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Juneau reaches settlement with industry

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

The City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) has reached a settlement with the cruise industry, which brings to an end a nearly three-year legal battle over the proper use of head taxes and passenger fees. The agreement follows a U.S. District Court judge’s ruling last December that said such fees were legal under the U.S. Constitution’s Tonnage Clause, but that they may only be used in ways that directly benefit the ships. The CBJ collects two fees – a Marine Passenger Fee of $5 and a Port Development Fee of $3 – amounting to $8 per passenger.

Under the terms of the agreement, Juneau may continue to use the passenger fees for “the planning, design and construction necessary to improve private and public cruise ship docks.” In addition, the fees may be used to fund restrooms, signage, motorcoach staging areas, passenger queuing facilities, and other cruise-related infrastructure expenditures. The parties further agreed to meet annually to discuss the use of passenger fees for future projects and that the fees would not be increased from their current levels for a period of at least three years.

In a statement, CLIA Alaska said: “We are pleased to reach resolution with the CBJ and appreciate the considerable efforts by the Mayor, Assembly and City Manager toward what is a very positive outcome. The agreement achieves our goal of providing certainty and predictability of how passenger fees will be utilized going forward, while still supporting services to our guests and the local community. Working together allows for continued positive economic benefits to Juneau in a manner that sustains the quality of life for residents and provides a great experience in a world-class destination.”

Fincantieri cuts steel for Viking's seventh newbuild

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

The steel cutting ceremony of the seventh ship which Fincantieri is building for Viking Cruises, took place on March 18 at the shipyard in Ancona.

The new unit, whose delivery is scheduled in 2021, will be placed in the small cruise ship segment. As its sister ships, she will have a gross tonnage of about 47,800 tons and 465 cabins with accommodation for 930 passengers.

The Viking units are all built according to the latest navigation regulations and equipped with the most modern safety systems, including the “Safe return to port”. Furthermore, they feature the most advanced technologies for energy saving and for meeting the strictest environmental regulations with energy-efficient engines and an exhaust gas cleaning system.

Fincantieri started its partnership with Viking in 2012, trusting the shipowner who was entering the ocean cruise market as a start-up. Today, the cooperation which first began with an order for two ships, has reached a total of 20 units, including the order awarded to Vard for two exploration cruise ships and the options. This is an all-time record, the largest number of units built by a shipbuilder for one sole shipowner.

The first of the series, Viking Star, has been built at the shipyard in Marghera and delivered in 2015. The other units, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, Viking Sun, and Viking Orion, handed over in 2016, 2017 and 2018, were all built at the Ancona yard, as well as Viking Jupiter, which joined the shipowner’s fleet in February. Other 10 units, options included, for Viking Cruises will take to the sea from the Group’s Italian yards between 2021 and 2027.

Cypriot niche operator Poseidon Expeditions appoint GAC as national agent in UK

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Niche cruise specialists Poseidon Expeditions, whose headquarters are in Limassol in Cyprus, are coming to the United Kingdom, and GAC has been appointed as their national agent to take care of the 114-passenger Sea Spirit from the Scilly Isles in the south to the coast of Scotland in the north, the company said in a statement.

The expedition cruise line offers luxury sailings to remote and less frequented destinations, such as the Arctic and Antarctic. They aim to give curious, discerning travellers the perfect combination of comfort, service and adventure, serving a global clientele with offices in the UK, Cyprus, Germany, USA,  China and Russia.

Poseidon Expeditions is the latest cruise company to select GAC UK as its agent, joining other operators such as Ponant, Fred Olsen and Grand Circle Cruise Line.

The Sea Spirit will take GAC UK to 25 ports on the Isles of May and Noss, Bass Rock, Grutness, Moussa, Llandudno, St Kilda and more, to arrange berths, timings, attractions and itineraries. Some of the calls are to uninhabited islands, where careful enquiries and arrangements have been made to establish ownership and permission to land the guests.

Angelica Vorea, CEO of Poseidon Expeditions, says: “In 2019, we expanded the geographic scope of our cruise destinations with the inclusion of the British Isles. The ‘Sea Spirit ‘ will be visiting coastal areas and smaller islands, inaccessible to larger vessels, keeping with our mission of providing our guests with a destination-focused experience, combining a high standard of onboard comfort and service with the spirit of adventure. We look forward to this new cooperation with GAC, which will provide our guests with an exceptional experience in the UK.”

 

Fergus Poole, GAC UK’s Cruise Manager, says: “With a 300% increase in cruise calls for 2019, along with the expansion of the range of our cruise products to include baggage distribution and ground handling services, we look forward to forging close ties with Poseidon Expeditions, and many other cruise lines in the years to come.”

 

The Sea Spirit will set off from Plymouth on 20 May, and complete its tour

Costa Smeralda floated out at Meyer Turku shipyard

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Costa Smeralda, the second unit in a series of LNG powered 180 000 gross tons ships for four brands of Carnival Corporation & plc group, will be floated out at Meyer Turku in Finland today.

The ship is due to be Costa Cruises in and it will be the first LNG powered cruise ship in the Costa fleet.

“With LNG a breakthrough in fuel technology, Costa Smeralda represents a major innovation for the international market and an important step toward setting new standards for the entire sector. Costa Group is the market leader in Europe and China, and we continue to make sustainable tourism a key part of our industry leadership” says Neil Palomba, President of Costa Cruises.

Meyer Turku has been leading the LNG revolution in ship building for several years now, with already two LNG powered ships delivered.

“We have been very excited to bring our expertise in designing, engineering and construction of LNG ships in service for Costa Smeralda. This ship is also going to be a step up in ship size for us, as we are continuing our production ramp-up to two times the level of previous high for the shipyard”, CEO of Meyer Turku, Jan Meyer, says.

In addition to Costa Cruises, the same platform will be shared by Carnival group members AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line.

 

Fourth berth opens at Costa Maya

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

A pier expansion has been completed at costa Maya on the Caribbean coast of Mexico and the facility now has four berths open for business, it said in a statement.

The fourth berth has a length of 318 metres, while two of the already existing ones have a length of 392 metres and one of 463 metres.

The work on berth four was completed on time and on budget, Costa Maya said.

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