Wednesday, 31 October 2018
Tuesday, 30 October 2018
NCL’s Leonardo class to sail out of Southampton
Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Leonardo ship class will sail out of Southampton after the vessels begin to launch in 2022.
Frank Del Rio, chief executive of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), said at least one of the six Leonardo ships, which will carry around 3,300 passengers and are 140,000 gross tonnes, will operate from Southampton.
But he would not reveal which Leonardo vessel will sail ex-Southampton sailings.
Speaking to Travel Weekly, he said: “There are a handful of iconic ports of around the world – Port Miami and Barcelona, which caters Europe.
“Southampton is the one for northern Europe. We do seasonal departures from Southampton, but it is not enough.
“Southampton is a port in which we will put our Leonardo Class ships in.”
Del Rio called Southampton a “sophisticated” port that demanded new hardware.
He later said there were always times that a line had to “stimulate” a marketplace by “adding more value to the product” and that there were “dozens” of under-served markets around the world.
Del Rio suggested that older vessels, such as Norwegian Dawn, would operate out of new ports, such as Baltimore, Charleston and Texas, where NCL ships are expected to sail out of from 2022.
Leonardo vessels would then be free to sail itineraries from ports where NCL’s older vessels operated from.
“It is about controlling risk,” he said. “It means we have ships in both new and established ports.”
He dismissed overcapacity fears in the premium market, saying: “Every single one of our ships is packed. We are constrained by capacity.”
Monday, 29 October 2018
Major emergency at sea as Navigator of Seas cruise liner takes on water after leaving UK
PANIC engulfed a cruise liner when staff wearing life jackets rushed to deal with a flood after the ship began taking on the water in the Atlantic Ocean.
Passengers onboard the Navigator of the Seas vessel, part of the Royal Caribbean International company, described hearing a “loud bang” at about 3am on Sunday before the ship began to take on water.
A crew member onboard said a "Bravo code" was used, which many cruise lines use to alert the crew to a fire or other serious incident on board without alarming passengers.
The crew member told site Crew Centre: “Captain announced bravo code at night, the crew bar was full and suddenly everyone started running.
“One of the stabilisers on the Navigator of the Seas broke and made a hole at the hull, they had to close an entire fire zone because it was leaking water like crazy.
“They sounded the alarm and there was crew walking around with life jackets.”
The ship, which had set sail from Southampton on October 26 for a 10-night tour to the Canary Islands, was forced to make an emergency stop at the nearest port.
Crew members had managed to make a temporary repair until it arrived at the port of Vigo, north-west Spain.
Passenger Paul Edwards from Worcestershire said: “We were experiencing rough sea last night, and then in the early hours last night we heard a bang.
“We were told there was a minor technical fault with the stabilisers and we had to dock in the Port of Vigo, Spain for 24 hours while they fixed it.
Passengers onboard described hearing a “loud bang” (Image: Paul Edwards – GETTY
Passengers onboard described hearing a “loud bang” (Image: Paul Edwards – GETTY)
cruise Southampton canary islands Navigator of the Seas floods Royal Caribbean
Crews pump water out of the Navigator of the Seas (Image: Paul Edwards)
“But, it was a major problem and we were on a ship hundreds of miles from land taking on water.
“But what I am really angry about is that they are trying to keep it hush, hush.”
The vessel was due to arrive in Vigo on November 3 as a final port of call before heading back to the UK.
Guests onboard were told the Captain is due to make an announcement about the rest of the scheduled cruise.
cruise Southampton canary islands Navigator of the Seas floods Royal Caribbean
Guests onboard were told the Captain is due to make an announcement about the rest of the scheduled (Image: GETTY)
The ship is still docked in Vigo with passengers offered only a 25 per cent of their fare to spend on board the ship and 25 per cent off any future fare with the company as compensation.
Some fear they could be charged for extra days, with passenger Tina blasting on Twitter: “Currently on Navigator of the Seas, can totally appreciate the ‘technical problems’ but this change of itinerary is a joke!
“Just seems like a money maker for Royal Caribbean to me with the extra days at sea. 25 per cent onboard credit?!”
Mr Edwards added: “It feels like being in prison. Can’t do anything, can’t go anywhere.”
Royal Caribbean said in a statement: “Navigator of the Seas is making repairs to resolve a technical issue. The ship is fully operational with no impact on its manoeuvrability or the safety of our guests and crew. However, because of time needed to make the repair, it was necessary to modify her current itinerary.
“Navigator will now call on Vigo, Spain for an overnight stay on Sunday, October 28. It will then sail on to Gran Canaria, the Canary Islands on Wednesday, Oct 31 and Tenerife, the Canary Islands on Thursday, November 1. The ship will return to Southampton, England on Monday, November 5 as scheduled.”
Friday, 26 October 2018
Queen Mary 2 and HMS Queen Elizabeth Meet for Royal Reception in New York
Thursday, 25 October 2018
Princess Cruises unveils biggest ever ex-UK and Europe deployment
Princess Cruises is to operate its biggest season ever sailing out of the UK and Europe for 2020 – and will name new ship Enchanted Princess in Southampton.
