Flores, Indonesia

Posted by D. GIBSON S"tak | 12/12/2011 11:29:00 AM | , | 0 comments »

Flores, beauty and the east

(PT. Majesty Holidays Medan)

Larantuka : Land of the The Christian in Eastern Part of Flores Island Indonesia »

  Anett Keller, WEEKENDER Magazine (Jakarta Post) | Wed, 11/30/2011 3:15 PM |
Family Trip Experience.

Flores offers mountain tours, beaches and coral reefs, as well as a rich local culture reflected in the brilliant colors and varied patterns of traditional woven fabrics.

My daughter is bursting with excitement as she points out the car window. “Mom, look at that! The world is so big here!”

She’s absolutely right. We have just come from Java, one of the most densely populated regions of the world, and arrived in what appears to be another universe. Now and then, we encounter a village of simple wooden houses. Now and then, a pig runs across the street, or a few goats, whose bleating follows soon after. Apart from these “interruptions”, our view wanders along the road to the endless green of rice fields and forests, hills and volcanoes.

Labuan Bajo
Most of the tourists to Flores arrive by plane at Labuanbajo, on the island’s westernmost tip, and go no further east, seeking only to see the famous Komodo dragons or maybe go diving. Yet the less well-known beauty of the island itself is well worth discovering.

Ruteng, flores
We want to get to know Flores, named so evocatively by Portuguese sailors, and helping us is Leonardus Nyoman, or Leo, an experienced guide and owner of Flores Exotic Tours. Ruteng, the capital of Manggarai Regency, is our first stop. For hours we bump along a road that assumes the somewhat pretentious title of the Trans-Flores Highway. This is a tour that the eyes enjoy much more than the stomach, as the trail switches back and forth through ridges and breathtaking scenery.

Wherever we look, our eyes are assaulted by the bright green splendor of terraced fields – as Leo explains, “The area around Ruteng is also called ‘the rice bowl of Flores’.”

This fertile area is also one of the largest coffee-growing regions in Indonesia. Ruteng, a bustling town with a pleasantly cool climate, is the perfect starting point for hiking tours into the countryside and for treks up the 2,400-meter-high volcano Mt. Ranaka or to the lake Rana Mese, whose bottom is visible through its crystal-clear waters.

Since 2003, Ruteng has had yet another attraction. That was the year Australian scientists discovered in the Liang Bua cave, about 15 kilometers north of the city, the skeleton of an early human being who was no taller than 100 centimeters. Known as Homo floresiensis – and dubbed “the hobbit” – this hominid lived around 18,000 years ago and is now the smallest known member of the genus Homo, which includes Homo erectus and Homo sapiens (i.e., us). The stalactite cave and the stories Leo tells us about the discovery, which helped write history, make us marvel as we imagine the world in those prehistoric days.

In the Spirit


We sweep ourselves back to the present and continue our drive eastward to Bajawa, “the traditional center” of Flores. Along the way, in Aimere, we get a glimpse of a very lively local tradition: the distilling of a spirit called moke. Twice a day, men climb the lontar palms to collect the juice running from the scored trunks. In earthenware pots and over an open fire, the moke is heated and distilled into long bamboo tubes. The “official” specification is 30 percent alcohol, which we suspect, taking our first sip, is a gross understatement.

We are here entering the region of the Ngada tribe. Although the Ngada people, like most inhabitants of Flores, now belong to the Catholic faith, they have retained their centuries-old traditions. Almost in every village, visitors will find traces of the ancient megalithic culture and shrines that symbolize masculinity (Ngadhu) and femininity (Bhaga). The village of Bena, picturesquely situated at the foot of the volcano Inerie, is a center of Ngada culture. Two rows of traditional wooden houses with elephant-grass roofs surround an area that serves as a cemetery and place of ancestral worship. This is also where the village elders – after engaging in their spiritual consultation with the ancestors – make important decisions.

As we enter the village, we witness a gathering that seems to involve the entire community, from the very youngest to the most senior. A new community center is currently under construction, for which one of the old family houses will be moved, leaving many details to be discussed. After the meeting, the families disperse and resume their places on the terraces of their houses.

