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Articles from 2018 In December

$9.9bn in new ships, 42,300 lower berths to join global cruise fleet in 2019

From left, Greg Mortimer, MSC Grandiosa, Spectrum of the Seas, Costa Venezia

They'll add a total of 42,334 additional lower berths, valued at $9.9bn.

This compares to 2018's 12 ocean-going newbuilds totalling 33,137 lower berths at a total value of $7.9bn.

12 expedition newbuilds

A dozen of the 2019 newbuilds are expedition cruise ships, highlighting the incredible growth of this sector. They are Antarctica 21's Magellan Explorer, Scenic Eclipse, Coral Expeditions' Coral Adventurer, Celebrity Flora, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' Hanseatic Nature and Hanseatic Inspiration, Hurtigruten's Roald Amundsen, Oceanwide Expeditions' Hondius, Ponant's Le Bougainville and Le Dumont d'Urville, Mystic Cruises/Quark Expeditions' World Explorer and SunStone Ships/Aurora Expeditions' Greg Mortimer.

First battery-powered cruise ship

In terms of novel propulsion, Roald Amundsen will become the first cruise vessel able to sail for short stints on silent, emissions-free battery power.

And Costa Smeralda will be the year's sole LNG-powered cruise newbuild.

New brands

Two new brands are bursting on the scene with their first newbuilds as The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection welcomes Azora and Portugal's Mystic Cruises brings out World Explorer, first in a series of 10 planned vessels. Having built up a river fleet, Australia-based tour operator Scenic branches into ocean cruising with Scenic Eclipse.

And several established brands will be introducing their first newbuilds, including Saga Cruises' Spirit of Discovery, Aurora Expeditions' Greg Mortimer, Oceanwide Expeditions' Hondius and Antarctica21's Magellan Explorer.


With Costa Venezia, Costa Cruises debuts its first newbuild customized for Asia, while Spectrum of the Seas is Royal Caribbean International's new ship for China.

China Merchants Heavy Industries is building China's first cruise ship for the international market, Greg Mortimer, kicking off a series of expedition vessels SunStone Ships is building for charter to various operators.

The biggest

By tonnage, the largest new ship of 2019 is Costa Smeralda, at 180,000gt. (It's also the largest in terms of lower berths, with 5,000.) No. 2 sizewise is the appropriately named MSC Grandiosa (177,000gt/4,900 lower berths), followed by the first Quantum-Ultra ship, Spectrum of the Seas (168,600gt/4,180 lower berths), the ship that wraps Norwegian Cruise Line's Breakaway Plus series, Norwegian Encore (167,800gt/4,200 lower berths), and MSC Bellissima (167,600gt/4,500 lower berths).

The smallest

Four ships measure under 6,000gt: Antarctica21's Magellan Explorer, Coral Expeditions' Coral Adventurer, Celebrity Flora and Oceanwide Expeditions' Hondius. Each with 100 berths, Magellan Explorer and Celebrity Flora are the smallest capacity-wise.


Celebrity Cruises will introduce the first newbuild created for the Galápagos, Celebrity Flora. In Flying Clipper, Star Clippers will be fielding a replica of the largest square-rigged sailing ship ever built, France II.

Carnival Panorama will introduce the first Sky Zone trampoline park at sea, while MSC Grandiosa has the longest Mediterranean-style promenade at sea, topped by an LED sky screen. The two Sky Suites aboard Sky Princess will be the ultimate perch for entertaining with the largest balconies ever offered by Princess (700 square feet) and a location that overlooks the Movies Under the Stars screen.

MSC Bellissima will debut a voice-activated digital personal assistant as a new feature of MSC for Me.

For more about each of the year's newbuilds, see 'Class of 2019' in the latest (digital) issue of Seatrade Cruise Review.


Port Darwin welcomes Silver Muse to Australia

PHOTO: Helen Hutcheon
Peter Dummett presents Capt. Sangiacomo with the plaque to commemorate Silver Muse’s arrival in Darwin

Capt. Marco Sangiacomo hosted an exclusive reception in the panoramic Observation Lounge for city and port officials, including port development gm Peter Dummett.
Silversea Cruises’ newest flagship set sail again later on Wednesday for Cairns, Townsville, Airlie Beach and Brisbane.

