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Virgin renames cruise company Virgin Voyages

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

The nascent cruise shipping unit of Sir Richard Branson’s business empire will be called Virgin Voyages rather than Virgin Cruises as first intended, the company says on its relaunched website.

Construction of the first of three ships the company has contracted at Fincantieri in Genoa will start early next year and the keel will be laid in the final quarter of 2017.

The company has said earlier the ships would be of 110,000 gross tons each. virgin Voyages is based in Miami and it has investors from the Us and the Gulf in addition to the UK.

Caterpillar to supply main engines, LNG supply and handling systems to four Carnival group newbuildings at Meyer yards

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

The selection of Caterpillar Marine dual fuel engines for a new generation of cruise ships provides further evidence of the power solutions specialist’s lead in the LNG marine propulsion space.

The company’s MaK 16 M 46 DF dual fuel engines, along with the full LNG supply and handling system, are to be installed on four new ships, two apiece under construction at Meyer Werft Papenburg (Germany) and Meyer Turku (Finland) shipyards.

Caterpillar Marine now offers all round LNG propulsion solutions – from shore-side bunkering to on-board storage; from bunker tanks via LNG handling and treatment to the dual fuel engines including automation systems; and ultimately the dual fuel main engines MaK 16 M 46 DF, in close cooperation with LNG and cryogenic specialist Marine Service GmbH.

“From a single source, we provide the complete system for ship operators who wish to capitalise on the benefits of LNG as a marine fuel,” said Ulf Hannemann, Caterpillar Marine cruise and ferry segment manager. “We have successfully completed a number of diesel to dual-fuel conversions in the commercial shipping sector and our pipeline of newbuild installations continues to grow.”

“However, it is in the cruise sector that we see the greatest opportunities,” Hannemann continued. “Clean fuel for cruise vessels is essential in both operational and business strategy terms.”

Further, the company is pioneering new techniques which make gas-only operation even more attractive. Research and development at Caterpillar’s Rostock facility has demonstrated the efficient operation of LNG main engines at loads of less than 20% for the first time. Caterpillar demonstrated the capabilities of the MaK M 46 DF engine and started the engine by using LNG from the very beginning, thus avoiding diesel engine specific emissions – another first for the company. “This development is a key consideration for cruise operators who wish to use LNG, rather than risk smoke from the funnel or soot on deck, whilst starting main engines and maneuvering in port waters,” noted Dr Frank Starke, Managing Director of Caterpillar Motoren.

The Caterpillar engines offer a whole range of technical innovations including fast load response, better fuel consumption and long intervals between overhauls. They will use the latest generation of the Cat® Engine Control Units (ECU), which in conjunction with in-house software, enabling customer operation profile-specific optimisation. Caterpillar is also providing its Asset Intelligence (AI) technology and service, which leverages remote monitoring, automated data analytics and expert advisory services to ensure the highest uptime and lowest operating cost.

 Caterpillar’s sales and service partner Zeppelin Power Systems, headquartered in Hamburg, is managing the project, including supply, commissioning and service. “As a trusted Caterpillar sales and servicer partner for over 60 years with extensive experience in power solutions, we offer our customers individual and highly efficient solutions for marine applications,” added Volker Possoegel, Zeppelin Power Systems chief executive officer. “With our excellent sales and service organization, we are looking forward to providing the new flagships with comprehensive engineering and service competence to ensure the highest uptime.”

Norwegian Cruise Line to deploy largest-ever ship to Alaska trade

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Norwegian Cruise Line will once again pioneer a new era of Alaska cruising beginning June 2018, as the company announced today that its next new vessel, named Norwegian Bliss, will be the first cruise ship custom-built with features and amenities for the ultimate Alaska cruise experience. Norwegian Bliss will cruise to America’s Last Frontier from Seattle and will be the first Norwegian Cruise Line ship to make its debut in the Emerald City.

At a ceremony held at Port of Seattle’s Pier 66, Norwegian President and CEO Andy Stuart shared the exciting news, alongside Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick and Port of Seattle Commission President John Creighton.