The women are weaving colorful ikat. From their red-stained mouths, they spit betel-nut juice and gradually the floor in front of them turns red too. The men are busy at the construction sites. Among them, numerous children play.

Tourism has helped Bena to gain some modest prosperity,” Leo tells us.

But, he adds, this unfortunately does not apply to all parts of the island of Flores. Despite its natural wealth, the area remains one of the poorest regions in Indonesia. Many farmers have no choice but to sell their produce to large trading companies, because local markets are insufficiently developed. These large buyers can drive down prices, leaving little profit for the producers, explains Leo. Poor educational opportunities and inadequate health care perpetuate the poverty trap.

Leo and his colleagues are trying to promote sustainable tourism in Flores. He organizes customized tours and draws his guests’ attention to environmental and social problems.

Please don’t give money to begging villagers,” he says. “Purchasing their products will support the people of Flores in a more sustainable way.”

To this end, he and his family have established a foundation that helps dropouts from disadvantaged families to return to school.

From Bena, located almost at the southernmost tip of Flores, we cross the island toward the north.Riung Marine Park is our next destination. We set off very early in the morning for a boat trip through the “park of 17 islands”; there are actually more than 20 islands, but the name is a word play on Indonesian Independence Day – August 17. We are less interested in number games than the natural beauty the marine park has to offer.

Ontoloe, the largest of the park’s islands, is our first stop. Slowly, the boat approaches the northern mangrove-lined coast. What is that hanging in the tops of the mangroves? From afar, they look like large, dry leaves. The skipper starts clapping and shouting, and the leaves start flying – they are bats. There must be thousands. In a giant swarm they rise, the air reverberating with their humming and whistling.

The boat sails on and brings us into a realm of turquoise waters and white-sand beaches, the contrasting colors gleaming so brightly in the sunlight that we wonder whether we are dreaming. The boat stops at a deserted beach on an island called Pulau Tiga. We don our snorkeling gear and float in the shallow, warm waters, enchanted by the pristine underwater world of multicolored coral and fish.

Meanwhile, our companions have built a small fire from a few wooden sticks and serve grilled fish and rice. This is as close to paradise as it gets – or so we think at the time. Then we leave for the next island, called Rutong. The blazing midday sun beats down on a lonely, snow-white beach. Dozens of starfish dot the shallow turquoise water. A walk up a nearby hill affords a view over the perfectly curved bay below us and the sparkling sea extending along the north coast of Flores. Silently, intoxicated by the beauty of these islands and sedated by the serenity of the waves, we return to the port of Riung.

Table Setting
Nanga Panda

Next morning, we’re heading southward, bumping for several hours along on a dusty road. Near Ende, on the southern coast of Flores, we stop at a beach called Nanga Panda. No white sand here – it is covered by turquoise stones polished by the sea. Several men and women are gathering the stones in large sacks. The collectors sell them – for only Rp 600 per kilogram – to merchants who ship them to Bali and Surabaya, where they make their way to homeware shops for uptown tastes. From the coastal road, we get a glimpse of bizarre Gunung Meja – or Table Mountain – which looks as if a giant with some uptown taste of his own has cut off its top to be able to dine comfortably.

The road takes us uphill again, into the mountains to the village of Moni, toward our next destination, the fabled Kelimutu. In the early morning, we travel by jeep to the slopes of the volcano. The summit is a pleasant walk of about one kilometer, fortunately not requiring the stamina of a seasoned mountain climber.

As dawn begins to break, we are sitting on top of the almost 1,700-meter-high mountain, grateful for our fleece jackets and the hot coffee, brought by vendors wrapped up in their woven ikat – up here, tropical temperatures no longer prevail. And we wait: Kelimutu does not always expose itself to visitors; it is often shrouded in clouds.

Let’s see whether the spirits of the mountain are in a good mood,” Leo says with a wink.

Apparently they are. The rising sun greets us from a clear blue sky.

Little by little, the sun illuminates the three crater lakes of Kelimutu. Before us lies the turquoise Danau Tiwu Nuamuri Koofai. Behind it is Danau Tiwu Ata Pol, chocolate-brown (at the time of our visit; it has since changed to turquoise as well). Opposite is Danau Tiwu Ata Mbupu, which almost looks like a “normal” dark-green mountain lake. Locals believe that the souls of the dead reside in these lakes – the children in the turquoise and adults in the deep green – but only as long as they have not clocked up too many sins: the brown (now turquoise) lake is reserved for the evil souls.

