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Princess Cruises to activate three additional Princess MedallionClass ships in 2019

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Princess Cruises announced today the expansion of its Princess MedallionClass experience to three additional ships – Royal Princess, Crown Princess and Sky Princess – building on the enhanced and personalized cruise vacations guests are currently enjoying on its Caribbean Princess ship sailing the Caribbean, and with Regal Princess starting February 17, 2019. The OceanMedallion, included complimentary, is a wearable device that elevates the guest experience by delivering an enhanced level of personalization and innovative services resulting in high guest satisfaction scores.

With the Princess MedallionClass experience coming to Crown Princess in July and Sky Princess in October, all guests sailing with the brand in the Caribbean will be able to enjoy an enhanced vacation through simplified, personalized and engaging experiences by the end of 2019. The addition of Royal Princess will also be the first time a Princess MedallionClass ship will be sailing in Alaska.

“Guests are finding their vacations enhanced with Princess MedallionClass on Caribbean Princess as a new and memorable experience, and we’re ready to offer these experiences and personalized services to even more of our guests, including everyone who sails with us in the Caribbean in the fall and winter,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “Starting in April, we will continue the expansion to a total of five Princess MedallionClass ships expected this year, as we continue on our path to fleet-wide activation. And we look forward to bringing the experience to new groups for the first time, such as those sailing to visit exciting destinations in Alaska and Mexico.”

Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and recently honored with a CES® 2019 Innovation Award, the OceanMedallion features leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service through enhanced guest-crew interactions, eliminates friction points and enables interactive entertainment.

Meyer Turku delivers Mein Schiff 2 to TUI Cruises in Kiel

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

TUI Cruises has taken delivery of Mein Schiff 2, a fresh take on a long series of ships from Meyer Turku shipyard. With New Mein Schiff 2 Meyer Turku and TUI Cruises have continued taking into account the feedback from the passengers of TUI Cruises' previous ships and further improved and refreshed the design of the ship.

“For us it has been a thrill working with TUI Cruises on the design and construction of this ship. The passengers will surely notice and hopefully like the differences to the previous ships. We have redesigned many of the areas of the ship, e.g. the Schau Bar [pictured below] and the restaurant area in front of the aft diamond structure," CEO Jan Meyer says.

This time the ship sailed to Kiel for the delivery ceremonies, due to ice conditions in the Turku archipelago. Especially the final silicone painting of the underwater part of the hull is not designed to withstand icy water.

“The commissioning of our new Mein Schiff 2 marks the successful end of our first expansion phase. Our sixth newbuild by Meyer Turku not only impresses with its design, its inner values are equally convincing: With the use of modern technologies we are setting standards for environmental protection," says TUI Cruises CEO Wybcke Meier.

For shipbuilders, every ship is an evolution both in the technology behind the walls and panels and in the interior design.

“The essence of our business is to listen to the feedback from the passengers and then use our own expertise in design and engineering to make the next ship even better, safer and more passenger-friendly”, CEO Jan Meyer tells.

Redesigning shipbuilding

While learning from previous ships and redesigning every ship is at the core of shipbuilding, Meyer Turku is also reinventing shipbuilding processes. With an extensive ramp- up program including investments of over 200 million euros, continuous recruitments and trainings for employees, Meyer Turku will double its production in the coming five years.

“With new machine and IT technology, our shipbuilding experience and many new ideas we are transforming the whole shipbuilding process to ensure that the ramp-up is executed in a smart and controlled way in good collaboration with our network. And we do need the very best talent to come along us for this journey”, CEO Jan Meyer continues.

Meyer Turku has currently several dozens of open positions at rekry.meyerturku.fi.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises sells Bremen to Scylla

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

The Swiss shipping company Scylla AG has been considered a pioneer of the river cruises since 1973 and has made a name for itself with the construction of innovative ships, not only in the charter business. In 2018, the family-owned company founded VIVA Cruises, its own river tour operator - and is now expanding its business with the purchase of Bremen from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

In total, Scylla currently owns 31 river cruise ships, each accommodating up to 220 guests. Arno Reitsma said, "We would like to use our decades of experience in the river area on a high-sea ship with a comparable number of guests. The Bremen is perfect for that. Our nautical and technical expertise, supported by the nautical management of RsR NEMO, also comes into play here. Thanks to this new evolution we can provide our existing customers with new Scylla quality and expand our customer base. The ship transfer will take place in May 2021."

