- Holland America Line makes three director appointments in fleet operations department
- Windstar Cruises introduces new yacht and voyage collection
- Mein Schiff 3 to improve energy efficiency by about 30%
- Regent Seven Seas makes itinerary changes for fall 2014
- Mein Schiff 1 godmother to celebrate fourth anniversary of ship with gala concert
- Viking launches its ocean project, company rebrands
- Royal Caribbean's Vice Chairman and CFO Rice to retire
- TUI AG to restructure Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten unit after its deep interim losses
- RCCL to revitalise Voyager of the Seas before 2014-15 Australasia deployment
- High airfares force Carnival Cruise Lines out of Europe 2014
- Australian source market grew 11% to 694,000 passengers in 2012
- Norwegian sees $2.2 billion capex on newbuildings to 2015
Ports & Destinations
- Norwegian Breakaway makes maiden call to Bermuda
- Study demonstrates that BC cruise ports continue to be an economic hub in Canada
- Ports America awarded operating contract for Port of Los Angeles Cruise Terminal
- Cruise tourism's contribution to Dubai's tourism growth due to grow in 2014
- Holland America to introduce calls at Banana Coast in Honduras
Products & services
- Wärtsilä Aquarius ballast water system received final approval
- Wallem opens first hub of expertise in Singapore as it looks to establish strategic maritime locations around the world
- AIDA calls at Lloyd Werft for the first time
- Wärtsilä signs five year Viking Grace maintenance agreement
- Bolidt supplies 16,500sqm of decking material to Norwegian Breakaway
- Category: Top Headlines
- Published on Friday, 17 May 2013 05:34
- Written by Teijo Niemelä
Viking Cruises has launched its ocean product line, Viking Ocean Cruises (www.vikingcruises.com/oceans), marking the introduction of the travel industry’s first new cruise line with newbuilds in nearly a decade. Developed from the ground up to return the focus of cruising to the destination, Viking Ocean Cruises will begin sailing in May 2015 with its first vessel – Viking Star – embarking on maiden voyages in Scandinavia and the Baltic; and the Western and Eastern Mediterranean. Viking Cruises has aggressive expansion plans in both the ocean and river cruise categories, with a second ocean ship on order for delivery in 2016 and conditional orders and options for four more additional ocean vessels. The ocean ship order follows the company’s continued rapid fleet expansion in the river cruise sector, with 10 new river ships recently christened in March of this year and 12 new river ships planned to launch in 2014.
"It is our view that in the race to build bigger ships, many cruise lines have lost sight of the destinations to which they sail," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. "With our new ocean cruises, we are applying the same principles behind our award-winning river cruises to our itinerary and ship design; privileged-access excursions; and onboard experiences to make destinations the true focus."
Viking Star Infinity Pool
Viking Star Main Pool
Leveraging extensive feedback and input from Viking River Cruises passengers, Viking Ocean Cruises was developed with experienced travelers in mind. Itineraries are curated for maximum time in port, often with late evenings or overnights, so guests can experience local nightlife or evening performances. Ports include both cosmopolitan cities and “collector ports,” and appeal to those with an interest in history, art and culture. In addition, all-inclusive pricing provides unparalleled value – with every cruise fare including a veranda stateroom, shore excursions in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Passengers also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including: beer and wine with lunch and dinner service; wi-fi; self-service laundry and 24-hour room service – a value of more than $2,400 per couple for an average cruise.
Classified by Cruise Critic as a “small ship,” the new 928-passenger all-veranda Viking Star is engineered at a scale that allows direct access into most ports, so guests have easy and efficient embarkation and debarkation. The ship’s understated elegance and modern Scandinavian design is crafted for maximum guest comfort. Highlighted features include:
• All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from a 270 sq. ft. veranda stateroom, all with private verandas, king-size beds, large showers, and LCD TVs.
• Explorer Suites: Viking Star’s 14 Explorer Suites are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,448 sq. ft. and offer sweeping views from wrap-around private verandas as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category onboard.
• Two Pool Choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable dome permitting any-season swimming, Viking Star features one of the only infinity pools at sea, allowing passengers to swim surrounded by their destination in a glass-backed pool cantilevered off the stern.
• The Spa: In keeping with Viking’s Nordic heritage, The Spa onboard Viking Star is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind – from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a “snow grotto” where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air.
• Explorers’ Lounge and Wintergarden: Spaces designed to facilitate mingling and storytelling, the two- deck Explorers’ Lounge at the bow of the ship is the perfect spot for taking in scenery through double- height windows over a glass of aquavit or pint of local craft beer; and the Wintergarden is a serene environment in which to relax and enjoy afternoon tea service complete with a curated tea selection.
