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Princess Cruises Confirms Roundtrip Southampton Sailings Cancellations Whilst Announcing New Late Summer Short Cruises For UK Guests

Princess Cruises today have announced they are extending their pause of its UK-based cruise vacations, sailing roundtrip from Southampton through 25th September 2021 on board Sky Princess, Regal Princess and Island Princess.

However, for UK guests, Princess have also announced they are launching a series of new short cruises on both Regal Princess and Sky Princess departing in late-summer. These cruises will go on sale later this month.

A press release from Princess Cruises read:

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – As Princess Cruises continues to review and assess its operations following the recent UK Government announcement on the roadmap to ease lockdown and related international travel restrictions, the company is extending the pause of its UK-based cruise vacations, sailing roundtrip from Southampton, through September 25, 2021 on Sky Princess, Regal Princess and Island Princess.

For UK guests, Princess Cruises will launch a series of new short cruises departing in late- summer from Southampton on Regal Princess and Sky Princess from Southampton that will go on sale later this month.

“We share in our guests’ disappointment over these cancelled voyages, and we appreciate the continued understanding and cooperation from our loyal guests and travel advisors,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “As we prepare our ships for a return to service, we remain in close contact with the UK Government to monitor the latest travel guidance for international guests.”

For guests booked on a cancelled voyage, Princess will offer to move guests to the equivalent cruise in 2022. The rebooking process will have the added benefit of protecting the guests’ 2021 fare on their 2022 voyage. Alternatively, guests can choose a future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25 USD) or a full refund to the original form of payment.

For guests currently booked on a cancelled voyage where there is no matched cruise available in 2022, guests will automatically receive a refundable future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25). Alternatively, guests can request a full refund to the original form of payment.

Requests must be received through this online form by April 15, 2021 or guests will automatically receive the FCC option. FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by and sailing by December 31, 2022.

Princess will transfer the commission earned by travel agents from the cancelled 2021 cruise to the new booking in 2022 that was paid in full. This convenience is in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line’s business and success.

The most current information and instructions for booked guests affected by these cancellations, and more information on FCCs and refunds, can be found online at Impacted & Cancelled Cruises.

Source – Princess Cruises via press release.

Feature image © Cruisemarsh

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P&O Cruises Announces “Ultimate Escape” Staycation UK Cruises For Summer 2021

P&O Cruises have today announced the “ultimate escape” staycation cruises for Summer 2021.

The new series of short break and week-long UK cruises will go on sale later this month.

As a result, unfortunately current published cruises on board Arcadia, Aurora, Azura and Ventura have been cancelled until the end of August and for Britannia and Iona until the end of September.

A press release from P&O Cruises read:

P&O Cruises will offer a series of short break and week-long UK cruises as “the ultimate escape” staycation this summer. The cruises will go on sale later in March.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said:

“Following recent Government announcements and as the vaccine programme is rolled out across the globe we can all begin to feel a sense of reassurance and hope that this current lockdown period in the UK will come to an end. Life can, we hope, slowly return to some semblance of our previous normality as hospitality opens up and summer holidays can be booked with confidence.

“Whilst holidays here in the UK will be the first to become a reality we will, of course, gradually see the return of international travel but first we want guests to be able to enjoy a proper summer holiday at sea with the best in relaxation, entertainment and dining choice.

“These sailings will leave from our home port in Southampton and sail around UK coastal waters enjoying the summer sunshine. More details of dates, prices and the experience on board will be announced later this month, but they will, of course, all have flexibility so guests can book with confidence.

“We hope that the UK “ultimate escape” staycation option will have wide appeal and we will do our utmost to make it a very special time. There really will be something for everyone and the opportunity to spend precious and much-longed for time with family and friends.

“In order to offer these UK breaks it does mean that unfortunately we need to cancel some of our current published programme of holidays this summer. Cruises on Arcadia, Aurora, Azura and Ventura have been cancelled until the end of August and on Britannia and Iona until the end of September.