We marvel at the surreal colors of the lakes in the morning light. My daughter – excited by the discovery that Pop-Mie sellers also manage to climb sacred mountains – distributes the carrots meant as her early morning snack to the monkeys loitering around the lakes. May that “offering” keep the spirits of the mountain merciful. They certainly seem to be rather sensitive. Whether the news of the day is droughts or political upheaval, a change of the colors of the lakes – according to local belief – foretells changes for the people too.

By late morning, we tear ourselves away from the cool mountain air and this mystical place to hike through the surrounding villages. Jopu seems to be home to more looms than human beings. Everywhere in the village, swathes of colorful ikat are spread out. They must be a calm people – weaving is not for impatient minds. The threads are tied and dyed by hand, although over time chemical dyes have replaced their natural predecessors in many places.

We meet Stefanus Dindu, a connoisseur of traditional colors and motifs, who sells old ikat fabrics in Jopu and shares his rich knowledge about the meaning and origin of the various patterns.

In Sikka on the south coast, too, all the women seem to have dedicated themselves to weaving. Immediately upon entering the village, we are surrounded by a gang of chattering women overwhelming the visitor until a purchase is made. We buy several scarves and a sarong and turn to Sikka’s other attraction: a wooden church at least a century old. We marvel at the interior walls painted with ikat patterns. With a beautiful cemetery in view, situated between the beach and the church and lined with palm trees, we start to muse about perfect final resting places.

Our journey is approaching its end. After we cross the island – in this section only about 20 km wide – and once more head north, Maumere is our last stop. Quietly in the afternoon sun, the waters lap at the dark beach. In a little wooden boat, a clam seller displays the wealth of the sea.

Our trip through the “Flower Island” was, in sum, spectacular. Those who are accustomed to the comforts of Bali might need some adjustments. Certainly, those who need luxury and the certainty of reaching destinations quickly will be pushed to their limits here. But those who prefer the straightforward friendliness of the local people and the breathtaking beauty of nature will fall in love with the flower island – and will be longing to return to the place where the world is just bigger.

Pt. Majesty Holidays Medan

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Posted by D. GIBSON S"tak | 12/07/2011 08:22:00 PM | , , | 0 comments »

JOB INFO 2011 - 2012

Hi All,
Gaby, Friend of mine from Bali, just called me yesterday Dec 2, 2011. He asked me to find people (Indonesian) specially friend, to work in Canada.   He got this message from his sister in law's lawyer who live in Canada that usually help Indonesian people to study and work in Canada legally. Many company's owner in Canada ( Hotel, Airline, Bar, Restaurant/Cafe) asking him (this lawyer) to supply them with overseas worker.They like Indonesian mostly.
I told Gaby to get me valid info, before I extend this information to our fellow Indonesian friends.
Information regarding recruitment process, Contact Person, Fee, Documents, etc.. Coz I don't want to send people there to get in trouble.
So, I'm waiting for the latest info, and I'll post it as soon as I got it. So stay tune here.
At this moment, they need 3 butcher and 1 asst cook to deploy this year.
If you intrested, prepare your CV from now.
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Posted by D. GIBSON S"tak | 2/25/2010 02:06:00 PM | , | 0 comments »


The Republic of Indonesia (pronounced /ˌɪndoʊˈniːziə/ or /ˌɪndəˈniːʒə/) (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia) is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia comprises 17,508 islands. With a population of around 230 million people, it is the world's fourth most populous country, and has the world's largest population of Muslims. Indonesia is a republic, with an elected legislature and president. The nation's capital city is Jakarta. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore, Philippines, Australia, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The Indonesian archipelago has been an important trade region since at least the seventh century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually adopted Indian cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders brought Islam, and European powers fought one another to monopolize trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II. Indonesia's history has since been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters like tsunami 2001, separatism, a democratization process, and periods of rapid economic change.

