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Articles from 2002 In April


Terra Australis caught on rocks

Terra Australis caught on rocks

The owners have reportedly abandoned all thoughts of trying to rescue the vessel and have declared her a total loss. According to local news sources the ship is fully insured and valued at $6m.

The land patrol of the Chilean Navy arrived at the site yesterday to evaluate any pollution risk from fuel and oil leakage in the ecologically sensitive area. As reported yesterday on Seatrade Insider the vessel was en route to Asenav shipyard in Valdivia for refurbishing when the fire broke out last Saturday.

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Japanapos;s ICM appoints new president

Japanapos;s ICM appoints new president

ICM serves as general sales agent for Silversea Cruises, ResidenSea and MSC Cruises.

'ICM has represented Silversea in Japan since the company's inception in 1994, and over the past eight years our passenger numbers from Japan have consistently grown, making it our largest market in the Asia region,' says Steve Odell, Silversea Cruises' London-based vp sales and marketing, international. 'This success has been made possible by the excellent cooperation and representation that we enjoy with Sumio Matsui and his very professional colleagues at ICM. Setsuko Nakagawa has been an integral part of Sumio's team having led the marketing effort for Silversea in Japan for most of this time. So it is a natural and excellent progression that she is moving into this new key position.'

Nakagawa joined the firm as marketing officer in 1994 and has played a key role in ICM's GSA relationships. Her cruise-related career began in 1980 as Royal Viking Line's first Japanese coordinator aboard the Royal Viking Star.

Chairman Matsui remains actively involved in ICM's everyday operations. Considered the father of cruising in Japan, he established the country's first cruise business in 1970. In 1990, while working for Royal Viking Line Japan, Matsui launched ICM to provide cruise consulting and offer GSA services. Earlier clients included Royal Viking and Royal Cruise Line; ICM also provided consulting for Cunard Line's Royal Viking Sun. Matsui additionally serves as chairman of the Japan Sea Travel Association (JASTA), a position he has held since its establishment in 1969.

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Silversea steps up Japan marketing efforts

Silversea steps up Japan marketing efforts

'In 2003, Silver Wind will operate a series of voyages in northern Asia, with maiden calls in Japanese ports including Tokyo, Nagasaki, Kobe, Nagoya and Kagoshima, enabling us to showcase the Silversea product to consumers, the media and travel trade,' Odell tells Seatrade Insider. 'We expect significant growth from Japan in the two- to three-year period ahead."

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Panamaapos;s newest cruise port is open for business

Panamaapos;s newest cruise port is open for business

Costumed dancers entertained as passengers boarded tour buses, and fireworks lit up the sky twice during the evening call. TV crews interviewed Trey Hickey, manager of international sales for Princess Cruises, and Adriana Fabrega L, md of Discover the World Marketing (the line's sales agent in Panama), who invited 50 local travel agents aboard one of the vessels for the evening.

'Panama is especially interesting because companies like Princess will start turning ships around here, which would be great in sourcing not only Panamanian passengers but Latin Americans because they have so much airlift,' Hickey told Seatrade Insider.

Fort Amador is open for business. Recently, Panama's Caribbean side has grabbed all the headlines with the inauguration of Colón 2000 and Cristobal Cruise Terminal Pier 6, where calls are growing year over year. Now it's the Pacific's turn. Fort Amador rests on Flamenco Island at the entrance to the Panama Canal's Balboa locks and linked by a causeway to the mainland. For decades, the island was off limits as a secret US missile base; later it housed a jail and a helicopter escape pad for Gen. Manuel Noriega.

Today the bunkers have been transformed into lively bars with Brazilian, Egyptian and sports themes, and three restaurants and about 20 shops (with more to come) are doing business for a crowd of upscale locals, yachtsmen and cruise passengers. A modern cruise terminal is completed, with a duty-free shop, Internet cafe and other services on the way. Tender landings are available while the cruise pier, to accommodate at least two ships, is under design. A casino and IMAX theatre are planned, and Hilton is in negotiations to build a hotel.

'More than a port, we're trying to create a destination,' stresses architect Miguel Lopéz-Piñiero. He and father Andrés lead an investment group that secured a 40-year concession to the island and are pouring $45m into developing it. Cruise lines are taking notice. 'Our calls there (Fort Amador) with the Amsterdam were very successful,' Holland America Line itinerary consultant Herman van Deursen told Seatrade Insider. 'Passengers liked it, and they are very pro-cruise ships there.'

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Princess compliance chief gets Bush appointment

Princess compliance chief gets Bush appointment

Tuck, who previously served on the board's Passenger Vessel Access Advisory Committee, is one of three new members appointed to terms through 2005. As part of her service, Tuck will continue to work for legislation to enhance accessibility programmes across all passenger vessels.

