Victorias at the drawing board

Victoria Cruises is in the design phase of a new ship called the Victoria Jenna, which will be built in 2005 for sailing in 2006, TC has learned.

It will be built on the model of the 133-cabin Victoria Katarina, the lines newest ship, which was launched last March.

The Victoria Katarina is the first of a new generation of larger, more elaborate ships that will characterize the Victoria line in the future.

In response to rumblings that Travel Corp., the parent of Trafalgar Tours, will acquire an interest in Uniworld, Serba Illich, the river cruise operators president, confirmed that he has, indeed, been in talks with Travel Corp. about a strategic partnership.

But while sources at Travel Corp. said, Its very near. Its going to happen, TC has been told that no deal has been finalized.

Whats the hang-up? Well, it turns out Uniworlds substantial European holdings include a number of subsidiaries with contracts written in German or Dutch. Also, the subsidiaries are governed under Swiss or Dutch law. The whole thing takes some sorting out.

TC has learned that the Olympics proved to be a gold mine for more than just the U.S. athletes.

Marriotts Athens Ledra Hotel hosted the NBC cast and crew who telecast the Games for the past two weeks. And NBC holds the rights for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where Marriott has three properties and will open a fourth in time for the Games.

Were bidding on hosting the NBC folks again. Theyre winners for us, a Marriott official said.

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