Across its many islands, Indonesia consists of distinct ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. The Javanese are the largest and most politically dominant ethnic group. Indonesia has developed a shared identity defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a majority Muslim population, and a history of colonialism including rebellion against it. Indonesia's national motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity" literally, "many, yet one"), articulates the diversity that shapes the country. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world's second highest level of biodiversity. The country is richly endowed with natural resources, yet poverty remains widespread in contemporary Indonesia

Would like to know more about Indonesia? Grab and you may have it for free in here.  An Indonesia Electronic Cruise Guide. Klik Our Smile Icon....to download.
(Indonesia Electronic Cruise Guide)

 As the biggest archipelago country in the world with two thirds of its are being occupied by sea, there is no gain saying the fact that Indonesia si also called a marine country. In addition, 60% of its which has more than 210 million populations are living along the coastal area of its thousand of small islands.

Thremendous submarine resources have positioned Indonesia as a "paradise" for the world's professional diver. Other than these marine resources, Indonesia is also rich in cultural events. It given the fact that Indonesia possesses an abundant cultural heritage derived from about 350 ethnic groups, which are unique one to another, living scattered throughout the country.  


Beauty of Indonesia...


For tourists, Indonesia has also been well-known as a unique and mesmerizing destination given the marvelous natural resources including thousands of flora and fauna species, hardly found in other other countries. Indeed, to say concisely, Indonesia is ultimate in diversity.

There have been many world cruises, making Indonesia as a cruise destination. Many of them have anchored and dock in some of Indonesia's seaports or cruise terminals such as Tanjung Priok (Jakarta), Belawan (Medan), Tanjung Emas ( Central Java), Tanjung Perak (East Java), Lembar (West Nusa Tenggara), and Benoa as well as Padang Bai (Bali).


The Goverment of Indonesia has committed to make Indonesia as the world cruise destination. So, all the stakeholders related to this sector will be striving to deliver the best service to fulfill the tourists' satisfaction.

Those are message from Jero Wacik The Minister for Culture and Tourism.                   

So, Plan and make your way to Indonesia Now. We Welcome every body, explore our country. It's easy, safe, cheap for backpacker tourist too. Visit PT. MAJESTY HOLIDAY MEDAN.

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Royal Caribbean International is a Miami, Florida -based cruise line brand owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., with 42 ships in service under 5 different brands and one more under construction, it controls a 24.8% share of the world cruise market. All ships since 1991 have names ending in "of the Seas."

Company and brand history

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line was founded in 1968 by Anders Wilhelmsen & Company, I.M. Skaugen & Company, and Gotaas Larsen, Norwegian shipping companies. The newly created line put its first ship, the Song of Norway, into service two years later. The next year, the line's capacity was doubled with the addition of the Nordic Prince to the fleet. Continuing to expand, the line added the Sun Viking in 1972. After four years of successful operation, Royal Caribbean's Song of Norway became their first passenger ship to be lengthened. This was accomplished via the insertion of an 85-foot (26 m) section to the vessel's severed center. Following the success of this procedure, Nordic Prince was stretched in 1980. Royal Caribbean finally received widespread global recognition when in 1982 it launched the Song of America, over twice the size of Sun Viking and at the time the third largest passenger vessel afloat (after the Norway and the Queen Elisabeth 2)

Royal Caribbean innovated once again with its 1986 lease of a coastal property [2]in Haiti for use as a private destination for its guests. This destination is now called Labadee. After a corporate restructuring in 1988, the line launched Sovereign of the Seas, the largest passenger vessel afloat at the time. Two years later, Nordic Empress and Viking Serenade entered service for the line, continuing a rapid growth trend within the company. In the same year Royal Caribbean purchased its second private destination, Little Stirrup Cay, an island in the Bahamas, which they rechristened "Coco Cay."

Monarch of the Seas, the second ship of the Sovereign class, entered service the next year. The third ship of the Sovereign class, Majesty of the Seas, was delivered one year later. With a large passenger capacity and a growing market share, Royal Caribbean finally went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1993. Over the next two years the company experienced extreme growth. A new corporate headquarters in Miami, Florida was completed, and the Nordic Prince replaced by a new vessel, the Legend of the Seas.

