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Articles from 2005 In June


Saga of the Berlinapos;s name

Saga of the Berlinapos;s name

The 470-passenger ship, built in 1980, was owned by a German consortium and chartered and managed by Neustadt-based Peter Deilmann Reederei until Saga stepped in to buy the ship in March.

Saga will rename the vessel Spirit of Adventure and details of her 2006 cruise programme, starting in March, will be unveiled next week.

In the meantime, Seatrade Insider understands Dutch operator Club Cruise is planning to charter the vessel from Dec. 24 to March 15, operating 10- and eight-day cruises in the Canaries and southern Med for gay men under the Romeo-N-Romeo banner. The itineraries are being promoted on the web using the vessel name Romeo.

While gay cruises are popular in the US with a number of cruise line charters, programmes and sailings, 'it is entirely new for Europeans to have the opportunity to cruise on this type of product this side of the Atlantic,' Casper Klap, international sales manager for Utrecht-based Romeo-N-Romeo, told Seatrade Insider.

Romeo-N-Romeo is targeting an international audience using tour operators in the US and across Europe.

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Norwegian Jewel starts sea trials

Norwegian Jewel starts sea trials

Norwegian Jewel is expected to complete trials and return to Eemshaven on Tuesday. The ship is scheduled to arrive in Hamburg on July 11 for a final docking for technical optimizations prior to delivery.

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RCCL notes are convertible

RCCL notes are convertible

The notes are convertible at a rate of 15.6675 shares of common stock per $1,000 principal. If all outstanding notes were converted, the aggregate number of shares of common stock issued would total approximately 10.2m.

Holders may convert their notes into shares up until 5 p.m. New York Time on Sept. 30.

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Cruise search tool for Singaporeans

Cruise search tool for Singaporeans

The new portal was developed by Brett Dudley who earlier launched ecruising.com.au in Australia, the company behind the hugely successful annual Sale Day at Wharf 8 Darling Harbour. Last year Dudley created cruiseagents.com.au which provided Zuji's cruise component for the Australian market.

He told Seatrade Insider that his Singapore debut for Zuji, a joint venture between Sabre's Travelocity and a consortium of airlines operating in the Asia-Pacific area -- including United, Cathay Pacific, Qantas and Singapore Airlines -- does not include the regional voyages of Star Cruises.

'Singapore is an affluent nation and we are offering top-of-the-range, all-inclusive hotel, airline and cruise packages in Singapore dollars to destinations like Alaska, the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Australia's Great Barrier Reef,' Dudley said. 'Our suppliers include Silversea, Princess, Orion Expedition Cruises, NCL and Explorer Cruises and Singaporeans may either book on line or call a toll-free customer service number.'

Dudley's next project is a cruise search for Zuji's Hong Kong subscribers, which he said will be up and running in a few months.

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The Rotterdam gets another chance

The Rotterdam gets another chance

Dutch housing company Woonbron announced it has acquired the vessel together with investment partner Eurobalance BV and formed a new company, De (The) Rotterdam, to manage the ship. De Rotterdam will work with Albeda College in Rotterdam to develop programs for training and education on board. The vessel also will be used for conferences, cultural events and festivals.

The Rotterdam had faced an uncertain future. It has been languishing at Cammel Laird in Gibraltar, where it was towed last July after a long lay-up in Freeport. Its former owners, SS Rotterdam Ltd., filed for bankruptcy in December.

Steamship Rotterdam Foundation, which has fought long and hard for the vessel's preservation, expressed delight over the turn of events. The foundation has signed a letter of intent with the new owners to provide consultation and said asbestos removal and other work will be completed before the Rotterdam is moved to its new home.

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New standard for Garrison & Sloan

New standard for Garrison & Sloan

S. Treasury Department's Odor Recognition Proficiency Standard for Explosive Detection Canines.

The new standard was achieved in June with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Defense Military Working Dog Group, the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Capitol Police and the U.S. Secret Service.

Miami-based Garrison & Sloan has more than 20 years of professional canine experience and has worked with the cruise industry for five years.

