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Articles from 2018 In May

Silversea reports record bookings for 2020 world cruise


With a record response rate from both Silversea loyalists and first-time cruisers, world cruise 2020 has 'topped the charts,' the line said. In addition, the top owner’s suites, priced at $480,000 per double-occupancy booking, sold out immediately, which Silversea said demonstrates a 'robust level of consumer confidence in the luxury cruise market.'

Antarctica a highlight

The 382-passenger Silver Whisper will visit all seven continents on its 140-day voyage, including, very unusual, Antarctica. The ship is due to call at 62 ports in more than 32 countries on its Fort Lauderdale to Amsterdam journey.

In addition, there will be 40 new destinations from the line's 2018 and 2019 world cruises.

Fares start at $62,000

'With larger cruise lines significantly reducing their capacity on world cruises, Silversea is increasingly becoming the prime choice for world cruisers looking for real, in-depth destination experiences,' said Mark Conroy, managing director for the Americas. 'With rates starting at $62,000 per guest, the record number of bookings for the 2020 world cruise demonstrates a growing demand for once-in-a-lifetime, luxury travel experiences.'

Celestyal appoints seasoned sales manager for central US

Mary Woody has received numerous sales awards throughout her career

Based in Kansas City, Kansas, she will report to Gordon Dirker, VP business development.

Previously with Royal Caribbean, Azamara

Prior to joining Celestyal, Woody served as business development manager for Royal Caribbean International, where she also represented Azamara Club Cruises. Before that she was a district sales manager with responsibility for key travel agent partners and incentive accounts in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

Earlier, Woody was a district sales manager for Kloster Cruise Ltd., where she represented Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Viking Line. She has received numerous sales awards throughout her career.

'We are delighted to bring on board a business development manager with Mary Woody’s incredible pedigree,' said Leslie Peden, North America president, Celestyal Cruises. 'Her many accolades and accomplishments speak volumes and we expect she will take our brand to new heights in the Midwest, where Mary has a longstanding relationship with key travel agency partners.'

AIDAnova floated at Meyer Werft Papenburg

AIDAnova moved along the Meyer Werft shipbuilding dock late on Wednesday afternoon

AIDA said the operation, which was conducted with various winches, started around 17:00 hrs yesterday and was completed successfully.

That's Captain Boris Becker not the tennis ace

At the same time AIDA Cruises announced the name of AIDAnova's first captain. Boris Becker, who embarked on a career with AIDA back in 2004 and was appointed Captain at the age of 30 in 2010, will take command and be in charge of the vessel after handover and during the maiden voyage. He oversaw the introduction of AIDAperla.

Captain Becker – who is not to be confused with a former German tennis champion of the same name – is joining the AIDA team at Meyer Werft to follow the construction from now on.

AIDAnova will next be adding coatings and propellers.

After the ship has been moved out of the covered building dock, the mast and funnel will be mounted.

On August 31, the naming will take place on site in Papenburg – a premier for AIDA – before AIDAnova proceeds to Eemshaven in mid-September for final outfitting and trials.

The hand-over is eventually scheduled to take place in Bremerhaven.




Hurtigruten confirms delivery delay for second newbuild, Fridtjof Nansen

Hurtigruten's pair of expedition newbuilds are delayed

The first ship, Roald Amundsen, has already been pushed back from a July 2018 delivery to May 2019.

According to both shipowner and yard, as a direct result of the delayed delivery of Roald Amundsen, Kleven will not be able to hand over Fridtjof Nansen on schedule.

The owner is unable to confirm a revised delivery date for the second ship but said Midnatsol will replace Fridtjof Nansen on voyages scheduled in Antarctica for the 2019/20 season.

Full refund for affected passengers

In a statement to affected customers Hurtigruten's ceo Daniel Skjeldam wrote: 'While we are eager to welcome you on board this truly unique vessel as soon as possible, this delay means that we unfortunately must cancel the voyage that you had booked with us.

'Please accept my sincerest apologies, and rest assured that we will do everything within our power to make your Hurtigruten adventure happen,' he added.