A 25-year Princess employee, Tuck became the first full-time cruise line professional to focus on access for passengers with disabilities when she was named to her current position in 1999. She is responsible for monitoring accessibility of all Princess ships and land operations, as well as developing methods to increase comfort for passengers with physically challenging conditions.

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Survey outlines American travel tastes

Survey outlines American travel tastes

This is particularly true for leisure travelers, 53% of whom now report using the Internet during the previous 12 months to obtain information or rates (up from 47% last year).

However, YP&B president and ceo Peter Yesawich cautioned 'it is important to note that fully three out of every 10 leisure travelers still use the services of a travel agent. This is particularly true among older and more affluent travelers. Contrary to the expectations of some industry analysts, travel agents still play a very important role in directing leisure travel demand.'

When it comes to vacation preferences, the survey showed continued interest in destinations that consumers 'have never been to before,' (81%), beach experiences (67%), visiting arts/architectural and historic sites (51%), destinations that are remote and untouched (46%) and theme parks (45%).

The 'dream destinations' for Americans remain similar to those identified in last year's National Travel Monitor. Florida (40%), California (38%), Colorado (19%), Hawaii (19%) and Arizona (18%) top the list of states, while the out islands of Hawaii (71%), national parks (66%), Honolulu (65%), Florida Keys (59%) and mountain resorts of Colorado (55%) top the individual destination list. Europe (71%), Australia (25%) and the Caribbean (18%) top the list of international destinations, while the Middle East was identified by only 6% of Americans.

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US poll predicts travel rebound

US poll predicts travel rebound

The 2002 National Travel Monitor found that 36% of leisure travelers plan to take more trips in the next year, which would translate into a 6% increase. Twenty-five percent of those polled said they would take fewer trips than in 2001 (or no trips). Results were calculated from nationally representative polls of 1,351 leisure and 1,200 business travelers taken during the first quarter of 2002.

'The results of this year's survey indicate clearly that the industry is poised for a recovery,' said Peter Yesawich, president and ceo of Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown. 'There is still a small minority of travelers hesitant to travel too far from home, but there are far more people who are ready to reclaim their vacations from the fear and emotional trauma that devastated the industry in the aftermath of September 11th. The numbers bode well for the forthcoming summer travel season.'

Concerns about the sluggish US economy remain the primary deterrent to the travel industry's full recovery. Among leisure travelers who plan to travel less, 'current economic conditions and financial reasons' were cited as the reason why by 37%. Only 5% of leisure travelers said air travel is now too big of a hassle, and just 4% believe it is not safe to fly.

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Corpus Christi wins water taxi funding

Corpus Christi wins water taxi funding

The port is also kicking in $50,000 for the project, which augments the $1m in federal funding secured earlier. Planning and designs are underway, with the water taxi expected to be running by 2004.

'The water taxi or ferry is just one component of the total waterfront experience that the port wants to help create in our community,' said port commission chairman Ruben Bonilla. 'Over the next three years, the waterfront will significantly change with the expansion of the convention centre, a new multi-purpose arena, expansion of the Texas State Aquarium, and a Corpus Christi marina development. Therefore, it is important to develop the infrastructure that will link both sides of the ship channel and create a smooth flow for our citizens and tourists alike.'

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Fire onboard Terra Australis

Fire onboard Terra Australis

The vessel, owned by Santiago-based Cruceros Australis, carried no passengers but local newspapers reported one crewman, who was working in the galley, was killed as a result of smoke inhalation.

The fire reportedly began in the engine room and quickly spread to the upper decks. The cause is not yet known. Ships in the area assisted with the rescue of personnel. Chilean maritime authorities have flown to the site of the abandoned ship, which is still afloat today, to evaluate its condition and determine her seaworthiness to be towed to port.

The 114-passenger Terra Australis was built in the US in 1984. Owner Cruceros Australis is due to take delivery of a new 132-passenger cruiseship, to be called Mares Australis, which will enter service in November.

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Lou Hammond agency taps Brian Major

Lou Hammond agency taps Brian Major

A longtime reporter on the cruise industry, Major served as senior cruise editor for Travel Agent, the weekly trade magazine, from 1992 to 1999. He held the same position at rival publication Travel Weekly from 1999 to January of this year.

'I'm pleased and honoured to join a firm most industry insiders consider the best in the business,' Major said. Lou Hammond's cruise-related accounts include Norwegian Cruise Line, Regal China Cruises, ResidenSea, the French luxury barge company Continental Waterways and Cruise Norfolk.

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