At a press conference in Mumbai, Costa Cruises announced that it would entering the Indian market from December 2016, when its Costa neoClassica begins homeport cruise operations from the city.
The ship will perform a series of weekly sailings from 16 December 2016 to 18 March 2017. Its itineraries will include destinations such as Goa, Cochin, Maldives, and Colombo.
"We are delighted to bring cruising to the Indians at their doorstep,” said Buhdy Bok, President of Costa Group. “For many travellers, the holiday often starts after some sort of a long journey. Now, like never before, Indians will have the opportunity to start holidaying – right from their door-step - from India's largest metropolis, Mumbai."
“It is a proud moment for us to have Costa neoClassica to be homeported at India’s premier Mumbai Port,” said Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman of Mumbai Port. “The Mumbai Port has long been the principal gateway to India, playing a crucial role in sea trade and the development of the national economy, trade & commerce, and the prosperity of Mumbai city in particular."
On board the ship, to cater for the special regional need, Costa Cruises will also offer a variety of Indian cuisines, which include Jain, vegan, and vegeatarian dishes.
This pioneering move has demonstrated Costa’s confidence in the Indian market, which may be finally taking off. It also proves that, a decade after entering the Chinese market, Costa continues to be the pioneer in Asia.
Originally built in 1991, after a recent refurbishment and conversion the 52,926-gross ton Costa neoClassica has the capacity of 1,300 lower berths, carrying up to 1,766 passengers. It has a total of 654 cabins. The vessel will be the biggest cruise ship to sail between Mumbai and the Maldives.
On July 11, in another milestone for the expansion of Crystal, Crystal Mozart was officially welcomed to the Crystal River Cruises fleet in Vienna, Austria. During an elegant ceremony attended by local dignitaries, media and distinguished executives from Crystal, the “Queen of Europe’s Rivers” was christened by Godmother Ms. Elisabeth Gürtler, who is the managing director of both the Hotel Sacher, Vienna’s most famous hotel, and the city’s historic Spanish Riding School.
Crystal Mozart’s maiden voyage on July 13, will mark the official launch of Crystal River Cruises, which will see four additional river yachts launched by the end of next summer. Crystal’s CEO and president, Edie Rodriguez, will personally welcome each guest of the inaugural sailing aboard the newly reimagined vessel, where they will experience the hallmarks of the all-inclusive, all-exclusive Crystal Experience – spacious suites, personal butlers, six-star service featuring the highest guest to crew ratio in river cruising at 1.74, luxurious amenities, world-class cuisine and the only river ship with a full wrap around promenade.
“This is an extraordinary time for our company, as our expansion from the world’s oceans to its rivers and air allows for numerous new opportunities and ways for travelers to explore the world with us,” says Crystal CEO and President Edie Rodriguez. “Each new vessel and adventure is another step for Crystal toward our goal of providing savvy global travelers with virtually every luxury travel experience they can possibly imagine.”
The traditional ceremony welcomed 175 VIP guests to a cocktail reception on the Vista Deck Four of Crystal Mozart, featuring a traditional Viennese Brass Orchestra dressed in historic uniforms and playing traditional Austrian Marches. Master of Ceremonies and Crystal Mozart’s lead entertainer, musician Mark Farris, then ushered guests shoreside for the naming of the ship by the godmother and breaking of the magnum of Szigeti’s 2011 Sonderedition “Adele” champagne. Rodriguez, along with Crystal COO Thomas Mazloum and Crystal River Cruises Vice President and Managing Director Walter Littlejohn officially welcomed Crystal Mozart to the fleet and kicked off further festivities, which included a lavish dinner in the ship’s Waterside and Blue restaurants.
“Crystal’s presence on the rivers of Europe absolutely raises the bar of excellence for the luxury river cruising industry, a standard the company set long ago when it entered the luxury ocean cruising market,” says Littlejohn, a veteran of the river cruising industry. “We are thrilled to introduce a new way to explore the world with the highly-acclaimed Crystal Experience.”
Following dinner, guests were transported to the Belvedere Palace for an exclusive evening of Mozart and Strauss performances, an event that all Crystal Mozart guests will experience complimentary when sailing on Crystal River Cruises’ Danube river itineraries.
