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Coral Sands Travel Forms New Cruise-Only Host Agency
Coral Sands Travel, LaBelle, FL, a host agency, has formed a separate cruise-only host agency named World Cruising Society, according to Peter Stilphen, CEO of Coral Sands Travel.
Stilphen, an outspoken critic of multi-level marketing companies, said the new host agency was formed to “provide an alternative to the multi-level marketing travel agencies that are sprouting up everywhere.”
“World Cruising Society is offering new and experienced travel agents the opportunity to join a reputable host agency for a small fraction of what it would cost to join and maintain an affiliation with an MLM model host agency,” Stilphen said.
World Cruising Society will be all about training and support of its affiliates. It is only seeking the serious cruise agent. The cost to join is just $150 per year with no other charges. An affiliate can also have its own consumer search website for $200 per year, Stilphen said.
The new cruise only host agency will have no effect upon its parent as a full service host agency, Stilphen said. “The purpose of forming a cruise only host agency is to offer those agents who desire to sell only cruises an opportunity to do so at a cost that makes sense to them as an independent travel agent.”
Stilphen also noted that Coral Sands Travel's cruise portion of its business has been doubling each year of its five years in business and remains profitable, privately owned and debt free company. Visit www.worldcruisingsociety.com.
Royal Caribbean Goes With Oasis and Allure for Genesis Names
Royal Caribbean can do away with its Project Genesis codename. After more than 91,000 entries from the general public, the cruise line has settled on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas as the names of its two mammoth 5,400-passenger, now Oasis-class ships slated to debut in 2009 and 2010.
The "Name that Ship" contest, which launched January 18, was carried out in partnership with USA Today, and entrants were asked to submit two possible names. George Weiser of Livonia, MI, was the lucky winner, receiving the highest scores from a panel of judges, including Lauren Teton, a founding partner of Name One!, which specializes in finding unique names for products. Visit www.royalcaribbean.com.
Crystal Adds Fuel Surcharge To 2009 Bookings Made After June 15
A fuel surcharge of $7 will be added to all of Crystal Cruises' 2009 bookings made after June 15, 2008. Currently, passengers who book a 2009 Crystal cruise before the June 16 cutoff will not have to pay a fuel surcharge. Crystal currently charges a $7 fuel supplement on 2008 voyages. Visit www.crystalcruises.com.
Crystal Brings Celebrities to Sea
Actors, musicians and singers from Lynn Redgrave to Gena Rowlands will join and perform on Crystal Cruises' 12-day "Italian Treasures" itinerary from Venice to Monte Carlo, departing September 12, 2008, aboard Crystal Serenity. The luxury line is calling it the first "Theatre At Sea" cruise.
The artists will perform individual shows throughout the voyage, which visits Dubrovnik in Croatia; Taormina, Sorrento, Rome, Florence and Elba, all in Italy, and Monte Carlo where it will overnight. Cruise fares start at $4,835 per person.
Artists joining will be: Lynn Redgrave, the Golden Globe-winning actress, Gena Rowlands, the Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning actress, Patricia Neal, the Academy Award-winning actress, Lucy Arnaz and Laurence Luckinbill, who will perform together, Florence Henderson, the matriarch of The Brady Bunch, Susannah York, the Academy Award-nominated actress and Broadway-actor Lee Roy Reams.
Private Equity Group Acquires Orion Expedition Cruises
Orion Expedition Cruises, the expedition cruise line servicing destinations in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Antarctica, has been acquired by KSL Capital Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in buying travel and leisure enterprises, with offices in Denver, New York and London.
In only its third year of operation, Orion has been noted for its service and operation as a luxury expedition line and garnered many awards. It was founded in 2004 by Managing Director Sarina Bratton, who said she was excited over the opportunity to work with KSL to "take Orion Expedition Cruises to the next level." She added that expanding the brand past Australia would require additional capital and distribution power in the United States and Europe, something KSL will help achieve. Visit www.orioncruises.com.
Weak Dollar Prompts Star Clippers To Open Bookings Through March 2010
Star Clippers and its trio of three tall-masted ships has opened bookings through March 2010, citing a weak U.S. dollar, which is helping underpin cruise growth and historically solid advance bookings. Star Clippers operates Star Clipper, Star Flyer and flagship, Royal Clipper, all sailing diverse itineraries in Tahiti, the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Far East, and on transatlantic and Indian Ocean crossings.
"With the weakening dollar, more people are realizing the value of a cruise vacation," said Jack Chatham, president in the Americas for Star Clippers. "This, along with our history of getting solid advanced bookings, prompted us to open the books as soon as possible so our guests have enough time to plan their vacations and get their first choice of itinerary, cabin and date.
Star Flyer will sail in Tahiti on seven, 10- and 11-night cruises roundtrip from Papeete through 2010—and beyond; Star Clipper, from November 2008 through March 2009 and November 2009 through March 2010, will cruise in the Far East, but sail Greece and Turkey routes in summer 2009; Royal Clipper will continue its Caribbean duties through 2010, sailing two different seven-night Barbados itineraries from November through March. In the summer, it will deploy to the Mediterranean operating seven, 10- and 11-night western Mediterranean itineraries.
NCL Offers Northern Europe Itinerary For Less
Norwegian Cruise Line is offering a 13-day British Isles and Northern Europe cruise on Norwegian Jade roundtrip from Southampton on July 13 starting at $1,599 per person. Ports of call include Le Havre, Falmouth, Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Greenock, Invergordon, South Queensferry, Amsterdam and Zeebrugge. Visit www.ncl.com.
Carnival Offers Short Bahamas on the Cheap
Carnival Cruise Lines is offering three-day itineraries to the Bahamas starting at only $219 per person. With dates throughout June, Carnival Sensation leaves Port Canaveral in Orlando with a visit to Nassau. The voyage is ideal for families strapped for time and money. Visit www.carnival.com.