Ex-UK capacity for 2020 will be 30% more than in 2019, with three ships sailing a full season out of Southampton for the first time. It amounts to 1.4 million cruise nights on board.
The 3,080-passenger Crown Princess will sail for more than 150 days out of Southampton between May and November to the Mediterranean, Canary Islands and northern Europe; 2,200-passenger Island Princess will spend June to October sailing from Southampton to northern Europe; and 3,560-passenger Regal Princess will sail out of the UK’s largest cruise port from May to September.
Princess’ European capacity will also increase in 2020 by 15% in 2019, the line revealed last night.
Sky Princess, which launches next year and will carry 3,660 passengers, will spend its first spring and summer season sailing Scandinavia and Russia roundtrip from Copenhagen.
The line’s newest ship Enchanted Princess will hold its naming ceremony in Southampton in late June 2020 and will be the first Princess Cruises vessel to be named in the UK since Royal Princess in 2013. It will sail out of the Mediterranean after its naming ceremony.
Wednesday night’s event was the launch of Princess Cruises’ 2020 programme, which also includes sailings across Asia, the Caribbean, Alaska and Canada & New England. The UK-based ships, Crown Princess and Island Princess, will go on sale 9am on Thursday, November 8, with the rest of Europe, Caribbean and Canada & New England sailings available for agents to sell from 5pm the same day. Alaska and Japan voyages are on sale from Thursday, November 15, at 5pm.
Tony Roberts, vice president Princess Cruises UK and Europe, said: “We have seen great demand for sailings from the UK and it continues to be really strong. We have great support from the trade.
Roberts told Travel Weekly that the ex-UK programme was “bread and butter” for UK agents and that a four-night sampler cruise to Rotterdam and the Channel Islands onboard Crown Princess could help them encourage new-to-cruise customers.
“Once they cruise they want to cruise again,” he said. “Asia has grown largely from people who love cruising and want to go to new destinations in different parts of the world.”
Roberts, who said the UK accounted for around 5%-10% of Princess Cruises’ market, also praised the “successful” introduction of the line’s wearable Ocean Medallion technology, which last month was worn by 100% of guests on board Caribbean Princess – the first time every passenger on a ship has been able to use the technology at once.
Roberts could not reveal dates of when other ships would follow suit but confirmed that the line’s plan is to make the technology available fleet-wide.
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Friday, 19 October 2018
Thursday, 18 October 2018
Tuesday, 16 October 2018
Royal Caribbean hikes price for drink packages
The cost of quenching your thirst on Royal Caribbean International is going up in 2019, at least if you buy a bundled package of beverages in one of three plans.
The Deluxe Beverage Package, which includes alcoholic drinks as well as most types of nonalcoholic beverages, is rising to $63-70 a day, up from the 2018 rate of $57-63. The cost varies from ship to ship and sailing to sailing.
The Premium Refreshment Package charge will be $29 a day, up from $26-29 currently. The packages include premium coffees and teas, bottled still and sparkling water, fresh squeezed orange juice, non-alcoholic cocktails and fountain sodas, as well as Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages.
The Soda Package will cost $12.99 a day, up from $8.50-9.50.
Raising the prices amounts to an 11% increase on average for the Deluxe package, an 11.5% maximum increase for the Premium package and a 44% increase on average for the Soda Package.
Inflation in the overall economy in September was reported at an annual rate of 2.3%.
With Kilauea's fireworks finally over, Hawaii and NCL testing tourist incentives
Norwegian Cruise Line's Pride of America docked in Hilo, Hawaii. Photo Credit: Tom Stieghorst
HILO, Hawaii -- Three months ago, bright orange rivers of lava were gushing from the craters, vents and fissures of the Kilauea volcano on the Island of Hawaii in a spectacular display of nature's awesome might.
Now, the fireworks are over, at least for the moment, and tourism businesses on Hawaii's biggest island are trying to rebound and encourage travellers scared off by the violent eruptions to come see the new landscape.
The 50th state has ponied up an additional $2 million to promote the Island of Hawaii in a bid to bring visitors back. And one of the main engines of interisland tourism, Norwegian Cruise Line, is staging a rare promotion for its typically sold-out cruises.
The incentives include free roundtrip air from five West Coast cities and airfares ranging from $299 to $799 from 33 other cities.
The three-month Kilauea eruptions started in May and produced some of the hottest and fastest-moving lava ever measured. News reports of boulder-size chunks of lava crashing through roofs kept many tourists away, even as some flocked to the island to witness the spectacle.
The eruptions tailed off in August, and lava flows have been dormant for about six weeks, leading to the partial reopening of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Sept. 22.
"We call it a pause because we never know when, if or how it may come back," said Ross Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau. Birch said monthly visitor totals are currently down between 15% and 20% compared with a year ago.
Both Hawaii and Norwegian are angling for a rebound now that the island's geology is more normal and less dangerous.
Norwegian CEO Andy Stuart said of the summer eruptions, "We had a little slowdown during that period. I would say demand is now similar to what it was before all of that news coverage. But we had a period of time where business was a bit below, so that's a gap you want to make up over time."