Measuring 395 feet long (120.4 meters) and 75 feet wide (22.9 meters), the all-suite Crystal Mozart is the largest of all European river vessels and boasts numerous public areas for guests to enjoy. On Crystal Deck Three, guests will find an array of elegant and casual dining options, lounges and bars that will foster camaraderie among guests as they share stories and cocktails. On the uppermost deck, Vista Deck 4, a pop-up bar sets the scenes for celebrations under the stars while during the day guests can attend a yoga session or relax in expansive sun loungers as they sail along the Danube River. Fitness and wellness enthusiasts can indulge in the largest spa in river cruising at the Crystal Life Spa, which features an indoor pool and fully-equipped fitness, spa and saloon facilities.
The 154-guest capacity vessel will sail itineraries along the Danube River, calling in some of the region’s most stunning locales throughout Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, and Serbia. And for the first time on a Crystal voyage, most excursions are complimentary. Guests can reserve electronic bicycles on the ship for independent exploration, while VIP Champagne boat tours will also be available for private cruising and sight-seeing along Europe’s narrower waterways.
Crystal Mozart also bears the distinction as the most technologically advanced river ship in the world. Each suite offers Apple® iPad devices that serve as Digital Directories for virtually all of guests’ on-board needs, from dry cleaning and butler service to room service and dining reservations, as well as concierge and Crystal Adventures inquiries and more. Suites also boast 40-inch flat-screen HD televisions, along with backlit bathroom mirrors with integrated televisions. Bathrooms also feature highly advanced TOTO Washlet personal cleaning systems integrated with the toilets, which also offer heated seats, automatic open/close, aerated water and warm air dryer.
Throughout the ship, digital signage puts available services and port information at guests’ fingertips, including weather forecasts for the day, available spa appointments, dining reservations and profiles of Crystal crew members.
A joint venture cruise brand that Carnival plc, the British holding company in the Carnival Corporation & plc group, China Investment Corporation (CIC) and China State Shipbuilding Company (CSSC) agreed to set up last year could acquire the five cruise ship newbuildings on completion from a joint venture set up by CSSC and Fincantieri.
China Daily reported on 8 July that a joint venture ship owning company 60% controlled by the China State Shipbuilding Company (CSSC) and 40% by Fincantieri, the Italian shipbuilder, would build five 133,500 gross ton cruise ships at CSSC’s Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Company (SWS) unit, the first of which is due to enter service in 2021, the newspaper reported on its English language website.
By allowing the joint venture company set up between the two shipbuilders to take the risk of successfully completing the planned ships and acquiring them, either outright or e.g. through a bareboat charter agreement, Carnival group could insulate itself against the risk of problems with the construction of the planned ships.
A project to build two cruise liners for its AIDA Cruises unit in Germany at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan, which has not built cruise ships for more than a decade, run into serious delays due to problems at the yard. SWS has not built cruise ships before.
The gross tonnage of the planned SWS built vessels, 133,500, suggests that these could be based on the same design as Carnival Vista, Costa Diadema and a yet unnamed newbuilding for P&O Cruises Australia, all Carnival group units, from Fincantieri in Italy.
Global Ocean Cruise Market Analysis & Forecast by Odo Maritime Research is looking into the current state of the industry, the possibilities and threats that may lie ahead.
Extensive use of graphs, charts and tables in the 118 page report that is published in PDF format makes the information easy to absorb. The price of the report -£520, €650 or $860 – remains unchanged from two years ago, when we published our first issue.