Stena Line’s first new generation ferry floated out in China

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Ferry Company Stena Line has achieved another important milestone in its major new fleet investment programme with the launching ceremony of the first of its next generation of RoPax vessel taking place at the Avic Weihai Shipyard in China.

The first new vessel will be named Stena Estrid* and she took to the water for the first time on Jan 16th and is on schedule to enter service on the Dublin to Holyhead route in early 2020, the first of three new E-Flexer vessels bound for the Irish Sea by 2021.

Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson said: “Today the first of our new generation vessels achieved a very important milestone for Stena Line. The Stena Estrid successfully completed her float out manoeuvre from dry dock at the Avic Shipyard and now enters a busy phase of works ahead of her Irish Sea launch early next year.”

All three vessels that are being built for the Irish Sea will be larger than today’s standard RoPax vessels at 215 meters long with a freight capacity of 3,100 lane meters and the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers. This represents a significant multi-million investment by Stena Line and underscores our commitment to our Irish Sea operations and our determination to deliver the best possible freight and travel experience. Stena Line has a strong belief that Irish Sea ferry transportation will continue to grow and it remains a key strategic business region for the company.

“Stena Estrid will bring many benefits to ferry users including speedy and efficient loading/unloading operations plus further development of our Scandinavian inspired facilities including our restful and bespoke Hygge Lounge and the latest upgrade of our premium product, the Stena Plus concept. The new ships will be spacious, light and make use of panoramic views. This is a very exciting time for our business and I’m proud that as Europe’s largest ferry company, Stena Line continues help shape the industry for the next generation of freight and leisure customers,” concluded Niclas Martensson.

Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, offering the biggest fleet and the widest choice of routes between Britain and Ireland including Holyhead to Dublin, Fishguard to Rosslare Liverpool to Belfast, Heysham to Belfast and Cairnryan to Belfast, a total of 232 weekly sailings. The company also offers a direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg with three return crossings a week.

In addition to the three Irish Sea bound E-Flexer vessels, Stena Line has also ordered a further two E-Flexer RoPax vessels with a larger design, to be deployed within Stena Line’s network in 2022. These larger ships will be 240 meters long with a total freight capacity of 3,600 lane meters, and passenger capacity of 1,200. Stena Lines sister company Stena RoRo is managing all the E-Flexer building projects that are ongoing on Avic Weihai Shipyard.

*Stena Estrid is connected to Stena Line’s Scandinavian heritage and Estrid is an Old Norse eastern-nordic version of the name Astrid. Estrid is commonly found on old runestones and meaning divinely beautiful.

Virgin Voyages' to feature 'RockStar Suites'

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Virgin Voyages, the new lifestyle brand set to disrupt the travel industry, has released several designs and images of their RockStar Suites. The new company is throwing out traditional clichés on luxury and formalities, instead bringing Rebellious Luxe to life at sea with their RockStar Suites designed by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio as the pinnacle of that experience.

Highlights of the Massive Suite, the top suite aboard the Scarlet Lady, include its very own guitar-clad music room, views of the ocean from every corner of the suite, and a massive terrace complete with its own Peek-a-View outdoor shower, hot tub, hammocks and a runway outdoor dining table, where a staircase will help Sailors make their way on top of the table for dancing.

“Virgin has always avoided stuffy formalities and brought a lot of excitement and a bit of rebelliousness to our customer experiences,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group. “With these glamorous suites, Virgin Voyages is bringing rock and roll to the high seas and spoiling our Sailors like the rockstars they are.”

“We have combined brilliant design and Virgin Voyages’ epic Sailor experience vision to create a completely new version of luxury -- Rebellious Luxe, which is at the intersection of luxury and a rebellious attitude that makes everything we do different, indulgent and meaningfully relevant to our Sailors. Whether they want to sleep all day, praise the sun with yoga at dusk or party all night, our RockStar Suite Sailors can live out their fantasies aboard the Scarlet Lady,” said Tom McAlpin CEO of Virgin Voyages.
RockStar Suite Design

Virgin Voyages’ RockStar Suites bring a fresh take to yachting glamour steeped in the Virgin brand’s rock and roll heritage. Inspired by mega yachts and rock and roll style icons like Grace Jones, the RockStar Suites feature Tom Dixon’s iconic retro-futurism designs with a palette of deep blues used with iridescent dichroic elements to echo the colours of the sky and sea when sailing. Touches of yacht materiality are sprinkled throughout the suites with real leather finishes, marble-clad bathrooms and Terrazzo flooring. The suite’s design features nautical nods with a brass glam station and accenting beauty counter and bedhead lighting. The supremely modern suites boast high-quality design elements and bespoke Tom Dixon furniture pieces. Because music is the soundtrack to the soul, each suite is equipped with a vinyl turntable.

