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Bud Darr succeeds Michael Crye as CLIA's Vice President of Technical and Regulatory Affairs

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News
The Cruise Line International Association today announced Bud Darr will assume the role of Vice President of Technical and Regulatory Affairs.

Darr will lead the technical and regulatory affairs function at CLIA, including monitoring of domestic and international regulatory policies, developing industry-wide recommendations and representing the industry on a variety of technical and regulatory issues. In addition, Darr will lead the Technical and Regulatory Affairs team in their role as CLIA representatives at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Darr joined CLIA in September 2010 after 17 years of service in a variety of roles both military and civilian for the U.S. Coast Guard, and has been Director of Environmental and Health Programs. Prior to joining CLIA, Darr served as Deputy Chief of the Office of Maritime and International Law, where he was responsible for the domestic and international legal aspects of numerous mission areas. During his notable career, Darr was also an enlisted submarine nuclear propulsion supervisor in the U.S. Navy, after which he enrolled at Kings Point, where he graduated with honors in the Marine Transportation program and received his Merchant Marine License as a deck officer. Darr is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia and received his Juris Doctorate degree with honors from George Washington University Law School. Darr succeeds Michael Crye, who is leaving CLIA after twelve years of distinguished senior leadership to the cruise industry.

“I look forward to Bud Darr’s continued leadership on behalf of the cruise industry,” said Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA. “Bud is a maritime and cruise industry expert who has provided tremendous value to CLIA members, and we look forward to working with him on many of the critical issues that will shape our growing and dynamic industry for many years to come.”

ICCA exclusive support spotlights Australian growth at Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific - a conference and trade show focusing on the emerging Asian-Pacific cruise industry - announced today the International Cruise Council Australasia (ICCA) will give its exclusive support to the event.

The ICCA joins Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which has also pledged exclusive backing, and the Asia Cruise Association (ACA) and the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) as supporters of Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific 2012, which will be held at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore on September 17-18, 2012.

ICCA General Manager Brett Jardine said the ICCA was pleased to be supporting UBM Live's Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific.

"Cruise Shipping Asia- Pacific is important to the industry because it allows cruise industry members from around the world to get together to discuss their needs and opportunities," Mr. Jardine said. "Cruising is booming in Australia and we continue to see more ships based here and visiting our shores. At this year's Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific event we will be able to reach and educate an entire new demographic about our region."

Mr. Jardine said the Council's latest industry report showed that Australian cruise passenger numbers reached a new high of 623, 294 in 2011.

"This represents a record 34 percent annual increase  the largest recorded by any key world cruise market last year," Mr. Jardine said.

The support of the Council, which represents 27 member cruise lines, underscores the growing importance of the Australasian cruise marketplace in the global cruise industry.

"The ICCA support is vitally important to the Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific event," said Daniel Read, Portfolio Director of UBM Live's Cruise Shipping Group. "With a 23 percent increase in Australians taking cruise holidays in the last 5 years, it is apparent that the region is a stronghold for the cruise industry. We are delighted to be working with the ICCA to bring even more awareness and education about, and into, the region." 

Along with lending their exclusive support to the event, the ICCA will be debuting travel agent training during the conference.

The ICCA will offer two training modules, each two hours long, to provide tools and techniques for agents from Asia and around the world.  The first module, Introduction to Cruising, will focus on why people like to cruise, how to use brochures and the internet as sales tools, and how to make cruise reservations. The second module, Cruise Holidays Selling Techniques, will highlight the sales distribution channels of the cruise industry and work through the eight steps of the cruise sales process.

To learn more about the education sessions at Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific please visit

To register for the Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific event please visit

For exhibiting information visit:

Swan Hellenic introduces new summer 2013 brochure, with 16 new port calls on the upgraded Minerva

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Swan Hellenic's newly-refurbished Minerva has added 16 new port calls to her 2013-14 schedule, including maiden calls in Spitsbergen, Norway; Bangor, Northern Ireland; Dingle, Ireland; Cartagena, Colombia; and the San Blas Islands, bringing the total to 184 ports that the ship will be visiting.

Swan Hellenic's new 2013 brochure which can be pre-ordered and viewed online at, features 11-to-21 day Summer 2013 itineraries to The British Isles, Northern Europe, The Baltic, Mediterranean and the Black Sea; and select Winter 2013 cruises to the Caribbean, Central and South America. The brochure also features a new collection of Grand Voyages ranging from 27 to 30 days.

