Written by 12:45 pm Celebrity

Cruise Guide: Loren, Matlin, Egyptian expert to wow passengers

By Michael Coleman

If you’ve taken a cruise lately you’ve likely noticed a new onboard trend.

Your fellow passengers are younger, affluent and they’ve been looking for a hassle-free vacation experience, according to the folks who analyze such trends. 

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has released figures showing that cruise passengers are, on average, 50 years old with incomes of $99,000 per household. They are typically married (83 percent), employed (69 percent) and have college educations (65 percent). 

The 19 CLIA-member lines, from which the numbers were crunched, represent 97 percent of the cruise capacity marketed in North America. 

The study also revealed that 64 percent of cruisers believe cruise vacations are easy to plan and arrange as compared to 36 percent of non-cruisers. Seventy percent of cruisers say sailing vacations are hassle-free compared with 40 percent of non-cruisers and that 57 percent of cruisers believe cruising provides an excellent value for the money compared to 24 percent of non-cruisers. 

  

Legendary Loren teams with MSC 

Italian film legend Sophia Loren will be the centerpiece of MSC Cruises’ new 2006 marketing campaign. 

Loren is expanding her long-standing relationship with the company and will now serve as the line’s spokesperson this year. She has served as godmother to the Italian-owned line’s two newest ships, MSC Lirica and MSC Opera. 

The multi-faceted national campaign will include billboards in high-traffic areas, as well as cable television and newspaper ads primarily in the New York metropolitan and South Florida (including Tampa) markets. 

The campaign will also include advertising in consumer lifestyle, travel and trade publications as well as Internet and public relations components. 

  

HAL picks Matlin to be godmother 

Still with the celebrity theme this week, look for Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin to be godmother to Holland America Line’s new ship, the Noordam, during a ceremony in New York City, Feb. 22. 

After the christening ceremony, Noordam will sail on a series of 11 voyages from New York to Southern and Eastern Caribbean ports. 

Matlin catapulted onto the big screen in her debut film, Children of a Lesser God (1986), winning the Academy Award for Best Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama. The Oscar-winner has since starred in 19 films and several television programs. 

She is also a national celebrity spokesperson for the American Red Cross. 

  

Silversea lands acclaimed lecturer 

Renowned Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass is scheduled to join Silversea’s world cruise as an enrichment lecturer in 2007. 

Over the past 30 years he has dedicated himself to the excavation and conservation of many of Egypt’s most important monuments and antiquities. As Egypt’s secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Hawass was responsible for bringing the King Tut exhibition to the United States this year. 

He will host a series of presentations aboard Silver Shadow as the ship journeys from Dubai to Alexandria, April 12 to 27, 2007. 

Departing Jan. 15, 2007 from Fort Lauderdale, the ship will cross three oceans, seven seas and six continents, visiting 61 different ports, before concluding her world cruise in New York City on May 22.

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