• Dining Choices: Viking Star offers multiple restaurant locations and food choices – from The Restaurant and the World Café, serving a variety of global cuisines and regional specialties – to intimate dining experiences at The Chef’s Table, Italian Grill and The Kitchen Table, all serving meals prepared with fresh, local ingredients. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking Star offers more al fresco dining than any other ship.
• Enriching Entertainment: Connecting passengers to their destinations through authentic experiences is central to Viking Cruises, and Viking Star’s onboard venues include a dramatic three-deck atrium where passengers can enjoy musicians playing regional and classical music; the Star Theater, home of enrichment lectures from scholars and experts; an onboard cooking school where guests can learn local specialties; and the Viking Piano Lounge, where guests can relax, mingle, and exchange stories after a day of exploring.
• Sustainable Features: Designed with the environment in mind, Viking Star features energy-efficient hybrid engines, a hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hull and bow for maximum fuel efficiency, onboard solar panels, and equipment that minimizes exhaust pollution and meets the strictest environmental regulations. The ship has been designed by experienced nautical architects and engineers, including an interior design team of London-based SMC Design, and Los Angeles-based Rottet Studios. The first of two ocean ships on order, Viking Star will be built by Italy’s Fincantieri's Venice-Marghera shipyard.
Viking Star Atrium
2015 maiden voyage itineraries
• Viking Homelands (15 days; Stockholm – St. Petersburg – Copenhagen – Bergen) – This itinerary features a blend of northern continental European cities, imperial Russia and the legendary homeland of the Vikings. The journey includes overnights in Bergen, Stockholm and St. Petersburg, plus calls in Helsinki, Tallinn, Gdansk, Berlin (Warnemünde), Copenhagen, Aalborg, Stavanger, and Flam. Introductory 2-for-1 pricing starts at $4,999 per person with discounted airfares from $895 per person.
• Passage Through Western Europe (15 days; Bergen – London – Paris – Barcelona) – The nimble proportions of Viking Star give guests access to the heart of the Continent as well as coastal cities on this cross-region itinerary that journeys from the Viking waters of Bergen to London on the Thames, down the Atlantic Coast of France and Portugal, and to the Mediterranean. Ports include Lisbon, Cadiz, Gibraltar, and Cartagena with overnights in Bergen, London, Paris (Rouen) and Barcelona. Introductory 2-for-1 pricing starts at $4,499 per person with discounted airfares from $795 per person.
• Mediterranean Odyssey (13 days; Barcelona – Rome – Dubrovnik – Venice) – Spain, France, Italy, Croatia and Greece—this cruise has it all. Visit Toulon, France; Monte Carlo; Tuscany (Livorno), Rome and Naples in Italy; Corfu (Kerkira) Greece; Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia; plus overnights in Barcelona and Venice. Introductory 2-for-1 pricing starts at $3,999 per person with discounted airfares from $595 per person.
• Empires of the Mediterranean (10 days; Venice – Athens – Ephesus – Istanbul) – From ancient ruins to medieval cities, this Mediterranean journey starts in Venice and journeys to Pula and Dubrovnik in Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Santorini, Athens (Piraeus), and Ephesus (Kusadasi), plus an overnight in Istanbul. Introductory 2-for-1 pricing starts at $2,999 per person with discounted airfares from $695 per person.
Combination cruises of the above are also available, ranging from 22 to 50 days, and starting at $6,799 per person for introductory pricing with air specials from $695 per person.
Viking Star World Cafe
From now through July 31, 2013, Viking is offering an introductory Early Booking Discount in the U.S. market for the 2015 maiden season with 2-for-1 pricing on cruise departures and savings of $2,000 per couple on international air. The 2015 maiden season is initially being offered only in the U.S.; Viking will begin marketing the new ocean cruises in the UK, Australia and New Zealand later this year.
Viking Star technical details
Length overall: 745.4 ft. (227.2m); beam 94.5 ft. (28.8 m); draft 20.7 ft. (6.3 m); air draft 131.2 ft. (40.0 m); gross tonnage 47,800 t; deadweight 3,640 t; service speed 20.0 kn; number of decks 14; classification: Lloyd's Register.