Executive summary 8
Cruise industry in context 13
Tonnage supply 15
A bird’s eye view 15
Fleet capacity analysis 16
Space ratio analysis 17
Vessel size segmental analysis 21
Fleet age analysis 22
Small operators 25
Newbuilding prices analysis 26
Shipyards & newbuilding prices comparison 28
Newbuilding capacity delivery trend 37
Record orderbook & its implications 38
Deployment patterns 40
Cruise brands & market shares 45
Main ocean cruise brands 45
New & emerging brands 47
Mergers & acquisitions 48
Market shares 49
Port development & traffic analysis 55
Port development projects 55
Port traffic analysis 60
Source markets analysis 70
Business performances 76
The majors – Carnival Corp. & plc, RCCL, NCLH 76
Volume growth 76
Development of revenues 77
Development of net results 78
Development of revenue & net result per passenger 79
Development of total & onboard revenue 81
Development of onboard revenues’ share of total 82
Return on capital employed 83
Net yield & net cruise costs 85
Relative development of operating expenses – illustrations 87
Hurtigruten, the Norwegian expedition cruise and coastal express passenger shipping company, has placed a firm order for two newbuildings that can serve its both trades with the Kleven shipyard in Norway. In the spring, Hurtigruten said it planned to build up to four such vessels, two of which now remain under option.
The vessels will be able to carry 530 passengers in 265 cabins, they will be 140 metres in length and have ice strengthened hulls. The first ship will be delivered in July 2018 and the second a year later, the company said in a statement.
A spokesman for Carnival Corporation & plc said the world’s largest cruise shipping group is pleased with the completion of a joint venture between China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and Fincantieri, but he declined comment on Csrnivsl group’s link to the reported five ships the joint venture has decided to build.
“We are pleased with the progress being made on multiple fronts including the completion of this joint venture agreement between CSSC and Fincantieri. The cruise market in China will someday become the largest cruise market in the world, and these joint venture initiatives will help propel that growth for years to come,” he told Cruise Business online.
In October 2015, Carnival Corporation & plc, China Investment Corporation (CIC) and CSSC signed a joint venture agreement to set up a cruise brand to cater for the Chinese source market.
The agreement was signed during a state visit to London of Xi Jinping, the Chinese president. The brand would be part of Carnival plc, the British holding company of the Carnival Corporation & plc group and its vessels could fly the British flag, it was said at the time.
A joint venture ship owning company 60% controlled by the China State Shipbuilding Company (CSSC) and 40% by Fincantieri, the Italian shipbuilder, will build five 133,500 gross ton cruise ships, the first of which is due to enter service in 2021, China Daily reports on its English language website.
“State-owned China State Shipbuilding Corp and Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiana SpA will establish a joint venture in Hong Kong. The joint venture will spend 25 billion yuan ($3.74 billion) building five luxury cruise liners,” the report said.
“The money will come from an industrial development fund for cruise liners from five Chinese banks, including Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank, according to CSSC,” China Daily continued.
Under the framework, Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co (SWS), a subsidiary of CSSC, will be responsible for building the liners. Chen Gang, vice-president of Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, said each of these ships displaces 133,500 tons and their length will exceed 300 meters. Each ship will cost around 5 billion yuan to build.
The Shanghai shipyard has already established a specialized department to start design work and they are scheduled to be built in 2017. "The cruise liners built in China will highlight Chinese elements, with the guest rooms decorated in the style of either a traditional Beijing courtyard or an old-fashioned Shanghai residential room," said Chen.
Dong Liwan, a shipping industry professor at Shanghai Maritime University, said cruise liners are the only high-tech ship products that China has yet to master. European shipyards, including Italy's Fincantieri, Germany's Meyer Werft, and STX France SA, account for 90 percent of total global orders. "To date, Asian shipbuilders including Japan and South Korea are incapable of either designing or building cruise ships independently," said Dong. A cruise liner is the result of the combination of many technologies. Up to 75% of the value of a cruise liner is handled by subcontractors, China Daily said.
The news came only four days after CSSC and Fincantieri unveiled the formation of a joint venture aimed at developing and supporting the growth of the Chinese cruise industry.
The today’s agreement, which follows one CSSC and Carnival Corporation &plc signed in November 2014, which provides that the joint venture will design and sell cruise ships exclusively intended and specifically customized for the Chinese and Asian market.
“These vessels will be built at one of CSSC’s shipyards, the SWS facility, on the basis of a technological platform licensed to the joint venture and to the SWS shipyard by Fincantieri, which will therefore perform the activities within its competence through the joint venture,” Fincantieri said on 4 July.