MSC Cruises, the fourth largest cruise company in the world and market leader in the Mediterranean, South African and Brazilian markets, says it has acquired Starlight Cruises, their sales agents in South Africa of almost 20 years. The new company will trade as MSC Starlight Cruises with effect from May 2011. The agreement gives MSC Cruises overall control of Starlight Cruises. It also allows for the continued management by former owners, the Foggitt family, who have operated as sales agents for cruiseliners in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands for over 30 years.
MSC Cruises’ CEO Mr Pierfrancesco Vago welcomed the formalization of the company’s first office in sub-Saharan Africa. “This is an important acquisition that affirms the close relationship we’ve shared with Starlight Cruises. It also endorses our commitment to the future success of South Africa and continued growth of cruise tourism in the region,”said Vago.
Daphne Osborne, who becomes Managing Director of MSC Starlight Cruises, said the two companies had enjoyed anexcellent business and personal ‘engagement’ for almost two decades. “It has been a marriage on the cards for years now, and in the wake of two successive record breaking seasons, and sure signs of a continuation of this trend, itwould seem the time is right.” Allan Foggitt remains Marketing Director of MSC Starlight Cruises. Stefano Vigoriti, who has headed up MSC Cruises in South Africa until now, becomes Operations Manager for the new company.
The relationship between Starlight Cruises and the larger Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Group, the second largest container shipping company in the world, began soon after the company’s firstventure into cruise shipping in the late 1980’s and subsequent deployment ofthe Achille Lauro and MSC Monterey to South Africa.
New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky and NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta today welcomed the Cruise Canada New England Symposium to New York City for the first time in its 13-year history. The symposium brings together cruise industry leaders to network, learn best practices, and also to promote the Canada and New England region as an international cruise destination. This year’s symposium attracted over 225 attendees including six cruise line presidents. The cruise ship industry continues to play an increasingly important role in New York City’s tourism industry and overall economy – cruise passengers and crew spent approximately $144 million while ashore in the City last year, contributing to the record-breaking 48.8 million visitors who visited New York City in 2010. The attendees also ate lunch on the Carnival Miracle today, which, beginning in April 2012, will be making New York City its year-round homeport.
"We are proud to be hosting the Cruise Canada New England Symposium for the first time in its thirteen years," said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. "The cruise industry continues to be an economic boon for the City, and today’s announcement that the Carnival Miracle will start offering year-round cruises from New York City will do even more to stimulate our economy, bringing additional visitors and generating nearly $13 million in direct spending."
"New York City’s cruise industry is so vital to the health of our $31 billion tourism industry – as more cruise lines call on New York, more visitors will get a chance to experience the five boroughs’ unique energy, diversity and dynamism. We also applaud Carnival for their announcement today that they will establish a year-round presence in New York," said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company, the City’s marketing, tourism and partnership organization.
Beginning in April 2012, the Carnival Miracle will make an additional 21 calls at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, with destinations that include the Bahamas and Caribbean Islands. The ship calls will bring an estimated 52,000 additional embarking passengers into New York City, resulting in an estimated $13 million in direct spending. The Carnival Miracle will be the third major cruise ship to call year-round in New York City.
"New York is one of the highest-rated homeports for ‘Fun Ship’ cruising. Carnival Miracle’s new year-round eight-day departures offer consumers the best of both worlds – a choice of three attractive year-round Caribbean and Bahamas itinerary options with the opportunity to depart from one of the world’s great cities," said Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill.
Last year, New York City had a record-breaking tourism year, welcoming 48.8 million visitors – 39.1 million domestic and 9.7 million international – who spent $31 billion. New York City also has a 33 percent market share of all overseas travel to the United States, the highest in the nation. Tourism is the City’s fifth largest industry and impacts 320,000 jobs in the hospitality and leisure sector.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation, which manages both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Cruise Terminals, recently announced the results of the 2010 Economic Impact Study of cruise passenger and crew spending in New York City. The study showed that cruise passengers and crew spent an estimated $144.6 million in New York City in 2010, far exceeding the $93.8 million spent in 2009. Embarking passengers were the largest spenders at $117.9 million, followed by crew spending at $21.5 million and transit passenger spending at $5.2 million. Passengers with pre- or post-cruise overnight stays had the highest average spending per passenger at $437 during a two-night stay. Only 21 percent of cruise passengers resided in the tri-state area.
