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Aruba

Colombia

Guadeloupe Islands

Bahamas, Atlantis

Curaรงao

Martinique

Cayman Islands

Dominican Republic

Mexico, Puerto Costa Maya


Contents Welcome Letter ....................................................................................................... 3 Panama

Aruba .................................................................................................................... 5 Bahamas, Atlantis ....................................................................................................11 Cayman Islands .......................................................................................................17 Colombia ...............................................................................................................23 Curaçao ................................................................................................................29 Dominican Republic .................................................................................................35 Guadeloupe Islands .................................................................................................41 Martinique .............................................................................................................47 Mexico, Puerto Costa Maya ......................................................................................53 Panama .................................................................................................................59 Sint Maarten ...........................................................................................................65 U.S. Virgin Islands ...................................................................................................71

Sint Maarten

U.S.A., Houston ......................................................................................................77

Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) 11200 Pines Blvd., Ste 201, Pembroke Pines, FL 33026 Phone: (954) 441-8881 • Fax: (954) 441-3171 Website: www.f-cca.com • E-mail: info@f-cca.com © 2012 Cruise Destinations. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part, in any form, electronic or otherwise, without written permission of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association is prohibited. The information in this publication is provided "as is." FCCA and its Member Lines disclaim all representations and warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to any information, services, products and materials contained herein. FCCA and its Member Lines will in no event be liable for any damage or losses as a result of your use of this publication.

U.S. Virgin Islands

U.S.A., Houston

FCCA Member Lines AIDA Cruises • Azamara Club Cruises • Carnival Cruise Lines • Celebrity Cruises Costa Cruise Lines • Cunard Line • Disney Cruise Line • Holland America Line MSC Cruises (USA) Inc. • Norwegian Cruise Line • P&O Cruises Princess Cruises • Royal Caribbean International • Seabourn FCCA Cruise Destinations

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Welcome Message Welcome to Cruise Destinations, our publication designed to showcase our partner cruise destinations of the Caribbean and Latin America. This magazine represents another step in FCCA’s mission of furthering the symbiotic relationship between the cruise industry and our destination partners. It is a great way to display the growth, prominence, offerings and importance in the industry of these incredible destinations. Only by working closely together can both the cruise industry and the destinations thrive. I want to personally thank the destinations that are featured, as they have shown their commitment to working with the cruise industry. These destinations represent the epitome of cruise ports of call. Because of their dedication to working with the cruise industry, they have experienced drastic growth that has made a positive impact on their local economies, all the while providing an extraordinary experience for the thousands of cruise passengers that visit their destinations. On behalf of the FCCA, I hope that this publication will enlighten and inform by providing an inside glimpse into these destinations by showcasing what they have done to cultivate cruise tourism. Our goal is to work closely with all of the destinations and build mutually beneficial relationships. Please enjoy this edition of Cruise Destinations. There will surely be something to learn about the destinations—their history, rise to prominence, new developments/products, etc.—or simply some stunning pictures to captivate you with their splendor. Regards,

Kevin Sheehan FCCA Chairman & Norwegian Cruise Line CEO

The FCCA is pleased to present you with our 2012 edition of Cruise Destinations. This important resource is a way to showcase some of our most prominent destination partners. Every country featured here has taken great strides to work symbiotically with the cruise industry and constantly endeavors to foster a mutually rewarding relationship. All of these destinations are valued partners of the FCCA that can be called on and trusted in times of need. Furthermore, they are absolutely vital to the industry because of the steps they have taken to establish their roles and relationships. So we are glad that we can allow them this opportunity to display their importance to the industry, the infrastructure they have put in place, the tourism offerings they provide and other assets that make them not just important to the cruise tourism industry, but essential to the entire tourism industry, which arose because of their relationship with and dedication to the cruise industry. These relationships have truly helped these countries blossom and utilize the potential of the cruise industry. While reading about some of the highlights and the success stories of these destinations, it becomes obvious that the cruise industry provides a vital economic impact for many destinations, and many more want to be able to optimize its opportunities. But to do this, it takes constant effort. Establishing the proper infrastructure and offerings is essential, and it is necessary to partner with the cruise industry to learn what they need and how to enact and emplace it. Once this partnership is engaged, it becomes easy to see how reciprocal the relationship can be. Respectfully yours,

Michele M. Paige President, FCCA

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ARUBA

Content provided by: Aruba Tourism Authority

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Find Your Happy…Bon Bini to Aruba ruba, an island sculpted by the wind and warmed by its people, has plenty to offer to both first timers and those who return year after year. It is a true vacationer’s paradise ideally nestled in the southernmost outer fringes of the Caribbean hurricane belt, with average annual temperatures of 82oF, but constant cooling trade winds make even the hottest days comfortable. Aruba is 19.6 miles long and 6 miles across at its widest point.

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The Port of Aruba, managed by the Aruba Ports Authority N.V., is conveniently located in Oranjestad, a charming cosmopolitan town that is currently going through an exciting multi-million dollar renovation process, an urban and neighborhood renewal project called “Bo Aruba” (Your Aruba) to upgrade, beautify and revitalize the downtown area. Facilities such as a centralized plaza, restaurants, cafés, and water fountains will play an integral role in attracting visitors, as well as locals, making Oranjestad a “one happy, fascinating city” day and night. As a cruise destination, Aruba offers a variety of unforgettable experiences: Walk through History Cruise passengers can walk through both ancient and mod6

FCCA Cruise Destinations

ern history in downtown Oranjestad. Fort Zoutman, the oldest building, was completed in 1798, when Aruba was still frequented by pirates. As a means of defense, Governor Lauffer built a fort with a good view of the sea, named for a Dutch rear admiral.

di orgel, a wind-up barrel organ called the “ting-a-ling box.” The rhythmic music of the steel pan, originally developed in the English Caribbean from oil drums, also adds a touch of local color. The works of talented artists and artisans are on sale, as are authentic culinary specialties.

The tower was added in 1868 with the first public clock; it would also serve as a lighthouse because it had a spire with a petrol lamp bearing King Willem III’s name, which was first lit on his birthday in 1869. The fort ultimately lost its significance as a means of defense, but commerce converted Oranjestad into the capital city and residence of the local government.

Aruba’s autonomous status within the Kingdom of the Netherlands (status aparte) was realized through the vision of leaders honored with statues. The process began in 1923, with Jan Hendrik Albert (Henny) Eman, who sought to free Aruba from Curaçao and the Netherlands Antilles. His statue is in front of the Parliament building. One of his grandsons became Aruba’s first Prime Minister on January 1, 1986; another is Aruba’s current Prime Minister. Together with his father, Henny, Shon A. Eman voiced the desire of Aruba to stand on its own two feet. During a 1948 conference in the Hague, this esteemed statesman presented a petition with 2,147 signatures requesting independence from Curaçao, commemorated by the statue next to the Parliament building. Gilberto François (Betico) Croes, known as “liberator of Aruba,” was the dynamic politician who renewed the fight for status aparte in the 1960s, finally realized on January 1, 1986. The Main Street bears his name, as does the large plaza with his statue behind the Talk of the Town Resort.

The Historical Museum in the fort houses a collection depicting the history and development of Aruba up to the 1920s, when the LAGO oil refinery came to Aruba. The museum is open from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and is frequently visited by schools, tourists and locals. The Bon Bini Festival, with dancing, arts and crafts stands and local food, is held here every Tuesday evening at 6:30 pm. An engaging emcee introduces traditionally costumed folkloric dancers, local musical genres such as the mazurka and the waltz and instruments such as the cuarta (four-stringed rhythmic guitar), wiri, raspu and caja


Facing the Governor’s house on L. G. Smith Boulevard is Queen Wilhelmina Park. She ruled the Netherlands for over fifty years until 1962, longer than any other Dutch monarch. The statue of Boy Ecury is found on L. G. Smith Boulevard just past town. With the outbreak of World War II, this Aruban teenager joined the resistance in Holland. Captured by German Secret Police, this young hero was sentenced to death, as he refused to reveal the names of his comrades. The Archeological Museum is located two blocks east of the Oranjestad bus station. The historic Ecury family complex is now a modern archeological museum. Great care has been taken to preserve the beauty and historic character of the original buildings. The museum is devoted to Amerindian culture and archaeological finds from various digs around Aruba. The three periods of Amerindian habitation are documented: Pre-Ceramic period of 2500 BC – 1000 AD, when semi-nomadic bands of Amerindians migrated from the South American mainland; Ceramic Period of the Caquetio Indians, the hunters-fishers-gatherers who inhabited Aruba from 900 – 1515 AD until enslaved and taken to Hispaniola; and the Historic Period from 1515 – 1880 AD. The Amerindians left behind ornaments, shells, ceramics, amulets and burial practices. There is a built-to-scale replica of a maloca hut of 1000 years ago; the second floor is dedicated to cultural and religious practices. The Office of Monuments is housed in a landmark building next to the new Archeological Museum. There are 24 restored landmark buildings in walking distance. The streets

run in a circular pattern, as commerce began in the harbor, and the downtown area was built out around it. Among them is the green stadhuis now housing the City Hall, where legal marriages are performed. Get out of Town! The Arikok National Park is a natural preserve that covers one-fifth of Aruba and encompasses the three geological formations that have shaped the island and its history. Arikok is home to all of Aruba’s animals, including the santanero (harmless cat-eyed snake); eight species of lagadishi (lizards), including the dinosaur-like iguana; and the unassuming pega pega (gecko). You may view a passing shoco (burrowing owl) and some vividly hued birdlife, as well as buricos (wild donkeys), cabritos (free-ranging goats), and scurrying cottontail rabbits. Cacti in all shapes and sizes dot the desert landscape. The 620-foot-high Mount Jamanota towers over Arikok’s rugged red dirt roads and unforgiving terrain. The irregular north coast has gaps and inlets that have formed such intriguing retreats as Fuente, Daimari, Andicuri and Wairuri. Dos Playa has a wide beach, but very rough surf, as does Boca Prins, a secluded cove fringed by sugary white sand dunes. The natural pool is tranquil and protected by rocks amidst some of the most rugged terrain. Natural bridges have been carved out of rock along the north coast by millennia of pounding surf, as have caves, some of which bear internationally recognized Indian rock drawings. Fontein is the largest and most easily accessible; natural light penetrates the ceiling of the Quadirikiri cave, creating an eerie effect. Ruins of the Miralamar Gold Mill

date back to Aruba’s gold rush in the early 20th century. Agricultural areas include Cunucu Arikok at the foot of Mount Arikok with a cas di torto (mud house); the former Prins coconut plantation; and Hofi Fontein with its natural spring. There is an extensive network of 20 miles of hiking trails within the park; tours are available through park rangers. Be sure to follow park rules; wear a cap; use sunscreen; bring adequate water; wear sturdy shoes; and don’t swim in rough waters. Other popular Aruba attractions for the whole family include the Aloe Factory, Donkey Sanctuary, Ostrich Farm, Butterfly Farm, Atlantis Submarine and De Palm Island. Tours are available by jeep or air-conditioned coach. Shop Till You Drop! Shopping in Aruba is an exhilarating experience. Luxury malls with prestigious international brands are accompanied by glittering new shopping/entertainment centers. There’s more gold downtown than any of Aruba’s old prospectors could have ever imagined; a dazzling maze of jewelry stores meanders through downtown Oranjestad, peppered by attractive malls and shops and a Main Street soon to be accessible by tram. Royal Plaza is the three-storied pink and white structure overlooking the harbor with shops specializing in apparel, gifts, linens, jewelry and more. Renaissance Mall is home to an exclusive international collection of luxury retailers of simply fabulous readyto-wear clothes and accessories. Complementing one-of-a-kind shops, Renaissance Marketplace boasts restaurants and coffee houses, a movie theatre, a casino and live entertainment. FCCA Cruise Destinations

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In the high-rise hotel area, Paseo Herencia woos shoppers with liquid fireworks, synchronized swimmers, Carnaval shows, live music and movie theatres while they explore the eclectic roster of fifty retailers. Palm Beach Mall is home to shops of all kinds, as well as restaurants, a food court, kids’ activities, live entertainment and a neon bowling alley. In addition to shopping, The Village offers gourmet dining, entertainment and popular bars and fun spots. South Beach Centre includes gift, apparel, jewelry and souvenir stores, as well as bars and cafes and diverse international restaurants. Buy some “Made in Aruba” products that include local beer (Balashi) and spirits (coecoei, ponche crema, rum), hot sauce, aloe beauty products, cigars, music CDs, artwork, handicrafts and photography. Don’t leave without sampling a pastechi, the golden-fried turnover with savory fillings, which is the national snack. Aaahhh! The Beaches Aruba offers world-renowned sparkling white sandy beaches fringed by clear turquoise waters and swaying palms, cooled by constant trade winds. All beaches are 8

FCCA Cruise Destinations

open to the public. Some resorts offer special arrangements for cruise passengers to use their beach and facilities. Across from the downtown Talk of the Town Resort are the calm waters of Nikky Beach. Going north is Eagle Beach, a popular public beach just past the low-rise resort area voted No. 3 in TripAdvisor’s Top 25 beaches in the world. Palm Beach is dotted by water sports concessions, piers, restaurants, shops and world-class high-rise hotels. Hadicurari Beach (Fisherman’s Huts) out past the Marriott Resort is a kite surfer’s oasis. Malmok Beach is a narrow sandy stretch opposite sprawling homes; its shallow clear waters make it a popular snorkeling spot, as is Arashi Beach further north; an area called Boca Catalina is a small, secluded bay. On the way to San Nicolas are the beaches of Savaneta, Aruba’s first capital, now a fisherman’s haven. Mangel Halto is a small beach among the mangroves of Pos Chikito and its nearby canals and small bridges. Out past San Nicolas, in Seroe Colorado, Baby Beach, is a half-moon sandy expanse in a calm shallow lagoon; where the bay opens out to the sea, snorkelers will behold a colorful kaleidoscope of sea life. Because of strong undertow and crash-

ing waves, swimming on the windward side is not recommended, but beaches there afford breathtaking panoramas and tranquillity. Fabulous Food Aruba’s food is deliciously extraordinary, served at over 200 restaurants. Take this opportunity to enjoy some traditional Aruban cooking with Amerindian, African, Latin and European influences; keshi yena is a gouda cheese with savory chicken filling; hearty goat stew is a feelgood, finger-licking entrée. Local catch such as wahoo and mahi-mahi are the freshest possible. Other local specialties include Johnny Cakes (fried, puffy biscuits), pan bati (Aruban cornbread), hearty soups and stews, and funchi (polenta). From jerk ribs and fajitas, brick-oven pizzas, curries, homemade pastas and racks of lamb to raw seafood bars, Black Angus steaks, churrasco and prime rib, Aruba’s menus are diverse and unique…and venues are no less eclectic. Choose a rustic steak or seafood house, casual eatery, trendy restaurant/lounge, elegant townhouse, trattoria, sidewalk café, chalet, sprawling manor house, golf clubhouse, cunucu house or al fresco beachfront, poolside or pier restaurant.


