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Complimentary Alaska shore tours from American Cruise Lines

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

American Cruise Lines, the leader in small ship cruising, announced on February 2 a magnificent lineup of complimentary shore tours for its Alaskan itineraries beginning this summer. Each tour will take passengers to the finest local sites at each port and provide insight into the area's culture, heritage and history. The seven-night Alaska Inside Passage cruise departs from and returns to Juneau. During the cruise, American Cruise Lines will travel into Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm Fjord, and will visit Sitka, Hoonah and Petersburg. At each port of call, two or three tours will be offered, so that every interest is accommodated. The complimentary shore tour package is only available with American Cruise Lines. Examples of the complimentary shore excursions include:

– Glacier Bay National Park: American Cruise Lines brings passengers deep into the heart of this pristine environment on an exclusive tour for an experience unlike any other. Passengers will come face-to-face with impressive glaciers, view snow-capped mountains towering above, and see wildlife all around the ship. A National Park Service Ranger and a Native Cultural Interpreter will join passengers aboard to provide narration and unique insight throughout the exploration, as well as help identify the area's abundant wildlife.

– Stikine River Jet Boat Tour (Petersburg): A jet boat tour on the fastest navigable, free-flowing river in North America takes passengers through this area's extraordinary habitat where a variety of wildlife can be spotted, including moose, deer, bald eagles, and brown and black bears.

– Tribal Dance and Cultural Legends Excursion (Hoonah): Passengers will gather at the Heritage Center Native Theater for the Tribal Dance and Cultural Legends performance, showcasing the rich heritage of a people shaped by the wild lands and inland seas of southeast Alaska.

– Mendenhall Glacier and Juneau Tour (Juneau): A guided tour through historic downtown Juneau, plus a visit to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor's Center where passengers can discover the mystery behind the impressive half mile-wide glacier and view it from an unobstructed vantage point.

Seven-night roundtrip cruises from Juneau and 11-night one-way cruises between Juneau and Seattle are being offered aboard the 100-passenger American Spirit. The newest vessel to operate in Alaska, the American Spirit offers a full range of onboard amenities, including an elevator to all decks, numerous glass-enclosed lounges and oversized staterooms, the majority of which have private balconies. The ship is specially designed to navigate calm, narrow inland waterways like those of the Alaska Inside Passage, with an intimate and refined onboard atmosphere perfect for guests who seek enriching travels and share their passion for exploration, adventure and discovery.

Removal of the Costa Concordia

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Costa Crociere has worked from the hours immediately after the Costa Concordia accident to ensure the least possible environmental impact and to safeguard the island of Giglio’s business activities and tourism. Right from the outset, the measures drawn up by the Company have constantly been shared with and approved by the competent Italian authorities, in a spirit of full, transparent and total cooperation.

After engaging leading international salvage experts Smit Salvage BV to remove the fuel contained in the Costa Concordia’s tanks, and presenting a plan to remove other materials and potential pollutants, which is ready to get under way as soon as weather conditions permit, Costa Cruises is also working with the utmost commitment and speed on the plan to remove the ship itself, fully aware that this is a priority to protect the environment on Giglio and the island’s tourism.

The Company has set up a technical committee, with representatives from Costa Cruises, Carnival Corporation & plc, Fincantieri, Rina and sector experts, including academics, who will work fo the best possible drawing up of the plan, on a joint basis with the competent authorities.

As anticipated in a letter sent to Costa Concordia Emergency Commissioner Franco Gabrielli, Costa Cruises has called for tenders 10 companies throughout the world to present a working plan to enterely remove the hull of the Costa Concordia.

The invitation has been sent to the world’s leading operators, who have the capabilities to perform the work in the shortest time possible, while ensuring maximum safety and the least possible environmental impact: 1) Smit Salvage BV, 2) Svitzer Salvage BV, 3) Mammoet Salvage BV, 4) Titan Salvage, 5) Resolve Marine Group Inc., 6) T&T Marine Salvage Inc., 7) Donjon Marine Inc., 8) Tito Neri S.r.l., 9) Fukada Salvage & Marine Works Co. Ltd., 10) The Nippon Salvage Co Ltd. 
The plans must be presented to Costa Cruises by the beginning of March 2012, for joint assessment with the Civil Protection Scientific Committee, in order to allow the best one to be selected by the end of March 2012.

