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Cruise lines should offer tailor made packages to attract UK first timers

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Cruise lines should move away from traditional all-inclusive pricing and instead draw up tailor-made packages to attract new passengers, according to Alistair Pritchard, Deloitte’s lead partner for travel.

Talking to Travel Weekly, he said that Millennials and single parent families were much more “cost conscious” than traditional cruise customers. Lone parent travellers, which amount to 1.9 million of the 4.8 million families with dependent children in the UK, are not “particularly well addressed” by the travel industry, Pritchard said.

He also said the added challenge of having just one income made single parents more focused on what they could afford. Speaking at Abta’s Attracting First Time Cruisers Conference on Wednesday, he told delegates that the consumer should also be able “to choose what is all inclusive”.

He was quoted as saying: “If we move forward a few years it is going to have to be a very different product to what it is now.

It is going to have to be much more tailored to people. It isn’t just everyone gets all-inclusive drinks, all-inclusive food. People are going to want to be able to pick and choose what is all inclusive. Some people might want alcoholic drinks included, some people won’t be interested in that at all and may want a daily spa treatment.”

Pritchard said it was important for the cruise industry to show people “the flexibility of pricing”. Going on a cruise would become “much more the norm” in the next few years, Pritchard argued, adding “there is a tipping point to come”.

He also suggested virtual reality devices would help travel agents offer passengers a “try before you buy” experience in stores in the future. “How do you bring the product to life for the consumer?,” he said. “Virtual reality is something that can be used in that way.”


Lenghtening of Silver Spirit starts at Palermo yard

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Silversea Cruises’ Silver Spirit has been cut in two at Fincantieri Shipyard in Palermo as part of her planned lengthening. A prebuilt 15-metre (49-feet) segment has been inserted and the ship is now being reconnected.

With the aim of amplifying guests’ onboard experience, the rare lengthening project will create more space in public areas and will enhance Silver Spirit’s

The project will see Silver Spirit lengthened to 210.7m (691.3 ft.). Approximately 846 tons of steel, 110,000m (360,892 ft.) of cabling, and 8,000m (26,247 ft.) of piping will be put to use in the lengthening, as Silver Spirit’s capacity increases by roughly 12%, resulting in an overall dining capacity increase of 15% and a 20% increase in outdoor seating (from 200 to 266).

A new 8-restaurant configuration will replace the existing culinary infrastructure, with varying dining concepts introduced: Atlantide, Indochine, Silver Note, Spaccanapoli, will complement the pre-existing Seishin, La Dame, La Terrazza and The Grill.

Outside, the pool area on the sky deck will increase in length (from 30 to 45m / from 98 to 148 ft.) to offer additional space for relaxing under the sun and a new aerobics area will also be created. Inside, the Zagara Spa concept will be installed, as will a new free weights room which will complement the upgraded fitness centre.

Global Class ships of Dream Cruises to carry up to 9,500 passengers

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Genting Hong Kong said the Global Class ships of its Dream Cruises unit will be able to carry up to 9,500 passengers.

“With a capacity of 204,000 gross tons, the ship can accommodate about 5,000 passengers in 2,500 cabins based on a twin share basis. However, the cabins are uniquely designed for the Asian family and can comfortably sleep 2, 3 or 4 persons with split (two) bathrooms, allowing for a wider price point for the Asian market. With total life-saving capacity of up to 9,500 passengers, the Global Class ships can cater for the extremely high peak seasonal holiday periods in Asia,” the company said in a statement.

The ships will be will be 342 metres long and 46.40 metres wide with a draft of 9.50 metres. In addition to the usual 28 large elevators, the Global Class will also have eight sets of escalators connecting the public areas, the first cruise ship to have public escalators.

Genting Hong Kong has marked the official start of production on Dream Cruises’ new Global Class cruise ship during a steel cutting ceremony held on 8 March at the MV Werften shipyards in both Wismar and Rostock, Germany.

“After designing the Global Class ships for the last three years and investing over 210 million euros to make MV Werften a state-of-the-art cruise shipbuilding yard, we are very pleased to finally start construction on the first Global Class cruise ship today,” said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay.

“These ships are not only the largest cruise ships to be built in Germany; they are also the most technologically advanced with artificial intelligence. The Global Class ships mirror the widespread use of technology and artificial intelligence by our Asians guests in their daily lives, with facial and voice recognition for most services onboard, eliminating most queues; contextual marketing to even out demand on ship facilities; automated robots to perform mundane tasks - allowing the hardworking staff to focus on service delivery - along with other artificial intelligent and digital systems. Internet, an essential service for guests to connect on social media, will be free,” he added.

The Global Class ships are designed specifically for the rapidly growing Asian cruise market with popular features such as a Cineplex, theme park, Asian spa, multiple authentic Asian dining experiences, including fast-casual food alternatives, and affordable shopping facilities in addition to luxury retail boutiques.


The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection announces itineraries and shore excursions

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. today announced itineraries and shore excursion categories for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, unveiling routes and programming that will deliver one-of-a-kind experiences. Whether visiting a celebrated destination or one that is off the beaten path, guests will benefit from a dedicated Concierge Ashore in addition to five distinct categories of shore excursions, including Iconic Sights; Stirring the Senses; Cultural Connections; Active Explorations; and Epicurean Experiences.

