Friday, 16 February 2018

Carnival announces the first ship based on US west coast in 20 years

Carnival announces the first ship based on US west coast in 20 years
Image result for carnival panorama ship

Carnival Cruise Line is to deploy a new ship on the US west coast for the first time in 20 years.

Carnival Panorama will be based in Long Beach, California, from December 2019.

The 3,960-passenger Carnival Panorama, the third Vista-class ship in the fleet, will run seven-day Mexican Riviera itineraries with bookings due to open next month.

New features unique to the new ship will be announced in the near future, according to the cruise line.

The planned deployment followed the company revamping its 146,000-square-foot Long Beach Cruise Terminal and plans for a multi-million dollar port development in Ensenada, Mexico with shops, restaurants and attractions.

The renovation of the terminal at Long Beach more than doubles the size while enhancing the overall passenger experience and operational flow.

It also includes the expansion of portside shore power to enable larger ships to plug into the local electric grid, reducing exhaust emissions while docked.

Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy said: “This is a momentous occasion for both Carnival and the City of Long Beach – not only are we celebrating the grand re-opening of this magnificent cruise terminal, but also demonstrating our commitment to the west coast with the deployment of the spectacular new Carnival Panorama in 2019 and the announcement of an exciting new port development project in Ensenada.

“The west coast is an important market with vast growth potential and these initiatives further demonstrate the confidence in our future success in Long Beach.

“We are very much looking forward to having Carnival Panorama homeported here beginning next year.”

What could have been: Disney's Long Beach port

What could have been: Disney's Long Beach port

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Carnival Cruise Line opened its expanded terminal over the weekend in the Spruce Goose Dome in Long Beach, cementing its status as the leading cruise line in the Southern California market. But the terminal was nearly a hub for Disney Cruise Line instead.

In 1990, the Walt Disney Co. announced plans for a Port Disney in Long Beach. The plan called for a marine-themed amusement park, a marina, a speciality retail and entertainment area and hotel accommodations.

Crucially, a cruise port was part of the 443-acre plan. And this was four years before Disney announced it was getting into the cruise business.

Disney had acquired the site, which included the Queen Mary cruise ship and the Howard Hughes-built Spruce Goose, the plane with the largest wingspan ever to fly, in an acquisition of the Wrather Corp. in 1989.

The cruise port would have had five berths with ships going to Mexico, Seattle and San Diego, among other destinations.

Five resort hotels would have been built as part of the development, along with a monorail connecting Queensway with downtown Long Beach. The centrepiece of the plan was DisneySea, an aquatic-themed amusement park and education centre, which would have picked up where the recently-closed Marineland of the Pacific, in Palos Verdes, left off.

Long Beach had a history as an amusement centre. A waterfront area known as the Pike was the site of the Cyclone Racer, the largest seaside wooden roller coaster in the country until it was torn down in 1968.

Image result for cyclone racer in long beach

As part of the Wrather Corp. deal, Disney had also acquired a hotel across the street from Disneyland, which could now be expanded. Disney set up a competition between Anaheim and Long Beach to see which was more enthusiastic about gaining a new Disney park.

Concerns arose in Long Beach about environmental issues, traffic, local hiring and other factors. In late 1991, Port Disney was cancelled in favour of WestCOT, a Disneyland version of Disney World's EPCOT centre.

WestCOT was never built. The land would eventually become Disney's California Adventure. Disney sold its leases on the Queen Mary and the Spruce Goose Dome. Ten years later, in 2001, the new leaseholder arranged for Carnival to use part of the dome as a terminal starting in 2003.

By that time, Disney Cruise Line was up and running out of Port Canaveral in Florida, an hour from Disney World. But it was a decade too late for Disney's chance to sail from a custom-built home in Long Beach.

When Disney Cruise Line moved the Disney Magic ship to California in 2005 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Disneyland, it had to sail for the summer out of the Port of Los Angeles.

It's fascinating to think what the possibilities would have been if only Disney had been a little more persistent in Long Beach. 

Ocean-river combos alluring option for cruise lovers

Ocean-river combos alluring option for cruise lovers

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It seems like something true cruise enthusiasts could really get onboard with: the marriage of a blue water sailing with one that ventures into the inland waterways. 

So, it comes as little surprise that the one company with a solid stake in both the ocean and river markets, Viking, quietly launched itineraries that combine an ocean and river cruise.

