Friday, 30 November 2018

Holland America Line takes delivery of Nieuw Statendam ship

Holland America Line takes delivery of Nieuw Statendam ship

Image result for nieuw statendam

The new Holland America Line ship Nieuw Statendam has been delivered by Fincantieri Marghera shipyard in Venice.

The vessel is the 16th Holland America Line ship built by Fincantieri and is the line’s second Pinnacle-class ship after Koningsdam, delivered in 2016.

Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri will also build the third vessel in the series, due to be delivered in 2021.

Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation’s chairman; Arnold Donald, the corporation’s president and chief executive; Stein Kruse, the chief executive of Holland America Group; and Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, all attended yesterday’s ceremony.

According to the shipbuilding team, the 99,500-tonne vessel’s technology is aimed at ensuring energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impact.

Fincantieri is currently designing or building 53 other ships across all of its yards.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

MSC Virtuosa Is Open for Bookings

MSC Virtuosa Is Open for Bookings

MSC Virtuosa
PHOTO: Rendering of MSC Virtuosa. (photo courtesy MSC Cruises)

Royal Caribbean Announces New Bid-Based Stateroom Upgrade Program

Royal Caribbean Announces New Bid-Based Stateroom Upgrade Program

Royal Caribbean International ships docked in Cozumel, Mexico
PHOTO: Royal Caribbean International ships docked in Cozumel, Mexico. (photo by Jason Leppert)

Thursday, 22 November 2018

MSC Cruises to homeport ‘enlarged’ ship in Southampton

MSC Cruises to homeport ‘enlarged’ ship in Southampton

MSC Cruises is to lengthen and refurbish one of its ships and homeport it in Southampton for the summer season in 2021.

The ship, which has not been named, will go into drydock and re-emerge as “a super-enhanced version” of itself.

It will be the first time MSC has based one of its ships in the UK for a full season.

Speaking exclusively to Travel Weekly, Antonio Paradiso, managing director for UK & Ireland, said: “This is not just a refitting. It will be a perfect blend of an old prototype ship and a new one.

“The larger ship will sail northern Europe itineraries to the Baltic capitals, Norwegian Fjords, North Cape and some southbound destinations.”

He also said: “It was the first time we have made a 100% commitment to the UK market.”

Paradiso revealed the ship would partner with “exciting British brands” and be “adapted” to meet the needs of the UK market.

“We learnt a lot from MSC Magnifica, bringing on British food, kettles and tea bags,” he added. “It has satisfaction scores of 7.5 out of 10 which is great for a first operation out of the UK.

“2021 gives us an opportunity to further improve those scores.”

Paradiso said plans were still being finalised and he would confirm the ship, deployment and details in “two to three months’ time”.

Edge of Space Flight incentive from Norwegian Cruise Line

Edge of Space Flight incentive from Norwegian Cruise Line

Image result for MiG-29

Love2shop vouchers… a bunch of flowers… a food hamper… travel agents get the chance to win some great prizes by making bookings. But has Norwegian Cruise Line just announced the mother of all incentives?

Norwegian Cruise Line will reward any agent who makes 499 bookings of its current £99 roundtrip airfare offer with a flight to the edge of space.

Last month, the line revealed passengers could upgrade to a cruise-fly fare to more than 25 European destinations for just £99 up until January 4.

Today, to further incentivise agents, NCL is offering a string of rewards for those making bookings – with the top prize a chance to reach the very tip of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Five bookings will earn agents a Time Together giftbox, which includes a champagne helicopter tour, worth up to £79.

Ten bookings will give agents an iFly Indoor Skydive and a three-course meal for two, worth up to £99.

But, if agents can upgrade 499 bookings from a cruise-only fare to a cruise-fly one, they will earn the chance to fly to Russia, strap into a G-suit and soar 80,000ft on board a MiG-29 aircraft.

Nick Wilkinson, NCL’s vice president and UK & Ireland managing director, said he was “lucky” to have a team around him to develop such “sexy” plans to reward agents.

