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Articles from 2007 In June


Fred Olsen to lengthen second ship

Fred Olsen to lengthen second ship

Braemar will undergo the work during its dry dock period scheduled for May and June next year.

The work will be carried out by Blohm + Voss Repair in Hamburg which will be handling a similar project on the company's latest acquisition, Balmoral, later this year.


A 31.2mtr extension will be added in the mid-section of Braemar and the fore and aft sections on Deck 8 will be extended. This work will increase the amount of premium accommodation by providing more cabins and suites with balconies and will increase the capacity of the ship from 727 to 977 (an additional 250 passengers). Extra public space includes a bar designed on the concept of a British pub - a new feature for Fred. Olsen ships which will first appear on Balmoral.


In addition to further balcony suites, the new Deck 8 space will accommodate a new restaurant along with an Observatory Lounge similar to those found on other Fred. Olsen ships. There will also be extra deck space, and a second swimming pool.


Company md Mike Rodwell said: 'There will be no disruption to schedules as we had penciled in this period in our 2008 itinerary planning in anticipation that this work would be carried out.'

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NCL hosts Agents at Home Advisory Board

NCL hosts Agents at Home Advisory Board

Home-based travel partners from across the country participated in the forum.

The board consists of agencies from America's Vacation Center, Cruise Planners, CruiseOne & Cruises Inc., the National Association of Cruise Oriented Agencies, the National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents, the Network of Entrepeneurs Selling Travel, Outside Sales Support Network and Travel Planners International.

New initiatives announced at the meeting included Seminars at Sea exclusively for home-based agents, a Freestyle Weekend in November giving home-based agents the opportunity to tour four NCL ships in Miami, and new quarterly surveys for agents to share their thoughts with NCL. In addition, the cruise line is introducing webinars and newsletter content geared to home-based agents.

The next Agents at Home Advisory Board meeting will take place on board Norwegian Gem during the ship's inaugural events in December.

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Jury awards Celebrity $15.2m in damages

Jury awards Celebrity $15.2m in damages

A New York federal jury ruled that Pentair, the parent of Essef Corp., the manufacturer of components in a pool deck hot tub that was the source of the outbreak, must pay the damages in addition to an earlier award of $10.4m for expenses incurred by Celebrity.

The cruise line had sought $47.6m in lost profits related to the outbreak in which one passenger died and others became ill, some critically, due to legionella bacteria in a hot tub filtration system.

Last year a jury awarded Celebrity $183m for lost profits and lost enterprise value. A judge allowed $10.4m for expenses but tossed out $135m for lost enterprise value and granted a new trial on the jury's finding that Celebrity was entitled to $47.6m in lost profits.

Celebrity president Dan Hanrahan today expressed appreciation for 'the jury's understanding of the impact this event had on our company.'

Pentair said it is studying the decision to determine any future action.

Final judgment has not been entered on the verdict.

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SuperStar Libra kicks off Taiwan deployment

SuperStar Libra kicks off Taiwan deployment

Star Cruises is returning to Taiwan following SuperStar Gemini's deployment there in 2005.

Minister Duei Tsai of Taiwan's Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the mayor of Keelung and Star officials including chairman and ceo Tan Sri KT Lim participated in a welcome ceremony for the vessel. In connection with the new deployment, Star Cruises collaborated with the skincare brand SK II to feature supermodel Sonia Sui in a fashion show during the inaugural voyage.

SuperStar Libra will offer itineraries to Ishigaki and the Naha Islands, as well as fresh destinations like Penghu Island.

The new program follows the recent debut of SuperStar Aquarius (ex Norwegian Wind) in Hong Kong as the largest homeporting vessel there.

'We are very thankful for the support rendered by the people of Taiwan and Hong Kong in the recent deployments of our ships,' said David Chua, president of Star Cruises. He added that, as the pioneer of cruising in the region, the company looks forward to 'a closer long-term and win-win relationship' with Taiwan, China and other Asia Pacific countries.

Chua also pledged to continue introducing 'bigger and more luxurious cruises with better facilities to satisfy the growing demands of this region.'

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London cabs to spread the word about MSC

London cabs to spread the word about MSC

'We're determined to familiarise people with the MSC name and to the fact that there is a "Truly Italian" cruise alternative to some of the mega-cruisers on the market,' said Claudia Baino, MSC Cruises' UK managing director.

'More than 95% of MSC Cruises' bookings come via the trade: the call to action on the advertisement therefore directs readers to their local travel agent or to the MSC website,' Baino added, noting that queries coming to the line are directed to agents as part of MSC's trade-friendly policies.

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Sydneyapos;s Opera House a World Heritage site

Sydneyapos;s Opera House a World Heritage site


Since its official opening by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on October 20, 1973, the Sydney Opera House has become one of the world's great performing arts centres and the city's foremost tourist attraction.


Joern Utzon's masterpiece of 20th century architecture takes its place alongside the Taj Mahal, the Acropolis and the Pyramids as a cultural site of outstanding value.


Its elevation as a World Heritage site will not surprise many cruise ship passengers and seasoned mariners, like Captain Dag Dvergastein, master of Regent Seven Seas' Seven Seas Voyager.


'Sailing past the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge is one of the world's great travel experiences,' Captain Dvergastein told Seatrade Insider.

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Queen Victoria: a progress report

Queen Victoria: a progress report

Most of the general arrangement steel work on Hull 6127 has been completed, apart from a few 'last-minute modification requests', notes Esposito, and wall panels and floorings are being installed. According to Esposito, who formerly managed Marghera, the quality of finishing in Queen Victoria's interior 'is the best the yard has done in the last 10 years'.

