A+ A A-

Top Headlines

Carnival Cruise Line to base its 180,000 gross ton newbuild in the Port Canaveral

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Carnival Cruise Line, the world's largest cruise operator, has reached an agreement in principle with the Canaveral Port Authority on a new state-of-the-art terminal able to accommodate its new 180,000 gross ton ship, the largest ever constructed for the line, set to debut in 2020.

The terms of the agreement are expected to be included on the agenda of the Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners' meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. If approved, the agreement will clear the way for Carnival Cruise Line's plans to homeport the as-yet-unnamed 5,286-lower berth ship at Port Canaveral, further bolstering the line's position as the port's number one cruise operator.

The vessel will offer an array of groundbreaking, never-before-seen features and attractions while also being the first North American-based cruise ship to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation's "green cruising" design platform.

"We are very excited about the prospects of homeporting our largest ship at Port Canaveral, a valued business partner for more than 25 years," said Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line. "Easily accessible from all over the southeast with excellent facilities and friendly staff, Port Canaveral is one of our most popular and fastest-growing homeports. This fantastic new ship, coupled with our future plans for Port Canaveral, will provide guests with an unparalleled seagoing vacation experience from the minute they arrive."

"The Port and Carnival Cruise Line have worked closely for decades building a successful partnership together. We are proud of our partners at Carnival and eager to begin this new chapter in our business relationship," said Canaveral Port Authority Port Director and CEO Capt. John Murray. "Carnival's commitment to Port Canaveral demonstrates their confidence in our ability to support one of the world's most successful cruise brands. We're excited and looking forward to having their largest and newest class of ship homeported here."

Construction of the 180,000 gross ton cruise ship is scheduled to begin in November 2018 with the official steel-cutting ceremony at the Meyer-Turku shipyard in Finland. Further ship details, along with itineraries from Port Canaveral, are expected to be announced in 2019.

The decision to base the new ship on the Space Coast continues a decades-long relationship and reinforces Carnival Cruise Line's position as Port Canaveral's number one cruise operator. The line currently has three year-round ships based in Port Canaveral carrying upwards of 650,000 passengers a year. In October, Carnival Cruise Line will also reposition the newer Carnival Breeze to homeport at Port Canaveral.

MV Werften celebrates the keel laying of Crystal Endeavor

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

The keel of Crystal Endeavor, the world’s largest and most spacious polar-class expedition yacht at 20,000 gross tons with a guest capacity just 200 guests was laid in MV Werften Stralsund shipyard on August 21. The ceremony was attended by German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s Prime Minister, Manuela Schwesig.

The keel laying ceremony marks another important milestone in the production of the luxury expedition yacht. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig, Minister of Economic Affairs Harry Glawe, Genting Hong Kong's Executive Chairman, CEO Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay and Crystal President and CEO Tom Wolber as well as hundreds of employees wearing matching "Team Endeavor" shirts attended the ceremony in the Stralsund shipbuilding hall.

“The keel laying of Crystal Endeavor here in my political hometown of Stralsund marks a special moment for me that is doubly significant,” said Angela Merkel, Member of the Bundestag. “Today, the foundation has been laid for this highly sophisticated, state-of-the-art cruise ship. But the ceremony itself, which is taking place in the lively shipyard with the participation of so many employees and trainees, also bodes well for the future of shipbuilding in the Hanseatic City of Stralsund and in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.”

“MV Werften breaks new ground with Crystal Endeavor. We wish the company great success in building this ship and other ships of its class, the construction of which safeguards and creates jobs in the shipyards of Wismar, Stralsund, and Warnemünde,” said Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig during her address.

Once the traditional lucky coins had been put into place, the 400-ton section was lowered onto the keel blocks.

"A unique ship is being created at our Stralsund shipyard, the only one of its kind worldwide," said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay. "We are pleased that after two years of design, we are now able to celebrate the keel laying of the Crystal Endeavor, the most valuable ship to be built at the Stralsund shipyard so far. We have also invested more than 20 million Euros in the Stralsund shipyard in order to facilitate the construction of state-of-the-art cruise ships at this location."

The luxury expedition yacht will be 164 meters long with 20,000 gross ton (GT) for just 200 guests. At 100 GT per guest, she has the highest space ratio for a luxury expedition ship with 100 suites between 28 and 105 square meters in size. All suites feature king-size beds, ambient lighting, walk-in closets, separate wet unit with rain showers and toilet and large private balconies.

The Endeavor class flagship has six gourmet restaurants, a spacious spa and fitness area and a two-story enclosed aft sun deck complete with a pool that will feature panoramic views of the destinations she will visit. In addition, Crystal Endeavor is equipped with several features essential to a modern expedition cruise ship: state-of-the-art navigation technology, the ship's own mini-submarines, helicopters, and Zodiacs as well as designated areas for the preparation and storage of expedition equipment.