“We remain in very close contact with the UK Government and associated bodies as we monitor the latest situation and guidance on travel. From the moment we see travel restrictions lifting we will begin the significant logistical task to re-start our operations. It will take some time for the first ship to return to service, followed by the phased return of the remaining fleet. We cannot wait to welcome everyone back on board with the protection of effective protocols to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all crew and guests.

“I really am so sorry for the disappointment these cancellations will cause but hope that the new UK cruises will enable everyone to enjoy a wonderful holiday this summer.”

All guests whose cruises have been cancelled will automatically receive a Future Cruise Credit worth 125% of what they paid. This 125% Future Cruise Credit can be redeemed against any new booking made by the end of December 2021, on any cruise on sale at the time of booking.

Source: P&O Cruises via press release

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Odyssey Of The Seas To Debut With Israel Sailings

Royal Caribbean international have confirmed that their latest and most innovative newbuild to date Odyssey of the Seas will make her debut in May with a series of 3 to 7 night cruises to Cyprus and the Greek Isles – departing roundtrip from Haifa, Israel.

This will be the first time Royal Caribbean have offered sailings from Israel and will allow Israeli holidaymakers the chance to be the first to experience what the new Quantum-Ultra class Odyssey of the Seas has to offer.

A press release on the Royal Caribbean press center read:

MIAMI, March 1, 2021 – Israeli holidaymakers will set a new course for adventure this summer when Royal Caribbean International begins sailing from Israel for the first time in May. The global cruise line will offer Israelis a combination of 3- to 7-night escapes visiting the Greek Isles and Cyprus on board its highly anticipated, brand-new ship, Odyssey of the Seas. The new sailings will go on sale on Tuesday, March 9.

The itineraries, roundtrip from Haifa, Israel, will include visits to idyllic isles and destinations in the Mediterranean, including Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens, Greece and Limassol, Cyprus.

“We are thrilled to debut Royal Caribbean cruises from Israel with our newest and most innovative ship, Odyssey of the Seas. Israeli travelers will be looking to get away, relax with total peace of mind, and enjoy the travel experiences they are missing dearly; and that is what we do best,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Sailing from Israel is an opportunity we have had our sights on for quite some time. We greatly appreciate the government of Israel for their collaboration and confidence in us to deliver memorable cruise experiences to their residents, and look forward to delivering on that promise aboard our newest ship – the first ‘Green Island’ at sea.”

Residents of Israel will be the first guests to cruise on Odyssey during its inaugural season. The innovative ship is designed to make for a memorable holiday for every kind of traveler, with a variety of new and signature experiences from bow to stern. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea, highlights on board include a two-level pool deck designed for downtime under the sun and stars, SeaPlex – the two-level indoor and outdoor activity complex that is a high-adrenaline playground for all ages, and a lineup of complimentary and specialty restaurants primed to please every palate with cuisine from around the world. And entertainment throughout the ship will be punctuated by high-tech signature productions in the Royal Theater and Two70, where art and multimedia merge for jaw-dropping performances found only on Odyssey.

“Thanks to the millions of vaccines we have brought, I am proud that Israel will be the first country in the world to launch Royal Caribbean’s new flagship. Royal Caribbean’s decision to come to Israel is a significant expression of confidence in our policy. This is an important economic, touristic moment for the State of Israel,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Israel is a global model of success. We will continue our program – the ‘green passport’ – so that we can get out of the COVID-19 virus in peace. Just as we made Israel the world champion in vaccines, we will make it the world champion in economics and tourism in the post-Corona era.”

In conjunction with Israel’s health and tourism authorities, Royal Caribbean will be the first to offer fully vaccinated sailings, where both crew and guests above the age of 16 will be vaccinated against COVID-19. Details on the additional health and safety measures to be implemented by Israel and Royal Caribbean will be announced at a later date.