The next year brought more growth. Two more Vision class vessels entered service, the Splendour of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas. Also in 1996, the company finalized its contracts for 130,000 ton vessels with Aker Finnyards in Finland. The trend of growth and change continued into 1997. The line's oldest ship, Song of Norway, was sold, and two new Vision-class ships entered service as Rhapsody of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas. The company also merged with the Greek cruise line Celebrity Cruises and changed its name from "Royal Caribbean Cruise Line" to "Royal Caribbean International." The next year marked a transition to a more "strictly modern line," when the last of the company's older vessels, Song of America and Sun Viking, were retired. In 1998, Vision of the Seas came into service, the last of the Vision Class Ships. In 2004, Royal Caribbean made history again with the massive refurbishment of Enchantment of the Seas, cutting the ship in half and adding a 74-foot (23 m) midsection. Grandeur of the Seas is rumored to be the next to have the massive refurbishment sometime in early 2008.[citation needed]

In 1999 the Voyager of the Seas, the line's newest and world's largest cruise ship entered service with much attention from the news media. The next two years saw the delivery of Voyager's sister ship, Explorer of the Seas, and the first of a new class of more environmentally friendly cruise liners, Radiance of the Seas, as well as the introduction of Royal Caribbean's "cruise tours Alaska," featuring glass-domed train cars to scenic destinations within the state and Canada. During Adventure of the Seas's christening ceremony in November 2001, Royal Caribbean made a $50,000 contribution to the Twin Towers Relief fund.

2002 saw the debut of the Navigator of the Seas, as well as the Brilliance of the Seas, the second ship of the Radiance class. Serenade of the Seas and Mariner of the Seas were introduced the next year, and rock-climbing walls were made a feature of every Royal Caribbean ship. Jewel of the Seas followed in 2004, and the line's ship Nordic Empress was refurbished and re-christened as Empress of the Seas. Construction commenced on Freedom of the Seas, the line's newest ship, at Aker Finnyards in 2005 and the vessel launched the next year as the largest passenger vessel in the world. Freedom of the Seas' sister ship, Liberty of the Seas, was launched in 2007, and Independence of the Seas was delivered in 2008. An even larger class, the Oasis Class, featuring the Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas will be launched in 2009 and 2010, guaranteeing Royal Caribbean the ship size lead for years to come.

Read More at this link:

source; wikipedia
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Posted by D. GIBSON S"tak | 2/23/2010 01:27:00 PM | , , | 1 comments »

360° Interactive Virtual Tour of a Star Cruises ship


Star Cruises is the third-largest cruise line in the world behind Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises, and dominates the Asia-Pacific market. Star Cruises owns 50 % of the Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America, and 100 % of Cruise Ferries brands with a total combined fleet of 22 ships and over 35,000 berths. The company is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the Singapore Exchange.

Star Cruises is credited with almost single handedly developing the cruise industry in the Asia-Pacific region. Its foray into the global shipping market has allowed it to tap into lucrative and more mature markets in North America and Europe. Its services cater to Asian passengers as well as to North Americans, Europeans and Australians interested in Asian destinations.

The president and the CEO of Star Cruises company is Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, the son of the late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong, the founder of Malaysia's Genting Highlands.


Star Cruises was founded as an associate of the Genting Group of Malaysia, incorporated in Bermuda on 10 November 1993 with its corporate headquarters in Hong Kong. The company's first ships were two cruiseferries acquired from the bankrupted estate of Swedish Rederi AB Slite. In the following years the company purchased several other used ships. In 1998 Star Cruises took delivery of its first new build, SuperStar Leo, followed by sister ship SuperStar Virgo in 1999.

In the year 2000, Star Cruises acquired 100 % of Norwegian Cruise Line (including its subsidiaries Orient Lines and Norwegian Capricorn Line) and became the first global cruise line. Norwegian Capricorn Line operations were soon merged into those of Star Cruises. Before the purchase of NCL, Star Cruises had several new builds either planned or under construction, but most of these joined the NCL fleet instead of that of Star Cruises. In August 2007 Star announced that in exchange for $ 1bn (US) that 50% ownership of NCL would pass to a large US Private Equity group - Apollo Management LP.

Early in 2008 Orient Lines as a brand ceased to exist with the sale of Orient's sole ship MS Marco Polo to Greek interests.

