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30/03/09

Curse of the Aurora as passengers revolt

Telegraph.uk
Angry cruise ship passengers have staged a revolt on the luxury British cruise ship the Aurora after the vessel visited just two ports in 22 days. It is the latest in a long string of bad luck to have hit the ship since the naming ceremony bottle failed to smash. More than 600 passengers on the 93-night cruise attended an emergency meeting and formed a protest committee after missing three ports in New Zealand and two Pacific Islands. P&O Cruises  said passengers, who each paid upwards of £8,599 for the cruise, will receive compensation including £500 and a refund of the cost of four days' cruising. more....

28/03/09

Walter Cronkite joins bid to save SS United States

Philadelphia
Walter Cronkite 
is lending his name to the effort to preserve the ss United States, the Cold War-era ocean liner that has languished at a South Philadelphia dock for more than a decade. The 990-foot ship was put up for sale in January by its current owner, Norwegian Cruise Lines, for an estimated $20 million. Enthusiasts have fretted that the iconic ocean liner would be sold for scrap. Last week, NCL told the conservancy that the ship would not be sold to scrappers or any non-U.S. entity, said SS United States Conservancy spokesman Dan McSweeney. "We're not out of the woods yet, though this recent statement is cause for cautious optimism," McSweeney said. "We need to continue to raise awareness and build momentum in support of the effort to save this great national treasure."

27/03/09

Major lines pulling ships from Alaska

Alaska is celebrating its 50th anniversary of statehood this year.
But we can imagine there wasn't much celebrating when Carnival Corp. Chairman Micky Arison said this week he's pulling ships in 2010 (and maybe 2011 too). Carnival has 17 ships in Alaska this year, when you add together the Princess, Holland America and Carnival brands. With competitors (Royal Caribbean, NCL, et al), there are 28 big ships scheduled to cruise in Alaska in 2009 - it doesn't take a math whiz to figure out Carnival Corp. is the Big Kahuna (Princess and Holland America also run the most extensive land operations). Royal Caribbean earlier said it's pulling one of its three ships,the ms Serenade of the Seas, in 2010. more....

26/03/09

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises ventures into historic Northwest Passage

Hamburg
This August, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ four and five star expedition ships, ms Bremen and  ms Hanseatic will traverse one of the world’s most historic and unexplored sea routes, the Northwest Passage. The two vessels will sail in opposite directions and meet in the heart of the Canadian Arctic. Weather and ice conditions permitting, the company will host a celebratory event for the ships’ guests. more....

25/03/09

DUBAI - Van Oord cuts back Dubai operations

Rotterdam/Dubai
Dredging company, Van Oord has had to relocate the majority of its Dubai-based employees to projects in other parts of the world due to the severe delays and cancellations of Dubai's water development projects. The company made a 190 million euro net profit in 2008 and is involved in projects such as Palm Deira, The World and Deira Islands. However, with the slowdown in most projects - especially Nakheel's water development projects
such as The Worldand parts of Palm Deira - their profits are likely to dip in 2009. As the global economic slowdown affected most of Dubai's ambitious projects, the company has had to scale down its operations here. Last year, Van Oord had 1,900 staff and 10 ships in Dubai. Now, the staff numbers have been cut to hundreds and only one ship remains.

25/03/09

Scotland targets increased cruise ship traffic

A new Scottish organisation based in Aberdeen has been set up to promote and market Scotland as a cruising holiday destination amidst the country’s increasing popularity as a cruise destination. With an initial three-year marketing strategy, Cruise Scotland is looking to expand its market by ten percent year-onyear. Scotland had a 48 percent share of all cruise ship calls in the UK in 2008, when a when a record 377 ships and around 202,000 passengers arrived in Scottish ports. By comparison, Scottish ports handled 169 cruise ships and 64,902 passengers in 1998. "Tourism makes an important contribution to the Scottish economy and it is vital that we continue to look at new…ways of attracting new visitors,” Scotland's Minister for Tourism Jim Mather said. 
A complete listing of Oraginisations promoting cruises in their Regions can be found here......

24/03/09

Is the Carnival over?

Miami 
Carnival Corp & PLC,
the world's largest cruise shipping company, is expected to report a fall in profit for the first quarter of its financial year when it unveils its figures on Tuesday. Analysts' average earnings per share (EPS) estimate is $ 0.19, with the highest estimate at $ 0.26 and the lowest at $ 0.05. In the same period last year, the company achieved a net profit of $ 236 million o EPS of $ 0.30. more....