“We were intrigued to be appointed to rethink some of the most interesting spaces on this ship. A very rare opportunity to delve into a completely new escapist realm,” said Tom Dixon of Design Research Studio.

The RockStar’s View

With suites situated atop of the Scarlet Lady, RockStar Suites Sailors will have the best view that money can buy, with all suites purposefully configured to maximise the view of the ocean. Many of the ship’s suites feature a Peek-a-Boo shower, an all marble shower with a dichroic glass window carved in the center so Sailors can always look out at the ocean.

Rockstars who opt for the ship’s top Mega RockStar Suites, can bathe under the sun or stars with their very own Peek-a-View outdoor shower.

Because a rockstar can never have too much champagne, the sea terrace for each suite will feature a specially-designed champagne table where an ice bucket fits perfectly at the center of the table situated next to stargazing loungers, and Yellow Leaf brand, sustainably sourced terrace hammocks.

RockStar Lifestyle

RockStar Suites Sailors will live their best lives all taken care of by the RockStar Services Crew, from time of booking, to sail away and throughout their voyage. There will be backstage access for RockStar Suites Sailors at every corner, with early access to onboard entertainment, restaurants, Shore Things, a private transfer to and from the ship in Miami and an exclusive express VIP pathway to the ship during embarkation. RockStar Suites Sailors will have their very own wardrobe team to help unpack and repack, complimentary pressing service and nightly express swimsuit drying service-- because no Rockstar should ever have a wet bottom.

In Rebellious Luxe fashion, Virgin Voyages has reimagined the mini-bar for its rockstars, instead, suites will have a full bar and cocktail kit fit for a rockstar, with the first round on the house.

All RockStar Suites Sailors will have access to Richard's Rooftop, their very own private members club-- a secluded place for them to bask under the sun or have a drink under the stars.

All suites are clever cabins, with mood lighting that automatically adjusts to match the time of day and in room tablets that allow sailors to adjust the room’s lighting. Sailors will enjoy luxurious comforts like premium linens and a plush king bed in every suite as well as upgraded bath amenities for pampering.

Sailors looking to up their holiday game, can opt for one of the Scarlet Lady’s Mega RockStar Suites, primely located on deck 15. Mega RockStar Suites will receive a personalised bar filled with their favourites, and the RockStar Services Crew will tend to their Rockstar rider list, digging up whatever their heart may desire to make their voyage perfect-- all red gummy bears, an electric guitar and beyond. With only 78 RockStar Suites aboard the Scarlet Lady, among them are fifteen Mega RockStar Suites, aptly named the Massive Suites, Fab Suites, Posh Suites and Gorgeous Suites.

The Massive Suite

There are only two Massive Suites aboard the Scarlet Lady, with each suite sitting atop of the ship’s bridge. These 2,147 square foot suites are a place that legends dream of-- each with its very own music room, which seconds as an extra bedroom that is stocked with guitars and an amplifier. At the center of the Massive Suite is a circular oversized couch set up, perfect for conversation and a cocktails from the suite’s adjacent in-room bar. Rockstars can primp for an appearance aboard the Scarlet Lady in the suite’s glamorous bath and dressing room area complete with a hot tub, vanity area, two full-sized wardrobes and a marble-clad bathroom with a Peek-a-Boo shower area that overlooks the bedroom and out to the ocean. The Massive Suite’s larger-than-life terrace will be where friends, family and groupies alike can enjoy a private hot tub, a Peek-a-View outdoor shower, a circular conversation pit, a lookout point with stargazing loungers and two full length hammocks. Sailors in the Massive Suite can climb a staircase to the top of the runway outdoor table for dining and dancing in full Rockstar glory.

From now through January 31, Virgin Voyages fans can enter for the chance to win the opportunity to Party Like a Rockstar, in Virgin Voyages style, at their next #ShipTease event in New York City on Valentine’s Day. Those interested in the sweepstakes should visit www.virginvoyages.com to enter.

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