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Articles from 2018 In January

AIDAnova to operate pre-christening cruises

(Rendering: AIDA Cruises)
AIDAnova is going to make its first call in Hamburg on Nov. 19

The first cruise, four nights to Hamburg via Oslo, will depart directly after the handover to AIDA Cruises from Meyer Werft in Bremerhaven on Nov. 15. A number of mini-cruises from Hamburg will follow, taking passengers to Rotterdam or, on a longer voyage, to Oslo.

On Dec. 2 AIDAnova is scheduled to depart Hamburg bound for the Canary Islands to begin regular service.

Sales for the newly added 'pre-premiere' cruises open Feb. 1.

AIDAnova is currently under construction at Meyer Werft, with her engine sections pre-fabricated by Neptun Werft. AIDA's new flagship will be the world's first cruise vessel that can operate entirely on LNG, cutting nitrogen oxide emissions by 80% and carbon dioxide emissions by 20% in comparison to a cruise ship of the same size operating on HFO.

AmaWaterways promotes two to directors of national accounts

Donna Cook and Alex Pinelo will work to develop and execute strategic sales and marketing programs with national account partners

AmaWaterways said Pinelo, who signed on in May after a long career with Norwegian Cruise Line, has successfully overseen development of new Latin American markets and expanded the company’s existing relationships with the travel agent community throughout the region. He will retain the responsibility for this key initiative in his expanded role.

Cook, who joined AmaWaterways in September after 14 years with Crystal Cruises in several senior roles in sales and operations, has overseen new Ama projects in key areas of revenue management and sales reporting.

Pinelo and Cook will work closely with AmaWaterways' 23 business development managers and sales coordinators across the US and Canada to develop and execute strategic sales and marketing programs with national account partners.

Gary Murphy, co-owner and VP sales, said AmaWaterways places tremendous value on the close relationships it has built with national account partners.

'We are thrilled that Alex and Donna have taken on these roles and, along with their existing passion for our business, will bring their exceptional leadership skills to further develop this important segment of our network,' Murphy added.

This year AmaWaterways introduces AmaLea, the 156-passenger sister of AmaKristina, to service on the Danube and seasonal 'Christmas Markets' and 'Tulip Time' itineraries.

2019 will bring the largest fleet expansion since the company’s start, with three new vessels. AmaMagna will be almost twice the width of traditional European river cruise ships. AmaMora, a sister of AmaLea and AmaKristina, will sail the Rhine. And AmaDouro, sister of AmaVida, will operate on the Douro.

Meyer Werft cuts steel for 2019's Norwegian Encore

Let the steel-cutting begin - Andy Stuart, second from left, with Meyer's Tim Meyer, left, and, right, Meyer's Thorsten Kroes and Stephan Schmees. At far right, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' Harry Sommer

It's apparently a change of plans. One year ago, Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, had indicated the ship would be designated for the China market as a sister of Norwegian Joy.

Norwegian executives including Andy Stuart, president and CEO, gathered at Meyer's laser center to signal the start of steel-cutting for the 167,800gt ship.

Norwegian Encore is the fourth and final newbuild in the Breakaway Plus class, following Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss.

Also on hand were executives from Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Meyer Werft.

'We are excited to start production for Norwegian Encore and to create another floating destination for Norwegian Cruise Line,' said Stephan Schmees, executive board member, project management ships, Meyer Werft.

Delivery is set for Oct. 31 next year.

U by Uniworld has starring role in upcoming 'The Bachelor' episode

(Photo: U by Uniworld)
Will this cozy setting, The B's Rooftop, be one of the venues for romance on 'The Bachelor?'

The Feb. 5 installment will showcase U by Uniworld’s ship, The B, as the home for the remaining women while in France as they continue their journey to find love with the newest bachelor, Arie Luyendyk Jr.

