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Articles from 2011 In January

Victoria Cruises expands Executive Suite Decks to rest of fleet

Victoria Cruises expands Executive Suite Decks to rest of fleet

Victoria Prince, Victoria Queen and Victoria Star will be fully refurbished with new carpeting throughout, renovated lobbies and hallways offering a new look, new curtains in all staterooms as well as new furniture in Executive Suites.

Additionally, the cruise line is adding a new deck to Victoria Queen and Victoria Star, featuring an additional Executive Lounge and à la carte restaurant for Executive Deck passengers (3rd and 4th decks), as well as an elevator for all passengers' convenience. On the Victoria Prince, new furniture will be installed in Deluxe and Shangri-La Suites.

Beginning March 2011, Executive Deck passengers on Victoria Queen, Victoria Star, Victoria Prince and Victoria Empress will enjoy 'white glove' Concierge service, access to exclusive VIP areas, à la carte meal service, private cultural lessons and reserved seating for evening entertainment.

'Some decks on Victoria Queen and Victoria Star in particular will be completely gutted and rebuilt to entirely new specs,' noted Larry Greenman, manager of customer service for Victoria Cruises.

'Executive Deck level upgrades have proven popular with our most discerning guests, particularly those who come to us through tour operators catering to affluent markets,' said Greenman.

Victoria has announced the retirement of Victoria Rose, the last remaining classic ship in its fleet, which sailed its last voyage in November.

Norwegian Sun kicks off wave of NCL ship upgrades

Norwegian Sun kicks off wave of NCL ship upgrades

The new restaurant follows the popularity of the Brazilian steak house on Norwegian Epic where passadors serve skewered meats tableside. Additional work on the 2001-built Norwegian Sun included enhancements to restaurants, public areas and suites, as well as improvements to back-of-house areas to improve efficiency and safety.

Norwegian Sun is the first of three ships this year that will undergo drydock enhancements, along with several that will take place in 2012, according to NCL president and ceo Kevin Sheehan.

Also scheduled for work in 2011 are Norwegian Dawn in May and Norwegian Spirit in September.

On Norwegian Sun, Moderno Churrascaria took over the space formerly occupied by Pacific Heights. Further refurbishments included updated décor in all 33 suites, improvements to the Kids Crew area and new carpets and wall coverings throughout the public areas.

Technical changes included an energy conservation project focused on the ship’s HVAC system to save an estimated six million kilowatts per year (when complete in May), replacement of all potable water piping (continuing over the next 12 to 18 months) and propeller and rudder modifications to reduce power consumption by 6%.

Also, lifeboat davit hooks were replaced with updated hooks to further ensure passenger safety.

Norwegian Sun sails alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral. Beginning in May, the ship will introduce NCL’s first sailings from Copenhagen, nine-day ‘Baltic Capitals’ cruises.

Mexico’s new cruise brand taps AMK for ship upgrade

Mexico’s new cruise brand taps AMK for ship upgrade

The 1,050-berth ship, built in 1971 as Nordic Prince, is currently in Curaçao undergoing refurbishment prior to entering service from Acapulco and Manzanillo in April.

Ocean Star Cruises, with offices in Mexico City and Guadalajara, is targeting middle-class Mexicans by offering an international ship tailored for domestic tastes in dining and entertainment, with Spanish-speaking crew and prices in pesos.

(See full details in News Headlines.)

Harris Pye fails to renew licence for Swansea Dry Docks


'We are naturally extremely disappointed not only for ourselves, but for a potential workforce of up to two hundred people and 50/60 trainees per year who would have graduated from our Training School,' says Mark Prendergast, managing director of the Harris Pye Group.

In late 2009 Saga Shipping selected Swansea Dry Dock to undertake a major refit of its then newly purchased ship, the former Astoria, into Saga Pearl II.

It was the first time in over 10 years that Swansea had handled such a significant ship refit and entailed the facility itself being re-opened and refurbished to carry out the work. The project provided some 300 jobs over a three-month period, enabling SDD to compete for future business.

'We would like to thank all who supported our bid, and those who worked with us in the Docks during late 2009 and throughout 2010. They can take pride in the work they did on Saga Pearl II and on the other vessels/projects that have made use of the two dry docks,' Prendergast added.

Having invested some £500,000 on the Dry Docks, with plans for another £2m to bring the facility up to international standards, Harris Pye also had plans to move the global headquarters of its £100m group to Swansea which would have seen a further investment of £5m.

'Our global business is developing rapidly; and although we are deeply saddened by this decision, we need now to put this disappointment behind us, and move forward with drive and enthusiasm,” says Prendergast.

In addition to its UK HQ Harris Pye Group also has main stations in Dubai and Singapore; and offices and repair facilities in Scandinavia, Portugal, Brazil, Bahrain, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Sharjah and Australia, and is active in many marine and industrial sectors.

