Posted in Cruise News

MSC Seaview Touches Water For The First Time

MSC Cruises second ship in the Seaside class, MSC Seaview, touched water for the first time today as part of her float out in Financtieri’s Monfalcone yard in Italy.

The ship, scheduled for delivery in June 2018, was given a ‘technical christening’ before the valves on the dry dock were opened and water rushed into the dock for the first time.  She will then be moved to the outfitting berth where her near complete sister ship, MSC Seaside is undergoing finishing touches before her launch this December.

Champagne in place for technical christening of MSC Seaview. Image: MSC Fans.

MSC Seaview is the second of the Seaside class of cruise ships and along with MSC Seaside have been designed to cruise warmer climates and the ‘ultimate sun and sea cruise experience’.

Measuring 323 metres long with a 154,000grt, the ship will feature a maximum capacity of 5,179 guests. She will then spend her inaugural summer 2018 season in the Mediterranean with ports of calls including Genoa, Naples, Messina, Valletta, Barcelona and Marseille. She will then re-position to Brazil and the Southern Hemisphere for the Winter 2018-19 season and will include visits to Santos, Ilha Grande, Buzios, Porto Belo and Camboriu.

Water enters the dry dock for the float out of MSC Seaview. Image: MSC Cruises.
Pierfancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman was delighted at this major milestone in the construction of MSC Seaview. He said:
 “The float out of MSC Seaview is another significant milestone in the expansion of our fleet. She is part of a ten year investment plan that will have already seen the delivery of six new ships by 2020.”
 “At MSC Cruises, we are truly leading the way with our ship designs, as each new class of ships that we bring into service is rooted in meeting the needs of holidaymakers of different ages, demographics and holiday desires. With MSC Seaview, in particular, our vision has been inspired by our passion for the sea and we are appealing to guests who are seeking the classic elements of a holiday – sun and sea – taken to the next level with a one-of-a-kind fully immersive and interactive seaside experience even whilst cruising at sea.”
 “We are already the market leading cruise brand in the Mediterranean and Europe and the deployment of MSC Seaview in this key region will help us further push boundaries by bringing one of the most innovative cruise ships to an area that we are deeply committed to and is a cornerstone of our business.”
Speaking on behalf of Fincantieri, Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri was pleased with the progress of the construction of MSC Seaview. He stated:
 “MSC Seaview is a challenge that Fincantieri is proud to carry out successfully, as demonstrated by the milestone reached today. She is a spectacular ship, the second of a new generation that is testing all of our best technical and managerial skills, considering that the float out takes place less than nine months away from that of the prototype that launched this class of ships, MSC Seaside. These two beautiful ships require a real endeavour and our Group will deliver them to meet the high expectations of the shipowner in terms of reliability and product quality.”
Cruisemarsh’s editor, Anthony alongside Cruise Capital’s editor, Jordan, will have the chance to experience MSC Seaview on a one night cruise from Genoa to Marseille in November 2018.
Feature Image: MSC Cruises
Images: MSC Fans and MSC Cruises.
Posted in Cruise News

Green Light For Costa NeoClassica To Join Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line?

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line (BPCL) have recieved a boost in their search to add a second cruise ship to their fleet after the Port of Palm Beach Commissioners gave the green light for a multi-ship agreement to sail out of Palm Beach.

It looks increasingly likely that Costa NeoClassica is set to join BPCL after Costa confirmed that she would be leaving their fleet. She would join their former Costa ship, Grand Celebration, in the fleet with both ships opperating out of Palm Beach on alternate days.

Grand Celebration is currently the only ship in the BPCL fleet.

According to Seatrade Cruise News, the agreement will be 10 years with two 5 year renewal options and the agreement could come into force as early as April 2018.

Nothing has been officially announced about Costa NeoClassica joining BPCL but it is anticipated that an announcement will be made in due course.

The potential addition of Costa NeoClassica would certainly be a boost both fincancially and passenger foot fall for the Port of Palm Beach.

Source: Seatrade Cruise News

Feature Image: Fincantieri

Image: Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line (BPCL)

 

Posted in Cruise News

Shay Mitchell Becomes Adventure Ambassador For Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean International have announced that actress and adventure seeker, Shay Mitchell has become an Adventure Ambassador for the cruise line.

The 30 year old, Canadian actress will collaberate with Royal Caribbean experts to build a series of destination experiences for the ultimate Caribbean cruise. She will set sail on board RCI ships around the Caribbean this month and will begin to develop the new, ‘Shay-recommended adventures’.

