Carnival Corp. prices two-tranche $1.86bn/€800m term loan facility

CRUISE Carnival Corp. logo.jpg

The US dollar tranche will be issued at a price equal to 96% of its face value and will bear annual interest equal to adjusted LIBOR (with a 1% floor) plus 7.5%. The euro tranche will be issued at a price equal to 96% of its face value and will bear annual interest equal to EURIBOR (with a 0% floor) plus 7.5%.

Both tranches will be prepayable, in whole or in part, at Carnival's option at a price equal to the face value plus a customary make-whole amount for the first year after closing, 102% of the face value for the second year after closing and par thereafter.

The obligations will be guaranteed by Carnival plc and the same subsidiaries that currently guarantee the company's 11.5% first-priority senior secured notes due 2023 and will be secured on a first-priority basis by the same collateral that currently secures those notes.

The term loan facility is expected to close on June 30. Carnival intends to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes, including the repayment of near-term debt maturities. 

Trump tours Fincantieri's US shipyard, Marinette Marine

CRUISE Trump at Fincantieri Marinette Marine.jpg
President Trump called the Fincantieri Marinette Marine workers a 'national treasure'

Trump toured the shipyard where littoral combat ships are currently produced. He met with several Marinette Marine employees and offered remarks to a group of more than 700 workers, partners and local guests.

First US president to visit

Trump is the first US president to visit the shipyard. During his remarks, he called the workers a 'national treasure. Your patriotism cannot be outsourced. You will forge the future of the Navy.'

Dario Deste, president and CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group, said the visit meant 'so much to the men and women who put their hearts and souls into building tremendous warships for this country.'

Potential $5.5bn contract

In late April, Fincantieri Marinette Marine was awarded the frigate contract worth $5.5bn, if all options are exercised by the Navy. The initial contract of $795m is for the detailed design and construction of the first guided-missile frigate, with options for nine additional ships.

Global shipbuilding giant Fincantieri bought Marinette Marine in 2009 and invested $180m in it over the next decade. Now the company is poised to invest an additional $200m into infrastructure and improvements to accommodate work on larger ships.

Roberta Jacoby hailed for advancing sustainable tours, making memories for millions of cruisers

CRUISE Roberta Jacoby.jpg
Roberta Jacoby led the drive to get RCL's tour operators certified to UN-created Global Sustainable Tourism Council standards

The group was disbanded due to COVID-19 budget cutbacks and Jacoby left after six eventful years at RCL. She had last reported directly to Chairman and CEO Richard Fain.

Sustainable tourism leader

'Our entire industry loves and respects Roberta for her skills, her insights and her friendship. She’s a remarkable person,' Fain said. 'What she did here just on sustainable tourism helped change our company and many of our tour operators, too,' he added. 'It’s one of many contributions we’re grateful for.'

'I loved my time at Royal, getting to know the destinations and the tour operators around the globe, working with our China office, and learning and embracing the importance of sustainable tourism,' Jacoby said.

Customized tours

Excursions were crafted around high adventure, multigenerational groups, culinary/cultural and destination immersion, depending on the demographics of each RCL brand. Between Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara, more than 6,000 tours were available, spanning every continent. The global tour operations division worked with 500 tour operators.

Jacoby also oversaw Celebrity Signature Events built around major happenings like Mardi Gras, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Monaco Grand Prix. Unique excursions were honed for president's cruises, AzAmazing Evenings and overland trips.

RCL partner World Wildlife Fund set a target for the company to offer 1,000 tours provided by operators certified to the UN-created Global Sustainable Tourism Council standard. The goal was surpassed nearly one year ahead of schedule and RCL almost doubled the target number by 2020.

New. memorable experiences for millions

'During our years working together at Royal Caribbean, Roberta and her global tour operations team negotiated and established thousands of tours throughout the world for multiple company brands, creating new and memorable experiences for millions of guests,' said Adam Goldstein, who oversaw the global tour operations division when he was RCL vice chairman.

