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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines exend all inclusive package and introduce price pledge

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

To reflect the growth in the‘all-inclusive’ holiday market, and following the successful introduction ofits ‘all-inclusive’ drinks package on four limited availability 2013 Canariesfly-cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines says it is extending this offer.

“If guests book by 30thSeptember 2012, for all cruise departures on, or after, 6th April2013 and featured in its  current ‘2013/14 Worldwide Cruises’ brochure(excluding the 2014 Balmoral and Black Watch ‘Grand Voyages’ andtheir sectors, and full-charter Boudicca cruise JMGD1321), they willautomatically qualify for a freeupgrade to an ‘all-inclusive’drinks package, including beers, wine, spirits and soft drinks,” the companysaid in a statement.

 “This excellent deal will beadded to all applicable bookings retrospectively. But future cruise guests willneed to be quick to secure their place, as this offer is limited to the first100 bookings per sailing taken between now and the end of September 2012,” the company said. 

 Nathan Philpot, Sales andMarketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We know that many ofour guests are on a tight budget in this challenging economic climate, and withthis ‘all-inclusive’ drinks package, our 2013/14 cruise programme is evenbetter value for money. Our ‘drinks inclusive’ package on the four selected2013 Canaries fly-cruises, which we launched earlier this year, has provenextremely popular, and sold out three times as quickly as our cruises withoutthis valuable add-on.

 “There is a huge demand for‘all-inclusive’ holidays, which now account for one in three package holidaysbooked, with a 50% growth between 2008 and 2011.” [Source: Key Note,‘All-Inclusive Holidays Market Assessment 2012’

 As well as the accommodationon board its fleet of four traditional, more intimate ships – Balmoral, Braemar,Boudicca and Black Watch – Fred. Olsen’s cruise prices includeall meals on board, free access to its award-winning Vistas onboardenrichment programme, glittering evening shows and entertainment, and porttaxes.

To offer guests the bestpossible price on their cruise, Fred. Olsen is also introducing a newearly-booking ‘Price Pledge’ for guests securing their cruise from 20thJuly 2012 and before 30th September 2012, to apply to all sailingsdeparting on, or after, 6th April 2013 and which are featured in thecurrent ‘2013/14 Worldwide Cruises’ brochure (excluding the 2014 Balmoral andBlack Watch ‘Grand Voyages’ and their sectors, and full-charter Boudiccacruise JMGD1321).**


The ‘Fred. Olsen PricePledge’ means that, if the price of the cruise is reduced for the cabin gradebooked, Fred. Olsen will refund the difference through one – or a combination –of measures: a cabin upgrade; onboard spending credit; or a cash refund, all atFred. Olsen’s discretion. Fred. Olsen will contact all relevant guests beforethe applicable cruise departure date to advise them of how they havebenefitted, so that guests can relax and have no need to monitorprices.      


Nathan Philpot continued: “Wehave been discussing a ‘Fred. Olsen Price Pledge’ with our key trade partnersfor a number of weeks, and this is one of a range of options that we areintroducing to help to restore confidence in the cruise market to encourageguests to book early. We want to offer our guests the best possible deal on theircruise with us, and by booking early with the ‘Fred. Olsen Price Pledge’, theywill have the peace of mind that, should the cruise price reduce, then we willmake up the difference, whilst they will be able to secure the best choice ofcruise and cabins.


The ‘Fred. Olsen PricePledge’ applies to the cruise element of the holiday, and not to other packagecomponents, such as flights, hotels and transfers.

Silversea appoints new Vice President of Marketing for the Americas

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has appointed Keith Spondike as its new Vice President of Marketing for the Americas, effective 6 August.

Based in the company's Fort Lauderdale office, Spondike will report to Ellen Bettridge, Silversea's President of the Americas. He will oversee day-to-day marketing activities, including the development, implementation and management of advertising, collateral, direct marketing and e-marketing programmes.

Bettridge said: "Keith's leadership style and success in leveraging marketing strategy to achieve optimal financial results stood out among a very distinguished group of candidates, and I'm pleased to welcome him to Silversea."

Prior to joining Silversea, Spondike was chief marketing officer for Avantair, a leading private air travel services company. His past experience also includes 18 years with General Motors, where he helped lead the rebirth of the Cadillac brand.

Spondike commented: "I'm excited about the opportunity to work for such a prestigious luxury travel company. I look forward to working with all departments in the organisation to develop innovative marketing strategies to increase awareness of the Silversea brand."

Spondike holds a master's degree in business administration from Wayne State University and a bachelor of science degree in finance from Oakland University.

Viking River Cruises orders two more "Longships" for 2013

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Viking River Cruises ( has placed an order for two additional Viking Longships in 2013. This brings the number of new ships launching next year to eight – an industry first – and a total of 14 new Viking Longships over a two year period.

"As the fastest-growing segment of travel, river cruising is inspiring more vacation plans than ever before," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking River Cruises. "We are very pleased by the response we have seen to our new Viking Longships, and we are continuing our expansion to meet that demand."

Viking Longships integrate patent-pending design and cutting-edge technology with comfortable amenities that reflect guest preferences and current travel trends.

Accommodating 190 passengers, the ships are scheduled to sail four of Viking’s most popular European itineraries, including the 10-day Tulips & Windmills, 8-day Romantic Danube, 15-day Grand European Tour and 8-day Danube Waltz. The two newest ships, Viking Jarl and Viking Atla, will host guests on the 8-day Rhine Getaway cruise sailing from Amsterdam to Basel. Each of the new Viking Longships will be 443 feet (135 meters) long and will feature 95 staterooms per ship.