Guests who book by August 31, 2012 receive 15% off the early booking fares for cruises departing May 21 through December 19, 2013.

Minerva's enrichment itineraries will take guests to five continents, visiting hubs of culture, sites of ancient civilizations and inspirational landscapes. With the limited time launch offer, fares for most of the itineraries are less than $200 per person per day (starting from $115 per day) and include iconic destinations, hidden gems, distinguished guest speakers, unparalleled shore excursions, gratuities and port fees. All fares cited are cruise only, per person, based on double occupancy, subject to availability and reflect the 15 percent launch offer discount.

With a focus on British country elegance, the 350-guest Minerva recently completed a multi-million-dollar refurbishment that features expansive new public areas and an increased number of suites with balconies, representing 23% of all stateroom accommodation. In addition, all 181 staterooms have been upgraded with new en-suite bathrooms. The ship also boasts the new Orpheus Lounge & Bar, a wrap-around forward observation lounge with expansive panoramic views; an expanded Shackleton Bar; a new Livingstone Lounge for relaxing or reading; dedicated internet lounge and Wi-Fi accessibility throughout the ship; and an impressive outdoor walk around Promenade Deck.

As Swan Hellenic approaches its 60th anniversary year in 2014, the company continues to offer its hallmark qualities of intriguing destinations, all-inclusive value (with shore excursions, gratuities and port fees included in fares) and a roster of renowned Guest Speakers who provide in-depth talks on the history and culture of each destination.

New itineraries featured in Swan Hellenic's Summer 2013 brochure include the following:

– The 15-day Empires of the Black Sea (Sept. 26, 2013) sails from Athens to Istanbul, enabling guests to explore Batumi and enjoy an exclusive performance by the Adjara Company of Song and Dance, discover Yalta and the White Palace of Livadia (former home of the Russian Royal Family) and site of the 1945 Yalta Conference, encounter the ancient Greek settlements of Sevastopol, attend a performance at the baroque-styled Opera House in Odessa and visit Byzantine churches in the UNESCO-listed town of Nessebur. Fares begin at $3,229.

– Savor the Baltic Splendor (May 21, 2013) on a 16-day cruise that sails roundtrip from London (Portsmouth), stopping at the resort of Warnemunde, viewing the medieval gems of Tallinn, spending 2½ days enjoying the many treasures of St. Petersburg, viewing the Art Deco buildings and majestic cathedrals of Helsinki, cruising through an archipelago of 24,000 tiny rock islands to Stockholm, and calling in Elsinore to view Kronberg Castle, site of Shakespeare's Hamlet and a World Heritage site. Fares start at $3,484.

– Minerva sails a 15-day Realms of the British Isles (June 20, 2013) round-trip cruise from London (Portsmouth), taking guests from the Scottish Highlands to the islands and valleys of the Southern English coast. Port calls include Port of Tyne, Scrabster, Ullapool, Tobermory, Holyhead and St. Peter Port and an inaugural call in Bangor. Fares begin at $2,974.

– Experience Sagas of Iceland and the Faroes (July 24, 2013) on a 16-day roundtrip cruise from London (Portsmouth) as Minerva calls at Portrush on the rugged Antrim Coast, St. Kilda, Heimaey, Reykjavik, Isafjordhur and Akureyri as well as the remote Torshavn in the Faroe Islands. Fares start at $3,144.

– On the 15-day Adriatic Accolade (Sept. 12, 2013), Minerva sails from Rome to Athens. In addition to cruising the Ionian and Adriatic Seas, along the Dalmatian Coast and through the Corinth Canal, the ship calls at Brindisi, Ravenna and Venice, Italy; Pula, Korcula and Dubrovnik; Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; and Sarande, Albania. Fares begin at $2,889.

– Celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year while discovering the Mysteries of the Maya (Dec. 19, 2013) on an 18-day cruise from Jamaica that calls in Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Panama, Colombia and Barbados. Among the many experiences are inaugural visit to Cartagena, Colombia and the cultural traditions of the San Blas Islands, the Mayan archaeological site in the Copan Valley, and Santa Marta, the first town founded by the Spanish in Colombia. Fares start at $3,314, just under $185 per day.

