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Articles from 2008 In February


Orion to debut in Asia in 2009

Orion to debut in Asia in 2009

A highlight of OEC's 2009 itineraries released today is an 11-night 'Gulf of Siam Explorer' voyage from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City on Sept. 29.

Orion will call at Tioman Island and Kuala Terengganu in Malaysia, Ko Samui and Ko Kood in Thailand and overnights in Cambodia's Kampot for optional shore excursions to Angkor Wat. Passengers will also overnight in Ho Chi Minh City before disembarkation.

On Oct. 10 the ship sails from Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore on an 11-night 'Vietnam Explorer' cruise. She will overnight in Da Nang before calling at Nha Trang and Vung Tau in Vietnam, Sihanoukville in Cambodia and Ko Phangan in Thailand.

Also new next year is a two-day stay at Norfolk Island during a 19-night 'Norfolk and Melanesian Islands Discovery' voyage through the South Pacific from Auckland to Rabaul on Feb. 27 and 'Wildlife Adventure' expeditions from Tasmania to sub-Antarctic islands in December.





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NCL outlines organizational changes

NCL outlines organizational changes

0 and Freestyle 2.0 initiatives, and to prepare for the launch of its F3 newbuilds in 2010.

Terri Burke, vp business development, is assuming the newly created position of vp industry relations, responsible for ensuring NCL stays abreast of changes in the distribution system and the range of agency models. The company will launch a search for the vp business development role.

Vivian Ewart is joining NCL as vp passenger services. Most recently she served as svp and gm at CruiseOne/Cruises Inc. where she spent the past 10 years in positions of increasing responsibility. At NCL she will work with reservations, air/sea operations and guest relations with an immediate focus on the implementation of Partnership 2.0.

NCL also created a dedicated team focused on the planning and launch of the F3 ships. Amy Hiles-Maynard, vp marketing, has been named vp of F3 marketing. A search is under way to fill the vp marketing role.

Susan Robison, vp corporate communications and media promotions, becomes vp of F3 public relations, drawing on her experience of launching nine new ships during her seven years with NCL.

Public relations director AnneMarie Mathews assumes responsibility for the public relations department.

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Bassani signs Chorus deal

Bassani signs Chorus deal

Chorus is a network of 16 churches in Venice containing a heritage of more than 1,000 works of art. The three-year agreement allows Bassani to offer cruise lines a competitive price on the Chrous pass (official price EUR9), a ticket giving access to all member churches.

Filippo Olivetti, managing director of Bassani, an associate member of MedCruise, says, 'I am very pleased with this agreement as it gives cruise lines and passengers an opportunity to contribute to the preservation and maintenance of the churches of Venice, as outlined on every ticket.'

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Hurtigruten posts apos;disappointingapos; results

Hurtigruten posts apos;disappointingapos; results

5m) in the fourth quarter, including 59m kroner for a loss on a conventional and fast ferry contract.

The results compare to a loss of 166m kroner ($31.8m) in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Hurtigruten described the performance as 'a disappointment' adding: 'Changes have been implemented to create lasting profitability.'

The pre-tax loss for 2007 was 224m kroner on revenues of 3.8bn kroner. In 2006 the company lost 62m kroner on revenues of 3.8bn.

Hurtigruten said the passenger business was positive in the recent quarter for the coastal and explorer areas. Operating revenue for the explorer business was 98m kroner, compared to 96m kroner in Q4 2006.

The group's total operating revenue was 721m kroner, compared to 740m in Q4 2006 when it earned 59m in revenue from chartering vessels to the oil industry. Operating expenses rose to 836m kroner, up from 784m in the year-ago quarter due to steeper fuel costs, 11m kroner for the Norwegian NOx tax plus higher payroll costs in the ferry and fast ferry businesses.

CEO Olav Fjell said the company will focus on boosting sales, particularly outside the high season, and on improving efficiency in Norway and abroad with the aim of limiting losses to 50m kroner in 2008 and delivering a profit in 2009.

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NativeEnergy offers cruise3sixty carbon offsets

NativeEnergy offers cruise3sixty carbon offsets

It will be the first time the annual conference - set for March 7-9 in Fort Lauderdale - addresses the carbon crisis and enables the offsetting of its energy footprint.

Megan Epler Wood, a NativeEnergy partner, said the company will be offsetting the space, food and lodging for the three-day conference.

Show attendees are being encouraged to help fight global warming by offsetting their own air travel carbon emissions (information: www.nativeenergy.com/pages/amex_clia/321.php). Cruise3sixty sponsor American Express is contributing $6 toward each participant's travel offsets as an incentive.

Epler Wood said the cruise industry is beginning to highlight environmental issues. She is scheduled to be interviewed during a session on '10 Reasons for the Travel Industry to Go Green,' an educational program she helped design for the event.

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Seatrade panel to probe design challenges

Seatrade panel to probe design challenges

A stronger emphasis in on-board revenues also influences design.

