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Articles from 2015 In June

Latest bird's-eye view of Tortola Pier Park construction

The Tortola Pier Park development is pictured on June 30 (Photo: Dion Stoutt)

The development adjacent to Road Town's recently expanded cruise pier will feature retail, commercial, entertainment and green spaces.

Tortola Pier Park is scheduled for completion by year's end.

Un-Cruise offers agents chance to win a Hawaii cruise

Safari Explorer operates four-island cruises between Hawaii and Molokai (Photo: Un-Cruise Adventures)

For each Hawaii booking made in July, agents earn an entry into a drawing for the free cruise. Double entries are earned for joining the Hawaiian Islands webinar on July 8 at 1 p.m. PST. Bonus entries are earned for any Un-Cruise Adventures hotel packages booked. A random drawing is scheduled for Aug. 3.

If the cruise is taken before the end of 2015, two free domestic air tickets from Alaska Airlines can be used by the winner.

As part of Aloha July, agents can offer clients a $500 per couple adventure savings on the week-long Hawaii cruise. The savings apply to select departure dates from November through April and are available on bookings confirmed from July 1-31. A promotional flyer for Aloha July contains details for agents. Additional sales tools may be found in the travel agent portal.

Hawaii cruises sail one-way between Hawaii and Molokai and explore four islands—Hawaii, Lanai, Maui and Molokai.

Safari Explorer is equipped with an aft swim step and a full complement of water sports equipment. Expert naturalists provide interpretation on guided excursions ashore and at sea.

Cruise rates start at $3,595 per person, double occupancy. Included are premium spirits, fine wines and microbrews; massage, guided tours for small groups, from-yacht activities and equipment, transfers, lei greeting and port charges and taxes.

Affinity Gaming teams with Carnival for player's club perks

Affinity Gaming teams with Carnival for player's club perks

The partnership will award Affinity Gaming’s highest Player’s Club tier members with perks like the opportunity to earn free Carnival cruises, based on level of play. Mid-level tier members will be eligible to receive special discounted offers on a wide variety of Carnival cruises.

'We believe that our players will find this new benefit to be very rewarding and cultivate strong loyalty between the players and our properties,' said Michael Silberling, chief operating officer, Affinity Gaming.

For his part, Carnival's Marty Goldman, svp global casino operations, called Affinity Gaming an 'excellent partner' since they share the cruise line's commitment to outstanding service and hospitality.

Hurtigruten acquires a ship for Norwegian coastal route

Hurtigruten acquires a ship for Norwegian coastal route

The 7,025gt vessel is temporarily called Norway Explorer. It was built in Portugal in 2009 at the Viana do Castelo shipyard.

The ship is believed never to have been named or officially launched, a Hurtigruten spokesman in the US told Seatrade Cruise News. He said it was built for another purpose but the company that commissioned it did not take delivery during the height of the global recession.

The vessel is now en route to Scandinavia.

Hurtigruten described plans for a 'total reconstruction' before service begins. This includes adapting it for polar waters, upgrading the accommodations and public spaces for 320 passengers and adjusting the power plant to meet higher standards.

The ship will replace Midnatsol, which will join Fram in Antarctica for the 2016/17 season.

'The new ship's maneuverability and optimal size will bring Hurtigruten's guests even closer to nature,' ceo Daniel Skjeldam said.

MSC Book goes live stateside with bonus agent pay

Travel agents can book a cruise in four steps

In addition, agents will be entered for a chance to win a seven-night Caribbean cruise in the MSC Yacht Club on MSC Divina for each individual booking made on MSC Book through September.

The booking engine was designed based on agent feedback and is 'a game-changer in terms of making the booking process as quick and simple as possible,' according to Ken Muskat, evp sales, public relations and guest services, MSC Cruises USA.

Among the highlights of MSC Book is the ability to book a cruise in four simple steps. Agents can select up to five staterooms, find flights and hotels (coming soon) and add pre-paid and commissionable special services such as spa, shore excursions, specialty dining and beverage packages.

The system allows the client's itineraries to be saved as favorites so they can quickly be viewed later.

A quick quote or quick option is available at any point during the booking process.

Agents can search by price range, destination, departure date or embarkation port. They also can search for the client’s MSC Club loyalty status by name or MSC Club number.

Users can compare prices, dates, itineraries and any additional items included in the price for up to three cruises on a single page.

They can select staterooms via an interactive deck plan that allows browsing by deck and stateroom position, and quickly see stateroom availability for the category selected. Plus, agents can view stateroom photos and layouts as well as detailed descriptions and videos of MSC's 12 ships.

In addition, agents can request a group directly from MSC Book, then use the booking engine to manage the group.

They can send or print customer booking confirmations and e-tickets, and read commission and other accounting reports on a new and improved dashboard.


Email campaign briefs agents new to selling Carnival

Adolfo Pérez - 'Welcome to Fun' email campaign triggered by registering on

The five-part 'Welcome to Fun' email marketing program covers a range of topics, from maximizing the use of to details on the Carnival Passport educational tool and the Travel Partner Toolbox. Also included are benefits of the Travel Agent Rewards Program, which enables agents to earn points redeemable for prizes for the activities they do every day in working with Carnival.

'We heard through our Carnival Conversations events that while we’re an excellent line for new agents to start selling given our mass market appeal, our wide-ranging training resources can be a bit daunting when agents are just getting started,' said Adolfo Pérez, vp trade sales and marketing. 'The "Welcome to Fun" email program intuitively detects new agents when they register on and provides them with helpful information to guide them through our key sales and marketing resources, all in an easy-to-navigate format.'