Ships’ Registry: The Bahamas & Panama

Pretty much says it all, right? Well, if not, let us explain. When you go on a Carnival cruise, you’re getting an awesome vacation full of live entertainment, great food and more fun than you’ll know what to do with – all at an amazing price. So yeah, ourcruiseisawesome pretty much says it all.


BAHAMAS, ATLANTIS, PARADISE ISLANDS

Content provided by: Atlantis, Paradise Islands, Bahamas

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Atlantis - An Experience Like Nowhere Else Atlantis, Paradise Island is a unique destination featuring the world’s largest open-air marine habitat, second only to Mother Nature. It is home to over 50,000 sea animals living in 14 exhibit lagoons. No matter what your idea of fun is, you will surely find it at Atlantis. nly at Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas can you splash into Aquaventure, the Caribbean’s largest waterpark, with 20 million gallons of thrilling waterslides and river rides spread out over a 141-acre water park. First, if you dare, take the Leap of Faith, a 60foot near-vertical drop into shark-infested waters. Challenge a friend to a high-speed splashdown! Race your friends down the twin high-speed Challenger Slides of the Mayan Temple, and then check your speeds on the time clocks at the bottom to see who won! Brave the 120-foot Power Tower for even more twists and turns on one of 3 tube rides or a body slide that drops you into darkness and ends in a cavern full of alligator gar. Or embark on an amaz-

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FCCA Cruise Destinations

ing mile-long river ride through four-foot rolling waves, river rapids and mysterious caves. Two conveyors transport you up the river and onto the thrilling slides of the Power Tower. Or simply relax in one of 11 refreshing pools. Whatever your mood, we’ve got the pool for you. From serene and peaceful to an international party vibe with live DJ, you will find the pool that suits your personality and idea of a day well spent. For the younger crowd, Atlantis offers 3 dedicated children’s pools. Designed with the youngest in mind, Splashers is an elaborate Mayan-themed children’s pool and water playground featuring three tube slides and a side-by-side slide, cargo nets and rope bridges for climbing and water cannons, fountains and water

wheels for endless soaking. With a maximum depth of 3 feet, parents need not worry about keeping pool areas off limits. Rental lockers and complimentary towels are available for cruise guests through the Hospitality Center. Of course, if pristine white sand beaches call you, reserve your Atlantis Beach Day. Relax and enjoy all-day access to the pristine white sand and crystal blue water of Atlantis’s exclusive beaches. A complimentary beach day bag is also included. Every beach has its own unique allure and charm. There are three inviting beaches available to guests of Atlantis, Paradise Island. Whether you settle down on Cove Beach, Paradise Lagoon or Atlantis Beach,


you’ll find powder-soft sand and a spectacular vista of azure water waiting for you. Just follow a path to the water’s edge, kick off your shoes and give the sand a toe wiggle test. If you like what you see and feel, stake a claim. This program includes access to the beaches and marine habitats of Atlantis; however, access to the pools, slides and rides are not included. The legend of Atlantis comes to life on the Discover Atlantis Tour. Journey through The Dig, an archeological excursion where mythical artifacts are “preserved” among stunning marine life. There’s only one place in the world where you can embark on a an adventure through the streets and tunnels of the fabulous lost city of Atlantis while viewing stunning marine life exhibits. Reflecting the tunnels and thoroughfares of the lost continent, The Dig features habitats for exotic marine life like piranhas, iridescent jellyfish, six-foot moray eels and six species of enormous groupers. And in separate, smaller “Jewel Habitats,” multitudes of brilliantly colored tropical fish dwell. Visitors should plan ahead and remember not to miss the interactive touch tank aquarium filled with conch, starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and horseshoe crabs and designed to encourage vacationer interaction. It’s a oncein-a-lifetime experience. Want to get even closer? Then Snorkel the Ruins of Atlantis in the world’s largest open-air marine habitat. This thrilling 60-minute program includes an amazing 30-minute snorkeling adventure amid the sunken ruins and artifacts of the lost city of Atlantis. You’re bound to see sleek sharks, spotted rays and thousands of tropical fish as you snorkel your way through the Ruins lagoon. The Stingray Experience provides an amazing hands-on encounter with hundreds of sleek stingrays and colorful, tropical fish. Guests have the unique opportunity to feed rays in a shallow lagoon not accessible to the general public, followed by an engaging snorkel among these wonderful animals. This is a 45minute program with a limited group size of up to 8 people and minimum age requirement of 5 years. No trip to Atlantis would be complete without a visit to Dolphin Cay, an extraordinary 14-acre habitat offering visitors an amazing, up-close experience with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and friendly Californian and South American sea lions. Our Shallow Water Interaction lets guests of all ages go nose-to-nose with these remarkable animals. Touch, splash and play away with your delightful new sea friend. This program is open to guests of all ages, but children 10 and under must have an adult participating FCCA Cruise Destinations

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in the interaction with them. For even more excitement, try a Deep Water Swim. Glide and snorkel alongside a dolphin with a hand-held water scooter. At the end of your visit, these powerful animals offer visitors a “foot push” across the lagoon on a boogie board. Guests must be at least 10 years or older and be able to swim in deep water without support vests or assistance. Alternatively, guests can purchase a Dolphin Cay Beach Pass, which includes unlimited access to the private beach with all-day beach service, complimentary non-alcoholic refreshments, beach towels, private restrooms and showers. Jump in for a splash in our Sea Lion Interaction. Hug, touch, or even kiss your new friend as you pose for a keepsake photo. Visitors will tour the state-of-the-art marine facility and rescue center before stopping to pose for 14

FCCA Cruise Destinations

pictures with their new sea lion friends. Limited to just 12 guests, this intimate interaction begins with an orientation and includes 30 minutes in the water. Wetsuits, personal lockers, beach towels, and non-alcoholic refreshments are provided, along with all-day access to Dolphin Cay’s private beach. During your day at Atlantis, you will be sure to work up an appetite from all the waterslides, rides, pools and programs on offer. And rest assured, you won’t be at a loss for choice. From barbecue to local Bahamian cuisine and some familiar names like Johnny Rockets, Quizno’s and Starbucks, you are sure to find something to tempt your palette. There are over 14 poolside options, including two full-service restaurants in the waterscape. For those with a sweet tooth, stroll over to Marina Village for some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream or an enormous selection of candy and sweets at Oh Sugar!

For the shopper at heart, Atlantis has an amazing array of stores to choose from. The haute couture shops of Marina Village and the Crystal Court and Escape at The Cove provide a shopper’s paradise. You will find the high-end names you know and love from Versace, Gucci, Ferragamo and John Bull to unique and colorful boutiques from Calypso Carousel to the Plait Lady, offering handmade products from fine Bahamian craftsmen. Or if you’d like to take home a reminder of your day at Atlantis, there are several signature shops located around property offering everything from Atlantis logoed clothing to books and other keepsakes. And best of all, shopping at Atlantis is duty-free! It’s all waiting at Atlantis. A lifetime of memories, all in a single-day excursion. To book one of the amazing Atlantis programs listed here, see your cruise line shore excursion representative.


An Experience Like Nowhere Else.

Thrill seekers, get ready for Aquaventure, the Caribbean’s largest and most spectacular waterpark. With  acres of exciting water slides and river rides, you can take on the Power Tower, plunge from the Mayan Temple, or oat on a mile-long river journey before unwinding at one of  pools. Delight in a Beach Day, along miles of white sandy beaches. Feeling lucky? Try your hand at the hundreds of slots and table games in the Caribbean’s largest casino. Retail enthusiasts can shop the Crystal Court for haute couture or stroll Marina Village, a quaint, cobblestone plaza, surrounding the world-class Atlantis Marina.  million gallons of fun awaits you at Atlantis. Will you come out and play?

Crystal Court

Marina Village

80 Table Games

800 Slots

To learn about all the exciting ways to spend your day at Atlantis, please visit our cruise partners’ websites: Carnival Cruise Lines | Disney Cruise Lines | MSC Cruise Lines | Norwegian Cruise Lines | Royal Caribbean International Or to begin oering these Atlantis Excursions through your cruise line, please contact PID-discoveratlantisoperations@kerzner.com.


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THE SEA KISSES EVERY SHORE. WE TAKE THE RELATIONSHIP EVEN FURTHER.

The sea is calling. It whispers your name, inviting you to a place more beautiful than anything you’ve seen. Where light dances on the waves, and the gentle sound puts you at ease. Where you can enjoy a piña colada, a massage, ice skating and a ride on the zip line all in one place. Only Royal Caribbean International® delivers the one vacation that’s a full sea of possibilities.

ROYALCARIBBEAN.COM


CAYMAN ISLANDS

Content provided by: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

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The Charm of the Cayman Islands by Cruise ecognized as the top travel destination in the Caribbean by Trip Advisor’s informed travelers, the Cayman Islands promises a superlative Caribbean escape like no other. World-renowned for its beautiful beaches, stunning underwater scenery, amazing attractions and distinctive charm, the Cayman Islands provides some of the Caribbean’s finest infrastructure and amenities and offers all of the ingredients for the perfect island experience.

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wander through the bustling streets and experience the islands’ rich culture. With a wide range of stores and outlets ranging from the small and quaint to the modern and expansive storefronts along the waterfront, shopping opportunities are abundant and seductive. The Cayman Craft Market is a particular favourite, where guests can browse through decorative shell or Caymanite jewelry, fun woven totes and hats and stock up on island delicacies, such as sea salt, pepper jelly and hot sauce.

easy to find in a variety of locations. Visitors are encouraged to peruse the abundantly stocked shops—including fun t-shirts from One Tree Four Five and tastings of rum cakes at the Tortuga Rum Company—and enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the unique Seven Fathoms Rum distillery. Alternatively, stop by Guy Harvey’s Grand Cayman gallery to study his famous paintings and hear about his dedicated conservation efforts from the renowned artist himself.

With a total landmass of about 100 square miles, the Cayman Islands—made up of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman—is a magnet for visitors, attracting almost two million curious or loyal sun-seeking tourists annually.

A casual stroll through George Town will also connect visitors with some of the best duty-free shopping and widest array of luxury goods to be found in a Caribbean port, including dazzling jewellery, authentic treasure coins, china, crystal and the very latest in fragrances.

In addition to the waterfront stores along Grand Cayman’s famed Seven Mile Beach, several plazas and mini shopping malls offer everything from designer clothing and sporting goods to beach and resort wear.

When it comes to shopping in the Cayman Islands, choice is a strong currency, and visitors need look no further than the vibrant port capital of George Town, where they can

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Several galleries and gift shops also offer local arts and crafts and quality gifts. Souvenirs and mementos are

The recently developed town of Camana Bay, which features a mix of international brands and local retailers, is home to Grand Cayman’s newest shopping experience and


dolphins at Dolphin Cove and Dolphin Discovery to learning about turtles at the Cayman Turtle Farm, parents and children alike are sure to enjoy these once-in-a-lifetime encounters with the destination’s vibrant marine life. Stingray City, Cayman’s premier attraction, invites adventurers to join stingrays in their natural habitat and enjoy up-close interactions with these unique animals. At Dolphin Cove and Dolphin Discovery, guests will befriend Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins and can participate in exciting rides and affectionate kisses. Visitors will see the rare sea turtle in every stage of growth at the Cayman Turtle Farm before discovering nurse sharks and barracudas in the Predator Tank, admiring the colorful birds of the apiary, and splashing around in the Breaker’s Lagoon water park, featuring the Cayman Islands’ largest swimming pool! The nearby Cayman Motor Museum is also worth the trip. From a line of red Ferraris to the original Batmobile, the museum offers 80 classic vehicles, including the first automobile ever produced, an 1886 Benz, and the first car ever driven in the Cayman Islands, a 1905 Cadillac. History buffs can discover the birthplace of democracy in the Cayman Islands at the historic home of Pedro St. James, a museum and preserved estate. Visitors will learn about Cayman’s rich 200-year history through an engaging multimedia theater presentation on Pedro St. James before stepping into history in the plantation’s great house and meandering through the estate’s grounds, enjoying striking ocean views. offers a complete range of luxury goods, everyday necessities and beyond the ordinary gifts. A visit to George Town would not be complete without taking the opportunity to learn about Cayman’s natural and cultural history at the Cayman Islands National Museum. Conveniently located on the waterfront, overlooking the Caribbean Sea, this beautiful structure dating back to the 19 th century formerly served as the town’s court house, jail, parliamentary centre and primary school. Today, the museum's collection contains over 8,000 items, ranging from tiny coins to a 14foot catboat, natural history specimens and rare documents, and is a place of learning and enjoyment. The museum’s gift shop offers an array of quality memorabilia, and the picturesque courtyard of the Gaol House café specializes in delicious tropical drinks, local ice cream and snacks.

For those looking to explore the underwater world, the Cayman Islands also offers an opportunity to introduce visitors to its pristine waters and marine life with Atlantis Submarines. These unique vessels explore the depth of Cayman’s waters, from the teeming shallow reefs and shipwrecks of George Town harbor to the magnificent coral canyons at 100 feet. The glass bottom boats offer another great way to explore the Cayman Islands’ extensive and colorful marine life without making a splash. To sample another side of the Cayman Islands, step aboard the Jolly Roger for an afternoon of swashbuckling fun. Risk possible pirate trials, sword fights, plank walks and even an attack on your cruise ship to make it back to shore! Just a short distance from George Town, visitors will discover endless island adventures. From swimming with stingrays at the world famous Stingray City to cruising with

The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park offers a place of magnificence with its breathtaking displays of native flora and fauna. Highlighted exhibits inside the park include the Floral Color Garden, the Woodland Trail and Orchids in the Park. A trip to the Blue Iguana Recovery program is also a fun way to learn about Cayman’s indigenous blue iguanas and the immensely successful efforts that have rescued these beautiful animals from the brink of extinction. Among its many appealing qualities, the Cayman Islands has the added ingredient of some of the finest dining found in combination with sun, sea and tropical landscapes. With over 150 restaurants and a variety of local and international culinary events every year, the Cayman Islands is justifiably considered as the culinary capital of the Caribbean. Food lovers will find everything to satisfy the appetite, ranging from internationally acclaimed signature restau-

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rants to independent boutiques and small local diners that serve everything from international cuisine to traditional Caymanian dishes. From casual beachside lunches to sunset dinners or elaborate banquets, the Cayman Islands offers the right places and delicacies to suit every palate. Even without leaving George Town, visitors can enjoy an eclectic array of fine culinary options ranging from traditional Caymanian seafood and Caribbean fare to Thai, Italian, and New World cuisine. Gourmets will love the farm-to-table fare at Brasserie by Chef Dean Max, while the more casually-inclined will appreciate the laid-back atmosphere at island favorite, the Lobster Pot, which boasts spectacular ocean views. For those looking to simply lounge on the beach, Seven Mile Beach promises sweeping white sand and turquoise water. Guests can lie in the sand, soaking up the sun and sipping on a perfectly chilled Cayman Mama cocktail while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of the public beach and local bar, Calico Jack’s.

