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Meyer acquires remaining 30% of Turku shipyard shares

Meyer Werft, the privately owned German shipbuilder, has acquired the remaining30% of the shares in Meyer Turku Shipyard it does not already own, the Finnish  shipbuilder said in a statement.

In September 2014, Meyer Werft took up 70% of the sharesin the yard and Finnish Industry Investment Ltd (FII), a government owned entity, acquired the remaining 30% from STX Europe in September 2014.

“As usual for the FII´s investment policy, it exits from its investments. In the case of the Turku shipyard, it was agreed that Meyer had a call option to buy FII’s minority stake in the shipyard. Meyer has now decided to further invest in Turku shipyard using the call option,” Meyer Turku said Jan Meyer, Chief Executive Officer of Meyer Turku in the statement.

“At the time of the purchase Meyer was only operating shipyards in Germany and therefore going to invest in Finland was a big and strategic step for us – which we carefully considered from different angles.,” said

“Our well-coordinated acquisition with the Finnish Government made it possible for us to implement this strategic move, and I am sincerely grateful for the government for its valuable contribution. In general, I hope that our decision to buy all the shares is received as a sign of confidence that we can make Turku shipyard a long term shipbuilding success,” he said.

“We are happy to see that the Turku shipyard is developing so positively. Our engagement was an investment in Finnish strengths – the shipyard and the strong maritime cluster.  It is good to see that Meyer is sharing our confidence and further invests in the Turku shipyard.  This benefits not only the yard but also the maritime cluster and Finland at large”, says Jan Vapaavuori, the Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs.

“Meyer has had a great start in Finland bringing a lot of new orders to Turku. I want to congratulate Meyer and the whole shipyard for a fine start in Finland”, concluded Minister Vapaavuori.

The change in the ownership  structure is expected to become effective within the next weeks.

Royal Caribbean takes delivery of Anthem of the Seas

There’s a new tune in the air today as global cruise line Royal Caribbean International officially took delivery of its 23rd ship, Anthem of the Seas. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain officially received the new ship from Meyer Werft Yard’s Managing Partner Bernard Meyer in a signing ceremony held in Bremerhaven, Germany. Anthem of the Seas is the world’s most advanced cruise ship and reflects the best of Royal Caribbean’s history of innovating cruise ship design and cruise vacations.

“I am very happy to receive Anthem of the Seas from Meyer Werft Yards,” said Richard. “We’ve always broken the mold with each successive ship we build, and Anthem of the Seas is no different. I would like to thank Bernard and the Meyer Werft team for their ongoing partnership in designing and building awe-inspiring ships with us.”

“It’s wonderful to welcome Anthem of the Seas to the Royal Caribbean family of ships,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “Just like every Royal Caribbean ship, Anthem of the Seas will deliver to guests its own distinctive set of amazing adventures, whether sailing in the Mediterranean or the Caribbean.”

Anthem of the Seas will now sail to Southampton, U.K., where the ship will homeport through October and sail to the Mediterranean and Canary Islands. The ship will be inaugurated in Southampton on April 20, when travel agent Godmother Emma Wilby will christen the ship to impart good luck and divine protection over the ship and all that sail on board, and perform a song to more than 1,300 invited guests. In November, New York Harbor will be Anthem of the Seas’ permanent home, where the ship will sail regularly from Cape Liberty Cruise Port on adventures to Bermuda, the Caribbean and Canada and New England.

Guests will enjoy a wide range of Royal Caribbean’s unmatched onboard innovations, such as the North Star aerial observatory, a glass capsule that takes guests more than 300 feet above the ocean for incomparable panoramic views, and the RipCord by iFLY skydiving and FlowRider surfing simulators. Guests will be dazzled with the ships’ transformative venues, such as the Two70 lounge, a great room by day and an immersive, multimedia entertainment spectacle at night. SeaPlex changes throughout the day to offer bumper cars, disco roller skating, circus school, and basketball and other sports. Guests also will delight at the expansive array of delicious fare in 18 distinctive onboard restaurants and enjoy Royal Caribbean Productions’ industry-renowned entertainment in Music Hall, the Royal Theater, and the Royal Esplanade.