The Greek Minister of Tourism, Mr. Haris Theoharis, supports all the efforts for the resumption of cruising in Greece and the surrounding area. He said, “We are very happy with today’s announcement as our recent travel agreement with Israel is already bringing results, and more people will have the opportunity to have unique experiences in our beautiful destinations and islands.”

Savvas Perdios, the Deputy Minister of Tourism for Cyprus commented, “It is an honor to be featured in Royal Caribbean’s itinerary this summer, and we are delighted to welcome their newest ship to our island. Cyprus supports the cruise industry and is pleased to help the industry on its road to recovery. We are certain that guests will have a great time, both on board the ship and when visiting Cyprus, one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean.”

The sailings will be open for booking to Israeli holidaymakers from Tuesday 9th March 2021.

Source – Royal Caribbean International via press release

Feature image © Royal Caribbean International

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Princess Cruises Confirm Cancellation Of Select Alaska, Canada/New England And Pacific Coastal Sailings In 2021

Princess Cruises have today confirmed they have had to cancel select Alaska, Canada/New England and Pacific Coastal sailings in 2021 as a result of the Canadian Transport Ministry’s Interim Order which extends the closure of Canadian ports and their waters to passenger vessels.

A press release on the Princess website read:

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (February 24, 2021) – As Princess Cruises continues to review and assess its operations as a result of the Canadian Transport Ministry’s Interim Order that extends the closure of Canadian ports and waters to passenger vessels, the company has found it necessary to cancel the following voyages:

Alaska seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruises, sailing between Vancouver, B.C. and Anchorage (Whittier)
Pacific Coastals that start or end in Vancouver, B.C.
Canadian Adventure sailing roundtrip from Southampton, UK
Princess is engaged with various United States and Canadian government officials to try to preserve a portion of the Alaska and Canada & New England 2021 cruise seasons. In the meantime, Princess has committed to operating the Kenai Princess Wilderness lodge along with McKinley Chalet Resort in Denali and Westmark Fairbanks Hotel this summer and is currently working on vacation land package details that will be announced shortly.

“We share in our guests’ disappointment over these cancelled voyages especially as we have been preparing our ships for our return to service,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “Princess Cruises has sailed to Alaska for more than 50 years and the incredible Last Frontier is part of our proud heritage. We understand, how much of Alaska is dependent on the cruise economy. We are going to do all we can to help our business partners and the communities of Alaska.”

For guests currently booked on a cancelled voyage who had paid in full, Princess will automatically rebook them to the same cruise or cruisetour in 2022. No action is required from guests or their travel advisors. The rebooking process will have the added benefit of protecting the guests’ 2021 fare on their 2022 cruise. Once Princess has completed the booking transfer, if the guest would prefer an alternative option, they can choose a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25 USD) or a full refund to the original form of payment.

Guests not paid in full will automatically receive a refundable Future Cruise Credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25 USD).

FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by and sailing by December 31, 2022. Alternatively, guests can request a full refund for all monies paid on their booking through this online form. Requests must be received by March 31, 2021 or guests who are not paid in full will automatically receive the Future Cruise Credit option.

Princess will transfer the commission earned by our travel advisors from the cancelled 2021 cruise to the new booking in 2022. This convenience is in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line’s business and success.

The most current information and instructions for booked guests affected by these cancellations, and more information on FCCs and refunds, can be found online at Impacted & Cancelled Cruises.

Source – Princess Cruises via press release

Feature image © Princess Cruises

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Carnival Cruise Line Extends Pause In Operations From U.S. Ports Through 31st May 2021

Carnival Cruise Line have today confirmed that they are extending their pause in their cruise operations from U.S. ports through 31st May 2021.

A press release on the Carnival website read:

Carnival Cruise Line has notified booked guests and travel advisors that its pause in operations from U.S. ports has been extended through May 31, 2021.

A date for the return of guest cruising operations from U.S. ports has not yet been determined. Earlier in February, Carnival began providing more flexible options for guests booked into early summer so that they could cancel their reservation without penalty if they needed or wanted to make other plans. As it has done throughout the pause, Carnival is providing guests on cruises cancelled today the choice of a future cruise credit plus onboard credit package, or a full refund.