'Roberta sustained excellent relationships with the tour operators, which motivated their responsiveness when she challenged them to achieve Global Sustainable Tourism Council certification,' he continued. 'This pioneering concept became a pillar of Royal Caribbean's publicly stated environmental and sustainability goals, and is on its way to becoming the norm in the cruise industry.'

From Russia to Mexico

Tour operators from Russia to Mexico voiced their appreciation for Jacoby's leadership and style.

'Smart, efficient, cooperative, kind, elegant' are words Helen Malchenok, general director, Arctur Travel, Russia, used to describe Jacoby. Working together, they took on great challenges, with successful results. Malchenok said the two never had enough time together in business meetings for all they aspired to achieve, and they joked that if women/mothers led countries, it might be possible to have peace on earth.

For Trino Molina, director general of Mexico's Aviomar, Jacoby is a 'great leader, not only to her team but to the cruise community.' She inspired Aviomar to achieve environmental sustainability, not only sharing the vision and setting a goal, Molina said, 'but giving us the tools, resources and helping us along the way. She inspired us to trust and to think differently, and challenged us to operate differently to achieve the same level of operation but considering many aspects of the environment.'

Legendary career

'Roberta has left a lasting and positive legacy across nearly the entire cruise industry landscape, from air/sea to training to hotel operations to strategy to tour operations and more,' Goldstein said, counting Jacoby's contributions as a senior leader at Carnival Corp. & plc before joining RCL. 'I thoroughly enjoyed working with Roberta and congratulate her on a legendary cruise industry career.'

Global tour operations duties reallocated

RCL's global tour operations functions have been reallocated, with the product function going to the brands, the sustainability aspect to the corporate responsibility team, the shore excursion safety initiative to risk management and the multimedia component split between the brands and the digital group.  

 

June 26 updates: AQSC flexible booking policy, Toulon shelters cruise ships, Club Med in no rush to resume

PHOTO: ©JEAN-CLAUDE BELLONNE CRUISE Toulon.jpg
Cruise ships at Toulon's La Seyne-sur-Mer terminal

Keep checking back. This is being continuously updated.

American Queen Steamboat Co.'s flexible booking policy

American Queen Steamboat Co. is allowing travelers to cancel any 2020 reservation up to 24 hours before departure in exchange for a future cruise credit. The FCC will include voyage fare, hotel packages, city stay packages and insurance. Port fees will be refunded as normal.

The FCC is valid for travel in 2020, 2021 or 2022. This flexible booking policy is in effect through the end of this year.

AQSC aims to resume sailing in July.

Silver Explorer, Silver Cloud, Club Med 2 in Toulon

Expedition ship Silver Explorer arrived in Toulon Bay for lay-up after crossing the Atlantic, becoming the third cruise ship at the La Seyne-sur-Mer cruise terminal. Also there waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic are Silver Cloud and Club Med 2.

Silver Explorer is berthed at the northern part of the pier, astern of Silver Cloud, which has been in Toulon Bay since May 31. As for Club Med 2, which arrived from the West Indies May 8, the ship returned to La Seyne yesterday after a 48-hour round-trip to Barcelona.

Club Med has no plans to sail this summer

Club Med is going to focus on its villages and doesn't plan to resume service this summer. The company told Seatrade Cruise News it may try to restart sailings in the autumn, but nothing is decided.

Six Silversea ships are sheltering in French ports. In addition to the two in Toulon, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper and Silver Wind have been waiting for a month in Marseille, while Silver Spirt was expected to arrive there today.

Start-up Tradewind Voyages reveals name of sailing ship and inaugural 2021 itineraries

CRUISE - GOLDEN HORIZON.JPG
Golden Horizon's voyages are planned on the basis of the prevailing winds and currents around the world

Carrying 272 passengers with a crew of 159, the ship will start offering ex-UK voyages in northern Europe from May to August 2021 before sailing to the Mediterranean, Asia and further afield.

