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Carnival Vista to offer sweeping ocean views, high altitude sky ride and IMAX theatre

There’s big fun and spectacular views on the horizon, as Carnival Cruise Line today announced the details of its most innovative ship ever, Carnival Vista, debuting in spring 2016.   Designed to connect guests to the ocean with sweeping views and plenty to do both outdoors and in, Carnival Vista will take cruising to new heights and introduce an exciting array of groundbreaking new features including: SkyRide, a breakthrough suspended open-air cycling experience; the world’s first IMAX® Theatre on a ship; an expanded water park featuring the colorful Kaleid-O-Slide, the line’s first raft-riding water tube slide; Seafood Shack, a delectable New England-inspired eatery; RedFrog Pub, including the line’s first onboard brewery, and other enhanced dining, bar and entertainment options; as well as new scenic and family-friendly accommodation types. The ship’s inaugural Mediterranean itineraries will mark the line’s return to Europe.

High-Powered Outdoor Fun

With SkyRide, the cruise industry’s first pedal-powered open-air aerial attraction, Carnival is creating some of the best and highest outdoor vistas ever offered on a cruise ship.  Adventurous riders can climb aboard hanging recumbent-like bikes to cycle their way around the 800-foot suspended track with panoramic views from 150 feet above the sea. Nearby will be SkyCourse, an exhilarating suspended ropes course.  Both are part of the expanded outdoor activity park that also includes a new indoor sports hangout, The Clubhouse at SportSquare¸ featuring mini-bowling, ping-pong, arcade basketball, sports video gaming and more.

In the largest WaterWorks water park in the fleet, kids and kids at heart will find a thrilling array of splash-tastic fun including Kaleid-O-Slide, the line’s first-ever water tube attraction. Riders will hop on inflatable one or two-person rafts taking them on a fun-filled 455-foot adventure of exhilarating twists and turns with stunning kaleidoscopic visual effects.

Big-Time Entertainment at the Multiplex

Carnival Vista’s views are truly spectacular inside, too. Carnival is partnering with entertainment innovator IMAX® (NYSE: IMAX) to bring the world’s most immersive   cinematic experience to sea with the first-ever IMAX® Theatre on a ship. Guests will take in the latest Hollywood blockbusters, IMAX classics and IMAX documentary content on a screen that’s three decks high. Next door at the Thrill Theater, moviegoers can enjoy a multi-dimensional special effects experience.  Both are part of the Carnival Multiplex, a first at sea for film fans, complete with concession stand offering popcorn and movie snacks. The Warehouse, featuring a variety of video and arcade games, is located adjacent to the Carnival Multiplex.

Fresh New Dining & Bar Options

Featured on Carnival Vista and a first for the fleet will be the New England-inspired Seafood Shack, a casual indoor/outdoor dining venue near the Lido Marketplace eateries. This seafood-lovers’ paradise will feature a menu full of delicious, fresh favorites available for purchase, including lobster rolls, steamed lobster, fried shrimp, crab cakes, fried clams and more.

At the RedFrog Pub, Carnival will brew up great beer for good times in its first ever brewery. During each sailing two giant copper-topped glass kettles will create tasty ales and lagers that can be enjoyed on tap from the bar and through unique tabletop taps that allow guests to pour their own beer. The full bar will also offer an array of Caribbean-inspired cocktails, beers and rums. Indoor/outdoor seating, live music and brewing tours and tastings will also be offered in this fun venue.

Carnival is expanding the line’s popular Latin-infused Havana experience inside and out on Carnival Vista. Celebrating Cuba’s gloried past, Havana Bar serves traditional cocktails and bites during the day and transforms into a sizzling Latin dance club at night. The fun also extends outdoors with a new Havana Pool located aft and offering stunning views of the ocean, whirlpools and relaxation area, complete with colorful umbrellas, faux palm trees, thatched patio huts and comfy seating, perfect for soaking up the sun while enjoying a refreshing mojito.

More Accommodation Options

Carnival Vista will offer a wide variety of well-appointed, beautifully designed staterooms and suites including two new accommodation classes. Tropics-inspired Havana Cabanas feature accommodations with private outdoor patios – complete with lounge chairs and hammock – that face the expanded Lanai ocean-air outdoor promenade and offer magnificent sea views in addition to easy access to the Havana Bar and Pool.

Located within a new dedicated family zone on Deck 2, the new Family Harbor accommodations offer an array of deluxe ocean-view, balcony and interior staterooms that accommodate up to five family members. Parents and kids will have even more room to relax at the new, exclusive Family Harbor Lounge, a secluded space designed as the ultimate family hang out with large-screen TVs, games and complimentary breakfast and snacks. A special family concierge desk will be available here to assist families in making this their best vacation ever.

