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Cruise Lines International Association appoints Arnold Donald as new Global Chair

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Board of Directors has appointed Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc, as Global Chair, effective January 1, 2017. Donald succeeds Adam M. Goldstein, President and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., who has served as CLIA Global Chairman since January 2015.

“The cruise industry continues to grow and evolve at a record pace, making CLIA’s role more important than ever to act as a singular voice and advocate on behalf of the entire global cruise community,” said Donald, who as CEO of Carnival Corporation oversees 10 global cruise brands. “I’m honored to take on this role, and look forward to building on the great work CLIA is doing.”

“We are proud to welcome Arnold as our new Chair. Under his leadership, we will continue to support the interests and vision for the cruise industry,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “It has been a privilege to work alongside Adam and we thank him for his work and dedication as CLIA Chair.”

During his time as Global Chair, Goldstein was instrumental in operationalizing CLIA’s mission as the unified voice and leading authority for the global cruise community. He actively worked to promote the industry’s interests with key stakeholders around the world and to increase economic benefits and mitigate risks, including advancing CLIA maritime leadership in both wastewater and emissions technologies and practices. Effective, January 1, 2017, Goldstein assumes the role of Chairman of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association.

“It was a privilege to serve as CLIA Global Chair. The cruise industry is fortunate to have many capable people leading the industry, and CLIA brings them together to advance all our interests, from cruise lines and Executive Partners to travel agents and agencies,” said Goldstein. “Under Arnold’s leadership, CLIA will continue to offer a unified voice to help all of our members seize every possible opportunity to succeed.”

Brodosplit wins order for 196 passenger expedition cruise ship

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Brodosplit, the Croatian shipbuilder, said it had won an order for a 196 passenger capacity expedition cruise ship from an undisclosed customer.

The ship, which will be delivered in 2019, will be built to the LR PC6 (Polar Class 6) ice class and it will be the first cruise ship in the world to meet the requirements of this classification

The ship will have 95 passenger cabins, and the crew will number 69 in all. The ship will be 107,6 m long and 17,6 m wide. It will be driven by two engines with a total output of 4200 kW and will be able to reach a speed of 15 knots.

This is the second Croatian yard that has won an order to build an expedition cruise vessel. Earlier this year, Scenic, the Australian travel company, ordered a 16,500 gross ton ship from the Uljanik shipyard. Heavy workload at mainstream cruise ship yards that build large vessels open a window for smaller yards to seek foothold in the rapidly expanding expedition cruise sector.

Carnival Corporation to partner with INTERPOL for enhanced security screening

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world's largest leisure travel company, has announced it will be the first maritime company to partner with INTERPOL for advanced security screening across its global operations, including its 10 brands and fleet of 101 ships that annually carry nearly 11 million passengers, or about half the global cruise market, to more than 700 ports around the world.

Carnival Corporation received approval on November 8 to integrate its global passenger check-in process with INTERPOL'S I-Checkit system, a secure method for screening travel document information against INTERPOL's Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database, containing over 69 million records from 175 countries.

The approval resulted from a resolution vote held in Bali, Indonesia, at INTERPOL'S General Assembly, the annual meeting of 190 member countries that comprise the world's largest international police organization.

The news follows a three-month I-Checkit pilot program on four of Carnival Corporation's Princess Cruises brand ships. The trial included 34,000 travel documents that were successfully checked against the SLTD database to demonstrate the system's ability to enhance security for the global cruise industry.

The full results of the pilot program were presented to INTERPOL's General Assembly today prior to its member countries passing an official resolution that enables Carnival Corporation to expand its I-Checkit deployment among its 10 cruise brands in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Its brands include Carnival Cruise Line, Fathom, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK).

Carnival Corporation and INTERPOL can now work together on an expanded partnership agreement to cover a phased rollout of the I-Checkit system across its brands. By partnering with INTERPOL on a global integration of I-Checkit technology, Carnival Corporation will further strengthen its leading safety and security protocols by creating a single global standard for security screening used throughout its ports of call.

"One of our top priorities at Carnival Corporation is the safety and security of our guests, our crew and our ships," said Bill Burke, chief maritime officer for Carnival Corporation and retired Vice Admiral of the U.S. Navy. "As the world's largest cruise company carrying hundreds of thousands of daily passengers, having a highly effective and efficient security screening process is a crucial part of how we serve our guests every day. Partnering with INTERPOL enables us to seamlessly enhance security across our global fleet while also maintaining our commitment to providing our guests with a great vacation experience. This is another important step for our company and industry as we continue taking proactive measures to enhance the safety and security of our passengers and crew members."

As Carnival Corporation expands I-Checkit globally, the company's brands will be able to automatically query the SLTD database before and during the boarding process to see if any passenger travel documents have been reported lost or stolen. To ensure privacy and security, no personal data is accessed or transmitted in this process.

"With its real-time secure global alert system, criminal intelligence potential and compliance framework, I-Checkit provides an invaluable preventative and investigative capability for global policing," said Michael O'Connell, director of INTERPOL's operational support and analysis directorate and head of the I-Checkit program. "I-Checkit's initiative with Carnival Corporation offers an additional layer of safety in the travel sector by creating an international standard for security screening."

Working capital needs drive Fincantieri debt higher

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

A significant increase in the order backlog of Fincantieri, the Italian loisted shipbuilding group, has resulted in a marked increase in the debt of the company, it said in a statement.

Fincantieri’s orderbook stood at €21.8 billion at the end of September, up from €11.56 billion a year earlier. Several large cruise ship orders have contributed to the increase.

Net debt stood at €625 million on 30 September, compared to €438 million at the close of 2015.

“Most of the Group's debt is used to finance current assets associated with cruise ships construction and thus directly connected with the financing of net working capital. By contrast, net fixed assets are financed by equity and other sources of long-term funding,” Fincantieri said.

“The change in Net financial position is mainly due to financial flows typical of the cruise ship business whose volumes have grown significantly compared to last year, with a further ship due for delivery in the last quarter of this year and three more due for delivery in the first three months of 2017. This trend is in line with the Business Plan 2016-2020 targets and with the guidance for the current year end,” the company said.

Fincantieri reported a nine month to 30 September net profit of €30 million, a marked improvement from a loss of €169 million in the same period last year.

Norwegian expects double digit 2016 and 2017 EPS growth despite “headwinds”

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Norwegian Cruise Line Holding, Ltd (NCLH), the world’s third largest cruise shipping group, expects double digit earnings per share (EPS) growth in this year and in 2017 despite events that are dampening the outlook to some degree

"We are on track to deliver robust double-digit growth in Adjusted EPS in 2016, despite headwinds from geopolitical events earlier in the year which dampened demand for Mediterranean sailings," said Wendy Beck, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

"Looking to the first half of 2017, where deployment is weighted to Caribbean sailings, advanced bookings are ahead of prior year's record levels at higher prices, while an early look at the full year shows occupancy commensurate with prior year at this same time at slightly lower prices,” she said in a statement.

“Recent significant weakening of certain foreign currencies, primarily the British Pound, against the U.S. dollar, combined with an increase in fuel prices have placed pressure on expectations for the coming year. Despite these headwinds, we still anticipate delivering double-digit growth in Adjusted EPS in 2017."

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