Festive Sydney welcome to come

She will arrive in Sydney on January 6 when md Asia Pacific Adam Armstrong will celebrate her arrival with ‘an evening of luxury and indulgence’ for travel industry partners and media.

The 596-passenger ultra-luxury ship then heads for New Zealand.


Who grabbed the Seatrade Cruise News headlines in 2018?


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We wish all our readers Happy Holidays and a Peaceful New Year and our editorial team looks forward to keeping everyone abreast of the cruise news as it breaks throughout 2019.

Pending any major developments, reporting will resume on January 3.

Thanks for reading Seatrade Cruise News.

Inspired by sister brand Crystal, Dream Cruises enhances The Palace

PHOTO: Dream Cruises
Butler service in The Palace

'Asian Luxury Ship within a Megaship'

'Inspired by our international, luxury sister brand Crystal Cruises, “The Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line in the world,” Dream Cruises’ The Palace concept delivers our Asian equivalent to this acclaimed level of cruising,' Dream Cruises president Thatcher Brown said. 'Sophisticated Asian guests desire the excitement and energy of a large megaship but also demand the privacy and intimacy of their own exclusive facilities and Dream Cruises’ response was the creation of The Palace, the perfect solution featuring an “Asian Luxury Ship within a Megaship” concept across our fleet.'

Well received since its introduction on Genting Dream two years ago, followed by World Dream, The Palace consists of nearly 10,000 square meters of suites, a private restaurant, gym, sun deck, swimming pool, children's area and other facilities. Residents of this 'ship within a ship' get priority embarkation, exclusive dining and additional services.

The area has a one to one crew to passenger ratio and 24-hour butler and concierge service.

New all-inclusive luxury experience

In response to demand and ease of reference that The Palace should be the Asian equivalent on par or surpassing international high-end cruise lines, this area will now feature an all-inclusive luxury experience with five-star Asian food and beverage offerings in addition to other privileges.

The new benefits include an all-inclusive set meal entitlement at available specialty restaurants during meal times and an enhanced all-inclusive Seafood Buffet selection in The Palace restaurant. The Crystal Life Café will provide an expanded healthy breakfast and vegetarian lunch options.

Premium Beverage package, enrichment program, tours

A complimentary Premium Beverage package at all bars and inclusive restaurants is also offered.

Another perk is an exclusive Palm Court Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Party with officers.

A dedicated Palace Kids’ Program, for ages 2 to 12, has been added, along with a dedicated 'Connoisseurs Circle' enrichment program of talks, events and activities including complimentary well-being and fitness classes.

Passengers in The Palace will also get a choice of select Palace shore excursions or general shore excursions.


Robert Moroney joins Intercruises in global role

Robert Moroney a well-respected and vastly experienced port operations specialist

Implementing worldwide service standards

Based in Fort Lauderdale, Moroney will drive Intercruises’ global port operations business, implementing service standards worldwide and monitoring service delivery on an ongoing basis.

'Robert is a well-respected and vastly experienced port operations specialist with an understanding of the cruise industry from the cruise line, port agency and operator perspective, which will help us enhance and adapt our service in line with the evolving needs of our cruise line partners,' Intercruises managing director Olga Piqueras said. 'We have excellent port operations specialists around the world, but with Robert we now have someone to bring them together as a global team.'

Experience at Metro, Ceres, Royal Caribbean

Moroney has vast cruise industry experience. Most recently he was with ground handler Metro Cruise Services as director, shore services for the East and Gulf coasts. Before that, he was director of cruise services, nationwide, for Ceres Terminals, one of the largest stevedoring and marine terminal operators in North America.

During 11 years with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., he held roles including manager of worldwide port operations, where he directly oversaw all port agencies, stevedore companies and port and union relationships.

Master sommelier Doug Frost uncorks Princess wine menu expansion

Doug Frost guided an expanded wine menu, with 30% of the choices priced at $39 and under, many more grape varietals and a wider regional selection

One of four in the world to hold both titles

Frost is one of four individuals in the world to hold simultaneously the master of wine (MW) and master sommelier (MS) titles, achieving his MS in 1991 and MW in 1993. He was the second person in history to complete both exams and 25 years later he is still one of only four people in the world to have achieved both distinctions.

