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Holland America Line promotes Captain Rick Krombeen to Director, Nautical Operations

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Holland America Line has promoted Capt. Rik Krombeen to director, nautical operations. In this role, he will be responsible for the safe operation and nautical oversight of the premium cruise line's 15 ships. He will report to Cees Deelstra, vice president, nautical operations.

Krombeen began the transition from sailing onboard to the corporate office this past April, splitting his time between Seattle, Wash., and serving as captain. He is now full-time in his new position.

"Captain Krombeen brings with him years of knowledge and experience that will be a valuable asset to ensuring the safe operation of our ships," said Deelstra. "He is well respected in our organization and throughout the industry, and we know he will achieve great success in his new role."

Krombeen began his career with Holland America Line in 1983 when he went to the Nautical Academy in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, later joining the ships as a junior deck officer. After leaving the company for a brief time, he returned in 2002 and was appointed to the position of captain in 2007.

He holds a Master-All Ships license and a bachelor's degree in shipping economics.

MSC Divina floated out

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

MSC Divina, the third and latest addition to the MSC Cruises' flagship Fantasia class, floated out of dry dock B at the STX Europe ship yard in Saint-Nazaire, France on Saturday, September 3, and transferred to dock C for final fitting and furnishing prior to her christening on May 26, 2012.

Representing a major milestone in this 140,000 ton ship accommodating up to 4,363 guests, a select group gathered to witness the ship slated to become the 12th ship in MSC Cruises fleet.

"Today marks the start of the final one-million hours of work required to ensure MSC Divina is ready for her debut on May 26, 2012 in Marseille, France," said Emilio La Scala, general manager of MSC Cruises technical department.

Named in honor of Sophia Loren, Italian film legend and godmother of several MSC ships, MSC Divina will be appropriately themed as a divine goddess.

Also announced during the float out, the ship's 18 decks (13 of which are for guests use) are being named after the gods of ancient Greece; among them Urano, Afrodite, Aurora, Giunone, Artemide, Zeus, Mercurio, Cupido, Iride, Minerva, Apollo, Saturno, and Elios.

Another addition to the ship is the aft Garden Pool purposely designed and decorated as an upscale area for quiet retreat, philosophizing or simply gazing into the sunset.

Construction of MSC Divina began more than a year ago with a total of 74 mega-blocks each consisting of a set of large pre-fabricated hull components used for assembling the ship.

Work on the keel is nearly completed. Already 50 percent of the outfitting has been done including completion of the electrical networking, plumbing, and public areas. Work has also begun on 400 of the 1,751 staterooms, 100 more than her sister ships MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida.

Cutting-edge technical changes on MSC Divina include more powerful propulsion motors, rated at 21.8 MW each (compared to 20.2 MW on the MSC Splendida); new alternators, and state-of-the-art HVAC chillers. The ship will feature a new reverse osmosis system for fresh water production that requires 40 percent less power, therefore, providing less of an impact on the environment.

Royal Caribbean announces 2012 schedule for Voyager of the Seas

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
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Executives of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced today Royal Caribbean Internationals 2012 Asia cruises deployment schedule for Voyager of the Seas – the largest and most amenity-filled cruise ship to sail in the region.

At 137,276 gross registered tons, Voyager of the Seas ranks among the world's 10 largest and most innovative cruise ships and will offer vacationers unparalleled experiences in the region. The ships inaugural Asia season will start on May 26, 2012 in Singapore, followed by sailings from Shanghai (Baoshan) and Tianjin in China.

"We have a leading market position in China," explains Dr. Zinan Liu, group managing director of China and Asia for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "Customer demand is strengthening and were responding by increasing our commitment to the region with an additional, bigger ship, to offer a wider range of itineraries to even more ports."

With Voyager of the Seas and Legend of the Seas, which has been deployed in China since 2010, Royal Caribbean International will offer 49 sailings out of the country in 2012, and will add Xiamen as its fourth homeport after Shanghai, Tianjin and Hong Kong.

"Voyager of the Seas' deployment to Asia is another milestone for Royal Caribbean International, and a mark of our confidence and commitment to the regions potential, as well as part of our global growth strategy," says Michael Bayley, executive vice president of International, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Voyager of the Seas will offer vacationers a wide range of short cruises – three-, four-, five- seven- and eight-night itineraries in Asia – to longer, 14- to 18-night cruises in the South Pacific to New Zealand and Australia. Chinese guests can also expect to experience a greater variety of products and services tailored to their needs.

