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Articles from 2011 In June


Growing cruise repair portfolio for Gibdock

Growing cruise repair portfolio for Gibdock

Last month, the 9,570gt, 139mtr long Spirit of Adventure docked for a 10 day programme of works, including steel repairs to the bulbous bow and a comprehensive external clean and repaint.

Richard Beards, Gibdock commercial director, comments: 'This is first time we have had the opportunity to work for Saga, which has in the past used other yards in the region. The project was completed on time and within budget, and we are hopeful that we can build further on this initial collaboration through additional projects with Saga in the future.'

The 350-passenger capacity Spirit of Adventure was originally built by HDW in Germany as Berlin in 1980 and was acquired by Saga in 2005 for its Siprit of Adventure Cruises brand.

Cruise visitors to Gibdock so far in 2011 have included 33,930gt Thomson Celebration for first time customer, Cyprus-based Columbia Ship Management. The ship arrived in March for general drydocking and tailshaft overhauls, as well as the renewal of around 40 tonnes of steel on one of its decks.

Gibdock’s ability to handle complex structural repair work on large cruise ships was also demonstrated towards the end of 2010 when it completed back-to-back repairs on two Pullmantur vessels, Empress and Sovereign. Both projects required significant amounts of steel renewal as well as routine drydocking work.

Two further cruise contracts are confirmed for November of this year.' With cruise repair facilities in Barcelona closing down, we are showing that we are more than capable of stepping into the breach,' said Beards.

Gibdock chief executive, Joe Corvelli said the yard was targetting the cruise market 'in a big way' citing strategic location advantage for operators in the Mediterranean, in particular, and the ability to complete demanding work programmes within fairly tight time limits.

Facilities at Gibdock include three drydocks, the largest of which measures 272mtr x 38mtr x 10mtr, and two repair quays. The yard can accommodate the majority of cruise vessels operating in the region.

Celebrity sets dates for Millennium ‘Solsticizing’

Celebrity sets dates for Millennium ‘Solsticizing’

That rounds out the $120m program to retrofit Solstice-class features into the Millennium series. Additions include AquaClass accommodations, the Qsine and Blu specialty restaurants and the Celebrity iLounge.

As previously announced, Celebrity Infinity will emerge from Solsticizing Dec. 3, followed by Celebrity Summit in January. That means three vessels will undergo the changes in a five-month period, starting in November.

‘This is an incredibly exciting initiative for us—and more importantly, for our guests, as indicated by their response to our already-Solsticized Celebrity Constellation, whose ratings are consistently through the roof,’ said Celebrity president and ceo Dan Hanrahan.

He noted the Millennium-class ships have a strong following and repeatedly rank at the top of prestigious consumer surveys.

‘Their style, design and ambiance served as significant inspiration for the design of the Solstice class, and now we’re bringing it full circle and in just two years’ time, incorporating on the entire Millennium class what our guests enjoy most on the Solstice class. It ties the whole fleet together in a very powerful way,’ Hanrahan added.

Mivan completes hat trick of refits

Mivan completes hat trick of refits

Work on the larger of the projects, Grand Princess began in mid April at Grand Bahama Shipyard and was completed over a 24 day period. Mivan’s £3m scope of work included refit of the Casino Bar, the strip out of the restaurant, wedding chapel, business & reception centres, manager’s office and boutiques, and the installation of a new steakhouse restaurant, main and show galleys, Tea House and Library. Mivan also completed an upgrade to some of the spa. This is the second ship within as many years that Mivan has refitted for Princess Cruises having completed work on Golden Princess in 2009.

In May, the company undertook refits on P&O Cruises' Adonia and Crystal Cruises' Crystal Serenity. Adonia, the former Regal Princess, was also refitted  at Grand Bahama Shipyard; Mivan refurbished the cabins and public areas.

Crystal Serenity was Mivan’s first contract with Crystal Cruises. The scope of work was undertaken at Blohm+Voss in Hamburg and included refits to various retail units, conversion of a store room to office and dining room lighting upgrade.

Mivan Group celebrated its 35th anniversary last year.

Radiance is back with more restaurants, some solo rooms

Radiance is back with more restaurants, some solo rooms

The work was part of Royal Caribbean International’s $70m ‘Royal Advantage’ program of enhancements to four ships this year.

