Saturday, 14 October 2017

Pitbull And Norwegian Cruise Line Celebrate Norwegian Escape's Arrival To NYC In Spring 2018

Pitbull And Norwegian Cruise Line Celebrate Norwegian Escape's Arrival To NYC In Spring 2018

Norwegian Escape's Godfather and international music star, Pitbull, made a special appearance with Norwegian Cruise Line President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Stuart at PHD Rooftop Lounge at Dream Downtown in New York to celebrate Norwegian Escape coming to homeport in the Big Apple in Spring 2018. 

The afternoon kicked off with guests enjoying delicious bites from Norwegian Escape's culinary outposts, sipping on cocktails crafted from Pitbull's very own vodka, Voli, and sampling a selection of Michael Mondavi Family Wines. Guests were able to "walk the plank" in a virtual reality segment of the largest ropes course at sea and pose for shareable photos with the ship's celebrity Godfather Mr. Worldwide. 

The exclusive afternoon was topped off with an electrifying performance from For the Record: The Brat Pack™, one of Norwegian Escape's award-winning Broadway-style shows. Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Andy Stuart and Pitbull took to the mic to say a few words to the guest and toast to the beautiful ship, Norwegian Escape, as well as discuss their joint support for Hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean. 

Click the image for Mr WorldWide (Pitbull) interview.
Image result for andy stuart and Pitbull in new york

When Norwegian Escape arrives to her new homeport in Manhattan next year, she will sail seven-day cruises to Bermuda during the summer months and seven-day cruises to Canada & New England and the Bahamas & Florida as well as a selection of longer cruises to the Western and Southern Caribbean during the fall/winter 2018/2019 season.

Norwegian Escape will be the brand's largest ship to ever homeport from New York City at 164,600 gross tons and 4,266 guests. Norwegian Cruise Line has been homeporting year-round from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal since 2003.

Click the image to watch PitBull's Freedom Video filmed on Norwegian Escape.
Image result for andy stuart and Pitbull in new york

About Norwegian Cruise Line 
Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 50-year history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising.  Most notably, Norwegian revolutionized the cruise industry by offering guests the freedom and flexibility to design their ideal cruise vacation on their schedule with no set dining times, a variety of entertainment options and no formal dress codes. Today, Norwegian invites guests to enjoy a relaxed, resort-style cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea with a wide variety of accommodations options, including The Haven by Norwegian®, a luxury enclave with suites, private pools and dining, concierge service and personal butlers. Norwegian Cruise Line sails around the globe, offering guests the freedom and flexibility to explore the world on their own time and experience up to 28 dining options, award-winning entertainment, superior guest service and more across all of the brand's 15 ships.
Recently, the line was named "Europe's Leading Cruise Line" for the tenth consecutive year, as well as "Caribbean's Leading Cruise Line" for the fifth time and "North America's Leading Cruise Line" for the second straight year by the World Travel Awards. Norwegian's next new build, the highly anticipated Norwegian Bliss, will be delivered in April 2018 featuring many firsts-at-sea for the global market including the largest race track at sea, award-winning Broadway entertainment, two observation lounges for guests to enjoy stunning ocean and glacier views and more.  Norwegian will introduce an additional new "Breakaway Plus" Class cruise ship in 2019 and has four additional ships on order for delivery beginning in 2022, with an option to introduce two more ships in 2026 and 2027.

Carnival Fascination chartered to FEMA, San Juan departures canceled

Carnival Fascination chartered to FEMA, San Juan departures canceled


Carnival Cruise Line said its ship operating out of San Juan, the Carnival Fascination, will be chartered to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), wiping out four months of cruises.
The move came at FEMA's request, Carnival said. The cruise line had been set to resume its normal seven-day cruise schedule from San Juan on the Carnival Fascination on Oct. 15.
Instead, Carnival said departures from Oct. 15 through Jan. 28 have been canceled. The Fascination will resume regular year-round cruising from San Juan on Feb. 18.
"We recognize how important vacations are, and we sincerely apologize for the disruption this late change in plans has caused our guests and travel partners," a Carnival advisory said. "We value your trust in us and hope you understand that this decision was made after careful consideration of the great need to support the recovery efforts in the region."
Carnival also modified Caribbean itineraries on a variety of ships through Dec. 31 that substitute new ports of call for visits that had been scheduled for St. Maarten and St. Thomas.
Carnival joins Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line in chartering a ship to FEMA for hurricane relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In 2005, Carnival chartered three of its ships to FEMA for six months for emergency housing in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Tianjin Targeting 800,000 Passengers in 2017

