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Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Gerry Cahill to retire

Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, announced today that he is retiring, effective November 30, after 20 years of service.

Cahill, 63, has been CEO of Carnival Corporation’s largest cruise brand since 2007, growing the cruise line to 24 ships – the largest in the company’s fleet -- during his tenure.

“Gerry has been instrumental in taking Carnival Cruise Lines to new heights as one of the preeminent brands in the cruise industry,” said Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise company. “He and his team have delivered new innovations to cruising while growing the business year after year.”

During his tenure as CEO, Cahill and his team launched four new ships and introduced a new class of ships, the Dream class, which included the Carnival Dream, one of the largest ships in the company’s fleet, as well as Carnival Magic and Carnival Breeze with its many new branded spaces and experiences.  

Cahill and his team also oversaw the delivery of new cruising features such as the innovative Fun Ship 2.0 ship enhancements and Carnival LIVE concert series, a first in the cruise industry, as well the Carnival Seuss at Sea program, an exclusive partnership that brought the beloved Dr. Seuss children’s brand and characters to its ships. He and his team also developed partnerships with major brands to offer passengers popular on-board features, such as celebrity chef Guy Fieri for Guy’s Burger Joint and comedian and TV personality George Lopez for The Punchliner Comedy Club.

"I can’t thank Gerry enough for his tireless efforts both as CFO of Carnival Corporation and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines,” said Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc. "While we would always feel his retiring is premature, we understand and support his decision. His leadership and passion, along with his honest and frank views will be missed, and we will always have a deep appreciation for Gerry’s tremendous contributions to Carnival Corporation.”

No replacement for Cahill is being named at this point. Cahill has agreed to stay on in an advisory capacity for an unspecified time to provide advice and counsel to the leadership team through the transition period.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to lead Carnival Cruise Lines for the past seven years and to work for this great company for 20 years,” said Cahill. "Deciding when to retire is not easy, especially when you love what you do. I feel the time is good for me personally and the company and brand are in a good place. Our employees are the finest, most dedicated people I know, and the thing I will miss most in my retirement is the opportunity to come to the office each day and work with such talented individuals.”

Cahill joined Carnival Corporation in 1994 as vice president – finance, and in January 1998 was promoted to senior vice president – finance and chief financial officer.

Before joining Carnival, Cahill spent six years with Safecard Services, Inc., a NYSE-listed company, where he served first as chief financial officer and then as chief operating officer. From 1979 to 1988, Cahill held financial posts at Resorts International, Inc., and prior to that spent six years with Price Waterhouse.

Cahill graduated from the University of Miami, earning his B.B.A. degree in 1973.

Norwegian posts strong rise in third quarter and nine month profit

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the Nasdaq listed cruise shipping group, has posted a strong increase in net profit for both the third quarter and first nine months of the year and it is on track to achieve its 2014 growth target.

In the third quarter, net profit rose to $201.0 million from $170.8 million, while revenues rose to $907.0 million from $797.0 million.

For the January-September period, the company reported a rise in net profit to $363.9 million from $65.2 million in the same period last year, when financial items had depressed the bottom line. Revenues rose to $2.34 billion from $1.96 billion, the company said in a statement.

"Our results this quarter mark an important milestone in Norwegian's evolution as we report growth in trailing twelve month Adjusted EBITDA for the 25th consecutive quarter coupled with our consistent margin improvement," said Kevin Sheehan, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

"In that more than six year period, Norwegian's Adjusted EBITDA has grown at an industry-leading compound annual growth rate of 23% with a commensurate margin expansion of over 1,600 basis points to 27.6%, with future expansion expected as we continue to successfully execute on our strategies," continued Sheehan.

In addition to the results for the third quarter, the company also provided the following guidance for the fourth quarter and full year 2014, along with accompanying sensitivities. This guidance excludes the impacts from the acquisition of Prestige Cruises which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014.

"We are confident that we will achieve our target of over 60% growth in full year Adjusted EPS that we established at the beginning of the year. This achievement will once again demonstrate our resilience and ability to deliver consistent financial performance despite the external headwinds that occurred throughout the year," said Sheehan.

Two Hurtigruten directors, fund to bid NOK2.94 billion for company

An investment fund and two directors of Hurtigruten ASA, the listed company that operates the Norwegian coastal express ferry service between Bergen and Kirkenes plus expedition cruises, plan to bid NOK2.94 billion for all the shares in the company.

“Hurtigruten ASA today announced that it has entered into a transaction agreement with Silk Bidco AS, a joint venture vehicle indirectly owned by Home Capital AS, a company controlled by member of the board of directors of the Company Petter A. Stordalen, Periscopus AS, a company controlled by Chairman of the board of directors of the Company, Trygve Hegnar, and investment funds managed by TDR Capital LLP whereby Silk Bidco will make a voluntary offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Hurtigruten for NOK 7.00 per share  valuing the total share capital of Hurtigruten at about NOK 2,940 million, Hurtigruten said in a statement.