Golden Horizon is a near replica of the 1913-built ocean vessel France II and will retain its historic charm, Tradewind Voyages CEO Stuart McQuaker said

The ship is currently at Brodosplit shipyard in Croatia, the owner of the vessel and where it was constructed.

Nine UK sailings

A highlight of the first season will be a British maritime-themed voyage, with the ship anchoring off Cowes for the traditional regatta fireworks display. The itinerary also visits  traditional maritime communities along the south coast, the Scilly Islands and the Channel Islands.

In total, nine voyages will be offered from the UK with seven departures from Harwich and two from Glasgow.

Northern European itineraries will feature Denmark, Iceland, the Norwegian Fjords and the Baltic republics on a mix of durations, mainly seven, 14 and 21 days (round-trips to St Petersburg and up to Svalbard) with 10- and 11-day sailings, also.

Silk Route eastwards

In September 2021, Golden Horizon will sail into the Mediterranean including a stopover in Croatia where the owner of ship DIV Group is based, and then through the Suez Canal and follow the historic maritime Silk Route to Jakarta, and on to Bali.

Itineraries in late 2021 and planned into 2022 will feature a circumnavigation of Australia starting in December 2021, the Indian Ocean, Japan, Alaska, the Americas and the Pacific Islands.

6,300 sq mtr of sail

Whilst Golden Horizon has engine power the philosophy is to sail with the winds and currents utilising the 6,300sq mtr of sails whenever possible, particularly on the longer routes. The intent is to be under sail for around 70% of each season.

McQuaker, a former Royal Navy officer who also held executive positions at Saga plc and Saga Cruises between 2014-2018, told Seatrade Cruise News, ‘Uniquely, all her voyages are planned on the basis of the prevailing winds and currents around the world, often following the traditional trading routes; a real maritime experience.’

The 162mtr long ship, he continued, will 'appeal to active adults who want to travel the world in a new way. Families will not be excluded but it is not going to be a child-friendly product.

‘There will be a sophisticated enrichment and wellbeing programme and, for those who wish, the opportunity to take advantage of various complementary water sports available from its marina.’

The main dining room will have capacity to seat all passengers at one time for lunch and evening dinner with sittings spread across a few hours.

The alfresco Horizon Bar in the ship’s aft will offer grills and light lunch/suppers for those wanting a more casual setting.

English-speaking sourcing

Target source market for the first season is primarily UK and English-speaking markets, McQuaker said.

The management team includes sales and marketing director Jeremy McKenna, head of marketing and distribution Amanda Norey and product director Oliver Hammerer who all have held key positions in UK-based cruise and cruise retail companies.

There are currently 15 employees, more than half who have not met face to face yet, McQuaker noted, as the company start-up, product development, initial itineraries planning and brochure have all been drawn together under UK lockdown, ‘an amazing achievement,’ he added.

Talks are now in progress  with prospective deck and engine and hotel operations third party shipmanagers..

Fleet expansion

Tradewind Voyages is planning to add further newly designed sailing ships to its fleet over the coming years, with the design process under way.

Tradewind Voyages’ programme goes on sale in September.

 

 

Majestic Princess joins five-ship 2021/22 West Coast lineup for Princess

CRUISE Majestic Princess.jpeg
Majestic Princess, pictured here in Singapore, is going to sail from the US West Coast for the first time

Princess Cruises will field five ships on the West Coast in the late 2021 to early 2022 period, with destinations including the California, the Pacific Northwest, Mexico and Hawaii.

Departures from Los Angeles and San Francisco

Majestic Princess will sail from Los Angeles for the first time with seven-day Mexican Riviera voyages throughout the season as well weeklong 'Classic California Coast' voyages in the fall and spring.

In spring 2022, Discovery Princess sails from Los Angeles on seven-day cruises to Mexico and California. Grand Princess also sails round-trip Los Angeles on 15-day Hawaiian Islands and 10-day 'Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez' cruises. Ruby Princess will offer a second season of Hawaii, Mexico and California coast sailings round-trip San Francisco, including a pair of Panama Canal voyages.

