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NCLH raises full year EPS forecast to $4.70 to $4.80 range

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH0, the world’s third largest cruise shipping company has raised its full year 2018 earnings per share (EPS) forecast to $4.70 to $4.80 from a previous forecast of $4.45 to $4.65 on strong demand, the company said in a statement.

The company said its 2018 full year net yield growth guidance on a constant Currency basis increased 75 basis points from prior guidance to approximately 3.25%, or 125 basis points from the company’s initial full year outlook provided in February.

“The strong demand environment is expected to continue driving higher pricing in the back half of the year, leading to an increase of our full year 2018 Adjusted EPS outlook to a range of $4.70 to $4.80, well above the initial guidance range set at the beginning of the year.” Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of NLCH.

Carnival Triumph’s $200 million refit to cost a third more than Carnival Destiny transformation in 2013

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Carnival Cruise Line, the US focused contemporary cruise unit in the Carnival Corporation & plc group, has unveiled plans for a nearly $200 million bow-to-stern makeover for Carnival Triumph in the spring of 2019.

This would be the most expensive refit of a ship in the fleet by the world’s largest cruise shipping group, exceeding the $155 million spent in 2013 to transform the 1996 built 101,353 gross ton Carnival Destiny to Carnival Sunshine.

Work on Carnival Triumph that was built in 1999 and which is of 101,509 gross tons will include renaming the ship to reflect its significant transformation. “The ship will join Carnival's Sunshine Class and will be named Carnival Sunrise after a two-month-long refurbishment that will take place in Cadiz, Spain, starting March 1. The dry dock makeover will add all of Carnival's wildly popular branded food, beverage and entertainment innovations, as well as update all staterooms in a broad spectrum of new accommodations providing guests fresh and exciting seagoing vacation choices,” Carnival Cruise Line said in a statement.

Following a renaming ceremony, Carnival Sunrise will re-enter service with a series of five- to seven-day voyages from Norfolk, Va., beginning April 29, 2019, a summer schedule of four- to 14-day departures from New York commencing May 23, 2019, then move to Fort Lauderdale in October.

"The introduction of Carnival Sunrise will provide our guests with an array of exciting dining, bar and entertainment choices. The new Carnival Sunrise is part of our multi-billion-dollar ship enhancement program that is transforming our fleet on an unprecedented scale," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival Sunrise enhancements include the redesign of two luxurious Captain's Suites adjacent to the navigational bridge offering floor-to-ceiling windows and extended balcony grand suites.  All of the ship's staterooms will be updated to offer island-inspired interiors with bright colors and soothing pastels inspired by the line's Caribbean itineraries.  Other new features will include:

Cucina del Capitano: offering delicious Italian favorites and new Carnival classics served family-style in an engaging atmosphere reminiscent of a cozy Italian home.

JavaBlue Café: this expanded version of the line's popular coffee bars will offer lattes, cappuccinos and other caffeinated favorites, as well as "spiked" coffees made with liqueurs, and decadent confections.

Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse: a classic American steakhouse offering mouth-watering steaks, gourmet appetizers, entrees and desserts, with impeccable service and understated ambiance.

Bonsai Express: the success of the full-service Bonsai Sushi restaurants has spawned this casual spot, featuring a mouth-watering array of sushi, sashimi, rolls and more.

The Chef's Table: a new multi-course dining experience hosted in a special glass-enclosed venue in the forward dining room.

Cherry on Top: The "sweetest spot on board," an expanded Cherry on Top features bulk candy, fanciful gifts, custom apparel and a Carnival Adventures shop.

Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse: a casual open-air eatery featuring "real deal" BBQ favorites created by Food Network star Guy Fieri.

Lido Marketplace: A casual poolside eatery boasting favorites like Seafood Shack offering lobster rolls and other New England-inspired fare; The Deli with sandwiches and paninis; Pizzeria del Capitano serving hand-tossed artisanal-style pies free of charge 24/7, and an expanded Swirls venue with complimentary ice cream and frozen yogurt.

RedFrog Pub: Featuring the Caribbean's best rums and beers – including Carnival's own ThirstyFrog Red – enjoyed in a distinct British-West-Indies-meets-Key-West atmosphere.

Piano Bar 88: A new twist on Carnival's popular piano bar concept that amps up the excitement with themed nights, engaging new décor and spontaneous sing-along fun

Limelight Lounge: Home to the Punchliner Comedy Club featuring a hilarious line-up of comics which later transforms into a sizzling night club where guests can dance the night away.

