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Articles from 2015 In May

Hamburg's LNG-fueled cold ironing barge debuts with AIDAsol test

AIDA Cruises
The cold ironing barge Hummel began supplying LNG-generated power to AIDAsol on Saturday

During AIDAsol's next call, on June 9, the ship for the first time will be supplied with LNG-generated 'shore' power for its entire call.

AIDA Cruises president Michael Ungerer described the new system as a globally unique pilot project, adding it had opened a new chapter of environmental protection in the Port of Hamburg. LNG eliminates the emission of sulfur oxides and soot particles in connection with supplying AIDAsol's electrical power needs in port. Nitrogen oxide emissions are reduced by up to 80% and carbon dioxide emissions by 30%.

The 76.7-metre barge Hummel contains five gas engines with a total output of 7.5 megawatts. The barge arrived in Hamburg last autumn for an extensive preparation and testing period before operation.

In May its operator, Becker Marine Systems, received the 2015 GreenTec Award sponsored by the German Travel Association, DRV, in recognition of this innovative project.

In spring 2016 AIDA Cruises will start operating the new AIDAprima from Hamburg. The ship is equipped to receive external power from the barge Hummel, but has also dual fuel engines that can be operated directly with LNG.

The inauguration of its new flagship will take AIDA another step forward in environmental protection and make it a cruise industry pioneer.



Cruise New Zealand 2015 unveils full roster of speakers

Cruise New Zealand 2015 is returning to the Auckland Museum in the city's Domain

Thompson, who has worked with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises for more than 19 years, was formerly a Celebrity hotel director.

CLIA Australasia’s executive director, Neil Linwood, has also been named as a panellist. Linwood was previously svp strategic development for Carnival Australia and was project manager-financial systems for the Asia Pacific region of Hilton International.

The other panellists are Stuart Allison (Princess Cruises’ vp Australia and New Zealand), Tony Gibson (Ports of Auckland’s ceo), Stephanie Rowe (head of intelligence and operations, Ministry for Primary Industries), Paul Yeo (Tourism New Zealand’s industry relations manager), Peter Brown (Port Otago’s commercial manager), Stephen Bradford (chairman of Cruise Down Under) and Barry Kidd (Bus & Coach Association of New Zealand’s ceo).

As previously reported, Simon Douwes, director of deployment and itinerary planning for Holland America Line and Steven Young, director of port services and government affairs for Carnival UK, are the keynote speakers.

The venue for CNZ 2015 on July 31 will be the Greco-Roman inspired Auckland Museum, situated in the city’s Domain, a large public park close to the central business district, where the inaugural conference was held in 2013.

Cruise New Zealand gm Raewyn Tan said the conference is a must for the region’s cruise and tourism stakeholders. Non-members are welcome.

Information/registration: (click on ‘Events’).


Victim of crewman's brutal assault is suing Holland America

Victim of crewman's brutal assault is suing Holland America

Ketut Pujayasa, a room service attendant from Indonesia, is serving a 30-year sentence in US federal prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder and aggravated sexual assault.

He used a pass key to enter the woman's stateroom after fuming all day following a perceived insult to his family. When he had brought her breakfast, she reportedly responded to his knocks on the door by saying: 'Wait a minute, son of a bitch.'

The victim, 31 at the time, was choked, beaten, raped and nearly thrown overboard while Nieuw Amsterdam was sailing off the coast of Honduras. She was airlifted to a hospital in South Florida.

The story shows gruesome photos of the bruised and bloodied woman provided by her attorney, Jack Hickey, who claimed an overflowing toilet on board took priority over calls from passengers who reported hearing cries for help.

The paper said attorneys for HAL are seeking the suit's dismissal on the grounds they couldn't have known the crewman posed a threat.

Immediately following the attack the cruise line said Pujayasa had been hired in 2012 after a 'careful screening that included a clean criminal history check. He had no performance issues and came with good references.'

Asked to respond to allegations in the lawsuit, HAL on Friday provided a statement to Seatrade Cruise News.

'We are terribly saddened that this event occurred,' the cruise line said. 'Our thoughts, prayers and support remain with the victim and we are committed to a fair and collaborative resolution of this tragic event. It is right that justice prevailed and the perpetrator was sentenced accordingly.

'To our knowledge,' HAL added, 'no incident like this has occurred before in our company’s 142-year history. It is our highest priority to ensure the safety and security of our guests.'

The suit was filed in US District Court in Seattle.