“We are very excited about introducing this new incentive,” he said. “This idea had an incredible wow factor.

“I go back to our partners-first approach. We value our travel partners. We are always thinking of ways that we can incentivise them.

“We try to make sure that NCL is at the front of their mind. This offer gives agents the chance to do something that has never been done – it is sexy.”

The Edge of Space flight is scheduled to take off at the end of March or early April, Wilkinson said.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Carnival starts construction on its largest ship

Carnival starts construction on its largest ship

Carnival Cruise Line on Thursday unveiled what the exterior of its first XL ship will look like.

At a steel-cutting ceremony at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, Carnival revealed a navy-blue hull with vibrant red and white accents running the length of the ship.

The 5,200-passenger ship, due to be delivered in 2020, will be Carnival's largest at 180,000 gross tons. Carnival said it would reveal the ship's name in December.

When it enters service in 2020, the ship will sail from Port Canaveral, Fla.

Carnival says the ship "will offer a variety of never-before-seen innovations." It will be the first cruise ship based in North America to run on liquefied natural gas, Carnival said. 

A second XL ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022.

Norwegian Jade cruise interrupted by a mechanical problem

Norwegian Jade cruise interrupted by a mechanical problem

 Norwegian Jade by Dave Jones

Norwegian Cruise Line has cancelled a 10-day Norwegian Jade cruise that departed Miami on Nov. 16 because of a mechanical issue.

The ship is in San Juan, where it will disembark passengers on Tuesday, Nov. 20.

It had been scheduled to depart San Juan on Sunday night for St. Thomas on a cruise that was to include St. Kitts, Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Maarten.

After disembarking passengers, the Jade will sail back to Miami for repairs.

A Norwegian spokeswoman said the line is working to fly guests back to Miami and to points beyond, helping to modify travel arrangements to their final destinations.

Norwegian said guests will get a full refund of the fare for the abbreviated cruise and a 100% credit toward a future cruise.

"We are very sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment this unexpected situation has caused," a statement said.

Brunch with a drag queen: Virgin Voyages' unique dining experiences

Brunch with a drag queen: Virgin Voyages' unique dining experiences

The bold stripes of the Razzle Dazzle restaurant.

NEW YORK -- As the Scarlet Lady moves from concept to full-fledged cruise ship, the next frontier -- and the next reveal -- for Virgin Voyages is dining. 
The cruise line presented the looks of several restaurants during a high-octane evening in New York that began with a press conference, moved on to a multicourse dinner with a troupe of drag queens as the emcees, and culminated in a set by rocker Joan Jett. 
Virgin said it engaged its "creative collective" of designers to conceive buzzy, fun eateries and partnered with chefs such as Brad Farmerie of Public and Saxon + Parole. 
The laboratory-inspired Test Kitchen will be home to chef-table dinners.
The laboratory-inspired Test Kitchen will be home to chef-table dinners.
The line took inspiration from the great restaurants of major foodie cities, said Nirmal Saverimuttu, head of sailor experience and chief commercial officer.
In turn, he added, "we hope to inspire the cities that inspire us." 
What you won't find on the ship is the main dining room, a buffet, or upcharges for speciality dining.
The restaurants have different high-concept designs, but the connecting thread seems to be a commitment to chic, clean, modern lines that appeal to sophisticated grownup tastes (no kids are allowed onboard). One point the Virgin brass made: bars are located inside each of the restaurants.
The restaurant with the most outer design is Razzle Dazzle, where the walls have bold, geometric patterns of black-and-white paint inspired by ship camouflage from World War I and a bar done up entirely in slick Virgin red. The menu will include a "nice" side with veggie and vegan offerings; the "naughty" side includes meat add-ons and the ability to add alcohol to the healthy smoothies. 
The Galley will have several food stations.
The Galley will have several food stations.
This is also the location for a Drag Brunch, featuring the ship's drag queen -- yes, there will be a drag queen in residence -- and cocktails like the Yaas Queen.  
The laboratory-inspired Test Kitchen will be home to chef-table dinners and cooking, mixology and coffee-brewing classes. Passengers enter through a hallway papered with a Periodic Table of foodie elements.
Pink Agave is the ship's Mexican restaurant; think upscale Mexico City for this look. "Authentic dishes that put an elevated twist on Mexican food," Saverimuttu said. Virgin said it's "designed to be a lively, shared-plate restaurant experience, where the DJ amps up the energy of the room as the evening hours slip away." 
There will be a Korean barbecue restaurant, Geonbae, where guests can cook at their table and enjoy a complimentary round of soju. Extra Virgin is the cruise line's take on a trattoria.
Pink Agave will be the Scarlet Lady's Mexican restaurant.
Pink Agave will be the Scarlet Lady's Mexican restaurant.
The dock will be the Scarlet Lady's al fresco lounge area. Galley will be more like a food hall than a buffet, featuring at least eight shops and food carts. Wake, situated in the ship's aft section, will be the ship's most upscale restaurant.
The Scarlet Lady is expected to make its debut in 2020.

