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MSC Cruises contracts two Meraviglia plus units at STX France

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

MSC Cruises, the world’s fourth largest cruise shipping group, says it has contracted two Meraviglia-plus vessels, which will be larger than the two 167,000 gross ton Meraviglia class units currently on order..

The two Meraviglia-Plus next-generation ships, as the new class of vessels is called, will feature increased tonnage and overall size, with a total of 2,444 cabins and a maximum LSA (passengers + crew) of 8,000, the company said. They will feature classic and contemporary fine art museum at sea.

“The two new units will now be due for delivery respectively in October 2019 and September 2020, thus anticipating by nearly two years the delivery of the last of the now four Meraviglia STX France-made ships,” MSC Cruises said.

Adam D. Tihany appointed Creative Director for Costa newbuildings

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Costa Cruises, the Italian contemporary market unit in the Carnival Corporation & plc group, has appointed New York based hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany as Creative Director for the two new ships, powered with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), scheduled for delivery in 2019 and 2020, the company said in a statement.

Costa has used Joe Farcus, the Miami based designer, to work on its ships since since the introduction of Costa Atlantica in 2000. Under the leadership of Tihany, who has worked for Carnival group’s Holland America Line and Seabourn brands, Costa Cruises will assemble a group of designers to execute the vision for the next generation of ships inspired by “Italy’s Finest.”

“It is a rare honor to narrate a design story from the director’s chair,” Tihany said. “The fact that this opportunity creates a partnership with Costa Cruises is all the more extraordinary. The phrase “Italy’s Finest” not only describes the design concept, but wholly embodies the Costa brand.”

The layout of the new ships will reflect comments and suggestions from Costa guests, creating a more efficient use of the ships’ space and ultimately an enhanced onboard experience for guests.

The Costa ships will be the first in the cruise industry to be powered at sea by Liquefied Natural Gas, together with the two new ships ordered for Aida Cruises, which is the German brand belonging to Costa Group. To be built by Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland, each of the new Costa ships will exceed 180,000 gross tons, offering more than 2,600 passenger cabins for a total of 6,600 passengers onboard.

Tihany, who has worked on many luxury hotels, most recently brought his design concepts to the majority of the public spaces on the new Pinnacle class Koningsdam of Holland America, launching April 2016. Also launching later this year is Tihany’s first complete cruise ship design on Seabourn’s newest vessel, Seabourn Encore.

Carnival Corp & plc issues profit warning on foreign exchange rates

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise shipping group, sais its 2016 earnings per share would be $0.08 lower than forecast in connection with the publication of the groups fourth quarter and full year 2015 results.

“On December 18, 2015, we said that we expected our adjusted diluted earnings per share for the 2016 first quarter to be in the range of $0.28 to $0.32 and 2016 full year to be in the range of $3.10 to $3.40,” the company said in statement.

“On January 26, 2016, updated only for the current assumptions in the table below, our adjusted diluted earnings per share for the 2016 full year would decrease by $0.08,” Carnival continued in its final 2015 result statement filed with the stock exchanges in London and New York.

The decrease was caused by foreign currency exchange rates, including both foreign currency translational and transactional impacts of $0.11 per share, partially offset by a $0.03 per share increase due to lower fuel prices, net of forecasted realized losses on fuel derivatives. “In addition, our adjusted diluted earnings per share for the 2016 first quarter would decrease by $0.02,” Carnival said.

The recent strengthening of the US dollar against many other currencies weakens the performance of those of the group’s companies that do not use the dollar.

Princess Cruises unveils $450 million, multi-year innovation and renovation project

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Princess Cruises, which is part of the Carnival Corporation & plc group, said it has announced The Come Back New Promise, a $450 million multi-year product innovation and cruise ship renovation campaign that will enhance the line’s onboard guest experience. "These enhancements will result in more transformative moments, lifetime memories and meaningful stories for guests to share from their cruise vacation,"  the company said in a statement.

“The Come Back New Promise differentiates our approach to cruising and offers our guests enriching vacation experiences by connecting them with each other, nature and different cultures in a new way,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president, in the statement. “Our promise is to provide guests transformative moments designed to inspire them to discover the world and themselves, ultimately allowing us to declare that a cruise isn’t good enough unless you ‘come back new.’”

Recently, Princess introduced new initiatives inspired to deliver The Come Back New Promise which further elevate the line’s wellness, culinary/dining experiences and expands the partnership with Discovery Communications. They include:

  • Chef Curtis Stone – a partnership with award-winning chef, New York Times best-selling author and restaurateur Curtis Stone brings guests fresh, new culinary creations. All Princess ships will feature “Crafted by Curtis” menu items in the main dining room, while on select ships guests will enjoy “SHARE” a brand new specialty restaurant which will include a new Chef’s Table experience designed by Stone.
  • The Princess Luxury Bed – featuring a new specially designed bed to deliver the ultimate night of sleep at sea the Princess Luxury Bed was developed in collaboration with experts in both the science and beauty of sleep -- Dr. Michael Breus, “The Sleep Doctor,” and highly acclaimed designer, Candice Olson, star of the hit HGTV shows “Candice Tells All” and “Divine Design” -- Princess is installing more than 44,000 new beds, to every stateroom, across the fleet through 2018.
  • The Salty Dog Gastropub – another new dining option which highlights a variety of small bites inspired by pub favorites, adapted for an upscale culinary experience. Developed in collaboration with Ernesto Uchimura, a founding chef of the original Umami Burger, guests will also enjoy a variety of beer, whiskey and cocktail selections. Currently available on select ships.
  • Style at Sea with TLC – What to pack, what to wear and how to look stylish are just a few of the many questions guests ask when preparing for a cruise vacation. With the help of TLC’s fashion expert Stacy London, Style at Sea with TLC will provide tips and tricks to help guests feel and look their best while aboard a cruise.

