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Sovcomflot eyes cruise industry as possible new offshoot

  • Written by Christer Gorschelnik
  • Category: More News

Sovcomflot, the Russian state owned tanker company, sees cruise industry as a potential direction to diversify the business of the company. “This is interesting (cruise industry), this could be something for us in the long run,” a senior Sovcomflot executive told Cruise Business Online at a trade show in St Petersburg earlier this autumn.

The Russian economy has expanded rapidly in recent years due to high raw material prices and various cruise lines have tapped the Russian market. However, the country does not have a national brand that would solely target the Russian market at the moment. Earlier this month, Sovcomflot signed a contract with the Arctech shipyard in Helsinki for the construction of three ice breakers. The yard is a joint venture of STX Europe, which is part of the STX Business Group in South Korea,  and United Shipbuilding Corporation, the Russian shipbuilder. Sources say the order could be increased to 15 vessels over time.

In other developments, St Peter Line, the St Petersburg based cruise ferry company, is looking for a second hand vessel that it would operate in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, with the Russian source market as target. At the moment, the company operates two second hand cruise ferries on year round services that link St Petersburg with Helsinki, Tallinn and Stockholm.

The Transtec  2012 trade show in St Petersburg that will run from 2 to 4 October next year will include a seminar called The Cruise Market and Russia - Expanding Horizons, with an aim to promote the development of cruise industry in Russia.  Cruise Business Review will be the only publication focusing on the cruise industy that  will be distributed to all delegates at the event.

Minerva's 83 day refit starts at Lloyd Werft

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Lloyd Weft Bremerhaven says it has started work on the 12,499 gross ton Minerva, which is operated by All Leisure group unit Swan Hellenic on long term bareboat charter from Arctica Adventure & Cruise Shipping Ltd. The work will take 83 days and the ship is due to re-enter service on 27 February next year.

A total of 150 cabin bathrooms will be renovated and six cabins on deck 5 will give way to an enlarged beauty centre and fitness area. Deck 8 will be extended to provide more outer deck space and an observation lounge will be built on the uppermost passenger deck. Twenty suites  a further 12 cabins on deck 9 will be fitted with balconies.

Minerva was built in 1996 at T. Marriotti in Genoa and Swan Hellenic operates the ship on worldwide itineraries that focus heavily on the destinations visited. Many excursions are included in the cruise fare and the company frequently has high profile guest speakers to talk about interests relevant to the area where the ship is sailing. Swan Hellenic mainly caters for the UK market.


Oceania Cruises introduces new beverage packages

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Oceania Cruises will introduce two new beverage packages on voyages beginning in 2012. The new wine, beer and spirits beverage packages were designed to enhance the culinary experience for guests while at the same time offering additional convenience and value.

All Oceania Cruises guests will continue to enjoy unlimited complimentary soft drinks, bottled water, specialty coffees and teas on every sailing.

House Wine and Beer, priced at $29.95 per guest, per day, includes house wine by the glass and beer with lunch and dinner in any dining venue or via room service. House wine options are from a selection of red and white wines that change daily.

The second option, Open Bar, priced at $49.95 per guest, per day, includes beer and premium house wine by the glass and most beverages on the bar menu. Guests can also order spirits and beer through room service. Premium house wine options are from an exclusive selection of featured red and white wines that change daily.

"Our new beverage packages offer guests a convenient and affordable way to further enjoy the finest cuisine at sea," said Kunal S. Kamlani, the line's president. "By paying one set price, guests can enjoy a wide variety of wine, beer, spirits or even a nightcap at a terrific value."

The new beverage package prices include gratuities and can be pre-booked online or through a reservations representative. They can also be purchased onboard at any time during the cruise, with prices prorated for the days remaining. Guests can upgrade packages during the sailing.

Norwegian revamps guest loyalty programme

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Norwegian Cruise Line (Norwegian) is announcing enhancements to its guest loyalty programme. Renamed Latitudes Rewards, the new programme better recognises Norwegian’s valued loyal guests. Key changes include new ways for members to earn points, additional on board recognition and benefits, and access to online account tracking.   

Current Latitudes members will automatically be enrolled in the new Latitudes Rewards programme and will remain in the same tier or will be upgraded to the appropriate higher tier, depending on the total number of cruise nights and stateroom categories sailed.

“The satisfaction and loyalty of our guests is very important to us,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and chief executive officer. “Our new Latitudes Rewards programme demonstrates our commitment to delivering the highest levels of guest satisfaction while rewarding our loyal guests with enhanced benefits. We are dedicated to making sure our guests have the best possible cruise experience and look forward to welcoming them back on board again and again.”

