Costa Allegra drydocked for routine maintenance

Costa Allegra drydocked for routine maintenance

The 1992-built vessel will undergo approximately 4m euros of repairs and upgrades to engine and hotel sections with completion set for April 4. Then Allegra launches a series of charters for the French market before settling into a Genoa-based summer season of 10- and 11-day voyages to the Canary Islands plus five 10-day cruises to the Greek Islands.

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Celebrity reserves 4 sailings for adults

Celebrity reserves 4 sailings for adults

'The Celebrity Escape program is a direct result of listening to our guests, many of whom said they would like to experience a Celebrity vacation without children,' says Ares Michaelides, svp marketing and brand planning. The departures will offer the same product as a regular Celebrity cruise, Michaelides adds, 'the only difference is that there will be no kids onboard.'

This year's Celebrity Escape itineraries include an 11-night Caribbean voyage to Central and South America on Millennium from Fort Lauderdale, a seven-night Western Caribbean jaunt on Mercury from Miami, a week in the Western Caribbean on Horizon from Tampa and 10 nights on Infinity in the Hawaiian islands concluding at Ensenada, Mexico.

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Westerdam: goodbye HAL, hello Costa

Westerdam: goodbye HAL, hello Costa

HAL chairman and ceo Kirk Lanterman called Westerdam 'a wonderful cruise ship' that has carried more than a million guests.

As earlier reported, Westerdam is joining sister company Costa Crociere to sail as Costa Europa. The Meyer Werft-built vessel began service as Home Lines' Homeric in 1986, and was renamed and entered service for HAL on November 12, 1988. The Westerdam's arrival expanded the fleet to four ships and signaled the beginning of a new era of growth for Holland America that continues today. Westerdam underwent an $84m renovation in 1989 during which it was 'stretched' by a then-industry record 130 ft, increasing its capacity from 1,000 to 1,494 guests and its size from 42,000gt to 53,872.

With Westerdam's departure, HAL has a fleet of nine which will grow once again to 10 on April 23, with the acquisition of the Seabourn Sun. That vessel (originally Royal Viking Sun) enters service on June 3 as the 794-passenger Prinsendam. The fleet will expand still further with the Vista series, five 1,848-passenger ships entering service through 2006, beginning with the Zuiderdam this autumn and the Oosterdam in Spring 2003.

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Cruise PR veteran Fran Sevcik joins the Biltmore

Cruise PR veteran Fran Sevcik joins the Biltmore

Seaway owns the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, the Alexander on Miami Beach and other properties. Sevcik is based at the Biltmore and can be reached at fsevcik@biltmorehotel.com.

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Paul Gauguin offers free air

Paul Gauguin offers free air

Per person fares on the 320-passenger Radisson Seven Seas vessel start at $2,895 including air from 83 North American gateways. The seven applicable voyages are April 13 and 27, May 4, 11 and 25, and June 8 and 22.

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Dover majors on port safety and security

Dover majors on port safety and security

Captain Roy Bird, who drew up the port's newly adopted Marine Safety Code, and head of police, Chief Superintendent Keith Homan, will be available to discuss safety and security issues.

The code, which has been introduced at all UK ports, aims to improve safety for those who use or work in ports, their ships, passengers and cargoes, and the environment. Improvements affecting cruise lines include the formation of more detailed pilotage passage planning guidance for the arrival and departure of vessels and revised Port Control procedures.

'The code formalises a great deal of work we have been doing in practice. In relation to our cruise business, we also go to the time and trouble of simulating large vessels on a computer-based model of the port at the Danish Maritime Institute,' said Captain Bird.

Chief Superintendent Keith Homan commented: 'Maritime security is greater in the UK than many other cruising areas in the world and we will be telling customers they should take comfort from these stringent arrangements when choosing their itineraries.'

The Dover Cruise Port team in Miami will be led by John Turgoose, General Manager (Shipping).

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Amadeus Cruise to distribute Costa

Amadeus Cruise to distribute Costa

'Over 95% of cruise bookings are through the travel agency channel,' said Margherita Tonan, Costa's vp of information technologies. 'As the most widely used GDS (global distribution system) by European travel agencies, Amadeus is the perfect distribution partner for us. We are starting in Germany, but as our businesses are concentrated on the same key markets, Amadeus┬┤ global presence further supports our plans to expand in mainland Europe and Latin America over the next year.' The browser-based, point and click Amadeus Cruise is being made available in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish - a good match for Costa's markets.

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Lazard upgrades CCL to Buy; wave continues solid

Lazard upgrades CCL to Buy; wave continues solid

He predicts the annual Seatrade Convention next week will highlight improving industry sentiment.

'Indications are that booking activity held up pretty well through the end of February and is continuing at a reasonably solid pace this week,' Winchester says. 'It appears that the booking pace has been sufficiently robust to hold pricing up longer than might otherwise have been expected.'

Lazard is raising Carnival's 2002 EPS estimate to $1.57 from $1.45 and the '03 estimate to $1.80 from $1.65, reflecting an average net yield decline of 5% for 2002 and a rebound in occupancy to normalised levels in '03. The new 12-month price target of $40 is based on 22x P/E multiple of '03E EPS of $1.80, compared to 2000 P/E range midpoint of 22x and 10-year average annual high-end P/E of 24x (17x-32x range). CCL closed yesterday at $29.82.

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New recruiting agency to debut at Seatrade

New recruiting agency to debut at Seatrade

Based in Andorra and Barcelona, Gangway2C was incorporated in late 2001 and initially is specialising in European crew. The principals say they have good contacts on other continents and can expand beyond Europe as needed. The agency supplies both hotel and maritime personnel.

'Being often frustrated with unqualified crew, we realised the need for a really good recruitment company, one which focuses on what the cruise lines want rather than what the agency thinks they want,' say Holopainen and Lindenthaler, who together bring 35 years of experience aboard ships and in corporate management positions. The partners single out their greatest strength as an intimate knowledge of what is required from a crew member 'for each and every position.

'During our years in the industry we have worked and retained contact with many capable professionals and also can draw from a pool of excellent crew members to satisfy the needs of our clients. New talent is found through our website and through interview rounds in various countries.'

Lindenthaler brings a family background in the hotel/restaurant business and an education in hotel and tourism in Austria, plus shipboard experience with Costa and Renaissance (including as chief purser and hotel manager), and shoreside positions in corporate hotel ops/newbuildings. Finnish-educated Holopainen served in the housekeeping departments of Norwegian America Line, Royal Viking, SeaGoddess and Cunard. She was newbuilding site inspector for Sea Goddess and Aloha Pacific Cruises, a Windstar hotel manager and, in more than a decade with Renaissance shoreside, duties included senior supervisory roles in the construction of all eight Renaissance-class vessels plus the eight R-class newbuilds. For more information: www.gangway2c.com or email crew@gangway2c.com.

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Royal Caribbean declares dividend

Royal Caribbean declares dividend

This is the 34th consecutive quarter Royal Caribbean's board has voted for a shareholder dividend.

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