Previously, Princess unveiled these initiatives which became the inspiration for The Come Back New Promise campaign, providing guests new culinary, enrichment and entertainment experiences, including:

  • Chocolate Journeys - An immersive chocolate experience designed by Master Chocolatier Norman Love, exclusive to Princess, was launched offering delectable desserts, wine and chocolate pairings and specialty chocolate cocktails. New chocolate offerings allow guests to indulge in even more custom-crafted signature desserts in new venues throughout the ship, as well as chocolate pairings with tea and more.
  • Discovery at Sea - A partnership with Discovery Communications, which brings new, innovative activities and shore excursions to the Princess-guest experience through hit shows like Deadliest Catch and Shark Week.
  • New Original Musical Productions – Magic to Do, the first of four musical production shows created in collaboration with Stephen Schwartz, award-winning composer and songwriter of Wicked, Godspell and Pippin, combines exhilarating magic with some of Schwartz’s most famous songs. Plus, the show features a brand new song written exclusively for Princess. Magic to Do debuted to critical acclaim and is currently running aboard Crown Princess, Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess.
  • Festivals of the World - Around the world, in every season, festivals bring people together to celebrate the uniqueness of a culture and its heritage often in the most colorful ways. Princess hosts festivals onboard that originate from nearly every corner of the globe. From Mardi Gras to Rio Carnival, guests enjoy parties, enriching activities, lively musical performances, festival-related movies and specialty shopping.
  • Craft Beer Series – Through partnerships with regional breweries that specialize in local flavor, Princess started the series with an award-winning West Coast IPA from Strike Brewing Company in San Jose, Calif., followed it with a special 50th Anniversary blend and have since added the Alaska Denali Red Ale, East Coast Blonde Lager and the Australian Gold Ale.
  • Princess@Sea Messenger - Guests have the opportunity to be connected with their fellow cruisers using mobile messenger, an instant message feature offering an easy way to make plans, confirm a meeting location while onboard the ship. The Princess@Sea Messenger is integrated in the complimentary Princess@Sea mobile app, accessed via a smartphone or tablet browser.

More announcements about ship renovations, entertainment and accommodations, in association with The Come Back New Promise campaign, are on the horizon and sure to bring Princess Cruises offerings to new heights.

Norwegian Cruise Line announces European Summer 2017 itineraries – Getaway to be based in Copenhagen

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Norwegian Cruise Line has announced its ground-breaking summer 2017 deployment for Europe that, for the first time in company history, features five ships sailing in European waters in the summer season. Highlights of the new itineraries include cruises to the Baltic Capitals on Norwegian Getaway from Copenhagen and a first ever complete season from Hamburg on Norwegian Jade, with embarkation for those cruises also available in the UK and Amsterdam. In addition to the European sailings, Norwegian also revealed details on Norwegian Escape’s 2017 summer cruises to the Caribbean from Miami.

Norwegian will bring Norwegian Getaway, currently the second newest ship in the fleet, back to Europe for the first time since its delivery in 2014, giving guests the opportunity to experience the ultimate in freedom and flexibility on 8- or 9-night Baltic Capitals cruises from Copenhagen. This spectacular itinerary will allow guests to explore UNESCO World Heritage sites, take in the picturesque Baltic countryside and experience the unique history, cultures and architecture of these famed European cities. The itinerary includes calls in Tallinn, Estonia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; along with an overnight in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Marking the first time that Norwegian will homeport a ship in Hamburg, Germany, Norwegian Jade – one of the company’s four Jewel-Class vessels – will feature brand new cruises from Hamburg in 2017. Following an extensive dry dock in spring 2017, she will arrive essentially a new ship featuring Norwegian’s new standard of excellence the Norwegian Edge on May 14, 2017. Until October 9, 2017, guests can embark from Hamburg on a series of 7- and 9-night Western Europe cruises; 9- and 10-night Norwegian Fjords cruises; 12-night Norway & North Cape sailings; as well as a 14-night Norway, Iceland & UK cruise.

Norwegian will return to England for the first time since 2010 during summer 2017, as Norwegian Jade will call on Southampton during her cruises from Hamburg. From May 12 – June 20 and August 7 – October 16, 2017, guests can choose to embark from Southampton for either 7- and 9-night Western Europe cruises or 9- and 10-night Norwegian Fjords cruises. Guests can also choose to embark from Amsterdam, The Netherlands on select dates for 7-night Western Europe cruises, providing even more flexibility for guests looking to explore Europe pre- or post-cruise.

“With these exciting new summer European itineraries, we are offering our guests a wider variety of adventurous itineraries that span the continent, while also bringing one of our newest and most innovative ships to Europe”, said Andy Stuart, president and chief operating officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Three further ships will sail European waters in 2017, including the recently refurbished Norwegian Epic with her popular 7-night Western Mediterranean itinerary, where guests can choose to depart from Barcelona, Civitavecchia (Rome) or Marseille; Norwegian Spirit sailing alternating 10- and 11-night Grand Mediterranean cruises between Barcelona and Venice; and Norwegian Star, which after her return from Australia, will spend the summer cruising from Venice to the Greek Isles as well as the Adriatic, Greece & Turkey.

Norwegian Escape, Norwegian’s newest ship launched last October, will spend summer 2017 sailing alternating 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises year-round from Miami, starting on May 6, 2017. The Eastern Caribbean itinerary includes stops in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas, whereas the Western Caribbean cruises visit Roatán, Honduras; Norwegian’s private destination Harvest Caye, Belize; Costa Maya, Mexico and Cozumel, Mexico.

CBR 3/2015 contents

CBR 2/2015 contents

CBR 1/2015 contents