Celebrity Edge arrives in Fort Lauderdale

Celebrity Edge arrives in Fort Lauderdale


The $875 million Celebrity Edge arrived at Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades after a 15-day transatlantic crossing.

To accommodate Celebrity Cruises' first new ship in six years, Port Everglades spent $120 million to reconfigure and upgrade two older terminals into a modern terminal called T25.

Both the terminal and the ship sport high design and state-of-the-art technology. The terminal will operate an expedited arrivals process and a dedicated lounge for premium guests booked in The Retreat.

Chock full of new features, the Edge's signature amenity is the Magic Carpet, a nine-ton movable platform cantilevered on one side of the ship, which can serve as a dining venue and a shore excursions departure platform.

"This has been more than four years in the making," said Celebrity CEO Lisa-Lutoff-Perlo, who shepherded construction of the ship at the Chantiers de L'Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France, along with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. chairman Richard Fain and RCCL executive vice president maritime and newbuilding Harri Kulovaara.

The Edge, which will sail from Port Everglades during the winter on Caribbean itineraries, is designed to carry 2,900 passengers, the same general capacity of Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam, which debuts next month, and Virgin Voyages' inaugural ship the Scarlet Lady, which is scheduled to arrive in January 2020.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Carnival Cruise Line to Offer Sailings to Cuba from New York, Virginia

Carnival Cruise Line to Offer Sailings to Cuba from New York, Virginia

cruise, ship, Cuba
Classic Pink convertible driving past a cruise ship in Havana, Cuba. (photo via WoodysPhotos / iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus)

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Carnival Cruise Line to sail in Med in 2020

Carnival Cruise Line to sail in Med in 2020

Image result for carnival radiance

Carnival Cruise Line is returning to Europe in 2020 with revamped ship Carnival Radiance.

The vessel will sail in the Mediterranean from Barcelona from April 29, 2020, following a $200 million refit in dry dock in Cadiz.

Carnival Radiance will run a ten-day itinerary followed by nine-and 12-day departures visiting destinations throughout the region, including Italy, France, Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain.

The ship will then embark on a 13-day transatlantic crossing from Barcelona on June 11 to 24, to be in place for an inaugural season in New York, including the first Cuba cruises from the city.

The ship will also offer four five- to seven-day voyages from Norfolk, Virginia, in October and November 2020, also including calls into Cuba.

Carnival Radiance will reposition to Port Canaveral in Florida to sail a winter schedule of six- to eight-day cruises to the Caribbean and Cuba from November 8, 2020.

Carnival Radiance and Carnival Sunrise will each undergo extensive refits in 2019 and 2020 respectively to add new food, drink and entertainment options, including aqua parks and an open-air recreation complex.

The new-look Carnival Sunrise will operate a series of long weekend cruises from New York to Bermuda as well as longer Caribbean voyages and calls into Cuba from May 21, 2020.

