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Crystal Mozart christened in Vienna marking official launch of Crystal River Cruises

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

On July 11, in another milestone for the expansion of Crystal, Crystal
Mozart was officially welcomed to the Crystal River Cruises fleet in
Vienna, Austria. During an elegant ceremony attended by local
dignitaries, media and distinguished executives from Crystal, the “Queen
of Europe’s Rivers” was christened by Godmother Ms. Elisabeth Gürtler,
who is the managing director of both the Hotel Sacher, Vienna’s most
famous hotel, and the city’s historic Spanish Riding School.

Crystal Mozart’s maiden voyage on July 13, will mark the official launch
of Crystal River Cruises, which will see four additional river yachts
launched by the end of next summer. Crystal’s CEO and president, Edie
Rodriguez, will personally welcome each guest of the inaugural sailing
aboard the newly reimagined vessel, where they will experience the
hallmarks of the all-inclusive, all-exclusive Crystal Experience –
spacious suites, personal butlers, six-star service featuring the
highest guest to crew ratio in river cruising at 1.74, luxurious
amenities, world-class cuisine and the only river ship with a full wrap
around promenade.

“This is an extraordinary time for our company, as our expansion from
the world’s oceans to its rivers and air allows for numerous new
opportunities and ways for travelers to explore the world with us,” says
Crystal CEO and President Edie Rodriguez. “Each new vessel and adventure
is another step for Crystal toward our goal of providing savvy global
travelers with virtually every luxury travel experience they can
possibly imagine.”

The traditional ceremony welcomed 175 VIP guests to a cocktail reception
on the Vista Deck Four of Crystal Mozart, featuring a traditional
Viennese Brass Orchestra dressed in historic uniforms and playing
traditional Austrian Marches. Master of Ceremonies and Crystal Mozart’s
lead entertainer, musician Mark Farris, then ushered guests shoreside
for the naming of the ship by the godmother and breaking of the magnum
of Szigeti’s 2011 Sonderedition “Adele” champagne. Rodriguez, along with
Crystal COO Thomas Mazloum and Crystal River Cruises Vice President and
Managing Director Walter Littlejohn officially welcomed Crystal Mozart
to the fleet and kicked off further festivities, which included a lavish
dinner in the ship’s Waterside and Blue restaurants.

“Crystal’s presence on the rivers of Europe absolutely raises the bar of
excellence for the luxury river cruising industry, a standard the
company set long ago when it entered the luxury ocean cruising market,”
says Littlejohn, a veteran of the river cruising industry. “We are
thrilled to introduce a new way to explore the world with the
highly-acclaimed Crystal Experience.”

Following dinner, guests were transported to the Belvedere Palace for an
exclusive evening of Mozart and Strauss performances, an event that all
Crystal Mozart guests will experience complimentary when sailing on
Crystal River Cruises’ Danube river itineraries.

Measuring 395 feet long (120.4 meters) and 75 feet wide (22.9 meters),
the all-suite Crystal Mozart is the largest of all European river
vessels and boasts numerous public areas for guests to enjoy. On Crystal
Deck Three, guests will find an array of elegant and casual dining
options, lounges and bars that will foster camaraderie among guests as
they share stories and cocktails. On the uppermost deck, Vista Deck 4, a
pop-up bar sets the scenes for celebrations under the stars while during
the day guests can attend a yoga session or relax in expansive sun
loungers as they sail along the Danube River. Fitness and wellness
enthusiasts can indulge in the largest spa in river cruising at the
Crystal Life Spa, which features an indoor pool and fully-equipped
fitness, spa and saloon facilities.

The 154-guest capacity vessel will sail itineraries along the Danube
River, calling in some of the region’s most stunning locales throughout
Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, and Serbia. And for the
first time on a Crystal voyage, most excursions are complimentary.
Guests can reserve electronic bicycles on the ship for independent
exploration, while VIP Champagne boat tours will also be available for
private cruising and sight-seeing along Europe’s narrower waterways.

Crystal Mozart also bears the distinction as the most technologically
advanced river ship in the world. Each suite offers Apple® iPad devices
that serve as Digital Directories for virtually all of guests’ on-board
needs, from dry cleaning and butler service to room service and dining
reservations, as well as concierge and Crystal Adventures inquiries and
more. Suites also boast 40-inch flat-screen HD televisions, along with
backlit bathroom mirrors with integrated televisions. Bathrooms also
feature highly advanced TOTO Washlet personal cleaning systems
integrated with the toilets, which also offer heated seats, automatic
open/close, aerated water and warm air dryer.

Throughout the ship, digital signage puts available services and port
information at guests’ fingertips, including weather forecasts for the
day, available spa appointments, dining reservations and profiles of
Crystal crew members.

