Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Quest, the line’s first new build in the history of the company, commenced her inaugural voyage on July 29 as she set sail from Juneau. "The most state-of-the-art expedition ship designed and purpose-built in the U.S., she departed with very excited guests for an 8-day expedition exploring Southeast Alaska," the company said in a statement.
Sven Lindblad, CEO and President of Lindblad Expeditions, commended the team on the achievement, “You all must feel a deep sense of pride and accomplishment, you have all worked tirelessly to make this possible, and are a part of history having played an important role in the building and launch of the most sophisticated and beautiful ship built in the U.S. in decades.”
The 100-guest National Geographic Quest will operate on the popular “Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness” expedition through August 26, and will finish off the Alaska season with a “Treasures of the Inside Passage: Alaska and British Columbia” departure on September 2, 2017.
The ship will then remain in the Pacific Northwest for a series of new voyages between Seattle and Vancouver, with stops in the San Juan Islands, Victoria, Alert Bay, and more far reaching stops in British Columbia’s channels and fjords. Beginning in December 2017, she will reposition and operate expeditions in Costa Rica and Panama before kicking off a series of new voyages in Belize and Guatemala starting in February, 2018.
Azamara Club Cruises has appointed Carol Cabezas to Chief Operation Officer.
Carol has been a part of the Royal Caribbean team for the last 17 years. During her time with the parent company she has held a variety of leadership roles across sales, finance and revenue management. Most recently, Carol served as Vice President of Investor Relations for Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD. Prior to that, Carol was AVP of National and Strategic Accounts, North America for Celebrity Cruises where she also served as Director of Sales Planning earlier in her career.
“Carol is no stranger to the Royal Caribbean family and we know she will be an incredible asset to Azamara,” said Larry Pimentel President & CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “She brings expertise across a variety of important channels and we look forward to elevating the brand through strategic planning and ideas coming from our internal leadership team.”
As COO for Azamara Club Cruises, Carol will be responsible for the full range of operations of the cruise line including sales, marketing, revenue, finance deployment and shipboard operations.
“It’s an exciting time to join the Azamara family,” states Carol Cabezas. “The Azamara product and offerings are unique in the cruise space and I welcome this opportunity to be a part of the evolution of the brand.”
Prior to her career at Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD, Carol was an Associate Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Dispute Analysis and Corporate Recovery team.
Carol holds a Masters in Finance from University of Miami and Bachelor degrees in Finance and Accounting from Stern School of Business at New York University.
Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, has announced plans at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif., to add a seventh ship to Disney Cruise Line’s cruise ship fleet.
Last year, the leader in family cruising announced plans to build two new ships at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany with scheduled completion dates of 2021 and 2023. The seventh ship will be built at the same shipyard and is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
“We decided two ships wouldn’t be enough to hold all of the exciting new experiences we have been dreaming up to take family cruise vacations to a whole new level with immersive Disney storytelling, world-class family entertainment, and imaginative innovations that are fantastically fun and uniquely Disney,” Chapek said. “By the time all three new ships are sailing, we’ll have nearly doubled the size of our existing fleet.”
All ship names, design plans and itineraries are still in development, with each of the ships expected to have their own unique experiences. The three new ships will be powered by clean-burning liquefied natural gas and be the same size – approximately 135,000 gross tons with about 1,250 guest staterooms planned – which is slightly larger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.
Since first setting sail in 1998, Disney Cruise Line has provided a quintessential family cruise vacation experience that combines the magic of Disney with the wonder of exploring different parts of the world. Guests step aboard majestic and beautiful ocean liners to enjoy legendary Disney entertainment, exquisite dining, spacious and well-appointed staterooms and magnificent public spaces.
With the launch of the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy in 2011 and 2012, the company introduced several firsts for the industry, including a water coaster at sea (AquaDuck) and virtual portholes in interior staterooms (Magical Portholes) that provide real-time views of the sea as well as sightings of animated Disney characters.
Wärtsilä to supply power and navigational equipment for Virgin Voyages' fleet The Finland based technology group Wärtsilä has been contracted to provide a comprehensive scope of solutions for three 2,800 passenger cruise vessels being built for Virgin Voyages, part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group of companies in London .
The order for Wärtsilä engines, hybrid exhaust cleaning scrubber systems, and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems was booked in 2016, while the order for the Wärtsilä integrated navigation systems was booked in March 2017.
Virgin Voyages is the latest of the international Virgin Group's travel businesses. The company plans to create a completely new experience at sea for its cruise passengers, and the ships have been designed with the latest technologies accordingly. The Wärtsilä solutions have been selected to support the requirement for clean and efficiently operating vessels.
The ships will each be powered by two eight-cylinder and two twelve-cylinder Wärtsilä 46F engines. The technologically advanced Wärtsilä 46F engine represents best-in-class fuel economy, and outstanding power-to-weight and power-to-space ratios.
The Wärtsilä Hybrid Scrubber System selected for these vessels has the flexibility to operate in both open and closed loop modes using seawater to remove sulphur oxides (SOx) from the exhaust. Significant reductions in the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates will be made possible by the Wärtsilä SCR system. Wärtsilä will also handle the commissioning of the engines and scrubber systems in cooperation with the shipyard.
Navigation and automation controls for the vessels will be efficiently handled by the Wärtsilä's Nacos Platinum solution. By integrating various control and monitoring systems, such as those for navigation, automation, emergency shutdown, flood detection, plus power and propulsion, the vessels can be operated homogenously from various onboard positions. The truly multi-functional operator stations enable unequalled flexibility and convenience.
"It is an honour for Wärtsilä to have been selected to provide such a comprehensive range of solutions for this high profile travel business brand now entering the cruise sector. It represents further endorsement of the quality of our offering and the benefits of our capabilities as a single-source supplier," says Fred Danska, Director, Cruise Business, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions.
"We are very pleased to be able to partner Wärtsilä for our first series of ships. Their technical expertise, commitment to supporting our sustainability goals, and excellent reputation made them the best choice for us. Virgin Voyages is committed to creating a sea change, Wärtsilä shares our vision and will help make it a reality" says Stuart Hawkins, Senior Vice President, Marine & Technical, Virgin Voyages.
Florida based Virgin Voyages' cruise operations will commence in 2020 from Miami with the delivery of the first of these three ships. The other two vessels will be delivered in 2021 and 2022.
Brittany Ferries, the French ferry company, said it had signed a contract with the Flensburger Schiffbau shipyard in Germany for a 42,400 gross ton LNG and diesel electric powered ropax ferry.
The vessel, which will be called Honfleur and be able to carry 1,680 passengers between Portsmouth in the UK and Caen in France, will have 2,600 lane metres of vehicle deck capacity. It is due to enter service in June 2019.
Honfleur will be built at the Flensburger Schiffbau shipyard in Germany over the next two years and will be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas).
Its four main engines will feed electric generators and two electric shaft propulsion motors with two fixed pitch efficient propellers. This propulsion arrangement in common in cruise ships, but rare in ferries that usually use direct drive with gearboxes and controllable pitch propellers.
“Honfleur will be the first passenger ship in the world to be equipped with on board cranes that allow 40 feet (ISO standard) LNG containers to be lifted into a fixed position,” Brittany Ferries said.
Flensburger already has a large ropax ferry on order from Irish Continental Group, which trade as Irish Ferries.