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Articles from 2015 In October


Fathom bulks up with Diebenow to lead sales for affinity, special accounts

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Bill Diebenow - Fathom 'a powerful vehicle for pioneering impact'

He'll focus on new prospects and capitalize on emerging segments including the retail market for specialized groups, alumni and faith-based markets.

Diebenow reports to David Drier, vp sales. They worked together earlier at Intrav/Clipper Cruise Line.

'Bill's 20-year proven track record of accomplished leadership and business development makes him an invaluable addition to the Fathom team,' said Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corp. & plc.

At American Queen Steamboat Co. Diebenow was svp sales, responsible for managing multiple sales channels and building product development departments to create distinctive shipboard and shoreside elements. (Bob Salmon has assumed the svp sales role there.)

Previously Diebenow was vp business development at the Preferred Hotel Group/Optriant in California where he developed a new revenue center and expanded the group's sales representation and consulting services. Additionally, he served as president and evp of High Country Passage, as well as vp sales and marketing for Intrav/Clipper Cruise Line.

'I am inspired by and enthusiastic to be with Fathom, a powerful vehicle for pioneering impact on a scale the world has never seen,' Diebenow said.

Diebenow's hiring closely follows the addition of another sales veteran, Maurice Zarmati, who also reports to Drier and is working to raise Fathom's profile with major retail distribution channels.

Montréal wraps a record cruise season

Montréal wraps a record cruise season

Montréal bundles passenger and crew numbers together and that total, approximately 92,000, was a nearly 30% increase over the 2014 season and a 94% hike since the Montréal Cruise Committee was created in 2011.

'Much to the delight of local business owners, a flood of tourists poured through the city's streets this year. Hotels also benefited from this high-value clientele, as many travelers extended their trips and stayed a few extra nights in Montréal,' said Yves Lalumière, president and ceo of Tourisme Montréal.

Lalumière applauded the 'excellent work' by the Montréal Cruise Committee, whose main objective is to attract international cruise lines to Montréal.

The city's cruise season stretches from May to November. The busiest months are September and October, when travelers come to see the fall colors and discover Québec's natural and cultural offerings. According to data collected by the Montréal Cruise Committee, cruisers are primarily Americans (72%), Australians (8.5%), Canadians (7.5%) and Britons (4.5%).

Cruise bookings indicate the 2016 season could be just as strong as this year's.

'Once again, the numbers prove that Montréal's cruise market is growing rapidly, generating significant economic spin-offs for the entire city,' added Sylvie Vachon, president and ceo of the Montréal Port Authority. She, too, acknowledged the Montréal Cruise Committee, and said the results are in large part thanks to its efforts.

The Montréal Port Authority continues to work on updating the Alexandra Pier and the Iberville Passenger Terminal, two major projects.

Vachon said the improvements will position Montréal as an international port of call that offers outstanding quality to cruise lines and travelers.

Variety Cruises acquires 34 berth motor yacht Callisto

Variety Cruises acquires 34 berth motor yacht Callisto

Between April and October 2016, Callisto will jointly operate an 8 day Classical Greece programme with Harmony V before switching continents to operate Costa Rica & Panama Canal cruises from
December 2016 to March 2017.

Variety's latter itineraries have recently increased to ten days, allowing a richer exploration of Puntarenas Port through to Shelter Bay Marina and an additional day to cruise around the Gatun Lake.

Costa extends fly-cruise partnership with Neos

Costa extends fly-cruise partnership with Neos

Under the deal, there will be a total of approximately 90,000 seats on Neos flights exclusively set aside for Costa Cruises during the three year-period 2016-2018.

The Neos-Costa Cruises flights will connect the airports of Milan Malpensa, Verona, Bologna, Rome Fiumicino and Catania to Guadeloupe Pointe-à-Pitre for winter getaway cruises in the Caribbean, Warnemunde-Rostock and Stockholm for summer cruises in the Baltic Sea and the Norwegian fjords, and Dubai for winter cruises in the UAE and Oman.  