Overnight cruise calls halted at Sydney's White Bay on sulphur controversy

Sydney Harbour (Photo: Rodney Haywood)

Ceo Grant Gilfillan said the Port Authority was responding to community concerns and the ban will stay in place until the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has regulated the use of low sulphur fuel by ships berthing at the White Bay Cruise Terminal.
In March voters retained the NSW state government led by Premier Mike Baird whose campaign included a pledge to reduce the sulphur content of fuel for cruise ships in Sydney to 0.1% by July 2016.
Margy Osmond, ceo of the Tourism and Transport Forum, said this pre-election promise puts Sydney’s cruise industry at risk.
Osmond said the government is not giving the industry enough time to change and has not explained where cruise ships will have access to the low sulphur fuel which is currently unavailable in large quantities in Sydney.
‘Nor has any consideration been given to the investment cruise ship companies like Carnival have started to make to introduce scrubbing technology,’ she said. ‘This technology is being phased in voluntarily to their ships over the coming four years, specifically to deliver much lower emissions.’
Seatrade Cruise News understands the NSW EPA is bringing forward the 0.1% sulphur content regulation to October this year for ships wanting to overnight at White Bay. 
The next scheduled overnight stay at White Bay is Star Cruises’ SuperStar Virgo, which is due to arrive December 18 and depart December 19.
Local residents have complained about noise from docked ships and health problems including headaches, bloodshot eyes and respiratory issues since the A$57m White Bay Cruise Terminal opened in April 2013.  
The terminal replaced Wharf 8 Darling Harbour which was demolished in 2010 to make way for the multimillion-dollar Barangaroo complex.
A Sydney Ports spokesman said a major reason for selecting White Bay 5, which cannot take ships that are too big to go under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, was its existing deepwater quayside infrastructure and its ability to berth two ships simultaneously by using neighbouring White Bay 4.


Former McDonald's chief joins Royal Caribbean board

Donald Thompson formerly helmed fast food giant McDonald's as ceo

Thompson, 52, fills the slot vacated by long-time director Bernard Aronson who, as earlier reported, stepped down due to time commitments of his new responsibilities as US special envoy.

Thompson, an electrical engineer by training, had been with McDonald's since 1990, and served as ceo since 2012. Earlier, he was an engineer specialist in the defense systems division of the Northrop Corp.

Also elected to new one-year terms as directors were Richard Fain, John Brock, Ann Moore, Eyal Ofer, William Reilly, Vagn Sørensen and Arne 'Alex' Wilhelmsen.

Asuka II world cruise visit marks another milestone for the Port of Rouen

Asuka II sailing along the Seine, en route to Rouen

Rouen is the only French port the Japanese ship is calling in 2015, having arrived from Vigo, Spain, bound for New York via Ponta Delgada in the Azores.

Japan is a major market for the city’s tourism offering, not only for the legend of Joan of Arc, but in particular the Impressionist Art movement, its proximity to Monet’s garden at Giverny and the priceless art collections both in Paris and Rouen itself.

In addition, Thursday was a special day with more than 400 passengers taking a trip to the Palace of Versailles in Paris, with 340 choosing to stay for a gala dinner, arriving back at the ship at 2 a.m.

Rouen’s location along the River Seine is making it increasingly popular for overnight calls to allow extended and evening stays in Paris, as well as a host of specially created events for groups in Rouen.

Ponant uncorks Veuve Clicquot partnership

Ponant uncorks Veuve Clicquot partnership

The deal seals the union of two brands that demonstrate French savoir-faire through their respective histories.

The captain’s welcome aboard cocktail party will be celebrated exclusively with Veuve Clicquot Champagne, starting first on Le Lyrial, Ponant's newest ship, then on the rest of the fleet.

The Observatory Lounge of Le Lyrial, on Deck 6 forward, will soon contain a Veuve Clicquot space where passengers can sip a glass of Champagne while admiring the view. A similar space will be installed on board Le Boréal, L’Austral and Le Soléal.

As for the new Premium Bar List, it will offer an exclusive selection of Veuve Clicquot champagnes (Brut Carte Jaune, Rosé, La Grande Dame) and alcohols from the luxury wine and spirits Moët Hennessy group.

Veuve Clicquot events will also be organized regularly on board all ships.   

Royal Caribbean shareholders approve Oslo delisting

Royal Caribbean had considered delisting from its secondary exchange since 2009

The tally after Thursday's annual shareholders meeting in Miami was an overwhelming more than 173m votes 'for' versus 12.5m 'against.'

Royal Caribbean, whose primary listing is on the New York Stock Exchange, had considered delisting from its secondary exchange since 2009 when the board received overwhelming shareholder approval to pursue a delisting at its discretion. As explained in a proxy, delisting became a lower priority given economic conditions from the company's 2009 annual meeting to the present.

Recent changes in Royal Caribbean's agreement with the Oslo Stock Exchange and continued burdens on the company caused the issue to be raised again.

Royal Caribbean cited the complexity of dealing with two regulatory regimes—the NYSE and OSE—with 'conflicting and often inconsistent requirements,' and very low trading volume on the OSE relative to the NYSE (average daily trading volume of 188,000 shares in Oslo versus 2.2m in New York for the past 12 months). Other factors were the lack of need to access the capital markets through the OSE and costs of approximately $500,000 annually and administrative burden associated with maintaining and complying with the secondary listing venue.

