Book highlights Costa Serena artwork

Book highlights Costa Serena artwork

La Nave del Mito (The Ship of Myth) focuses on the mythology theme of the ship's interiors and artworks. Costa Serena displays 5,990 art pieces, including 440 original works.

The collection was arranged with the help of consultant and Brera Art Academy teacher Nicola Salvatore, with technical-artistic consultancy provided by Studio Cervi & Rossi.

Published by FMR, the book is available on board Costa ships and at authorized FMR sales outlets at a retail price of EUR190.

NULL

Star shares shoot up in robust trading

Star shares shoot up in robust trading

Star closed the session at 26 cents per share, up 8.51%.

Dow Jones Market Talk in Singapore cited two unnamed traders who said rumors of an attempt to take the company private have re-emerged and may be driving the buying.

Star shares in Hong Kong were up 6.38% in weak trading.

NULL

Apollo closes Regent buy, newbuild gets go-ahead

Apollo closes Regent buy, newbuild gets go-ahead

The intent is to place a firm order during the second half of 2008 for delivery in 2011, according to Apollo unit Prestige Cruise Holdings, the parent of Regent Seven Seas.

The initial concept calls for a vessel of similar dimensions and capacity to the 700-passenger all-balcony-suite Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner, but with larger standard suites, an enhanced spa, more dining venues and expanded dining options.

Apollo partner Steve Martinez said his company looks forward to fueling the growth and continued success of Regent.

Frank Del Rio, chairman and ceo of Prestige Cruise Holdings, expressed satisfaction with Regent's current performance in terms of occupancies, yields, profitability, product acceptance and recognition.

'Given the continued growth of the luxury market, the new ship will allow RSSC to add capacity to meet the anticipated demand, and to offer a more diverse range of deployments to include additional longer, more exotic voyages,' he added.

'These are exciting times for us,' said Regent president Mark Conroy. 'Having led our organization since the first year of its operation in 1992, it is personally gratifying to me to see not only how far we have come, but how much further we can go.'

As previously outlined, Regent and Oceania Cruises are under the ownership of Prestige Cruise Holdings and will remain independent brands, with Regent led by Conroy and Oceania led by president Bob Binder, and both reporting to Del Rio.

NULL

HAL reprises apos;Wines of Washingtonapos; cruise

HAL reprises apos;Wines of Washingtonapos; cruise

The cruise will offer wine tastings, wine-maker lunches and dinners, and themed discussions throughout the cruise up the coast.

Leading experts in Washington wines have been chosen to provide insights. At a stop in Seattle, the ship will offer a tour to Chateau Ste. Michelle.

NULL

Amadeus Waterways taps new executive

Amadeus Waterways taps new executive

Figueroa will work closely with Rudi Schreiner, president, and Kristin Karst, vp sales, with duties to include strategic planning. She starts in March.

Figueroa began her career as a business litigator before moving to journalism. She was a reporter for Newsweek magazine and a contributor to numerous consumer and trade outlets before joining TravelAge West as cruise editor. For the past two years, she has served as the magazine's senior editor.

Amadeus Waterways is going through a building boom, having added four vessels in the past two years, with two joining the fleet this year and two more in 2009.

NULL

Celebrity debuts individual incentive certificates

Celebrity debuts individual incentive certificates

The certificates apply to sailings including three-, four-, five- and seven-night cruises for two.

Certificates are available at six levels, ranging from 'Ultra Class,' valid for three- to seven-night trips on Celebrity's Solstice, Millennium and Century classes of ships, to 'First Rate,' valid for three- and four-night sailings on Celebrity's Millennium or Century classes of ships.

NULL

Mardi Gras attraction coming to New Orleans port

Mardi Gras attraction coming to New Orleans port

The move clears the way for the port to enter into an agreement with Mardi Gras World to lease a portion of the Robin Street Wharf and nearby areas as part of a riverfront development strategy to convert unused cargo sheds into new attractions that bring people to the riverfront.

The Mardi Gras World development is expected to give cruise passengers a convenient and distinct New Orleans attraction.

The Robin Street Wharf is the former terminal for the Delta Queen, American Queen and Mississippi Queen, which now use the Erato Street and Julia Street cruise terminals.

NULL

All Leisure on a high

All Leisure on a high

93m) on turnover of £45.4m for the year to October 31 - its maiden full-year results as an AIM-listed group.

Operational highlights included the acquisition of Swan Hellenic, a strong performance by Voyages of Discovery (operator of ocean-going cruise ship Discovery) and the addition of Minerva in November, contracted for six years.

Summer 2008 sales for its Swan Hellenic brand, purchased from Lord Sterling last July, have reached 91% of budgeted revenue.

All Leisure was launched a decade ago and floated on AIM in October raising £10m. It operates worldwide itineraries with Discovery, plus Nile River sailings and earlier this week announced the launch of a Swan's River Cruises in Europe programme for 2009 (see Seatrade Insider 29/01/08).

Roger Allard, chairman of All Leisure and 57% shareholder, said he is on the look out for more cruise tonnage 'by chartering, leasing or purchasing' to satisfy demand from a customer base of cruisers aged 55 and over. 'Our focus on the more mature customer with a relatively stable disposable income and available time continues to be successful even in the current economic climate,' he noted.

NULL

Princess moves to ease disembarkation

Princess moves to ease disembarkation

Moving away from instructing passengers to listen to announcements for their luggage tag color to be called, Princess is now assigning a time and place to assemble on the final morning. Passengers are then escorted to the gangway by a staff member, eliminating the guesswork as to the actual time passengers will disembark.

Jan Swartz, svp sales and customer service for Princess, said the new process gives passengers 'a more gracious send-off.'

They now receive a letter the day before the end of the cruise that outlines their designated time to meet in an assigned public room, depending on their return air arrangements.

Princess said the system is receiving positive feedback, is reducing congestion in the ship's atrium and creating a more relaxed flow for breakfast.

The program is being rolled out fleetwide.

NULL

Cyclone Gene interrupts Blue Lagoon Cruises

Cyclone Gene interrupts Blue Lagoon Cruises

A spokesman in Australia for the Fiji Visitors Bureau said blackouts had closed the Nadi head office for 24 hours and communication has been 'very limited.'

Lautoka-based Blue Lagoon Cruises cancelled a four- and seven-day cruise on Monday and a four-day sailing yesterday.

'All affected passengers were initially accommodated at Blue Lagoon Cruises' expense in the Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka,' a spokesman for the Fijian-owned small ship company said.

He said everyone has been offered a full refund or an alternate cruise.

'It is hoped that normal services will be resumed from tomorrow, subject to weather conditions permitting,' the spokesman added.

Gene has been downgraded to a category one storm and is heading for Vanuatu.

NULL