G8 summit to be held on the MSC Fantasia

The Italian government is hosting, with the meeting to be held on the Sardinian island of La Maddalena. The announcement a cruise ship - MSC FANTASIA -  will be used for the Group of Eight is attributed to Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, speaking in Brussels Friday. The summit involves the U.S., U.K., Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy, France and Canada. Climate change and the world’s economy are among discussion topics. The actual meeting is scheduled for a former US Navy submarine base on the island, which was being renovated for the event (but has been the subject of a controversy involving environmental impact). The confab is scheduled July 8-10. 

23/03/09

SILVERSEA seeks price cuts

Monaco 
Monaco-based luxury liner company Silversea is still keen on exercising its option for a second 36,000GT vessel, however it is seeking a substantial price cut from Italian builder Fincantieri.
Chief Executive
Amerigo Perasso told Asiasis that the company was still interested in building a new cruise ship after the initial order for one vessel with an option for a second was placed two years ago. The first ship, ‘Silver Spirit’ will be delivered in December this year. “I don’t anticipate us taking delivery of a second ship until a couple of years after the delivery of the ‘Silver Spirit’,” Mr Perasso was quoted as saying by Asiasis. “We have to look beyond the second half of this year and the first half of 2010. Hopefully in the second half of 2010, we will begin to see signs of recovery.”

20/03/09

Hebridean International Cruises - sells mv Hebridean Spirit

Skipton, North Yorkshire
Hebridean International Cruises have announced that they have sold the larger of their two vessels, the 98 berth Hebridean Spirit.  The vessel will be withdrawn ahead of the Summer 2009 season. Announcing the sale, Managing Director Mike Deegan said "We have made the decision to withdraw from international operations to concentrate on our core product, which is the operation of Hebridean Princess in Scotland."

19/03/09

World's cruise industry sailing rough waters

March 19 (Reuters)
Cruise operators are desperately trying to attract passengers for 2009, slashing prices, offering last-minute deals, two-for-one pricing, shorter cruises, family packages in which children sail free, and home port cruising which avoids the cost of an airfare to reach an exotic departure port. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL.N) (RCL.OL), the world's second largest cruise operator, has already reported a profit collapse in the fourth quarter of 2008 and expects 2009 revenue to be weak as it offers discounts to lure passengers. The Miami-based company stopped paying its dividend last November as it looked to save cash, following a similar move by its main rival Carnival Corp & Plc (CCL.N) (CCL.L). more....

19/03/09

Arabian Gulf faces credit crunch pressures

Dubai, UAE
T
he global economic downturn is taking its toll in many areas of the shipping industry, including the cruise and ferry sectors. One area of the world that was thought to be immune from the credit crunch was the Arabian Gulf. Not so! Dubai, for example, is really suffering with major construction projects shelved, many overseas workers leaving the Emirate and dumping their hire/leased cars at the car park at Dubai airport. There is a major question market about the planned conversion of the QE2 into a floating hotel and leisure complex. It remains to be seen if the global downturn will affect the cruise business in the Arabian Gulf, which has been growing each year with bigger and bigger vessels being deployed for the winter months cruising out of Dubai to other UAE ports, Oman and Bahrain. The global credit crunch doesn’t seem to have impacted on Dubai’s ruling family too hard though! Members of the family have bought the two original Renaissance Cruises small cruise ships Renaissance One (ex Leisure World I) and Renaissance Two (ex easyCruise One) and are having them converted into Super Yachts at Dubai’s Platinum Yachts. Tough times ahead for some, but not others. 

18/03/09

Technical launch of mv Costa Deliziosa

Marghera, Italy
Costa Cruises and Fincantieri have hosted a ceremony for the technical launch of the mv Costa Deliziosa at the Marghera yard.
The Costa Deliziosa, the 15th ship of Costa’s fleet with a total tonnage of 92,700DWT and a capacity of 2,828 passengers, is scheduled to be delivered at the end of January 2010, after completing the interior fitting out operations. Along with her sister ship, the Costa Luminosa, she will be the fleet’s flagship.

18/03/09

Full speed ahead for Cruise Lines

MIAMI BEACH, Fla., March 17 (Reuters)
- The world's top cruise lines rely heavily on North American passengers, but will not let the recession keep them from scouring Europe, Asia and Latin America for new customers and destinations. "There's a 100 percent chance that the trend of global expansion of the cruise industry will continue," Royal Caribbean International (RCI) President Adam Goldstein said at a conference. "This isn't made easier by current conditions, but it isn't going to be stopped by them. more....

