Seatrade Cruise News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Sitemap


Articles from 2004 In February


Insigniaapos;s D-Day anniversary cruise

Insigniaapos;s D-Day anniversary cruise

Sailing from Lisbon to London on May 31, the cruise is being led by decorated military historian Brigadier General Stanley Ulanoff and a host of other D-Day experts.

The 684-passenger Insignia will make calls at Honfleur, Saint-Malo on the Brittany Coast, St. Peter Port in the Channel Islands, and Plymouth in the UK amongst other ports in seven countries.

The D-Day itinerary includes a variety of related events and tailored shore excursions and will feature lectures by renowned historians, retired military officers and military strategists.

NULL

Other yards to bid for Pride?

Other yards to bid for Pride?

According to the sources, it is not certain that Lloyd Werft will win the bid to finish the vessel. Yard chief Werner Lüken vowed to complete the project following the Pride of America's refloating last month.

Meanwhile, the important Lloyd Werft subcontractor Messrs Metall-und Bootsbau GmbH declared insolvency today, with 68 workers losing their jobs. By the end of last week, two other subcontractors had filed for insolvency, affecting 40 jobs. It is understood that the government aid approved by the Bremen senate for subcontractors affected by Lloyd Werft's insolvency is complicated and difficult to obtain.

Pride of America remains in dry dock at Bremerhaven as investigations continue into the cause of the ship's partial dockside sinking during a Jan. 14 storm.

NULL

Veitch hails GAO report on Project America

Veitch hails GAO report on Project America

The exemption effectively gives NCL a monopoly on interisland Hawaiian itineraries that have been unavailable since the September 2001 bankruptcy of American Classic Voyages.

However, the report says, 'NCL will likely have little power to raise prices on these itineraries because of competition from other vacation options.' The report notes that NCL's exemption provides an additional obstacle for any potential US-flag competitor toenter the Hawaii market, since that competitor would need to build its ship in the US at a higher cost. But independent of the exemption, the GAO points to other substantial obstacles for any potential US-flag cruise vessel, including higher capital and operating costs associated with the US flag.

'Granting additional exemptions to ease entry into the domestic trade could lead to benefits for port cities, US seamen and consumers; however, it is unclear how many cruise lines would choose to enter even if they were permitted to operate foreign-built ships under the US flag, because of the higher operating costs associated with a US-flag carrier operating in domestic itineraries and because of uncertain market conditions,' the report says.

NCL president and ceo Colin Veitch sees the GAO report as confirmation that Project America is good for American workers and consumers. In a statement, Veitch says Project America means 'more competition in the cruise industry and will result in more choices for vacationing families. It is good for the US economy because it has already created more than 1,000 new jobs and will add badly needed tax revenues to federal and state treasuries.' NCL estimates that a fully implemented Project America will generate more than 20,000 jobs and over $800m annually in economic activity.

NCL made the decision to have a real presence in Hawaii despite its bigger and more established competitors, Veitch says. 'This report makes clear that NCL serves as a competitive check on the two cruise lines that currently dominate North American cruises,' his statement reads.

The GAO report is at www.gao.gov.

NULL

Black Watch fully booked out of Sydney

Black Watch fully booked out of Sydney

International sales and marketing manager David Farrant, who hosted a media lunch on board the 28,492gt former Royal Viking Star today with gsa Peter Marshall of Cruise Abroad, said 280 of the 331 UK/UK passengers on the company's inaugural 105-night world voyage are repeats. Farrant, who is also making his first visit to Australia, said a total of 300 Australians will travel on various sectors of the historic round-world sailing which will be repeated in the reverse direction next year.


Marshall told Seatrade Insider more than 500 travel agents will be invited aboard Black Watch while she is in Australian waters and that her 2005 world cruise ex-Southampton January 5 via Suez, Asia, Australia, the South Pacific and Panama is already selling well.



NULL

Australians go the distance with Discovery

Australians go the distance with Discovery

Yellow, who spoke about operating a cruise ship in Antarctica at the third annual Cruiseco conference in Cairns, will meet Discovery on her arrival in Auckland today.

He reported although four sectors were available - Auckland/Honolulu, Honolulu/Acapulco, Acapulco/Fort Lauderdale and Fort Lauderdale/London - many Australians are going all the way to the UK.

Yellow said the current 2003/04 northern winter itinerary for Gerry Herrod's Discovery, the former Island Princess which has had a $10m refit, has set the pattern for the next couple of years. The decision was made after 9/11 not to carry on to Australia and return to Europe via Asia and the Suez Canal.

Yellow reported Cruiseco, the consortium of nearly 100 cruise specialist travel agencies which is the sole marketing arm for Discovery Cruises in Australia, has made an impression in the UK with the volume of business it has generated.

Voyages of Discovery, which operates Discovery under charter during the European summer season, will ask Cruiseco to sell its niche educational programme said Yellow.

NULL

KMY 2003 results: a slight improvement

KMY 2003 results: a slight improvement

3m, Kvaerner Masa-Yards reported a slight improvement in its 2003 results compared to 2002. Operating profit was up from EUR83.4m in 2002 to EUR87.4m last year.

The net sales reduction is a consequence of decreasing production loading says the yard but it puts the satisfactory result down to 'successful completion of delivered vessels, fluent progress of ships under production and a consequence of the company's cost competitiveness improvement programmes.'

