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Articles from 2006 In October


New offers in Norwegian Coastalapos;s US catalog

New offers in Norwegian Coastalapos;s US catalog

The new 16-day 'Scandinavian Smorgasbord' pairs a six-day southbound cruise on the Norwegian coast with Stockholm, Gallivare in Swedish Lapland, Karasjok for dinner in a traditional turf hut, and Copenhagen. In Norway the tour takes in Oslo, Ulvik and the scenic Flam and Bergen railways.

The three new air-inclusive theme vacations are 'Killer Whale Safari,' a seven-day adventure in Tromso, Svolvaer and Oslo (October-December); 'Sami Encounters,' a nine-day program that gives an in-depth look at Sami culture plus time in Oslo (November-December); and 'Alta Igloo Hotel,' a seven-day package with an overnight in the ice hotel and time in Oslo, Kirkenes and the North Cape (January-February).

The new pre-/post cruise packages offer seven days exploring Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo ('Scandinavian Capitals') or six days in St. Petersburg and Helsinki ('St. Petersburg Express').

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Hansa adds a third ship

Hansa adds a third ship

Hansa sources its passengers predominantly through travel agents and group bookings with 20% made up from 'reader' cruises via German language media, Kilian explains.

Hansa is bareboat chartering Delphin Voyager, the former Orient Venus, from Greek owners for 10 years. The 23,000gt ship, acquired by the Restis Group earlier this year, is in Piraeus undergoing an extensive refurbishment, reports Kilian, the former Hapag Lloyd director who retired from the company in 1998 after 40 years service.

'More cabins are being added, of which 77 will have balconies, increasing the capacity to 650 lower berths, whilst the interiors are all getting a makeover,' he adds.

The Bremen-based operator is due to take delivery of Delphin Voyager in Piraeus in December before undertaking a 150-day round-the-world voyage finishing in Hamburg in May. Killian notes a strong demand for the cruise particularly from Swiss passengers.

Throughout the early summer the ship will sail in Northern Europe from Bremerhaven before positioning into the Med for a series of 10-, 14- and 16-day cruises in the West Med, East Med and Black Sea.

With the addition of the four-star Delphin Voyager the Hansa fleet, which also includes the three-star Paloma and three-/four-star Delphin, is broadening its product range, says Kilian. Total passenger capacity in 2007 will be almost 1,500 lower berths.

Paloma finishes her current Med summer season in Nice mid-month. She then enters lay up over the winter and commences her 2007 season at the end of February with four Canaries cruises. The 354 lower berth ship will sail in the Med until May before heading north for a series of Baltic and fjord cruises from Kiel up to end August. She then returns to the Med for a three-month season.

Meanwhile, Delphin is heading south next month for a South America, Antarctica and Caribbean season returning to Europe in early May where she will spend the summer cruising in the Baltic, fjords, round Britain before going to the Med in September.

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HALapos;s Pinnacle Grills uncork wine flights

HALapos;s Pinnacle Grills uncork wine flights

The 21 new menu items comprise a week's cycle of new daily appetizers, entrees and desserts for the restaurants' Pacific Northwest-inspired cuisine.

One sample of the daily specials offered is tequila shrimp and avocado ceviche, citrus marinated and served with Peruvian aji; grilled rack of veal 'chop' with lemon-thyme glaze and Sicilian-style roasted vegetables; and tiramisu-flavored panna cotta with passion fruit sorbet.

Four wine flights, each featuring one glass of four vintages showcasing the wine regions of the Pacific Northwest, are offered to accompany the new culinary creations. Two flights each of white and red are offered each evening and range in price from $12 to $29.

Among the selections in the flights are a Columbia Crest Grand Estates chardonnay, a McCrea Cellars viognier, a Van Duzer pinot noir and a l'Ecole N degrees 41 cabernet sauvignon.

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CLIA predicts $18.5m in Cruise Night sales

CLIA predicts $18.5m in Cruise Night sales

19World's Largest Cruise Night event is expected to generate atotal of 14,860 bookings.

That translates to an estimated $18.5m in sales and will yield more than $2.4m in travel agencycommissions.

CLIA saw participating agencies already report nearly $10m in cruise sales, with some $1.3m in commissions, through Oct. 26.