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The Cayman Islands is a truly diverse destination, and Caymanians are widely considered to be warm and friendly people who love to share their culture and spirit of ‘Caymankindness’ with visitors. The islands are committed to being a responsible destination and to preserving their heritage through sustainable development. Travelers looking for greener holiday alternatives will be impressed to learn that much is being done throughout the Cayman Islands to induce greener travel options and protect the pristine environment for future generations. In addition to the sandy white beaches, swaying palm trees that beckon visitors to relax, and an average year-round temperature of 82°F, few other sun-kissed islands in the Caribbean can offer the diversity of experiences in one package that the Cayman Islands can. To learn more about this irresistible Caribbean cruise escape and book your Cayman Islands trip, visit www.caymankind.com.


JOY IS THE ONLY PROTOCOL IN THIS PORT O’ CALL.

As a leading partner of the FCCA and the cruise industry, the Cayman Islands is thrilled to welcome your clients to our friendly shores. Whether they’re interested in spending a day touring some of our more famous attractions, like the Cayman Turtle Farm, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park or Pedro St. James Castle, visiting the scores of duty free shops, restaurants and cultural sites in downtown George Town, or simply whiling away the hours on legendary Seven Mile Beach, your clients will marvel at how much there is to see and do in our little corner of paradise.

Recognised as the #1 Travel Destination in the Caribbean & Mexico by TripAdvisor travellers.

CAYMAN /CAYMAN BRAC/LITTLE CAYMAN //GRAND A WORLD AWAY. JUST ONE HOUR FROM MIAMI.

VISIT WWW.CAYMANKIND.COM


is:

Doing as much (or as little) as you choose. Not your usual routine? Excellent. Because we believe every moment of your vacation should be measured by just how far it takes you from the ordinary. That’s modern luxury.◊ Modern Luxury is a trademark of Celebrity Cruises Inc. ©2012 Celebrity Cruises Inc. Ships’ registry: Malta and Ecuador.

celebritycruises.com / 1-800-CELEBRITY Contact your local travel agent


COLOMBIA

Content provided by: Proexport Colombia

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Colombia: The Only Risk Is Wanting to Stay olombia is a place, an emotion, that you approach somewhat cautiously, but once you experience it, you won’t want to leave.

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In recent years, Colombia has established an image of stability as a result of aligning economic growth and development with the environment and the population of each region. Because of increased security and growth in the tourism industry, cruise ships stopping in Colombia’s ports are becoming an integral part of a traveler’s itinerary. Colombia’s port cities provide a variety of experiences for cruise passengers, from the vibrant contemporary city of Cartagena de Indias to Santa Marta, the magical and oldest city on continental America and a site where Indian cultural heritage and an extraordinary diversity of landscapes and beaches are mixed together. Cartagena de Indias Founded in 1533 with only 200 inhabitants on a wide, sheltered harbor on the Caribbean coast, Cartagena de Indias has grown tremendously and today boasts approximately 900,000 residents, making it Colombia’s fifth-largest city. The high, salt-bleached walls that circumscribe its Old City 24

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were built to thwart pirates and privateers during the height of the Spanish colonial era in the 1600s. The Old City preserves the rich history and culture Colombia provides, while the rest of the seaport pulsates like a salsa party with trendy hotels and restaurants, designer boutiques, emerald shops and sizzling nightlife. With all that is going on in this modern hub with historical significance, it’s now a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it truly is paradise. Experience the Best in Cartagena: Garcia Marquez Audio Tour Featured in Frommer’s as “One of 7 Ways to Experience the Best of Colombia,” this audio tour is a fantastic way to see Cartagena and learn about Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a Nobel Laureate. Undoubtedly, Cartagena embodies the literary history and life of Marquez. An audio-guided tour available in five different languages will fascinate and entertain throughout this captivating historical city. Since this tour can be experienced simultaneously by up to 1,200 people, it’s a fantastic way to get close to the monuments in Cartagena’s historical heritage. The tour’s street locations evoke the presence of Mar-

quez himself. For this reason, Cartagena is a place where reality mingles with magic. (www.tierramagna.com $35) Helicotours Operated by Robinson Helicopter Company, Cartagena Helicopter Tours are a fantastic way to catch a bird’s-eye view of the city. Gazing from spectacular heights, those partaking in one of the three different tour packages will not miss out on seeing the marvelous beaches, the wall-encased city and the panoramic view of the bay. Limited to high season, the company plans to get tours up and running by April 2012. (www.helicoptertourscartagena.co) Rosario Islands Hemmed-in by ramparts, stone towers and the relentless surf of the sea, Cartagena is the gateway to the Rosario Islands, a cluster of 43 coral isles that extend into the Caribbean and are a protected as a marine national park. There are few sandy beaches in the Parque Nacional Corrales del Rosario, and it is possible in nearby Baru—the largest island in the area—to hit the waves at Playa Blanca. This white stretch of powdery beach is ideal for sunbathing, and although it can get crowded with Cartagena day-trippers, its natural setting, the abundance of sun and cold


beers more than justify the boat ride from the historic city. Pint-sized and picture-perfect, Islas del Rosario is a great destination for a day or weekend adventure. Drive along a sand-splashed coastal vista or simply relax at the beach. Snorkel with the fish while the turquoise-hued water sparkles around you. One of Colombia’s 46 natural parks, this island group was built in order to protect one of the most important coral reefs of the Caribbean coast and the marine species that inhabit it. If beautiful landscapes, sun, and beach, are not enough for you, there is also a great selection of water sports to partake in, as well as delectable cuisine options for dining. Santa Marta Located in the most beautiful bay in the Americas, Santa Marta is the epicenter of tourism in a region that in only a 150-mile radius covers an exuberant ecosystem of varying climate and natural and geographical zones from the highest coastal mountaintops in the world, La Sierra Nevada, to the depths of the sea. Santa Marta is best known today as an adventure destination and is graced by the world’s tallest seaside mountain that rises over three miles. Santa Marta, the Sierra Nevada, the bay and all the surroundings are full of indescribable magic. To begin with, Santa Marta is the oldest city in South America and holds an unrivalled architectural heritage that evokes the times of the banana bonanza. A perfect paradise for your next vacation. The area is home to more than thirty thousand indigenous people from five of the most important native groups in South America: the Kogui, the Arhuacos, the Wiwa, the Arzarios and the Kankuamos. Even though each group has its own unique language, each considers itself to be born to the Mother of the Universe, the ancestral deity. Because of this unique mixture, this region is a reserve for the heritage of the biosphere and of humanity, as well as a stunning example of diversity, beauty, nature’s richness and cultures that coexist in a single space. Experience the Best in Santa Marta: Visit Tayrona National Park Tayrona National Park is an easy day trip from the colonial city of Santa Marta. A favorite destination for nature lovers and those in search of warm Caribbean waters, Tayrona is one of the most beautiful corners of Colombia, where cold mountain streams flowing from the summit meet a turquoise sea. Enjoy snorkeling near the sea-sculptured boulders that form tranquil bays and natural reefs. Horseback tours; raft trips down the Don Diego River, with its rapids and falls; and long

hikes to places like La Piscina or El Cabo are especially worthwhile in this amazing park. Visit the Historical Center In a trip through the city’s downtown, with the sea breeze blowing in off the waters, you will also feel the magic of the historical center’s colonial and republican heritage with its colorful gardens of azaleas, bougainvillea, poinsettias, butterflies and hummingbirds. Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino is an 18th century villa where the Liberator Simon Bolivar died in 1830. Today, the villa is divided into three main tourist attractions: the main house, the Bolivarian Museum of Contemporary Arts and the Tayrona Museum. The Cathedral is a historical site not to be missed; built in 176, it serves as national monument to this day. Lastly, the Customs House is the oldest house in America, built in 1530, and now hosts the Tayrona Museum. Taganga In a cove just 10 minutes from Santa Marta, visitors will discover an authentic Colombian fishing village called Taganga. This village is popular for scuba diving and snorkeling because of its clear and calm waters. Tanganga welcomes backpackers because of its diverse eateries and

affordable hostels. Nestled around a half-moon bay, Taganga is an ideal place to watch the sunset and enjoy a meal incorporating the catch of the day in a laidback setting. San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina Discover a trio of enchanting islands in the Caribbean; slow, continuous and deep, like the perfect breathing for scuba diving, is the rhythm of this stimulating contemplative and coralline archipelago. San Andrés, the capital the archipelago and one of the country’s most enticing destinations, lies about 435 miles northwest of the continental coast of Colombia. Surrounded by “sea of seven colors,” the island offers white sand beaches, a natural swimming pool, snorkeling, scuba diving and a plethora of water sports ranging from jet skiing to kite surfing. Downtown San Andrés offers lively restaurants, bars, nightlife and is a haven for shopping lovers. A free port with no value-added tax, San Andrés has more than 500 shops offering well-known perfume, liquor, clothing, handicraft, jewelry and accessory brands. Furthermore, sunset outings on the Morgan Galleon accompanied by the beats FCCA Cruise Destinations

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of reggae and socca Caribbean music and dining on local seafood bathed in coconut milk are among visitors’ favorite activities.

the distant ones are perfect for snorkeling and diving due to their extensive coral reefs.

Experience the Best in San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina:

Practice Water Sports In San Andres, the beaches and water epitomize a water activities paradise. Ranging for personal preferences, the most daring adventurers may wind surf while others take part in activities like kite surfing, sailing, water skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing and deep sea fishing, which all cater to many ages and abilities. Name the water sport, and it can be arranged on San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina.

Diving the Cays San Andrés is a diver’s paradise thanks to several small islands nearby that are surrounded by coral reefs. Diving or snorkeling from the water near the shore is enough to find uniquely colored fish, an expansive coral platform, exotic flora and fauna and a good number of sunken ships inhabited by seaweed and coral that turns them into treasures worth seeing. Johnny Cay, The Aquarium and Haynes Cay are a little more than a mile away from San Andrés, while the Bolívar and Albuquerque Cays lie 16 nautical miles to the southwest. The nearby cays are ideal for relaxing, while

Visit Morgan’s Cave No one knows exactly when the Dutch settlers arrived to set up their faros, but they were soon followed by the English and the Irish, and then came the fight with the Spaniards to keep possession of the island. But despite the comings and goings of the pirate Sir Henry Morgan between here and Jamaica, he was a resident in the archipelago, and it was from here that he planned various assaults on galleons laden with gold destined for Europe. It is said that his treasure was hidden in Morgan’s Cave, a small, deep lake within a cave of coral rock.

A close neighbor and sister of San Andrés, Providencia, is considered one of the Caribbean’s loveliest islands. Surrounded by a coral reef, it is joined to the island of Santa Catalina by a pedestrian bridge called the Lovers’ Bridge.

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O cean views with a splash of magic.

On board Disney Dream, and the soon-to-sail Disney Fantasy, thrilling ocean views from AquaDuck are just the beginning. With relaxation for grown-ups, adventures just for kids, tweens and teens, and spectacular family fun, there’s magic on board for all ages. And with renowned Disney service, it’s truly the most magical cruise at sea. To learn more about our new ships and other exciting destinations, go to disneycruise.com/fun, call 1-888-582-8146 or visit your Travel Agent.

©Disney DCL-12-22103

Ships’ Registry: The Bahamas. All ship images and renderings are early concept art.


CURAร‡AO

Content provided by: Curaรงao Ports Authority

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The Curaçao Experience uraçao is redefining the luxury Caribbean vacation with its intimate, private beaches, pristine dive sites, eclectic array of restaurants, and ber-luxe resorts. The capital city of Willemstad, a UNESCO World Heritage site, lures visitors with its distinctive candy-colored Dutch Colonial architecture, museums, and monuments. Just some 35 miles north of Venezuela, with more than 30 beaches, 129 nationalities, 60 dive sites and an increasing number of hot new hotels and restaurants, Curaçao’s time has come.

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Short History The inhabitants are a friendly mix of European, African and

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Indian bloodlines. Before the Spanish arrived, Curacao was inhabited by the Caiquetios, a hunter-gatherer Arawak tribe that probably migrated from Venezuela about 2500 B.C. The Spanish established a small colony here in the early 1500s, but dubbed the island “useless” because it had no gold or silver. Local Indians were put to work panning salt, felling timber, and tanning hides for shipment back to Spain. In 1634, the Spanish were routed by the Dutch, who realized that the goldmine in this “useless” island was really its large, deep harbor. For 400 years, it has been one of the Caribbean’s most important ports.

