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Articles from 2018 In April

Hurtigruten wages war on plastic

(Photo: Ørjan Bertelsen/Hurtigruten)
One million straws a year are among the single-use plastic items that will be removed from all Hurtigruten ships. Pictured are CEO Daniel Skjeldam, right, and hotel manager Kristian Skar

Goodbye plastic straws, cups, cutlery, bags, lids ...

By July 2, items like plastic straws, drink mixers, plastic glasses, coffee lids and plastic bags will be removed from all Hurtigruten ships. The goal is to become the world's first plastic-free shipping company.

'At Hurtigruten, we have focused on the problem of plastic pollution for years,' CEO Daniel Skjeldam said. 'There is a lot of talk about the impact plastic has on our oceans. But it’s time to take action. By getting rid of single-use plastic on board all ships already by this summer, we will hopefully get others to follow. It is possible to act now, and the oceans cannot wait.'

Plastic straws will be replaced by metal straws, and stir pins will no longer be used. The same for plastic cups, plastic cutlery, plastic bags, plastic lids on coffee cups, plastic toothpicks, plastic aprons, single-use packaging of butter and all other single-use plastic items that Hurtigruten’s 400,000 passengers and 2,500 employees encounter on a day-to-day basis.

'Every year, Hurtigruten guests and employees clean tons of plastic from beaches in the areas we operate. We witness the plastic pollution problem on a daily basis, and need to take action. Operating in pristine areas as we do, comes with a responsibility,' Skjeldam said.

15 metric tons of plastic ends in the oceans every minute

According to Hurtigruten, a mind-boggling 15 metric tons of plastic ends in the oceans every minute of the day. If the trend continues, this number will double in the next 10 years. This means that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans.

'Plastic pollution is the single biggest threat our oceans. Hurtigruten operates in some of the most vulnerable areas in the world. This means that we carry a special responsibility to protect these areas for the local population and future generations of explorers,' Skjeldam said.

The single-use plastics ban will be effective across the entire Hurtigruten fleet, including ships operating the Norwegian Coastal Voyages and expedition cruises from pole to pole.

The single-use plastic ban will also be imposed on the hotels, restaurants and other establishments of Hurtigruten’s land-based operations on Svalbard, operated by its fully owned subsidiary Hurtigruten Svalbard.

Challenge to suppliers

In addition to the internal plastic ban, Hurtigruten is challenging all its suppliers to reduce the use of plastic.

'No one can win the war on plastic alone without allies. This is why we implement high demands on our suppliers,' Skjeldam said. 'Our goal is to become the world’s first plastic-free shipping company. This is our first step.'

Ships to be retrofitted for LNG and battery propulsion

Hurtigruten’s single-use plastic ban comes just a few days after the company announced the largest environmental upgrade in its 125-year history. Up to nine ships will be retrofitted for LNG and battery propulsion.

See also 'AECO works to combat marine plastic litter'

Double-digit hike for Antarctica visitation in 2017/18

(Photo: IAATO)
The vast majority of visitors travel on ships that offer excursions ashore

Total visitor count spiked 17%

In total, 51,707 tourists visited Antarctica in the 2017/18 season, a 17% spike from 44,367 in 2016/17, according to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators.

Of these, 3,408 flew to the South Shetland Islands on the Antarctic Peninsula where they immediately embarked a vessel for onward travel. This sector, known as air/cruise, increased 6% compared to the previous season. In addition, 9,131 visitors experienced Antarctica on one of four cruise-only vessels that did not make landings, an increase of 22% from 2016/17.

IAATO reported the latest visitor counts at the start of its annual meeting in Newport, Rhode Island. The association has been monitoring, analyzing and reporting trends since 1991 as part of its commitment to ‘leave only footprints’ through the effective self-management of its activities.

During the 2017/18 season, 580 visitors flew to field camps in Antarctica’s interior with IAATO land operators.

‘Antarctica receives relatively few visitors compared to other destinations. The number of tourists who set foot on the continent this past year (42,576) is less than half the number of spectators at the Super Bowl,' said Ponant's Terry Shaller, chair of the IAATO Executive Committee. 'We are, however, mindful that the unique qualities of Antarctica require stringent safeguards. Our proven success in responsible visitor management is the result of forward planning based on deep understanding of the industry. This helps us fine tune our strategies to protect the precious places we visit while enabling people to have an enriching wilderness experience.'