18/03/09

COSTA - travel agents to suggest names for two ships

Genova
Costa Cruises, the largest Italian travel group and Europe’s favorite cruise line, has announced a brand new project called “Send us a sea of names”, whereby travel agents worldwide are invited to suggest names for the Company’s two new sister ships. The ships concerned are the 16th and 17th Costa fleet members:  two 114,500 gross tonnage sister ships with total guest capacity of 3780 each, built by Fincantieri in Marghera (Venice) and scheduled to enter service in spring 2011 and 2012.  

17/03/09

Shanghai - second cruise terminal

Shanghai
A SECOND cruise-ship terminal will open in April, 2010, enabling the city to cope with a boom of the industry. About 20 percent of cruise ships now have to dock at the mouth of the Yangtze River because they're too big to fit under the Yangpu Bridge. The new terminal is closer to town, located at Paotai Bay in Wusong Port, Baoshan District. More than 150,000 foreign and Chinese tourists arrived here on cruise ships last year, 17 percent more than in 2007. more....  

16/03/09

Tirrenia - Italy approves privatisation

Rome
Italy's cabinet on Friday approved a decree to push ahead with the privatisation of ferry operator Tirrenia despite market turmoil, a year after a previous caretaker government initiated the process. Tirrenia, is 100 percent owned by the state through its Fintecna holding.

15/03/09

Mediterranean Classic Cruises - where is your Vision?

Piraeus
Mediterranean Classic Cruises - formerly Monarch Classic Cruises - had announced proudly that they will sail on 3- and 4-day cruises in the Aegean. The mv VISION STAR (ex. SuperStar Gemini) was touted as the most modern and luxurious vessel for the short cruises. First sailing was to be on March9th. At this time she has vanished from the Website of Mediterranean Classic Cruises and is presently alongside the passenger Pier in Istanbul. What gives one may inquired. Is the Charter still on - Vision Star is owned by danish shipping conglomerat CLIPPER GROUP and managed by ISP, Miami - or has she joined another Clipper vessel in Istanbul, ill fated mv Clipper Pacific. The latter had numerous arrest by port ship controls and was finally let go from her PEACEBOAT Charter and replaced by ms OCEANIC. Back to MCC, who now only show cruise itineraries on mv Athena on her Website. These are confusing times, but Greek Owners had always a rather flexible and fluid attitudes.
Jassu!
 

14/03/09

ThyssenKrupp in talks to sell Hellenic

German naval shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp is reportedly in talks withthe Greek Government to sell Greece’s Hellenic Shipyards back to Greece. ThyssenKrupp and the Greek Government have been in atussle over the submarines being built for the Greek Navy, which have yet to be paid for, Financial Times Deutschland said.

13/03/09

Princess Cruises crew member faces life imprisonment

Los Angeles(AP)A Princess Cruises employee accused of sexually assaulting a female passenger during a 14-day cruise has been ordered held without bond in Los Angeles. Jorge Teixeira (HOR'-hay teh-SHEHR'-uh) was deemed a flight risk by a federal judge on Thursday. The 38-year-old Portuguese man has been charged with aggravated sexual abuse and is scheduled to be arraigned March 30. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison. more....

13/03/09

FTC Moves to Unmask Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Washington Post
The Federal Trade Commission yesterday said that companies engaging in word-of-mouth marketing, in which people are compensated to promote products to their peers, must disclose those relationships.Word-of-mouth marketing can take any form of peer-to-peer communication, such as a post on a Web blog, a MySpace.com page for a movie character, or the comments of a stranger on a bus. more...
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line caught infiltrating Review Sites with Viral marketing Team
The CONSUMERREPORTS in a recent article writes, Meet the "Royal Caribbean Champions," a group of fifty prolific posters to popular online communities that Royal Caribbean rewards with special access and free cruises in exchange for their frequent and positive commentary. The Champions were outed by their creators, the Customer Insight Group, which boasted on their company blog that the potent group is "regularly leveraged for ongoing marketing initiates. Members of the popular reviewing site Cruise Critic, one of the main targets of the program, are understandably pissed. more....

