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Cruise industry’s output in Europe maintained 2% growth rate in 2015

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

The cruise industry’s economic output in Europe reached €40.95 billion (£32.22 billion) in 2015, up 2% on the previous year, the same as its rate of expansion was in 2014 on the year before, CLIA Europe said in a statement.

The fresh figure is an all-time high.

The direct expenditures generated by the industry reached €16.89 billion (£13.39 billion), up from €16.6 billion (£13.17 billion) in 2014.

“The cruise industry continues to make significant contributions to Europe’s economic recovery,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Chairman of CLIA Europe and Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises.

“The impact is clear. More Europeans are choosing a cruise holiday, more cruise passengers are choosing Europe as a destination, and more cruise ships are being built in European shipyards. This translates into great economic benefits for the entire continent, including coastal areas that were hit disproportionately hard by the economic downturn,” he added.

Crystal Cruises to sell Boeing 787-8, looks for bigger replacement -- report

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Cabot Aviation, the used aircraft sales division of charter broker Air Partner, has been appointed by VIP travel company Crystal Cruises to remarket a Boeing 787-8, following a change to its business model, Flightglobal.com reports on its website.

The widebody airliner – serial number 35507 – is currently under construction at the airframer’s facility in Seattle, and had been scheduled for delivery in November. “Crystal’s 787-8 is configured for 262 passengers,” Cabot’s senior vice-president Charley Cleaver, who is managing the sale, was quoted as saying. “It was originally to be used to transfer customers to its luxury cruise ships worldwide. Then Crystal changed its business model. It decided instead to use the aircraft for point-to-point, high-end travel – a cruise ship of the sky – for 100 passengers in first-class, flat-seat configuration.”

“However, when they designed the layout [with US completions company Greenpoint] they realised the 787 could only seat 60 passengers in this configuration. So the aircraft now has to be sold,” he was quoted as saying

Greenpoint is currently refurbishing a second-hand 777-200LR for Crystal in the 100-seat first-class layout. The airliner is scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2017. Century City, California-headquartered Crystal currently operates a Bombardier Global Express long-range business jet. “It is likely that they will acquire another used 777 at some stage,” says Cleaver.

Crystal Cruises, which is part of the Genting Hong Kong group, is in the process of redefining itself as a lifestyle company rather than a luxury cruise line. The introduction of Crystal Air Cruises, river and ocean yachts plus new ocean going luxury vessels and possible conversion of the 1952 built ocean liner United States into a luxury cruise ships are all parts of the plan.

Genting Hong Kong also owns theAsia-Pacific focused contemporary market cruise brand Star Cruises and is about to introduce the first ship of Dream Cruises, a premium market brand with Asia-Pacific focus later this year.

Cabot says it is “actively pursuing” a number of leads for the GE Aviation GEnx-1B-powered 787, which it says is the only -8 available on the open market.

Boeing debuted a BBJ 787-8 in May at the European Business Aviation Association convention in Geneva, Switzerland. The aircraft – owned by Chinese operator Deer Jet and scheduled for service entry in the third quarter of this year – is the first Dreamliner to feature a complete VVIP cabin.Two other BBJ 787s are in government service, one in the Middle East and the other in Mexico, although neither has a VVIP interior, Flightglobal said.

Viking announces ten new ocean cruise itineraries and a maiden call to Cuba

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

With the newly christened Viking Sea now part of its growing ocean fleet, Viking Ocean Cruises today announced the addition of 10 new itineraries to its offerings for 2017 and 2018 sailings. Adding more than 30 ports of call to Viking’s portfolio, the new itineraries will explore destinations throughout Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean, including Cuba.

“As we continue to grow our fleet, we have more opportunities to offer guests new and different options for experiencing the Viking way of destination-focused cruising, an approach that is completely unique in the industry,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “Our guests are experienced travelers who are curious about the great art, history and cultures of the world, which is why we design our ships and itineraries to help immerse them in the destinations they visit.”

New 2017-2018 itineraries

Viking’s new ocean itineraries will bring guests to more iconic destinations around the world, providing rich cultural experiences with each port of call. With sailings from Bergen, London, New York, Puerto Rico, Venice and more, guests can choose itineraries ranging from 8-night to 22-night multi-country sailings. Full details on the new 2017 – 2018 offerings can be found on Viking’s website; new ocean itineraries include:

– Trade Routes of the Middle Ages – (From Bergen to Barcelona; Sailing on Viking Star, September 2017; May 2018) – During this 15-day itinerary, guests will follow the trade routes of the Middle Ages. Setting sail from Bergen, Norway, guests will explore a total of seven different countries and 10 ports with storied naval histories including Amsterdam, Paris, and two ports each in England, Portugal and Spain. Inclusive pricing for veranda staterooms start at $3,999 per person.