Final passenger capacity is not yet confirmed but is likely to be around 1,900, whilst 72% of the cabins will have a balcony.

On the technical side, chief engineer William Robinson has overseen the installation of the diesel engine layout (same kit as HAL's Vista class) with four 16-cylinder engines and two 12-cylinder engines built by Wärtsilä and of the Sulzer ZA40 design, plus two ABB Azipods, and approval for the air conditioning and electrical engineering throughout. Sea trials are scheduled for late August.

Measuring 964ft, Queen Victoria is one foot longer than QE2 and the second largest Cunarder ever built. Her maiden voyage will be on December 11.

With QE2 departing the fleet in just over 500 days from now, the amount of time that Cunard will be able to boast three Queens in service together - a first for the company - will be short-lived unless Carnival Corp decides to swap one of its slots already booked for a sister brand; in addition to HAL's Eurodam the Marghera yard is slated to build two 92,700gt super-Panamax prototype vessels for Costa delivering in spring 2009 and 2010 and a HAL Signature-class sister in 2010.

Could history repeat itself once more as was the case in 2004 when the original Queen Victoria was transferred to become P&O's Arcadia whilst still in its first year of construction? 'There are many permutations conceivable,' said Esposito with a wry smile when asked if another Cunard newbuild is being considered.

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Experts warn of dangers in salvaging Sea Diamond

Experts warn of dangers in salvaging Sea Diamond

The companyhas passed on the findings of two groups of experts to Greece's Marine minister, ManolisKefaloyiannis.

Louis also said it will do all in its power to get a EUR1.7m fine imposed by the Greek state annulled, maintaining that the company has acted from the beginning to 'deal with the pollution efficiently and has successfully confined it to a small area'.

The lost ship's operator, Louis Hellenic Cruises (LHC), said a sum of EUR4.3m has been placed with the courts and parties are invited to make their claims according to thelaw.

In a statement dated June 21, LHC said it informed minister Kefaloyiannis during a June 15 meeting of the dangers involved, four days before the ministry imposed the EUR1.17m fine.

LHC has made public the conclusions of studies undertaken by the International Tanker Oil Pollution Federation and London Offshore Consultants (ITOPF), saying it warned the minister that both companies believe 'any method to try and raisethe ship will result in pollution with huge consequences for the environment'.

LHC claims the 'few places on land that have been polluted have been cleaned' and that 'measures taken to prevent pollution are continuing with success'.

When 22,412gt Sea Diamond sank in 145mtrs of water after hitting a reef, just over 400 tonnes of fuel were on board but LHC points out theminister himself has said much of the oil has leaked out and has been collected. It is estimated some 300 tonnes have been recovered.

'The incident happened in a very beautiful area, but the pollution has been of small significance and the fine [EUR1.17m] which was imposed was the maximum under the law and was excessive,' said LHC.

The company said that during a June 15 meeting with Kefaloyiannis it was made clear that under international and Greek law it could limit its liability to EUR4.3m, but'had decided not to take advantage of this legislation but to proceed with taking all necessary measures and that it has exceeded by far EUR4.3m'.

During the meeting, Kefaloyiannis was told that even if divers could be found ready to take the risk, it would be impossible to remove all the fuel from the ship because available technology can only deal with bulk carriers which can be approached from the outside. It is not possible to do this in the case of passenger ships.

LHC said that taking this into consideration, the ITOPF proposed Louis substitute the barriers around the ship with new ones designed to meet the sea conditions of the area. These will further reduce the possibility of pollution and increase the ability to collect the oil inside the barriers. 'The new barriers have already been ordered and will be installed very soon,' LHC said.

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Skjolden handles first cruise calls

Skjolden handles first cruise calls

'Everyone, including guests, crew members, locals and our staff seemed very satisfied,' said port director Iren Vatne.

Skjolden currently charges a passenger landing fee, but no harbor dues, tendering fees or levies for ISPS Code security measures. 'We fully understand that cruise lines and operators are upset about the NOx taxation,' Vatne said, adding that the port is presenting itself as an alternative to reduce the overall costs of operating in Norway.

Skjolden's deepwater terminal is scheduled to be ready for ships to come alongside in 2010. Until then, vessels are using the new tender pier.

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Two long voyages for Fred Olsen in 2009

Two long voyages for Fred Olsen in 2009

Highlights of the new programme (a full brochure will be launched next month) include two long voyages.

Black Watch departs from Southampton for her world cruise, travelling in awesterly direction, on January 6, 2009, for 97 nights. She will sail via the Canaries to the Caribbean and a transit of the Panama Canal, then on toFrench Polynesia and the islands of Tahiti, Tonga and Fiji en route toAustralia. The voyage continues to Mauritius and Mozambique and callsat Cape Town in South Africa and the countries ofNamibia and Ghana before returning via Cape Verde and the Canaries.

Balmoral's world trip takes a different route. She leaves Dover on February14, 2009, for a 104-night voyage, heading first to Lisbon and Valletta beforereaching Port Said in Egypt and transiting the Suez Canal. Balmoral willvisit Jordan and Oman, Goa in southern India, then Malaysia, Singapore andVietnam where she calls at Ho Chi Minh City. Hong Kong is next and thencome some first time ports of call for Fred. Olsen: Shanghai and Tianjin inChina, and Yokahama in Japan.

Balmoral cruises to Alaska before moving on to Vancouver and finally thewestern coast of the US visiting Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and SanDiego. She returns via Mexico and Guatemala, transits the Panama Canal thentravels back through the Caribbean and the Azores.

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