“Carnival Vista celebrates the connection to the oceans on which we sail and gives our guests amazing seascapes around every corner and more ways to enjoy every moment of sun and fun during their cruise vacation,” said Mark Tamis, Carnival’s senior vice president of guest operations. “From our exhilarating new high-altitude SkyRide to the Kaleid-O-Slide water tube slide to our IMAX anchored Carnival Multiplex to the multitude of dining and bar options, we are thrilled to share the details about our largest and most innovative ship with our guests while providing our valued travel agent partners with an exciting new option to offer to their clients.”

New Meaning to Dining Out

Thanks to an expanded Lanai on Deck 5 guests can stroll or sit and enjoy a beverage at one of the many dining and bar venues that will now feature outdoor areas.

– The line will offer its first-ever outdoor seating options at specialty eateries including Fahrenheit 555, a classic American steakhouse, and Japanese-style Bonsai Sushi restaurant where diners will enjoy sea views as delicious as their meals.  Cherry on Top will be the sweetest spot at sea, with a new premium mixed-to-order custom ice cream creation bar, outdoor seating and more than 80 bulk candy options.

– The intimate Library Bar will also offer guests indoor/outdoor options, in addition to the hoppin’ RedFrog Pub and stylish Havana Bar.

Vacationers will find Fun Ship 2.0 favorite poolside eateries and bars including Guy’s Burger Joint, award-winning burgers and hand-cut fries created by chef and author Guy Fieri, and BlueIguana Cantina, featuring freshly made tacos and burritos. Poolside bars BlueIguana Tequila Bar and RedFrog Rum Bar will also provide innovative cocktail options, as will the mixologists at the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar.

– The ship’s main dining rooms, Reflections and Horizons, offer a tantalizing array of delicious menu items for guests who want to enjoy a full-service breakfast, lunch or dinner. The striking modern interiors created by award-winning designer BigTime Design Studios offer decidedly different décor than previous Carnival ships. The Horizons dining room will also feature a unique bar that’s the perfect spot for meeting friends and enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail or an after-meal aperitif.

The beautiful Vista Atrium will set a festive mood with its giant, multi-deck-high centerpiece that will delight guests with its LED screens and changing visuals to create the right atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to welcome guests boarding the ship, meet friends at the bar or enjoy live entertainment and dancing.

Relax and Recharge

For those looking to unwind and relax, Carnival Vista has a lot to ahhh about. The luxurious two-level Cloud 9 Spa will feature an array of chill-worthy amenities, including a thalassotherapy pool, four steam chambers, the line’s first infrared sauna and hamam, and special “experience showers” that provide a soothing fragrance element, along with a high-tech indoor cycling studio. Guests can get away from it all at the adults-only Serenity retreat, where there’s breathtaking views, tranquility and even more lounging options to relax including the line’s first outdoor massage huts.

Family Fun for All

As the family cruise leader, carrying more than 700,000 children on board each year, the company designed Carnival Vista with even more fun for families day and night.

– The indoor/outdoor Camp Ocean for children under age 12 is a dedicated undersea-themed play space with more than 200 fun and educational ocean-inspired activities.

– Carnival Vista will be the second ship in the fleet to feature Dr. Seuss Bookville, a special reading and play space inspired by the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. Here kids and their families can read beloved Dr. Seuss books, make arts and crafts and stretch their imagination with toys and games. Also part of the line’s Seuss at Sea program, Carnival Vista guests can enjoy Green Eggs and Ham with The Cat in the Hat and Friends character breakfast, the Seuss-a-palooza Story Time and Parade and more.

– Carnival Vista will also introduce four new games at the family-centric HASBRO the Game Show, as well as special family-friendly comedy performances at Punchliner Comedy Club presented by George Lopez.

Carnival’s Return to Europe

The largest ship in the fleet, Carnival Vista will measure 133,500 tons, 1,055 feet long and have a guest capacity of 3,936 (based on two per cabin). The new vessel will debut May 1, 2016, with a 13-day cruise departing from Trieste, Italy -- the first European voyage for Carnival in three years. A variety of spectacular Mediterranean itineraries will be offered with port calls throughout Italy, France, Spain, Croatia and Turkey, as well as several new destinations for Carnival such as Crete (Heraklion), and Corfu, Greece; Valletta, Malta; Palermo, Sicily; Cagliari, Sardinia; and Gibraltar. On October 21, 2016, Carnival Vista will embark on a special 13-day transatlantic crossing and arrive in New York November 3, 2016, then operate a series of voyages from the Big Apple. Carnival Vista’s European cruises are currently available for reservations.  Additional information on the New York departures will be available next month.

