Saturday, 31 March 2018

Carnival Horizon Presented by Fincantieri

Carnival Horizon Presented by Fincantieri

Carnival Horizon
The Carnival Horizon was presented today at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone to its ship owner, according to a press release. 
The ceremony was attended, among others, for the shipowner, by Micky Arison, Chairman of Carnival Corporation, and Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, while Fincantieri was represented by Giampiero Massolo, Chairman and Giuseppe Bono, CEO.
The Carnival Horizon was built at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera and is a sister ship to the Carnival Vista. The ship is 133,500 tons and 323 meters long. 
Fincantieri has built 81 cruise ships since 1990, 64 of which were for Carnival’s different brands.

Regent unveils interior details of Seven Seas Splendor

Regent unveils interior details of Seven Seas Splendor

The grand staircase will be opposite the main entrance to the Compass Rose restaurant.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises unveiled some interior details and renderings for the Seven Seas Splendor, the follow-on to 2016's Seven Seas Explorer.
The ship, due in 2020, will be much the same as the Explorer, but a few details have changed.
Regent said that it has relocated the grand staircase on the Splendor so that it is opposite the entrance to the main dining room on the ship, the Compass Rose.
The move will "evoke an enchanting sense of arrival for guests," Regent said.
Each Veranda Suite will be 207 square feet.
Each Veranda Suite will be 207 square feet.
Also, the Coffee Connection is moving to the port side of the ship and is being expanded with a new al fresco seating area. The Splendor's Pan-Asian restaurant, Pacific Rim, will remain on the port side, offering guests an unobstructed view of the restaurant's central sculpture from the reception area.
Suites on the 750-passenger Splendor range from the 307 square-foot, entry-level Veranda Suite, to the top end 4,443 square-foot Regent Suite.

Teen gets Carnival cruise in a swap for a Snapchat handle

Teen gets Carnival cruise in a swap for a Snapchat handle

Knowing that Darian Lipscomb likes to cruise, Carnival dangled the possibility of a sailing on the new Carnival Horizon in exchange for the Snapchat rights to @CarnivalCruise.
Who owns the Snapchat handle @CarnivalCruise?
It wasn't Carnival Cruise Line.
Instead, it was a teen in Prospect, Va., who had been on four cruises and named his Snapchat after his favourite brand in 2012 when he was 9 years old.
Needless to say, the social media handle @CarnivalCruise was of some value to Miami-based Carnival. But what would entice Darian Lipscomb, now 16, to part with the name?
Carnival put on a full-court press, using its latest promotional tool, chief fun officer Shaquille O'Neal, on billboards and a mobile advertising truck, which it dispatched to Prospect.
"Hey Prospect, Does Anyone Know Darian?" said the mobile ads, listing Shaq's own social media handle as the place to respond.
Knowing that Darian likes to cruise, Carnival dangled the possibility of a sailing on the new Carnival Horizon in exchange for the Snapchat rights to @CarnivalCruise.
The day after the billboards hit the street, Carnival surprised Lipscomb in person at his home, to officially extend the invitation for him and his family to sail aboard the Carnival Horizon.
It worked.
Carnival has the @CarnivalCruise handle in time to use it to promote the Horizon's debut next month in the Mediterranean.
And Lipscomb will depart for Barcelona on March 31 for his first cruise in Europe. Carnival plans to make him the first passenger to board the cruise and promises surprises for the Lipscomb family throughout the voyage.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Norwegian Jewel Makes Inaugural Call in Shanghai

Norwegian Jewel Makes Inaugural Call in Shanghai

Norwegian Jewel in Shanghai
The Norwegian Jewel made its inaugural visit to Shanghai on March 24, docking at the Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal.
It also marked the first time the port hosted three ships.
Bridge Tour Aboard the Norwegian Jewel in Shanghai
Port officials and local government leaders welcomed the ship’s officers, with a traditional plaque ceremony taking place on the bridge.
The 2005-built ship sails in Alaska this coming summer. 

