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Articles from 2011 In March

Paul Gauguin to cruise from Brisbane after drydock

Paul Gauguin to cruise from Brisbane after drydock

The 19,200gt boutique liner that was purpose-built for cruising French Polynesia and is operated by Richard Bailey’s Pacific Beachcomber will leave Brisbane on January 26 on a repositioning cruise to Papeete via Noumea, Suva, Savusavu, Vava’u, Aitutaki, Taha’a, Bora Bora and Moorea.

She arrives in Papeete on the evening of February 10 and passengers disembark the following morning.

Paul Gauguin Cruises has packaged the cruise for the American market with a three-night stay in Sydney at the Four Seasons Hotel with daily breakfasts and air travel from Sydney to join the ship in Brisbane.

Fares for the ‘South Pacific Discovery’ tour are from US$7,497 and include free air travel from Los Angeles.

Past passengers who book by May 31 receive double Paul Gauguin Society savings.

Cruise-only fares are available.

Brintons secures another contract from Royal Caribbean

Brintons secures another contract from Royal Caribbean

Last year Brintons provided new carpeting for Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Constellation when it became the first Millennium-class vessel to be brought up to Solstice-class standard. It was the 30th Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd vessel Brintons has supplied.

On Constellation, Brintons designed and manufactured in excess of 14,000sq mtr of IMO-approved commercial carpet involving 22 carpet designs that were used in various public spaces onboard including the theatre, suites, main dining area and observation lounge.

Freedom of the Seas docking installs Oasis-class details

Freedom of the Seas docking installs Oasis-class details

The changes are part of the 'Royal Advantage' program comprising approximately $70m in enhancements aboard five ships this year. Liberty of the Seas was the first to be docked for the work, in January.

Freedom of the Seas received technology improvements such as enhanced Wi-Fi, interactive televisions, electronic waivers for sports activities and electronic mustering (as well as ticketing for shows later in the year). The ship also offers a new BRITTO Gallery featuring merchandise by pop-art icon Romero Britto.

The ship gained DreamWorks programming including the Royal Promenade parade and interactive character breakfasts in the Leonardo dining room, a 3-D movie screen in the Arcadia Theater and a giant outdoor LED video wall overlooking the main pool area. Also new in the Royal Promenade are The Cupcake Cupboard, taking the place of A Clean Shave, and fresh, trendier decor for Vintages, the wine lounge. Vintages also added an automated serving system with 48 wine selections.

For children, the 'Imaginocean!' puppet show stars glow-in-the-dark underwater puppet characters and will debut next month aboard Freedom of the Seas. Additionally, the nursery care program is expanding for babies and tots six through 36 months old, with playgroups and activities designed by Fisher Price and Crayola.

The digital wayfinding system that debuted on Oasis of the Seas is also aboard Freedom, providing on-board activities, real-time updates, customized directions and routing as well as ship factoids, via new plasma and LCD touch-screen technology.

The other ships undergoing revitalizations in 2011 are Radiance of the Seas in May and Splendour of the Seas in October. Oasis of the Seas has added Allure features such as the DreamWorks activities.


A sneak look inside Mein Schiff 2


The vessel, formerly Celebrity Mercury, is currently undergoing a €50m transformation at Lloyd Werft shipyard in Bremerhaven.

The newly designed Spa & Sports area(see rendering of reception pictured), featuring a thalassotherapy centre is located at the front of the ship on decks 11 and 12. The 45sq mtr Finnish sauna offers views of the sea, similar to the space on Mein Schiff 1 which TUI claims is the largest sauna at sea. In addition to cardio and fitness activities, sports fans can enjoy the outdoor basketball court, yoga area, and jogging track.

The Kids Club, known as 'Island of the Pirates' offers a supervised programme and an outdoor area with mini-pool. The teen space has latest generation of Xbox game consoles equipped so that multiple players can simultaneously participate in motion-controlled sports simulations.

Another new area is the sea life centre on deck 6 for discovering facts about the ocean plus opportunity to borrow books and iPads. A marine painter will be in hand to offer lessons.

The interior of Mein Schiff 2 is based around a theme of a 1,000 colours of blue.

Eight restaurants and bistros, as well as ten bars and lounges, make up the f&b offering, where almost all food and drink is included in the ticket price. venues include the main Atlantic restaurant, a buffet and a fish restaurant and Mediterranean Bistro and grill. The Steak House Surf & Turf, Blue World Sushi Bar (Deck 7) and the gourmet restaurant Richards - Fine Food have a cover charge.

The X-Lounge, on Deck 12, with its large panoramic windows offers to all guests of the junior suites and suites special services such as culinary delicacies, champagne, newspapers and free Internet service.

A series of signature shows will be aired in the theatre, located on decks 6 and 7, throughout the maiden season. Ten feature-length concerts, revues, shows and plays have been commissioned including a world premiere featuring actress Hannelore Elsner as a narrator in the rock opera SnoWhite.