This marks the first time a cruise has ever been featured on the show, currently in its 22nd season. Viewers can follow along and join in on the conversation at @UbyUniworld during the episode via #TravelforU and #TheBachelor.

Six years ago, Luyendyk was in love and a day away from proposing to the woman of his dreams. And then, she broke his heart. After a tearful exit on Emily Maynard’s (now Emily Maynard Johnson) season of ABC’s 'The Bachelorette,' Luyendyk stepped away from the spotlight, retired from his career as a Formula 1 racer and shifted gears to become a real estate broker in Scottsdale, Arizona.

As the narrative goes, now Luyendyk, 36, is back and ready to race into America’s heart again when he returns for a second shot at love.

The 'U by Uniworld' episode will air 8 p.m. ET/PT Monday on ABC.

South Australia’s SeaLink appoints new representative in New Zealand

Laura Wadsworth will promote Australia's Murray River cruises in New Zealand

Wadsworth replaces Anne Radonich who is retiring after six years in the job.

SeaLink bought Captain Cook Cruises and its Murray River paddlewheeler Murray Princess from the late Capt. Trevor Haworth in 2011.

The 120-passenger purpose-built Murray Princess, which is based in Mannum, 84km east of Adelaide, operates regular three-, four- and seven-night itineraries, with transfers to and from Mannum and Adelaide.

The classic river boat was designed along the lines of the hundreds of vessels that used to trade up and down the Murray River. Modern-day river vessels have imitation paddles, but Murray Princess has authentic massive stern propelled paddlewheels.

Wadsworth, who established Sunseeker Travel Marketing and Representation in 2002 as a sales and marketing service for hotels and resorts in the South Pacific region, began her travel industry career with Flight Centre Travel Group New Zealand.

‘I’m delighted to welcome Laura to the SeaLink and Captain Cook Cruises  team,’ Richard Doyle, SeaLink’s gm global sales and distribution, said.

‘Laura brings to the role a wealth of skill, experience and knowledge which will be a great asset to the company and ensure our strong relationships with our New Zealand distribution partners continues to grow,’ Doyle said.


New Orleans tops 1.1m passenger movements

(Photo: Port of New Orleans)
Carnival Dream in New Orleans

'We expect additional growth in 2018 and will continue to provide high-level service that complements New Orleans’ natural hospitality and vibrant energy. We hold ourselves to high standards and work to exceed expectations,' port president and CEO Brand Christian said.

The port offers two modern cruise terminals located close to the historic French Quarter and other attractions, and a majority of passengers add a night or two before or after their trips, making a cruise from New Orleans 'two vacations in one.'

Newer, larger ships are on the way.

Royal Caribbean International will deploy Vision of the Seas on seasonal, seven-night cruises starting in December.

Norwegian Cruise Line will replace Norwegian Pearl with Norwegian Breakaway in November as the largest cruise ship ever to sail from New Orleans.

Carnival Cruise Line will add more capacity for short cruises in 2019 when Carnival Valor replaces Carnival Triumph. Carnival Dream will also take over from Carnival Glory next year.

And Norwegian Getaway will replace Norwegian Breakaway in 2019.

When it comes to river cruises, this year in September American Cruise Lines will introduce its new American Song to New Orleans.

'Homeporting newer and larger cruise ships in 2018 adds to our city’s excitement as we celebrate our 300th birthday,' Christian added. 'This is great news for tourists, residents and the region’s hospitality industry.'

Long-serving Perez ascends to SVP, Tate to EVP at Carnival

Ken Tate, left, oversees revenue management, ship deployment and trade/direct sales channels, while Adolfo Perez is responsible for business development teams and trade marketing functions in the US, Canada and international markets

As VP sales and trade marketing since 2015, Perez has led the rollout of several successful initiatives and programs for travel agents and reestablished partnerships with various associations. In his new role, he'll continue to be responsible for business development teams and trade marketing functions in the US, Canada and international markets.

