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Air commission cutback seen as apos;mild positiveapos;

Air commission cutback seen as apos;mild positiveapos;

Delta led the move last week. 'The cruise industry has benefited from the reductions in airline commissions over the past several years as agents have spent more time selling all-inclusive cruises and less time with airlines,' McMullin adds. 'CCL has already announced that the company will continue to pay 5% on the air portion.' Cutting commissions, if adopted by all airlines, 'is a mild positive for all public cruise companies,' the analyst says.

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Prinsendam to spend three months in Australasia

Prinsendam to spend three months in Australasia

Prinsendam, the former Seabourn Sun which joins the HAL fleet in June arrives in Sydney November 20 for a three-month programme of trans-Tasman cruises that include New Zealand's most popular destinations before departing February 24, 2003, for the return voyage to Singapore.

Jan Meagher, national manager of Travel the World Marketing told Seatrade Insider the 38,000 gt liner's inaugural 2002/2003 Australasian season targets domestic passengers as well as the US fly/float market which is recovering after September 11.Meagher, who said the 794-passenger Prinsendam will be Holland Americanised with two-seating dining and alternative restaurants, confirmed that TTW Marketing will continue to represent HAL and Windstar in Australia until the end of 2003.

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Adriatic benefiting from redeployed ships

Adriatic benefiting from redeployed ships

Port of Bari is expecting 200,000 cruise passengers from 128 calls this year, an increase of 30% over 2001, according to Tommaso Affinita of the Port Authroity of Bari. Of these some 60,000 are embarking or disembarking, a business the port has grown from scratch in just three years. To fuel further grwoth the port has invested $5m in building a new passenger terminal, to be completed 'in two or three month's time.'

Venice anticipates some 315 calls this year, compared to 309 in 2001, but passenger count will be down around 25,000 at 500,000 says Guiseppe Fabbro, md of passenger terminal operator VTP. 'We're still lamenting the loss of 80,000 passengers that Royal Caribbean brought last year, ' he says, and Costa has switched one vessel to Savona. But on the plus side the season for Costa Atlantica and Costa Classica out of Venice now begins in April rather than end-May, Festival has introduced Azur and replaced Mistral with the larger European Vision, and new customer Royal Olympic Cruises has been added. 'So all in all we're reasonably satisfied with the way things have developed since 9/11,' says Fabbro.

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UBS Warburg boosts RCL target to $23

UBS Warburg boosts RCL target to $23

UBS now assumes a full year drop in yields of 5% rather than 6.5%.

While redeployment is impacting Q2 and Q3 pricing, Farley says ship moves will boost 2003 when Royal sends six of the seven vessels that were originally scheduled for Europe back to the Continent. Therefore, the analyst is raising '03 estimates to $1.78 from $1.47 and price target to $23 from $19. (The stock closed yesterday at $21.)

Carnival management in early February had improved guidance to an 8% decline for Q1, so UBS Warburg is leaving its estimates intact for now. Turning to P&O Princess, Farley calculates that if yield decline for the No. 3 brand were reduced to 5% for the year, that could bring '02 EPS estimates to $1.66 from $1.47 and '03 estimates to $2.28 from $2.05, moving the UBS Warburg price target to $29 from $26.

But given that Princess has more yield challenges due to redeployments (12% for the year versus 6% for Royal), Farley has decided to maintain POC estimates for the moment. 'However,' the analyst adds, 'we may revisit those estimates and would not be surprised to see POC trade on those higher potential estimates.'

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Cindi Occhuizzo joins Landry & Kling

Cindi Occhuizzo joins Landry & Kling

Occhuizzo will serve as L&K's sales rep for a 13-state territory, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Responsibilities will include contributing to the sales department's development of new business with large corporations. Occhuizzo previously spent a decade in various positions at Orient Lines, most recently serving as manager of charters & incentive sales, and she earlier worked in sales administration for Ocean Cruise Lines/Pearl Cruises.

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Worldapos;s inaugural route is Oslo to Amsterdam

Worldapos;s inaugural route is Oslo to Amsterdam

A revised April itinerary includes calls at Hamburg, London, Portugal, Madeira, the Canary Islands and Spain with multiple-day stays for other residents to move in. Starting with the May 2 voyage from Lisbon to Venice, the remaining 2002 itineraries remain as earlier published. The first guest suite passengers board in Lisbon.

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IMO makes progress on security issues

IMO makes progress on security issues

Measures discussed covered an accelerated implementation schedule for Automatic Identification Systems on existing cargo ships, amendments to SOLAS Chapter XI, including a new proposed International Code for the security of ships and port facilities, proposed new requirements for ship security plans, including ship security officer and company security officer requirements and new requirements for Port Security Officer, port security plans and port vulnerability assessment. A diplomatic meeting is scheduled for December.

Brian Parritt, chairman of International Maritime Security called the progress made in these matters, 'a seismic achievement' and praised the IMO and USCG for their proposal initiatives.

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Disney Magic puts out minor fire; no injuries

Disney Magic puts out minor fire; no injuries

The Magic was 200 miles northwest of San Juan when a watch officer in the ship's engine room detected the blaze via a video monitor, Disney Cruise Line spokesman Mark Jaronski told Seatrade Insider. As a precautionary measure, passengers and crew were called to their emergency stations at 5 am, and by 6 am they were released back to their rooms after a sweep of the ship was completed. The sprinklers were not activated, and the vessel never lost power, Jaronski said.

Disney Magic proceeded on course and is due to arrive on time at Castaway Cay tomorrow morning. The Coast Guard was notified but did not board the vessel. Three nearby ships were alerted temporarily as an additional precautionary measure.

Disney Magic is equipped with two funnels; the forward stack is decorative and nonfunctional. The aft, working stack is where the fire occurred.

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Royal Caribbean raises Q1 estimates

Royal Caribbean raises Q1 estimates

The company forecasts Q1 earnings per share of 25-30 cents, ahead of Wall Street's break-even consensus. Yields are expected to be off 7-8% in the quarter year over year.

Pricing in the second and third quarters, while also improving, is still expected to be lower than in 2001. Yields for the two quarters will additionally be affected by the redeployment of four ships from Europe to lower-yielding markets. Royal Caribbean estimates the redeployments will negatively affect second quarter yields by 2% and third quarter yields by 4%. Yields are expected to be off in the 7-8% range.

'We are obviously pleased that the first quarter yields and earnings are so much better than we originally anticipated,' said Royal Caribbean evp and cfo Dick Glasier. 'We are also providing our first guidance on second and third quarter yields, based on what we've seen so far during wave. However, the shift in demand to close-in bookings means that visibility is lower than in prior years. This makes our ability to project yields more difficult than in other years at this time.' The company will report first quarter bookings in late April.

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Coral Cruise Line targets Cuba

Coral Cruise Line targets Cuba

The small-draft vessels for operation in shallow coastal waters off north Cuba will be placed at Damex yard in Santiago de Cuba within 12 months, Fogelstrand told Seatrade Insider.

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