The offer price of NOK 7.00 per share represents a premium of 55.9% to the last traded price forHurtigruten on 28 October 2014.

Daniel Skjeldam, Chief Executive Officer of Hurtigruten, said: "This offer represents an exciting new chapter for Hurtigruten, our guests, staff and partners. Under the new ownership proposal, the company would benefit from experienced investment partners, whose dedication, track record and supportive long term approach would provide strong support to reach the company's full potential and long term ambitions."

MS “Deutschland” mbH enters voluntary administration

The management of MS "Deutschland" mbH has today made ​​the request for the opening of voluntary administration proceedings in accordance with German Insolvency Act to the local court Eutin, said Peter Deilmann Reederei, which operates its Deutschland cruise liner.

The restructuring in administration is headed by Günther Wolfram, Managing Director of One Square Advisors GmbH, which was appointed by the majority shareholder Callista Private Equity for this purpose as Chief Restructuring Officer, Deilmann said in a statement.

Mr. Gunther is a recognised restructuring expert and has extensive experience in corporate restructuring and the restructuring of bonds and is thus ideally suited to promote the restructuring of the company as soon as possible.

The upcoming dry docking of Deutschland, the 22,496 gross ton ship of the company, will be carried out as planned. “In addition, the circumferential continuation of the business will be sought and a new financing concept will be deveoped.”

"We had to introduce a new restructuring phase. But I am very optimistic about securing the long term future of Deutschland. We will now clean up the capital structure. One of my first major tasks will be to secure funding for the shipyard visit, so our ship can still go on a world tour this year, "Wolfram said in the statement.

The deterioration in the liquidity situation after the first meeting of creditors of the MS Germany on 8 October, and non-existent in the medium term need for further funding commitments were the causes for an unexpectedly fast developing negative financial and asset position.

"The measures introduced since 2013 have already borne fruit, but not yet resulted in the necessary success. Our booking figures for 2015 are very good. At the same time streamlining the capital structure is still outstanding. The voluntary administration launched today gives us the necessary time and room to maneuver, to solve the issues at hand, "said Wolfram.

Quantum of the Seas delivered

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Today (October 28, 2014) in Bremerhaven Meyer Werft delivered the 167,800 gross ton cruise ship Quantum of the Seas to the U.S. cruise operator Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (Miami).

The first ship of the Quantum class sets new standards in terms of eco-friendliness. It features highly energy-efficient systems, optimised hydrodynamics, heat recovery, an effective underwater paint coating, a state-of-the-art exhaust gas treatment plant (hybrid scrubber) as well as energy-saving LED lighting systems.

Sophisticated alarm, safety and communication systems combined with the latest technology in propulsion and navigation are typical for Royal Caribbean cruise ships. The same high standard applies to entertainment and interiors.

The theatre is equipped with stage technology which has yet to find its peer ashore. Relax with a book at ”Two 70” and come back at night for a spectacular aerial show. The North Star on deck 17 allows the guests to travel in a glass gondola at a height of 90 m above sea level where they can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view. On deck 17 aft the RipCord simulates parachuting at sea both for beginners or seasoned parachuters. Surf aficionados may want to look for the perfect wave high above water level on the FlowRider on deck 16.

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As to interiors, the Quantum leaves nothing to be desired. 4,180 guests can be accommodated in 2,090 cabins, and are taken care of by a crew of approx. 1,550. On board of the Quantum-class ships the traditional main restaurant has been replaced by dynamic dining, where the guests rotate in five different restaurants which are included in the cruise rate, and which offer a wide culinary variety. All told, the guests can choose from 18 restaurants on board, among them Jamie’s Italian, the first restaurant at sea of the British chef Jamie Oliver. Plenty of shops, bars, lounges and spacious spa and wellness areas as well as spectacular open-deck areas and facilities offer endless pastime opportunities. “Seaplex” features the largest indoor activity area at sea that offers entertainment like bumper cars, roller skating, a competition-size basketball court as well as a circus school.

The “Two70”° stretches from deck 4 to 6, a spacious area offering a 270-degree panoramic view of the sea. The “Two270°” combines entertainment and technology which allows the guests to travel smoothly from day to night.

Art lovers will appreciate impressive works of art, among them “From Afar”, a very special polar bear installed on deck 15 which consists of 1,430 metal triangles.

The Quantum of the Seas is another milestone by Royal Caribbean that will create a “wow” affect among its guests. The ship will depart from Bremerhaven to Southampton on 28 October 2014, from where she will set off to her Atlantic crossing on 2 November. The maiden voyage is scheduled for 23 November from New York (Cape Liberty) to the Bahamas.

Viking Star