The line also has three new ships due for delivery – the 133,500-ton Carnival Panorama set to enter service in 2019 and two as-yet-unnamed 180,000-ton ships in 2020 and 2022.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Norwegian Jewel Set for Sydney Debut After Refit

Norwegian Jewel Set for Sydney Debut After Refit

Norwegian Jewel Pool Deck
Norwegian Cruise Line today announced the completion of the refurbishment of Norwegian Jewel as part of The Norwegian Edge program.
Following a two-week drydock in Singapore the Norwegian Jewel will debut in Sydney, Australia on Saturday, Dec. 1, showcasing refreshed venues, updated spaces, premier entertainment and redesigned staterooms, the company said.
The ship will spend her winter 2018 and spring 2019 seasons cruising from Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore, before joining Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy in Alaska for the summer.
“Norwegian Jewel’s complete renovation showcases our dedication to providing guests with quality experiences across the fleet and around the world,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.
“Not only are we revealing updated designs and accommodations throughout the ship, but guests will also enjoy new venues and three incredibly exciting shows, one of which premieres for the first time on Norwegian Jewel.”
Norwegian Jewel Pitstop
The Norwegian Jewel will feature two new shows – “Rock You Tonight,” and ship exclusive “Velvet." The Australian musical “Velvet" makes its debut at sea with disco classics, a combination of circus acrobatics, cabaret and burlesque elements, and features the talented Brenda Edwards of “X Factor UK” as the lead, with “The Voice” finalist, Frenchie Davis to follow. 
Nearly all dining, bar and lounge offerings on Norwegian Jewel were updated, and two new venues were opened – The Pit Stop and Bliss Ultra Lounge, replacing the Sky High Bar and FYZZ Cabaret Lounge, the company said. Drawing inspiration from the 1950’s, The Pit Stop is an all-American bar retrofitted with vintage license plates, gas station signage and other classic car elements of the era. The Bliss Ultra Lounge offers late-night entertainment in a modern and upscale setting, with more intimate seating options now available.
New Look Atrium
All 1,188 staterooms were upgraded with new televisions and USB outlets, as well as new carpet, artwork and furniture. The Haven by Norwegian received updates to the courtyard, additional cabanas on the sun deck and new finishes, carpets, tiles, drapes, artwork and furniture for all suites and villas. The ship also now has two new Haven Deluxe Owner’s Suites, at nearly 1,200 square feet and featuring large, 567-square-foot balconies, two private jacuzzies and accommodates up to four guests. 
The Atrium has also been revitalized with an entirely refreshed look centred around a custom-design chandelier and includes updated flooring, refurbished reception and shore excursion desk areas, the addition of relaxed banquette seating and a large TV screen.

Symphony Arrives in PortMiami

Symphony Arrives in PortMiami

Symphony of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas has arrived in PortMiami.
Fresh from her inaugural Europe season, the world’s largest cruise ship sailed into her permanent, year-round home at Royal Caribbean’s new Terminal A at PortMiami, the largest cruise terminal in the U.S., according to a press release. 
Symphony of the Seas
“Symphony takes family vacationing to a whole new level with energy and options never before found in one place. This ship is the perfect blend of our greatest hits we know guests love and a lineup of vibrant, new restaurants, activities and unparalleled entertainment – all purposefully designed around vacationers’ preferences,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “With her U.S. homecoming this week, Symphony is changing the game for how travellers of all ages vacation on our biggest and boldest adventure yet.”
The Symphony of the Seas will sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami beginning Saturday, Nov. 17, and will add visits to the cruise line’s private island destination in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, opening May 2019. 
Symphony of the Seas
The official naming ceremony for Symphony of the Seas will take place on Thursday, Nov. 15, hosted by a Godfamily – actors and avid Royal Caribbean fans Alexa and Carlos PenaVega, along with their toddler son Ocean.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Go-to-Market Bundling Paying Off for Norwegian