Guests will be able to cruise to the most remote corners of the world – from the tropics to the polar regions. The ship will be able to sail through medium, first-year ice because of its PC6 designation, the highest polar class rating for passenger ships. In the first six months of the inaugural season from August 2020 to January 2021, she will cruise to Japan, the Russian Far East, New Zealand, Australia and the Ross Sea of the Antarctica, the world’s largest marine park, protecting more than a million square kilometers of the Southern Ocean, where no fishing is allowed. While most Antarctica cruises start from the southern tip of Argentina, Crystal Endeavor’s Antarctica cruises will start and end in either New Zealand or Tasmania Australia, which allows guests to enjoy pre- and post-cruise stays in these two wonderful places.

“It is truly a thrill to mark this important milestone for Crystal Endeavor and the entire Crystal Family, as this yacht will change the way guests can explore the world both adventurously and luxuriously,” said Tom Wolber, Crystal President and CEO. “I am honored to share this occasion with Chancellor Merkel, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay and our special guests as well as the skilled workers of MV Werften who are building this game-changing ship.”

"The construction of this sophisticated ship is progressing as planned," said Peter Fetten, CEO of MV Werften. "Around 500 employees will be involved in the construction of Crystal Endeavor at the Stralsund site. In addition, around 500 skilled subcontractors will be brought in from outside of the company – creating sustainable value for the region."

The first steel cut for Crystal Endeavor took place in January. The delivery is scheduled for the end of 2019/early 2020 for a series of charters and Crystal Endeavor’s inaugural season will start after the Tokyo Olympics in August 2020.

Oceania Cruises to upgrade Regatta class ships for $100 million

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Inc. (NCLH) has unveiled plans of major upgrade of four ships of its Oceania Cruises unit.

The four Regatta class ships of the upper premium market Oceania Cruises – Regatta, Insignia, Nautica and Sirena – will undergo a transformation of their guest accommodation and public areas. Starting in December, the investment will total $100 million, the company said on a video posted on YouTube.

The four ships are of about 30,300 gross tons and together with four similar ships currently in service with other operators, they were built in France at the turn of the Millennium for the now defunct Renaissance Cruises.

Studio Dado, the Miami based design company, has been appointed to produce the design of the new iteriors of the four ships, the video shows.

Norwegian’s all three brands shine in strong second quarter

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

All three brands of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd (NCLH) performed well in the second quarter and the group posted better than forecast results.

Group revenues rose to $1.52 billion in the second quarter from $1.34 billion in the same periods year on, while operating profit reached $862.7 million compared to $752.4 million. Net profit rose to $226.7 million from $198.4 million.

In the first half of the year, NCLH’s revenues rose to $2.82 billion from $2.49 billion, while operating profit increased to $1.63 billion from $1.43 billion. Net profit reached $329.8 from $260.4 million in January-June last year

“The continuation of the robust booking environment from our core source markets, combined with the successful execution of demand creation strategies drove higher pricing across all three brands, resulting in second quarter revenue, yield and earnings growth well above expectations,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of  NCLH.

The group comprises the mass market Norwegian Cruise Line, premium segment Oceania Cruises and luxury market Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

“Global consumer cruise demand shows no signs of slowing as evidenced by solid organic growth and the hugely successful introduction of Norwegian Bliss, whose record-breaking performance surpassed our high expectations,” Del Rio stated.



TUI AG sees further strength in cruise after strong interims

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

TUI AG, the Hanover based company that is listed in London, believes in further strength of the cruise market after its cruise operations delivered strong three and nine month results.

In three months to 30 June, the third quarter of its financial year, TUI’s cruise operations increased EBITA to €90.9 million from €67.3 million year on, while revenues rose to €227.3 million from €214.3 million.

In the first three quarters of its financial year, EBITA increased to €183.3 million from €142.1 million and revenues rose to €622.9 million from €560.2 million.

“Cruises continue to deliver a strong performance in 2018. All trends indicate that the growth of the cruise sector will continue in the next decade, the company said in a statement.

“TUI is prepared for that trend. It will expand its entire fleet by newbuilds scheduled for delivery in 2019, 2021, 2023, 2024 and 2026. The performance delivered by all three brands, TUI Cruises, Marella Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, confirms the strong demand,” the company added.

 In the third quarter, TUI Cruises obtained anaverage daily rate of €200 per passenger, an increase from €183 year on. The Hamburg based company is 50/50 owned by TUI AG and Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd (RCCL).

The expedition and luxury market unit Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten increased its average daily rate by €9 to €571 and Marella Cruises in the UK by £12 to 3138 per passenger.

“TUI delivers a strong operational performance and has a good strategic positioning. Hotels and cruises deliver sustained earnings growth all year round,” said said Fritz Joussen, TUI Group CEO, who described the interims as”a good third quarter, very good nine-month results.”

“For the full year, we expect to deliver double-digit earnings growth for the fourth consecutive time. We have considerably reduced our seasonality and thus our susceptibility to external challenges through the Group’s transformation focussing on hotels and cruises,” he added.