More than 2 million people visited Hawaii Volcanoes National Park last year, making it one of the state's biggest attractions.
In the aftermath of the eruptions, Birch said, the state budgeted the extra $2 million -- half of it targeting the U.S., the other half Japan -- to market the Island of Hawaii this year.
The May 4 eruption, accompanied by an earthquake, forced the closing of the national park. Tour operators scrambled to modify their offerings to take advantage of the changing conditions while still keeping safe, Birch said.
Ross Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau spoke about efforts to persuade tourists to return to the island following the Kilauea volcano eruptions. Read More
Lava typically inches along, but at one point in July hot lava from Kilauea travelled nine miles in just two days. It closed roads, isolated homes, threatened to overrun a geothermal energy plant and left behind huge patches of freshly cooled black volcanic rock.
When activity subsided in August, the lava lake in the Kilauea Crater had been drained, and for the first time since 1983, there was no active lava flows on the Island of Hawaii. That presents a challenge for tourism since the continuously active volcano was one of the things visitors came to see.
"The lava flow's been in our favour for decades now," Birch said. With its end, at least for now, the new opportunity for visitors is to witness the resulting transformation firsthand. "Today's story is just coming and observing what has happened through this major eruption that we had."
New sights to see
It isn't often that a tourist destination actually adds land to visit, but that's exactly what happened as a result of the eruptions. Lava flowing to the ocean added more than 875 acres to the island.
Tour operators are busy devising tours for both land- and ship-delivered visitors, Birch said. One obstacle is that many of the changed areas are southeast of the park boundary, in residential neighbourhoods.
He said one possibility is a tour of a new black-sand beach that was created adjacent to a park.
Norwegian brings about 110,000 visitors to Hawaii annually and generates about $250,000 in economic activity with each port call.
"That was pretty significant when the eruption occurred and the [land-based] visitors went away," Birch said.
Except for a week in June, the Pride of America made most of its scheduled calls at Hilo and Kona during the eruptions.
But Sandi Weir, vice president of destination development and government relations at Norwegian, said some travel agents shied away from sending guests or making future bookings while eruptions were still happening.
It didn't help that Hurricane Lane also made landfall in late August.
The combination, Weir said, left the line in the unusual position of having to solicit bookings on a ship that is typically an easy sell.
Since 2004, Norwegian has been the only cruise line offering seven-day, interisland cruising. Because the Pride of America is U.S.-flagged, it is not required under cabotage laws to visit a foreign port in the course of its cruise. Through August, 38 foreign-flagged cruise ships had visited Hawaii since Jan. 1, down from 43 for the same period last year, meaning cruise visitors were down 6.8% for the year.
Stuart said he hopes the offer of free air will get people to pay attention to the fact that Hawaii's circumstances have changed since August.
"We wanted to do something that would really make people lift their heads," he said.
Stuart said Norwegian's itinerary of five calls on four islands showcases Hawaii's striking variety and unique culture.
"It's a domestic destination that doesn't feel like a domestic destination," Stuart said.
Birch said there are new reasons to come to the Island of Hawaii. One is air quality. For the first time in decades, the particles and noxious gases that lava pushes into the atmosphere have disappeared, he said.
Although the lava flows claimed a number of vacation rentals, accommodations are a relative bargain now, Birch said.
And over the past four years, the Island of Hawaii had doubled its airlift, growing from about 615,000 seats in 2014 to some 1.3 million this year.
"Our industry is ready and prepared," Birch said. "We're waiting for everybody to come back."
Monday, 15 October 2018
Thursday, 11 October 2018
Carnival Corp chairman’s foundation pledges $5m towards global disaster relief
The family foundation of Carnival Corporation chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine is donating $5 million towards global disaster relief efforts.
The money will go to help communities affected by Hurricane Florence in North and South Carolina, Super Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines and the recent earthquake and resulting tsunami in Indonesia.
The $5 million donation from the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation is going to Save the Children and humanitarian organisation Direct Relief to support urgent relief needs, as well as the long-term recovery strategy across the globe in the wake of recent natural disasters.
Additional grants are underway from Carnival Foundation, the cruise conglomerate’s philanthropic arm, and brands including Carnival Cruise Line, Holland
America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises Australia and P&O Cruises UK.
Carnival Corporation’s collective donations will go toward supporting global aid agency Mercy Corps in Indonesia, International Medical Corps in the Philippines, and Save the Children in North and South Carolina and the Philippines.
Carnival Foundation executive director Linda Coll said: “Our hearts go out to those who are dealing with great hardship and loss following these major natural disasters, and our sincere hope is that these additional resources will help our partner organizations execute response plans for both immediate relief needs and longer-term recovery efforts.
“The Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation have helped so many people and communities over the years through its generous donations, and with this new pledge, it continues to provide critical support resources around the globe that will make a difference for those in need.”
She added: “We want to do all we can to help those with the most urgent needs, and also build a foundation for the future health and well-being of these affected communities for years to come.”