'We’re pleased that Carnival has created this dedicated email series for new agents. We prioritize training and providing new agents with easily accessible information that shortens the learning curve is important to helping them grow their business. Tools like this really help,' said Michelle Fee, ceo and co-founder of Cruise Planners, an American Express travel representative.

CMV's Azores gets her bell back


Writer Rosalea Ryan, who is a regular passenger on Azores, donated the bell on loan. In a special presentation during the current Azores cruise to Iceland and the Northern Isles, she was able to see her wishes carried out. It is her sixth cruise on Azores bringing her total time cruising on the ship to six months.

Rosalea expalined how she came into owning the original ship's bell. 'It was first listed for sale on eBay over a year ago and I decided then it should be back on board. I am very pleased to see it’s finally back where it belongs.'

Norwegian appoints new managing director for Europe

Norwegian appoints new managing director for Europe

He will be based in Germany and report directly to Francis Riley, svp international sales & operations.

'We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Christian Boell, a well-respected and talented marketer with a wealth of experience and a true cruise enthusiast. We welcome him to Norwegian, where his extensive industry know-how will play a vital role in better positioning the Norwegian Cruise Line brand and our innovative Freestyle Cruising concept in our European key markets,' Riley said.

Over the last couple of years, Boell successfully managed different tourism brands and has initiated innovative branding concepts to better meet demand and the requirements of different target groups. Before joining international Steigenberger and Schörghuber hotel group (Arabella Sheraton), he played a major role in the launch and expansion of German cruise lines AIDA and A-ROSA.

In his last position, he headed marketing and sales as managing director of German river brand nicko cruises.

NCLH bags Silversea's Odell to set up Australia sales office

Steve Odell - vast experience in Australasia cruise market

The office will represent Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Odell will be joining as svp and managing director Australasia for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. Beginning Oct. 1, he will be responsible for the continued growth of the company’s presence in the region and differentiating each brand’s offerings.

'In view of the growing international interest in cruising combined with our strong growth strategy, the new office in Australia is a natural next step in our global expansion of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings,' said Harry Sommer, evp international business development for NCLH.

Sommer added the office reflects NCLH's confidence in the growing Australia and New Zealand markets and its belief that Norwegian with Freestyle Cruising, Oceania Cruises as an upper premium product and Regent Seven Seas Cruises in the luxury sector are all a 'perfect fit for the Australian market, offering a wide variety of experiences and worldwide itineraries.'

Thirty-year cruise veteran Odell has played a key role in the establishment of the luxury cruise segment in Australasia, most recently as Silversea's regional president. He also served as chairman of International Cruise Council Australasia (now CLIA Australasia) between 2005 and 2007 and was a founding board member of the Asia Cruise Association (now CLIA Southeast Asia).

The new Australia office will offer sales and marketing support for all three brands, providing additional training opportunities on a more regular basis and directly by NCLH staff. The company said its relationships with current travel industry partners and local representatives will remain in place, with the office providing further on-site support.

Odell began his cruise career as sales and marketing director for Royal Viking Line, 1986 to 1994, then held the same job at Celebrity Cruises for four years. He joined Silversea as vp sales and marketing international in 1998, and moved from London to Sydney as vp sales and marketing for the region in 2003.

Three years later Odell hired Karen Christensen—who had helmed ICCA since it was launched in 1996—for the newly created position of regional sales director Australia and New Zealand. She is currently gm and director sales and marketing Australasia.

Odell opened Silversea's Asia Pacific headquarters in Sydney, which handles reservations, sales and marketing for the entire region, in April 2008. A few months later he became an Australian citizen and now holds dual British/Australian citizenship.

Odell returned to London in July 2011 to become svp sales and marketing for UK, Europe and Asia Pacific. Since advancing to regional president, he has been based in Silversea's Monaco office.


Busan Port Authority's Lim Ki-tack elected as next IMO secretary-general

Busan Port Authority's Lim Ki-tack elected as next IMO secretary-general

Lim beat five rivals from Denmark, Russia, Cyprus, the Philippines and Kenya in a vote at the 40-member IMO Council today; the council's decision will be put to the IMO Assembly for approval in November.

'IMO has been the backbone of my professional career,' Lim told Seatrade as he announced he was standing in the election, adding that he has been attending various IMO meetings since 1986.

'As a maritime professional with lifetime experience in a wide spectrum of maritime trades including seafaring, international maritime regulation and port operation, I believe I have the competence to serve IMO for its brighter future,' Lim added.

Lim's career includes various posts at the South Korean embassy in London, and he has served as chairman of the Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation at the IMO. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in nautical science from Korea Maritime University and holds master's degrees in political science and maritime safety administration.

Lim's campaign was the first to gain the official backing of a voting nation when Panama announced it would be backing the BPA president.

After interviewing all the candidates and reviewing their answers to a questionnaire, Jorge Barakat, minister of maritime affairs and administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority, said: 'We have decided that with the clearest vision of what needed to be done [at the IMO] and with the focus on the integral development of the organisation, the best of all was Lim Ki-tack.'

The current IMO secretary-general, Japan's Koji Sekimizu, is not standing for re-election. Sekimizu's four-year term will come to an end at the close of 2015, as he has chosen to focus his time and attention on caring for his wife, who has a medical condition.

After announcing he would be stepping down, Sekimizu gave a moving speech as he accepted the 2015 Seatrade Personality Award earlier this year.