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Windstar steers course for the Baltic in apos;03

Windstar steers course for the Baltic in apos;03

In July and August '03, the 308-passenger Wind Surf will offer five 10-day cruises from Stockholm, featuring two full days in St Petersburg. While repositioning to the Baltic, the sail-cruise vessel will call at Dover, also a first for the line.

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Whoapos;s going direct?

Whoapos;s going direct?

The Carnival chief said the figure for his company was 8%. Veitch put the NCL figure at 9%, while RCI/Celebrity took 4% of bookings direct and P&O Princess under 5%. Crystal president Gregg Michel's figure was 1-2%.

Later, NCL issued a correction on the 9% figure, saying that applied to international business; in the US, NCL sources less than 5% direct.

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Southwest UK ports team in new initiative

Southwest UK ports team in new initiative

The three-year project, which also includes the Eden Project at St Austell, the Abbey Gardens in Tresco and the National Maritime Museum Cornwall (debuting this summer), aims to boost awareness of the Southwest UK and provide a one-stop shop for cruise operators.

'The Southwest has to present a high profile image to the industry to enable the area to maximise and raise awareness of what is a unique destination for the cruiseship passenger,' says Mike Sutherland, Fowey harbourmaster and chairman of Destination Southwest.

The group is exhibiting at Seatrade Miami this week and is located at Stand 419 in Hall D of the Miami Beach Convention Centre. For more information: www.destinationsouthwest.co.uk.

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Newbuild orders possible in 2002

Newbuild orders possible in 2002

'It is quite possible that we will see orders placed in 2002.'

NCL president and CEO, Colin Veitch said 'The period of extremely highly priced cruiseships is probably over for a while but will likely come back in the future.' Veitch also recommended yards look at their pricing and said any decision by Star/NCL would depend on pricing levels offered. At the luxury end of the market, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises president and CEO, Mark Conroy (whose company will take delivery of a new ship next year) said, 'We will continue to build ships in the future but in a rational manner.'

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Singapore base for Silver Wind in 2003

Singapore base for Silver Wind in 2003

Silver Wind will operate in the region for nine months calling at 46 ports including Hong Kong, Thailand, China Australia and New Zealand. Aris Zapanaley, senior vice president Sales for Silversea said "Asia and especially Singapore will be the next growth area for the cruise industry. Singapore is strategically located and has excellent infrastructure and is able to turnaround our vessels with high efficientcy." Kathleen Gan, Singapore Cruise Centre manager said Silver Wind's presence, "is a show of the tremendous confidence that international cruise lines have in the region."

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Big Cruise Europe turnout at Seatrade Miami

Big Cruise Europe turnout at Seatrade Miami

That accounts for more than two-thirds of the association's members, chairman Gunnar Lepsøe tells Seatrade Insider. Why the high numbers? 'A lot of emphasis and interest has been placed on the cruise industry over the last half year and attention is focused on the possible company mergers, which means there's a lot of talk about the Seatrade conference,' Lepsøe says.

Many Cruise Europe members are exhibiting on the same 'street' in the Miami Beach Convention Centre, but some tourism association affiliates are based at their national pavillions. However, any member can be contacted through Cruise Europe's central booth, Lepsøe says. On Monday afternoon, the chairman will take part at the World Cruise Tourism Summit roundtable for cruise port associations, which will draw other active groups such as MedCruise. The session takes place from 1-3 pm in the convention centre.

Looking ahead, Cruise Europe's annual general meeting is set for May 11-14 in Bergen and Flåm, Norway.

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Strong attendance forecast at Seatrade Miami

Strong attendance forecast at Seatrade Miami

'The expression of interest is far greater than it was last year,' reports organiser Michael Kazakoff, vp of CMP Princeton Inc. Factors cited include the worldwide fascination with the takeover battle for P&O Princess Cruises, the need to reinvigorate marketing efforts after the post-September 11 slowdown and the desire to bond with colleagues in the industry from around the world.

While final Seatrade attendance figures will not be available until after the show, all signs suggest the numbers will surpass last year's convention, which drew more than 11,000. That included 1,495 conference delegates, 4,845 visitors, 188 international media and 4,483 exhibiting personnel. Some 1,089 cruise line personnel attended, and 101 countries were represented.

This year, exhibition space is roughly equal to 2001 (when the trade show expanded into three halls in the Miami Beach Convention Centre), but higher numbers of exhibitors will be on hand, Kazakoff says. Around 1,000 exhibiting companies are likely to take part.

More delegates are also anticipated, with Tuesday's State of the Industry debate alone expected to attract 1,200. Press pre-registration is running 50% higher than in 2001, and a number of high-ranking government officials, such as Argentine tourism minister Daniel Scioli, have added this 18th annual Seatrade Convention to their calendars.

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McLeod, Wertanzl join Royal Caribbean, Celebrity

McLeod, Wertanzl join Royal Caribbean, Celebrity

McLeod becomes svp of Travel Industry Relations, taking responsibility for liaising with travel agencies and supporting agent-client needs. He returns to Royal Caribbean after six years with other companies, most recently serving as president and coo of American Classic Voyages. Previously he led the World's Leading Cruise Lines campaign for Carnival Corp as svp marketing.

Wertanzl has been tapped as svp fleet operations for the Celebrity brand, with responsibility for hotel and marine ops. Wertanzl comes from Crystal Cruises, where he was svp hotel operations. He brings a 25-year career in high-end lodgings and travel, including nine years at Crystal and six at Royal Viking Line. He also was involved in Celebrity's start up.

'I am overjoyed that these two gentlemen are joining our team,' says Jack Williams, president and coo of RCI and Celebrity. 'Individually, they are exceptional in their field, both recognised and dedicated professionals. Together, they are a testament, I believe, to the zealous commitment this company has to providing extraordinary service to our guests and unparalleled support to our travel agents.'

Royal Caribbean will also launch a new sales structure which moves key accounts from a single sales force covering both brands to separate, dedicated personnel. Under the plan, smaller agencies will continue to be serviced by sales staff representing both.

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keeping up with the mega-ships

keeping up with the mega-ships

Royal Caribbean's Mike Ronan outlined some of the issues facing the lines, ports and destinations in accommodating the larger ships and pointed out their size has created a less homogenous group of passengers - ranging from honeymooners, to families, to the older generation - 'which poses a greater challenge to the destinations in delivering excursion options to suit all tastes.'

Carnival Cruise Lines tour operations director Mico Cascais suggested some destinations have become stagnant when it comes to tour options: 'Guests are looking for something out of the norm and if there is value then price is not an issue,' he commented. Cascais noted in recent times there has been an increase in guests, particularly family groups, looking for organised shore excursions as they perceive these as safe.

Ronan pointed out that the essential building blocks of the industry's growth over the last thirty years had been the lines, ports, agents and tour operators. These elements are simply not enough to sustain and grow the industry today said the RCI/Celebrity associate vp of destination development. 'We need to work with a broader based section of the port/destination community as each player in the field has a different role to play in trying to fulfill the passengers' expectations of a good cruise call,' he said.

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UK passenger count grew 3.5% in 2001

UK passenger count grew 3.5% in 2001

If not for the impact of September 11, growth would have been closer to 7-8%, a PSA spokesperson said. The big drop occurred in the East Mediterranean, where fly cruise passenger numbers out of Cyprus decreased from 101,856 in 2000 to 64,413 in 2001.

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