Shay was delighted to team up with Royal Caribbean and was looking forward to sailing aboard their ships. She said:

“I’ve always had a love for travel, and am fortunate to have been able to explore some of the most amazing places around the world, learning quickly that the journey is as important as the destination.I’m thrilled to take what I have learned from my own travels and dive in with Royal Caribbean to develop the ultimate Caribbean adventure for travelers like me, who are always seeking something new and craving deeper connections to the destinations they visit.”

Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean President and CEO was excited that Shay Mitchell was on board to promote the Caribbean adventures for the cruise lin as they seek the ‘ultimate’ Caribbean cruise. He said:

“It’s in Royal Caribbean’s nature to seek and deliver the unexpected – the adventures and experiences that make travelers’ jaws drop, their adrenaline rise and their memories unforgettable. When we started to think of who could perfectly embody what vacationing with us is all about in our newly created Adventurist role, Shay was someone who rose to the top immediately. She personifies who we are and our spirit – the spirit to ‘Come Seek.’ The ideas that Shay brings to the table will help create an adventure in the Caribbean that will redefine what many think of as a cruise vacation and inspire the next generation of cruisers.”

Shay, most known for her role in TV drama, “Pretty Little Liars”, has travelled the world extensively, trying out new experiences such as hot-air ballooning in Morocco and skydiving in Dubai. She has shared her adventures on her social media platforms, which she now has over 17 million followers. She also has her own YouTube channel called Shaycation, which started in 2015 and has followed her as she sets off on her adventures across the globe.

Shaycation by Shay Mitchell on YouTube.

A star in one of TV’s most popular dramas, “Pretty Little Liars,” Shay’s adventurous spirit has led her to visit some of the world’s most inspiring destinations, from hot-air ballooning over Morocco to skydiving in Dubai. She’s become an expert at seeking out authentic experiences, sharing them with her following of more than 17 million across several social media platforms, including her immersive YouTube series – Shaycation – which debuted in 2015 and gives viewers an inside look at her wanderlust-inducing explorations.

For those wishing to follow Shay on her social media platforms, you can follow her on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube pages and by following #comeseek and #shaycation.

 

Source: Royal Caribbean International.

Feature Image: People.com

 

Posted in Cruise News

Spectrum Of The Seas Steel Cutting Takes Place

The first steel cutting for Royal Caribbean International’s first Quantum Ultra ship took place at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany yesterday.

The new ship will be called ‘Spectrum of the Seas’ and is set to debut in  Spring 2019. It will continue Royal Caribbean’s innovative approach with the Quantum class ships but will be an enhanced and more evolved version.

The ship will be designed specifically for the Asian market and will feature new and exciting ammenities and experiences on board.

Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International was excited at the steel cutting for what will be an remarkable ship. He said:

“Today is a very special day in the development of our new Quantum Ultra ship, Spectrum of the Seas. We are now one step closer to delighting our guests in Asia Pacific with this remarkable ship. Spectrum will be another giant leap forward in vessel design and guest experiences that will provide travelers with ample opportunities to create unforgettable memories.” 

Spectrum of the Seas will measure 168,800grt and will be able to accomodate around 4200 guests.

 

Sources: Royal Caribbean International and Meyer Werft.

Feature Image: Royal Caribbean International.

Posted in Cruise Feature, Cruise News

Setting Up Your Own Cruise Line? Piece Of Cake, Right?

Picture the scene. You’ve inherited a fortune of $1 Billion from a long lost relative whom you never knew were that successful. What would you spend all the lovely dosh on? New cars? New houses? Mmm… perhaps. But if you were cruise ship daft (like us) wouldn’t you want to create your own cruise line? Heck yeah, surely it would be easy peasy with a fortune like that? Right?…….

Well, it might not be as simple as that. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why.

Well, first things first. What would your cruise line be called? To get that off the ground, you need a name and something that is orginal. You can just take an existing cruise line and tweak their name to suit yours. For example, you couldn’t take Royal Caribbean International and call your line International Caribbean Royal. That would be too close and we’re pretty sure you may have a law-suit on your hands from the word go. Mmmmm…. not very wise and could prove costly exercise.

So, after avoiding a law suit, you’ve finally managed to get your name for your new cruise line and it has been registered with the relevant authorities. Well, it’s time to start thinking about who your team is going to be. You can’t really expect to run a company all by yourself surely? No, that would be pretty naive and stupid. So, you’re gonna have to employ a work force who are going to help run your company. There will have to be a structure in place for hierarchy and management too. To try and bring in extra revenue, you’d perhaps be best considering shares and stocks to try and bring in investment. A board of directors is then required too. Now, in terms of staff and management, this is just the shore side people and we haven’t looked at on board crew and staff yet! Gulp…. this is quite strenuous and expensive.

