THE CRUISE LINES INT'L ASSN.
(CLIA) said 2.4
million passengers sailed on CLIA-member lines during the first
quarter of 2004, a 9.13% increase over the same period in 2003.
North American passenger counts grew 6.8%, to a little more than 2
million. Cruise line guests from outside North America increased
25%, to 348,124. CLIA, meanwhile, predicted its 2004 agency
membership will increase by about 2%, reversing a four-year
decline. A study conducted for CLIA said that the trade
organization's membership will grow to about 16,300 members by the
end of 2004.
PRINCESS CRUISES expanded its cruise-tour
program in Europe with three new off-the-ship options in 2005.
During the Grand Princess' 12-day Mediterranean itinerary, guests
can opt for Under the Tuscan Sun, a four-night tour of Tuscany and
a visit to Milan. And there are two new land options -- English
Sojourn (U.K. landmarks) and the Ring of Kerry (Irish highlights)
-- tied into the Golden Princess' maiden Western Europe season.
PRINCESS CRUISES, meanwhile, made some
executive changes due to a change in the fleet operations
department in Carnival Corp.'s P&O Princess Cruises Int'l
division. Dean Brown, Princess' executive vice president, will head
the new North American fleet operations team and be responsible for
fleet operations for Princess, Cunard, Seabourn and P&O
Australia. Brown also will be responsible for port operations at
Princess and Cunard.
CELEBRITY CRUISES detailed some of the onboard
plans for its partnership with Cirque du Soleil. Lounges on the
Constellation and the Summit -- named Reflections and Revelations,
respectively -- will be transformed in December and renamed "the
Bar at the Edge of the Earth." Unique Cirque-created characters
will inhabit the bars each evening; in addition there will be a
masquerade ball during each cruise. Bars at the Edge could follow
on other ships if the concept is a success. Execs emphasized that
the Bar would be an interactive experience, rather than a typical
"show" -- where passengers will be "spec-actors" instead of simply
BATHROOM PANELS in some passenger cabins on the
Queen Mary 2 failed to pass a fire-safety test, the U.K. Maritime
and Coastguard Agency said. The agency stressed that the material
is in a "low risk wet area" and the ship has a "highly efficient
sprinkler system," so "passenger safety is not compromised," but
Cunard Line said it took steps to remedy the situation by
installing additional smoke detectors and sprinklers.
SOCIETY EXPEDITIONS said the World Discoverer's
mortgage holders took possession of the ship. Callers to the
company's headquarters were routed to a phone message that said
that "the general problematic situation in the travel industry has
led to below-budget numbers on this years' summer and fall
voyages," which has led to "financial shortages." The
adventure-cruise line said it was working to find an "immediate"
solution, but it canceled a June 18 cruise from Nome, Alaska.
CRYSTAL CRUISES revised its fares in its 2005
brochure to reflect what the line said was "more realistic"
pricing. The pricing in Crystal's 2005 Cruise Atlas is about 7% to
38% below the earlier prices listed in its 2005 Cruise Guide
brochure. The line said in a statement that fare reductions are
common but that "the messages have been confusing."
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE added a five-day Alaska
cruise to its schedule. The 1,258-passenger Ryndam will sail
roundtrip from Vancouver Sept. 24. The itinerary includes the
Inside Passage, Sitka and Ketchikan. Outside staterooms start at
$589 per person, double.