“Norwegian was the first cruise line to begin cruising to Alaska from Seattle in 2000 and it’s only fitting that we bring our newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, directly to this incredible location,” said Andy Stuart, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Alaska is one of the top destinations for our guests to explore and we are thrilled to be the first cruise line to offer our guests the opportunity to experience this coveted destination aboard a brand new, state-of-the-art cruise ship custom designed for Alaska, the first of its kind to ever debut in Seattle.”

The third ship in the line’s Breakaway-Plus class, Norwegian Bliss is designed with features and amenities to offer guests the ultimate Alaska cruising experience. At approximately 167,800 gross tons and accommodating 4,000 guests, the ship will be constructed at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany and scheduled for delivery in Spring 2018.

After a transatlantic cruise and a Panama Canal transit through the new locks, the ship will sail north along the West Coast, reaching Seattle for the start of the summer cruising season. Norwegian Bliss will sail weekly seven-day Alaska cruises each Saturday from Pier 66 in Seattle, offering guests the premier way to see America’s last frontier, while also providing all of the innovative features, entertainment, signature dining and onboard experiences that Norwegian Cruise Line is known for around the globe. The ship’s itinerary will feature calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, British Columbia, along with scenic glacier cruising.

Continuing Norwegian’s tradition of decorating each ship’s hull with signature art, Norwegian has also announced that the world’s premier marine life artist, Wyland, has been commissioned to design the hull artwork for Norwegian Bliss. Known for his iconic whale murals, marine life paintings and sculptures, Wyland has inspired generations to be passionate about the importance of marine life conservation. The enormous extent of Wyland’s public artworks, his award-winning art galleries and his non-profit foundation’s community service projects have made him one of the world’s most recognized and beloved artists. His engaging and beautiful design for Norwegian Bliss’ hull art will be revealed later this month.

To further enhance the overall guest experience for cruisers from Seattle, Norwegian’s parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, has entered into a groundbreaking 15-year agreement with the Port of Seattle to collectively invest $30 million to upgrade the Pier 66 facilities. From expanding the guest check-in space by 300% to more than 150,000 square feet to a new VIP lounge with expansive views of Elliott Bay and the addition of two new elevated passenger boarding bridges to provide easy and comfortable passenger boarding, the new amenities will provide guests with the perfect send-off to start their Alaskan adventure.

“The Port of Seattle is proud to partner with Norwegian Cruise Line as we work to bring people from around the world to see the great Pacific Northwest from Seattle to Alaska,” said Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick. “Our long relationship together is evident in this historic and unprecedented 15-year lease here at Pier 66.”

Norwegian Bliss will feature amenities and interactive experiences that will excite and inspire, and more details on the ship’s accommodations, dining and onboard offerings will be shared in the coming months. The ship will be available for reservations in January 2017.

Genting Hong Kong takes delivery of Genting Dream from Meyer Werft

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Genting Hong Kong, a leading global leisure, entertainment and hospitality company, commemorated the official handover of Genting Dream, the newly constructed ship for Dream Cruises, on October 12, 2016 during a special event in Bremerhaven, Germany. Shipbuilder Meyer Werft delivered Genting Dream to Dream Cruises with the traditional Changing of the Flag ceremony where the Meyer Werft and German flags were lowered, and the flags for Dream Cruises and the Bahamas were raised to signify the official transfer of the ship to Dream Cruises.

The launch of Dream Cruises marks the latest chapter in Genting Hong Kong’s history – a culmination of 20-plus years’ of Asian cruise industry experience combined with the company’s internationally-acclaimed luxury cruise expertise and long heritage of award-winning service and hospitality .

Dream Cruises was designed as the first-ever Asian luxury cruise line and caters specifically to the large and rapidly growing high-end market in China and Asia. The new brand aims to be a pacesetter in the cruise industry in the region, meeting the needs of the ‘emerging generation’ of confident, independently-minded and affluent Asian travellers and will offer its guests inspirational luxury, which is Asian at heart and international in spirit.

With the completion of the official handover ceremony from Meyer Werft to Dream Cruises, Genting Dream, the first ship of the fleet, will begin her epic ocean voyage that will take her from Germany to Gibraltar, through the Mediterranean Sea and the Suez Canal, across the Indian Ocean with visits to India, Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong before ending at her new homeport in Guangzhou (Nansha), China on November 13, 2016.