Despite English and French attempts at conquest, Curaçao has been Dutch for almost 400 years. Today, the chief Spanish legacies are Catholicism, which is embraced by more than 80 percent of the population, and the many Spanish words woven into Papiamentu, the local Creole language. Almost from the beginning, Curaçao has been a major trade center. Its climate and poor soil could not support large plantations, so slaves were sent to Curaçao only to be processed for shipment to South America and other islands. After slavery was abolished in 1863, Curaçao slumbered as a quiet crossroads of trade until the discovery of oil in Venezuela launched another boom.


you between the two areas via the high-rise Queen Juliana Bridge that exposes you to a superb view. For quick and free access, however, it’s best simply to walk across the Queen Emma Floating Bridge. When the pontoon bridge opens to let the sea traffic pass, free ferries immediately take over and continue shuttling the harbor until the bridge is closed again. Punda’s trademark view is the Handelskade, the “little Amsterdam” of tall buildings facing the bay. Its counterpart on the Otrobanda side is De Rouvilleweg. Both sides are a favorite with strollers and shoppers. The best tourist shopping is in the narrow streets and alleys of Punda, in an area bounded by the Floating Market, Plaza, Columbusstraat, and Breedestraat. As it goes east, Breedestraat becomes Pietermaaiweg, where the Tourist Information Bureau is found at number 19. By the early 1700s, the walled city of Willemstad was filled with more than 200 houses, so the town began spreading beyond the walls to Pietermaai, Otrobanda (literally, “other side”) and Scharloo, which was filled with Italianate mansions built by the city’s large community of Sephardic Jews. Having been abandoned for many years, this area is now being restored to its former grandeur. Take a walking tour of old neighborhoods filled with the living museum of Dutch Colonial architecture. Start your walk at the foot of the pontoon bridge, a.k.a. Queen Emma Bridge at the Otrabanda-side. You’ll notice the Riffort that guards the harbor entrance, the Otrobanda Hotel, and the landing areas for cruise passengers, which are busy with shops and restaurants. Cross the bridge and stroll the famous Handelskade with its shops and cafes. Note the tall yellow Penha Building with its curlicues and wrap-around galleries. To seaward is the Fort Amsterdam, which dates to the early 1600s. During the 1960s and 70s, Curaçao developed into a popular destination for cruise ships. However, the steep rise in fuel prices made sailing from the United States to the south of the Caribbean expensive, and tourism on Curaçao became increasingly dependent on air traffic. In 1986, the first cruise terminal opened for cruise ships; while in 1999, a pier was constructed outside the harbor to suitably accommodate large vessels. Today, Curaçao is an autonomous country within the Dutch Kingdom. Picturesque Willemstad The capital Willemstad was built around the main harbor. The St. Annabaai Canal connects the Caribbean Sea with the Schottegat Bay, but separates the city into two areas: Otrabanda and Punda. A simple motorized ride can take

Rural Landscape The waist of the island, from the airport to Willemstad, is covered with neat suburbs and modern shopping centers. A good divided highway called the Ring Road surrounds the city. The eastern end of the island is privately owned, and visitors can stray only so far. The best sightseeing is in a loop to Westpunt (West Point) and back to the city. On the southwest side, you can find the most beautiful secluded beaches. Tropical Climate Temperatures rise into the 90s by day and are in the 70s at night. Winds are brisk and dry, providing a greater comfort factor at high temperatures than is found in the more humid islands. Hurricanes rarely affect this part of the Caribbean, as the island lies below the hurricane belt.

Sights and Sounds The Kurá Hulanda Museum is one of the largest museums in the Caribbean. Once a yard where slaves were auctioned, it holds a full-size reconstruction of the hold of a slave ship, artifacts depicting the history of the slave trade dating as far back as 500 years ago and through the Atlantic slave trading years that began in 1441, and hundreds of prints from France and Germany that tell the story of prejudice against Africans. The Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue chronicles the history of a congregation that goes back to 1651. Although the community has reduced in size over the years, the Jewish influenced the island in many ways. There was even a time where the Jewry of Curaçao could collect money for the construction of the first synagogue in New Amsterdam. The Maritime Museum occupies one of the oldest houses in Scharloo. Its exterior has been artfully restored, while the interior has been completely redesigned in a maritime style to bring Curaçao’s rich seafaring history to life. Curacao Sea Aquarium is a sophisticated nature show in a controlled environment lagoon where visitors can get close to sea lions, sharks, turtles, stingrays and toothy moray eels. A stationary semi-submarine provides an underwater platform for photographers. Plan to spend all day here. It’s hard to tear yourself away from the nonstop nature show of sea creatures swimming in 46 tanks and in outdoor enclosures. Watch a feeding show. Curaçao has no shortage of activities for the sophisticated traveler. For a once in a lifetime splurge, Substation Curaçao offers the Curasub, a mini-submarine that takes guests beneath the sea, down to 1,000 feet. All of the activity is sure to work up an appetite.

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The Hato Caves are gaping caverns, cool and mysterious with their natural formations of stalactites and stalagmites. They’re the only caves in the region with petroglyphs dating back at least 1,500 years; the caverns themselves were formed millions of years ago below sea level. As Curaçao rose from the sea millennia ago, the caves emerged. Along the way you’ll see the “little dinosaur” lizards living in the rocks and trees and, inside the caves, a colony of rare long-nose bats. Christoffel National Park covers much of the area between Westpunt and Barber, a 4,500-acre reserve topped by Mount Christoffel. Compared to the lush drama of other islands’ rain forests and soaring mountains, this one seems dry and colorless until you take a closer look at its skittering wildlife, sculpted divi-divi trees, a rare sabal palm and two species of wild orchids. With luck, you may see a Curaçao deer. Allow a day for a driving tour around the north end of the island, stopping at Shete Boka, where the Boka Tabla cave is a spectacular explosion of ocean against eroding rock. A path takes you deep into a tumbled scattering of enormous boulders, where you can see the wide mouth of the cave entrance at the end of a long, black tunnel. The Plantation Houses of Curaçao Known as Landhuizen, the plantation houses of Curaçao are an architectural scrapbook of the 18th and 19th centuries. Many are open to the public as restaurants or inns; others are shown by appointment; some are privately owned and 32

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can be seen only from the road. This is just a partial listing; others are shown on maps, but may not be open to the public. Landhuis Chobolobo is the site of the Curaçao Liqueur Distillery, and it is open for tasting and tours. Secluded Beaches Curaçao’s beaches range from cozy coves to long strands of white sand, all of them washed by waves of clear, turquoise water. Topless bathing is officially illegal, so be discreet. Actually, you’ll see it almost everywhere. Stay away from the north coast, where undertows and surges are powerful, in favor of the more placid, sheltered southwest coast. Ultimate Diving Curaçao lists almost 70 dive sites from walls to wrecks, reefs to rocks. Among the unique dives are The Valley, Lost Anchor, one called Alice in Wonderland and the depths surrounding an offshore desert island, Klein Curaçao, with its pristine reefs and coral Mushroom Forest. All dives are in protected parks, where anchoring is not allowed. Waters are usually calm and always warmly pleasant. Shopping When cruise ships are in, the streets of Punda and Otrobanda come alive with colorful vendors and festive flea markets. However, any day is a good day for snapping up some of the Caribbean’s most meaningful finds: local art work, pottery, Dutch Delftware, wooden shoes, Curaçao liqueur, brilliantly painted hanging planters made from old tires and worlds of trade goods from South America, which lies only 44 miles to the south.

The famous Floating Market sells mostly produce and fish for local consumption, but for tourists, it’s a good place to find spices and inexpensive terracotta planters. Curaçao Cuisine Local food is called Kriyoyo and boasts a blend of flavors and techniques best compared to Caribbean and Latin American cuisine. Popular dishes include: Stobá, a stew made with various ingredients such as papaya, beef or goat; Guiambo, soup made from okra and seafood; Kadushi, cactus soup; Sopi Mondongo, intestine soup; Funchi, cornmeal paste; and a lot of fish and other seafood. The ubiquitous breakfast dish is pastechi: fried pastry with fillings of cheese, tuna, ham, or ground meat. Around the holiday season, special dishes are consumed, such as the hallaca and pekelé, made out of salt cod. At weddings and other special occasions, a variety of kos dushi are served: kokada (coconut sweets), ko’i lechi (condensed milk and sugar sweet) and tentalaria (peanut sweets). The Curaçao liqueur was developed here when a local experimented with the rinds of the local citrus fruit known as laraha. Fact is that you can read all you want about Curaçao, but you have to experience Curaçao to talk about Curaçao!


Choose your Costa Cruise and start dreaming No one lives la dolce vita like the Italians. That’s why your clients choose Costa Cruises … to experience that same celebration of life, enhanced by our European flair, international guest mix and enchanting destinations. They can savor authentic international delicacies. Indulge in bruschetta and tiramisu or, perhaps, tapas with a dry sherry. Craving camembert and crackers? Steamed mussels? Whatever they desire, it’s theirs for the asking. Indeed, the standard of Costa service is to anticipate your requests and to exceed your expectations in every possible way. Our Caribbean cruises bring together our captivating on-board atmosphere with the region’s most beautiful islands ... ah, paradiso! Your clients can explore splendid itineraries to the most beautiful beaches in the region. They can discover a dreamy desert island with a full range of Costa shore excursions or relax on a powdery beach and enjoy everything that these tropical havens have to offer. The rhythm of the islands make their way on board where your clients can surrender to the beat of dance favorites late into the night. The blend of the carefree Caribbean lifestyle and our cosmopolitan ambiance enlivens the spirit before your clients even set foot on island sands.

For reservations or more information on Costa’s other unique destinations, call 1-800-GO-COSTA (800-462-6782) or visit costaclick.com Ships’ Registry: Italy. 7001


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Content provided by: Ministry of Tourism, Dominican Republic

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Experience Dominican Republic By Sea Call in Santo Domingo, La Romana and Samaná ominican Republic is a land of brilliant contrasts, modern cities, rich history and intriguing culture – a place where travelers by sea can experience authentic Dominican culture; visit the ancient Colonial City; and dance to the pulse-pounding beats of merengue, the country’s national music and dance, while mingling with friendly Dominican locals in shops, restaurants and plazas. Dominican Republic is where you can be a traveler, not just a cruise tourist.

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Ideally situated in the heart of the Caribbean, Dominican Republic is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the north coast and the azure Caribbean Sea to the south. Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1492 during his first voyage to the New World, and its natural beauty and rich history continue to amaze all who visit today. Travelers arriving on cruise ships have countless opportunities to explore Dominican culture throughout its many port cities and towns overflowing with arts, museums, shopping, theatre, delicious gastronomy and Dominican products like rum, chocolate, cigars, fresh fruits, coconut and seafood. 36

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Two major ports on the country’s southeast coast in Santo Domingo and La Romana welcome cruise ship passengers year-round at modern, state of the art terminals like Sans Souci and Don Diego in the capital city and La Romana International Pier in La Romana. Adding to the rich offerings, a new cruise terminal was just announced on the north coast in in Dominican Republic’s Puerto Plata region. Carnival Cruise Corporation will begin production of the new cruise port this year in Maimón Bay. Additionally, a popular docking facility in Samaná Bay located along the romantic Samaná Peninsula on the northeast coast makes Dominican Republic a flexible cruise destination with fascinating excursions and modern road and airport infrastructure.

World-class arts, museums, parks, restaurants, and shopping are found near the Don Diego and Sans Souci cruise terminals and provide educational excursions to discover the true Dominican lifestyle, history and cultural traditions.

Santo Domingo (Sans Souci and Don Diego Cruise Terminals) Modern and cosmopolitan Santo Domingo is the country’s capital city and one of the most significant destinations in the Americas. The sophisticated city is located on the Caribbean Sea at the mouth of the Ozama River and features the Colonial City, the oldest inhabited European settlement in the Americas.

Colonial City – The Colonial City was the first city established in the New World, erected by Columbus’ brother, Bartholomew, and Bartholomew’s son, Diego. The Colonial City was recognized by UNESCO and declared a World Heritage site in 1990. Visitors will find hundreds of preserved buildings dating back to the early 1500s, many of which are now museums. Among them are Alcazar de Colon, Ozama fortress, and the palace of the Spanish court.

Santo Domingo Attractions Horse-Drawn Carriages – Locally designed and decorated horse-drawn carts ride along Santo Domingo’s maritime boulevard and the Colonial Zone. The carriages contain artwork of well-renowned names in the Dominican visual arts, including Elsa Nunez, Jose Cestero, Candido Bido, Mirna Guerrero and more.


Chu Chu Colonial – The Chu Chu Colonial train offers enriching educational and cultural panoramic views of Santo Domingo and the Colonial City’s breathtaking architecture and rich history. The tour guides provide expert narrative on the most outstanding monuments of the historic city, some dating back more than 500 years. Santo Domingo Botanical Gardens – The Santo Domingo Botanical Gardens, the largest in the Caribbean, are commonly experienced while riding a small train. The park is a haven for the island’s natural flora and is decorated with areas of palm trees, orchids and exotic plants, as well as what was once the largest floral clock in the world. Shopping – Santo Domingo will charm even the most discriminating shoppers with a variety of shopping experiences. The Blue Mall offers upscale stores, like Louis Vuitton, Armani and Cartier, drawing many new shoppers. The Acropolis Mall with its many European stores and a variety of restaurants is also a favorite. The ultra-modern NovoCentro is transforming the capital city’s skyline and features beautiful modern architecture with many popular shops and small movie theaters. Other shopping venues include Plaza Central, Bella Vista Mall, Americana Departamentos, Ikea and Cuesta. In addition, there are many gifts shops located in the Colonial City, including the famous El Conde Street pedestrian mall. La Romana (La Romana International Pier) La Romana International Pier is another favorite stop for cruise ships. The brilliant waters, white sand beaches and activities attract visitors to the lush La Romana, located two hours east of Santo Domingo. The southeastern coast is

decorated with vast sugarcane fields that surround some of the Caribbean’s most beautiful resorts and beaches of La Romana and Bayahibe. This natural scenery provides an experience like no other in the country. La Romana is also home to a leading hotel of the world and one of the most complete resorts in the Caribbean, Casa de Campo. Here, golf enthusiasts at any skill level can play golf on three magnificent courses: Teeth of the Dog, Dye Fore and the Links. Additionally, the resort boasts a marina with internationally renowned boutiques and restaurants, as well as Altos de Chavón, a replica of a 16th century artists’ village overlooking the Chavón River. Cruise ships also delight passengers at Catalina Island with facilities that can accommodate up to 2,000 guests. The small island is surrounded by a marine coral reef nature preserve attractive to diving and snorkeling enthusiasts and is the perfect day excursion to explore the underwater world of Dominican Republic. La Romana Attractions Cueva de las Maravillas – Nestled between San Pedro de Macoris and La Romana is the fascinating cave system, “Cave of Wonders.” The caves showcase hundreds of wellpreserved pictographs, petroglyphs and engravings from the Taino Indians who once inhabited it thousands of years before. It is home to the most important sample of rock art and features amazing rock formations, such as stalactites, stalagmites and columns. Golf – La Romana lays claim to some of the world’s best golf courses. Four courses are located at Casa de Campo

Resort, while the newest course in the area, La Estancia, includes gorgeous fairways and surprising challenges. The azure Caribbean Sea, the Chavón River Valley and palm-tree covered national parks provide scenic backgrounds for the area’s four courses. Living Underwater Museum – Lining the coast of the Bayahibe hotel zone are the Underwater Archeological Reserves. Shipwrecked galleons dating back to the early 18th century have been recreated here to portray how they looked when originally discovered by marine biologists. Snorkelers and scuba divers frequent the museums. Parque Nacional del Este – Home to more than 500 flora species, 300 types of birds, and long stretches of beaches and underwater wonders, the National Park of the East is one of the most visited and protected areas in the country. While here, visitors can hike; discover ancient Taino ruins; take part in bird watching excursions; and dive coral reefs populated with manatees, bottle-nose dolphins and other sea creatures. Altos de Chavón – La Romana’s hidden gem is Altos de Chavón, a 16th century European artists’ village that features cobblestone streets and coral block and terra cotta buildings. Offering magnificent scenic views of the Chavón River, Altos de Chavón was constructed by the imagination of Roberto Copa, a former Paramount Studios set designer, and Charles Bluhdorn, an American industrialist. Puerto Plata (Port of Maimón) Puerto Plata’s magical ecotourism and sizzling beach towns are ready to greet cruise passengers when Carnival Corporation’s new cruise terminal in the Port of Maimón is completed. FCCA Cruise Destinations

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The new cruise port is expected to be the most modern in the Caribbean and will be located just north of Puerto Plata.

