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Fincantieri to build two 175,000 gross ton LNG-powered ships for Princess Cruises

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Fincantieri has signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Princess Cruises, brand of Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise ship operator, for the construction of two next-generation 175,000-ton cruise ships which will be the largest ships built so far in Italy with deliveries scheduled in Monfalcone in late 2023 and in spring 2025.

The vessels will accommodate approximately 4,300 guests and will be based on a next-generation platform design, being the first Princess Cruises’ ships to be dual-fuel powered primarily by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the marine industry’s most environmentally friendly advanced fuel technology and the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel, which will significantly reduce air emissions and marine gasoil.

“This revolutionary platform for next-generation, LNG-powered cruise ships will introduce innovative design and leisure experiences driven by the future vacation and lifestyle trends of our guests – further evolving the already best-in-class Princess Cruises experience we deliver today. We look forward to collaborating with Fincantieri to bring our vision for this next- generation premium cruise ship into service” said Jan Swartz, President of Princess Cruises.

While commenting the announcement, Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, stated: “We are proud to further extend our long-established partnership with Princess Cruises, a brand we are indeed tied to since our comeback to the cruise ship industry in 1990. After so many years, we are getting ready to enter, together, into a new era of our industry, increasingly aimed at reducing environmental impact. We proudly do this with an all-time record project, both in terms of size and technological level”. Bono concluded: “We believe that there are no more significant milestones than these to reaffirm the market-leading positions we achieved. They allow us to keep a solid partnership between our country and the Carnival group - the largest foreign investor in Italy - and at the same time to maintain know-how and increase employment”.

Fincantieri has built 85 cruise ships since 1990 (62 from 2002), 65 of which for Carnival’s different brands, while other 49, including agreements, are currently being designed or built in the Group’s yards.

CLIA announces departure of President & CEO Cindy D'Auost

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced that Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, will be stepping down at the end of the year to focus on family priorities.

D’Aoust will remain in her role until a successor is identified and will help oversee the transition of a new leader. CLIA’s Global Executive Committee are developing a transition plan that will include a search for a new president and CEO.

“CLIA has been fortunate to have Cindy at the helm for the last two years but we respect her decision to focus on her family and wish her all the best,” said Arnold Donald, Global Chair, CLIA and President and CEO, Carnival Corporation & plc.

CLIA has retained the services of executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates to lead the search for a new president and CEO.

Lindblad to build another polar expedition ship

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc., the global leader of expedition cruises and adventure travel experiences, today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the building of a new polar expedition ship. This state-of-the-art vessel, which is anticipated to be delivered in 2021, will be the next phase of Lindblad’s fleet expansion following the launch of the National Geographic Quest in July 2017, the addition of the National Geographic Venture in December 2018 and the delivery of the National Geographic Endurance in the first quarter of 2020.

As demand for high quality and authentic expedition travel continues to accelerate, both through market expansion as well as from sustained investment in their marketing and sales infrastructure, Lindblad is committed to expanding capacity to provide a growing audience with the opportunity to explore the world’s most unique and remote locations.

This will be the fourth polar vessel in the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet, joining the National Geographic Explorer and the National Geographic Orion, currently in operation, and the National Geographic Endurance, which is scheduled for delivery in early 2020. The new vessel will be designed as the ultimate expedition platform with a focus on immersing our guests in these amazing geographies.

Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Chief Executive Officer, said “We are extremely excited to announce the further expansion of our expedition fleet. This is the next step of our long-term growth strategy to capitalize on the expanding demand for high quality adventure travel. By marrying additional capacity with a dedicated and growing loyal customer base and fifty years of experience, we will be able to build upon our proven track record of delivering unparalleled expeditions to the world’s most remarkable destinations.”

Norwegian Cruise Line to reposition Norwegian Joy from China to U.S. West Coast next spring

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Norwegian Cruise Line today announced enhancements to its 2019 and 2020 itineraries to leverage the strong global demand environment in highly sought after destinations.

Norwegian Joy will join sister ship Norwegian Bliss sailing seasonally in Alaska in summer 2019 and will offer Mexican Riviera and Panama Canal voyages in winter 2019/2020. Norwegian Pearl will sail to Europe as the cruise line’s sixth ship in the region in summer 2019, while Norwegian Jade and Jewel will significantly expand Norwegian’s presence in Australasia in winter 2019/2020. Maintaining Norwegian Cruise Line’s commitment to serving the Chinese cruise market, Norwegian Spirit will sail seasonally in China beginning summer 2020.

“The booming demand environment in our core markets around the world, coupled with Norwegian Bliss’ record-breaking performance, continue to exceed our expectations,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “As a result, we are leveraging the strategic benefits of our growing fleet to quickly seize sizable opportunities in over performing, unserved and underserved markets to meet the demands of our global customer base and drive higher returns for our shareholders.”

In April 2019, Norwegian Joy will reposition to Seattle to offer 7-night voyages to Alaska, replacing Norwegian Pearl as Norwegian Cruise Line’s third ship in the region, joining Norwegian Bliss and Jewel. Prior to her arrival in Seattle, Norwegian Joy will undergo approximately $50 million in upgrades to enhance her already popular features and bring her designs and offerings to be virtually identical to those of her sister ship, Norwegian Bliss, the newest and most successful ship in the line’s 51-year history. To complement Norwegian Bliss’ itineraries and provide guests with more places to explore and experience the natural beauty of Alaska, Norwegian Joy will cruise a variety of itineraries featuring Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Holkham Bay and Icy Strait Point, long recognized for its untouched wilderness, rich culture and fresh seafood. She will also call into Victoria, British Columbia.