Viking currently has three itineraries it calls its Ocean & River Voyages. The 15-day Rhine & Viking Shores & Fjords combines a Rhine river cruise with a North Sea sailing (with both 2018 and 2019 departure dates); the 22-day Grand European & Viking Fjords combines a Danube, Rhine and Main cruise with a North Sea sailing (with departures in 2019); and the 18-day Rhine and Amsterdam to Catalonia brings together a Rhine cruise with a sailing along the Atlantic Ocean (with departures in 2018).

It's an approach worth watching as a slowly growing number of cruise lines build and offer both ocean and river products. In addition to Viking, Crystal Cruises now has vessels that sail both blue and inland waters, and Scenic is gearing up to make its first foray into ocean cruising with the launch of the 228-passenger Scenic Eclipse this summer.

On a smaller scale, Pandaw River Cruises has started to offer coastal sailings in Southeast Asia in addition to its numerous river cruises on the Mekong and Irrawaddy rivers. Closer to home, American Cruise Lines has cruises both along the U.S. and Canada coastlines as well as on U.S. rivers, and UnCruise offers a Columbia and Snake river sailing in addition to its numerous coastal cruises. French river cruise company CroisiEurope has some coastal ships as well. Since for the most part, river cruises can't go where ocean cruises can and vice versa, it seems the two would work well together as a combined offering for passengers that have the time and the willingness to experience two very different types of cruising.

Perhaps for Viking, there's a larger goal at play with the combination cruises, too. Travel Weekly's cruise editor Tom Stieghorst recently reported that Viking's senior vice president of marketing Richard Marnell admitted that one of Viking Ocean's core challenges is that the Viking name is still associated primarily with river cruises. Combining the company's ocean and river offerings could be seen as a way to introduce those river cruisers to the ocean product.

For companies with access to both markets, the opportunity to cross-market and introduce river cruisers to the oceans and ocean cruisers to the rivers is definitely an advantage worth weighing. While some might argue that they are very different markets with distinct passengers, river cruise line surveys of their passengers often find that many of them are ocean cruisers as well, suggesting that there is a potential marketplace for the ocean-river combination cruise.

Undocking: "Norwegian Bliss" leaves Meyer Werft

Undocking: "Norwegian Bliss" leaves Meyer Werft

Just under 16 months after the start of construction in October 2016, the time has come: The cruise ship "Norwegian Bliss" will be unpacked tomorrow. Numerous spectators are expected when the newest luxury liner of the Meyer shipyard gets into the fresh air. transmits the manoeuvre here at this point in the live stream.

Last work on deck and underwater ship

The preparations have meanwhile reached the final phase: On Thursday, the dock was flooded. Previously, there were still numerous fine work and decreases on the underwater vessel necessary - the part that is later submerged and then only difficult to access. Up to 2,000 workers daily have taken care of the tasks involved. According to press spokesman Günther Kolbe, areas such as the deck and the balconies were completed in the final sprint, because they have to be weatherproof after undocking. Already last weekend, the propellers were mounted. "We are fully on schedule," says Kolbe.

Chimney comes by crane

After undocking, the "Norwegian Bliss" will moor at the yard's equipment pier, where she gets her chimney from a heavy-duty crane. Until the Ems overpass, which is scheduled for the second weekend of March, according to Kolbe further equipment works, trials and acceptances are carried out by the shipping company. At the beginning of March, the first of the approximately 1,600 crew members will board the ship to start training. On April 19, the ship is to be handed over to the shipping company Norwegian Cruise Line in Bremerhaven.

The "Norwegian Bliss" before their first ride

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Norwegian Sun to Offer Cuba Cruises from PortMiami

Norwegian Sun to Offer Cuba Cruises from PortMiami

The Norwegian Sun is set for a short Cuba program from PortMiami

Norwegian Cruise Line put new cruises on sale to Cuba and the Caribbean aboard the Norwegian Sun round-trip from Miami, Florida.
“We are thrilled to reveal Norwegian Sun’s new fall 2018 itineraries, which will be the first time our brand has featured a call in Havana, Cuba on seven-day and longer cruises,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line. “These new itineraries offer a remarkable breadth of experiences for guests with a culturally immersive full day and evening in Havana, complemented by several visits to world-class destinations across the Caribbean and beyond.”
The Norwegian Sun will sail six new seven-day cruises from Miami departing on Sundays from September 9 through October 14.
Port calls include Havana, Cuba, Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas; Costa Maya, Mexico and Harvest Caye, Belize. The ship’s nine-day Cuba and the Caribbean cruises will expand upon her seven-day sailings and also include additional visits to Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras and Cozumel, Mexico.
There's also a 13-day Cuba, Caribbean and Panama Canal sailing on Oct. 30, with calls in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Cartagena and Santa Marta, Colombia and Oranjestad, Aruba, among others.
Norwegian Cruise Line has also added a new five-day cruise to Cuba and the Bahamas from Port Canaveral on September 3. The new cruise will round out the ship’s season sailing from the Space Coast with an afternoon visit to Key West, Florida then heads to Havana for an overnight visit, followed a call in Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

Speedcast Expands Deal with Royal Caribbean for More Bandwidth

Speedcast Expands Deal with Royal Caribbean for More Bandwidth

Image result for harmony of the seas
Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas.

