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Star Cruises launches new SuperStar Gemini from SCC's HarbourFront Terminal

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News
SuperStar Gemini, the newly refurbished 50,764-tonnage passenger cruise vessel from Star Cruises, set sail on a 
maiden voyage from Singapore Cruise Centre’s (SCC) HarbourFront Terminal on 28 December 2012.

Formerly known as Norwegian Dream, the refurbished SuperStar Gemini features upgraded navigational and safety
systems; restyled cabins, restaurants, entertainment & recreational facilities and a new hull artwork, depicting the
constellation twins in vibrant colours. This transformation enables the vessel to deliver an all-inclusive cruise experience, offering a variety of entertainment
and recreational choices to delight its 1,532 passengers. The vessel houses 766 luxury guest cabins as well as over
6,000 sq feet of shops selling up-market duty- free luxury retail products, a spa and health club, a broad range of Asian and international cuisine, among others. As one of Star Cruises’ most ambitious ship renovation projects to date, SuperStar Gemini will homeport in Shanghai from April to October andoffer idyllic sailings to popular destinations in
North Asia. The maiden call marks yet another milestone in a long-standing relationship between SCC and Star Cruises since
the latter became SCC’s first cruise line customer in 1993. David Chua, President of Genting Hong Kong said: “This is an important day for us. We are launching a newly refurbished
SuperStar Gemini in Singapore with a long-term partner that shares our vision to further develop cruise holiday in Asia. Star Cruises’ partnership with SCC, which stretches close to 20 years, will continue to give a boost to thealready booming tourism sector in Singapore.” He continued, "We also like to take this opportunity to thank all our travel industry partners and media for their ongoing
support. SuperStar Gemini is the latest example of how Star Cruises creates indelible holidays for our valued passengers.
Earlier this year, we completed a refurbishment of SuperStar Virgo and next year, we will refurbishSuperStar Libra. Such ongoing effort reflects our commitment to deliver a unique brand of Asian hospitality to a growing market of discerning
global travellers." SCC’s CEO Christina Siaw said: “We’re absolutely delighted that we have the honour of being the first to welcome
SuperStar Gemini on her maiden voyage, and in our newly upgraded cruise terminal.”

STX Europe AS sells its 50.75% stake in Singapore-listed STX OSV Holdings. Ltd. to Fincantieri Oil & Gas S.p.A.

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

STX Europe AS says it has on December 21, 2012 entered into a share purchase agreement whereby STX Europe AS has agreed to sell to Fincantieri Oil & Gas S.p.A., subject to the terms and conditions of  the share purchase agreement, 598,851,000 shares in STX OSV Holdings. Ltd. ("STX OSV"), representing approximately 50.75 per cent. of the issued share capital of STX OSV, for an aggregate cash consideration of S$1.22, being S$730,598,220 in cash for each STX OSV share.

The closing of the transaction is subject to certain conditions, including third party consents.  Completion of the transaction is expected to take place by no later than the end of April 2013. Upon the satisfaction of the conditions, Fincantieri Oil & Gas S.p.A. will be required to make a mandatory cash offer for the remaining shares of STX OSV in compliance with the rules of the Singapore Code on Take-overs and Mergers.


Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines launch quarterly customer magazine

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines says it has launched a new, quarterly guest publication – Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Closer Magazine. "This stylish, glossy ‘lifestyle’ magazine is a combination of fun and informative features and articles on exciting ports and destinations around the world, gardening, health, well-being, shopping, cookery and much more."

An initial print run of 150,000 copies will be mailed to all members of Fred. Olsen’s loyalty scheme – Oceans – and distributed via cabins and public rooms aboard the fleet of four cruise ships, so that all of Fred. Olsen’s guests will be able to have a copy.

Nathan Philpot, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We are delighted to be launching Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Closer Magazine and really hope that all our guests enjoy reading it. We spent a lot of time thinking of a name that adequately conveys the warm and friendly atmosphere on board our ships, where our staff remember your name and favourite tipple, and we hope that our guests will get ‘closer’ to us by contributing their own stories and photos to the magazine.”

One of the main focusses of our new magazine is the way that a Fred. Olsen cruise can transport you to over 240 far-flung, exotic destinations around the world, from even more convenient regional departure ports in 2013.”

The first issue of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Closer Magazine showcases the Red Sea, Baltic and Greece, giving guests an informed insight into places that they have never experienced before, and inspiring them to want to discover more of the world with Fred. Olsen.

Other highlights of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Closer Magazine include a feature on Fred. Olsen’s award-winning Vistas onboard enrichment programme, exploring the exciting new themes coming in 2013, such as gardening with green-fingered Charlie Dimmock and wine tasting with oenophile Jilly Goolden; Fred. Olsen’s chosen charity, the RNLI, introduces some of its hard-working volunteers in the magazine; and Harwich International Port explains why it will be such an important addition to Fred. Olsen’s cruise programme from next year.