Genting Hong Kong Reports 2017; Outlines Future Strategy

Genting Hong Kong Reports 2017; Outlines Future Strategy

Double Star Call
Genting Hong Kong has reported a segment loss of $186 million on revenues of $1.1 billion for its cruise operations for the year ended Dec. 31, 2017, compared a loss of $106 million on revenues of $908 million for the previous year. Genting owns and operates Dream Cruises, Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises.
Overall Genting posted a loss of $244 million on revenues of $1.2 billion for 2017, compared a to a loss of $504 million on revenues of $1.0 billion for 2016. This includes profit or loss contributions from its shipyards and joint ventures.
For its cruise operations, Genting said in its year-end report that passenger ticket revenue and onboard revenue increased significantly in 2017 mainly to the full year’s service of the Genting Dream and the Crystal Mozart, as well as the launch of the World Dream. Crystal Bach and Crystal Mahler during the year.
Depreciation of the new Dream and Crystal vessels and start-up costs for the new Crystal river ships resulted in the segment loss, according to Genting.
Shipyard operations also posted a segment loss.
For 2017, passenger ticket revenue was $728.3 million or $197.26 per passenger cruise day. Onboard spending was $287.7 million or $77.92 per passenger day.
For 2016, the passenger ticket revenue was $625.4 million or $213.99 per passenger cruise day. Onboard spending was $96.73.
With Dream and Star operating in Asia, Genting stated that Asia generated approximately 68 percent of its cruise revenues in 2017, 30.4 percent came from Europe and 1.6 percent from “other.” In 2016, Asia generated 56.2 percent of the revenues, Europe 42.3 percent and 1.5 percent came from “other.”
While Dream Cruises improved its occupancies and yields in the Hong Kong/Guangzhou and Singapore markets, the arrival of new ships was said to have had a negative impact on Star, creating downward pressure on occupancies and yields. This situation is expected to improve, however, as other brands are reducing their capacity in the market.
Crystal is also seeing more competition with competing brands launching new ships, according to Genting.
Overall, the three brands had a 77.2 percent occupancy in 2017, compared to 81.7 percent in 2016.
The two-ship Dream Cruises fleet, which launched service with the first ship in 2016, will see two more global-class ships join in 2020 and 2021. Plans call for them to sail from Shanghai and Tianjin during the summer months and Australia, New Zealand, California and the ASEAN region during the winter months. The brand is being tagged as “Asia’s Global Cruise Line” by Genting, which also said it will have the youngest fleet in the world.
Star Cruises will continue to sail from China, Taiwan, Malaysia.
Crystal Cruises two ocean-going ships are being extensively renovated. The river fleet will grow to five vessels in 2018, and the yacht expedition segment will grow from one to two ships, with the introduction of Crystal Endeavor in 2020. Furthermore, Genting said that a new class of ocean ships are being designed for Crystal’s fleet to provide more itineraries and reach better economies of scale.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

New Look Sapphire Princess Sails for Europe

New Look Sapphire Princess Sails for Europe

Sapphire Princess
The Sapphire Princess has embarked on her maiden Singapore to Southampton 38-night voyage following a two-week dry dock in Singapore.
This "Indian Ocean Grand Europe Adventure" voyage will visit 17 ports including Colombo, Cochin, Dubai, Petra, scenic cruising along the Suez Canal, Santorini, Monte Carlo, Florence, Malta, Gibraltar, Lisbon, Paris before arriving in Southampton. 
Homeporting in Southampton for the first time, the Sapphire Princess also makes her maiden calls to the British Isles, Northern Europe and the Mediterranean and will sail three- to 14-night voyages to a total of 42 destinations in this region. The Sapphire Princess will also make Princess Cruises’ first port call to Skagen (Denmark). 
Sapphire Princess will return to Singapore in November 2018 to continue her fifth Singapore homeporting season together with Diamond Princess.
The 2,560-guest Sapphire Princess now has a new livery on her bow that features the iconic Princess Cruises logo and has been outfitted with the Princess Luxury beds in all cabins, the company said.
Other upgrades during the drydock include the fitness centre, spa, and retail shops, among other areas.

Silversea Adds Free Wi-Fi

Silversea Adds Free Wi-Fi

Silver Muse
Starting with voyages sailing in April 2018, all guests on Silversea ships will get free unlimited Wi-Fi access.
Since January 2016, guests have enjoyed at least one hour of free Wi-Fi per day, the company said.
The new policy will provide each guest booked in standard suites with free unlimited standard internet access. Guests staying in larger suites (from Silver suites to the Owner's suites) will enjoy free unlimited premium internet access for up to two devices simultaneously per guest. Unlimited premium internet access is also available to purchase for guests wishing to upgrade.
"We know how important it is to catch up on emails or share photos on social media while on vacation," said Barbara Muckermann, Silversea's chief marketing officer. "Now, with free unlimited Wi-Fi in all suites, our guests can stay as connected as they like while they voyage to the most fascinating places on Earth."

