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Royal Caribbean announces Serenade of the Seas Winter 2012-2013 Dubai season

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Royal Caribbean International has announced the deployment of Serenade of the Seas to Dubai for its winter 2012-2013 season. Serenade of the Seas will offer vacationers 17 sailings, departing every Monday on seven-night United Arab Emirates and Oman itineraries from December 2012 through April 2013. Serenade of the Seas will replace Brilliance of the Seas and offer vacationers a different Royal Caribbean International ship, aboard which guests can explore the cultures and heritage of the two Middle Eastern nations. Additionally, vacationers can choose a Royal Caribbean cruisetour to explore and experience more inland attractions. Serenade of the Seas winter 2012-2013 Dubai cruises and cruisetours are currently open for booking.

Vacationers can choose the Arabian Explorer cruisetour itinerary, which combines a four-night escorted land tour with Serenade of the Seas seven-night cruise. Destinations featured on the land tour will be Dubai, Al Ain and Ras Al Khaimah, where guests can enjoy dune bashing; savor dinner and entertainment at a Bedouin desert camp; and visit the Hili Archaeological Gardens and the Ali Ain National Museum. Royal Caribbean cruisetours take the stress out of planning a vacation; are escorted by an expert tour director; and includes transfers, transportation, hotel accommodations, breakfasts, and select meals.

Serenade of the Seas seven-night itinerary also calls at Fujairah and Abu Dhabi in the U.A.E., as well as feature overnight stays in Muscat, Oman, and Dubai at the conclusion of the cruise. Vacationers also can choose a 15-night Mediterranean and Suez Canal transit cruise, departing December 2, 2012, from Malaga, Spain, to Dubai; and a return 15-night return to Barcelona, departing April 15, 2013.

British explorer to lecture on Braemar's Amazonia cruise in February

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

As part of Vistas, its wide-ranging cruise enhancement programme, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines will  welcome on board the famed explorer Colonel John Blashford-Snell. Lecturing aboard Braemar’s cruise of the Brazilian Amazon, M1203, appropriately he will be talking about ‘Amazonia’ and expeditions to this fascinating region.


"There could hardly be a better guest speaker for such an exciting cruise; John Blashford-Snell has led some of the most ambitious expeditions ever undertaken. In 1968, when Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia invited the British Army to send a team to explore the Blue Nile, the then Royal Engineers’ Captain Blashford-Snell  was invited to select and lead a team.  The success of that venture led to many more, including the first vehicle crossing of the Darien Gap in 1971/2, and in 1974/5 the navigating of 2,700 miles of the Great Zaire River (also known as the Congo)," the company said.


Colonel John Blashford-Snell has led over 100 expeditions, resulting in many important discoveries and supports numerous charities. His knowledge and experience will no doubt make him a fascinating and well-informed speaker. The cruise departs on 2 February 2012, with flights from London-Gatwick and Manchester, to join the ship in Bridgetown, Barbados.  Braemar then sails for the mouth of the Amazon, and cruises deep into the heart of this mighty river, visiting Santarem, Parintins and Manaus.  The vibrant rainforest, with its colourful flora and fauna, will be brought even more vividly to life by the expert talks courtesy of Col. Blashford-Snell. On the return journey, Braemar visits Tobago, then returns to Barbados for the flights home.


Carnival Corp & plc forecasts full year eps in line with last year despite difficulties

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Carnival Corp & plc, the world’s largest cruise shipping group, forecasts its earnings per share (eps) this year to come close to the $2.47 figure reached in the previous financial year despite challenges resulting from unrest in North Africa and the Middle East.

“At this point in time, cumulative advance bookings for the remainder of the year are at higher prices with lower occupancies versus last year. For the last six weeks, booking volumes for the second half of 2011 are well ahead of the prior year for the North America brands, as well as, the Europe, Australia and Asia brands. Pricing for the North America brands remains strong. Pricing for the Europe, Australia and Asia brands has been significantly affected by the prolonged conflict in the Middle East and North Africa regions and earthquake in Japan, which necessitated veryclose-in deployment changes for more than 300 cruises. The Southern Europe brands were particularly affected with over 40 percent of their deployments in these areas,” the company said.

“As previously announced, the impact of these events are expected to cost the company an additional $0.15 per share in the second half of the year and reduces full year revenue yields by approximately 1.0 percent. The company now expects full year net revenue yields, on a constant dollar basis, to increase 1.5 to 2.5 percent, compared toits March guidance increase of 2.5 to 3.5 percent. Net revenue yields on acurrent dollar basis are expected to increase 4.0 to 5.0 percent for the full year 2011 compared to 2010.”

