NCL's Pride to Offer Trans-Pacific Sailing

And more news from Silversea, Windstar, HAL

By: Ana Figueroa

NCL’s Pride of America to Offer Trans-Pacific Sailing

If your clients can’t wait to experience the historic new Pride of America, here’s some welcomed news. The much-anticipated new member of the NCL America fleet will sail a 10-day Escape to Hawaii cruise from San Francisco to Honolulu on July 12. The cruise will include five sea days, and calls in Hilo, Kona, Nawiliwili and Honolulu.

The Pride of America begins its run of seven-day interisland Hawaiian cruises on July 23. The vessel is the first brand-new U.S.-flagged cruise ship in nearly half a century. She will feature eight restaurants, 10 bars and lounges, a tennis court, conservatory, art gallery and new “family suites.” The ship’s hull artwork will feature the Stars and Stripes, and her decor salutes the diverse regions of the U.S. She joins the Pride of Aloha, launched in July 2004, in NCL America’s popular Hawaiian program.


Silversea to Offer First-Ever Grand Mediterranean Cruise

Silversea Cruises will offer its first-ever Grand Mediterranean Cruise in the summer of 2005. The 49-day cruise aboard the ultra-luxurious, 296-passenger Silver Wind will depart on June 19 from Venice. The journey will visit 37 locations, including Italy, Croatia, Greece, Tunisia, France and Spain.

Guests will enjoy special enrichment lectures, including cooking demonstrations and a gala gourmet dinner, under the supervision of Relais & Chateaux guest chef Rick Tramonto of Chicago’s popular Tru Restaurant. Philip Di Belardino of Castello Banfi Vineyard & Winery will host wine-making discussions and special wine tastings.

The cruise will also feature a complimentary classical concert at the ancient site of Ephesus in Turkey. Guests who book the entire 49-day voyage will enjoy Combination Cruise savings, plus a $1,000 onboard spending credit per suite.

Complimentary Business Class air upgrades are available with the purchase of Silversea’s optional air and hotel program. The Grand Mediterranean Cruise is a series of five distinctive voyages, which guests can combine if they wish.


Windstar Expands Med Schedule for 2006

Windstar Cruises’ three-ship fleet will sail a total of 40 voyages in the Mediterranean in 2006. The Wind Surf will sail the Western Mediterranean from April through November, including a 14-day Nice-to-Nice itinerary that coincides with the Grand Prix race in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The Wind Star and Wind Spirit will each sail three seven-day cruises beginning late April and then again in late October.

The Wind Star will also sail a series of eight cruises between Athens and Venice in July and August. Ports of call will include Monemvasia, Katakolon, and Corfu, Greece, and Dubrovnik, Croatia. The Venice to Athens itinerary calls at Rimini, Italy; Hvar and Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Cephalonia and Kythira, Greece.

The line will increase the number of its Greek Islands cruises in 2006. The Wind Star and Wind Spirit will both sail an Athens to Istanbul itinerary. New for 2006 is the Wind Spirit’s Greek Island cruises between Istanbul and Athens that include visits to Canakkale and Izmir, Turkey; Patmos, Agios, Kos and Naxos, Greece; and Nikolaos, Crete.

On most of the sailings, guests can create longer, 14-day voyages, without repeating ports of call.


Holland America Debuts Down Under

Holland America Line has announced new cruises in Australia, New Zealand and Asia aboard the 1,258-passenger ms Statendam. The cruises will take place from November 2005 to May 2006 and from September through December of 2006.

Itineraries will include a 35-day South America to South Pacific repositioning cruise from San Diego to Auckland, plus a series of 10 cruises in 2005-2006 that explore Australia and New Zealand. A 16-day holiday cruise departs Auckland on Dec. 22.

In March 2006, the Statendam sails a 16-day Australia, Orient and China voyage. In March and April of 2006, the ship will sail 14-day China-Japan voyages between Hong Kong and Osaka that feature overnight stays in both Shanghai and Beijing. A North Pacific 18-day sailing is scheduled to depart in May 2006, and will journey from Japan to Russia, en route to Alaska.

After summering in Alaska, the Statendam will return to Australia and New Zealand with a Pacific crossing in September 2006.