In 2001 Star Cruises founded a new sister company Cruise Ferries which began operating one ship, Wasa Queen, on short cruises from Hong Kong to Xiamen; then on overnight gambling cruises from Hong Kong, and from July 2007 similar overnight gambling cruises from Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur) Malaysia. This operation has ceased functioning with the sale of its only ship Wasa Queen, which is now renamed Arberia.

With the operations of Norwegian Cruise Line having proven more profitable than those of Star Cruises itself, since 2006 the trend has been that new ships are built for NCL, and the old ships they replace are then transferred to the Star Cruises fleet in Asia.

Current fleet

* SuperStar Virgo
* SuperStar Aquarius
* SuperStar Libra
* Star Pisces
* MegaStar Aries
* MegaStar Taurus

 Don't Stop Reading; continue....
  1. Send resume to Norwegian Cruise Line
  2. Apply to Royal Caribbean International 
  3. Get to know about Carnival Cruise Line
  4. House Keeping Knowledge 
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Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is a company operating cruise ships, headquartered in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida. It began operations in 1966 under the name Norwegian Caribbean Line. The company is best known for its Freestyle Cruising concept, which means that there are no set times or seating arrangements for meals, nor is formal attire required. Norwegian Cruise Line has a sister company, NCL America. NCL itself is jointly owned by Star Cruises (who in turn are owned by the Genting Group based in Malaysia) and Apollo Management, with both companies owning 50% of NCL. Norwegian Cruise Line controls approximately 8% of the total worldwide share of the cruise market.

The company was founded as Norwegian Caribbean Line in 1966 by Knut Kloster and Ted Arison, with just one 830-ton cruise ship/car ferry offering low-cost Caribbean cruises. Arison soon left to form Carnival Cruise Lines, while Kloster acquired additional ships for Caribbean service. NCL pioneered many firsts in the cruise industry like: the first Out Island Cruise, the first combined air-sea program (marketed as "Cloud 9 Cruises") which combined low cost air fares with the cruise, first shipline to develop new ports in the Caribbean, like Ocho Rios in Jamaica. Like the original Sunward of 1966, NCL's second ship, the Starward had the capability to carry automobiles through a well concealed stern door. Later, this area was turned into cabins and a two deck movie theater, which is now a casino. NCL was responsible for many of the cruise innovations that have now become standard throughout the industry.

NCL made headlines with the acquisition of the France in 1979, rebuilding the liner as a cruise ship and renaming her Norway. The conversion cost more than $100 million USD. The Norway was at the time significantly larger than any existing cruise ship, and exploited the extra space available by adding a greater than usual variety of onboard entertainment. Her success paved the way for a new era of giant cruise ships. A boiler explosion in May 2003 forced NCL to withdraw the Norway from service, later being laid up in Bremerhaven, Germany until 2005 when she was towed to Port Klang Malaysia with the claimed intent to use her as an anchored casino or slow overnight casino cruises on her remaining boiler. Instead, she was sold for scrap and renamed the SS Blue Lady and later beached at Alang, Gujurat, India in August 2006 with claims that she had not been cleaned of toxic materials. On September 11, 2007, the India Supreme Court issued an order permitting her to be broken-up at Alang, despite the presence of large amounts of hazardous asbestos remaining on board.

NCL has expanded to other parts of the world, including Alaska, Europe, Bermuda, and Hawaii, (NCL America, Inc.). Between 1997 and 2001 the company also operated cruises out of Australia under the name Norwegian Capricorn Line.

Its subsidiary Orient Lines, founded in 1991 to run the Marco Polo, was acquired in 1998. NCL itself was acquired by the Star Cruises, subsidiary of Malaysia-based Genting Group, in 2000. In 2007 Star Cruises sold the Marco Polo to Transocean Tours, to be delivered in early 2008. Orient Lines will cease trading when the ship is delivered to its new owners.

In 2002 NCL purchased the half-complete hull of the first Project America ship, at the time under construction at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, USA, which was towed to Germany to be completed at the Lloyd Werft shipyard. Subsequently NCL acquired the rights to move two ships built entirely outside the United States under the US flag, making it possible to start a US-flagged operation under the brand name NCL America. In 2003 the company announced the purchase of the famed American flagged liners SS United States and SS Independence for use on the NCL America -brand. Although it has promised to restore the United States back to service, the future of the great ship remains uncertain to this day. In their July 2007 fiscal report, NCL noted the sale of the Independence, renamed SS Oceanic some time before.