Peninsula, where they frolic, mate and give birth in the safety of the Marine Mammal Sanctuary of the Dominican Republic.

Puerto Plata was the first city in Dominican Republic to have cruise calls and is a great geographical location for cruises. The construction, expected to begin in 2012 and be completed in 2014, will open up the north coast’s delightful beaches, unspoiled eco-tourism adventures and authentic, bustling towns to many new cruise travelers.

Excursions around this ecological corridor are easily accessible and allow for a spiritual journey through some of the Peninsula’s serene waterfalls and seascapes – an experience not to be forgotten.

The Samaná Peninsula (Cayo Levantado and Samaná Pier) Famous for its pristine, secluded beaches, radiant turquoise ocean waters and lush green mountains covered in coconut palm trees, the Samaná Peninsula is a favorite and lesstraveled getaway. Cruise ships dock in the bay, and passengers can spend the day at Cayo Levantado and its white sand beaches; disembark at the Samaná Pier to shop the stores along the Bay; or join day tours to visit the nearby national park, waterfalls and unique restaurants and towns. This off-the-beaten-path destination beckons adventure, nature and romance seekers alike. Travelers visiting between January and March can enjoy the thousands of humpback whales that return to the protected waters around the Samaná 38

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Samaná Peninsula Attractions Los Haitises National Park – Travelers can explore ancient history in mangroves, estuaries, caves and bays at Los Haitises National Park. Easily reached by a short boat ride across Samana Bay, the park’s guests will find themselves surrounded by more than 100 species of birds, 90 plus plant species, a wide variety of mammals and a magnificent series of limestone caves bearing pre-Columbian Taino art. Cayo Levantado – Cruise passengers flock to this palmlined island to walk along the pristine beach and tan or venture out to the thriving reefs for snorkeling and scuba diving. Restaurants surround the beach and serve local Dominican food, as well as fresh coconut and pineapple drinks. Vendors line the sidewalk with locally made crafts and artwork for passengers to buy as keepsakes.

Land Whale Observatory – Dominican Republic’s first land whale observation point celebrates the annual whalewatching season at Punta Balandra on the southeast coast. Visitors can view the thousands of humpback whales that migrate to the protected area of the Marine Mammal Sanctuary in Samaná Bay by land rather than by boat. El Limón – Considered the most spectacular of Dominican Republic’s many waterfalls, El Limón captivates as it cascades 170 feet into a pool where visitors may take a dip. To reach the top of the falls, horseback riding is a popular option among adventure tourists and also provides a beautiful view of the surrounding jungle and natural pool below. Zipline Canopy Tours – Visitors can experience a new dimension of entertainment with Canopy Tours Samana. Adventure seekers begin the tour walking through floral paths to the first of 14 platforms and nine lines between 85 and 300m. long. The zipline adventure begins at Juana Vincente, located just a few minutes from the Samaná Pier, and takes guests flying safely over coconut palms and lush green valleys with spectacular views of mountains, Samana Bay and Cayo Levantado.


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GUADELOUPE ISLANDS

Content provided by: Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board Photo Credits: Océan d’images

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The Five Sides of Paradise he Islands of Guadeloupe—Basse-Terre, GrandeTerre, La Desirade, Les Saintes (Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas) and Marie-Galante—welcome you to the Caribbean!

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You’ll have an unforgettable stay, enjoying the wide range of activities offered on the two large islands forming the “butterfly” and on the smaller dependencies. The four main themes of our Activities Program—blue, green, cultural and flavors—will tempt you to try our water sports. The Guadeloupe islands are certainly some of the most beautiful places for water sports. Caressed by the trade winds, tempered by the ever-present sun all year round, lashed by the Atlantic Ocean and lapped by the Caribbean Sea, the Guadeloupian archipelago is definitely blessed by the gods. A treat for the eyes as they encounter the incredible shades of blue of the Caribbean Sea. Then a treat for the senses with a range of water sports so 42

FCCA Cruise Destinations

expansive that you won’t even be able to get through them all during your vacation. Stretching out on the sand with your toes dipped in the water; riding the sea on a jet ski; diving in search of coral and sponges; seeing the wind swell your sails under an unblemished sky; finding out all about the nature reserve of Grand Cul-de-Sac Marin; taking a catamaran trip in search of white sand bank. You can do anything in the water, and it feels so good! Relaxation, stimulation, freedom, feeling good… Everyone will think your photos have been touched up and that your vacation stories are a bit exaggerated. The wonders of nature to be consumed without moderation!!! Getting away from it all to the “land of verdant hills.” Funny how this expression seems perfect for Guadeloupe. For on Basse-Terre, if there is one color that stands out, it’s certainly green! Or, rather, greens, for the ever-changing light

seems caught up in a play of colors with thousands of plant species. Trees, ferns, epiphytic leaves, cannas, and wild orchid do their utmost to surprise the freshly landed visitors! Learning to paint on Guadeloupe certainly changes your appreciation of color, as the desire to represent nature leads straight to the purest shades. The bitter, fresh smell of volcanic earth is just as compulsive as the bright splashes of color. This exotic picture is completed majestically by the roar of waterfalls in the forest and the crystal clear lapping of a gently cascading river; it all seems more dreamlike than real. As Guadeloupe is the favorite land for sports and nature-based leisure activities, walks, exploring canyons, mountain biking, hikes and treks all give you the opportunity to soak in this rejuvenating bath of greenery. Guadeloupian culture, shaped by its turbulent history and diverse ethnic mix, cannot be reduced merely to the term “Creolified.” A land of different influences—African, European, Indian


and American—Guadeloupe is the guardian of a multiple identity, the bearer of a society that is constantly being transformed by new influences. So there are several Guadeloupes to discover, depending on which little window you peek through. Back in vogue are Indian rites, the African memory or even the quadrille of the 17th-century colonists. Of course, that’s what entices lovers of the archipelago to come back again and again, and often stay for good. For that unique soul—warm, sophisticated and proud—is the “cargo of humanity” evoked by Guy Tyrolien in Iles (“Bales d’Or”). Yet it’s in the streets that you find real Guadeloupian culture, rather than the museums. Its literature, music, painting and crafts open your eyes wide to a whole complex and passionate reality. So listen carefully; sharpen your senses; open your heart; and you will grasp just some of the essence of this enchanting world. A Land of Flavors On the Guadeloupe islands, the magic of the cultural melting pot and huge variety of spices has let a culinary genie out of the lamp, casting spells over the great Creole restaurants, like the “roulottes de bokits.” Being island-based brings a natural affinity with fish products, and Guadeloupe is indeed the second biggest consumer of fish in the world (per head of population). Fish bouillon, clam chowder, grilled lobster, and queen conch fricassee are some of the succulent dishes you’ll love tasting. With more than a third of the land dedicated to farming,

this agricultural and rural economy means there is a wide range of young vegetables. Guadeloupians were ‘green’ before their time with their Creole gardens of fruit orchards and vegetable patches. The culinary classics are still hearty dishes, eaten by all the family or at great festive meals. Proof, if it’s needed, of the incredible fusion of cultures— Caribbean, European, Indian and African, enriched by the influences of the Middle East—is found in this gastronomy. Gourmets and gourmands alike will be overwhelmed by the fertile land of the Guadeloupe islands and its gastronomic expertise, relishing the delicious smell of a curry, tasting the sweet flesh of Julie mangoes, drinking a freshly squeezed juice made from péyi cherries, or savoring the aromas of a vintage rum. Basse-Terre Dominated by the imposing silhouette of its old Lady (La Soufrière volcano, 4813 ft/1467 m), Basse-Terre is one of the wings forming the “butterfly” of Guadeloupe. Basse-Terre is a mountainous massif, covered by a magnificent tropical forest of almost 66 square miles (17000 ha), which has been a designated national park since 1989. It has lots of well-marked hiking trails of varying degrees of difficulty. Its lush vegetation (over 3000 species of trees) provides shelter for an exotic wildlife, free from poisonous animals. With its waterfalls, cascades, basins, parks and different plantation, it reveals all of its natural charm!

Beaches of pebble and sand in shades of ochre, brown, black and pink line its coast, and it has a fantastic underwater reserve of world-renowned Jacques Cousteau Reserve (with a submerged bust of him). Basse-Terre provides ample evidence of the cultural diversity of the island: Catholic church and Hindu temple, archaeological remains of the first inhabitants and the 17th-century military fort. The town of the same name, the administrative center of the department is a real history book. Grande-Terr Grande-Terre, also known as the Little Brittany of the Antilles, forms one wing of the butterfly of the Guadeloupian archipelago. Unlike its twin, Basse-Terre, it is flat and formed from limestone. Grande-Terre is a limestone plateau perfectly suited to growing sugar cane, which covers most of the island. You will realize the importance of this agricultural activity if you visit the Gardel sugar factory or the Bellevue distillery, located in the town of Le Moule, the former colonial capital. The magnificent shaded beaches of white sand along its coastline provide brilliant sunbathing places if you want to laze about. Calm lagoons of turquoise sea, as well as wave sports, are a joy for surfers and windsurfers. Lots of restaurants and hotels will guarantee you a taste of the best Creole cuisine, balmy Guadeloupian nights and the range of nighttime activities (casinos, discos, revues, etc.). With its natural beauty spots (Pointe des Châteaux, the cliffs of la FCCA Cruise Destinations

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Photo Credits: Océan d’images

Grande Vigie, the Grands Fonds, etc.), Pointe-à-Pitre—the economic capital with its historical monuments, museums and spice and flower markets with intoxicating smells— and the sugar cane landscapes of Port-Louis, Grande-Terre offer a wide range of choices to suit every visitor.

Les Saintes “The Paradise Islands” Life rolls along quietly here. Memories of the turbulent past of the archipelago and the bloody naval battle with the English and French fleets facing each other off the coastline remain consigned to the history books.

La Desirade “Infinite Nature” The island of La Désirade has been desired by so many in its history! From a distance, its shape looks like the keel of an upturned boat. Life on La Désirade is timeless. Peace and simplicity characterize this tabular rock that is quite different from all of the others in the archipelago. In fact, nothing can disturb the tranquil atmosphere that reigns on the island, nor affect the authentic character and kind welcome of its inhabitants, mainly descendants of people from Brittany, Normandy and Poitou. Seven miles long (11 km) and just over a mile wide (2 km), it has magnificent beaches of white sand and is sheltered by long coral reefs, a delight for swimmers and divers. Only the south coast is inhabited. There is one single, straight road linking Grande-Anse, the main market town, to the different communities, Les Galets, Le Souffleur and Baie-Mahault. La Désirade, just like the wild islands that are linked to Petite-Terre, has an astonishing variety of plant life. You will also find some beautiful and fascinating colonies of animals on the verge of extinction: iguanas, agoutis, tropicbirds, etc. Gradually, the island is beginning to modernize and is gearing up for an appropriate scale of tourist development: beaches and organized hiking trails, gîte accommodations and pleasant restaurants.

Terre-de-Haut is renowned for its gorgeous bay with clear, turquoise waters; its spectacular sugarloaf mountain; its charming village with quiet roads lined with cute cottages. The inhabitants of Breton and Norman descent have a long tradition of fishing, which they do in small, open boats called saintoises. You can visit the Napoleon Fort with its museum and its surprising exotic garden. The island’s restaurants are stocked with fresh produce on a daily basis and offer tasty tropical cuisine. Terre-de-Bas with its beautiful beach at Grande-Anse, the remains of the former pottery, leisurely strolls or even the tiny village of Petite-Anse is worth getting to know better! Less busy than its sister island, it offers its temporary guests peace and quiet, a relaxed pace of life and the hospitality of its inhabitants.

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“Marie-Galante, So True!” Located 27 miles (43 km) from Pointe-à-Pitre, MarieGalante (Aïchi en Caraïbes) covers an area of 61 sq. miles (158 km²). This round island, hence the nickname “the big pancake,” with its quiet roads and varied plant life is the sugar cane island par excellence. Known as the island of a hundred mills, it had already gained a reputation for its rum by the 18th century. Vast sugar cane fields still cover most of the land today. On the roads, you will meet authen-

tic ox-drawn carts, the means of transport used by farmers. They say it’s home to the best rums in the world, and Marie-Galante jealously guards the secrets of its culinary specialties on the menus of its colorful restaurants. Its beaches of white sand are some of the most beautiful in the Caribbean! With its hospitality and the legendary warmth of its inhabitants, Marie-Galante is authenticity itself in the Guadeloupean archipelago.


Vinson - Corbis

C T I G - Photos : Denys

Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, La Désirade, Les Saintes, Marie-Galante

the 5 sides of paradise Guadeloupe Islands Tourist Board 5, square de la Banque - BP 555 - 97166 Pointe-à-Pitre cedex Té l. : +590 (0)5 90 82 09 30 - Fax : +590 (0)5 90 83 89 22 E-mail : info@lesilesdeguadeloupe.com

www.lesilesdeguadeloupe.com


MARTINIQUE

Content provided by: Martinique Promotion Bureau

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Martinique, C’est Magnifique! Vive La Renaissance of Fort-De-France Long noted as one of the crown jewels of the Caribbean cities, Fort-de-France, Martinique is now better than ever thanks to a recently completed capital improvement program encompassing two of the city’s prime attractions: La Savane Park and Le Malecon. Fort-de-France’s waterfront promenade, Le Malecon, has been enhanced to better appeal to leisure and active travelers. New basketball, volleyball and pétanque courts provide tourists and locals alike the opportunity to mix and mingle over healthy competition. For the kids, Le Malecon offers new swings, trampolines and other playground equipment. There’s even a pristine white sand beach in the Malecon, as well as a wide half-mile boardwalk, ideal for an afternoon stroll. Adjacent to Le Malecon lies the famed 12-acre La Savane Park. The veritable heart of downtown Fort-de-France, La Savane was originally known as Le Jardin du Roi (garden of the king). Its initial purpose was to harbor scientific experiments on plant species that were new to the island, many of which are still present in the park today. An inviting oasis of nature and serenity amidst the hustle and bustle of Fort-de-France, the newly redeveloped La Savane is a prime spot for walks, picnics and meeting with friends. Wooden stands located throughout the park provide various tourist information services, shopping, food and refreshments. Freshly squeezed icy juices, cocktails, sandwiches, 48

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pizzas, Panini, pasta, cassavas cakes, deliciously flavored homemade ice-creams, Creole, Indonesian, sushi and vegetarian food, Creole soup, crepes and local candies are all available here. Recent enhancements throughout Fort-de-France also extend to Hotel L’Impératrice, one of the city’s legendary properties. Named in honor of Martinique native Empress Josephine, Napoleon’s wife, Hotel L’Impératrice originally opened in the 1950s, quickly becoming the place to be seen for jet setting travelers visiting Martinique. Now, thanks to a modern-day revival that blends authentic old world charm and contemporary flair, the hotel is making a new name for itself among a burgeoning generation of culture- and styleseeking travelers.