Two cruise ships were delivered in 2003, Costa Mediterranea in May and Mariner of the Seas in October to RCCL. Last September KMY received an order from RCCL to build a new Ultra Voyager cruise ship. This will be delivered in May 2006. Royal Caribbean andKMY also agreed on an option for a second Ultra Voyager ship, with a 2007 delivery.

KMY has four ships on its orderbooks at present and is predicting a decline in net sales and profits for 2004 due to the level of current workload. However it reports its liquidity situation and central financingratios, equity ratio and gearing, are estimated to be good throughout2004. It warns that restructuring and lay-offs will continue this year. At end of last year the number of personnel was down to 3,888 from 4,424 at end 2002.

NULL

Aker Kvaerner refocused

Aker Kvaerner refocused

As a result the shipbuilding activities of Aker Yards, Masa-Yards and the Ostsee yards in Germany will merge, making Aker Yards among the top five shipbuilders in the world.

The transaction will create a group of 14 shipyards: two in Germany (MTW and Warnow Werft), three in Finland (Masa's Helsinki and Turku yards and Finnyards), Norway (5), Romania (2), and one each in Brazil and Philadelphia in the US. The five Finnish and German yards' combine will spearhead Aker's cruiseship activities but the grouping will also be a leading supplier of ferries, ro-pax, offshore service vessels, chemical and LNG, containers, tankers and naval vessels.

Next stage in the process is the approval of the principles in the merger and share consideration at the Kvaerner agm March 19, followed by refinancing approval and Aker Kvaerner ipo and equity issue. The first possible date for listing of Aker Kvaerner by the Oslo Stock Exchange is 2Q, 2004, followed by an Aker Yards ipo listing and approval by OSE, likely in the third quarter of this year.

NULL

ROC thrown a lifeline

ROC thrown a lifeline

In a anxiously awaited decision, the courtannounced February 27 the appointment of leading Piraeus lawyer GregoryTimagenis administrator of the Greek cruise company with the chore ofmediating a financial agreement between it and its main creditor, FortisBank over the next six months.

The court has stopped all legal action against the cruise company. Some 600 cases are said to have been filed. The decision, under Section 45 of Greece's 'protective bankruptcy preceedings', enables ROC to re-activate the companies and gives it the chance to haul itself back from the brink. It is understood the Athens 2004 Olympic GamesOrganisation has agreed the appointment of Timagenis, a former presidentof the Greek Seamen's Pension Fund (NAT).

ROC's fleet has been in laid-up since the turn of the year as bankers and creditors moved to arrest its most valuable assets: Olympia Voyager, Olympia Explorer and Olympia Countess. Debt on the first two ships is reportedly $230m. Creditors have already sold Olympia Countess at public auction in South Africa last month. All three ships were committed to Athens 2004to be used in Piraeus as accommodation ships during the Olympic Games.

The court's announcement came after it had postponed making a decision anumber of times, the latest being February 19. Fortis, which holds morethan 51% of ROC's debt, has been reportedly negotiating withUS-based investment group, High Bridge.

ROC's legal representative, Elias Haliakopoulos said activities will beresumed as soon as possible and 'ROC will be in a position to takeadvantage of the expected upturn in tourism in the Mediterranean inparallel with the Olympics, and survive.'

Haliakopoulos said contractswith Athens 2004 were worth between $15m and $20m. He said this, coupledwith the anticipated 30% increase in tourism this summer could earnanother $20m as 'the company already holds some 50,000 bookings for2004.'

NULL

Greek court throws ROC a lifeline

Greek court throws ROC a lifeline

The court announced February 27 the appointment of leading Piraeus lawyer Gregory Timagenis to mediate a financial agreement between the Piraeus-based Royal Olympic and its main creditor, Fortis Bank. Timagenis said no time limits are in place but he thought the company probably had six to nine months breathing space.


Piraeus-based Royal Olympic requested protection from creditors for three subsidiaries in a Greek court at the end of January. The shipsinvolved are the ageing Triton, built 1971; World Renaissance, built 1966; and Odysseus, built 1962.


The Piraeus decision did not include the two subsidiaries of Royal Olympic which filed for Chapter 11 protection in Honolulu in December and later agreed to allow creditors to arrest the Olympia Voyager and Olympia Explorer, paving the way for sales at auction which are still awaited. Another ship, Olympia Countess, was arrested in Durban and was sold at auction last month.


Timagenis said he understood the US investment group High Bridge was still interested in Royal Olympic, but would not comment on reports it was considering buying the debt from Fortis in exchange for shares in the cruise company.


Royal Olympic's legal representative, Elias Haliakopoulos said activities will be resumed as soon as possible. He said ROC hoped contracts with the Athens 2004 Olympic Games committee would remain as they were worth between $15m and $20m. This, coupled with the anticipated 30% increase in tourism this summer worth another $20m, could allow ROC to survive, he said, the company already holding some 50,000 bookings for 2004.

NULL

Bill Oapos;Neil Videotelapos;s new president

Bill Oapos;Neil Videotelapos;s new president

The company provides computer, video and DVD-based training packages and courses in many languages for the maritime industry. 'Bill O'Neil has done a great deal to promote the safety culture in the maritime industry, and training is an inherent part of that culture,' says Stephen Bond, md of Videotel.

NULL