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Sperry to supply integrated bridge systems for next two Freedom-class ships

Sperry to supply integrated bridge systems for next two Freedom-class ships

Last year, Sperry Marine supplied the systems for the first ship in the series, Freedom of the Seas, which is scheduled for completion in 2006.

Sperry Marine will supply the complete suite of bridge electronics for the ships, including integrated navigation and communication systems. The integrated bridge system will be based on the new-generation Sperry Marine Vision FTTM architecture, with large, high-resolution flat-screen displays, convenient console layouts, ergonomic controls and new operating software.

Sperry Marine supplied the integrated bridge systems for all of the new Royal Caribbean Voyager-, Radiance- and Vision-class ships, and has also retrofitted the same equipment on the entire fleet of existing ships, ensuring that all have standardized equipment and operating procedures. Sperry Marine also provides navigation training for the ships' watch officers and fleet-wide service and technical support under a comprehensive service agreement with Royal Caribbean.

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Detroit gears up for new cruise terminal

Detroit gears up for new cruise terminal

The Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority hopes to secure permits for the project in coming weeks and start construction by late summer to complete work in nine months, deputy port director Steven Olinek told Seatrade Insider.

The dock will be able to handle all passenger ships that now cruise the Great Lakes, as well as potential newcomers such as Cape May Light and Cape Cod Light, which Detroit hopes to entice to the region, Olinek said. [See also earlier story.]

The project has been a long time coming. In 1998, the port authority was awarded a $6m grant to construct a riverfront facility. Local match monies and an additional grant from the state pushed the total available budget to $11.25m. A piece of prime property was purchased from General Motors and ground-breaking took place last year, but permitting caused a delay.

While Detroit is best known as a capital of automotive manufacturing, its position as a Great Lakes port has defined much of its development. With the local and state economies struggling in recent years, officials are looking to diversify, and cruise could offer possibilities. 'We're poised for recovery. I really believe we're sitting on a goldmine of potential here,' Olinek said.

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Detroit pursues coastal vessels

Detroit pursues coastal vessels

It has put together a financing package and is talking with potential equity investors and operating companies that would agree to deploy the ships in the Great Lakes during the summer.

'We want these vessels to end up in the lakes, not somewhere else,' Steven Olinek, Detroit's deputy port director, told Seatrade Insider.

Olinek, who also serves as chairman of the Great Lakes Cruising Coalition, a partner in the effort to bring the coastal ships to the region, said the group has been pursuing the 224-passenger Cape May Light and Cape Cod Light for some time. One proposal fell apart in December when a potential operating partner's parent company decided not to expand its involvement in the cruise sector.

The pressure is on now that the U.S. Maritime Administration has set a July 26 auction date for the vessels. Olinek said there is intense interest in the ships, and he holding talks with various groups. There's also solid support from maritime unions to operate the ships under the U.S. flag, Olinek added.

Under Detroit's plan, the port authority would issue bonds to finance the acquisition of the coastal ships. An operating partner would handle the vessel operations, and an equity partner would provide working capital.

'The Great Lakes are the last un-cruised waters in the world,' Olinek said. 'There are a lot of people who haven't seen the lakes, even locally. We have a lot to offer.' He cited attractions like the opera house in Calumet on Michigan's Upper Peninsula, which drew stars like Sarah Bernhardt and John Philip Sousa; the natural beauty of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore near Traverse City, historic Mackinac Island, the picturesque resort town of Saugatuck and the 'urban experience' of Detroit.

Meanwhile, Detroit hopes to start construction this summer on a new downtown cruise facility that would be ready for the 2006 season. [See next story.]

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CocoCay video available to agents

CocoCay video available to agents

The footage covers watersports, including Wave Runners,snorkeling, scuba diving and parasailing. Also featured is Caylana's AquaPark, with floating challenges from inflatable rock walls to balancing logs.

Travel sellers can purchase 'CocoCay Fun' to use at cruise nights,trade shows, product presentations and other marketing and promotionalefforts.

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