Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL), the world’s second largest cruise shipping group, has scheduled a conference call for 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, Tuesday, 2 February, to discuss the company's fourth quarter 2015 financial results. Cruise industry analysts' forecast on average that the company would report earnings per share of $4.81 for the full year 2015 compared to a figure of $3.39 achieved in 2014.
VC2 Capital, a leading merchant bank and financial advisory firm focused on small and middle market companies worldwide, today announced the signing of definitive agreements to acquire Haimark Ltd, Haimark Line, Ltd., Haimark S.A., Ltd. and Haimark Affinity Travel, Ltd., collectively known as the “Haimark Companies”.
Based in Denver, CO, the Haimark Companies offer luxury, small ship river and ocean cruises for experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history, featuring onboard cultural enrichment and included shore excursions. Since its inception in 2012, the company has grown to a fleet of 9 river and ocean vessels (in 2016) offering scenic cruising along the rivers of India, Southeast Asia and Peru and its seasonal Cuba and Great Lakes sailings.
Adam Levin, Managing Director of VC2, said: "We are excited about the addition of the Haimark Companies to VC2’s growing portfolio of forward-looking travel investments. The luxury small ship concept is one of the fastest growing segments within the travel sector and will be an integral part of our investment strategy complementing our other travel related investments. We believe the entire team from Haimark, with their entrepreneurial vision, commitment to high customer service and focus on company culture, is a perfect platform for us to build upon.”
VC2 will look to Haimark’s current management, Marcus Leskovar and Hans Rood, to continue to lead the business. They will be a valued addition to VC2’s deep bench of leadership that leads its portfolio of companies.”
In addition to investing internally in expanding the Company's operations, Haimark management will be actively looking for new acquisitions in the luxury travel sector.
"We share VC2s’s excitement in the Haimark acquisition. Their investment, together with their infusion of energy, expertise and capital, assures a positive future for Haimark and our employees, partners and guests," said Hans Rood, President of Haimark. "This transaction and funding allows us to launch our previously announced sailings to Cuba from Miami and to continue our best-in-class travel experience.”
Norwegian Cruise Line has scheduled 19 turnaround calls for the Norwegian Jade in Hamburg from the summer season of 2017 onwards. It will be the first time that a full turnaround service is offered by a North American cruise line in Hamburg. Last October, the company's largest cruise ship, the Norwegian Escape, departed on her maiden voyage from Hamburg after she left Meyer Werft, a shipyard in northern Germany.
"We are very proud that we will now regularly cruise from Hamburg for the first time. With the Norwegian Jade, we bring a very popular ship in the Hanseatic city. Thanks to 17 dining options, an exciting entertainment program, a luxury spa and more the guests will enjoy a relaxed cruise experience," says Christian Böll, Managing Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa with Norwegian Cruise Line. "After the conversion of our product on Premium All Inclusive for the German market, we now set the course for steady growth in the German market."
“We are looking forward to welcoming Norwegian Jade at the Port of Hamburg from 2017 onwards. The decision to have her to depart from Hamburg is a wonderful acknowledgement of our efforts and proves that we, together with the many other parties involved, have succeeded in putting Hamburg on the international cruise map,” says Sacha Rougier, Managing Director of Cruise Gate Hamburg GmbH.
"The aim of establishing the Cruise Gate Hamburg and the related reorganization of the cruise business was to continue the successful development of the cruise business in Hamburg. That NCL focuses on the destination Hamburg, is a sign, at latest now the Port of Hamburg has made a name for itself in the cruise business internationally," says Jens Meier, CEO of the Hamburg Port Authority.
In a small fishing village in the Philippines, a gentle giant of a marine creature has shown the way for how eco-tourism can be a sustainable force of economic and societal change.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and the World Wildlife Fund together on Jan. 25 held up the village of Donsol, which is known for the whale sharks that occupy the waters in its bay, as proof of what can be done when stakeholders in the environment, communities and business work together.
Royal Caribbean and the WWF, the conservation organization, announced a five-year partnership to work toward ensuring the health of the world’s oceans.
The cruise company was spurred to seek a partner in its environmental initiatives after an employee survey revealed that crew across Royal Caribbean’s lines, which include Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara, overwhelmingly chose taking care of the oceans if they could pick just one thing that they wanted the cruise company to make a priority.
“These are important goals,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises. “Our employees expect us to do it.”
The company employees 11,000 Filipino crew members, about 16 percent of all ship employees, and by far the largest nationality.
Donsol has thrived on tourism related to whale shark interactions since the community embraced a 1998 law in the Philippines that outlawed hunting of the world’s largest fish (average size is 25 feet long). Regulations allow visitors to swim with whale sharks, but only in their natural habitat and with supervision of specially trained guides.
WWF has worked with the community to establish its eco-tourism, and Royal Caribbean donated $200,000 to WWF Philippines to advance efforts in Donsol to enhance its conservation program. The money remained from donations raised by Royal Caribbean after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in 2013 and was set aside to dedicate to a long-term relief effort after an initial $1 million from Royal Caribbean and $200,000 donated by passengers and crew went to immediate relief.
Donsol serves as a success story and as an inspiration for the new collaboration between Royal Caribbean and WWF.
The partnership is based on establishing targets. Royal Caribbean benefits from WWF’s expertise and being held accountable to meet specific publicly declared targets that move the needle, Fain says.
Royal Caribbean will donate $5 million to WWF over the five years, and the collaboration will work toward three main targets.
– Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent (from a 2005 baseline) by 2020
– Responsibly source 90 percent of its wild-caught seafood from sustainable fisheries and 75 percent of its farmed seafood in Europe and North America by 2020
– Develop measures and improve selection for destinations with regard to sustainability and responsible tourism
As for that third point, Royal Caribbean and WWF say they will announce new targets by June 30 that will get specific in how they plan to address that destination stewardship.
Additionally, WWF and Royal Caribbean aim to improve awareness and engage passengers about ocean conservation through content provided by WWF. Royal Caribbean Cruises immediately will begin placing WWF magazines in staterooms on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara ships and plans to offer programming on stateroom TVs.
“We want to give passengers tools to use to help them think about the environment,” WWF CEO Carter Roberts said. “The threats facing the ocean are greater than ever – We must take serious steps to repair, restore and protect the oceans.”
NCLH issued a following statement on their decision to cancel all calls in Turkish ports:
"At Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, our primary concern is to ensure the safety and security of our guests and crew. Due to recent events in Turkey, we are suspending all calls to the country through 2016 across all NCLH brands. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and make future itinerary adjustments as appropriate. We have begun the process of informing guests booked on the affected cruises of the itinerary changes and will update the respective brand websites with revised voyage information."