- Britannia to feature largest spa in P&O Cruises’ fleet
- Viking Line suffers sharp weakening of second quarter and first half interims
- Lloyd Werft appoints Petersjohann to head engineering and offshore
- Rolls-Royce completes Power Systems acquisition
- Carnival Cruise Lines honors top travel agencies with 'Excellence Awards'
- Quantum class ships to float on bed of air bubbles, waste glass etc. frozen to prevent bacteria growth
- Quantum class Two70 windows to become video screens, Bionic bar robots mix drinks
- Quantum to offer six times faster Internet than other cruise ships, allows streaming video, use of Facetime, Skype
- Quantum of the Seas to introduce robotic entertainment, eliminates check in counter in host of high tech firsts at sea
- Cruise Business Commentary - Persistent perception problem highlights inadequacy of supply driven business model
- UK cruise sector “under pressure to fill capacity” unless conceptions change - report
- Tallink issues profit warning after sharp deterioration in second quarter and first half results
- Published on Monday, 14 July 2014 16:49
- Written by Teijo Niemelä
Norwegian Cruise Line has reached an agreement with Meyer Werft GmbH of Germany to build two new Breakaway-Plus class cruise ships for delivery in the second quarter 2018 and the fourth quarter 2019. Each ship will be 164,600 gross tons and include 4,200 passenger berths.
"Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway have proven themselves as industry game-changers and are extremely popular with our guests," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. "It was only natural that we build on their success with this new ship order that further solidifies our long-term growth strategy."
The contract price for both ships is approximately 1.6 billion euros. The Company has export credit financing in place for each ship, arranged and underwritten by KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH of Germany.
"We are thrilled that Norwegian Cruise Line has the continued confidence in Meyer Werft to expand their fleet," said Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft. "We are very proud of our longstanding relationship with Norwegian."
Norwegian Cruise Line pioneered the concept of Freestyle Cruising which offers guests the freedom and flexibility to enjoy their cruise vacation on their own terms, including multiple dining venues, relaxed attire, a variety of accommodations and world-class entertainment. The Company took Freestyle Cruising to the next level with the introduction of Norwegian Epic in June 2010 and subsequently launched two game-changing vessels, Norwegian Breakaway based in New York in May 2013 and Norwegian Getaway homeported in Miami in February 2014. These ships incorporate groundbreaking design, including The Waterfront and 678 Ocean Place, a wide range of indoor and outdoor venues on three dynamic decks that create a whole new complex at sea and connect guests with the ocean.
- Published on Thursday, 10 July 2014 12:01
- Written by Teijo Niemelä
The Port of New Orleans and Carnival Cruise Lines signed a new agreement that will keep the world’s largest cruise line sailing at least two ships year-round from New Orleans through 2019.
The new agreement supersedes a 2013 three-year extension and offers three one-year options that could guarantee Carnival homeports at least two ships of equal or greater size than the Dream Class and Fantasy Class ships sailing from the Port today through 2022. The new agreement began July 1, 2014.
This is a clear demonstration of Carnival’s belief in New Orleans as one of its top home ports,” said Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange. “We look forward to helping Carnival grow its business in the Crescent City for the long-term.”
“Carnival is excited to continue our outstanding relationship with the Port of New Orleans,” said Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines. “We greatly value the professionalism of our partners at the port, the ease of operating from New Orleans and the tremendous support we receive from the local community and our valued travel agent partners. Our guests – particularly those from Louisiana - love cruising from the Crescent City and we look forward to continuing our New Orleans program for many years to come.”
“Taking a cruise from New Orleans means a vacation both here and abroad,” said Mark Romig, President and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, the city’s official leisure travel promotion agency. “Carnival Cruise Lines has been a great partner and the leisure travelers they bring enjoy two vacations as a result.”
