Wednesday, March 29, 2006

RSSC's Paul Gauguin Back in Tahiti ...

REGENT PROVIDES MAJOR FACELIFT: The legendary Paul Gauguin has returned to Tahiti after a $6 million refurbishment in Brisbane, Australia. Word has it the luxury cruise ship looks ravishing, with a new piano bar and casino, plus five more staterooms with aft-facing private balconies. The six-star Paul Gauguin, carrying up to 330 passengers, has resumed sailing in Tahiti and the South Pacific. Managed since 1997 by Regent Seven Seas Cruises (formerly Radisson Seven Seas Cruises), she's been among the world’s top-rated small ships by Condé Nast Traveler readers. Seven-night roundtrip sailings depart Papeete on Saturdays and visit Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora Bora (for two days on the island James Michener used as the model of his idyllic “Bali Hai”) and two days in Moorea (inspiration for Herman Melville’s novel Omoo). This year she also sails two 14-night Marquesas cruises; one 14-night Cook and Society Islands, Australs and Tuamotus voyage; three 11-night Society Islands, Tuamotus and Marquesas voyages; three 10-night Society Islands and Tuamotus cruises; and two nine-night Society Islands Holiday voyages. Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC) is part of the Carlson Companies, a global leader in hotel, restaurant, business and leisure marketing.

Monday, March 27, 2006

MSC Signs Sophia, Retools Game Plan ...

SCRATCH BERMUDA FOR NOW: MSC Cruises , which has signed film legend Sophia Loren as a spokesperson to reflect its "Beautiful, Passionate, Italian" essence, has revised itineraries and vessel deployments, given recent ship orders and expanding presence in Europe and elsewhere. The moves help position MSC for more growth, according to Rick Sasso, president and CEO.“Our original plans to bring the MSC Musica to Florida in the fall of 2006 and MSC Lirica to New York by spring 2007 will be delayed,” Sasso says. Instead, MSC Cruises will add more 11-night Caribbean cruises from Florida and continue sailing MSC Musica in Europe for winter 2007. Previously scheduled cruises from New York in 2007 are postponed. MSC Cruises has advised Bermuda that it will not operate the MSC Lirica there in 2007, but will continue talks for 2008.“With the MSC Musica now scheduled to stay in Europe all year, we will bring MSC Opera back to Florida to join MSC Lirica and revise our fall and winter Caribbean sailing calendar to include many more 11-night cruises to the deep Caribbean and Panama, itineraries that have been extremely successful for us,” says Sasso. For details, visit www.msccruises.com. While you're at it, check out www.portofcallguide.com