Under the terms of the agreement it will also be possible over the next three years to add other Italian cities to the list of those offering the fly+cruise option.

'The new agreement with Neos, an Italian partner we’ve been working with for some years now, marks the continued expansion of Costa Cruises’ fly&cruise formula,' said Costa Cruises president Neil Palomba.

Neos Ceo Carlo Stradiotti stated:  'For many years we’ve been partnering Costa Cruises and this new 3-year deal is a ground-breaking agreement between two companies who share the main aim of continuing to support and improve Italian tourism.  Our objective is to make Costa’s customers feel that they’re already on vacation as soon as they get to the airport, by offering them the best in terms of service, quality and comfort.'

On long haul flights, in addition to economy seating, there will also be places available in premium class with bigger seats, and in-flight entertainment on individual iPads.

The Neos fleet consists of 3 Boeing 767s and 6 Boeing 737s. Neos has three new Boeing 787 Dreamliner's on order.

Call Systems Technology provides Carnival with paging system for moving luggage

Call Systems Technology provides Carnival with paging system for moving luggage

Carnival Cruise Line commissioned Call Systems Technology, UK-based technology supplier for the hospitality industry, to provide a bespoke call button and staff paging system across ten of its ships, as an innovative solution for addressing an issue with effective communication amongst the crew when on and off-loading guest luggage.
 
The brief to CST was to devise a bespoke communications solution which could effectively manage the issue of luggage distribution via lifts across numerous decks. Prior to the installation, the crew were utilising the lift to move luggage, however had no means of advising the lift operator when it was needed solely for the purpose of delivering customer luggage.
 
The solution was to fit CST’s EasyCall™ and Staff Paging technology via call buttons on each passenger deck.  When called, the lift operator is alerted by staff pager to the request to move luggage. Now, on days when guests are embarking and disembarking, the new technology allows for the lift to be used more efficiently, whilst staff time against the task of distributing guest luggage across numerous decks has significantly improved.
 
Ashley Sheppard, group commercial director, Call Systems Technology commented: 'We used our 20 years of paging expertise when reviewing the luggage and lift issues faced by Carnival Cruise Line. The bespoke solution we provided enhances the guest experience whilst effectively managing staff resources, resulting in better efficiencies and a significantly better customer experience. We’re currently in talks with the cruise line to see how we can assist them with further bespoke projects.'
 

Cruise Baltic boosted by digital initiatives

Cruise Baltic boosted by digital initiatives

Cruise Baltic’s digital strategy is to reach a figure of 20,000 in the first 12 months.

Additionally, more than 500 travel agents have passed the online cruisebaltictraining.com course to date. To increase this figure further, an e-blast is being distributed to 60,000 travel agents worldwide this month, which will offer those passing the course the opportunity to win SAS flights for two people and a two-night stay at a Scandic Hotel in the Baltic Sea Region.

Upcoming events taking place at the Cruise Baltic partner destinations include Christmas Markets at the Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Rostock, Ålborg, Tallinn, Estonia and Elsinore.

In 2016, regional events include the Göteborg Film Festival, January 29 to February 8; Ålborg Opera Festival, March 3 -14; RØnne Dance and Choir Festival, May 20-23; and Malmo Garden Show, May 27-29.

From late March, SAS will operate daily non-stop flights between Copenhagen and Boston, becoming the first carrier to fly directly to Boston from Scandinavia.

In 2016, Cruise Baltic partner SAS will offer approximately 500 flights between Boston and Copenhagen and 6,600 flights between Scandinavia and the US—a total of 1.6m seats between US and Scandinavia.

Cruise Baltic partner Scandic Hotels, the largest hotel operator in the Nordic countries, is opening a collection of signature hotels marketed under their own names with the extension 'by Scandic'.