– Venice, the Adriatic and Greece – (From Venice to Athens; Sailing on Viking Sun and Viking Spirit, October 2017; July – August 2018) – Guests will walk the cobbled streets of four countries and seven cities along the Adriatic Sea coast, as they cruise from Venice, Italy to Athens, Greece. The eight-day itinerary, starts with two days in Venice, where guests can stroll the alleyways and learn about the city’s glassmaking tradition before calling on Croatia, Montenegro and the many ancient sites of Greece to follow. Inclusive pricing for veranda staterooms start at $2,499 per person.

– South America and the Caribbean – (From San Juan to San Juan; Sailing on Viking Sea and Viking Sky, October – December 2017; January – March 2018) – Experience the Caribbean’s most southerly ports during this 11-day itinerary, taking in the rich cultures and bright colors of six countries and seven ports. As guests cruise the Caribbean, they’ll take in the lively ports of San Juan, Puerto Rico and historic Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, while also visiting the turquoise blue waters of Aruba and Curacao. This itinerary will also call on ports in South America including Cartagena and Santa Maria, Columbia and Venezuela’s capital, Caracas. Inclusive pricing for veranda staterooms start at $3,199 per person.

– New York, Bermuda and the Western Indies – (From New York to San Juan; Sailing on Viking Sea and Viking Sky, October 2017; September 2018) – Guests will set sail from New York and continue down to the Caribbean during this 15-day cruise, which visits a total of nine countries and ports. Starting in “The City That Never Sleeps,” guests will soon be exploring the vibrant tropical destinations of Bermuda, Guadeloupe, St. Kitt’s, St. Martin, St. Thomas and more. Adding to the scenic views, guests can explore these port of call’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the way. Inclusive pricing for veranda staterooms start at $3,599 per person.

– Iconic Cities of the Western Mediterranean – (From Barcelona to Rome; Sailing on Viking Sun and Viking Spirit, November – December 2017; January – February, April, July and September 2018) – The French Riviera and Italy’s renaissance treasures take center stage as guests embark on this eight-day Mediterranean itinerary. Guests will explore iconic ports including Barcelona, the resort town of St. Tropez, the glamour of Monte Carlo and cities throughout the rolling hills of Tuscany, before saying farewell in Rome. Inclusive pricing for veranda staterooms start at $1,999 per person.

– Central American Shores and Cuba – (From Miami to Miami; Sailing on Viking Sun, December 2017) – Guests will experience the diversity of the Western Caribbean during this eight-day itinerary through four countries and five ports. Spending two days in Havana, guests will stroll the colonial streets and engage in authentic Cuban experiences. Followed by ports of call in Cozumel, Mexico and Belize City, Belize for crystal-clear snorkeling opportunities or mysterious Mayan ruins. Finally, take in all the offerings of carefree Key West with its historical US landmarks before returning to Miami. Inclusive pricing for veranda staterooms start at $2,499 per person.

– From the Caribbean to the Amazon – (From San Juan to San Juan; Sailing on Viking Sea, December 2017) – A truly unique itinerary, guests on this 22-day cruise experience a rich variety of ports throughout the Caribbean and South America, including sailing into the mouth of the Amazon River in Brazil. From the jungle along the Amazon River, guests will call on ports where they will enjoy the blue waters and Caribbean island culture including Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico and more. Inclusive pricing for veranda staterooms start at $5,999 per person.

– Southern Mediterranean Discovery – (From Rome to Barcelona; Sailing on Viking Star, December 2017; January – March 2018) – An eight-day cultural sojourn throughout the southern Mediterranean, guests will enjoy an enriching experience as they visit timeless Rome, sample local produce in Sicily or marvel at the medieval structures in Sardinia. Guests will also get a taste of modern-day Tunis and the Casbah of Algiers, before ending their cruise in the vibrant cities of Valencia and Barcelona, Spain. Inclusive pricing for veranda staterooms start at $1,999 per person.