These issues will be discussed at a design-focused conference session at the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention in March, featuring senior cruise executives and some of the industry's prominent interior architects.

Participants include A. Scott Butler, director, Wilson Butler Architects; Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, vp hotel operations, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises; Brian Swensen, vp technical operations, Carnival Cruise lines; Greg Walton, vp, RTKL Associates; andAndrew Yuill, director, SMC Design.

The session is scheduled for 2:30-4:30 p.m. March 12 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

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Overnight calls dot Azamaraapos;s apos;09 Europe

Overnight calls dot Azamaraapos;s apos;09 Europe

The two-ship program includes cruises of seven to 15 nights from five homeports: Piraeus, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Civitavecchia and Venice. Overnights will be available in Barcelona, Edinburgh, Florence, Ravenna (Italy), Istanbul, St. Petersburg and Stockholm. Late-night (10 p.m. or after) departures will be offered in 10 ports.

Highlights include an enhanced 14-night Western Europe itinerary that includes a transit up the Thames River into the heart of London, anchoring overnight within view of the Tower of London, and including a new call on Antwerp, Belgium, also with a downtown berth position.

Seeking to differentiate Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey from larger ships, the line is also emphasizing its ability to dock, rather than tender, at ports such as Zadar, Croatia; Rouen, France; La Spezia, Italy; and Dartmouth, England.

Also offered are four consecutive seven-night Mediterranean cruises that allow customers to pair back-to-back itineraries without repeating ports. And a new Iceland and Norwegian Fjords voyage round-trip from Copenhagen features three Icelandic ports.

Bookings open on April 2.

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RCI taps new associate vp national accounts

RCI taps new associate vp national accounts

She previously served as director of partnership marketing at Carnival Cruise Lines where she managed the largest travel accounts.

'Joanne has a stellar reputation with all travel partners and will be working with the partners along with a fantastic team at RCI,' said Vicki Freed, RCI's svp sales.

Schimelman assumes a role that was held for the past few months by Magnus Wrahme, who concurrently worked with international sales, the area that he will now focus on exclusively. 'He recently relocated from Europe and has the knowledge and passion to work international,' Freed told Seatrade Insider.

Before his promotion to associate vp late last year, Wrahme was regional director, sales, for Southern Europe, based in Royal Caribbean's UK office.

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Balearics surpass one million passengers

Balearics surpass one million passengers

According to figures released by the Balearic Islands Port Authority (Ports de Balears), a total of 1.2m passengers visited the islands last year, 15% more than in 2006.

Base port Palma de Mallorca recorded a total of 474 calls and 1,048,906 passengers - the first time the number of cruise guests visiting Mallorca has exceeded one million.

Last year, 42% of calls and 53% of passengers handled were on turnarounds. The archipelago's second-busiest cruise destination was Mahón, the capital of Menorca Island. In 2007, it recorded a total of 120 cruise calls carrying 90,578 passengers. In terms of calls, the increase was 48%, whilst the number of cruise guests visiting Menorca grew by 37%.

Port of Ibiza recorded 106 cruise calls last year (+12%), its passenger volume totalled 79,904 (+14%). Formentera Island and the port of La Savina, located some distance off Ibiza, received eight cruise calls carrying 498 passengers.


In 2008, more than 500 calls are anticipated for Palma where facilities are being extended to create two additional cruise berths of 380mtr.


In 2009, German operator AIDA has chosen Palma to christen its newest ship AIDAluna (see story above). Passengers booking AIDAluna's maiden voyage to Mallorca or the cruise back to Germany will be able to attend the ceremony. AIDA has been operating from the Balearics for over a decade.

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New DVD promoting Shetland Islands

New DVD promoting Shetland Islands


The 295mtr long, 93,502gt Norwegian Jewel will arrive at Lerwick on September 19 for what will be the final call of the port's 2008 programme. She will be one of six cruise ships on maiden visits to Lerwick this year - among the others are Costa's Costa Victoria and Fred. Olsen's Boudicca, both arriving in July.


In all 43 ships and more than 20,000 cruise passengers are scheduled to visit the Shetland Islands port between early-May and mid-September.


Advance bookings for next year mean that the record for the largest cruise vessel will be broken twice. Firstly by 102,587gt Costa Magica in 2009, and then by Princess' Crown Princess (113,651gt) on September 9. The port could achieve its highest annual tonnage of cruise ships yet in a year which will also see the 1,000th cruise call.

Sandra Laurenson, Lerwick Port Authority's chief executive, said: 'The Port Authority is actively marketing the harbour's facilities - including deep-water anchorages, improved tender transfer, and berthing in the town centre - along with the islands' many attractions.'


The Authority is participating in the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention in Miami next month when a new DVD on Shetland's attractions for cruise passengers will be launched.


The islands are famous for their Scandinavian and Scottish heritage, seabird colonies, marine life, beaches and cliffs. The Shetland Museum and Archives opened on Lerwick's waterfront last year, including a three-storey high hall housing hanging boats, a boat shed for building and repairs, and artefacts.

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