'We are cognizant of the impact that delisting could have to holders of our common stock who reside in Norway,' the company said in the proxy, adding that should it delist, Royal Caribbean would pay costs to transfer their shares to the NYSE and otherwise work with the OSE and its transfer agent 'to ensure that our holders in Norway would be able to transfer their shares easily.' 

Also, the company said it would 'provide time for our Norwegian holders to liquidate their shares on the OSE in an orderly and efficient manner in the event they are unwilling or unable to transfer their shares to the NYSE.'

Crystal brings back 'Sell 3/Sail Free,' has free land add-ons, new customer savings

Crystal brings back 'Sell 3/Sail Free,' has free land add-ons, new customer savings

The pair of agent incentives reward professionals who sell segments of the 2017 world cruise. Those who sell three staterooms on any of the segments get a free voyage for two, while those selling six staterooms get Penthouse accommodations for their free voyage. Agents can choose Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity cruises from April to December 2017, excluding holiday sailings.

Travelers who book a verandah stateroom or above on four select Crystal Serenity voyages from the 2017 South America collection can extend their vacation with land expeditions to Machu Picchu or Iguazu Falls.

The three-night Machu Picchu exploration is offered post-cruise on the Jan. 22 sailing from Colón to Valparaíso or pre-cruise for the following voyage from Valparaíso to Buenos Aires on Feb. 8. Luxury land accommodations and all other details are arranged by Crystal’s expert team.

The two-night Iguazu Falls expedition tours the famed waterfalls from both the Argentina and Brazil sides. The complimentary experience includes all luxury accommodations and details, and is available pre-cruise with the March 3 sailing from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro and post-cruise with the March 12 voyage departing Rio de Janeiro for Buenos Aires.

Plus, the line is introducing savings for new-to-Crystal customers—up to $4,585 per person for a 2017 full world cruise. Combined with the line’s 'Book Now' savings, first-time Crystal guests can save on select 2017 voyages in Asia, Australia/South Pacific, South America, South Africa and the Caribbean.

Crystal’s all-inclusive voyages start at $1,485 per person if booked by the June 30 'Book Now' deadline.


Semester at Sea to operate on chartered ex Deutschland

A new beginning for the former Peter Deilmann ship, to be renamed World Odyssey

As earlier reported, the 1998-built Deutschland, former flagship of insolvent Peter Deilmann Reederei, was sold to an unnamed US-based buyer in late March. ISE will have chartered the vessel from that buyer.

In May 2014, ISE and its European banks structured an agreement to facilitate the sale of the program’s previous ship, Explorer, at the conclusion of the spring 2015 Semester at Sea voyage. (Celestyal Cruises announced in November it would be introducing the ship as Celestyal Odyssey in the Aegean starting in June.)

ISE said this agreement allowed it to gain a release and waiver of financial obligations related to the ship. The arrangement concluded in a formal transaction completed April 30, relieving ISE of any financial burdens related to Explorer.

'In reverting to our former business model of leasing a ship and launching two semester voyages per year, ISE is on solid financial ground and in a position to prosper well into the future,' ISE cfo Larry Grant said.

World Odyssey will be the sixth floating campus in Semester at Sea's 51-year history.

ISE will continue its 20-year partnership with V. Ships, which has provided the officers and crew to manage the program’s vessel. The University of Virginia will also continue as academic sponsor, not to extend beyond May 2016. The program’s next academic sponsor will be announced shortly.

The new ship will embark on its first Semester at Sea voyage Sept. 13 in Southampton, England. The 100-day voyage will visit 13 cities in 11 countries, transit the Panama Canal and conclude in San Diego, California.

'The World Odyssey marks a new chapter for Semester at Sea—a chapter that will allow us to progress, but maintain our traditions,' T. Kenn Gaither, ISE president and ceo said. 'We will continue to provide an invaluable experience to new students, who, like our 60,000 alumni, are eager to embrace the world around them, see with new eyes, and make an impact. The World Odyssey will help us educate a new generation of global citizens.'

The ship is well equipped to facilitate a 'vibrant living-learning community in the Semester at Sea tradition,' added Michael Zoll, vp student life for ISE.

Adapted for Semester at Sea, World Odyssey’s features will include nine classrooms, each with the latest technology, and a library with built-in book stacks and computers with Internet access. A reception desk area will provide around-the-clock crew presence.

A large union (the former main lounge) with upper and lower level seating will accommodate all students, faculty, staff and lifelong learners for community sessions.

Fitness spaces include an indoor gym with large windows, free weights, machines, and cardiovascular equipment, and a spacious sun deck.

The ship has capacity for approximately 600 program participants.