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Articles from 2005 In October


Strong potential for European cruising

Strong potential for European cruising

In his opening address at the start of Seatrade Europe in Hamburg today, ECC chairman Pier Luigi Foschi predicted the figure would grow to 4.8m by 2014.

With current cruise passenger counts representing just 1% of the overall holiday market compared to 4% in North America and Europe's population being of an equal size (plus Europeans get more holidays), 'the European cruise market has all the right ingredients to grow further,' Foschi added. He observed the 5% growth recorded between 2003 and 2004 was limited by capacity constraints -- 'simply not enough new capacity was introduced to match demand.'

Commentating on the supply/demand issue Carnival UK chairman David Dingle predicted 4.6m Europeans would cruise by 2010 although, based on newbuild capacity currently on order, the figure might only reach 4.1m. However, Dingle advised not to underestimate British passengers travelling on UK-based North American ships - a trend which started this year and is set to continue. 'This could result in 12% annual growth in the British market to 1.7m or even 1.8m passengers by 2010,' he stated.

Europe's second largest source market, Germany, is expected to reach the one million mark by the end of the decade. According to AIDA Cruises president Michael Thamm, 640,000 Germans will cruise this year , rising to 700,000 in 2006. Penetration stands at 0.7% of the overall holiday market compared to a 42.4% penetration enjoyed by the tour operator sector, he added.

Referring to the European cruise market as 'still in its infancy,' Foschi described the 10% average growth recorded annually for the past decade as 'remarkable'. Foschi spoke of the work underway at the ECC, two years old next April and with 20 member lines. 'It is essential for the European cruise market to have a cohesive voice in front of the EU,' he urged.

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ECC raises industryapos;s profile in Brussels

ECC raises industryapos;s profile in Brussels

Whilst the European cruise market is still in its infancy, according to ECC chairman Pier Luigi Foschi the sector has experienced remarkable growth in the past decade.

Europe as a destination is also gaining in popularity. The Mediterranean and North Europe are now the second and third most popular destinations worldwide.

Of the 2.8m Europeans who cruised in 2004, 70% chose an itinerary in European waters, Foschi said today at the State of the Industry debate on the opening day of Seatrade Europe in Hamburg.

Foschi spoke of the ECC's role of providing a cohesive voice for the sector amongst the various legislators in Brussels as well as generating an awareness of the cruise product amongst consumers.

The association has commissioned an economic impact study which should be ready November 2006. Foschi predicted it will provide 'valuable statistics and information to show both socially and politically the benefits created by the sector both directly and indirectly.'

Amongst the most important issues currently being tackled by the ECC, Foschi singled out reduction in air emissions, the Athens Convention, labour standards, passenger rights, taxation and security.

Asked by Seatrade Insider about the perception of the various governing bodies in Brussels to the cruise sector, Foschi answered that generally there is a good degree of listening. 'If you show you have a "good citizen" attitude, you will be rewarded,' he said.

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Monterey as trail blazer?

Monterey as trail blazer?

The vessel remains in Europe.

While the 1952-built Monterey had not been expected to sail again under the MSC banner due to the company's fleet renewal strategy, Vago left the door open for a possible new assignment. Calling Monterey 'a beauty' and 'a venerable and much-loved lady with a 65% repeat factor this year,' Vago said it would be difficult to take the ship out of service.

The MSC Cruises chief could not tell what the future holds for Monterey but, he noted: 'It is a moving market. Opportunities present themselves. Maybe we will use her as a trail blazer for a untried market ... Who knows?'

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Cruiseport Boston posts record

Cruiseport Boston posts record

The Caribbean-bound voyage marks the 100th call at the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) terminal during the 2005 season. Passenger numbers are expected to well exceed original projections of 225,000, setting a new record for Cruiseport Boston.

The previous regular-season record was in 2002, when 209,641 passengers visited during 93 calls (post-9/11 numbers were even higher due to diversions of New York-bound ships). In 2004, 95 calls carried 199,453 passengers.

The 2005 season stretched from May into November and featured 15 cruise lines providing itineraries to New England/Canada, Bermuda and the Caribbean. September and October saw the heaviest traffic, with more than 140,000 passengers passing through the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal, accounting for more than half the season's total passenger count.

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Worldapos;s Largest Cruise Night yields results

Worldapos;s Largest Cruise Night yields results

2m in agent commissions. Held on Oct. 19, the full day of diverse promotional events drew nearly 25,000 consumers to more than 400 travel agency locations, according to the sponsor, Cruise Lines International Association.

CLIA estimated the promotions will yield a total of 7,273 bookings. Through Oct. 27, participating agencies reported $4.73m in cruise sales, which will result in more than $600,000 in commissions.

Ninety-seven percent of agencies that registered with CLIA actually conducted an event -- and 86 percent said they plan to launch a similar event for the 2006 World's Largest Cruise Night.

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Norwegian Dawn to chart Bermuda

Norwegian Dawn to chart Bermuda

The cruise will depart New York on Saturdays from May 13 through Aug. 26 and offer a day in Bermuda, a day at Great Stirrup Cay and an overnight in Nassau.

After its new Bermuda/Bahamas season, Norwegian Dawn will commence its previously published Canada/New England program. Then, on Oct. 15, the ship introduces a new seven-day itinerary featuring Port Canaveral, Grand Bahama, Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau (overnight). The program will operate through the Nov. 26, 2006 cruise, then Norwegian Dawn returns to its previously published 10- and 11-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.