“We continue to work on plans to resume operations and are encouraged by the focus to expedite vaccine production and distribution which are having a demonstrated impact on improving public health,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We appreciate the support of all of our guests, employees and trade partners who we know are looking forward to our return.”

Source – Carnival Cruise Line

Feature image © Carnival Cruise Line

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Azamara Extends Global Cruise Operations Suspension Through 30th June

Azamara have announced this afternoon they are extending their global cruise operations suspension through 30th June 2021.

This will affect all sailings departing on or before 30th June 2021.

A short statement on their social media platforms read:

As the world continues to confront the many challenges resulting from COVID-19, our primary goal continues to be a healthy return to service for our guests, crew and the communities we visit. In order to ensure the most effective initiatives are in place for a healthy return to service, Azamara has taken the decision to extend the suspension of global operations for all sailings departing on or before June 30, 2021.

Our team is working diligently with Royal Caribbean Group’s Healthy Sail Panel to create a small-ship cruising experience that will protect the wellbeing of our guests and crew yet stay true to the Azamara spirit of connecting people to cultures. We cannot wait to welcome you back aboard and will continue to keep you updated every step of the way.

A full update on the extension of Azamara’s global cruise operations suspension can be found on the Azamara website.

Source – Azamara

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Carnival Corporation Announces Public Offering Of $1 Billion Shares Of Common Stock

Carnival Corporation have announced they are making an underwritten public offering of $1 Billion of shares of common stock of the corporation with the proceeds expected to be used for general corporate purposes.

A press release statement on the Carnival Corporation corporate website read:

MIAMI, Feb. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), today announced that Carnival Corporation (the “Corporation”) has commenced an underwritten public offering of $1 billion of shares of common stock of the Corporation. The Corporation expects to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is acting as sole bookrunner and underwriter for the proposed public offering.

A shelf registration statement relating to these shares of common stock has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and has become effective. The common stock offering is being made only by means of a prospectus supplement and an accompanying base prospectus. A preliminary prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus relating to the common stock offering will be filed with the SEC and will be available on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov. Copies of the preliminary prospectus supplement and accompanying base prospectus relating to the common stock offering may be obtained from Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Prospectus Department, 200 West Street, New York, NY 10282, telephone: 1-866-471-2526, facsimile: 212-902-9316 or by emailing Prospectus-ny@ny.email.gs.com

PJT Partners is serving as independent financial advisor to the Corporation and Carnival plc.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy shares of common stock and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration and qualification under the securities laws of such state or jurisdiction.

Source – Carnival Corporation via Press release

Feature image © Carnival Corporation

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Royal Caribbean Group Reports 2020 Fiscal Year Financial Results

Royal Caribbean Group have today reported on their financial results for the 2020 fiscal year whilst commenting on the business during the current global COVID-19 pandemic.

A press release statement on their corporate website read:

MIAMI, Feb. 22, 2021– Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) today reported financial results for the fiscal year of 2020 and commented on the business considering the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a painful and profound impact on our world and our business; unquestionably, this crisis is the most difficult in the Company’s history. But we have been impressed and grateful for the resourcefulness and agility of our team in responding to these unprecedented challenges. More importantly, we remain confident about the ability of our Company to recover and return to the positive trajectory we were on previously,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO. “We are encouraged to see the sharp decline in cases and the growing availability of vaccines. We can’t wait to get back to the business of showing people the world and making great memories.”

Full Year 2020 results:

As part of the global containment effort resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company implemented a voluntary suspension of its cruise operations beginning March 13, 2020, which has been extended for most ships through at least April 30, 2021.

For the full year, the Company reported US GAAP Net Loss of $(5.8) billion or $(27.05) per share compared to US GAAP Net Income of $1.9 billion or $8.95 per share in the prior year. The Company also reported Adjusted Net Loss of $(3.9) billion or $(18.31) per share for full year 2020 compared to Adjusted Net Income of $2.0 billion or $9.54 per share in the prior year.