All guests affected will receive a full refund, including flight cancellation costs. In addition, they are offered discounts on alternative Hurtigruten voyages.

Hurtigruten and its owners, Petter A. Stordalen and TDR, are the largest partner in Kleven with a 40% share.

Kristiansand: first Norwegian port to offer shore power for cruise ships

PHOTO: Mary Bond
Port of Kristiansand coo and Cruise Norway's new chairman, Thomas Grandfeldt jr

Located in the heart of the city of Kritsiansand, the high voltage (up to 16 MT) shore connection is based on IEC8005-1 standard and delivered by Danish company Power Con, Granfeldt told Seatrade Cruise News.

'The facility is set to be ready by mid-August and as a special introductory offer for the 2018 cruise season we will offer greatly reduced prices,' commented Granfeldt.

He noted, financing came through the EU's Project Horizon 2020 providing around €80bn of innovation funding between 2014 to 2020.

Situated between Oslo and Bergen, Kristiansand has experienced strong growth in the cruise market in recent years, welcoming 50 calls last year and is expecting 62 this year bringing around 110,000 passengers.

New cruise berth accommodating any size ship

Last year, a new cruise berth opened at Lagmannsholmen quay allowing the port to welcome ships up to Oasis class. It also has grey water reception facilities - one of three cruise ports in Norway, according to the coo.

The shore power facility will be a mobile unit which could be switched to one of the port's other two berths, if required.

'We are excited to be able to offer clean shore power and know this has huge interest in northern Europe,' said Granfeldt, who is also the new chairman of Cruise Norway.

Located in southern Norway and opposite Denmark's northern shores, Kristiansand promotes itself as a port of call to, 'add another country to the Baltic'.

Norwegian Bliss is named in splashy Seattle festivities

(Photo: Anne Kalosh)
Frank and Marcia Del Rio, Andy and Allison Stuart, Robin Lindsay and Capt. Staffan Bengtsson applaud as Norwegian Bliss godfather Elvis Duran, far right, pushes the button to release the 'beautiful bottle of defenseless Champagne'

'The incomparable Elvis Duran' is 'a large reason' why Norwegian Bliss is 'the best booked new ship in Norwegian's history,' Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, said at Wednesday night's festivities.

A ship for 'the ultimate Alaska experience'

Del Rio called Bliss 'a showcase ship to provide our guests with the ultimate Alaska experience,' pointing to the 180-degree Observation Lounge and The Haven's plush Horizon Lounge above it, the big outdoor promenade The Waterfront and the fact that more than 70% of the accommodations have balconies.

Norwegian Bliss is expected to carry more than 80,000 passengers during its inaugural Alaska season and is the 'cornerstone of the largest deployment to the region in Norwegian's 50-plus-year history.'

'This is, unquestionably, the most talked-about ship we've ever launched,' added 30-year company veteran Andy Stuart, NCL president and CEO. He called Norwegian Bliss 'flawless,' thanking EVP vessel operations Robin Lindsay and SVP hotel operations Mark Kansley for their work in making it so.

'Havana' mambo, 'Jersey Boys' and Train

Duran and his posse were all over the ship in naming festivities that took place across a bevy of lounges. In the main Bliss Theater, guests got a live taste of the on-board entertainment, including a sizzling mambo from the 'Havana' show and Frankie Valli hits from 'Jersey Boys,' plus a set by the West Coast band Train that got everyone on their feet.

Alaska governor eyes the racetrack

Alaska Gov. William Walker, an avid cruiser, bemoaned the fact his schedule kept him from trying the Norwegian Bliss racetrack. 'But every Tuesday this vessel will be in Juneau. I'm marking my calendar,' he said.

Port of Seattle Commission president Courtney Gregoire noted that 18 years ago, 'Norwegian Cruise Line put the Port of Seattle on the world cruise map' by homeporting Norwegian Sky there. 'Since then, the growth has been dramatic,' she said, with 1m revenue passengers projected for the second year in a row. For the naming Bliss was alongside the Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66, upgraded last year to the tune of $30m by the port and NCLH.