US visitors lead, followed by Chinese

Overall, US visitors remained the most numerous, accounting for 33% of the total number, the same proportion as the previous year. Chinese were the second most numerous, accounting for 16% of all visitors and increasing by 4 points compared to the 2016/17 season. Australians, Germans and Britons followed, accounting for 11%, 7% and 7%, respectively.

'Visiting Antarctica is a privilege that comes with a responsibility to leave it pristine,' IAATO executive director Damon Stanwell-Smith said. 'The growth reported by IAATO mirrors a global upward trend in visiting remote places. Increasing evidence shows that these travelers want to tread lightly on the places they visit.'

Stanwell-Smith added: 'IAATO operators are equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to operate responsibly and deliver strong conservation messages to their guests who we hope will return home as ambassadors for its preservation.'

IAATO will present its latest figures at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Buenos Aires, May 13-18, to facilitate discussions on effectively managing human activity in Antarctica.

Silhouette's UK arrival marks Celebrity's ninth year of ex-Southampton cruising

Celebrity Silhouette arriving in the Uk for a summer season of ex-Southampton cruises

The ship is replacing older sister Celebrity Eclipse which cruised from Southampton for eight consecutive summers since launching in 2010 and has moved to Dublin for summer 2018.

This marks Celebrity Cruises’ biggest ever UK and Ireland deployment and the ninth year one of its ships has sailed from Southampton.

Jo Rzymowska, vp and md, Celebrity Cruises, UK, Ireland and Asia, commented: ‘It’s a huge summer for Celebrity Cruises; along with Celebrity Eclipse sailing out of Dublin this year marks our biggest ever UK and Ireland deployment. We’re excited to bring Celebrity Silhouette to Southampton, offering guests new luxurious experiences to try out on their holidays. Dinner alfresco at The Lawn Club Grill is one of my personal favourites while sailing on the ocean on Celebrity Silhouette.’

Following a two-night sailing to Le Havre, Celebrity Silhouette will offer eight- to 14-night holidays to the Canary Islands, Spain, Italy, the Norwegian Fjords and Iceland.

Celebrity Silhouette will return to Southampton for summer 2019.

Celebrity Edge will join the fleet in November 2018, ahead of a summer season in Europe for 2019, including a 10-night Iberian Peninsula sailing from Southampton on May 15, 2019.


MSC Grandiosa to be named in Hamburg in November 2019

Arriving next year MSC Grandiosa will be named in Hamburg

He disclosed the news during Sunday's inaugural visit to Hamburg of MSC Meraviglia to mark the start of her North European summer season.

'Since our last christening in Hamburg of MSC Magnifica in 2010, we have embarked on a journey of growth and the German cruise guest has embraced our brand and our offering in a strong way so it is only natural that we would look to christen the first of the Meraviglia-Plus ships to come into service, MSC Grandiosa, in Germany,' Vogo stated.

'We hold a special relationship with Germany overall and we are looking forward to celebrating with our German partners next November
as well as welcoming our international guests to this historic port, rich in maritime tradition and heritage.'
Among features on MSC Grandiosa are two new shows from Cirque du Soleil at Sea, plus an even larger Mediterranean-style promenade, the ground-breaking feature unique to the Meraviglia and Meraviglia-plus prototypes.

Meraviglia-Plus class sports a 98.5mtr LED Sky screen

As well as an array of shops and specialty restaurants Grandiosa's Promenade will feature a new bar and lounge, L’Atelier Bistrot with seating and a stage and a dance floor, as impressionist art displayas well as terrace with Parisian bistro tables and chairs. Throughout the day and the evening, tthe Promenade hosts surprise performances, including flash mobs and themed parties and a longer 98.5-metre LED Sky screen.
MSC Cruises is offering its most extensive Northern Europe summer programme to date with four ships, 36 different itineraries and six possible embarkation ports across Germany, the UK, France and Denmark.

MSC Meraviglia offers 10, 11 and 14-night ex-Hamburg itineraries that feature the British Isles and Iceland, Norway, Baltic Capitals including overnight in St. Petersburg.

MSC Magnifica is sailing ex-Hamburg calling at Southampton, Le Havre, and an overnight stay in Amsterdam. MSC Preziosa will conduct seven-night sailings from Kiel and Copenhagen and MSC Orchestra will serve seven and 11-nigth itineraries from Warnemunde including the Norwegian Fjords and Copenhagen and Baltic itineraries that call in Lithuania and Estonia as well as Finland, Sweden and Denmark.