Monday, 26 March 2018

Royal Caribbean offers an augmented-reality view of CocoCay

Royal Caribbean offers an augmented-reality view of CocoCay

Michael Bayley discusses the Perfect Day Island Collection. Photo Credit: Jamie Biesiada
NEW YORK -- Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) on Wednesday night unveiled its new Perfect Day Island Collection and ship-refurbishment program at South Street Seaport here, complete with an augmented reality (AR) component so attendees could get a feel for what CocoCay, the first Perfect Day Island, will look like.

Royal Caribbean International's Michael Bayley, president and CEO, and Mark Tamis, senior vice president of hotel operations, first introduced the changes in a room with nearly 360-degree screens displaying photos and concept art behind them.
The presentation screens opened up, revealing an augmented reality experience. Photo Credit: Jamie Biesiada
The presentation screens opened up, revealing an augmented reality experience. Photo Credit: Jamie Biesiada
Bayley said Perfect Day Islands will contain features that mix what Royal Caribbean guests have said in surveys is most important to them when spending a day on a private island: The chance to "chill," and the opportunity for more "thrills."

CocoCay, the line's private Bahamian island and the first island in the collection, with features like the tallest water slide in North America, a helium balloon that rises up to 450 feet in the air, and a beach escape with daybeds, over-water cabanas and more.

"We are going to open up Perfect Day destinations literally around the world," Bayley said.

In addition to locations in the Caribbean, Bayley said Royal Caribbean is also eyeing the Asia Pacific as a location. Each Perfect Day location may be different, he said.

Screen Time: New CocoCay comes to life (Click the image to play)


Image result for royal caribbean augmented reality
After the introduction, the screens at the front of the room opened into another space. Guests were invited to reach under their chairs where iPads were waiting. After entering some basic information, they acted as conduits for the AR experience.
Several different portals -- large circles guests could walk through -- were set up around the room, mimicking different parts of CocoCay, like Daredevil's Peak, a pair of water towers with 13 slides, and Oasis Lagoon, a freshwater pool area.
An iPad ripples as the user walks toward one of several portals set up around the room. Photo Credit: Jamie Biesiada
An iPad ripples as the user walks toward one of several portals set up around the room. Photo Credit: Jamie Biesiada
As guests approached, the iPad screen would ripple, and turn into renderings of what that area of CocoCay will look like -- for instance, at the Arrivals Plaza, guests were greeted by a large pirate ship to their right. As the iPad moved, the image would change, as if one was looking at CocoCay through the screen.

MSC Meraviglia: ‘8 Golden Pearls’ from Bureau Veritas

MSC Meraviglia: ‘8 Golden Pearls’ from Bureau Veritas


Sergio Castellano, Environmental Director, MSC Cruises  --  Philippe Donche-Gay, President Marine & Offshore, Bureau Veritas  --  Mattia Manzi, Master of MSC Meraviglia
Bureau Veritas has recognized MSC Cruises with the "8 Golden Pearls" award for sustainability and environmental stewardship onboard the MSC Meraviglia, the company announced. MSC becomes the first cruise line to take home the honours. 
Philippe Donche-Gay, President Marine & Offshore, Bureau Veritas commented: “MSC Cruises has demonstrated its commitment to reducing the environmental impact of their operations and we commend the company for its wide-ranging, ongoing efforts in this space. The various sustainable and environmental technologies installed on the MSC Meraviglia put the ship at the forefront of cleaner cruise operations. The Bureau Veritas 8 Golden Pearls award reflects MSC Cruises' commitment to excellence and continual improvement in environmental performance.”
Bud Darr, Executive Vice President Maritime Policy and Government Affairs, MSC Group said: “We are honoured to receive this award, and we thank Bureau Veritas for their recognition and ongoing support. They are an invaluable partner on this journey and we look forward to continuing making further progress in the area of environmental stewardship.”
Image result for msc meraviglia
Among the highlights onboard are an exhaust gas cleaning system and advanced wastewater treatment.
In addition to the wastewater treatment, the ship has a holding capacity and Non-Discharge Operation for two days allowing for more autonomy and more flexible navigation, the company said.
In addition, the ship meets the high ISO 22000 standard for food safety. This certification covers food safety management systems across the entire food supply and preparation chain from "farm to fork.”