“The itineraries and intimate shore experiences are not only unique and forward-thinking in their design, but illustrate our commitment to providing rare opportunities to today’s luxury traveler,” said Lisa Holladay, Global Brand Leader for The Ritz-Carlton. “Combining The Ritz-Carlton’s unparalleled service with journeys created specifically to offer immersion into the culture of the destination, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will set a new standard in sea travel and redefine the yachting experience.”

Designed to combine the lifestyle of The Ritz-Carlton’s luxury resorts and the casual freedom of a yachting vacation, no two itinerary routes are alike. Stopping at both intimate and signature destinations, voyages will range from seven to ten days. The first ship will cruise a wide variety of destinations depending on the season, including the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, Canada and Northeastern United States. Ports along the way range from Barbados, Cartagena, Bordeaux and Copenhagen, as well as ports that deliver a yacht-style sailing experience including Carriacou, Falmouth Harbour, Gustavia, the Balearic Islands, Mykonos, Portofino and more. Guests will have the opportunity to combine back-to-back voyages without repeating ports, allowing them to enjoy true exploration across a broad range of destinations.

“The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection itineraries and programs on land were created with the yachting lifestyle in mind and will offer a relaxed pace and intimate, highly personalized experiences on shore,” said Douglas Prothero, Managing Director, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. “We are thrilled to share the curated voyages and look forward to introducing guests to the local cultures of each destination through our Shore Collection while offering the best luxury accommodations at sea.”

As a complement to these unique itineraries, shore excursion tracks have been thematically crafted so guests can easily pick a category that fits their interests and activity levels. All shore excursions take advantage of local guides who have been handpicked for their insider knowledge, ensuring a highly personalized, relevant experience while exploring a destination. With a relaxed pace that includes both overnight and daytime ports of call and an intimate ship size that allows the yachts to sail right into city harbors while others must anchor offshore, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection gives guests more flexibility and options when it comes to their time on land.

The Shore Collection excursion categories include Iconic Sights, which will offer guests the opportunity to discover the cultural, historical, and architectural marvels of a destination, perhaps by browsing a museum in Montenegro on an exclusive tour with its curator. Stirring the Senses is ideal for those wishing to focus on wellness and wellbeing and may include sunrise and sunset yoga in the Grenadines or an encounter with a spiritual shaman. For guests who wish to give back, Cultural Connections will offer the opportunity to spend a day helping protect wildlife or the natural environment, among other philanthropic activities. Active Explorations caters to travelers looking for outdoor adventure such as swimming with turtles in Tobago Cays or a private sea kayak tour off the coast of Reykjavik, Iceland. Guests can also sail into a world of culinary exploration through Epicurean Experiences by visiting a renowned winery in Bordeaux with The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection sommelier or learning to grow baby oysters in a private farm in Sete, France.

Meanwhile, for the discerning traveler seeking the most personalized way to explore a destination, a Concierge Ashore will be available to help craft a bespoke experience on land which will be meaningful and authentic. This may include insider access to a popular attraction or exploring a local community with a private guide.

The first of three lavish cruising yachts is scheduled to take to the sea in November 2019 and distinguishes Marriott International as the only provider of luxury accommodations both on land and at sea. The specially designed yacht will measure 190-meters, accommodate up to 298 passengers and feature 149 suites, each with its own private terrace. The yacht will also feature two 158 square-meter lavish penthouse suites, each with its own private whirlpool, modern craftsmanship and interior finishes jointly designed by The Ritz-Carlton and leading design firm Tillberg Design of Sweden. The onboard experience will reflect the sublime comfort and unparalleled level of individualized guest service for which the iconic Ritz-Carlton brand is recognized, with one of the highest staff to guest service ratios in the cruise industry.

Reservations for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will open to the public in June 2018, following priority access booking in May 2018 for Ritz-Carlton and Marriott Rewards loyalty members.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection guests will enjoy an all-inclusive luxury sailing experience including spacious accommodations, onboard activities and entertainment, multiple dining venues, onboard gratuities and WiFi. Voyage prices will vary based upon the itinerary and season.

AIDA Cruises appoints Germany’s first female cruise ship Captain

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Nicole Langosch (34) has been named the Captain of AIDAsol. This makes her the first female Captain in the AIDA fleet and highest-ranking woman on a cruise ship in Germany.

Nicole Langosch was born in Osterode and grew up in Herborn in Hesse. Sailing was her first introduction to seafaring. She completed her nautical science studies in Leer. During her subsequent study program in logistics, she worked for a container shipping company in Oakland (New Zealand) and for the EU parliament in Brussels. Her first nautical internship was on a container ship. Langosch has held various positions on AIDA ships over the past ten years.

“I’m proud to work at a company that promotes the careers of young women and that has made it possible for me pursue my dream profession. I look forward to my new role as captain on board AIDAsol and am aware of the great responsibility,” says Langosch.

With a length of 253 meters and width of 32 meters, AIDAsol is one of 12 ships in the AIDA fleet and currently travels between the Canary Islands and Madeira. On March 25, 2018, Captain Langosch will be navigating the ship to Hamburg. From here, the ship will depart on April 7, 2018, for Northern Europe and Norway.

AIDA Cruises currently employs 14 female nautical officers on board its fleet. With tailored, collaborative training and a dual study program in partnership with the University of Wismar, AIDA Cruises offers an innovative educational concept for nautical science in Warnemünde.