This timeline represents the best possible outcome in a situation of this kind, although it cannot be excluded that there will be delays given the complexity of the operation.

Celebrity Cruises promotes Modern Luxury with free flights in UK

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Free flights and simply superb pricing is the name of the game this February as Celebrity Cruises launches a new campaign to raise awareness of the great value for money on offer for those booking during the peak ‘wave’ period, the company said in a statement.

 As well as trade incentives linked to the romantic month of year, the campaign will be supported with national and trade advertising reflecting the brand’s new ‘Modern Luxury’ platform. The ‘simply superb pricing’ available for cruises departing Southampton onboard Celebrity Eclipse delivers eight night European cruises starting from £999 per person.

 Special offers for European cruises include free flights for several destinations, and further reduced fares on many others. A 12-night Scandinavia and Russia fly/cruise onboard Celebrity Constellation with the cruise departing Amsterdam includes free flights from London Heathrow, Birmingham , Manchester and Glasgow and prices for the package start from £1,199 per person. Flight prices as low as £99 are also available for selected cruises departing Barcelona and Rome .

 Agents who book any cruise that is part of the February campaign can enter an instant-win promotion to get their hands on romantically-themed prizes such as chocolates and champagne. There is no limit to the number of prizes that can be won – more bookings simply means more prizes including a daily prize of a spa day for two.  What’s more, every agent who makes a booking during the month will also have the chance to win a cruise.

A handful of lucky travel agents will also win a special guest appearance from an acapella band who performs onboard Celebrity Cruises’ ships. The band will visit agencies in the week commencing 20 February 2012 as an extra treat, all designed to bring to life the Celebrity Cruises experience.

 Celebrity Cruises’ head of sales, Michael English, explains: “Agents who continue to get behind Celebrity Cruises this peak wave period have some great perks on offer. From prizes to win, to exclusive access to events such as an acapella band performing in their store, Celebrity Cruises is showcasing its commitment to agents yet again. We simply want agents to feel engaged in selling our award-winning Celebrity Cruises and enjoy perks and rewards as a result.”

 Further itineraries that make up the Celebrity Cruises’ February wave period campaign include:

 ·         Free flights from London Gatwick to Barcelona for a 12-night Mediterranean Venice cruise onboard Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Solstice in May 2012. Prices from £1,089 per person including destinations such as Livorno, Venice and Dubrovnik

 ·         14-night Mediterranean cruise onboard Celebrity Eclipse from £1,099 per person departing Southampton and calling at destinations such as Malaga, Florence, Genoa and Lisbon. Departures in May 2012

 ·         12-night immersive wine cruise onboard Celebrity Constellation from Southampton in November 2012 featuring ports of call focused on the vineyards of France , Spain and Portugal from £849 per person

 ·         14-night new Iceland and Fjords itinerary onboard Celebrity Eclipse from Southampton in August 2012 featuring destinations such as Reykjavik and Akureyri in Iceland and Flam and Bergen in Norway with prices starting from £1,349 per person

 Modern Luxury is a new marketing platform to showcase Celebrity Cruises’ contemporary attributes and differentiate it from traditional cruising. The concept sums up the experiences that Celebrity Cruises’ target market already aligns themselves to, and looks for in their holiday. Its key principles are built around matching and exceeding the aspirations of guests including via an innovative and young fleet, distinctive and exquisitely presented cuisine, personalised service and the range of activities and experiences available on board.  Many of the fleet’s quirky features are in response to modern life, such as providing iPad menus in Qsine. Celebrity Cruises has launched a new training module dedicated to the ‘Modern Luxury’ platform, providing agents with the tools to understand and sell the concept to clients. 

Royal Caribbean offers 10,000 free flights in UK promotion

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

The peak ‘wave’ booking period is about to receive a major boost as Royal Caribbean International launches a new campaign offering 10,000 free flights on selected cruise bookings from now until 29 February 2012. In addition to selected free European flights, agents will also have the added option of offering extras such as free car parking or coach transfer on all UK departures.

 Nicki Tempest-Mitchell, head of trade sales, Royal Caribbean International, explains:“With the peak wave booking period now firmly upon us we’re working hard to ensure both agents and consumers choose Royal Caribbean International. While 10,000 free flights may seem like a lot, they won’t be around for long so I encourage agents to take advantage of all the trade materials on offer and the fantastic incentives that we’ve included as part of this campaign.”

