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Articles from 2008 In January


Newbuild planned for Great Barrier Reef cruises

Newbuild planned for Great Barrier Reef cruises

This follows the surprise announcement that CCC's purpose-built 150-passenger Reef Endeavour, which entered service in 1996 and underwent a refit in December, is to be sold.

The two Australian family-owned companies have joined forces to offer passengers booked to travel in Reef Endeavour after Feb. 25 alternative cruises aboard Coral Princess I and Coral Princess II.

A spokesperson for Captain Cook Cruises said the joint plans to consolidate operations in the Great Barrier Reef and build a luxury niche ship are the result of 'long-term discussions' between Capt. Trevor Haworth, who founded CCC in 1970 and Capt. Tony Briggs, who founded Coral Princess Cruises in 1984.

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Silversea to open regional res centre in Sydney

Silversea to open regional res centre in Sydney


Odell said current representation agreements with all business partners in Australia and New Zealand will conclude on April 18.


In January last year Odell announced that the Australian arm of Virtuoso and Trailfinders had become Silversea representatives, along with the company's original general sales agents -- Cruise Brokers and Wiltrans.


Last March Odell named Cruiseco, a nation-wide consortium of travel agencies, as another business partner.


'We will have ongoing relationships with all of these partners,' Odell told Seatrade Insider today.


While Odell is expected to appoint previous partners as preferred agents and preferred wholesalers, Silversea's online booking system will be available to other travel agents.


'We are extending our technology to enable agents to obtain fast, efficient quotes and responses to their bookings,' he said.


'Our business levels clearly prove that the Silversea market from this region is now so substantial that we need to take day-to-day control of our business and at the same time extend our profile to work with a wider cross-section of the industry,' he said.


He said the recruitment of staff is underway and that this 'quite big investment' is 'a vote of confidence' in the Asia Pacific region, the company's fastest growing source market in the world.

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Singapore targets 10.8m tourists in 2008

Singapore targets 10.8m tourists in 2008

5bn. This represents a 12% increase in tourism receipts and a 5.4% rise in visitors, announced S. Iswaran, minister of State and Industry, yesterday. Singapore had a record 10.3m tourists last year.

Among events that will draw more tourists into the city are the inaugural Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix night race to be held in September.

Two major integrated resorts are under construction in Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, ready in 2009, and Gardens Marina South, in 2010. Marina South is also the chosen location for the long-awaited cruise terminal, which will be able to accommodate larger ships and planned to be completed by 2010.

Cheong Teow Cheng, president, Singapore Cruise Centre, told Seatrade the number of cruise passengers handled in 2007 grew by 8% to more than 900,000 passengers.

Singapore is still on target to reach 17m tourists by 2015.

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Grand Turk calls continue to climb

Grand Turk calls continue to climb

Thirty-six ships from 15 cruise lines visited in 2007. Of those, six were Carnival Corp. & plc brands.

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QM2 premieres Europeapos;s apos;Giants of Cultureapos;

QM2 premieres Europeapos;s apos;Giants of Cultureapos;

'

This series of cardboard and mixed media sculptures were designed by French artist Dan Mestanza to represent the 20 ETC participating countries and showcase the ETC's 2008 culture and tourism campaign.

The presentation featured the 2008 European Cultural Capitals, Liverpool and Stavanger, along with a 'giant' sculpture created for Queen Mary 2.

The 'Giants of Culture and Travel' are now on display at New York's JFK International Airport (Terminal 4) through spring following their unveiling on the Cunard liner.

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Fincantieri launches Ruby Princess

Fincantieri launches Ruby Princess

The 116,000gt sister to Crown Princess and Emerald Princess is scheduled to enter service in the autumn.

On hand for the ceremony were Alan Buckelew, president of Princess; Stuart Hawkins, vp newbuilding for Cunard and Princess; Enrico Buschi, general manager, Merchant Ships for Fincantieri; and Carlo De Marco, head of Monfalcone shipyard.

Godmother for the launch was Rita Ratcliffe, wife of Ian Ratcliffe, who is in charge of the Princess office at Monfalcone.

Ruby Princess is the 24th cruise ship to be built at Monfalcone since 1990 and the 13th for Princess cruises.

Monfalcone's orderbook includes the 113,000gt Ventura for P&O Cruises and an unnamed P&O newbuild for 2010, the 130,000gt Carnival Dream and Carnival Magic for Carnival Cruise Lines and Queen Elizabeth for Cunard.