Thirty percent priced under $39

The Princess beverage team and Frost established a new wine philosophy that centers on exploration, discovery and enrichment. With quality and global diversity in mind, the new wine menu, available in the main dining rooms fleetwide, is also approachable, with 30% of the list priced at $39 and under and 66% at $49 or less.

Wine list descriptions also make it easy for occasional wine drinkers to select. For example, white wines are designated as 'refreshing,' 'light and mild,' 'fruity and vibrant' and 'rich and textured.'

'Princess guests have a passion for culinary travel so our goal in creating this new wine menu was to find fascinating wines from some of the memorable destinations Princess visits,' Frost said. 'This way guests can return from shore and still experience local tastes with exciting wines at all price points. Plus, what better way to celebrate any occasion than with a special bottle of wine that can be shared with friends and loved ones on a cruise.'

Regional wines expanded by 56%

The new wine list has expanded regional representations from around the world by 56% and adding 42% more grape varietals than previously. Emerging gems, such as Ao Yun Cabernet Sauvignon from China, along with elites such as Lafite, Petrus, Grange, Masseto and others round out the offerings.

Selections like Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and an opportunity to explore varietals that are noteworthy—like Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon from South Australia and a Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa—offer value.

The complete wine list can be found here.

Passengers who purchase the Premier Beverage Package get a 25% percent discount off bottles of wine in the main dining room.

Plus, six new beverage menus

In addition, Princess is rolling out six new beverage menus at The Sanctuary, Pool Deck, Wheelhouse Bar, Crooners, Explorer’s Lounge and a general menu offering 13 drinks created by master mixologist Floyd. There are 20 new high-end and exotic spirits, some reflecting the line's exotic destinations, and 17 new international and craft beers, as well as 39 new wines by the glass, also inspired by Princess itineraries.

Bergen to cap daily cruise calls, tie fees to environmental performance

PHOTO: © Port of Bergen
Shore power connection points will be available at the Skolten (north and south) and Bontelabo quays from May 2020, Skolten is going to be prioritized for cruise calls

The view is that too many ships calling Bergen on the same day leads to pollution and also to too many tourists in the city.

'We naturally welcome cruise tourism to Bergen but we must take into account what the city wants,' commented Johnny Breivik, director, Port of Bergen. 'At the same time we are keen to offer cruise tourists a quality product. They do not get this if they have to queue with thousands of other tourists and experience contamination from several ships docking in the port at the same time.'

Three ships a day, up to 8,000 passengers total

As a result of this criticism, the city council decided at a meeting in October that a process of finding a legislative framework that will allow for the restriction of cruise traffic should take place.

The aim is to reduce the number of cruise ship calls to three, and the number of cruise tourists to 8,000, a day. The reason for this is simple. It is for the City of Bergen to remain an attractive and sustainable destination in terms of climate, the environment and visitor numbers for cruise passengers, as well as tourists in general, and the residents of Bergen themselves.

Further, the city council concluded that Skoltegrunnskaien/Skolten Dock is to be prioritised for cruise ship calls.

In addition the Port of Bergen is working on several projects to develop a more sustainable cruise offering in Bergen.

Shore power

The Bergen municipality has adopted an ambition to become fossil-fuel-free by 2030. Offering shore power to all vessels by 2020 is part of the Bergen’s Environment Strategy. Together with renewable energy company BKK, the port is building Europe’s largest onshore power supply. The NKr120m (€12.4m) facility will be able to supply three cruise vessels simultaneously with 6.6/11 Kv, 50/60hz and a total of 30mW. Connection points will be available at the Skolten (north and south) and Bontelabo quays from May 2020. On Dec. 4 it was announced that state-owned grant system Enova had granted NKr50m in funding towards the project.

EPI score to help determine port fees

Through a partnership with 11 other Norwegian cruise ports plus DNVGL, the Port of Bergen has developed a new system for the characterisation of a cruise ship's environmental footprint. The system is named Environmental Port Index (EPI). One of the key design elements of EPI is to capture how a ship performs while in port. Improved operation will be credited through an increase in the EPI score.