And we have our name for our new cruiseline.

Alongside having a team in place, we need premises to work from. Registered headquarters don’t come cheap and to be based near a major cruise port will be more logical but a heck of a lot more expensive. This is where the bulk of the shoreside staff and management will be working from, so best to get quite a large building, rather than be stuck in a pokey one room office.

So far, we have a name for the cruise line.  We have a team in place, including staff and management and also a board of directors. We also have premises for the registered headquarters. So, the money is beginning to go down but hey, we had a $1 Billion to work from, so we should be alright.

Well, next step would be to either acquire second hand cruise ships or to build brand new ones. This is where the financial pain will kick in. The cheaper option would be acquire cruise ships that are already in service or had been in layup. Hey, depending on the size of ships you want, you could get a few cruise ships for a knock down price. Certainly for a start out company, this would be a sensible option to look at. On the other hand, we could put all our eggs into one basket and go down the route of building a new cruise ship. Considering they cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build, this would severely restrict you going forward in terms of fincances. Unless the ships are very small that you are building, this would be pretty naive to do for a start up cruise line.

Would you build a new ship, like Princess Cruises, Majestic Princess? Image: Princess Cruises.
Or would you purchase older ships just like CMV’s Columbus? Image: Cruisemarsh

With the cruise ship or cruise ships bought/built, our fortune has taken quite a hit. Now we need to find a crew/crews to take charge of the ships. This will be a costly exercise with wages to pay and training programmes to undertake. But hey’ we’ve got them! Another one less thing to worry about.

Itineraries need to be planned for the cruises and negotiations between our company and the ports that we hope to sail to would have to take place, in order for us to get permission to sail there. With that, there are port taxes and fees that we would have to pay for too. This would happen before the ships were ready to be put into service as can take a while to procure dates in various ports of call.

So. we’ve got our itineraries, our ships, our crew, our offices, our staff and management and our name for the cruise line. Things are beginning to take shape but we need a marketing department in order to get our product across. We need brochures to be printed, a team of digital marketers, people to come up with the pricing for the cruises and also a team of social media experts to connect with passengers online.

Supplying the ship/ships are of importance. Each time they end a cruise, food stocks, drinks etc have to be replenished. Re-fueling the ship too won’t be cheap too.

We are closer to the maiden voyage for the cruise ship/ships. However, there is still quite a few things to worry about before the ropes are singled up for departure. For instance, insurance being one thing, along with the employment of lawyers, specialists etc in case of any disputes.  Never take anything for granted.

Another key issue is to survive and to survive we have to make money. Make sure we’ve got our pricing structure correct and also keep the door open for potential investors. Investments are always welcome, especially when we are low on money.

Phew! Just about made it. We could have mentioned so much more about what all is entailed but I think we have got quite a few things to keep us busy in the meantime. Thank goodness though that this is all hypothetical…. otherwise we would need to go and take a lie down in a dark room to overcome the feelings of stress and fear.  Mind you, to inherit $1 Billion would be pretty cool. Drat, we can only dream, can’t we?

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If you had the chance to start your own cruise line, how would you go about it? What would be the name of your cruise line and ship/s? Feel free to comment on our website or on our Facebook page. We would interested to read your ideas.

Posted in Cruise News

New Expedition Training Academy For Silversea

Silversea will be launching a new expedition training academy in which they will be focusing on leadership skills and new recruitment program for their expedition cruises.

The training academy will be made up of a multi-phase program which will cover a whole host of topics including remote skills development. This will be done through a series of webinar sessions which will also focus on what it will be like to work as a Silversea expedition guide in terms of life at sea and guest relations.

Candidates will also experience practical assessment though key areas such as boat handling, first aid and safety at sea course. They will then continue their training on board Silver Clous when she joins the expedition fleet in November and they will spend six weeks on board as she heads to Antarctica.

Once on board, candidates will be tested upon their core competencies and will these will be developed with further intensive training. These will be complimented with various aspects such as academic disciplines, environmental and ecological knowledge and also sustainablilty protocols and training in cultural sensitivity. Experienced expedition staff will guide the candidates though the training process along with additional assistance for educators in that field.

Once the candidates have successfully completed their course, they will then have the opportunity to work the remainder of the season in Antarctica as expedition team members and then they can progress on to other expedition voyages to other regions of the world.

Aboard Silver Cloud, core competencies will be further developed through intensive hands-on training, the company said.