Anthem of the Seas spans 16 guest decks; encompasses 167,800 gross registered tons; carries 4,180 guests at double occupancy; and features 2,090 staterooms.

Princess Cruises unveils 2016 Japan cruise program

Carnival Corporation & plc announced today that its Princess Cruises brand, the top North American cruise line in Japan, will offer an array of Japan voyages from Tokyo and Kobe in 2016 that circumnavigate the country, visiting the top-rated ports with two new ports of call on the island of Kyushu, along with visits to Korea, Taiwan and Russia.  The voyages are designed to offer opportunities to explore the wonders of UNESCO World Heritage sites and to participate in some of Japan’s largest and most celebrated cultural festivals and special events. In addition, new Land and Sea Vacation packages will take travelers into the heart of Japanese culture in Kyoto and Tokyo.

The variety of voyages offered on Diamond Princess, ranging from four to 20 nights, include the whole of Japan on Circle Japan voyages; northern Japan on Circle Hokkaido Island voyages, with a visit to Korsakov, Russia; and southern Japan on Kyushu Island voyages featuring maiden ports of call in the beautiful southern beach port of Miyazaki and the famous castle ruins of Yatushiro, and voyages to Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands. Grand Japan voyages ranging from 14- to 20- nights offer the greatest variety of ports and experiences; while four- and five-night getaway cruises provide a sampling of some of Japan’s not-to-be-missed destination highlights.
 
Princess Cruises’ 2016 Japan season runs from April to October, the only full season of voyages offered by a North American cruise line in Japan, and bookings for the new itineraries open to the public on April 16, 2015.  More details can be found at princess.com.
 
"Japan is steeped in tradition and lore, with ancient sites, hallowed temples and natural wonders throughout the island chain. The ideal way to explore this fascinating country is by sea and Princess offers travelers unmatched options for discovering its many jewels," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "We visit the top-rated ports, provide local cultural entertainment and culinary experiences onboard and offer bi-lingual service to make it easy and memorable for our guests to explore all that Japan offers. We’ve been recognized as the top cruise line in Asia with the best itineraries and our 2016 voyages more than live up to this billing."
 
UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The new Princess Cruises itineraries take guests to a wide variety of culturally significant sites listed by including some of the world’s greatest attractions such as 7th Century Bulguska Temple in the Korean capital of Gyeong-Ju and remote historic villages in central Japan. All Hokkaido Island cruises feature the Shiretoko Peninsula, one of the world’s richest eco-systems and one of the few places in the world where multiple species of whales, dolphins and porpoises can be spotted, among many more.
 
Festivals and Special Events

Spectacular summer festivals and fireworks displays are the highlight of many summer cruises ranging from seven- to 11-night itineraries.  These sailings include late evening departures from ports to allow guests time to participate in vividly colored lantern processionals, parades of giant floats, dance festivals and spectacular fireworks displays like the famous Toyohashi Fire Festival in Nagoya and the Kagoshima Summer Night Fireworks with an active volcano as the backdrop.
 
Guests on next year’s July 25 and August 4 voyages will experience the Nebuta Festival, Japan’s most extravagant display of brilliantly-colored floats, musicians and dancers.  Sailings on August 15, 24 and September 9 of 2016 feature some of Japan’s largest and most spectacular fireworks festivals.
 
Land and Sea Vacations

To further enhance the cruise line’s Japanese vacations, Princess Cruises will offer multi-day land tour package options, available for add-on with most cruises, to explore Kyoto and Tokyo. Kyoto tours will include sightseeing at Nijo Castle, the famed Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), and popular Japanese gardens. Tokyo tours explore this fascinating city before heading out to Mt. Fuji, Togendai and Lake Ashi.  
 