New Multi-Purpose Liquid Lounge: an expansive theater that's home to captivating daytime and nighttime entertainment, including the line's high-tech Playlist Productions revues and audience participation favorite Hasbro, The Game Show.

SportSquare: A suspended ropes course offering heart-racing views to the sea 150 feet below, basketball court, jogging track, ping pong, foosball, pool tables, and a nine-hole miniature golf course highlight this open-area recreation complex.

WaterWorks: Featuring a 203-foot-long AquaTunnel slide and Carnival's signature 212-foot-long Twister slide along with a 75-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket and kiddie area.

Serenity Adult Only Retreat: An adult only oasis offering plush chaise lounges, whirlpools and oversized umbrellas, enhanced by dramatic sea views.

Expanded Cloud 9 Spa and More Cloud 9 Spa:  Designed as the ultimate refuge for rest and relaxation, the health and wellness center offers an elaborate thermal suite, private treatment rooms, and the latest cardio and weight-training equipment.

Modern, Spacious Facilities for Kids and Teens: including a new Camp Ocean, a colorful marine-inspired play area designed for kids ages 2-11, along with new spaces for Circle "C" aimed at 12- to 14-year olds and Club O2 geared to those 15-17.

The Warehouse:  promising fun for all ages with a variety of the latest video and arcade games.

Expanded Retail Spaces:  a mall-style shopping area lined with retail outlets offering fine jewelry, watches, fragrances, and more along with the line's own branded spaces like Hip Fish and The Carnival Store.

"These new dining spaces and features complement many of Carnival's signature food and beverage outlets that were added during previous renovations, including Guy's Burger Joint developed in tandem with Guy Fieri," said Gus Antorcha, Carnival's chief operating officer, who has led the reimagination of Carnival Sunrise and many other ships in the fleet. "Carnival's investments are part of an overall plan that is raising the bar on ship amenities and features, itineraries and offshore excursions that our guests are loving."

Carnival Sunrise's inaugural schedule from Norfolk kicks off with a seven-day cruise departing the Half Moone Cruise Center visiting Grand Turk, the private island of Half Moon Cay and Freeport departing April 29, 2019.   A pair of five-day voyages departs May 12 and 17, 2019 calling at Nassau and Freeport and three six-day cruises departing May 6, and Oct. 14 and 20, 2019, visiting Half Moon Cay, Nassau and Freeport. 

The ship will then reposition to New York for a series of four- to 14-day voyages beginning May 23, 2019. The program includes four- to eight-day Bermuda cruises, including long weekend sailings to the island departing Thursdays and returning Mondays, along with seven-day fall foliage cruises to New England and the Canadian Maritimes, and two different eight-day Caribbean itineraries with stops at the region's top destinations. Several longer voyages will also be offered, including a 10-day exotic eastern Caribbean itinerary and a 14-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal cruise highlighted by local dining and entertainment experiences and unique shipboard enrichment activities.

Carnival Sunrise will then reposition to Fort Lauderdale for four- and five-day cruises beginning Oct. 28, 2019.  Four-day long weekend cruises will call at tropical ports like Half Moon Cay, Princess Cays, Grand Turk and Nassau, while five-day cruises will visit Cuba, as well as seaside destinations in The Bahamas, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Grand Turk.

Mano Cruises reported as buyer of Louis Majesty

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Mano Cruises, the Israeli cruise shipping company, has been reported as buyer of the 1992 built Louis Majesty that the Cyprus based Louis Group sold earlier this week.

Mer et Marine, the French maritime news website, says the ship has been renamed Princess Iris and transferred from the Maltese to the Panamanian registry. Ships of Mano Cruises use the Iris suffix and Panama flag, the report said.

Louis Majesty is of 40,876 gross tons and it was until recently operated on the UK market by what is now Marella Cruises.  The Louis Group has two ships in service under its own Celestyal Cruises brand.

Mano Cruises have sold the 1972 built Golden Iris that had been built as a French cruise ferry to Russian buyers and operate the 1977 built Golden Iris of 17,586 gross tons that started life as Cunard Princess. Assuming that Mano Cruises really is the buyer of Louis Majesty, it is not known if the new acquisition would replace the ageing former Cunard ship.

AECO statement on polar bear incident in Svalbard

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Saturday July 28, a polar bear was shot dead in Svalbard after attacking a cruise ship’s polar bear guard. The guard sustained moderate injuries. The incident is being investigated by the Governor of Svalbard.

