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Australian gsa appointed for Yangzi Explorer

Australian gsa appointed for Yangzi Explorer


The vessel that has 62 cabins, all with private balconies, is advertised as 'the smallest and most exclusive ship plying the waters of the stunning Three Gorges region of China.'


Marshall, an industry veteran who became gsa for Orient Lines in Australia in 1995 when it was owned by Gerry Herrod, has been retained by Transocean Tours and will launch a brochure in Australian dollars for Marco Polo's 2009 itineraries early next month.


He is also gsa in Australia for CroisiEurope River Cruises.

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John Molinaro new gm of Uniworld in Australia

John Molinaro new gm of Uniworld in Australia


Molinaro, who left Carnival Australia in January, was vp sales for Princess Cruises in the United States and Canada before he joined P&O Cruises Australia as distribution strategy manager in September 2003.


He was elected chairman of International Cruise Council Australasia in November, 2006 and stood down after his departure from Carnival Australia.


Trafalgar Tours Australia, whose parent company, The Travel Corporation, purchased established river cruise operator Uniworld in 2004, joined ICCA in 2005.

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New captain for Island Cruises

New captain for Island Cruises

Captain Clarke previously worked for Windstar Cruises.


Stuart Horne, operations director, commented: 'John brings with him a fantastic wealth of knowledge and a broad spectrum of experience from across the marine Industry. ' Clark said he was excited at the prospect of being involved with 'a cruise experience delivered in more informal manner than I have ever encountered before.'

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MSC expands commitment to Venice

MSC expands commitment to Venice

They will call at 89 ports, a 30% increase over 2008, and will carry an estimated 410,000 passengers, an approximately 80% increase.


During the current season MSC Poesia and sister ship MSC Musica are operating in Venice until November and will carry a total of 230,000 passengers.

'Venice is a treasure of humankind and as such must be protected,' said Pierfrancesco Vago, ceo of MSC Cruises.

MSC Cruises' commitment to the city includes safeguarding its artistic and natural heritage. The company is also a voluntary member of the 'Venice Blue Flag' campaign, which limits ships' emissions on the lagoon.

Furthermore, MSC Cruises is a member of the Friends of Venice Club as well as a sponsor of the 2008 Carnival, the Historic Regatta and New Year's celebrations.

A coin with the Lion of San Marco emblem was placed in MSC Magnifica's keel to reaffirm the partnership between the cruise operator and Venice.

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Regentapos;s celebrity guests and free flights

Regentapos;s celebrity guests and free flights

Environmentalist and film producer Jean-Michel Cousteau who will also join select cruises of Seven Seas Mariner.


To complement these lectures there will also be a number of special events ashore including song and dance demonstrations in Brazil, New Zealand and the Marquesas Islands; a catamaran adventure in the Chilean fjords; a visit to Komodo Island, or exclusive events in hotels.

In addition Regent Seven Seas Cruises has announced a free long haul flight promotion in the UK on ten of its 2009 Masterpiece Series cruises series which comprises 27 individual cruises, covering itineraries in Asia, Australia, South America, US and Middle East.

Graham Sadler, UK managing director, Regent Seven Seas Cruises comments, '2009 is already selling well and we are creating a range of added value promotions for 2009 including Verona Opera Cruises, Eurostar No Fly Cruises, and a Concierge Collection.'

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Sagaapos;s Christmas fare

Sagaapos;s Christmas fare

Saga Rose will depart Southampton on December 4 for an eight night Continental Christmas markets cruise with stops in Antwerp, Amsterdam and Hamburg. Following this Saga Rose embarks on a more exotic sailing from Southampton with a 24 night North African cruise including stops in Casablanca, Cairo and Libya. Lead in price is £3,719 per person, based on two people sharing an inside cabin.

Saga Ruby will spend Christmas in the Canaries as part of a 19 night cruise departing Southampton on December 17 calling Casablanca, Funchal, Lisbon, Canary Islands and seeing the New Year in with a fireworks display off the coast of Madeira. This cruise starts at £3,131 per person, based on two people sharing an inside cabin.