12/03/09

CARNIVAL - Good Bye Vancouver Hello Seattle

The world's biggest cruise operator today announced the northwestern city would be its new base for Alaska cruises starting in 2010. The line, which sends a single ship to Alaska each year, will in turn be dropping Vancouver and Whittier, Alaska as its hubs for the region. Carnival says it has assigned the 2,124-passenger Carnival Spirit to sail its new Alaska routings in 2010 -- the same ship it is sending to the region this year.Carnival has been cruising in Alaska for about a decade, but until now its voyages in the state always have begun and ended in Vancouver, Whittier or Seward, Alaska. more...

11/03/09

AIS Live! ship tracking - vesseltracker reports

Hamburg
Vesseltracker.com is growing by leaps and bounds.
They have now included the worlds largest Sea Port SINGAPORE
Now AIS Live ship tracking is available in a wide area of Ports and regionsof Africa, Asia, Europe, North- and Sout-America see here....

11/03/09

QE2 - NAKHEEL commences comprehensive survey

Dubai
QE2 is currently berthed at Port Rashid since her arrival in Dubai on November 26, 2008. Nakheel, Dubai-based master real estate developer, has confirmed that there have been no plans to move QE2 in the short-term from Port Rashid until refurbishment work commences. Nakheel has implemented a maintenance and repair program at Port Rashid. more....

10/03/09

New Ferry service between France and Spain

French Secretary of State for transport, Dominique Bussereau and the Spanish Minister for Infrastructure Magdalena Alvarez have signed a bilateral agreement to operate vessels between France and Spain.
Grimaldi and Louis Dreyfus Armateurs will operate a new ro-pax service between Nantes-Saint Nazaire (NSN) and Gijon. The new services have been granted a subsidy of US$37.8 million for five years. Grimaldi and Louis Dreyfus Armateurs already operate a service between Toulon and Civitavecchia.

09/03/09

Acciona Trasmediterranea - seven ferries up for sale

Acciona Trasmediterranea has put seven of its ferries up for sale, after the company reported a decline in annual profits. The plan calls for axing eight of 27 vessels from the fleet. News of Acciona's cutbacks come after the company axed one of three ro-ro newbuildings at Spain's Navantia shipyard.

08/03/09

QE2 - open to Dubai visitors ahead of refurbishment

Dubai
Nakheel said today there are no plans to move QE2 in the short-term as it has been the company's intention that QE2 remains in Port Rashid until refurbishment work commences.  Since her arrival in November, Nakheel has implemented a maintenance and repair program at Port Rashid and is currently operating her with a minimal crew. This involves keeping at least one engine running to provide power and lighting and to ensure that air is circulating properly throughout the ship to avoid unnecessary deterioration of, in particular, the key historic areas of the ship which Nakheel will be restoring and preserving.  In the light of huge popular interest and in response to a number of requests, Nakheel is also investigating the possibility of opening QE2 to visitors in her current condition for a short period of time before her refurbishment begins.
In the meantime there is no question of QE2 being operated as a cruise liner or of her being sold to any third party whatsoever, Nakheel said. more....
 

07/03/09

MSC FANTASIA - gangway collapses

Palma de Mallorca, Spain
The cruise ship, 'MSC Fantasia' run by the Italian company 'MSC Cruises', and advertised as the 'the world's most beautiful cruise ship' docked in Palma for the first time today but the visit has been marred by the incident and all on-board festivities have been cancelled for tonight as a result. One person was injured early this afternoon when a gangway joining the ship to the passenger terminal in Palma harbour collapsed.  Three crew members also ended up in the sea and had to be fished out by the rescue services. more....

07/03/09

Port of Tallin - record breaking for year 2008

Tallin, Estonia
In 2008 the total number of passengers travelling through Port of Tallinn was remarkable - 7 247 366. Besides regular traffic, an all-time record in cruise passengers number was also broken in 2008 ending up with 377 522, 28% growth compared to 2007. We had 304 cruise ship calls, 298 in Tallinn and 6 in Saaremaa. As of February 2009 there are 310 ship callsbooked to visit Tallinn and 6 to Saaremaa for the coming season bringing a total of over 420 000 cruise passengers to Estonia, According to the CEO of Port of Tallinn, Mr Ain Kaljurand, it is good to see, that the economical problems of the World have not, at least yet, reached the Baltic Sea passenger-traffic sector.