Seven restaurants were added including the Brazilian steak house Samba Grill, the Asian Izumi, the Mexican-themed Rita’s Cantina and the Italian family-style restaurant Giovanni’s Table, as well as the Boardwalk Dog House hot dog stand, Park Café deli-style restaurant and the exclusive Chef’s Table.

Introducing almost all of the same specialty restaurants found on board Allure of the Seas as well as some of the Oasis-class ships’ most popular concepts gives Radiance passengers a variety of new experiences, said Lisa Bauer, svp hotel operations for RCI.

Technology enhancements include ship-wide Wi-Fi availability and flat-panel interactive televisions in all staterooms. There’s also a new Concierge Lounge for suite passengers, a Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society members, the Quill and Compass Pub and an outdoor LED video wall overlooking the main pool area.

The new accommodations include Royal Caribbean’s first staterooms for solo passengers, which president and ceo Adam Goldstein has said are being tested and if the concept is successful, it may be extended on a limited basis to other ships.

Radiance of the Seas is sailing in Alaska this season before repositioning to Australia/New Zealand.

Splendour of the Seas in October will be the final ship to undergo the ‘Royal Advantage’ upgrades.

Hanseatic gets new look, inside and out

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During the comprehensive makeover more than 780 jobs were carried out, among them, the renovation and modernization of two cabin decks, the buffet restaurant, and the sauna and pool area. The ship returned into service today.

'With the charter for Hanseatic extended until 2018, we opted to add the visual unification of the fleet. Nevertheless, the legendary former logo of Hanseatic will be retained as a product logo on board', says Sebastian Ahrens, managing director of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, explaining the decision.

More than 400 shipyard employees worked in three shifts in order to implement the refurbishment which included the renovation of the cabins on Deck 5 and Deck 6. Plenty of wood, new fabrics, furniture and carpeting has been added to create a contemporary design.

The buffet restaurant Columbus Lounge gained a new look and a new name, now called 'Bistro Lemaire'. The pool and sauna area have been revitalised, with the addition of a new steam sauna, as well as a multi-mode shower. In total, more than 11,482sq ft of carpet, 621 gallons of paint and 3,937sq ft of fabric were deployed across the vessel.

New service options now available onboard include: worldwide mobile phone reception via OnAir, Wi-Fi in all cabins, an extended selection of international newspapers, as well as headsets for passengers during shore excursions.

The new look Hanseatic(pictured) sails today for a four-day cruise from Hamburg via List, Sylt and Binz, Ruegen to Travemuende.

In August, Hanseatic heads off to discover the Arctic and Northwest Passage on a shorter, 19-day cruise. The itinerary departs from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland on August 14, 2011 and ends in Reykjavik, Iceland on September 2.

In November, the vessel heads off to the Seychelles, Madagascar and Mauritius making a new stop in Nosy Lakandava in Madagascar.

Discovery receives a makeover on the move

Discovery receives a makeover on the move

Included is the trialling of a new internet system which aims to significantly improve the speed and complement the Wi-Fi already installed aboard certain areas of the ship including the internet café.

Media Players have replaced the older DVDs, playing content into both cabins and the ship’s cinema in order to show a greater range of newly released and classic movies.

Discovery’s teak decking has also been updated around the Sun Deck and more areas of the ship will be refurbished during her drydock later this year.  New carpets have been added throughout the communal stairs and landings, with further areas to also be replaced as part of ongoing investment.

Over 100 cabin bathrooms have received updated enamelling and a flooring revamp and the team is busy continuing to update the remaining cabins over the next coming months.  

TV programming is also being studies by Voyages of Discovery and a team is currently reviewing the coverage and channels offered and working alongside a number of companies with a view to releasing a wider range of channels supported by improved satellite coverage.

Newly renovated Queen of the West wraps first cruise

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Queen of the West - more balconies, reduced occupancy

Key additions were private balconies, a new library on the third deck and the conversion of several staterooms into singles to reduce the capacity from 150 to 120.

‘Our goal was to make a great riverboat even greater and to maximize the comfort and amenities available to our passengers,’ said Timothy Beebe, vp of American Cruise Lines.

The reconstruction included newly designed and custom built furniture and fresh décor.

The company said the new, authentic paddlewheel makes for a quieter and smoother cruise with less environmental impact.

American Cruise Lines’ newbuild, Queen of the Mississippi, is ahead of schedule for its August 2012 inaugural season.