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Palma de Mallorca to host AIDAperla christening

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

AIDAperla, the twelfth member of the AIDA fleet, will be christened on Friday, June 30, 2017, in Palma de Mallorca (Spain). The Christening Cruise will last from June 24 until July 1, 2017, leading from Palma de Mallorca to three Mediterranean metropolises: Rome (Civitavecchia), Florence (Livorno) and Barcelona. Tickets are available now. This unique voyage is available for booking from today (February 15, 2017) on, 10.00 am.

Felix Eichhorn, President of AIDA Cruises, comments on the christening of the newest member of the fleet: "Those who know AIDA also know about our unique christening ceremonies. The skyline of Palma's old town will be the breathtaking backdrop for a spectacular show of music and light, transforming the night skies above AIDAperla into a glistening flood of color on the evening of her christening."

Those unable to join the event in Palma de Mallorca or on board AIDAperla are nevertheless encouraged to save the date of June 30, 2017: the christening ceremony will be streamed live on the internet and various social media channels. The company will soon announce more details about the christening.

From July 1, 2017, the cruise ship – which is 300 meters long and 37.6 meters wide – will be sailing the western Mediterranean. The capital of the Germans' favorite island, Palma de Mallorca, and Barcelona are the ports of departure and arrival for the seven-day cruises to e.g. Rome (Civitavecchia), Corsica and Florence (Livorno).

AIDAperla will be visiting Germany for the first time in March 2018. The Hanseatic City of Hamburg will be the home port of multiple 7-night round trips to the most beautiful metropolises in Western Europe, such as London (Southampton), Paris (Le Havre), Brussels (Zeebrugge) and Rotterdam.

Havana to be featured on select Carnival Paradise cruises from Tampa beginning in June 2017

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Following the history-making launch of cruises from the U.S. to Cuba on Carnival Corporation’s Fathom brand last year, the company’s namesake and largest cruise brand – Carnival Cruise Line – has now received approval to sail to Cuba. The Cuban capital of Havana will be added to select Carnival Paradise voyages from Tampa beginning in June 2017.

The overnight visits to Havana will be featured on 12 four- and five-day cruises aboard Carnival Paradise departing from the Port of Tampa starting June 29, 2017, providing vacationers with a rare and exciting opportunity to explore this fascinating and previously off-limits destination.

Four-day cruises will depart June 29, July 13, August 24, September 7 and 21, and October 5 and 19, 2017 as well as May 3, 2018 and include a daytime and overnight visit to Havana. Five-day voyages will depart August 14 and 28, September 25 and October 9, 2017, and include a daytime and overnight visit to Havana as well as a stop in either Cozumel or Key West.

Carnival Paradise guests will be able to choose from a range of exciting shore excursion experiences that showcase Cuba’s vibrant culture and majestic beauty, along with the island’s warm and friendly people and centuries-old architectural landmarks.

“Cuba is an island jewel unique from anywhere else in the Caribbean and we are thrilled to have this rare opportunity to take our guests to this fascinating destination,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “The opportunity to visit Havana, combined with the fun, relaxed ambiance and wide variety of amenities and features offered on Carnival Paradise, will make for a truly one-of-a-kind vacation experience,” she added.

The visits to Havana comply with regulations of the U.S. Department of Treasury that permit travel operators to transport approved travelers to Cuba to engage in activities as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Work on TUI Cruises’ currently final newbuildings reaches milestones

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

TUI Cruises, the German premium market cruise shipping company, and the Meyer Turku shipyard that is building the final two units of a series of six newbuildings for the Hamburg based company, say the project has reached milestones.

“Today the construction of these ships is entering a next stage: The keel laying of New Mein Schiff 1 and the start of production of New Mein Schiff 2 were celebrated by invited guests, Meyer Turku employees, the CEO of TUI Cruises Wybcke Meier and the CEO of Meyer Turku Jan Meyer. At the same time Mein Schiff 6 is being completed for delivery at the outfitting key,” the Finnish shipyard said in a statement

New Mein Schiff 1 and New Mein Schiff 2 will be longer with 315 meters compared to the 295 meters of the previous ships. This lengthening allowed for a substantial redesign giving the ships several new features and interesting spaces for guests to enjoy. Both ships will be 111 500 gross tons and accommodate 2894 passengers.

“With the New Mein Schiff 1 and New Mein Schiff 2 the ratio of space per passenger will stay the same as the previous ships at a generous 40 square meters”, said Wybcke Meier, CEO from TUI Cruises.

“When the new Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 go into service, we will be operating one of the most modern fleets in the world. Both ships are characterized by innovative and environmentally-friendly construction methods, as well as state-of-the-art technology standards,” Meier adds.

