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Newsletter: Cruise, 5/19/08

Celebrity To Offer Antarctica Sailings in 2010


Celebrity Cruises is setting its eye on the bottom of the Earth. Beginning next year, Celebrity will offer Antarctica sailings for the first time in the line's history. Celebrity has sailed South American itineraries for the past 10 years, but never as far south as Antarctica.

The 2,050-guest Celebrity Infinity will sail a total of eight South America sailings in late 2009 and early 2010, calling at 26 ports in 13 countries. Sales for these cruises opened on Tuesday.

The ship will depart from three ports, Ft. Lauderdale; Valparaiso, Chile; and Buenos Aires, which will be the home port for the two 14-night Antarctica sailings Celebrity will offer. One of will depart on January 31, 2010, and the other will set sail on February 14. Three days of the Antarctica sailings will visit Elephant Island, Paradise Bay, and Gerlache Strait. Visit

Bookings Now Open For Celebrity's 2009/10 Panama Canal Itineraries


Celebrity Cruises will offer more Panama Canal sailings in 2009/10 than it ever has before in any other previous season. A total of 18 non-roundtrip sailings will be offered through the Canal from five departure points: Fort Lauderdale, Miami, San Diego, Seattle and Valparaiso. The line's Panama Canal sailings are now on sale.

Celebrity will operate three ships in the region—Celebrity Infinity, Celebrity Constellation and Celebrity Mercury—on 13- to 16-night cruises, which will call at ports in other countries, as well, such as Aruba, Columbia, Costa Rica and Mexico. Visit

MSC Increases Fuel Surcharge

The escalating cost of fuel is forcing yet another cruise line to increase its fuel surcharge. MSC Cruises' current $6 per passenger per day fuel surcharge is being raised to $8 effective for new bookings made beginning July 1, 2008, and applicable only to cruises departing after December 1, 2008. Visit

Holland America Adds New Quebec Ports in 2009


Holland America Line will debut three new ports in Quebec on its 2009 longer Canada and New England voyages. The 13-, 14 and 15-day cruises aboard Eurodam and Maasdam will now call at Gaspé, Baie-Comeau and/or Sept-îles. In total, the two ships will offer 21 Canada and New England cruises out of Boston, Montreal, Quebec, New York and Fort Lauderdale.

Gaspé is famous for its sea cliffs of Forillon National Park; Baie-Comeau features the Borealis Center, a maritime adventure park; and Sept-îles introduces passengers to a native Innu community.

Holland America's 2009 season begins May 8 with a 15-day cruise on Maasdam from Fort Lauderdale to Montreal, with calls to the new Quebec ports as well as Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia. The lines Canada/New England cruise fares start at $1,099 per person. Visit

Viking Releases 2009 Cruise Atlas


Viking River Cruises has released its 2009 river cruise atlas detailing the line's Europe, Russia and China voyages, which amount to 19 itineraries from eight to 22 days in length.

In 2009, Viking will also launch its newest ship, Viking Legend, which is being touted as a "green" riverboat with hybrid engines that are 20 percent more efficient than typical vessels. The addition of Legend brings Viking's fleet total to 22, the largest of any river cruise company. Three other ships, Viking Schumann, Viking Fontane and Viking Kirov, will all receive upgrades.

Viking's newest itinerary for 2009 is the Ultimate European Journey, a 22-day cruise along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers that passes through eight countries including Germany, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.

Coinciding with the 2009 itinerary announcement, Viking is offering an early booking incentive: those who book and pay in full for any 2009 Viking voyage by May 30, 2008, will receive savings of $1,200 per stateroom; while those who book and pay in full by July 31, 2008, will save $1,000 per stateroom. Visit

MSC Arming Teens With Charge Cards

Watch out parents, MSC Cruises is set to give your children their very own charge cards. But no need to worry, the cards come preloaded with fixed amounts that teens can use to purchase onboard items such as sodas or gift shop items. The card also doubles as a stateroom key. 

MSC says the cards, which they are naming the "My Teen Card," are meant for the 12- to 17-year-old crowd and come in two different denominations, each, for the Caribbean and Mediterranean/Northern Europe. In the Caribbean, paying $30 will get you a $35 card ($5 bonus), a $60 card will cost $50 with a $10 bonus. In the Mediterranean/Northern Europe, the monetary levels are the same except in euros, not dollars.

"With their My Teen Card," says Richard Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises, USA, "they [teens] will not have to go to Mom and Dad every time they want to make a purchase." Visit

Fall for Celebrity's Mediterranean

Celebrity Cruises is offering travelers discounts on select sailings in the Mediterranean in late 2008 with its "Fall for Celebrity's Mediterranean" sales promotion. Booking certain Mediterranean cruises makes travelers eligible to receive up a $300 per person air or cruise credit for the first two guests in a stateroom and a $100 air or cruise credit for each additional guest in that stateroom.

The promotion is valid for all Mediterranean cruises departing in October or November 2008 on Celebrity Century, Celebrity Galaxy, and Celebrity Summit. Booking window is May 19 through June 1. Itineraries include 10- and 11-night eastern and western Mediterranean cruises, as well as 14-night "Classical Mediterranean" and "Mediterranean Legacies" itineraries.

Celebrity Cruises offers comfortably sophisticated and upscale cruise experiences with highly personalized service. Go to

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