06/03/09

UBS Analyst Farley Finds Cruise Pricing Still Under Pressure

UBS Analyst Robin Farley lowered estimates for Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. after finding that cruise fares are still weak. A UBS pricing survey found that Alaska pricing appeared to be under the most pressure, particularly as promotions increase, and that Europe was also declining but not at as rapid a rate. UBS rated Carnival a “buy” and RCCL “neutral.” “We believe Carnival is a solid long-term story and is better positioned to take advantage of market growth opportunities via international growth,” Farley wrote. “We favor Carnival over Royal Caribbean, but over the long term, we believe RCL should benefit from some industry trends as well. On March 5, Carnival stock closed at $18.10 while RCCL closed at $5.65. For more information, visit  www.ubs.com,  www.carnivalcorp.com  or www.rclinvestor.com.

06/03/09

COSTA EUROPE CRUISE - ends in "mutiny"

Angry passengers on board Costa Cruises’ ship ms COSTA Europa confronted the captain in protest at what they felt was an "unacceptable" offer of compensation after the ship became beset by engine problems, reports the British Telegraph. Hundreds of holidaymakers on the ‘Jewels of the Indian Ocean’ cruise – which ended on February 28 – convened in the ship’s theatre after they were offered the option of on-board credit of 300 euros or a 600-euro discount on a future Costa cruise, a proposal that was met with disbelief. The ship underwent repairs in the Kenyan port of Mombasa, before sailing towards Renunion, but passengers said the vessel’s speed remained "erratic", while others noticed black smoke coming from the engines. more  >>>> 

STX Europe to unveil new cruise liner concept in Miami

STX Europe will present a new cruise liner concept design at the Cruise Shipping Convention in Miami on 19 March: called the the new concept highlights simplicity and versatility. “The concept layout is extremely simple with all passenger public areas and activities centered in one location. This results in easier passenger and crew logistics, higher space occupancy and more efficient service production. For the passenger this means easier orientation onboard, more space and better comfort. All cabins are true exterior cabins with balconies,” the company says. Public areas are located next to exterior decks so that interior spaces extend to sun decks and vice versa. The ambiance is similar to a land-based resort with cafes and restaurants extending towards the beach. This results in high space utilisation rate because exterior decks may be utilized as sundecks or as covered dining areas. more >>>

04/03/09

Norwegian Cruise Line releases first images of 'Epic' ship coming in 2010

Miami
Norwegian Cruise Line today unveiled the first images of its new 153,000-gross ton, 4,200-passenger Norwegian Epic, the company's largest and most innovative Freestyle Cruising ship to date. Currently under construction at STX Europe in St. Nazaire, France, the contemporary, balcony-rich, 19-deck ship will be 1,068 feet long, 133 feet wide, with a draft of 28.5 feet when completed in May 2010.

03/03/09

DUBAI - Passenger ship increase at Dubai cruise terminal

The number of ships passing through the Dubai Cruise Terminal rose to 82 by the end of last year, up from 55 the previous year, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) said yesterday. The DTCM-operated terminal at the Port Rashid complex received 182,030 passengers last year, compared with 113,907 the year before. The DTCM is building a new cruise terminal that it hopes will be operational by the next cruise season, which begins in September

02/03/09

SILVERSEA - floating out mv Silver Spirit

Ancona
Silver Spirit's first connection with the sea was marked by an official ceremony at the shipyard attended by senior management from Silversea and Fincantieri.  Over the coming months, the new build will undergo her final outfitting works and be ready for delivery in December. Silversea Cruises' newest ultra-luxury ship, Silver Spirit, reached an important milestone on Friday, February 27 when she was transferred ("floated out" in shipbuilding parlance) from dry dock to wet dock at the Fincantieri shipyard in Ancona, Italy.

No Dubai conversion for QE2?

There are a number of rumours circulating in Dubai that the massive conversion plans to transform the former Cunard cruise ship QE2 into a floating hotel/conference/leisure centre have fallen through, due to the immense costs and the global credit crisis. However, owners Nakheel deny such suggestions. Manfred Ursprunger, CEO of QE2 Enterprises, the Nakheel company set up to run the QE2 project said that plans for the conversion of the ship are still going ahead. ‘We are not selling the ship. We are still in the planning stage and we are looking at the best way we can use this magnificent ship,’ he said. But why is it taking so long to finalise details of the ship’s conversion? Nakheel’s had plenty of time and is using some of the industry’s best in this business, such as V.Ships Leisure. It’s well known that Nakheel is putting a number of construction projects in the Emirate on hold for the time being, including the much hyped Trump Towers. Mr Ursprunger said that ‘no definite designs for the QE2 have been so far Okayed.’ I wonder if they ever will! 

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