Tianjin Targeting 800,000 Passengers in 2017

The Ovation of the Seas in Tianjin

With four berths, Tianjin expects around 800,000 passengers this year, and through the first six months of 2017, traffic was up some 102.4 percent.
Customs and border protection has been further refined, reducing clearance times to 10 seconds in some instances with automated terminals.
Earlier this year, the port signed a MOU with Costa to build a supply and distribution center, with Costa committing to year-round voyages from Tianjin through 2019.
Also of note, the MSC Lirica sailed from Tianjin in February, offering a new “Around China” itinerary with interporting in Zhoushan, Hong Kong and Xiamen, as well as calls to South Korea and Japan, according to Da Wu, vice general manager of Tianjin International Cruise Terminal.
Wu hopes his port will offer more diversified products, including cruises to nowhere, to attract new passengers
Zhengdong Zhang, general manager, added: “Similar to MSC’s model, we are exploring opening domestic routes to Dalian, Yantai, Qingdao, Rongcheng and Weihai, creating a product in which passengers only need their national identification card to travel.”

Thursday, 12 October 2017

MSC Cruises launches new man-overboard detection technology

MSC Cruises launches new man-overboard detection technology

MSC Cruises launches new man-overboard detection technology
Over time, similar integrated systems will be deployed across MSC Cruises’ fleet (MSC Cruises)

MSC Cruises has worked with Bosch and Hewlett Packard Enterprises to launch a new video surveillance system that provides greater security onboard its cruise ships.

The new system consists of a series of optical and thermal video cameras which provide constant surveillance to the relevant areas of the ship. All video images are streamed in real-time to a central security room where it is monitored with the other inputs onboard the ship.

When the alarm is triggered, an acoustic signal and light will alert the ship’s security officer in the central security room who can immediately connect to the system and acquire all images and data. The security officer has direct access to the ship command at the bridge to allow for immediate action.

“The security and safety of our guests and crew onboard has always been our highest priority,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ executive chairman. “Therefore – as innovation has been from day one central to the way in which we operate and develop new features for our ships – we have developed a highly innovative solution that, through the use of military-grade technology, will allow ship command to take immediate action if needed. While a ship at sea is a challenging environment for accurate video security monitoring and operating high-tech equipment, our teams have managed to successfully develop a system that is at the same time accurate, stable and reliable.”

MSC Cruises’ security department and experts from Bosch and Hewlett Packard Enterprise have worked to ensure the system is highly resilient to weather conditions at sea, and programmed to provide reliable and accurate data. The system has been confirmed as 97% accurate following 25,000 hours of video analysis, extensive software testing and continuous algorithm updates.

The system is already operational on MSC Meraviglia and over time, similar integrated systems will be developed and deployed across MSC Cruises’ fleet.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Completes EUROPA 2 Redesign

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Completes EUROPA 2 Redesign

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises Completes EUROPA 2 Redesign

Hong Kong: Homeport and Transit Call Opportunity

Hong Kong: Homeport and Transit Call Opportunity

Ovation of the Seas in Hong Kong

The new World Dream will arrive to homeport at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal this November as another new ship uses Hong Kong as a turnaround destination.
Next year is looking to be on par with 2017 in terms of traffic, with 190 calls and 550,000 passengers, according to Jeff Bent, managing director of Worldwide Cruise Terminals, which oversees Kai Tak.
Around 75 percent of cruise calls at the facility are turnarounds.
“Ships leaving north Asia seasonally are making more transit calls in Hong Kong on their way to other markets, so there is a marginally positive effect for us, and perhaps an opportunity for seasonal homeports,” added Bent.
Source markets are certainly diverse, with Hong Kong locals, mainland Chinese and overseas passengers all playing into the passenger mix.
“The number and percentage of local Hong Kong passengers is increasing with additional homeporting capacity, and Hong Kong will likely be our largest source market this year,” Bent said. “The Chinese market presents its share of challenges, but is still vastly underpenetrated compared to mature markets.”
Hong Kong is the world’s tenth largest outbound travel market by spending. New transportation options will give mainland Chinese more options to board ships leaving Kai Tak in the next few years highlighted by high speed rail, a bridge to Zhuhai and Macao, and a new highway border crossing.
Of note, Kai Tak welcomed its millionth cruise passenger this year when the Majestic Princess called.