Viking River Cruises adds Bordeaux region wine cruise to 2014 programme

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Viking River Cruises has announced a new itinerary in France’s Bordeaux region for 2014 that will celebrate the senses. This eight-day cruise—Châteaux, Rivers & Wine—allows guests to enjoy the beauty and history of Bordeaux and the Aquitaine region, while exploring some of the world’s finest names in wine. Guests will sail on Viking Forseti, marking the first time an award-winning Viking LongshipTM will be deployed in France, the company said in a statement.       

“Our itineraries in France have always been very popular, and we are pleased to introduce this unique new experience in the Bordeaux region,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking River Cruises. “We have designed an itinerary that allows our guests to explore this historically fascinating region and enjoy some of the world’s most celebrated wines.”

Châteaux, Rivers & Wine takes guests on a unique exploration of the Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde Rivers, through the region that has for centuries produced France's most remarkable wines including Margaux, Pomerol, St. Emilion and Sauternes. The eight-day cruise journey begins in Bordeaux and makes its first stop in Pauillac, where guests can sip the full-bodied blends of the renowned Médoc and Margaux wine regions and travel along the famed Route des Châteaux for an insight into authentic château life. Next, guests have the opportunity to explore the Citadel in Blaye and the charming town of St. Emilion—both UNESCO World Heritage sites—before continuing on to picturesque Cadillac, where they can taste the sweet Premier Cru wines from the Sauternes region. The unhurried voyage concludes with an in-depth tour of the beautiful churches, grand Louis XV architecture and charming cafes of Bordeaux.

To enhance appreciation and understanding of the Aquitaine Valley during the journey, Viking’s Culture CurriculumSM on Châteaux, Rivers & Wine has been designed with the assistance of local experts toprovide opportunities for passengers to experience various aspects of the regional culture. Guests may learn to make tender canelés, a caramelized custard pastry, observe the winemaking traditions that have made the area so famous, begin or expand their appreciation of fine Bordeaux wines with the guidance of a master sommelier, and brush up on their conversational French with optional onboard lessons.

Guests on the Châteaux, Rivers & Wine cruise will travel on the state-of-the-art Viking Forseti, which will be the newest and most innovative ship to sail the rivers of the Aquitaine Valley—and the first Viking Longship to sail in France. Recently named Best New River Ships of 2012 in Cruise Critic’s® Editors’ Picks Awards, Viking Longships integrate patent-pending* design and cutting-edge technology, including an indoor-outdoor Aquavit Terrace, diesel-electric hybrid engines, solar panels and onboard organic herb gardens. 

Royal Caribbean introduces two more beverage packages

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Royal Caribbean International says it is furthering its commitment to total guest satisfaction by expanding its existing onboard beverage program to include two new packages that will streamline and enhance the onboard guest experience. The cruise line is introducing two new beverage packages – Classic and Premium, which will allow guests to pay one price at the beginning of their cruise vacation and enjoy a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at greater savings and convenience for the duration of their voyage. Complementing the new beverage packages are a variety of specialty dining packages, which allow guests to pre-book the cruise line’s signature restaurants at an incredible value.

Royal Caribbean is in the midst of an extensive revitalization program that will leave no ship untouched and includes enhancing the variety of new dining and beverage options for our guests,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, executive vice president, Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “The addition of these new beverage and culinary packages creates a seamless vacation experience for our guests, providing them with a greater selection of choices and delivering it to them at an incredible value and convenience.”

Guests interested in an alcohol-inclusive beverage package have a choice of the Classic Beverage Package for $45 per guest, per day, or the Premium Beverage Package for $55 per guest, per day, both inclusive of a service charge. The Classic features beer, house wines by the glass, as well as all non-alcoholic cocktails, fountain soda and juices. The all-inclusive Premium package features the afore-mentioned, as well as frozen drinks and all cocktails including premium brands.

Beverage packages are available for purchase on all seven-night or longer sailings and must be purchased on the first day. Guests choosing either package also must purchase the package for guests 21 years old or older sailing in the same stateroom. Packages are currently available on 13 ships and will be available on the remaining ships with seven-night or longer itineraries by early 2013.

By combining one of the new beverage packages or an existing package, such as the unlimited soda fountain package with a specialty dining package, guests will find all they have left to do is sit back and enjoy their vacation onboard a Royal Caribbean ship.

Dining packages vary from ship to ship as many of the popular Oasis-class specialty restaurants are introduced throughout the fleet as part of the cruise line’s revitalization program. Some of the restaurant concepts include Giovanni’s Table, Izumi Asian Cuisine and Royal Caribbean’s signature steakhouse Chops Grille. Guests have the option of choosing an all- encompassing package for a full gourmand experience or from smaller packages for those looking to broaden their palate at a lower price point.