This November, Norwegian Spirit joins year-round service from New York. Norwegian Cruise Line also deploys a seasonal ship, Norwegian Crown, from New York during the summers.

Customers booked on the previously published Norwegian Dawn seven-day Florida/Bahamas itinerary who want to move to the six-day Florida/Bahamas cruise on Norwegian Spirit will receive up to a three-category upgrade or a shipboard credit of $50. Otherwise, bookings will be moved to the new seven-day Bermuda/Bahamas route with NCL protecting the original rate.

Those booked on the previously published Norwegian Dawn 10- and 11-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries who want to move to the new Florida/Bahamas seven-day itinerary will receive the seven-day rate and up to a three-category upgrade or a shipboard credit of $50.

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Update on Cozumel, Playa del Carmen

Update on Cozumel, Playa del Carmen

It is not anticipated that ships will be able to dock at any of the three cruise piers for some time, however interests on the island are working to ready Cozumel to receive passengers via tender as soon as possible.

Carnival Cruise Lines has sent a number of personnel to Cozumel over the past several days to examine the status of the island's cruise tourism infrastructure. A specific date for the resumption of calls has not been determined but Carnival said it will return as soon as Cozumel is ready.

'We will continue to monitor the progress of recovery efforts in Cozumel, particularly in the downtown retail area, while aiming toward gradual resumption of service within the coming weeks,' Carnival said in a statement.

Playa del Carmen, available via tender operation, is ready to receive a limited number of cruise ships and Carnival intends to call there with the Fascination on Wednesday and Carnival Conquest on Friday. Additional calls to Playa del Carmen are now being evaluated.

Carnival is also evaluating the Calica docking facility and working with local officials to determine the viability of resuming calls to Calica in the near future.

Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and other operators are also closely monitoring the situation. Royal Caribbean cruises that were scheduled to call at Cozumel will visit an alternative port whenever possible, the company said.

Rhapsody of the Seas will likely continue calling at Puerto Costa Maya. Splendour of the Seas doesn't begin sailing from Galvestonuntil Nov. 26, so it's too soon to tell where the ship will go, a Royal Caribbean spokesman told Seatrade Insider.

'If we're lucky,Cozumel will be operating - but the general thinking is that tenders willbe needed for all port calls by all cruise ships there for some time tocome,' he added.

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Cruise Baltic workshop on common standards

Cruise Baltic workshop on common standards

The goal is ensuring consistent quality at each of the 16 Cruise Baltic destinations.

Standards might include, for example, on-board tourist information for passengers, posted city maps, and information on shoreside Internet and phone facilities for crew.

The workshop will take place on Tuesday during the trade show at Seatrade Europe in Hamburg when Cruise Baltic Project director Signe Adamsen and marketing manager Maria Guggenberger seek input from cruise line representatives.

A common set of standards will be finalized by year's end, and all destinations and ports involved in the Cruise Baltic Project will be responsible for their implementation.

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Costa teams with EC on climate research

Costa teams with EC on climate research

The agreement led to the installation of an automatic monitoring station on Costa Fortuna to measure air pollution in the Western Mediterranean basin.

The data obtained will provide rare open-sea measurements to scientists at the Joint Research Centre in an effort to test the accuracy of their climate change computer models. This will enable the European Commission and the European Union member states to improve their climate change/air pollution policies.

'This partnership is a good example of how the private and public sectors can work together to find new ways of obtaining data important for our understanding of climate change,' said Janez Potočnik, EU commissioner for research.

'We are very proud to be able to make an additional contribution to environmental protection through such cooperation with this important and prestigious research centre of the European Commission,' said Costa chairman and ceo Pier Luigi Foschi.

Additional Costa environmental efforts include obtaining ISO 14001 (environmental management) certification, and Best 4 and Green Star notations fleetwide from classification society RINA. The cruise operator also formed a partnership with WWF Italy to help safeguard the marine eco-regions of the Mediterranean, the Great Antilles and northeast Brazil.

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DMC, Maersk forge Baltic Cruise Services

DMC, Maersk forge Baltic Cruise Services

' The new venture will handle ship, port and passenger operations in a coordinated manner, giving cruise companies a single contact for all services in a number of Baltic destinations.

Offices are being established in Stockholm and Tallinn and will be fully operational by the start of the 2006 cruise season.

In Estonia DMC has teamed with Erki Urva in the newly created DMC Estonia. Urva brings extensive experience in tourism and public affairs, most recently serving as president and chairman of Estonian Airlines. Maersk Broker Agency employed Anatol Dementjew as cruise agency manager. Previously with Inflot, Dementjew brings expertise in the cruise agency business in Tallinn.

In Sweden DMC employed Maja Hultberg as local manager. She formerly served as operational supervisor with cruise operator Seascape. Maersk Broker Agency will announce the name of their Swedish representative in the near future.

'A couple of our customers have asked us already a couple of years ago to expand into other Baltic countries, and I think it makes sense to offer our clients more destinations with only one contact and a similar, known service concept, which they already know from our operations in Denmark and Chile,' said DMC md Jens Elers. 'We have managed to develop a number of new, creative and innovative tours -- some of them on an exclusive basis -- in all our destinations, and we know that our clients will find them really interesting.'

'Our organisation is recognised by its highly experienced shipping and agency staff, familiar with all facets of the cruise industry. It is our objective that the customers shall obtain maximum benefit of our know-how and the strength of our organisation,' said Christian Lund, gm of Maersk Broker Agency.

Further expansion is planned for other major cruise destinations in the Baltic.

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