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony to feature world’s tallest slide at sea

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony to feature world’s tallest slide at sea

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony to feature world’s tallest slide at sea

Gallery: Symphony of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International has revealed features onboard new megaship, Symphony of the Seas.

These include the world’s tallest slide at sea, robotic bartenders and theatre shows.

The cruise line’s 25th ship, set to launch in April 2018, will claim the title of the world largest vessel when it sets sail on its inaugural season in Europe.

Royal Caribbean will put on popular Broadway production Hairspray – the cruise line’s first musical at sea – on board the 5,500-capacity Symphony.

In addition, guests will be able to enjoy the tallest slide at sea, the Ultimate Abyss (pictured), robot bartenders at the Bionic Bar and high-flying, high-diving performances at the AquaTheatre.

bionic-barroyal-caribbean
bionic-barroyal-caribbean

Families will be able to explore seven neighbourhoods on board, such as Central Park, which has more than 12,000 tropical plants, or the pool and sports zone, where there is a nine-deck high zip line, a beach pool and even a mini-golf course.

Symphony’s debut season will see it call at ports in Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca in Spain, Provence in France, Florence, Rome and Naples in Italy.

From November 24 2018 Symphony will make Miami her home all-year around.

Michael Bayley, president and chief executive of Royal Caribbean International, said: “We set out to create a new level of holiday adventure and deliver the ultimate escape for families of all shapes and sizes.

“Symphony will introduce the most cutting-edge, customisable, and digitally-enhanced experiences in the Royal Caribbean fleet.



Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Carnival Cruise Line Partners with Dr. Suess

Carnival Cruise Line Partners with Dr. Suess

Carnival Cruise Line Partners with Dr. Suess

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Thomson Cruises to be renamed Marella Cruises

Thomson Cruises to be renamed Marella Cruises

Image result for thomson cruises

Thomson Cruises is to be rebranded as Marella Cruises, at the same time that Thomson changes to Tui later this month.

Marella, meaning ‘shining sea’ in Celtic, was selected to give the cruise line ‘stand out in the cruise market’ and to give it its own identity from the company’s European cruise brand, Tui Cruises.

Distribution and cruise director Helen Caron said: “We don’t want British guests to be confused with the group’s cruise business in Europe. Marella Cruises will still have the Tui smile logo, but a new Marella Cruises logo in a blue box, similar to the way we would market Sensatori as part of the world of Tui.  The name was chosen to reflect the spirit of exploration and discovery across the seas.”

Confirming Marella cruises would still offer its fully-integrated fly-cruise programme, from 22 regional UK airports, across its fleet of six ships once Marella Explorer enters service in May 2018, Caron added: “Marella Cruises takes us to a cruise brand from a tour operator brand. We expect the new name to open us up to a whole new market of customers who haven’t considered a Thomson cruise before. It’s very exciting and come at the perfect time as we modernise our fleet and add more and more destinations.”

News of the rebrand came as Tui also announced a new homeport in Asia for winter 2018. The newly named Marella Discovery will sail from Lankawi to 18 new ports of call on 14 new adult-only itineraries, with customers also able to join from Bangkok. Ports of call include Ho Chi Minh City, Cambodia and Kuala Lumpur, and also to Mumbai, Mangalore, Cochin and Colombo.

Caron said: “Asia is an incredibly diverse part of the world and I have no doubt that our customers are going to love their adventures across countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, India and Oman to name a few.”

For the first time in the company’s history, Tui is also going to base two ships in Barbados in winter 2018. Marella Explorer will be joined by Marella Celebration.