Both important milestones in ship building were executed with traditional ceremonies: CEO Wybcke Meier started the steel production of New Mein Schiff 2 by starting Meyer Turku’s plasma cutter. In the following keel laying ceremony, the traditional lucky coins were placed on top of the keel block. After the float out of the ship the coins will be gathered and then eventually placed into to the ship for good luck.

Meyer Turku will deliver New Mein Schiff 1 in spring 2018 and New Mein Schiff 2 in 2019. The current Mein Schiff 1 and Mein Schiff 2 are transfers from Celebrity Cruises, which is part of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd (RCCL) that owns 50% of the shares in TUI Cruises. They will enter service with Thomson Cruises, a TUI group unit in the UK, when the newbuildings enter service.

Norwegian Cruise Line extends sailings to Cuba through December 2017

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that it will extend its offering of weekly roundtrip cruises from Miami to Cuba aboard Norwegian Sky, the largest vessel sailing to Cuba, through December 2017. Together with the five previously announced cruises in May 2017, these 25 additional cruises, which start in June 2017, all feature an overnight stay in Cuba’s historical and culturally-rich capital of Havana.

“We are thrilled to be the first cruise line able to offer weekly sailings from Miami to Cuba through the fall of 2017, all with overnights in the beautiful city of Havana,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line. “We have seen great demand from our guests for sailings to Cuba and we look forward to providing more opportunities for them to experience this incredibly culture-rich destination on a weekly basis.”

Norwegian Sky will sail 4-night roundtrip cruises from Miami each Monday, featuring an overnight in the capital of Havana as well as a call on Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas. The ship will dock right in the heart of Havana, offering guests the opportunity to visit historical sites such as Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; view incredible art and listen to the vibrant local music scene; and visit with Cuba’s warm and friendly residents through people-to-people exchanges. Norwegian will offer a selection of 15 half and full-day OFAC-compliant shore excursions, where guests aboard Norwegian Sky will have the opportunity to have a farm to table dining experience, explore the flora and fauna of Soroa, see modern Havana in an American classic car and much more.

Norwegian Sky’s sailings to Cuba will also feature a call to Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island destination in the Bahamas that was recently enhanced to offer guests exciting new ways to enjoy the island, with additional features to be added through summer 2017. Great Stirrup Cay is a private island paradise, with white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, watersports galore and lushly landscaped beachside cabanas available for daily rental for those who wish to have a more exclusive island experience.

Along with the freedom and flexibility that only Norwegian Cruise Line can provide, guests sailing on Norwegian Sky will also enjoy unlimited complimentary beverages as a part of the ship’s all-inclusive program.

Norwegian Sky’s four-day cruises to Cuba will open for sale on February 21.

Costa to base a ship in Tarragona

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Alan Lam reports

After years of tenacious effort, the small Spanish port of Tarragona finally succeeded in attracting the attention of a major cruise line: Costa Cruises will base its 1,727-guest Costa neoRiviera in Tarragona from 2 June to 22 September 2017 for one of its key Mediterranean operations.

This welcoming news is a result of a meaningful cooperation and dialogue between the port and the cruise line. The proximity to Barcelona and the myriad of attractions in and around Tarragona make the port an ideal choice for Costa. It is estimated that the weekly departure plus two additional calls by one of the company’s much bigger ships, the 3,780-guest Costa Favolosa, will bring an additional 32,000 visitors to the port in the coming season. This will make a tremendous difference to the port’s cruise traffic, as without them the port would only expect 15,000 cruise passengers this year.

Departing Tarragona every Friday, the ship will call at Savona, Porto Torres, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera, and Palma before returning to the point of departure.

According to a statement released by the port, this move will be an essential stepping-stone in positioning Tarragona and the entire Costa Dourada region as a tourist and cruise destination of international importance.

“This is the first time we are a base port of a regular cruise line,” said Josep Andreu, Chairman of the Port of Tarragona. "The commitment shown by Costa Cruises for Tarragona and the Costa Daurada is a landmark in the consolidation of our project and it means a great boost for Tarragona Cruise Port Costa Daurada.”

"We in Costa Cruises always offer the best travel proposal to our customers in our drive to strengthen our leadership in a highly competitive sector,” said Raffaelle D'Ambrosio, the company's General Manager Spain and Portugal. “We want to offer the most appealing destinations in order to provide a unique, unforgettable vacation experience.”

Cruise Business Review has always been a leading proponent of lesser-known ports that have serious cruise potentials. In one fell swoop Tarragona has become a success story for small and medium Mediterranean ports.

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