Celebrity Infinity will gain Qsine specialty venue

Celebrity Infinity will gain Qsine specialty venue

The novel venue will go into the space that had been planned to house the Tuscan Grille.

‘We’ve been absolutely thrilled with the response to Qsine from our guests on Celebrity Eclipse, and look forward to offering the same engaging experience when Celebrity Infinity presents the venue later this year,’ said Jacques Van Staden, vp culinary operations for Celebrity Cruises.

Qsine is added to earlier announced plans for the ‘Solsticizing’ of this Millennium-class ship. Celebrity Constellation underwent changes last spring that were so well-received the company decided to go further with Celebrity Infinity when it enters Grand Bahama Shipyard for approximately three weeks in November.

As earlier reported, the ship will add the creperie Bistro on Five, an ice-topped Martini Bar, the Cellarmasters wine bar with an Enomatic serving system and the Café al Bacio and Gelateria.

Moreover, it will become the first Millennium-class ship to get AquaClass accommodations, with 37 of those being added, along with six inside staterooms on Deck 11, the Mediterranean-themed Blu restaurant for AquaClass passengers and 17 ocean-view staterooms on Deck 3. Verandas will be added to eight suites.

Celebrity currently plans to similarly refurbish Celebrity Summit in January 2012, followed by Celebrity Millennium in April 2012. The already-revitalized Celebrity Constellation will be further refitted with the additional offerings in April 2013.

Mivan secures over £4m of outfitting business for 2011

Mivan secures over £4m of outfitting business for 2011

The £2m+ contract took place in November and December of last year completing just the week before Christmas. Working once again for Carnival Australia, the scope of work included the speciality restaurant Salt Grill, Waterfront Restaurant, Choc Café and the Connexions & Oasis Bars. The Waterfront Restaurant was the largest area within Mivan’s remit with the inclusion of the wine tasting area as its centrepiece.

The ship’s interiors followed the same design concept as the other ships in the fleet, developed by London based designers SMC Design. The 63,500gt Pacific Pearl had her inaugural cruise from Auckland, joining Carnival Australia’s existing fleet of three ships, Pacific Dawn, Pacific Sun and Pacific Jewel.

On the back of this Mivan has secured over £4m of cruise ship outfitting orders for 2011 in the Bahamas and Europe. The largest of these contracts is the £2.6m fit-out of Grand Princess, taking place in the spring. Other notable contract awards include its first contract with Crystal Cruises for the refurbishment of two retail areas onboard Crystal Serenity designed by II BY IV based in Toronto, Canada. Once again Mivan will be working with SMC Design on the Royal Princess conversion to the new Adonia for Carnival UK.

Mivan business development director Stephen Mills said, 'the cruise ship market continues to be an important part of Mivan’s business and much of the credit must go to the consistent quality of our specialist joinery and project management teams.'

The Mivan Group celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2010.

ALMACO wins multi-million euro refurb on Mein Schiff 2

ALMACO wins multi-million euro refurb on Mein Schiff 2

ALMACO will modernize 900 cabins, build ten new passenger cabins, upgrade 25 food handling areas and build a new fine dining galley. The project will take place during March and April in the Lloyd Werft yard in Bremerhaven as earlier reported here.

In 2009, ALMACO delivered similar scope to TUI Cruises onboard Mein Schiff.

A new company name and COO as Nordica Marine expands

A new company name and COO as Nordica Marine expands

Maritime/finance veteran Leif-Erik Hvide has just joined the company in the newly created coo position, reporting to Nordica founder Roy Petersson and ceo Ronnie Petersson.

Nordica Marine provides turn-key services for ship refurbishments, upgrades and conversions, handling engineering, procurement, project planning and management. On premises are a 24,000sq ft warehouse for storage and assembly of tools and materials.

Hvide said the expansion is related to the current boom in cruise ship upgrades and refurbishments, which he sees continuing for years to come. Many of the company’s projects are at Grand Bahama Shipyard, however services can be provided worldwide.

He said that providing cost-effective services and highly skilled professionals are Nordica’s competitive strengths.

Projects have been completed for Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean International, Club Med, Windstar Cruises, Seabourn and Celebrity Cruises, among others. Nordica is involved in Liberty of the Seas’ upgrade this month at Grand Bahama Shipyard, and future projects include Maasdam, Vision of the Seas and Monarch of the Seas.

Work has included plumbing, electric and HVAC services, engineering and outfitting of new accommodations and public spaces, steel and welding works, and machine installation.

The associated Nordica Marine Services Poland office handles the recruitment of technicians, logistics and engineering services.

Nordica is also a founding member of the newly established Global Interior Group, a marine contracting group that offers complete interior solutions for the cruise and ferry industry with specific emphasis on the Far East.

Hvide joined Nordica after running three hedge funds as md of Miami’s ARE Asset Management. Earlier roles include svp strategic planning with Ocean Development Group, which planned the Four Seasons Ocean Residences project.

The company’s new URL is