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MSC Cruises to deploy MSC Splendida to China as of May 2018

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

MSC Cruises will deploy its MSC Splendida to China as of May 2018. In connection with this, following in the footsteps of the announcement of the opening of the new MSC Cruises own office in Shanghai and a new management and operations team based there, the company is taking another key step to further improve its ability to serve the Chinese home market.

Built in 2009, 137,936 gross ton MSC Splendida will also become one of the largest, most modern cruise ships operating in the region. She features 1,637 cabins, 76% of which come with a balcony and can accommodate a total of 4,363 guests.

In her new positioning, MSC Splendida will join MSC Lirica, which has been serving the Chinese market since May 2016 and has recently moved her homeport to Tianjin, to serve the thriving North China market during the winter season.

Speaking at a press conference in Beijing, Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises' Chief Executive Officer, commented: "Deploying MSC Splendida to the shores of China is a further testimony of our commitment to this key growth market. In fact, since it came into service MSC Splendida has been the most popular ship for Chinese and other Asian guests cruising the Mediterranean with us."

"MSC Splendida represents a second, strong step towards meeting the growing demand for our unique product and ultra-modern ships by Chinese guests. She will also undergo significant dry-dock enhancement in late 2017, ahead of her deployment, to further improve and customise her already amazing range of services."

MSC Splendida will also introduce the MSC Yacht Club to the Chinese market. This is an exclusive, "ship-within-a-ship" high-end concept that is unique to MSC Cruises and is designed for the most discerning guests who desire exclusivity and privacy. Offering a broad range of private facilities, MSC Yacht Club's guests benefit from exclusive services including a 24-hour personal butler, dedicated concierge reception as well as priority boarding and disembarkation. MSC Splendida will be the only ship to make this high-end offering available to Chinese guests in their home market.

MSC Splendida will visit many popular cruise destinations in China, Japan and Korea. Her itinerary details will be communicated shortly.

TPG and Canada Pension Plan Investment to inject $500 million in Viking Cruises’ parent company MISA

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

TPG Capital, the San Francisco based private equity firm, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board have teamed up to make a $500 million investment in MISA Investments Ltd., the parent company of Viking Cruises, MISA said in a statement.

“Both TPG and CPPIB will make an equal $250 million investment for a combined 17 percent stake. The deal is expected to close in early Q4 2016 pending regulatory approval,” the company said.

The joint investment will help accelerate Viking Cruises’ growth initiatives and strengthen the company’s balance sheet.” The Viking Cruises company consists of two business lines: Viking River Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises.

Viking Cruises provides travel in 44 countries, currently operating across North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and will expand to China starting this year.

Tor Hagen, CEO of Los Angeles-based Viking Cruises, says the new partnership and “long-term growth equity capital” will help the target to “grow further, particularly in destination-focused ocean cruising.”

One dead, two critically injured in Harmony of the Seas' lifeboat drill accident - report

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

One person has been killed and two other critically injured after a lifeboat fell from the world's biggest cruise liner, the Harmony of the Seas, which was docked in the French port of Marseille, the Daily Telegraph in London reports on its website.

“According to La Provence, the local newspaper, five members of the ship's navigation crew were on board when the lifeboat became detached. The accident is understood to have taken place during a basic security drill,” the report said.

Harmony of the Seas belongs to Royal Caribbean International, the contemporary market unit of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Limited (RCCL), the world’s second largest cruise shipping group. The French built ship is operating its first season.

Two officers die as cruise ship hits bridge in German Canal

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Two officers if Viking Freya, a river cruise ship belonging to Viking River cruises, have lost their lives after the vessel hit a bridge on the Rhine-Main-Danube (RMD) Canal in Germany, local media reports say.

The accident happened at 0130 am on Sunday morning as Viking Freya was on its way to Budapest in Hungary. It hit a bridge that crosses the canal, which liks the two most important inland waterways of Europe. The wheelhouse of the vessel was completely destroyed in the collision and the two crew members died as a result.

The cause of the accident remains unknown. The wheelhouse can be lowered to allow the vessel to pass under low bridges, but at the time of the accident it had not been brought to the low position, a reported on the website of Bild.de said.

None of the 184 passengers on board were hurt. The ship has a crew of 49 and those that lost their lives were Hungarian citizens, the report said.

Carnival Corporation orders three new ships from Meyer Turku and Papenburg shipyards

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Meyer Turku has signed a memorandum of agreement with the world’s largest cruise ship operator Carnival Corporation & plc for three new 180 000 gross ton cruise ships. Two of the ships will be built for Carnival Cruise Line with delivery dates expected in 2020 and 2022, and one for P&O Cruises to be delivered in 2020.

All three ships will be Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) powered and will be based on the next-generation “green cruising” ship design developed with Carnival Corporation.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of introducing LNG-powered ships to the cruise industry, working with our partners to achieve shipbuilding breakthroughs like this that will help us produce the most efficient and sustainable ships we have ever built,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc.

Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku said: “We are very happy to work again with both Carnival Cruise Line and P&O Cruises. In Turku we are also very excited as these ships will be the first ones to the get full benefit from our investments in next-generation production facilities and IT-systems. Another important aspect is the long-term horizon for our business. It creates an environment where we and also our suppliers can grow and develop. In the end this will lead to a lot of good work for us and other Finnish companies," Jan Meyer comments.

In conjunction with the order for Turku, the delivery of the 2nd ship for Costa Cruises will shift from 2020 to 2021.

CBR 2/2016 CONTENTS

CBR 1/2016 contents

CBR 3/2015 contents