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RCI, Celebrity outline new groups policy

RCI, Celebrity outline new groups policy

Dondra Ritzenthaler, svp sales for Celebrity, said agents expressed the need for more time to book promotional and affinity groups, and the new policy gives them more flexibility. RCI's Vicki Freed, svp sales, trade support and services, said the policy provides the ability to lock in a rate and hold blocks of rooms for a longer period.

With no initial upfront deposits, agents may hold up to 16 rooms on RCI sailings, and up to 24 rooms on Celebrity sailings, and have up to 180 days to sell them.

For affinity group bookings requiring more than 16 rooms on RCI or more than 24 rooms on Celebrity, agents will be able to hold space - as long as they have sufficient staterooms sold - up to 180, 120 or 90 days prior to sailing, with scheduled review dates along the way. A deposit of $25 per passenger will be due 30 days from creation of the group booking.

Agents who require more than 50 staterooms - for a large group or a ship charter, for example - a cruise line group partner advocate will help to custom-tailor a mutually agreed upon sales timeline that meets the travel agent's needs.

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SeaDream introduces apos;Buy the Deckapos;

SeaDream introduces apos;Buy the Deckapos;

All 21 staterooms on Deck 3 of SeaDream I and II can be sold as a unit and the purchaser receives the sumptuous Owner's Suite free.

SeaDream said the offer is ideal for corporate incentives and families for anniversaries, birthdays and other celebrations. 'Buy the Deck' is available for select 2009 voyages only, and not combinable with other promotions.

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Silversea draws record level of new customers

Silversea draws record level of new customers

For the third consecutive year, the company has posted a 10% year-over-year increase in new customers.

'We are aggressively targeting new-to-Silversea and first-time cruisers by going after a larger share of the lucrative baby boomer market,' said David Morris, Silversea's evp worldwide sales and marketing.

'We're encouraging our travel agency partners to check their preconceptions at the door,' he added. 'Younger people have the money and time to travel, and can appreciate the exceptional value a luxury cruise offers when compared to land-based vacations.'

Morris credited Silversea's sales force with making great strides in showing retail partners how to tap the client base of upscale hotels like Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons. Another successful technique has been encouraging agents to scour their communities and social networks for luxury travel prospects.

'Our agency partners are working closely with businesses in their communities that cater to an upscale clientele and launching joint promotions and sales campaigns that benefit both parties,' Morris said, adding that Silversea is supporting that effort by dedicating about 20% of its sales budget to cooperative marketing.

Marilyn Conroy, Silversea's svp sales and marketing for the Americas, noted that sales efforts have also been directed to Canada and emerging luxury markets like Mexico and Brazil.

'Though we do have concerns about the weak stock market and the downturn in the U.S. economy, we are far ahead of where we were in 2007 both in terms of sales and yields,' Conroy said. 'Since our customer base is quite diverse internationally, we're less affected by any single country's soft economy.'

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Swiss Jewel floats out in Belgrade

Swiss Jewel floats out in Belgrade

The remaining construction and final outfitting will take place in Hardinxveld-Giessendam prior to Swiss Jewel's launch in April. Although the hull and outer superstructure are complete, certain details of Swiss Jewel's interior configuration are still being finalized while Tauck gathers input from its customers regarding preferred amenities.

The Connecticut-based tour operator has confirmed the vessel's 59 cabins will include a total of 21 suites and junior suites. As with the sister ships Swiss Sapphire and Swiss Emerald, the newbuild's capacity will be limited to 118 passengers to offer more spacious accommodations and common areas.

Tauck said Swiss Jewel will help satisfy high demand for its river cruises. The company's 2008 program was 70% sold out by late autumn 2007.

The tour operator is also boosting its capacity for 2009 by increasing river departures by 25%. Swiss Jewel will alternate with Tauck's other vessels on five of the company's seven river cruise itineraries next year.

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