Eighty-six percent of the 829 agencies that registered withCLIA to participate in the World's Largest Cruise Night actually conducted an event, and 89% said they plan to participate in 2007.

According to the CLIA survey, more than 35,000 consumers attended Oct. 19 promotions sponsored by 700-plus CLIA travel agenciesacross North America, which included luncheons, cocktail parties,dinners, expos and cooking classes.

The first World's Largest Cruise Night in 2005 drew 25,000 consumers to events held at 400-plusCLIA agency locations, yielding an estimated 7,273 bookings, $9.09m sales and more than $1.18m in commissions,CLIA said.

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NCL confirms Aker France orders

NCL confirms Aker France orders

A. of France to build two new third-generation Freestyle Cruising ships, with an option for a third.

The vessels will be delivered in 2009 and 2010 from Aker's facilities in St. Nazaire, with the option scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2011.

As announced on Sept. 7, the contract price, comprising two firm ships and one option, is EUR2.17bn, or approximately $2.8bn at today's exchange rate.

Each of the 150,000gt ships will offer 4,200 passenger berths. The contract price for each of the first two newbuilds is EUR735m, while the option is priced at EUR700m.

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Ursprunger departs NCL

Ursprunger departs NCL

An NCL spokeswoman said the position is not being filled at this time.

Industry veteran Ursprunger joined NCL in February 2005 after serving as a consultant to various companies following his in-house role as the president and ceo of Renaissance Cruises. Prior to that, he was svp total guest satisfaction at Celebrity Cruises.

Contacted by Seatrade Insider, Ursprunger did not wish to discuss his plans at this time.

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Update on Celebrityapos;s operations leadership

Update on Celebrityapos;s operations leadership

John Krousouloudis was promoted from vp to svp marine operations, and Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, vp on-board revenue, added entertainment to her portfolio.

A company spokeswoman told Seatrade Insider a search is underway to fill Wertanzl's position, but it is for svp hotel operations, not fleet operations.

Meanwhile, Krousouloudis and Lutoff-Perlo are overseeing the hotel area.

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New tours highlight Crystalapos;s return to Asia

New tours highlight Crystalapos;s return to Asia

Choices include canoeing and snorkeling in Thailand, a Tate-do martial arts performance in Japan, longboat sailing along the Vietnamese Mekong Delta and cooking classes in Vietnam and Hong Kong. Also available are multiple-night overland adventures to Hanoi, Angkor Wat and Laos.

The programs are offered in conjunction with four Crystal Symphony cruises sailing between March 29 and May 1.

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Colombiaapos;s Cartagena back on the map

Colombiaapos;s Cartagena back on the map

Annual cruise statistics will also be boosted with the arrival at the end of December of 11,429gt Grand Victoria (ex World Renaissance) which will operate seven-day cruises roundtrip Cartagena calling in Costa Rica (Puerto Limon), Panama (Colon) and the Colombian ports of San Andres and Providence. Operated by local company Cruceros Sirena, the ship will stay through to May 2007.

'We are expecting to more that double our calls in 2007/08 with 105 already scheduled,' Cristina Samudio Covo, commercial manager for Puerto de Cartagena's cruise terminal, tells Seatrade Insider.

With the return of some of the leading US operators next year and the expanding presence of European cruise lines, Cartagena may look to revive its plans to build new cruise facilities put on hold post 9/11, says Covo, who together with Gabriela de Londono, general manager for local shore excursions company Seico, were first-time exhibitors at this year's Seatrade Med.

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RCCLapos;s Rice to succeed cfo Leon (**updated**)

RCCLapos;s Rice to succeed cfo Leon (**updated**)

Veteran Royal Caribbean executive Brian Rice, currently evp revenue performance, will succeed him.

Leon joined the cruise operator as cfo in 2003. Royal Caribbean said he will assist in the transition, which is expected to be completed by year's end.

Richard Fain, RCCL chairman and ceo, thanked Leon for making 'a significant contribution to our company's financial success, and we are grateful for his dedication and commitment.'

Incoming cfo Rice is widely recognized as an industry leader in revenue management. He oversaw the conceptual development and implementation of RCCL's revenue-management systems, designed many of the company's financial-management models and led numerous operational and financial initiatives.

Fain credited Rice with playing a 'pivotal role' in RCCL's growth, profitability and efficiency.

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