The future of winter cruise is “winterless”

The third edition of Seatrade Winter Cruise Forum took place in Cartagena, Spain, on 21st and 22nd of January. Cruise Business Review was again present. Alan Lam reports.

 

The main theme discussed in this forum was how to change the perception of winter cruise into a winterlessyear-round cruise. As from year to year the industry is stretching the cruise season out for as long as possible, the only way to promote an even wider awareness of and achieve a bigger yield from the so-called off-season cruise operation is for the industry itself to change its own stubborn image of cruise being a sunny weather activity, stop regarding these colder months of the year as a collective handicap of the industry and begin to see the opportunities while recognising the limitation of the colder season, such as smaller markets and cooler climate.

 

Cruising is much more than just about sun, sea and beachesUnlike the Northern Europeans and North Americans, the Asians, for example, do not go on cruises in search of warm weather and beaches. The demand for winter cruise products is growing stronger all the time. The industry has gone a long way to prepare itself for the market, such as building ice class ships with retractable roofs over the swimming poolsThe Quantum class ships are built with more “inside” features and AIDA’s first newbuilding will be based in Hamburg year-round.

 

But there are various obstacles and challenges in need ofaddressing, such as issues concerning profitability, appropriate staffing levels, the readiness of ports & destinations, and a demographically smaller source market for bigger ships, etc.

 

A full report will be published in the next edition of Cruise Business Review.

 

ABB generates record Azipod orders in 2014 on ice-going and cruise ships demand

ABB, a global leader in power and automation technology, has  received record levels of new orders for the marine part of the group’s business, driven by solid growth in demand for electrical propulsion systems especially in the cruise and ice-going segments. In 2014, the company won orders worth $ 200 million to deliver power plants and Azipod® propulsion systems to cruise customers and $900 million to deliver solutions to icegoing and icebreaking projects.

The cruise market, where electric podded propulsion is the preferred propulsion type, has seen a significant growth in recent years especially in emerging markets. During 2014, ABB secured a number of orders with leading shipyards to deliver latest generation Azipod XO propulsion systems to high-end cruise vessels. In addition to repeat orders from longstanding customers, ABB won strategically important contracts to supply Azipod propulsion units to new customers.

Arctic shipping volumes and oil and gas exploration in the Arctic area have reached record level, creating the need for specialized solutions for icegoing and icebreaking vessels. In the Arctic conditions, Azipod VI propulsion units optimize vessel efficiency and maneuverability while they also provide a high level of reliability to operations in the harsh and demanding conditions.

“ABB developed the Azipod® electrical propulsion system to deliver tangible benefits to shipowners and operators: To improve the overall efficiency of ships while also reducing the carbon footprint and providing better maneuverability compared to conventional propulsion solutions. This explains why ABB has become the leader in electric propulsion and continues to harvest from increased demand across several vessel segments, cruise and arctic shipping in particular,” says Heikki Soljama, Managing Director of ABB’s Marine and Ports business. “While being a record year for Azipod sales, 2014 also marked another year of significant growth for diesel-electric propulsion. The tangible benefits of electric propulsion explain why during the last decade, the electric fleet has seen annual growth of 13%.”

“With a long history of cooperation, Lloyd’s Register welcomes the current success of ABB in delivering diesel electric and podded propulsion solutions for the cruise, off-shore and increasingly arctic market segments. Since the first installation of ABB podded propulsion units on-board the Carnival Elation in 1997, Lloyd’s Register has worked closely with ABB to realise the performance and reliability of the AZIPOD unit and looks forward to many more years of continued cooperation,” says Ed Fort, Global Technology Leader, Lloyd’s Register.

In addition to Azipod propulsion system, ABB offers a wide range of marine solutions that improve the energy efficiency of vessels. “Energy efficiency has always been one of our key business drivers, and customers benefit by partnering with one experienced supplier offering integrated power and automation, and energy management,” Soljama adds.

Holland America reveals summer 2016 deployment for Koningsdam

In summer 2016, Holland America Line’s newest ship, Koningsdam, will debut a series of northern Europe and Baltic cruises as part of the premium line’s robust Europe season that features seven ships sailing throughout the region. Koningsdam’s summer itineraries — and all of Holland America Line’s 2016 summer Europe sailings — will be available for booking in early February.

Following a series of previously announced 7- and 12-night Premiere Sailings from Feb. 20 through April in the Mediterranean, the ship will reposition from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, to its summer homeport of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Koningsdam will then go on to sail roundtrip Amsterdam itineraries to Norway, the Baltic and Iceland, where breathtaking vistas and grand fjords await.

“For the first summer sailing season of our beautiful new ship ms Koningsdam, we’ve crafted some incredible itineraries to Europe’s most beautiful ports,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We recommend booking early because response to Koningsdam’s Premiere Voyages was overwhelmingly positive.”

