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Oceania, Regent appoint vp charter and incentive sales

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Katina Athanasiou has been appointed to the newly created position of vice president of charter and incentive sales for Regent Seven Seas Cruises  and Oceania Cruises. In her new post, she will be tasked with broadening the charter and incentive sales business and building and maintaining group relationships for both lines. Athanasiou reports to Mark Conroy, president of Regent Seven Seas, and Bruce J. Himelstein, president of Oceania Cruises. Both companies are part of Prestige Cruise Holdings.

Athanasiou brings a wealth of industry knowledge and over 10 years in the charter and incentive group market. Most recently, she was in charter sales with Royal Caribbean International, where she was responsible for business development and marketing efforts to expand the customer base, as well as overseeing the planning and operations team that fulfilled full-ship charters.

Previously, Athanasiou was director of sales for 3D Destinations, where she was responsible for sourcing group incentive cruises and full-ship charters to corporate and incentive clientele. Prior to that, she worked at Regent Seven Seas Cruises, beginning as a sales coordinator and advancing to senior sales manager for charter and incentive sales.

"Katina's experience in sales and the planning and implementation of cruise programs worldwide will be a huge asset to both brands," said Conroy. "Both Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises ships are an ideal fit for charter and incentive groups."


Much-traveled Cristal chartered to new venture Cuba Cruise

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Cuba Cruise, a new company set up in Toronto, Canada, will employ Louis Cruises’ 25,611 gross ton Cristal on seven night cruises from Havana, with calls at Bahia Nipe, Cayo Guillermo, Santiago de Cuba, Cayo Caguama (a private island), Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Isla de la Juventud. In addition, it will feature six UNESCO World Heritage Sites and four national parks, Cruise Critic reports on its website.

A Cuba Cruise spokesman told Cruise Critic that Cristal will have fresh Canadian food shipped in weekly as well as Canadian beer and Cuban/international beverages, thus alleviating the problem of unreliable food provisioning that any cruise line in Cuba could face. Entertainment and front-office crew will, however, be Cuban, the report said.

The first cruise is scheduled to sail on 4 December.

Cristal was built in Finland in 1980 as cruise ferry Viking Saga and converted for short cruise service in the Baltic in 1985. A major fire devastated the ship five years later and it was completely rebuilt. The ship re-entered service in 1992 after the rebuilding had been completed as Sally Albatross, but only two years later it ran hard aground and was beached to prevent it from sinking. The ship again required extensive repairs.

Since the mid-1990s, it has traded as Leeward (NCL), SuperStar Taurus (Star cruises) and Silja Opera (Silja Line) before being sold to Louis Cruises in Cyprus in 2008 as replacement of their 22,090 gross ton Sea Diamond that sank after grounding off Santorini in Greece.

Costa Cruises resumes Japan itineraries

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Costa Cruises has announced the resumption of its Japan itineraries. On August 26th, 2011 Costa Classica will be leaving Shanghai for a 4-night cruise calling at Fukuoka (Japan), Cheju (South Korea) before returning to Shanghai.

This decision demonstrates Costa’s confidence in Japan’s tourism market and its support to the revitalization of the local tourism industry. Costa Classica cruises to Japan are very much appreciated especially by Costa Chinese guests. As the first international cruise company to enter the Chinese market, Costa Cruises has been operating cruise itineraries from China to Japan for more than five years. From August to October this year Costa Classica, home-ported in Shanghai, will operate a total of 12 cruises to Japan and South Korea. The wide selection of itineraries includes 3 very appealing Japanese destinations: Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Kagoshima: 4-night cruises to Fukuoka and Cheju (South Korea); a 6-day cruise to Pusan (South Korea), Fukuoka, Kagoshima; a 5-night cruise to Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Cheju (South Korea). Also on these Japan itineraries Costa Cruises will continue to offer its guests its extraordinary Italian style cruise experience.

In 2012, Costa is further expanding its operations in Asia and the Far East, with the deployment for the first time of the Costa Victoria (75,200 gross tonnage and 2,394 total passenger capacity), which will replace the Costa Classica (53,000 gross tonnage and 1,680 passengers). For the first time on these cruises the Costa Victoria will offer Guests the chance to book 246 veranda cabins and enjoy the splendid scenery of the Far East, including Japan, from the privacy of their own cabins. Thanks to the Costa Victoria positioning, Costa Cruises will increase its offer in the area by about 40%. In 2012 Costa Victoria will sail to an array of new destinations in Japan, including: the tropical paradise Hososhima/Miyazaki; Wakayama, which boasts the largest hot spring resort; Osaka, Japan’s second largest city; the popular sightseeing cities in the Kanto Area, Yokohama and Tokyo, the capital city.