La Route des Rhums features 11 distilleries located throughout Martinique, each welcoming travelers with insightful tours and free tastings. Visitors are treated to an in-depth introduction to the island’s proud and celebrated distilling tradition at the sources where each legendary blend was born, while also experiencing the full range of Martinique’s charms, from the natural wonder of the mountainous northern region to the metropolitan mid-section of the island and the flatter, arid southern shores.

Martinique Promotion Bureau/Cmt Usa Wins Silver Magellan Award La Route des Rhums earns accolades for ties to local culture

Martinique rums are distinguished by a unique rhum agricole production technique employed by the island’s distillers for centuries to yield a collection of truly incomparable blends. Whereas rums produced elsewhere are primarily made from the molasses byproduct of sugar production, the rhum agricole method used in Martinique begins with freshly squeezed sugar cane juice taken directly from cane stalks. This unique process yields rums that are more comparable with fine cognacs, offering greater complexity and a more varied array of natural flavors.

The Martinique Promotion Bureau/CMT USA was recently named among the winners of Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards. Among the travel industry’s top honors, Magellan Awards recognizes the very best in marketing and design services. Martinique received a Silver Magellan Award for its communications campaign in support of La Route des Rhums, a self-guided, rum-themed tour of the island modeled after France’s famed Route des Vins.

Owing in large part to the rhum agricole production technique, Martinique rums are the only rums in the world that have been granted the prestigious Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) designation. Awarded by the French government agency Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (INAO) in recognition of the finest agricultural products (wines, cheeses, butters, etc), the AOC designation is an incomparable stamp of excellence in the culinary and


spirits world. All rums produced in Martinique bear the AOC marker, making them a favorite of the world’s most discerning rum connoisseurs. Martinique’s Iconic Fort-De-France Bay Inducted Among The Latest Members Of The Club Of The Most Beautiful Bays In The World The Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World, an international association founded in 1997 to promote the preservation and sustainable management of coastal areas, has inducted Martinique’s Fort-de-France among its latest members. The announcement was made in November 2011 at World Travel Market (WTM), the leading global event for the travel industry held annually in London. Other bays also admitted to The Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World at WTM 2011 include Horta Bay (Portugal), Roses Bay (Spain), and La Baule Bay (France). The Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World is currently comprised of some 35 bays spread across more than 30 different countries and territories across the globe. Created in 1997, with its headquarters in France, The Club pursues objectives of preservation, enhancement and promotion of the natural, cultural and economic importance of bays. For more information on The Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World, visit www.world-bays.com. FCCA Cruise Destinations

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UPCOMING EVENTS February 18-22 – Carnival From Rio to Trinidad to New Orleans, Carnival is the world’s most celebrated pre-Lenten fete, but all pale in comparison to Martinique’s Carnival in one key area: length. Each year as revelers in other Carnival hot spots wind down with the close of Shrove Tuesday, the party in Martinique keeps going, reaching a decadent climax on one of the most solemn days on the Christian calendar, Ash Wednesday. The fitting theme for Martinique’s “bonus” days of revelry: “Rejoice Today, Repent Tomorrow.” May – May in Saint Pierre Formerly known as the “Paris of the Caribbean,” the northern coastal town of Saint Pierre was instantly transformed into the “Pompeii of the Caribbean” when on May 8, 1902, Mount Pelee erupted. Out of the centuries-old destruction, Saint Pierre has emerged a quaint yet vibrant town, offering visitors a unique view of the island’s storied past. The May in Saint Pierre event commemorates the anniversary of the eruption with a series of lectures, presentations and guided tours offering greater insight into this historic event. May – Sainte Marie Culinary Week Martinique shares, with distinctive panache, mainland France’s love for gastronomy. One of the best expressions of this passion occurs each year during Sainte-Marie Culinary Week, a weeklong festival celebrating Martinique’s unique gastronomic heritage and traditions. At the center of the festivities is a cooking competition. Each year, several local food products are chosen for competing chefs to use as the centerpiece of their culinary creations. The com50

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petition extends throughout the week, with special dinners, cooking demonstrations, a street fair and more providing an in-depth introduction to Martinique’s culinary scene. June – Fête de la Musique Some of the world’s greatest musical forms hail from the Caribbean, with reggae (Jamaica) and calypso (Trinidad) as the most widely known, but true music lovers know that Martinique also ranks among the music capitals of the region. Martinique is the birthplace of Zouk, a rhythmic musical form developed in the 1980s through a mix of many different styles, including compas, balakadri, cadence and bal granmoun, mazurka and biguine, French and American pop, and kadans, gwo ka and other indigenous styles. La Fête de la Musique is a celebration of Martinique’s rich musical tradition with free concerts performed in the streets throughout the island. July 29 to August 5 – Tour des Yoles Rondes Carnival and sea are brought together for a celebration unlike any other during Martinique’s famed Yawl Boat Race (Tour des Yoles Rondes). Held each summer over a one-week period, the Yawl Race attracts local and international yachtsmen skilled in sailing traditional yawl boats for a race around the island. The race is contested in stages with throngs of locals and visitors crowding the shores to cheer on the racers. Carnival-style celebrations punctuate each day’s victory earned along the way, while on the high seas hundreds of yachts, catamarans, speedboats, and other private vessels trail the racers, partying along the way.

July – Le Tour de Martinique Le Tour de Martinique is a smaller version of the famed Le Tour de France bicycle race. Just like its larger cousin, Le Tour de Martinique is held each summer and features an international field of riders competing in stages. The race reaches virtually every corner of the island, with fans and spectators lining the day’s route to offer cheers and support. November – La Belle Martinique Less competitive than Le Tour de Martinique, this amateur cycling race is ideal for recreational riders seeking an alternate way to tour the Isle of Flowers. Locals as well as visiting riders participate annually, with crowds lining the course each day. December – Martinique Jazz Festival The Caribbean’s longest running jazz festival, the Martinique Jazz Festival, has long provided a showcase for local and international artists to share their talents with a lively and appreciative crowd of music lovers from all corners of the globe. Jazz luminaries who have performed at the Martinique Jazz Festival in years past include the Marsalis brothers, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Paquito d’Rivera, Chucho Valdes, and many more. For more information on travel to Martinique, visit www.martinique.org Martinique Promotion Bureau /CMT USA, 825 3rd Avenue, 29th Floor, New York, NY 10022 Tel: 212 838 6887 – Fax: 212 838 7855 Email: info@martinique.org


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I can’t wait... for a Strictly P&O Cruises holiday 50°54’N

The bright lights, the big band, the soft swish of silk and sequins. This summer Strictly hits the high seas and you could be sharing the floor with the stars. Join us for a Strictly Come Dancing themed cruise to the fabulous Fjords, or captivating Canary Islands on board the beautiful Oriana. On each cruise, Strictly’s very own celebrity judge Craig Revel Horwood, will be joined by four of the show’s glamorous professional dancers who will perform their show dances. A stunning selection of dresses from the show will be on display and if you like to take to the dance floor yourself then the professionals will be on hand with tips and advice. With her elegant polished wood dance floor Oriana is the perfect host for these cruises, boasting a Marco Pierre White restaurant and a luxurious spa and salon. So, when you’re not in a beautiful destination, or tripping the light fantastic, there’s plenty to keep you gorgeously entertained.

The Canary Islands - 0SJBOB$SVJTF9t.PO.BZo4BU+VO Southampton - Ponta Delgada - Horta - Madeira - Gran Canaria - Lisbon - Vigo - Southampton 12 nights from

£1,349pp

Norwegian Fjords - 0SJBOB$SVJTF9t4BU+VMo4BU+VM Southampton - Stavanger - Alesund - Trondheim - Cruise in Trondheimsfjord - Ny Alesund - Tromsø Bergen - Eidfjord - Cruise in Hardangerfjord - Southampton 14 nights from

£1,599pp

Don’t wait. Book by 30 April 2012 to save up to 10%* Call 0843 373 0158, quoting MXU, visit www.pocruises.co.uk/dancing or book through your travel agent. *Fares shown are inclusive of the 10% saving, are subject to availability and are based on two adults sharing the lowest grade cabin within each cabin type. P&O Cruises reserves the right to withdraw offers at any time without notice. This advert contains an outline description of the cruises featured and must be read in conjunction with the P&O Cruises Summer Holidays 2012 second edition brochure (published in December 2011) which contains full details of itineraries, booking conditions and passport, visa and health requirements which you must read before booking. The details of fares, artistes and entertainment plans shown are correct at the time of going to print but are subject to change. Strictly Come Dancing logoTM & © BBC 2010. BBC logoTM & © BBC 1996.

ABTA No.V8764


MEXICO, PUERTO COSTA MAYA

Content provided by: Puerto Costa Maya

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Costa Maya, the Land of Adventure 012 marks the end of an ancient Mayan calendar cycle, and that means excitement on the Yucatan Peninsula. Located just hours from Cancun, the purpose-built cruise port, Puerto Costa Maya, is a gateway to thrilling adventures, educational experiences and one-of-akind culture.

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2012 will be a mystical year, and passengers certainly will not want to miss it. Architects had the past in mind when they designed this modern port complex. Puerto Costa Maya looks like an ancient Mayan City, but it’s a thoroughly contemporary cruise port that can accommodate three ships simultaneously, including the largest and biggest ships of the industry, the Oasis class. Passengers aboard those ships will find

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food, shopping and a gateway to adventure around Puerto Costa Maya’s three main pavilions. In short, Puerto Costa Maya has everything you could expect of a first-class cruise port. Voted Seatrade Insider’s “Port of the Year,” Costa Maya has some big-name representation. In addition to some fine little restaurants and bars, now operated by Anderson’s Group (Señor Frogs and Carlos & Charlie’s), a Hard Rock Café is less than 1,000 feet from the port’s main complex, and a Señor Frogs is not far from that. There’s even a beach club at the port with a saltwater pool. Costa Maya’s Dolphin Discovery is the first dolphinarium facility to be located within a cruise terminal. It offers both “dolphin encounter” and “dolphin swim” tour options to visitors. Featuring up to 10 dolphins, expert trainers take guests through a complete explanation about dolphin

anatomy, psychology, nature and how they communicate under water. The dolphins also perform flips and jumps with visitors in the water. For any interested in learning a little more about the Mayan culture, a Temazcal Ceremony is just the thing. All of the Mayan myth and legend about the 2012 end cycle will be brought to life in this spiritual encounter with nature. This Mesoamerican purifying ceremony happens at the Pawantun Jungle Oasis, where a shaman will align each guest with the four elements—earth, wind, fire, and water—inside the symbolic “Womb of Mother Earth.” It’s a little hard to explain, but this spiritual rebirth is a fantastic introduction to the mysticism of ancient Mayan culture and a great way to learn and understand the mystic Mayan calendar and the importance of the date December 21, 2012.


For people who prefer a little adrenaline and outdoor adventure with their culture and education, Puerto Costa Maya offers plenty of excursion opportunities. At the Biomaya Canopy Experience tour, guests navigate the tropical canopy with zip-lines off towers higher than 2,500 feet that soar through the jungle and offer glimpses of monkeys and macaws. They can also enjoy the thrill of a dune buggy along the coastline or navigate the tranquil turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea on a catamaran sail. In Costa Maya, we say, “Don’t miss the mysticism in 2012.” While this year holds a lot of significance, and it will be a great time to visit Costa Maya, there are some attractions that are truly timeless. One of these, The Meso-American Coral Reef, is the second largest in the world, sheltering all of Costa Maya.

Equally timeless are the ancient Mayan ruins on the outskirts of Costa Maya. From the years 200 BC to 900 AD, the Mayan tribe was active in the western lowland area, now known as the Mexican state Quintana Roo, home to Puerto Costa Maya. Vestiges of ancient buildings are scattered all around the region, but there are few particularly popular ones where the mystic history of the area is palpable. The impressive buildings at Dzibanché, Chacchoben and newly unearthed Ichkabal stand today as some of the area’s premier cultural attractions.

number 6—an imposing, impressive pyramid—houses the ancient glyphs that lend the site its name. Dzibanché is a favorite among the area’s archeological and historical buffs.

Please note that each of these, and all other attractions, can be reached on air-conditioned shuttle buses.

Ichkabal’s newly discovered Mayan ruins are in the vicinity of Costa Maya and are scheduled to open to visitors in late 2012. It has a 45-meter-high pyramid.

Dzibanché is a great settlement that dates back to 200 AD and means literally “writing on wood.” The site’s temple

Chacchoben’s three excavated and restored pyramids are magnificent, and the excavation is ongoing. What may be even more amazing are the surrounding trees and the beauty they lend to the structures. Sapodilla, fig trees, pepper trees, mahogany, and chaca are just a few of the specimens that travelers will find.

Several of the cruise industry’s newest and largest ships

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visit on a regular basis, including the world’s largest sister ships, Royal Caribbean International’s 225,000-ton Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Epic, Carnival Cruise Lines’ Dream & Magic, Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Eclipse and Princess Cruises’ Crown Princess. Costa Maya is currently the only port in Mexico that can handle two Oasis-class, Epic-class or Dream-class ships simultaneously. Also, Costa Maya will soon receive the Disney Fantasy, Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship. The main complex has a 70,000-square-foot shopping center and bazaar, a beach club, saltwater pool and restaurants and bars. The 70-some shops include artisan boutiques with Mexican souvenirs including silver, leather, vanilla, liquor and pottery, as well as T-shirt stores and familiar retailers, such as Diamonds International. It also has a drug store, bathrooms and a first aid station. In conclusion, Costa Maya has the modern comforts any cruise passenger would expect of a modern port. It also has a history, culture, and feel all its own. 2012 will be a big year in Costa Maya. Don’t miss the mysticism and the magic. Suggest Costa Maya itineraries to your friends today. You’ll be granting them a spiritual experience they’ll never forget and an adventure they won’t stop thanking you for. Don’t miss the mysticism; come to Costa Maya, the Land of Adventure!

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SEABOURN CLAIRVOYANCE IS A JOB REQUIREMENT.

