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American Cruise Line to double the capacity in the Pacific Northwest in 2018

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

American Cruise Lines’ newest ship, American Constellation, will be heading to the West Coast in 2018. The decision came as a result of increased demand for American’s popular Southeast Alaska, Alaska Inside Passage, and Puget Sound itineraries. American Constellation began its inaugural season in May of this year and is currently serving a number of American’s East Coast cruises.

The addition of the 175 passenger ship will more than double American Cruise Lines’ capacity in the Pacific Northwest and add 18 cruises to the 2018 season. The new addition will allow an expanded schedule in Alaska aboard American Constellation, while enabling American Spirit to operate the company’s popular Puget Sound & San Juan Islands itinerary through July and August of 2018. This will be the first time American has ever offered summer cruises in Puget Sound.

While expanding its existing schedule, American Cruise Lines has also added a brand new itinerary, the Grand Puget Sound, for the 2018 cruise season. This 11-day round-trip out of Seattle will travel to some of the most popular destinations in the Pacific Northwest, including a number of ports not often accessed by larger cruise ships, such as Olympia and Tacoma. Additional details about the new itinerary will be announced soon.

“Small ship cruising is the best way to experience Alaska and Puget Sound,” says Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American “and with our brand new ships, we are able to accommodate evolving guest expectations for premium comfort.”

Before heading west, American Constellation will spend the remainder of 2017 on the East Coast serving American’s Grand New England, Hudson River, Grand Historic South, and Historic South cruises. New for 2018, American Constitution will be taking over these itineraries.

CCNE presents six-point strategic plan and outlines a ten-year vision

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

The 19th annual Cruise Canada New England (CCNE) Symposium formally kicked off on 13 June 2017 in the city of Montréal.
Following the recommendation of the 18th symposium, held in 2016, a ten-year, six-point strategic plan for the region, CCNE 2026, was outlined by Michael Venderbeek, Deputy Port Director of Flynn Cruise Port Boston, during the first session of the symposium.

The six points are:
– Research and Asset Development
– Brand Identity
– Marketing and Communication
– Destination Development
– Partnerships
– Funding.

CCNE as a loose alliance of more than 100 ports throughout Canada and New England has a vision of attracting dozens of cruise lines, hundreds of cruise calls, and over one million cruise visitors to its region by 2026.

The organisation will deliver this objective through putting in place the aforementioned six strategic action areas.

In research and asset development, CCNE will make concerted effort into enhancing knowledge and understanding assets within the Canada New England region; it will also explore opportunities and learn from other cruise regions. In terms of brand identity, the region will build a cohesive brand that can be easily marketed to cruise lines and their consumer bases. In marketing and communication, the alliance will strive to have high visibility among key stakeholders in the cruise business; this swill include travel agent training. In destination development, past experience taught the alliance the lesson of “build it and they will come”; it will continue to adhere to this philosophy and intensify investment. At the same time CCNE will strive to expand its partnership network. Within this ten-year time frame, the alliance will investigate alternative funding strategies with a goal of achieving adequate annual funding.

In spelling out its vision the CCNE Executive Committee recognises the challenges ahead. But these are achievable goals and the region has much to offer.

Cruise lines and professionals of the cruise industry to meet at the Bilbao Bizkaia Cruise Forum

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Port Authority of Bilbao, Diputación Foral de Bizkaia together with Turismo de Bilbao, and Turismo de Getxo will celebrate on June 29 the Bilbao Bizkaia Cruise Forum at the new cruise terminal. It is an event aimed at professionals within the port sector, auxiliary industry, travel agencies, institutions related to tourism promotion, as well as hotel managers, services, restaurants, museums, shops, tourist guides and all other facilities that can benefit from the arrival of cruise passengers to Bilbao or who want to expand their knowledge of this industry.

