Caribbean cruises offer wide range of choice

Aug 16, 2003
Author: P&S


Sailing to the Caribbean has never been easier than with Norwegian Cruise Line's (NCL) 2004-2005 Caribbean schedule. Passengers are now able to visit the world's most popular cruise destination from six ports aboard seven NCL Freestyle Cruising ships.

The deployment of these seven Freestyle cruise ships to the Caribbean will be highlighted by a series of unique aspects.

These include an extended list of 10- and 11-day itineraries on Norwegian Dawn from New York during the Northern winter; longer port calls in the exotic Southern Caribbean; and the only Western Caribbean itinerary offering Roatan, Honduras and Belize.
Under NCL's innovative Homeland Cruising program, the line will offer Caribbean departures from Charleston, S.C., Houston, New Orleans, Miami, New York and San Juan.

"NCL's reputation for innovation began more than 30 years ago when our company launched its first Caribbean cruises," said Colin Veitch, NCL's president and CEO. "We continue to pioneer intriguing Caribbean itineraries but now we offer them from six cities in the USA."

NCL's Caribbean deployment for 2004-2005 will feature:
· The only cruise ship sailing year-round from Houston with Norwegian Sea
· The only cruise line offering regularly scheduled, seven-day cruises from Charleston on board Norwegian Majesty
· The only four-port, seven-day itinerary departing from New Orleans on board Norwegian Dream
· The only exotic Western Caribbean itinerary from Miami offering Roatan and Belize sailing on Norwegian Sun
· A seven-day deep Southern Caribbean itinerary offering full port days in Dominica and St. Kitts with Norwegian Sky
· The only cruise ship sailing year-round from New York on board Norwegian Dawn
· The only 10- and 11-day exotic Southern Caribbean cruises departing from New York in the winter on Norwegian Dawn
Norwegian Dawn, NCL's newest Freestyle Cruising ship will now offer an extended season of 10- and 11-day cruises departing roundtrip from New York in the winter between 4 January and 5 February 2004 and again from 7 November 2004 until 10 February 2005.

The 10-day cruises call at St. Thomas (US Virgin Islands); St. John's, Antigua; Bridgetown, Barbados; Philipsburg, St. Maarten and Tortola (British Virgin Islands) all with four relaxing days at sea. A special 10-day itinerary will be offered on the 15 January 2004 cruise, featuring calls in San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas; St. John's, Antigua; Roseau, Dominica, Philipsburg, St. Maarten and four days at sea.

The 11-day cruises feature relaxing calls in beautiful St. Thomas; St. John's, Antigua; Bridgetown, Barbados; St. George's, Grenada; Roseau, Dominica; and Tortola and also offers four sea days.

In addition to these longer Southern Caribbean cruises, Norwegian Dawn will continue to offer her innovative 7-day Bahamas & Florida itinerary throughout the rest of the year. Departing from New York on Sundays, Norwegian Dawn will take guests to Orlando (Port Canaveral) and Miami, Florida and Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line is an industry innovator and the leader in roundtrip seven-day cruising from U.S. and Canadian ports, offering its popular Homeland Cruising program seasonally from Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Orlando (Port Canaveral), San Juan, Seattle and Vancouver, and year round from New York, Miami, Houston and Honolulu.

For further information, contact American Express Travel Services in Cape Town: Tel 021-408 9700 or fax 021-408 9766. Please mention Ports & Ships when contacting them.


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Olympia Countess returns for second season


Olympia Countess returns for second season

Aug 16, 2003
Author: P&S


The arrival of Starlight Cruises’ cruise liner the Olympia Countess for its second Indian Ocean cruise season in November will mark the start of a bumper local cruise period in South Africa, says Allan Foggitt, Marketing Director of Starlight Cruises.

Foggitt says the Olympia Countess has attracted a lot of repeat business and forward bookings this year and bookings for international cruises are also up.

“South Africans are beginning to realise that cruising makes a great family holiday with big price benefits for children who share with their parents. And while international cruise companies are feeling the pinch, the opposite has been happening in local shipping.”

Foggitt says the rand versus the US dollar exchange rate has made it more expensive to travel overseas and this has had a positive spin-off for cruising locally, with more and more South Africans opting for cruise holidays.

“There has also been a change in the market - two years ago, three and four day cruises were the most popular. This year longer cruises are also selling very well.”

He believes the change is as a result of people opting for a cruise as their main annual vacation. The Olympia Countess will offer two 11-night cruises to Mauritius from Durban and numerous 3 and 4 night departures from Durban to Portuguese Island, Bazaruto Island and Barra Lodge and even a cruise to Madagascar for Christmas.

On 13 April 2004 the ship will depart from Durban for Greece via Zanzibar, Mombasa, Seychelles and the Suez Canal, but before that a total of 34 departures between November 2003 and April 2004 will have taken place.


Cruise for Free

Starlight is currently offering a special Buy 2 Get 2 Free cruise offer on selected departures. Departures are in January and February to Portuguese Island, Bazaruto Island or Barra Lodge. Only a limited number of cabins have been allocated to this special offer.

For brochures, further information or reservations contact Starlight Cruises on Johannesburg 011-807 5111, Durban 031-303 3571, Pretoria 012-342 4496 or Cape Town 021-555 0900. Please mention Ports & Ships as your source.


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