Genting Dream will provide passengers with the highest levels of service and spacious comfort in the region and boasting a crew of over 2,000 - the majority of whom speak Chinese. Accommodations on board Genting Dream will reflect both size and choice for travellers with over 70 per cent of staterooms featuring private balconies and over 100 connecting rooms catering to extended families and groups. Two floors of lavish suites in the exclusive Dream Palace will feature European butler service and special guest privileges.

Genting Dream will be featured in the November/December issue of Cruise Business Review.

Damen unveils 115 passenger capacity expedition cruise vessel design

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Damen Shipyards Group, the privately owned Dutch shipbuilder, has unveiled its Expedition Cruise Vessel design that can accommodate 115 passengers. This follows the introduction of SeaXploer, an expedition yacht design in the autumn of last year.

“The result of a partnership unique in the industry, the vessel benefits from unparalleled collective experience. With Damen taking the lead, the design also draws on the skills and expertise of two additional parties: Expedition Voyage Consultants Ltd and the Danish Naval Architect firm, Knud E. Hansen,” DAmen said in a statement

For the propulsion system, Damen has selected a diesel-mechanical hybrid configuration. More specifically, this will encompass IMO Tier III compliant (EPA tier 4 equivalent) medium speed engines. A PTI-PTO variable frequency drive will also be included, thus enabling efficient load distribution on the engines.

Designed to be ‘battery ready’, the vessel could be equipped with an energy storage battery system capable of various functions such as peak- shaving, provision of supplementary power for manoeuvring or silent sailing operations and auxiliary generator UPS.

“This hybrid propulsion technology is the most fuel efficient option available,” said Damen Product Director Henk Grunstra, referring to the vessel’s 16 knot service speed and 18 knot maximum speed. “In combination with the hull design and the effective use of electricity on board, we are expecting to reach fuel consumption and CO2 reductions of at least 20%.”

From the outset of this project, Damen has collaborated with Expedition Voyage Consultants; an established and trusted name in the expedition cruise business known for their innovative approach to expedition management. Their wealth of practical expedition experience (with their team having led well over 500 expeditions) was instrumental in creating a fit-for-purpose vessel with safe and efficient operations embedded into its design.

“Bringing Knud E. Hansen onto the project team allowed us to benefit from their vast collective expertise in designing passenger ships- including the first ever expedition cruise ship. By combining Knud E Hansen’s portfolio including designs for more than 700 cruise vessels and the 6,000-plus ships that Damen has built over the years, you have quite a team at your disposal,” Grunstra said.

The Damen Expedition Cruise Vessel has been designed for expedition operations in both remote polar and tropical regions. “The vessel’s Polar Class 6 compliance and 30 days autonomous cruising capability ensure she is globally capable and able to tackle challenging, far-reaching itineraries,” highlights Grunstra. “Furthermore, the vessel’s design is prepared to comply with SOLAS’ Safe Return to Port requirements.”

Because the capabilities of an expedition ship directly impact the quality of experience its passengers have, Damen concentrated not just on the onboard comforts but also the onboard logistics. This was furthered with the significant practical input from Expedition Voyage Consultants. “Passengers will be able to see that this vessel was not only designed for the expedition industry, but also by the expedition industry.”

A core philosophy of the design was to connect its passengers to the pristine environments in which the vessel will sail. Whether sailing adjacent to remote Pacific atolls or sliding past towering Antarctic icebergs, passengers will take in the views on multiple viewing platforms that extend over the side or past the bow, providing the most spectacular vantage point of any expedition ship. Perched on the ship’s mast, a specially developed crow’s nest will aide visibility during ice navigation as well as give passengers a panoramic view over the surrounding landscape.

 

“With approximately 1,100 sqm of public space and 2,500 sqm of outside deck, there will be sufficient space for 115 passengers and a +200 pax design will be developed soon,” Damen said.

CBR 2/2016 CONTENTS

CBR 1/2016 contents

CBR 3/2015 contents