More: Tui Group remains on course for 10% earnings growth

Thomas Cook Facebook and Twitter ad takes swipe at rival Tui’s rebrand

Tui starts rebrand of Thomson shop network

Norwegian Cruise Line's Bliss Will Draw West Coast Clients

Norwegian Cruise Line's Bliss Will Draw West Coast Clients

Norwegian Cruise Line's Bliss Will Draw West Coast Clients
Norwegian Bliss, due in April 2018

The brand’s upcoming Norwegian Bliss ship, designed especially for Alaska sailings, is expected to appeal to West Coast-based clients

“It’s the first time we’ve had such a presence on the West Coast,” said Andy Stuart, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), during Virtuoso Travel Week, held at Bellagio Las Vegas.
The line’s upcoming Norwegian Bliss — what Stuart referred to as “our most incredible ship to date” — will launch operations on the West Coast in June 2018. It will bring new features to the American market, as well as employ highlights from two previous Breakaway Plus ships: Norwegian Escape and the Chinese market’s Norwegian Joy.
The 4,000-passenger Bliss will debut June 2, sailing a series of weeklong cruises to Alaska and departing Saturdays out of Seattle. Noting that it is the first time that a brand-new ship will launch Alaska cruises, Stuart pointed out that Bliss has been designed especially for Alaska, underlined by its hull art, titled “Cruising with the Whales.” 
In addition to scenic glacier cruising, the vessel will make calls in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway in Alaska and Victoria, British Columbia, through September 2018. Starting Oct. 5, 2018, Bliss will initiate a month of weeklong Mexican Riviera cruises (roundtrip from Los Angeles), with visits to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. On Nov. 3, Bliss will set off on a 14-day Panama Canal cruise from Los Angeles to Miami, where the ship will spend its winter season offering Eastern Caribbean sailings.
According to Stuart, NCL’s Alaska cruises are quite popular, particularly because it is a bucket- list item for many travelers, and the line is also seeing more families booking the destination. 
“As Alaska is very limited in berthing capabilities, the only way to increase capacity there is to bring a larger ship — and we think this is the right ship, offering compelling experiences for those new to cruising, plus those features that our loyal guests know and love,” he said.    Image result for norwegian bliss race track
Bliss will integrate the most popular features from previous ships, particularly on the top deck. There will be an expanded version of the electric car race track the debuted on Joy in China; it will be the longest race track at sea, at nearly 1,000 feet long, with four speed settings for the novice, intermediate and advanced drivers navigating its twists and turns. Another dramatic feature will be the open-air laser tag course, which will be designed as an abandoned space station in which guests can compete against one another while armed with state-of-the art laser guns. 
In addition, Bliss’ top deck will have an Aqua Park with two multistory waterslides. The high-speed Ocean Loops will have one loop that extends out over the side of the ship and a second see-through loop down to the deck below. The tandem Aqua Racer slide will send guests racing side-by-side on inner tubes for more than 360 feet, with a translucent section that provides views of the sea.
Younger cruisers will have their own Kids’ Aqua Park, with splash pads, water cannons, tipping buckets and slides. And there will be segmented facilities for passengers ages 3 to 12, as well as for teenagers, who can enjoy their own space — dubbed Entourage — on deck 5. There will even be a Guppies playroom with sensory play activities for babies six months old to 3 years old.  
Image result for norwegian bliss Kids’ Aqua Park,
New dining will include Q, an a la carte Texas smokehouse restaurant where guests can choose from a selection of brisket, ribs, chicken, sausage and more that will be freshly smoked over hickory, oak and pecan woods. The eatery will also feature live contemporary pop country music. The new A-List Bar — named for Stuart — will serve cocktails, wine and premium spirits.
Signature beverages from Seattle and its surrounding region will be easy to find onboard Bliss: The ship will have the line’s first full-service Starbucks, and The District Brew House will serve 24 beers on tap and more than 50 bottled beers, along with bites from the adjacent Food Republic. Craft beer will come from Red Hook Brewery and Elysian Brewery in Seattle, as well as from Wynwood Brewery and M.I.A. Beer Company in Miami (a bow to later Caribbean itineraries). The Cellars, A Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar, will have a wine list that includes 35 grape varietals that encompass top selections from Washington-area vineyards; Tuscany, Italy; and Michael Mondavi’s own Napa Valley Estate.
The Local, a new complimentary, 24-hour dining concept, will offer guests pub fare in a relaxed atmosphere. Also new is Coco’s, where the scent of a chocolate fountain will summon passengers to its handmade pralines, truffles, crepes and other chocolatey pleasures paired with fine coffees and teas. 
The indoor-outdoor Los Lobos, which made its debut in 2016 onboard Norwegian Dawn, will offer dishes from fresh guacamole prepared tableside to al pastor tacos and enchiladas de mole, along with margaritas featuring NCL’s own tequila blend.
Image result for norwegian bliss Los Lobos
Bliss will also feature both smoking and non-smoking casinos to cater to all guest preferences, and the lineup of entertainment will include Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys.” The ship will have two observation lounges, including the exclusive Horizon Lounge (for guests of The Haven), which will have vantage points for whale watching in Alaska.
Stuart expects that the array of innovative features onboard Bliss will introduce the NCL brand to West Coast clients. A ship especially designed for Alaska was a big step, but Stuart notes that Alaska sailings are heavily North American-sourced.  
“At the moment, we feel the North American market is very strong,” he said. “Consumer confidence is up, and our guests are planning their vacations further out than they have in past years. Alaska sailings are typically stronger sourced from the West Coast, where as a brand we have tended to be stronger in East coast sourcing. We felt that bringing Bliss to the West Coast would give us an opportunity to bring a strong, exciting product to an audience who may not be as familiar with our brand. New ships are a great opportunity to get those who are new to cruising or new to your brand interested in sailing with you — someone who is wowed by the idea of a race track on a cruise ship will be drawn in to learn more about the brand, and ultimately the destination will drive their purchasing decision.”