Fourth Quarter 2020 results:

US GAAP Net Loss for the fourth quarter was $(1.4) billion or $(6.09) per share and Adjusted Net Loss was $(1.1) billion or $(5.02) per share. Last year, US GAAP Net Income was $273.1 million or $1.30 per share, and Adjusted Net Income was $297.4 million or $1.42 per share for the fourth quarter.

The Net Loss and Adjusted Net Loss for the fourth quarter and full year of 2020 are the result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business.

“These results reflect the staggering impact that the pandemic brought to our Company and the whole industry during 2020,” said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. “I want to thank all our teams who have risen to the occasion, managing through the toughest year in Royal Caribbean’s history.”

Health & Safety Protocols, Business Update:

The Company continues to work and collaborate with the Healthy Sail Panel, epidemiologists, health authorities and various governments around the globe to ensure a healthy and safe return to cruising for guests, crew and the communities visited. While the situation remains highly fluid, knowledge of the virus and how it spreads continues to improve.

The Company has already begun some limited operations. For example, in December, Quantum of the Seas started operating out of Singapore. In addition, our TUI Cruises affiliate has had three vessels operating in the Canary Islands since November. “Guests are sharing very positive reviews and we are also seeing a higher proportion of first-time cruisers than expected. We believe that these cruises, even before the availability of vaccines, are helping us learn and demonstrate to others how we can operate successfully under the current COVID-19 environment,” noted Mr. Fain.

The Company also continues to prepare and develop its plan to meet the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for US sailings. While the framework represents an important step to return to service, many uncertainties remain as to the specifics, timing, and cost of implementing its requirements. Overall, and due to the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Company expects to re-start its global cruise operation in a phased manner with the initial cruises having reduced guest occupancy, modified itineraries and enhanced health and safety protocols.

On January 29, 2021, the Company announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Azamara brand in an all-cash transaction for $201 million. The deal includes Azamara’s three-ship fleet and associated intellectual property.

Update on Liquidity Actions and Ongoing Uses of Cash:

Since the suspension of its global cruise operation, the Company has taken aggressive actions to enhance its liquidity through significant cost and capital reductions, cash preservation measures and by obtaining additional financing. During 2020, the Company raised approximately $9.3 billion of new capital through a combination of bond issuances, common stock public offerings and other loan facilities.

Given the current environment, the Company continues to work to bolster its liquidity, so it is well positioned for recovery. Among its latest efforts, the Company highlighted the following:

Completed a $1.0 billion “at-the-market” equity offering during the month of December 2020;
Amended its export credit facilities to defer $0.8 billion of principal amortization due before April 2022 and to waive financial covenants through at least the end of the third quarter of 2022;
Received approvals from its export credit agencies (ECAs) to defer an additional $0.4 billion of principal amortization due before April 2022 which are expected to be completed in Q1 2021; Amended over $4.9 billion of commercial bank facilities to provide covenant waivers through the end of the third quarter of 2022 and to reset covenant levels for the balance of 2022 and 2023.
The Company estimates its cash burn to be, on average, in the range of approximately $250 million to $290 million per month during a prolonged suspension of operations. This range includes all interest expenses, ongoing ship operating expenses, administrative expenses, hedging costs, expected necessary capital expenditures (net of committed financings in the case of newbuilds) and excludes changes in customer deposits, commissions, principal repayments, and fees and collateral postings related to financing and hedging activities. As the Company starts returning its fleet into service, it has (with respect to existing operations) and will incur incremental spend as it brings the ships out of their various levels of layup, returns the crew to the vessels, takes the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the recommended protocols and gears up its sales and marketing activities.

Liquidity and Financing Arrangements:

As of December 31, 2020, the Company had liquidity of approximately $4.4 billion, including $3.7 billion in cash and cash equivalents and a $0.7 billion commitment from a 364-day facility.