Costa Cruises shifting capacity to Europe to meet demand in winter 2012/2013

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

In recent weeks Costa Cruises has seen significant positive booking trends in Europe, and the line is shifting capacity to Dubai/United Arab Emirates and the Mediterranean for winter 2012-13. 

The company will increase capacity in the U.A.E. by positioning a second ship in the region. From Nov. 17, 2012, Costa Classica, originally scheduled to sail in the Mediterranean, will join Costa Atlantica, offering weeklong cruises from Dubai to ports in the Emirates and Oman.

Additionally, capacity in the Mediterranean for winter 2012-13 will be increased by replacing Costa Classica (1,680 total guests) with Costa Magica (3,470 total guests). Starting Nov. 18, 2012, Costa Magica will offer 12-day cruises in the eastern Mediterranean calling at Greece, Israel and Turkey, and 11-day cruises to Portugal and Morocco in the western Mediterranean. 

Costa Magica had been scheduled to deploy with four other Costa ships in South America. Even with the deployment realignment, Costa will offer the twin flagships Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa along with Costa Serena and Costa Fortuna, representing a capacity increase of 13 percent on its popular South American itineraries.

Guests booked on Costa Magica in South America will be accommodated on a similar itinerary on one of the other four Costa ships. 

For more than 60 years Costa Cruises ships have sailed worldwide, offering the best in Italian style, hospitality and cuisine, while providing holidays focused on fun and relaxation. The lines ships visit 250 destinations throughout the Mediterranean, northern Europe, the Baltic, Caribbean, South America, United Arab Emirates, Far East and Indian Ocean. The line has 15 ships in service and one new ship on order from Fincantieri for delivery in October 2014.

Costa Crociere S.p.A. is a member of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world's largest cruise operator. With revenues of 3.1 billion euros and 2.3 million total guests in 2011, Costa Crociere S.p.A. is the largest Italian travel group and comprises the brands Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises and Iberocruceros.

Seven Seas Navigator completes refurbishment

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
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Regent Seven Seas Cruises' 490-guest, all-suite Seven Seas Navigator emerged from dry-dock, announced Mark Conroy, the line's president. The renovation includes the complete redecoration of the ship's eight Grand Suites and Master Suites and the debut of Sette Mari at La Veranda, an intimate Italian dining experience offering both buffet and a la carte service.

"The Regent Seven Seas experience has certainly evolved over the past 20 years, and this latest renovation signals our ongoing commitment to delivering the most sought-after, all-inclusive luxury travel experience," stated Conroy. "From small touches to major upgrades such as this, the subtle luxury and unparalleled comfort of these enhancements are designed with the guest in mind."

Renovation of the ship's Grand Suites and Master Suites includes new built-in cabinetry, custom-crafted furnishings including new headboards and bedding, balcony furniture, plush carpeting, designer accessories and original art. All Navigator Suites have been refreshed with plush carpeting, wall coverings, new dining tables and outdoor furniture.

Rolling out on May 30th are a range of new perks and privileges for concierge-level and above suites that include priority shore excursion and restaurant reservations and new and enhanced amenities such as illy coffeemakers. New concierge-level amenities and perks are also available fleet wide on Regent Seven Seas Cruises' all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Voyager. All suites aboard Seven Seas Navigator have been outfitted with new teak on the ship's balconies for added luxury and comfort.

The ship's popular breakfast and lunch buffet venue, La Veranda, has been masterfully repurposed to create Sette Mari at La Veranda offering an extensive menu of authentic antipasti and Italian specialty dishes available from the buffet and also ordered al momento (cooked to order). Al fresco dining is also available so guests can dine under the stars.

Prime 7, the ship's modern American-style steakhouse, has also been enlarged to accommodate 70 guests and features a new contemporary sculpture at its entrance. The popular Galileo Lounge has also been renewed and redecorated.

As part of the ship's fresh new look, ultra-plush carpeting has been installed throughout the public spaces and on Deck 12 guests will find updated saunas at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub(r), while the luxurious teak-covered pool area on Deck 10 will have renewed surfaces.

Seven Seas Navigator emerged from dry-dock on May 30, 2012, with a seven-night voyage from Vancouver to Seward, Alaska.