Go-to-Market Bundling Paying Off for Norwegian

Free air promotions for Norwegian Cruise Line sailings in 2019 are part of the company’s extension of its go-to-market bundling strategy, according to Frank del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.
Del Rio said it was an extension of the brand’s Free at Sea offering, which allows guests to bundle in various offerings, from internet access to food and beverage and shore excursion packages.
“The advantages of this next evolution of our unique bundling strategy are many. First, it overcomes a major hurdle of what high yielding long-haul customers need and want, easy to book in affordable air transportation,” Del Rio said, on the company’s third-quarter earnings call. “The success of Free at Sea has demonstrated that there is overwhelming demand for an inclusive contemporary cruise product. Free Air is the natural extension of that strategy.”
He said that travel agents are further incentivized to sell Norwegian products, earning an additional commission on air-inclusive packages.
“The offerings strategically focus on capturing more long haul, fly-cruise guests, reinforcing our strategy of sourcing the highest quality guests as long-haul guests tend to be higher paying consumers both in ticket purchase and in onboard,” Del Rio added.
Andy Stuart, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, explained that the free air promotion for Norwegian Joy’s 2019 Alaska sailings drove bookings, and moved pricing up.
“Because what you get is you get some people who booked inclusive product and some people who buy cruise only,” Stuart said. “And the result of that mix is that you end up with a higher overall pricing outcome. So we're very happy with it. We are in the early days of the initiative. It’s a 100per cent strategic initiative. Our goal here is to evolve the bundling strategy that has been so successful for us.”

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Re imagined Navigator of the Seas Will Introduce New Onboard Adventures

Reimagined Navigator of the Seas Will Introduce New Onboard Adventures

Perfect Storm pool deck on Navigator of the Seas
PHOTO: Perfect Storm pool deck on Navigator of the Seas (photo courtesy Royal Caribbean)

World's Largest Cruise Ship to Make US Debut in Florida

World's Largest Cruise Ship to Make US Debut in Florida

Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas
PHOTO: Royal Caribbean Will Host its 50th Anniversary Cruise Aboard Symphony of the Seas (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Costa Atlantica and Mediterranea Sold to New Chinese Brand

Costa Atlantica and Mediterranea Sold to New Chinese Brand

CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping has announced an agreement to purchase two existing ships from Carnival Corporation’s Costa Group.
The first of these ships, the 85,861-ton, 2,210-passenger Costa Atlantica, is scheduled to be transferred to the new Chinese cruise line by the end of 2019. The new line is part of a joint venture between China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and Carnival Corporation. 
Costa Atlantica’s sister ship, the 2,114-passenger Costa Mediterranea, will be transferred at a date still to be announced but is expected to be at the end of 2020, according to CSSC. 
The new China-based cruise company plans to operate its own fleet to serve Chinese cruise guests by the end of 2019, according to a press release. 

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Deltamarin and Elomatic design second Global Class ship

Deltamarin and Elomatic design second Global Class ship

Deltamarin and Elomatic design second Global Class ship
Dream Cruises' two Global Class ships will be the biggest cruise vessels to be built in Germany to date (Image: MV Werften)

Dream Cruises' two Global Class ships will be the biggest cruise vessels to be built in Germany to date (Image: MV Werften)
Finland-based construction and engineering companies Deltamarin and Elomatic to provide engineering, design and site services for Dream Cruises’ second Global Class ship.

Both companies were contracted by MV Werften, the Germany-based shipyard owned by Dream Cruises’ parent company, Genting Hong Kong. The contract was signed following their successful collaboration on the first Global Class ship, which is currently under construction at MV Werften.

“We are very happy that MV Werften continues to trust in our expertise and ability to design world-class cruise ships and we look forward to designing the second vessel in this remarkable Global class series,” said Patrik Rautaheimo, Elomatic CEO.