– British Isles Explorer – (From Bergen to London; Sailing on Viking Sun, May and August 2018) – Exploring the British Isles from north to south, guests will be immersed in the rich cultures and cosmopolitan treasures during this 15-day cruise as they visit ports including: remote Viking outposts of Shetland and Orkney Islands, the legendary Scottish Highlands, uniquely beautiful Wales, and the vibrant cities of Dublin, London, Bergen and more. Inclusive pricing for veranda staterooms start at $5,999 per person.

– Italian Sojourn – (From Rome to Venice; Sailing on Viking Sun and Viking Spirit, April and July-August 2018) – Stopping at a total of seven ports between Italy and Croatia, guests will take an Italian journey to some of the most culturally significant cities. Starting in the Eternal City of Rome and continuing onto Naples, where guests will enjoy its world famous culinary delights, Sicily to take in views of Mt. Etna and the Mediterranean, and discover UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bari, Italy and Sibenik, Croatia. This eight-day itinerary culminates in the picturesque Venice port. Inclusive pricing for veranda staterooms start at $2,599 per person.

Also recently announced, Viking’s fourth ship, Viking Sun, will set sail on its maiden voyage in December 2017 for the company’s first-ever world cruise, spanning 141-days and visiting five continents, 35 countries and 66 ports. Sailing from Miami to London, this epic Viking journey will explore the world’s legendary cities, ports and will allow guests to immerse themselves in the rich cultures around the world.

Viking’s ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, boast 465 cabins and accommodate 930 passengers. Viking will welcome Viking Sky and Viking Sun, the company’s third and fourth ship, in early and late 2017, respectively. Viking Spirit will be delivered in 2018; the yet-to-be-named sixth ship will be delivered in 2020. Classified by Cruise Critic as “small ships,” Viking’s ocean fleet features understated elegance and modern Scandinavian design.

Victory Cruise Lines takes over Saint Laurent, begin sailings in July

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

A new Miami-based cruise line is set to begin sailing from Montreal, Canada, to ports in Canada and on the U.S. Great Lakes July 8, with further plans to sail Florida-Cuba itineraries starting in November. Victory Cruise Lines Ltd. plans to operate m/v Victory I on cruises from three to 14 days in length.

The 5,000-gross-ton, 300-foot-long Victory I – the former Saint Laurent – has been renovated and has 101 4.5-star staterooms and a maximum guest capacity of 202.

"We intend to make our product the standard of excellence for small-ship cruising to the Great Lakes and Cuba, while providing great value for our guests," said Bruce Nierenberg, president and CEO of Victory Cruise Lines. "The senior management of Victory Cruise Lines has over 100 years of experience operating some of the most successful and loved cruise products."

Victory Cruise Lines will feature high-quality personal service onboard. Shore excursions in port will be included in the cruise fare, along with wine and beer at lunch and dinner at no additional charge.

Victory I's inaugural cruise to the Great Lakes is slated to depart from Montreal, Canada, July 8, 2016, and is scheduled to sail in that region through the summer and early fall of 2016 and 2017.

The line's first planned cruise to Cuba is a seven-day, six-night voyage from Port Canaveral, Florida, departing Oct. 28, 2016. It will be the first cruise ever to Cuba to depart from a Central Florida port. Following the cruise from Port Canaveral a fall/winter series of cruises of three to 14 days in length are scheduled depart from Port of Miami to Cuba through April 2017.

Norwegian Jewel to sail from Australia in fall 2017

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Norwegian Cruise Line today announced several itineraries for the company’s Fall/Winter 2017/2018 deployment, featuring a wide array of itineraries from convenient U.S. ports of departure, as well as exciting new Australia & New Zealand itineraries from Sydney and Auckland, all offering Norwegian’s signature freedom and flexibility onboard. New for 2017/18, Norwegian Jewel will be based in the Asia Pacific region with departures to and from Australia beginning November 2017; San Juan, Puerto Rico returns as a seasonal homeport, with Norwegian Dawn sailing from the Caribbean port, as well as Tampa, Florida; along with a new 14-day Western Caribbean sailing from New York on Norwegian Breakaway. The new itineraries go on sale on June 28, 2016 for Latitudes Rewards guests and travel partners and on June 29, 2016 for all reservations.

“As the Norwegian Cruise Line brand continues to grow internationally, we are incredibly excited to offer new and more exotic itineraries for our guests, including a full season of cruises from Australia and New Zealand in Fall/Winter 2017/2018,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief operating officer for Norwegian Cruise Line. “We also continue to offer a wide variety of engaging and interesting itineraries for our guests sailing from the U.S., including favorite destinations like the Caribbean and the Bahamas.”

