Hi Fellow Cruise-chatters,
Well, here is another press release I received that gives a rundown of how many of the cruise lines plan to celebrate the holiday. Enjoy!
Celebrate The Holidays In Style,
With Cruises In Norway, Antarctica And Points In Between
NEW YORK, Oct. 22
Holiday cruises are a popular segment of the cruise industry, and it's
easy to understand why, according to the Cruise Lines International
Association (CLIA), the nonprofit marketing organization which
represents 19 cruise lines and more than 16,000 travel agencies.
"With ships decked out for the season, and all the menu planning and
entertainment taken care of, guests can relax and focus on what truly
counts during the holiday season: spending quality time with family
and friends, celebrating old traditions, and creating new ones along
the way, " said Terry Dale, president and CEO of CLIA.
This holiday season, CLIA-member cruise lines are offering holiday
itineraries as far north as Norway and as far south as Antarctica, and
many points in between, including the Mediterranean and Europe, the
Caribbean, the Bahamas, the Panama Canal, South America, Mexico,
Tahiti, Africa and Australia.
"With such a wealth of destinations and experiences, you might be able
to forego presents altogether," said Dale.
All holiday itineraries include special religious observances, gourmet
menus featuring classic holiday favorites as well as regional
specialties, and live onboard holiday entertainment, sometimes with an
international twist. And let's not forget visits from Santa, who
manages to squeeze cruise ship visits into his busy schedule. CLIA
fleets will also feature champagne toasts, under the stars and in
magnificent ballrooms on New Year's Eve.
Here is a sampling of how CLIA-member lines will celebrate the 2004
Carnival Cruise Lines offers a variety of three- to eight-day holiday
sailings to the Bahamas, Caribbean and Mexican Riviera, with special
treats for children including a visit from Santa, and a chance to
shine in a special holiday performance. Ships are decorated with
Christmas trees, wreaths and mistletoe; carols are performed on deck
and in the shows, and piped into cabins; midnight mass is celebrated;
and Christmas dinner features roast turkey and pecan pie.
Celebrity Cruises' ships feature Christmas trees and wreaths,
sparkling garland and other festive dicor to help set the tone on
sailings to the Caribbean and Mexico which are timed to whisk guests
away to celebrate Christmas and New Year's at sea.
This year, Costa Cruises offers 18 holiday itineraries for Hanukkah,
Christmas and New Year's. Expect seasonal menus, religious services,
Santa visits, Hanukkah and Christmas gifts for children,
tree-decorating for kids and holiday-themed entertainment. Itineraries
are designed to showcase the splendors of the eastern and western
Caribbean, Europe and the Mediterranean, and South America.
Guests of Crystal Cruises find the ambiance festive yet sophisticated,
with each ship showcasing $100,000 worth of seasonal dicor, including
handcrafted ornaments, ornate sleighs, Old English toy soldiers, and a
dozen twinkling Christmas trees. Christmas Eve services and masses are
planned, and Christmas Day serves up eggnog, a noontime buffet, a
"Chocolate Tea Time," a visit from Santa and an extravagant dinner.
Celebrate the holidays in British style aboard Cunard Line's QM2 and
QE2 in the Caribbean. Festivities include a visit from Father
Christmas, a Festival of Carols, a Christmas dinner with all the
trimmings, a Yuletide show and religious services. And, passengers get
to experience an additional holiday: the British celebration of Boxing
Day on Dec. 26. New Year's Eve is celebrated with a black-tie gala,
deck parties, hats, noisemakers, streamers and Baby New Year and
Disney Cruise Line offers a Christmas experience for the entire
family. Highlights include a tree-lighting ceremony where "snow"
magically falls; a visit from Santa Goofy; carols performed by crew
members from around the world; opportunities for families to design
and decorate their own gingerbread houses; a reading of "'Twas The
Night Before Christmas" by Mrs. Claus; traditional holidays feasts;
and multiple faith and inter-denominational holiday services.
On Holland America Line, guests experience a multi-cultural holiday,
with the international crew choir and staff singing native carols to
entertain passengers. Other special holiday features include seasonal
decorations throughout the ships; holiday movies; a visit from Santa;
and a feast featuring goose, turkey, plum pudding and eggnog.
MSC Cruises' new MSC Opera is the setting for a pair of roundtrip
holiday cruises out of Fort Lauderdale: a 10-night Dec. 18 "Christmas
of Your Life" Panama Canal sailing, and an 11-night Dec. 28 "Swing
Into The New Year" deep Caribbean sailing. The Dec. 18 itinerary
features entertainment by the Lorri and Mike Hafer Quartet and
screenings of holiday film classics, and the Dec. 28 sailing features
the "Swing! Swing! Swing!" cast, Michele Anastasio and the Music of
Your Life Swing Band, and comic Bill Terrell.