Artist Wyland, who created the hull art featuring life-sized humpback whales, told the crowd the ship is 'heading from one of the most beautiful cities, Seattle, to the most beautiful place on the planet: Alaska.'

The festivities were punctuated with video congratulations to Elvis Duran from scores of his celebrity friends, ranging from Demi Lovato to Kathie Lee Gifford. Norwegian Escape godfather Pitbull ('Mr. 305') was among them, prompting Duran to quip: 'Does this mean I have to shave my head or become Mr. 212?'

'Time to sacrifice a beautiful bottle of defenseless Champagne'

When it came time for the actual naming, the huge B-L-I-S-S letters on stage in the Bliss Theater were lighted one by one, and Duran said: 'It's time to sacrifice a beautiful bottle of defenseless Champagne. Can't we use water?'

He then pushed a button, smashing that 'defenseless' bubbly on the hull.

Norwegian Bliss 'major milestone' for Port of Seattle

(Photo: Port of Seattle)
Record-breaker Norwegian Bliss arrives at the Port of Seattle's Pier 66 early Wednesday

The 168,000gt vessel's arrival Wednesday morning marked a 'major milestone,' according to the Port of Seattle. Over the past 18 years the port has transformed to achieve the largest and fastest growing cruise business on the West Coast, while earning a reputation for progressive environmental protections.

NCL first to homeport in Seattle 18 years ago

The port has a special relationship with Norwegian Cruise Line, since it was the first to homeport in Seattle, in 2000.

Through a public-private partnership, the port and the cruise line teamed to renovate and expand the Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 to handle Norwegian Bliss. The work was completed last year.

'The Port of Seattle is thrilled to host the magnificent Norwegian Bliss and her passengers for many Alaska cruise seasons to come,' Port of Seattle Commission president Courtney Gregoire said. 'Cruise ships like Norwegian Bliss meet our objectives of increasing economic opportunity in our region while constantly raising the bar on environmental sustainability. We thank Norwegian for their 18 years of partnership with the Port of Seattle, and look forward to many more to come.'

Christening by godfather Elvis Duran

Today, for the first time in Norwegian's history, it will christen a ship in Seattle when Norwegian Bliss is named by godfather Elvis Duran, the New York City radio personality.

'We look forward to a promising future and continuing to work with the Port of Seattle to further expand cruising opportunities in the Pacific Northwest,' Norwegian president and CEO Andy Stuart said.

Seattle's cruise industry is a major economic driver for the region, providing more than 4,000 jobs and over $500m each year. The port is due to handle more than 1m revenue passengers for the second year in a row.

Wastewater and air emissions controls

Starting 14 years ago, the Port of Seattle partnered with the Washington State Department of Ecology and Cruise Lines International Association on the Washington State Cruise Memorandum of Understanding, ensuring cruise ships exceed industry, state and federal environmental performance standards.

Cruise lines managed wastewater discharge long before this year’s enactment of the 'No Discharge Zone' ban on treated and untreated discharges in Puget Sound. The MOU requires the highest treatment level—using advanced wastewater purification systems—avoiding discharges near shellfish beds and the discharge of untreated graywater. For the past seven years all cruise ships visiting the Port of Seattle have elected not to discharge at all in Washington waters.

Clean shore power

The Port of Seattle also provides clean shore power at two cruise berths at Terminal 91 and is exploring opportunities to further expand access to shore power, including at Pier 66.

The port was also an early supporter of international regulations to establish the North American Emission Control Area, which limits the sulfur content in fuels used in ships when they are within 200 miles of the coast. Many cruise ships calling Seattle have installed exhaust gas cleaning systems, or scrubbers, an alternative method to clean their exhaust and meet the ECA's emission requirements.

