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.


Cunard Line names Richard Meadows President of Cunard Line – North America

Cunard today announced that Richard Meadows has been appointed President of Cunard Line – North America, assuming operating responsibility for the iconic Cunard brand throughout the North American continent from 1 December 2014.  He will report to David Noyes, CEO of Cunard Line.  Meadows will retain his role as President of Seabourn, leading all business and global operations for the ultra-luxury cruise line.

“With Rick having worked at so many brands within the Carnival Corporation portfolio, we are eager to leverage his knowledge, experience and skills to advance the Cunard brand in North America,” said Noyes from the Line’s headquarters in Southampton.  “His background in leading Seabourn is particularly valuable, as he understands well the nuances of delivering superior service and enriching onboard experiences – the things that directly appeal to Cunard passengers.  We are thrilled to have him join our team.”

As President of Cunard – North America and Seabourn, Meadows will give his full attention to these two celebrated luxury brands, focusing in particular on generating brand awareness, growing revenues and yields, advancing exceptional product innovation and providing unmatched guest experiences.  Under his leadership, Cunard and Seabourn will continue to create outstanding cruise experiences and lifetime memories for their passengers.

Meadows has held key positions at a number of Carnival Corporation & plc brands over his 29-year career with the group and has held the position of President of Seabourn since 2011.  During that time, he also has served as Executive Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Guest Programmes for Holland America Line, where he had global revenue responsibility.  With his appointment as President of Cunard – North America, Meadows will gradually step away from Holland America Line to give his complete focus to his new role.  “It is an incredible honour for me to help lead and serve Cunard,’” said Meadows.  “I am excited about the prospect of working closely with David and the Cunard management team to enhance how we deliver luxury on a grand scale to discerning travellers in this region of the world.”

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. completes acquisition of Prestige Cruises International, Inc.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., a leading global cruise operator, today announced it has completed its previously-announced acquisition of Prestige Cruises International, Inc., the market leader in the upscale cruise segment and parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, in cash and stock for a total transaction consideration of $3.025 billion, including the assumption of debt.

With this acquisition, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. operates a portfolio of brands that span all market segments in the cruise industry, from contemporary to upper-premium to luxury.  Each brand offers differentiated experiences in their respective segments.  The Norwegian Cruise Line brand provides the freedom and flexibility of a resort-style vacation on board some of the most innovative ships in the industry with its unique Freestyle Cruising proposition.  Oceania Cruises offers an upper premium experience with the finest cuisine at sea on its fleet of mid-sized ships, while Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the market leader in the luxury cruise segment and operates three award-winning, all-suite ships, with an additional ship on order for delivery in summer 2016.

Commenting on the closing of the acquisition, Kevin Sheehan, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., said, “While for years we have competed successfully with our one brand in an increasingly consolidated industry, our acquisition of Prestige creates a new cruise operator with a range of complementary offerings as diversified as any in the industry.  We now shift our focus from planning for the successful integration of these organizations to the implementation phase, with an organizational structure that allows for the realization of significant synergies while maintaining the integrity of the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands that have made each a success in their respective segment.”

Frank Del Rio, chief executive officer of Prestige Cruise Holdings, Inc., commented, “We’re excited to officially join the Norwegian family and ready to begin this next chapter as one united company.  Together, we will further our brands’ position as leaders in the upper-premium and luxury cruise markets by continuing to deliver an exceptional onboard experience for our guests, and expand the reach of both Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises throughout the world.”

Deutschland put up for sale

A meeting of bondholders has decided to put the 22,496 gross ton cruise ship Deutschland up for sale, Peter Deilmann Reederei that operates the vessel said in a statement.

The meeting, which was held in Munich on 12 November, will offer the ship on private terms and there are currently two interested parties with whom discussions are in progress

The 1996 built ship is currently owned by MS Deutschland Beteiligungsgesellschaft, which has filed for voluntary administration.

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