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Articles from 2004 In December


Louis puts Seawing into Greek market

Louis puts Seawing into Greek market

The addition of a third ship for the Greek market is due to strong demand, says the company which notes: 'Demand for the 2005 programme out of Piraeus has already exceeded the capacity offered by the cruise ships Calypso and Ithaca that were originally designated for the Greek market.'

The three Louis owned ships will be conducting 3-, 4- and 7-day cruises from Piraeus to the Greek Islands and Turkey starting in the spring.

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Cruise passenger movements at US Ports

Cruise passenger movements at US Ports

Thenew product, to be issued semiannually, provides data on cruise ship and passenger movements at all US ports (both turnarounds and visits) by 17 major cruise lines. Detailed data is being offered on a subscription basis, while a summarized database will be available for downloading from the MARAD website at www.marad.dot.gov/marad_statistics.

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Star Cruises in transitional phase

Star Cruises in transitional phase

The operator currently has five cruise ships plus a cruise ferry operating in Asian waters, of which only two have over 2,000-passenger capacity. 'We presently have a shortage of capacity with SuperStar Leo going to NCL earlier this year and having disposed of our older tonnage SuperStar's Aries and Capricorn,' said the Star chief. 'However in line with our reported plans going forward we shall start acquiring NCL's mid-sized ships as and when the North American brand takes delivery of its newbuildings. In total we will acquire six NCL ships over the coming three years,' Chong confirmed.

The first vessel to transfer is Norwegian Sea which will enter service for Star in May. The line has not finalised where the 1,500-berth vessel will be positioned although China and India are being considered or 'it might displace the smaller 700-berth SuperStar Gemini currently operating in Taiwan in summer and Straits of Malacca in winter,' said Chong.

Looking at new markets there is no doubt China is 'potentially huge', remarked Chong. Star established a travel agency in China earlier this year which 'should grow the China market next year,' he said. 'We have organised a few special cruises a year flying PRC citizens to sail on Star ships out of Singapore to familiarise them with the cruise market,' he added. The government too is encouraging cruising by relaxing travel restrictions. It is now possible for residents to get a multiple entry travel visa within two weeks.

Chong welcomes other cruise lines eyeing Asia: 'Awareness of the region is low and it costs a lot of money to create awareness. If Carnival spend money on promoting cruising in Asian waters the net impact is good for us. Currently cruising represents less than 1% of the Asian leisure market of which Star Cruises accounts for 70% of that business,' he stated.

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Island Sun claim balloons

Island Sun claim balloons

Wallman of Perth chartered accountants K.S. Wallman & Co said that, after consultation with lawyers, he may still try to have Mauritius Island Cruises' Island Sun arrested.

'We are continuing our enquiries about what legal action to take and that is one of the options,' he said. There will be no money for passenger refunds or to pay other creditors unless ATWC is successful in its bid for damages against Mauritius Island Cruises, he added.

The line is among the creditors, with a US$2m-plus claim against ATWC for allegedly defaulting on its charter agreement.

Wallman said Jan. 12 has been set for the next creditors' meeting.

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New cruise, yacht facilities in Aruba plan

New cruise, yacht facilities in Aruba plan

The new master plan for Oranjestad Port aims for a more vibrant waterfront for visitors and residents. The centerpiece is 48-acre Marina Village, with up to 350 residential units and 10,000 square meters of retail and commercial space, including shops, restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, offices and marine-related businesses such as charter companies. A new residential island linked to the mainland by a bridge would enclose the existing marina basin and provide real estate for large, exclusive residences, a yacht club and private marina.

The waterfront would be maximized to allow for the berthing of an additional cruise ship, according to a blueprint provided by Aruba Cruise Tourism (formerly the Cruise Tourism Authority).

Estimated cost of the waterfront development is $145.9m, plus $14.8m for the mega-yacht marina, not counting architectural and engineering fees. Additional funds will be needed to enhance Oranjestad's cruise docks and build a new cruise terminal, Aruba Cruise Tourism said.

Other plans for the island include a 70,000-square-meter, pirate-themed water attraction with wild-water rafting, roller coasters, a 24-meter-high Kamikaze ride, a Black Hole waterslide, tube rides, kiddie pools, shops and restaurants. Morgan's Island Aruba Aqua Park would be located on Eagle Beach, south of La Cabana Casino, and is expected to open in early 2006.

Also targeted for development is the San Nicolas area on the island's southwestern tip. Plans include three new resorts totalling 1,092 rooms and two 18-hole golf courses.

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Air Europe to resume flights to La Romana

Air Europe to resume flights to La Romana

The flights will start Sunday.

Part of Volare Group, Air Europe was grounded on November 19 when Volare filedfor insolvency. The Italian government has appointed an administrator for Volare, granting protection from creditors. Volare and Air Europeare now trying to restart their operations.

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Record year for Bari; new terminal management

Record year for Bari; new terminal management

This year's figure represents a 21.6% rise on 2003.

From January, Bari cruise terminal will be managed by a new company, Bari Porto Mediterraneo. The Port Authority holds a 30% stake in the company while the other 70% is shared amongst a number of partners,including Venezia Terminal Passeggeri (managers of Venice's passenger terminal), a number of shipping agencies, a local bank and the local Chamber of Commerce.

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Siracusa targets cruise

Siracusa targets cruise

According to the Municipal Council, the infrastructure should be ready in 2005. Located in a large natural bay, Siracusa is on the east coast of Sicily, some 40 miles south of Catania. The town was once an important Greek colony and has monuments and ruins dating from both the Greek and Roman periods.

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Actress Rossellini sails on Silver Wind

Actress Rossellini sails on Silver Wind

Silversea Cruises' new ambassador is on board for a photo shoot with famed photographer Fabrizio Ferri.

In addition to appearing in Silversea's new advertising campaign, Rossellini is sailing Silversea ships in exotic destinations to create a photographic journal of her travels that will give expression to the line's distinctive cruise concept.

Now on board Silver Wind, the actress, model and author is visiting South American ports including Punta Arenas and Ushuaia.

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Statistics virtuoso Ebersold retires

Statistics virtuoso Ebersold retires

For the past 36 years, Ebersold served as the director of MARAD's Office of Statistical and Economic Analysis, where he was the driving force behind cruise statistics that provide actual passenger data for each North American cruise by 17 lines. MARAD has also just released a companion product that tracks total cruise passenger movements at all US ports (both turnarounds and visits).

'I believe these data products are useful analytical tools that contribute to understanding of the industry. The newest product is also potentially significant for analysis of risk exposure and port security issues,' Ebersold told Seatrade Insider.

His retirement is effective tomorrow, but Ebersold plans to continue researching and writing on global maritime issues, based from his home in Maryland. In recent years, he has served as a regular contributor to Seatrade Cruise Review and wrote the industry overview chapter in Business Briefing: Global Cruise 2004, published in the UK earlier this year. Ebersold may be reached at [email protected]

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