Travel Weekly's Cruise E-letter: July 6, 2004

SOCIETY EXPEDITIONS filed for Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy in the Seattle Bankruptcy Court on June 29. The company has until July 14 to file schedules and statements of financial affairs. A meeting of creditors is scheduled for July 29.

MUCH ADO AT NCL: Norwegian Cruise Line will expand its New York departures, deploying the Norwegian Dawn out of New York year-round and adding a second year-round ship, the Norwegian Spirit. The Norwegian Crown also will sail from New York for its summer cruises to Bermuda. The Norwegian Spirit will take over the Dawn's 10- and 11-day Exotic Southern Caribbean itinerary, and the Dawn will offer winter itineraries from New York to the eastern and western Caribbean.

IN OTHER NCL NEWS, the cruise line named its newest ship the Norwegian Jewel and assigned it to sail Caribbean cruises out of Miami and Alaska cruises out of Seattle. The ship is NCL's fourth vessel for Freestyle Cruising. It will have 10 restaurants, two Garden Villas and 10 courtyard villas with private courtyards and sun decks. Launching from Miami in August 2005, the Jewel will offer eastern and western Caribbean itineraries, then head to Alaska in spring 2006.

ALSO, the line announced it is opening a customer service center in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa in Honolulu for its Hawaii customers. The office will employ a full-time concierge exclusively for NCL and NCL America guests. The center will provide precruise check-in, book land and shore excursions, arrange onboard amenities and make spa and dining reservations and upgrades. The opening of the center coincides with the christening and the inaugural voyage of NCL's Pride of Aloha July 4.

ALL 118 VESSELS of the member lines of the International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL) achieved full compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, the ICCL reported. Most of the security measures adopted by the International Maritime Organization in its Safety of Life at Sea regulations already were covered by the ICCL in security regulations issued in 1996, the association said. Some international ports had not yet reached compliance, according to the ICCL.

HOLLAND AMERICA LINE added a five-day Alaska cruise to its schedule. The 1,258-passenger Ryndam will sail roundtrip from Vancouver Sept. 24 to 29. The itinerary includes scenic cruising of the Inside Passage, Sitka and the port of Ketchikan. Outside staterooms start at $589 per person. Pre- and post-tour packages are available for Vancouver.

SEABOURN'S PRIDE, SPIRIT AND LEGEND yachts are being equipped with Wi-Fi accessibility throughout, enabling passengers to log on to the Internet without plugging in from guest suites and most public areas on the ships.

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