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Archive for April, 2012


Great American Steamboat’s American Queen arrives in Memphis for christening

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On April - 26 - 2012

The Great American Steamboat Company’s American Queen arrived in its homeport of Memphis today after her first voyage up the Mississippi River since 2008. The U.S.-flagged steamboat was welcomed to the revitalized Beale Street Landing marking the return of overnight cruises on the great rivers of America’s heartland and the continuation of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company legacy.

Originally built in 1995 by the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, the American Queen is the largest and most opulent steamboat ever built accommodating 436-guests. Steeped in history, nostalgia and tradition, the steamboat offers an unrivaled All-American hospitality experience from its elegant staterooms to its palatial public spaces and celebrated Southern cuisine of famed Chef Regina Charboneau, the line’s Culinary Director.

American Queen“Today is a dream come true as we revive the fabled steamboat experience, introducing river communities to thousands of travelers, especially our hometown of Memphis,” shared Great American Steamboat Company President Jeff Krida. “The smiling faces greeting us here in the ‘Capital of Southern hospitality’ is humbling and it is no surprise most of our crew calls Memphis home.”

As the American Queen approached downtown Memphis, it was met by the city’s residents and family members of the crew. The Great American Steamboat Company has hired 300+ employees from the area, including the steamboat crew, and an economic impact of $89 million is anticipated for the region.

Guests began disembarking to explore sites including Graceland and the legendary ducks of the Peabody Hotel boarded the vessel for an honorary inspection on behalf of Memphis. Friday, April 27, Priscilla Presley will serve as godmother of the American Queen in an afternoon christening ceremony at Beale Street Landing. Presley and the Great American Steamboat Company share a common passion towards the city of Memphis which will be a theme of the festivities featuring performances by local musicians, the sounds of the American Queen Calliope and a bottle of champagne crashing against the hull.

After the christening, the American Queen will depart for her inaugural voyage up the Mississippi River to the Ohio River with stops in Henderson, Ky., Louisville, Ky., and Madison, Ind., before arriving in her disembarkation city of Cincinnati, Ohio. On May 2 in Louisville, she will take part in the wonderful tradition of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Great Steamboat Race with the Belle of Louisville and Belle of Cincinnati.

A variety of voyage lengths, ranging from three nights to ten nights, and fares beginning at $995 per guest, offers exceptional value and convenience, with little or no flying required. With departures from iconic cities of Memphis, New Orleans, St. Louis, St. Paul, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, this legendary mode of travel is easy to enjoy. A pre- or post-cruise luxury hotel stay, all bottled water and soft drinks, wine and beer at dinner and complimentary shore adventures are included in each port of call.

For additional information and reservations, kindly contact the Great American Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit online at www.GreatAmericanSteamboatCompany.com

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For five days only, beginning April 19, Princess Cruises is offering special cruise deals to destinations around the world, including cruises to Europe, the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Hawaii, South America, Asia, and Australia & New Zealand. With the World of Savings sale, passengers can take advantage of savings up to $2,000 per stateroom, plus up to $100 onboard credit.

These select September 2012 to January 2013 sailings feature the best of Princess’ worldwide cruise destinations, offering the opportunity to sail to exciting ports of call such as Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Rome; to explore the natural wonders of Alaska; or to enjoy the idyllic islands of Hawaii or the Caribbean.
In addition to fare savings, passengers booking interior or oceanview staterooms can receive an onboard credit of $25 (cruises up to 9 days) to $50 (cruises 10 days or longer), and in balcony staterooms or above can get credits of $50 (cruises up to 9 days) or $100 (for sailings 10 days or longer). All onboard credits are offered per stateroom.
Examples of cruise deals include:

• Alaska – 7 days : $999 balcony (was $1,649); $549 interior (was $874)

• Caribbean – 7 days: $849 balcony (was $949); $549 interior (was $599)

• Europe – 12 days: $1,599 balcony (was $2,790); $999 interior (was $1,790)

• South America – 13 days: $2,099 balcony (was $2,395); $1,199 interior (was $1,495)

• Australia & New Zealand – 14 days: $2,199 balcony (was $2,995); $1,299 interior (was $2,095)

• Hawaii – 14 days: $1,999 balcony (was $2,345); $1,299 interior (was $1,445)

• Panama Canal – 14 days: $1,799 balcony (was $2,299); $1,099 interior (was $1,599)

• Asia – 16 days: $2,499 balcony (was $3,195); $1,499 interior (was $1,995)

All cruise prices are per person, based on double occupancy. The World of Savings event begins at 12:01 a.m. PDT on April 19 through 11:59 p.m. PDT on April 23, 2012 and is available to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico. Reservations made during the sale require a non-refundable deposit.
Additional sale information is available at http://www.princess.com/sale

Reported by Anita Dunham-Potter (editor@www.expertcruiser.com)

© www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.


MSC Divina Completes Sea Trials

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On April - 17 - 2012

MSC Divina successfully completed her initial sea trials yesterday, returning to the Louis Joubert dock after 3 days on the open seas off the coast of Brittany, France.
The ship performed to the full satisfaction of the MSC Cruises team. The rigorous trials involved around 360 people and more than 60 separate tests, covering everything from speed and manageability to sound levels and vibration.

mscdivinaFurther testing will be performed continuously up until the next big event in MSC Divina’s busy schedule: the flag changing ceremony on May 19 in Saint-Nazaire.

A maiden cruise to Marseille will then bring the new ship to her grand christening on May 26. The spectacular evening of entertainment and celebration will be dedicated to the Mediterranean and the passion of its people, and will again see Italian screen legend Sophia Loren cutting the ribbon as the godmother of the MSC Cruises fleet.

Reported by Anita Dunham-Potter (editor@www.expertcruiser.com)

© www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.