Carnival Dream's keel is to be laid next week. The two Carnival newbuilds will be the largest passenger ships ever built by Fincantieri.

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Majestic offers new Alaska savings

Majestic offers new Alaska savings

Rates for 19 seven-night Inside Passage sailings now start at $1,999 per person, double occupancy. Returning customers get an additional $100 off.

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Torrent takes Carnivalapos;s top sales role

Torrent takes Carnivalapos;s top sales role

Torrent most recently served as president and ceo of Costa Cruise Lines-North America.

At Carnival, she takes responsibility for business development managers throughout the U.S. and Canada, Carnival's call centers in Florida and Colorado Springs, Colo., embarkation teams in the line's 20 homeports and the company's CARE Team.

'Travel agents are the key component of our distribution system and we're very happy to have someone of Lynn's caliber leading this effort,' said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and ceo. 'She is a highly talented and respected executive with wide-ranging knowledge and experience.'

A 13-year cruise industry veteran, Torrent spent the last six years with Carnival Corp. & plc, with three years as vp corporate marketing prior to the Costa position. She began her cruise career in 1995 as evp sales, marketing and passenger services for Renaissance Cruises.

Torrent said she looks forward to working with what she called 'the best sales force in the travel industry.'

Costa said it has launched a search for a successor to Torrent and expects to make an announcement in the near future.

'We are very happy that Lynn has the opportunity to join our sister company, Carnival Cruise Lines,' said Gianni Onorato, president of Costa Cruises. 'Lynn has done a great job of establishing the Costa brand in the North American marketplace and all of us here will certainly miss her and wish her the best of luck in her new position.'

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apos;Travel Agent Thursdayapos; to debut at Seatrade

apos;Travel Agent Thursdayapos; to debut at Seatrade

Travel Agent Thursday @ Seatrade Cruise Shipping is set to debut March 13, the final day of the convention, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Organized by CMP Information in cooperation with the Cruise Lines International Association, Travel Agent Thursday @ Seatrade Cruise Shipping combines educational opportunities with free access to the world's largest annual cruise industry trade show.

'Most cruises are sold by travel agents, and working with CLIA we've added an educational element to Cruise Shipping Miami that will help agents develop their skills,' said Michael Kazakoff, vp of CMP Information, organizers of the convention. 'We've also built time into the schedule to enable agents to attend the trade show and see the latest shipboard trends and gather valuable destination information.'

CLIA trainers will conduct two educational sessions aimed at increasing agents' knowledge and productivity. The seminars earn points toward CLIA certifications.

Agents can register at http://www.cruiseshipping.net/conferenceRegistration.html (select 'Proceed to Online Registration,' then 'Register Now' at the top of the page and enter priority code THU8).

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Sasso: MSCapos;s New York ambitions still live

Sasso: MSCapos;s New York ambitions still live

Northeast, Rick Sasso, president and ceo of the USA division, told Seatrade Insider.

Several years ago, MSC announced it would base a ship in New York but the company subsequently decided there was more pressing need to meet booming demand in Europe. Now, with MSC's big fleet expansion - four newbuilds under construction - wider deployment possibilities are back on the table.

'New York and the Northeast need an Italian ship back home,' Sasso said. 'We're still setting the target of trying to have some presence by Spring 2010.'

Before that, MSC Cruises' maiden call to New York City is scheduled for May 5-6, 2009, with MSC Orchestra.

'It's going to be a nice event. We will probably tie it in with promotions in New York since we still have ambitions to be a prominent player in the Northeast,' Sasso told Seatrade Insider. 'We're having on-going discussions with the New York ports, the Northeast ports and Bermuda,' he added.

With MSC Orchestra joining the Caribbean line-up in the 2008/09 season, MSC Cruises USA can tout expanded itineraries to North American travel agents and customers. The ship joins MSC Lirica, which returns for another season.

Along with the first call to New York, the line will make a first visit to Bermuda in 2009. MSC Orchestra's Bermuda sailing is a seven-night itinerary round-trip from Fort Lauderdale on April 25. Three days in Bermuda and a day in Nassau are included.

The two-day New York call is part of the ship's 18-night repositioning voyage from Fort Lauderdale on May 2, 2009, to Copenhagen, via Dover. Other ports are Ponta Delgado in the Azores, Lisbon, and Spain's Vigo and La Coruña.

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