Odo-CBR Commentary: Carnival’s nascent Chinese brand may acquire reported CSSC-Fincantieri newbuildings after completion

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

A joint venture cruise brand that Carnival plc, the British holding company in the Carnival Corporation & plc group, China Investment Corporation (CIC) and China State Shipbuilding Company (CSSC) agreed to set up last year could acquire the five cruise ship newbuildings on completion from a joint venture set up by CSSC and Fincantieri.

China Daily reported on 8 July that a joint venture ship owning company 60% controlled by the China State Shipbuilding Company (CSSC) and 40% by Fincantieri, the Italian shipbuilder, would build five 133,500 gross ton cruise ships at CSSC’s Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Company (SWS) unit, the first of which is due to enter service in 2021, the newspaper reported on its English language website.

By allowing the joint venture company set up between the two shipbuilders to take the risk of successfully completing the planned ships and acquiring them, either outright or e.g. through a bareboat charter agreement, Carnival group could insulate itself against the risk of problems with the construction of the planned ships.

A project to build two cruise liners for its AIDA Cruises unit in Germany at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan, which has not built cruise ships for more than a decade, run into serious delays due to problems at the yard. SWS has not built cruise ships before.

The gross tonnage of the planned SWS built vessels, 133,500, suggests that these could be based on the same design as Carnival Vista, Costa Diadema and a yet unnamed newbuilding for P&O Cruises Australia, all Carnival group units, from Fincantieri in Italy.


Global Ocean Cruise Market Analysis & Forecast by Odo Maritime Research is looking into the current state of the industry, the possibilities and threats that may lie ahead.

Extensive use of graphs, charts and tables in the 118 page report that is published in PDF format makes the information easy to absorb. The price of the report -£520, €650 or $860 – remains unchanged from two years ago, when we published our first issue.

To order your copy, please contract us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Executive summary 8

Cruise industry in context 13

Tonnage supply 15

A bird’s eye view 15 

Fleet capacity analysis 16 

Space ratio analysis 17 

Vessel size segmental analysis 21 

Fleet age analysis 22 

Small operators 25 

Newbuilding prices analysis 26 

Shipyards & newbuilding prices comparison 28 

Orderbook 32 

Newbuilding capacity delivery trend 37 

Record orderbook & its implications 38

Deployment patterns 40

Cruise brands & market shares 45

Main ocean cruise brands 45 

New & emerging brands 47 

Mergers & acquisitions 48 

Market shares 49

Port development & traffic analysis 55

Port development projects 55 

Port traffic analysis 60

Source markets analysis 70 

Business performances 76

The majors – Carnival Corp. & plc, RCCL, NCLH 76

Volume growth 76 

Development of revenues 77 

Development of net results 78 

Development of revenue & net result per passenger 79 

Development of total & onboard revenue 81 

Development of onboard revenues’ share of total 82 

Return on capital employed 83 

Net yield & net cruise costs 85 

Relative development of operating expenses – illustrations 87 

Development of shareholders’ equity & debt 91 

Earnings estimates by three listed majors 93

Smaller companies 94

Genting Hong Kong 94 

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Ltd. 96 

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. 97

Key observations on business performance 99

Risks & opportunities 100 

Risks 100 

Opportunities 102 

Other considerations 102

Conclusion 104


Hurtigruten places firm order for two of planned four expedition cruise ships

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Hurtigruten, the Norwegian expedition cruise and coastal express passenger shipping company, has placed a firm order for two newbuildings that can serve its both trades with the Kleven shipyard in Norway. In the spring, Hurtigruten said it planned to build up to four such vessels, two of which now remain under option.

The vessels will be able to carry 530 passengers in 265 cabins, they will be 140 metres in length and have ice strengthened hulls. The first ship will be delivered in July 2018 and the second a year later, the company said in a statement.

UPDATED: CSSC, Fincantieri joint venture to built five 133,500 gross ton ships, first due in 2021 – report

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen


A spokesman for Carnival Corporation & plc said the world’s largest cruise shipping group is pleased with the completion of a joint venture between China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and Fincantieri, but he declined comment on Csrnivsl group’s link to the reported five ships the joint venture has decided to build.

“We are pleased with the progress being made on multiple fronts including the completion of this joint venture agreement between CSSC and Fincantieri. The cruise market in China will someday become the largest cruise market in the world, and these joint venture initiatives will help propel that growth for years to come,” he told Cruise Business online.

In October 2015, Carnival Corporation & plc, China Investment Corporation (CIC) and CSSC signed a joint venture agreement to set up a cruise brand to cater for the Chinese source market.

The agreement was signed during a state visit to London of Xi Jinping, the Chinese president. The brand would be part of Carnival plc, the British holding company of the Carnival Corporation & plc group and its vessels could fly the British flag, it was said at the time.