According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (, a joint statement from the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Meteorological Organization, the International Maritime Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization has reaffirmed that operations can continue normally into and out of Japan's major airports and sea ports.

Singapore Cruise Centre named exclusive Platinum Sponsor of Cruise Shipping Asia 2011

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

UBM Live and UBM Asia have named Singapore Cruise Centre Private Ltd. the exclusive Platinum Sponsor of the inaugural Cruise Shipping Asia event scheduled Nov. 16-18, 2011, in Singapore. Cruise Shipping Asia 2011 is a tradeshow and conference focusing on the Asia Pacific cruise market. As the show's principal sponsor, Singapore Cruise Centre will showcase its position as an award-winning cruise terminal operator in one of the fastest-growing markets in the industry.

"Securing the Singapore Cruise Centre as our Platinum Sponsor is a testament to the importance of Cruise Shipping Asia in helping cultivate the pan-Asia region as an emerging cruise market," said Michael Kazakoff, vice president UBM Live, organizer of Cruise Shipping Asia and the annual Cruise Shipping Miami shows.

Singapore Cruise Centre handles more than 8 million passengers annually at three ferry terminals and one cruise terminal. With the opening of the state-of-the-art International Cruise Terminal at Marina South, Singapore's cruise terminal infrastructure will double in capacity by April 2012.

Singapore Cruise Centre had a lead role in forming the Asia Cruise Terminal Association and chairs the organization. ACTA serves as a regional forum for cruise terminal operators to cooperate in terminal development, operations and management, and to raise awareness of available facilities and services.

"We share the Cruise Shipping Asia vision to tap into the rapid growth of the cruise industry in Asia-Pacific, and it is our honor and privilege to be the Platinum Sponsor of this inaugural event," said Christina Siaw, CEO of Singapore Cruise Centre. "We look forward to CSA 2011 and the opportunities to learn, network and share experiences and expertise within and outside of the industry."

Cruise Shipping Asia conference sessions feature panels of experts discussing key industry topics, including the state of the Asian cruise industry, sourcing, shipbuilding, marketing and successfully tailoring the cruise experience for the Asian market. Singapore Cruise Centre's Siaw will participate on the terminal design and operations panel. A travel agent training program also is planned to promote awareness of cruising as a holiday option in Asia.

The Cruise Shipping Asia exhibition features destinations, itinerary planning, shore excursion services, port and terminal development, as well as ship operations, ship services and hotel operations.

Star Cruises to deploy SuperStar Aquarius to new homeport in Sanya

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Star Cruises, the leading cruise line operator in Asia-Pacific, has announced the seasonal deployment of its state-of-the-art cruise liner SuperStar Aquarius to Sanya as its homeport, starting from November 2011. For a reinvigorating cruising experience, the deployment comes with a variety of destination cruises calling at Vietnams appealing tourist spots, Danang, Halong Bay & Hu¿.

During the five-month deployment, the 51,000-gross-tonnage SuperStar Aquarius will ply the South China Sea, departing from the thriving Sanya in two- and three-nights destination cruises to Danang, Halong Bay and Hu¿. These cruises will fittingly match the varying holiday preferences of Star Cruises Asian as well as international customers.

Michael Goh, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Star Cruises said, "As a leading cruise line in Asia Pacific, it's our pleasure and challenge to develop just the right itinerary that deftly caters for what passengers dream about for their holiday while capturing the best that a destination can offer."

He continued, "We're proud to present this Sanya-homeported itinerary that takes advantage of the cool and sunny weather in Sanya; and comes with a lot of shopping, sightseeing, entertainment and even cultural activities that the four ports are famous for. Not to mention that the passengers will be pampered with the crews warm hospitality and a vast selection of onboard dinning, entertainment and recreational facilities."

The latest deployment exemplifies Star Cruises' long-held belief and practice in refreshing passengers cruising experience throughout the years. The new Sanya-homeported itinerary follows SuperStar Aquarius' seven-month stay at Taiwan (homeport), from April to October 2011, with ports of call including Japans culturally rich Naha and relaxing Ishigaki; and Taiwan's mountainous gem Hualien.