In August 2007 Star Cruises took the market by surprise when it sold 50% of NCL for $1 billion to US-based Apollo Management (owners of Oceania Cruises) in order to strengthen NCL's financial position. The NCL America brand stays solely under Star Cruises ownership for the next 16 months, after which a decision will be made either to liquidate the brand or to continue operations if the brand can be made profitable. In January 2007 the Norwegian Wind was transferred to the fleet of Star Cruises, becoming their SuperStar Aquarius. Subsequently NCL reported in February 2008 that the Pride of Aloha, one of the two remaining NCL America ships, would be withdrawn from service in May of the same year. Initial reports suggested she would be transferred to the fleet of Star Cruises, but it was later announced that she would return to the NCL international fleet as the Norwegian Sky, while the Norwegian Majesty and Norwegian Dream would be sold to Louis Cruise Lines. The sale of the Norwegian Dream was subsequently cancelled.

Source :
Wikipedia Find more info and NCL Fleet there.

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Often hailed as the most popular and the largest cruise line, Carnival didn't make it to number one on its own. It's had a lot of direction from CEO Bob Dickinson. Who is this man and what measures has he taken to make sure every passenger has a blast when sailing on a Fun Ship�?

A former employee of both Ford Motor Company and RCA, Dickinson achieved the position of executive vice president of Carnival in 1972. In 1993, he was promoted to president and a short time later added CEO to that title.

With a strong marketing and operational vision for the cruise line, Dickinson has brought this once fledgling company to superstar status through his unique innovations. In fact, he is so admired in the industry that Dickinson was named "1999 Travel Executive of the Year" by Travel Trade magazine. He was also awarded a position in Advertising Age magazine�s 100 Best Marketers in the Nation.

Part of his management savvy is due to his willingness to participate in programs such as PBS's Back to the Floor where six top bosses were taken from the top floor of their high-rise office buildings and demoted to blue-collar workers within their own companies. From cleaning cabins to waiting tables to sweating it out as a poolside bar server, Dickinson hung with the other employees during a weeklong cruise aboard the Carnival Imagination.

He took the time to listen and learn about employee complaints firsthand, such as the pink shirts poolside staff must wear. Joking about the "polyester-lead blend" material, Dickinson discovered just how personal management decisions about every aspect of the employee work environment can be.

An avid wine collector, Dickinson has pressed hard to create a truly impressive and virtually unmatched collection within the Carnival fleet. With over 18,000 bottles in his personal wine cellar, Dickinson says wine is more than a hobby, naming it as interesting, complex and a living thing. And his favorite bottle of wine on the Carnival wine list? A 1998 Legacy California Cabernet that sells for $50.

Often giving countless bottles of wine away for charity, the Carnival CEO quotes a net figure for one year of $800,000 raised for philanthropic purposes primarily due to wine. Dickinson's passion has recently extended to his business life as well. Carnival launched its first ever Wine Cruise aboard Liberty in December 2005. It was such a hit - being hailed by some as "the most outstanding wine-related event" - that the cruise line has scheduled a sequel for December 3, 2006.

This seven-day itinerary sails to Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. During the voyage, passengers can take part in numerous wine-related activities, including seminars and lectures about every aspect of wine from its history to the science behind creating different varieties. And, of course, wine tastings are a focal point of the week.

While guests are not required to be members of Carnival's wine club to participate, they do need to pre-register for the special functions prior to boarding. Your travel agent will have details on all the events and registration procedures.

Dickinson will undoubtedly influence Carnival's efforts as well as those of its sister companies (including Holland America Line and Windstar Cruises) continuing the success of each. What's the key? How has he been able to build and hold fast to the number one position for so long? When asked, Dickinson replied that it was all about taking the mystery out of cruising, making it affordable to the average person and putting the customers' experiences first. Truly, Carnival has achieved the status as the cruise line for every man.

source :
Roy Witman is Vice-President of Cruise Vacation Center at http://www.cruisevacationcenter.com offering the best deals including
Hawaii cruises
from Carnival Cruise Line and others. � 2006, All Rights Reserved
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