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Articles from 2017 In October

Royal Caribbean to report Q3 results Nov. 7


The company scheduled a conference call for analysts at 10 a.m. EST that day.

The call will be simulcast at

End in sight for China-S. Korea travel stalemate?


The restriction prompted cruise lines to modify itineraries with calls at South Korea—approximately 40% of all China cruises, according to Wells Fargo—and seek alternative ports in Japan or add sea days,

The result was net yield growth turning negative.

'We believe the path to a resolution is a positive for China/Asia 2018 net cruise yields providing a likely upside surprise to global yields given approximately 5-10% lower 2018 China industry capacity,' Wells Fargo analyst Tim Conder said in the note.

The brokerage put 2017/2018 China capacity as a percent of global operator capacity at 6%/5% for Carnival Corp. & plc, 4%/8% for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and 10%/7% for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

RCL veteran Rich Pruitt signs on with Carnival in VP role

Rich Pruitt - will report to Carnival's Mark Jackson, SVP technical operations

He'll start Nov. 20 and will report to Mark Jackson, SVP technical operations.

Pruitt will be focused on further strengthening and expanding the company’s shipboard and shoreside environmental programs and practices.

'Rich is extremely well respected in the industry and we’re thrilled to gain his exceptional knowledge, expertise and leadership,' Jackson said. 'We look forward to tapping into his experience to ensure we maintain the highest level of operational standards.'

At Royal Caribbean Pruitt held a variety of positions, including associate VP of safety and environmental stewardship and director and associate VP of environmental programs. Since leaving the company a year ago, he founded RMP Sustainability, providing consulting services on environmental equipment marketing, compliance and sustainability initiatives to industry associations and companies.

Pruitt began his career in the US Air Force where he spent 10 years as an airborne Russian linguist and mission supervisor. He then served for 13 years in the US Coast Guard in various roles, including program manager, passenger vessel safety and security.

Since 2010 Pruitt has been an active guardian ad litem for the 17th Judicial Circuit in Broward County, Florida, and has served on the board/executive committee of several organizations, including Florida Ocean Alliance, Florida Sea Grant Advisory Council, Florida Oceans and Coastal Council, the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Business Advisory Council, International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators and the North American Marine Environment Protection Association.

He was chairman of the Cruise Lines International Association’s maritime safety and environmental committees, and founding board member of Voices for Children Broward.

First look at Virgin Voyages' new ship as pre-sale list opens

With a $500 deposit, customers can join a pre-sale list

Until now, many had speculated the hull would be Virgin red.

It's silvery-gray, with smoked glass and splashes of red including a red stack, and the bow is adorned with a mermaid icon designed by Toby Tinsley that Virgin said represents the ship's 'feminine spirit.' (Tinsley earlier designed Virgin Galactic's feminine motif.)

McAlpin announced an 'adult by design' concept. The line is designing an experience for travelers 18 and older, no kids, as a result of feedback from future 'sailors'—as Virgin calls passengers—and travel partners.

The ship has a streamlined look. 'We wanted to make it sleek, make it fun,' McAlpin said.

To ensure a close connection to the sea, 86% of the cabins feature a sea terrace and 93% an ocean view. McAlpin said Virgin will create a sophisticated ship and a transformational experience that offers a place where 'rejuvenating day life meets exciting nightlife and everything in between.'

It's 'not about gimmicks or tricks,' he added. 'We are creating a platform to deliver a very quality, Virgin experience.'

Branson, wearing a red tuxedo jacket with black lapels over a white T-shirt and jeans, and McAlpin, in a jacket and nautical-striped T, arrived dramatically on stage via a 200-foot crane drop to the tune of the Rolling Stones' 'Start Me Up.' They were joined by Bain Capital chairman Stephen Pagliuca and Fincantieri general manager Alberto Maestrini to weld ceremonial coins into the keel for good luck, music pounding all the while.

'She will be the most recognizable ship sailing the seven seas, delivering an irresistible sailor experience,' Branson pledged. 'We’re also committed to making sure our crew are the happiest at sea and will be proud to sail with us.'

Concurrent with the keel-laying Virgin opened a pre-sale list. Customers can pay a fully refundable $500 deposit for two people and once it's time to book, they'll be the first to choose from any available cabin on any cruise open for sale.

This first ship is due to enter service in 2020 from PortMiami. Virgin hasn't detailed itineraries as yet, beyond the fact it will sail the Caribbean on seven-day departures.

