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Articles from 2005 In December


Kiel terminal gets green light

Kiel terminal gets green light

The project was dependent on additional funding from the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, which approved a EUR9.75m investment last week.

Construction work will start at beginning of 2006 and will take over one year to complete. The Ostseekai Cruise & Ferry Center will be inaugurated on April 22, 2007, with the maiden call of AIDA Cruises' new 68,500gt Sphinx-class ship, currently under construction at Meyer Werft.

Joerg Ruedel, md of Seehafen Kiel GmbH (the Port of Kiel), said the number of cruise ship calls has tripled during the past ten years whilst passenger volumes have increased seven-fold compared to a decade ago.

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AIDA celebrates a record year

AIDA celebrates a record year

Passenger numbers were up around 10% compared to 2004 whilst sales also rose, from EUR370m to EUR375m. The increase in turnover was lower than that for passenger numbers due to 'a considerable reduction in flight volumes,' says the company.

AIDA Cruises is building three new ships at Meyer Werft at a cost of EUR945m. Steelwork commenced in October and the first ship's keel will be laid in March. The new AIDA vessels will be delivered in the spring of 2007, 2008 and 2009, resulting in an 80% expansion in capacity of the fleet by 2009.

With its four current ships totalling 5,400 beds, AIDA is the market leader for ocean cruises in Germany. The rapidly expanding company, based in Rostock, has 2,400 employees. That number is set to increase to around 4,000 by 2009.

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Fatal shorex accident under investigation

Fatal shorex accident under investigation

Five other passengers who were on board the bus that went off the road in Madeira on Dec. 23 are still hospitalised in the Portuguese island.

According to local reports, the bus driver failed an initial breathalyser test and his blood sample was sent to Lisbon for further examination. The Costa ship returned to its homeport in Savona and has since left for a New Year's cruise.

Costa Crociere is refunding the full cost of the cruise to those who were on board the bus and also paying for the journey to Madeira for relatives of those passengers who died or were injured in the incident. So far Costa declines to accept legal responsibility for the incident.

'We have to wait for the completion of the investigation from the local police. There are at least three insurance companies involved and Costa has created a team of three people to assist passengers with their legal claims,' a spokesperson told Seatrade Insider.

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Publix sponsors crew van transport

Publix sponsors crew van transport

The free van service is sponsored by Publix Super Markets through an arrangement with Seafarers' House at Port Everglades.

One service provided by Seafarers' House is transportation of visiting crew between their ships and the Seafarers' House hospitality facility or other local stops in and around Port Everglades. With the new partnership of Publix as a sponsor of van service, a dedicated route is being offered between the port and the Publix store on Cordova Road.

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Email address for Great Barrier Reef bookings

Email address for Great Barrier Reef bookings

[email protected]).

Bookings for up to three years in advance will generally be acknowledged within five working days, according to Lorelle Schluter, manager of sustainable development and policy for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Schluter said passenger ship operators will find everything they need to know about cruising in what is the largest World Heritage Area on Earth and about booking an anchorage by going into the GBRMPA's updated website (www.gbrmpa.gov.au) and clicking on 'onboard.'

The streamlined booking system is the result of a GBRMPA workshop in Brisbane early this year with representatives of Captain Cook Cruises, Carnival Australia and Orion Expedition Cruises.

The authority recommends that bookings are made 'as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.'

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RCI, Celebrity add advance flight check-in

RCI, Celebrity add advance flight check-in

The service is being rolled out at ports across the United States, based on approval by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, Customs and Border Patrol, as well as seaport, airport and airline security personnel.

At a fee of $10 to $20 per person, 'Onboard Check-in and Luggage Valet' is now available to Celebrity passengers whose cruises end in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, San Diego, San Juan and Seattle, and to Royal Caribbean passengers whose cruises end in San Juan and Seattle. Both brands also offer the service for arrivals in Vancouver, B.C. To qualify, passengers must fly to a U.S. city on an expanding list of airlines on the same day their voyage ends.