Collective Planning Puzzle

Collective Planning Puzzle


Ovation of the Seas will split her deployment between Australia and Alaska
This year will be a big year for Royal Caribbean Cruises with Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises introducing new ships. The new ships in turn are the primary drivers generating itinerary changes throughout the fleets, according to Chris Allen, vice president, deployment and itinerary planning, Royal Caribbean Cruises.
Celebrity will be introducing the new Celebrity Edge this fall, sailing seven-day cruises from Port Everglades for the winter season, and Royal Caribbean will introduce the Symphony of the Seas with a summer Mediterranean season.
Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have already announced a large percentage of their deployment over the next two years and by March or April are expecting to have most if not all of their itineraries open for sale through April 2020.
“One big story is the variety of Oasis-class homeports and ports of call,” Allen said. The Symphony enters service this spring and will sail seven-day cruises from Barcelona and Civitavecchia, before moving to Miami for year-round alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises.
In 2019, when the Oasis goes to the Mediterranean for the summer, the Harmony will move from Port Everglades to Port Canaveral. In addition, the Allure; which is in Miami for the 2018-2019 winter, goes back to Port Everglades; and the Oasis goes to Miami in the fall.
Another headliner for 2019 will be the Ovation going to Alaska from Australia via Hawaii to Vancouver before homeporting in Seattle, where she is replacing the Explorer of the Seas.
“Sailing alongside the Radiance, hardware-wise I think we will have the most interesting ships in Alaska,” Allen noted. “It will also be the first time we have two Quantum-class ships in North America with the Anthem of the Seas on the East Coast.”
While the cruise fleet is growing, many ports are expanding too and new ports have come online, according to Allen, who said it was important to partner with destinations to develop them for the long term, making sure the brands have great destinations to call at.
“We develop itineraries for each brand reflecting their strategic vision; the itineraries must fit what the brands represent and must appeal to the sourcing markets,” he explained. 
“We look at guest feedback, the attractiveness of destinations, trends, what is popular, what is not, marketability, and then balance that vs. the cost side, fuel and port costs.
“The beauty of our industry is that compared to hotels, we can move ships and maximize the appeal of the ships and their profitability.
“This formula works and has not changed at the macro level although the input is constantly changing, such as fuel costs and regulations.”
He said that itinerary planning is a big puzzle that the company is always trying to optimize. “We have a small team here that works very hard. The deployments we have are some of the most important decisions we make as a company, it impacts everything we do – it is imperative that we get things right.  We have some very smart and dedicated people on our team, but we rely on the collective knowledge and partnering across the company, with the brands, but also all the other areas and with all the destinations, tour operators, ports and governments around the world.  It really takes a collective effort to put the puzzle together.”

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Royal Caribbean Welcomes The World's Largest Cruise Ship

Royal Caribbean Welcomes The World's Largest Cruise Ship

Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas
PHOTO: Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Carnival Opens Reservations for Carnival Panorama

Carnival Opens Reservations for Carnival Panorama

Carnival Panorama
Carnival Cruise Line today began accepting reservations for the 133,500-ton Carnival Panorama, which kicks off its year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera schedule from Long Beach, Calif., Dec. 14, 2019, according to a press release.
The ship will also offer a special one-time three-day cruise to Ensenada from Long Beach Dec. 11-14, 2019.
Following that, the ship will sail a week-long cruise program departing on Saturdays from Long Beach with three port calls: Cabo San Lucas, Mazatl├ín and Puerto Vallarta. 
“Carnival Panorama promises to be a spectacular addition to our fleet and we’re delighted to provide our guests with an opportunity to be among the first to sail on our first new ship on the West Coast in two decades,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Princess Announces Biggest Australian Deployment