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Keel Laid for Mein Schiff 2

Keel Laid for Mein Schiff 2

Jan Meyer and the new crane at Meyer Turku
Meyer Turku shipyard

The keel for the new Mein Schiff 2 was laid today at the Meyer Turku shipyard. This important production milestone marks the beginning of the hull assembly, the yard said.
She will be a sixth ship build by Meyer Turku for TUI Cruises. Delivery is scheduled for early 2019.
The new Mein Schiff 2 will be a sister ship to new Mein Schiff 1, which will be delivered from Meyer Turku  in the spring of 2018.
The new class will be 20 meters longer (315m) than Mein Schiff 6. Both ships will have space for 2,894 guests.
Keel Laying
TUI Cruises CEOs Wybcke Meier and Frank Kuhlmann were present at the keel laying and were one of the VIP guests to weld coins under the keel of the ship.
“It is always great to visit the shipyard and to see the progress with our coming ships. With new Mein Schiff 1 and 2 we will get two great new ships to lead our fleet in the coming years. We are very happy to see how these ships are taking form," said Meier. 
Of note hte yard is also adding a new massive gantry crane to help speed up cruise ship production times. 
Looking down at the Meyer Turku yard
“We have just floated out the newly developed New Mein Schiff 1 and will now begin directly assembling its sister, New Mein Schiff 2, from pre-produced grand blocks. It shows the increasing pace that we are working at, while at the same time implementing our large investment program with the large goliath gantry crane being only one example of it. Working on our ships and our capabilities will prepare us for the increasing international competition," added Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku. 

Hurricane-Hit Caribbean Cruise Ports Anticipate Reopening

Hurricane-Hit Caribbean Cruise Ports Anticipate Reopening

Hurricane-Hit Caribbean Cruise Ports Anticipate Reopening

Celebrity spending $400 million to renovate fleet

Celebrity spending $400 million to renovate fleet

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The Retreat Sundeck, making its debut on the Celebrity Edge, will be a feature on all Celebrity ships.

Celebrity Cruises plans to spend $400 million over five years on so they will look more like the Celebrity Edge, a ship due in 2018.
Between 2019 and 2023, Celebrity will redesign and reconfigure all staterooms on its nine ships.
The suite lounge known as Michael's Club on some ships will be rebranded as the Retreat Lounge, a space making its debut on the Edge. There will also be a new Retreat Sundeck.
A new Oceanview Cafe, an international marketplace concept, is coming to the older Constellation, Infinity, Millennium and Summit ships.
Over 11,500 cashmere-covered mattresses and bed sets will be installed. Storage in cabins will be reconfigured along the lines of Celebrity Edge to maximize efficiency, Celebrity said.
"This is the largest investment our brand has ever made to modernize our fleet," Celebrity CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said.