Cruise passenger arrivals in New York City were also significantly higher in 2010 compared to 2009. In 2009, there were 445,718 combined embarking and transit passengers and 181 ship calls. These numbers jumped to 582,979 combined embarking and transit passengers and 241 ship calls in 2010. The Economic Development Corporation currently projects this upward trend to continue in 2011 with an expected 264 ship calls and 645,000 passengers.
The Carnival Miracle will launch a year-round program of eight-day cruises to the Caribbean and Bahamas from New York beginning in April 2012. On this schedule, Carnival Miracle will offer three uniquely different eight-day itineraries that visit a diversity of islands throughout the Caribbean and Bahamas.
Costa Crociere S.p.A. Group – comprising CostaCruises, the number one cruise company for the German market Aida Cruises andIberocruceros, which operates mainly for the Spanish- and Portuguese-speakingmarkets – has confirmed its leadership in Europe.
The Group’s consolidated revenues rose byabout 12% in FY 2010, reaching just under 3 billion euros, while the totalnumber of guests was 2.15 million, representing an increase of some 18%compared to the previous fiscal year.The increase in revenues reinforces Costa Crociere’s position as Italy’slargest travel group
“Despite the fact that the economicsituation is not the most favorable, European cruising remains a growthindustry and continues to play a key role in terms of the creation of wealthand employment.Costa Crociere S.p.A. isthe no.1 operator and the driving force in Europe:in 2010 the Group’s ships carried over 2million Guests and generated an economic impact (direct and indirect spending)worth 2.2 billion euros in Italy alone,” commented Costa Crociere S.p.A.President Gianni Onorato.
Costa is part of Carnival Corp & plc,the world’s largest cruise shipping group.
The European cruise industry continues toprovide a major contribution to Europe’s economy as a whole and it was the onlyarea of the tourism sector to enjoy substantial growth last year, according tofigures issued today in Brussels by the European Cruise Council (ECC).
Last year there were some 5.5 millionEuropean cruisers (a 10% increase compared to 2009), which works out toapproximately 30% of cruise passengers worldwide (18.8 million cruisers).The EU countries with the most cruisers arethe UK (1.6 million), Germany (1.2 million), Italy (around 890,000) and Spain (645,000).,figures of the sixth edition of the annual report of the European CruiseContribution show.
In 2010 the European cruise industry alsogrew in terms of the numbers of passengers departing from European ports:5.2 million (+7.2%).The overall (direct and indirect) economicimpact of the industry on the continent’s economy last year was 35.2 billioneuros, including over 14 billion euros of direct spending.
The greatest beneficiaries of this directexpenditure were Italy (4.5 billion euros), the UK (approximately 2.6 billion)and Germany (2.3 billion).Europeanshipbuilders continue to play an important part in this expansion:from 2011 to 2014 the continent’s yards willbuild 23 new cruise ships, with a total investment worth almost 11 billioneuros.The economic impact of the cruiseindustry also contributes very substantially to employment, accounting foraround 300,000 jobs in Europe.
Cruise Critic, the leading cruise reviews site, has announced the winners of the first-ever Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards. The awards honor the top cruise ships, based on ratings submitted by consumers for cruise reviews published on the site.
"The reviews submitted by our members are an outstanding resource for cruisers and offer a fantastic insight into the different cruise experiences you will find on each ship," said Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor in chief of Cruise Critic. "With these awards, we're looking to honor the ships that rank highly with our members by providing exceptional facilities, accommodations, activities and service."
Cruise Critic boasts the world's largest online cruise community with more than 700,000 members and 70,000 cruise reviews. Each month, almost 2 million people visit the site to read cruise reviews, find information on planning cruises or access the forums, where they swap advice and stories with other cruisers.