Carnival currently has two home-ported cruise ships sailing year-round from the Port’s Erato Street Cruise Terminal which was recently renovated to accommodate the 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream. The Carnival Dream launched seven-day itineraries April 14 from New Orleans with eastern and western Caribbean cruises. The Carnival Dream joined the Carnival Elation, which sails four- and five-day cruises to Mexico. Together, these two ships carry more than 400,000 passengers annually from New Orleans – the most of any cruise line.
A study by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) found that spending by Carnival and other cruise operators in Louisiana tops $399 million, generating 7,548 jobs and $294 million in personal income. CLIA also ranked New Orleans the sixth largest cruise port in the U.S.
- Published on Wednesday, 02 July 2014 16:56
- Written by Kari Reinikainen
MSC Cruises, the Geneva based cruise shipping company, says it has unveiled a new programme that will revolutionise the way it does business with travel agents in the UK as it plans to treble the number of passengers to 200,000 from the country by 2017.
The ‘Serving You’ initiative covers a whole host of trade-friendly measures designed to increase awareness of the cruise line, make it easier to work with and boost sales.
"The comprehensive package covers all areas of MSC Cruises’ relationship with retailers – including commission and marketing payments, improved account management, increased on-the-road sales support, clearer and better targeted promotional campaigns and new group and net-rate schemes," the company said in a statement.
MSC Cruises has also outlined details of comprehensive technological upgrades, including the launch of its new ‘MSC Book’ sales platform for agents, an updated fun and interactive online training programme and a high-tech telephone system at its UK call centre to reduce waiting time.
MSC Cruises executive director UK and Ireland Giles Hawke said “Our aim is to reach 200,000 UK passengers by 2017 – more than trebling our current level of business. We can only do that by engaging with agents and putting them at the heart of what we do. Our ‘Serving You’ programme represents a huge investment. There will be a bigger sales team managing our relationships to bring our brand closer to agents and give them all the help they need to sell. The focus is on developing stronger and deeper ties with the trade, and we have looked at every area of our business to do this. We have made no secret of our desire to become a significant player in the UK cruise market – ‘Serving You’ signals our intent to make the trade our top priority."
Details of the ‘Serving You’ scheme were unveiled today at the inaugural meeting of MSC Cruises’ newly formed Travel Agent Advisory Board, which is made up of representatives from its key agent partners. Much of the groundwork was done from feedback received from agents at an informal meeting earlier in the year. The Travel Agent Advisory Board will meet up to four times a year as part of MSC Cruises’ efforts to strengthen its relationship with the trade.
The investment in ‘Serving You’ comes hot on the heels of MSC Cruises’ recently announced expansion. With four megaships on order, scheduled for delivery between 2017 and 2019, plus options for three more, MSC Cruises is investing more than any other cruise line in its hardware– a staggering €2.8 billion of confirmed orders, potentially rising to €5 billion.
Meanwhile, the ‘Renaissance Programme’ to lengthen and improve the four Lirica-class vessels begins in August. This will see another €200 million invested.
The MSC Cruises ‘Serving You’ programme in full
- For 2015 the MSC Cruises sales force in the UK and Ireland will DOUBLE in size
- A 20-strong field sales team – MSC Ambassadors – will be deployed across the country to support key sales periods and campaigns
- A restructured sales operation will ensure each sales channel has its own specialist team – maximising returns for agents of all sizes
- MSC Cruises will share certain booking and sales data with key accounts, allowing agents to see how customers holiday and allow them to focus their marketing efforts
- MSC Cruises rolls out its customised onboard experiences onboard from November, giving agent a sales option for all potential clients. With Bella, Fantastica, Aurea and MSC Yacht Club Experiences, there will be an MSC cruise to satisfy all budgets and customer types
- MSC Cruises will support efforts to drive early bookings with a clearer promotional campaign structure. Best deals and upgrades will always be available for early bookers, making pricing easy to explain to customers
- Tailored commission payments and targeted marketing funds that meet the needs of all business models
- Rewards for generating growth
- Commission on MSC’s shore excursions
New Flights Programme
- Dedicated charters from 2015, serving six Mediterranean ships from Genoa and Venice
- Dynamic packaging flight system using GDS airlines to make MSC Cruises easier to sell
Investment in technology
- Huge infrastructure improvements including the new and bespoke B2B booking system, MSC Book. The system is also a marketing resource, with downloadable collateral including adverts, flyers, images and video
- Improved UK call centre telephone system sees calls routed to the relevant expert automatically
- New e-learning programme, MSC Expert
- Greater emphasis on MSC Cruises position as market leader in the Mediterranean – highlighting wide range of destinations, embarkation ports, itinerary choice and durations
- Secured space and lowest prices in return for commitment from retailers
- New Net Rates partnerships available for 2015
- Published on Monday, 30 June 2014 14:35
- Written by Kari Reinikainen
Joseph L. Meyer Werft, the German shipbuilder that is a leading builder of cruise liners, and the Finnish government have made progress in talks to jointly acquire the STX Finland shipyard in Turku from its Korean owner, while Cruise Business understands Meyer is about to win an order for two very large ships from Norwegian Cruise Line.
