- AmaWaterways confirms passing of Jimmy Murphy, co-founder and travel industry legend
- Welsh actor Rob Brydon to front new advertising campaign for P&O Cruises
- Astor to reposition to Fremantle via Panama
- Costa neoClassica enters service following $28.1 million restyling
- Norwegian unveils details of Norwegian Escape activities and entertainment offerings
- Carnival Corp & plc forecasts 50% rise in current year earnings compared to 2013
- Carnival Corp & plc 2013 financial year net income rises to $1.2 billion
- Fincantieri wins Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line orders
- CBR Odo Commentary – Opening of Cuba to US cruising could have far reaching implications
- US, Cuba restore diplomatic ties, travel restrictions eased, cruise shipping shares gain
- Christine Duffy named President of Carnival Cruise Lines
- RCCL enters partnership deal with Ctrip’s rival
- Published on Friday, 21 November 2014 23:54
- Written by Teijo Niemelä
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Ctrip.com International Ltd. today announced that they have agreed to form a strategic partnership through SkySea Cruises, a joint venture which is designed to serve the Chinese cruise market. Royal Caribbean and Ctrip will each own 35% of the new company, with the balance being owned by SkySea management and a private equity fund. The transaction is expected to close before the end of November.
"We look forward to working with Ctrip, a Chinese travel leader, to build a national cruise line for China," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "SkySea Cruises represents an important strategic milestone in our expansion efforts in the Chinese market."
"Our partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. will allow us to bring the very best cruise vacations tailor-made for Chinese travelers," said Min Fan, chairman and chief executive officer of SkySea Cruises. "We expect SkySea cruises to be an integral part of China's fast growing cruise market."
The new cruise line will begin service in the middle of 2015 and will operate with one ship. The venture anticipates the potential for additional vessels to be added over time. Sales and marketing activities have commenced.
- Published on Friday, 21 November 2014 21:01
- Written by Teijo Niemelä
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced that Majesty of the Seas will transfer from its Royal Caribbean International cruise brand to its Pullmantur brand in 2016. Majesty of the Seas’ last 3-night sailing for Royal Caribbean International will depart on April 29, 2016. She will then enter dry dock before joining the Pullmantur fleet, allowing her to be tailored to fit Pullmantur’s brand standards and offerings.
“Majesty of the Seas has created wonderful memories for millions of guests, and we expect this record of success to continue as she transitions to Pullmantur,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “The vessel’s transfer is an excellent business opportunity for both Royal Caribbean and Pullmantur. We are fortunate that our mix of brands allows us the flexibility and opportunity to expand in key strategic markets.”
With the addition of Majesty of the Seas, Pullmantur’s total guest capacity will increase by more than 20 percent.
‘‘The transfer of Majesty of the Seas will play an important role in Pullmantur’s Latin American growth strategy, and helps us become one of the most widely recognized brands in that market,’’ said Pullmantur’s president and chief executive officer, Jorge Vilches. “The additional capacity will help us meet the rising demand for Pullmantur’s distinctive Latin-style cruise holidays.”
Majesty of the Seas was built at Chantiers de L’Atlantique (now STX France) in St. Nazaire, France and sailed its maiden voyage on April 26, 1992. The 74,077-ton ship carries 2,350 guests (double occupancy) and 912 crew. Most recently, Majesty of the Seas was sailing year-round three- and four-night cruises from Miami, often visiting Royal Caribbean's private island of CocoCay, Bahamas. While Majesty of the Seas caters to all types of cruise passengers, she is known for her first-time cruisers, offering newcomers the opportunity to get a feel of the cruising experience. Following the transition, all three Sovereign class ships - Sovereign, Monarch, and Majesty - will be operated by Pullmantur Cruises.
Over the past 40 years, Pullmantur has built a position as the leader in the Spanish cruise market. Since 2006 it has belonged to U.S.based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Currently, Pullmantur’s fleet of five ships has a daily capacity of more than 11,000 passengers. Since 2013, it has promoted a strategic growth plan in the Latin American cruise market, where more than half of its business is located.
- Published on Friday, 21 November 2014 20:33
- Written by Teijo Niemelä
Holland America Line announced today that effective Dec. 1 Orlando Ashford will join the company as president to lead the cruise line's brand and business, including its fleet of 15 premium vessels carrying approximately 850,000 guests annually to all seven continents. Ashford joins the company from Mercer, the global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments, where he was president of the Talent Business Segment.
“We are fortunate to have Orlando join our team, bringing with him a career's worth of global experience leading high-performance teams that helped innovate some of the most respected and well-known companies in the world,” said Stein Kruse, chief executive officer, Holland America Group. “I am confident that Orlando’s leadership will enable Holland America Line to build on its uncompromising Signature of Excellence commitment to deliver a superior guest experience that will continue generating rave reviews from our guests, travel professionals and the industry alike.”
“Holland America Line is a remarkable and highly respected company that delivers exceptional experiences and indelible memories of joy and adventure to their guests,” said Ashford, newly appointed president of Holland America Line. “It’s a noble mission, and I am eager to get to work with this talented group of service-minded employees to unleash new ideas while building on the success of this thriving global business.”