In addition to fun perks like mugs and t-shirts, agents who book any cruise that is part of the February campaign will be entered into a weekly prize draw to win a selection of exciting Red Letter adventure days for two such as rock climbing, whitewater rafting or snowboarding. Royal Caribbean International is also holding an exclusive agent incentive draw at the end of the month for one ‘ultimate cruise’ package - the details of which are being kept tightly under wraps until later in the month to further build hype in the campaign. With each new booking of selected Royal Caribbean International cruises upping agents chances of winning this ‘ultimate cruise’ package, agents are encouraged act fast if they want a piece of the action.

 To drive bookings, the trade campaign will be supported by consumer advertising on TV, radio and in print press. Logos and artwork for cooperative consumer advertising have also been produced.

 Itineraries that make up the Royal Caribbean International’s 10,000 free flights February wave period campaign include:

 ·         Seven-night Western Mediterranean fly/cruise onboard Liberty of the Seas from £749 per person including free flights. Cruise departs Barcelona and calls at destinations such as Provence, Florence (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia) and Capri (Naples). Departures in October 2012 with free flights available from Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Heathrow and Gatwick

 ·         11-Night Spain & Canary Islands cruise onboard Independence of the Seas from £799 per person departing Southampton and calling at destinations such as Lisbon, Las Palmas (Gran Canaria), Tenerife (Canary Islands) and La Coruña (Spain). Departures in November 2012

 ·         Seven-night Greek Isles fly/cruise onboard newly refurbished Splendour of the Seas from £799 per person including free flights to join the ship in Venice and a cruise calling at destinations such as Bari, Corfu, Mykonos and Dubrovnik. Departures in October 2012

 Trade marketing packs featuring details of the 10,000 free flights offer and selling tips for the campaign are being distributed to agents. The marketing packs also include comprehensive information on safety procedures, and the extensive investment in training and technology that ensures Royal Caribbean International remains ahead of the levels required by regulatory bodies.

 Further support for trade partners includes new flyers promoting the 10,000 free flights February campaign and enhanced information online at – the trade dedicated website for agents – detailing recent and pending ship revitalisations and the new features and facilities this delivers for cruise travellers. Agents can quickly and easily stay up to date with details of which ships offer iPads in every stateroom, new nursery facilities for babies and toddlers, and new entertainment options.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines to operate two cruises from Belfast in 2013

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines says it will commence turnaround calls from Belfast in 2013, with 880-guest Boudicca making two such visits in October 2013. The news comes just a few weeks after the company had announced a series of cruises from Harwich on Black Watch, which is sister ship of Boudicca. 


“I am delighted that Boudicca will be operating two exciting itineraries from Belfast Harbour in 2013. This is great news for all our guests living in the local area, as previously they have had to endure an expensive flight or long ferry crossing to reach our ships. Now, they can choose from an autumn escape to the sun or a mini cruise to Liverpool, where the ship will berth right in the heart of this vibrant city, said Matt Grimes, Director of Planning for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.


Boudicca will be offering a 12-night Iberian and 2-night mini cruise to Liverpool from Belfast in October 2013.


“The addition of this new regional departure port means that Fred. Olsen is able to operate a vessel within a radius of only 100 miles from 90% of the UK population, further enhancing our reputation as the UK’s local cruise line with a global choice of itineraries.”


“We are delighted to once again have the opportunity to work with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and offer the Northern Ireland public the opportunity to begin a cruise from their local port," said Joe O’Neill, Commercial Director, Belfast Harbour.

 Belfast Harbour previously worked alongside Fred. Olsen in 2007, when 500 local people embarked on the Black Prince to begin their cruise.

 In recent years, Belfast Harbour has invested significantly in its facilities to further develop Belfast’s port as a tourism gateway to Northern Ireland; consequently, we are delighted to see the cruise facilities now being used for the benefit of local people.”


Fred. Olsen will also be adding Harwich to its list of regional departure ports in 2013, with Boudicca’s sister ship, Black Watchoperating four fascinating itineraries from the Port in May and June 2013, meaning that guests living in the local area can take advantage of Harwich International Port’s excellent road and rail connections, and state-of-the-art facilities. Fred. Olsen operates cruises from Southampton, Dover, Newcastle, Rosyth and from 2013 also from Belfast and Harwich.