Costa celebrates with outstanding students from Zhejiang's Tourism College

Mario Zanetti, president of Costa Group Asia rewards one of the outstanding students at Tourism College of Zhejiang, China

The event, which was attended by 200 students from the college, saw three outstanding students receive scholarships from Costa Cruises in recognition of their performance during their internship on Costa ships, their academic achievements at the college, and in anticipation of their bright future in cruise.

Costa Cruises partnership with the Tourism College of Zhejiang (TCZJ) reaches back almost a decade, having first established pre-embarkation courses at the college in 2009.

Since then the partnership has continued to flourish, including the construction of a Costa Cruise Chinese Training Center in Asia in 2013 and the establishment of a Cruise Major in the same year.

To date, over 195 TCZJ cruise major students have been trained through the specially-tailored program, studying skills such as f&b service course and housekeeping technical training.

'At the heart of this program is a custom designed model of a cruise ship deck, complete with guest cabin, bar area and restaurant area.

'Through this hands-on experience, students are able to prepare themselves for work on a real cruise ship in a way that far surpasses purely classroom-based learning,' said TCZJ president Mr Jin.

To reward those who show outstanding performance on the course, Costa has also established a scholarship fund, which mainly evaluates the performance of the students during their time at the school and their internship on board.

'Cultivating talent and future leaders is the lifeblood of any industry,' said Mario Zanetti, president of Costa Group Asia during the scholarship ceremony.

'When we formed this partnership with the Tourism College of Zhejiang eight years ago, we did so knowing the long-term positive impact it would have on cruise and tourism in China.

'I am extremely pleased to see so many outstanding students here today and to have the opportunity to reward them for their contributions. I’m certain that they will all make a significant mark on the industry in the future,' Zanetti concluded.

Costa Cruises entered the China market in 2006.


Visby's new cruise berth officially opens

PHOTO: Region Gotland
Pictured at the opening ceremony, Copenhagen Malmö Port's Henrik Ahlkvist, terminal manager of Visby's new cruise berth

The venture is a collaboration between Region Gotland and Copenhagen Malmö Port, CMP, with Region Gotland building the quay and CMP taking responsibility for the operation.

At the same time, both parties are marketing Gotland as a destination together with Gotland Cruise Network.

Around 200 guests attended the inauguration.

AIDAdiva is the second ship to have docked at the new quay - Astoria was the first to berth on April 16.

‘CMP has long and positive experience of developing cruise ports and marketing destinations. The fact that we are now also able to offer our customers Visby as a cruise destination is a milestone. It makes the cruise routes in the Baltic Sea even more attractive. Today is a big day and we are delighted to have the opportunity to be involved in developing Gotland as a cruise destination,’ said Barbara Scheel Agersnap, ceo of Copenhagen Malmö Port AB.  

90,000 cruisers expected in 2018

Some 90 ship arrivals and 90,000 passengers are scheduled to visit Gotland during this year’s cruise season.

The aim is to reach 150,000 passengers within a few years.

‘Together with CMP and Gotland Cruise Network, we want to establish conditions for visitors to have unique and positive experiences of cruising to Gotland and that businesses throughout Gotland perceive the business opportunities our initiative and our collaboration with CMP entails,’ said Peter Lindvall, regional director of Region Gotland.

Sustainability features

Sustainability issues have played a major role during the project. The ships that come to Visby can empty their waste water into an underground basin, from where it is pumped onward to the sewage works. The sludge can then be used in biogas production on Gotland.  

Two 340mtr long ships can dock simultaneously at the cruise quay. Including abutments, it will extend a total of about 600mtr out into the sea. The terminal, adjacent to the quay, is 300sq mtr and provides services for passengers and crew.


Mein Schiff Herz will be new name for current Mein Schiff 2

New names: Mein Schiff’s 1 and 2 pictured in 2012. MS1 (foreground) is currently being refurbished and will join Marella Cruises as Marella Explorer in May and MS2 (berthed behind) will remain with TUI Cruises and become Mein Schiff Herz in 2019

During summer 2019, Mein Schiff Herz (My ship’s heart) will be deployed in the Mediterranean sailing two different, seven-day routes from Malta, one to the western Med stopping in Sardinia, Corsica, Civitavecchia and Naples or to the eastern Med calling in Crete, Santorini, Piraeus and Sicily.

‘Mein Schiff 2 is one of the cornerstones of our success and for her to remain in the fleet is a matter close to our hearts and that is also reflected in the new name,’ commented Michael Baden, director of marketing TUI Cruises.

