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Articles from 2001 In July


Princess stocks new blood analysis units

Princess stocks new blood analysis units

ABAXIS, based in Union City, California, is in the process of delivering 12 Piccolo systems to complete the order and anticipates supplying additional units prior to June 2004. 'We are particularly pleased to have found a time and cost effective alternative to our present laboratory system. The Piccolo has allowed our medical staff to devote more time to the patients and less time running laboratory tests,' says Dr. Grant Tarling, fleet medical director for P&O Princess.

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Louis posts improved results

Louis posts improved results

8m ($18m), up 84% on the previous year. The improvement was attributed to consolidation of Royal Olympic Cruises within the Group, which meant cruise turnover more than tripled from the 1999 level to reach CYP 131.7m ($200m). Louis Cruises Lines itself showed a net profit of CYP 9.1m ($13.8m), compared to CYP 6.5m ($9.9m) the previous year, on turnover up 38% at CYP 57.3m ($87.2m), while NASDAQ-listed Royal Olympic Cruise Lines converted a 1999 loss of $10.8m into a net profit of $1.6m on turnover 33% ahead at $128.1m. Louis Hotels is 55% owned by LCL Group and contributed the remaining CYP 2.5m to the bottom line.

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New ships fuel demand for POS terminals

New ships fuel demand for POS terminals

Expansion of the North American fleet is driving sales in the cruise arena, says IHL president Greg Buzek. POS terminals on cruise ships are usually located in the casino and gift shops and also sometimes in spas. Depending on the vessel size, six to 25 or 30 units might be utilised, Buzek estimates. The value of units shipped to the North American cruise industry this year is about $60m, he adds, and another $75m is going toward servicing existing units, updating software, etc. One trend in this sector is the conversion to Windows and Windows NT (a business-oriented operating system for Microsoft).

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Helsingør-Helsingborg to host Baltic meeting

Helsingør-Helsingborg to host Baltic meeting

'Ports of Culture' is the theme of the October 25-26 gathering, followed by a two-day post-conference tour visiting the Öresund region. Participants can end the tour in Hamburg at Seatrade Europe. BTC sessions will include 'Maritime Heritage Tourism in Old Ports,' 'The Inner City Port,' 'Tactics & Trends: Survival as a Tour Operator in the 21st Century' and 'Cruising in the Baltic: Opportunity or Dead End?' Also scheduled are four roundtables: 'Developing a Maritime-Based Tourism Destination,' 'A Ferry Alliance for the Baltic,' 'The Baltic Sea Tourism Market' and 'Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events in the Baltic Region.' BTC president Knut Haenschke will moderate the 'State of the Industry' debate. For more information, go to www.balticsea.com.

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Niche Cruise Alliance unleashes marketing blitz

Niche Cruise Alliance unleashes marketing blitz

The 16-member group's annual budget of almost $200,000 is strongly directed toward marketing, not creating 'a big bureaucracy,' says executive director Steve Hirshan, who is also vp sales and marketing for Mediterranean Shipping Cruises in New York. 'The dollars have to be spent on educating travel agents and creating sales.' Other marketing efforts will include participation at September's Passport to Profit show in Las Vegas and November's Cruise-a-thon in Fort Lauderdale, where alliance members will lead seminars, distribute a new brochure and group their trade show booths in a common area. Formed last year, the alliance recently added four new members - Australia's Captain Cook Cruises, Ecuador's Quasar Nautica, First European Cruises (Festival's US branch) and American Canadian Caribbean Line - bringing a total of more than 73 ships with capacity of 18,000-plus passengers. Hirshan cautions that 'niche' doesn't necessarily mean 'small ship.' Members range from destination specialists such as Galapagos experts Quasar Nautica to sail-cruise brands like Windjammer and Star Clippers. The alliance's website is www.Nichecruise.com.

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Croisimer R.I.P.

Croisimer R.I.P.

At a closed-doors meeting of members in late June, the vote went 13:3 in favour of dissolution. Ironically, France's rising market of late was to blame: friction between members has intensified and even Croisimer's annual passenger statistics for the French market (latest: 266,000) have been called into question as inflated with some smaller companies accused of 'window dressing'. Resigning Croisimer president Yannis Vassilakopoulos - also head of both Royal Olympic France (aka Eurocroisière) and Louis Cruises' new one-ship French brand Croisifrance - said he regretted the move at a time the market was so buoyant.

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AFTA 2001 spotlights cruise industry

AFTA 2001 spotlights cruise industry

Wiltrans Australia gm Diane Patrick, gsa for Crystal Cruises, Compagnie Des Iles Du Ponant, Hapag-Lloyd, Radisson Seven Seas and representative for Silversea Cruises, was a keynote speaker. Patrick outlined the diversity of product available and stressed the importance of matching clients with appropriate ships to ensure repeat business. Amadeus Australia and New Zealand ceo Bill Lawler, sponsor of Saturday's lunch, referred to the latest version of Amadeus Cruise. Lawler's global distribution system which has its headquarters in Madrid and is listed on the Madrid stock exchange claims to provide the world's most advanced cruise booking technology for travel agents and cruise providers. (It was announced yesterday that Carnival Corporation has confirmed its intention to distribute its six cruise lines via Amadeus Cruise). Meanwhile International Cruise Council Australasia presented its inaugural 'Cruise Agency of the Year' award to Murray and Robyn Sinfield, proprietors of Wilsons Travel Service in Tasmania, at AFTA 2001. The Sinfields, who have a dedicated cruise division called Cruiseland and outlets in Ulverstone, Hobart, Devonport and Burnie, were chosen by ICCA's 15 cruise line members.

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AMCV to defer cash distributions

AMCV to defer cash distributions

The company had previously paid quarterly cash distributions of $0.875 per unit, for an aggregate of $7m per annum, to holders of the trust preferred securities. 'While we are pleased with the booking volumes and occupancy levels we have generated in recent months and with the effectiveness of our cost control programme, we felt it was prudent to take this action to manage our free cash judiciously as we approach our typically slower winter season,' commented ceo Phil Calian. 'We believe deferral of the distribution will provide us with greater financial flexibility.' AMCV's financial performance has been impacted by factors including the US economic slowdown and competitive pricing in the leisure industry. The company will hold its second quarter earnings call with analysts at 11 am US East Coast time on August 9. A live webcast of the conference call will be available at www.amcv.com and www.streetfusion.com.

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Conover responds to layoff, sale rumours

Conover responds to layoff, sale rumours

As the Seabourn fleet downsizes with the transfer of Seabourn Sun to Holland America Line and the sale of the Seabourn Goddesses, it seems logical that staff downsizing will have to follow. But perhaps only time will tell. Conover also denies reports that the original Seabourn trio has been sold. Ever since Atle Brynestad acquired the Goddesses, reports have circulated that the Norwegian entrepreneur would also snap up the remaining fleet. Conover says that has not happened. She adds, 'We are focusing on the three original ships and continuing to build and enhance the product experience.'

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Renaissance expands air gateways

Renaissance expands air gateways

Jim Henwood, vp sales, said the goal is simplifying travel planning for agents and customers. The new air/sea programme is being rolled out on select destinations but eventually will expand to include all Renaissance itineraries.

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