Starting from May 1, 2019, the Port of Bergen will connect EPI with the fees concerning cruise ship arrival into the port. This includes quay dues, passenger fees, ISPS fee and fairway dues. The initial fees will be kept on the same level as today, but the whole system will be differentiated according to the EPI score of the ship.

An initial test of the EPI system towards a collection of ships estimates the average ship's EPI-score to be 30. The differentiated port fee adjustment will thus use 30 as the point of reference for no fee change. For EPI score lower than 30, the fees will increase. An EPI score of 0 gives a maximum penalty with an 150% increase in the port fees. On the positive side, a score of 100 will give a discount of 17.5%.

Examples of ships with high EPI score include ships connected to shore power, LNG ships and ships equipped with good solutions for SOx and NOx scrubbing. Ships equipped [for] shore power will only be rewarded if connected to an onshore power supply. Such ships will in any regard not be rated below an EPI score of 30. Both the EPI system and the port fees adjustment will be revised on an annual basis.

LNG best practices

The port is currently conducting a LNG risk assessment which will be finalised in December. The output of the exercise will be a best practices guide to LNG bunkering within the port. The immediate driver for this assessment is the need for LNG delivery to the AIDA Cruises ships in 2019, as well as bunkering of the Hurtigruten and Havila coastal passenger ships in 2021.

The Port of Bergen will be sending a delegation of six people to Seatrade Cruise Global in Miami next April to explain the new policy to the cruise lines.

Costa campaign delves into the allures of Liguria

This visual shows the color of Genovese houses in places like Camogli, along with the 'Genova nel Cuore' (Genoa in our hearts) and Costa Crociere Foundation symbols

It will first appear Dec. 26 on Mediaset channels.

Narration by actor Corrado Tedeschi

The advertisement shows some of the most beautiful and best known places in Liguria, such as Genoa, with its narrow alleys (caruggi), San Lorenzo cathedral and the Rolli palaces, Cinque Terre, Sestri Levante and Bergeggi, near Savona, together with Liguria’s coastline, Portofino natural park waters and Genoa Aquarium. The narrator is the Italian actor Corrado Tedeschi, speaking on behalf of Costa and telling how its ships have been sailing around the world for 70 years but always return to experience the excitement of its birthplace: Liguria.

'We are building on the communication campaign launched with the hashtag #genovanelcuore, one dedicated to Liguria's parks and also one run with Assomusica, in which artists invited people to visit Genoa. All of these were specifically intended to promote our local area, and now, particularly, following the terrible tragedy resulting from the collapse of the Morandi Bridge, a new initiative has been launched to promote tourism, centered around this advertisement splendidly produced by Costa Cruises,' Liguria Region president Giovanni Toti said.

'Gesture of love'

Costa president Neil Palomba called the campaign a 'gesture of love for Liguria, our home, where our headquarters has been based for over 70 years' during an event Thursday in Genoa at the beatiful Villa lo Zerbino. Now that the region needs support, he said Costa will undertake a series of initiatives, led by this campaign, with the aim of achieving tangible benefits for Liguria and continuing the strong partnership and bond among Costa, Genoa and Liguria during the cruise line's 70th anniversary this year.

This was highlighted by the Costa Zena Festival, which brought 100,000 people out into the streets and squares of Genoa on July 7.

Palomba said Costa will continue to support the Liguria Region and Genoa in the years to come with further activities such as a project with Genoa’s city hall that will be unveiled in the coming weeks to support 'our town and her citizens in this difficult moment.' That will be supported by donations from passengers, Costa's contribution for each plate of trofie with pesto (a Genovese pasta dish) served on the ships, among company personnel, friends and travel agencies and through each booking in certain periods.

Costa was involved in every stage of the advertising campaign's development—from creation to production and broadcasting—with creative agency VMLY&R Italia and production company e-motion, and direction by Giancarlo Spinelli.

'The aim of the campaign is very clear: we want Italians to think of Liguria because of all the beautiful things it has to offer: the sea, wonderful landscapes, good food, traditions, art and culture. That's why, as travel experts, we decided to get directly involved ourselves,' Luca Casaura, SVP global & strategic marketing for Costa, said during the launch event.

'One of the best places in the world is our home'

'Having visited the most beautiful destinations in every continent for many years, we can say hand on heart that one of the best places in the world is our very own home. if you want to enjoy a truly exciting holiday, come to Liguria.'