Speedcast International announced it has extended its relationship Royal Caribbean Cruises to increase the bandwidth delivered to 37 ships.
“Speedcast has been an integral part of our long-standing efforts to implement the latest connectivity solutions that allow us to provide enhanced communications for everyone, from our guests onboard to our employees onshore,” said Guillermo Muniz, director, Network and Satellite Engineering, Royal Caribbean. “We are consistently raising the bar on ship innovation and increasing requirements, and Speedcast is right there with us, collaborating to make sure that we have the infrastructure and support to deliver the best experience.” 
Speedcast’s experience with Royal Caribbean dates back to 2006 when the company installed Royal Caribbean's first Ku-Band VSAT antenna onboard a vessel to satisfy peak seasonal communication demand in the Brazil region.
The Speedcast network now delivers fully managed communications solutions and value-added services to 37 ships for shipboard administration, and guest and crew usage.
Multiple antennas on each ship with seamless automatic fail-over between Ku-Band and C-Band ensures high availability and Service Level Agreements (SLAs), Speedcast said. 
“We have a true partnership approach to our relationship with Royal Caribbean,” said PJ Beylier, CEO, Speedcast. “As one of the largest cruise line brands in the world and one of our largest customers, we are proud that they continue to trust our expertise in designing and deploying reliable solutions that connect their ships to shore and provide a premier onboard guest experience. Over the past 11 years, we have seen tremendous growth in Royal Caribbean’s business, and we look forward to helping them continue to develop their brands as they introduce new ships and look for innovative ways to enhance guest and crew experiences.”

Virgin Voyages to Create 300 Jobs in Ft. Lauderdale

Virgin Voyages to Create 300 Jobs in Ft. Lauderdale

Image result for virgin voyages cruise ship

Florida Governor Rick Scott today announced that Virgin Voyages has selected Plantation for its new headquarters, which will create 300 new jobs. 
The company will also invest $15.9 million in the local community, according to a statement. 
Governor Scott said, “I am proud to announce that Virgin Voyages has selected Florida to locate their new headquarters, which will create more than 300 new jobs for families in South Florida. As a top tourism destination, the gateway to Latin America and one of the most business-friendly states, Florida is the best place for Virgin Voyages’ new headquarters.”
Thomas McAlpin, President and CEO of Virgin Voyages said, “Virgin brands have a long history of raising the bar in every industry we enter. We are proud to bring that mindset to the South Florida community and introduce new jobs and business opportunities to the area.”
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin said, “We basically decided, ‘Let’s have a blank sheet of paper, let’s create the kind of voyage company that we would like to go on,’ and that’s what we’ve done.”
Virgin Voyages will be hiring a range of roles in different departments from Finance to Customer Care, according to the statement. 
Peter Antonacci, CEO of Enterprise Florida, Inc., said, “Broward County is the ideal location for Virgin to launch its new cruise line Virgin Voyages. Enterprise Florida’s Board of Directors are enthusiastic that Florida won this exciting new project.”
VISIT FLORIDA President & CEO Ken Lawson said, "Virgin Voyages decision to open headquarters in South Florida is fantastic news for tourism in our state. At VISIT FLORIDA, we are marketing the diversity and beauty of our state to the rest of the world. By creating more opportunities for travelLers from around the world to experience Florida, Virgin Voyages is helping us make Florida the number one global destination, and I look forward to their continued success."
Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said, “Congratulations to Virgin Voyages on locating their new headquarters in the Sunshine State. South Florida is an excellent choice for growing a company, with its strong business community and robust workforce. We look forward to your success.”
Bob Swindell, President and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance said, “Congratulations Virgin Voyages, we are thrilled to be home to a company with the great potential to reinvent the cruise industry under the iconic Virgin flag.”
Mayor Diane Veltri Bendekovic of the City of Plantation said, “Plantation has a long reputation as a location of choice for game-changing companies like Virgin Voyages. We look forward to their success and are proud to be home to the newest Virgin brand.
Mayor Beam Furr of Broward County said, “We’re glad that Virgin Voyages and other major global companies continue to choose Broward County for their headquarters operations. We look forward to the company’s continued growth as part of an important targeted industry for our community.”