Princess Announces Biggest Australian Deployment

Majestic Princess
Princess Cruises today announced its biggest Australia season ever, with five ships sailing from six homeports for the 2019-2020 Australia cruise season. 
Three ships, including the Majestic Princess, will complete itineraries to and from Adelaide over the 2019-2020 Australia season. 
Other highlights from Adelaide include an 18-day Fiji cruise on Golden Princess and a new 55-day Indian Ocean and South Africa Odyssey cruise on Sun Princess.
"Princess is gearing up for our largest Australian and New Zealand deployment in history, which will see a record number of people cruising on Princess ships over the 2019/2020 season,” said Senior Vice President Princess Cruises Asia Pacific, Stuart Allison
“Our largest ever deployment will feature five ships sailing from six homeports on over 125 departures across more than 60 itineraries to over 100 destinations in 30 countries. The arrival of Ruby Princess, combined with news of Majestic’s return before she’s completed her maiden season here, means we’ll have two of the four latest Princess ships sailing in this region which speaks to the momentous growth of our market.”
“The cruise industry is integral to South Australia’s $6.3 billion visitor economy,” said Rodney Harrex, Chief Executive, The South Australian Tourism Commission.
“Princess Cruises’ continued commitment to Adelaide demonstrates that South Australia is a key player in the cruise industry. We are delighted to welcome these cruise ships, passengers and crew to our State and look forward to visitors getting a taste of some our world-class experiences so easily accessible from Adelaide.”
The 2019/2020 Australian cruise season will be Princess’ largest in history. The 900+ day Australian deployment will see Princess carry more guests than ever onboard five ships on itineraries from Sydney, Perth (Fremantle), Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland, the company said. 
The season is spearheaded by the maiden arrival of the Ruby Princess and the return of the Majestic Princess. Cruising 444 cruise days out of Sydney, Majestic and Ruby will generate a combined landmark capacity of over 100,000 guests, a 25 percent increase on the 2018-2019 season, the company said.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Royal Caribbean and Ctrip to Kill SkySea Brand

Royal Caribbean and Ctrip to Kill SkySea Brand

SkySea Golden Era
Royal Caribbean Cruises and Ctrip announced that they are ending the SkySea Cruise Line joint venture, which has carried well over 200,000 Chinese passengers since launching service in 2015.
The two companies had formed the joint venture in 2014 and installed a new management team early last year, led by Ken Muskat, CEO.
Despite a number of positive major changes for the brand, including an early deployment announcement last August, the joint venture will come to an end later this year.
The news comes on the heels of a number of changes in the Chinese cruise market that has capacity moving downward in 2018 and 2019, according to the 2018-2019 Cruise Industry News Annual Report. It's also in stark contrast to once bullish growth plans for SkySea.
TUI AG's Marella Cruises has agreed to purchase Golden Era, with delivery expected in December 2018, according to Royal Caribbean. 
After the sale of Golden Era, it is expected that SkySea will wind down its business operations before the end of 2018. The companies expect that favourable business conditions in China and elsewhere will allow them to absorb most SkySea employees into available positions at Royal Caribbean and China. 
Through its Royal Caribbean International brand, Royal Caribbean will continue to serve the Chinese market, with the largest fleet deployment in the region and a strong collaborative relationship with Ctrip, the company said.

Curacao Traffic Boosted by New Pier

Curacao Traffic Boosted by New Pier

The Britannia is joined by the Adventure of the Seas as two big ships dock in Curacao.
Traffic is skyrocketing in Curacao as the 2018 calendar year is set to see a 16 percent increase in passenger arrivals boosted by a second mega pier, which opened to ships in late 2017. Additional mooring dolphins added early this year allow for even bigger ships to dock, according to Raul Manotas, COO of Curacao Ports.
“With our new mega pier completed, we expect to see a continuation of the growing trend of the last decade. Our objective is to reach the million passenger mark,” Manotas told Cruise Industry News.
Summer traffic this year includes 63 calls and accounts for about 23 percent of passenger arrivals.
“The second mega pier was essential in driving additional growth opportunities in the industry,” continued Manotas. “Our primary objective is to further brand the destination and establish strategic partnerships that can promote the destination. Curacao offers a unique blend of culture, history, gastronomy and entertainment that we will capitalize on.”
Interporting is done primarily by niche and luxury lines, Manotas said. “The objective is to further promote this among the smaller lines,” he added.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Major Revitalizations

Major Revitalizations

Image result for independence of the seas in dry dock
Independence of the Seas in Drydock.