“Norwegian Cruise Line expanded the Alaska cruise experience as the first line to sail to the state from Seattle over 24 years ago,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “I am extremely excited to further strengthen our presence in the region with the addition of Norwegian Joy, sister ship to Norwegian Bliss, the most successful ship in our 51-year history. With $50 million in enhancements including the addition of a Starbucks store as well as enhanced restaurant, bar and entertainment options, Norwegian Joy will be a welcome addition for guests looking to cruise on a world-class ship in one of the world’s most sought after destinations.”

He continued, “On these sister ships, guests will experience incredible ocean and glacier views from our stunning observation lounges and they’ll have access to the best-of-the-best at sea with entertainment options including Norwegian Joy’s Galaxy Pavilion, which features thrilling simulator rides and interactive video walls, as well as our race tracks and laser tag arenas, available on both ships.”

Following her inaugural Alaska season, Norwegian Joy will sail to Los Angeles for a season of Mexican Riviera and Panama Canal voyages in winter 2019/2020.This move will mark a turning point in the historically underserved winter cruise market on the West Coast of the United States with the arrival of a premier, state-of-the-art cruise ship.

Norwegian Joy’s new itineraries will be open for sale on July 24, 2018.

Celebrity Cruises launches $500-million Celebrity Revolution refurbishment program

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Once again, Celebrity Cruises is set to transform the industry with the unveiling of the Celebrity Revolution, a more than $500-million reimagining of the fleet in partnership with more than 500 leading architects, designers, and engineers designed to bring the rest of the brand’s award-winning fleet to the Edge.

“We launched the Celebrity Revolution to do one thing – transform the way our guests experience the world. It began with the introduction of the industry-changing Celebrity Edge, and continued with the stunning Celebrity Flora,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Our dedication to improving the way guests experience the world knows no bounds. We are taking our entire award-winning fleet to the edge and giving people the vacation they truly deserve.”

Transforming the suites

Transforming the brand’s ships gave Celebrity the opportunity to bring its already world-class suite experience on board Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Infinity, and Celebrity Summit to lavish new heights with the help of visionary designer Kelly Hoppen, MBE. She will also infuse the newly added Reflection Suite and Signature Suites (found today on Celebrity Reflection) to Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Equinox, and Celebrity Silhouette, with her signature style – a subtle, coordinated fusion of East meets West, with clean lines, neutral tones, and a warm, inviting opulence.

“This was a new and exciting challenge to recreate something stylish and luxurious yet totally different from the accommodations that I have designed for Celebrity Edge,” said Hoppen. “I wanted to invoke a feeling of timeless luxury that welcomed guests into their own haven. Your bedroom is where you sleep and where you wake, two of the most important times of day, especially when you are on vacation. It was important to create space, harmony and luxury within a home away from home setting and I think we achieved this balance perfectly.”

With Celebrity Edge, the brand introduced an exclusive new sanctuary for all Suite Class guests called The Retreat. And now, Celebrity is bringing its most luxurious experiences fleet-wide. Every ship will offer The Retreat Sundeck and The Retreat Lounge, both strikingly designed by Hoppen. In imagining The Retreat Sundeck, she has created a chic, open-air hideaway with the feel of a high-end resort, where guests can unwind on plush loungers, sip tantalizing cocktails, and savor refreshing treats. At The Retreat Lounge (formerly Michael’s Club), Hoppen has designed a warm and sophisticated atmosphere.

Refined accommodations

When redesigning the accommodations, every detail was carefully thought through with guest comfort at the front of mind. Celebrity collaborated with renowned international hospitality design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) to transform the staterooms on board Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Infinity, and Celebrity Summit, plus the staterooms and many of the suites on board Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Silhouette and Celebrity Reflection into a statement about modern luxury.

“Every detail of our staterooms has been elevated, every comfort refined,” said Brian Abel, Senior Vice President, Hotel Operations, Celebrity Cruises. “By the end of the Celebrity Revolution the entire fleet will have the same quality, design essence, and consistency of modern luxury, bringing our fleet to the edge.”

All staterooms will feature a fresh, chic design, rivaling the world’s best boutique hotels. They will also be fitted with Celebrity’s eXhale bedding featuring exclusive luxurious cashmere mattresses, RFID locks, pervasive Xcelerate and Bluetooth capabilities.

Culinary innovations

Celebrity is always looking for new ways to open the world, not only through the places the brand visits, but through globally inspired culinary experience, as well.

Guest-favorite restaurant Qsine will be added across the fleet and completely renovated, now offering the brand’s virtual Le Petit Chef experience, created by the world-famous artists of Skullmapping and presented by TableMation exclusively for Celebrity. Oceanview Café will be redesigned with an open, airy, marketplace-inspired design offering guests island after island of international delicacies, while the already-stunning Main Restaurants will undergo a beautiful redesign, with new textures and new finishes added throughout.

Every detail is being taken to Edge

Even more groundbreaking innovations are on the horizon with the Celebrity Revolution, including:
– Expansion of the new SEA Thermal Suite – first introduced on Celebrity Edge – to offer an ahh-inspiring array of therapeutic spa experiences at sea
– Exclusive new shopping experiences featuring sought-after brands and designers, such as Shinola, John Hardy, and Hublot, plus state-of-the-art digital photo galleries that make browsing vacation memories a snap 

– Elevated bars and lounges, including the newly reimagined Passport Bar and an expansion of Celebrity’s popular Gastrobar concept, serving more than 40 craft beers, creative cocktails, and gourmet comfort food 

– More exciting upgrades to public venues all throughout each ship, including The Hideaway, Team Earth, The Library, and more.

The first “revolutionary” revitalization will take place in 2019, beginning with the Celebrity Millennium, and will continue across the fleet through 2023.

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