 

Speaking to Cruise Industry News, Conrad Combrink, Vice President of Expedition Planning and Strategic Development, said:

“Our new leadership training academy underscores our commitment to exploring the world with the absolute best team of hand-picked experts to guide and enlighten our guests on expeditions. The goal is to attract candidates who are knowledgeable and passionate, and prepare them for an exciting career working aboard a ship that will take them to amazing places where they will guide our guests in understanding the local history, culture and wildlife.”

Practical experience will deal with the fundamentals of boat handling, first aid, and safety at sea courses and certification. Participants will be invited to train for approximately six  weeks aboard the newly refurbished Silver Cloud when the ship joins the expedition fleet in mid-November for her first season in Antarctica.

Launched in 1994, Silver Cloud was the first ship in the Silversea fleet. For her transition to luxury expedition vessel, she will undergo a multi million refurbishment program between August and October whereby interior changes will see the creation of an observation lounge, new teak flooring, upholstery and lighting in La Terrazza and new carpet and upholstery in The Restaurant. Silver Cloud will also benefit from the addition of a  new gym with Technogym equipment.  There will also be changes to the exterior of the ship, with her hull to be strengthened in order for her to sail in Polar waters. Guest capacity will be 260 for non polar regions whilst expeditions to the Polar will be 200 so as everyone on board can disembark at the same time to explore the regions.

 

Source: Cruise Industry News/Silversea

Feature Image: Silversea

Posted in Cruise News

Majestic Princess Named In Shanghai

Princess Cruises latest new build, Majestic Princess has been named in a ceremony in Shanghai yesterday, 9th July.

The ship, which has just completed her voyage from Europe on the ‘Silk Road’ route was named by Yao Ming and his wife, Ye Li who are two of China’s most famous basketball players.

Majestic Princess is the latest addition to the fleet and is sister to Royal and Regal Princess. Image: Princess Cruises.

On board for the naming ceremony were Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation, Jan Swartz Group President of Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia, Wang Hong, the party secretary of Baoshan District and director general of Shanghai International Cruise Business Institute and a host of Chinese Travel agents and local and national media.

“We are honored to serve as the Majestic Princess Naming Ambassadors for Princess Cruises. I’m inspired that Princess Cruises also cares so deeply about youth development in China and appreciate their support of our foundation. We look forward to enjoying a future cruise vacation aboard Majestic Princess.” Said Yao Ming.

Arnold Donald spoke of his delight at the addition of Majestic Princess and that it was a marker of Princess Cruises and Carnival Corporation’s commitment to the growing Chinese cruise market. He said:

“The Majestic Princess inaugural celebration was remarkable for Princess Cruises as well as Carnival Corporation, as we continue to strategically reinforce our long-term commitment to the growing cruise industry in China.We believe all Chinese families will appreciate the value of cruising as a new vacation option and create life-long memories from their experiences aboard Majestic Princess.”

At 143,700grt and 1083 ft long, Majestic Princess will be able to accomodate 3560 passengers and tomorrow, 11th July, she will depart on her inaugural cruise from her homeport of Shanghai.

 

 

Source: Cruise Industry News & Princess Cruises

Images: Princess Cruises

 

 

Posted in Cruise News

Steel Cutting For Third Vista Ship For Carnival Begins

The steel cutting process for the construction of Carnival Cruise Line’s third Vista class ship began on Friday 7th July at Fincantieri’s yard in Maghera.

Steel cutting for Carnival’s third Vista Class ship has started at Fincantieri’s Marghera yard. Image: Fincantieri

A sister ship for Carnival Vista and the currently under construction Carnival Horizon, she is due for delivery in Autumn 2019.

At 133,500grt, 323m long, the new Carnival ship will be able to accomodate more than 3900 guests in 1987 passenger cabins.

The new Carnival ship will incorporate the features of her older sisters with the inclusion of features such as the IMAX cinema, restaurants, shops and the Havana Area. Guests in the Havana grade of cabins (with their own personal patio/balcony) can enjoy exclusive use of the Havana Pool during the daytime.

Carnival Vista entered service in 2016 and has proved to very popular. Carnival Horizon will join her older sister in March 2018 and then 2019 they both will welcome the third in the class.

Source and Image: Fincantieri

Feature Image: Carnival Cruise Line

 

 

 

 

Posted in Cruise News

Saga Pearl II No-Show Frustrates Swansea

After months of planning and organisation being put into place, Swansea were left disappointed when the scheduled visit of Saga Cruises, Saga Pearl II failed to materialise on Saturday 2nd July.

With tour companies arranged to take the passengers on tours of the city and surrounding areas, there was an air of disappointment in the Welsh city.

Saga Pearl II had been scheduled to visit the port in conjunction with the second day of the Welsh National Airshow, which would be attracting over 250,000 people.