Norwegian Jewel’s inaugural Australasian itineraries will bring guests to some of the region’s most incredible ports, beginning on October 3, 2017 with a variety of Hawaii, French Polynesia and South Pacific cruises, as the ship sails from Vancouver to Sydney. Highlights of Norwegian Jewel’s inaugural season in Australia include seven Sydney round-trip cruises featuring a five-day Sydney-Tasmania-Sydney cruise departing on November 12, 2017, as well as a nine-day voyage visiting many burgeoning regional destinations including Eden, Kangaroo Island and Tasmania’s Burnie, departing December 14, 2017. Norwegian Jewel’s ten to 16-day Australia and New Zealand itineraries depart between November 2017 and February 2018, with highlights including cruising through New Zealand’s striking Milford Sound and the spectacular Bay of Islands. Norwegian Jewel will make her way from Sydney to Singapore on an 18-day adventure departing February 20, 2018 where guests can enjoy the best of Far North Queensland, Darwin, and enjoy a visit to the enchanting Komodo Island. In a nod to Norwegian Jewel’s new homeport, guests will be treated to the finest local Australian cuisine including regional beef, lamb, seafood, fine wines and ales, along with award-winning entertainment featuring the epic home-grown ballroom spectacular Burn the Floor as part of Norwegian Jewel’s onboard entertainment while she’s in Australia.

Following her Australian season, Norwegian Jewel will undertake a range of exotic Asian itineraries visiting Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Korea and more, offering travelers the opportunity to explore some of the best Asia has to offer.

Those guests sailing from Tampa and New Orleans in the southern U.S. will have a different ship in each market to choose from next fall. Norwegian Dawn, currently undergoing a multi-million dollar refurbishment as a part of The Norwegian Edge™ investment program, will sail seasonally from Tampa and San Juan, and Norwegian Pearl from New Orleans. Norwegian Dawn will move south next fall and homeport in San Juan, Puerto Rico from November 12, 2017 – January 7, 2018, sailing seven-, ten- and 11-day Southern Caribbean itineraries during the holiday season. Ports of call will include Bridgetown, Barbados; Fort-de-France, Martinique; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, with varying calls on longer itineraries. From January 17- February 7, 2018, Norwegian Dawn will sail from Tampa for a series of two 11-day Eastern Caribbean and one ten-day Western Caribbean cruises, and then sail a series of seven-day Western Caribbean cruises departing on Sundays from Tampa, from February 18 – April 1, 2018 that will include a port of call at the Caribbean’s premier resort-style destination, Harvest Caye, Belize, being developed by Norwegian.

New for 2017/2018, Norwegian Pearl will sail seven-, eight- and nine-day Western Caribbean cruises from New Orleans, from October 22, 2017 to April 1, 2018. Her ports of call from the Crescent City will include Cozumel, Mexico; Roatán, Bay Islands, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Costa Maya, Mexico, with varying ports for longer itineraries that can include George Town, Grand Cayman and Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala.

Guests who wish to cruise to the Caribbean from the Big Apple can set sail on board Norwegian Breakaway, the ship that brings the best of NYC to sea, to either the Bahamas and Florida or the Southern, Eastern and – new for 2018 – Western Caribbean in Fall and Winter 2017/2018. Norwegian Breakaway will sail seven-day Bahamas & Florida cruises from New York from October 1, 2017 to April 29, 2018 with calls in Port Canaveral, Norwegian’s private Bahamian island destination Great Stirrup Cay that’s currently undergoing a multi-million dollar enhancement, and Nassau. For those guests looking for a more relaxing, longer getaway from New York’s chilly winters, they can cruise to the Southern Caribbean on one of Norwegian Breakaway’s two 14-day Southern Caribbean itineraries on January 5 and February 2, 2018 that explore the heart of the Caribbean in the US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, Dominica and more, or sail away on a sun-drenched 12-day Eastern Caribbean cruise on December 3, 2017, with calls in St. Kitts, Antigua, Tortola and more. New for 2018, is a 14-day Western Caribbean cruise from NYC, that will provide guests the opportunity to explore the wonders of the Caribbean’s deep blue waters, lush tropical mountains and spectacular beaches, featuring calls at two of Norwegian’s destination experiences – the company’s private island Great Stirrup Cay, and the Caribbean’s newest resort-style port of call, Harvest Caye, Belize, along with Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Roatan, Honduras; and Cozumel, Mexico.

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CBR 3/2015 contents

CBR 2/2015 contents