Ships’ registry: Bahamas ©2011 Seabourn

To learn more about the World’s Best Small-Ship Cruise Line, call 800.929.9595. Visit Seabourn.com.

MEDITERRANEAN ■ NORTHERN EUROPE ■ SOUTHEAST ASIA SOUTH PACIFIC ■ CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA ■ CARIBBEAN

■ ■

ARABIA & INDIA WORLD CRUISE


PANAMA

Content provided by: Authority of Tourism Panama

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Panama—Worth the Success ou may have come across recent publications recommending Panama as one of the top destinations for travel in 2012, most notably in the New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Forbes, National Geographic and the Financial Times, among others. Many others still boast about Panama’s attractiveness for real estate values and retirement and medical benefits. This is undoubtedly great publicity for the country of Panama, and we can assure you that the hype is well deserved.

Y

Since the turnover of the Panama Canal from U.S. control to Panama on the 31st of December in 1999, the tropical isthmus has emerged as one of the top financial and banking centers of Latin America, with over 70 general and internationally licensed banks and service as the regional 60

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headquarters for 60 multinational corporations. One of the largest development projects in the world is also being developed in the country’s former Howard Air Force Base, now called Panama Pacifico, a $10 billion mixed real estate project, which has been established by the Panamanian Government as a special economic zone that provides special tax, labor and legal incentives. Panama’s stable political environment and US Dollar economy, along with new tax reforms and reformed investment policies and laws that include special incentives like the Panama Pacifico special economic zone have driven up investment ratings. Rating agencies such as Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s have moved Panama’s sovereign rating to investment grade in 2010, and Fitch and Standard & Poor’s upgraded their ratings once again in 2011 from “stable” to

“positive.” Furthermore, Panama’s unemployment level of 4.5% is one of the lowest in all of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the national economy grew an impressive 10.4% last year, which is a strong indicator of the country’s continued growth and sustainability. With the recently approved free trade agreement with the United States, not only are investments growing in Panama, but international conferences and incentive tourism interest have suddenly shot up in popularity due to Panama s exotic and cost-effective appeal. There are now a multitude and wide range of internationally recognized hotels and resorts available throughout the country, including the recently opened Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower and the soon to be opened Waldorf


concentrated on the transportation and safekeeping of precious gold, silver and other artifacts for the Spanish crown. This history can be relived and remembered amidst the many colonial ruins, preserved quarters and fortresses. These sites of major battles against infamous pirates of the 16th century are now UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the archeological sites of Panama Viejo and the colonial quarters of Casco Viejo. In fact, Panama holds five UNESCO World Heritage sites, both natural and cultural.

Astoria Panamera. Panama also has the largest convention center in the region, which is unique in that it grants tax deductions to any US-based company for business expenses incurred while in the country.

tional, Pullmantur and Celebrity Cruises, among others. Panama’s duty-free zone in the province of Colon, the 2nd largest in the world to Hong Kong, has also seen positive growth related to the country’s economic boom.

The Panama Canal expansion project is also making international headlines, and it is one of the country’s most recent engineering projects aimed at providing valuable infrastructure and development. This 5.25-billion-dollar investment will enable increased ship traffic flow through the canal and double the cargo capacity, which is already close to reaching its top capacity with the average annual vessel traffic of 13,000. Observing this historic expansion and the Canal in its current state is a must for visitors before the project’s completion in 2014. And despite the economic crisis in Europe and the decrease in demand from the United States, substantial growth has also been reported in the country’s ports, which have been undoubtedly aided by the record increase of containers and tonnage recorded transiting the Canal in 2011. The Canal had an unprecedented increase in its 97 years of operation with 322.1 million tons, which was a 7.1% increase over the previous year’s record. The Atlantic and Pacific international cruise terminals on either side of the Canal have seen a boost in cruise activity, particularly after the Colon 2000 home port terminal was constructed to accommodate the increase in demand from cruise lines such as Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean Interna-

The country’s other major development project is the building of a new Metro public transportation system, which initiated construction of its first city line in 2011 and is expected to be completed in 2014. The Metro is part of a larger effort on behalf of the national government to modernize the country’s public transportation system, which includes an improved bus system and enhancements to the roads, highways, and major port terminals. The Metro project’s entire network of lines is expected to be fully completed to serve the capital city of Panama and its neighboring suburbs and cities in 2035. Once completed, this new metro system will place Panama first in the Central American countries as having one of the most modern transportation systems within the region. In addition to economic growth and development in financial and infrastructure sectors, there has been a strong and consistent rise in tourism to the country due to its unique and diverse cultural and historic attractions. The original city of Panama, Panama Viejo, was the first European settlement to be founded on the Pacific coast of the Americas. The country has a rich history of colonial trade, which was primarily

Nature is certainly one of Panama’s top treasures. Etymologically, the word Panama generally means “abundance of fish, trees and butterflies,” and with three of the country s many national parks and reserves having been declared UNESCO World Heritage sites, there is no questioning the country s ecological appeal. The country boasts over 1,500 islands, beautiful and secluded beaches on both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea and extinct volcanoes; over 30% of its territory is protected within national parks and reserves. Panama has been recognized internationally not only for its natural beauty and ecological biodiversity, but also for its adventure tourism attractions. Panama has gained a positive reputation as a top destination for tourists seeking jungle adventures or beach getaways and is internationally recognized for providing some of the best opportunities for sport fishing, diving, snorkeling and surfing. Coupled with the country s unique free travel insurance covering medical emergencies for all its tourists, it’s no wonder Panama has surged in recent years under the popular radar of international travelers. Sustainable tourism is one of Panama’s goals for development beyond the city limits and offers visitors unique opportunities to engage with existing indigenous cultures. Tourists in Panama can meet the seven autonomous indigenous communities that have kept their languages and traditions alive since before Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas. Most famous are the Guna Indians, formerly known as “Kuna,” who inhabit their autonomous Guna Yala Province of San Blas. The 365 San Blas islands have been lauded as possessing some of the most pristine and beautiful beaches of the world with stunning coral reefs rivaling many of those within the Caribbean Sea. Folklore is another strong element of the sustainable tourism goals of the country, and it vibrantly resonates throughout Panama and is manifested in various colorful festivals that take place year round. Carnival, reigning as one of the most popular traditional festivities, is held annually in February before the Christian practice of Lent. Various history and art museums are also available throughout the country. The most notable of late is the future inauguration of the Museum of Biodiversity in 2013, designed FCCA Cruise Destinations

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by the internationally renowned architect Frank Gehry, designer of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Culture and art seekers will be delighted to discover that Panama boasts not only an important colonial history, a thriving indigenous culture and rich folkloric traditions and customs, but also a contemporary new wave of emerging artists and cultural offerings. Music, art, theatre and film events are proliferating as a result of the economic growth and rise in cultural imports from increased immigration to the country. The International Jazz Festival, now in its 9th year and celebrated in the month of January, successfully brings internationally celebrated musicians every year to perform for local audiences and to participate in an educational exchange of music. A highly anticipated cultural offering currently making its grand entrance into the Panamanian artistic scene is the first edition of the International Film Festival of Panama, which will take place in April and May of this year. It is expected to convene international celebrities and film industry professionals from around the world to celebrate the art in Panama City. As a result of the cosmopolitan exchange of cultures and rise in immigration to Panama, the country is experiencing great social changes. In addition to the aforementioned cultural and artistic scenes, the country is also seeing a revival in its gastronomy. Many new restaurants provide a variety of international cuisines, as well as incorporating typical Panamanian food through fusions, which has also become popular. Nightlife in Panama is lively and also diversifying to the desires of its multicultural citizens. Panama is also affordable and easy to get to with its increased airline connectivity, one of the highest in the world, offering direct flights to over 28 countries. The countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s national airline carrier, COPA Airlines, even offers a free stopover plan. Alternatively, if passengers experience long wait times while making their air connections in Panama, they can take advantage of the free bus service to many of the new cosmopolitan shopping malls in the city to occupy their time. In summary, Panama has something for everyone. The relative ease of travel, along with Panamaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s other great attractions and benefits, should provide the incentive and opportunity for everyone to consider visiting the country, particularly those already making their connections through Panama, and see for themselves that Panama really has become an outstanding, irresistible tourist destination.

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Ships’ registry: Bermuda. ©CUNARD 2012.

QUEEN mary 2, Trans-Atlantic Crossing – After a standing ovation for the Cunard Royal Singers and Dancers, it was off to the Queen’s Room for a night of ballroom dancing. Enjoy your own grand celebration – visit FeelFamousCunard.com to request a complimentary brochure or DVD, and explore Cunard’s QUEEN mary 2,® queen Victoria® and queen elizabeth.® For information, contact your Travel Agent or call Cunard at (800) 728-6273. FEEL FAMOUS. SAIL CUNARD. Legendary voyages since 1840: Trans-Atlantic Crossings - Americas - Mediterranean - Northern Europe - World Voyages


SINT MAARTEN

Content provided by: St. Maarten Harbor Group

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Sint Maarten Harbour Group in Good Shape Sint Maarten Receives More Than 1.6 Million Cruise Passengers The Port of Sint Maarten set a new record when in December 2011, more than 1.6 million cruise passengers visited the destination in 2011 in 596 ship calls. The cruise arrival figure for 2010 was just over 1.5 million. On December 31, the port received 1,656,159 cruise passengers, which is 344,200 more than in 2010. The continued growth in the cruise business is as a direct

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result of the direct marketing to cruise line executives and itinerary planners by Vice Prime Minister Theo Heyliger, who is also Minister for Port Affairs and the Chief Executive Officer of the Harbour Group of Companies, Mark Mingo. Second Tender Jetty Enhances Accessibility to Philipsburg Shopping Center The Port of Sint Maarten’s second tender jetty is playing an

integral role every cruise season by facilitating the orderly and safe distribution of cruise passengers and crew throughout the sea-side of the Philipsburg area, the dutyfree shopping mecca of the Caribbean. The new jetty named “Walter Williams Jetty,” is located in front of Sea Palace and is 75 feet long. The Williams Jetty is one of three water taxi distribution points (pick-up/drop-off) in Philipsburg along the Great Bay


The Port of Sint Maarten also ranks number nine of leading ports and destinations in the Caribbean region. The island as a cruise destination has grown from 105,000 cruise passengers in 1980 to attracting more than one million cruise passengers annually since the turn of the century, 2000. The Port of Sint Maarten offers simultaneous accommodations for six cruise vessels alongside the 2,100 feet cruise pier south and the 1,341 feet cruise pier north. Our facilities include seaside and boulevard promenades, along with the John Craane Cruise Terminal, which offers bus, taxi and water taxi operations, car rentals, banking, tours, telecommunication services and much, much more. It’s a cruise facility that offers everything you would expect to find at such a world-renowned destination. Water taxis leave the cruise facility and head straight into the duty-free shopping Mecca of the northeastern Caribbean, Philipsburg. Cruise passengers can also disembark at the Capt. Hodge Wharf from water taxis and tender boat shuttles.

Hon. Theo Heyliger, Vice Prime Minister and Minster responsible for Port Affairs

Mark Mingo, Chief Executive Officer, Sint Maarten Harbour Group of Companies

Beach. The jetty is seen as a significant development for the “Down Street” area. The other two jetties are Bobby’s Marina and Capt. Hodge Wharf.

Where itinerary planning is concerned, cruise lines always include the port when they debut their newest, largest and most spectacular cruise ships.

Port of Sint Maarten Cruise Facilities and Amenities The Port of Sint Maarten Cruise Facilities is comprised of the Dr. A.C. Wathey Pier, the John Craane Cruise Terminal, the Tender Jetty, Capt. Hodge Wharf, Sea Palace Wharf and Harbour Point Village. These integrated facilities cater to the demands and needs of the cruise sector, thereby creating the ultimate cruise experience for the cruiser.

Service is the top priority. Customer service and first class facilities have been the driving force behind the success of the Port of Sint Maarten.

The port caters to the world’s most recognized cruise lines.

The ultra-modern cruise facilities at the Port of Sint Maarten put the island in ninth place among the top twenty world cruise ports and destinations, according to G.P. Wild International, a management, marketing and economic consultancy practice based in the United Kingdom.

Harbor Point Village was opened in May 2003 and complements the shopping center of Philipsburg (Front Street). The village features a shopping arcade consisting of 12 shops and 12 market-stalls. F The Tender Jetty facilities cater to home porting, water taxis and water-based tours. The new tender jetty has been described as the largest in the northeastern Caribbean. The Tender Jetty is four meters (14 ft) wide by 120 meters (390 ft) long, featuring a nine-meter (25.2 ft) bridge section, four finger piers and a 24-meter (67.2 ft) covered section. A depth of six meters has been dredged to allow vessels with a draft of five meters to safely approach the berthing facility. The finger piers can accommodate up to six vessels simultaneously.

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holders and customers. This has made the cargo port one of the busiest transshipment ports in this part of the Caribbean. Some of the major cargo lines servicing the island are Europe West Indies Lines, Bernuth, CAGEMA, CMA-CGM, Seaboard Marine Lines and Tropical Shipping. The Capt. David Cargo Quay has a length of 270 meters (890 ft), a docking capacity for two general lift-on-lift-off (LOLO) and three roll-on-roll-off (RORO) cargo vessels. The water depth is 10.5 meters (35 ft). The cargo quay has been extended by an additional 260 meters. Cargo Facilities The Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facilities also includes a cargo section, namely the Captain David Cargo Quay and Cargo South Quay. Sint Maarten proudly serves as a transshipment hub for the northeastern Caribbean, and this is due to the island’s strategic location, ultra modern cargo facilities and the provision of efficient, reliable services to stake68

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The facility also includes a container storage area of over 2000 TEUs. Cargo vessels can also be provided with fuel and water services. Recognizing Our Elders Vice Prime Minister and Minster responsible for port affairs, Hon. Theo Heyliger, is a proponent of recognizing local persons who have contributed in one way or the other to the development of the island.

Port of Sint Maarten executive management, supervisory board members and other reps proudly stand next to the bust of Walter “Plantz” William.

Walter “Plantz” William (94) is one such local who has had a special relationship with the sea as an avid fisherman. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Port of Sint Maarten said, “We have been and continue to honor pioneers in our community. The harbor is not only about developments now and for the future. We are also about respecting our past and the contributions made to our society. Without a balance, any ship would sink.”


®

Escape completely with Princess Cruises

®

Sail with Princess Cruises around the world and let us handle the details so you can enjoy a carefree getaway. Our gracious crew ®

is dedicated to taking care of any request, no matter how small, making you feel at home every moment aboard your ship. While onboard, you’ll enjoy a wide variety of dining options and innovative experiences all designed to help you escape completely.

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To learn more, see your travel agent, call 1-800-Princess, or visit princess.com.

