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AmaWaterways appoints Kevin Duffin as Group Chief Financial Officer

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

AmaWaterways today announced the appointment of cruise industry veteran Kevin Duffin, who joins the company as group chief financial officer (CFO). Effective immediately, Duffin will oversee all aspects of the company’s financial strategy from its headquarters in Calabasas, CA.

“Over the last 16 years, we have enjoyed tremendous growth at AmaWaterways – with the expansion of our fleet to 23 ships and new offices in the UK and Basel, Switzerland,” said Rudi Schreiner, president and co-owner of AmaWaterways. “We are pleased to welcome Kevin to our family and tap into his wealth of financial expertise within the cruise sector, specifically, to support our future success.”

A seasoned professional, Duffin brings more than two decades of hospitality and cruise finance and strategy experience to AmaWaterways. After graduating from Baylor University, Duffin has held various finance leadership positions with Brinker International, KinderCare Education and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, where he spent 16 years working in revenue management, product marketing, operations finance, and corporate planning and strategy. Duffin last served as vice president of finance and strategy for Celebrity Cruises overseeing the brand’s financial planning, analysis and strategy.

This year, AmaWaterways expanded its European fleet with the addition of AmaLea, sister ship to the award-winning AmaKristina, AmaStella and AmaViola. AmaLea began her Danube itineraries on May 6 with an official christening ceremony taking place on May 26 in Vilshofen, Germany. In 2019, the line will welcome three new ships to its European fleet – AmaMagna, AmaMora and AmaDouro – the most in a single year since its 2002 launch. These new ships are sure to showcase the company’s commitment to innovation, excellence and luxury.

“Throughout my time in the cruise industry, I have admired AmaWaterways’ approach to pushing beyond the norms of river cruising and the company’s personal commitment to delivering the highest level of guest satisfaction,” said Duffin. “Needless to say, I am thrilled to be a part of this team as we step into an exciting phase of growth.”


British cruise market to surpass 2.0 million in 2018 – P&O Cruises

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

The British cruise market should generate more than 2.0 million passengers this year, the first time it has exceeded the figure, said Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises senior vice president.

Last year, the figure came in at 1.96 million, with less than a percent’s growth on the previous year.

Speaking in connection with the cutting of the first steel to the first of two 180,000 gross ton newbuildings, he said: “This is a very exciting and momentous day. Our new ship will be the largest ship ever operated by the brand and the largest ever to be dedicated exclusively to the UK cruise industry. It will also be the first ship in our market to be powered by LNG, the most environmentally-friendly power source yet for large-scale cruise ships.”

“With UK passengers numbers set to top two million for the first time this year, we are confident in cruising’s future and believe that there will be an exceptionally positive UK response to this ship and the innovations it will bring. We also expect this ship to persuade many UK consumers to take that all important first cruise.”

First steel cut to first P&O Cruises’ newbuilding, name due to be unveiled 24 May

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

P&O Cruises, the Bfritish contemporary market unit of Carnival Corporation & plc group, has marked a milestone as it cut the first piece of steel for the first of two 180,000 gross ton LNG powered newbuildings being built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg.

“P&O Cruises will announce the name of the new ship on Thursday May 24 at 4pm on the company's Facebook page. This highly anticipated announcement comes as a result of a competition that P&O Cruises ran last year when it invited members of the public to suggest a suitable name for the ship. Over 30,000 submissions were received with a panel of experts making the final decision,” the company said in a statement.

The steel cutting ceremony was attended by P&O Cruises senior vice president, Paul Ludlow; Carnival UK president Josh Weinstein and managing director of Meyer Werft, Tim Meyer.

Craig David helps to launch Marella Explorer

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

On May 17, multi-platinum selling and award-winning recording Artist Craig David dazzled employees suppliers and media at an exclusive ceremony to celebrate the launch of Marella Cruises’ newest ship, Marella Explorer, in Palma, Majorca.

Craig surprised guests with a set from his world-renowned DJ show TS5, playing many of his much-loved hits including ‘Fill Me In’ and ‘7 Days’ as well as ‘I Know You’, the latest smash hit from his new album ‘The Time Is Now’.

Following a rebrand in 2017, the launch of Marella Explorer was an opportunity to showcase a more modern Marella Cruises. The live show creative theme, ‘energy and light’, provided a fitting canvas to express the new phase of Marella Cruises’ journey.

Pioneering technology was used to create a show-stopping christening ceremony. The glittering production featured mappable versatube lights and LED wristbands to create a dazzling light universe across the whole top deck, making the audience part of the visual canvas to highlight the importance of the Marella Cruises crew. The guests’ wristbands activated during Craig’s performance, changing colour to the beat of the music, while floating pool lights and lasers heightened the futuristic display.

As the countdown began to officially launch Marella Explorer, 10 special team members - each representing a different part of the ship – held a beam of light that released the champagne bottle to christen the ship.

Finally, a spectacular display of fireworks lit up the sky to close the show as Craig finished his set, leaving guests to continue celebrating into the night.