Service from September 2021 through April 2022 includes 25 Mexican Riviera cruises on Majestic Princess and, in spring 2022, Discovery Princess with calls at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta.

Ruby Princess returns as San Francisco's hometown ship to offer three 10-day cruises to the Mexican Riviera (Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta).

In addition, Grand Princess and Sapphire Princess will offer seven 10-day 'Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez' voyages, visiting Cabo San Lucas (overnight), La Paz, Loreto and Puerto Vallarta, round-trip Los Angeles.

Hawaii

The 15-day Hawaii round-trips to Maui, Oahu, Kauai and Hilo will operated on Grand Princess and Sapphire Princess from Los Angeles and Ruby Princess from San Francisco.

California and Pacific Northwest

Weeklong California cruises depart from Los Angeles on Discovery Princess and Majestic Princess and from San Francisco on Ruby Princess. Destinations include San Diego, Santa Barbara and Monterey. Three-to five-day getaways also highlight these towns as well as Ensenada, Mexico. A seven-day cruise from San Francisco on Ruby Princess will visit the Pacific Northwest, including Astoria and Seattle.

Panama facilitates crew changes from five Carnival Corp. ships

PHOTO: PANAMA MARITIME AUTHORITY CRUISE Panama crew repatriation.jpg
Crew were flown out on charter flights from Panama City, while other crew arrived to relieve them

Flights to Amsterdam, Manila, Jakarta

The crew were landed on tenders under strict sanitation procedures for transfer to charter flights from Panama City to Amsterdam, Manila and Jakarta.

Arriving crew

At the same time, 239 crew arrived in Panama to replace those going home.

Further flights to Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru

In addition, 138 crew were disembarked yesterday and will be flying home to Nicaragua, Colombia and Peru, according to Fernando Lay of shipping agency Norton Lilly.

The Panama Maritime Authority oversaw the operation, in coordination with Tocumen International Airport, the National Immigration Service and the Civil Aeronautical Authority.

Josh Leibowitz appointed Seabourn president

CRUISE Josh Leibowitz.jpg
Josh Leibowitz was chief strategy officer, Carnival Corp. & plc, and senior vice president, Cunard North America

Reporting to Stein Kruse, Group CEO of Holland America Group and Carnival UK, Leibowitz will be responsible for overseeing all operations, including revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, hotel operations, and sales and marketing.

Extensive experience and knowledge

Kruse said Leibowitz brings 'extensive experience and knowledge that will further strengthen Seabourn’s position in the market.' He added: 'I am confident that Josh will help carry Seabourn through the challenges currently facing the travel industry to build on its longstanding reputation as an ultra-luxury travel brand unlike any other, supported by a team of people whose everyday focus is on delivering the best.'

Leibowitz joined Carnival Corp. & plc in 2013 as chief strategy officer and was also named senior vice president, Cunard North America in December 2016.

McKinsey & Co. background

Before Carnival, he served as managing partner of the Miami office of the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., where he was a leader in the work on advanced analytics and sales and marketing.

Leibowitz succeeds Rick Meadows, who retired from the Seabourn presidency at the end of May.

IAATO votes in new members

IAATO logo.jpg

Ice Trek and Scenic Expeditions

Ice Trek and Scenic Expeditions were voted in as IAATO operators. Intrepid Travel, The World Residences at Sea, Students on Ice, Sur Expeditions and Viking Expeditions were granted provisional operator status. And Arbue Services, Inmarsat, RSR Nemo Ship Management, Newayer Travel and V.Ships Leisure gained associate member status.

113 members

This brings IAATO's total membership to 113, including 46 operators, eight provisional operators and 59 associate members.

The new operators, provisional operators and associates were voted in during the organization's first online annual meeting.

