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As the Seasons Change, Cruise Ships Follow the Sun; Unusual Itineraries Mark 'Repositioning' Ritual.

NEW YORK, Aug. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- As the summer draws to a close and a brisk autumn chill fills the air, many cruise ships will relocate to warmer, sunnier home ports. This seasonal migration marks a time when cruise passengers can sail to an exotic array of ports while the ships "reposition" to fall cruising areas.

Because so many unusual destinations are visited, repositioning cruises are especially popular with frequent cruisers. These cruise "connoisseurs" also appreciate the fact that the pace of a typical repositioning cruise is more leisurely than most, with many indulgent days spent on the high seas.

There are many other advantages to repositioning cruises, as well, including the following:

-- One-of-a-kind itineraries -- Because ships are moving from one

geographic area to another, the combination of ports visited is

exceptionally interesting and unusual.

-- Transatlantic crossings -- Ships of all sizes and styles cross the

Atlantic as they sail from their summer bases in Europe to their winter

homes in the Caribbean.

-- Panama Canal transits -- Cruising from Alaska to the Caribbean, many

ships traveling through the historic Panama Canal will visit Mexico and

Central America along the way.

-- Excellent value -- Two-for-one fares, air inclusive offers and a

variety of special off-season promotional rates make repositioning

cruises even more attractive and affordable.

-- Special themes and entertainment -- Cruise lines often enhance

repositioning cruises with fun themes and out-of-the-ordinary

entertainment not always available on other cruises.

"Repositioning cruises are among the most relaxing cruises available," says James G. Godsman, president of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). "It's the ideal cruise for vacationers who want to unwind, be pampered, enjoy days at sea and interesting activities before visiting ports of call that are truly off the beaten path."

The 1999 fall repositioning cruises offered by 17 CLIA-member lines are an excellent representation of the best features of this traditional migration.

Transatlantic Crossings

A number of vessels will leave the Mediterranean and Europe this fall to reposition in the sunny waters of the Caribbean and South America. Among the cruise lines with one-time transatlantic crossings this fall are: Costa Cruise Lines, Cunard Line, First European Cruises, Holland America Line, Orient Lines, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Olympic Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line and Windstar Cruises.

Panama Canal Transits

Other repositioning cruises feature transits through the historic Panama Canal. This year, three cruise lines offer this itinerary: Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises and Princess Cruises.

Exotic Ports & Unusual Itineraries

Cruisers looking for a one-of-a-kind adventure should consider the following repositioning cruises: Crystal Cruises is offering an Athens to Sydney sailing; Norwegian Cruise Line features Vancouver to Hawaii; Regal Cruises has scheduled a Port Canaveral to Port Manatee, Fla. cruise via the eastern Caribbean; Royal Caribbean International has nine repositioning cruises slated for the fall including Vancouver to Honolulu and Honolulu to Ensenada sailings; and Silversea Cruises is offering a voyage from Athens to Bombay.

In addition to exotic itineraries, repositioning cruises offer passengers special onboard lectures, culinary experts and one-of-a-kind entertainment.

Last minute details about what's available on these sailings can be obtained by contacting a CLIA-affiliated travel agency. To find one near you or to obtain more details on repositioning cruises, log onto CLIA's website at http://www.cruising.org, or look for the blue, gold and white seal displayed in the offers of CLIA-affiliated agencies.
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Date:Aug 13, 1999
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