Mein Schiff 2(ex Celebrity Mercury) was handed over to TUI by Celebrity Cruises in February 2011 and re-emerged from Lloyd Werft to start cruising for German-speaking passengers in May that year.

TUI Cruises is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and currently has six ships.

The new Mein Schiff 1 joined the fleet last week and replaces the former MS1 which is under refurbishment and will soon become Marella Explorer.

The new Mein Schiff 2 is under construction at Meyer Turku and will join the fleet next year, at which time the former MS2 becomes Mein Schiff Herz.

As a result, from 2019 TUI Cruises will have a fleet of seven vessels with a capacity of around 17,800 beds.

Another newbuild, Mein Schiff 7, is scheduled for 2023.



Cruise-ship interior design veteran Frank Symeou joins AD Associates

Frank Symeou bringing 30 years plus experience of interior design to AD Associates

With over 30 years’ experience Symeou has gained a wealth of knowledge and expertise designing for the hotel, high-end residential and cruise ship sectors, having been involved in newbuild projects including Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, Royal Caribbean International’s Voyager, Freedom and Radiance class vessels and as lead architect for P&O Cruises’ Arcadia.
Symeou has also worked on numerous re-fit projects for P&O Cruises including Oriana, Adonia, Ventura and Azura, as well as projects for Princess Cruises, Pullmantur and Holland America Line.
In 2003,  he was elected Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects in recognition for his work as an interior architect in the cruise industry.
In recent years Symeou has delivered a variety of hotel projects for Hilton, Marriott, Movenpick, Emirates Hotels & Resorts and Sheraton, as well as high end/luxury residential projects.
'Coupled with expansion in other areas of our studio Frank’s industry knowledge and experience increases our creativity, capacity, efficiency and strength and will ensure as a design studio we continue to nurture our talented teams to deliver exceptionally designed spaces,' noted Chris Finch, ceo at AD Associates.
A long standing partnership with Crystal Cruises, has seen AD Associates play a pivotal role in its entry to the river and expedition yacht markets, alongside the refurbishments and reimagining of both Crystal Symphony and later this year Crystal Serenity.

AD Associates growing portfolio includes projects for a number of cruise brands, details of which will be announced shortly.


Longtime Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings chairman will step down

Walter Revell gave long service to Norwegian Cruise Line before NCLH

Revell, chairman and CEO of Revell Investments, was a director of Norwegian Cruise Line for years. He continued to serve following the acquisition of Prestige Cruises (Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises) created Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

'Mr. Revell is a well-respected director and has provided our board with many wonderful years of service,' VP investor relations Andrea DeMarco told Seatrade Cruise News.

Retired USCG rear admiral nominated as director

At the annual meeting shareholders will consider the election of retired US Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary E. Landry, 61, as a director, taking the spot opened by Revell's departure. She has been nominated as a Class II director.

Up for reelection on the board are Adam Aron and Stella David.

Del Rio's NCLH compensation swings to $10.5m

Frank Del Rio received a $4.5m cash bonus, among other compensation

Del Rio's base salary held at $1.5m. His stock awards were worth more than $3.7m, up from $625,000, and options were flat at $535,000. He also received a $4.5m cash bonus. $213,500 in other compensation included a $2,000 monthly car allowance and other personal benefits.

Montague but not Binder among the five named officers

​The company's other named officers were EVP and CFO Wendy Beck, who resigned this past March; Andy Stuart, president and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line; Jason Montague, president and CEO, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, who became a named officer for the first time; and Robin Lindsay, EVP vessel operations. (In 2016, named officers included Bob Binder, vice chairman, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and president and CEO, Oceania.)

​The value of Stuart's total compensation went to $3.2m from $2.8m in 2016. His salary held at $650,000. Stock awards were valued at more than $1.5m, up slightly, while there were no option awards, compared to $649,000 the prior year. His cash bonus was $975,00. Other compensation was $47,700.

Montague's compensation was $3.2m, up from $2.3m in 2016. His salary held at $650,000, stock awards were valued at more than $1.5m, and he earned a $975,000 cash bonus. Other compensation was $46,600.

Lindsay received total compensation valued at nearly $3.2m, up from $2.5m, including a $650,000 salary and stock awards valued at more than $1.5m. His cash bonus was $975,000, and other compensation was $38,600.

Beck's compensation increased to nearly $3.2m, up from $2.3m. Her salary was $650,000. Stock awards were valued at more than $1.5m, and she earned a cash bonus of $975,000. Other compensation was nearly $31,400.