Each of the 652 outside and 427 balconied cabins will be equipped with a flat screen TV, minibar and expresso machine. The 14 family cabins, 39 junior suites and 12 suites also have an Xbox game console.

There are two exclusive themed suites on deck 10 with interiors by Furncon. One is designed by famous northern German television presenter and cabaret artist Ina Müller, based on a marine theme. A highlight is a piece of furniture from Müller's apartment and some sand from a beach on Sylt, where she spent many years living on the island.

The second themed suite contains elegant and modern furnishings in the Bauhaus style. Straight lines and dark, shiny colours run through both rooms, while the bedroom is decorated in purple. An eye-catcher is the glittering wallpaper.

Silver Shadow gets refreshed at Sembawang drydock


Suites gained a new look with the replacement of carpets, headboards, curtains and veranda furniture and reupholstered sofas and chairs. New custom-maded mattresses have an individual spring system with soft and firm sides that can be reversed to suit each passenger. A memory foam pillow top covers the mattress when configured as a queen‐sized bed.

The larger suites (Owner's, Grand, Royal and Silver) have also been outfitted with a new Bang & Olufsen home audio system.

Public areas were refreshed, with La Terrazza, the Bar, Panorama Lounge, reception, card room and conference room receiving new upholstery, carpeting, curtains and wall treatments. New carpet was laid in the Observation Lounge. The Spa features new wood flooring with fresh tiling and wall décor in the treatment rooms.

The Restaurant’s hardwood floor was reconditioned and polished, and the chairs dressed in new upholstery. An upgraded sound system was installed in the Show Lounge, Panorama Lounge and La Terrazza. New carpet was installed in all corridors, landings and staircases.

Upgrades to outdoor spaces included a new synthetic turf on the jogging track, new deck furniture for the pool area and a new sound and light system for evening entertainment and outdoor shows. The pool itself was upgraded with new tiles. A large awning was installed over the outdoor section of La Terrazza, which also gained new outdoor furniture.

The Pool Grill, sporting a new awning as well, will become The Grill for evening dining featuring the black rock cooking concept that debuted on Silver Spirit.

Teak decks and woodwork were reconditioned and polished, and the ship’s propulsion and mechanical systems underwent maintenance.



AIDAcara gets refreshed at Blohm+Voss


The 1996-built ship is getting new carpets and tiling, and a new three-dimensional golf simulator is being installed.

The hull will also get new silicone coating to improve fuel efficiency.

The work is expected to be completed on March 24, and AIDAcara is scheduled to re-enter service the following day in Hamburg.


Refurb market could blossom into $3.2bn business


Short time frames and higher costs mean more pressure, and yards that are flexible, nimble and innovative will benefit both in new construction and refits.

Based on about a half million berths in the industry within the next few years, the ship service market has the potential to reach $3.2bn, Carl-Gustaf ‘Calle’ Rotkirch, chairman & ceo, Grand Bahama Shipyard, told a Cruise Shipping Miami session Wednesday.

‘That’s quite a big business,’ he said. ‘The projected volume for services is constantly growing.’

Within the last 12 months, eight orders for new ships have been placed. The number is certainly a recovery from ‘quite a bit of gloom and doom’ in 2008 and 2009, Rotkirch said.

While the cruise market is healthy, owners are delaying or softening their building programs, said Fincantieri chairman Corrado Antonini. European shipbuilders have no alternative but to pursue their niches, he said. Innovative design and green products are keys to survival. But there’s also a market for refurbishment.

Various statistics were offered on the age of the fleet, ranging from a weighted average for lower berths of 8.9 years to an average overall of 17 years with 28% over 15 years old.

Like the population itself, ‘we have a kind of Baby Boomer generation in the cruise fleet as well,’ Rotkirch said.

And that’s where flexibility comes in.

‘Material, equipment and manhour costs are not going down,’ said Jacques Hardelay, gm STX France. They are being squeezed by the shipowners and suppliers, and they need to modernize yards and improve efficiency. Refits are good news.

STX has three newbuilds on order, including one for Libya’s GNMTC, due for delivery in 2012. ‘The situation is not easy,’ Hardelay said in response to a question about the turmoil in Libya. He didn’t know if they would complete the contract.

Owners understand yard price pressures, said Peter Fetten, svp Corporate Ship Refit, Carnival Corp. & plc: ‘Guess what, our prices are under pressure every year as well.’

Daily refit costs have gone from $1m a few years ago to $2m today, ‘and I’m sure in a short period of time, they will be at $3m,’ he said.

‘Why don’t you look at revitalization a little bit more,’ Fetten suggested to yards, emphasizing timely turnarounds. ‘There’s no way we cannot deliver the ship on time when 5,000 passengers are waiting on the pier.’

‘We pick yards with one thing in mind—logistics, logistics, logistics,’ he said.

