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Cruise news roundup: Disney, MSC, Princess, and Silversea

SmarterTravel

I’ve seen many bits of compelling cruise news lately, so here’s a roundup of some items of interest for avid cruisers.

  • Disney Cruise Line will return to the West Coast in 2008 after a highly popular season of Pacific sailings in 2005. The Disney Magic will sail seven-night Mexican Riviera cruises from Los Angeles. Departure dates for the West Coast itineraries are May 25; June 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29; July 6, 13, 20, and 27; and August 3 and 10, 2008. Ports-of-call include Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. To get to Los Angeles from Port Canaveral/Orlando and back again, the Magic will sail two repositioning itineraries through the Panama Canal on May 10 and August 17. Customers can book cabins on these voyages starting on January 31, 2007.
  • Beginning in 2008, Princess will turn off its ships’ diesel engines when in port in Los Angeles. The ships will hook up to the port’s electrical power supply in order to keep onboard systems running. The plan, which is similar to current programs in Juneau and Seattle, is intended to reduce air emissions.
  • Actor and comedian John Cleese will star on the May 22 voyage of Silversea’s Silver Shadow. The transatlantic voyage will essentially be a film festival hosted by and honoring the work of Cleese. Onboard screenings include A Fish Called Wanda, The Life of Brian, Die Another Day, Fierce Creatures, and In the Wild: Lemurs with John Cleese. Prices for this voyage are a little higher than your average movie ticket, with early-booking fares starting at $7,486 per person.
  • MSC Cruises has released some more information about its newest ship, the MSC Orchestra. The ship will be christened in Civitavecchia, Italy, at the end of May, and depart on its maiden voyage from Venice on June 2. The ship will sail to Greece, Turkey, and Croatia. Public areas on the ship will include five restaurants (L’Ibiscus, Villa Borghese, La Piazzetta, Four Seasons, and Shanghai Chinese Restaurant), 10 bars, and three meeting and conference rooms.

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