The average monthly cash burn rate for the fourth quarter of 2020 was consistent with the previously announced range.

“We remain focused on improving our liquidity position, managing our operating expenditures and ensuring that our family of brands is ready for the return to service,” noted Mr. Liberty. “We are well positioned to emerge competitively stronger and are eager to start delivering world class vacations – which we expect will lead back to compelling returns and a strong balance sheet.”

The Company noted that as of February 22, 2021, the expected debt maturities for 2021 are $0.4 billion (assuming completion of the remaining $0.4 billion in ECA ship principal amortization deferrals).

Net Interest expense for the first quarter of 2021 is expected to be in the range of $243 million to $247 million.

Capital Expenditures and Capacity Updates:

The expected capital expenditures for 2021 are $2.1 billion. These expenditures are mainly driven by our newbuild projects which have committed financing. During 2021, the Company expects the delivery of Odyssey of the Seas and Silver Dawn during the first and fourth quarters, respectively.

Depreciation and amortization expenses for the first quarter of 2021 are expected to be approximately $310 million.

As it relates to 2022, the Company has two ship deliveries scheduled, both with committed financing: Wonder of the Seas and Celebrity Beyond. Excluding the newbuild deliveries, the capital expenditures for 2022 will depend on the Company’s schedule to return to service.

Since the suspension of operations and during 2020, the Company divested three ships from its fleet: Celebrity Xperience, Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas. The Company also divested three ships being used by its Pullmantur affiliate. Additionally, the Company announced it entered into a definite agreement to sell its Azamara brand which includes three vessels: Azamara Journey, Azamara Quest and Azamara Pursuit.

Fuel Expense:

As of December 31, 2020, the Company had hedged approximately 40%, 23% and 5% of its total projected metric tons of fuel consumption for 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively. The current suspension of the cruise operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in reductions to the forecasted fuel consumption. As of December 31, 2020, the Company had outstanding fuel swaps of 229,850 and 14,650 metric tons maturing in 2021 and 2022, respectively, that no longer hedge the forecasted fuel consumption. For 2021, 2022 and 2023, the annual average cost per metric ton of the fuel swap portfolio is approximately $435, $514, and $580, respectively.

Update on Bookings:

Booking activity for the second half of 2021 is aligned with the Company’s anticipated resumption of cruising. Pricing on these bookings is higher than 2019 both including and excluding the dilutive impact of future cruise credits (FCCs).

While the brands are still in the process of opening for sale the remainder of their 2022/2023 seasons, first and second quarter 2022 sailings have been open for some time. Cumulative advance bookings for the first half of 2022 are within historical ranges and at higher prices. This was achieved with minimal sales and marketing spend which the Company believes highlights a strong long-term demand for cruising.

Since the last business update, approximately 75% of bookings made for 2021 are new and 25% are due to the redemption of FCCs and the “Lift & Shift” program. The Company continues to provide guests on suspended sailings with the option to request a refund, to receive an FCC, or to “lift & shift” their booking to the following year.

As of December 31,2020, the Company had $1.8 billion in customer deposits of which 50% are related to FCCs. Since the suspension of operations, approximately 53% of the guests booked on cancelled sailings have requested cash refunds.

2021 Outlook:

The Company’s operation is still subject to the impact of COVID-19. Consequently, the Company cannot reasonably estimate its financial or operational results. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Company expects to incur a net loss on both a US GAAP and adjusted basis for its first quarter and the 2021 fiscal year, the extent of which will depend on many factors including the timing and extent of the return to service.

Source – Royal Caribbean Group via Press release

Feature image – © Cruisemarsh

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Steel Cutting Commences For P&O Cruises Arvia

 

Steel cutting for Arvia. Image © P&O Cruises

Today marked a major milestone in the construction of P&O Cruises latest newbuild Arvia with the cutting of the first steel.