'Adolfo has been critical to driving growth in our travel agent business, both domestically and internationally, and we want to recognize the success of his leadership and the efforts of his team and the results they have delivered,' Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy said.

Perez joined Carnival in 1982 as an embarkation agent and has held multiple managerial positions in sales and reservations, including VP of reservations sales, overseeing the line’s contact centers where he developed many relationships within the travel agent community. Before his sales and trade marketing role, Perez launched the company’s international sales and marketing office in London then, on his return to the US, served as VP new markets and product marketing.

He so dedicated that during last year's 'Agentpalooza' tour, he even got tattooed with the phrase 'Travel agents rock.'

Now EVP and chief commercial officer, Tate is responsible for revenue management and ship deployment, as well as trade and direct sales channels. Previously he was SVP revenue management since 2015. Tate joined Carnival as VP revenue management in 2012.

Celebrity claims a first with legal same-sex wedding at sea

(Photos: Celebrity Cruises)
Scenes from the shipboard wedding of Francisco Vargas and Benjamin Gray

The grooms were joined by their immediate family for an intimate ceremony officiated by Capt. Dimitrios Manetas. They exchanged vows against the backdrop of the rose wall in Blu Restaurant.

Celebrity president and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo congratulated the couple and called it a 'privilege to know that the ceremony performed on board Celebrity Equinox has made history as the first legal same-sex marriage at sea.' She added: 'Together we are paving the way for couples around the world to know that their love and commitment is to be celebrated equally, and that everyone is welcome on board a Celebrity cruise.'

'We are humbled to follow the trailblazers in the LGBTQ+ community who paved the way for us,' Gray said.

Vargas, who works for one of Celebrity’s top travel partners, Cruise Planners, expressed appreciation for the 'outpouring of support from our Cruise Planners family' and the 'hope our story brings strength for others in the LGBTQ+ community to confidently love whoever they choose.'

As announced in October, a parliamentary referendum in Malta—where the majority of Celebrity's ships are registered—opened the door for Celebrity to legally recognize same-sex marriages performed on board while at sea, with captains officiating.


Weaker dollar lifts Carnival outlook for Q1 and 2018


Based on Jan. 24 fuel costs and foreign exchange rates, adjusted earnings per share would go up 2 cents in the first quarter and 15 cents for full year 2018, according to a filing.

On Dec. 19, Carnival had projected Q1 EPS in a range of 37 cents to 41 cents, and full year EPS in a range of $4 to $4.30.

The 15-cent increase for the full year derives from a 17-cent per share lift from foreign currency exchange rates, partially offset by higher fuel prices net of lower forecasted realized losses on fuel derivatives of 2 cents per share.

The Wall Street consenus for Carnival's first quarter EPS is 42 cents, and for 2018 is $4.27.

CCL closed at $71.94 Monday, up 50 cents per share.

Balmoral kicks off Rouen’s longest season ahead of Armada in 2019

Balmoral in Rouen in front of the Gustave-Flaubert Vertical Lift-bridge

Guests were able to enjoy the Museum of Fine Arts founded in 1801 by Napoleon, which houses the most valuable collection of impressionist art outside Paris, the Joan of Arc Museum using some of the very rooms where her trial, condemnation and eventual pardon took place, combining history with the latest 3D technology to bring the period to life, and ‘The Panorama’, the only one of its kind in France, consisting of minute attention to detail, viewed from ground level or from various gantries inside a 28mtr rotunda. Some guests went further afield to Giverny and Paris.

Rouen is also preparing for the 30th anniversary of its Armada, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of D-Day next year. Held every five years for 10 days, the first event was held in 1989 to celebrate 200 years since the French Revolution.

Over 50 ships were welcomed during the last Armada and next year, Azamara Journey, Cruise & Maritime Voyage’s Marco Polo and Phoenix Reisen’s Deutschland will be visiting during the event.

Guests from cruise ships in Honfleur and Le Havre will also be able to see the spectacle