©2011 Princess Cruises. Ships of Bermudan Registry.


U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

Content provided by: U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism

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U.S. Virgin Islands Now Has Even More to Offer he U.S. Virgin Islands has served as a favorite stop for cruise lines and passengers for years by offering a mix of exciting shore excursions, opportunities to explore local cuisine, history and culture and a variety of retail options for duty-free shopping. With its enchanting towns, magnificent coastlines, historic sites and incomparable water adventures, a world of unforgettable moments are waiting to be discovered in St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas.

T

What’s New and Notable The Department of Tourism’s ongoing commitment to its visitors and cruise lines means it’s constantly working to enhance the cruise visitor experience; 2012 marks the continuation of a chain of new developments and refurbishments at the territory’s ports of call. From recent attraction and restaurant openings to long-term improvement projects, the U.S. Virgin Islands is evolving, and the Department of Tourism is excited to welcome cruise passengers to experience it. 72

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Visitors continue to enjoy the reopening of Mountain Top on St. Thomas. In 2011, following extensive reconstructive work, cruise passengers were once again able to access the best views of the island from its highest point of elevation. Travelers can relax on the viewing deck and indulge in a world famous banana daiquiri (a 60-year-old recipe!) once again. Located at Havensight Dock, The Butterfly Garden reopened on St. Thomas under the management of Coral World Ocean Park. The unique attraction immerses guests in the world of the delicate butterfly, allowing interaction and observation of some of the most beautiful species in the world. The farm is a family favorite and, as a result of its new ownership, is offering joint promotions with Coral

World Ocean Park, which gives guests a glimpse into underwater marine wildlife and hands-on experience with a “touch” pool and sea lion encounters. Also in St. Thomas, the St.Thomas Skyride tramway continues to draw cruise passengers throughout the year. St. Thomas Skyride tramway is the perfect way to savor the island’s breathtaking harbor views from 700 feet. One of the new restaurants to open in Cruz Bay is the popular New York City Malaysian-inspired restaurant Fatty Crab. The Fatty Crab crew brings its signature funky flavors and rock ‘n roll atmosphere that the two Fatty Crabs in New York City have come to be known for. The menu is similar to its other locations, but incorporates produce found

locally, giving the culinary team a chance to play around with new ingredients, like the Virgin Islands’ conch, spiny lobster and fruits and vegetables indigenous to the island. This addition delights visitors and locals alike with its unique take on dining in the gorgeous Cruz Bay location. The “Spirits” of St. Croix St. Croix remains an under-the-radar Caribbean gem rich with cultural experiences. The refurbished Ann E. Abramson Marine Facility at the Frederiksted pier area gives cruise passengers a new place to explore, and similar to its sister island, this port is seeing new developments that are sure to become essential stops on any St. Croix itinerary. Already known as the home of Cruzan Rum, Diageo USVI, FCCA Cruise Destinations

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the Virgin Islands’ newest distillery, will be opening a Captain Morgan Visitor Center on St. Croix in anticipation of the Captain Morgan distillery set to produce its first batch of rum in 2012. The visitor center allows guests to experience the rum’s unique history, production process and a little more about the Captain himself. It will also house “The Captain’s Collection,” a stunning gathering of old and new Caribbean rums. In addition to showcasing the history and culture of rum production, the visitor center educates travelers on LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification and Diageo’s commitment to sustainability and responsible drinking. Once cruise passengers disembark in Frederiksted, they can stroll along its waterfront and enjoy the shopping and breathtaking beaches, a perfect escape for those seeking tranquility and relaxation. History buffs will enjoy a visit to nearby Estate Whim Plantation, a restored 18th-century sugar mill situated among 12 acres of majestic plantation buildings and tropical flora. Foodies can indulge in authentic West Indian dishes laden

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with spices or international cuisine infused with local flavors in one of the town’s many restaurants. Meanwhile, Gallows Bay Dock, located only a mile from the charming town of Christiansted, enables guests to explore the area by foot. In Christiansted, visitors enjoy taking pictures in the historical churches; meandering through pastel buildings and unique art galleries; and perusing the charming boutiques, cafés and pavilions. Best known for the array of water activities available to guests, St. Croix’s crystal waters provide the perfect backdrop for everything from a leisurely swim to a thrilling kayak excursion. St. Croix is also heralded as one of the world’s top diving destinations, offering enthusiasts dives that will inspire even the most seasoned experts. The island is also home to Buck Island National Reef Monument, an underwater wonder that stretches across 19,000 acres of protected land and pristine waters, beckoning visitors to explore. To learn more about the U.S. Virgin Islands, please visit www.visitusvi.com or call (800) 372-USVI.


Lost: The Beaten Path Found:

A Place Like No Other

Captivate your clients with cruises that include the breathtaking U.S. Virgin Islands.

You Unscripted

To learn more about the USVI email info@usvitourism.vi.

800.372.USVI Š2011 United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.


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U.S.A., HOUSTON

Content provided by: Port of Houston Authority

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Houston – Where Your Journey Begins here is something for everyone in Houston, making it ideal for a cruise line. Conveniently located between Houston’s two major airports, the Bayport Cruise Terminal gives visitors an opportunity to take in the many sights and experiences of the Houston area. Less than two hours cruising time from international waters, this new, single-story, 96,000-square-foot facility is custom designed and built for the cruise industry with efficiency and convenience in mind. The embarkation lounge has 55 check-in stations, and valet parking is available in an adjacent parking lot that has 800 spaces and is expandable to 1,000. The facility has a second-story boarding corridor and features a climate-controlled FMT Gangway System.

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Houston is an excellent choice. This world-class city boasting the nation’s largest port in terms of foreign tonnage offers visitors every possible experience imaginable. Whatever your taste, whatever your pleasure, Houston has it to offer: recreation, shopping, sports, the arts, nature, cuisine and culture. Recreation With mild temperatures even through the coldest months of the year, every form of recreation, short of snow skiing, 78

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can be enjoyed year-round. An average annual temperature of 70 degrees and 250 sunny days per year makes Houston a recreational paradise. Houston may be the nation’s fourth largest city, but it is also one of the greenest. You can walk, run, bike or roller skate along more than 100 miles of scenic trail systems. You’ll forget you’re in a city as you admire the trees, wildflowers, and wildlife along the way. Paddlers can find canoe and kayak launches along the bayou to take a cruise all the way to downtown on the water. Ever notice how many professional golfers come from Texas? Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite and Lee Elder, to name a few. Fred Couples was the star of the University of Houston golf team. The LPGA is headquartered here. It’s no surprise, considering how many superb golf courses can be found throughout the Houston area, including public courses at Memorial and Hermann Parks. As much business is conducted here out on the links as in boardrooms. Many of the area’s finest subdivisions also include beautiful golf courses, which makes living here even better than just

visiting. Schedule your visit to watch the pros at a premier PGA event, such as the annual Shell Houston Open. The same is true for tennis. Public courts, tennis clubs and community courts all provide a wide variety of choices. The annual River Oaks US Men’s Clay Court Championship is played here every spring. The United States Professional Tennis Association calls Houston home, so there is no shortage of expert instructors for perfecting your game. Despite being an enormous city, nature is never very far away in Houston. With a year-round growing season, something is always blooming here. Migratory birds winter here or stop before continuing on to Central and South America. Year-round, egrets, ibis, herons and brown and white pelicans can be found wherever there’s water in the Houston area. Not far from the city limits, a wide variety of state and national wildlife refuges host more than 200 varieties of birds, as well as coyotes and alligators. More exotic inhabitants can be found at the 55-acre Houston Zoo in Hermann Park. Visitors to this lushly landscaped zoo can feed the giraffes or watch the chimpanzees’ antics in the new African forest exhibit. The elephant herd has a


The Children’s Museum of Houston is known as “a playground for your mind.” Rated as the number 1 children’s museum by Parents magazine, it is bursting with fun innovative interactive bilingual learning experiences for children up to age 12. The museum is housed in a whimsical building designed by Robert Venturi. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is one of the most heavily attended museums in the country. Located in Hermann Park, it features the Wortham IMAX Theatre, Burke Baker Planetarium, and Cockrell Butterfly Center, along with permanent exhibit halls and traveling exhibitions. From fossils and dinosaurs to gems and geology, the exhibits bring all aspects of the natural world alive. Chemistry and energy exploration are featured due to their importance to Houston’s economy. Culture From fine arts to cowboy skills, Houston is the place to be. The Museum District near Hermann Park includes many of Houston’s fine arts destinations. The Museum of Fine Arts Houston includes works from antiquity to the present. Housed in two buildings, the collection includes 56,000 pieces, and a third building is planned.

newly expanded exhibit where these gentle giants can play and roam freely. For those who prefer to watch sports, Houston offers year-round enjoyment. The Rockets, the Texans, the Dynamo, the Astros and the Aeros can satisfy whatever sport you prefer. We are also home to the four-time national WNBA champion Houston Comets and three-time national champion Houston Energy, one of 17 teams nationwide in The Women’s Professional Football League. Attractions Who hasn’t fantasized about being an astronaut and visiting other worlds? Space Center Houston, the official visitors’ center for NASA’s Johnson Space Center, is the only place on earth to take an out-of-this-world journey through human adventures in space. Try your hand at landing the shuttle or retrieving a satellite through interactive computer simulators. Find out how astronauts shower, sleep and prepare meals in space. Close to the Port of Houston’s cruise terminal is the Kemah Boardwalk, which is like a year-round carnival. Rides, themed restaurants, shopping and an aquarium are all a

part of the fun here on the shores of Galveston Bay. The Houston Ship Channel is home to the world’s tallest war memorial, the San Jacinto Monument. It marks the site of the battle for Texas independence in 1836. A museum at the base of the monument is filled with artifacts and a theater for viewing Texas Forever!! The Battle of San Jacinto. This 35-minute video puts you in the middle of the decisive battle. Markers throughout the surrounding battlefield show you where the two sides fought and the Texans won. A park on the ship channel across Independence Highway from the monument is an excellent place to watch ships and barges at the Port of Houston. One of the most beloved experiences in Houston is the Water Wall. Designed by Philip Johnson, this dramatic 64foot U-shaped fountain is Houston’s most photographed site. Step through the entry and be surrounded by thousands of gallons of water rushing down inside and outside the walls. It is an experience you’ll never forget. Relax and have a picnic in the surrounding three-acre green space shaded by more than 180 live oak trees.

The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is a non-collecting institution dedicated to presenting the best and most exciting international, national and regional art of the last 40 years. The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is one of the few venues in the country dedicated exclusively to craft at the highest level, highlighting art made of glass, fiber, clay, metal or wood. The Menil Collection houses the private collection of John and Dominique de Menil in two Renzo Piano buildings. The museum’s holdings cover the entire range of art with special emphasis on Surrealism and the work of Cy Twombly. The nearby Rothko Chapel by Howard Barnstone features 14 works by Mark Rothko. Houston has always been a city that embraces new ideas and different ways of looking at things. It’s no surprise that outsider artists have found acceptance here. The Orange Show Monument is a Houston postman’s ode to his favorite fruit. Built single-handedly over more than 20 years, this outdoor monument is constructed of found objects, such as gears, tiles, wagon wheels and statues. The Beer Can House is another folk art monument made by a retired upholsterer who never threw anything away, including all the beer cans he emptied over 18 years. Some 50,000 beer cans were transformed into the house’s aluminum siding and decorative elements. FCCA Cruise Destinations

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Art cars have rolled down Houston’s streets for many years. From unique paint designs to cars transforming into fire breathing dragons, cars have proven to be interesting canvasses for vehicular artists. A museum celebrates their design, and an annual parade now draws more than 250 vehicles from 23 states, Canada and Mexico. Downtown Houston’s Theater District is home to nine performing arts organizations. Houston is one of only five cities with permanent professional resident companies in all of the major performing arts disciplines: opera, ballet, music, and theater. The performing arts venues are all first class. Free performances from Houston’s varied performing arts scene are held at the Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park. Agriculture has always played an enormous role in the economy of Texas. For three weeks every spring, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo hosts more than 2 million guests who come for the livestock competitions, food, carnival rides, live concerts and the world’s largest indoor rodeo. Cuisine As a city that has long done business throughout the world, visitors are accustomed to finding outstanding international cuisine in Houston. With more than 8,000 restaurants to choose from and menus reflecting every region of the U.S. and 33 other countries, any palette can find satisfaction here. Houstonians eat out more than residents of any other city, so don’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation. Houston’s low cost of living includes the restaurant scene. 80

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From trendy bistros to cantinas to Chinatown, take your pick. Local specialties include Gulf seafood, Texas barbecue and steaks. Tex-Mex to Brazilian, Korean to Indian, French to Russian and Middle Eastern to Ethiopian – every gastronomic desire awaits. After dinner, take advantage of Houston’s nightlife. There is a lively live music scene with plenty of jazz, blues, country western, rock and acoustic. Shopping Shopping could be considered a sport in Houston. Whether hunting for a one-of-a-kind at a boutique or stocking up at the nation’s finest department stores, you can fill your shopping bags easily here. More than a dozen shopping districts are in town with outlet malls in the suburbs. The Galleria has more than 375 stores, including the first Neiman Marcus outside of Dallas. People travel to Houston from other countries just to shop there. At the opposite end of the shopping spectrum is Harwin, where all the designer lookalikes can be found. Hunt for antiques in the Historic Heights and Montrose, or explore Houston’s first shopping center, the River Oaks Shopping Center, originally built in 1927. Houston is unlike anywhere you have ever been. New ideas, new people, new styles, new cuisines are always welcome here. Spend a day; spend a week. You’ll always find plenty to do and see in Houston.


The Port of Houston Authority’s

BAYPORT CRUISE TERMINAL

simply the best culture, ambience

sophistication.

Cruise sship passengers will find the e terminal is

exception exceptional nal

at providing an E FFICIE NT and STRESS-FREE S T RE SS -FREE embarkation process.

HOUSTON – W WHERE HERE YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS.

For information contact Ricky W W.. Kunz, K V Vice ice President President Origination 713-670-2400 | www.portofhouston.com www.port of houston.com


NORWEGIANS OWN THE ISLANDS. Beautiful beaches. Colorful reefs. The laid-back vibe of the Caribbean. And discover Great Stirrup Cay – our premier private island and eco-fun paradise. Set sail on the only FreestyleTM cruise line, and see The Caribbean the Norwegian way.

Call 1.888.NCL.CRUISE, visit NCL.COM or contact your travel professional.

©2012 NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE, LTD. SHIPS’ REGISTRY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND BAHAMAMS.

2012 Cruise Destinations by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association  

2012 Edition of Cruise Destinations published by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association. Featuring Aruba, Atlantis-Bahamas, Cayman Islands...

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