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Royal Caribbean to transfer Majesty of the Seas to Pullmantur

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.

Holland America Line names Orlando Ashford as President

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.

Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific Hong Kong debut

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.

Fincantieri aims to work with CSSC to develop cruise ship building in China

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."

 

Carnival group sustainability report shows CO2 emission cut target met ahead of plan

Carnival Corp & plc, the Anglo-American cruise shipping group, has released its 2013 Sustainability Report detailing the company’s sustainability efforts, including initiatives which enabled it to meet its corporate goal to reduce its rate of CO2 emissions from shipboard operations by 20%– a year ahead of its initial plan, the company said in a statement.

The report highlights extensive measures Carnival Corp & plc and its brands are taking to deliver on their commitment to continue to keep guests and crew members safe and comfortable, protect the environment, develop and provide opportunities for its workforce, strengthen its stakeholder relations and enhance the communities in which the company visits and operates, including:

·Committing to invest more than $400 million to install an industry-first exhaust gas cleaning technology to 70% of the fleet

·Introducing two new ships, Royal Princess and AIDAstella, that are among the most efficient ships at sea today, both from a unit cost and fuel efficiency standpoint

·Investing up to $700 million into the company’s ships and operations to ensure its ships operate safely and reliably, underscoring that the safety and comfort of guests and crew are the top priority for the company

·Adopting a Passenger Bill of Rights along with other members of the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) to commit to further inform cruise guests of the industry’s commitment to their comfort and care

·Donating over $1.5 million to Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts in addition to other efforts to support the communities in which the company operates

·Making progress with its Asian growth strategy, positioning the company to capitalise on the emerging region including doubling its presence in China, successfully launching an inaugural homeport in Japan and opening offices in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, Caernival said.

 

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