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Carnival Horizon: the differing factors compared to Carnival Vista

Carnival Horizon: the differing factors compared to Carnival Vista

<i>Carnival Horizon</i>: the differing factors compared to <i>Carnival Vista</i>
The welding of the box with a coin during the launching ceremony of Carnival Horizon
From it's hull shape and coating to the lifts, Carnival Horizon has been made as energy efficient as possible. Rebecca Moore spoke to its shipbuilder Fincantieri
The new cruise ship Carnival Horizon shares many of the same features as first-in-class Carnival Vista but it has two key elements that distinguish it from its sister.
Carnival Cruise Lines’ 133,500 gt Vista-class ship, which is being built by Fincantieri, is due for delivery in March this year. The focus on energy efficiency found in sister ship Carnival Vista – delivered in 2016 – has been even further boosted on Carnival Horizon.
An example is how the passenger lifts, manufactured by Schindler, are managed. This is a key distinguishing element from the first-in-class ship, as software is used to decrease energy consumption and increase the lifts’ efficiency. Not only is the system new to the Vista class, but it is the first time that it has been used on a ship.
This is significant, as Fincantieri project manager for the ship, Marco Lunardi, told Passenger Ship Technology. “We paid a lot of attention to the efficiency and environmental aspects of the lifts,” he said. “Passengers will spend less time waiting for the lift and the traffic is managed in a more efficient way to reduce the energy consumption of the lifts.”
This has been achieved by collecting destination information from passengers before they enter the lifts via a touch screen. This advance information is processed by software created especially for the lifts that combines all the passenger selection information and optimise lift availability according to the requests. Mr Lunardi said that this gave an average reduction of 30% waiting time at peak times.
The other main difference between Carnival Horizon and Carnival Vista relates to hull coatings – the former uses Hempel’s silicone hull coating, which uses a combination of hydrogel and silicone technology to combat fouling. A hydro gel microlayer prevents fouling organisms firmly adhering while the silicone polymers facilitate self-cleaning. This allows a longer period between drydock, Mr Lunardi said, because silicone paint can last more than five years.
Carnival Vista uses a “traditional” Hempel self-polishing antifouling tin-free coating. The principle on which the traditional self-polishing antifouling paint works is chemical, while the silicone one is mechanical, which means that it is a more environmentally friendly process.
A new hull
Apart from these aspects, Carnival Horizon shares technical innovations with Carnival Vista. One aspect that Mr Lunardi particularly drew attention to was the Vista-class hull. “It was very challenging to find the right hull lines,” he explained. The main reason for this was the hull had to optimised for two design points: its service speed of 18 knots and a maximum speed of 22.6 knots.
Mr Lunardi continued “This was really challenging in terms of testing and finding the right shape of the bulb and involved an external consultancy to help with knowledge.”
Extensive use of CFD calculations and in-tank model testing were deployed. “We fine-tuned the solution through several adjustments. We had to make sure that the hull lines met both service speed and maximum speed, so we needed to find the right compromise between different configurations.”
This led to a “different” and “new” hull shape compared to the rest of Carnival Cruise Lines’ fleet. In order to optimise it to meet the speed range, the bulb is more narrow than usual, compared with the usual cruise ship bulb.
An engine configuration was chosen to benefit the hull optimisation on Carnival Horizon. It consists of five MAN Diesel & Turbo engines, with two engines providing 16.8 MW of power each plus three smaller engines rated at 9.6 MW each. The two engines are type 14V48/60CR and the three are type 8L48/60CR. They are placed in the aft third of the vessel.
“They are the right size to manage the vessel in different conditions and can be used separately or in combination,” said Mr Lunardi, adding that this arrangement adds redundancy and allows the operator to meet safe return to port requirements.
Boosting energy efficiency
Energy efficiency is boosted by a steam turbine that recovers energy from the exhaust gas boilers, which would otherwise be lost. It is placed between the engines and generates 1.35 MW of power for use wherever needed, such as to boost hotel power. Fincantieri created and built the steam turbine, which has previously only been used on Vista-class ships within Carnival Cruise Lines’ fleet.
Propulsion is diesel-electric and ABB’s Azipod units are used, each absorbing 16.5 MW, bypassing the need for a propeller shaft. “They make it much easier to manoeuvre in bad weather and in windy conditions because using pods means that there is more efficient control,” Mr Lunardi said.
Another benefit is that there is more space inside the ship because the Azipods’ electric motors are not inside the ship.
Three scrubbers are used, with two for the two big engines and one allocated to one of the three smaller engines. They were developed by Ecospray Technologies and there were some challenges to overcome when it came to installing them, Mr Lunardi said. “The design of the scrubber was developed at the same time as the design of the vessel [and] the big challenge was to find a feasible coordination in a very narrow space,” he said.
“The technical solution was fine-tuned but there were a lot of adjustments and we created a dedicated team especially to work with Carnival on the scrubber.”
Particular attention was paid to the advanced wastewater treatment system (supplied by Scanship), which collects and treats grey and black water.
Fancoils and LED lighting are used throughout Carnival Horizon in order to save energy.
Like its sister ship, there is an emphasis on entertainment. To this end, features include an Imax 3D cinema and a brewery with onboard craft beer production. An impressive 63% of cabins are fitted with balconies.
Carnival Horizon particulars
Gross register: 133,500 gt
Length: 323 m
Moulded Breath: 37.20 m
Design draught: 8.25 m
Maximum air draught: 61.75 m
Passenger cabins: 1,987
Crew cabins: 761
Class society: Lloyd’s Register