Svalbard, and the high Arctic in general, is a region of the world where wildlife habitats and human settlements overlap. As a result, there are encounters between polar bears and humans. Thanks to strict safety protocols and regulations, polar bear attacks are extremely rare. However, such attacks sometimes occur and may have tragic outcomes.

Expedition cruising is part of the tourism in Svalbard. Most expedition cruise operators in Svalbard are members of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO). The operator involved in the polar bear incident this weekend is one of the few expedition cruise operators in Svalbard that is not a member of AECO, but AECO would nevertheless take the opportunity to underline that the Arctic expedition cruise industry takes polar bear safety extremely seriously.

From AECO’s point of view, it is very sad when an incident leads to human injuries and the death of a polar bear. AECO’s objective is to ensure that expedition cruises and tourism in the Arctic is carried out with the utmost consideration for the vulnerable, natural environment, local cultures and cultural remains, as well as the challenging safety hazards at sea and on land. Keeping passengers safe and ensuring non-disturbance of Arctic wildlife is essential for AECO’s members.

Tourism is an important industry in many Arctic areas. This is also the case in Svalbard where the Norwegian government has pointed out tourism as a developing area. A year-round land-based and summer sea-based tourism brings more than 100 000 visitors to Svalbard every year.

Svalbard is a popular and well-regulated tourism destination, and incidents involving the cruise industry are rare. Expedition cruise tourism in Svalbard is subject to strict regulations and is closely monitored by the Governor of Svalbard. In accordance with Article 30 of the Svalbard Environmental Protection Act, it is prohibited to lure, pursue or otherwise seek out polar bears in such a way as to disturb them or expose either bears or humans to danger. The Governor of Svalbard enforces this law and investigates incidents where polar bears may have been disturbed.

AECO has put in place several guidelines and standards that go beyond legal requirements to further advance safe and environmentally friendly cruise tourism. AECO’s members are subject to a strict non-disturbance principle when it comes to wildlife. AECO has developed mandatory Polar bear guidelines that provide detailed instructions on how to avoid encounters with and disturbance of bears. In accordance with AECO’s Polar bear guidelines, AECO’s members should always keep a distance and ensure that polar bears are undisturbed. It is also required to have a plan and be ready to act to avoid encounters by implementing safety measures beforehand. Before undertaking shore excursions, the operator is required to check out the terrain, do reconnaissance and look out for polar bears before any passenger comes ashore. Members are also required to establish a polar bear watch system and stay in places where there is good visibility of the surrounding area.

AECO is also a forum for exchanging and advancing best practices on polar bear safety through, incident reporting, information sharing, member meetings and education, including field staff conferences and AECO’s field staff online assessment.

AECO will continue to work with regulators, research institutions, local communities and environmental organizations to ensure that AECO’s guidelines and best practices contribute to setting the highest possible operating standards for Arctic cruise tourism.

Carnival Maritime strengthens cooperation with WISTA

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

The Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) is an international organisation which aims to attract more women to the industry and support the role of women in shipping. The German arm of the international association, WISTA Germany e.V, which is headquartered in Hamburg, elected a new board of directors at the beginning of July, and for the first time a representative of Carnival Maritime, Cindy Paarmann, has taken a place on the board.

“I am very happy and honoured to be representing women in our industry in this key position. As HR Manager Development at Carnival Maritime, supporting women’s careers on board is one of my focuses. I want to encourage women to discover and embrace the many exciting and fulfilling career options in the cruise industry. The doors are open for them, because shipping companies have now realised what a great asset diversity is. Women belong on board!” Carnival Maritime is the marine service unit for AIDA Cruises and Costa Crociere. Currently, 60 female officers work on the group’s vessels: two-thirds on deck and one third in engine services.

A great example of what women can achieve in the marine industry is Germany’s first female cruise ship captain, WISTA member Nicole Langosch, who took over the helm of AIDA Cruises ships in April 2018. Paarmann’s colleague Abi Lewis, Director Itinerary and Fuel in the Carnival Maritime Nautical Department, has been participating with the WISTA mentoring programme since 2018.
“When it comes to the proportion of women in our industry, there is a lot of catching up to do and a very clear need for more information. Carnival Maritime is fully committed to encouraging women to join WISTA and explicitly supports the association’s activities and values. This way, we aim to make a positive contribution to ensuring that more women take on management roles in shipping,” says Tino Hensel, Vice President Marine HR at Carnival Maritime.

Worldwide, the proportion of female officers is 5.4%. Alongside Spain, Finland and Malta, Germany has one of the highest proportions of women in the industry.