Among the big out-of-water projects for Royal Caribbean Cruises, this year are revitalizations of the Adventure, Mariner and Independence of the Seas, plus the complete refurbishment and transformation of the Adonia into the Azamara Pursuit.
The company’s large-scale drydocking projects are overseen by the newbuild and innovation department, headed by up Kevin Douglas, vice president, who joined Royal in 2004 as a project manager overseeing a large-scale revitalization on the Sovereign of the Seas.
While smaller dry dockings (known as a “shave and a haircut”) are generally run by the brands, Douglas said his group comes together to plan the big changes, working closely with the operations teams to craft a program vision, whether it’s the Royal Advantage or Celebrity’s recent $400 million Edge-upgrade scheme.
With a schedule that calls for dry dockings every five years, the planning starts with a holistic look at each ship, and how they fit into the class and the brand
“The principal goal is how we improve the guest experience, offering a more meaningful product,” said Douglas. That ranges from stateroom upgrades to new restaurants and other features like the FlowRider surfing simulator. “We look at how we can add in IT and the smart ship concept, upgrading the technical experience and entertainment.”
Projects are evaluated not only on cost but in the number of containers and raw materials needed.
“We know how much material we can deal with on a daily basis, and that determines how much time we need,” Douglas said.
The technical scope of jobs is increasingly complex.
“Then we look at the stability of the ship with the increase in weight and the increase of the centre of gravity, and whether we have to add a ducktail to the stern.”
Allure of the Seas at Navantia
Another major technical project has been installing scrubbers (the company prefers to call them Advanced Emissions Purification Systems).
“They are about the size of a school bus,” Douglas noted.
Royal Caribbean has had its scrubber program going for five years, with some 20 ships outfitted with various systems from a number of suppliers with the project being overseen directly by Matti Heikkinen, vice president of newbuild.
“He and his team have done an awesome job,” added Douglas.
Under the waterline, the company has an on-going initiative to study hull coatings, with a new direction expected to be announced in early 2018.
“There is a massive benefit on fuel efficiency on drag and resistance,” Douglas said.
That project is being spearheaded by Captain Patrik Dahlgren, senior vice president of global marine operations, and Anshul Tuteja, director of energy management.
“We are looking at every type of paint, and which coatings work best in what areas,” Douglas explained. “Patrick and Anshul are looking very carefully, and we can actually track the performance of a hull coating relating to efficiency and how much fouling they are getting.
“We probably have every type of paint coating in the fleet, and are now starting to review final recommendations for future coatings.”
Royal Caribbean has also grown the scope of its drydocking work along with its shipyards, continually working to get leaner and manage bigger projects.
“Twelve years ago we were doing 12 to 16 containers a day and thought ‘wow.’ Now we are doing 50 containers a day and think nothing of it.”
And the spending is skyrocketing.
“We used to be at $800,000 per day, and now its $2.8 million; and we want to go even higher,” Douglas said.
The next hurdle may come in Asia, with a number of company ships in China. One of those ships has already been in a Chinese drydock for a repair, which Douglas said went well. SkySea also recently drydocked at a yard in China for a small refit.
Years of planning, million-dollar decisions and executing on a tight schedule, Douglas said it all came down to partnerships, whether internal, whether with the shipyards or with turnkey suppliers.
“It’s about how we do these projects in a short period of time, minimizing the risk and maximizing the planning.”

Marella Cruises aims to attract younger passengers with new adult-only ship

Marella Cruises aims to attract younger passengers with new adult-only ship

Golden Era (Ex-Celebrity Century)

Marella Cruises has revealed its Explorer 2 ship will be adult-only when it launches in May 2019.

The line also said it would become an all-inclusive fleet, offer 11 new itineraries and seven ports of call from next summer.

The decision to go all inclusive is expected to appeal to passengers who are new to cruise and younger, Marella said.

Marella Explorer 2 will enter the fleet as a result of the ending of a Chinese joint venture between Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and Chinese travel firm Ctrip.

The vessel Golden Era earmarked for SkySea Cruise Line for the Chinese market will instead be bought by the Tui-owned UK line.

The ship will launch as Marella Explorer 2 in 2019 following an extensive renovation.

This will enable Tui Cruises in Germany to retain Mein Schiff 2 which had been destined to be sold to sister brand Marella.

Both Golden Era and Mein Schiff 2 are former Celebrity Cruises’ Century-class ships.

Golden Era was previously Celebrity Century, which entered service in 1995 with a capacity for 1,814 passengers, while Mein Schiff 2 formerly operated as Celebrity Mercury, entering service in 1997 and capable of carrying 1,912 passengers.