The hour-long spectacular was the brainchild of Black Skull Creative’s Dan Shipton, Ross Nicholson and Jay Revell, who together have produced high profile shows for artists such as Dua Lipa, Paloma Faith and Ellie Goulding.

Craig David commented: “It was great celebrating the launch and performing on the Marella Explorer in Palma tonight. I loved surprising the crowd, the atmosphere was electric. With my TS5 Pool Party at Ibiza Rocks kicking off from early July this has been the perfect warm up to what is going to be a Summer to remember in the Balearics. What a time to be alive!”

Marella Explorer offers even more choice, space and flexibility to customers with two new cabin types, a family balcony cabin which sleeps up to five and a balcony cabin that offers more external space; 10 restaurants with new premium dining options and 12 brand new entertainment shows. Alongside all of these exciting new additions are a team of 830 Marella Cruises staff who will continue offering Marella Cruises’ renowned friendliest service at sea.

Managing Director of Marella Cruises, Chris Hackney, said: “The launch of Marella Explorer marks an exciting time for us as she is the first ship to officially launch under the Marella Cruises name, so it was an honour to have Craig David join us in celebrating such a fantastic night. The crowd went wild during his performance.

“Marella Explorer marks the next step in the continued modernisation and growth of the Marella Cruises fleet. We pride ourselves on continuing to offer more ships, new destinations and fantastic service and the futuristic feel of this evening has given a real glimpse of how we are continuing to look to the ahead.”

Marella Explorer will set sail on her maiden customer voyage on Saturday 19th May, visiting a variety of ports in the Mediterranean for destinations such as Villefranche, Barcelona and Naples.

TUI’s fleet currently comprises 16 cruise ships. TUI Group’s cruise subsidiaries TUI Cruises, Marella and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will take delivery of additional new ships in 2018, 2019 and 2023 in order to further expand their market position. Last week, TUI Group’s Supervisory and Executive Boards also gave the green light for the construction of another expedition cruise ship for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will shortly start the planning and negotiation process for a further Hanseatic class ship.

New Sky Princess to offer Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises during the inaugural season

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Princess Cruises guests sailing to the Caribbean will enjoy the white-sand beaches, warm sunshine and inviting island life on a variety of cruise itineraries to all three sought-after regions – Eastern Caribbean, Western Caribbean and Southern Caribbean. On sale since yesterday, the newly announced fall 2019 to spring 2020 program features the maiden season of Sky Princess, debuting in December 2019 on a 3-night inaugural cruise, followed by a series of seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages.

The cruise line's fourth Royal-Class ship, Sky Princess, sets sail out of Ft. Lauderdale on a three-day, roundtrip cruise departing Dec. 4, 2019, visiting Princess Cays, recognized as one of the top cruise line private islands in the Bahamas. The ship then sails on alternating seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale Dec. 7, 2019 - April 4, 2020. Voyages offer late-night stays, during every visit to St. Thomas and Cozumel so guests can enjoy more time in these popular destinations.

"The Caribbean continues to be a highly desired destination for families, honeymooners and travelers alike, offering a memorable taste of the island life through its culturally diverse people, flavorful food and of course, the sun-drenched beaches," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "The new Sky Princess and our other beautiful ships provide comfort and convenience while visiting the many diverse Caribbean islands."

Onboard, our guests can celebrate the unique colors, cultures and flavors of the islands with our Rhythm of the Caribbean program. Princess guests can immerse themselves in one-of-a-kind cultural activities — from local music and crafts to meeting "Parrots in the Piazza" and captivating presentations from local experts like shark divers and treasure hunters.

At-a-glance, itinerary highlights for the 2019-2020 Caribbean season include:
– Five ships offering 10 itineraries and 119 departures onboard Caribbean Princess, Crown Princess, Pacific Princess, Regal Princess and the new Sky Princess.
– Regal Princess also offers seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages from Ft. Lauderdale with "More Ashore" stays in St. Thomas and Cozumel.
– Longer and more destination-rich itineraries to the Southern Caribbean aboard Caribbean Princess and Crown Princess, featuring 10- or 14-day cruises.
– Princess Cruises visits 25 Caribbean islands and six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Belize Barrier Reef System and Antigua Naval Dockyard and related archeological sites
– Calls to the award-winning Princess Cays on every seven-day Eastern Caribbean voyage, and select Western and ten-day Southern Caribbean voyages.
– A unique 14-day holiday cruise aboard Pacific Princess visiting Southern Caribbean island Mayreau for the first time.

Sky Princess also introduces the line's new Sky Suites, offering guests the largest staterooms on the ship, and best views with their most premium suite ever. With 270 degree views from the top of the ship and exclusive views of the ship's Movies Under the Stars screen, guests will enjoy a variety of new amenities exclusive to the Sky Suites. The Princess Cruises Sky Suites will be the first staterooms to accommodate up to five guests, and offer the largest balconies in the fleet with luxury furnishings. More details on the suites to be announced in the coming months.