At the keel-laying McAlpin told Seatrade Cruise News: 'Our sailors are going to want to experience Europe.' He said no decision has been reached on where in Europe Virgin might operate, but added itineraries will be announced in the near future.

As far as a name for this first in what McAlpin dubbed the 'Lady Ship' series, he said Virgin will seek input from customers in a contest.

The livery was conceptualized by Ben Christie and David Azurdia from the award-winning Magpie Studio in London. RWD of Beaulieu England, leaders in super-yacht design, created the iconic red Virgin funnel. 

Scanship will provide an advanced wastewater management system. Plus, an innovative energy production system of approximately 1 MW will harness the diesel engine’s waste heat.

Virgin has contracted for two additional ships, with deliveries in 2021 and 2022.

With reporting from Genoa by Italy correspondent Luca Peruzzi.


New sails for Wind Surf, courtesy of France's top sailmaker

(Photo: Windstar Cruises)
Wind Surf's new sails - all 21,570 square feet/2,015 square meters of them

Sturdy Dacron sailcloth measuring 21,570 square feet/2,015 square meters was handcrafted by the maritime designers and artisans at Incidence Sails, France's largest commercial sailmaker. The sails are replaced approximately every five years.

Spread across Wind Surf’s five towering masts, they make up more than a half-acre of triangular beauty. The sails unfurl daily, soaring on masts 221 feet/67.5 meters into the sky, and harnessing wind power to propel the ship.

'We’re all excited about Wind Surf’s new sails. Our guests really appreciate the romance of sailing and the evening sail-away is a time-honored event for guests and crew alike, a time to celebrate an amazing day of discovery while anticipating new adventures on the horizon,' Windstar president John Delaney said.

A crescendo of Vangelis’ ‘Conquest of Paradise’ accompanies the unfurling.

Incidence Sails designed Wind Surf’s sails and completed their manufacture at its facilities in Brest and La Rochelle over several months, delivering the sails in two installments. The project was carried out in close collaboration with the company’s Charentais and Breton design offices by noted designers Stéphane Amiot and Maxime Paul, who sailed for France in the 1992 Olympics.

Wind Surf's five furling jib sails each measure 3,800 square feet/355 square meters in area, and one fore jib sail measures 2,570 square feet/240 square meters.

Capt. Pedro Pinto oversaw the sail installation. Each took approximately four hours and was completed by the ship's 22-member deck department. Three sails were installed in August in Copenhagen and the remainder this month in Amalfi.

The computerized sails are self-furling and operate remotely from the bridge with fore and aft guidance from Wind Surf's nautical officers. The ship's top speed under sail power alone was recorded as 15.6 knots during a trans-Atlantic crossing.

Windstar will be repurposing the replaced sails by having them made into bags for sale in the gift shops of its six ships.

American Cruise Lines triples Pacific Northwest capacity

American Constellation added a pair of Puget Sound itineraries

Already offered are an eight-day 'Puget Sound & the San Juan Islands' itinerary and cruises to Alaska.

Earlier this year, American Cruise Lines said it would send its newest ship, American Constellation, to Alaska for the 2018 season, doubling the line’s capacity there. The vessel will operate this pair of new Puget Sound routes, positioning it to meet strong demand for cruises to Alaska and the entire Pacific Northwest.

The abbreviated 'Highlights of the Puget Sound' route includes stops at Anacortes, Friday Harbor and Port Townsend, while the 'Grand Puget Sound' itinerary explores the San Juan Islands and includes additional ports like Olympia, Tacoma and Victoria, BC.

American Constellation will transition to the West Coast in time to sail several 'Tulip Festival' cruises on Puget Sound before heading to Alaska for the summer. 'Tulip Festival' cruises feature the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Anacortes in April when hundreds of acres of tulips, daffodils, cherry and apple blossoms burst open.

The new 'Grand Puget Sound' and 'Highlights of Puget Sound' cruises will start in the fall. Each features award-winning enrichment programs and guided tours in every port, as well as on-board historians, naturalists and local experts.

Both journeys offer an exciting Deception Pass jet boat tour, kayaking in Friday Harbor, a whale-watching tour and salmon tasting.

Pre-cruise packages are available for all Puget Sound cruises departing from Seattle, including a one-night hotel stay downtown and a premium city tour with a stop at the famous Pike Place Market. The package also provides transportation to the ship and the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Greece orders raising of Sea Diamond wreck off Santorini

(Photo: Wikiphilip/Wikipedia Commons)
Sea Diamond struck a reef off Santorini in April 2007

Greek Shipping and Island Policy Minister Panagiotis Kouroumplis has published a letter ordering coast guard and local authorities to set in motion the removal of the 22,412gt, 1986-built ship operated by Louis Hellenic Cruises.