However, the tidal window on offer for Saga Pearl II wasn’t sufficient enough for her to dock in the Welsh Port. Speaking to Wales Online, a spokesman for Saga explained:

“It just wasn’t possible to dock in Swansea on the day because of the tidal window. It would have meant the passengers would only have had an hour there, so we diverted to Holyhead,” 

A spokesperson for the port’s owner, Associated British Ports (ABP) confirmed that the tidal access window wasn’t suitable for Saga Pearl II. They said:

 “The tidal access window that they had wasn’t suitable for their passengers. The ship would have had to sail at lunchtime or in the night. Saga like their passengers to have full-day tours.”

Swansea Council reaffirmed their disappointment at the last minute cancellation from Saga Pearl II but was still aiming to attract cruise ships to the city, along with Cruise Wales and various cruises lines. A spokesperson for the council said:

“We were disappointed to hear, at short notice, that the Saga Pearl would no longer be visiting Swansea as we had a programme of activities organised to welcome the cruise visitors, as we do for every cruise that calls into Swansea. However, we will continue to work with our partners in Cruise Wales to attract cruise ships in future. It was a fantastic weekend for tourism, thanks to the Wales Airshow attracting over 250,000 spectators.”

This isn’t something new though and it should be noted that cruise ships sometimes have to alter their itineraries at the shortest of notice due to various reasons such as the weather or tidal conditions.

Saga Pearl II arriving into Southampton in October 2016. Images: Cruisemarsh

 

At 18,591 tons and draught of 20 feet, Saga Pearl II is small enough to get into some of the ports that the larger cruise ships can’t access. With only 449 guests and 252 crew on board, the ship has a country house style atmosphere in which guests can enjoy a relaxing and traditional cruise experience without feeling overcrowded.

February 2019 will see Saga Pearl II depart the Saga fleet as preparations are made for their new build, Spirit of Discovery, which is due to enter service in the summer of 2019.

Images: Cruisemarsh

Source: Wales Online

Posted in Cruise News

Costa To Market Asia Based Ships To International Market

Costa Victoria and Costa neoRomantica will be operating a new exotics program for Costa Cruises for winter 2017-18 in Asia with sales not just restricted to the Asian market but will also be available to the European and American markets.

Costa Victoria will embark on week long cruises from Singapore in January and February 2018 and will alternate between two itineraries. The first itinerary will visit Koh Samui (Thailand), overnight in Bangkok and also a visit to Silhanoukville in Cambodia.  The second itinerary will feature calls to Kuala Lumpar (Malaysia), the island of Langkawi (Malaysia), an overnight in Phuket (Thailand) and further calls to Penang and Malacca in Malaysia.

Costa Victoria will also offer a spectacular 23 night in February 2018 from Singapore to Savona.

Costa neoRomantica will be offering a series of 8 night cruises between October 2017 and January 2018. Sailing from Tokyo, the itineraries will call at Nagoya, Okinawa, Miyakojima and Keelung. In October and November 2017, passengers will be able to combine this itinerary with another 6 night itinerary which will increase their ports of calls to Kobe, Osaka, Jeju (South Korean Island) and Kagoshima. There will also be a specail Christmas 10 day itinerary calling at Kobe, Amam iOshima, Ishigaki, Okinawa (Overnight), Yokkaichi and Keelung in Taiwan.

Costa Victoria. Image: Costa Cruises Asia.

 

Speaking in Cruise Industry News, Massimo Brancaleoni, Senior Vice President of Worldwide sales for Costa Cruises, was excited about the deployments of Costa Victoria and Costa neoRomantica and gives further options for cruising in Asia during the Winter period. He said:

“Our new Asian itineraries are the result of a continuous dialogue with our guests and trade partners. We perceived an interest for new exotic destinations and we quickly answered to satisfy this desire. We are confident that these new options will even further enrich and diversify our selection of winter cruises, and that our past guests and those new to cruising will find very appealing when planning upcoming holidays. As an added benefit, it is always important for us to provide our trade business partners with a larger portfolio of opportunities.”

Costa neoRomantica. Image: Costa Cruises Asia,

Costa neoRomantica and Costa Victoria are two of the oldest ships in the Costa fleet with both entering service in 1993 and 1996 respectively. They are also two of the smallest ships in the fleet at 57,1500grt and 75,166grt,  with both being refitted in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Costa neoRomantica emerged from her refit in 2012 with two and a half new decks, 111 new cabins, new coffee bar, show lounge bar and a night club and most importantly a name change from Costa Romantica to Costa neoRomantica.

 

Images: Costa Cruises Asia.

Source: Cruise Industry News.