Assonave: European shipbuilding still in critical condition

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
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Assonave – the National Association of Italian Shipbuilders, Shiprepairers and Ship suppliers – met under the chairmanship of Corrado Antonini in Rome yesterday. The report presented to the meeting showed that the situation is still critical: at 32 million compensated gross tonnes (cgt), world orders dropped by 18% over 2010 and in the first quarter of 2012 orders totalled less than 5 million cgt, down 24% on the same period in 2011. Were this trend to continue, 2012 would become one of the years when demand hit a record low. The financial crisis, which has led to a considerable slowdown in seaborne trades, came on top of a very high volume of newbuilding deliveries between 2009 and 2011, which in turn led to a general drop in freight rates, impacting on the profitability of shipowners and hence on ships new orders. The slowdown in orders has not only been recorded in the standard ships sector but also in the market for high tech ships, including cruise vessels, with the sole exception of the offshore sector and gas tankers, where the Korean and Norwegian shipbuilders excel.

Italian shipbuilding – mainly positioned in specialised niche markets – reflects the general trend of the industry: the orders gained last year amount to approximately 330,000 cgt, much less than the pre-crisis yearly average of 1 million cgt. As a consequence, the orderbook fell from 2.8 million cgt to 885,000 cgt at the close of 2011.

Considering that in the medium term world demand is not expected to exceed 40 million cgt and that these volumes will be matched by a production capacity which has reached 60 million cgt, the extent of the serious overcapacity which the sector will have to bear in the years to come is clear.

Within this context, in 2011 the cruise sector counted 19.5 million passengers worldwide, compared to 18.8 million in 2010, an increase of 3.7%. The outlook for the future is good. However, the fact that 10 ships were ordered in 2011, against 7 the previous year, should not lead to over-optimistic reactions: indeed in terms of lower berths the ships ordered amount to approximately 23,000 LBs compared to over 24,100 LBs in 2010.

Furthermore, if we compare the orders for the four pre-crisis years, 2004-2007, to 2008-2011, we can see a dramatic trend with the numbers of ships halved: 51 against 21.
Further cause for concern is the double order from Aida Cruises gained by Mitsubishi H.I. following financing by Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

In the naval sector, alongside positive results in the international field, concern is raised by the continuity of demand from the Italian Navy whose budget, which has been reduced considerably over the years, has been further cut by the recent measures aimed at containing public spending.

The European Commission has sought to tackle this critical downturn in a number of ways and through CESA - the European Association of Shipbuilders and Shiprepairers – it has been possible to obtain more favourable credit policies from the EIB and the renewal, for 2012-2013, of the Shipbuilding Framework which regulates the innovation aid to European shipbuilders. At the same time a new initiative, LeaderSHIP 2020, has been started with the aim to draw up a new industrial policy focusing on the development of sustainable maritime transport and on the exploitation of renewable marine energies, using the three levers of finance, research and innovation and social policies.

Speaking after the meeting the Chairman, Corrado Antonini, said: “We are faced with a further period of difficulty but we can and will use the wide range of levers at our disposal on an industrial, strategic and research level. It is up to the workforce to redouble their efforts to improve productivity and up to the state to ensure we are supported in terms of regulations and funding, especially for export and technological innovation. We must work together if we want to stay alive and to be ready to reap the rewards of a recovery in the sector, which we all hope will come sooner than we might now think.”

First plans and drawings revealed for the Titanic II

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
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Professor Clive Palmer today released preliminary plans and drawings for the Titanic II project devised by international ship design and engineering company, Finnish-based Deltamarin.

The Titanic II Preliminary General Arrangement Plan and Preliminary Midship Section Drawing depicts nine decks complete with first, second and third class, officer and crew accommodation as well as the insertion of a new ‘Safety Deck’.

Professor Palmer said the plans from Deltamarin for his shipping company Blue Star Line represent a significant milestone for the Titanic II project.

"These plans underline the commitment and progression Blue Star Line has for the Titanic II project," Professor Palmer said.

He said from deck D upwards Deltamarin have managed to keep the public rooms, passenger stairs, cabins and other features in similar locations as in the original ship.

"The Preliminary General Arrangement plans depict the original separation between first, second and third class, which will be kept in the ship’s final design," Professor Palmer said.

"To ensure Titanic II is compliant with all current safety and construction regulations, a new ‘Safety Deck’ has been inserted between D and C decks and will feature proper lifeboats, safety chutes or slides as well as new common public rooms."

"New escape stairs, service elevators, air conditioning room and similar functions have also been added and the inclusions of main fire zones have been designed so that they have minimum disturbance on public rooms."

"G deck has also been re-designed to now feature crew accommodation, laundry, stores and machinery."

The final design is subject to approval of the board of Blue Star Lines.

He reaffirmed the first voyage remains set for late 2016, with the intention for Titanic II to sail from China to England before her maiden passenger voyage retracing its original journey.

"Blue Star Line’s website continues to receive an overwhelming response from people expressing an interest in receiving regular updates from us or requesting information on how to secure bookings for Titanic II’s maiden voyage," Professor Palmer said.

On April 30, 2012, Professor Palmer announced to the world his intention to build and launch Titanic II in conjunction with leading Chinese shipbuilders, CSC Jinling Shipyard.

The announcement came 100 years after the original vessel last sailed.

The work carried out by Deltamarin, one of the world’s leading ship design and marine engineering companies, will enable China’s CSC Jinling Shipyard to begin construction of the passenger liner.