Ashford will oversee Holland America Line’s sales and marketing, revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, public relations, hotel operations and strategy. He will report to Holland America Group CEO Kruse and will be part of the Group’s executive leadership team alongside brand leaders Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises; Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn and president of Cunard North America; and Ann Sherry AO, chief executive officer, Carnival Australia. Ashford will relocate to the Holland America Line headquarters office in Seattle.
Prior to his role at Mercer, Ashford served as senior vice president, chief human resources and communications officer of Mercer's parent company, Marsh & McLennan Companies. He also has held several other leadership roles during the course of his career, including group director of human resources for 90 countries in Eurasia and Africa for the Coca-Cola Company and vice president Corporate Center human resources and cultural transformation. Previously he was vice president of global human resources strategy and organizational development for Motorola, Inc. where he helped modernize the human resources function for the global tech leader.
Ashford’s recently published book, Talentism, addresses the global disconnect between available jobs – more than one-third of employers worldwide cannot fill all available jobs – and the estimated 202 million eligible workers who are unemployed worldwide. Ashford examines how technology and human networks can help bridge the skills gap, improve business performance, and lead to the betterment of society at large.
Ashford is on the Board of Directors for a global manufacturing company ITT Corporation. He is among the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) 2013 and 2014 “Directorship 100,” and has been honored as a Purdue University School of Technology Distinguished Alumnus. An active community supporter, he is on the Board of Directors for the Executive Leadership Council, the preeminent membership organization for the development of global black leaders, and for Streetwise Partners, an organization that brings together low-income individuals and volunteer business professionals to develop workplace skills and employment networks. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership and Industrial Technology from Purdue University.
- Published on Friday, 21 November 2014 20:28
- Written by Teijo Niemelä
This year’s UBM Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific made its Hong Kong debut on the 20th and 21st of November. Cruise Business Review was again present at this well attended pan-Asian event, which was held in Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. Alan Lam reports.
In a tumultuous excitement over the bourgeoning Chinese-led Asian cruise boom, the conference focused on the multifarious operating environment in Asia and called for lowering of barriers for further accelerated growth in the region, while recognising the progress already made by many local and national authorities in this respect. Aside from the unprecedented growth, the like of which has never been witnessed in the entire history of cruising, the industry has identified and acknowledged a number of challenges facing the sector in Asia.
Weak infrastructure, artificial obstacles, under-developed distribution networks, difficult itinerary planning and adverse weather conditions were among the issues listed as roadblocks for the industry moving forward.
In all the recent cruise industry gatherings around the world, China has been repeatedly mentioned as the emerging epicenter of cruise tourism. On this occasion the conference attempted to address the importance of the cruise business in the entire Asia Pacific region, including the Indian subcontinent, and its implications to the global economy.
While countries such as China, Singapore, Australia and South Korea are steaming ahead, others like Thailand, Indonesia, India and Vietnam are unwilling to be left too far behind. There are conspicuous signs and tangible development in most of these territories in terms of legislative changes and infrastructure upgrades in their efforts to impel cruise business growth.
A full, insightful report of this event will be published in the next issue of Cruise Business Review.
- Published on Friday, 21 November 2014 10:41
- Written by Kari Reinikainen
Fincantieri, the Italian shipbuilding group, says an agreement signed with China State Shipbuilding Group (CSSC) and Carnival Corp & plc, the Anglo-American cruise shipping company, aim at starting cruise ship building in China.
"More particularly, Fincantieri would work with CSSC to develop cruise ships production capacity in China. Indeed, based on its experience as one of the world’s largest shipyards, Fincantieri would provide specialised services and components to support CSSC’s shipyards," Fincantieri said in a statement.
On its part, Carnival would work closely with CSSC and Fincantieri and contribute its expertise to create the vision, definition, and specifications for the China-built cruise ships.
The Chinese Ministry of Transport (MOT) projects China to be the second largest global cruise market after the U.S. in the next several years based on economic growth, increased spending power of Chinese consumers and growing demand for cruise vacations. China could see 4.5 million cruise passengers by 2020, according to the MOT, and is expected to eventually become the world’s largest cruise market.
Potential partnerships like the ones being explored between Fincantieri, Carnival and CSSC are aimed at supporting the MOT's pro-growth cruise policies and the rise of overall tourism in China.
“Building on our groundbreaking MOU signed with CSSC last month, this new agreement with Fincantieri gives us the opportunity to work with our longtime partner to further explore a formal joint venture that could forever change the landscape of shipbuilding in China” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc.
"After working diligently to get a deep understanding of China’s aggressive cruise ambitions, we’re collaborating with two of the world’s top shipbuilders in Fincantieri and CSSC to establish a framework for a world-class Chinese shipbuilding venture designed to help accelerate growth and demand for cruising in China in the years to come”.
Fincantieri’s CEO, Giuseppe Bono, said: “This agreement with Carnival, to which we are bound by a consolidated partnership, and with CSSC testifies our determination in pursuing a strategy that increasingly establishes Fincantieri as a global and reference player in the sector, with strong presence in all the markets that can ensure a future in our business."
"Indeed, new international scenarios are emerging, and with them new challenges arise in addition to existing ones and we are glad to contribute together with Carnival to develop the cruise shipbuilding capacity in China for the Chinese market. For this reason, our commitment must be ever-stronger in order to enable us to take advantage of such opportunities and continue to be an example of Italian style in the world."
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