The number of cruise ships which have travelled through the port of Bilbao in recent years has increased globally and exceeded 86,500 cruisers in 2016. This significant growth clearly indicates the importance of port infrastructure for the development of the sector and the need to offer local tourism services adapted to the trends of the cruise market. The cruise lines themselves continue to bet on Atlantic destinations and point out that the disparity of destinations within the north of Spain is a new opportunity to increase passenger visits to Bilbao. Spain is the largest European cruise destination after Italy and our ports are at the top of the world ranking.

Bilbao Bizkaia Cruise Forum is organized by Cruises News Media Group, a media consulting company specializing in the cruise industry and organizer of the International Cruise Summit in Madrid. The forum aims to present the business opportunities that cruise traffic offers for Bilbao and Bizkaia and analyse the promotional activities that have developed from its port and institutions in receiving an increasing number of cruises with the intention of turning Bilbao into a home port.

The forum will be held on June 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event will be hosted by Virginia López, General Manager of Cruises News Media Group and moderated by David Selby, General Director of Travelyields Consulting. After the inauguration and welcome speeches by the Authorities, stimulating topics will be discussed, such as the latest investments made by the Port, including its new cruise terminal to improve the quality of services offered to cruise passengers, business evolution of cruises at this destination making a tour from the past, to the present and future forecasts and Bilbao-Bizkaia as an exceptional cruise destination.

This event will feature executives from the main cruise lines, such as Raffaele D'Ambrosio, Managing Director Costa Cruises, Emiliano González, Managing Director MSC Cruises, Jesús Ramírez, Business Development Manager Norwegian Cruise Line, Roberto Cabello, Business Development Manager Oceania Cruises, Matthew Agg, Destination Manager of Cruise & Maritime or Javier Rodriguez, Port, Ground, Travel & Cruise Operations Director Pullmantur Cruises and representatives of companies of the cruise industry who will participate actively in the forum, through moderated panel discussions, analysing the strategy to follow to obtain greater benefit from the industry in this destination and the future of Bilbao Bizkaia in the cruise industry.

The event is the result of the initiative of Port Authority of Bilbao, Diputación Foral de Bizkaia, Bilbao Tourism and Getxo Tourism, and has the collaboration of several public institutions and private companies.

Queen Mary 2 rescues British sailor

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

A British sailor whose yacht was severely damaged by a storm in the Atlantic was rescued by Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 on Saturday, a media report in the UK said.

Mervyn Wheatley, 73, participated a race across the Atlantic when his yacht was hit by a storm and capsized, before righting itself again. The mast, however, was severely damaged.

The rescue effort was coordinated between authorities in the UK and Canada and involved a British military plane. Queen Mary 2 diverted to rescue the sailor, who was lifted onboard. He only had minor injuries, a report on the Telegraph website said.

World's largest cruise ship Symphony of the Seas floated out in France

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

The newest member of Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis class of ships, Symphony of the Seas, is now one step closer to full completion as her April 2018 debut approaches. With the exterior now complete, Symphony of the Seas was floated out of her dry dock to begin the next phase of interior construction.

Symphony of the Seas will spend her inaugural summer season exploring the awe-inspiring destinations of the Mediterranean calling on ports in Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Provence, France; Florence/Pisa, Rome and Naples, Italy. She will then arrive to Miami in early November to begin 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.

Symphony of the Seas will claim the title of the world’s largest – and most adventure-filled – cruise ship, offering 28 more staterooms than her newest sister ship Harmony of the Seas and encompassing 230,000 gross registered tons.

Touting new features and amenities for guests, Symphony also will boast all the groundbreaking innovations and thrilling experiences that have garnered worldwide recognition for Harmony of the Seas. Among the award-winning and acclaimed favorites are the distinct seven-neighborhood concept, imaginative and sophisticated dining, Bionic Bar robot bartenders powered by Makr Shakr, Broadway-caliber entertainment, the iconic waterfront AquaTheater, the Perfect Storm trio of waterslides, and Ultimate Abyss – the tallest slide at sea.