See also 'Norwegian Bliss is named in splashy Seattle festivities'

Shenzhen, China, seminar addresses safe pilotage for cruise ships

Aiming to provide high-quality and safe pilotage services for cruise ships

The two-day event was organized by Genting Cruise Lines—a division of Genting Hong Kong comprised of Dream Cruises, Star Cruises and Crystal Cruises—along with the China Maritime Pilots' Association (CMPA), Shenzhen Pilots (SZP) and Hong Kong Pilots Association (HKPA).

Speakers included Chen Ying, deputy director of the Water Transport Bureau of China's Ministry of Transport; Lou He Ru, vice chairman of the Transport Commission of Shenzhen Municipality; Chen Jian Hua, EVP and secretary general of CMPA; Li Guan Hua, chairman of HKPA; and Lim Jiun Yan, SVP of Genting Cruise Lines.

Simulation studies, comparison of Azipod and conventional propulsion

The seminar's discussions covered a wide range of topics including simulation studies, the responsibilities of pilots, comparisons between new cruise ships equipped with Azipods and conventional cruise ships using propellers, and the bridge team setup.

The selection of Shenzhen as the event venue underscored the commitment and desire by Shenzhen Port to establish itself as a major cruise port while also improving its pilotage service standards.

'People-centric' approach

CMPA's Chen said safe cruise pilotage is key to cruise operations, adding that the discussions should be 'people centric' and go hand in hand with China's 'One Belt, One Road' initiatives, requiring pilots to fully understand the capabilities of propulsion devices on megaships, to master the special requirements and precautionary measures for safe entry and exit, to improve the pilots and captains’ skill sets, to strive to improve the service quality of cruise pilotage and enhance the safety of cruise ships in China ports.

HKPA's Li added that with the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Guangzhou Nansha, Shenzhen Shekou and Hong Kong will do their utmost to provide high-quality and safe pilotage services for mega cruise ships that homeport in the Greater Bay Area.

Ports Australia Darwin conference to discuss cruise-related topics


'This conference will focus on the future opportunities and our challenges facing the sector, and I am excited to bring together a programme of diverse and eminent international and Australian thought leaders and decision-makers,' said Ports Australia chairman Paul Weedon, Tasmanian Ports Corporation’s ceo.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure Michael McCormack will deliver the opening address with time set aside for questions. 

Shore power, alternative fuels, infrastructure policy

There are sessions on shore power and the economics of alternative fuels, and Pip Spence, deputy secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and regional development, will speak on ‘Perspectives on Port Infrastructure Policy.’
A welcome cocktail party at the Northern Territory's Parliament House, a tour of Darwin and a gala dinner are on the agenda.
Ports Australia, which has been in existence in one form or another since 1916, is the peak body representing the interests of port and marine authorities in Australia.
More conference details are at

Princess Cruises beefs up public relations in Australasia

In her new role Meg Koffel will liaise with the public relations and events team at head office

Koffel, a 15-year veteran with Princess Cruises in Australia, will continue to drive communications strategy, messaging and media relations across Australia and New Zealand.
In her expanded role she will increase her responsibility by taking a leadership role in the development of new ship communications, public relations launch strategies and planning, starting with Sky Princess which joins the fleet in October next year. 

Collaboration with Brian O'Connor at head office

She will continue to report to Stuart Allison, svp Asia Pacific, and will collaborate with the public relations and events team at head office led by Brian O’Connor, vp global public relations.
‘At Princess we take great pride in creating opportunities to promote from within and welcome Meg’s 15 years of experience that will contribute to developing the communications strategy and inaugural events launch plan for the new Sky Princess,’ said Gordon Ho, svp global marketing.
‘Meg has produced ground-breaking and award-winning public relations campaigns for our brand in Australia and we look forward to applying her creative and innovative thinking in this newly expanded role,' Ho said.
Koffel will continue to manage public relations agency relationships with FleishmanHillard in Australia and Eleven in New Zealand. She will be supported by Jaye Sellen, who will continue to report to her.
Majestic Princess is scheduled to arrive in Australia, the second largest global market for Princess, for the 2018-19 summer season and Meg is already focused on planning our flagship’s season Down Under,’ Allison said.