The advertisement will be broadcast for the first time at 9 p.m. Dec. 26 on the Mediaset channels, where it will continue to air for nine weeks. The 30-second and 15-second spots feature different destinations in Liguria. Web, social media and direct marketing activities on channels run by Costa, Liguria and the main Ligurian organizations are also planned, including with a 60-second format.

The production company e-motion and creative director Cristian Comand are all from Genoa, while Corrado Tedeschi is an 'adopted son' and director Giancarlo Spinelli hails from La Spezia. Other contributors included the 'In Liguria' Agency, Genoa Aquarium, Miaygi, Illusion, ETI Solutions, Alessandro Beltrame and Nicola Bozzo.

'Genova nel Cuore'

Two symbolically important logos appear at the end—'Genova nel Cuore' (Genoa in our hearts) which Costa is also using in its new international campaign starring Penélope Cruz, and one representing the Costa Crociere Foundation which supports numerous social and environmental causes in Genoa and Liguria.

AIDAprima pays maiden visit to Doha, cementing MOU with Qatar

PHOTO: Qatar National Tourism Council
A plaque presentation marked AIDAprima's first visit to Doha Port

Target of 200,000 cruisers by 2020

'Our collaboration with AIDA Cruises is helping expedite the development of the cruise industry in Qatar and AIDAPrima's arrival marks another step towards our target of 200,000 cruise visitors by 2020,' said Rashed AlQurese, chief marketing & promotion officer at QNTC. 'As we continue to work with our local partners in the country to provide memorable experiences to each and every cruise visitor, we look forward to seeing Qatar become an increasingly frequent destination on AIDA's itineraries.'

AIDA was among the first to begin regular cruises in the Arabian Gulf, starting in 2006. During winter seasons, the line offers one-week fly-cruises in the area to its mostly German clientele.

Eight AIDAprima calls this season

AIDAprima is booked for eight calls in Doha during the 2018/19 season, carrying about 26,000 passengers. Several more visits are planned in the 2019/20 season.

QNTC's memorandum of understanding with AIDA established a partnership aimed at developing cruise tourism. The initiative focuses on Doha, the capital, which provides a cruise terminal and aims to build a strong relationship with AIDA in advance of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The agreement, signed on the sidelines of the Qatar-Germany Business and Investment Forum held in Berlin last September, also includes cooperation to build attractive packages and special services dedicated to AIDA passengers, in addition to joint communications, co-marketing and familiarization trips.

Follows collaboration with TUI Cruises

The AIDA partnership is the Gulf country's second collaboration with a German cruise line, following TUI Cruises, which sent Mein Schiff 5 to Doha eight times last season. Germans formed the majority of cruise passengers in Doha during the 2017/18 season.

Qatar welcomed more than 65,000 cruisers last season, a 39% increase from the 2016/17 season. The 200,000 passengers by 2020 target is possible thanks to a port expansion that enables Doha Port to handle two large ships at the same time. The first such simultaneous docking took place last month, and Doha Port expects to receive more than one mega ship on the same day four more times this season.  


Cono Sur eyes 2018/19 cruise record for Chile

PHOTO: Cono Sur
Festive welcome for Zaandam to Coquimbo

Previous high 455,000, counting crew

More than 450,000 passengers and crew are projected to arrive by international ships, perhaps surpassing the record 455,000 passengers and crew in the 2008/09 season.

Scheduled calls are 15% higher than last season—271, up from 236—when 380,000 passengers and crew arrived.

Promotional work

'We hope that this season will be quite successful for the cruise industry in Chile,' Conosur president Enrique Runin said. 'This favorable scenario is due to the good work by the public and private sectors, including years of hard work by the corporation to promote cruises to Chile.'

After several years, the country is returning to record cruise numbers, Cono Sur executive director Sebastián Montero added.

'We are working to include also the statistics of the international cruises that arrive to other tourist destinations, such as Easter Island, Juan Fernández, Sugar Loaf, Isla Damas, Niebla, Quellón, Tortel, Chaitén and Puerto Edén, among others,' he said. 'With all this, we hope to surpass the historical record of the last years in Chile.'