Name change: Viking ocean ship to be called Orion

Name change: Viking ocean ship to be called Orion

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The Viking Orion at its float-out in Ancona, Italy.
NEW YORK -- Viking Cruises said the fifth in its series of 930-passenger ocean ships will be named Viking Orion. The vessel is due in July 2018.
The line had previously referred to the ship as the Viking Spirit.
Viking chairman Torstein Hagen announced the name swap during a press event aboard the Viking Sky here.
The name of a planet, Mercury, was also considered, Hagen said, but "since our ambitions are unlimited, we decided on a constellation."
Also fitting the space theme, Hagen said that retired astronaut Anna Fisher will be the ship's godmother when it debuts in July 2018.
Fisher was in Italy last week for the ship's float-out ceremony at Fincantieri's Ancona shipyard.
The Orion will spend its first year sailing Mediterranean, Asia, Australia and Alaska itineraries.
Viking, well known as a river cruise company, entered the ocean cruise business with the launch of the Viking Star in 2015. It was followed by the Viking Sky and Viking Sea, with the Viking Sun expected to debut next month.
Hagen said the company's growth will make it the "largest small-ship ocean line" ocean line by 2019, with 5,580 lower berths, making it larger than both Oceania Cruises and Silversea.
Viking's river ship building is also full-speed ahead: Hagen also said at the event that the company would introduce seven new river ships in 2019.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Norwegian Breakaway to homeport in New Orleans

Norwegian Breakaway to homeport in New Orleans

Norwegian Breakaway

Norwegian Cruise Line said its 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway will move its homeport to New Orleans starting in the fall of 2018.

The ship, which has a large painting of the New York skyline on its hull, has been sailing from New York since its 2013 debut and has a number of New York-themed features. 

The Breakaway will make the move after completing a summer season in the Baltics in 2018. It will arrive in New Orleans on November 11, 2018 and will sail a variety of cruises to the Caribbean through April 7, 2019.

Norwegian said the Norwegian Gem, which had been scheduled to sail from New Orleans in 2018/19 will instead go to New York and sail a series of cruises to the Caribbean, Canada & New England and the Bahamas & Florida. In the summer of 2018, the Norwegian Escape will be repositioned to New York from Miami for the first time to do seven-day sailings to Bermuda.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Cruise ship global capacity set to soar

Cruise ship global capacity set to soar

Image result for norwegian bliss
Norwegian Bliss Concept Drawing.

The current unprecedented cruise orderbook represents another 250,000 berths the global cruise fleet in the 10 years from 2015 to 2025 – increasing capacity by a huge 40 per cent. 
Seatrade Cruise’s new whitepaper The Future of Cruise Ships added that these figures were set to leap further – as with further orders inevitably being placed for deliveries within the second half of that 10-year span, fleet capacity would probably grow at least 50 per cent and push the global passenger total up from 24 million last year to 30 million by 2022, towards 35 million by 2026 and then 40 million by 2030.
The whitepaper places the orderbook (as of July 2017) at 75 firm ocean-going ship orders and a handful of options with a combined price-tag approaching US$47.6 billion.
It points out that the orderbook is still dominated by the big three in Europe: Fincantieri, Meyer Werft and STX France.
Cruise ship global capacity set to soar
Cruise ship capacity will keep soaring – while the luxury cruise sector’s growth has been boosted

Fincantieri (including Vard) is building 29 of the 75 due for delivery by 2025; Meyer Werft in Germany and Finland is contracted for 17; STX France for 12; and the new grouping owned by Genting Hong Kong, MV Werften, for six. The final 11 are being built by smaller shipyards.
A growing trend singled out by the whitepaper is the luxury/expedition market sector. It said that there have been some signs of increased interest in building and operating ships of a smaller size offering a luxury product on more adventurous itineraries. “This is because these can command much higher prices than either standard luxury cruises or the traditionally more basic expedition vessels,” it said.
Indeed, Seatrade Cruise’s whitepaper shows that there are 30 luxury cruise ships on the global orderbook. Their increase can be traced from none being delivered in 2014, to two last year and this year – rising sharply to six in 2019.