Passengers give cruise staff their flight information and the number of bags to be checked. Boarding passes, luggage tags and claim checks are printed and distributed. Passengers with afternoon flights can shop or take tours before going to the airport, where they proceed directly to security checkpoints and on to their gates and flights. Meanwhile, luggage is secured and transported directly to their aircraft.

The procedure was first tested on a limited basis in Vancouver during the 2003 Alaska season. In 2004 and 2005, it was expanded in Vancouver to include eight airlines and about 52,000 passengers. Up to 75% of eligible passengers participated, averaging more than 500 per sailing and nearly 65,000 pieces of luggage this year.

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Windstar launches Med booking contest

Windstar launches Med booking contest

28, a travel agent will win an iPod Nano and Bose SoundDock speaker as part of Windstar Cruises' Mediterranean Rhythm Contest.

Agents with new deposited bookings on Wind Surf Mediterranean sailings from April 8 to Nov. 26 will automatically be entered in the contest. A daily drawing will be held at 5 p.m. PST from each day's eligible entrants. Saturday's entrants will be included in Monday's drawing.

On March 1, all agents with eligible bookings will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a cruise for two aboard the Wind Surf. The winning agent and guest will sail in a suite with business class airfare for two included.

The contest is designed to draw attention to Windstar's Degrees of Difference fleet upgrade program, which includes the installation of iPod Nanos and Bose SoundDock speakers.

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Casino line loss drags down Everglades numbers

Casino line loss drags down Everglades numbers

7% in fiscal 2005.

Though the South Florida facility posted a slight gain in multi-day cruise passengers, the collapse of St. Tropez Casino Cruises sent total passenger count from a record 4,075,406 in 2004 to 3,801,406 in the year ended Sept. 30.

Cruise revenue decreased 2%, from $30,601,167 in 2004 to $30,000,619.

Port Everglades' multi-day cruise passenger count edged up 0.5% during 2005, from 2,675,296 in 2004 to 2,688,363. Due to the loss of St. Tropez Casino Cruises, daily ship passenger numbers dipped 20.5%, from 1,400,110 last year to 1,113,101 in 2005.

During 2005, Port Everglades surged past a cumulative total of 50m passengers processed in the 74 years since the first cruise ship docked in 1931. Also during the year, the port welcomed three newly built cruise ships -- Royal Caribbean International's Jewel of the Seas, Holland America Line's Westerdam and MSC Cruises' MSC Opera.

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Hardanger Fjord boosts cruise arrivals

Hardanger Fjord boosts cruise arrivals

The quay hosted 27 calls this year after opening in May.

Ulvik expects 20 cruise visits next summer, as the total number of projected arrivals in Hardanger Fjord edges close to 90.

A new brochure is available from Cruise Destination Hardanger Fjord AS which contains 11 tour suggestions for cruise ships calling at the Eidfjord cruise quay. Contact: [email protected]

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Oceanic Princess 2006/07 product launch

Oceanic Princess 2006/07 product launch

Briggs hosted a cocktail party for 110 travel agents on Thursday aboard the SOLAS-registered vessel and held another function last night for consumer and trade media.

Briggs told guests that Oceanic Princess' maiden 'Melanesia' voyage from Noumea in March next year has already been fully booked, thanks to a mail-out to passengers who have sailed in her since she entered service in May.

There is another 'Melanesia' itinerary from Alotau in Papua New Guinea to Noumea via the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu in November 2006, and in 2007 the ship departs Noumea again on March 21. This cruise arrives in Alotau on April 3, with an optional extension to Cairns where she will dock April 5.

Briggs, who founded Coral Princess Cruises in 1984 and also operates Great Barrier Reef and Top End programmes with Coral Princess and Coral Princess II, said the UK, Germany, Italy and the United States are his major overseas markets and that he uses 'selected wholesalers' to distribute his products.

He said there is also a strong domestic market for the Cairns to Darwin and Darwin/Cairns voyages that Oceanic Princess will operate in 2006 and 2007 and that the 63mtr custom-built ship is being promoted for meetings and incentive charters.

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