As environmentalists and islanders claimed at the time, the shipping ministry has now declared the Sea Diamond wreck poses a potential environmental risk and is a hazard to shipping. Kouroumplis' letter contains no provision for who would pay to remove the wreck. Some experts estimate it could cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

On April 5, 2007, the 143mtr cruise ship struck a volcanic reef in the sea-filled crater formed by a massive volcanic eruption 3,500 years ago. It lies in more than 90mtr-deep water. Some 1,600 passengers and crew were safely evacuated, but a 45-year-old French passenger and his teenage daughter are presumed to have drowned, though divers were unable to locate any bodies.

Pollution was limited, with more concern at the time being expressed about the potential toxins emitted from decaying electronics. Fuel from the wreck was removed in 2009.

Under mounting pressure to raise the wreck the Greek government said in 2011 it could not afford the operation and Louis Hellenic would have to cover the cost.

Louis claimed erroneous mapping information in the official nautical chart used by the captain of the ship caused its sinking. It said the official nautical chart of the Hellenic Hydrographic Office for Santorini's shore area contained incorrect information, causing the ship to strike an underwater rock and sink within hours.

A seabed survey of the accident area commissioned by the cruise line found that rocks hit by the ship were not marked on the official map. Louis said the chart was drawn in 1989 and included up-to-date official corrections. The decision for the survey was made after a number of unanswered questions cropped up over district attorney investigations.

The order to raise Sea Diamond came in the wake of criticism of the government's handling of the sinking of a small, aged tanker off Salamis island Sept. 10, causing pollution at some of Athens' best known beaches.

Hurtigruten and Fliggy to offer China exclusive Antarctica voyages

Midnatsol to sail five Antarctica voyages exclusively for the China market in 2019

‘Expedition cruising is one of the fastest growing segments in the travel industry and China is one of the most dynamic travel markets in the world. Hurtigruten is a very good fit for Chinese guests, offering active and unique adventures to some of the world’s most spectacular destinations,’ says Hurtigruten ceo Daniel Skjeldam.  

The five voyages in 2019 are added to four exclusive Antarctica voyages with Fliggy for Chinese adventurers in January and February 2018.

‘We’re excited to work with such a strong partner. Fliggy allows us to reach a large base of Chinese travelers seeking interactions with nature and wildlife bigger than themselves to put life into perspective,’ added William Harber, Hurtigruten’s president for China & Asia-Pacific, who is a speaker at Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific 2017, taking place in Baoshan district of Shanghai November 1-3.

The voyages will take place on Hurtigruten’s custom built expedition ship Midnatsol. Starting from Ushuaia, Argentina, the voyages will take Chinese guests across the Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula.

Midnatsol is limited to 500 guests in Antarctic waters per sailing.


Norway looking at liquid hydrogen as next alternative power source

Norway looking at liquid hydrogen as next alternative power source

The Norwegian Maritime Authority and other agencies are working to build a framework that enables ships powered by liquid hydrogen to be put into service.

‘We are working together on a framework,’ Lars Alvestad, director for vessels and seafarers division, NMA told Seatrade Cruise News.

‘This applies to both regulatory development, recognition of solutions within the current regulations which also includes international conventions,’ he said.

Norway has support schemes for new innovation and green technology.

In such projects, the Norwegian Maritime Authority has also been a facilitator for dialogue between the various authorities and these support schemes, he added.


New Brisbane terminal will be able to berth world’s biggest cruise ships

An artist's impression of the dropoff zone at Brisbane International Cruise Terminal

A spokesman for Port of Brisbane said the 200mtr-long wharf will have mooring dolphins with a 450mtr berth pocket able to berth the largest cruise ships in the world.

The spokesman also confirmed that, while there is significant industry support, the Port of Brisbane will be fully funding the A$158m project.

Concerns had been raised over smell from the nearby Luggage Point Waste Facility but the Brisbane daily The Courier-Mail has reported that Port of Brisbane has come up with a solution.

According to The Courier-Mail, Port of Brisbane ceo Roy Cummins has been working with experts who have recommended a dosing regimen using magnesium hydroxide, commonly used in a number of water treatment facilities.

Site preparation work will start next month with construction of the wharf to begin mid-2018. Construction of the terminal will begin in about 12 months.

There will be public open spaces, parking for cars and buses, plus extensive landscaping across the site.