Set to be 342 metres long and more than 46 metres wide, the 204,000gt newbuild has been designed specifically for the Asian market. Onboard features will include a cineplex, Asian and Western spas, shopping facilities, Asian and international dining experiences, fast-food restaurants and a theme park that includes a rollercoaster with virtual reality. There will also be 2,500 cabins that can accommodate up to 5,000 passengers based on a twin-sharing basis, or up to 9,500 during peak holiday periods.

“We are very proud to continue the strategic partnership with MV Werften,” said Janne Uotila, CEO of Deltamarin. “We look forward to further developing the cooperation with the yard, providing it with excellent services and helping it execute Genting’s extensive newbuilding programme.”

Celebrity Edge Delivered

Celebrity Edge Delivered

The Edge is Delivered
After four years of planning and a 23 month construction period, the 2,900-guest Celebrity Edge was delivered today at Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. At the same time, the yard laid the keep for the next Edge-class ship in the Celebrity Apex.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain and Celebrity's President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo hosted a ceremony aboard Celebrity Edge, while docked in the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. The Celebrity Executive Team were also in attendance along with shipyard officials, including General Manager Laurent Castaing, and 1,377 crew members from 72 different countries.
"The Celebrity team has done an outstanding job and I cannot thank the Chantiers de l'Atlantique team enough for delivering this game-changing ship and for their ongoing partnership," said Fain. "Their work continues to transform the way our guests experience the world."
"Today is a very special day for all of us as we have been eagerly anticipating this moment for more than four years," said Lutoff-Perlo. "There are so many aspects of Celebrity Edge that are more groundbreaking than we could have ever imagined, and it is all a testament to the hard work, creativity and talent of everyone who helped bring this magnificent ship to life."
"Thanks to the confidence Celebrity Cruises granted us and to the exceptional level of cooperation between our respective teams, we are proud to have designed and built one of the most innovative cruise ships ever," added Castaing. "This achievement demonstrates once again our capacity to deliver right on time ships of the highest quality to our most demanding customers."
Following the Celebrity Edge check-signing and delivery ceremony, attendees made their way across the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard for the ceremonial keel laying of Celebrity Apex, where a 762-ton block was lifted in the air and a lucky coin was placed on the dock before the block was lowered into position.
On November 6, 2018, Celebrity Edge will begin her transatlantic voyage to her home port at T25 at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Her inaugural season will be spent sailing alternating seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruise itineraries.

CSSC to Buy Two Cruise Ships Ahead of Major Newbuilding Plans

CSSC to Buy Two Cruise Ships Ahead of Major Newbuilding Plans

Jincheng Yang, general manager
China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) will buy two cruise ships ahead of building a series of new ships, said Jincheng Yang, general manager, speaking at China Cruise Shipping in Shenzhen, China.
“China represents a huge market with great potential,” Yang noted.
Believed to be for a yet-to-be-named domestic cruise brand in China, he said the two ships will serve as a base for the company’s operations.
The first ship is expected to join the CSSC fleet in late 2019, followed by a second vessel in 2020.
Meanwhile, the company’s joint venture with Carnival Corporation will see the first of two Vista-class ships launch in 2023; the ships will be built new in China.
CSSC is the majority partner in the venture while Carnival will take on a minor role and help operate the vessels.
“We are already engineering our made-in-China cruise vessel,” he said. “According to our plan, the vessel will be in operation in 2023.”
A second ship is set to follow in 2024, and options extend out for an additional four vessels.
Fincantieri is also closely involved, helping oversee the construction process in China.
Yang said CSSC is aiming to have a fleet of eight cruise ships; including the two they plan to acquire followed by six 5,000-guest Vista-class newbuilds.
The secondhand vessels were not named, but a company presentation made at China Cruise Shipping said the ships would be around 85,000 tons with capacity for roughly 2,800 guests each.  
Yang said the cruise business represented a good opportunity to build relationships with neighbouring countries, playing into China’s belt and road initiative.  
Building ships would also boost domestic economic activity while positively contributing to a massive supply chain.