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New Dubai cruise terminal debuts this month

New Dubai cruise terminal debuts this month

In port for the occasion will be QE2, Europa, Columbus and Delphin, making the day the busiest yet for Dubai's cruise sector. Designed to cater for both transit and passenger exchange operations, the ship-shaped facility claims to be the only one in the world managed by a government department of tourism. 'Immediately after the opening, we will be applying for Lloyd's ISO 9002 accreditation - a first for a cruise terminal - to complement the IMS certification earned by Port Rashid itself, which is the only port between Europe and Asia with this security rating,' says Chuck Heath, director of projects at Dubai's Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing. Features of the terminal include personal and baggage security screening, covered luggage handling area, tour bus and taxi parking stands, post office and money exchange, business centre with Internet access and conference room. In addition, the facility offers an information centre, VIP lounge, cafe, handicapped-accessible restrooms, big screen entertainment area, duty-free shopping, an Arabic palm garden and a heritage and cultural exhibition. It has capacity to berth two ships simultaneously, with a 335-metre quay and 11.5-metre draft.

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Lazard initiates P&O Princess coverage

Lazard initiates P&O Princess coverage

'While we continue to anticipate a challenging pricing environment for the broader cruise industry over the next two years, Princess is at a key turning point in its cost structure. Over the next four years, Princess is projected to see the largest increase in average vessel size (a 31% increase to 2,159 berths in 2004 from 1,655 in 2000), positioning it to drive significant cost efficiencies and grow earnings at a faster pace than its peers, Carnival Corp. (CCL-$32.26, Outperform) and Royal Caribbean (RCL-$27.45, Hold),' writes analyst Jim Winchester in a new report. 'From a valuation standpoint, we think Princess should be valued at 10x our 2001 estimated EBITDA of $542.9m, which equates to $24 per share. The target valuation multiple is in line with valuation of Royal Caribbean, which we believe is currently the most comparable peer in the group,' Winchester adds. As Princess builds a public track record, Lazard sees the line's valuation as having the potential to rise to a premium to RCL. 'Princess has generated a slightly higher historical return on capital, has a more conservative balance sheet (estimated debt-to-capital of 30% at year-end 2000 versus 48% for RCL), and, unlike either RCL or CCL, is not owned or controlled by a substantial inside owner,' Winchester observes. 'The last point leads us to believe that Princess shares could carry a modest takeover premium, particularly in light of Carnival's expression of interest in August 1999.'

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Renaissance ramps up Far East programme

Renaissance ramps up Far East programme

Starting in November, the line will deploy both R1 and R8 on the same Singapore-Hong Kong itinerary (calling at Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Guangzhou) for a total of 12 departures. Cruise-only fares start at $2,199 per person, including port charges. VP sales Charlie Dunwoody says Far East ports scored highly with R2 passengers, and Vietnam in particular exceeded guest expectations.

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Losses for AMCV in 4Q and FY2000

Losses for AMCV in 4Q and FY2000

28 per share) on revenues of $61.9m, compared to a net loss of $33,000 on revenues of $55.5m during the last quarter of 1999. For the year ended December 31, the company recorded a net loss of $10.1m ($0.49 per share) on revenues of $221.6m, compared to 1999's net loss of $1.7m ($0.10 per share) on revenues of $208.7m. Turning to 2001, AMCV reports a record wave period while acknowledging that it's also discounting Hawaii cruises as it absorbs a year-over-year capacity increase of 140% in that market. Compared to last year, gross fare per diems on AMCV's Hawaii cruises in the first half of 2001 have dropped 24%, to $172 per passenger night.

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Panel to disclose safety findings

Panel to disclose safety findings

Conducted by M. Rosenblatt & Son, an AMSEC LLC Group, the study examined areas including evacuation procedures, fire safety, crew communications and regulatory oversight. It was undertaken as a response to IMO secretary general Bill O'Neil's call for a full safety evaluation and is one element of an on-going process. Another element is a planning workshop for a mass rescue exercise at sea, scheduled for March 26-27 in Jacksonville, Florida, in partnership with the US Coast Guard.

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HAL office back in action

HAL office back in action

Staff were back on duty today at Holland America Line headquarters in Seattle following yesterday's powerful earthquake.

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