Latitudes Rewards members earn rewards points in four different ways, making it faster and easier than ever before to move up to the next tier. Members now earn one point per cruise night, providing an opportunity to gain more points the longer the guests sail. Additional points can be earned when booking a suite or any accommodation in The Haven by Norwegian, booking nine months or more in advance, or when taking advantage of the exclusive monthly Latitudes Rewards Insider Offers.  Latitudes Rewards tiers are based on the total amount of points earned: Bronze members are classified as guests with one to 19 points; Silver members are 20 to 47 points; Gold members are 48 to 75 points; and Platinum members are those with 76 or more points.

In addition to current member benefits such as priority check-in, members-only cocktail parties and access to an on board programme representative, new benefits have also been added to the programme.  For cruises departing on or after December 5, 2011 the new loyalty programme includes special on board perks, based on the guest’s tier level, such as chocolate covered strawberries, ship pins, nightly treats and discounts on packages in the photo gallery.







Royal Caribbean International offers seven new dining packages

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Royal Caribbean International has announced seven new dining packages for guests to enjoy the variety of speciality restaurants available onboard Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas. Guests can take advantage of the new speciality dining packages, which range from $50 to $120 per guest, and save at least 25 per cent compared to the sum of the individual restaurants’ cover charges. 


“These packages offer our guests the chance to enjoy the unique variety of speciality dining options at a great value while onboard our globally acclaimed Oasis-class and newly revitalised ships,” said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president, Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “We’ve expanded some of the most successful concepts, including dining, that were introduced onboard the Oasis-class ships to the rest of our fleet. This is part of the ongoing revitalisations of Royal Caribbean International’s fleet to ensure that we are delivering guests the most innovative cruise ships, exciting itineraries to compelling destinations and friendly and engaging service.”


Onboard Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, guests have a choice of three dining packages:


  • The Central Park Dining Package, at $65 per guest, includes ‘Giovanni’s Table’ Italian Trattoria, ‘150 Central Park’ fine-dining restaurant and ‘Chops Grille’ steakhouse, all located in the ship’s Central Park neighbourhood – a real outdoor park with plants, trees and relaxing open spaces.
  • The Chef’s Dining Package, at $120 per guest, includes the five-course, gourmet ‘Chef’s Table’ and wine pairing, ‘150 Central Park’ and ‘Chops Grille’.
  • The Choice Dining Package includes ‘Chops Grille’, ‘Giovanni’s Table’ and a choice of ‘Izumi’ Asian cuisine or ‘Solarium Bistro’ onboardOasis of the Seas ($50 per guest) or ‘Samba Grill’ Brazilian steakhouse aboard Allure of the Seas ($55 per guest.)


Guests onboard Radiance of the Seas may choose from:

  • The Radiance Dining Package, which includes ‘Chops Grille’, ‘Giovanni’s Table’, ‘Izumi’ and ‘Samba Grill’ for $70 per guest.
  • The Radiance Chef’s Dining Package adds the ‘Chef’s Table’, offering an opportunity to experience every onboard speciality dining venue at $120 per guest.


Splendour of the Seas also offers a Chef’s Dining Package for $105 per guest, which includes the ‘Chef’s Table’, ‘Chops Grille’ and ‘Izumi’.


Additionally, guests can join special reservation-only parties onboard Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas, the two ships that share the title of the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships:

  • In the evenings, guests can enjoy ‘Rita’s Fiesta’ in ‘Rita’s Cantina’ on Allure of the Seas’ Boardwalk, which features the restaurant’s most popular dishes and up to three non-alcoholic beverages for a $10 cover charge per guest, or $20 for up to three alcoholic beverages.
  • The ‘Surf’s Up Party’ in the ‘Seafood Shack’ on Oasis of the Seas’ Boardwalk also features the restaurant’s most popular dishes and three non-alcoholic beverages for a cover charge of $15 per guest, or $25 per guest for up to three alcoholic beverages.
  • Allure of the Seas also offers guests a 1920s-themed ‘Prohibition Party’ on every fifth night in the ‘Jazz on 4’ lounge in Entertainment Place . Guests are invited to don their favourite 1920s outfit and step back in time. This event is only open to guests aged 21 and older and has a cover charge of $35 per guest, which includes alcoholic beverages.



Royal Caribbean International is a global cruise brand with 22 innovative ships, calling on more than 270 destinations in 72 countries across six continents. The line also offers unique cruise tour land packages in Alaska , Canada , Dubai , Europe, and Australia and New Zealand .