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Fincantieri made 2015 loss despite all time high activity level

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Fincantieri, the listed shipbuilder in which the Italian government I the biggest shareholder, made a loss last year despite reporting an all time high order intake and record order backlog.

The group net loss amounted to €175 million last year compared to a profit of €67 million in 2014. Vard, the Norway domiciled builder of offshore services vessels in which Fincantieri has about half of the shares, accounted for €37 million for the 2015 loss. Unrealised foreign exchange losses amounted to €41 million last year. Revenues fell to €4.18 billion from €4.40 billion

However, Fincantieri’s operations also plunged to a loss as the group EBITDA was negative by €26 million last yea`r compared to a figure positive by €297 million in the previous year. The shipbuilding segment accounted for €23 million of the weakening, while the offshore segment’s share was €3.0 million and that of equipment systems and services of €31 million.

Fincantieri won new orders worth €10.1 billion last year, almost double the €5.64 billion figure of 2014 and an all time high figure. Its order backlog of €15.7 billion was also at an all time high level of €9.81 billion in the end of 2014.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings orders newbuild for Regent Seven Seas Cruises

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. today announced that it has reached an agreement with Fincantieri of Italy to construct a sister ship to Seven Seas Explorer for its Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand for delivery in 2020. Seven Seas Explorer is currently under construction and is scheduled to make its debut in July 2016.

The new Explorer-class vessel will build on the runaway success of Seven Seas Explorer, the first newbuild for Regent Seven Seas Cruises in 14 years. Scheduled for delivery in 2020, the new ship will retain many of the high-end features and amenities that have led to Seven Seas Explorer being hailed as the most luxurious ship ever built. Guests can anticipate exquisite gourmet dining, plush lounges and spacious accommodations, including a rendition of the Regent Suite, a new class of ultra-luxurious suite that will debut on Seven Seas Explorer. Expanded details for the new ship will be announced at a later date.

“When we began conceptualizing Seven Seas Explorer a little over four years ago, we knew from the onset that she would be something special and make an immediate and lasting impression in the marketplace,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “We expect that the positive impact on earnings and impressive return on investment from Seven Seas Explorer will be significant and that her sister vessel will make a similar contribution.”

“We knew immediately from the overwhelmingly positive response we received from travel partners and past guests that Seven Seas Explorer was going to resonate with guests searching for the ultimate in luxury travel," said Jason Montague, president and chief operating officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “The extraordinary demand generated by Seven Seas Explorer, including record-breaking booking volumes, reinforced our decision to expand our fleet with an additional ship that mirrors the same incredibly high standards of luxury."

The contract price for the vessel is euro 422 million and the Company has committed financing in place from a syndicate of banks for export credit financing in connection with this order.

French America Line to debut in August

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

M.T. Schwartzman reports

French America Line, a new company based in Avondale, Louisiana, will make its Mississippi River System debut in August with the 150-passenger Louisiane. The vessel, formerly known as the Columbia Queen, was built in 2000 for the Delta Queen Steamboat Company. The new company is headed by a team of travel industry veterans including Chairman Christopher Kyte, who was a co-founder, owner and first president of the American Queen Steamboat Company when it brought the American Queen back into service in April 2012.

French America Line promises “deluxe voyages through America’s waterways” along five different itineraries: Deep South, Heart of America, River Crossroads, Gulf Waterways and Wilderness Rivers. Programs will originate in eight homeports including Louisville, Kentucky; Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; New Orleans, Louisiana; Pensacola, Florida; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, St. Louis, Missouri; and St. Paul, Minnesota. Each voyage will begin with a one-night pre-cruise hotel stay in the city of embarkation and transfers to the ship.

Signature elements aboard the Louisiane, which will offer a “distinctive French flair,” will include open-seating meals; a casual alternative restaurant; 24-hour room service; complimentary house-brand wines and spirits, selected beers, soft drinks and bottled water; iPads in every cabin; free WiFi; destination-based enrichment programs; plus shore excursions included in the fare. Other amenities of note will be the placement of Hermes bath amenities in all suites and L'Occitane en Provence products in all staterooms. Spa services including salon stylings, manicures and pedicures, plus an additional range of beauty treatments will also be available. Healthy spa menu selections will be served in the dining room as well.

More information on the Louisiane’s refit and inaugural sailings will be announced soon on the company’s website at www.frenchamericaline.com.

Carnival shares stage bull run after strong interims, guidance

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Shares in the two listed holding companies of the Carnival group staged a bull run after the Anglo-American company had reported a sharp rise in its a first quarter earnings and increased earnings guidance for the full year.

Carnival plc, the British holding company, traded at £36.72 in London after the results had been released, 3.4% higher since the opening.

Shares in Carnival Corporation, the Panama domiciled company that is listed in New York, had risen 4.6% to $51.84 at the same time.

Both the London and New York markets had firmed during the day, but Carnival clearly outperformed them both.

Norwegian Cruise Line unveils features of Norwegian Joy, company's first purpose-built ship for China

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Norwegian Cruise Line 诺唯真(NCL) today revealed features and amenities for Norwegian Joy 喜悦号 (Xǐ Yuè Hào), its most innovative and luxurious ship ever, built and styled exclusively for Chinese guests, arriving Summer 2017. Home porting in Shanghai & Tianjin (Beijing), Norwegian Joy was designed by the team at NCL to provide First Class at Sea experiences specifically for the Chinese traveler, with onboard amenities that cater to the unique vacation desires of Chinese guests. Built at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany, the ship features German precision engineering to the highest possible standard, all while offering superior customization for the culture and preferences of Chinese guests along with the exciting and innovative features found on NCL’s most recent vessels.