Chairman and ceo Micky Arison noted,"Our North America brands continue to perform well, benefiting from the gradual economic recovery, with strong yield growth expected in the second halfof the year. We expect lower yields for our Europe, Australia and Asia segmentin the second half of 2011 as a result of the significant deployment changes inEurope. Despite the considerable challenges we have faced this year, the long-term fundamentals of our business remain sound."

The company continues to expect net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD for the full year 2011 to be flat to up 1.0 percent on a constant dollar basis, which is in line with its March guidance. "Taking all the above factors into consideration, the company now forecasts full year 2011 fully diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $2.40 to $2.50, compared to 2010 earnings of$2.47 per share. Based on the current spot prices for fuel, fuel costs for the full year 2011 are now expected to increase $515 million compared to 2010, costing an additional $0.65 per share," Carnival said.

Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises expand international sales force

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises have expanded and enhanced their international sales team, effective immediately. The announcement was made by Bob Binder, vice chairman and president of Prestige Cruise Holdings (PCH), parent company of both brands.

Bernard Carter assumes the newly created position of managing director for Oceania Cruises in the United Kingdom and Europe. Alex Farquharson has joined Carter's team as sales development manager for the Northern UK region. Additionally, reservations agents, who will be based at the PCH office in Southampton, will be added in the near future.

Graham Sadler, managing director for Regent Seven Seas Cruises in the UK, will now also oversee sales and marketing throughout Europe and the Middle East. Raquel Gomez-Conde has been hired to manage the expansion of European accounts as sales manager. Samantha Farrar has joined the team as a public relations executive. Both report to Cecilia Abert, who is marketing director for both the UK and Europe.

Christian Sierralta is vice president of international sales in Latin America and the Caribbean for both brands. Working with Sierralta is Sylvia St. Lawrence as manager of international sales, along with Irina Adams, a new member of the team, who will serve as international sales coordinator for the territory.

Julie Rose is senior director of international sales and marketing for Australasia, Asia-Pacific and South Africa for both brands. Rose is assisted by Deborah Marin, account executive, and Fabian Obeso, who joins the team in the new position of international sales coordinator.

Beverly Roseman has assumed the newly created position of senior director of international marketing for Oceania Cruises. She will be assisted by Rick Leme, who joins the team as international marketing manager. Roseman will report directly to Binder.

"Our enhanced and expanded international sales team will help introduce both Oceania and Regent to a greater number of global travelers," according to Binder.

Norwegian Cruise Line launches onboard program for travel partners

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Norwegian Cruise Line ("Norwegian") has launched "Partners First Onboard," a new initiative specifically designed to give travel partners more opportunities to experience Freestyle Cruising firsthand. The new program, developed as part of the company's "Partners First" corporate philosophy, offers special booking fares and a customized onboard experience for travel partners. 

"With Partners First Onboard, we are inviting our travel partners to sail with us to experience Norwegian's freedom and flexibility for themselves since our product is unique to the industry," said Camille Olivere, Norwegian's vice president of sales, Americas. "The more our partners educate themselves on Freestyle Cruising, the better they are able to pass that knowledge on to their customers, which is an advantage for everyone involved." 

As part of "Partners First Onboard," special booking fares on Norwegian's fleet of 11 ships are exclusively available to travel partners enrolled in NCL University, the line's online educational program (to participate in NCL U, partners may join by visiting These rates are offered in three different tiers, so as partners move through the educational program and achieve certain status they receive more advantageous pricing. In addition, more sailings will now be available to book in advance rather than the traditional last minute offers, allowing partners to better plan ahead. As an added convenience, requests can now be submitted online making the process quicker and more efficient.

All qualified travel partners sailing on Norwegian Cruise Line are included in the onboard portion of the program automatically when booking a reduced agent rate. If paying full fare, they just need to notify the reservations agent when booking the cruise. Once booked, the travel partner will receive a pre-cruise letter from Olivere that gives an overview of the ship, useful pre-cruise information, as well as personal recommendations from Olivere for dining and shore excursions. Once onboard, partners will receive a $50 dining credit to experience one of Norwegian's specialty restaurants, along with other amenities and surprises. They are also provided with contact details for the Onboard Cruise Consultant in order to learn more about Norwegian's product and the Freestyle Cruise Rewards Program.

After the cruise, travel partners will receive a letter from Olivere encouraging them to connect with Norwegian on Facebook and Twitter to share their Freestyle Cruising experience. They will also receive a personal call from their Business Development Specialist or Manager to discuss feedback from the cruise and future opportunities with Norwegian.