A joint venture ship owning company 60% controlled by the China State Shipbuilding Company (CSSC) and 40% by Fincantieri, the Italian shipbuilder, will build five 133,500 gross ton cruise ships, the first of which is due to enter service in 2021, China Daily reports on its English language website.

“State-owned China State Shipbuilding Corp and Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiana SpA will establish a joint venture in Hong Kong. The joint venture will spend 25 billion yuan ($3.74 billion) building five luxury cruise liners,” the report said.

“The money will come from an industrial development fund for cruise liners from five Chinese banks, including Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank, according to CSSC,” China Daily continued.

Under the framework, Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co (SWS), a subsidiary of CSSC, will be responsible for building the liners. Chen Gang, vice-president of Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, said each of these ships displaces 133,500 tons and their length will exceed 300 meters. Each ship will cost around 5 billion yuan to build.

The Shanghai shipyard has already established a specialized department to start design work and they are scheduled to be built in 2017. "The cruise liners built in China will highlight Chinese elements, with the guest rooms decorated in the style of either a traditional Beijing courtyard or an old-fashioned Shanghai residential room," said Chen.


Dong Liwan, a shipping industry professor at Shanghai Maritime University, said cruise liners are the only high-tech ship products that China has yet to master. European shipyards, including Italy's Fincantieri, Germany's Meyer Werft, and STX France SA, account for 90 percent of total global orders. "To date, Asian shipbuilders including Japan and South Korea are incapable of either designing or building cruise ships independently," said Dong. A cruise liner is the result of the combination of many technologies. Up to 75% of the value of a cruise liner is handled by subcontractors, China Daily said.

The news came only four days after CSSC and Fincantieri unveiled the formation of a joint venture aimed at developing and supporting the growth of the Chinese cruise industry.

The today’s agreement, which follows one CSSC and Carnival Corporation &plc signed in November 2014, which provides that the joint venture will design and sell cruise ships exclusively intended and specifically customized for the Chinese and Asian market.

“These vessels will be built at one of CSSC’s shipyards, the SWS facility, on the basis of a technological platform licensed to the joint venture and to the SWS shipyard by Fincantieri, which will therefore perform the activities within its competence through the joint venture,” Fincantieri said on 4 July.

Genting Hong Kong forms MV WERFTEN to focus on new shipbuilding

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

During today’s staff meetings in Germany, Genting Hong Kong announced that the three shipyards in the German State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern bought this April will be named as MV WERFTEN, be managed in Wismar and will focus on building large new cruise ships. Lloyd Werft located in Bremerhaven and bought last September will focus on its prior business of repairs, conversion and building of megayachts.

“To make MV WERFTEN one of the world’s most modern and efficient cruise shipyards, we will invest 100 million euros in a thin plate laser welding line, a cabin module factory, a new covered section block building hall, the modernization of manufacturing control systems and new executive and employee offices and facilities,” says Tan Sri KT Lim, the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Genting Group.

“We are also pleased to announce Jarmo Laakso as the Managing Director of MV WERFTEN. Laakso has more than 35 years’ experience in building passenger ships, including the latest generation of mega cruise ships, such as the Quantum of the Seas. Laakso has a unique yard and owner perspective as he has worked for Meyer Werft from 1998 to 2004 and for Royal Caribbean International from 2005 to 2015,” he added.

“We highly appreciate the commitment of Genting Hong Kong. This is a strong signal and a clear statement of Genting on the shipbuilding industry in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – and in particular on the shipyards Wismar, Rostock and Stralsund," says Harry Glawe, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern‘s Economics Minister.

MV WERFTEN will deliver the first four luxury Crystal River ships in 2017, the first of a series of 20,000 gross ton Crystal Endeavor Class polar expedition yachts in 2018 and the fi rst of a series of 201,000 gross ton Star Cruises Global Class cruise ships by 2020. The planned annual output of MV WERFTEN will be stepped up in future years to eventually build two Neo-Panamax cruise ships of over 200,000 gross ton each and one Panamax cruise vessel a year. MV WERFTEN has docks, fabrication halls and painting shops which are all covered and, as a result, is able to produce cruise ships of the highest quality and workmanship, valued at more than 2.5 billion euro.

“We will build on the strength of the 1,400 employees of MV WERFTEN,” says Managing Director Jarmo Laakso. “We have hired and are still hiring more people with cruise shipbuilding experience who, with the current workforce, will make MV WERFTEN one of the most efficient and innovative cruise shipbuilders in Europe.” Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven will continue to be led by Managing Director Rüdiger Pallentin, Dirk Petersjohann and Carsten Haake and focus on its previous business repair and conversion and will, with its recently established Lloyd Werft Design Center, strengthen its ability to build megayachts.


CBR 1/2016 contents

CBR 3/2015 contents