"The buyer consortium has reached a preliminary understanding with the Korean seller about the principal terms of the acquisition. A number of questions, however, still remain open and these will have to be solved, including agreements with other stakeholders," Ministry of Employment and the Economy said in a statement. The shipyard in currently owned by STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, the South Korean company that put most of its overseas assets up for sale in late 2012.
"It is our mutual objective to make such progress in the matter by the end of next week so that further information could be provided then," the ministry said. The Finnish government plans to take a minority stake in STX Finland, which has a shipyard in Turku.
Cruise Business understands that Norwegian Cruise Line is close to placing an order for two 200,000 gross ton ships at Meyer Werft, which would be too large to be built at its yard in Papenburg in Germany. However, they could be built at the shipyard in Turku, which also built the first two 226,000 gross ton Oasis class ships of Royal Caribbean International, the contemporary market unit of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL).
The German shipbuilder is also understood to be in talks for further two 150,000 gross ton ships for Star Cruises.
Fincantieri prices IPO at floor of €0.78 per share, government investment company not selling shares
- Published on Monday, 30 June 2014 10:48
- Written by Kari Reinikainen
Fincantieri, the Italian state controlled shipbuilder, has placed its initial public offering (IPO) at €0.78 per share, the floor of the €0.78 to €1.00 range it had indicated earlier. The company will only offer 450 million shares out of a maximum of 703.9 million that it had planned to sell.
“Fintecna S.p.A., in its capacity as Selling Shareholder, will not sell any Shares in the Global Offering. An Overallotment option for 50,000,000 Shares will be granted by Fintecna S.p.A,” Fincantieri said.
Fintecna is a holding company that belongs to Cassa depositi e prestiti, an Italian investment company in which the government has a 80.1% stake.
Trading in the shares of Fincantieri will start on 3 July.
Ports & Destinations
- High New Zealand costs challenging cruise lines
- Cunard's Queen Victoria makes maiden call at St Raphael on the Cote d'Azur
- Trasmediterranea to provide port handling services in Balearic Islands
- Mein Schiff 3 will inaugurate the lengthened pier in La Gomera
- Construction of Hamburg's third cruise terminal commences
- STX France begins construction on world's largest cruise ship
- Crystal creates visual magic with water for the AquaTheater on the Oasis and Allure
- Allure of the Seas features 3D digital cinema engineered by FUNA
- Allure of the Seas sails with KONE people flow solutions
- Starbucks and Royal Caribbean to offer first ever Starbucks at sea on Allure of the Seas
Products & services
Air & Sea
- Finnair reveals cabin design for next-generation Airbus A350 XWB aircraft
- Etihad's Alitalia deal to strengthen Rome and Milan hubs
- Delta announces new service from Amsterdam to Salt Lake City
- Etihad to add six new destinations during the first half of 2015
- Enhanced security measures at certain airports for U.S. bound flights