orient Lines), completed a $1.05 billion financing deal, which will be used to refinance existing debt and fund the company's fleet renewal program.

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