Accommodations

With a capacity of 3,900 guests, Norwegian Joy will deliver on the promise that guests will enjoy ‘First Class at Sea’ experiences, starting with her VIP accommodations. As the World’s Leading Large Ship Cruise Line, an honor bestowed upon the company by the World Travel Awards, Norwegian Cruise Line is known in the industry for offering innovative, stylish and first class accommodations. Norwegian Joy will feature The Haven by Norwegian®, the line’s exclusive, ship-within-a-ship suite luxury complex. Accessible only by personalized key card, The Haven offers a private respite for the most discerning travelers that features personal butler service, a dedicated concierge, priority access to entertainment and specialty dining, a private restaurant, enclosed courtyard and 74 spacious and meticulously decorated suites. The ultra-exclusive experience in The Haven on Norwegian Joy will also include an all-new Observation Deck that will feature 180 degree views, the same as the ship’s officers experience from the Bridge, with gourmet canapés and premium beverages.

Norwegian Joy will also debut an all new accommodations category: the first at sea Concierge level 行政楼层. Guests who stay in the Concierge staterooms aboard Norwegian Joy will enjoy a VIP experience, featuring larger balcony staterooms with luxurious en suite amenities and the services of a dedicated concierge to make arrangements on board, from entertainment to dining. A perfect category for families and guests looking for extra personal service, the Concierge staterooms will also offer guests an exclusive Concierge lounge, with a private bar and refreshments available throughout the day.

The ship also features a wide array of mini-suite, balcony, ocean view and interior staterooms, many with virtual balconies, to fit every traveler’s need. Accommodation offerings also include staterooms designed specifically for families and a multitude of connecting staterooms, for extended families traveling together.

Entertainment and activities

Norwegian Joy will continue NCL’s long history of innovation in providing engaging, exciting features and amenities for guests to enjoy. Sure to delight guests of all ages, the ship’s top decks will offer a wide-range of never-before-seen at sea experiences.

At the very top of the ship, guests will take the ride of a lifetime on a thrilling two-level competitive racetrack– the first ever at sea. Cruisers can race family and friends and even share a photo of their first place finish. Afterwards, they can challenge one another to a game of laser tag in the open-air course, sure to be a hit with both kids and kids-at-heart.

When guests step inside Norwegian Joy’s Galaxy Pavilion, they will find themselves in a world unlike anything they’ve ever seen at sea, complete with immersive virtual reality experiences, thrilling simulator rides and interactive video walls. Guests can go for a spin with friends or family on exciting hover craft bumper cars or start their engines in a professional single-seat racecar that’s been converted into a state-of-the-art racing simulator. Three interactive dark ride simulators provide guests with a captivating experience featuring real-time 3D graphics, 360- degree surround sound and multi-sensory special effects, while flight and car simulators will let guests take flight or take to the road for an adrenaline-filled experience. Movie buffs will be transported to a galaxy far, far away and into an intense battle as they pilot a fighter to take on the forces of the dark side in a Star Wars® battle pods video game, and gamers can partake in a contest of skill at six Xbox® console stations. Those guests who enjoy advanced technology will be exhilarated by state-of-the-art virtual optic experiences by Oculus that include designing and then riding a personal roller coaster; soaring to new heights over mountains and oceans; or living on the edge and walking along a cliff or on top of a ten-story building.

Continuing the adrenaline pumping recreation activities on the ship, Norwegian Joy will also feature two multi-story waterslides. Not for the faint of heart, the high-speed Double Aqua Loop free fall slide includes two exhilarating loops, one that extends out over the side of the ship and second see-through loop that stretches down to the deck below, sure to offer a wet and wild ride. The tandem Aqua Racer slide allows guests to race side-by-side on inner tubes for more than 360 feet as they twist and turn to the finish line.

The top deck of Norwegian Joy will also feature a tranquil open space park, where guests can enjoy a partially covered serene setting designed for relaxation. Offering greenery, a soothing pool and chaise lounges, it’s the perfect spot to meditate in the fresh air, gaze out to the open sea or practice tai chi and yoga.

No vacation experience is complete without shopping, and Norwegian Joy will not disappoint. The ship will feature an upscale shopping venue, the largest in Norwegian’s fleet, complete with everything from exceptional duty-free shops to high-end international brands. The shops will offer renowned global luxury brands, in fashion, jewelry and electronics.

Of course, Norwegian Joy will also offer bow to stern Wi-Fi connectivity, the fastest in the Norwegian fleet, so that guests can share their exciting First Class at Sea cruise experiences and stay in touch with family and friends during their cruise.

Norwegian Joy fuses a western cruise vacation with the comforts and preferences that Chinese guests expect, plus the freedom and flexibility that only Norwegian Cruise Line can offer, for a fabulous combination of culture and cuisine and a true east meets west experience.

With a fleet of 14 liners cruising worldwide, Norwegian Cruise Line was this year voted “Europe’s Leading Cruise Line” for the eighth consecutive year in the prestigious World Travel Awards, as well as “Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line” for the third time and “World’s Leading Large Ship Cruise Line” for the fourth year running.

CBR 1/2016 contents

CBR 3/2015 contents

CBR 2/2015 contents