While Diamond Princess features the cruise line’s signature innovations including its popular Movies Under the Stars poolside theater and The Sanctuary, an exclusive top-deck retreat, it also offers many unique features designed to enhance the Japanese cultural experience onboard including:

– Traditional Izumi Japanese Bath – the largest of its kind at sea and modeled after the popular Japanese onsen experience
– Kai Sushi restaurant – boasting made-to-order sushi and a full selection of Japanese sake
– Noodle stations – serving up a rotating selection of ramen, soba and udon noodles
– Tamagoyaki -  a traditional Japanese omelet available daily for breakfast
– Unique Japanese entertainment offerings such as “rakugo” storytelling performances and origami classes
– Unparalleled luxury brand duty-free shopping

In addition, dining room menus offer a wide variety of international cuisine including Japanese options on all menus and onboard collateral items and stateroom information is available in both English and Japanese.

Genting Hong Kong plans to sell remaining 22.1% Norwegian stake

Genting Hong Kong, parent company of Star cruises, said announced that its Star NCLC subsidiary plans to sell its remaining 22.1% share in Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), the world’s third largest cruise shipping company.

Its current disposal manadate will expire on 24 April 2015. “In order to allow flexibility in effecting future disposal of the remaining NCLH shares at appropriate occasions, the company proposed to seek from its shareholders the Disposal Mandate which is for a period of 12 months and the selling price per approved sale share shall not be lower than US$19,” Genting Hong Kong said in a statement.

At the same time, the company said Star NCLC had sold 6.25 million NCLH shares according to the current Disposal Mandate and continues to own approximately 22.1% of interest in NCLH.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announces new Chairman and other appointments to its Board of Directors

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., today announced the following appointments to its Board of Directors, effective as of March 27, 2015.

Walter Revel, longtime director, has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. Revel has served as director and Chairman of the Audit Committee for the Company since 2005 and as director of certain predecessor companies beginning in 1993. Since 1984, Mr. Revell has been Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Revell Investments International, Inc., a diversified investment, development and management company located in Coral Gables, Florida. Since 2002, Mr. Revell has also served as a director of International Finance Bank in Miami, Florida, and became Chairman of the Board in September 2013. Since 1990, he has served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Pinehurst Development, Inc., a family owned company. Revel also serves on the Executive Committee, the Board of Trustees and as Chairman of the New Museum Project Committee of the Miami Science Museum. He formerly was a director of Calpine Corporation, Dycom Industries, Rinker Materials, The St. Joe Company and Sun Banks of Florida. Mr. Revell served as Secretary of Transportation for the State of Florida in the Askew Administration. He is a past Chairman of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and was a member of The Florida Council of 100 for 37 years. He served as Chairman and CEO of H.J. Ross Associates, Inc., consulting engineers, planners and scientists, and continues as Senior Advisor to T.Y. Lin International, the new parent company, in San Francisco.

Kevin C. Jones, a designee of Genting Hong Kong Limited, was appointed director of the Company. Mr. Jones is the General Counsel, Secretary and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategy for Genting Americas Inc., an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Genting Malaysia Berhad. Mr. Jones oversees all legal, corporate compliance, risk management and strategic corporate development matters for the North American operations of Genting Malaysia Berhad. Prior to accepting his current position with Genting Americas Inc., Mr. Jones practiced law at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, serving as counsel for multi-billion dollar companies in a broad range of general corporate and real estate transactions.

Blondel So King Tak, a designee of Genting Hong Kong Limited, was appointed a director of the Company. Mr. So joined Genting HK as Chief Financial Officer in July 2007. In October 2009, Mr. So was appointed Chief Operating Officer and in August 2014 was appointed Executive Vice President (Corporate Services) and Country Head of Hong Kong & Macau for Genting HK. Mr. So also acts as a director of various subsidiaries of Genting HK. He has over 23 years of experience in the financial sector with the first 15 years in the banking industry. Prior to joining Genting HK, he held a number of senior positions in multinational corporations and listed companies.