'Joining IAATO demonstrates a company’s desire to safeguard Antarctica and learn from the collective experience and wisdom of the IAATO family,' said Mark Van der Hulst, chair of IAATO’s Executive Committee. He added the organization has stringent criteria for joining to ensure every new member shares the same mission and vision.

Membership reflects a 'tremendous amount of hard work, dedication and commitment,' Van der Hulst said.

As a condition of membership, all new provisional operators will be required to carry an IAATO observer on board to witness their operations in the field. Observations provide a forum for feedback and offer a further opportunity for the membership to make sure IAATO’s operational guidelines are upheld in practice.

COVID-19 Steering Group

This year’s meeting saw the introduction of a COVID-19 Steering Group, formed to drive the creation of IAATO guidance on COVID-19 procedures for the 2020/21 Antarctica season.

The impact of the pandemic on the coming season remains unclear. However, as a community, IAATO members are working through a number of possible scenarios while seeking advice from experts unraveling the long-term implications of, and solutions to, COVID-19.

Mercy Ships salutes International Day of the Seafarer and the charity's all-volunteer crew

PHOTO: MERCY SHIPS CRUISE Capt. Taylor Perez, Mercy Ships.jpg
'Come experience the joy of living in an international community working together to bring hope and healing to others,' said fulltime Mercy Ships volunteer Capt. Taylor Perez

Capt. Perez is currently the master of Africa Mercy, which provides free, life-changing surgeries to some of the world's neediest people. Thousands of people are helped every year.

On this International Day of the Seafarer, Mercy Ships honors Perez and seafarers everywhere, and Perez urged his fellow seafarers to consider volunteering.

Everyone on board is a volunteer

Everyone on Africa Mercy is a volunteer — from the captain to the motormen, the surgeons to the galley staff. The more than 400 volunteers come from over 40 nations.

Perez, a native of White Plains who graduated from the State University of New York Maritime College, first worked for Sanko lines on a bulk carrier and tanker while waiting for the American merchant unions to open up to new applicants.

He got a taste of the last of the era of break bulk cargo runs to the west coast of Africa and the west coast of South America. After tankers and containers, he worked for Transoceanic Cable Ship Co. (owned by AT&T at the time) and spent 31 years there, 28 as master, laying and maintaining long distance fiber-optic cable systems around the world.

Perez was introduced to Mercy Ships in 1984 when his ship stopped in Hawaii en route to Asia. The charity's previous vessel, Anastasis, was docked nearby and some of the crew invited him aboard for lunch.

'I was absolutely stunned by the quality of the crew and atmosphere on board,' Perez said. 'They were very impressive, and it was a very professional organization.'

After that meeting, Perez began to volunteer with Mercy Ships during his time off. He met his future wife on board. He has served as captain on all of the Mercy Ships fleet, and has volunteered fulltime since the end of 2016.

Perez encouraged other seafarers to consider volunteering for what he finds a very satisfying job.

Part of a community

'Normal maritime life can be kind of isolating, but here you are part of a community. There is always something happening in the evenings and weekends. I love it and I am an introvert,' Perez said.

'The ship is the hospital. You can’t have the hospital without the ship. The doctors and nurses, who do such an amazing job, could not do it without the ship. The ship can’t operate without its mariners … We don’t just need doctors and nurses, we need ratings, able seamen, motormen, engineers and professionals who can take the time to see something different and be part of something with a big impact.

'Don’t discount yourself just because you are reaching retirement,' he added 'Mercy Ships has a place for you.

'You have all the regular work you would have on a merchant ship, but you layer on top of that the fact you have far more departments and activities going on ... It is a vast floating city, but everyone has the same attitude to what they are doing.'

'Don't retire — re-fire'

Perez, 69, considers himself a 'repurposed' cable ships master. His advice to other mariners: 'Don’t retire – re-fire. We need credentialed professional mariners. Come experience the joy of living in an international community working together to bring hope and healing to others.

'This is where I am supposed to be,' Perez said. 'There is no question about that.'