Cruise lines say visiting Cuba by ship is safe

Cruise lines say visiting Cuba by ship is safe


Three big cruise companies with itineraries that include calls in Havana said their ships are a safe way to visit the island, even though the U.S. State Department is warning Americans against going.

The warning is in response to illnesses reported by diplomatic workers in Havana attributed to some sort of sonic weapon. The attacks, which began last November, are thought to have occurred in residences or in a hotel that houses diplomatic personnel on temporary assignment.

In response, the U.S. government has withdrawn most of its diplomats from the U.S. Embassy in Havana. Because some of the attacks occurred at a hotel, the government also warned tourists.

The government of Cuba has denied any involvement in the attacks, an assertion that hasn't been challenged by the U.S.

Carnival Cruise Line sails to Havana from Tampa with its Carnival Paradise ship. In a statement, it said that it would continue its cruises to Cuba for the moment.

"While members and relatives of the U.S. diplomatic corps have suffered illnesses apparently triggered by occurrences at the diplomatic offices or possibly their homes, none of the more than 475,000 other Americans visiting Cuba this year have reported similar health issues related to their visits," the Carnival statement said.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL), which also takes passengers to Havana from Tampa on the Royal Caribbean International ship the Empress of the Seas, said it was aware of the State Department warnings.

"Since the warning is due to the events that occurred in U.S. diplomatic residences and hotels frequented by U.S. citizens, we do not feel they pose a risk to our cruise passengers," an RCCL statement said. "Our guests explore Havana on escorted tours and do not visit hotels."

Norwegian Cruise Line, which visits Havana on its Norwegian Sky ship from Miami, said its cruises there continue to operate as scheduled.

"There have been no reported incidents involving tourists or other cruise ship passengers," said a Norwegian statement that also noted incidents have been isolated to diplomats and government officials residing on the island. "Our shore excursions and tour locations have been thoroughly evaluated," the statement continued. "We continue to believe that the best way to travel to Cuba is via cruise ship and look forward to continuing to offer our guests the opportunity to explore Cuba's beauty, culture and friendly people."

Asked about cancellations or a slowdown in Cuba bookings, a Norwegian spokeswoman said there was "nothing to note at the moment."

Spokeswomen for RCCL and Carnival declined to comment on bookings.

STX France’s groundbreaking collaboration with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Edge

STX France’s groundbreaking collaboration with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Edge

STX France’s groundbreaking collaboration with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Edge
STX France has launched an ongoing monitoring services programme with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Edge
STX France and Royal Caribbean have launched a partnership that allows ongoing monitoring by the shipyard to ensure energy efficient solutions are in optimal use on Harmony of the Seas. This is also to be rolled out to the Celebrity Cruises’ Edge-class vessels being built by the shipyard, and other ships in Royal Caribbean Cruises’ fleet.
The groundbreaking collaboration on Harmony of the Seas – which has not been carried out between a shipyard and cruise ship operator before – has led to 5% fuel savings on the cruise ship, which was delivered last year. The monitoring agenda has its foundations in STX France’s Ecorizon, a research and development programme launched in 2007 to create more environmentally friendly and energy efficient ships.
STX France Ecorizon R&D project manager and energy efficiency manager for Harmony of the Seas and Celebrity Edge-class, Arnaud Jacques told Passenger Ship Technology “We took this approach to help Royal Caribbean reach the best energy efficiency level possible. Normally the work of a shipyard stops after delivery but we believe that it is very crucial to share all this knowledge and expertise we have built up.”
He said this is what propelled STX France to go further than the usual scope of shipbuilder to deliver not just a ship that was “designed well but one designed to operate well”.
The monitoring services sees STX France following the ship year after year and see what works, what does not work as expected and looking at what can be improved (in terms of energy efficiency). A very important part of it is to train the crew how to check equipment and maintain the level of knowledge about how the ship works and maintain best practice. This is especially important as crews change frequently. The training takes place twice a year. STX France also gives Royal Caribbean weekly updates and analysis on the back of its monitoring services.
Mr Jacques said “We plan to continue co-operation with Royal Caribbean next year following other ships; they want to have a great benchmark for their fleet and make sure the ships run at an optimal energy performance.” He wasn’t able to say at this stage which ships these would be.
Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Edge will also undergo the same monitoring services when it is delivered at the end of 2018.