Cruises will include the seven-night Pearls of the Orient and Jewels of Asia sailings, calling at various destinations in Japan and South Korea. Vacationers also can choose a repositioning cruise aboard Voyager of the Seas from Singapore to Fremantle, Australia, departing October 22, 2012, and returning on March 9, 2013. Voyager of the Seas will reposition to begin its winter season from Sydney on November 5, 2012. Bookings for Voyager of the Seas 2012 Asia itineraries open today.

When she sails into Asia next year, Voyager of the Seas will introduce several unique concepts never before seen at sea in the region, including the following signature onboard amenities:
" Royal Promenade  an indoor main street stretching nearly the full length of the middle of the ship, lined with places to eat, drink, shop and be entertained. Guests can stroll up and down the four-story street and enjoy regular street parades. 
" Studio B Ice Rink  an ice skating rink for guests that doubles as a sensational 700-seat venue for ice show productions with world-class figure skaters.
" Eleven dining venues include specialty restaurant Portofino for classic Italian fine dining and 50s inspired American diner Johnny Rockets. Theres also the grand three-story, 1,919-seat main dining room.
" Unparalleled sports facilities including an inline skating track, Royal Caribbean Internationals signature rock-climbing wall, a nine-hole mini golf course, a golf simulator, a full size sports court with basketball court, three swimming pools and six whirlpools.

In the evenings, there are award-winning Broadway-style musical revues, or opportunities to recount the days experiences in multiple onboard bars and lounges over cocktails.

Disney Fantasy adds final building dock

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The final building block for the newest Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Fantasy, was placed on September 3 at the Meyer Werft shipyard signaling completion of a major milestone in the ship’s overall construction. The final block placed was a 265-ton portion of the ship’s bow, complete with the signature Disney Cruise Line golden filigree.

The Disney Fantasy will bring to life many of the innovative features guests love on the recently launched Disney Dream including AquaDuck — the world’s first shipboard water coaster. But new design elements and guest experiences will give the Fantasy an identity all its own. Some of the new highlights found on the Disney Fantasy include:

Europa – a nighttime entertainment district exclusively for guests 18 and older that features sophisticated bars and trendy lounges inspired by the very best in European travel.

A new, innovative show for the Animator’s Palate restaurant where diners will serve as guest animators. During the “Animation Magic” show guests are asked to hand-draw a character of their own at the start of dinner. After an entertaining show featuring montages from Disney animated films and shorts, guests prepare for a whimsical finale moment where the guest-drawn characters spring to life and interact with characters from beloved Disney animated classics.

At Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on the Disney Fantasy, aspiring young princesses and pirates receive the full fairy tale treatment with pixie-dusted and piratical makeovers at this very special salon.

“Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular” will take the stage on the Disney Fantasy. During this Broadway-style production, guests laugh along with the wise-cracking Genie and the cast from the classic animated Disney film, “Aladdin.”

The Disney Fantasy will sail alternating seven-night cruises from Port Canaveral, Fla. to the Eastern and Western Caribbean and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay with the maiden voyage scheduled for March 31, 2012.

Noble Caledonia acquires a second ship

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
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Noble Caledonia, the small ship and expedition cruising company announces the acquisition of a sister vessel to their Island Sky. Formerly known as Renaissance VI and more latterly Hebridean Spirit the company is to take delivery of the vessel in May 2012. To be named Caledonian Sky the vessel is ultimately bound for South America, Australasia and the Pacific Rim but will spend much of 2012 in British and Arctic waters before heading to South America and beyond.

The 114 passenger vessel will continue the expansion of the Noble Caledonia’s small ship and expedition cruising programmes, complementing the excellent reputation forged by the Island Sky. Both vessels were originally built as part of the Renaissance Cruises fleet in Italy in the 1990’s and provide all-suite luxurious accommodation. They offer a private yacht style atmosphere which is popular with well-seasoned travellers who are looking for something more engaging than a typical big ship cruise. Both vessels are highly adaptable and can operate in areas that are off limits to larger ships. A fleet of inflatable ‘Zodiac’ landing craft allow them to explore the most remote of regions and an onboard team that includes specially chosen guest speakers adds to the knowledge and enjoyment of all.

During the coming winter months the ‘Caledonian Sky’ will be subject to a significant refit to bring her in line with the style and quality offered aboard Island Sky. Speaking in London, Noble Caledonia’s Managing Director, Andy Cochrane said; “ We are all delighted to have secured another high quality vessel. Demand in the UK for the specialised trips we operate continues to grow at a fast pace, even in these troubled financial times. Having two remarkably similar vessels allows us to keep Island Sky in Europe, Africa and South and Central America, whilst Caledonian Sky can operate in the vast Pacific region from New Zealand to the Russian Far East. Two of the finest small ships in the world that allow us to reach the most remote and interesting corners of earth.”

Itinerary details for ‘Caledonian Sky’ will be available in the autumn.