Royal Caribbean (RCL) is a half owner of Tui Cruises but is dissolving a 36% shareholding with Ctrip in SkySea Cruises.

SkySea Cruise Line began operations in May 2015 and established two home ports in Shanghai and Xiamen.

Tui Cruises announced last month plans to expand its fleet to serve the German market with an additional new build vessel for delivery in 2023. Tui Group’s overall cruise ship fleet will grow to 18 vessels by then.

Sebastian Ebel, the member of Tui Group’s executive board in charge of cruises, said: “We will continue to invest in our cruise portfolio and expand, modernise and rejuvenate our fleet. With these decisions, we increase the offer at Tui Cruises and accelerate the expansion of this growing segment.“

Marella Explorer 2 will feature new cabin types, including the 102 metres squared Royal Suite where occupants will be able to use a separate bedroom, dressing room, dining area and a whirlpool bath.

Forty percent of the 907 cabins will have balconies.

Marella said the popularity of adult-only sailings from Dubrovnik and the Asia itineraries for winter 2018 prompted the decision to offer an adult-only ship.

Marella Explorer 2 will be the first ship to be exclusively for adults in the fleet.

The vessel will be tailored to meet the needs of couples and groups by doubling the size of its sunbathing area, called The Veranda, featured on the Marella Explorer.

The Veranda on Marella Explorer 2 will feature new facilities, the line said.

Marella Cruises will also offer 11 new itineraries, such as Cities and Ice, Idyllic Italia and Secrets of the Mediterranean, and seven new ports of call next summer across its fleet.

Skagen in Denmark, Castellon in Spain, Alta in Norway and Margherita in Italy will all be included in Marella itineraries for the first time.

Chris Hackney, Marella Cruises’ managing director, said: “We continue to look at ways to offer something different to our current customers who have come to enjoy our ships and friendly service onboard and those who may be thinking about booking a cruise for the first time.”

The summer 2019 programme will go on sale on April 5.

The planned transfer of Mein Schiff 1 to Marella Cruises as Marella Explorer in May is unaffected, with the UK line also introducing its 2019 itineraries on April 5.

The vessel previously operated as Celebrity Galaxy as a sister ship to Century and Mercury, first entering service at the end of 1996.

The US cruise giant said: “Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and Ctrip announced today that they are ending the SkySea Cruise Line joint venture.

“Tui AG’s Marella Cruises has agreed to purchase Golden Era, with delivery expected in December 2018.

“As a result of this transaction, Tui Cruises will now retain Mein Schiff 2 in its fleet, rather than selling it to Marella Cruises, giving Tui Cruises increased capacity in the strong German market.

“After the sale of Golden Era, it is expected that SkySea will wind down its business operations before the end of 2018.

“The companies expect that favourable business conditions in China and elsewhere will allow them to absorb most SkySea employees into available positions at RCL and Ctrip.

“Through its Royal Caribbean International brand, RCL will continue to serve the Chinese market, with the largest fleet deployment in the region and a strong collaborative relationship with Ctrip.”

Royal Caribbean expects the impact of the transactions to fall in a range of $0.12 to $0.15 a share this year. The loss will be excluded from 2018 adjusted net income, the company said.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Watch a cruise ship get cut in half

Watch a cruise ship get cut in half

Image result for silver spirit being cut in half
Click the above photo to watch a Timelapse video of the Silver Spirit being cut in half.

Why would anyone take a perfectly good cruise ship and cut it in half?
To make it even better, that's why.
PHOTO: The Silver Spirit, part of Silversea Cruises, was lengthened by cutting it in half and adding another section.Courtesy Silversea Cruises
The Silver Spirit, part of Silversea Cruises, was lengthened by cutting it in half and adding another section.
Silversea Cruises shared with "Good Morning America" video of the dry-docked Silver Spirit being taken apart at the midsection to add a prebuilt 49-foot segment to the ship. When work is completed in early May, the ship will be 691.3 feet long.
PHOTO: The Silver Spirit ship being cut in half.Courtesy Silversea Cruises
The Silver Spirit ship being cut in half.
The company called the lengthening of cruise ships a "trend" in small ship luxury cruising. The multi-million dollar project to refresh the Silver Spirit is less expensive than building an entirely new ship.
On May 6, the refurbished Silver Spirit will recommence service with a 7-day cruise between Civitavecchia, Italy, and Barcelona.