‘Retrofit is a key part of going forward,’ according to Kevin Douglas, vp technical projects – newbuild, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

‘We have to spend large amounts of money in a very short period. The pressure to get a ship back on its itinerary and earning money is absolutely huge,’ he said. There’s little margin for error.

Rina study sees need for a large, new Genoa dock

Rina study sees need for a large, new Genoa dock

According to Italian classification society Rina, existing facilities at Italy’s largest port are increasingly inadequate for a new generation of cruise and container ships. Unless it acts, and soon, it risks losing market share to other centres, Rina found.

The study, commissioned by an arm of the local port authority that controls the existing repair facilities, emerges at a time of heated debate in the Ligurian capital over the future of its repair industry. Over recent months, the port authority has been moving towards a substantial overhaul of the existing facilities and the installation of a 360mtr-long floating dry dock.

Local industry figures back the move, arguing that without action soon, business will simply move elsewhere. Indeed, local repair yard San Giorgio del Porto has already invested in a facility in Marseille exactly because of space restrictions in Genoa.

At the same time, the plan faces mounting opposition from local citizens alarmed at the prospective hand-over to industry of a port area at the heart of the city. Separately, concern over the future of the Fincantieri shipyard at nearby Sestri Ponente, where the second cruise ship is being completed for Oceania Cruises, has stirred talk locally that it might have a role in repair.

The demand for a Genoa facility is certainly there. As Rina notes, the sharp increase in the size of the world fleet, with cruise and container ships in the van, has translated into rising demand for repair and inspection facilities capable of handling vessels that can run in excess of 300mtrs in length.

In the Mediterranean, it notes, there are roughly 170 dry docks, 45% of which, as in Genoa, fixed installations less than 270mtrs in length, and 38% of which floating docks of similar dimensions. In the entire region, Rina reports, there are only 28 dry docks and one floating dock in Tuzla capable of handling vessels longer than 270mtrs.

Currently, Genoa’s facilities are used by specialised ships, such as cruise ships, operating in the Ligurian ports. Demand has increased with traffic flows, and Liguria’s cruise business has surged over the last decade, with passenger numbers more than trebling to 1.68m passengers over that period.

Rina estimates current demand for maintenance and inspection services in Genoa at around 150 ships per year, including yachts, container ships and ad hoc visits from ships with immediate repair problems, as well as cruise ships. That number includes roughly 20 cruise and container ships that call for scheduled inspections or maintenance every year.

As a string of huge new ships join the cruise and container fleets, however, Genoa’s ability to handle this business will diminish, and with it the port’s competitiveness and market share. On cruise alone, Rina estimates that current size restrictions at the port’s facilities preclude 62% of the ships assessed from entering. The installation of the 360mtr long dock currently being pushed by the port authority, however, would allow almost any ship to call.


Queen of the West renovation nears completion

Queen of the West renovation nears completion

Reconstruction of major areas including staterooms, community areas, the galley and engine room continues in Portland and progress is ahead of schedule, according to the company.


The renovations will provide a more comfortable and elegant atmosphere for passengers, American Cruise Lines said.


A new, authentic paddlewheel has been built along with additional propulsion equipment that allows for quieter, smoother cruising while having less impact on the environment.


New furniture for the entire ship, custom built in North Carolina, is ready and has arrived in Portland.


Other additions such as larger staterooms, more private balconies and a new library have been completed. New carpet is being laid and decoration throughout the Queen of the West is being revamped.


‘We are excited to welcome passengers aboard this spring for cruises on the Columbia and Snake rivers,’ said Timothy Beebe, vp American Cruise Lines.


Morgan Furniture takes a seat or two to Miami

Morgan Furniture takes a seat or two to Miami

Morgan is joining forces with Skopos, Brintons, Muraspec, Trimline and SMC Design to make up a sextet of British furnishing and interior design companies supplying the cruise lines.

Panama and Soho have been selected by Morgan for display on the booth.  Panama is a new collection of dining and lounge chairs featuring a slim angled dynamic frame and sharp square upholstery.  An ergonomic seating angle and webbed seat create a light and comfortable chair notes the company.     

Soho is a new soft seating collection with a chic appearance. Created by Katerina Zachariades, Morgan design director, with echoes of 50s and 60s design Soho comprises a two and three seater sofa, an armchair and a daybed.  With softened corners and absence of harsh lines, Soho is ideal for any relaxed seating environment such as lounge areas and spas, says the designer.

All Morgan products are manufactured in a low energy consuming factory, using sustainable FSC timber, top quality CMHR foams and non rusting fittings. 

Morgan Furniture was established over 60 years ago. A book celebrating the company's achievements highlights its portfolio in the hospitality, public spaces, workplace and cruise arenas. It has provided bespoke furniture options for Chelsea FC Leisure Suite, London's Cumberland Hotel Bar and British Airways Terminal 5, amongst others. In the cruise sector, the book features Morgan supplied furniture onboard Crystal Symphony and Saga Pearl II.