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Cunard hosts largest Diamond Jubilee celebration outside of London

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

In what is believed to be the largest Diamond Jubilee celebration outside London, all three ships of the Cunard Line fleet – flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth – sailed up Southampton Water in formation for the first time today, Tuesday 5 June, in preparation for a day of special tributes, celebrations and displays to mark Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Her Majesty The Queen has long been associated with Cunard, being the only person to have attended the naming of all three Cunard Elizabeths, beginning in 1938 with the original Queen Elizabeth, then in 1967 when she launched Queen Elizabeth 2 and 2010 when she named Queen Elizabeth.

This is the first time that the three Queens – the largest Cunarders ever built – have been seen arriving and departing together in formation at their home port of Southampton, England.

Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 approached the port soon after first light today, sailing in single file up Southampton Water, where a flotilla of small boats welcomed them.

Queen Mary 2 turned in the upper swinging ground as Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria tied up close to City Terminal.  Queen Mary 2 then slowly passed each ship in turn, creating a three ship formation and revealing a Congratulations Maam message by her funnel.  With crew lining the foredecks of all three vessels, the ships' whistles sounded in salute of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee.  

Cunard is delighted to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee in a way that gives everyone, especially our guests, a truly remarkable day that they will feel proud to talk about for years to come, taking part in history and marking the sixty glorious years of Her Majesty's reign in fitting, legendary and memorable Cunard style, said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line.

Events are planned through this evening to create both an outstanding guest experience and a fitting commemoration of Her Majesty's reign.  The celebrations will culminate in an evening spectacular when all three ships will again be brought within close proximity of each other, and from 10.20pm GMT, a fusillade of fireworks and special effects will light up the evening sky beyond them.

Queen Mary 2 will then lead Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth in single file down Southampton Water as all three ships set out on their celebratory Diamond Jubilee voyages.

Construction of Savona Palacrociere expansion begins

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

June 5 marks the official commencement of the work to double the capacity of the Savona Palacrociere thanks to the building of a second passenger terminal. The finishing touches have been made to the detailed design, and on June 1 the Savona Port Authority gave Costa Cruises a concession on the site where it will build the new facility with an investment worth around 9 million euros.

The tender process for the project was completed on May 24, 2012 and the outcome was subsequently announced: the contractor is a consortium led by Project Managers PDR Bianchi –De Rege S.p.A. of Genoa and Aza-Aghito- Zambonini S.p.A. of Fiorenzuola.

The building site will operate for about 15 months and the new satellite terminal is expected to open its doors for business at the beginning of September 2013, in time for next year’s peak cruise season in Savona. For safety reasons the worksite will be fenced off from the existing cruise terminal, while the tensile structure currently used whenever three cruise ships are in port at the same time will be moved to a location opposite the third quay. This happens on a regular basis: three Costa Cruises ships will be docking on the one day forty times in the next few months.

The second terminal will cover a total area of 3500 m2. It will be a satellite terminal, functionally connected to the existing Palacrociere, so that it can use its services, but also able to operate as a free-standing facility with its own waiting, transit and baggage handling areas. There will also be separate policing by the various authorities (police, Guardia di Finanza and customs). 

The firms behind the design of the new facility are all Ligurian: Studio Vicini Architetti (architects Luigi Vicini and Andrea Piazza), who also contributed to the designs of the original Palacrociere and the Barcelona “Palacruceros”; Studio Tecnico Ingg. Montaldo e Canale; and C.V.D. Progetti Srl.

The presence of Costa’s ships generates an important economic impact for the region. According to a study conducted by MIP, the Milan Polytechnic Business School, Costa Cruises generated more than 5.5 million euros of direct economic impact in the Port of Savona in 2010 and almost 230 million euros in Liguria as a whole, the latter figure largely accounted for by work carried out on the ships in the fleet.

American Cruise Lines' Queen of Mississippi heads for New Orleans

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

American Cruise Lines announced today that its brand new authentic paddlewheeler, Queen of the Mississippi, has received its Coast Guard certificates and at six weeks ahead of schedule has left Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland and is en route to New Orleans, from where her first cruises beginning in early August will depart.

"We are pleased with the completion of the Queen of the Mississippi," said Charles A. Robertson, President of American Cruise Lines. "This is the most spectacular riverboat ever built and we are delighted to report that all performance, comfort and environmental parameters have exceeded the design expectations."

The Queen of the Mississippi carries 150 guests in spacious staterooms, many of which are twice the size of those on other Mississippi riverboats. Almost all of the staterooms feature large private balconies with sliding glass doors and all of the amenities today's travelers expect, while maintaining the elegance and Victorian style of classic late 1800s Mississippi riverboats. American Cruise Lines will operate the new authentic paddlewheeler over the entire Mississippi River System, including the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers. The Queen of the Mississippi will also be able to travel at higher speeds than all other Mississippi riverboats, minimizing night travel and making more itineraries possible with longer visits to the river towns. A number of unique riverboat journeys are planned that take guests as far north as St. Paul, MN on the Mississippi River and as far east as Pittsburgh, PA on the Ohio River.

American Cruise Lines is honored to share its anticipation of Queen of the Mississippi's inaugural season with guests, travel partners, industry friends and river cruise enthusiasts around the world, and is confident that it will delight all who experience this grand new riverboat.

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 www.cruiseshippingevents.com/asia-conference-program.

To register for the Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific event please visit www.cruiseshippingevents.com/asia-register-now.

For exhibiting information visit: www.cruiseshippingevents.com/asia-exhibitors

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