The first hotel in the collection will be the existing Scandic Grand Central that will be rebranded as Grand Central by Scandic on February 1. The group’s extensive hotel development in the PUB department store building in Stockholm, Haymarket, will also be a signature hotel when it opens in the spring.

Seven Seas Explorer launched at Fincantieri

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And she (Seven Seas Explorer) floats - Robin Lindsay, shipyard godmother Antonia Ronchi and Sestri Ponente's Raffaele Davassi

The ceremony was attended by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' Robin Lindsay, evp of vessel operations, and Raffaele Davassi, director of the shipyard. Godmother for the float-out was Antonia Ronchi, an employee of Fincantieri. A bottle of champagne was smashed against the hull.
 
The 56,000gt ship is the first vessel the Italian builder has constructed for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Fitting out will now commence with delivery scheduled for summer 2016 with a maiden voyage in July.

The newbuild is 223mtrs long and can accommodate 750 passengers in 377 suites.

CLIA's new Executive Partner benefits include a summit at sea

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CLIA's Cindy D'Aoust, far left, moderates the Presidents Panel, consisting of Carnival's Christine Duffy, Celebrity's Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Prestige Cruise Holdings' Jason Montague and MSC Cruises USA's Rick Sasso (Photo: CLIA)

CLIA launched the 2016 program at its Executive Partner Summit in Miami this week.

Sponsored by Cruise Baltic, the summit began with a PortMiami tour and sessions covering emerging cruise market trends and other port topics.

Formerly known as the CLIA Leadership Forum, the Executive Partner Summit now includes two separate educational forums—the Port and Destination Forum and the Technical and Regulatory Forum—and offers networking opportunities, general sessions and expert panels.

At the Presidents Panel, moderated by CLIA acting ceo Cindy D’Aoust, cruise line leaders discussed topics from technology and shipbuilding to itinerary planning and port development.

The panel consisted of Christine Duffy, president, Carnival Cruise Line; Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and ceo, Celebrity Cruises; Jason Montague, President and chief operating officer, Prestige Cruise Holdings; and Rick Sasso, president of MSC Cruises USA.

The summit at sea educational and networking event will take place on MSC Preziosa in January. Travel agent community engagement opportunities will include access to the CLIA Cruise TV video platform. Executive Partners also will get access and discounts to experience cruising, including inaugural cruise invitations.

Further information on CLIA's Executive Partner Summit is here.

Curtains up for Golden Princess in Melbourne

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The golden curtains are drawn apart to reveal Golden Princess to Melbourne

The new arrival was greeted by two massive golden curtains, each measuring 20,000 sq ft, which were flown out to the ship by two helicopters as she sailed into Port Phillip Bay.

The curtains were then drawn apart revealing the largest cruise ship to be homeported in Melbourne.

At 108,000gt Golden Princess is 40% larger than the previous biggest ship to be based in Melbourne, Dawn Princess. She will carry 23% more passengers during her inaugural Melbourne deployment, with 40,000 set to cruise in her over the next five months.

The season is expected to deliver around A$15m to the Victorian economy in passenger and crew spending, as well as supplies and port charges.

Voyages to Antiquity's Aegean Odyssey making a maiden visit to UK

Voyages to Antiquity's Aegean Odyssey making a maiden visit to UK

After a turnaround in Dover the ship then departs on a 27 day cruise to Rome, calling in French ports of Honfleur, St Malo, Nantes, La Rochelle and Bordeaux , then onto La Coruna (Spain), Oporto and Lisbon (Portugal), Cadiz (Spain), Malaga (Spain), Valencia (Spain), Barcelona (Spain), Port-La-Nouvelle (France), Marseilles (France), Monte Carlo (Monaco), Portofino (Italy), Livorno (Italy) before arriving in Civitavecchia.
 
The new UK cruises start from £2,395 per person for the 15 day cruises and includes return flights and shore excursions. All gratuities for restaurant and cabin staff on board are included, as well as a 10% single supplement, and wine with dinner while onboard.