- Category: Top Headlines
- Published on Thursday, 16 May 2013 21:30
- Written by Teijo Niemelä
Royal Caribbean today announced that Brian Rice, Vice Chairman and CFO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., will transition his CFO responsibilities to Jason Liberty as he prepares for his retirement in the spring of 2014. Rice will continue to serve as Vice Chairman until his retirement, overseeing Royal Caribbean’s finance, supply chain, strategy and information technology functions. Rice has been with Royal Caribbean for more than 20 years, serving as CFO since 2006 and Vice Chairman since 2012.
In a related move, Jason Liberty has been named the new CFO, effective immediately, and will continue to report to Rice. Liberty joined Royal Caribbean in 2005 and most recently served as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Finance, overseeing the company’s Corporate and Strategic Planning, Treasury, Investor Relations and Internal Audit functions. Before joining Royal Caribbean, Liberty was a senior manager at the accounting firm KPMG.
Additionally, Henry Pujol has been named Senior Vice President and Controller, and in his new role will report to Liberty. Pujol joined Royal Caribbean in 2004 as Assistant Controller and was promoted to Vice President, Corporate Controller in 2008. Before joining Royal Caribbean, Pujol was a senior manager in the audit practice of KPMG.
“Over the past 24 years, I’ve had the very good fortune to work for an outstanding company in a truly exciting industry,” said Rice. “I am proud to have played a part in its success, and I feel comfortable that I will be leaving the company in excellent shape.”
“Brian has been a key figure in the development of Royal Caribbean, and an important leader who has made significant contributions to the entire cruise industry,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Fain lauded Rice’s role in the creation of the Revenue Management discipline, which is now a standard industry practice. “Brian’s foresight and financial discipline helped us all become better sellers,” said Fain. “At the same time, his focus and determination have ensured we continually improve our financial management and credit strength.”
Fain added that Rice developed a strong talent base at Royal Caribbean, and would use the next year to help the company transition successfully to its next generation of financial leadership. “Brian is a strong leader and a good teacher, and he will continue to develop his team through the next year,” Fain said.
“I look forward to working with Jason and Henry as they continue their professional growth and development,” said Rice. “Jason is clearly ready to step into the role of Chief Financial Officer, while Henry continues to demonstrate his breadth and capability in his new responsibilities.”
- Category: Top Headlines
- Published on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 08:30
- Written by Kari Reinikainen
The cruise operations of TUI AG, the German travel group that owns Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten in full and which has a 50% stake in TUI Cruises, have reported a deep operating loss, mainly due to weak performance of Hapag-Lloyd, which will face restructuring while TUI Cruises performed well, the parent company said in a statement.
In three months to 31 March, TUI’s cruisr operations generated a revenue of €69.1 million an increase from €62.2 million in the same period a year earlier. Operating result (EBITA) showed a loss of €48.8 million, a marked deterioration from a profit of €2.5 million in the same period last year.
In the six months to the end of March, i.e. the first half of the company’s financial year, revenues rose to €120.6 million from €102.3 million, but EBITA deteriorated to negative by €60.0 million from a figure negative by €5.7 million a yrar earlier.
“In the period under review, Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten had to carry an adjustment of €49.0m. As current trading fell short of the planned levels, above all for Europa 2, the resulting occupancy risks caused charter shortfalls, which led to the formation of a provision for pending losses from onerous contracts,’ TUI sad in a statement.
In the first half of 2012-13, occupancy of the fleet operated by Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten declined by 7.2 percentage points versus the prior year to 69.6%. In the period under review, 176,194 passenger days were generated, up 13.2% year-on-year.
“The development of these indicators was impacted by the operation of Columbus 2 in the period under review, while the substantially smaller Columbus had still been operated one year earlier. Due to the renewal of the fleet, passenger days rose in the period under review, while occupancy declined due to the capacity increase associated with Columbus 2. The average rate per passenger per day benefited from the fleet renewal, growing by around 7.2% to €417,” TUI said
By contrast, TUI Cruises that operated two ships in the first half of the 2012-13 financial year performed well, as in the prior year. “At 698,636 passenger days, capacity was flat on the prior year. At 100.1%, occupancy continued on the successful development of the prior year. Both ships contributed to this high load factor with the respective winter trade lanes Caribbean and Arabian Gulf. The average rate per passenger per day was €135, up 3.8% year-on-year,” TUI said.
In the Cruises Sector, TUI Cruises will continue the planned growth path and focus even more strongly on generating its cash flow contribution to TUI AG. “A restructuring programme has been launched for Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten. The planned measures include reductions in material and staff costs. Fleet occupancy is to be improved in the short term by means of ad-ditional marketing measures. In addition, a potential adjustment of the fleet structure will be examined,” the company said.
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