Main equipment suppliers
Ship coatings
Water fog system
Lifeboats and technical boats
Lifts and escalators
Window washing system
Navalimpianti – Cofri
Public areas – carpet turnkey sub-contractor
Public areas – stairs turnkey sub-contractor
Public areas – atrium and stores turnkey sub-contractor
Public areas – theatre, Lanai deck turnkey sub-contractor
Spencer Contract
Public areas – restaurants and spa turnkey sub-contractor  
Public areas – casinos turnkey sub-contractor
Marine Interiors
Public areas – IMAX cinema turnkey sub-contractor
Tino Sana
Cabins and corridors turnkey sub-contractor
Marine Interiors
Fin stabilisers
Fincantieri DSC
Main diesel engines
MAN Diesel & Turbo
Emergency generator engine
Compagnia Generale Trattori (Caterpillar)
Reverse osmosis desalinator
Case Marine
Propulsion system pod
Storage batteries technical specification
Ship digital communication network
Automation system and TLV
Wärtsilä A.P.S.S.
Radio systems
Telemar (equipment Sailor)
Navigation systems
Wärtsilä A.P.S.S.
Snapshot CV Marco Lunardi
Fincantieri Merchant Ships Business Unit vice president project manager Marco Lunardi is currently managing the construction of Carnival Horizon and Carnival Panorama that are currently being built in Marghera shipyard.
As the project manager, he also worked on the construction and delivery of Carnival Vista, flagship of Carnival Cruise Line, which was built in Monfalcone shipyard. Previously he has worked on Carnival Breeze and on Le Boreal and L’Austral, luxury ships for Ponant, a French cruise ship operator.
He joined Fincantieri in 2000 and, previous to being appointed project manager, he worked as the planner and financial controller and deputy project manager for the building of Carnival Group ships.
Mr Lunardi holds a degree in management engineering from the University of Padova, Italy.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Tried and tested: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Senses pop-up

Tried and tested: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Senses pop-up

Image result for symphony of the seas

by Harry Kemble

“Bizarre”, “outrageous” and “unbelievable” were some of the words spluttered by rather flabbergasted journalists last night after exiting Royal Caribbean’s interactive cruise experience.

I had only been in the room for 30 seconds but already I knew this was going to be no ordinary event.

Billed as the Symphony of the Senses, the experience uses sight, sound, feel, taste and scent to give people a unique preview of the soon-to-be world’s largest ship.

Through clever marketing and a clearly sensational product, Symphony of the Seas’ launch date has been fixed in our diaries for months now.

But on a dreary London night at Victoria House, Royal Caribbean managed to ramp up the excitement levels that little bit more.

The aim of Royal Caribbean’s pop-up, which runs until Saturday, if you want to take a look, is to inspire a new-to-cruise audience.

And they certainly did just that.

Image result for symphony of the seas senses

Mirroring the features that will be on Symphony, we walked through tunnels reminiscent of the Ultimate Abyss slide, tried some Mexican food that you can eat onboard and learned the moves from Hairspray, the musical that will be performed for the ship’s guests – among other surprises.

Even the most ardent cruise-goer would struggle not to smile at the experience’s “perfect synergy”, as Royal Caribbean’s Ben Bouldin put it.

He also said: “As with all our ships, Symphony will push the boundaries of what is possible when holidaying and this event promises to do exactly that… except in London!”

With more than 400 members of the public expected to pass through the Symphony of the Senses event, Royal Caribbean is giving potential passengers a little taster of what they can find onboard Symphony, ahead one of the most eagerly anticipated ship launches in its history.