BOSTON—Grand Circle Cruise Line has been named to Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List of the world’s top cruise lines for the second year in a row. This is the 13th year that Condé Nast Traveler has issued its Gold List, which is comprised of its readers’ top picks of the world’s best hotels, resorts, cruise lines and more. Grand Circle Cruise Line’s score ranked fourth in a select list of 12 cruise lines worldwide.
“We are very proud and appreciative to have once again earned this recognition from Condé Nast Traveler and its readers,” said Alan E. Lewis, Grand Circle’s chairman and CEO. “It’s clear to us that small ship travel is the way that Americans over 50 want to travel, and we’ve worked hard to offer them exemplary small ship experiences at incredible values. In fact, we offer our river and small ship vacations at prices that are typically $1000-$3700 less per person than comparable cruises offered by our competitors. And we’re the only small-ship cruise line that offers a 100% price guarantee and no hidden charges for all of our 2007 river cruises and small ship adventures.”
For 2007, Grand Circle has taken a bold step in the small-ship industry. Despite the uncertainty presented by fluctuating air and fuel surcharges and currency changes, the company now offers a 100% price guarantee to travelers on all of its river and small ship vacations. This means that once a traveler books his small ship vacation, he will not incur any additional air or other fuel surcharges, or currency increases - even if the company does. Such “hidden charges” can add $200-$400 per person to the cost of the trip. In addition, if Grand Circle reduces the advertised price of a river cruise or small ship vacation outside of 60 days of departure, travelers will get the lower fare, regardless of when they booked. No other small ship cruise line offers this comprehensive guarantee to their travelers.
Grand Circle Cruise Line serves Grand Circle Corporation’s two sister companies, Grand Circle Travel and Overseas Adventure Travel, both of which provide unique international vacations to Americans over 50. The cruise line has grown from one custom-built river ship in 1998 to a fleet of 50 small ships today, including custom-built river ships, rustic barges, a 16-passenger Galapagos expedition vessel, the 330-passenger M/S Paul Gauguin, privately-chartered ships, and several new 50 passenger ocean-faring ships, the first of which will launch in April 2007. More than 87,000 travelers took one of Grand Circle’s more than 40 river or small ship adventures in 2006 and more than 90,000 are expected to do so this year.
Condé Nast Traveler’s 2007 Gold List is comprised of the best in each category (hotels, airlines, resorts, cities, islands) of the magazine’s 2006 Readers’ Choice Poll, the results of which were released in the November 2006 issue. In that poll, Grand Circle Cruise Line was voted one of the top two best Small-Ship Cruise Lines, or ships with passenger capacities of fewer than 500.
Established in 1958, Grand Circle Corporation is the leader in international travel, adventure, and discovery for Americans aged 50 and older. Headquartered in Boston, Mass., the company has 45 offices throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Americas, and Africa. Through its brands Grand Circle Travel and Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT), the company offers more than 100 river cruises, barge trips, small-ship ocean cruises, extended stay vacations, escorted tours, and adventure vacations. For the past five years, OAT has been rated one of the top 15 tour operators and safari outfitters by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine, whose readers rated Grand Circle Cruise Line as among the top five best small-ship cruise lines in the world in its August 2006 issue. Since 1992, the non-profit Grand Circle Foundation, with an honorary board that includes Sir Edmund Hillary, has donated or pledged more than $30 million to humanitarian, cultural, and environmental organizations around the world.