Guests aboard Norwegian Coastal Voyage's vessels experience the
traditions and customs of the Norwegian Yuletide, with local holiday
delicacies and an extravagant Scandinavian smorgasbord on Christmas
Eve, readings of the Christmas gospel by the crew, caroling, Santa
visits, and shore-side church services on Christmas Eve and Christmas
Day, when ship schedules permit. Passengers also can make
old-fashioned ornaments and revel at an after-dinner dance on Boxing
Norwegian Cruise Line's holiday itineraries feature all the usual
amenities, with special decorations, feasts, carols, seasonal shows
and visits from Santa Claus. Catholic priests and Protestant ministers
are onboard for masses and services, and rabbis for Hanukkah
Oceania Cruises' festively garbed vessels provide a fitting backdrop
for menorah lightings, caroling and visits from St. Nick. Two
itineraries are offered: a 17-day voyage aboard Insignia, departing
from Valparaiso, Chile on Dec. 17 and visiting Puerto Montt and Punta
Arenas, Chile; Ushuaia and Puerto Madryn, Argentina; and Montevideo,
Uruguay, before ending in Buenos Aires; and a 12-day, roundtrip
Caribbean cruise aboard Regatta, departing Miami Dec. 21.
Enjoy a White Christmas? How about a trip to the White Continent?
Orient Lines offers a holiday cruise lasting 33 days featuring a
leisurely tour along the west coast of South America and a visit to
Antarctica. The itinerary includes, weather permitting, zodiac
landings at points of interest in Antarctica, including major penguin
Princess Cruises' ships are trimmed stem to stern with wreaths, holly,
mistletoe and, of course, Christmas trees, sometimes even on the
ship's mast. It's not uncommon to see Yuletide carolers strolling the
decks, waiters wearing Santa hats, and seasonal entertainment
including live shows and classic movies. Midnight mass and
interdenominational services are offered, and Christmas dinner
features seasonal favorites such as roast turkey or goose, gingerbread
mousse, mincemeat pie, chocolate Yule logs and cookies.
Radisson Seven Seas Cruises offers a wide array of holiday itineraries
aboard festively decorated vessels, such as an 11-night French
Polynesia voyage aboard the Paul Gauguin. Departing Papeete, Tahiti on
Dec. 28, guests visit Motu Mahana and Bora Bora, ring in the New Year
at sea under the South Pacific sky, then visit the Marquesas' Hiva Oa
(Atuona) and Nuku Hiva (Taiohae) as well as Rangiroa and Moorea before
returning to Papeete.
Royal Caribbean International's vessels are decked out with Christmas
trees, wreaths, sparkling garland and other festive dicor, and holiday
revelers have their choice of voyages to the southern, western and
eastern Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Baja Mexico, with departures from
Galveston, San Juan, Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, Miami, Los Angeles,
Port Canaveral and Tampa.
Guests of Silversea Cruises sail the Far East and South Pacific aboard
Silver Cloud's 16-day "Passage Down Under" cruise, departing Singapore
Dec. 22 and calling at Semarang, Darwin, Thursday Island, Cairns,
Townsville, Hayman Island and Newcastle before reaching Sydney. Silver
Wind features a 16-day "Voyage to the Bottom of the World" itinerary
departing Valparaiso, Chile, for Buenos Aires on Dec. 21, and sailing
through Chile's scenic fjords and around Cape Horn.
Swan Hellenic's Minerva II sails along the Ivory Coast of Africa,
departing Capetown on Dec. 18 and visiting East London, Durban,
Mozambique Island, Zanzibar and La Digue. Expect traditional
festivities, dinner carols and mince pies, and an informative lecture
from Dr. Penny McCracken, art historian, on "The Influence of African
Art on Europe and the Christmas Story In Art." Guests ring in the New
Year in Praslin on the island of Mahe.
Holiday festivities onboard Windstar Cruises' ships blend traditional
decorations, such as trees and wreaths on stateroom doors, with
cultural activities based on the individual itineraries and holiday
shows by the crew. Special menus pay homage to the season with
time-honored favorites accented by flavors of the tropics. Itineraries
include 11 days in Tahiti aboard Wind Star, nine days in the Caribbean
aboard Wind Surf, and 10 days in the Caribbean aboard Wind Spirit.
The Yachts of Seabourn celebrate the holidays in warm and sunny
climes. Seabourn Pride and Seabourn Legend sail 14 days roundtrip from
Fort Lauderdale to the islands of the Caribbean. Passengers on each
vessel experience Seabourn's signature Champagne and Caviar in the
Surf beach barbecue on a secluded beach. Seabourn Spirit sails 14 days
from Singapore to Hong Kong, exploring Thailand and Vietnam, with a
Champagne and Caviar in the Surf extravaganza at Thailand's Kood
To find a cruise expert to help plan your vacation, visit CLIA's Web
. By typing in your zip code you can find
the nearest CLIA-member agency. The Web site also features a wide
range of information on cruises and destinations, as well as numerous
links to member cruise lines and other resources.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is a nonprofit marketing
and training organization comprising 19 leading cruise lines in 2004,
which together accommodate 95 percent of the North American cruise
passengers. Approximately 16,000 travel agencies focused and engaged
in the sales of cruise vacations in the U.S. and Canada are members of
the association. The association conducts cruise industry-related
research and communication initiatives to educate and promote the
attributes of cruise vacations and CLIA member travel agencies to the
traveling public. CLIA is a recognized travel industry leader in sales
education. CLIA provides an extensive array of educational programs
for travel agents including curriculum leading to certification as
Accredited Cruise Counsellors, Master Cruise Counsellors and Elite
Cruise Counsellors - considered the consumers' best resource for
planning a cruise vacation. For more information on CLIA, its member
cruise lines and travel agencies, visit its Web site at