Koningsdam’s 13-day repositioning cruise from the Med departs May 9 and explores 10 ports in Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal, France, Belgium and the Netherlands before ending with an overnight at Amsterdam.

Koningsdam showcases Norway in summer 2016

Once at Amsterdam, the ship will begin exciting seven- and 14-night cruises to Norway that showcase the country’s majestic scenery and quaint landscapes. A 7-night itinerary in May, July and August calls at Flam, Stavanger, Kristiansand and Oslo, with scenic cruising in Sognefjord and Oslofjord. Another seven-day itinerary in June and July calls at Eidfjord, Ålesund, Geiranger and Bergen, with scenic cruising in Hardangerfjord and Geirangerfjord. A seven-day voyage in August calls at Bergen, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Ålesund and Eidfjord, with Hardangerfjord and Geirangerfjord scenic cruising.

A longer 14-day Norwegian exploration departs May 29 and July 17, and crosses the Arctic Circle while calling at eight ports in Norway. Guests also will enjoy memorable scenic cruising in Hardangerfjord, Geirangerfjord, Trondheimsfjord, the North Cape and Sognefjord.

British Isles and Baltic round out Koningsdam Europe highlights

Travelers looking to visit the British Isles and Iceland can embark Koningsdam Aug. 14 for a cruise to Newcastle upon Tyne, England; South Queensferry (Edinburgh) and Invergordon (Inverness), Scotland; Reykjavik (overnight), Isafjordur and Akuruyri, Iceland; and Ålesund and Bergen, Norway.

The Baltic awaits Koningsdam’s guests on two 14-day itineraries in June and September, also sailing roundtrip from Amsterdam. The ship calls at the most sought-after ports in the region, with visits to Copenhagen, Denmark; Warnemunde (Berlin) and Kiel (Hamburg), Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg (overnight), Russia; Helsinki, Finland; and Stockholm and Gothenburg, Sweden.

At the end on the season, Koningsdam sails from Amsterdam to Civitavecchia on a 12-day journey that visits England, Gibraltar, Portugal and four ports in Spain. On Oct. 24 the ship repositions to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on a 14-day voyage that crosses the Atlantic following calls at Alicante, Malaga (Granada) and Huelva (Seville), Spain; and Funchal, Madeira.

Koningsdam’s Premiere Voyage and Sailings

As previously announced, Koningsdam’s seven-day Premier Voyage sails roundtrip from Civitavecchia departing Feb. 20 to Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kérkira (Corfu) and Katakolon (Olympia), Greece; and Naples, Italy. The 12-day Premiere Sailings that follow are two alternating itineraries roundtrip from Civitavecchia. The “Greek & Turkish Treasures” itinerary calls at Katakolon, Piraeus (Athens), Rhodes and Crete, Greece; Istanbul (overnight) and Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; and Naples, Italy. This itinerary also will be offered Sept. 30, in addition to the Premiere spring departures.

The “Mediterranean Mosaic” itinerary spends 12 days visiting Naples, Italy; Palermo, Sicily; Cagliari, Sardinia; Gibraltar, British Territory; and Cádiz, Málaga, Cartagena and Barcelona (overnight), Spain, sailing roundtrip from Civitavecchia. In addition to the Premiere spring departures, this itinerary also will depart Oct 12.

Christine Sustreanu named as COO for FleetPro Group

Travel and Hospitality veteran Christine Sustreanu, will join FleetPro Group starting on 01 June, 2015.

"Christine comes to us with a wealth of Hospitality, and executive management experience," says Robert Straubhaar CEO of FleetPro Group. "Her wealth of knowledge, eye for detail and product execution, as well as her management strength, will be a valuable asset for our company." Christine Sustreanu currently holds the role as General Manager of Uniworld Boutique River Cruise collection, one of the leading providers of luxury river cruises.

Robert Heijlands co-founder and COO of FleetPro decided to resign when handing over the COO role to Christine Sustreanu. "Robert Heijlands has been instrumental in the successful growth and high client satisfaction of former River Advice, currently FleetPro," says Robert Straubhaar CEO of FleetPro Group. "We have made as strong complementing team and his skill set is unsurpassed."

With more than 3000 employees on more than 65 River and Ocean going cruise ships, FleetPro Passenger Ship Management (www.fleetpro-psm.com) has grown to be the largest independent passenger ship management company in the world. What distinguishes FleetPro is a hands-on managing approach with extremely strong technical and top notch hotel operation expertise. This allows FleetPro to service a wide array of clients in the demanding global arena of river cruise operations, ocean going cruising and the itinerary intensive expedition cruise segments.

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