The new ship – scheduled for delivery in December 2022 – is the second in the Excel Class for P&O Cruises and will be a sister ship to the already completed Iona.

A press release from P&O Cruises this morning read:

A major construction milestone in the future of British cruising has been marked as P&O Cruises cuts the first piece of steel for new ship Arvia.

The 184,700-tonne sister ship to Iona is being built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

The company’s second LNG-powered Excel class ship will join the P&O Cruises fleet in December 2022 and holidays on Arvia go on sale next month.

In a speech at the virtual ceremony P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said:

“The steel cutting marks an extraordinary milestone for the future of P&O Cruises.

“It is a future which will include two of the most environmentally innovative ships in the world today.

“Iona is poised to join our fleet this summer as we return to service and is eagerly anticipated by our employees, crew and certainly by our guests who cannot wait to sail on her during her maiden season from Southampton.

“Whilst Arvia may have a different look and feel to Iona, being built to sail in the sun, the inherent DNA is the same. It is one which exemplifies design excellence, forward-thinking power generation and future-focused experiences. The hardware, technology and interior arrangement of spaces leaves nothing lacking. Every sheet of metal, every control panel, every cabin, light fitting and chair has been designed and debated to ensure that it provides a pinnacle holiday for our guests and the foremost working and living experience for our crew.

“Over the next two years we will see this DNA evolve into our vision as our new ship takes shape and Arvia will join the fleet in December 2022.

“I would like to thank the entire team at Meyer Werft for their partnership and dedication as we begin the build of another spectacular ship.”

The name Arvia, meaning “from the seashore”, was unveiled earlier this month through a video reveal outlining the letters in different locations, all relating to the beach and seashore.

Source – P&O Cruises via press release

Feature image and article image © P&O Cruises

 

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Braemar Returning To Corinth Canal in April 2022

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Braemar will be repeating her record-breaking voyage of the Corinth Canal in April 2022 with a new cruise unveiled by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

Braemar first undertook the passage of the Corinth Canal in October 2019 in which she broke the world record for being the largest ship ever to transit the 6.4km narrow canal.

The 924-guest Braemar will return to the narrow canal once again to complete the feat as part of a 25 night M2212 ‘Corinth Canal & Ancient Greece’ itinerary departing Southampton on 22nd April 2022.

Director of Product and Customer Service at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Clare Ward commented:

“We are proud of all of the cruises we handcraft for our guests, but this one is particularly special.

“Our inaugural Corinth Canal sailing was just breathtaking. Guests took to the deck to watch in awe as Braemar travelled through the canal, with the sides so close they could almost reach out and touch them.

“Captain Jozo Glavic, who navigated the canal, received a standing ovation from guests afterwards as he walked through the ship. It really was a very special cruise indeed. And now, even more guests will be able to experience it for themselves with the launch of this latest cruise.

“But it’s not only the Corinth Canal transit that makes this cruise so exceptional. Guests will also have the opportunity to explore the Acropolis of Athens and its ancient Parthenon; meander the cobbled street of Rhodes’ Old Town; Visit the birthplace of the Olympic Games in Katakolon and take in the ruins of the Palace of Knossos in Crete.

“It’s set to be a truly remarkable cruise from beginning to end and we can’t wait to share the experience all over again. We are expecting this cruise to be extremely popular, so anyone wishing to join us should book their cabin as soon as possible!”

Prices for the 25 night cruise start from £4,999 per person and ports of call include; Malaga (Spain) Milazzo (Italy Messina (Italy) Katakalon (Greece) Argostoli, Kefallonia – transit Corinth Canal – Ermoupoli (Greece) – Piraeus for Athens, Greece) – Rhodes (Greece) – Agios Nikolaos (Crete) – Valletta (Malta) – Ibiza (Ibiza) – Cartagena (Spain) – Lisbon (Portugal) – Southampton (UK)

The cruise will go on general sale tomorrow, Friday 18th February.

Source – Fred. Olsen via Press release

Video © Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Feature image © Cruisemarsh