Iain Baillie, with more than 15 years experience in the cruise and travel industries, has been named head of sales at Carnival Cruise Lines – UK last month. Baillie has joined Carnival on 1 March 2012 and is based at the company’s London offices. He reports to Adolfo Perez, managing director for Carnival Cruise Lines - UK.
In his role as head of sales, Baillie is responsible for overseeing the company’s sales, distribution, and trade engagement strategies in the UK and Ireland.Baillie began his travel career with Inspirations plc and then transitioned into trade-facing sales roles at Unijet, First Choice, and various organizations within the cruise industry
In 2002 Baillie joined Complete Cruise Solution, the UK sales function for P&O, Cunard, and Princess Cruises and served as senior sales manager for the east region. In this capacity, he managed relationships with a wide range of travel agent partners across various business models, working closely with them to increase the company’s cruise sales through strategic marketing initiatives.
“We are delighted to have Iain join the team as he is so passionate about the cruise industry and has developed outstanding relationships within the travel agent community,” said Perez . “His proven track record of success and leadership skills will help achieve our goal of building greater awareness and demand for the Carnival Cruise Lines brand in the UK and Ireland,” he added.
Louis Cruises has announced the deployment of its cruise ship Thomson Destiny in its own brand operations as of this coming season. Thomson Destiny will replace the Louis Majesty - which has been chartered to Thomson Cruises as it is better suited for their 7 and 14-night cruises - in the 3- and 4-night cruises operation out of Piraeus and Kusadasi as of May 11th 2012.
Refurbished this year, the new addition to the own brand operations is ideal for 3 and 4-night cruises to the Greek islands and Turkey. Featuring 9 passenger decks and 7 elevators, she can accommodate 1664 passengers in 725 comfortable and welcoming staterooms, 419 of which with window views and 21 suites, 9 of which with balconies, an upgraded option for the Louis Cruises passengers sailing on 3 and 4-night cruises. With 3 eating outlets to choose from, passengers can enjoy the sumptuous Greek and Mediterranean cuisine on board as well as 24-hour room service. A large show lounge, various other lounges, the casino Royale, the spacious decks - ideal also for parties by the 2 large swimming pools - and the 5 bars on board provide a complete entertainment at sea. A fully equipped gym, badminton, basketball and table tennis are available along with the Ocean's Spa for treatments and saunas. The Kid's Club, duty free shops, library and Internet corner complete the experience offered on board.
The deployment of this cruise ship in the Louis Cruises own brand operations marks the launching of the company's enhanced identity as a Greek island and Turkey specialist niche operator with a genuine Hellenic and East Med experience on board. It is for this reason that Thomson Destiny will be renamed Louis Olympia. Named after the ancient sanctuary and archeological site of Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games, the Louis Olympia will provide her passengers with a truly Hellenic experience, fitting with Greece's vast history and culture which shaped today's civilization and democracy around the globe.
Commenting on the addition of Louis Olympia to the own brand operations, Kerry Anastassiadis, CEO of Louis Cruises stated: "The deployment of 'Louis Olympia' in our ex Piraeus and Kusadasi itineraries marks a new era for us at Louis Cruises since it further enhances our profile as the Aegean and East Med specialists. With a name representing the eternal values of Olympia and fitting with our Hellenic identity and local expertise in the region, the 'Louis Olympia' coupled with our 'Louis Cristal' that operates 7-night cruises out of Piraeus and Istanbul, will now both offer our passengers a complete experience of the region's history, culture, tastes, music and 'filoxenia', the Greek word our warm hearted hospitality is based on, while they sail to unique destinations. From the moment a passenger boards one of our cruise ships till the time of his disembarkation, a Louis Cruises sailing offers a genuine experience of Greece and Turkey. After all, we at Louis Cruises don't just sail in Eastern Mediterranean but in essence we invite our passengers for an authentic experience in our 'home' waters."
The keel-laying of newbuilding 1376, an environmentally friendly new generation cruise ferry to be built for Viking Line ABP was performed at STX Turku Shipyard on Tuesday 6 March 2012. The keel-laying ceremony followed old traditions and was witnessed by representatives of Viking Line, STX Finland and the classification society Lloyd's Register, invited guests and members of the press.
When completed the cruise ferry Viking Grace will be the most environmentally friendly large cruise ferry ever. It is fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG), emissions into the sea have been totally eliminated, and emissions into the air are remarkably lower than those of any other ships. The 218-metre long cruise ferry is scheduled for delivery at the beginning of 2013. For the Turku Shiyard it brings approximately 2,600 man-years of labour.
"The project has advanced according to plan and we are pleased to be able to celebrate the keel-laying of the cruise ferry at the STX Turku Shipyard" says Jari Anttila, Director of STX Turku Shipyard. "The ship has already attracted a lot of interest both nationally and internatinonally due to her new and innovative technical solutions. This is positive for STX Finland and the Finnish shipbuilding in general," continues Anttila.
P&O Cruises is offering free cabin upgrades in March on a selection of 67 cruise holidays on all seven ships in the fleet, departing between June and December 2012, the company said in a statement.
"The Ultimate Upgrade promotion is valid on bookings made throughout March, and entitles customers to a higher grade cabin at a lower grade price. All cruises in the promotion depart from Southampton and are between two and 35 nights in duration, to a choice of destinations such as the Mediterranean, Baltic, Canary Islands, Caribbean, USA and Canada, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, and Around Britain," the company said.
P&O Cruises managing director, Carol Marlow, said: “Customers booking in March will receive a fantastic value cruise holiday, offering the kind of cabin that may normally not be affordable for an even better cruise experience. This summer or autumn you could be enjoying a stunning view of the fjords from your balcony or toasting the Caribbean sunset from a suite; all for less than expected, thus highlighting the unbeatable value for money offered by a cruise holiday."
Thomson Cruises, which is part of the London based TUI Travel PLC group, is replacing one of the four ships in its fleet this summer as part of the line’s modernisation plans, Travel Weekly reports in a newsletter.
The 1990 built 41,000 gross ton Thomson Majesty is coming in this summer in place of the 1982 built Thomson Destiny, which is of 38,000 gross tons. Thomson Majesty will operate four itineraries originally scheduled for Thomson Destiny from May 4 calling at ports such as Corfu Town, Venice, Santorini, Dubrovnik and Split in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as Atlantic islands sailings to Santa Cruz, Funchal, Las Palmas and Agadir in Morocco.
Managing director Fraser Ellacott said a “significant” number of passengers who had booked Thomson Destiny were being contacted about the switch of ships. But he said Thomson Majesty, which offers 12 additional berths, had a range of facilities which would appeal to those transferring vessels including more modern cabins, an a la carte restaurant and a couples’ massage room, the report said.
Thomson Majesty was ordered by Birka Cruises, a Finnish company, for short cruise service in the Baltic from Stockholm. However, the shipyard that was building the vessel went bankrupt and Birka did not accept the higher price the restructured shipbuilder wanted for the vessel. Instead, it was sold to Majesty Cruise Line and operated in the Caribbean as Royal Majesty. The ship was later sold to Norwegian Cruise Line who renamed it Norwegian Majesty and lengthened the ship sop that its gross tonnage increased by about 8,000. It let the Norwegian fleet a few years ago as part of their fleet renewal programme and was bought by Louis Cruise Lines, the Cypriot company, which has chartered it to Thomson Cruises..